August 1, 2014

A Few of my Favorite Things - July 2014

I can't believe it's already August! How insane is that? As an undergraduate, I went to a university that got out for Summer in early May and started up again mid August, but where I'm at for grad school we don't get out til mid June and start up again late September. So, I keep thinking that summer is coming to an end when I actually have about 2 months left - What a relief!

So, favorites! In July, I have been loving...

1. Home decor

I've been spending a lot of time this month making my apartment feel more like home. I got this secondhand desk to use as a vanity and I had a lot of fun thrift shopping to make it pretty.

2. Yankee Candle - Pink Sands

I don't usually splurge on candles unless they're Fall or Winter candles from B&BW, but I bought this one because it smells so amazing. I haven't seen it anywhere since, & now I'm kicking myself for not buying a backup!

3. Portland, Oregon

Portland has always been a mystery to me. As a matter of fact, it still is to some extent! But I've faced a few of my fears this summer about driving and navigating a big city because I'm interning there for 10 weeks this summer. Turns out, Portland is gorgeous. It's lush and green and adorable and then there's the mountain as a backdrop. I totally underestimated the power of Portland before I moved to western Oregon, and now I'm obsessed. I can't wait to do more exploring and fall a little more in love.

4. Stumptown Coffee


Stumptown Coffee is another western Oregon find, and another reason that I love Portland and can't wait to do more exploring! When I bought my first coffee grinder a few months ago, I asked a friend to recommend her favorite whole bean coffee & she rec'd Stumptown Hair Bender blend. UH-MAZ-ING. Seriously. It's expensive [$20/lb] so I try to only buy it as a treat every couple months, but I also think it's worth every penny.

5. Steve Madden Bags

I never really knew I had a thing for Steve Madden bags until I realized that all the bags I had purchased in the past year were exclusively from this designer. These are the bags I'm currently using, the one on the left for work/school and the one on the right for everyday, but I have several more because I fall in love every time I see them & can't resist!

6. Infinity scarves

So it's 90 degrees here pretty much everyday, but you wouldn't know it from my wardrobe. I wear scarves year round, and I especially love light infinity scarves for summer. I've been obsessed with this particular floral scarf because it fits the season & makes it less ridiculous [I hope] that I'm wearing a scarf in the middle of summer. I have no idea what the brand is because there is no tag, oops!

7. Last but not least - FALL!

I went to the mall today and ended up at Hobby Lobby, where I discovered that all of their Fall decor was 40% off. AH! Of course I had to do a little preparation for the upcoming season, so I got some garland, a few small decorative pumpkins, and some large floral picks. Then I had to stop into Bath & Body Works to check out their Fall preview and took advantage of the 2 for $22 sale on 3-wick candles. I purchased the pumpkin welcome sign a week or two ago at Michaels with a 40% off coupon, and I'm DYING to hang it on my front door. This apartment is the first I've really had with a door that leads to the actual outdoors, so I've been excited about the prospect of wreaths and other door hangings. I also want to carve a pumpkin this year for the first time in forever, since I have a door I can put it outside and I'm hopeful that I might actually have a few trick-or-treaters. Fingers crossed!

So there are a few [or maybe more than a few] of my favorite things for the month of July! Until next month...

July 26, 2014

Haul: Drugstore & Discount Makeup

So my apartment is putting new windows into all of the buildings this summer, and yesterday was my turn! As a result, I spent the day out and about. I got some work done, had lunch with a friend, & did some shopping. 

I got a lot of random home goods, my favorite of which was a wooden pumpkin-shaped 'Welcome!' sign for my front door - but I also got some beauty products.

Most of this haul was from a discount grocery store in my area called Grocery Outlet. Once in awhile they have some really good stuff in there at really low prices. This time around, the best deal I found was Essie nail polishes for $2.99 each! I had to exercise some serious restraint to keep from buying them all. 

I'm loving the bright summer shades and I'm glad there are a couple more months to enjoy them!

