Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sephora + Pantone Nail Polish


After my debacle with my terrible chipping polish - Here.  I needed to redo my weekly manicure so I pulled out a bottle of polish I hadn't tried yet - I got it from Sephora in their sale section for $5 about a month ago.  It is part of the Sephora/Pantone collaboration and the color is "antique gold". 

The box came a little smushed - but the polish inside was fine.  I really like the packaging I think the white top off sets the color is the bottle.  The brush was nice and flat and the formula was quite nice as well. 

I was worried there would be brush marks but it dried pretty smooth.  The color is very metallic, and it is duo chromatic with a green shift.  it's a little festive for everyday for me personally.  I think it would be good as an accent nail or for a special occasion. 

Do you think some polishes are best saved for certain occasions?


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Here's the thing...

So if a picture is worth a 1000 words, pictures with funny captions that emote my true feelings are at least worth a blog post...


And with that off to bed for me!

Have a great week!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Pixi Classy Cocoa - or not?


Today I want to share with you my most recent manicure.  I used Pixi nail polish which I got at Target for $8.00.  Here's what the Pixi site has to say about their polish "Formulated for high definition, super smooth application with a chip-resistant finish and built-in UV protection to prevent polish discolouration."  They also do not test on animals.

The color is called "classy cocoa" and to be honest it is purple, or deep taupe, or brown depending on what light you are in.  I really can't tell if I like it or not!

And here are my lovely nails:

See?  It's really gross brown in that picture - but it looks better in daylight and in fluorescent light - oy!  Now for all their lovely claims that it is chip resistant... you can see from the first picture I used a Sally Hansen top Coat.  I always use a top coat - I can't stand chipped nail polish, one chip and I'm done.  This polish chipped within 12 hours, and I was sitting at home reading and folding laundry!  What! so big fail there.  The brush in normal - I like the skinny bottle, the formula is a little runny.

Here again you can see it looks more grey/tuape - It's not duochrome it just a weird color. And if it chips on me with a different top coat - we are done - because that's not "classy cocoa" at all!

So what do you think?


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Swapoween Package Reveal!


I wrote a post earlier in the month about how I had signed up for Swapoween!  You can read about it Here. 

I got my package today and there was all sorts of Halloween fun :)  I was partnered with Angie from My So-Called Chaos.  She has a very fun blog and is one of the organizers of Swapoween! 
It came all wrapped up so pretty!
I opened the orange wrapped items first - and their were some candies, fun pumpkin decorations, spooky pencils and a lovely bracelet. 
There was also a bunch of candies, (I have been wanting to try the Starburst candy corns) some spooktacular ribbon and 2 nailpolishes!  The little black one is full of silver shimmers, and the NYC polish is a very wearable orange/tangerine color.
Orange Baby Lips! yeah!
And finally Angie sent me some classic Halloween books, a very cute owl hanging, socks and I think my favorite item -  some Halloween stationary!  I can't wait to write to family and friends on this!
Thank you again Angie for the thoughtful package!
I love finding fun swaps to do with blogland friends - do you know of any I should sign up for?!?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Inner Beauty Friday - Book Club!


 Once again I am linking up with Heather from Blonde...Undercover Blonde, for Book Club!

This week I read 2 books, the first was March by Geraldine Brooks.


Here is the synopsis from

"As the North reels under a series of unexpected defeats during the dark first year of the American Civil War, one man leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. Riveting and elegant as it is meticulously researched, March is an extraordinary novel woven out of the lore of American history.

From Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has taken the character of the absent father, March, who has gone off to war leaving his wife and daughters. To evoke him, Brooks turned to the journals and letters of Bronson Alcott, Louisa May’s father, a friend and confidant of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

In Brooks’ telling, March emerges as an idealistic chaplain in the little known backwaters of a war that will test his faith in himself and in the Union cause as he learns that his side, too, is capable of acts of barbarism and racism. As he recovers from a near mortal illness, he must reassemble his shattered mind and body, and find a way to reconnect with a wife and daughters who have no idea of the ordeals he has been through."

My thoughts - I loved "Little Women" and reading part of the story from the father's point of view was really interesting.  This is like the gritty old brother to Little Women.  There was some interesting points made about abolitionists and their work - I also like how they are not portrayed as perfect.  If you are interested in the civil war this is definitely
something to read.

