Friday, August 31, 2012

How I Clean My Brushes

Well hi everyone! I've been putting off brush cleaning for a while now (I know, bad beauty blogger award), and I figured I'd photograph my process and exactly how I clean my brushes because I love seeing how other people do this. I've picked up tips from various beauty gurus and I'll let you know them along the way. So let's get started then! :)

These are the brushes that desperately needed cleaning! Most of them are ELF Studio brushes, but I also have two from MAC and one from Sephora's brush range. I think this is a pretty decent collection; the only ones I'd say I'm missing are a tapered blending brush (I currently use a MAC 275 which is fine, but not ideal) and an angled kabuki I'd like to use for foundation. I'm looking into Real Techniques and Sigma, so let me know if you have any suggestions!

I use a mixture of gentle dish soap and extra virgin olive oil to clean my brushes. This is a medium I picked up from Michelle Phan years ago and I've just stuck with it. The idea is that the dish soap will cleanse the brush while the oil will moisturize. Most of my brushes are made of synthetic bristles so I'm not sure how much moisturizing is going on, but I feel like the dish soap might be too harsh without the olive oil, and anyway, I prefer the consistency the oil gives. I know a lot of people use baby shampoo, but honestly, this works perfectly and I have no other use for baby shampoo in my life lol!

You'll also need two sheets of paper towel (one to immediately dry your brushes off and one to place your brushes on to dry).

Step 1: Place your brush under running tap water (cold-lukewarm is fine). Never hold the brush straight up underneath the faucet, otherwise the water will seep into the barrel, loosen the glue, and cause the bristles to fall out (Michelle Phan tip).

Step 2: Swirl the brush in your dish soap and olive oil mixture. This is where the majority of the cleaning will happen.

Step 3: Swirl the brush against the side of the sink to rinse out all the soap and dirt. Now is when you'll be able to see just how dirty your brush was. Yum.

Step 4: Dry your brush off with a sheet of paper towel.

Step 5: Place your brush lying flat on a paper towel, making sure the bristle are off the counter. (I'll explain why later)

For denser powder brushes and kabukis, you're going to want to use your hands/fingers to work the soap in. Also, it's important that you squeeze the water and excess soap out of the brush, otherwise your brush will retain all of it, and as I mentioned, it may seep into the barrel causing shedding. Additionally, if you skip this step, your brushes will take way longer to dry because they'll be so concentrated with water!

This is the largest brush I own (a MAC 134), and I just wanted to show you guys how much pigment it retains. Look at that mess in the sink! I feel like powder brushes appear to be the least dirty in use, but when you actually clean them you see just how gross they really are.

If it seemed like I was using a lot of oil and soap, rest assured that it was all used up! (Ew.)

So as you can see, I place all my brushes with the tips off the counter. The reason for this is because you want your brushes to dry up in their original shape. If you lie them flat on the paper towel, you'll have one 3D side and one flat side. Does that make any sense? Also, You'll want to keep a towel on the floor so any dripping can be soaked up. This is a tip I got from Allison (Amarixe on YouTube and Blogger).

I usually leave my brushes to dry over night, but honestly, for denser brushes it takes longer than that sometimes. If you see that they're not dry after 5-6 hours of air drying, feel free to use a blow dryer (on a very low setting).

And voila! Squeeky clean!

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this because it took me a while to get this post sorted! Brush cleaning is a long process but, alas, it needs to be done at least every couple of months (if you spot clean between washes, that is).

Do you clean your brushes similarly?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nail Polish of the Day: August 30

Hey everyone! So here's today's nail polish of the day. I included this polish in my "Most Worn" summer items tag and I figured I should probably use it in a NOTD. It's L'Oreal's L'Orange and I think it's the perfect sumer-fall transition color. It's a bright orange but it's not neon, so I definitely foresee wearing this polish in the autumn time around Halloween as well.

What I love about this polish is the consistency. It's not streaky whatsoever, in fact the finish reminds me of gel nails. The top coat I added seemed almost superfluous because the polish itself is so shiny and smooth. The only thing is that this was a three-coater. One coat definitely wasn't enough, and two coats didn't seem "finished". I don't mind, though. It's such a pretty color anyway.

Have you guys tried L'Oreal polishes? I'd be interested in buying a few more for fall, considering I loved this one, and Amarixe raves about them over on her blog. They're inexpensive compared to higher-end nail polish, and I really love the quality!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Non-Beauty Favorites

Hello everyone! I was inspired to write up this post after seeing EssieButton's post considering we have a couple similar non-beauty favorites! So without further ado...

