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March 5, 2015

Make-Up I've Found & Loved From Foil Packets

A lot of people hate on foil packets, you know those little samples you sometimes get in subscription services or thrown in as extras from an online Sephora order?

They can get annoying because sometimes they're so small, you can't tell if you really like a product. Weirdly enough, foil packets have never bothered me as much as they have other people. Some people really despise them but I've always welcomed any sample of any make up product I could get my hands on.

I was never good about getting into the habit of using the countless foil packets that were stacking up in my drawer but finally came up with a little system that works for me. Since then, I've been using a lot of foil packets and I figured it was a great idea for a post!

I took all my foil packets (there's a lot) and put them in a ziplock bag. I put them in my top desk drawer (that I organized to use as my makeup drawer because I just had too much makeup!) and I'll look through it so often to see if there is anything new I could try.

When I start to use a foil packet and I know there's some product left, I put it in another ziplock bag so I could go back and reuse them.

I've found some real gems (some that are a little too expensive to purchase) and it just goes to show you that foil packets really are worth it because they give you ability to try products for free, before you buy the expensive full size.

These are some of my favorites I've found through foil packets:

//Urban Decay Naked BB Cream: This is an oldie but goodie. A few years back, when this product first came out, I had a foil packet and fell in love. I immediately went to Sephora and bought the full size and two years later, I still have some left in the full size, $34 tube.

//GlamGlow BrightMud: I blogged about this earlier in the week and I have to say, this is a prime example of foil packet discovery. I would have never spent $69 on a product I have never tried, especially a skincare product, but because I had the chance to try it out, it quickly is becoming more appealing.

//Too Faced Coco Powder Foundation: I had been eyeing this foundation for so long and then finally got a sample in my Too Faced Better Than Chocolate Essentials kit. I'm skeptical about samples for powders because I find it so odd to swirl a brush onto a piece of paper but surprisingly, there is a good amount of product here. I used this once and was smitten. It has great coverage, smells like chocolate, and isn't cakey whatsoever. Now I know I like the product so if I want to spent $34, I could.

//Hourglass Illusion Skin Tint: This is one that I just used last week and oh my goodness, I'm in love. I love tinted moisturizers and when I was looking through the bag for any goodies to try out, I found this. I decided to try it out and it's stunning. It doesn't give a crazy amount of coverage but it gives the most beautiful, flawless look to your skin and gives you a lit from within glow. I used it a few times and still have some left. As much as I love this, I will not be spending $55 on a tinted moisturizer.

//Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream: I have a love affair with the Fresh brand. Their lip balms are godly and even though I haven't tried any of their full size skincare products, it's on my list. I tried this cult favorite face cream and immediately knew why people adore it. It's super creamy, moisturizing, but not so thick that you feel greasy. It's a perfect face cream, especially for nighttime.

I need to get into the habit of using more and more of my foil packets but for now, I think I've found some great products!

Shop my foil packet picks below!

What are your thoughts on foil packet samples? Have you found any holy grail items from them? Tell me in the comments!

March 4, 2015

Jawbone Up Review

I've never been a fitness guru and by no means am I one now. But, I have become slightly more conscience of food and excerise. I'm actually happy with how I look, for once in my life, but even then, I may not be as healthy as I should so of course there is always room for improvement.

I'm also someone who is into the latest trend and loves to shop. I love gimmicky things and if people are talking about it, I need it. Give me the latest technology, lipstick, shoes... just give me it all.

Combine that with my want to be healthier, in all aspects, and you've got a fitness tracker.

I've seen this trend time and time again and was always curious but honestly, they were too expensive. I didn't want to bother with Fitbit or Nike Flex Band, they looked a little too complicated and were too bulky to be worn for the every day, in my opinion.

I knew when I got a fitness tracker I'd get the JawboneUp. It was the first one I had heard about and I had a few friends who had it so I was aware of how it worked.

In mid January I saw that JawboneUp was on sale, on Target, Best Buy, and a few other retailers. I knew that this was my chance. It retails for $130 and I wasn't about that life but I could swing $60 no problem.

As if the shopping gods were watching over me, no retailer had my wrist size in the color black (I wanted black because I thought it'd be better for everyday but now I wish I had gotten grey). I was disappointed but found a solution.

I checked Amazon because why not and in turn, they had a black JawboneUp in a size medium wrist for $45 with free shipping. I never ordered something so fast.

I've been using it since then and honestly, it's so freaking cool. I'm obsessed. At first it was weird to wear something on my wrist everyday but I've gotten used to it.

JawboneUp tracks your sleep and the number of steps you take per day. You have to sync the bracelet with your phone (after you download the app) to see your progress and you also have to charge the band every 7-9 days.

