It’s Been A Year/What I’m Loving…

It’s Been A Year/What I’m Loving…

Hey guys and dolls,

I know. Before you even start, let’s…not? Okay? It’s been a rough year. I blogged maybe once last year? And then *poof* nothing. I’m sorry. But, then again, I’m not sorry. I was focused on surviving. I wasn’t in beast mode. I was in chronic-illness, get-through-the-day-so-I-can-go-back-to-sleep-mode. And to be honest, I’m still kind of in that mood, but I’m hoping that I’m climbing out and I’ll be here to stay out of the rut a little longer than last time.

So, that’s done, we’ve had a truth moment. Still with me? Great, I appreciate it. Now, can we talk about the good stuff? Like all the stuff that’s been making me smile, laugh, relax and basically get through all the crap? Cool, let’s get into it!

TV

Feeling under the weather a lot means spending huge chunks of whatever free time you have on your couch or in your bed. So I watched (and continue to watch) a lot of TV. Some of the shows that I’m currently loving are some well known favorites and a few that might be a little lesser known, but they’re still so good. 

Power (Starz, Sundays @9pm)Do you watch Empire on Fox? If so, do you love it? Then, give Power a try. Aside from the off screen drama between the two creators (Lee Daniels and 50 Cent, respectively) there’s plenty of on screen mishap, mayhem and good old storylines to last you for at least a good month of binge sessions. Power has everything: love, family, crime, law, complex relationships and friendships, parenting…you name it. There hasn’t yet been a dull moment and the newest season is sure not to disappoint.

Claws (TNT, Sundays @9pm):  Yes, I know, scheduling conflict if you want to also catch Power. This is what On Demand is for. Sometimes, there is no solution. Just pick a show to watch and maybe alternate between the weeks or something. But definitely watch Claws. Again, a lot happening, but all good. I can’t describe the show and do it it’s proper justice, just watch the first episode and try not to be hooked in the first 5 minutes. I. Dare. You.

Undercover (BBC UK/One, On Demand)This show originally debuted in 2016, but I only discovered it this year. This one is for all of my legal, crime and mystery buffs. Stellar acting and the most beautifully woven story, directed with the kind of artistic touch that makes you feel that you’re smack in the middle of the story and living it out with the characters. Emotional, but not depressing. Also, sometimes a good cry is in order, even better if it’s measured and you can quickly let it out and then keep moving (in my opinion).

Beauty

I’m loving a lot in the beauty space right now. But, here are just a few of the items that I can’t get enough of these last few days, weeks and months…

L’Oreal Lash Paradise ($8.99, Target): Whenever I’ve purchased a mascara these past few months, I’ve gone for the darkest shade they offer. L’oreal beats a lot of the competition with their blackest black and carbon black shades. This mascara isn’t any different. Also, it’s a beautiful dupe for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara, which I loved in the its travel size, but quickly hated when I purchased a full size. This mascara delivers the same (if not better) application and results,  is a great savings ($20!!!) and manages to stay on flake- and smear-free during the day, but slips off so easily when you’re ready to remove. Run, don’t walk to Target and get one. or Two. A lady must always be ready.

JINsoon Nail Lacquer ($68*, Birchbox): This one is tricky. The shade is Vogue Rose. The application is smooth, easy and creamy. The way to get it in your hands and on your nails and toes…that’s the tricky part. It’s apart of one of Birchbox’s most recent Limited Edition boxes. You can buy the entire box full of goodies, which are a celebration of Vogue’s 125 Anniversary and get this lovely shade. Click the link. You know you want to.

Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Metallics Lipstick in Copper Rose ($8.99, Walgreens): This is going to need to be in your fall lip arsenal. It’s gorgeous and dramatic, but still wearable. Wear this when you need a boost of confidence, or for all eyes to be on your lips for…other reasons. This is the confident girl’s lip–even if you have to fake it until you make it. Is she born with it or is it Maybelline? ;)

Obviously, there are more things, but TV and my beauty finds are my main companion these days.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, so you never miss a post–especially because I can’t always plan them! I’d hate for you to miss a thing. Love our chats, missed you dearly.

