Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vain Pursuits- Personalized Skincare

Oh, hey there, friends. Today I have an awesome company to share with you.  Vain Pursuits is a personalized skincare brand.  That's right, skincare designed just for you! 

All of our skin is different, that's a no brainer. Dry skin, oily skin, acne prone, sensitive, age spots, fine lines, the list goes on and on.  On top of that, we all want different things from our skincare, things like reduce redness, fight blemishes, fill in fine lines, improve elasticity, moisturize, brighten, mattify. And, on top of THAT we have personal preferences for our skincare products like unscented, gentle, thick and creamy, lightweight, quick absorbing....

Are you seeing my point? With all these different factors impacting our skincare wants, how can we expect to find our just right skincare products on some shelf? Vain Pursuits'  motto is "You didn't come off an assembly line, so why should your skincare?"

And, they answer that question: it shouldn't.

Vain Pursuits creates you personalized skincare products based on an extensive skincare quiz that covers your skin type, what you want out of your skincare products, your skincare routine, and even your scent preferences.  

For $20 Vain Pursuits will create three personalized luxury samples for you to try out.  The personalized samples come with handwritten cards all about why they are perfect just for you! Then after trying your products out, if you decided to buy any or all of your samples, you can use the $20 towards your full size purchase (full size bottles range between $45-$80).  You can also chat with your skincare professional and tell them what you like or don't like and they can alter the formulas to get them just right for you!

It's kind of genius, really. 

My skincare professional created three formulas perfect for me that went along with the beauty routine I told them about in my quiz and my preferences (I wanted moisture and I wanted something that would be brightening!)

I've been loving the way my skin looks and feels with these products.  It's so nice to have products that do just what I want! And, they smell AMAZING to me, which was part of the personalization!  

A few other perks, Vain Pursuits is made in America and is cruelty-free! YAY!

Also, if you're interested in winning your 3 personalized samples, check out my video because there is a chance for 50 people to win!

What are your biggest skincare struggles?

*My samples were sent to me free of charge. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own*

Sunday, September 14, 2014

L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Foundation

Hello my friends. Today I'm sharing my thoughts on L'Oreal's Visible Lift Blur Foundation ($11-$13).  This foundation is from L'Oreal's anti-aging line and claims that it will blur the look of lines, wrinkles and uneven texture while delivering anti-aging benefits.
(Psst... a 60 Second Review video of this is at the bottom of the post, if you prefer a fast and easy review)

The foundation feels unlike any foundation I'd used before, with a texture reminiscent of a silicone primer.  It does feel slightly slick after application, but sets after about five minutes.  However, I still do set this with a translucent powder because of the slick feeling.  The coverage is medium and it feels lightweight on the skin.

I'll be honest.  It took me a good while to decide how I felt about this foundation.  I planned on doing this review much earlier, but had to postpone it while I continued to try it out and make sure I was sure about my feelings before sharing them.  I wore it all week long to work -on long days, and hot days, and late nights - and really checked in on its wear to decide how I felt.
So, my final decision?  I love this stuff.  The entire time I wore it, every time I looked in the mirror I couldn't believe how flawless my skin appeared.  Even after a long day at work, when my makeup can often look worn out, my skin still looked even-toned, fresh and bright. Like I mentioned, I do set it. I've been using the Revlon PhotoReady Translucent Finisher to set it and they seem to get along perfectly. So, I can't really say how well it would do if you didn't set it, only because it is a little slick feeling. But once set, it wears and lasts like a DREAM.  
Bare Faced- nothing on my skin at all
Just V.L. Blur- I'm wearing only one application of the Visible Lift Blur Foundation the color Classic Ivory and nothing else
Finished Face - I finished using the Revlon Finisher, Maybelline Under Eye Eraser, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer and Benefit's Rockateur Blush
I was actually wearing this when I went to get my hair trimmed, and you know while getting your hair cut you just have to sit there and stare at yourself for 45 minutes. The entire time I was like, wow, my skin really looks great. It appears so even and smooth. 

I almost hate going on and on about how much I love this stuff, I really do try to offer you comprehensive, well-rounded reviews. But, I just like it that much. Now, it does have one small flaw: if you have any dry patches, it does stick to them slightly.  Not as bad as some other foundations, but it is something to note.  

I'd been avoiding trying the blushes and concealer from this line, only because they carry a slightly hefty price tag for drugstore products, but after loving this foundation so much I think my ability to say "no" won't last too much longer.