I also read "The 13 Problems" by Agatha Christie.

The Thirteen Problems
Here is the synopsis from "While genial gentle soft white-haired Jane, in black lace cap and mittens of the time, knits, her Tuesday week visitors present early experiences, recently solved usually by confession of participants, for consideration by their club: Sir Henry Clithering last Commissioner of Scotland Yard, nephew writer Raymond West, artist Joyce Lemprière, elderly clergyman Dr Pender, dried-up little bespectacled solicitor Mr Petherick"
My thoughts - This is a good one to keep in your bag.  Each chapter is a story told by one of Miss Marple's guests and they know the answer to the "mystery", and everyone puts for the their guesses.  Of course Miss Marple always knows the real answer which would annoy the hell out of me in real life, but when you are just reading these stories for enjoyment it's ok.  And it's fun to see if you can figure it out.
What have you read?


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Snail Mail Collective


This month I joined the Snail Mail Collective over @ The Nectar Collective.  What is it?
"In case you’ve never heard of the Snail Mail Collective before, then let me explain! SMC is a monthly international package and friendship exchange. It is free to sign up and you will be paired with one other person (hopefully from a different country!). Then, you’ll get to know each other for a couple weeks through emails, twitter, blog posts — whatever you like! After that, you’ll mail off a small gift (totaling $5) to your partner. SMC exists as a way for people to meet new friends from around the world. "
The Snail Mail Collective

Fun right!?!?!!?

I was paired up with Bethan from A Pretty Place to Play - she lives in London, takes amazing pictures and writes a very interesting blog.  Plus she was a great partner! 

Here is the amazing package she put together for me - the theme was "autumn adventure"

First of all just getting a package from the UK is a great thing to come home to!

Look at how nicely wrapped up it is! 

And inside the nicely wrapped package - was more thoughtfully wrapped items!

Clockwise: Skull chocolate for Halloween - these are super cool!  A letter wishing me a happy autumn.  Fox Socks (LOVE) I did not know there are city foxes in London!  Autumnal recipes- yum!  Cadbury hot chocolate mixes..mmmmm!  And hair bands - because I lose mine ALL THE TIME!
It was such a fun thoughtful package!  And I made a great blogland friend - can't wait to do it again :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Sunshine Award


I woke up Sunday morning to a tweet from Lisa @Ameliorer la Vie to let me know she had nominated for the Sunshine Award!  Thank you again Lisa! 

So what is the Sunshine Award?
The sunshine award is an award given to those who inspire us and bring sunshine into our lives.

And there are a few simple rules:

*Include the award logo in your blog post

*Link to the person who nominated you

*Answer 10 questions about yourself

*Nominate other bloggers
So lets get to the 10 questions Lisa sent me -
1) What's your favorite brand of makeup overall?
Wow, that's HARD for me to answer.  I'm going to have to go with Inglot - they have everything you need and just about every color.  It's affordable, great quality and they are always coming out with new great stuff.
2) What's the most fun thing you've done in the past two weeks?
Last week I had Saturday off and all to myself and I got to read, and nap and go shopping at my leisure, I love my me time :)
3) Name something that you are saving up for.
A UK tour Fall 2014!
4) What do you hope to accomplish this fall?
Keep working on my fitness and weight loss plan, do well in the rest of my fall classes, and purge at least 3 boxes of stuff from the hall closet.
5) Do you have a workout routine?  If so, what is it?
Elliptical twice a week and I do all my errands by bike on Saturdays.  I also try to do free weights at least once a week.
6) Describe one of your pet peeves.
I have A LOT, but one that I have noticed a lot lately is when someone sniffles and clears there throat every 2 minutes instead of just blowing their nose.  Agggg!
7) Which celebrity do you think is very stylish?
Gwen Stefani - she can rock anything and she's 44!
8) How do you motivate yourself?
I make a lot of "bargains", if I loose weight I can buy a pair of boots I want.  If I do well in school I get a piece of jewelry etc...  But mostly I just want to do things or I don't.  And if I don't, it's going to take a LOT of guilt to get me to do it.
9) What upcoming movie are you dying to watch?
Anchorman 2!
10)  What is something about your blog that you are proud of?
That I am still gaining followers on Bloglovin and that I more people are commenting and sharing their feedback with me.

