Friday, August 29, 2014

The Cat Tag

What a freaking cat lady I must sound like right now... But Sarah tagged me, and I can't say no to any excuse to post pictures of my cat, who is sadly on the other side of the country right now :( This is probably one of the silliest tags I've ever seen, but I can't help it! Sarah is on a tag frenzy!

1. Breed or stray?
Preferably a stray. I have nothing against bred cats, I just hate the idea breeding animals and charging insane amounts of money to buy them, when there are thousands of cats in shelters that are being put down every single year because they couldn't get adopted, for a much smaller fee than a breeder would charge!

2. Regardless of your previous answer, what would your favourite breed be?
I think I would have to say Persians or Maine Coons. My first kitty, TJ, had some Maine Coon in him, so that might be why I love long haired breeds.

3. Any cat-themed clothes or accessories?
An excessive amount. My backpack even has cats on it.

4. What's your kitty's name?
Alice! I had another kitty named TJ, but he unfortunately passed away back in December. He was a very old man though, we had him for 15 years, and even when we got him, he was full grown!

5. Favourite toy?
Alice really loves the like feather fishing pole thing. She also plays fetch (well, she runs to it, but she doesn't bring it back, so does it really count as fetch?), and loves the laser pointer!

6. What's your kitty's favourite food?
Weirdly enough, she absolutely loves Purina Cat Chow Healthy Weight. I don't like her eating it because of all the fillers and whatnot, but she absolutely loves it.

7. Lazy or Fierce Hunter?
Mostly lazy. There's a reason I have her on weight control cat food at all times.


8. Favourite activity?
Biting everyone. Rolling on the ground. Screaming to go outside and explore.

9. Does your cat have any strange habits?
Well, like I said with the last question, when she wants to go outside and play, she will howl. I've never heard anything like it. She also does this funny chattering noise when she sees a light that she can't reach, but I've read that's just a cat's hunting instinct kicking in! She also runs to the door whenever ANYONE gets home, and she likes to wake me up by biting my lower lip. Oh yeah, and if I leave the door open when I am going to the bathroom, she will sit on my lap. Every single time, without fail.

Since moving, I definitely miss my kitty. I can't wait to see her again in the winter! I promise I'll be back to my normal blogging soon. School started this week so everything has been crazy! Keep an eye out for both my August favorites and my Apartment/Back to School favorites!

- D. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

My First College Apartment + Life Update

I feel like I've been away for ages, since I haven't typed up a post in almost two weeks. All of the posts I have had recently have been queued, but I finally have my room in the apartment looking just the way I want it to look (for now anyways)! For those of you who don't know, about a week and a half ago I left my southern California childhood home for something a little more...east. Or rather, a lot more east. I moved almost 2500 miles from San Diego to a little town in North Carolina, where I'll be pursuing a BFA in Costume Design. A lot of things have changed, obviously, but I'm trying to make this a fun new adventure!

I think I'm going to do a new apartment favorites post, so that I can talk about some of the great things I have found for someone who has just moved out, but for now, I'm going to do a little mini room tour!

First, of course, the highlight of my bedroom is my bed! The bed set is a bed-in-a-bag from Target. This bed-in-a-bag thing is absolutely fantastic. It makes everything compact and easy to find. I'm thinking I might at some point add like one or two small gray pillows, but I'm not entirely sure yet. Of course, I had to add a personal touch with some of my favorite stuffed animals from home. The giant hippo was given to me by my boyfriend Andrew, since he knows how much I love hippos, the bunny was given to me as a baby, and I got the Alice doll from Disneyland, but you can also order it on Amazon! My bed is a full-sized bed, which is much bigger than I'm used to, so the stuffed animals usually stay on my bed while I sleep since there's plenty of room.

Now for my bedside table, the alarm clock was bought at Walmart. I usually use my phone for an alarm, but it's great to have so that I can see what time it is even from farther away. The statue was another gift from Andrew, and is a statue of the Hindu goddess of arts, music, knowledge, wisdom, and nature, which I think is perfect since I am at an art school! My flowers were bought at Dollar Tree, and the mason jar was found at Walmart, although you can find them at pretty much any craft supply store. 

I am completely heartbroken over the fact that we aren't allowed to have candles in my apartment. My apartment complex -- although off-campus -- is owned by the school, so we have to follow rules similar to the on-campus dorms. So in order to keep my room smelling nice, I have this "Leaves" room spray from Bath & Body Works, which you all should know by now is my absolute favorite scent! I'm considering buying a wax warmer since I am allowed to have those, and then I can just buy my favorite candles and make them into wax cubes! Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments! 

