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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

elf $1 Eyelid Primer

elf Essential Eyelid Primer

For the longest time, I never used an eyeshadow primer. Well, to be fair, I rarely ever wore eyeshadow so I didn't have much of a need, but on the occasions when I did, I never had one that worked. I've tried Benefit Stay Don't Stray, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, NYX Skin tone Eyeshadow Base and samples of various others and none of these have performed well for me.

Not only do I have oily eyelids, but I've also been looking for a product that I could use on a few lines I have on my face that makeup likes to sink into (smile lines, I'm talking about you here!!) and possibly prevent that from happening. I absolutely hate it when my foundation sinks into my smile lines, it makes me look dry and much older than I should look at only 22.

So, with those things in mind I will explain to you why the elf Eyelid Primer is a hot product in my book....

First things first, it has a doe foot applicator and is a light skin tone color. It is very thin in texture and almost feels greasy...that word doesn't have a good connotation, but I can't think of another way to describe it, it's not a bad thing though, don't worry.

This primer keeps my eyeshadow from creasing ALL DAY. I have found that you can't put foundation or concealer on underneath it because it will crease, but that makes sense and that's probably true for any primer. I have very oily eyelids so for me to check in the mirror periodically throughout the day and see no signs of creasing means this is some good stuff.

Before I do any of my makeup and after I've moisturized my skin, I dab this on my eyelids and in the lines on the sides of my mouth. This product has seriously helped with the makeup sinking into my smile lines and for that, I love it. It hasn't fixed the problem, of course, but I notice that on long days it takes a really long time before foundation even begins to sink in and it looks SO much better than if I don't use it. On days where I'm not doing a lot or no wearing my makeup for a long time, it doesn't do it at all.

I was looking for a 2-in-1 product to combat both of these problems and I think I've found it, at least for now. I'll probably need something a little stronger for those smile lines one day, but as an eyeshadow primer alone, this product is fantastic and SO much cheaper than the alternatives that are out there. I mean, how much better can you get for one dollar?

Have you guys tried this? Also, I didn't know until I looked on the website that it comes in other shades, let me know if you've tried any of those! :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Product I Tried to Live Without #1: Aussie Conditioning Spray

Do you guys have products that you've run out of and decided not to repurchase not because you weren't pleased, but just because you decided to try something new? I have several products like this so I think I may start a new series and this is the first one: Aussie Hair Insurance- Leave-in Conditioning Spray.

Aussie Hair Insurance
It has been many, many months since I've had this product. I used this, then switched to one by John Frieda (good product, but a little more expensive), then I decided to go a different route completely and use hair oils and creams.

Lately, my hair has been my worst enemy. I never like how it looks and it never feels good. Even though I have a few different hair products, I'm not much of a hair product junkie. You would think that I would be because I'm always complaining about how difficult my hair is to deal with, but I just find it an extra step I have to take and one that never seems to make a difference anyway.

One day I just said to heck with it! And I broke down and decided to spend the $3 on it and threw it in my basket.

First of all, the smell. It has the typical Aussie product smell, which I love because it smells like a tropical coconut. Also, in case you're wondering, it sprays out a really nice mist that's easy to evenly distribute.

I use this product a couple of different ways. I don't use it every day because I think there can be too much of a good thing, but after I wash my hair when it's wet I'll spray it. If I'm going to blow dry my hair that night then I'll straighten it and then go ahead and spray it all over my hair a second time. This is the kicker, the reason I love this product so much is because after I straighten my hair I'll pull my hair into a ponytail and then twist it into a bun and sleep on it that way; when I wake up in the morning my hair is light, soft, bouncy and I don't even need to do any heat styling touch ups if I don't want to.

I know people say this product doesn't have the best ingredients for your hair, but it's so inexpensive and anything that makes styling my hair easier is a friend in my book. After having such a positive experience with this product after being so frustrated with my hair, I don't think I'll be without it again.

