Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Tricks & Treats 10/31/2014


Treat or Treat!  Smell my feet!  Give me something good to eat!!
Happy Halloween!!  It is the most wonderful time of the year and I'm so glad you're stopping by to celebrate with me today!  Thank you!


TRICKS:
-  Seriously creepy dreams Friday night.  I will never mix Pumpkin Pie Beer with Skittles again.  Never. 
-  I tried to do something that I thought was a good thing, and was treated like I did something wrong and I decided "Fuck it".  That "Fuck It" went from being passive anger to outright rage when the person who treated me like I did something wrong realized they were being a jerk and had someone else apologize for them.  Yeah.  That seriously happened.  Which then turned into attitude and an explosion and now... now I just don't know.  I was told this is the end.  I guess we'll see but I'm not going to be the one apologizing.  
-  I was SOOO cranky on Saturday.  And I drank a whole bottle of wine. 
-  I made a seriously poor decision in a moment of weakness and I'm feeling a lot of regret.  It was only made worse by the fact that I missed a day of work the next day... partially because I couldn't bear to face myself.  I'm still trying to make peace.
-  I wasn't ready for Halloween.



TREATS:
+  Finally finished my shopping for my Witchy Halloween Giveaway.  Most of the items are local, so I feel really good about that. (I hope you enjoy your prize, Gayle)
+  My favorite Cheese and Jelly makers were at the Farmer's market, so I was able to get jam to get me through the winter (hopefully).
+  I was cranky on Saturday, but I still got to spend time with my nephew and eat Mexican Lasagna.  And we got to see this doll downtown....
+ Last week, I reviewed the Beautyblender with not so wonderful results.  This week, Birchbox Customer Service came through for me and replaced my ripped BeautyBlender.  And I am SOOO glad they did!
+  I pulled together a last minute costume and I look frickin awesome.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Satisfied

This Week's prompt:
SATISFIED

When I first announced this week's prompt, the two most common reactions I got were about sex or food. 

Interesting.  

To be honest, it was my first thought too.  

But as I sat and thought about it this week I realized that satisfied should really be applied more and I had to ask myself if I'm satisfied in other areas of my life. 

Am I satisfied with my relationships?

Am I satisfied with my home?

Am I satisfied with my job?

Am I satisfied with myself?

There are some people in my life right now who aren't satisfied with themselves.  It bothers me because I think they should be.  They're good people.  They have people who love them.  They have jobs and homes and families.  And yet, somehow... they aren't satisfied and so they look for that satisfaction from people who come along and are willing to tell them a story and sell them a dream.

These people can't provide what they're peddling.  They have no intention to.  Perhaps somewhere in their minds they think they could be the person they want to talk about being, maybe that is someone they actually want to be... but the fact of the matter is that if they were going to be that person they would already be that person.

I think one of the most important things I'm learning is that it is important to ask people if they are satisfied with their life, and then look at their life based on their answer because it will tell you a lot about who they are.  

Are you satisfied?


Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 10/24/2014


Sometimes you  just need to embrace you inner Xena: Warrior Princess.  Happy Friday Everyone!

FAILS:
- Stood in the cold and the rain to spend 20 minutes inside a Halloween thing at the library with my nephew.  But whatever, the kid liked it I guess. 

- Literally spent most of my day in bed Saturday night and Sunday due to a migraine. 

-  My coworker returned from vacation and got sick on the plane.  I've spent most of the week listening to the phlegm rattle around in her lungs.  It doesn't sound all that different than death rale other than her persistent chatter.  Of course, being that she was just on vacation, she wont take a day off.  *Lysols desk AGAIN*

-  The guinea pigs ran out of food.  I always feel guilty when the animals run out of food even if it is only for a little bit.  It had been a long day so I tossed on a camo thermal shirt, grey yoga pants and purple flip flops to run to Wal- Mart.  Then while at the store I *almost* ran into a bunch of people I didn't want to see.  My evening then ended with a text from my ex.  I just don't even have the energy for that drama.  

