Loving on Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day I thought that I’d share a few things that I’ve been loving recently. Because the number of books I’ve enjoyed would be far too large for a single post*, these favorites are primarily food and beauty related.

Bunheads Dancers

Bunheads

First up, a television show that has quickly made its way to the top of my “must watch” list. Bunheads is the newest offering from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman Palladino. It centers around a showgirl (Sutton Foster) who has moved to a small town and taken over the dance school. Bunheads has all the elements that made Gilmore Girls so beloved: quirky characters, fast-paced dialogue, witty references and lovely musical cues. For those who loved Gilmore Girls, Bunheads is like a trip back home to Stars Hollow complete with some familiar faces.

DaVinci Flavor Syrup

Vanilla and Hazelnut Syrup

I spotted these at Sam’s Club whilst I was home for the holidays and I’ve been using them ever since. Though not quite as good as a Starbucks latte, coffee with these babies is pretty darn great. They’re the perfect morning indulgence!

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

I can’t take the credit for this discovery – one of my favorite youtubers raves about it all the time! This powder is incredible at setting makeup without making you look too cakey. Best of all, coming in at under $6 you can’t beat the price.

Revlon Colorstay Foundation

Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin

Another great drugstore product, this foundation easily outperforms the high-end foundations I’ve tried in the past year (I’m looking at you Smashbox!) If you’re looking for a lightweight foundation this is NOT it! However, for someone who wants a foundation that will last all day with a medium coverage it’s the cat’s pajamas.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal

Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded and Inked in Pink

I’ve been looking for a good dupe for the MAC paint pots for quite some time. These new offering from Maybelline might be the silver bullet – they’re gorgeous and long-wearing. Unlike their regular Color Tattoo counterparts, these two shades are very neutral and wearable for everyday.

 Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Cavaliere

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in # 65 Cavaliere

The nude lip trend looks absolutely amazing on some but it just makes me look washed out. This lipstick from Chanel is the perfect solution – a hint of neutral color that allows my natural pink undertones to shine through.

Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me

Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me

Another great “your lips but better” product! Cherry Me looks exactly as the name suggests: like you’ve had a cherry popsicle. The formula is very moisturizing making it great for throwing in your back pocket or purse.

 

What have you been loving lately?

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*Keep your eyes out for “The Library of Alexandra Book Awards” next month!

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Beauty Post: Holiday VoxBox

Since there was such a good response to my holiday beauty posts (here and here), I thought I’d start writing a few more posts dedicated to beauty. Lucky for me I received the Holiday VoxBox* from Influenster last week, full of bits and bobs to review!

Holiday VoxBox

 

What’s inside this box of wonders you ask?

  1. Goody Quikstyle Paddle Brush: This brush has specially designed bristles to help blow dry your hair more quickly. Though I didn’t time a typical hair session, the brush seemed to take a few minutes off of my overall styling time. My only critique is about the shape of the brush; since I usually blow dry with a round brush it was a little bit difficult to switch to a paddle. That being said, if the brush was available in a round version I’d snatch it right up!
  2. NYC New York Liquid Color Lipshine in Nude York City: I hate lip gloss. It’s sticky, smelly, doesn’t hydrate as well as lip balm, and isn’t as pigmented as lipstick. However, this lip gloss definitely did something right because I’ve found myself reaching for it every day since I got it. The smell is a little off-putting — a little like warm vanilla sugar.
  3. Kiss Nail Dress in Champagne: Having never tried stick on nails these were an exercise in patience. The color was nice but after tearing two — due to my ineptitude  not the product — I was forced to surrender or be left with unfinished nails.
  4. Quaker Real Medley Oatmeal in Summer Berry: Easy, quick, delicious. Need I say more? If I wasn’t living on a grad student budget I’d keep my pantry stocked with these.
  5. EBOOST: I’ve never been one for fancy fitness or energy drinks — Earl Grey for me please. While this drink didn’t quite convert me, it’s definitely worth a second look for anyone who likes a little fruity flavor. EBOOST had a very pleasant flavor and was a nice pick-me-up on a long afternoon.

 

*Holiday Voxbox was provided by Influenster and the companies mentioned above. All opinions are my own.

Christmas 2012: Harry Potter

I couldn’t end my Christmas gift guides without mentioning the great Harry Potter products available out there! I’m such a Potter-head so I find things everywhere that relate (seriously, check out my pinterest board). Here are a few favorites:



Hogwarts Crest Alumni Tshirt

1. Hogwarts Alumni T-Shirt: Because who doesn’t wish they’d attended the coolest school on earth?

Hogwarts Tea Set

2. Hogwarts Crest Tea Set: Every girl needs a tea set, why not make it Potter themed? This one is house inclusive so that when your Hufflepuff friends come to visit they’ll feel included.

Polyjuice Flask

3. Polyjuice Hip Flask: For those of us who grew up on Potter, we’re ready for something a little stronger than tea. Here’s the solution to your adult beverage Potter needs.

Accio Brain Cozy

4. Accio Travel Mug Cozy: Continuing with the drink theme, this cozy will keep your beverage warm until it works its magic!