Now I need to nominate some other sunny bloggers :)
Bethan @ A pretty place to play
Amy @ Small Budget Beauty
Steph @ fun size beauty

And here are my 10 questions for them!
1. Name one of your guilty pleasures.
2. Do you wear makeup every time you leave your house?
3. What is your favorite color to wear on your nails?
4. What is your favorite quote?
5.  If you were the main character in a movie, which actress would you want to play your role?
6. What is your favorite social media & why?
7. What are your 3 favorite books?
8. What do you dislike about blogging? (Be honest!)
9. Share a tradition that you and your family enjoy
10. What’s your favorite blog post (from you or others) ?

Thanks for reading!



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Burt's Bees Ultra Conditioning Balm


Somehow while owning probably 50 lip balms I found myself lip balm-less at work, with suddenly crazy chapped lips.  The nearest store is the Wal-Mart from Hell, and it is always super messy and half the beauty items are open.  But my lips needed relief!  So I chose Burt's Bees Ultra Conditioning Balm.

The biggest reason I choose this balm is because it said 4 hour moisturization and it is supposedly 100% natural.  Here's the description from their website "Kiss dry lips goodbye. Clinically proven to offer 4 hours of long-lasting moisturization, this ultra-hydrating lip conditioner is infused with rich Kokum, Shea, and Cocoa Butters. Giving you more butters and less wax than other balms, so your lips will be left soft and super smooth. It also lovingly replenishes your skin with no added flavors or fragrances. It’s hydration at its very highest"
It also says hypoallergenic - let's define that "designed to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response, as by containing relatively few or no potentially irritating substances" -from  I just want to talk about that for a minute - most people think hypoallergenic means there is no fragrance, or that you can't be allergic to it - there is always something you can be allergic to!  They also often have a lot of masking agents in them to get rid on NATURAL scent (everything has a smell - so if you are buying something fragrance free it most likely has more chemical agents in it than you think to take OUT the smell.  Ok that's my rant on un-natural "natural" products.
So taking that all in - did it work?  It feels good when you first put it on - but 4 hours of moisturization - No!  Like an hour and 1/2.  It's $4 on  The reviews on Burt's Bees are very mixed as well either one star or a few 5's.  I have come to the conclusion I just need to drink more water rather than using lip balm! 
Anybody have a lip balm recommendation that really makes their lips better?!?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Inner Beauty Friday - Book club


I got my act together and I am linking up once again Heather @ Blonde...Undercover Blonde, for Book Club.

This week I read 2 books.  The first was Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline:

Here is the synopsis from -
"Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from "aging out" of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.

Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life - answers that will ultimately free them both."

My thoughts: Although you pretty much knew where this story line was going from the first few pages, the history about the orphan trains really intrigued me.  I want to find out more about the actual orphan trains and hopefully some autobiographies.  I know I have read another books about the trains to Kansas but I can't remember what it was called.  I also can't make up my mind if these trains were a good thing for the children.  On the one hand they got of the streets and got a "home", but then again that home was perhaps worse then what they could have ended up with on the streets.

The second book I read was Divergent by Veronica Roth:

Here is the synopsis from "In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her"

My thoughts: Well first of all I like this book because it takes in dystopian Chicago and the author went to Northwestern.  It also has the kind of hook that "Hunger Games" had - mild girl turns tough and faces all sorts of obstacles.  The whole five factions is interesting as well.  But as I read this book I was shocked at how violent it was - and violence without remorse or any kind of real emotional distress.  The main character Tris was sad for like 5 seconds and then like "this is who I am, I guess I don't care." I feel like that is serial killer mentality - I definitely want to read the second one to see if I feel the same.

Now I am on to a book about the civil war...

Until next week!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

October Ipsy Subscription!


I came home tonight and my Ipsy Bag was waiting for me!  I have been so good about not looking at anything related to Ipsy so I had no idea what to expect.  Plus for the last 3 months they have been doing more customized bags with like 10 different product options so you really don't know what you are going to get.