-  Speaking of drama... ugh.  I'm so tired of drama.  I avoid it as a general rule and I'm practically hiding in my house, not taking phones calls, not getting involved with anything or anyone in an attempt to avoid it and yet somehow it keeps seeking me out and crawling into my lap.

-  I still haven't done my shopping for the Halloween Giveaway.

-  My coworkers were very sad when I told them my most recent bit of news, but it is for the best.

-  Still not counting calories like I'm supposed to be.  In fact, I'm just kind of sucking in the general health area this week.

-  Finally ordered a BeautyBlender, things were problematic to say the least.


FEATS:
+  Stood in the cold and rain, went into the haunted basement with my nephew and took him to the Walls of Mart later that night.  Coolest Auntie Ever status: Still Active

+  Got to see Bonehead and spend quality time together.  Which is always good.

+  My mommy made creamy seafood enchiladas... which are one of my favorite things EVER!

+  Not only was I offered a position that I was very excited about, but I was contacted about interviewing for two others.  I chose to go with the offer instead of waiting to see what would come of the other potential opportunities, and I am very excited to be pursuing a new employment opportunity.  VERY EXCITED.

+  I'm actually taking my medicine and my back is slowly feeling better, so that is good.

+  I'm not counting my calories but I AM doing my walking.  So that is a positive.

Overall, there were quite a few little shitty petty things, but the few good things were BIG good things and I feel like it all evens out.  I'm excited about the coming weeks ahead.

What happened during your week?


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Product Junkie Review: The Original Beauty Blender

I saw the Original beautyblender in stores, but didn't know how to use it and was turned off by the price tag ($20 at most retailers). So far I've made it an incredibly long time without really hearing anything about it or being told I NEED one until recently when my favorite coworker asked me if I'd tried it yet because she'd heard awesome things but didn't want to pay for it only to end up hating it.

Then, as if by magic, Birchbox sent me an email with a special code for certain featured products, including the beautyblender Best Friends set and it was an offer I couldn't resist. So my coworker and I went in together and got it!


We placed the order on Friday and it showed up on Monday!

I wasn't sure what to expect. I have combination skin and because the seasons are changing I'm having a little bit of a problem with dry skin. While I'm pretty blemish free at the moment, my foundation isn't going on very smooth. I wasn't sure how this was going to go, but I couldn't wait to give it a try!

About The Original BeautyBlender:
According to the website:

'Now you can look like a movie star without the pricey services of a major make up artist. Introducing Beautyblender, the ultimate make up sponge applicator. Invented by top Hollywood make up artist Rea Ann Silva, Beautyblender has been created to leave you with a professional finish and a flawless complexion. Silva knows that the key to a perfect face is simple: a perfect blend. So forget your fingers or sharp-edged triangular sponges, these application methods waste make up and can leave visible streaks.'

Beauyblender’s patent-pending elliptical shape makes application foolproof by allowing you to access hard-to-reach areas with stunning ease. Its suede texture is sensual to the touch and its unique curves fit the contours of your face, leaving your make up dazzling and undetectable. Beautyblender is latex free, non-allergenic and odor free.’

My First Thoughts:
I was really, really surprised when I took it out of the container. I don't know why but I was honestly expecting something a little firmer like a foam or like other sponges I've used (you know, the kind with the edges and usually contain latex). Boy, was I wrong!!!

The blender is incredibly soft to the touch and squishy.  It really isn't very firm.  It is much small than I expected but when wet doubles in size.

How to use the BeautyBlender:
1. Wet the beauty blender (I just ran mine under the tap while squishing it).

2. The beautyblender will almost double in size when wet (I noticed while watching YouTube videos that some people didn't seem to thoroughly soak it... this really does nearly double in size). When done, squeeze out all the water, then wrap in tissue or towel and squeeze again.

3. I dotted foundation across my face (be sure to use a thicker foundation, not one that is "runny" or pourable. Foundations that have a pump are recommended). Then using the rounded base "bounce" or stipple it across your face pushing the foundation inward.

