Monday, October 20, 2014

The Icing Nearly Nude Palette


The other day while strolling through a local shopping mall I found myself in the Icing, drawn in by the sparkly things like a moth to a flame.  Now, I'm not exactly sure when the Icing got a chic new updated, but they are not the Icing I remember from high school.

Once inside, I realized they had quite a large cosmetics area.  At first I didn't even give it a glance but, alas, I ended up sitting on a stool swatching shadows and liners while Michael impatiently looked at me. When the associate told me their cosmetics were buy one get one 50% off, I figured it a good enough excuse to pick up a couple things to test and review.

So, today I'm sharing a review of the Icing Nearly Nude palette. 


This palette retails for $14.50 and has 18 colors, 9 mattes and 9 shimmers.  The palette comes in a cardboard packaging which feels sturdy enough and isn't too bulky.  Nothing elegant but it gets the job done. It comes with a plastic protector sheet which tells you the titles of the shadows.  I find these plastic inserts pointless because who is going to bother to keep that, and without it you don't know the shadows' names.  I'm not sure why they don't just print the names on the packaging.  But, it's a minor detail.

Let's talk shadows.




As mentioned, there are 9 shimmer shades and 9 matte shades and I've found they really vary in formulation. 

The shimmer shadows are almost more like a super packed pigment; very creamy and extremely pigmented.  These shimmer shades blend beautifully and last well, too  Like with all shadows, they last longer with primer, but actually hold up quite nicely without them, too.

The matte shades are a little more hit or miss.  They are not creamy like the shimmers but much more powdery.  The darker colors tend to pack a little more pigment, in general.  The colors are buildable and with a good lid primer they last decently. 

So overall, I'm pleased with this palette.  Considering it is only $14.50, the value is pretty good.  The shimmer shades are amazing, they are creamy and are beautifully pigmented.  The matte shades are a little less faithful but still OK in my book.  I'd definitely recommend this palette.

I picked up another palette while there, so stay tuned for that review when I get a chance to really try out everything from it.

Have you tried any of the Icing cosmetics?

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

How I Updated My Gallery Wall for Under $30 (& how to make cheap wall art!)




So I recently gave my sad looking gallery wall a little update. (Seriously, look at that before, so sad looking!)  I created some super (like super, super) cheap wall art pieces and wanted to share my tricks with you. 

My wall update was spurred by the purchase of Andy (see first photo to see who Andy is.)  He's awesome.  He likes drinking margaritas, having dance parties, and he's good luck if you rub him.  I've clearly already developed an unhealthy attachment to him. 

Either way, I wanted to incorporate him into my gallery wall and it was the perfect opportunity to add some texture and dimension to my wall.  It's still not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome.  I think it's not only more interesting to look at, but also much more fun and is a better representation of my style.





Ok, so let me give you a break down of everything and then I'll take you through a quick tutorial of how to create some of your own wall for mega cheap.

A lot of the pieces I already had in my procession, which helped.  I bought/made the following items for the update:

Andy: $10 - I got him at good old Marshall's.  I'd been eyeing one of these for awhile and when I saw him on the clearance shelf I scooped him up. 

Framed Quotes: $0.50 - No lies, these prints cost nothing and I show you how to make them below. I did buy one new frame for one of them, I got it from JoAnn Fabrics for $4.80.

Instagram-Themed Collage: $5 - I already owned this frame and just used some black paint to update it.  I made and printed the collage, which I show you how to make below!

It's Coffee O'Clock: $0- I already owned all the tools to make this, but they are super cheap to make and very fun. I shared a whole DIY tutorial on how to make these painted lettered canvases you can check it out by clicking here.

Silver Ampersand: $4 - I purchased an unfinished wooden "&" from JoAnn Fabrics for $3 and some change.  I already owned silver spray paint, but it's about $2 a can if you don't have any. Side note: silver spray paint can make SO many things better.

Press for Champagne: $.50- My light switch was in the way and really bugging me.  I decided the only way to fix it was to incorporate it.  I spray painted an old frame silver (see, what did I tell you about that silver spray paint?) and created the "Press for Champagne" graphic using the same technique as for the Framed Quotes (which I show you below.) That's about it.  Now if I can just figure out how to actually make it dispense champagne....

Art Prints: $3- I already owned these, as you can see in the before picture.  But, I have a little trick for getting these cheap so I figured I'd share it.  I picked these prints up at the Detroit Institute of Art when I was in Michigan a ways back. Buying your own art prints is much cheaper and then you can just buy your own frames.  It's way more affordable then buying ones already framed. 