So this month's theme was "The Art of Beauty"
The bag is really cute and below it I placed a list of all the brands that could have been in the bag.
So what was inside?
First up Lip gloss from OFRA I don't know much about the brand so I checked it out -
"We provide a broad range of superior quality cosmetics created from the finest ingredients available. Our pro makeup is perfect for professional application and instruction, incredible under the camera, and fabulous for every day use. Our Body Glow products are wildly popular for a dramatic, striking all-over glow. Ofra Cosmetics has now developed a specialized line of advanced vitamin C-based skin care products for the professional as well. Our skin care line utilizes the newest innovations to combine natural, effective remedies with sophisticated technology, creating the perfect foundation for the most radiant makeup application."  It reminds me of Krylon if they sold skincare too. 
This gloss has some color, it's not sheer which I like.  It also has a plumping effect (which I always love) and it definitely tingles!
Up next -
Nourish Organic lotion in "Coconut & Argan" - yea!  This feels great and I always am looking for a great lotion for my scaly winter legs.
Yea!!!! Ole Henrickson Truth Serum - I have been considering a new serum and this is one I wanted to try!  I will do a better review in a few weeks once I try it out. 
The Zoya polish is Morgan and the color is a lovely plummy purple hybrid.
Here it is swatched and you can see it has shimmer in it too!  I'm definitely wearing this soon!

And finally...
From Sexy Hair - Spray Clay (what !?!) -
"Sexy Hair Spray Clay is a "next generation" of styling gives you the effect of clay in an easy to use spray form. Hold: 7, Shine: 1. Spray Clay allows for a fine and even application to achieve an allover texturized look and is great for all hair types needing added texture and movement with a dry, non-waxy hold."
I do not know what this will do... but I think it might be good for my hair as it sometimes too soft and needs some hold and shape.  We will see!
So once again I am so impressed with my little $10 subscription - plus I realy want to know more about OLFA!
What products would you like to get?


Monday, October 14, 2013

Korean Skincare Haul


I mentioned last week that a lovely friend of mine brought me back some skincare and cosmetic items from South Korea when she went a few weeks ago. Here is the Haul!

Ohhh la la Some full face sheet  masks and 10 eye patch masks!  I reviewed the eye patches Here!  The green masks is one of the infamous snail serum masks!

And then...
Masks from Shara Shara, more snail! And Mung Bean and Collagen and the one I am most excited about Hyaluronic Acid (this helps you retain moisture so it will be awesome in a couple months).
Missha BB Cream!!  Yea haw!  I have wanted this for so long!  Plus some awesome fun samples :)  Can you tell how excited I am for all this stuff - I squeeee every time I look at it!
And finally a too cool for school eye shadow - it's buttery soft and blends really well.  The color is navy with a turquoise sparkle - perfect for smoky night eyes.
And that's it!  The only scary part is I can't read the directions...but a mask is a mask right?!?!  Let's hope!
What's your favorite foreign beauty product!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Inner Beauty - Book Review


I'm a bit late doing my book review again this week, I have been busy with "real" life!  We had houseguests, a very busy week at work and Friday I drove 2 hours each way in HORRIBLE Chicago traffic to see my family for 3 hours.  I hope this week is calmer.


This week I read Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Here is the synopsis from
"Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard."
My thoughts - Plot aside, this was a really interesting look into Icelandic culture in the 1800's.  You can kind of guess how the "Story" is going to go but...then again it is not really a story but a fictionalization of actual events.  This is cool because you can Google images of the sites in the book and get a real image of life. 
I think this is a good winter read because this book is full of cold winter scenes!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Essential Cellulose Velvet Eye Patch


I have a fun product to show you today.  It's part of a big haul of Korean beauty goodies my friend brought me back from Korea!
I don't know much about the brand AHC but here's what I found out online on their Site -
"A.H.C provides high quality professional skincare products, produced with its world-level high technology. It tries to develop high-tech cosmetics such as cosmeceuticals which integrates beauty and science, in order to bring a fundamental care on skin conditions. A.H.C’s products, based on the skin science mechanism, control skin functions and form the most optimized environment for skin to create healthy skin."
Well that sounds good!  So I gave them a try after work last night my skin has been feeling kind of tight lately and I get red really easily.
They are just kind of "in" the packet, it's got a lot of extra gel/serum in there and you slide them out.  I couldn't tell which side was the "right" side so I just slapped them on.  They sort of stick to your face, and I left them on tell they "dried" out, about 15 minutes.
And here's the Before and After...
Can't tell the difference - neither can I!  But it felt different, the area around my eye felt hydrated and smooth.  I have 9 left so I am going to save them up for a week and then try it once a week during the winter season!
Have you tried eye masks and what was it like?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Inner Beauty Weekend