You could also count calories using the app but after reading some reviews, I found that using MyFitnessPal and syncing it with your JawboneUp app is much better. MyFitnessPal has a lot more food options when tracking calories and having it sync with the Jawbone app is painless.

Step tracker
Food tracker
The JawboneUp app is very sleek, easy to read and keep track of everything. You can create teams with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, or contacts to encourage each other and see how other people are doing with their journey.

Sleep tracker

I was first really intrigued by JawboneUp and fitness trackers in general because I sometimes have trouble sleeping and I thought it'd be cool to see how much sleep I'm getting and how many times I wake up during the night. I was blown away by how accurate this bad boy was. It tells you how long it took to fall asleep, how many hours of sound sleep you got, etc. It's so cool and honestly, I've seen such a difference in how I feel each morning after getting the right amount of sleep.

One of my favorite parts about this fitness tracker is how it gives you "Today I Will" which are different goals based on your progress. It holds you accountable for different items, such as eating 25g of fiber or having a set bedtime. It's so cool and just helps you become that much healthier and develop different routines.

Using the JawboneUp for the past month/month and a half has been awesome. I'm much more aware of how many steps I take, how much I'm working out, sleeping, and how many glasses of water I drink. You could even track your mood!

I'm really obsessed and cannot get enough of this little device. I think it's so cool, so worth it, and really helps steer you in the right direction for a healthier lifestyle.

March 3, 2015

Best Products for the Under-eye

Everyone has their makeup vices, the one product they have an influx of because they have that one problem area. I have mine and that is concealer + under-eye products. 

A few years back, when I first started getting into make-up and beauty, I realized there was something off about the way my make-up was applying. I didn't know what it was until it just hit me one day... my dark circles. I immediately went to Sephora to pick up the right concealer and with the help of a lovely sales girl, she gave me this Sephora brand concealer.

When she applied it, she used the Makeup Forever HD Powder to set it and I honestly looked like a different person. I couldn't stop looking in the mirror, I was in awe.

Of course when I tried to apply it the same way at home, it didn't look so effortless (mostly because I didn't have the powder or proper brushes)

Ever since then, I've been on a hunt to eliminate and hide my dark circles. They've gotten better and through my entire escape of allergies and eczema, the skin under my eye is now super sensitive but also appears and feels a lot smoother.

I've become truly obsessed with under-eye products; whenever there is a new one at Sephora or the drugstore, I have to stop myself from buying it. I'm addicted to make-up but under-eye products are my true true obsession. 

Because of this, I've tried a lot of eye creams, brighteners, and concealers that are awesome and some that are not so great. 

Like yesterday's post, this is a post I've been putting off because I didn't know if I had enough products but I decided there is no better time like the present.

These are the under-eye products that I will swear by and forever be in love with.

//Benefit's Ooh La Lift: I think I've mentioned this on the blog before and I just started using it again. I need a new one desperately because mine is really old but it's awesome. It's an under eye brightener that you put on before concealer and it instantly brightens, lifts, and adds a touch of highlight. Some days I put this on even if I'm not applying make up because I just like the way it makes my eyes appear.

//Benefit's Erase Paste: This was one of the first products I ever reviewed here and since then, I have not repurchased it because I've been experimenting with other concealers but I know this is will be a purchase in the near future. It's a salmon colored concealer that is made to correct the dark blue/purple circles under your eyes. It's really sticky but I think with a BeautyBlender, it would blend out beautifully.

//Olay Fresh Effects Bright on Schedule: This is an eye awakening cream that I apply in the morning. It has a cool metal applicator that helps de puff the eyes and it also helps to brighten the area. It makes a nice canvas for concealer and I love it.

//Maybelline Age Rewind & Fit Me Concealers: Maybelline is dominating the drugstore concealer game. Both of these are cult favorites amongst Youtube beauty bloggers. Both are really creamy, light concealers that really don't crease and truly cover up any dark circle you have. They're good for brightening as well and they're my most repurchased beauty products.

//GlamGlow BrightMud Eye Treatment: I got this as a Sephora sample and used it a few times when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with my eyes and it was kind of life changing. I stopped using it because my eyes were getting worst. It wasn't because of the BrightMud but because of my allergy. When I did use this, I noticed a different the next morning. My eyes were softer, brighter, and a little less dark. I started using this again because I still had some left in the packet and it's been doing wonders.

//Essence of Beauty Gel Eye Mask: This is a lifesaver and I've been using it everyday since I bought it in the summer. It's a soft gel mask that you can use cold or hot (I keep mine in the refrigerator) and I apply it every morning to depuff my eyes. It feels so good and actually makes a difference! 

Shop my picks below! 

What are your favorite under eye products? Tell me in the comments!

March 2, 2015

My Greatest Fears

I've had this type of blog post written down for a good few months. I don't know why, I must've seen a blog post of similar type and thought it was a good idea. 

