Sunday, September 27, 2015

Hometown Hunt: San Diego

Hello! It's been ages, I know, and I apologize. I have so many posts lined up but I haven't had the chance to do any of them because school has been keeping me incredibly busy! Maybe I'll upload some photos of the crazy projects I've been working on, but in the meantime, I'm here to bring you some of my homesick blues with this fun post about some of my favorite places in my hometown. Unfortunately, since I'm not home to take pictures of these places, I'm using pictures that I have of these places that are either on Instagram or on my phone!

Of course, I'm a San Diegan currently living in North Carolina, and let me tell you, there's nothing I miss more than some good food. One of my favorite places to go is this cute little family-owned pho restaurant in Chula Vista (although they also have a location on Convoy) called Pho Convoy Noodle House. Their food is absolutely amazing, and it's one of those places I seriously miss when I'm so far away. The staff is incredibly sweet, and they even know Andrew and me! In fact, when I left for college, some of the waitstaff asked Andrew where I had been.

Another amazing place in San Diego that I absolutely adore is the theater I had the opportunity to work at this summer! Of course, I don't think it's amazing simply because I worked there. It's a truly incredible and groundbreaking theater, only a couple miles from the beach! That place is the La Jolla Playhouse. Located in the theatre district at UC San Diego, the La Jolla Playhouse works directly with the theatre school at UCSD, and is known for working on upcoming musicals that sometimes even make it to Broadway -- like Jersey Boys for example. It got its start at the La Jolla Playhouse!

Sometimes, you can find tickets for the La Jolla Playhouse on Eventbrite, or if you have tickets for your own event, you can sell them there! The fun thing about Eventbrite is that it gives you the option to search for events in your area, so if you're ever on the hunt for something fun to do on a Friday night -- including free events -- check out Eventbrite! 

This is seriously such a bout of homesicknesses for me. I've been back in North Carolina for a little more than a month now, and I have a countdown on my phone that lets me know how soon I can come home. It's been so rainy and dreary here. I'm ready to come home to the California sunshine!

What are some fun venues or restaurants in your area that you love? Let me know in the comments below!

- D. 
This post has been done in partnership and inspired by Eventbrite. All opinions and photos are my own. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday: My Makeup Evolution

Alright, so this post has potential to be a dangerous one...because I'm going to be discussing my makeup evolution, from 8th grade when I first started wearing makeup, to now, and how my skills and techniques have grown over the years.

Lemme give you a fair warning: I was a dopey kid. Like seriously. Really freaking dopey.

We'll start out when I was in 8th grade. It was when I was still really trying to find myself. All the way through 6th grade, I was a total tomboy, and I went to a tiny private school. 7th grade was the first time I went to a large public school, and 8th grade was when I finally started wearing makeup. I started wearing makeup because I was coming out of the 2006 emo phase. Luckily, mine wasn't too bad, but I did attempt to rock black eyeliner and some curtainy side bangs...

When I first started wearing makeup, my routine was very, very simple. I would smudge my CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus on my lower lashline, throw on a coat or two of the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara (because let's be real...who didn't own this mascara at one point in time?), and buff the Physician's Formula Talc-Free Mineral Powder all over my face. To this day, I continue to ask myself why in the world I ever thought this was a good look.

After this, I went into high school. My freshman year, I had a really solid group of friends and it was definitely one of my better years in high school. My makeup situation got a bit better, but this was also when I discovered liquid liner...and the struggle that comes with it.

Whenever I see these photos, I'm still shocked at just how thin I was. At this time, I was medically underweight, although I ate plenty of junk and did very little physical activity aside from walking. This was the year that I started out wearing the L'Oreal HiP Color Chrome Eyeliner in black on my upper lash line, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to prevent it from transferring onto my brow bone throughout the day. I then switched from the L'Oreal liner to the Wet n Wild H2O Proof Liquid Liner, which I still swear by today. I also graduated from wearing a mineral powder to wearing a liquid foundation, which was the Almay Truly Lasting Color foundation. I think I continued wearing the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara through this year as well.