The other products I got were ones I either already knew I loved or just wanted to try for the heck of it. I love buying makeup on discount/clearance because it's such an affordable way to try new things, with the only downside being that sometimes it's a discontinued item & you risk falling in love with something you can never get again!

I also got a couple Revlon Lip Butters in the shades Tutti Frutti & Wild Watermelon. I've never been a huge fan of the lip butter's but I decided I needed to give them another shot and I wanted to get some fun summer colors. Ulta was having a buy one, get one 50% off sale & I had a coupon for $5 off a $10 purchase, so I got a really great deal on them & I look forward to trying them out this week!

July 25, 2014

Ipsy Unbagging | July 2014 - Sensationally Sunkissed

Another Ipsy bag! Since I got my June bag so late, this unbagging seems like it's coming especially quick. 

This month's theme was "Sensationally Sunkissed", and I thought the products fit the theme well. 

Once again, I'll be starting with my least favorite items. First up was this Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil. This product is just something I would never use. Not only am I rarely out in the sun for extended periods of time, I also burn easily and would always choose normal sunscreen over this. And, if I were to use a tanner, I would choose a cream version over an oil. Probably a good product, just not for me. :[ A full size of this product is $11.99 on the Hang Ten website.  

Another item I wasn't especially thrilled about was a Befine Daily Moisturizer. Moisturizer is the kind of thing that I tend to have the mindset of 'stick to what you know'. I do, though, like having these around as an emergency backup, and for travel - so it won't go to waste! This was one of the pricier products in this months bag, at $24.99 for a 1.7oz bottle, which is only .2oz more than this one. 

The final three items in this months bag are probably tied for my favorite, the first of which being this Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink. The color is showing brighter in the picture than it actually is - it's more of a soft, clear pink. I love chubby pencil lip products, and the size of this one is perfect for a purse. This is the only product in this mont's bag that I've actually tried, & "brilliance balm" is a great name. It's very shiny (without glitter) and feels good on the lips. A full size of this product is priced at $14. 

The next product was this BareMinerals 5 in 1 cream eyeshadow in Divine Wine. I was a little bit disappointed that I got the cream eyeshadow and not the duo, but I can't complain about getting BareMinerals in my Ipsy bag! The color is much too dark for me to use this on it's own as an everyday shadow, but it may be useful as a base for smokier looks. A full size retails for $18 on the Bare Escentuals website.

Last but not least, I received a wHet nail polish in Facetious. I am never disappointed when I get nail polish in my Ipsy bags - I lovelovelove trying new brands and colors. Blue polish is my absolute favorite, so I really love the cobalt blue shade of this & I can't wait to try it on! These retail for $15 on the wHet website. 

Not the best bag I've ever received, but 3 out of 5 isn't bad - and something I forgot to mention in my last unbagging was the incredible value of these bags. The nail polish & moisturizer alone add up to $40 - and you only pay $10/month! So awesome!

July 24, 2014

First Look: Lorac Pro Palette 2

I went into Ulta today for a brow appointment & took the 20% off coupon I got in the mail with me. I did some online window shopping last night & went in with a plan to check out & purchase the new Tarte Rainforest After Dark LE palette

Clearly, plans changed.

Insert the Lorac Pro Palette 2. When Ulta FINALLY opened in my town, I purchased the Lorac Unzipped & Lorac Pro Palette within a month of each other. I had been drooling over them for so long, and finally took the plunge. When Pro 2 came out I was so excited, but also very wishy-washy about it. The colors weren't appealing to me as much as they seemed to be everyone else, and I haven't had the chance to use my original Pro palette that much, so would it be worth it?

After a month of waiting, thinking it over, and comparing it to other palette's I might want, I decided it would be. As someone who isn't entirely convinced by the hype of high-end makeup, my Lorac products are my favorite of the ones I do own.

This palette is gorgeous and sleek. I love how simple Lorac palettes are. Matte's on top, shimmer's on bottom, with names printed below each shade - just like the first palette. And despite my initial skepticism about whether I would use this shades, the more I look at it, the more I love it. I think it complements the first palette really well and is unique enough to be a good addition to any collection.