Have you tried any of the L'Oreal Blur products?

What new drugstore products have you been wanting to try?


Sunday Talks: Why mistakes are good

I have this posted in my classroom directly behind where I sit.  When my students make mistakes, I remind them, "That's fine, a mistakes doesn't mean you did badly.  A mistake shows me that you tried.  It shows me what you know and what you still need to learn."

However, this quote always puzzles my students when I first hang it up.  "That doesn't make sense!" they shout, outraged.  "You can make a mistakes because you didn't study or because you weren't paying attention!"

"Ah," I reply, "But, in order to make the mistake, you had to at least try. Even if you did not give your best effort, you had to try in order to make the mistake.  Had you not tried, you would not have made the mistake."

I've been teaching in different classrooms with different students and this year is my 4th year.  I find I always have to teach the idea that mistakes are O.K. to my students.  I've taught from 2nd grade all the way to 12th grade students and no matter the age, they always seem to have this idea in their mind that mistakes = bad. 

It's disheartening really.  They are so focused on right answer and wrong answer, they stop worrying all together about what the point of this all is. They don't understand that in order to learn, you have to make mistakes.  The mistakes tell us things. They tell us what we haven't learned, they tell us what we don't understand, they tell us what we are strong at and what we're weak at. And, once I'm able to release my students from this notion that there are only right and wrong answers, you see that they actually start looking at their learning and their progress as opposed to their "mistakes".  They begin to develop an actual personal want to learn, as opposed to learning for fear of being wrong. 

I think it's important for us to do this in our day to day lives as well.  To remember that getting things wrong, though frustrating, encourages us to grow and learn and continually develop into the best version of ourselves we can be.

So go off and make yourself some good mistakes this week. And then give yourself a big old high-five for it.  A mistake is proof that you tried and you can learn something from it. 

Before I leave, check out my pretty "Tall" Sponsors...
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Thursday, September 11, 2014

You can dress me up, but... can't take me out.

Don't get me wrong. I love getting dressed up. I love primping and prepping and painting on lipstick and zipping on a girly dress.

But, given the chance....

...I'll always opt for barefoot and beers over heels and champagne.

As much of a "girly-girl," as I may be, at the end of the day I like my feet to be dirty and my hair to be tangled.  Try as I might be a delicate little flower, most of the time I'm just not (always) a lady.  I spill coffee on my pants, trip walking up the stairs, always have at least one bruise or scratch on my body at all times, and curse like a sailor. 

But, for days when I do want to dress up, a dress like this *Jacquard Dress from OASAP is just right.  It's the perfect girly piece to make me feel like a lady, even if I, perhaps, don't act like one.

Wanna win this leather skirt?  I ordered this from OASAP when I bought the dress and it doesn't quite fit.  So, I figured one of you might like it!

This is the *Knee-Length PU Skater Skirt and I have it in the size S.

If you think it might be something you'd like you can use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Zoe really wanted to try her hand at a little fashion blogging herself.  How do you think she did?

Pieces marked with an asterisk (*) were sent to me free of charge.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Bathory: Customized Bath Salts

I feel like in this day and age of subscription boxes and reviews at the tip of our fingers, finding our "perfect" product is becoming easier and easier.  Because of this, there has been a huge rise of "customizable" beauty products. The Bathory is a small company out of the UK that lets you create a jar of customized bath soaks for $30.

You start by picking which type of bath you'd like: Bask, with luxurious, mineral-rich salts, Soothe, with moisturizing oatmeal, honey and buttermilk, or Detox, with Epsom salts and rhassoul clay which helps draw out toxins.  Next, you choose three essential oils. Each of the essential oils have a tag line like "the inspiring one" or "the relaxing one," to help you choose.

I chose a Detox Bath Soak, since the idea of detoxing my skin sounded so luxurious. For my essential oils I chose eucalyptus, grapefruit and rosemary.

My soak arrived in less than a week, which was more than impressive considering it had to be customized and shipped from the UK.  It arrives in a chic, minimalist type packaging with the outside bag showing your choices and the inside containing a violet glass jar with your soak. The violet glass helps protect the essential oils inside the salts (it’s what the ancient Egyptians used) and means they don’t need to use any preservatives. (yay!)