Then my sophomore year happened. I actually choose not to remember much from my sophomore year, simply because it wasn't a very good year. I struggled a lot with my confidence this year, and it was a big year of firsts. This was the year I had my first major breakup, as well as my first year in drama and colorguard -- I even got asked to prom that year.

Someone should have taken my tweezers away from me. This year, an upperclassman in drama introduced me to the Maybelline Ultra Liner Liquid Liner. This was a really great product that I ended up using for years after that, and this was also the first year I attempted a winged liner, for prom. I have no idea what brand of eyeshadow I used for my look that night, and probably for good reason. I don't know why anyone let me leave the house looking like this. Thanks, mom.

My junior year was a bit of a golden age for me. I had solid friends, I had found my place in my drama department, I was captain of my colorguard, and I was starting to really learn how to do my makeup. At this point, the eyebrows continued getting thinner, and kind of started to look a lot like commas.

Look at that improvement! This was the year that my boyfriend at the time bought me the Coastal Scents 88 Palette, and I really started to play with color. I continued using the Almay Truly Lasting Color foundation and the Maybelline Ultra Liner Liquid Liner, but switched up my mascara to the L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara. I also discovered the L'Oreal HiP Color Chrome Eyeliner in "Silver Lightning," which I wore on my lower waterline to brighten up my eyes, and the Wet n Wild Color Icon Blusher in "Mellow Wine."

From here, I'm gonna skip over my senior year, because I was incredibly lazy that year. I basically stopped wearing makeup altogether, aside from blush to make me look more awake. I had major senioritis. We're gonna skip right on over to when I was in beauty school!

This was when my makeup hoarding began to get a little bit intense, and I got really good at winged liner. Honestly, I can't even tell you what products I was using the most of at the time because I was constantly switching back and forth between products. I can definitely say, though, that I improved a LOT over the years, and I had drama and colorguard to really thank for that, since I had to do makeup that was consistently out of my comfort zone in order to perform.

And now we've reached today, in which photos of me today are all over this blog already. My skills in makeup have improved immensely sine I was 13, and the magic of puberty and braces seriously did me well.

I hope you found this post as fun as I did! Trust me, as I was going through my external hard drive, looking for pictures to post, there were so many cringeworthy photos I chose not to use. I was laughing so hard while looking through all of those photos!

Do you have any embarrassing photos from when you were young? Any makeup faux pas you're willing to share? If you're brave enough, feel free to post them in the comments below!

- D.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Venice Beach

It's 2 in the morning as I type from a hotel room in West Virginia. It's also about 90% humidity outside and I've been procrastinating typing up this post for at least a week now because I am lazy. I'm on my way back to North Carolina for the school year (sob), and have been traveling for a little less than a week now, having stopped in Indiana to visit with my dad's side of the family, and I'll be back in my apartment on Thursday! Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about getting back into the swing of things and having a space to myself again.

Anyways, I promised this look a while back, and I actually photographed this look on the same day that I wrote my review on the Wet n Wild Venice Beach palettes, which are the palettes I used to create this look.

In order to ensure the richest color payoff, I started out with my NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in "Milk." I applied this base in a thin layer, keeping below my crease. Then, with a fluffy brush, I used Milani Bella Eyes Gel Shadow in "Bella Caffe," and buffed it gently into the crease, to help assist in blending later on. I used a small paddle brush and patted the vibrant yellow (from either the "Hemporary Solutions" or "Boardwalk Boozing" palettes -- they're the exact same color) along the inner corner of my eye. On the center of the lid, I used the bright pink shade (again, from either palette). To blend the yellow and pink seamlessly together, I took a mix of the yellow and the vibrant red-orange from "Hemporary Solutions" and used a sideways patting motion to blend the shades together. On the outer corner, I first started out using the vibrant cobalt blue shade from the "Boardwalk Boozing" palette. I patted that all along the outer third of the eye. Then, deciding that I wanted to deepen up the outer corner, I added in some of the vibrant shimmery purple, using a pencil brush, carefully sweeping this into the crease as well. To help further blend the crease, I went back in with a clean blending brush and continued blending until I reached the desired effect. For my brow highlight, I used the matte white shade from "Hemporary Solutions."

