Monday, March 31, 2014

March Favorites

Hi guys! It's time for another favorites post! Let's see what I've been loving this month!

1. Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask

I did a full review on this already, and it's really just amazing. I've been looking for so long for a mask to do what this one does, and I got mine for free! It really doesn't get any better than that!

2. Lush Lip Service Lip Balm

I picked this up at the very end of February while visiting Alex, and it quickly became a favorite. It's incredibly hydrating, and even after it's worn away some (or I've had it on overnight) it doesn't feel thick and uncomfortable like some lip balms. Plus, who doesn't love all natural products? Unfortunately, I lost mine at the theater this past Friday, so I need to make a trip to Portland to get another one!

3. Pop Beauty Eyeshadow Trio in Naturally Bare

Save a couple of days, this trio is all I've been wearing this month. I love natural looks, and this trio makes that happen with the smallest amount of effort. It's also just so travel friendly that it naturally wins out over my bigger palettes for short trips.

And that's kind of it! It's been such a busy month, I haven't had a whole lot of time to try new products, but I hope to change that this month! Stay tuned!

PS As you may have noticed, I did something stupid and lost a ton of pictures on my blog. I'm hoping to fix those ASAP, but it may take me a little time. Thanks for bearing with me!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Skincare Story

Hi guys!

Today I thought I'd share a little bit about my dermatologist visit I had right before I left Baltimore. I have always had ridiculously oily skin. It's always been fairly sensitive and acne-prone too. Unless I had a TON going on, I never got really ridiculous breakouts, but they were always a constant for me.

Around November, I got off the birth control I had been taking since I was 15. Not for any particular reason, just because it happened, and at the time it wasn't important. I originally got on the birth control for period issues, and as I'm not having those issues anymore, I decided it wasn't a necessity to get back on the birth control right away.

My skin completely freaked out. I was having massive breakouts even with the least stress I've had in a while. At the beginning of the year I was put on my Mom's insurance, so I decided to take advantage of it and go see a dermatologist.

I talked to the doctor about what I was experiencing. We talked about what kinds of acne I suffered from (cystic, whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, etc.) and what sort of things I'd tried in the past. I know I'm fairly young, but I'm not 16 anymore, and now that I'm in a more professional setting work-wise, I'd really like to be able to put my best face forward. When the doctor asked if I wanted to hit it hard, I agreed.

So now I'm on two oral medications and two topical ones.

The two topical ones are Aczone:

And Tazorac:

The Aczone is a twice daily medication, and the Tazorac is a nightly medication. Unfortunately, these dry my skin out so much that I can't use them as often as I'm supposed to. I'm trying to work up to using the Aczone twice a day, but for now I'm only using it as night. The Tazorac ends up being once every 2-3 days or when I remember.

As for oral medication, I'm on an antibiotic (which causes issues of itself long term) and aldactone.

I'm coming up on a month of treatment, but I haven't seen any major improvements. The doctor in Baltimore said it could take up to two months, so I'll wait until the end of April and reassess then.

In the mean time, I need to invest in an excellent moisturizer so that my face doesn't fall off!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask Review #powerofplants

Hi guys!

Today I wanted to talk about this ridiculously amazing mask I recently got in my Influenster J'Adore Box. It's the Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask.

A while back in ipsy, some people received Glam Glow samples. Ever since then, I've been on the hunt for something cheaper but just as effective. I found an Amazon add on that looked promising, but given that I didn't want to buy something just to get the add on, I waited.

And then this stuff came into my life. It truly is amazing. It has the exact same effect as Glam Glow which means that it sucks impurities out of your skin. And you can see it happen! Once the mask dries, any place that had impurities looks like this:

Not my picture

I was a little hesitant to try it because of how dry and sensitive my face has been lately, but it's really gentle and nice. It's a lot more watery than clay masks I've used before, but you shake it up and then apply it to your face. It goes on dark green and turns a lighter moss green as it dries. I use it before bed and watch Youtube while it dries. Then I hop in the shower and wash it off for the ultimate relaxing experience.

