Saturday, April 30, 2011

Things I'm Looking Forward to this Summer

Hello dear readers,

As I prepare to leap out of procrastination mode and straight back into study mode, I thought I'd do a quick post on the things I'm looking forward to this summer. Nothing too creative here, no mind-blowing makeup looks or fascinating factoids; just things that keep me motivated to finish my school work!


Seeing friends and family. This one's obvious, to me at least, because I'm at a university outside of my home state. Not only do I hardly ever see my family, but my best friends from high school are all at different schools. Adding to that is the fact that my sister lives in a different state than the rest of the family; summer is one of the only times I see her, and probably the only time we drive up to visit her. I plan to enjoy my evenings and weekends seeing friends and appreciating family.

Yes, that's right; it is a hula hoop. Hula hooping is one of my favorite forms of exercise, because I can do it non-stop for up to two hours [perhaps more, but that's the longest I've done it] while reading, dancing to music, or watching a movie. I am lucky enough to have a large enough dorm room that I can actually hula hoop here, but time hasn't permitted lately. When I do get the time, it's usually late and already quiet hours, meaning hula hooping would just be plain rude and noisy. At home, I can hula hoop outside, inside, with friends, by myself. You get the picture. Call me crazy, but I love it.


Working out and getting back in shape. I'll be completely honest and say that I have no idea what the cartoon women in the picture are doing, but I thought it was a dynamic portrayal of some odd sort of aerobic exercise. I've always done a combination of walking outside, walking to Leslie Sansone DVD's, and hula hooping, but I have not been able to keep a consistent exercise routine going. This is partly due to crazy sleep schedules, partly to class schedule and having my roommate unexpectedly disappear and reappear, and partly to lack of motivation. However, I'm not at all happy with the shape I'm in now, and I look forward to getting back in shape this summer. I'd like to try Pilates, so we'll see how that goes.

Reading! No textbooks in sight, just pleasure reading. I hope to check out Being Written by William Conescu at my local library, because I've had it at school since August and renewed it all year, yet only had the time/desire to read 100 pages of it. I'm almost done, but there's no way I'll finish this week before I go home. I'm currently about halfway through Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, which you may have heard of since its explosion of press that came with the motion picture version starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. I really want to finish this book before I get home actually, as my mom wants to take me to see the movie. So I suppose that's a pre-summer read.

Two books that I started at home and will now be able to finish are The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, my absolute favorite fantasy writer besides, of course, J.K. Rowling, to whom I must remain loyal, and Harry Potter y la ordén del fénix. Yes, you read that correctly. If you read my 15 Random Facts Tag, you would know that I'm in love with the Spanish language and the Harry Potter series. Why not combine the two? I've been reading the series since my third year of high school, so it's been a couple of years since I started the project. My Spanish reading isn't actually that much slower than my reading in English. English and Spanish are actually two of my best subjects, but I'm a strangely slow reader in both languages. I would like to get as far as I can towards finishing the series this summer

. Of course, in case you're wondering, I read them in English multiple times first. Last but not least on my must-reads for the summer, is Terry Pratchett's The Color of Magic. I've wanted to start the DiscWorld series ever since I read Good Omens, co-written by Neil Gaiman, just to see how his writing style differs. These are definitely not the only books I will read, but the rest of the books will be randomly picked up at the library for good fun!


As you can tell from the cartoon, I'm anticipating working with a bit of apprehension. This will be my first time working a very full day, at an office job. I'm going to be in a finance department entering data and helping with sales. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I'm very grateful for the opportunity to work when I know jobs where I live are quite hard to get, even the seasonal ones. I'm hoping the 8:30-5:00 pm workday will help me sort out my sleep schedule and teach me some more about organization and work ethic that can translate into my school life. I'm very good at helping others get work done, so it shouldn't be a problem, but when it comes to homework I can't say the same. Also, the job is well-paying, which is a nice perk.


