Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Beauty Favorites

I originally wasn't going to do one of these, but I figured that didn't comply too well with my "blog more" resolution for the new year so I decided, why not! These are my favorite products of 2013. Some of them are more recent, but I've been using many of them year-long. I use these products daily and I'm impressed with their quality over and over.

Mac Soft & Gentle: I honestly wasn't too sure about this product in the beginning. I didn't notice a difference when I used it, but now I've come to love it. The effect is very subtle, making it perfect for everyday use as a cheek highlighter.

Maybelline Super Stay 10 Stain Gloss: These stain glosses have to be my favorite lip product of the year. I think they're so easy to apply. They're long lasting, and they stay put throughout the day - no need to worry about smudging.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in RSVP: I picked this up on Boxing Day last year and I could not be happier with it. It's the perfect base for virtually any eyeshadow look, and it's so easy to blend on. It really is creaseless too!

L'Oreal Studio Perfecting Base: I picked this up because I ran out of my Stila primer, and I have to say, this does a better job. It smooths out your skin like none other, and it has that soft silicone finish. For the price, you really can't go wrong with this.

Essie "Bouncer It's Me": I have to admit, the formulation of this polish is atrocious BUT luckily I'm a very patient person, and 3 coats is no big deal to me. The color is so vibrant and stunning that I can see past the terrible formula. I've worn this multiple times this year because I'm constantly drawn to it.

Models Own "Luis Lemon": This has, hands down, been my favorite polish of 2013. I was really hesitant to buy it, but I'm so glad I did. I think nails are generally a more understated part of someone's "look", so a little pop of neon isn't as scary as I thought it would be... In fact, it's fun and interesting. Love this polish.

Essie "Bahama Mama": Is it cheating if I included this in last year's favorites? Oh well. This polish has been a recurring favorite as I've worn it many times this year. The color and formulation are just unbeatable.

These two brushes have been part of my makeup routine throughout the entire year. I use the angled end of the Sephora brush for bronzer, and the Real Techniques brush for blush. They're really the perfect duo!

That concludes my 2013 beauty favorites! What have been your favorite products this year?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

I was looking through my Instagram earlier and thought a year-end post was in order!

Some highlights of 2013:
  • Going to DisneyWorld with my mom and cousins
  • Doing the walk to fund Arthritis research with my family
  • Signing up at the gym and losing 15 pounds
  • Having a fun and relaxing summer at home
  • Getting an A+ in my media production class (for 2 consecutive semesters!)
  • Going ziplining with my friends in the fall
  • Seeing my brother succeed in school
  • Getting a new job in a children's library
  • Expanding the list of meals I can cook
  • Moving to our new home
Things to look forward to in 2014:
  • Starting a new internship in the Winter semester
  • Being a bridesmaid in my cousin's wedding
  • Designing and decorating my new room
  • Continuing going to the gym and eating better
  • Blogging more often with better quality content
Overall, I'm really pleased with how 2013 turned out and I'm excited for 2014. Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas & Boxing Day Haul 2013

Hey everyone! Happy belated Christmas to all those who celebrate :) I hope you all had a great holiday.  I thought I'd mix in my Boxing Day purchases with my Christmas gifts considering most of what I got was purchased with gift cards haha.

My friends and I always do a gift exchange over the holidays, and this year I received a little Occitane gift set containing all the products on the left of the photo above. Included were mini versions of their Almond Shower Oil (which I've been wanting to try for so long!), Jasmin & Bergamote body milk, Pivoine Flora shower gel, two different sizes of their hand cream, Lavender bubble bath, Anti-aging "Immortelle" cream, and Extra gentle soap.

I also got the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush scrub and body butter which smells SO GOOD. The scent is sweet lime. Can't wait to start using them.

My dad got me a new hair straightener which I didn't really need but appreciate anyway. My current one is starting to get a little crusty and this one looks really high-tech, so I'm happy with it.

My little brother got me two Bath & Body Works candles, Cinnamon & Clove Buds, and Eucalyptus Mint.

My mom got me the amazing red YSL lipstick that I've been wanting. I know it's redundant, but it must be said: THE PACKAGING is incredible. My dad got me a MAC giftcard so I picked up "Instigator" from their new Punk Couture collection along with Night Moth lip liner. It's insanely dark but I love it.

I also got a new Sephora Formula X nail polish in "Boom". It has baby blue flecks that cluster when you apply the nail polish. It seems really cool so I'll try it out soon and post a review.