In the drying process

It really is incredible how much it's done for my pores. They're smaller, less noticeable, and I don't get a significant build-up of dirt anymore.  And the best part? It's roughly $10 AND it's available at Target. I will definitely be picking up more of this product when I run out (another good thing: it's not the biggest bottle, but it'll last me a long time) and it's made me interested to try other products from this line. If everything's this amazing, I may have found a new favorite drugstore brand!

I'd highly recommend this product to anyone with excess oil and blackheads. You will be shocked at how effective yet gentle this product is.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nail of the Week 3/10 & 3/17

Hi guys!

I have had awesome colors on my nails for the past two weeks!

Last week I was rocking Julep's Reece which is THE MOST GORGEOUS COLOR EVER. I seriously couldn't get enough. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I got before it chipped. Which is not to say it's not long wearing, but I had one nail break which I blame for most of it.

This week, serendipitously enough, I'm wearing Zoya's Giovanna which is a lot more green than it photographs. It's the perfect St. Patrick's Day color! I got this one back in my October Ipsy bag, and I've seen some stuff about it staining really badly. Hopefully that doesn't happen to me!

It's a little crazy, but I'm quickly coming to the end of what I thought was going to be a never ending list of new polishes to wear. I'll have to find some new polishes to lust over soon!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lush Haul and Best Friend Time

On my way back up to Maine at the end of February, I got to stop in Connecticut for a few days and spend time with my best friend from college, Alex!

We had a lot of fun together. We went shopping; I accidentally convinced a Cheesecake Factory employee that we were lesbians and on a date; We hung out with her best friends from high school and went bowling with her new man friend. It was so nice to see her after over six months of abscence. But, that's how you can tell that we're great friends: it was like we'd never split up!

On our major shopping day, she took me to Lush. Now, I'd popped into a Lush before in Portland and had a shower gel demo, but I didn't really feel like I'd gotten the full Lush experience. And let me tell you, this time I did! Alex wanted to go to get face masks, but I ended up talking to the woman about my new acne routine (I guess I should do a post on that sometime..) and how it was drying the absolute crap out of my face, and so I ended up getting more than just a face mask.

While there, I demoed two different face masks, a serum bar, and a lip scrub. I left with the following:

Oatifix Fresh Face Mask

Daily Grace Serum Bar

Lip Service Lip Balm

Celestial Moisturizer

(This one was just a sample size)

The face mask is a little weird. It's chunky and has an...interesting smell. It's not unpleasant, but it's a little strange. The woman at Lush kind of talked me into the serum bar, but I'm actually really enjoying it a lot. And I'm totally obsessed with the lip balm. I'd love to get a big size of the Celestial moisturizer, but I don't have $25 to drop on that right now. Some day, maybe!

And, for fun, here's a picture of Alex and I trying our face masks for the first time! Hers is much more exciting-looking than mine because hers is blueberry based!

Do you guys love Lush? What's your favorite product?

Monday, March 17, 2014

J'Adore Voxbox

Hey guys!

Today I have my J'Adore Voxbox to share with you! This was their Valentine's Day box, and even though it came afterwards, I still enjoyed it!

So here's what I received!

Kiss False Eyelashes

Red Rose Tea

Boots Botanics Ionic Clay Mask

John Frieda Frizz-Ease 

Hershey's Kisses

Of course the Kisses disappeared almost as fast as they appeared! Everything else I held on to long enough to get a picture! Look for a post on the mask soon - I NEED to talk about this product!

Are you guys Influensters? Did you get the J'Adore Box? What did you think?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Graphic Design Inspiration - Jessica Hische & Archan Nair

Hey guys!

Just a quick update today to share with you two of my new favorite discoveries! I came across both of these artists while learning about graphic design and working on my Write On! poster for TAM during the end of February.

The first is Jessica Hische who does awesome typography work. Here are some examples:

This one's the current lock screen on my phone!

I just love everything about these. The typography, the quotes, the simplicity that's totally motivating. I wish I could create things like this. Unfortunately, I have to settle for using someone else's work, which leads me to my next artist, Archan Nair.