Home-cooked meals! No, I don't know what food is in this picture [good job picking photos you can identify!], but it looks delicious. Dormitory food is seriously boring me these days. It's funny because I'm not a particularly picky eater when it comes to most food, but here I find myself eating the same things all the time. Now, don't worry, I'm not relegating all the cooking to my mother, who usually does it all and a billion other things anyway, but I actually agreed to help look up recipes and learn to cook this summer as well. I had toyed with the idea of being vegetarian, simply because I don't eat meat often anyway, but because of dietary restrictions of other family members it would be impossible for my mom to make food everyone could eat. I've decided not to become vegetarian, but I'd still like to learn to cook vegetarian dishes, as I'm not touching meat if I can help it. Home cooking will be a wonderful change of pace from the standard cafeteria food here, even the more homestyle food.


I may actually cry when this movie is over, because it will mean the end of anticipating the movies, the end of midnight openings with my best friend, the end of possibly the biggest movie franchise ever. The trailer literally had me trembling with excitement! Except, I may add, and this is a potential SPOILER:
Harry and Voldemort do NOT clasp necks and jump off a building in the book, yet they did in the trailer. I'm sorry; I eventually tolerated the additional scene of the Burrow set on fire and the ridiculous chase scene in the sixth movie, but I won't tolerate a change to the ending of this one. The seventh movie was absolutely spectacular, and perfectly followed the book with exacting detail; it would be a shame if this one didn't do the same.

8. Better, more regular blogging! Need I say more?

I hope you enjoyed this mish-mash of a post. What are you looking forward to this summer?

To warm, sunny days and Harry Potter opening nights!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Have a Confession to Make...

Yes, dear readers,

I used heat on my hair. "Who cares?" you ask. "Why would we need to know this?" Well, quite honestly, this knowledge may not be imperative to your health and well-being, but if you've read my post on going heatless here then you will know that I decided to go heat free December 29, 2010. I made it through from the haircut that day until the haircut on March 15, 2011, without using heat. In fact, I made it all the way until April 14 without using any heat whatsoever. I thought I owed it to you all to share with you that I did use heat, especially since I told you I would be going heatless in my heat and hair debate post and warned you against overdoing the heat in my hair care tips post. I decided to straighten my hair for a choir concert I had on April 14th, because our uniforms were all black and rather boring and I wanted to make my hair sleek and chic for the performance. It was hot that day, and my curls were better suited for a day at the beach than a formal concert at a church. [It wasn't church music, by the way; that was just the venue that would have us!].

Over all, in case anyone is still reading, I just wanted to share that I went about three and a half months without using heat on my hair, and after the 15th I decided to do the heatless challenge again.

Off to more school work!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Faking a Flawless Face

Hello dear readers,

As you know, it's been a while since my last post. Today I thought I'd talk quickly about my essentials for perfecting my complexion. Lately I've been getting lovely compliments on my skin. One told me it looked "glowing," and another said I should never get a tan because my skin is perfect the way it is. Well, I have news for you: my skin is certainly not perfect on its own. I have heavy dark circles from genetics with an added dose of sleep deprivation, redness on and around my nose and in little patches on my cheeks, and a gorgeous case of hormonal acne on my chin. To be honest, without makeup my skin doesn't look as terrible as I'm making it sound, but it looks much more dead and uneven, and a far cry from glowing or perfect.

After cleansing and applying acne spot treatment, I use one of my Olay moisturizers, mentioned here and here. If I have time in the morning, I wait ten minutes or so for it to set in. Otherwise I wait closer to one minute before applying any makeup.

The next step is my CoverGirl tinted moisturizer, reviewed here. I smooth a small amount all over my face, making sure to blend into the jawline. Though it gives only the slightest hint of color, I still don't want to risk a different colored face and neck.

Then I attack discolorations, undereye circles, and acne with Hard Candy Glamoflauge concealer, reviewed here. It's the best concealer I've used so far, and I only use the tiniest amount.

The last step for my skin is to even everything out and minimize shine, so I use Physician's Formula 

Powder Palette® Multi-Colored Face Powder in Translucent, the lightest shade they have. I swapped out the powder puff for a brush that came in their green powder palette, which I would not recommend. I'll do a mini review on the powder palettes in an upcoming post. I buff the powder into my skin and down the jawline as well.

This is the only recent picture with decent lighting that I could find of me with this makeup on, as the routine is fairly recent, but you can get something of an idea of what my skin looks like at the end. I think my lipstick faded off in this picture as well, but that's just as well because I don't remember what I was wearing that day!