Talk soon. xo, Layla

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Looking Ahead: Fall Beauty

Looking Ahead: Fall Beauty

imagesI know what you’re thinking…it’s only July. True. But, August will come soon and fly by, just like all these previous months have and we’ll be looking out at fall weather and falling leaves before we know it.

And as we also know, with new seasons come new beauty releases and a chance to bring out tried and true seasonal favorites, like oxblood manicures.

For me, it’s also a time that I revisit some products that have been on the market for a little while and are suitable for fall/winter weather, but that I haven’t made up my mind about whether I “need” them or not. (PSA: in my head, all beauty purchases are needs, right up there with–and I’m almost embarrassed to admit–before food.)

Here’s another thing to think about: these fall beauty splurges you may want to treat yourself to. Now’s the time to be the smart beauty you are and start stashing your coins away. Even if you’re living a financially comfortable life, it truly doesn’t hurt to make any large(ish) purchases that much easier by spreading out the cost over time, especially since you’d be doing so without paying the interest you would if you used a credit card.

Okay, we now return to our regularly scheduled beauty programming…I like to make a small list of about 5 things that I really want to purchase for the fall season that I can use throughout fall and into winter, or even Spring depending on the product type and shade (if applicable). I prioritize them by desire, research the regular retail price and figure out how much money I’ll stash away each pay period in order to snag at least my most desired item. This way, if something comes up and I can’t get them all, I’ll at least have the item I had my heart set on.

Here’s my list for this year (of course, it’s subject to minor tweaks):

  1. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, $19
  2. Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, $54
  3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Sad Girl, $20
  4. Clinique Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub & Lip Balm in Black Honey, $19.50
  5. Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils in Burgundy 5, $32

A few things: first, these aren’t new launches for this year, rather the result of my procrastination  perpetual “be responsible” self talk; second: while in singular these aren’t particularly expensive, I can never just grab one lippie, mascara or eyeliner at a time–can you? And that’s where we can get ourselves started on the slippery slope. So again, I’m firmly in the camp of “stash away!”

And lastly, notice a theme here?? Oxblood/deep wine/burgundy LOVE–hardcore. In fall and winter, Oxblood tones are my boo and we’re in the most committed of relationships, and quite happily might I add ;)

What’s your 5? Let me know in the comments below!

Talk soon. xo-Layla

Drugstore Goodies, Part II

Drugstore Goodies, Part II

I’m back! Boy, can’t believe it’s been almost 24 hours since we last chatted. Time flies when you’re…living life (hey, it can’t always be fun, right?)

Okay, so you know the deal. I love to pick up things in drugstores. I hit up 3 this weekend…yada, yada, yada.

Here are the last 5 items I got from my drugstore roundup:

Studio 35 Beauty Pumice Stone, price varies dependent on Walgreens location: My feet loves warm and cozy things, namely socks. Feels great, especially in the colder months but come summer my poor feet are in need of a lot of attention. While I haven’t tried this yet, one look at the uniquely shaped, coarse tool and it was a no brainer. Tossed it right into my cart. Can’t wait to soak my feet in my brand new makeshift pedicure tub (hint: I got it at Home Depot) and scrub away to super soft skin.

CoverGirl Clump Crusher Extensions Lashblast Mascara in Very Black, $8.99: I liked the original version well enough so decided to pick this up. For some reason, I feel like the brush is slightly smaller. This alone makes it a little harder for me to get to my lashes which are in between skimpy and normal. This won’t be my everyday mascara, but I’ll most likely end up using it when I’m in a bind: like I’m in a rush to get out the door but I’ve run out of my usual mascara. If you were thinking of getting this, I would think twice. For the price of a few lattes, it’d be a shame to purchase this and not be happy.

Burt’s Bees Hydrating Lip Balm with Coconut & Pear, $2 (on sale at Rite Aid): Love the tropical, fruity scent. Not a fan of the texture for this one if you’re into layering it under other lip products but is a great lip moisturizer on its it. Speaking of layering: if you do like to have a little moisture as foundation before swiping on another lip product, my holy grail is Burt’s Bees Honey formula.