Every time this popped up on my editorial calendar, I moved it around because I wasn't "in the mood" to write it. I knew it was a post I'd have to think about and sometimes, I'm too lazy to do so.

Well, I decided to stop putting it off and just take the leap.

I'm someone who is afraid of a lot of things; tangible things that can actually happen, not really the "I'm afraid of never succeeding" fear. I mean, I have those fears too but I figured I'd mix both types in the post.

Being someone who has anxiety, I fear a lot of things. Ever since I was little, I've been so nervous, about everything and anything. I've obviously gotten a lot better as I've gotten older and experienced more of the world outside of my little Queens neighborhood but still, I'm the person who is always cautious about everything.

My therapist (and everyone else who knows me) says I catastrophize everything so it definitely relates to what I'm afraid of. 

I'll stop rambling and get right into it.

1. Bridges: I used to close my eyes when my parents would drive over a bridge. When I started driving, I got over the fear but I always speed over because I'm terrified. I don't like the idea of driving over water and I always picture the bridge falling down. Probably because of the news and reports on bridges around the country collapsing. See what I mean about catastrophizing everything?

2. Walking alone (especially at night): I'm not the only one who is afraid of walking alone; I'd say this is a common fear, especially for women, which is really sad. When I was in school and would walk home from the bar, I would RUN. Like I'm not kidding when I say I sprinted home if I was alone. Even if I was with my roommates, I'd always walk faster than them. If I saw a strange person or car, I'd purposely take a different way home so I didn't have to pass it. Even now, when I'm at home in my childhood neighborhood, I hate walking into my house at night. My thoughts get the best of me and I think really bad things. 

3. Paranormal: This goes for everything related to the paranormal. It may sound super silly but things like ghosts, demons, etc scare the shit out of me. If there's a scary movie coming out that is related to the paranormal, I mute the commercials if I'm about to go to sleep and they come on television. I can't talk about the paranormal because I'll think about it right before I go to sleep and my mind gets the best of me. It really freaks me out.

4. Small, crowded spaces: Elevators, crowded buses and subways, etc... any place that is flooding with people but in general is really small, scares the crap out of me. I'm prone to panic attacks because I'm claustrophobic and I've had my fair share of attacks while in crowded spaces. The best is when I went to the Yankees World Series Parade in 2009, got separated from my dad, and had a full blown panic attack the lobby of a Bank of America because the streets were flooding with people. #CoolBri. Yeah so no small spaces for me.

5. Small animals: Mice, ferrets, skunks, any sort of rodent scares the crap out of me. I know they're small but they're so sneaky and slinky. Ugh I hate them and if anyone even says the word "mouse" I freak out. Side note, I'm petrified of cats as well.

6. Not getting my shit together: I just want a stable life, doesn't everyone? I'm scared of never pursuing my dreams, never really finding my place and calling in the world. I'm scared of not being who I want to be or who I think I have the potential to be. I'm scared of not having enough money, I'm scared of failing... just like everyone else is I'd assume.

I'm sure there are a lot more things that scare me but honestly, these are the biggest ones that were on the top of my head.

What are you afraid of? Tell me in the comments so I don't feel alone! 

February 28, 2015

Links to Love

I've been so bad with the Links to Love post lately. I've been getting all my writing out of the way on the weekends and Links to Love is the only post I write the night before (the day of, or the day after apparently) and this week I just totally forgot.

Better late than never right?

I had a semi decent week; Wednesday brought on a huge anxiety attack and I have no idea why but nonetheless, I've been really good. Writing my Post Grad Update really helped, writing is so cathartic and I thank you for all the sweet responses to it!

In other writing news, I FINALLY got an article published on Elite Daily. It was the best surprise this week and the feedback I've gotten from all my friends and kind strangers is incredible. This is what writing is about. On the flip side, I also read some of the really hateful comments. This is inspiration for a blog post in itself so yeah... definitely need to develop a really tough skin if I want to make it as a writer.

Anyways, here's what I loved on the Internet this week (aside from the great Llama chase and the whole dress debacle)

Successful women do these things everyday #Preach

A day in the life posts are my favorite; Levo League killed it with this one.

Here are your answers to the "beauty timing" questions aka how many times a month you should get a pedicure. #Obsessed 

I'm proud to say that I visit all of these career websites and they're KILLER. 

The best, most beautiful and magical sentences that J.K Rowling graced us with. 

Have a great weekend everyone :) 

February 26, 2015

February Favorites

February is my least favorite month because it's the end of winter (thankfully since NYC has been in a second Ice Age for the entire mont) and it's super short. 

Everyone always says the month flew by but February really does FLY BY. I feel like I did a lot and a lot happened in February but at the same time, the days are a blur. So weird.


