Monday, September 1, 2014

Best Labor Day Sales 2014 (& Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics and Hourglass Blush Giveaway!)

American Eagle - 20% off your purchase with code 952367P1 - Labor Day only.

Anthropologie - Additional 20% off sale items. No code needed. Good through 9/1

BaubleBar - Summer pieces are 50% and then use the code SALE20 for an ADDITIONAL 20% off sale pieces. We're talking beautiful statement necklaces for as low as $13. Good through 9/1

Banana Republic - 40% off your entire purchase - yep, everything - use the code BRLABOR, Labor Day only.

Forever 21 - Buy One Get One Free on all clearance, free shipping with no minimum purchase. Use the code BOGOFREE Ends 9/1

GAP- 40% off your purchase, use the code DAY, Labor Day only,

J. Crew - 30% off all orders of $125 with the code 24HOURS, Labor Day only.

LOFT - 60% new fall pieces with the code FLASH, ends 9/1

Macy's - 15%-20% off your purchase using the code DEALS (percent off depends on the kind of item being bought) Ends 9/1

Old Navy - Storewide deals plus 20% off your order, no code needed, online only, Labor Day only.

Too Faced - Get up to 70% off select products like eyeshadow palettes and lipgloss trios! No code needed. Good through 9/3

Stella and Dot - Additional 25% off all sale pieces. No code needed. Good through 9/2 (9PM)

ULTA - Get 20% off your entire order with this printable coupon or use the code 205890 online. Good through 9/6

Now, Ash and I have something to tell you....

That's right, we're giving away the new Naked 2 Basics Palette and one Hourglass blush of your choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, August 28, 2014

A look back at Summer 2014

Wahhh. On Wednesday, I went back to school.  I won't lie, being a teacher and getting summers off is a total teacher perk, but getting back into the groove-thang of work again after a break can be a tricky bird. 

Either way, the start of school and end of August, means summer truly is on the outs - whether I'm ready to believe it or not. So, I thought it'd be fun to take a look back at this past summer and what I did.

Well, duh.  I even shared my recipe for how to make the perfect iced coffee, which I'll continue to enjoy until the warm weather finally leaves.

 I pretty much lived in milkmaid braids and head bands this entire lazy summer.  I shared how to DIY these adorable flower crowns.

"I can't even" with these shirts. Fo real.

So many Bloody Marys, including the day we spent in Bristol, Rhode Island, day drinking for the day.  I also showed you how to mix up your own beer lemonade - it is like a homemade lemon shandy, but better. 

And this extra time with them made me realize that one of my dogs, is actually a cat.

All that extra time not teaching allowed me to work on some fun posts, and these were three of my favorites. First, I showed you how to make this crazy easy DIY Painted Quote Canvas. Next, I wrote all about the shit bloggers do.  And, lastly, I wrote a very extensive post all about how to choose the right lipstick color for your skin tone.

What sort of fun things did you do this summer?


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Battle of the Drugstore Colored Balms: Round One

Welcome to the newest Battle of the Drugstore Beauty Products. If you're new to this game, I purchase 5 of the same kind of product from different drugstore brands.  Then I try them out, battle them out, and we pick a winner.  That winner goes on to the next round to battle it out against new contenders.

Today we're battling the colored balms that seem to be taking all drugstore brands by storm.  Ever since Revlon debuted their version a few years back, it seems like every brand wants to have their own version.  

The contenders: Covergirl's Jumbo Gloss Balm, ELF's Matte Lip Color, Neutrogena’s MoistureSmooth Color Stick,  NYC’s Twistable Intense Lip Color and Revlon’s ColorBurst Balm Stain

Per usual I have a video and blog version so pick your poison. 

See this swatched on my lip at 3:13 of the video
First into the ring we have Covergirl’s Jumbo Gloss Balm in Berry Twist. They retail for about $8 and come in 16 shades. These balms are fortified with shea and mango butters for a smooth look with a hint of color.

My thoughts: These aren't full color lip products, but as they claim you get a nice sheer wash of color. They feel nice and soft on your lips as well. Additionally, they last quite long on the lips for something with such a glossy feeling. Some people have complained about these being drying but I didn’t notice that at all - and I’m usually very sensitive to drying lip products.