Have you guys tried this product or have any other suggestions for hard to manage hair? :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tips for Using a Public Restroom

It happens. Nobody likes using public restrooms, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Whether you're in an airport and have a long layover, out shopping for an extended time, at a restaurant or at work, it can be difficult to avoid using a public restroom. Yes, I would consider this a "first world problem," although, anything in life that I complain about probably is. The point of the post is simply to explain the steps that I take when I can't avoid using a public restroom. Let the uncomfortable-ness begin!

1. Pick the cleanest looking stall you can. They say that the first stalls are the least used because people want more privacy, but I think ever since that got out, it's probably not as true anymore, so just do the best you can.

(Image courtesy of Google)
2. If you hang your bag on the stall, hang it so that the side that doesn't touch your body when you're wearing it is facing/touching the door (I know the germs are still there, I just feel a tiny bit better doing this).

3. If they have toilet seat covers, use one. If not, use two strips of toilet paper and place that on the seat. The third option would be to squat (ick, that word just SOUNDS bad) if the stall is really gross or you're just more comfortable that way.

(Image courtesy of Google)
4. Do not let your clothes touch the floor! Not only is the floor probably filthy (in fact, I've read it's the dirtiest part of a public restroom), but when I was in elementary school and didn't know any better, the bottoms of my pants would touch the floor and whatever cleaner they used would bleach my pants.

5. Before you grab toilet paper (even if it's just used for a make-shift seat cover) rip off the end because who knows who was the last person to touch it.

6. If it's not automatic, flush the toilet with your hand, or grab a piece of toilet paper to flush (I used to use my foot, but then I realized that I walk around in my house with shoes on sometimes and that's totally gross- if you don't do that, then use your foot!).

7. Wash your hands REALLY well in warm, soapy water.

8. If you have to touch a handle to get out of the restroom, grab a paper towel or piece of toilet paper to open it and throw that in the trash before you leave.

(Image courtesy of Google)
9. Sanitize hands if you feel you should and put the experience behind you! haha :)

I know that these tips aren't going to avoid you coming into contact with bathroom germs 100%. They do at least make me feel better because I feel like I've done just about all I can do. Do you guys do any of these things or anything I haven't mentioned when you go into a public restroom? Let me know :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Christmas Gifts Under $15

Christmas Gifts Under $15

I've already started seeing a lot of Christmas Gift Guides and when I saw these products, I decided I needed to do a post! All of these products are under $15, which is such an amazing deal. I think any of these would be perfect to hand out to friends, to use as a stocking stuffer, or to supplement another gift to a loved one. There's no particular reason why I chose all Lorac or Stila, they just are great higher-end brands that have really affordable gift sets out right now.

Both Lorac and Stila are known for their good quality and I think any makeup lover in your life would be very pleased to receive any of these sets, I know I would be! :) My favorite of the bunch is the #4 Lorac palette; it reminds me a lot of the Naked Basics, but with richer colors.

Hopefully this will help some of you out with some gift ideas! Let me know what you guys think!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Downsides of Dark Polish and Solutions

(Image courtesy of Google)

It is that time of year again that we all break out our darkest and richest colors from our nail polish collections. But with the dark polish comes a few inevitable problems, so I've done my best to compile solutions for you!

#1: Marks on the Walls

I hope that this happens to other people! This is the downside of wearing dark nail polish that I deal with the most often. When I go to turn off a light, or grab a paper towel or anything like that, a lot of times my nail polish creates a crayon-looking streak on the wall. 

The Fix:

This is such an easy fix because of my holy grail product for wall stains: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. All you need to do is wet the edge of the sponge a little, then rub it over the places on the walls that are marked up or stained and like magic, they're gone! You can still see the wet spot on the wall a little in the third picture but it will fully dry and you'll never know anything happened there! (No, this isn't sponsored by Mr. Clean, I just use these things ALL the time :)

#2: Stained Skin Around Nails

I don't have an image for this one (sorry guys, I just didn't want to take one for the team! And I couldn't find one on Google, surprisingly), but we all know what this looks like. Especially if you were wearing red or burgundy colored nail polish, you get the scary blood-stained hands look when you rub the polish off and it gets all around your nails.