Now, I'll be honest, I'm not usually a bath person. But, the minute this arrived all I could think about way sinking into a hot tub full of my soak! As far as the salts, they give three suggestions: use 1/4 for a quick pick-me-up, 1/2 for full benefits and the whole DANG thing for the "best bath of your life." I opted for 1/3, so I could feel indulgent, but still get to indulge two more times. The salts dissolved quickly and my entire bathroom smelled AMAZING, and the scent lingered, which was awesome. The soak was so relaxing. Not only did it allow me to totally relax and de-stress, it also left my skin feeling so refreshed and soft.

These salts make for such an amazing soak that really is the perfect treat at the end of a long week or before a special event. Additionally, I think the customization makes it such a great idea for a gift as well!

Are you a bath person?

What's your favorite product to treat yourself with?

This product was sent to me free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all opinions (as always and forever until death do we part) are my own.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Simple Nail Design: Confetti Nails

Happy Monday, friends.  Today I have a simple little nail art design to share with you.  What's great about this design is you don't need any special tools and you can play around with the colors.  You could do shades of blues and greens or fall colors like reds, yellows and oranges.  Either way you spin it, it's a fun and SUPER easy design, so enjoy!

1. Start with a white base. Even though you'll cover the entire base, it helps to act as a guide and makes seeing the empty spaces easier.

2. Starting with the darker colors first, use the end of toothpick, or a bobby pin, to create dots all over the nail. They can vary in size, don't worry about perfection, it all evens out in the end.  

3. Continue adding dots of new colors, focusing on dotting areas of white. 

4. End with the lighter colors.  Make sure to seal with a quality top coat as the top coat helps to make all the dots appear more uniform.

*Tip: if you accidentally make a dot too big (it happens), use the next color to dot on its side to make the larger dot look smaller.

I think these are just such a fun design, it's kinda like a mini party on your nails.  I hope you enjoyed!

What color scheme would you use with this design?


Thursday, September 4, 2014

What your coffee order says about you

A little while ago I tweeted the following tweet:
And ever since then I've had this idea for a post bopping around in my head and today I finally got around to writing it.  

Please remember, this is all to be in good fun and I don't mean any offense if I've made fun of your favorite caffeinated beverage. 

What your coffee order says about you:

Black coffee: You’ve got your shit together. You don’t need to waste time with cream and sugar and nonsense. There should be a special line for you at the coffee shop where you can bypass all the people who are drinking coffee simply as some type of personal enjoyment and not as a vital life necessity.

Dark roast: You’re trying to say, “I’m intense, don’t f**k with me."

Blonde or light roast: What are you even doing? Just get tea.

Coffee, cream and sugar: You play by the rules.

Decaf: You're either old or it's late at night. Any other reasons do not exist, decaf is Satan's spawn.

Single espresso: You want to look sophisticated. Maybe you’re trying to impress someone or you just spent way too much money on dinner at a fancy restaurant and aren’t ready to see the bill. There’s also a good chance you pronounced it eXpresso.

Double espresso: You’re hungover and need some energy and something to wash away the taste of fireball whiskey and bad decisions.

Triple espresso: You’re a med student.

Vanilla Latte: You don’t really like the taste of coffee but feel the pressure to show up somewhere with a coffee cup.  Either that or you need a prop for your next instagram picture.

Skinny Vanilla Latte: Same and before except you are feeling guilty about the last meal you ate.

Iced Vanilla Latte: You don’t actually know what is in a latte and probably don't even really know what coffee tastes like.  Lucky for you, most American coffee establishments just give you flavored milk when you ask for this, so you're good.

Cappuccino: You used to drink lattes but have upped your game a little. You go glen coco. Either that or you have absolutely not idea what a cappuccino is but you’re on a first date and thought it would sound cool to order it.

A frapaccino or anything that prompts your barista to ask if you want whip cream on that: Hopefully a high school girl. Either that or you really need to reevaluate your life. Get out of the line, save us all some time and go to Dairy Queen

Pumpkin Spiced Anything- You’re probably write in a blog and are instagramming a picture of the drink as it comes out. There’s really no shame in this because pumpkin spice is delicious and don’t let anyone make you feel inferior about it.

Dirty Chai or Chai Latte- You were a journalism major and college and wear a pair of thick framed glasses. You ordered it from a local coffee joint which may or may not make good drinks but they have couches and a fireplace. You’re going to drink your chai while while sitting on said couch and reading a Pride and Prejudice because it’s your favorite book ever.

There you have it, what I think your coffee drink says about you! To see what was in my coffee mug, you'll just have to watch the video. See what I did there? It's called sneaky ploys to make you watch videos of me. So sneaky.

What's your go-to order at the coffee shop?

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