And of course, I couldn't have my bedside table without one of my favorite photos of me and Andrew at Disneyland. I bought this frame years ago in a set at Kohls. 

Above my desk, I have what may be a familiar sight. I have some of my collection of musical playbills hung above my desk, the same way I had them hung above my bed in my old room. The frames are all from Dollar Tree, which I find is a great place to purchase frames for gallery walls because they are so inexpensive! Careful though, they will break if you drop them from too high, so make sure they are secured to the wall. On the chair is a blanket that Andrew's dad bought for me in Mexico, which is perfect because my apartment is always freezing!

My lamp doubles as a desk organizer, and has an extra outlet on it (for those late nights when your phone is losing charge and you have to sit at your desk), and was purchased from Walmart. The frame is another one of those frames from the set from Kohls, and my little cactus arrangement is from Home Depot! I love cacti and succulents because they require so little maintenance, and they remind me a bit of the San Diego desert. To keep up with all my classes and deadlines, I also keep a desk calendar and a small to-do list notepad. The desk calendar was bought at Walmart, and the notepad was bought at Target in the ever-so-tempting dollar section! 

Finally, the gray and orange supply organizer was a DIY project. I took a plain photo box from Michaels and painted it the colors I wanted, then hot glued fun colored paper towel rolls on the inside to create the dividers for the pens, pencils, markers, etc! If you would like to see a DIY post on how I did this, let me know in the comments below! It's a super easy way to organize your desk, and it really makes all the difference, especially when you are required to have as many art supplies as I am!

My room came with a dresser for my clothes, as well as a large closet. The top of the dresser is perfect for storing anything that I might grab for on a daily basis. I put all of my mani/pedi supplies, as well as lotions and hair products that are too big for my bathroom, in this letter tray from Target. It works perfectly to keep everything from slipping and sliding. I keep all of my jewelry on this cute little tree stand, which I got from Michaels ages ago, but you can also purchase it here.

On my wall above the dresser are two square cork boards, as well as this photo print that my best friend bought me. The cork boards actually came in a set of 4 from Walmart, but they were super thin and flimsy, so I stacked two on top of each other and super glued them together, to give them a little more of a substantial thickness.

The little storage bin is a Sterilite bin from Target, and unfortunately they no longer sell this model. However, for makeup or art supply storage, a Sterilite bin like this is absolutely perfect! As for the mirror, this is wonderful for places like dorm rooms and apartments where you can't hang things up, because it actually comes with hardware so you can hang it over a door. I purchased this at Walmart

And that's my room! I'm sure that over the next year, it will change, but as of right now this is what everything looks like and I love it! It's great to finally get to start over and have things all exactly as I like it.

Would you like to see more back-to-school posts? Let me know!

- D. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Trash Talk: Moving Out Edition

I'm leaving for college in just a couple of days (well, by the time this post goes up, I'll have already moved in!) so I decided it was time to get up a Trash Talk post of products I had been hoarding for a month or two, so I wouldn't have to throw everything out without telling you all about them!

  • St. Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Wash. I talked about this in my last Trash Talk post, except I had the travel size. I seriously love this body wash! However, because of the weather, I've switched over to a more clarifying body wash, but I'm definitely going to have to repurchase this come winter time. 
  • St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. Personally, I find this stuff to be way too rough for my face. Some people swear by it, but I have heard that this scrub can actually cause wrinkles by creating a bunch of tiny little micro cuts on your face. So instead, I use this scrub on my legs and hands! It's perfect for the summer after shaving, and it's also pretty gentle. 
  • MAC Fix+. This is my go to finishing spray for refreshing my makeup and keeping it from looking cakey. It isn't quite a setting spray, and it won't help your makeup last longer, but it helps get rid of any powdery look that can be caused by overpowdering. I use this stuff almost every day and it just helps me feel nice and refreshed as I walk out the door!
  • Head & Shoulders Classic Clean Shampoo. While traditionally marketed as a dandruff shampoo, I love Head & Shoulders as just a simple, hydrating shampoo. Since I do have scalp psoriasis, I need something gentle and hydrating. Obviously, it's not targeted toward my problem, but I find that most psoriasis shampoos are way too harsh and dry out my skin even more. Plus it smells great, unlike most if not all psoriasis shampoos.
  • Avene Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water. This spray is amazing for hot days. I like to spray it over my face on no-makeup days to really help rehydrate my dry skin, or to just refresh my skin when I'm feeling a little gross! It makes humid summer days so much more bearable and won't dry out your skin.
  • Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm with Shea Butter & Vitamin E. I'm obsessed with this lip balm. First of all, it smells like vanilla frosting! And secondly, it keeps my lips so hydrated. I haven't had any problems with chapped lips since I started using this lip balm last year, and I don't think I can ever go back!
  • Dove Refresh+Care Dry Shampoo. I don't know why this dry shampoo has such horrible reviews on their website. Not only does this dry shampoo smell amazing and fresh, but it really helps to get rid of oiliness without leaving a white cast! I did hair and makeup for a musical in July and so many girls kept asking to use it, asking me where they could get it because they loved it so much. I also find that it just gives me so much volume and texture, something that my hair definitely has none of without product.
By the time this post goes up, I should be moved into my new apartment in North Carolina! Keep a lookout for a home decor post soon. Maybe if I'm lucky, my roommate will even do a guest post about her own decor! 