Hay Day: Estee from EssieButton also included this app in her favorites which is how I discovered it, and I'm obsessed. I confess that I used to be someone who played Farmville, and I admit, it was entertaining! The only thing that sucked is that you had to involve your Facebook friends in the game otherwise you couldn't advance, which is why I'm into Hay Day, because it involves none of that! It's just a virtual farm, guys. Why do I care about farming so much?

Pocket Planes: The premise of this game is almost as simple as Hay Day. Basically, you buy airports and airplanes around the world and you have to transport passengers and cargo back and forth. It's stupid, I know, but I can't help it! I'm sucked in! My family thinks I'm nuts.

Like Estee, I saw Wicked this month! On the 23rd, to be precise. I absolutely loved it. I wasn't much of a Wizard of Oz fan before this (in fact, I don't think I'd ever seen it in full), but I gained such an appreciation for it after seeing this! It kind of elaborates on the bits that aren't really coherent about the Wizard of Oz, and it argues that the Wicked Witch of the West wasn't actually wicked, but rather misunderstood. It was really clever and entertaining!

I've been watching Food Network a ton lately because I've had so much free time, Chopped in particular. Honestly, I love to hate this show. I find the actually competition part really exciting, but the judges are so snobby, it gets me nervous. But, obviously, I can overlook that because I'm pretty sure I watched it like every day this week sooo.... Also, it's been inspiring me to cook which my mom is ecstatic about. Yesterday I made panko-crusted shrimp wraps with grilled red bell peppers (o0o0o fancy).

My favorite YouTuber this month is NikkieTutorials. She recently hit 200,000 subscribers and I don't think anyone deserves it more than she does. She has the cutest Dutch accent (she's from the Netherlands), and she has the most delicate, professional, and clean approach to applying makeup. I take all her recommendations to heart because she is basically flawless. I've been subscribed to her for a while now but I figured I'd include her here because her 200,000 Subscriber video was really sweet. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to her!

My favorite dog this month (and every month) is my baby, Einstein. He got a fresh haircut a couple days ago so I wanted to show you guys how handsome he is ;)

What are your non-beauty favorites this month?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tumblr25 No.2

Check out my previous Tumblr25 by clicking HERE and check out my giveaway by clicking HERE! (You can now gain an additional two entries by following me on Tumblr!)

It's been a really long time since I made a post like this, and in case you don't know what it is... Let me explain :) Basically, I made a collage of the last 25 photos I reblogged on Tumblr (excluding .gifs and text posts) and I go through them one by one explaining why I reblogged them. This is just a way for you guys to get to know me better.

Liam Hemsworth: As you might recall from my previous Tumblr25, I have quite the liking for Miley and Liam. I'm not sure what he was filming here but I think he looks pretty darn good, no? Also, I genuinely wonder what he thinks about Miley's new haircut...

Breakfast at Tiffany's: I recently watched this movie, expected it to be extremely overrated, and surprisingly enough, I liked it. Audrey Hepburn is really charming. All I knew about her prior to this movie was a few cheesy, overused quotes and some winged liner, so I'm glad I got to see her in action. I'll review this movie in full at some point.

Carpe Noctem: I thought this graphic was really cool and considering "Carpe Diem" is mainstream now, I thought Carpe Noctem would be a little more hipster of me. (I'm kidding. Maybe.)

Back to School: I lol'd at this one. If you can't see it well, it's the Back to School section of a store selling a bunch of knives. I don't condone suicide or anything, so let's not get our panties in a bunch. I just found it funny.

Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran: An argument can be made that Taylor Swift is my all-time favorite female artist, ever since she started out, and Ed Sheeran is my at-the-moment favorite male artist (all time fav. male = John Mayer), so this is really exciting for me. You'll see Ed a few more times in this photo set.

Breakfast with a view: I thought this was a really nice photo and reminded me of Europe. I miss it a little.

LOL: I want to befriend anyone who will go to such extremes to be considered a wizard.

Mary-Kate Olsen: Aside from being my favorite Olsen twin, I was sincerely jealous of her in this movie as a kid. I thought she was the coolest tom boy I'd ever seen and no one could pull off a dress and Converse like she did.

Demi Lovato: I'm not a major fan of hers at the moment but I thought she looked stunning here.

Emma Stone: Love, love, love.

I Tolerate You: It's the new "I love you".

10 Things I Hate About You: It was my first time watching this the other day and I found it to be quite enjoyable. Heath Leadger was a babe in this. RIP

Colton Haynes: Like I mentioned in my last Tumblr25, I think Colton Haynes is incredibly sexy. Tell me you disagree, I'll tell you you're lying to yourself.