The Fix:
1. Rub vaseline round your nails before you use nail polish remover and it can act as a barrier.
2. Try not to rub the polish off haphazardly. Soak a cotton ball or cotton pad in acetone and dab the polish off as gently as possible.
3. Don't use the same cotton pad on all of your nails because you risk the color transferring onto your skin easier that way.

#3: Nails Stained Yellow
(Image courtesy of Google)
Ah yes, the dreaded yellow nails. It's not pretty and the easiest thing to do is to cover them back up with dark polish but that's only a bandaid on the problem. There are several things you can try to get rid of the yellow stained nails.

The Fix(es):
1. Try soaking your nails for five to ten minutes in lemon juice. 
2. Make a mixture of two parts peroxide and one part baking soda. Do this soak every other day until you see an improvement. 
3. Use a base coat under your nail polish whether it's clear, white or a pale pink to form a protective barrier.
4. Try to go nail polish free for a week every once in a while to give them a break.
(Information found on several websites, but this one said it best

Do you guys experience any of these problems? Let me know if you have any other solutions! 

I hope this was helpful!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Outfit of the Day: Faux Fur Vest and an Impromptu Hike

We were out this past Saturday and decided to do something a little different and go to this local park. It  had tons of trails, a river, railroad tracks and fallen leaves everywhere; it was so pretty and quaint and the view was amazing.

Even though I wasn't dressed for the little hiking adventure that we ended up on, I still enjoyed wearing this outfit! I wore my favorite black skinny pants and animal print top that I wear way too much (shhh...)

I also wore this faux fur vest that I got from Forever 21 last year on sale. I was a little hesitant about it at first because it's a little out there for me, but I figured that since it was black it was low-key enough for me to try to pull off. I'm so glad that I bought it because it's one of my favorite fall/winter pieces now :) I especially love the leather strap that goes around it because tying it in a bow makes it so feminine and to contrast that, my boots are a riding style and add a bit of rugged-ness to the outfit.

It was so windy! Haha, my hair was going crazy :)

I also changed up my lip combination and wore a mauve lipstick by Maybelline called 445 On the Mauve and an Estee Lauder lipgloss called Orchid Passion, which I Instagrammed about that morning because I was proud of myself for mixing it up!

The inspiration behind this outfit came from this Pinterest picture. I know that not everyone likes animal print, and I can't say that I've ever been a big fan. The only item I own that has animal print on it is this shirt and I think that because the colors are muted, it makes it look classy and put-together, even by itself. I loved the combination of the animal print shirt with the black vest that this girl is wearing so that's why I decided to give it a go!

Shirt: Loft
Vest: Forever 21
Pants: Lovefire brand at Belk
Boots: Jessica Simpson
Watch, bracelet & bag: Michael Kors

Let me know that you think about this outfit and how you feel about animal print in the comments! :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sweater Weather Tag!

1. Favorite candle scent?
I don't really have a favorite because I like a lot of different scents, but I typically gravitate toward sweeter scents like Homemade Cookies, Sugar Donut and Pumpkin Cupcake from Bath and Body Works.

2. Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?
Hot Chocolate! I sometimes like coffee if it isn't too strong or too bitter, and I really dislike hot tea.

3. Best fall memory?
I don't think I can really narrow it down because "fall" is kind of a broad category! I loved going to pumpkin patches when I was little, setting up the halloween decorations with my parents and other things like that.

4. Do you prefer dark lips or winged eyeliner?
Well, winged liner is something I haven't exactly mastered yet, but I love dark lips more anyway!

5. Best fall fragrance?
I wear it year-round, but I love YSL Parisienne. It's a fragrance that has enough depth it can be worn in the fall/winter, but isn't so strong that you can't wear it in spring/summer as well. It's been my absolute favorite for several years now.

