Overwhelmed | GRWM

June was a rough month.

I say this, with full knowledge that it kind of goes against my current stance of trying to look at things from a more positive perspective. I’m working actively to put more positivity out into the Universe and for the most part, I think I’m doing pretty good, but I’d be dishonest if I said that June was anything but– rough. Though in hindsight, it’s difficult to point out why, exactly. Or where it even started. I don’t think the beginning of the month was necessarily that bad, but somewhere in the middle, I found myself overwhelmed with literally everything.

Work, writing, and my own self-imposed deadlines. There were no facets of my life that felt untouched by whatever was going on for me in June; and by the end, I was more than ready for the month to be over. Towards the end, I expressed this in a vlog I had intended to put up shortly after it was recorded, but somehow other, more pressing videos seemed to take over.

A few days before the end of the month, on our usual Sunday gathering, my good girlfriend, Adrianne and I got together and started recording a get ready with me style vlog. I had never filmed myself putting on makeup while I attempted to talk before. I had seen plenty of YouTuber’s do it, but being there– staring at yourself in a mirror much smaller than I had become used to (with my farsightedness anything less than two inches from a full-length mirror is tricky for eyeshadow), I found myself pausing more than I expected.

As it turns out, recording a video while you do your makeup is harder than it looks. There’s the whole matter of trying to both look at the camera and your mirror, and somehow hold a conversation all the while. As usual, I had written notes– detailed notes too, but as usual, I glanced at them in the beginning of the video to get a feel for the topic and main points and off I went.

On Sunday, I begin editing the video, watching it back, listening to us talk and I debate putting it up. On the one hand, it seems counterproductive to my work at positivity, on the other, it shows that positivity doesn’t just appear overnight. That trusting your gut, and the Universe, and working to put positivity out into the world can be a struggle. That you can still have times of uncertainty and feeling overwhelmed. It’s sharing a piece of my life that feels personal because it is, and I realize, I have to post it. Because it’s larger than me. Struggling with feeling overwhelmed and overworked and questioning your path are very real, and many often experience them, and that’s okay.

Finally Free- Caitlyn Jenner for MAC Makeup Monday Review

monAs a generally impatient person, I’ve never been a fan of having to buy things online because however convenient it is, waiting for things to ship and actually arrive has always been a pet peeve of mine. That being said, I have made several exceptions to this, most recently several Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks, and of course Caitlyn Jenner’s Finally Free Lipstick by MAC.

#IWokeUpLikeThis... only slightly* airbrushed.

#IWokeUpLikeThis… only slightly* airbrushed.

I’m a huge fan of MAC., their Pro Longwear Cream Foundation has been the only thing that I feel like honestly covers my entire face and makes me feel good about life. So naturally, when I heard that Caitlyn was getting her own MAC lipstick, I bought it the second it was available. Aptly named, Finally Free, the Caitlyn Jenner color is a fairly dark pink which almost matches my natural lip color and is a creme rather than matte (which is almost exclusively what I wear). It’s actually a really beautiful shade that goes on like a dream, and because it’s not matte doesn’t dry out my lips as much as matte lipstick tends to.

It’s not really a typical color for me, it’s described on the website as a mid-tone rosy nude (I love a good nude lipstick, but this feels more like dusky rose). But I didn’t really buy it expecting it to be a typical color for me. It still looks good, and I’m very happy with it.

Also it’s for a good cause as 100% of the proceeds go to the MAC Aids Fund Transgender Initiative! 🙂

For the Love of Makeup

days copyI love makeup. A lot. Much to the dismay of my wallet. This year for Christmas I bought myself a pro-contour palette from NYX Cosmetics and the Naked Smokey Palette from Urban Decay, and a number of lip cremes from the beauty box Julep. Makeup can be a very addicting and expensive lifestyle, but if you know what you’re willing to spend any amount of money on and what you’re absolutely not you can help yourself out a little. I use Pro-Longwear Foundation by MAC because the cream based foundation feels like it covers my skin better, I’m willing to spend the money for MAC because I like what it does and I use foundation every day (or at least every day I go out in public). On the other hand, I bought a cheaper NYX contour palette because while I love to play around with contouring I’m not doing it every day.

Part of my love of beauty boxes comes from the fact that it allows me to try new products or get a supply of things I may not use often. I have a dozen or so eyeliners (enough to last me for the rest of my life given I almost never wear them), from various boxes. I have a mascara sample from Too Faced that I adore, but that I probably wouldn’t buy a full bottle of because mascara gives me a migraine.