Nivea A Kiss of Cherry Fruity Lip Care, $1 (on sale at Rite Aid): Very moisturizing; beautiful, natural looking sheer wash of color. Need I say more?

TRIM Nail Care Sticks, $6: These are quite the handy little nail tools (no pun intended). There are 4 in each pack, each with dual ended purposes. One end looks like your standard orange stick. You’d use this side to push back cuticles. The other end is wrapped in colored texture. This end is for cleaning underneath your nails. Effective, simple, inexpensive. Buy these.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is my personal beauty consultation with Jodie from DooBop!!! I was going to post about it right after the call but I think I will wait until I receive my first box and give you one post filled with DooBop chat. How’s that sound? Great? Good. Great minds and all…

Well, time for me to hit the hay, um is it written somewhere that once you turn 26 your bed time suddenly becomes 9pm? BUM-MER.

Talk soon.

xo, Layla

Drugstore Goodies, Part I

Drugstore Goodies, Part I

Hey there!

I hate that I’m posting so sporadically but I’m always thinking of you and dying to chat about EVERYTHING, my schedule and health have both been pretty unpredictable lately. But, we’re together now and that’s all that matters…

Exactly one week ago today I turned 26. It was a big deal for me, I had mixed feelings. But I also had the best time celebrating and only just began to wind down yesterday. Like many adults, I went to the office on my birthday (where my coworkers definitely showered me with birthday love) On Saturday, I went for a manicure, frozen yogurt and the most delicious sushi from a local haunt (shout out to Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, CT!!) and had a BLAST. On Sunday, I went to breakfast with my dad (what’s better than Birthday pancakes?) and got to catch up with a friend who I haven’t seen in years over local pizza (we’re kinda famous for it) and wine coolers. Overall: I had one very low key but memorable birthday.

By now you’re like “get to the goods woman.” Don’t worry, it’s coming. I stopped into the Big 3: Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens between Friday and Saturday and picked up a few items from each. Keep reading for what I picked up and mini reviews for any items I’ve already tried:

Maybelline The Nudes Palette, $12.99: This is the product that started the entire hunt. I had seen it flipping through my monthly round up of magazines and set out to find one. IT WAS HARD. So hard, I had to visit 3 stores before finally landing on it (one of the last ones) at a CVS the next town over. This beautiful palette carries 16 neutral, smoky shades: some matte and some with a soft shimmer. This is a great basic palette for everyday and for the working girl (or guy) who’s just starting out in the professional world. Another great thing that got me excited about this palette is the accompanying video that helps guide you on the types of looks you can create with it. Unfortunately, the web address provided on the packaging links to an error page for me and I can’t find any videos on Maybelline’s YouTube page as of this posting. BUM-MER. Anyways, it’s still a beautiful palette, so I encourage you to give it a try (purchase it from Walgreens if you can, as their policy is the most return friendly) and see what sort of magic you can create.

Covergirl Perfect Point Plus Eye Pencil in Midnight Blue, $4.99: When I was younger, I would rock a navy and gold eye look like it was nothing and be IN LOVE with my look. I embraced my large, almond shaped eyes much more then and wanted them to be on full display. Flash forward 10 years, and I’m definitely in that frame of mind again. Cue this remarkably blend able navy liner with a smudger built in on one end. Navy blue liner is not nearly as drastic as it sounds, it’s actually quite wearable and is a mild and stunning way to do something different and create a gorgeous eye look.

Essie Nail Lacquer in Limo-Scene and Blanc, $8 (each): I popped into CVS on my way to my manicure hoping to get the Maybelline palette but if nothing else to pick up my manicure colors (if you can’t already tell, I opted for a French Manicure). I’m a little anal about bringing my own colors because some nail salons (note: certainly not ALL) use nail polish thinner to make their polishes last longer and be able to do more manicures without having to constantly purchase new product. Good for them, not so great for you if you’re looking for a manicure with decent staying power. These colors are beautiful, and for my fellow permanently tanned ladies, yes you can rock these colors and look perfectly polished and ready for any situation. I’m almost positive I’ll be rocking the french manicure look for many more moons.