6. Favorite Thanksgiving food?
I love most Thanksgiving foods! Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie are my top picks :)

7. What's autumn like where you live?
Recently it's been getting chillier during the day, in the high 50's to mid 60's, but it fluctuates. Some days it'll be in the low to mid 70's!

8. Most worn sweater?
I have several from Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft that I've had for years and continue to wear! One is a traditional cable-knit cream sweater, another is a taupe cable-knit with dolman sleeves and a third is a REALLY heavy, long cardigan-style sweater that is so warm is can replace a coat.

9. Must have nail polish?
I don't have any specific colors, but I love dark reds and dark purples.

10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?
Football games. I'm not the biggest fan, but they're fun sometimes, especially in college.

11. Skinny jeans or leggings?
I wear skinny jeans more often because leggings are kind of limiting with what top you wear. I do love to wear black skinny pants that are cotton material because you get the legging look and legging comfort with the ease of jeans.

12. Combat boots or Ugg boots?
I used to own a pair of both and I wore the Ugg boots more often just because of how comfortable they were and because of how cold it was.

13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?
Pumpkin anything is worth the hype.

14. Favorite fall tv show?
I don't have any tv shows that I watch regularly, but I do love tv-movies that go along with the holidays like halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

15. What song gets you into the fall spirit?
My songs don't really change with the season, except about mid-November when I'm in full on Christmas mode and I listen to Christmas music 24/7 (and yes, I already started even though it's not the middle of the month yet).

Thank you so much to Sisi from Modern Beauty Girl for tagging me! I had so much fun thinking about my answers! I'm going to be a super lazy blogger and tag anyone who wants to do this tag! If you do it, I'd love if you'd let me know in the comments so I can read your answers!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

First Time Essence Picks!

I'm very excited to bring you all this post today! I went to Ulta with my younger sister and I decided to try to find a lipstick that I had seen on Pinterest but can never find when I go to Ulta. Well, I found it, and a couple other things and I wanted to share them with you!

Here goes!

Eyeshadow: 35 Party All Night (Metallic Effect)

Lipstick: 52 In the Nude

Lipgloss: 19 Nude Candy

I wanted to show you what the eyeshadow looks like before you start using it- it's so beautiful and shimmery! This was honestly a gamble for me because I thought that I didn't like shimmery eyeshadow, but I heard good things about Essence shadows and this one was too pretty to pass up.

The verdict? I LOVE it, so much. I've been wearing it non-stop. As you can see from the first image, you do start to break down the top layer of the shadow as you use it, but it comes off so pretty on the eyes. It's a really great shadow for those one shadow looks, but I typically put a creamy white color all over the lid and put this shadow in the crease and it has such a nice brightening effect. It's a nude/ light bronzey color that isn't too bold if you're like me and you don't wear eyeshadow often, but it can be built up in intensity.

You can see swatches of the products here. The lipstick is a brown nude, but is light enough that I can get away with it with my fair skintone. The lipgloss is a light peachy/pink with subtle shimmers and paired together, these are a really pretty nude lip.

Both products are fairly pigmented, particularly the lipgloss. If you can see in the first image, the applicator on the lipgloss is very long so if you don't wipe it off a bit before you apply, you're going to end up with a goopy mess on your lips. As for scents, the lipstick has a bit of a "cheap makeup" smell, or a "little kid makeup" smell, it is afterall, pretty inexpensive at around $2, so it's tolerable. The lipgloss, on the other hand, has a strong fruit punch scent, which I love.  A downside of these lip products is that they don't last long on the lips, but Essence does make longer-wear formulas so I'm interested to try those out next time. 

This is me wearing all three products! I am impressed with Essence so far. It's a brand that I've seen for a couple of years and heard good things about, but never tried myself. I like how affordable the makeup is and will definitely be going back for more. I think next time I also want to try one of their mascaras that everyone's always raving about!

