OOTD: Starbucks/Book Run and Book Haul

Happy late New Year’s everyone! As a New Year’s resolution intention, I’m hoping to get back to blogging, book reading, and beauty things. Since I’m going to be a SECOND SEMESTER SENIOR, I’m looking forward to having more free time. Unfortunately, only time will tell. BUT! Because I have 3 more days of freedom until I have to return to the hell that is school, I going to try to crank out some new posts- starting with an OOTD.

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Bear with me and my mirror selfies. Hopefully one day this will change :/

What I’m Wearing:

  • Shirt- American Eagle
  • Jeans- Super Stretch Skinny American Eagle
  • Jacket- Abercrombie
  • Scarf- American Eagle
  • Flats- Lucky Brand from Off 5th: Saks Fifth Avenue

In case you can’t tell, I’ve recently fallen in love with AEO. When the store first opened up, I wasn’t to crazy about it, but now, it seems to be the only place I want to shop.

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On My Face:

  • Face: E.L.F Tinted Moisturizer / Em Michelle Phan Shade Play Concealer Palette / Pixi Summertime Bronzer
  • Brows: Chella Brow Pencil and Gel
  • Eyes: Be a Bombshell Onyx Liner / DiorShow Lash Primer / Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara / Em Michelle Phan Ro’s Gold Waterliner
  • Cheeks: Nars Orgasm Blush
  • Lips: Em Michelle Phan Creamy Color Lipstick in Misty Mauve

Book Haul

I’ve been reading a lot during my winter break, and it’s made me SO happy. I haven’t been able to read for pleasure in what feels like ages. Though, I don’t have many more free days, I still went a little crazy and have a bunch of books to sitting on my table. These books include:

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  1. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  3. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  4. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater*
  5. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare*
  6. Pivot Point by Kasie West
  7. Just One Day by Gayle Forman

On top of those books, I also have quite a few e-books to read:

  1. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell*
  2. Legend by Marie Lu
  3. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness*
  4. Rebel Heart by Moira Young

*Denotes the books I’ve started. I have two, TWO chapters left of Clockwork Prince but I refuse to finish it because I can’t handle what I think is going to happen. 

If you’ve read any of these books, please feel free to share your thoughts and give suggestions! I’m always looking for new stuff to read even though there’s so many books and so little time.

I apologize for not updating for so long, but I am working on making up for it! If you’re on a break/vacation, I hope you’re enjoying the time off! What are your New Year’s intentions? Post them below!

♡ Melissa

Ipsy Bag: September and October 2013

Again, I know I’m really behind on getting these Ipsy posts out, but I’m having a really hard time prioritizing right now. I’m trying to get these out so that my blog isn’t neglected, but I also need to do driver’s ed, study for the SAT, write college essays, and do my regular homework on top of that. With that being said, instead of giving a review of each product I received in each bag, I’m only going to mention the ones I especially liked or just the ones I was able to test out.

September 

  • Cailyn Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm
  • Freeman Beauty Facial Paper Masks
  • NYX Single Eyeshadow in Nutmeg
  • Starlooks Obsidian Kohl Eye Pencil

Cailyn Lip Balm 

Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm
I enjoy this product. I’ve used it a few times, around the house and for spirit week. It’s relatively easy to use, but it’s hard to distribute the color evenly. I don’t know if I don’t pack enough product on the brush, but it can sometimes come out a little streaky, and I’ll have to go over it. Another thing, is it wears off a little weird. The color stays on the center of my lips, but wears away on the sides. This isn’t really that big of an issue, but if you like to make weird Snap Chat faces, then it’s noticeable. I would also say that this is more like a lip stain, then a lip balm. It’s not very moisturizing, but has decent lasting power and stains the lips some.

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A day in the life.

Freeman Beauty Paper Masks

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Of the three masks, I have only used the Rose one. I love the idea of paper masks, but to be honest, I’m often too lazy to deal with them. And, the standard face shape is so different from mine, so it has hard to get the mask to say sealed to skin without ripping the mask or getting into my eyes. It doesn’t help that I was trying to read with it on. It was just a disaster.