4. The tip of the sponge can be use to apply concealer and get into those hard to reach areas.

How to clean the Beauty Blender:
There are two cleansers specially created to clean the blender, one is a solid cleanser and the other is a liquid cleanser, which are available on both Birchbox, Amazon and the BeautyBlender site. But the cleansers, in my opinion, are a wee bit pricey. Not to mention the fact that the BeautyBlender site advertises the liquid cleanser as being lavender scented... I'm not really a fan of lavender. Many of the tutorials I've seen say you can use a regular mild cleanser. I opted to use my Honest Company Lemongrass hand soap (read review here) because it is natural, hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, biodegradable and pH balanced... and not lavender scented.

I rubbed a squirt into the blender, then added some water and squished it until there was a foam, then cleaned it under the tap until the water ran clear. Then I placed it on the counter to dry overnight.

For those of you who like YouTube tutorials, here is one on using and cleaning the BeautyBlender from CoffeeBreakWithDani. I found her tutorial looking up how to use the BeautyBlender and she is wonderful. I'll definitely be tuning in to her channel in the future.

What I like about BeautyBlender:
  • super light, almost flawless finish. It was INCREDIBLE! 
  • blended my foundation beautifully (I used two different brands/colors) AND I didn't have any problems with streaks or lines because it blended it all so wonderfully 
  • I don't think the actual application took longer than my normal application, just different. 
  • would be great to make a heavy foundation sheer or lighter 
  • it is cute and pink 
What I do not like about BeautyBlender:
  • between getting it wet, application, and then washing it... it IS time consuming. 
  • this gives a really light coverage. Luckily, I don't need maximum coverage right now, but this isn't going to give someone the same look and coverage they might need or want. 
  • Not suitable for all kinds of foundation. This is going to soak up thinner, more liquid foundations because it is a sponge (and sponges soak up liquids). That being said, people who want to use this might have to try some new products, and there is going to be a certain amount of product that gets "wasted". 
  • Cute and pink does not last long. Mine stained after the first use. There is a black beautyblender, but I prefer being able to see what is on my sponge. 
  • Super soft BeautyBlender could tear easily. In fact, mine did after ONE use. When I went to get it wet the next day, I squished it to see how dry it had gotten (after reading reviews about mold, I wanted to see how dry it had gotten overnight) and looked down at it to see little rips.



















They aren't HUGE tears and I proceeded to use it like normal, but I WAS concerned about the fact that I had used it one time and it was already breaking down. When I contacted BeautyBlender asking if this was common or if I had done something wrong, this was their response:

I don't know that I actually expect a replacement, especially not if I'm doing something wrong (other than not using their expensive cleanser), but their response comes off a little terse with the whole "a determination will be made as to whether a replacement will be sent" especially because I didn't even ask for a replacement or refund.  At the time of this post, I still have yet to hear from Birchbox. 

Final Impression:

I really like it.  I'm going to continue using it to get the flawless, slightly dewy looking complexion which I haven't ever been able to get before.  I'm definitely happier with it than I have been with brushes.  I don't know that I will use it when I need heavier coverage (cue breakout), but I'm very happy overall.  If you're interested in a more natural, flawless look then I highly recommend it especially if you aren't 100% thrilled with brushes or other sponges. 

After reading some reviews on the dupes, I don't know if they're worth it or not.  I might try one in the future just to see what kind of results I get, but just looking at them I can see how the BeautyBlender's softness is a definite advantage over more dense products.  I also have concerns about the latex and wonder if the BeautyBlender helps my skin look so good because I'm not exposing myself to latex (I have a minor latex allergy).  

Have you tried the BeautyBlender?  Have you tried one of the Dupes?  How were your results?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Confessions: CLOSE

This week's prompt:
CLOSE

I don't enjoy having people I'm not close to in my close personal space.  This is part of the reason I don't like the dentist... I mean, there's a stranger picking food out of your teeth.  