Olympics: This was a really sad moment for the Canadians at the Olympics. We thought we were bringing home a bronze in the men's relay but it turns out one of them stepped out of his lane and was therefore disqualified. Personally, I saw no such thing and I think they should've appealed it, but hey. You win some you lose some.

Religion: I believe in religion. All religions. And I especially believe in religious tolerance.

Elephant crop top: How cute is this? Anything with an elephant print needs to be mine.

Christine Sinclair: This girl tore it up on the field during the Canadian Women's soccer games in the Olympics. She was unstoppable.

Harry Styles & Ed Sheeran: I'm not a huge One Direction fan but I thought this was precious. I really don't think Harry needs a whole sleeve though. How old is he again?

Kevin Jonas: I've been having a lot of fun watching Married to Jonas lately. My 15 year-old self would have been flipping out at this show.

Miley and Liam: See first paragraph ;)

Ed Sheeran: So yeah, like I said, I love the guy. My favorites by him are Give Me Love, Drunk, and Wake Me Up. I wish, wish, wish I were going to his concert here in September :(

Water color pillow: This = me in two ways. 1) Painting, yes. 2) Sleeping, YES.

Mike Ross and Harvey Specter: Suits has become one of my favorite shows this summer, and I plan on fully discussing it in a future post. Seriously, flawless show. Gabriel Macht is a genius.

Team USA Drinking Team: I thought this was cute.

Alright, so let me know in the comments if you enjoy these posts! If you're interested in following me on tumblr, click HERE!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Questionnaire (via Amarixe)

1.) Mood:
A little cranky. I was sleeping really well (which hasn't been happening often) until I woke up completely unable to breathe from my nose because of dumb allergies! Gonna have to take a nap later, methinks.

2.) What is your favorite article of clothing to shop for?
I prefer shopping for tops as opposed to bottoms because I get easily discouraged if pants don't fit.

3.) Three hours ago, I was ____________.
Wide awake, unable to breathe :(

4.) Current nail polish:
Purple/silver glitter Kiko polish (see my NOTD)

5.) When is the last time you read an actual paper newspaper (not digital)?
Wow, I can't remember. I don't actively read the news, I just follow up on the tidbits I see on social media and am intrigued about.

6.) Current outfit:
Pajamas! I want to sleeep.

7.) What is your natural hair texture?
Really curly, large and frizzy

8.) Would you rather go a week without your phone or a week without your computer?
I would rather go a week without my phone. I really hate using my phone, to be honest. I don't like calling people and texting becomes a chore, especially when people get mad that I don't text back right away (really?).

9.) What is your favorite musical?
I recently saw Wicked and thought it was amazing (!!!), but I think I'll have to go with either Grease or Mamma Mia!

10.) Weekly goals:
Get in the mood for school considering it starts in a little less than 2 weeks! (Where did the summer go?!)

Didn't want this post to be picture-less, but here's one of my favorite pairs of pants to wear in the summer! (Disregard my unmade bed :P)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

FOTD: August 26

Here's a quick FOTD for all of you! Natural hair and minimal makeup because it's like a billion degrees outside.

- Marcelle foundation
- UD Toasted as eyeliner
- Marcelle mascara
- Kiko lipstick (very sheer though)
- MAC Prism blush
- UD De Slick sprayed before and after makeup

Going to the mall and then to my friend's going away dinner!

Nail Polish of the Day: August 26, 2012

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I posted a NOTD because I've been giving my nails a little a break. My nails are actually really fragile right now and have been breaking super easily, so if anyone has suggestion for a good fortifying base coat, please let me know in the comments!

This is a really pretty, sheer purple Kiko glitter polish. It's really nice, but I'd just like to stress how sheer it is! I put three coats of this one and it's hardly opaque, so in the future I'm most likely going use a white base or something like that. Also, I have a feeling this is going to be a nightmare to remove... I'll let you guys know how it goes :P

I have a ton of Kiko polishes I need to show you, so if you're a fan of that brand, yay! If not, I'm sorry! I know they're only available in Europe but I'm sure they can be purchased somewhere online. They're just really affordable and pretty and they have soooo many colors! (Check this out!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Candle Collection!

Hi everyone! Today's post is about something really exciting... Candles!!! I think I'm the only person in the world to find candles exciting. Anyway, I figured I'd show you guys my candle collection, because why not.

As you can see, most of my candles are from the Bath & Body Works collection "Slatkin & Co.", with the exception of two that are from Yankee Candle. So basically, I'll go through them one by one and let you guys know which are my favorite, and give you guys some basic info regarding pricing and quality.

I received this one as a gift so I couldn't tell you how much it cost, but it's an amazing two-wick candle that burns forever. The scent is really strong and tangy which might not float everyone's boat, but I still really like it. I got this one last winter and haven't used it since, but I'm looking forward to burning it during the fall!