Along the lower lashline, I wanted a bronze base to pair with the aqua color from the "Hemporary Solutions" palette, so I used my Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow Pencil in "Juju" on my lower waterline and lower lash line. They no longer sell these shadow pencils, but they're basically just the chubby stick version of the Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencils, and this specific one is very similar to "Hustle," or, if you're on a budget, you can get a similar shadow pencil from Milani, in the shade "Brown Deluxe." After laying down the shadow pencil, I used the aqua color out the outer half of the lower lash line and smudged it out. On my upper lash line, I did a simple winged liner, using the Sephora 24 HR Waterproof Liquid Liner. Apparently I'm the worst though because I didn't realize that this specific shade has been discontinued as well! This particular shade is almost identical to Urban Decay's "Retrograde" liquid liner. To help hide the band of my false lashes, I used the Lorac Front of the Line PRO liquid liner just along the base of my upper lashes, which were the Andrea Lashes #53.

For my cheeks, I decided to go with a subtle bit of color and a high shine highlight. As a subtle contour, I used the Anastasia Contour shade in "Fawn." For blush, I used my trusty Maybelline Fit Me Blush in "Light Rose," and for my highlight, I used the Makeup Geek shadow in "Shimma Shimma."

On my lips, I chose to go with a soft, neutral pink. I first laid down the NARS Lip Pencil in "Rikugien," then topped it off with the Burts Bees Lip Shine in "Blush."

That's it for this look! This look was a lot easier than it looks, especially since these Wet n Wild palettes are so creamy and blendable. Don't forget to check out the review I did on them a few weeks ago!

- D.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What I Wore: "Up Here" Opening Night

I know I promised a fun, bright look in my last post, but I couldn't resist posting this first! This past Sunday, I had the privilege of going to see Up Here, the new musical that I've been working on all summer at my internship. It was opening night, so there was a big opening night party after the show, where I got to say one last goodbye to all the amazing people I got to meet and work with this summer. I decided to write up a post about what I wore to the world premiere of Up Here, as well as the after party!

The dress I wore was a black backless skater dress, with a laser cut neckline and leather detailing. I bought this dress a couple years back to wear for mine and Andrew's first anniversary, and I never get the chance to wear it, so I thought this would be the perfect time to break it back out! I got it from Unique Vintage, but like I said, it was about two years ago that I bought this, so it's sold out. However, black skater dresses are pretty easy to find just about anywhere! The most similar dress I could find online is this one from Macy's.

Something I really love about this dress is the way it fits and the way it shows off my back. It makes me feel so cute and sexy! Of course, the tricky thing about backless dresses is wearing a bra. Since I'm a little too busty to go braless, I always opt for a good old sticky bra to help me out in these situations. I got the one I wore here from Amazon. Not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it gets the job done and is great for nighttime events when you're not getting too sweaty. 

For my bag, I went with this cute mint bow clutch from Target. I also wore these simple rhinestone studs from Forever21, and my bracelet was a simple studded bar bracelet that I got last summer, also at Forever21. On my nails, I wore the Revlon Nail Enamel in "Vixen," and for my shoes, I decided to go with a classic black platform pump by Jessica Simpson.

Shop the Outfit:
Black Skater Dress (unavailable; similar here) :: Backless Sticky Bra

I didn't get the chance to take a picture of my makeup since Andrew and I were running a bit late, but I went for a really simple brown smokey eye with a winged liner using my handy Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and the Lorac Front of the Line Pro Liner, with Milani's Luminoso on my cheeks, Makeup Geek's "Shimma Shimma" as a highlighter, and Milani "Plumrose" on my lips! 