Insert crazy picture here: 

It's not, perhaps, the best picture to demonstrate because of the shadows, and I'll probably be uploading a different picture when I get the chance, but it gives you an idea. 

I hope you enjoyed this post.

Have a beautiful day.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Hello dear readers,

I just wanted to let you know that over the next few weeks I will not be posting very often, if at all. These next three weeks are the last weeks of the school year, and I have several essays to write, projects to finish, and novels to read. Whew! If I don't get to talk to you for a while, that is why!

Hope your days are much less stressful.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Catching up on the Gossip

Hello readers,

On a whim a couple days ago I decided to dive headfirst into the popular phenomenon that is the "Gossip Girl" series, starting with Season 1. I'd seen a few shows at random, but always found it unsatisfying because I liked the books better, though they can hardly be classified as high quality literature. I'll admit it: When I'm not reading fantasy or regular old fiction, I'm reading chick lit. And, let me tell you, that's the majority of the time, especially in the summer.

I love the story of how I first came to start reading the series. I was in middle school, and my sister was buying the books as they came out. She was, as my parents decided, of the appropriate age to read such scandalous books, and I, quite simply, was not.

That's why I snuck them from the shelves when my sister wasn't around. I did a great job of it, too, getting through six or seven of them before I risked smuggling them out into the daylight, reading them on the floor of our shared room. My sister walked in, and, needless to say, the books were hidden from sight.

Perhaps a year or two later, after searching unsuccessfully, my mother finally uncovered the hiding place. I was still probably too young to be reading the books according to my parents' previous views, but at that point, as long as I was reading something it was okay with them.

So I was able to continue the series, finish it, and even read the prequel. It's all very light and fluffy stuff, purely indulgent and not the best of chick lit, but the descriptions are great. I think that's what I love about the show, the plot gets annoying and the characters are frustrating to say the least, but the costumes and design, the familiarity and consistency of the characters, provide quite a bit of frothy fun.

I was definitely disappointed that Jenny went from the novels' sweet, smart, rather top-heavy brunette to an immediately power-hungry and tiny blonde, but I've gotten over that. You can't enjoy a show like this if you can't let go of the books.

I absolutely love the clothes in this show. There's a great mix of preppy, classy, and bohemian depending on the characters. Beautiful!

Do you watch "Gossip Girl"?

I really feel like saying "You know you love me xoxo," but I figure that's been done.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Hello readers,

Today I thought I'd share an "inspiration board" that I created to use as my computer's desktop picture. I used pictures I found online and put the pictures into Microsoft Word, and, voila! Inspiration!

Here it is:

I think you can probably see a theme here: these are pictures of Audrey Hepburn, Anne Hathaway, Zooey Deschanel, and various actresses dressed as the one and only Audrey.  The quote is also by Audrey herself, who came up with a remarkable number of great sayings in her time. 

I chose this quote and these pictures because I believe they embody class and perseverance. I look at my computer screen every day. Most of my homework is on the computer, as is my syllabus, and of course my email and favorite blogs and websites. I decided that since I see this screen every single day, I might as well make it mean something to me. It's a reminder to never give up, and a collage of intelligent, classy women that provide inspiration. [I also happened to write the quote in a color reminiscent of Tiffany blue. Love it!]

I'm quite happy with it! I hope you enjoyed this little view into some of the things that inspire me.

Sending inspiration your way.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Mini Review: Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer

Hello dear readers,

In my last post, I mentioned that I bought the Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer, previously mentioned here. I got it in the lightest shade, aptly named Light. 

Here's what the Hard Candy website has to say about their product:

Glamoflauge - Heavy Duty Concealer
A heavy duty, highly pigmented, multi-use concealer that delivers ultimate coverage. The formula blends seamlessly into skin with plenty of play time creating a flawless and natural look perfect for any occasion. You can hide everything from dark circles and blemishes to tattoos!

As far as the claims go, I can't speak to how well this covers tattoos simply because I don't have any. However, I have to say I've been very pleased with this so far. Compared to the other concealers I've used, discussed here and here, this one is by far the best I've tried.

It works wonders on my under eye circles, and is the first concealer not to come off as orange or peach on my skin. It creases a tiny bit, but once blended it stays that way for hours. The creasing that I did notice was much, much, less noticeable than the little pools of concealer I used to get under my eyes from other products I've tried.