This is the other Yankee Candle I own called "Soft Blanket". I received this one as a gift as well so unfortunately I'm not sure about the cost. My brother actually picked this up for me because he hates all my other candles, LOL. Admittedly, the scent isn't my favorite, but I like see this one as more of an air-freshner, so I'll burn it right after cleaning my room or something like that.

"Frosted Cupcake" by Slatkin & Co. is one of my favorite three-wick candles to-date. It has a really sweet-smelling vanilla cake batter scent that I absolutely love. This one is definitely my most-used. These are sold at Bath & Body Works with a promotion of 2 for $30, which is a great deal considering they are sold for $22.50 by themselves. I think you can get around 40 hours of use out of these, so I think they're a good investment if you're a candle-lover like I am!

These mini candles, also from Slatkin & Co., are perfect to use as testers. I buy these if I'm not sure if I'll love the scent enough to buy the full-sized three-wick one. My favorite of the two turned out to be Ice Cream Shop because I've discovered that I prefer sweet scents as opposed to fruity ones. Wild Strawberry is nice as well, but I have to be in the mood for it, whereas Ice Cream Shop is really soothing and warm so I'll burn it more often. These are 2 for $5 so they're a really nice alternative if you don't want to spend too much!

Paradise Daiquiri is the candle I burn the least, because as I previously mentioned, I'm not the biggest fan of fruity scents. I'll typically burn this one after a day in the sun because it'll put me in a summery mood, but otherwise I'd burn Frosted Cupcake sooner than this one.

And now for a mini-haul featuring candles I just bought today...

This is their fall collection "Cinnamon Sugared Donut" and it literally smells exactly like that. It's sweet and spicy and just delicious. I'm waiting for it to get colder outside to burn this one because I really want to save it. I'm so excited about their fall collection because they have a ton of great new scents. I limited myself to just this one because I'm on a bit of a spending ban, but I would loveee to pick up the Pumpkin Caramel Latte one.

Bath & Body Works now have their summer candles available at 50% off, so I picked up this one in the Root Beer Float scent! I'm so excited about this one because it smells exactly like a root beer float and it's so sweet and nostalgic, I just love it. I got this one in the medium size and it came out to about $6.50 which is really great. As you can see, I couldn't wait to burn this one :P

The last thing I wanted to talk about was Bath & Body Works' new Paris collection that features these two amazing candles. They smell absolutely amazing and are so true to their names. French Baguette must be such a delicious bakery scent to have burning, and cafe au lait would remind me of coffee and Starbucks. There are two other candles available in this collection (Macaron flavored and a basic Paris scent), but these were the ones that caught my eye (or my nose?).

Also, if you follow me on Twitter you'll know I've decided that Bath & Body Works is officially my favorite store. They have the best promotions going on all the time and today, to advertise their new Paris collection, they were serving macarons and had a one-day contest going on where you could win their entire Paris line. So great!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments if you're a candle fanatic like I am!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Everyday Eyeshadow Look

Hey everyone! I have yet ANOTHER eyeshadow look. I've really been on a roll with these, I guess. Anyway, I have about 10 minutes to write this post before I head out so I'll make it quick.

I wanted to use the Urban Decay Naked palette (my favorite eyeshadow palette ever), to do something relatively simple that can be worn on an everyday basis, and also as a back-to-school look.

I won't go into much detail so I'll just list which colors I used where:

  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin all over the lid (not pictured above)
  • Sin eyeshadow as an all-over wash
  • Toasted in the crease and outer corner (Sidenote: I feel like Toasted is a really underrated color in this palette. It's such a pretty burnt copper color)
  • Blended Toasted out with a little Naked
  • Hustle used as eyeliner on both lash lines
  • Virgin on the inner corner and as a brow bone highlight
  • (I also filled in my brows with Naked and Buck but you can't really see that here lol)
Add some mascara and you're good to go. I love easy eyeshadow looks like this one, don't you?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Green & Purple Eyeshadow Look

Hey everyone! As promised, I have another eyeshadow look for you. Admittedly, it's pretty similar to my Stars 'N' Rockets look, but hey. I was just going through my makeup drawer and found this Sephora palette that I received as a gift, so I used that as inspiration. The thing is, I'm not a massive fan of Sephora brand eyeshadow, so I pulled out this awesome green Pop palette to use instead of the greens in the Sephora palette. They're way more pigmented and easier to use and blend.