See this swatched on my lip at 5:38 of the video
Next is ELF matte lip color in the color natural. These come in 6 colors and retail for $3. These say they offer a pigment rich color that glides on effortlessly and easily to provide long lasting matte color that is also enriched with Vitamin A, C & E to hydrate.

My thoughts: I liked the size of this pencil as I found is the easiest to apply.  Also, the color and finish was lovely. However, I’m someone who struggles with dry lips and found these too drying.  I think if you’re not struggling with dryness, these might be OK. But otherwise, be aware they are a little drying.

See this swatched on my lip at 4:22 of the video
Next is Neutrogena’s MoistureSmooth Color Stick* in Bright Berry - these retail for $8.50 and come in 8 different colors. They claim to instantly moisturize lips with a sheer wash of color that lasts for hours.

My thoughts: These give the highest color payoff. The wear on these are really great as well, they last for hours. Obviously, if you go out to a whole dinner and are eating and talking and drinking, you’ll have to touch up at the end of the meal, but the wear is really great without drying the lips.

See this swatched on my lip at 3:52 of the video
Next up NYC’s Twistable Intense Lip Color in Fulton Street. These balms cost about $3 and come in 12 colors.  They claim to offer shiny, stay-put, high density color.

My thoughts: These balms are nice and shiny and don’t feel dry at all on your lips, even after they’ve set. However, I wouldn’t say I got INTENSE color like they claim, it’s more of a somewhat sheer finish -which is actually quite nice, just not what they claim. The wear, on the other had, leaves something to be desired. They sadly wear off quite quickly.

See this swatched on my lip at 4:59 of the video
Last to battle is Revlon’s ColorBurst Balm Stain in the color Romantic. These are about $9 and come in 10 colors (but also have a Matte range and a Lacquer Balm range) These are lightweight lip stain/lip balm hybrids.

My thoughts: These balms are kinda of the perfect colored balms because they feel light like a balm, but you get a nice wash of color, too.  Additionally, they have really nice wear, lasting well and fading from the lip naturally so you don’t get any funny feathering or blotchiness.

So, who was the winner? This was a really hard one to decide on as I really enjoyed a handful of them.  I'd have to say Revlon, Neutrogena and Covergirl could all be winners, it's hard to pick the best.  They were long-lasting and didn't dry my lips.  Additionally, they were all about the same price.  Neutrogena gave the most color payoff while Covergirl (sold as more a gloss balm) was more sheer, and Revlon was in between.  But, all three were really lovely products and I'd definitely buy more colors in all three of these lines.

Which balm do you think wins this battle? Which one do you want to try the most?

Watch all the past Battle of the Drugstore Beauty Products:

All products were bought with my own money unless marked with an asterisk (*) - these products were given to be as a gift or sent to me for review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 25, 2014

An Autumn-Inspired Wish List

Confession: It sort of makes me a little annoyed at how everyone is all on the autumn train already. It's not September yet, my summer is not over! Don't rush me! 

Don't get me wrong, Fall is my favorite season and I can't wait until I can sip spiked cider while wearing my favorite riding boots and and vest. The sound of a packed bar during a big football game and the smell of grills firing up at 8am outside the stadium.  Pumpkin spiced all the things and my favorite deep red nail polishes. 

BUT, I still have two days until I have to go back to the classroom and there are still six days until until September 1st you will NOT see me enjoying any of the fall-related items as I bask in these last few days of the summer that went too fast.

However....I do know fall is looming. And this weekend I did make a quick Marshall's stop and did buy fall appropriate clothing. I know the season is coming and so while I won't be partaking in any Autumn inspired things for the next week, a little lusting never hurt anyone. And so, these are the items I'm currently gawking over for the upcoming fall.

 photo ScreenShot2014-08-25at93419AM_zps1b6a0d19.jpg

[ 1 ] L'Oreal Visible Blur Concealer ($10.50) and L'Oreal Healthy Lumi Foundation ($10.50) These have been getting a lot of hype and sound like they'd give my usually dry skin (thanks to the cold-hot-cold-hot temperature ranges during the Fall) a beautiful glow.

[ 2 ] Marble Knit Dress ($19.80) Long-sleeved dresses are my favorite for fall and I love how they can transition into winter with the right leggings. 