- D.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lorac Pro Palette 2 Look #3 - Galactic Mermaid

Okay so the story behind this look is that, when I first did it, I was wearing these awesome nail strips that had like fish scales on them. This look is hardly mermaid inspired, but the combination of the navy and the silver definitely remind me of a spacey kind of look! I also paired this eye look with two different lip colors, depending on what you're feeling. This is my last look of this series, and without a doubt my favorite!

I started out this look the same way as the first two looks in this series, using the Lorac Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer. Then with my Lorac Pro Palette 2, I took the color "Cool Gray" on a blending brush, and blended this through the crease. Then I took "Light Brown" and blending "Cool Gray" out, to make the transition even more seamless. For the lid, I used the color "Navy" on a flat stiff brush, and patted it on the outer third and the inner third of my lid. Be very, very careful with this color. It has a lot of fall out, so be sure to tap off the excess before applying it to the lid, otherwise you'll have color all over your under eye area, and a terrible time attempting to blend the shadow. Don't bother blending out the crease yet. We'll come back to that in a moment. 

To create that three-dimensional look, I took my Mac Fix+ and spritzed my brush before applying "Silver" to the center of the lid. This really helps the color apply vibrantly. Then, I took "Silver" again, dry, and blended in between the "Navy" and "Silver" shadows to create a gradient effect. From here, I took a clean blending brush, and began to buff out crease.

Honestly, the key to this look is patience. You will have to go back in with "Navy" a few times to keep it super intense, and just keep blending. If you seem to be having trouble, go back in with "Cool Gray" and really work it into the crease. This will help everything along. I also took "Light Brown" again when "Cool Gray" became more intense than I wanted, and blended that out as well. I probably spent a good ten minutes just blending and reapplying color till I got the right look! 

Once everything was blended to my liking, I took "Black" on a pencil brush and tapped it into the outer corner, just to add even more depth. I also feathered it into the crease, but made sure not to apply any more than what was already on the brush. 

On the lower lash line, I used "Navy," and stopped at the inner corner. To really brighten up the inner corner and keep the dark colors from closing everything up, I took "Snow" and highlighted the inner corner and blended it upward into the darker shadows. I also took my Milani Liquid Eye Pencil in "Black" and lined my upper and lower waterline, as well as lining my upper lashline before blending it out with a small pencil brush. To clean up the brow highlight, I took my Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal in "Nude" and lined under my brows, blending downward so there wouldn't be a harsh line. I then set the nude pencil with the color "Buff."

For my lashes, I used my Ardell 110 Lashes, and since they were on their last legs anyways, I curled them in with my natural lashes and applied both my Maybelline The Mega Plush Mascara and my Maybelline The Rocket Mascara, to really pump up the volume. I also added these two mascaras to my lower lashes.

For my face, I followed the same steps as my face routine post, skipping the cream blush step. I also applied "Banana" from the Anastasia Contour Kit under my eyes to help brighten things up, since the navy blue shadow can tend to enhance any blueness under the eyes.

For my lips, I chose two options: a nude for a more wearable look, and an oxblood color for when you're feeling a little more dangerous. The nude lip is my go to MAC "Shy Girl," and the oxblood color is Lime Crime's Velvetine in "Salem" with their Opaque Lipstick in "Poisonberry" on top. Another great option for a dark lip would be Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick in "Black Cherry."

That's it for my Lorac Pro Palette 2 series! I hope this helped inspire you to use this "neutral" palette in more out-of-the-box ways. It is so versatile and can be used for just about anything!