You can check out the photo below to see exactly where I placed each color, but I'll quickly go through it. First, I primed my eye with Urban Decay Primer Potion in "Sin" (not pictured below), then I used the light purple from the Sephora palette as an all-over wash. I warmed up the outer corner  and crease with "Buck" from Urban Decay's Naked palette, except I didn't want it to be too brown so I mixed it this blue color from a Sephora palette I have similar to the Coastal Scents palette (again, I'm not fond of Sephora eyeshadows so I only pull this one out only when I need a specific color). Then I lined my upper lashline with black liquid liner, and sweeped on a mix of the two brightest greens from the Pop palette overtop. I also used the same combination on my lower lashline. Lastly, I used the light green from the Sephora palette to highlight my browbone, added mascara, and voila :)

Also, I should mention that (aside from the Naked palette), I got these eyeshadows a really long time ago, so I'm not sure if they're still available! However, any similar colors will do the trick (they don't have to be from the exact same palettes I used).

Let me know if you enjoy these looks because I have fun taking the photos and editing them so I'd be willing to do more!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Movie Post #3

Hey everyone! So here I have my third movie post of the summer. I know most of the blogs that follow me are beauty blogs but I hope you've been enjoying these posts as well. (If not, I'll be posting another eyeshadow look later on today so you can look forward to that!)

9) The Hangover Part II: The Hangover is literally one of my all-time favorite movies. It came out about three years ago and at the time, it was this new, hilarious brand of comedy that I'd never seen before, and it resonated with me. That said, I kept my hopes low for #2 because it couldn't possibly top the first. And, in the end, my intuition was correct. It didn't top the first Hangover. BUT it was still enjoyable. It was the same type of comedy, but much like the other critics of this movie, I felt like it was just the first Hangover recycled into different jokes.

Verdict: Fun, but if I want a good laugh I would sooner re-watch the first.

10) Project X: When this movie came out in theatres, everyone was talking about it, but I never fully understood the concept. The trailer looked like a homemade YouTube video, and there were no "known" actors in it. Then my friend said he saw it and said I would like it, and he was right. Basically, this movie delivers on the very aspect it claims to be: the most epic house party ever. The plot is lacking, sure, but in the end, it doesn't matter. All I wanted was to see what would happen next.

Verdict: Entertaining from beginning to end.

11) Snow White and the Huntsman: I guess I'll start off by mentioning that I saw this movie against my will... I really dislike Kristen Stewart. I don't think she's a very good actress. This movie didn't really change that opinion, either. I thought her performance was dull. Charlize Theron was really the scene-stealer in this one. Her exaggerated and emotional delivery was spot-on. As for the movie itself, I found it to be generally enjoyable. It got a little long and tedious at times, but overall not terrible. Also, I have to commend the director on some amazing shots in this film. (I also have to commend Chris Hemsworth on his face.)

Verdict: I didn't hate it.

12) American Beauty: A movie's purpose is to incite audience reaction, agreed? Well, this movie confused me. I'm not sure how I was supposed to react to it. It was an equal blend of humor and tragedy. I found the characters hardly likeable. I don't know. It just didn't stick with me as much as I thought it would. I guess all I have to say is that it's very unique. I would say give it a watch just to see what you think about it, because it's hard to gauge audience response with a film like this one.

Verdict: I liked it, I think?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

50 Unusual Questions: Part II

(I couldn't find a photo for this post so here's a picture of my favoritest candle ever. Shall I do a candle collection post?)

26: Without looking them up, can you explain the rules of football? How about Quidditch? What do you think that says about you?

Errrr, I don’t know the rules of either so I think that says I suck at real life sports and fictional sports.

27: You’re in the car, switching channels on the radio when you hear a song that makes you go “OH SHIT, THAT’S MY JAM!” What song is it?

Anything Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, John Mayer, or Ed Sheeran.

28: Have you ever paid to see a Step Up movie? If not, how much would someone have to pay YOU to see a Step Up movie?

…AHAHA. I have paid to see a Step Up movie and I can honestly say I enjoyed the first one. To see the new one, however… Meh. I’d go if someone paid for my ticket. So like 10 bucks.

29: If you were being executed tonight, what would you choose for your last meal?

My grandmother’s homemade lasagna. Admittedly not my favorite dish of the moment, but definitely the most nostalgic.

30: Have you ever bought an item of clothing because it reminded you of something a fictional character would wear?

Can’t say I have, nope.

31: If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?

Sneak into places that cost a lot of money to be at, like award shows or film festivals. OR be a good citizen of humanity and uncover international secrets and save the world and stuff.

32: Have you ever been punched in the face?

My brother punched me in the face once because I unplugged his videogame. (But I feel like the obligatory answer to this is "One time Regina George punched me in the face once. It was awesome.")

33: How do you take your ramen noodles?