      [ 3 ] Merona Mini Satchel ($29) I saw this the other day at Target and haven't quite been able to get it off my mind. The mini size makes it just right- not too big and not too small.

[ 4 ] Chain Tassel Necklace ($8) 

[ 5 ] Faux Leather Trimmed Jeggings ($32) I'm all about the faux-leather detailing on everything this season.

[ 6 ] Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream ($72)     

[ 7 ] Brunch, Because Mimosas Sweatshirt ($19)  Because, yes.

[ 8 ] Grown Ass Woman Flask ($18)  I'm sorry, if I'm going to drink out of a flask at 8am on a Saturday morning while tailgating, I want everyone to know I'm a grown ass woman doing it.

 [ 9 ]  Dr. Martens Alix Boot ($140) These boots have been on my fall wish list for the past 3 years and at some point, I will treat myself.

[ 1 0 ] Shiloh Cuffed Bootie ($224)

[ 1 1 ] Combat Drawstring Vest ($25) Another item that is on my wish list from at least last year, this combat vest from Old Navy is the perfect wallet-friendly piece. Excuse me while I run to Old Navy real quick.

What are you lusting after for Fall 2014?

Are you all aboard the Fall train, or not ready to jump on just yet, like me?


Friday, August 22, 2014

Beauty tips for staying fresh-faced all day long

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

Hi friends! Today I'm here to share some beauty tips for keeping your makeup look fresh all day long.  We all know that sometimes after a long day our makeup can look like it has all shifted and our hair can look flat and dull.

I made a super fun "follow me around" type video to showcase how I keep my makeup fresh all day. It has some Austin cameos, lemonades with cute straws and lots of coffee- just sayin'.

But, if you're not too keen on videos, I have it all written out for you below, minus the follow me around bit.

First things first, make sure to start with freshly cleansed skin.  I also suggest you use a primer designed to fit your skin type.  If you're oily, find a primer that helps you stay matte, if you struggle with large pores, find a pore minimizing primer, etc.  Primer is a life saver for any day you plan to wear your makeup all day long.

Go for a more lightweight foundation if you plan to wear it all day long.  Lightweight foundations allow your skin to breath and hold up on your skin longer.  I'm using the Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundation.  Not only does it have 20 SPF to protect my face during the day, but it's formulated with soy, chamomile and vitamin E to actually improve your skin over time.  I love it for long days because it feels like nothing on my skin.

I follow up with the matching pressed powder from Neutrogena, only swiping it where I need it for oil control.  This compact then goes into my purse with me so I can touch up throughout the day if needed. 

For eyes I've discovered this nifty little eyeshadow stick and it's my new obsession.  The Neutrogena Crease Proof Eye Shadow has built in primer.  I have the color Constant Copper and wipe it all over my lid and then follow up with something a little darker in the crease.  This stuff sets perfectly and doesn't budge from my lids.  Additionally, it helps any shadows you put on top of it stay better, too.

I follow up with waterproof eyeliner and mascara.  I always go for waterproof on long days so I don't have to worry about the possibility of smudging.

For lips I usually reach for something that feels light and lasts.  This Neutrogena Moisture Color Stick in "Bright Berry" is perfect to add a pop of color to your look.  I've been seriously impressed with the length this product stays on my lips without making them feel dried out.  Perfect for long days! 

My hair tip for long days is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. You don't want to mess with something too tricky or that requires a lot of product. You want to pick something thats low on maintenance, which for me usually means wearing is straight.  I've been using the Triple Repair system from Neutrogena (which I told you guys all about in this post) and love how it keeps my hair feeling strong and smooth and manageable.  The most I'll need to do to maintain this hair throughout the day is a quick brush through. 

So there you have it, my all day makeup is all about keeping it simple.

Also, if you're planning to pick up any Neutrogena cosmetics, stop by Target like I did because you can use this online coupon to receive 20% off Neutrogena Cosmetics at Target!  Target and Neutrogena have teamed up to bring a Target Beauty Concierge event at select Target stores around the country this month! Event begins August 24th. Limited quantities available. Check with your local Target store for Beauty Concierge day and times.

