Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I'm Not Even Sure What Happened...

So I've been away from my blog for a few days, since I'm home in San Diego for the holidays, and I went onto my blog's home page today, and saw this:

I must admit I started laughing pretty hard, but I honestly have no idea what even happened. I fixed it though, and thought it was pretty funny, so I thought I would share it!

Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging...

- D.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vamped Up Taupe

I was playing around with my favorite lip combo the other day, and decided it was time to do a tutorial featuring the combination! I saw my friend Jas wearing this lip color in one of her selfies and just had to know what it was. Luckily, it was a combination of two colors I already had in my collection! This look is great because it's super easy to do without going over the top, and incredibly affordable, since all but one or two products are from the drugstore, including the lip colors!

The eyes for this look are incredibly easy. I started out using my Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather in "Creamy Beige" all over the lid, stopping at the crease. Then, I took the bottom taupe color from the Wet n Wild Color Icon "Silent Treatment" Trio and patted this on top of the cream base, placing it all over the lid. This color blends out incredibly easily, without blending away altogether, so I made sure to blend it into the crease, creating a seamless transition. For my inner corner highlight, I used the top pink shade. I then took the middle blackened brown color on a small pencil brush and lined the outer half of the upper lash line. I pulled up with the pencil brush to create a slightly winged out effect, while also smoking out the outer third of the lid. I also applied this black color along the lower lash line to make the look even smokier.

To complete the eyes, I used the Milani Liquid Eye Pencil in "Black" on the upper and lower water line, then, of course, a few good coats of my Maybelline The Mega Plush Mascara and the Maybelline The Rocket Mascara.

For my contour, I used the "Fawn" shade from the Anastasia Contour Kit. On the cheeks, I used the Maybelline Fit Me Blush in "Light Rose." To add a nice soft glow to the tops of the cheekbones, I used the "Sand" shade from the Contour Kit to highlight.

Of course, my favorite part: the lips! To achieve this perfect deep wine color, I first took the Milani Color Statement Lipstick in "Sangria" as my base color. Then, I took Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick in "Black Cherry" and applied that on top, using a lip brush to help the two colors blend together beautifully. Be sure to blot if you try this combination -- you don't want this color slipping and sliding!

And that's it! this look is super easy and quick, and it's affordable! Now I have a question for you. I'm still on the hunt for the PERFECT vampy deep wine color. Do you have any recommendations? Leave them in the comments below!

- D. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Beauty 101: Smudge-Proof, Budge-Proof, Smooch-Proof Matte Red Lips

With the holiday season rolling around, nothing is more classic than a bright red lip and winged liner at a holiday party. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to, 1) prevent my lipstick from feathering, and 2) make it stay all night long. These are just a few tips and tricks that I have found work really well for me, and keep my lipstick looking great all night long!

The first thing I definitely suggest is exfoliating your lips, because the matte finish that this lip look will give you can bring out any flaws or dry skin on your lips. A great place to get a lip scrub is Lush, and all of their lip scrubs are edible! If you don't want to go out and purchase a lip scrub, though, there is an easy solution. All you need is one part olive oil, and one part sugar. Just mix the two ingredients together and rub it all over your lips! You can also add a little bit of honey to help bring out some extra moisture. Wipe your lips, then apply some lip balm.

My absolute favorite lip balm is the Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm, but you can use whatever lip balm you like! After exfoliating, let the lip balm sit on your lips and absorb for a few minutes. You can just move on to the rest of your makeup while you allow the product to really sink in. If you want, you can also use a lip primer like MAC's Prep + Prime Lip, which helps to add moisture while priming your lips, but this isn't a completely necessary step.

Finally, moving onto the lip color itself. If you used lip balm, you will need to wipe your lips down to get off any excess product. Then, using a lip liner, I line the edges of my lips, and fill it in. The lip liner I have is by NYX, in the shade "Red," which is a gorgeous blue-based red which works really well on my skin tone. By filling in the lips with the lip liner, you help to stain the lips and prevent any feathering!

Next, the lipstick. My go-to matte lipstick is MAC's "Russian Red," but if you're looking for a drugstore option, I really recommend Wet n Wild's MegaLast Lipstick in "Stoplight Red" or "Red Velvet," any of the beautiful red Color Statement lipsticks by Milani, or Maybelline's Creamy Matte Lipstick in "Siren in Scarlet." Of course, it doesn't have to be a matte lipstick, because you're going to make your favorite lipstick into a matte formula! I like to apply the product straight from the bullet, then I take a tissue and blot the lipstick, to help get rid of any shine. Then, I take a lip brush and really go back and even out the product while refining the edges. 

