Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best of 2014!!

It is the actual last day of 2014!!! This year has been a hell and a half for me, in the best kind of way. I put in a lot of work this year and I think in so many ways, it's been a success. I got pretty awesome grades, traveled quite a bit, got to present at a conference, started a new job, and most importantly, started this blog where I get to share my thoughts with all of you lovely people! Thank you so much to anyone that has been reading my posts or is following me, it honestly means the world to me. :) I've managed to narrow today's post down to my top ten products of 2014, spanning a variety of different categories. A lot of these products are products I've used daily this year, and have yet to talk about here. So with that, let's get on with it!

1) MALIN + GOETZ Mojito Lip Balm ($12.00)- I got this product in my very first Ipsy bag, in December 2013, and have honest to God used this product every single day since. This lip balm is super moisturizing and thick, making it the perfect lip balm for before bed. It also smells awesome, and I will definitely be repurchasing very soon. I think this product is well worth the price, I've been using mine for a full year and am just now hitting the bottom of the tube. That's literally a dollar a month!

2) Nars Laguna Bronzer ($38.00)- Picking my bronzer of the year was probably the most difficult decision in this entire post. I found so many this year that I truly loved for different reasons (top five bronzer post anyone?) but I ultimately decided to go with the cult classic. This bronzer was the first high end makeup purchase I ever made, and as you can see, we've been through quite a bit together. No matter how many bronzers I found myself loving this year, I've consistently gone back to old reliable here.

3) The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub (discontinued?)- It looks like this scent has been discontinued! How heartbreaking!! To be fair, I picked this scrub up a while ago, early this year, and it was already on clearance then. The thing I liked most about this scrub was that it was gentle enough to use everyday. The raspberry smell was sweet but not at all overwhelming, which was nice, as I'm not the biggest raspberry lover in the first place. I'll miss this scrub when it's empty, for sure.

It looks just like jam!

4) Our Moment by One Direction ($59.50)- My fragrance pick of the year! This perfume is sweet and pretty, and honestly, I think the scent is just lovely year round; it's well rounded enough that the scent isn't going to go out of season. You know what I mean, some perfumes are so fruity you wouldn't imagine wearing them in winter, or so sultry they're too heavy for spring. This perfume is not one of them. Notes include (but are not limited to) pink grapefruit, red currant, freesia, jasmine, and my all time fave, patchouli. 

5) Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($23)- This is a product I've mentioned in my favorites before, so I'll keep it short and sweet. This is probably my holy grail mascara, and to give the honor of best mascara of 2014 to any other would have been a downright travesty. Enough said!

The fat brush really catches the lashes and pulls them up for insanely full, long lashes!

6) Benefit Gimme Brow in the shade Medium/ Deep ($22)- Another product I've spoken about in my favorites!. I am reaching the end of mine, and although I've told myself I'm going to give the Maybelline dupe a chance, we'll see how long I last. My brow game may not be strong, but it would literally be nonexistent without this product.

7) Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri- Wheat Conditioner ($17.95)- Let me tell you about this product. I got a travel size in an Ipsy bag (January) and the instant change in my hair was amazing. I'm a girl that's ombre-d half her head, and even still, people were stopping me to tell me my hair looked shiny and super healthy. Needless to say I purchased a full size before mine had even run out. I love this product so much, I bought a 3.3 ml spray bottle so I could bring it with me while I traveled. I'm serious about this stuff, guys. I know it's only been a year, and maybe its too soon, but I think maybe this product could be the one.

8) Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette ($29.00)- I know there's been a lot of hype about the Basics 2 since it was released this year, but I've got to say, nothing beats the original. It's got every shade you could need, and for $29, you just can't beat the quality of these shadows. The only downside is the shades are almost exclusively matte, so if shimmer or metallic is your aesthetic, this palette may not be for you. I used the shade Naked 2 almost exclusively over the summer, and the colors are all super versatile so you can create a multitude of looks with them. :)

9) Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover ($9.50)- This is definitely one of those aforementioned products that has silently been a life-saver all year long. It's basically a little tub and when you open it, there's a sponge soaked in nail polish remover, and you simply stick your finger in the tub and it dissolves your nail polish. I tried to get a good shot of the inside of the product, but it was too dark. Just, trust me on this. If you have a chance to pop into a Sephora, give it a go. You won't regret it. Painting your nails just got a million times easier.

10) L'Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation in the shade W5 Sand Beige ($12.99)- In the many months that I couldn't afford to purchase the YSL Touche Eclat foundation, thus dupe was my lifesaver. It gives the same, dewy, radiant kind of finish, and also comes in a huge range of shades. The whole Lumi line from L'Oreal is awesome, particularly if you're someone who likes a dewy finish rather than a matte one. This is definitely one of my favorite drug store foundations ever!

And we made it! If you made it through all of this, thanks for sticking with me! I'd love to hear what you guys have been loving this year, so be sure to let me know! I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and I can't wait for everything 2015 brings us.

Stay beautiful!!
- Whit

December Faves!!

