Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Favorites of 2013!


I took a bit of a break from the blog during the holidays and I thought a bit about all the things I enjoyed this year. I love to read lists of people's favorites so you are forced to read mine!


Django Unchained - I know it came out late 2012- but I didn't see it until 2013!

I am not usually that big of a Quentin Tarantino fan but this movie was so interesting, and an amazing story.

That's pretty much it - I saw Anchorman 2 and it was funny but not a cinematic masterpiece per se.

"Girls" (again not totally new - but I just started watching it in 2013. 

"Orange is the New Black" - Did you know this was based on real events?  Way to go Netflix for creating excellent TV!

"Derek" - again with Netflix original series - I pretty much love anything Ricky Gervais does anyway, but this is touching, funny and so thoughtful.

Books -

I plan on doing a video on how I rate books - because I think it's a bit different than most people.  So here are a few I really liked this year.

"A Tale for the Time Being"

A Tale for the Time Being

Really original and unexpected bits.

"The Painted Girls"

The Painted Girls

I like historical fiction and with this you can look at the art as you read the story and it gives it an interesting perspective.

"How to be a Woman"
How to Be a Woman

I don't agree with everything, but that's what I like - it makes you think!

"Gone Girl"

Gone Girl

This was by far my favorite - there's just so much drama between the 2 main characters that define the term "there is a thin line between love and hate". 

Makeup -


For $10 bucks a month I am ALWAYS pleasantly surprised.  Such a fun treat each month.

Sonia Kashuk Cream Bronzer -

Bronzers for pale girls are hard to find - here's the review Sonia Kashuk Bronzer

Boots No 7 Cleansing Water

$7.49 of pure goodness (available at Target, Ulta, Drugstore.com)

I hope to find more wonderful things in 2014!

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Snail Mail Collective - Reveal


This month I participated in the Snail Mail Collective once again - What is it?

"Snail Mail Collective is an international friendship and package exchange. Each month, you have the opportunity to be paired with one new friend, get to know them for a couple weeks, and then exchange a small themed package."

There is only one month left - so sign up HERE if you like.

This month I was paired up with D'Ann from Mismatched Simplicity who lives in Lubbock, Texas and the theme was Gratitude.

D'Ann's blog really exemplifies Gratitude because she writes about all the wonderful bits of life.  She also sent me a very nice little package as well.  Aren't the Fox place card holders just lovely!  And the glitzy mechanical pencils are so ME! 

Thank you D'Ann!

So what are you guys most grateful for? 


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Winter with Essie


For the first time in awhile a seasonal nail polish collection really caught my eye - Essie fall and winter 2013.  So far I've only been able to find 4 (I guess other people like them too!).

From Left to Right - Sable Collar, After School Boy Blazer, Mind your Mittens, Vested Interest

Sable Collar ->

I really like this color - it's dark but not too dark and I think a nice replacement for a traditional burgundy - plus it will look good under a variety of glittery topcoats.

After School Boy Blazer ->

This is a gorgeous dark navy blue - I just love it!  Super chic!  And again would look great with the addition of some ombre glitter.

Mind your Mittens ->

A unique (to me) grey blue that just reminds me of sweaters and boots season!

Vested Interest->

A dark sage green, I usually don't like green on my but this is like turquoise with grey so it works! and with gold sparkles - lovely!

All the swatches I did are two coats - the formula was just right on all of them.

I still want to get Parka Perfect, Cashmere Bathrobe and Warm & Toasty Turtleneck.

What colors are you loving this winter?


Friday, November 29, 2013

Inner Beaty Friday - Book Club!