Book Title Sweatshirt

5. Book Title Pullover: Wear your heart on your sleeves, or at least the way to your heart, siriusly.

All Was Well necklace

6. “All Was Well” necklace: The series may be over but the magic doesn’t have to be. Wear this necklace as a reminder the books that started it all!

Owl Post Box

7. Owl Post Gift Box: Finally, the perfect thing to deliver your HP themed gift to that special someone. Owl delivery not included.

Christmas 2012: Fragrance Wishlist

The wish lists just keep coming folks! Since I moved to my new apartment near UNC, I’ve been loving fragrance. I wasn’t allowed to burn candles at Kenyon and my dad hates stinky things in his house so I haven’t had the chance to experiment with wonderful smelling candles and perfumes. Here’s a list of what I want to add to my collection soon:fragrance wishlist

 

1. Charles Dickens’ Library Candle : Candle + Library Scent + Badass Victorian Author = BEST candle ever. It’s homey, woodsy and makes me think of wood-panelled walls and cigars.

2. Chanel Coco Noir: Chanel’s newest fragrance is even more sensuous than No. 5 — need I say more?

3. Jo Malone Wild Fig & Cassis: This would be a good addition to my Jo Malone layering collection — fresh, fruity, with a little spice!

4. Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Candle: I wear this perfume nearly every day and I love the scent so much it’d be perfect for my apartment! It’s spicy and just a little mysterious.

5. Vera Wang Princess: Though I generally prefer more oriental/masculine scents, this girly scent has quickly become a favorite. I received a sample at Nordstrom a few months ago and took it on a trip as an easy-to-pack fragrance. I don’t have a full-sized version of this scent yet and I think a rollerball would be the perfect in purse selection!

6. Winter Night Candle by Bath & Body Works: This fills the house with a fireside scent, perfect for those of us with a gas fireplace!

Christmas 2012: Beauty Wishlist

Now that I’ve shared the books that I want and the books that I recommend, I thought I’d move on to some beauty products I’ve had my eye on all year.

Bioderma Crealine H20

1. Bioderma Crealine H20 (Travel Size):

Since I saw Lisa Eldridge talk about this product in her skin care favorites video, I knew I had to have it! I recently bought the full-size version for home and I’ve been loving it. It’s the only makeup remover I’ve ever tried that doesn’t’ feel greasy and leaves my skin feeling clean. It’s a godsend when I’m too sleepy to take off my makeup and just want to crawl into bed. Unfortunately, the full-size version is just too big to haul around on trips so I would love to have the mini version!

PINCEAU FOND DE TEINT ESTOMPE No7 Blending Foundation Brush

2. Chanel Blending Foundation Brush:

I’ve been on quite the Chanel beauty kick lately and this brush would be the perfect
way to apply my new foundation! It’s fluffy, dries quickly after cleaning and gives a really natural finish to the skin.

Urban Decay Naked Palette

3. Urban Decay Naked Palette:

This little palette has made the rounds on the blogosphere (and youtube) for over a year! The colors
are the perfect neutrals to make any eye color pop and with it you’d never need to buy eyeshadow again!

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4. Clinique Even Better Eyes:

I’ll admit my under eye circles are something of a doozy — without concealer I wake up looking like I had a hard night at the wrestling ring the night before. I’ve used the Clinque All About Eyes Serum since I was in middle school but their new product promises even better results. Santa, please?

Caudalie Serum

5. Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum:

Though I am still too young to go crazy over anti-aging serums, I would love to begin working a basic serum into my nighttime routine. This one promises to fade dark spots and keep them from coming back — music to this former acne sufferer’s ears!


Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream

6. Elizabeth Arden 8-hour Cream:

This one is a cult-classic and I hear it’s definitely worth the hype! A moisturizer that smells divine, absorbs well and softens even the driest skin. It comes in lip, hand, body and face versions — gotta love multipurpose products!

Deborah Lippman Happy Birthday

7. Deborah Lippmann Glitter Nail Polish in Happy Birthday:

I’ve loved this polish since it launched a few years ago but I still haven’t managed to get my hands on a bottle! It’s a great glitter with multi-colored dots — perfect for a birthday party or new years eve.

Check out my other gift guides:

Books on my list

Books I recommend

First Product Review!

Compiling my review portfolio for Kenyon Seminar I realized that I haven’t
done a beauty product review on my blog yet.
So here it goes:

Product: Benefit Erase Paste

Price: $26.00

Packaging: The bottom is a good quality glass and the top is sort of aluminum-like. The color scheme is a little
too girly for my tastes but that’s kind of Benefit’s schtick.

Claims: “This concentrated, creamy concealer brightens and camouflages in one easy step! ”
(from Benefit website)

What I think: This stuff is pretty amazing! I’ve been using it for about a year now and can
confidently say that it covers my under-eye circles very nicely. That being said it isn’t a miracle cream.
For mornings when a little peach-toned concealer isn’t enough I turn to another Benefit product, lemon aid. The two
used in combination can attack any dark circle problem. This stuff is far too thick to use on blemishes, plus it has a peachy
undertone I’m not sure would work too well on them.

Verdict: Buy it!

Has anyone else tried Benefit’s Erase Paste? What did you think?