I clearly live alone as I rarely close the bathroom door anymore.  And when I do, there is a cat who feels slighted on the other side of it.  But I also close the toilet lid, because those same cats will drink out of the toilet.  

There has been so much door closing and windows opening in my life the last few months that sometimes I think the draft is going to negatively impact me... like a psychological cold.  Maybe that is why I'm ok with closing most people out right now.

I rarely close my browser before shutting down my computer.

I hate closing umbrellas because it is never as fun as opening them.

I really hate the sound of a door closing heavily behind me. 


Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails 10/17/2014


I PROMISE not to sing "Friday" again.  I'm just SO excited for my weekend.  People always tell me I'm wishing my life away when I wish it was Friday and I always say I don't do much living when I'm working 40 hours a week.  I guess it all comes down to how you want to look at things.  Speaking of how we want to look at things, let's get into the Feats & Fails...

FAILS:
-  I took last Friday afternoon off.  I got out of work 30 minutes late.  Then, I got out of town late.  Then I didn't get where I was going in time.  I hate it when that shit happens.

-  Woke up Saturday with a sore throat which turned into a sore throat and a fever, so I didn't get to have my nephew that night because I don't want him or my sister getting sick.

-  I let myself be sucked into drama by a crazy person who seems to spread misery for no other reason than Misery loves company.  And then I nicknamed her Crazy Horse and I'm waiting to see how long it is before she gets wind of that, which might be a fail or just really funny.  Also, in hindsight, I should have nicknamed her "Misery", but she's way scarier than Kathy Bates.  Either way, I'm annoyed with myself that I got sucked in and I'm being an ass.

-  I'm having nightmares again.  And the thing is... they aren't really even nightmares.  They just upset me, and my exes keep showing up in them.  But the fact that I consider just their presence something that makes a dream a nightmare really says a lot.

-  Speaking of exes...  So, I decided to write my first guest post for another blogger.  She asked me months ago, and I worked on it and then set it aside.  Then it magically disappeared off my laptop.  Then she reminded me about it a few days ago and I've been working on it again.  Well, the subject matter is a little sensitive and I was having a hard time remembering some of the details surrounding my life at the time everything happened.  And I reached out to my ex for help.  Not my crazy, abusive ex who still slow rolls past my house, but someone who has made it pretty clear they don't respect or appreciate me in any capacity (even as a friend).  Basically, I'm mad at myself for reaching out and opening the door when I should have left it shut when I closed it last time.

- I haven't been tracking my calories, exercising or doing anything good for myself.  I'm kind of in fuck it mode.


FEATS:
+  Quality time with Bonehead last Friday.  He makes me smile.

+  After spending time with Bonehead, I went to see "Dracula Untold" with my brother and got to spend some time with him.  I love my brother.  Last night I was hanging out at my mom's with my brother and I got to pretend I could play guitar with my favorite guitar, and we started watching the Godzilla movie.  So that was awesome.


+  I got to see my sister yesterday.  Which is always good.  We really don't spend enough time together which is sad because sometimes she is exactly what I need.

+  I got cool stuff in my Birchbox this month, traded in some points and actually got around to writing a review for it.  Yay Me!

+  My sore throat and fever didn't turn into full blown cold or Ebola.  So there's that.

+  I finally shared my Signs It Is About to Get Weird post.

+  I got overtime.

+  There might be a super positive change in the near future.  I can't really be more specific, but I'm feeling optimistic.

+  I'm feeling really good and full of ideas this week.  Super awesome feeling!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Product Junkie Reviews: Birchbox October 2014


It's been a long time since I did a Birchbox Review, which is unfortunate because I've been getting some seriously wonderful products that I've been absolutely in love with lately!  Shame on me!

If you read other Birchbox Reviews, some people have noted that there are times when you get a "good" box versus one that isn't so good.  I've come to realize that I'm not a fan of anything that comes in a packet because I feel like I don't get a large enough size to really get a feel for a product.  So this month was definitely a WIN in my book!