That's it for today's post! What would you wear to an event like this? Let me know in the comments!

- D. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

REVIEW: Wet n Wild Summer 2015 Collection -- Venice Beach

I was just casually walking through my local Rite Aid as I do, and I spotted the most gorgeous colorful collection of eyeshadows. Of course, it had to be the new Wet n Wild summer collection! It was absolutely gorgeous, and 40% off, so I had to snag two of the three palettes to try them out!

Incredibly colors, right? Normally when I see palettes like this in the drugstore, I assume that they're going to be chalky and sheer. Since they were 40% off though, I decided I could take a chance. I chose the palettes "Hemporary Solutions" and "Boardwalk Boozing," and didn't grab the palette "High Flying Colors," because it just reminded me too much of Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. These palettes are honestly quite reminiscent of the old watercolor palettes that I used to use as a kid. Anyways, let's get into the review!

The first palette, "Hemporary Solutions," has 4 cool toned colors, 3 warm toned colors, plus a true, matte white. When swatched with fingers, these eyeshadows are super soft, and almost crumble at the touch. They are incredibly creamy, despite being a little too soft, and when applied with a brush, creates a super opaque, vivid eyeshadow look. My favorite shade of this palette has to be, without a doubt, the pearlescent aqua blue! In this palette, 6 out of the 8 shadows are matte, which is quite unique for a collection like this.

The formula of the "Boardwalk Boozing" palette is very similar to that of the "Hemporary Solutions" palette, although I noticed that the shimmery shades in this palette are a bit less opaque than the matte ones, which is actually pretty odd for drugstore shadows. The matte pink, red, and yellow shadows in this palette are identical to the ones in "Hemporary Solutions," while the shimmery green one in "Boardwalk Boozing" is actually quite a bit less pigmented than the shimmery green one in "Hemporary Solutions."

Final Thoughts? If you love color as much as I do, these palettes are a must have. Plus, at $4.99 a piece (and you can almost always find them on sale), they're a steal! The pigmentation of these palettes honestly almost rival that of the Urban Decay Electric Palette (which I don't own, but I have played with it quite a few times), which is a crazy claim to make, but they seriously hold their own.

Keep an eye out for my next post, where I put these palettes into action. If you're not convinced that they're amazing, I promise you my next look will sway you!

- D. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Coral Sunset

I've been hanging out at my friend Alana's house, catsitting while she's out of town with her family. She has two adorable cats, one of whom is a 4 month old kitten and needs lots of love. Hence why I'm staying at her house instead of just checking in every day or so. Anyways, I was hanging out here, bored, and decided to run back to my house and grab some of my makeup and play a bit! Luckily, I live just a few streets over from her. I felt like playing with some color, since I've been feeling like I've been in a bit of a makeup rut, so I went on Google Images and did a search for some flowers to inspire me. This is the look I came up with, based on the "coral sunset" peony, which looks like this:

For this tutorial, I went to my trusty Coastal Scents 252 Ultimate Palette. I used the warm color palette within the 252 Ultimate Palette, and blended a mix of the taupey gray "crease/blending" colors into my crease and up to my brow bone, in order to make the transition more seamless. With this palette, the shimmery colors are much more opaque and pigmented than the matte colors, which I knew going into this look, so I started my look with the shimmery colors so the dark mattes wouldn't be blended away. I started out with a shimmery peachy "inner third" color, and placed that along the inner third of my lid. On the center of my lid, I took the matte peach "middle lid" shade and blended it with the shimmery peach. I really loved the way these two colors blended together, so I continued going back and forth with both of these colors on the middle lid, to create a richer version of the shimmery peach shade. Then I took the matte true coral "outer third" shade, and patted that on the outer third of my lid with a flat, stiff brush. I then went in with a clean blending brush and blended out any harsh lines.