34: Do you ever rehearse or plan conversations before you actually have them?

All the time and it’s a terrible habit! Like seriously, when do planned conversations ever turn out? Never.

35: How much black do you wear on a regular basis (not counting funerals)?

Depends on the season but I consciously try to avoid black.

36: Do you have any tattoos? Do you want any?

I don’t have any at the moment but I wouldn’t be opposed to a tattoo, except for the fact that I have NO clue what would be so special enough to get tattooed.

37: If someone offered you a free pet snake, would you take it? It’s not dangerous or really big or anything. They’re just moving to a place that doesn’t allow pets.

Errr, nope.

38: Do you know how to pronounce the word “pinochle”?

Like pinnacle but an ‘o’ instead of an ‘a’? (Oh god I just looked it up it’s pronounced pee-nocle.)

39: Can you think of anything more boring than birdwatching?

Sure can.

40: Are you better with numbers or words?


41: At the movies, do you stay for the credits?

Yep! I hate being rushed to leave a movie theatre, and sometimes they have extra bonus clips at the end of the credits.

42: Is morality universal or relative?

Hmm, both.

43: Let’s say you’re getting married to someone you absolutely adore. The only catch is that you met them through a Craigslist hookup ad that was supposed to be just for one night of casual sex. Would you tell your friends how you and your fiance met?

I’m a terrible liar so yeah.

44: What’s the worst name you’ve ever been called?

I’m not sure, insulting people to their face is a little too mainstream nowadays so you’ll have to ask whoever talks behind my back. I’ve been called ugly a few times when I was younger though. I wasn’t ever necessarily offended, just baffled because I guess my parents taught me manners and theirs didn’t.

45: Would you eat human flesh if it had been harvested and prepared humanely? (Say, from someone brain-dead who had marked him or herself down as an organ donor - same difference, right?)

Why would I ever desire to eat human flesh?

46: At what age did you stop believing in Santa? Alternately, if you never believed in Santa, did you ever ruin Santa for anyone else?

I believed in Santa for a really long time and in a way I still do believe in Santa.

47: Do you get along better with old people or little kids?

Little kids! Definitely little kids. I have full-on conversations with little kids because they’re the coolest.

48: If you had to choose, would you rather become a nun/monk or a drug dealer?

Nun/monk. I’m basically already one. (LOL)

49: What’s your best bodily feature, objectively speaking?

Objectively speaking? Is this not an opinion question?

50: Who is your favorite late night talk show host?

I don’t watch late night talk shows because I’m actually not that cool.

Hope you enjoyed these question-y posts and don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY I have going on right now! :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stars 'N' Rockets Eyeshadow Look

So apparently I'm on a roll with posting today?! I thought I'd quickly post an eyeshadow look before I head out :) I've had this MAC quad sitting in my drawer for a while and figured I'd pull it out for a change.

I was actually reminded about this quad when "icallitambrosia" on YouTube mentioned the color Stars N Rockets and I was like, "Oh! I have that color!" It's an incredibly fuschia/blue duochrome that can be used so many ways. In this look I popped it over my black liquid liner, turning it metallic blue. I used Seedy Pearl (a faint shimmery pink) as a wash, then packed Hepcat (a glittery fuschia) on the mid-outer corner, and used Beauty Marked as a crease color.

Beauty Marked is also a really original eyeshadow. It's almost black but it has flecks of red/burgundy in it that creates a really awesome, ashy effect on the lid. My lower lash line is a combination of Beauty Marked, Hepcat, and Stars N Rockets. I also used Seedy Pearl as an inner corner and browbone highlight.

Have you ever tried any of these MAC shadows? What do you think?

Also, don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY I have going on right now! :)

Nail Polish of the Day: August 18th, 2012

Hey everyone! I have a new NOTD for you guys and I thought I would finally feature a polish from my Essie collection, so here's "No More Film". This is more of a fall color but I think it's going to be really great for back-to-school.

I got this one in Essie's Resort collection that came out back in February, so if you're wondering why the bottle looks miniature, that's why! I have to admit, this isn't my favorite color in the collection and it's actually my first time wearing it, but I do really like the finish. It's super creamy and the application is very fluid.

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway I have going on!

EDIT (19/08/2012): I got bored of this color today and tried out "Chevron" nails for the first time. Cool no?

(Note that I digitally modified/cleaned up the rough edges of the nail art in this photo)

Handmade Italian Leather Bracelets GIVEAWAY! [CLOSED]

This giveaway is now CLOSED!

Hello everyone! I have quite the exciting news for you :) Last month I was in Italy with my mom and picked up a handful of leather bracelets as gifts for my friends. Apparently, I overestimated the amount of friends I have, and was left with these bracelets as a result. Instead of keeping them for myself, I decided to host a blog giveaway to thank my followers!