So yesterday I usually post my inner beauty Friday book review.  Seriously after Wednesday I didn't even know what day it was any more... we had houseguests coming, I have a family event next week, and 2 girls at work are out so I'm just confused half the time.  But I did read a lot somehow (a lot of commuting time on the El) and so I dub this "inner beauty weekend" and I will be working on it further by hopefully taking a nap about 2 o'clock today and enjoying brunch tomorrow with friends. 

The first book I finished was The Sparrow by Mary Doris Russell-
Here is the summary from It was predictable, in hindsight. Everything about the history of the Society of Jesus bespoke deft and efficient action, exploration and research. During what Europeans were pleased to call the Age of Discovery, Jesuit priests were never more than a year or two behind the men who made initial contact with previously unknown peoples; indeed, Jesuits were often the vanguard of exploration.

The United Nations required years to come to a decision that the Society of Jesus reached in ten days. In New York, diplomats debated long and hard, with many recesses and tablings of the issue, whether and why human resources should be expended in an attempt to contact the world that would become known as Rakhat when there were so many pressing needs on Earth. In Rome, the questions were not whether or why but how soon the mission could be attempted and whom to send.

The Society asked leave of no temporal government. It acted on its own principles, with its own assets, on Papal authority. The mission to Rakhat was undertaken not so much secretly as privately – a fine distinction but one that the Society felt no compulsion to explain or justify when the news broke several years later.

The Jesuit scientists went to learn, not to proselytize. They went so that they might come to know and love God’s other children. They went for the reason Jesuits have always gone to the furthest frontiers of human exploration. They went ad majorem Dei gloriam: for the greater glory of God.

They meant no harm.

My thoughts: This was actually a re-read for me as I read this like 7 or 8 years ago.   It was my first foray into "sci-fi"per se.  It was also interesting as I attended a Jesuit University so the description of the Jesuits priests and ideals rang pretty true.  I always like books that have some element I am familiar with or have experienced fully, it makes the story more real for me.  Although it drags a bit in the beginning I think overall it is quite a thought provoking book and not SOooo "sci-fi" as to be off putting.

Next up was White Girl Problems by Babe Walker-
Here is the synopsis from
"Babe Walker, center of the universe, is a painstakingly manicured white girl with an expensive smoothie habit, a proclivity for Louboutins, a mysterious mother she's never met, and approximately 50 bajillion Twitter followers. But her "problems" have landed her in shopping rehab--that's what happens when you spend $246,893.50 in one afternoon at Barneys. Now she's decided to write her memoir, revealing the gut-wrenching hurdles she's had to overcome in order to be perfect in every way, every day. Hurdles such as: - I hate my horse.
- Every job I've ever had is the worst job I've ever had.
- He's not a doctor, a lawyer, or a prince.
- I'll eat anything, as long as it's gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, sugar-free, and organic.
In an Adderall-induced flash of inspiration, Babe Walker has managed to create one of the most enjoyable, unforgettable memoirs in years"

My thoughts: At first I thought this was an actual memoir.  And I was like "This is what is wrong with the world!" I mean she is a totally noxious, absorbed, vapid person.  Thank goodness this was a quick read because otherwise one might throw it across the room in anger.  It's like reading (What I imagine) Paris Hilton's diary might be like.  Then I looked up "Babe Walker" and realized she is a fictional character created by 3 friends and I was still like "this is what is wrong with the world!". Because why would you devote time to a fictional character like this in order to make a book out of it...because there is a market for it and that is just sad. 

And finally I just finished up "The American Heiress" by Daisy Goodwin-

Here is the synopsis from :
"Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage."
My thoughts: This was ok.  If you want a poor little rich girl story this is kind of it, it also features no likeable characters.  It is a look at a very specific time and people (the gilded age) and actually currently we are in a similar economic situation.  The "gilded age" is the only time there was a bigger difference between rich and poor than there is now.  And the main character Cora is ridiculously rich.  But if you like period pieces and descriptions of lavish parties and houses than you might like this.
So there you have it, if you have any book suggestions for me please leave them below!