After blending, the matte coral color began to fade, so I pumped it back up with another layer of the shadow. Then, to deepen it up, I took a combination of the fuchsia "outer V/crease" shades on a stiff domed brush and blended that into the outer V and even a little bit into the crease. This combination was super pigmented, but it did give just a small amount of dimension that really helped to bring the look together. To add another layer of depth, I added a warm chocolate brown in the outer V, only concentrating in the outer corner socket of my eye to deepen up the colors in the outer corner. Finally, I took the pale shimmery yellow shade and dabbed that on the inner corner of my eye to brighten everything up.

As a brow highlight, I used the Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eye Shadow in "Bella White." This shadow is fantastic as a highlight on pale skin like mine and it really helps to clean up a look. On my lower water line, I used the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal in "Nude" to brighten up my eyes. This is an important step since sometimes pinks and orange eyeshadows can make you look ill. On my lower lash line, I used the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in "Voodoo" (which was a gift from Ulta for my birthday and is not available for purchase, but any purple liner will work), and used a pencil brush to smudge out the color and add a bit of smokiness. On my lower lashes, I used the Laura Geller GlamLASH Mascara, which I have found is a phenomenal lower lash mascara, since the wand is so small! I didn't add any mascara to my upper lashes since I planned to add falsies, so I just lined my upper lashline with my Lorac Front of the Line Pro liquid liner, and winged it out.

For my brows, I used my latest and greatest obsession, the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in "Ash Brown," which is a dead-on dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz. I love this pencil because it creates such a natural looking brow while still creating a defined look! On my cheeks, I stuck with creams since I wanted a glowy, bronzed look. I used my Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Cream Bronzer where I normally would contour as well as on the high points of the face, blending into the hairline for a more natural look. On the cheeks, I used my NYX Cream Blush in "Tea Rose."

On this lips, I originally wanted to go for a true nude, but then decided to go for more of a plummy nude. To start out, I used Milani Color Statement Lipstick in "Nude Creme," then went in with "Plumrose" to add a deeper, warmer color.

Finally, to top off this fun and colorful look, I added my Ardell Curvy Lashes in #415!

Hope you enjoyed! I'm so happy to be feeling a bit more back to my old self. Color sure is the way to do it! Would you wear this look? Let me know in the comments, as well as if you have anything you would like to see me do!

- D. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Life Update: Tech Week

I've gone missing again! I'm so sorry I haven't been around in two (or has it been three?) weeks, I promise I have an explanation. In fact, here's a great vine that Andrew sent me that describes my explanation perfectly:

Yeah, so basically if you don't know what tech week is, it's the process during a live production when all the cool backstage technical people get to finally add in all the amazing set pieces and costumes and lighting and projections! Basically, it's when we get to make the actors look better than they normally do ;) But anyways, I haven't posted because I've been in tech week for an amazing world premiere musical called Up Here. On top of that, when I did finally take photos and was all set and ready to write a post, my computer decided it didn't want to read my memory card. 

So now we're here. I'm making another post on why I've been gone. I do plan to be back very soon though, as soon as I get the photos uploaded to my computer from my memory card!

- D. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Trash Talk: Project Pan Edition

Personally, I don't find my makeup collection to be at all overwhelming or obsessive. My friends and family tend to disagree. I enjoy collecting makeup, and I tend to be a bit of a hoarder, so I've finally decided that it's time to hit pan on some things before deciding to try new things. That being said, this Trash Talk post is a bit larger than my previous ones, partially because I haven't done one in ages, and partially because I've been making a serious effort to clean out some makeup products prior to purchasing new ones. A couple of products were not photographed, because I simply forgot to hold onto them for the sake of this post, but I'll still be sure to mention my thoughts on them at the end!

Look at me, trying to make my trash look cute.