At the start, I didn't feel like I had too many favorites—my mind automatically goes to beauty products but once I got to thinking, I realized there were a few things I was using more or rediscovered this month.

However, I haven't read any new books, watched any new television shows, or got any new accessories that I've been obsessing over, which is quite sad. I need to take note of new things to put in my favorites next month!

Enough rambling, let's dive right in.

//Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette: I won't go into full detail since I already did a review but it's incredible.I have not used another eyeshadow palette all month.  I cannot get enough, I won't let it out of my sight, I'm OBSESSED. 

//Too Faced Powder Foundation: I want to mention this in a future Too Faced haul + review but I found this for $10 at Nordstrom Rack and it was like a sign. I've been searching for a good powder foundation, since I have never owned any and was curious. It's really soft and blends really nicely, as well. It's light to medium coverage but you can build it up. I got the shade 'Perfect Nude' and I'd say it matches me pretty great. It's still on the TooFaced website for a whopping $32 so I feel so great knowing I got a steal. I've been wearing it on my "no makeup makeup" days or for work, I'll layer it over my Maybelline Fit Me stick foundation (or wear alone).

//MyFitnessPal: This is the one new app I've been using in relation with my JawboneUp. It's super easy to use, has nutritional information for every food you can imagine, and syncs with my JawboneUp app so it makes tracking calories a lot easier. 

//GoneGreek Sweatshirt: I did a review and hosted a giveaway for this bad boy earlier in the month and I have hardly taken it off (expect to wash of course). It's so soft, so warm, and I'm so happy I got the navy. It's not black but still dark enough that I feel comfortable wearing it (I'm weird and love only dark sweatshirts). 

//Ugg Ear Muffs: I've never been a huge fan of ear muffs but a few Christmases ago, my grandma bought me a pair of black Ugg ear muffs that have headphones built in (of course I lost the wire) and I never really bothered with them. That is, until I rediscovered them this cold season. I don't leave the house without them; they keep me insanely warm on my morning commute and when I'm running errands. I like them better than wearing a hat, even though that may be smarter, and because they're black, they go with everything!

//Udis Gluten Free Bread: This is a weird one. I may do a post on "going gluten free" but for now, I'll mention this. My dad has celiac disease so he can't digest gluten therefore I've been around gluten free food forever. This month, I made the decision to attempt to go gluten free because I eat way too many carbs and figured this had something to do with me being very tired and having constant stomach pains. My dad mentioned this bread was the best so in the frozen section of my Keyfood, I found it and have been loving it! I use it for my lunch at work (I bring peanut butter everyday, don't judge me!) and it's really hearty; it keeps my full and even though it's smaller than the average sliced bread, it's really hearty.

Let me know if you'd like to see a gluten free post! 

Anyways, those are my favorites! Here's to March going a bit slower than February did!

What were your favorites this month?

February 25, 2015

Beauty Wish List

Another beauty post coming at ya! On Monday I posted mini reviews of some of my recent beauty buys and now I want to talk about the products I'm lusting after.

I spend at least an hour day looking at Sephora and Ulta's website, putting items in my cart and favorites list. I spend the majority of my days watching beauty videos on Youtube and keep a running list of all the products they mention that look cool.

Guys, you have no idea how serious this obsession with makeup is. 

I have so many products I really want to try and ones that I'm literally on the verge of buying. These are those products!

//Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush: I'm torn between Natural Beauty and Exposed but these blushes are the next thing I'm buying! I've been searching for the perfect blush and I've found some good drugstore ones but these Tarte blushes are supposed to last for 12 hours and they just look so pretty!

//Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette: This is one of the most talked about products in the beauty world. These powders can be used as highlighters or setting powders and they give you a lit from within glow. It's a pretty price tag but I think the hype is most likely worth it so this will be my next real splurge item! 

//BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer: I'm a huge lover of BB/CC creams and tinted moisturizers. They're perfect for my no makeup makeup days and Bare Minerals is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands. Bloggers everywhere have been raving about this product and I'm really curious to see what it's like. 

//Benefit Cosmetics Puff Off: This is a relatively new product to Benefit and I need it in my life. It's a hydrating eye gel in rollerball form that smoothes the under eye area and reduces the appearance of puffiness. The packaging is adorable and I'm a sucker for any under eye product, seriously. 

//NYX Highlight & Contour Palette: I've been obsessed with contouring lately and searching for the perfect palette (and price) to purchase. When I heard NYX, an awesome drugstore brand, was coming out with a contour palette for $25, I knew I had to have it. I'm waiting for the right time to splurge on this (even if it is a drugstore brand) and I cannot wait. 

There are so many other items on my (many) wish lists but these are the ones I want most and can see myself purchasing soon!

What's on your beauty wishlist? Tel me in the comments!

Shop my picks below!