Alright, let me share those two quick tutorials with you!




Step One: Visit picmonkey.com - this is a free website to use. You can also pay to use some of the advanced featured.  Select "design," at the top.


Step Two: Here you can make the design the size you want.  Used fixed proportions to make the area the size of whatever frame you are using.  You can also change the background color here by selecting "canvas color."  I chose black.


Step Three: Click the Tt to get to text. You'll see the PicMonkey texts as well as a tab that says "YOURS."  This section imports all text on your computer.


Step Four: After adding text you can also add graphics by clicking the butterfly.  You can import your own from your computer, or use one of their many options.  I chose the bird and then modified it by making it all white.

Step Five: Save this image to your computer and email (or bring it on a USB) to your local Staples (or print center).  My wall art print cost less than $0.48 to print.  I just had them copy it on regular copy paper since it was going behind glass, but you can also pay a tiny bit more and go for card stock.






Step One: Click "collage" on the PicMonkey homepage and select the pictures you want to use from your computer.

Step Two: You need to make this the right length and width on your own, since their aren't proportion options on collage.  To do this simply visit a inches to pixel converter (like this one) to find out how many pixels wide by how many long you'll need for whatever size frame you're using. (Use 200 DPI or higher for best image quality.)

Step Three: Under collage options, choose square deal.



Step Four:  Start dragging your pictures in.  I wanted all my pictures to be squares, like on instagram, so I dragged in another row. You can do this by simply bringing a photo over and letting it hover above or below a set cell and a new cell will appear.

Step Five:  To make it even more "instagram" like, I wanted all my images to look like they had filters on them.  When you hover over an image and "edit" button appear.  Click this and select "effects."  I chose intrepid for all of mine.  You can also click "open image in editor" to create even more filter options.

Step Six: Make sure your pixels are still correct and save to your desktop.  Just like with the wall art, take this image to a local Staples or print shop and tell them what size you want it printed.  Because mine was larger and in color, it was considered a "poster."  They printed and cut it for me all for under $5. 

That does it. Hope you enjoyed these simple and money saving tips!

Where's your favorite place to buy affordable home decor?

What's the best home decor DIY you've done?
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oh Deer Makeup Tutorial & Halloween Makeup Removal (& Urban Decay Giveaway)

DISCLAIMER / FTC: This post is sponsored by NEUTROGENA® I only recommend products I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) guidelines concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising. Some of the products mentioned were purchased by myself AND/OR some were provided by NEUTROGENA® for this post. #NeutrogenaFaceOff #CollectiveBias




There comes a point in your blogging career where you start to question your sanity.  Did I just really spend three hours making and applying a Halloween costume on a Monday morning?

Oh gurl, yes you just did. 

I spent the majority of the morning hoping the UPS man wouldn't show up while I casually painted my face into a deer.  But, in the end, I think this tutorial came out so stinkin' cute I'm totally over my minor lapse in questioning my sanity.

So in today's Fall Series video, I'm showing you have to easily transform yourself into this cute little deer along with faux ears.  My antlers are just good old cardboard.  I think this would be an awesome couples costume, too, if your partner wanted to dress up as a hunter.  Afterwards I take on a challenge using a single makeup remover towelette to try to remove this entire look!

Oh, and if you love a good pun, you could quickly make this a pun-tastic costume too...


Oh, deer dear, it's a deer do you get it? 

Alright, onto the tutorial.


Now, after you've gotten down and dirty with layers of makeup and paint for your Halloween costume, you're tasked with facing that daunting trouble of taking it all off. *cue dramatic music*


I was challenged to try these Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes to remove my Halloween makeup and figured this a great time to take that challenge. 

Could one sheet really remove all this makeup?




One side removed and not a trace of makeup left. I was pleasantly surprised!


And, the whole face!  No movie magic here guys. It honestly only took one of these towelettes and from Neutragena and 2 minutes to remove this entire face of makeup!


You can pick these bad boys up at your local Walmart, by the way.  I paid less than $7.  I mean, really, $7 for the convenience of one towelette makeup remover? I'll take it. You can also show off your Halloween look and how you use Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes to remove your festive look using #NeutrogenaFaceOff on twitter!
Ok, so, for this week's entry to win the Urban Decay Naked Palette! It's simple, just leave a comment answering this week's question and you're entered!