I came across a BEAUTIFUL piece of artwork that I ended up using for my Write On! poster. I looked up the artist, and his stuff just completely blew me away. Totally abstract and creative and absolutely beautiful. Take a look!

That last one is the piece I used for my poster. Not only is his stuff stunning, but he also gave me permission to use it! So cool.

I hope you enjoyed my little bit of creative inspiration!

Monday, March 10, 2014

February Favorites

Okay, so this is late, I know, but I was using some products that I really liked in February, so I figured there was still time to share them!

Sally Hansen Cuticle Eraser and Balm

I started using this again in February because it has been a rough winter on my skin. My regular body butter wasn't cutting it for my cuticles, so I brought this back into the mix. It takes some getting used to (at least for me) in terms of having it on, but I put it on right before I go to bed and wake up with my hands looking so much better.

Faith Aromatherapy Tahitian Monoi Anti-Aging Scrub

This came in the January Ipsy bag, and even though I didn't get a sample, I used the coupon code to buy the full size. I had never used a body scrub, and I really like how exfoliating AND moisturizing it is. The only thing I'll say about it, though, is that if you're going to use it before you shave either do it a day before or invest in some razor cleaning stuff because it clogs up your razors really badly. And mine are far too expensive for that to be okay with me.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

I went to the dermatologist in February to try and get my skin under control, and one of the things I realized was that with my new routine, I was using way too many drying products on my face. So, I switched to Cetaphil, and I'm really liking it. It doesn't have the same excitement as my previous routine, but it gets the job done without killing my already tortured skin.

NYC In a New York Minute Top Coat

All the credit goes to Nouveau Cheap for this one. My Seche Vite just wasn't helping me out anymore, so I took a risk and tried this $1.99 top coat from NYC. And it's kind of amazing. It's nothing crazy in terms of keeping chipping at bay, but it does a better job than my more expensive brand.

Nyx Love in Paris Eyeshadow Palette in Parisian Chic

I love my neutrals, you guys. And I love this palette. Do I probably have enough neutral eyeshadows? Yes. But this one is my favorite as far as "fancy neutrals" go. I use my Pop Beauty eyeshadow trio on a daily basis, but when I'm going out and want to step it up a bit, I go for this palette.

That's everything I loved last month. I kind of had a back to basics month, and I'm totally okay with that!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Nail of the Week 2/24 & 3/3

I'm quickly coming to the end of my dark, wintry colors, but I'm still loving how chic they make me feel.

Last week I paired Butter London's Marrow a beautiful, rich purple with Julep's Cameron, which I received in my February Maven Box. Cameron is labeled as a "Stardust Finish" polish which should mean that I shied away and didn't even try it, but it looked so beautiful! And it was. It's a lilac shimmer matte glitter and even though I covered it with three layers of topcoat, the textured aspect never fully went away. As an accent color, though, I completely loved it. And the one thing I will say for textured polish is that it lasts forever!

This week I'm wearing Julep's Kendra which is a frosty army green. I think I've mentioned this before, but I love polishes that feel as dark and chic as black but don't have the same harshness. This is definitely one of those polishes. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Major ball droppage


I know. I dropped the ball. I dropped the ball, and it rolled under a desk, and I've spent the past two weeks looking for it. I found it, and I'm picking it back up, I promise.

I'm sincerely sorry for my absence. The past two weeks have just been ridiculously busy. It started with Dawn getting me started on a project toward the end of my furlough which I spent the majority of my time on. Then, just as that was coming to an end, I got sick. Right as I was getting done being sick, I drove to Connecticut to hang out with my best friend from college, and from there back to Maine. I got here on Sunday, started back at work on Monday, and I've been trying to get my feet back under me ever since.

But I will catch up. I'm starting now, and I will do my NOTW this Friday as usual. This weekend, I will unpack my stuff and figure out my blog so I can start posting regular content again. I have so many things I wanted to share with you guys, but I just couldn't find the time to get it done.

Please bear with me as I catch up on everything. I will try my hardest to regain my balance between personal life, work life, and blog life.

In repentance, please accept some pictures from the past two weeks.

(Late) Valentine's Day cookies

Paint Nite with my Mom

Best friend time with Alex