I can't believe it's almost the end of 2014!! What a year. I'll try to save all my sentimentality until my best of 2014 post though :) This last month, I've been trying a lot of different products and I thought today I'd share with you guys some of my most used ones.

1) L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara ($7.99)- The first time I tried this mascara, back over the summer, I'll be honest, I really hated it. I felt like it was just really unnecessarily clumpy, and at the time, that really bothered me. Fast forward a few months, and I heard Alex from I COVET THEE talking about how it was one of her all time favorite mascaras, so I gave it another go. I don't know if the mascara just needed to sit in the tube for a bit, or if my eyelash preferences have changed, but I'm a total convert. I literally used this mascara every day of December! It is quite clumpy, so if that's not your aesthetic I completely understand, but I kind of dig it, because I think it makes your lashes look fuller and makes them look like, luscious and mysterious. Like a Kardashian.

2) Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($5.99)- Basically, this sponge is the budget version of the beauty blender. Don't let the price point fool you though- it's a really awesome alternative! I love using it for foundation because it really gives a flawless, natural kind of finish. It does take a bit more prep than say, a brush would, but I really think its worth it to put in the extra minute or two to get that airbrushed look! What I like to do is run it under water and let it absorb/ ring it out while I'm brushing my teeth in the morning, then get dressed, and come back to apply my foundation after. Mine is way past it's prime; I won't let you in on just how disgustingly old it is, but don't worry, I'll definitely be purchasing a shiny new one first thing next year!

3) NYX Love in Rio Eye Shadow Palette in the shade Meet Me at the Copa ($6.00)- In typical Whitney fashion, I received this eye shadow palette in an Ipsy bag... last March. However, the amount of usage I've got out of it I'd say makes up for the time lag. It's made up of three neutrals, a champagne, a light brown, and a smokey grey, and it's just a really lovely, no fuss kind of palette. The colors are shimmery but are neutral enough for everyday wear. My only complaint is the staying power/ color pay off isn't mind blowing- but apply these shades over a base you're good to go! 

Swatches go from right to left! (on the palette)

4) Nest Midnight Fleur Rollerball ($25.00)- I picked up a travel size of this rollerball in a trio I purchased on Black Friday (you can find that haul here!), but I definitely think when it runs out I'll be picking up a full size. I love this product so much, that despite receiving the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black rollerball for my birthday (a scent I've been lusting after), I've still been using it everyday. Notes are black amber, patchouli, night-blooming jasmine, and vanilla orchid, giving it a kind of sensual, sophisticated scent, while still being very sweet. In all realness though, I think I'm just a sucker for patchouli.

5) Be a Bombshell Cosmetics The One Stick in the shade Sunset ($16)- Speaking of receiving Ipsy products and letting them sit for months and months... I got this in my Ipsy bag in December of 2013. A full year ago! In my defense, this product intimidated me a bit. The One Stick conceptually can be used for lips, cheeks or eyes- so all the colors are extremely pigmented. The shade sunset in particular is described as a deep coral, and when I first received it it wasn't a shade I was crazy about having on my eyelids (still, same),  not a good fit for my lips, and too much to have on my cheeks. I'm older now, and wiser; but even still, a little bit goes a long way. I like to take the littlest smudge on my stippling brush and blend it onto the apples of my cheeks, and often times, the color is so much I only have to do this once every other day. It does give a lovely winter kind of flush when used correctly though!

That's one hell of a swatch, am I right?

And here we are, at the end of my favorites! This one was a bit wordy, but this month I really did try an amalgam of products, and the ones I ended up picking to share with you I had a lot to say on. If you've found a product you really loved this month, I'd love to know about it! :) And with that, I hope you guys had very happy holidays and a great 2014. I'll see you tomorrow for a best of 2014 recap. 

Stay beautiful!!
- Whit  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Organizing My Makeup Collection!!!

Hey guys, I hope you're all well! Today, in an attempt to organize my life (as I'm hoping to do in 2015) I ran out to Target and purchased a three drawer cabinet, and finally, FINALLY have begun to attempt to organize my makeup collection. While it is a long way from being done, I'm pretty happy with the headway I've made. Hopefully, I'll perfect the system and work out the kinks as my collection continues to grow. :) Nail polishes, you're next!!

I've put all of my mascaras, eyeliners, and single eye shadows/ bases in the first drawer. I placed all of my eyeliners in a little tray, and while it's not the cutest, it does seem to be doing the job. I never realized how many neutral colored single eye shadows I'd accumulated until now! 

In the second drawer I've got my palettes, as well as eye shadow quads, trios, etc. I've also thrown all my lip products into a second pink tray!

Of all my drawers, I am least impressed with my last drawer. I knew that I wanted to put all of my face products in it; the struggle was in figuring out how to separate them out. Fingers crossed that I figure out a more elegant way to do this! If you've got any suggestions, leave me a comment because I could definitely use them :) But for now, I've placed all of my powders and bronzers in one section, placed all of my foundations/ primers/ bb creams in a pencil case, all of my concealers and highlighters in an ipsy bag, and lastly my blushes opposite the powders.  