It is Friday and time for Book Club - I will be linking up with Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde


This week I read "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn.  She also wrote "Gone Girl" which I really liked, and both of these books are being made into movies that will come out next year.  These books are the type in a way that I feel lend them well to movies...but we shall see, literally.
Dark Places
Here's the Synopsis from Goodreads.com - "Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club… and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer."
 My thoughts - Well that synopsis pretty much sums it up.  I will say I liked it I think in part because the main character and I would be the same age, and her descriptions of the 80's "Devil worship" hysteria was so dead on that it made to the story more real to me.  I guess because I grew up in the Midwest too - I could just picture the everything really clearly.  I'm not big on murder mysteries but Gillian Flynn makes them more palatable to me.
Do you have a favorite mystery writer?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sally Hansen - I (Heart) Nail Art - studs kit


This week I found a fun little kit at Walgreens - the Sally Hansen I <3 Nail Art Studs kit ($6.99)

I was rather intrigued as until now finding lots of nail gems (in actual stores) was rather hard or they were more like crafting gems and too big for what I wanted.  I know you can order things like this online - but sometimes I like the convenience of seeing things with my own two eyes.

It comes with 3 vials that are about 4" tall - my kit has black "rhinestones", clear "rhinestones" and gold circle studs and are silver on the other side but I think they would not stay on long if they were placed upside down.

It also comes with what I think as a cuticle stick - but it's a gem picker-upper, and indeed it does pick up the little gems - but for placing them I think a tweezers would be much better.

I did a quick little bedazzle on my "Endless Blue" by Sinful Colors manicure -

I took a tweezers (I like to keep old pairs that don't pluck well around for things like this) - and I just dipped the back side in clear top coat - set it on nail and then did a thick coat of top coat all around.  I don't like to put the topcoat over the gem as I think it makes them "hazy".  It stayed put until I took it off with nail polish remover 3 days later.  They are also relatively flat so I didn't have problems with it getting caught on things.  Overall I am suitably impressed!

What are you favorite kinds of nail adornments?



Monday, November 25, 2013

The "BumpBag" keeping my beauty organized


For the last year or so I've been carrying my "work" make up (the make up I wear daily for a "natural" look) in a clear makeup bag - because it was easy to see what was in there and it held my stuff - good enough. 

But good lord it's ugly... and every time I drag it out - it takes a little bit of the beauty out of my beauty routine. 

So I was shopping Friday night at the grocery store of all places, and it has a small beauty section that I always check out because no one buys anything and you can find a lot of the limited edition drugstore cosmetics there.  I saw tucked in the shelf the InStyle BumpBag... and the texture intrigued me.

So then I opened it and I was like "What!?!" this is awesome!

It has a roll-out brush, product, whatever holder that folds back into the bag, plus a little zipper pocket to hold all my bobby pins and a side pocket perfect for compacts.

Here it is with the roll up velcro'd into place on the left and you can see the zip pocket and the side pocket on the right.  It was also only $9.99 and it doesn't feel cheap, it's actually quite nicely made!

So now all my gear (plus more - even though the bags are the same size) has a home!  And I can find my mini-tweezers when ever I need them :)

Here you can see the roll up velcro'd in place (with my brushes poking out)  and you can see when organized everything takes up way less space - it's really nice! What a great find!

My grocery store doesn't sell online - but here's a Link to the InStyle BumpBag website - they have other products too, but I really like this the best. 

What do you think?


Saturday, November 23, 2013

That time I got my nose cauterized and ended up with a bag of Lush


A fact about me - I've broken my nose twice.  I have had a septoplasty and a nasal turbinate surgery as well.  But my nose is still very angry with me, especially in the winter.  So last week I ended up back at the ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat specialist) because my sad nose was randomly bleeding everyday, and I had sinus pain like no other.  They had to cauterize some capillaries and I have to jam cream up my nose each night for the next 3 months and then have another septoplasty in the spring.  So I needed some retail therapy and the Lush store happened to be right down the way.

Now keep in mind the entire time I was shopping I couldn't smell a thing - which in a way is a very interesting way to experience Lush.  I bought products based on actual results  (you know how they let you try all of them!) Instead of just gravitating to what smells I like.  I also felt pretty secure in knowing that no matter what I bought I doubt it would smell terrible - unless it had patchouli (oy, I really don't like patchouli).

 I know my nose isn't the only part of my body going to dry up over the next few months.  So I wanted to get items to sooth my body, face and lips too!

First up Ocean Salt - ($35.95 for 8.8 oz)  It has coconut & avocado oil and the lime & vodka as well as the scrubby effects of the salt.  They say you can use it on your face but it's a little coarse for my tastes - I much prefer it for keeping my hands smooth and legs much less scaly!