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Milan Moment and India Intrigue, $9.99 (each): These colors are vibrant, yet sheer and are very moisturizing. Milan Moment is a hypnotic mixture of red, coral, true orange in the tube that glides on evenly, is sheer and builds in opaque coverage at your control. India Intrigue is a bright almost see through true fuchsia tone in the tube. I haven’t worn it yet but I’m sure it won’t disappoint.  They’re my new favorite lip products and I’ll definitely be picking up more colors from this collection to wear year round. Word to the wise: I always layer some Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm under any lip product. This, coupled with eating/drinking and talking meant that my lip gloss only lasted about 3-5 hours depending on my activity level. It didn’t bother me, I was happy to reapply the creme-gel like treat but it may bother some of you so be forewarned!

Revlon Grow Luscious Bold Lacquer Mascara in Black, $7.99: I was intrigued by this product’s color formula. Revlon claims that most comparable (I’m assuming mass drugstore is the comparison base) use a mixture of dull grays with just a hint of true black to come up with their colors. While I do like the pigment payoff, I’m a little less sold on the actual wear of this mascara. It seems drying and flakes to the touch. When removing it with my trusty Almay Eye Makeup Remover pads (and ever so gently) I lost 3 (!!) precious lashes. I will keep trying this for a little while longer and hope that it gets better with use or that I got a tube of a bad batch and keep you all posted.

That’s it for Part I, there are  five more items which I’ll save for tomorrow in the interest of keeping it (semi) short and sweet.

On Thursday, I’ll be writing about my DooBop consultation as I’ve just joined their monthly box subscription service.

Looking forward to it glossies, talk soon.

xo, Layla

 

 

Review: Revlon “Girly” Nail Lacquer and Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

Review: Revlon “Girly” Nail Lacquer and Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

I wish I could love all beauty products that I try, but sadly that’s not always the case. These two products don’t make the “Keep” bin–not even close.

First up, Revlon’s Nail Lacquer in Girly.

revlon girly

Revlon’s nail polish is usually total hit or miserable miss for me so I’m not too surprised that I’m not in love with the formula or the color payoff but I really didn’t think I’d hate it as much as I do. I’m almost annoyed by it’s horrible job and feel that it’s not worth the space it takes up on the shelves. The only I can see loving this would be to time travel back to my pre-teen days when I had nothing but time to play with adding layers upon layers of nail polish and could get away with the clear base, sort of sparkly glitter flecks. Yes, flecks not chunks like they appear in the bottle. In fact, the whole polish appears differently in the bottle. The lavender base colors appears as though it would apply more opaquely–not the case at all. After two coats, it barely shows up, base and glitter equally. If adding a creamier base color and using “Girly” as a topper seems appealing to you, you may have a better experience. Sorry Revlon, but I am not in love.

Now…onto Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara…

Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Mascara

I received this in my Influenster VoxBox a few months ago. Fair warning: this tube is very big. You’ll need lots of room in your makeup bag–so much room that you may have to edit one or two (maybe three?) products out. First strike. I love the concept and intention behind this brush but the execution is poor at best. The brush itself is a great shape, but it’s a tad too big to pump up sparse lashes (like mine.)  I do like how the formula distributes evenly but it’s not enough for me to put up with its other shortcomings. The color payoff is on par with other brands. I’ve heard great things about Rimmel’s line of mascaras so I haven’t completely written them off but this one is NOT a home run. If you have fuller lashes or wear falsies on a daily or even semi-regular basis, then go ahead and give it a whirl, you shouldn’t be disappointed with this product all. For everyone else, keep walking by this one in the aisle and spend the money on a old favorite or something new that’s less likely to make you wrinkle your nose in disappointment and a tad bit of disgust.

I hate to be harsh but when you spend your hard earned money on anything, beauty products especially, you want to know that you’ll have at least a decent chance to getting what you think you’re paying for. Money doesn’t come easily enough to try everything and just toss away whatever doesn’t work out on a regular basis. Save those moments for things you’re really after and are willing to take the (calculated) risk on.

And as always, please remember that these are my personal opinions based on my own experiences. My perspective is only given with the best of intent–to help you navigate smartly :)

Later my loves.

xo, Layla