From left to right:
  • L'Oreal True Match Foundation. I've had this foundation for way too long. I should probably pay more attention to expiration dates on my makeup, but I'm really, really bad about it. This foundation has been my ultimate go-to foundation for years. It's lightweight but buildable, and it has such an extensive shade range that just about anyone can find a shade to match their skin tone!
  • Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Mascara. When I first purchased this mascara, I hated it. In fact, I ranted about it in a favorites + unfavorites post the first time I used it, and then retracted my statement after the mascara had dried out a bit. It works especially well when layered with other mascaras! This is my second or third tube of this mascara and I will probably repurchase it again soon.
  • Maybelline Line Stiletto Liquid Liner. This is one of my all-time favorite drugstore liquid liners. The formula itself is pretty standard, but the foam applicator is what makes it worth purchasing. I'm not a huge fan of brush applicators for liquid liners, but a lot of the foam tip applicators are either too hard or have too much give. The applicator on this one is the perfect in between!
  • Mally Volumizing Mascara. God, this mascara is so good. I've probably had it for too long, and continued using it past its expiration date, but it was too good to waste! Finally, it started to smell weird, so I decided to retire it. I got this mascara for Christmas from my lovely boyfriend, Andrew, and it's volumizing and lengthening without being clumpy, which is everything I long for in a mascara! It's a bit pricier than, say, Maybelline The Rocket, but it's definitely an item that I may just have to splurge on from time to time.
  • Maybelline Dream Touch Lumi Concealer. This is a good highlighting concealer. Is it life changing? Nah, not really. Would I purchase again? Yes, if my other go-to concealer wasn't available. I definitely prefer it for subtle highlighting as opposed to concealing, but I won't really miss it now that it's all used up.
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. I never realized how many Maybelline products I used up until writing this post! The Fit Me concealer is definitely a much better concealer than the aforementioned, and is supposedly a great dupe for NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Personally I've never tried the Radiant Creamy Concealer, but this concealer has the perfect amount of coverage without being too cakey or heavy, and I definitely will repurchase! It's perfect for both under the eyes and over blemishes, due to the gel-like consistency. 
  • Nivea Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss Lip Butter. This lip butter smells like cupcakes and makes your lips super soft and hydrated. I use it every night and every morning, and I rarely need to apply any kind of lip balm during the day! I've already repurchased a new one, because I seriously can't live without it!
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in "Edgy Emerald." I really enjoyed using this cream eyeshadow as a colored gel liner, as it would stay put and really make the green in my eyes pop! Unfortunately, it dried out before I got to use the whole thing, so it has to go in the trash. It is a beautiful color, but I already have a similar product from NYX in my collection that I'm going to try to finish before repurchasing another one.
  • CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation.  This foundation is perfect if you live in the humidity, or if you have to go out on a hot day and you need your makeup to look perfect all day. It doesn't fade or break up on the skin at all! It's a bit heavier coverage, but you can sheer it out with a moisturizer, and it makes you look flawless. It's great on days when you want to look good but don't have time for concealer and powder, because it stays put. When I use this foundation, I only powder my T-zone! I'm definitely planning on repurchasing this foundation for my high-coverage days.
  • Dove Refresh+Care Dry Shampoo. I think I've had at least one bottle of these in every single Trash Talk post I've ever done. This is my all-time favorite dry shampoo! The smell is strong, but it sprays out clear and really helps to keep your hair fresh! I actually really like putting this in my hair even when its clean, because it just adds some volume and texture to my otherwise flat hair.
  • Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes. These makeup remover wipes smell good, work well, and are hypoallergenic. They're fantastic because they stay moist, and really get all your makeup off using just one wipe! They're also good for the earth, because they are compostable, so if you're trying to be a little greener and kinder to our Mother Earth, these wipes are perfect! I've already repurchased these and I'm so happy I did.
  • Lush Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask. I've gone through so many of these fresh face masks since discovering our local Lush, and it's one of those products I will always go back to. I absolutely love what it does for my skin. It's especially great for that special time of the month, because the ingredients are perfect for helping to combat even the most stubborn hormonal breakouts!
  • Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser. For a long time, I was totally against the specialized makeup brush cleansers because I thought they were a waste of money. The Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser changed my mind. It gets your brushes so clean, so fast, and I even find that they dry more quickly when I use it! This is another one of those products that I've already repurchased because I just can't live without it!
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder (not pictured). This powder took a dive off my counter and broke before I even got halfway through it. I mean, it was fine, because I didn't love it. I remember using this powder during my high school drama days, which was fine, because between the oil-based foundations and the hot lights, I needed all the mattifying power I could get. However, in my every day life, this powder was just a bit too much for my dry-combination skin. For oily skin, though, I could definitely see this being a holy grail powder because it really gets the job done!
  • Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade (not pictured). This brow pomade was perfect for the humid days of the late Southern summer that I had to endure last year (and will be enduring again soon), because it seriously does not budge. However, my pot finally dried out and I'm not sure if I'll be purchasing it again. While it works beautifully, it was a bit of a hassle compared to a brow powder or pencil. It is a beautiful product, though, and if you have the time to really perfect your brows during your morning routine, I would recommend it!
You know, I really didn't realize how much stuff I was getting rid of until typing this post up! It's such a weirdly freeing feeling when you finish up with a product, especially when you know you have tons of similar products that can get the same job done. I still have one more foundation to get through before I'm allowed to purchase any more, but I think that I'm in a good place!