To really help set the lipstick in place, I take a translucent powder on a fluffy brush, and pat this over the lipstick. This helps to get rid of any of the moisture that could cause the product to slip and slide. To brighten up any of the color lost from applying the powder, I go back in with a lip brush, loaded up with the lipstick, and apply that on top of the powder. 

Of course, to help everything look even more crisp and clean, I take my MAC Studio Finish Concealer with a small detail brush and clean up the edges of my lips. I also make sure to set the concealer with a translucent powder so that the creaminess of the lipstick doesn't bleed into the concealer!

What are your go-to tips for red lips? 

- D. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Kiss of Holly

If you're anything like me, you hate the combination of green and red. Of course, my school colors were green and black, and then for colorguard we wore bright red lipstick and it was just a big hot green and red mess. However, I do think there is a proper way to wear green and red together, and this glamorous look is perfect for any Christmas parties you may be attending this season!

Before doing anything, I took some scotch tape and pressed it on the back of my hand, to get some of the tackiness off. Then, I placed it along my eye, following the lower lash line upward, to help create a crisp, clean cat eye shape.

Next, I took the Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in "Inked in Pink," and placed this all over my lid, stopping at the crease. On top of this, I took the Makeup Geek pigment in "Sweet Dreams" and patted this all over the lid, again staying below the crease. Then I used the "Fawn" shade in the Anastasia Contour Kit and buffed that into my crease to add depth and help the next colors transition. Using a fluffy blending brush, I took my Makeup Geek eyeshadow in "Envy" (which I totally forgot to take pictures of, but it's like a deep blackened green color) and blended that into the crease, avoiding going too far into the lid. Finally, I took "Corrupt," also by Makeup Geek, on a small pencil brush, and placed that in the outer V to really help give some extra depth.

For my liner, I decided to do a double liner featuring this shimmery liquid liner by Prestige Cosmetics in the color "Envy." With the tape still on my eyes, I did a thick winged liner, not worrying too much about getting a little messy with the wing since the tape was there to help me out! Then, after letting this liner dry a bit, I went over it with my Maybelline Line Stiletto in "Blackest Black" and drew a line that was about half as thick as the first. After the black liner dried, I carefully peeled off the tape to reveal a perfectly crisp winged liner!

To add a bit more drama, I used my L'Oreal HiP Color Truth Eyeliner on my upper and lower waterline, as well as along my lower lashline, which I then smudged out with a cotton swab. To finish it all off, I applied generous coats of the Maybelline The Mega Plush Mascara, and topped it with one good coat of the Maybelline The Rocket Mascara. I definitely would have preferred to add some false lashes to this look, but go figure, I couldn't find my lash glue!

For my brow highlight and undereye concealer, I used my Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer, then set it with the "Banana" shade from the Anastasia Contour Kit. As a contour, I used "Fawn," which is the same color I used on my eyes earlier, then I finished of my skin with the Milani Baked Blush in "Luminoso," to add a beautiful glow to the skin.

And for the cherry on top (-buh dum tss-), the red lips! As a base color, I took MAC's "Russian Red" all over the lips, using a lip brush to keep it from getting everywhere. After I applied this lipstick, though, I felt like it was missing something, so I added the Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in "Big Bang" on the center of the lips. To clean up any edges, I used my MAC Studio Finish Concealer and ran this with a small brush around the edges of my lips.

That's it for this look! I really loved doing this look, and felt it was a cute little twist on the classic holiday tutorials that are going around everywhere right now. What is your go-to holiday look? 

- D. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Decor!

This year is my first year all on my own. Well, sort of. I live in an off-campus apartment complex that is owned by my school, so I kind of live on my own, but kind of not. My roommate and I decorated a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving this year, because we knew we wouldn't have a chance after Thanksgiving break because she is playing the Sugar Plum Fairy in our school's production of The Nutcracker, and she's super busy with rehearsal. I thought I would just show you some pictures and tell you all about the various decorations we put up this year, and hopefully inspire your own cheap and easy decor!

My favorite decoration that we put up this year are these super affordable clear string lights that we wrapped all the way around our living room.  It only took two sets of these lights to wrap all the way around the room, and I'm kind of thinking about asking my roommate if we can keep them up till the end of the year, because I just love them that much!

On our floor lamp, we decided to make a super skinny Christmas tree by wrapping basic unlit garland from the bottom of the lamp all the way to the top. Because this garland is on a wire, we just used the end of it to wrap around the switch on the lamp to hold it all in place! 