And that's it! It felt awesome to go through my makeup collection and systematize it, at least a little bit. It was also really cool to go through my whole collection and see just how many pieces I have! Everything's there except for the bits I've separated out for everyday use, and maybe I'll make a post showing you guys those pieces soon :) I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday, and if you're still celebrating, I hope you're having a blast! I'll talk to you guys soon!

Stay beautiful!!
- Whit

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Glossybox Reveal!

I have been slacking!!! Hopefully, after the holidays I fall into more of a routine when it comes to posting. I hope you have all been having lovely holiday seasons! My December Glossybox came (yes, another box subscription, I have no control) and it's full of some really great products. I'll be sure to leave a link down below if you're interested in checking it out!

The Glossybox packaging is so cute, it's like a little present!

1) Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute ($32)- I've gotten so many masks lately! Though I guess really, it's one of those things you can never have too many of. This one smells really nice and it's awesome to have received a full size product :) It claims to soothe, rehydrate, and relax the skin, and those are all things I feel my skin could definitely use.

2) Toni&Guy Prep Leave in Conditioner ($9.99)- Toni&Guy is a brand I've heard a lot of hype about, but have yet to try. I'll be honest, I feel like if I was someone who styled their hair or used heat on it more often, this would be really awesome to have, but seeing as I'm a night shower-er, I don't feel as though I'm reaping the full benefits. But again, it's really cool to have gotten a full size and I'm sure I'll find a use for it one way or another!

3) Ciate Tree Trinket in the color Yule Rules ($10)- This is the prettiest turquoise/ sparkle color! I never seem to finish nail polishes either, so I was glad to get the mini size. I've never tried a Ciate nail polish, but I've always been excited to, so I'll let you know how I like it!

4) BellaPierre Mineral Lipstick in Burlesque ($19.99)- I was upset that this lipstick came a bit smushed when I opened it! Other than that though, the color and formulation are lovely. It's not quite the bright red the name would lead you to believe it'd be though, it's more of a pinky-magenta. It's cute though, and I like it!

5) Rituals Miracle Scrub ($17)- Another full size product! This is a hand scrub, which I know for a fact I will get a lot of use out of. It's kind of one of those products I wouldn't go out of my way to buy for myself, but I'm definitely glad to have gotten it!

I've got to say, with the exception of the nail polish, every product in this box was full size, which is really impressive, especially seeing as the box is only $21/ a box. If you're interested in checking it out, you can click here! 

Only 2 hours now until my birthday (Christmas Eve!) and I'm stoked! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and eat a lot of food :) Be sure to let me know in the comments what you guys are hoping for this year! I'll talk to you soon.

Stay beautiful!
- Whit

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December Ipsy Review!

Hey guys! I've been slacking, my Ipsy bag arrived a few days ago, and I'm just now getting around to posting about it. Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription, and for $10 a month, you receive 5 deluxe/ full size beauty products and a customized for Ipsy makeup bag :) I'll have a link down below if you're interested. So, without further ado, let's get into it!

Look at that Glossybox spoiler!

1) Cailyn Cosmetics Just Mineral Eye Polish in the shade Orchid ($15)- This eyeshadow is freaking gorgeous! I've worn it everyday since I've gotten it. It's the prettiest champagne color, and the staying power is awesome as well. Typically the problem with mineral makeup is that it gets everywhere, but the little sponge tip applicator that comes with the eyeshadow completely eliminates that problem. I like to just sponge a bit on, and then blend it out (and it blends out so nicely!). I'm definitely a fan. 

2) Beauty Without Cruelty A.H.A 3% Facial Cleanser ($2.99)-  I haven't had a chance to try this cleanser out yet, but cleanser is one of those products that I don't mind stocking up on!

3) NYX Butter Lip Balm in the shade Marshmallow ($4)- The lip balm version of the iconic butter glosses! Marshmallow is the pure nude shade, so I truly can't complain, and the formulation is awesome. I have seen the colored ones as well, and they are also lovely!

4) Style Sexy Hair 450 Blow Out Heat Defense Blow Dry Spray ($18.95 for a full size)- Normally I wouldn't be excited about a Blow Dry Spray, but because it is the one time of the year I tend to blow dry my hair, the timing can't couldn't be better! I'll keep you posted on how I get on with this, but I love the Healthy Sexy Hair line, so I have high hopes!

5) Deluxe Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara ($10)- A tried and trued fave! I love Tarte, and it's always nice to see high end products in these bags. I've tried the waterproof version of this mascara, so I'm sure I'll love the non-waterproof original!

 And that was it for this month! This bag marks my one year anniversary with Ipsy :) It's been an awesome year and I've gotten some really amazing products out of Ipsy, so if you're thinking about getting it, I'd definitely recommend it! Here is a link if you are interested :) 

I'll talk to you guys real soon, stay beautiful!!!
- Whit