I know I'm definitely about due to post a tutorial or two, but I've been so incredibly busy with my internship. Hopefully I'll be able to get one up soon!

- D. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Summer Skin Prep Routine

It's summer, and as many young women, I will admit to having body hair. Now, if you're the kind of person who enjoys going natural, by all means, more power to you! However, I'm not one of those people. I'm pretty lucky, though. I inherited my mom's Chinese body hair genes (in other words, I have body hair but it's generally pretty fine), but I still prefer having silky smooth legs, underarms, and bikini area, especially in the summer time.

To prep for hair removal, I always use a body scrub. The one I'm currently using is the Soap & Glory Scrub 'Em and Leave 'Em Body Buff. I'm not sure if this is even sold in the US anymore, but I picked it up at a Sephora sale like months back, and it's still going strong! I like to use this scrub all over my body, especially focusing on the areas that I plan to self-tan or remove hair from.

For my legs, I like to take care of things in the shower while the hair is wet and soft. My absolute favorite shave cream is the eos Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream in "Vanilla Bliss." This thick shave cream is fantastic because it stays on the skin until you no longer want it on, and it smells amazing. I also find that it is very hydrating! If I was really in a super crazy rush, I could easily just run out the door without moisturizing after using this shave cream. The razor I use is the Gilette Venus Divine Sensitive Skin Razor, which gives me a close shave without irritating my skin.

After shaving, I will either use a body butter or my Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Daily Moisturizer in "Medium to Tan." While I'm definitely a fair skinned girl, I find that the "Medium to Tan" formula works just fine on my skin, and it's hydrating enough that it can be used without another body lotion! I'm not big on self-tanning, so this is really great because it gives you a gradual, natural looking bronze without being high maintenance or looking like you just stepped out of an Oompa Loompa convention.

Moving on up to the underarms, I recently rediscovered my Emjoi EpiSlim Epilator. This thing looks like it could either be very naughty, or some kind of weird torture device, but it works wonders. If you don't know what an epilator is, it's basically like a cross between an electric razor and tweezers. It removes the hair by the root without all the mess of waxing! Personally, I never found waxing to work very well on my underarms, which is why this epilator is fantastic. Prior to using an epilator, my underarm hairs were thicker and darker than the hair on my head (gross), but after about a month of using it, my hair has become less noticeable, and I only have to epilate every one or two weeks! The first couple of times, it hurts like crazy, but the longer you use it, the easier it gets. I prefer to use it with wet skin to help the epilator glide better, following up with aloe vera gel to sooth the skin.