Starlooks Kohl Eye Pencil

This pencil is really large, basically a full sized product, which would be amazing if I liked it. I think I tried it once, and had high hopes since I loved their Lip Pencil, but this product fell short. The day I wore it, it transferred to my undereyes. I already have dark circles as it is; I don’t need help enhancing them. I do have to say that the pencil is pigmented and buildable, but just not suited for my oily skin.

NYX Eyeshadow

NYX Nutmeg

I haven’t gotten the chance to wear this color yet, but I had to share it! It’s absolutely bee-eee-aye-yootiful!! Not only that, but it is incredibly smooth. Unfortunately, I dropped it in my excitement :/ It was a bummer, but almost everything was still intact, so it was okay.

Swatches

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Please excuse the dry skin, but as you can see, the lip balm is a very red/artificial cherry color.

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The bottom three are all swatches of the Starlooks pencil. As you can see it’s buildable and pigmented. The top one is one swipe of Urban Decay’s Perversion for comparison.

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This color is a little too light to show up on my arm, but it really is gorgeous. Als you can see, it’s very buildable.

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The swatches in different lighting. You can really see the color of the eyeshadow.

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Again, different lighting.

October

  • Zoya Nail Polish in Mason
  • Coastal Scents Medium Shadow Brush
  • La FreshEco-Beauty Oil-Free Face Cleanser Wipes

Zoya Polish in Mason

Zoya Mason

When I saw this baby in my bag, I got excited. This is my second Zoya polish. This polish is sooo pretty. It’s a nice, jewel tone purple with small pink glitters. I haven’t put in on yet, but I can’t wait! I’m buzzing with anticipation. Gahh it makes me so happy. I also think it’s the perfect fall/winter color.

Coastal Scents Shadow Brush

Coastal Scents Brush

I’ve used this brush a couple of times. It’s nice. The hairs or “natural fibers” are soft and don’t seem to shed. It’s a medium sized brush, but I have really small eyelids, so it basically covers the whole thing. I use it to pack color onto the lid. In general I like it, but I probably wouldn’t have purchased it myself since it reminds me of the E.L.F shadow brush.

La Fresh Wipes

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I’ve received this brand of wipes before, and I complained. I think I said something about wanting more “special” products, or some garbage like that. Little did I know that those La Fresh wipes were some of the best ones I ever tried, and I was happy to see that I got more! First off, these wipes smell amazing! Well that’s probably an exaggeration, but I enjoy the smell. They contain “a luscious blend of Aloe, Cucumber, Papaya, Pineapple, Marshmallow, Jojoba, Vitamin C & Vitamin E.” I’ve probably used up half of these wipes and what I like the most about them is that they don’t sting my face or eyes. They do a fairly good job at removing my makeup, though I don’t like to use them on my lashes.

Whew! I’m finally caught up! I said previously, I think, that I would do more in depth reviews on things that I’ve “unbagged.” Instead of sticking with that, I think I’m going to do first impressions/thoughts, and then post a more in depth review of things that I particularly enjoy. Hopefully, this will help with the scheduling of these posts.

♡ Melissa

Ipsy Bag: August 2013

I’m definitely more excited about this bag than I’ve been about any other one so far this year!

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This month’s theme is “Glamour Academy” and the products I received were:

  1. Michael Todd True Organics Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub
  2. Chella Dazzling Dark Brown Eyebrow Color Pencil
  3. Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream
  4. Noya Cherry Lip Balm
  5. Pixi Lash Booster Mascara

Michael Todd True Organics Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub ($5.40)

This is the product that I was most excited about this month. I know Annie has been raving about this line, so I was looking forward to testing it out myself. After trying it, I wasn’t crazy about it. I didn’t find that it did anything spectacular for my skin.

Chella Dazzling Dark Brown Eyebrow Color Pencil ($18.00)

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I’ve been using this brow pencil every day instead of my cheap NYC one, and I do like it. I like that I don’t have to worry about sharpening it because it’s a crayon. I also like the color; it matches with my brows perfectly and looks great with the Chella brow gel, which I got from a previous bag, over top. The only thing about this pencil is that it is easy to go a little overboard. Overall, I like this pencil, but probably isn’t one I’d repurchase since it’s on the expensive side.

Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream (≈ $5.40)

This is the other product I was excited to test out, and I’ve been wearing it every day. The first time I used it, I wasn’t impressed because it didn’t help my skin at all. It offered no coverage, and didn’t even out my skin tone. Thankfully, with some time for it to oxidize, it came out looking nice. It really did adjust to my skin tone, which I was skeptical about, and added some nice, subtle sparkle to my face. It has has a surprisingly nice scent. A little of this product goes a long way. I use a slightly larger than pea size amount for my face and neck, and there seems to be plenty more in this sample. The only downside to this product is that it doesn’t contain SPF, which is strange since most BB Creams do. I do like using this product, I use it everyday, but the name is really deceiving. It doesn’t act like a BB Cream at all, there are absolutely no skin benefits to it.

Noya Cherry Lip Balm ($3.99)

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This lip balm has the scent of a Smackers lip balm, the taste of cherry candy, and the moisturizing power of a ChapStick. It’s very smooth and smells great!

Pixi Lash Booster Mascara (≈ $8.50)

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I’m not too crazy about this mascara. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t the best mascara I’ve ever tried. It doesn’t add much volume, but gives decent length. The biggest downside is that it makes my lashes crispy. I think this might be from my primer, but without it, the mascara doesn’t stay; it smears under my eyes.

TOTAL BAG PRICE: ≈ $41.29

I’m sorry that this has literally taken months to get out! I know all of this info is kind of irrelevant because it’s so old :/ I wasn’t even going to post all of this in an individual post, but I already had it saved up as a draft, so I thought I might as well. I just received my November bag in the mail today, so I’m probably going to just highlight the products that I used the most in the other bags so that I can get caught up.

♡ Melissa

Manicure Monday: Konad m95 Plate x3

I hope that the title of this post isn’t deceiving… I didn’t use the plate three times in a single manicure or anything like that. I was just trying to be cute and clever and thought that since this is my third time using the plate, I could pull off a vague, poor musical reference (Yeah x3 by Breezy). Plus I didn’t really know what to call this manicure, and this is all that came to mind.

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The Prodcuts

  • Base Coat/ Top Coat- L.A. Colors Calcium Treatment/ Wet N Wild Fast Dry
  • Wine Red/Purplish Polish- OPI No Spain No Gain
  • Silver Polish- Sally Hansen Silver Sweep
  • Glitter Polish- Essie Beyond Cozy
  • White Stamping Polish*- Claire’s Stamping Kit
  • Konad m95 plate, stamper, gift card (scraper), and a napkin or piece of paper

*Instead of using a stamping polish, I usually go with a standard white polish, but that won’t EVER happen again! I’m not sure if you can tell, but in comparison to my other manicures, the white this time around is much more vibrant and opaque! People aren’t lying when they say to invest in a quality white/black stamping polish.

As you can see in my manicure, I didn’t let the stamping polish dry enough or the thin fast dry top coat smeared the design. I found that when I used the base coat, which is thicker, first, there was less smearing. Evidently, I have some serious issues with this, so if you have any recommendations on the best top coats to use or any techniques, let me knowwwww!!

Again, sorry for getting this post out a week late (on the bright side, it was posted on time on insta ;))! School’s just been crazy and so freaking demanding D:< I hope everyone enjoys the next few days of the week and has a great weekend!

♡ Melissa

Manicure Monday: Pink October

It’s been a long time comin’, but I’m here now. And I’m ’bout to set your… computer on fire (I’m sorry, I just had to). It’s  been October for some time now, and in honor of that, I came up with a Breast Cancer Awareness manicure! This manicure is quick and easy, and is actually from last last last Monday, so I’m sorry it’s just coming out now.