Then to moisturize that freshly revealed skin - Ro's Argan Body Conditioner ($32.95 for 8.8 oz) It has (Of course) Argan oil, Almond oil, Brazil nut oil, cocoa butter and rose petals.  You smooth a small bit on and then rinse it off!  It leaves my skin so soft, and softly fragrant.  LOVE!

And though I love, love my Boots No7 Cleansing Water - I wanted something with a little bit of oil for the winter - Eau Roma Water ($9.95 for 3.3 oz).  Just Rose water & Lavender water (and some preservative - but they never tell you that). 

I am sure you have all heard of  Lemony Flutter ($16.95 for 1.5 oz) - it really is the best hand moisturizer I have tried - and I have tried many. 
UltraBland - ($29.95 for 3.5 oz) I love my face oils and this is basically an oil cleanser in a soild form (great for traveling!) It takes off all your makeup and leaves you with soft, moisturized, happy skin! 
Then finally something for my sad chapped lips - and yes I use a lip scrub too ( but winter kicks my A$$) 

Lip Service ($7.25 for .3 oz) - it's solid as well and you take a little, little bit and warm it up with your finger tip on you lips and it melts in - oh the delightful relief! Olive oil, cocoa & shea butter make this one of the longest lasting lip balms I've ever used.  It is so worth the price - which really isn't that bad considering some of the nicer drugstore balms are like $5. 
And that is it!  Retail therapy at its finest :)  My nose is starting to heal and I think my dry body may make it thru this winter a little more healed as well.  They also gave me 2 hair products to sample - but that's for another day!
Anyone have other winter remedies?  What's your favorite Lush product?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cara Box Reveal


Once again I joined the Cara Box exchange over at Wifessionals.com  This time you got a partner for 3 months - which was nice so you could get to know them a bit better.  Click on the Cara Box image if you want to know more.  Signups for the next three months are coming soon!

Cara Box
You send to someone different than who sends to you - I sent to Victoria @ Lost in Boston (you can click on the link if you want to see what I sent her).  And the lovely Kate from Another Clean Slate sent to me.  She picked out some WONDERFUL  surprises.

A Book, Cosmetics & jewels what more can you want!

Love the arrow bracelet!  I put it on as soon as I got it and wore it all day - super cute!

I also got this awesome Julep polish duo - not only did it come with a gorgeous cobalt color - but a super top coat too!  yay! 

And the wallet from Colab - now this is one of those things that I did not know I WANTED until I got it.  It is awesome - it even fits my Ipod!  All my cards, my change, my money and even a pocket for my bobby pins - I am so in love! 

Thank you so much again Kate!  It was such a thoughtful, fun package!


Inner Beauty Friday - Book Club!


Once again it is Friday and time to link up with Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde. for Book Club!

This week I read two books.  One fiction and one non-fiction, both were quite good!

First I read "Why do Only White People Get Abducted by Aliens?" by  Ilana Garon (Catchy title - right?)

Why Do Only White People Get Abducted by Aliens?: Teaching Lessons from the Bronx

 Here is the synopsis from Goodreads.com: "According to Ilana Garon, popular books and movies are inundated with the myth of the hero teacher the one who charges headfirst into dysfunctional inner-city schools like a firefighter into an inferno, bringing the student victims to safety through a combination of charisma and innate righteousness. The students are then saved by the teacher s idealism, empathy, and faith. This is not that type of book. Here, Garon reveals the sometimes humorous, oftentimes frustrating, and occasionally horrifying truths that accompany the experience of teaching at a public high school in the Bronx. The overcrowded classrooms, lack of textbooks, and abundance of mice, cockroaches, and drugs weren't the only challenges Garon faced during her first four years as a teacher. Every day, she d interact with students dealing with addiction, miscarriages, stints in juvie, abusive relationships, and gang violence. These students brought with them big dreams and uncommon insight and challenged everything Garon thought she knew about education. In response, Garon a na├»ve, suburban girl with a curly ponytail, freckles, and Harry Potter glasses opened her eyes, rolled up her sleeves, and learned to distinguish between mitigated failure and qualified success. In this book, Garon explains how she realized that being a new teacher was about trial by fire, making mistakes, learning from the very students she was teaching, and occasionally admitting that she may not have answers to their thought-provoking (and amusing) questions."