For my bikini area, I like to use a mix of the epilator and the razor. I love the idea of Brazilian waxing, but I don't think I'd ever have the nerve to have it done, which is why I find that using a mix of both techniques works wonderfully. I use the epilator on the thinner hairs, while using a razor, well, every where else! I find this gives me the best, long lasting results!

I hope this has been helpful for any of you who are preparing for summer. Let me know your favorite hair removal tips in the comments below!

- D.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Summer Tag

My lovely friend Shae over at Diary of a Beauty Padawan has tagged me to do The Summer Tag! I thought it was so funny when I saw that she tagged me in this, considering it's the dead of winter in Australia right now, but for me, summer is just getting started! Along with this post, I guess I'll follow Shae's lead and post a few pictures of my beautiful hometown of San Diego, CA, which is in itself a wonderful summer paradise.

1. What is your favorite thing about summer?
  • The sunshine. I'm definitely a warm weather kinda gal, and I love a day where it's sunny and 80 degrees with just a slight breeze. I love being able to wear shorts and not have to worry about being cold whenever I go out! Of course, there's always the problem of getting too hot, but I would rather be slightly too warm than be too cold.
2. Do you have a favorite summer drink?
  • Well, for a while it was Starbucks' Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino with soy. Sadly, they didn't bring it back this year! For the last couple of summers, I've just waited for that seasonal drink to come back out, and I'm super bummed I can't get it anymore. For the most part though, I definitely drink lemonade a lot. I mean, I drink lemonade pretty much year round, but there is something so absolutely satisfying (and slightly cliche) about having a big glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.
3. Is there a special place you like to visit each summer?
  • Not particularly. I just like to make sure I spend lots of time out in the sun and relaxing.
4. What's your favorite makeup look for summer?
  • I really prefer minimal makeup for summer. Most recently, I've just been going for a light foundation, a long-wearing cream shadow, and some mascara! Plus, a bright lip for a pop of color occasionally.
5. Dresses or skirts?
  • Definitely dresses! They're so easy to just throw on and run out the door, and they make it look like you tried when in reality, you just didn't feel like having to piece an outfit together (come on, I'm not the only one!). Skirts can just be kind of a hassle if you don't know what to wear with them.
6. Festivals or vacations?
  • Definitely vacations. Personally I've never actually been to a festival, but it doesn't really seem like my kind of scene. I love the idea of just being able to relax and spend time with the people who are important to you.
7. What's your signature summer hairstyle?
  • I don't think I really have one! Recently, I've been into a low side bun, but that's because I generally can't be bother to deal with my hair since it's been getting longer. I can't wait to start playing with some fun braids as soon as it's long enough though!
8. What's your signature summer scent?
  • Sunscreen. I don't really tend to wear a lot of perfume or anything, so for the most part, I just smell like sunscreen! Gotta stay protected.
9. Favorite music for summer?
  • I don't think I really have a specific like "summer playlist." Although I've noticed that I'm really into like spunky, powerful break up songs (such as "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift), despite being in a serious, long-term relationship. They're just so empowering!
10. Pool or beach?
  • It really depends. I don't love going in the water at the beach because the Pacific Ocean is freezing. However, I do love just being at the beach in general. I love walking in the sand and watching people, and just kind of hanging out. The pool for me is definitely more for if I really do want to get into the water. Since coming back from North Carolina, though, I have a renewed love for the beach!
11. BBQ or seafood? 
  • Seafood. Always seafood. I'm a vegetarian, but occasionally I'll break that for some fish, when I'm really craving something meaty. Especially for sushi, it's a weakness! Sadly I can't eat shellfish though, since I'm allergic.

Balboa Park in the summer is one of my favorite places!

I tag:
  1. Amanda -- Meet @ The Barre
  2. Isabelle -- BUBBYBELLE
  3. Ciarlene -- Ponderings and Ramblings
...and anyone else who is reading this!

- D. 

p.s. I decided to include a few of my favorite photos from my first summer outing since coming home. I went kayaking with Andrew and we had a blast!