On the side table, we got these fake flowers from Dollar Tree, which is my favorite place for artificial flower arrangements! We got these pretty red flowers that look like poinsettias, along with a white flower as an accent, and some glittery pinecones! To top it all off, we threw them in a tall, cylindrical vase and wrapped a sparkly gold ribbon around the middle. 

Between our living room and our kitchen, we have this little counter where we place things like tea, fresh fruit, candy, etc. We thought that the perfect way to frame this would be with these adorable blue and white snowflake lights! My favorite part about these lights is that they alternate colors, but unfortunately, these specific ones are no longer sold. The closest ones I could find are these, from Home Depot, or these, from Target.

Last, but definitely not least, is our little tree! This amazing little 4 foot artificial tree is from Amazon! It is an unlit tree, so we used a fairly short 50-ct string light, and of course, we decorated with very simple red and silver ball ornaments! While we wanted to get a tree topper, I'm not really sure this tree is sturdy enough to handle the weight of a topper without falling over. I think it's super cute regardless though!

I'm super excited for the holidays! In just a few days, I will be flying back home to San Diego, and I am very excited to see my family and friends. What are you looking forward to this year?

- D. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

November Favorites + Highlights of the Month

This month was certainly fun, although incredibly stressful! I don't have much in the way of beauty favorites, so I thought I would also give you a little peek into my cell phone and show you some of the fun things I did this month!

First things first, though, let's move on to my November favorites!

Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil. This stuff is amazing! I've been having some major trouble with my skin this month, between travelling and finals and a million different projects that I have due. One day my skin seems perfectly fine, the next it's an oily mess, and the next it's a desert! This cleansing oil has done an amazing job keeping my skin balanced, even on my oily days!

The Body Shop Divine Calm Relaxing Massage Oil. I've had this massage oil for quite some time now, but only recently have I really begun to love it! When I get stressed out, I get back spasms, so a while back Andrew and I bought this to help relax my back. Well, I don't get anymore wonderful back massages anymore, being 2500 miles away from Andrew, but I can still use this oil! It is made of a blend of essential oils, which makes it perfect to use on your pulse points for aromatherapy purposes, and the lavender oil makes it so calming.

OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Split End Mender. Sadly, I can't remember the last time I got a haircut. I need one pretty badly, and my ends are making that pretty apparent. Luckily, this leave-in conditioner does an amazing job of keeping split ends at bay! While nothing is going to really fully fix split ends, I do feel like this stuff keeps my split ends from getting even worse, which means I hopefully won't have to cut too much off when I get home and can finally get a trim!

That's it for my November favorites! I haven't had much in the way of favorites in the past few months, because I simply can't afford too much. Starting in January, I think I'm going to start doing seasonal favorites as opposed to monthly favorites, just so that way I'll have a little more to share with you guys!

Since this post is so short, I thought I would share with you a few highlights from this month. First of all, it's definitely starting to show some signs of winter here in North Carolina. I experienced my first East Coast frost!

My roommate and I also decorated for Christmas about a week before Thanksgiving, since we knew we wouldn't have a chance to after we got back from break. After we decorated, we made yummy peppermint chocolate cookies and drank sparkling cranberry juice. I'll have a blog post up about our Christmas decor very soon!

I was unable to go home for Thanksgiving break (it's like $500 round trip and I would've only been home for a couple of days...not really worth the price point, sadly). Luckily, my friend, Anna, invited me to come stay with her family in Florida!

(photo from
Thanksgiving with Anna's family was awesome. Her family is so warm and welcoming, and Thanksgiving dinner was absolutely to die for! While we were there, we went to the Brevard Zoo. Anna's dad is a veterinary consultant, so we got to do some awesome behind-the-scenes stuff!

The giraffes were the sweetest, most gentle things, but boy, were they strong! We got to feed them some leaves off of branches and I was just waiting for them to pull Anna's little sister over the fence with them! This one's name was Rafiki.

This was probably the coolest part! I got to pet a cheetah. I can't remember what her name was, but she was surprisingly sweet. According to the zookeeper, she was hand raised by humans and, for the most part, is very mellow and friendly. She was just sitting there licking the zookeepers hand like it was no big deal!

Rhinos are huge! It was so hard to get a good photo of the rhinos because they were just so massive and we were so close to them that they basically just looked like a giant gray wall. And the little guy on the right is a dik-dik! What a funny name, right? It's a tiny little antelope from Africa, and the ones in this zoo love crackers!

And yes, it was surprisingly cold in Florida! 

That's it for my November favorites, and my highlights of the month! What was your favorite part of November?

- D.