Lipstick is one of the few other extravagances in my makeup, I bought one MAC makeup because it was the original Viva Glam I by RuPaul, and I now have a second that I got for free with MAC’s recycling program. The Julep lip cremes were a sale price and a good amount of lipsticks I own I got from beauty boxes. I don’t really wear eyeshadow every day, so the Naked Smokey palette an the Naked 2 palette are both enough to last me for as long as I need. Knowing all of these things I know that the only product I really need to spend money on is foundation.

Julep Maven January 2015 Box Review

I love nail polish almost as much as I love makeup in general, so when I found Julep, I was extremely excited. Of all the boxes I’ve personally sampled, Julep is the most expensive, but I feel like one of the best, because of their beautiful colors, you can customize it, and best of all all of their nail polishes come without several harmful chemicals like formaldehyde. Which… why was that in nail polish to begin with?!

I ended up getting a little carried away with my first official box… or… a lot carried away. But I like to think of it as a late Christmas present to myself so it was definitely worth it.

The Box:

box copy

 

Each box includes 3 items, based on your beauty profile, because mine is Bombshell I get 2 nail polishes and one full sized beauty item.

I really liked one of the initial colors I was offered, which was a purple, until I remembered that I already had about six or seven purple nail polishes. I decided to swap it out instead for a gorgeous blue color called Casey.

theBox_Casey

Casey (Boho Glam): A few years ago I became obsessed with Essie’s Hide and Go Chic, and I was determined to find a color that was similar, since at the time I couldn’t afford it, and ever since I haven’t seen it anywhere. Casey is the closest color I’ve seen so far to Hide and go Chic.

Initially my box also came with a second nail polish which I want to say was a bright yellow color that just wasn’t me. So I swapped it out with a Lip Pout lip crayon in Cardinal Red.

Plush Pout

Lip Pout in Cardinal: I can’t get enough of lip crayons. I’m absolutely obsessed with the Revlon Lip Crayon which I picked up in matte a month or so ago, and so when I had the opportunity for a bright red through Julep I decided I had to take it and it’s just fabulous.

luxlip

 

Luxe Lip Treatment: The final item from the original box was a Luxe Lip treatment which was originally in sheer Fig, which is like a brownish pink I want to say. It really wasn’t me, so I decided to pick it up instead in Sheer Magenta which I thought would be a lot more flattering. The Luxe Lip treatment is meant to be an ultra hydrating lip conditioner for those harsh winter days and though Winter is basically over where I live, I still love the luxe lip lipgloss.  

The Add Ons:

JustForYuleTrio copy

Just for Yule Trio: This was the trio I had wanted to buy from day one… I’m really obsessed with the Green and Red and even though I thought I’d never have a need for white I’m actually really in love with it.

Just for Yule Trio_Myrtle

Myrtle—I have just one word for this red. BALENCIAGA!!!! (Any American Horror Story: Coven fans in the house?) I really wanted this red if for no other reason than to give myself the Louboutin manicure.

Just for Yule Trio_Emer

Emer–Now serving… Slytherin Green. I’m really living for Green a lot more lately so naturally I was thrilled for this color when I saw it in this trio. I think it’s probably the chief reason I picked up this trio, after the aforementioned Louboutin manicure.

Just for Yule Trio_Brigitte

Brigitte— While white is usually reserved for french manicures, I think I can find a few other uses for it.

Fa La La Trio

Fa La La Trio: A beautiful New Years Eve trio that didn’t quite make it for New Years, but I still love.

Fa La La Trio_Charisma

Charisma— When I first saw this color online I could have sworn it was like magenta so I was really excited to have a color like that, but seeing it in person it’s actually more of a red with gold sparkles in it. I haven’t quite tried it yet, so although I’m disappointed it wasn’t magenta, I think I’m going to love it all the same.

Fa La La Trio_WinnieFa La La Trio_Margot

Winnie & Margot— Both Winnie and Margot, the Champagne-ish colors look almost identical, but Margo (pictured right) happens to be a bit more gold than champagne and also has a slight unmistakable crease in it’s bottle that makes it easier to spot. I wasn’t entirely sure about the colors until I tried Winnie out on one of my toes and really fell in love with that champagne shine. It’s actually really pretty and gives sort of a high fashion fall feel.

Top Coat Trio:

oxygenperformancetopcoat

Oxygen Performance Top Coat

Silk Effect Top Coat

Silk Effect Top Coat

Freedom Polymer Top Coat

Freedom Polymer Top Coat

 

Of the three of them I’ve technically only tried the silk effect and the freedom polymer top coat and I love them both. Silk effect is like a mix of matte and gloss and the freedom polymer top coat is all gloss, and almost like a gel finish. It’s super gorgeous and by far one of the best top coats I’ve ever tried.

