SLIDER

wear now & later: cords

1.27.2016

Part of the reason I've been piss poor at posting outfits lately is because I'm in a style rut. And for that I blame winter. At the beginning of the season it's all fun and games; you get to bring back your favorite boots and oversized sweaters. Plus, you can forgo shaving for quite some time without fear of unintentionally exposing your hairy legs to the world. Finally the new year swings around and you start getting tired of the short days, the monotony of having to layer all the time, and the need to lug around a coat everywhere that you go.

At least that's how it goes for me.

On the plus side, the whole being forced indoors because of freezing temperatures and almost 3 feet of snow schtick has allowed me to justify all the time spent window shopping--online and at the mall. In the spirit of closet versatility, I've been eyeing pieces that I can wear now in the mountains of snow but also later on in the spring.

A material that's caught my eyes for its popularity in f/w '15 pieces is *cues drumroll* corduroy! To some extent corduroy summons images of professors stuffed into ill-fitted blazers, but it can also be incredibly chic! After my extensive perusing, I've found corduroy pieces of all types perfect for wearing now and later; now worn with various knits and layered over turtlenecks and later worn with light t-shirts or billowy, boho blouses. Seeing how they fit perfectly in with so many preexisting pieces in my closet, I'm shocked I haven't jumped on the corduroy trend train earlier!




left: asos romper, right: asos pinafore dress (also available in petite, plus, & maternity)

left: pinterest, right: sincerely jules
similar cord flares by: urban outfitters, free peoplej brand (on sale)







left: topshop unique, right: chloé fall 2015 rtw



shop more cord pieces below:


new garnier miceller waters review + comparison

1.18.2016

While I don't think I could pick a singular ultimate all-time favorite skincare product, Bioderma's sensibio micellar water would be a strong contender. Last time around this year I did a comparison post between Bioderma's, Sephora's and Simple's micellar waters, which you can read here.

Then at the end of last year, they finally released the Garnier micellar water here in the US. After hearing about it time and time again from international blogs, of course I had to track it down. Since I have had them both for about a month now, I thought I would share a review.

Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water review, Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water waterproof review

Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water
- $19.99 for 500 ml at Beautylish
- $.04/ mL
-Ingrendients: Water (Aqua), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Propylene Glycol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water
- 400 mL-- Price varies on where you buy it. CVS and Walgreens stores near me were selling it for 9.97. Online it's 8.99 at CVS, Walgreens, and Ulta and 6.97 at Target and Wal-Mart.
- Depending on where you buy it, $.017- $.025/ mL
- Original Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Hexylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Disodium EDTA, Poloxamer 184, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide Fil B162919/3
- Waterproof Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isohexadecane, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Hexylene Glycol, Dipotassium Phosphate, Disodium Edta, Decyl Glucoside, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide. F.I.L.# D178190/1

First up is an eyeliner swatch test. I used the three products to remove some swatches of Urban Decay's 24/7 glide-on eye pencil in LSD.

Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water review, Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water swatch, Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water test, Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water comparison
 I did 10 swipes on each one. Both the bioderma and waterproof garnier waters left a teensy bit of glitter on my arm, and then the garnier original formula left  a bit of color.

Next I decided to test out each one's ability to remove face makeup.



The first column of cotton pads I used are with the corresponding micellar waters. The second column of cotton pads I used are with my Kiehl's toner because none of the micellar waters remove 100% of my makeup. I would say with this test bioderma came in 1st place (as it has the cleanest second cotton pad), garnier waterproof in a close 2nd, and garnier original in 3rd.

While technically speaking the waterproof version is a micellar water (aka it uses tiny oil particles suspended in water to sweep away debris from your skin) it isn't what I think of as a micellar water in the colloquial sense. You have to shake it up before you use it and in all honesty, I consider it a makeup remover instead of a micellar water. I think they were just taking advantage of the whole micellar water trend and decided "what the hell, we're releasing one micellar water, let's just call this one a micellar water too to cash in on this beauty trend."

Formula wise, the first three ingredients of the waterproof version are identical to their 2-in-1 waterproof makeup remover which again, makes me think calling it a micellar water was a marketing move.

While it did splendidly well in removing my waterproof makeup, I prefer not to use it on my face because it does leave a bit of a residue (which isn't surprising because most waterproof eye makeup removers do.)

Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water comparison, Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water waterproof


Final thoughts? I ended up returning the waterproof version because as I stated above, I think it's more of a waterproof eye makeup remover and I don't need that. Even though the original version didn't 100% match up to Bioderma, it's still a keeper. It's gentle, fragrance free, didn't break me out, didn't leave any sort of residue, and did a pretty good job at removing my face makeup. I would also like to add that I like this 10x more than the Simple micellar water (see why in my review.)

Thanks to its $7 price tag, I am totally happy to give the original version a place on my vanity next to my beloved Bioderma.

great expectations

1.15.2016

This skirt is another one of those pieces that I had such high, high hopes for, only for them to fall completely flat. I remember spying the skirt in the display window of Loft, on my birthday, and loving it right away. Even though it was my birthday, I resisted buying it because it wasn't on sale because I'm practically allergic to buying items at retail prices. Then later on in the summer when it went on sale, I snatched it up without trying it on.

Unfortunately it did not live up to the dream. It's ill-fitting (which is partially my fault since I could have sized up) and wrinkles the second I decide to sit down (which is quite often because I'm a fat*ss.)

Thanks to some photoshop magic, I was able to clean up this skirt to make it closer to what I had originally envisioned it in my head. Not only were a lot of wrinkles photoshopped out, but the top button was also photoshopped in. I didn't realize until after looking at the photos on my camera that the top button had popped open mid shoot. It happens, and that's why we have photoshop!

On a side note, I was thinking of doing some easy photoshop/ photography tutorials but couldn't decide on the exact topic. If you have any ideas/ requests please share in the comments!


cropped sweater: forever 21, skirt: loft (similar on sale at asos), booties: zara (similar for less than $50 at asos), lipstick: nars audrey (also available at sephoranordstromsaksneimansbarneys)

button down skirt, military green, loft midi skirt, midi skirt, striped cropped sweater, forever 21, zara patent booties

forever 21 striped crop sweater, cropped sweater outfit, cropped sweater look

2015 beauty favorites

1.11.2016



I wasn't sure if it was too late into January to post a favorites of 2015 post, but considering I read/ watched some 2015 favorites posts/ videos this weekend I figured I wasn't too late.

It seems that everyone does yearly favorites slightly differently. Personally when I was narrowing down what products would qualify for a highly coveted spot on my top beauty products of 2015 list, I had two stipulations:
1) I must have purchased the product at the end of 2014 or the first three quarters of 2015. It just didn't seem fair to claim a product I used for a month or two as a yearly favorite, despite how much I loved it.
2) They must have been a new purchase for me for the year of 2015 aka I couldn't have purchased it before 2015.

Now onto the mini reviews!

Hair
Klorane Dry Shampoo: sold at sephora, net-a-porter, birchbox, folica, amazon
I'm not sure how many bottles of this dry shampoo I went through in 2015, but it was definitely nearing the double digits. Not only does it make my greasy roots disappear, but it also brushes sooo easily into my black hair. Actually I don't even need to brush it in, a quick tousle with my fingers is all that's needed for it to blend seamlessly into my hair.

DevaCurl Styling Cream: sold at sephora, ulta, target, nordstrom, birchbox, dermstore
I talked about this product earlier in the year before I chopped my hair (you can read that review here.) Now that it has grown a bit longer I've been reaching for it again. On days when I don't want to fuss over my hair, I distribute a few pumps of this through my damp hair. The result is a less frizzy, more defined version of my naturally curly hair. Another plus is that it smells absolutely delicious!

Skincare
Nuxe Reve De Miel Lip Balm: sold at urban, target, birchbox, beauty.com, dermstore
$20 is pretty pricey for a lip balm in my book, but that hasn't stopped me from repurchasing this baby 2 or 3 times this year. The thick, waxy texture of this balm is unlike any other lip product I've tried. The unique formula hydrates my chronically dry lips like a dream. When I remember to slather it on my lips before going to bed, I wake up with soft, plump lips.

Philosophy Purity Cleanser: sold at sephora, ulta, nordstrom, beauty.com, dermstore, macy's
This is my holy grail facial cleanser. I use it in the morning, in the night, with my clarisonic, with my foreo luna, in the summer, in the winter. I basically just use it all the freakin' time. While I do have other face washes, this is the only one I use year round since it's perfect in dealing with both oily and dry skin. The one thing it isn't perfect for is washing off makeup, but that's a small downside in my book.


Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment: sold at sephora, birchbox, nordstrom
2015 was the year I ventured into higher end skincare, and it doesn't get much higher end than glamglow (at least for me it doesn't.) This mask is almost magical in its ability to suck oil, blackheads, and all sorts of other gunk out of my pores. It also works as a nice overnight treatment on any emerging pimples (ew.)

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: sold at birchbox, target, bloomingdales, dermstore, beauty.com
In all the facial oils that I tried in 2015, this was the only one that didn't cause me to breakout. I like to mix a few drops in with another lotion for a instantly moisturizing, lux overnight face mask. I also use it  on the ends of my hair after applying leave in conditioner to help lock int he moisture. Yay for a dual purpose product!

Sephora Instant Moisturizer: sold at sephora
I feel like I talk about this in every single beauty post so I'll leave it at this: this moisturizer + dry skin = no mo' dry skin.



Makeup
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer: sold at sephora, ulta, nordstrom, macy's, beauty.com
This was the first primer I've ever purchased and as I'm writing this, I'm wondering how the hell I ever wore makeup in the past without wearing a primer. It extends the longevity of any face makeup and makes my makeup apply a much more smoothly. One of my biggest makeup pet peeves is patchy, almost shriveled up makeup and wearing this primer helps solve that problem. In the new year I've been testing out some new primers but I've still been reaching for this guy on days when my skin isn't dry.

Lorac Mega Pro Palette
There was a whole fiasco with the release of this palette last holiday season (2014) but by chance I was able to snag one off Amazon at the last moment and boy am I glad I did. Thanks to the vast array of colors found in this this palette, I didn't buy any eyeshadow in all of 2015. Albeit I don't wear eyeshadow all that often, but when I do it's almost always from this palette.

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Audrey: sold at sephora, nordstrom, saks, beauty.com, neimans, barneys, bloomingdales
Nars hands down makes the best lip products in my humble opinion, and if I could I would own every audacious lipstick because the formula is ah-maze-ing. They're long lasting, pigmented, and not at all drying. Audrey is described by Sephora as a "red currant"... and if you're like me and don't know what is, I would describe it as a dark, rosy red.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Sultry: sold at target, drugstore.com, ulta
This is the lipstick that launched my love for all things mauvey lips. It's matte without being drying and the color is sooo beautiful. You can read my post from last year here, where I have swatches of it.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion: sold at sephora, ulta, macy's, beauty.com
It seems like 2015 was the year of primer for me. As I mentioned above, I don't wear eyeshadow all that often but I do wear eyeliner on most days. Because my eyes are on the precipice of being hooded, eyeliner on my top lid has a tendency to rub onto my brow-bone area. The solution? Applying this primer before applying my eyeliner-- then my eyeliner lasts all day long without smudging.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation in 6.5: sold at sephora, nordstrom, saks, bloomingdales
I want to say that I've got a weird skin tone and find it impossible to find foundation/ concealer that perfectly matches, but it seems like everyone has that same exact problem. This foundation is the only one I've tried that matches my skin tone flawlessly. Overall I think the range of colors they have is expansive. On top of that, the finish is very skin-like and light and works well with both my dry and oily skin. While I do prefer applying most makeup with brushes/ sponges, I appreciate that I can quickly sweep this across my face with my fingers.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC35: sold at macmacy's, nordstrom, bloomingdales
This concealer somehow manages to be really lightweight while also providing a fuller coverage. The best part of this concealer is its ability to conceal bumpy pimples. Usually I avoid concealing any "fresh" pimples because a) that isn't going to help it heal b) makeup can look patchy over them thus attracting even more attention to the blemish. Thankfully this concealer doesn't cause either of those problems.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner: sold at sephora, ulta, urban, nordstrom, beauty.com
Winged liner became part of my "signature look" in 2015 and more often than not it was thanks to this eye liner. It's a deep, deep black, applies easily, lasts all day long, and best of all-- the tube doesn't dry out! I do wish it was a bit more matte and dried a bit quicker after application. But overall it still gets a thumbs up from me.



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