For a little more all-day makeup inspiration, check out Hayden Panettiere talking about how she keeps fresh-faced even after a long day on set:

#CollectiveBias #AllDayLook

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lemonade Beer Cocktail

This weekend when I was at Saratoga (see all the fun here), I was chatting with some other bloggers when I got the dreaded "what do you blog about?" question. Dreaded because I don't necessarily fit in ONE category.  I really should figure out some unique, one-line blurb I can use to describe my blog.  I awkwardly tried to give percentages saying "it's like, 60% beauty and the rest is like, life and fashion and stuff."  

Then I cued Elizabeth, asking her to help me describe my blog and she chimed in adding, "yah, and she makes all these awesome looking cocktails!"  

While I love making cocktails, I didn't realize it was every something someone would associate my blog with. I loved it, clearly. If I can be known as the beauty-loving coffee addict who makes great cocktails, I'd say I did pretty good.

Either way, long story short, I feel like it has been too long since I shared a cocktail recipe with you, so here I am to deliver.

This has been the summer of shandies.  A shandy, if you don't know, is when beer is mixed with carbonated beverage or juice, like ginger ale or lemonade.  This year, particularly, has been all about the Lemon Shandies.  

Now, I hate to be stuck up about my alcoholic drinks, but as a rule of thumb, homemade is almost always superior to any pre-mixed nonsense. And, the same goes with the shandies.  While I've tried my fair share of bottled and canned lemon shandies the past 2 summers, I've never really been into them.  However, this homemade shandy, kicked up a notch with a little vodka, has stolen my heart. I've dubbed it Lemonade Beer and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

1.5 ounces of simple syrup
The juice of one lemon
1.5 ounces of vodka
a light pilsner beer

Combine the simple syrup (a simple syrup is simply a mixture of equal parts water and sugar, dissolved. If you want a little less sweet, like myself, try 2 parts water to 1 part sugar) with the fresh squeezed lemon juice and vodka.  Pour over ice and shake well. Pour into glass and top off with beer. 

There you have it. It's like a lemon shandy with a kick. 

Have you tried any shandies? What did you think?

Have you ever had a beer cocktail?


Monday, August 18, 2014

A day at Saratoga Racetrack (and Get Ready with Me!)

Last summer I was introduced to America's Best Racingwhen they invited me to Monmouth Park Racetrack in New Jersey.  I had such a blast with the ambassadors that day (there's a group of ABR ambassadors whose sole job is to get young people excited about the sport of horse racing), that when they invited Michael and I to Saratoga this summer, I knew I had to make the trip.

Saratoga Racetrack, located in Saratoga Springs, NY, is dubbed at the most beautiful racetrack in the country and it didn't disappoint.  It was also teaming with people, which always makes the experience more fun.

Besides finally getting to visit Saratoga, the second best thing about the trip was that I finally got to meet the lovely Elizabeth from Undeniably, Me.  We've been blog friends for over a year and it was so exciting to become "real life" friends!

I did my best to give Elizabeth the little information I know about making bets.  Luckily, betting is not that hard - not nearly as intimidating as it looks.

We sidled up the betting window and placed our first bet.

America's Best Racing had a great little tent set up for us with lunch and drink from Buffalo Trace Bourbon.  Having a step mom from Kentucky, I know enough to know if you're going to drink bourbon, it better be from the Bluegrass State.  They mixed up some traditional mint juleps as well as a bourbon lemonade for us. I tried both, you know, for research and comparison reasons.

After bourbon refreshments we we lucky enough to get to visit the paddock, where you get a chance to see the horses before they race.  My super professional horse racing technique was to look for the "most frisky" horse (which didn't turn out to necessarily be the best algorithm.) I did, however, end up viewing the horses right next to Bobby Flay and took some creeper-status pictures of him, since he's probably the most famous person I've ever been near.

Picture credit on the left to America's Best Racing
Fox Sports was also on location for the races and gave us "celebrity" status as they followed us around to get some clips of us all enjoying our day.  I believe it aired later that day, I didn't get a chance to tun in...I guess I missed my 15 seconds of fame.

We headed back to bet a bit more and enjoy the final races.

We had another fun day at the races and can't wait for the Breeder's Cup at the end of October!  
Thanks again to America's Best Racing for inviting us up for the day. 
I also filmed a "Get Ready With Me" video for this day, if you're interested:

Have you ever been to a horse racing event?

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