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My school’s H.O.S.A bracelet! “Big or Small Save Them All”

The Products

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  • Base Coat/Top Coat- L.A. Colors Calcium Treatment/ Wet N Wild Fast Dry
  • White Polish- Circus by Andrea’s Choice Reverso
  • Light Pink Polish- Sinful Colors Beautiful Girl
  • Dark Pink Polish- Love & Beauty
  • Dotting Tool
  • Nail Polish “Palette”

The Procedure

  1. Apply a base coat and paint all nails, except the accent, dark pink.
  2. Paint the accent nail white.
  3. Wait for the white to dry completely.
  4. Take your palette, a plate or a lid, and add a few dabs of the light pink polish.
  5. Turn your hand towards you, where the cuticle is facing away from you.
  6. Using the dotting tool, dab it into the light pink polish and make an “X” shape on your nail. Once that is done, connect the top of the “X” to create the pink ribbon.
    • If your curve connecting the line looks too thick and closes the “gap” in the ribbon, wait for it to dry some and then apply a small dot of white polish.
  7. Wait for the design to dry completely and then add a top coat.

I’m sorry I don’t have pictures to accompany this tutorial- it’s impossible to do it with a single person, but hopefully my instructions are clear enough if you decide to try it out. If the there are any questions, feel free to comment and I’ll try to help you out!

♡ Melissa

Manicure Monday: Mixed Pattern Fall Nails

I meant to have this up Monday, but I was really exasperated with this manicure. And then I ever had time to get around to posting it until now.

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The Products

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  • L.A. Colors Calcium Nail Treatment- Base/top coat
  • N.Y.C In a New York Color Minute in 248B Manhattan- Base Color
  • N.Y.C French Tip White- Stamping Polish
  • Konad Stamper and Scraper
  • Konad m95 Plate
  • Tools for clean up

The Procedure

Part of the reason I was annoyed with this nail look is that I couldn’t pick up the design at all. No matter how hard I pressed, it didn’t transfer onto the stamper. No matter what polish I used (I tried 3 different ones), I had no results. After realizing that I wasn’t working fast enough, my frustration cleared and I was able to do my nails in minutes.

  1. Paint nails with a base coat
  2. Paint nails two coats of a base color. If you’re using a fast dry polish like me, and it gets thick, try closing the bottle and shaking it after every couple of nails.
  3. Let that dry completely.
  4. Take a white polish and paint it on the design.
  5. Using the scraper, quickly remove the excess polish.
  6. Immediately after that, roll the stamper over the design and pick it up.
  7. Transfer the design onto your nail. Since you already have the design on the stamper, which is the most crucial step, you can take your time in stamping on the design.
  8. Repeat on all nails.
  9. Wait 5-10 minutes and apply a generous amount of top coat.
  10.  Using a polish remover and synthetic brush or q-tip clean up around your nails.

As you can see from the picture above, this isn’t my best work. The design is in no way even, but by this point, I was kind of fed up and just wanted to finish them.

Overall, I thought this design was perfect for fall because I used a dark, wine color. It also, has flowers, lace, and polka dots, which I feel like are always in,

I hope everyone has a great day!

♡ Melissa

Manicure Monday: Konad m95 Plate

I hoped to have a Manicure Monday up last week, but I didn’t have the time, so I’ll hop right into this one!

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Right hand. The better of the two.

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Left hand.

The Products

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L.A. Colors Calcium Treatment/ Ulta In Hi-brr Nation/ NYC French Tip White/ Polish Remover/ Synthetic Brush/ Konad Stamper, Scraper, m95 Plate

The Procedure

  • Paint all your nails with a base coat.
  • Paint all your nails with two coats of your base color.
  • Using a white polish, apply it to the geometric design on the plate.
  • Using the scraper, scrape off excess polish.
  • Quickly use the stamper and roll/press it onto the design.
  • Quickly line up the stamper with your nail and roll it onto the nail.
  • Repeat on all your fingers.
  • Use polish remover and a synthetic brush to clean up.
  • Wait for the design to dry for a bit and apply a top coat. Letting the design dry will prevent smearing.

That’s it for this quick Mani Monday! I hope you enjoyed and that everyone has a lovely week!

PS. if you want to see the rest of the designs on this plate, be sure to check them out here.

♡ Melissa