In short, I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to purchase this palette. I started an internship a couple weeks ago and it's given me a reason to do my makeup during a season where I normally wouldn't [thus why I haven't gotten much use out of the original Pro palette]. I can't wait to try this out and might follow up with a first impression/review post in the future!

July 11, 2014

Ipsy Unbagging | June 2014 - Pretty in Paradise

Ipsy is a super awesome subscription service for beauty products. It costs $10/month and you get 5-6 products in a cute makeup bag every month. Usually the products in the bag are worth way more than $10 and it's a fun, inexpensive way to try some new things and get your makeup fix. 

After the first bag Ipsy sent for June got lost in the mail after I moved, they were kind enough to resend it and I finally received it yesterday! I was really excited about this bag because of the Nyx Butter Gloss, but I loved just about everything else in the bag too!

Let's start with the products I liked the least - first of which being the eyebrow pencil. This is an OFRA universal eyebrow & eyeliner pencil - universal meaning that it should work for everyone. Unfortunately, the color is far too dark for my brows because I have super blonde eyebrows, but I might get some use out of it as eyeliner. This retails for $13 on the OFRA website, which means this one item already pays for the price of the bag!

The next item is a Realtree for her perfume. The website says that it is "sweet, bright, & irresistable". I actually really like how this smells and the deluxe sample size is great for a purse or school bag, but I don't usually switch up my perfume so I'm not sure how much use I will be getting out of it. The travel size retails for $6.99 and the full size retails for $24.99.

The next item is a hair product by Carols Daughter. I normally wouldn't be very excited about hair stuff but this happens to be a blow dry cream which is the only kind of product I use in my hair! I haven't been able to try it yet, but I'm looking forward to it - so far I've only seen really good reviews. This product retails for $12 for a 3oz bottle on the Carols Daughter website [the one included in the Ipsy bag was .5oz]. 

Now we're onto the stuff I really LOVED in this bag! This shimmer eyeliner from Nicka K in blue is so beautiful. It's an opaque, sparkly turquoise color, and it seems to have really great staying power. I haven't worn it on my eyes yet, but I swatched in on my hand as soon as I opened my bag and it wouldn't budge when I tried to remove it with a wet tissue. I really like the applicator because it isn't a brush that has bristles that can separate - instead, it has a stiff but flexible rubber applicator that makes it easy to get a straight, thin line. Overall, I really love this eyeliner & I can't wait to wear it. It retails for $4.99 on the Nicka K website and there are 14 colors to choose from.

Last but not least, I received a Nyx Butter Gloss in Eclair. It's a beautiful, soft rosy pink color that I think would work on many skin tones. Surprisingly, I've never tried these glosses but have been considering purchasing one, so this was great timing! Absolutely my favorite product from this month's Ipsy bag, and it retails for $5.00 on the Nyx site. 

Really great bag this month, even if it was a little late getting to me. Can't wait to get my July Ipsy bag! 

July 9, 2014

Parental visit | The beautiful Oregon coast

My parents came for a visit last week and were only here for a few days, so we tried to make the most of it. We didn't do much to celebrate Independence Day itself, but we did spend some time soaking up the ocean air in Newport!

I blindly took a bunch of pictures with my phone [the sun was SO bright!] and was surprised by how beautifully they turned out. We specifically went to see the Yaquina Head lighthouse because my dad has always wanted to visit a lighthouse.

It was a gorgeous day, and it was actually warm. I don't think I've spent a day on the Pacific ocean that wasn't either super cold or super windy or super foggy or... super something. It was perfect!

Other than our day on the coast, my parents visit was pretty uneventful. My parents are a lot like me in that they enjoy spending most of their time at home, relaxing. We put the finishing touches on my apartment, which was so nice since I've been living here for a month now. I'll have to do a post with pictures, because it's so wonderful in here now that it's fully organized and decorated. By far my favorite apartment of all the ones I've lived in - I finally feel like an adult!