On Boxing Day I picked up the Laura Mercier Artist Eyes palette. I knew I needed this palette after seeing it on Makeup and Beauty Blog. She mentions that the eyeshadows are easy to over-blend, but I don't foresee that being a problem. I thought the look she created was phenomenal. I also got two of the Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes eyeshadow sticks which were on offer 2 for $12.

My mom also got me the Diptyque Noisetier candle. It's a very crisp spa-like scent, perfect for when you're taking a bath I think :)

My cousin got me this awesome red beanie that I've been wearing every day since Christmas so far. I haven't worn a hat in so long that I forgot how cozy they are. I also got many gift cards including ones for The Bay, Sephora and Mac.

Not pictures above are this amazing oversize knit sweater from Top Shop that I got for 50% off on Boxing Day, as well as a Boogie Board that my mom thought would be cute to get me.

That's it! I'm really pleased with my gifts and am so thankful for all of them. Happy holidays!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Wishlist 2013: Non-Beauty

Hey everyone! I thought I'd whip up a part 2 of my Christmas list to give you all some ideas for gifts to buy family/friends. Enjoy!

Canon DSLR: To be honest, I don't care which version, as long as it shoots in 1080p. I also don't care if it's secondhand. I just really want a nice DSLR for blogging and school purposes.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones: This exact model is kinda pricey, but I love the way it looks with the brown padding. This could also be a good gift for a man you need to buy for. But really, any noise cancelling headphones work. Just don't buy me Beats because I'm not Justin Bieber.

Jockery mini Portable iPhone charger: Anyone who has an iPhone (or phone that uses a USB charger) could find this handy. This one is relatively small and lightweight, and is good for a full charge. Super useful.

Macbook Pro decal: There are some really beautiful and inexpensive Macbook decals on Etsy. I chose this one because it would compliment by blue Incase quite nicely. My second choice are these Mickey Mouse hands, so cute!

Photojojo Lens Set: This is kind of geeky, but these Photojojo external iPhone lenses look soo nice. Perfect for any Instagram-obsessed person in your life!

Minecraft: Sometimes the 12 year-old boy in me emerges and I feel the need to play something like Minecraft. Unfortunately I feel like a big nerd paying $26.95 for a computer game so I've never hit "purchase"! Please, Santa?

Ikea wooden hangers: I intend on doing a full closet overhaul in my new room, and the first step are these wooden hangers from Ikea. Eight hangers for $5.99 is the cheapest I've seen them. Also I feel like anyone who uses wooden hangers really has their life together... Or is that just me?

Reclaimed wood tray: I'm obsessed with anything wooden (see above), and these reclaimed wood trays are just calling my name. I would probably use them as shelving instead of trays. For $16.41 on Etsy they seem really affordable too!

Neom or Diptyque candle: I think it's time to expand my candle collection beyond Bath & Body Works. A luxury candle for Christmas would be amazing. They sell these at Holt Renfrew, but I'm not sure which scent I'd want, so a gift card works too ;)

Simple silver ring: I've been wearing my high school grad ring for four years now and it's really time I upgrade. Nothing too fancy - something simple that won't tarnish works. I love the braid detail on this one.

Prescription Ray Ban sunglasses: I'd rather not be blinded when I'm driving so a pair of prescription sunglasses has become incredibly necessary.

Contacts: It's not that I don't love my glasses, but sometimes I'd like to have the option of wearing contacts - like to the gym, nights out, etc.

Crest Whitestrips: The last time I got my teeth whitened was at the end of high school and I feel like I need a refresher. These "gentle" Crest Whitestrips should to the trick.

Spa gift card: I don't care where, I don't care how expensive or inexpensive, I just really need a massage and a pedicure. Santa, help a girl out.

Topshop/The Bay gift card: So TopShop recently opened near my house and I've been meaning to check it out. A gift card would be lovely!

Sephora/Mac gift card: You can never go wrong with new makeup, as you might have guessed from part 1 of my wishlist.

And that's it! Hope you got some ideas :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holiday Goodie Bag Giveaway WINNER

Hey everyone! It's the 1st of December which means it's time to announce my giveaway winner!

I first wanted to thank everyone who entered. I know the concept of the surprise goodie bag can be a hit or miss, but I'm really pleased with the turnout. To those of you who started following Abundance of Erica because of the giveaway: I hope you stick around! I'm trying to expand by blog all the time and will surely have another giveaway in the future.

And the winner is... Jin S.!

Congratulations Jin! I will be emailing you shortly in order to find out your shipping address :) And thanks again to all those who participated.