They’re both the same braided style, except one is a red-coral color, and the other is turquoise. They both have the same golden clasp and come in their original plastic packaging. I would say the retail value of these is around $8 CDN, making the entire giveaway worth $16. They originate from Italy’s Bari region, and as I said, are handmade genuine leather.

Lately, the bracelet “stacking” trend has been incredibly popular and I think these bracelets would make a great addition to your arm party. Check out this photo of my friend Shehz’s stacking:

So, if you think would like to own these two bracelets then please do enter the giveaway as I would be happy to gift these to one of my followers!

Terms & Conditions:

1) Must be 18 or over/have parental permission to enter
2) Must be following via GFC (see left-hand task bar)
3) Must leave a comment on this post saying you’ve entered
4) Must be willing to provide a shipping address for the prize if won

5) OPTIONAL: For an additional SEVEN entries, follow me on Twitter @ericaeff (+2 entries), tweet about the giveaway using #abundanceofericagiveaway (+2 entries), write a blog post about the giveaway (+3 entries)

Contest runs from August 18th, 2012 until September 2nd, 2012 and a winner will be chosen during the subsequent week. Giveaway is international. Please confirm your entries via the Rafflecopter widget below!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Movie Post #2

Hey everyone! I thought today would be a good time to write up the sequel to THIS post, and review a couple more movies I've seen this summer. My goal is to be up-to-date with my reviews so I can write them more frequently/as soon as I see a new one, but I feel guilty doing that knowing I still have a bunch to write about. I also want to start talking about TV shows I've been into, but I want to finish my movies posts first. :) So without further ado...

5) Like Crazy: This movie was recommended to me by one of my friends and I'm glad I watched it. It's not a happy movie and it's not very exciting either, but it's honest and relatable. It gets a little tedious at times but it shows how easily people can fall in and out of love. Some people say it's too depressing, but I think people sometimes confuse "depressing" and "realistic". Aside from Jennifer Lawrence, I don't think there are many recognizable actors in this film, but that just adds to the relatable aspect.

Verdict: Not amazing but not terrible.

(Oh! Also, I started adding stars to the graphics on these posts in case you're too lazy to read the review/are more visual or whatnot)

6) Fight Club: I literally cannot believe I'd never seen this movie before. I guess I just figured, meh, what's so exciting about a bunch of guys fighting? But, of course, that isn't the whole story, is it? It's a little Inception-y in the sense that it has a surreal sci-fi aspect to it, but it's not intimidatingly cerebral. Anyway, I loved this one. This is the first movie of the summer that lived up to its hype for me. I'm actually reading the book now so who knows? I might have a book review coming soon. Edward Norton is gold in this and David Fincher can do no wrong by me.

Verdict: This is a good one. Undeniable.

7) Avengers: I'm a huge Marvel fan so I knew going in that I would love this film. It's just an incredibly entertaining superhero movie and honestly, there's not much else to it. There's some subtle humor in it too which is nice. A piece of advice before watching this is to make sure you've seen Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America first. It's not essential that you have, but trust me, you'll appreciate the Avengers that much more. What I liked most was the final action scene. Sometimes these can get boring but because the perspective was seven-fold, it was so much more exciting.

Verdict: A must-see for superhero lovers.

8) What To Expect When You're Expecting: This is one of those movies with multiple storylines that end up connecting in some way or another, which can be a hit-or-miss with me. What tends to happen is that I prefer one storyline over the other and get impatient when one I don't like is onscreen. So already, that's a point off for this one. All I can really say about this movie is "meh". It wasn't great. It wasn't that funny even though it tried hard.

Verdict: See it if you have nothing better to see, otherwise don't waste your time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Products I Regret Buying

Hello everyone! I figured I would do a post on products I regret buying because I feel like it could be very helpful. My reasons for regretting buying these products range from problems regarding price, packaging, quality, and sometimes just personal preference--so just because I didn't end up liking them, doesn't mean you won't either! These are just some points to take into consideration before buying.

The first (three) products I regret buying are these American Apparel nail polishes. I have one in the color "Hunter" (a deep green), one in "California Trooper" (a really gross light tan color), and one in "L'Esprit" (a pale purple). Alright, so my problem with these nail polishes is their liquidy consistency. I find them incredibly hard to work with because they're so streaky, so you definitely need 2+ coats as well as a top coat. Also, the middle color (California Trooper), is really not what I thought it would be. It's just the most unflattering color in the world and it makes my hands look sickly, if that makes any sense. Anyway, I'm probably going to use these in an NOTD at some point because I'd like to show them to you guys.