Here's a few quick notes first: 1. Get one entry by leaving a comment on this post answering the question below. 2. Get a second entry by leaving a comment on the YouTube video here answering the question. 3. Open internationally 4. Must be 18 or older or have a parent's permission to enter. 

This week's question: What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year or what's your favorite costume you've had in the past?
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick - "Touch of Spice"

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Hi friends.  Today I want to share a quick little review of Maybelline's new lipstick, the Color Sensational Creamy Mattes.  I picked up the color Touch of Spice after reading a bunch of reviews and coming to the conclusion that this was everyone's favorite shade.  Not to mention I'd been searching for a nude-mauve lippy.

These lipsticks cost about $8 and claim to give you a burst of bold lip color in a creamy texture with a matte finish.  I'm always a little hesitant with matte lipsticks since my lips are quite dry, so the prospect of a creamier matte lip was quite appealing. Plus, a matte lip is very popular this Fall, so Maybelline was spot on to launch this range right now.

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So, the formal of this lipstick isn’t quite the traditional matte finish we tend to think of, as it is more of a creamy, buttery texture.  Matte lipsticks tend to be known for having a sought-after finish but often at the expense of being dry, rigid and often somewhat uncomfortable.  So,  the creaminess of this lipstick makes it much more wearable. Whoop!

While it feels creamy, it still does have a satisfactory matte-like finish.  Additionally, the color is super high-pigment. It wears nicely as well, lasting well over quite a few hours without drying out overtime or settling into fine lines. I would note that I do go ahead and exfoliate my lips and apply a chapstick before applying this stuff.

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The color I have, Touch of Spice, is amazing. I'm totally smitten with it as my everyday Autumn color at the moment.  

So, overall.... I think these lipsticks are fantastic. They are creamy with a soft formula and they glide on easily and look smooth and even for hours.   They offer full-pigment color and I find the matte finish to be very sophisticated looking as well.

Have you tried any of these new Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipsticks?


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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

For the love of dogs

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PedigreeGives #CollectiveBias

Hey friends. Just a little warning that today's post is not only photo heavy, but also puppy photo heavy.  Don't say I didn't warn you.


Meet my good friends Amanda and Juan.  These two are not only great friends to have, but they are fellow "dog people."  We always joke that it's so nice to hang out with other "dog people" who understand that sometimes dog hair ends up in food and long hikes are required before nights out.

This past weekend we met up with Amanda and Juan and their pup Sophia for some Sunday afternoon fun.








For those of you who don't know.  The above two are my babes.  Austin is the little guy. Michael and I bought him when we first moved in together in 2006.  Zoe, the big girl, we adopted about two years later from a local shelter.


Zoe is the sweetest, most well-behaved dog I've ever met.  I'd like to take credit for the fact that she's so sweet and mild-tempered, but I can't.  It's just the way she is.  It's almost as if she knows we rescued her and is internally grateful.


Amanda and Juan also adopted Sophia.  We are all so lucky to have our shelter pups whom at one point in their lives had no home.  Unfortunately, we know there are still lots of fur babies out there who still have no home and decided we should do something nice for the shelters that gave us our best friends (and for the best friends who are still looking for their forever homes.)

So we headed out to our local Sam's Club and picked up some bags of Pedigree dog food. We headed to Sam's Club because for the month of October when you purchase Pedigree dog products at Sam's Club, the brand will donate one bowl of dog food to a shelter in need! It's like a double win.

Time to donate!



We stopped by the Connecticut Humane Society Animal Shelter.  It's where we adopted Zoe and had me feeling a little nostalgic!  Clearly, I carried the heaviest bag...

We feel so lucky to have found our best friends at our local shelters, but there are still lots of fur babies still looking for their forever homes.




It felt so good to give back to the place that gave us our best friend.  Like I said, for the month of October when you purchase Pedigree dog products at Sam's Club, the brand will donate one bowl of dog food to a shelter in need. So, it's the perfect time to make a donation to your local pet shelter.

Check out Pedigree dog food on Facebook, on twitter, and on YouTube for more information on their Pet Adoption Month.  Careful with that YouTube channel unless you're prepared to ugly cry while watching the stories of abondoned and neglected dogs finding their new forever homes.


No puppies were hurt in today's post.  Lots of nomnomnoms were given in exchange for looking adorable in photos.


Are you a dog person or cat person?

Did you adopt any of your pets?
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