(And as much as I personally LOVE Birchbox, I understand that some people might not be so thrilled with the idea of a monthly subscription so I am now adding my favorite products to my Amazon "Products I Love" Widget on the right of the screen.  Check it out to see what I'm eating, using, and loving at my house!)

But let's get to the products I got in this month's Birchbox!

Dr. Brandt® Pores No More® Vacuum Cleaner  (1 oz/$45)  I won't lie... I don't have many blackheads and part of that is because I have an Extractor/Blackhead Blemish Remover Tool  and I LOVE it (in spite of the fact that it is missing right now).  If I were being honest I would tell you that I am a recovering Pimple Popper and sometimes I relapse.  But I can see this product as being a great help in getting over that.  The directions state: Two to three times a week, apply a thin layer of gel to affected areas after cleansing. Let dry 5–10 minutes—or until it turns a chalky hue. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.  

It dried fast and really did turn chalky on my face, but it wasn't flaky or messy like masks tend to get so that was surprising and totally wonderful.  When I rinsed it off in the shower, it came off easily without scrubbing.  There was no dryness or irritation and my skin felt good.  I didn't notice any immediate results, but overall was pretty pleased.  I'll continue to use this.


Mally Beauty High-Shine Liquid Lipstick Pens (.12 oz/$20)  This is hands down one of my favorite products from October 2014.  I got the Lipety Split color (pictured).  I really wasn't sure what to expect from this product because it had the color of a lipstick and the consistency of a really good gloss.  The color was pretty strong and seemed to have some staying power, but my favorite part was how good it felt on my lips for hours.  I hate products that seem to dry out fast and this really didn't.  I didn't really notice much of a flavor, but it smelled like cotton candy which I found pleasant.  I highly recommend this.



Essentiel Elements Wake Up Rosemary Shower Gel (8 oz./$19)  The scent of this body wash was like a punch in the face, I can see why they call it "Wake Up" because it will wake you up for sure!  It cleans pretty effectively,  I HATE products that smell good, but when you get out of the shower you're still smelly.  I don't know how well it actually woke me up in the morning, but... whatever is in this sure woke up my more sensitive areas when I absentmindedly washed them.  So... watch out for that. 

Harvey Prince Petaly Noir  (8.8mL/$26 or 50mL/$55)  Oh Harvey Prince, what a complicated relationship we have.  I previously purchased the Harvey Prince "Hello" spray because I love it so much only to come to learn that it has no staying power.  NONE.  Forget a quick spritz in the morning and going all day.  Even "scent layering" with the lotion does not improve the staying power.  How did Petaly Noir compare?  I won't lie, I didn't have high hopes for it.  The scent is musky and woody (due to the sandalwood, amber and patchouli) while still being feminine which surprised me.  I found it to be reminiscent of Baby Phat's Seductive Goddess but softer, more feminine and floral due to the notes of jasmine, tropical orchid, and lily of the valley.  As far as staying power, it seemed to hold on.  It made it through a few hours more than "Hello", overall... I'm very happy with the scents themselves and while this one lasted longer than "Hello", I don't think I'm going to buy it.


ModelCo Power Lash Long Wear Black Mascara (10mL/$20)  The application was smooth, though the formula seemed a little thin.  Two layers and I felt like it was getting clumpy.  It felt very wet for awhile and I checked my lids a few times to make sure I hadn't gotten it everywhere.  But my lashes looked huge and that was a big plus.  While I like it, I don't care for it as much as some of the other samples I've tried recently.  

POINTS SPLURGE!

I've been hoarding my points away like a squirrel with a nut, waiting for a great deal that I just couldn't refuse to get some of my favorite products... and I think I made out like a bandit.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength ($45)  I'd received the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for Sensitive Skin in my Birchbox quite some time ago.  When I decided to purchase it for myself I went straight for full strength and I am even happier.  Works like a dream, leaves my skin looking great right away.  I was worried that I might react to something stronger, but I didn't.  I walked away with more even tone and my skin looked and felt amazing (even the time I accidentally left it on twice as long as I was supposed to).  I love this and I'm sharing with everyone.  I'm going to end up having to buy more before I know it.