What was your favorite look of the three in this series? 

- D. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lorac Pro Palette 2 Look #2 - Subtle Smokey Jade

Before I get started with this look, I want to apologize for the weird lighting in these photos. I usually prefer to take photos during the day in natural lighting, but I've never really had trouble taking photos at night! I'm not entirely sure what happened this time, but the lighting is just a bit weird and unfortunately does not really do this look justice. However, it does help get the point across, and you'll just have to try this look for yourself to see how gorgeous it really is!

This look is especially great for brown or hazel eyes, because the green really makes your eyes pop. It reminds me a little bit of the eyeshadow I had to wear in high school for colorguard, which I always got complimented on because it made the green flecks in my eyes stand out.

I first began with a base to really help the green shadow pop. I used my NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk" and blended it all over the lid and up to the brow bone. Be sure to use a very thin layer of this product, because it can and will crease if you use too much! Then, I went straight in with "Jade" from my Lorac Pro Palette 2, and patted this all over the mobile lid, staying below the crease and out of the inner third of the lid. From here, I took a clean blending brush, and began blending out "Jade" to get rid of any harsh lines. 

To help blend even more, I took a mix of "Cool Gray" and "Light Brown" and blended these two shadows through the crease. I then took "Charcoal" on a pencil brush to further define the crease, as well as to deepen the outer corner. When "Charcoal" is blended with "Jade," you get this beautiful smokey green color! The key to this look is to blend blend blend. "Jade" is a bit of a tricky color to blend, because it can easily lose its opacity, so the trick is to keep going back in with the shadow and reintensifying the color. Once the shadows looked blended and opaque, I took "Snow" and filled in the inner corner that we left blank earlier. I went back and forth with "Snow" and "Jade" to create a seamless blend between the two shadows, creating almost a silvery green color

On the lower lashline, I took "Chrome" and smudged it along my lashes, stopping around the same place where "Snow" begins on the upper lid. I then took "Snow" and highlighted the inner corner to really make my eyes pop. 

For liner, I took "Black" on a push liner brush and wiggled this along the upper lashline, simply to thicken the appearance of the lashes without creating a harsh line. I lined my lower waterline with the NYX Slide On Pencil in "Pure White" to brighten things up even more. Then I curled my lashes and applied one coat of Maybelline The Mega Plush Waterproof Mascara, and one coat of Maybelline The Rocket Mascara

For the rest of my face, I kept things simple with my current go-to foundation routine, which I talked about here. The only difference between this look and that one is that I only used the NYX Rouge Cream Blush, without Milani's "Luminoso." On my lips, I decided to keep things neutral with MAC's "Shy Girl." I find that this really keeps the whole look a bit more wearable. 

That's it for the second look! I love that this look is a great way to wear a soft, subtle smokey eye without going for a cookie-cutter neutral look. It's perfect for an evening out if you aren't comfortable with really intense looks.

- D.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lorac Pro Palette 2 Look #1 - Golden Plum

The thing I love the most about the Lorac Pro Palette 2 is just how insanely versatile it is! To show you just how versatile it is, I decided to do three completely different looks solely using the Lorac Pro Palette 2 on my eyes. The first look is a wearable, every day look that only takes a couple of minutes to do, and you could easily amp it up for nighttime!

To start this look, I primed my eyes with the Lorac Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer that comes with the palette. Then, to ensure everything blended beautifully, I mixed together "Light Brown" and "Nectar" on a fluffy blending brush, and took this through the crease. 

With a flat brush, I took "Beige" on the inner third of the mobile lid. I then decided to apply "Rose" wet on the center of the lid, to give a really pretty metallic finish. After this color dried, I went back in with "Rose" dry and patted it all where "Beige" and "Rose" met in order to make the colors blend seamlessly. 

At this point, I took a mix of "Light Brown" and "Cool Gray" on a slightly smaller blending brush than before, and deepened up the outer corner, pulling it through the crease. To make it more of a nighttime look, you can also run "Charcoal" through the outer corner and the crease to really smoke it out. Then, I went back in with the mix of "Light Brown" and "Nectar" and blended it through the crease to soften everything up. I also took a mix of "Buff" and "Snow" and used this as a brow highlight.

For the purple liner, I took a liner brush and spritzed it with my Mac Fix+. In order to avoid ruining the "Plum" shadow, I made sure to designate a small corner of the shadow for wet application. I used this shadow as a liner, and winged it out softly. I also ran this color, dry, along my lower lashline, stopping about two-thirds of the way in. To intensify the purple liner even more, I took NYX Studio Liquid Liner in "Extreme Purple" and drew a very thin line as close to the upper lashline as I could get. I even took this liner and dragged it along my lower lashes, to give my lashes that faux-purple mascara look! I also took "Rose" and brought this along the inner third of my lower lashline.  