These retail for $9 CDN each.

The Makeup Forever HD Foundation & Microperfecting Primer are probably the products I regret buying the most. For the record, I am SO against buying high-end foundation. I really can't justify the price I paid for this stuff. It's almost embarrassing. The story is that I had a Sephora giftcard and I happened to run out of my foundation so I figured I'd give these a shot. The guy at the Sephora recommended them, and I'd heard a lot of good things, so I went ahead and purchased them. Now, you might be wondering what the white bottle on the left is. As it turns out, this line doesn't have a shade in my color, meaning I had to purchase the primer as well. The primer is blue which cancels out the redness of the foundation. It made sense at the time, I guess.

What doesn't make sense, however, is how much I paid for such a low-quality product. The foundation itself is decent. Decent coverage and durability. Fine. The packaging... Not so much. When the product finally came to an end, it was just a mess. The foundation even starting coming out of the base of the lid. It was terrible. Also the cap is incredibly flimsy and it pops off easily, making this foundation super difficult to travel with.

The foundation retails for $42 CDN and the primer retails for $34 CDN totalling $76 CDN. I'm cringing.

Alright, I have a love-hate relationship with LUSH. I can't say I've ever purchased a product from there that I was absolutely dazzled with, and their Solid "Gorilla" Perfume in Karma is no different. This one basically just comes down to preference.

I was really intrigued by the idea of solid perfume so I went ahead and tested a few out before choosing Karma. Now, assuming you've ever been within a 5m radius of a Lush store, you'll know how scented the place is, so testing out perfume in there is no easy feat. I sniffed a couple before getting to this one and I just couldn't smell them, so when I got to Karma, I was like "Oh! Citrus! I can smell it!" And to be honest, it didn't smell terrible! So when I got home from my little shopping trip I pulled this out and smelled it again... DAMN was it CITRUSY. This little thing smells sooo strong, it's enough to give me a pounding migraine. It also has a certain spiciness to it, so that in addition to the citrus... Man. Not for me.

Anyway, lesson learned. Before buying perfume at Lush, put some on, leave the store, walk around, and then see if you still like it.

This retails for $10.95 CDN.

The next product I regret buying is this Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Red Velvet. To be honest, I feel bad for not liking this. It's gotten so many incredible reviews by beauty gurus it makes me feel almost guilty for not liking it! This is one is a matter of personal preference as well. As a lip butter, I didn't expect it to go on so opaque with just one swipe. But maybe the fault is on me for buying such a dark shade. My rationale was that I wanted to try out a darker lip color but not commit to the intensity of a lipstick.

I have to say, it looks pretty decent in the photos but in person it's so dark, it's almost brown. This one is entirely my fault though and maybe I'm just bitter because I haven't had the guts to wear it out yet. Oh well.

This retails for about $10 CDN at Canadian drugstores.

The next product on the list is Maybelline Great Lash mascara in the color "Blackest Black". I think my problem with this one is just that it is overhyped. It's been around for so long and magazines claim it to be the most timeless, best mascara in the history of ever. Meh. I disagree. But I guess it depends on what you look for in a mascara. My problem is the consistency--I just don't find it thick enough. I find myself brushing on 6+ coats before my lashes are how I like them. And not to say that I like that spidery clumpy look, it just takes that many coats before it even looks like I have mascara on.

This product retails for about $5.99 CDN.

My final product is the ever-talked-about Urban Decay Primer Potion in original and "Sin". I wasn't sure if I should include these on this list because I wouldn't necessarily say I regret buying them... As opposed to the other products on this list, I do still use these. I'll start by discussing the original primer potion which is in the purple bottle. I received this with the Naked palette (which I adore, by the way), and I'm just not a fan. If your eyelids are on the oilier side, applying this just feels like slapping on more oil (yum). It's very buttery and slippery and I don't actually notice any difference when I use it.

All to say, I use Sin a lot more often. I like using it when I'm applying shimmery eyeshadows because I do feel like it makes them stand out a little more (which is why I purchased the full size of this as opposed to the original one). My only problem is that you literally only need half a dab of this to prime your entire eyelid, meaning I'll have this product for the rest of my life. I guess that's a good thing considering you get your money's worth, but I feel like it's a little wasteful. I wish the Sin primer came in the same packaging as the original (Sin is a squeeze tube and the original has a wand).

This product retails full-size for $20.00 CDN. (Note: I just checked out the Sephora website for the price and look at this awesome deal: three primer potions in the "vintage" packaging for $22.00 (online only)!)

Alright so that's the end of the products I regret buying! Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed reading this/found it helpful at all :)