NightShiftSleepMask

Night Shift Sleep Mask: I LIVE for Sleep masks so I was super excited to pick up the night shift sleep mask. It’s really thick and in it’s instructions tells you have to wash it off in the morning which I think is interesting but it feels so good on my skin.

The Freebies:

metamorphictopcoat

Metamorphic Top Coat Tilda: This month Julep introduced three metamorphic top coats of which Mavens would get a free one. The metamorphic top coat is so gorgeous, it adds this sort of iridescent sheen to the colors, so far I’ve applied it to my left hand and it really makes all the colors look fabulous, sparkly, and just fun.

go big mascara

Free January Maven Gift: Because I ordered 4 add ons I got a free gift. (I think you get one after three but I wanted the sleep mask).

GO BIG MASCARA!— OK so I’m actually super excited about this gift, it was a total mystery what I was going to get but I was secretly hoping for mascara because though I rarely use it, I really wanted to try out a new mascara.

Overall I really love Julep, it’s a gorgeous box and it’s definitely worth the money, however since I’m trying to save up money for a vacation this will probably be my last box for a while.

5 Smooches, Julep is the best!

5 Smooches, January did not disappoint dolls!

Birchbox Review December 2014

I’m absolutely obsessed with makeup, so it was only a matter of time before I started subscribing to some of the makeup sample boxes out there. Since Birchbox was the one I had heard of first, it was the one I subscribed too first. And now my first box is finally here! 😀

Packaging

Photo Dec 16, 1 21 57 PM

My first Birchbox… via Instagram.

As a graphic designer it’s all about the packaging and Birchbox didn’t disappoint. This is actually a super cute box. The picture has an Instagram filter and the actual color is more of a brighter blue which actually is really pretty. Even the shipping box, was branded and pretty cute.

Tocca Hand Cream in Cleopatra 4fl — $20

tc

I’ve been obsessed with lotions for quite some time now, so when I saw that my first Birchbox included a hand cream I was super excited. The scent is grapefruit and cucumber which reminds me a little of Cucumber Melon (which my mother always wore when I was little). It’s incredibly soft, silky, and luxurious with a scent that’s pleasing but not so overpowering as to be all you can smell when you’re wearing it.

 Lord and Berry #5072 Sparkle Black Eyeliner– $18

l&b

This black sparkle eyeliner is actually super cute, and the perfect color for New Years Eve. I was a little nervous (as I tried it on in the car, which I don’t recommend) because I’m not really accustomed to actual pencil eyeliners versus the kohl liners which are super soft; it actually ended up working out nicely. I didn’t end up wearing it to work like I had initially planned, however I do plan to try it out for New Years so I’ll update this then to see if it has the staying power I need.

English Laundry Perfume 1.7 oz — $70

el

I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like this because I’m a little particular when it comes to scents. According to Birchbox the scent features:

Top notes of rose geranium with a backdrop of woody spicy and musky notes.

I’m not entirely sure what that’s supposed to mean, so I decided I’d have to smell it to get the full effect. I actually really like this scent more than I thought I would. I can’t think of any place that I could wear it however because it’s a bit too powerful for the office.

Coola mineral sunscreen/BB Cream– $36

cool

According to Birchbox the product is a BB cream/tinted moisturizer… I’m pretty in love with BB creams right now (as is almost everyone in the makeup world. Thus far I’ve only tried a few, so I was curious when I first got this how it would work. I decided to wear it underneath my makeup for the day and what I can say is that it went on super smooth. It didn’t really seem to have a lot of color for being tinted, that said it felt really nice.

Real Chemistry 3 Minute Face Peel — $48

rc

 

I would have preferred a mud mask type of product, however I think the problem was more my own inability to make it work, than necessarily the product itself. I haven’t used a face peel in a while and nothing quite like this.

Overall

bbox

It’s a pretty fun box. I liked being able to sample different products and brands all of which I had never heard of, and I was actually pretty pleasantly surprised. I’m interested to see what the new year brings for Birchbox. More makeup perhaps?

Update 12/22: I got an email from Birchbox offering a sneak peak into January’s box and to be honest I wasn’t that impressed. Several lotion samples, one of which was a sample I’d already received just didn’t appeal to me. For now, I’ll be holding off on Birchbox and will reevaluate my decision in February.