Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Gift Guide for Him


Stocking Stuffer. For keeping beer cold - Chillsner ($17).

Under $50. A classic but casual wallet - Herschel Hank Wallet ($35).

Under $75. A grown up watch that doesn't scream businessman - Timex Easy Reader ($65).

Under $100. Perfect for tracking New Year's fitness resolutions - Fitbit Flex ($99).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Birchbox November 2014



Another month, another good Birchbox.   

I'm most excited about trying the Amika Nourishing Mask because it has been on my must-try list ever since reading about it on The Small Things Blog.  I think it will make it a great addition to the Sunday pamper.  I love travel sized mascaras and can't wait to use the Laura Mercier mascara.  I haven't read any reviews on this mascara before but generally Laura Mercier products are good.  I plan on using the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer samples to have a little at-home color matching session.  Hand cream is always a welcome addition because I seem to go through so many. Looking forward to adding the Tocca Hand Cream to my purse soon.

I have so much perfume right now that I don't think I will be using the Harvey Prince Perfume anytime soon, but still something I enjoy receiving in my box.  The Dr. Brant Blackhead Extractor Mask initially seems like it will be too drying and intense for my skin but I will at some point try it.

(Yes, that is a Christmas blanket in the background, and yes I'm already using it.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Products I've Used Up Fall 2014


Haircare

1. Cavair Replenishing Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner. Too many good things to say about these. Check out my post here.

2. Amika Dry Shampoo. This dry shampoo is non-sticky, non-crispy, doesn't leave too much white residue and smells nice.  An overall good product but one that doesn't last very long and costs a bit too much. 

3. L'oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm. This took me ages to use up, mostly because I forgot about it.  For a drugstore hair mask, this is actually really good stuff.  Leaves hair feeling very soft and hydrated and isn't too intense to use as a conditioner if you have thick hair or just lots of hair.


Bodycare

1. REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Lotion.  The scent is fantastic and gives this product a luxury feel.  Unfortunately it is not super moisturizing and for that reason alone isn't worth the price.

2. The Body Shop Ginger Sparkle Body Butter. This is one of the best Christmasy smelly products I've ever used.  As with all Body Shop products, it is super moisturizing and long lasting.

3. Lather Yuzu Sugar Cane Body Buff. This scrub exfoliates skin very gently while adding moisture at the same time.  This scrub has so much oil in it it almost feels like you are applying body oil instead of body scrub.

4. Lather Coconut Creme Body Wash. Come summer I will be stocking up on this scent.  I generally don't like coconut scented things but this is so fresh and clean smelling.  A great morning body wash to wake you up.

5. Supergoop Hand Cream.  What would otherwise be a basic hand cream is something special because of the added sunscreen.  I'm terrified of sun damage and skin cancer so I will definitely pick up a full size of this, even though it has quite a strong sunscreen scent.


Skincare

1. Superfacialist Rose Hydrate Facial Oil.  Third empty bottle of this pre-cleanse oil.  Enough said.

2. Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment. At first this eye cream worked wonders.  Towards the end I think my eyes got used to it and it started to feel less hydrating and made my eyes water.  Probably won't repurchase.

3. Marcelle 8 in 1 Power Serum.  I used this only on my neck and chest to hopefully prevent signs of aging.  I wouldn't use this on my face because it feels quite silicone like.


Makeup

1. Hourglass Arch Brow in Soft Brunette. A great product that is almost an identical match to my eyebrow color when applied.  The actual product lasts quite a long time but I wished the product had longer lasting power on the skin.  

2. Sigma F10. While not an "empty", it was time to throw this brush in the trash as it was shedding so much.  The size of the brush is great for applying just the right amount of blush to the apples of my cheeks.  Too bad it started shedding almost immediately after the first time I washed it.

3. Covergirl Liquiline Blast.  Also not an "empty", for some strange reason I cannot get this to sharpen anymore.  The color is the perfect brown, not too dark but not too light and not sparkly or shimmery.  It glides on easily and if applied holding the liner horizontally to the lash line, can be applied in a manner of seconds.