Have you guys tried any Essence products? If you have, let me know any that you recommend!

p.s. I just got an Instagram (a little late, I know haha), so please go over there and follow me too! I'm excited to get that going! My username is ivyburridge and the link is in the sidebar! :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Combination Skin Care Night Routine

Recently, my skin has been acting up a bit. My skin is generally pretty oily and gets slightly dry in the colder months, but nothing too bad. For some reason, even though it's only just gotten cooler outside, my skin has already started drying out and it's been such a pain because it's not something I'm used to dealing with.  These are the products that I've been using after I take my makeup off and wash my face at night:

Every night after I get out of the shower, the first product I use is the Witch Hazel. My skin is acne prone so I use this as a toner because it's a natural product that is gentle on the skin and cleans out the pores. I've used topical medication prescribed by a dermatologist for several years now and when I ran out many months ago I started incorporating this into my routine. I do still get a blemish here and there, but it has been such a great addition to my skincare routine because it has basically kept my skin clear when only medication has been able to do that in the past. Also, it's extremely inexpensive! I transfer mine into this pump bottle I got from Sephora a few years ago just to make it easier :)

Once I've given the toner a minute to sink in and dry, I apply this Clinique moisturizer. The product feels light on your skin, not heavy and like it's clogging your pores. Clinique says this moisturizer is supposed to replace dull cells with more luminous ones and I can't say that I've noticed that, exactly, but it does moisturize pretty well, although I do think I might need something heavier if my skin continues to get dryer at it gets colder out. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone with overly dry skin because I don't think it's going to make enough of a difference for you. A couple more points about it that I like are that it has no scent and has not irritated my skin in any way.

About once a week or so I'll use the Elizabeth Arden hydrating mask. I've never used a hydrating mask before because I've only ever used one to extract all the yucky stuff from my skin so this was a completely new experience for me. I bought this a short while ago because like I said, my skin has been dryer than normal and I thought a moisture treatment might help. First off, this product has a really pretty scent that is kind of florally, which I like. It's pretty thick, as you can see from the picture, but it glides on so smoothly. The directions say to spread all over your face for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off or towel off. I typically leave it for closer to 10 minutes and when you rinse it off it feels like the consistency of a serum and it leaves your skin with a cooling sensation that is really nice. On the nights that I use this, I apply my nighttime moisturizer after and my skin feels so plump and happy :)

Those are the products that I've been using recently to try to get my skin under control! Let me know what you think and what products you use :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Photo Diary: October

1. I loved decorating for Halloween and enjoying it throughout the month!

2. Almond Joys are my absolute FAVORITE candy bar and when I saw this I knew it was happening. This Almond Joy frosting is so delicious- if you like the candy, you'll like the frosting, I promise!

3. We went on a couple fall themed outings. This picture is from a farm that was really cute, but everything was way overpriced!

4. Speaking of overpriced, we bought the half gallon apple cider at the farm from photo 3 and it is probably the best apple cider I've ever had, even though it was $6 for this size! In general, I've been loving apple cider heated up- as you can see, we have a variety :)

5. I've had so much fun baking this month, especially the pumpkin treats!

6. I've been going through a little bit of a rough time these last few months, but this month I really started reading more inspirational quotes like this one, mainly on Pinterest. It doesn't necessarily "fix" anything, but I know that things are going to get better in time and trying to have a positive attitude (even when it's really hard) is the best thing you can do.

7. I went home last week (which explains my lack of posts) and got to spend time with my family and my pup! She was pretty lazy this particular morning :)

8. The main reason I went home was for my Aunt's wedding. This was my fourth wedding this year, but it was really fun because it was close family and friends that attended and it was nice to get to catch up with everyone as it's rare we're all together.

9. My mom bought herself an indoor mum and when I saw how pretty it looked when she potted it I told her I wanted one. When I came home later that day, she had bought me 3 indoor mums to bring back with me! So we went outside on our balcony with a little space heater because it was dark and cold and planted them. They add such nice color and just make me feel cheery!

Those were the highlights of my October! October is my favorite month of the year because it starts getting colder and it's the start of the holidays and festivities! 

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