Smashbox Cosmetics Try It Kit  ($19.00 includes: 0.25 oz. Photo Finish Foundation Primer; 0.02 oz. Photo Finish Lid Primer; 0.03 oz. Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx; 0.14 oz. Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black; 0.14 oz. Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume)  I've never tried Smashbox.  It isn't a brand that I know of as being readily available in my area, but of course I know the name.  I wasn't sure how it was going to compare to what I'm already using, many of the items in the set I already have a product that is similar I am happy with but this set BLEW ME AWAY.  Love the primers, especially the eyeshadow primer because it is amazing and keeps my eyeshadow on and looking great so much longer.  The eyeliner is pure black and literally glides on.  The lip gloss is beautiful and seemed to enhance my lips without too much minty/menthol punch like what you normally get with enhancers. The mascara has got to be my favorite part because it is thicker in application, great big wand, dries fast and my lashes look thick and huge and amazing without tarantula eyes or clumps.  And the size of everything in the Smashbox Try It Kit is so good that I've already gotten multiple uses out of all of them and still have more than half of each product left.  I was super thrilled with this kit!



Mystery Sample Pack (free with $35 purchase)  Even though I was
buying stuff with Points, I STILL get a free Mystery Sample Pack because I made a purchase.  Have I told you lately how much I love Birchbox?   I love how every time I get a Mystery Sample Pack... they always send me something super awesome that I end up loving and what I got this time was no exception!

 For example, they once sent me FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE FLIRT Lip Gloss by Secret Agent Beauty ($18) and I forgot to mention it!  Birchbox doesn't seem to carry it anymore, but this stuff is AMAZING and I love it.  It plumps my lips and gives me great color with a light mint feel.  It has a great consistency and isn't goopy or sticky and the color is just right.  I'm in love and it doesn't hurt that the logo is so great.  Highly recommend trying it out if you're looking for a great plumping colored gloss.


This month I received the Palette Sampler from the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette in Sunset ($19.95).  While I only got 4 of the colors in my sampler, I'm SO glad I finally got to try Coastal Scents colors because I've always wanted to.  AWESOME.  I've seen Coastal Scents palettes used in countless tutorials and it seems to be a highly favored product but I've always been hesitant to buy it.  I usually don't care for palettes because I find that I end up using a couple of colors and the rest just go to waste (even the most original of us can't use every color) and end up as clutter in an already cluttered makeup cabinet.  But I might just end up buying this one for sure.  The colors are wonderfully pigmented, a little goes a long way but you can still apply lightly and blend well (I find high pigments don't always handle a light hand so well).  It is soft, smooth, and holds incredibly well throughout my day but washes off nice at night.  The colors I received are awesome and I really want to see how I look in the rest of the palette.


My second sample: Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil ($13).  I have a confession to make... I've never purchased an eyebrow pencil for myself.  In fact, often than not I just ignore the fact that I have eyebrows (yes, it's true).  So I was excited to try this when I got it.  I was amazed that the color was just right but when I looked it up on Birchbox I see that it is created to look good on everyone!  Birchbox says: No more wondering which pencil, powder, or mousse best matches your brows: Pick up this pencil from Ofra, and you’ve got the right shade. Its universally flattering tone works to define and fill brows of any color, and the water-resistant formula stays put all day.  They aren't joking... it really is universally flattering, it really does stay put all day and my brows look fantastic.  I was really worried about being that lady with the smudged eyebrow pencil and it hasn't happened yet.  My brows look so great now that when I posted a picture of myself on my way to see Bonehead, a fellow blogger commented on the photos and told me she was jealous of my eyebrows and when I asked why she told me they are perfect.  No one has ever told me I have perfect eyebrows.  Like ever.  It must be a sign.


Overall, October was a pretty kickass month for Birchbox.  I wont lie, I still REALLY want a BeautyBlender  What did you get in your box this month?