My thoughts - Almost the whole way through the book I thought the stories were very interesting but that Garon was treating the serious problems plaguing these kids with a bit too much humor.  I then got to the Epilogue where she rounded up her thoughts a bit and it all became more clear why she told her story the way she did.  And honestly my issues with her story have to do more with the "overly" serious way I see the world than with her writing.  It is a very eye opening look into an inner city education.    

Next up - "Insurgent" by Veronica Roth
Insurgent (Divergent, #2)
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads.com: "Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love."  (shortest synopsis ever?)
My thoughts: I always like the 2nd book in the series it seems - (Same with Hunger Games and Delerium).  Tris got less serial killer-ish in my mind and more "real".  The only thing that I didn't really like is it seemed like 80% of the book is just a build up to the final book.  There's all these unknown things that no one can tell people, and secrets people are keeping that you know are going to be the basis of the third book - which I get (that's how you sell your next book).  I just wanted a little more meat to this part of the story.  Even the cover is kind of like I feel about the book - there's the broken city but the train is going out of the city on a bridge (this book) to the unknown that is very scary, but why?

Have you read anything great lately?


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What in the World Wednesday


A few weeks ago I did a post like this and people liked it - and I like it!  So here we are again with the media and social items that make me go What ?!?

You may remember this model from the last post - 

Ok - I can get down with this androgynous look - I just wouldn't have thought Fossil would be the brand pushing it.  But I can't really think of the last time I thought "Oh I want something from Fossil."   So I guess they need an interesting ad campaign - well done Fossil you got my attention.  But I still don't want anything.

Speaking of attention getting...

Nope.  Uggg...why?  Kate Moss looks air brushed to HIGH HEAVEN and that wig - do not try and sell me hair products when you are showing me a model that is clearly wearing a wig - it insults me.  Just - No.

But if you are looking to get me to buy something...
Sticking it in a Crayon type box will do it!  Or give me a rainbow selection like this and I want it all - it goes back to Crayola 96 color box.  You were ballin' if you had that in elementary school (obviously I didn't and I have lingering issues) - so now I want ALL the colors ALL the time.  

So what do you love/hate when it comes to advertising?


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tarina Tarantino Haul


A few weeks back Hautelook had Tarina Tarantino - and I had to splurge a bit.  I only discovered Tarina's cosmetics right at the tail end of them being sold at Sephora and I only got the DollSkin Cheek collection (AH-MAZING).  So I got a little more of everything.

First is one of the infamous Hyperliners in Ultraviolet

The color isn't exactly what I would call "Ultraviolet" to me it's more dark plum - but the formula is definitely Ultra!  And it was only $6.50!

It is sooo creamy - I don't like the pencil style (it is one of those weird plastic pencils) but their claim that it is waterproof more than makes up for it.  I don't usually do my waterline, nut it lasted a few hours and all day on the other areas of my eye - I really need to get my hands on more!

Then there's the jewelry box filled with wonders - only $32!  Score! You can still buy it on Tarina Tarantino.com for $50.

Primer, lip gloss, mascara & 16 gorgeous shadows!  Love!  So with the blushes I already have and the eyeliner I got I pretty much have everything I need for a full look!

Plus the cosmetics tray lifts out and there is more storage in the bottom - lovely and useful!

The Pearl Glow Primer is wonderful (especially for pale ladies like me!)

It also is a great primer and intensifies the color of the already gorgeous shadows - which are soooo smooth.

I swatched one of the champagne colored shadows on top and then under it over the primer - oh la la :)

The Gem Gloss is "Jewelry for your lips! This lipgloss is formulated to make your lips shine while moisturizing and plumping your pout! These amazing high shine glosses also come in a peach sorbet flavor!"

Alone it is just a nice punch of raspberry colored shimmer - but over a red lip pencil, sparkle glossy, drama!

So I think I got a great deal on some great products - keep your eye out for more sales on Hautelook!

What's the best beauty bargain you've ever got?