4. L'oreal Miss Manga Mascara. One of my all-time favorite mascaras.  Read about it here. 

5. Pur Minerals Eye Shadow Stick.  I used this about three times before the eyeshadow stick came completely out of the packaging and fell on the floor... disappointed and will not repurchase. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Holy Grail Hair Products


These four gems are the best hair products I have used in my entire life... and I've used lots.  I picked up this set as a 500 point perk in Sephora, which included the Alterna Cavair Replenishing Moisture Shampoo, Alterna Cavair Replenishing Moisture Conditioner, Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray and Alterna Cavair CC Cream.  

Intending to use these for travel, I didn't think much of them before use and I certaintly didn't think they would be life altering, but are they ever!  Even though my hair isn't damaged, and is actually quite healthy, I love the feel of moisture shampoo and conditioners.  While many moisture shampoo and conditioners do a decent job, these take it to another level.  The combination of these products produces the softest, healthiest looking hair with shape, body and shine.  They basically give you a salon blow dry look even if your blow dry skills are lacking and mine definitely are.  

Sadly, I've finished the shampoo and conditioner and shortly will be out of both styling products as well.  I will 100% buy these again... just maybe not all at once due to the hefty price tag. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sephora VIB Rouge Haul


Why the Sephora VIB Rouge sale is held right before Christmas I will never know.  (I do really, but I resent that fact that it encourages me to spend more money when I'm meant to be Christmas shopping.) Anyway, I picked up a few things for me and a few Christmas presents.  

The only thing that I had my eye on pre-sale was the Nude Omega Cleansing Jelly which quickly went into my shopping bag.  After picking up some Christmas presents, I headed to the most dangerous place in the store... the line to pay going straight through the travel minis section.  I've heard rave reviews about the Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil so natural the cute small size finally convinced me to try it.  I also went for two VIB 100 point perks: a Clinique Chubby Stick and a Kate Somerville Exfolikate.  

Not Pictured: Caudalie Overnight Recovery Oil and Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer.... because I didn't last 24 hours without going back to buy more. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weekly Wants #18

1. Merry & Bright Print - SS Print Shop.  Too early to decorate for Christmas?  Maybe, maybe not.  Either way I am in love with prints right now and this is probably one of the best Christmas ones I've seen (and believe me I've browsed Etsy for hours).

2. Double-Cloth Patch-Pocket Cocoon Coat - J.Crew. I have absolutely no use for this coat in LA because it simply doesn't get cold enough.  But I dream of taking a vacation to a winter wonderland and this would be the perfect travel accessory.

3. Shift Dress Bright Animal Print - ASOS.  This dress is stunning but would seriously get in the way of my all neutral and black wardrobe.  

4. Parker Lipstick - Troi Ollivierre/J.Crew. Read the WhoWhatWear post, added this to my must buy list.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Favorite Restaurants Around L.A.


What: Bottega Louie
Where: Downtown L.A. 
Why: Modena Salad, Tagliatelle Bolognese, Chocolate Souffle


What: Houston's, Hillstone, R+D Kitchen
Where: Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica
Why: Caesar Salad and Barbecue Pork Ribs (Houston's, Hillstone), The Newporter Salad (R+D Kitchen)


What: Nikki's Venice
Where: Venice 
Why: Sriracha Garlic and Spicy Honey Wings (25 cents on Wed); Half Baked Cookie


What: Palmilla 
Where: Hermosa Beach 
Why: Margaritas, Short Rib Crispy Tacos, Churros

Sunday, November 2, 2014

101 Dalmatians Halloween Costume


Christmas will always be my favorite holiday, but Halloween is a close second and although I may be in my twenties, I still love dressing up.  I'm also a fan of homemade Halloween costumes, nothing store bought, and ideally a costume that most people won't be wearing. 

I used this costume twice this year, once to go to Disneyland for Mickey's Halloween Party (with two friends as a group costume) and to people watch at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval.  I think my costume turned out really well and was super cheap, about $25.  

To make the costume, I bought elastic, white tulle, black and yellow felt, red ribbon, black puffy paint and a white t-shirt.  I found an image of dalmatian spots online, printed it out and used it as a pattern to cut a bunch of spots from the black felt which went on both the skirt and the t-shirt.  I cut strips of the tulle, double the length needed, folded them in half and tied them around the elastic  - no sewing needed.  I also cut out a dog bone from an image I found online, used puffy paint to add a name and attached with some jewelry rings to the red ribbon.  My friend made us spotted bows and I attached mine to a black headband I found in my closet.  The only thing I forgot, both nights, was a black dot on my nose!