From here, I took my Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal in "Nude" and lined my lower waterline, to open up my eyes a bit. Then I curled my lashes and applied my go-to mascara, Maybelline Volum' Express The Mega Plush Mascara in the waterproof formula.

I have a full in-depth post about my face makeup, which you can read here. To finish everything off, I applied my Maybelline Color Elixir in "Mauve Mystique." 

That concludes Look #1 in my Lorac Pro Palette 2 series! As you can see, it's super quick and easy. This is probably going to be the only traditionally "neutral" look of the three, with each look getting more dramatic as we progress! 

- D. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My "It's Super Humid But I Still Want My Face Makeup To Look Good and Stay Put" Routine

That title is quite a mouthful, isn't it? Well, I know I've pretty much disappeared for almost two weeks, but I'm back now! My life has definitely been very stressful, and in less than one week, I'll be road tripping across the United States to North Carolina for school. Of course, I have a little bit of time off so I'm trying to queue up some posts for you all so I don't completely disappear for another few weeks while I settle in for school.

Anyways, enough with the excuses! Currently in San Diego, the weather has been awful. My parents say that it's the East Coast humidity welcoming me a few weeks early. But the humidity for about a month now has been settling at around 75%-80%, and in the hot California desert, I'm definitely not used to it. My skin has been absolutely freaking out, makeup seems to always be melting off of it, and I have still had to go out and look my best even when my skin was feeling horrible. I hope that these past few weeks have helped me master dealing with the humidity, because I know that when I move, I'll have to deal with it even more. I thought that, with all this weird weather, it would be the perfect time to tell you all how I've been doing my face makeup to ensure that it lasts all day and stays exactly where I placed it in the morning.

First thing's first, I have to prime. The Rimmel Stay Matte Primer was a recommendation from my friend Ciarlene, and it has made all the difference. While this primer does contain dimethicone, I can hardly tell. It doesn't have the super slick, silicone feel that a lot of primers have. It goes on smoothly, and when you first apply it, you can't really tell that big of a difference, but after a few hours, you can really tell that it truly helps to keep you matte!

From here, I apply my bareMinerals bareSkin Serum Foundation using a damp Beauty Blender. A lot of people have said they don't like the way that the bareSkin foundation applies with a Beauty Blender, however I find that it works just fine and prevents me from applying too much foundation. The bareSkin foundation is also fantastic for summer because it feels incredibly lightweight while still giving good coverage.

Since I have been very busy, I often look very tired. For quite some time, I was really enjoying the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer, but recently, it's become far too dewy for my skin, and I've been reaching for my Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer probably nine times out of ten. I also find that this concealer isn't so brightening to the point where you can't use it on blemishes, so I often reach for this for blemishes and discoloration as well.

In order to ensure that my blush and contour really last, I always apply both a cream and a powder. For my blush, I am still reaching for the NYX Rouge Cream Blush in "Natural," and I use my fingers to really work the product into my skin. To set the blush, I use the Milani Baked Blush in "Luminoso," which not only complements the cream blush I used prior, but will help it last longer while adding a bit of a glow to my cheeks.

I love contouring, and most days I prefer to look well-contoured as opposed to looking tan. With a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, I take my Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Cream Bronzer and contour my face. The Expert Face Brush is just the right size and shape to really get under your cheekbones, and the dense synthetic fibers are perfect for creating a more natural look. To set and define the cream bronzer even more, I use the color "Fawn" from the Anastasia Contour Kit.

Of course, no long-wearing makeup look is complete without a setting powder and setting spray. I have used the Revlon Photo Ready Translucent Finisher for years, and for me it's just the perfect pore-blurring powder! On really humid days, I tend to use a pretty heavy hand with this powder, since the setting spray will help to get rid of any kind of powdery or cakey appearance. As a setting spray, I use the Model in a Bottle Sensitive Skin Formula. This is a setting spray that I use on actors sometimes, and let me tell you, it holds up incredibly well. I also love the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, and it is more readily available to the public.

Again, I apologize for being gone for what feels like forever! I feel like I've been in a bit of a blogging rut recently, and I'm sure it has a lot to do with just how crazy life has gotten. I hope to get more posts out soon though, so keep an eye out!

- D.