This product also does a great job concealing redness, especially in discolorations. It works well for covering blemishes, too, but doesn't completely conceal the fact that there is, indeed, a bump there if it's a very raised blemish.

Overall, I think this is a wonderful concealer, and the greatest part is you hardly need any to cover all the discolorations you need covered. I probably use about an eighth of a pea-sized amount, and even that is too much because it's pigmented enough that a very tiny amount goes a very long way. It's more opaque than any other under eye concealer I've used, and it's the most natural looking concealer I've ever tried.

Bonus: Hard Candy does not test on animals.

This brand is only available at Wal-Mart and through the Wal-Mart website for about $6, or on eBay where prices will vary. As someone who doesn't support Wal-Mart, I wasn't extremely pleased to have to buy it there, but knowing the amount I have to use means this product will last me ages before I have to repurchase.

I suppose I should stop calling these Mini Reviews, and start calling them Mega Reviews, but I just like the name so much, I think I'll stick with it.

The only downside to this product besides where it is available, which is a personal preference, is that only three colors are available: Light, Medium, and Tan. I can't say there's a color for everyone, but I think it's worth a try if you're looking for an opaque concealer that doesn't really crease and lasts a long time. I certainly enjoy this product.

Happy concealer hunting!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sneak Preview

Ok, readers. I finally did it.

I bought the Hard Candy Glamouflage Concealer. I'll be doing a full fledged review of it once I've properly tested it out. So far I've just tested it on the back of my hand. And let me tell you, the tiniest dot goes a very, very, very long way. So far it seems to be the absolute closest thing to a concealer near my skin tone that I've ever tried. Granted I've only tried three liquid concealers, and one cream to powder, so I'm not an expert. But I have high hopes for this.

Wish me luck!

Review coming soon to a blogosphere near you.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Mini Review: CG Aqua Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

Hello dear readers,

I've had the CG Aqua Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 for a few weeks now, so I think it's about time I give you my opinion on it. I gave my very first impressions of it here, and I have to say I'm really liking it.

The color I have it in, as you may be able to tell from the picture, is Fair to Light, number 805. Here are the product's claims from the CoverGirl website:

Designed with AquaCurrent Science, this lightweight moisturizer with SPF 15 has a sheer tint of color to help even out skin tone and hydrate skin. Its sunscreen provides UVA/UVB protection from everyday sun exposure, while the Gel Complex formula glides on for a barely-there coverage that's fresh and smooth.

I find that the only "downside," which I honestly don't consider a downside, is that it is not hydrating enough for me. As a moisturizer, it isn't stellar, but it's not bad at all either. If you have dry to dry/combination skin especially, I would use a regular moisturizer first and let it sink in a little before applying the tinted moisturizer, as you would with a foundation.

If you've read my blog before, you'll know that I am extremely fair, and the amount of color and the shade of this product are absolutely perfect for me. You can see my pictures here and here, and if you're just a bit less pale than I am, but not too much darker, I'd most certainly go for the Light to Medium shade. I do believe I'm actually wearing the moisturizer in those pictures, so you can see that I still look quite fair. However, although the lighting is terrible in this picture, you can get an idea of what I look like without the tinted moisturizer and see that it actually does bring a hint of color to my face.

There are four available shades: 805 Fair to Light, 810 Light to Medium, 815 Medium to Dark, and 820 Deep. I can't speak to the pigmentation in the darker shades, but I do think it's nice that they actually offer deeper shades, as some drugstore companies can lack in shade ranges from time to time.

It definitely does even out my skin tone, and helps minimize the look of pores, but if you're looking for full or even medium coverage for discolorations, you should go for a foundation.

The SPF 15 is partly composed of the mineral sunscreen zinc oxide, which is a great physical block against UV rays. My regular moisturizer has mineral sunscreen as well, so this is an added layer of protection.

This product lasts a pretty long time. I couldn't really give you an hour amount, because I haven't the time to examine how it looks throughout the day as I'm in class much of the time. I tend to set it with a powder because I do get midday oiliness, and that sort of helps keep the oiliness at bay a bit longer.

If you have really oily skin and don't want any sort of glow, then this might not be the product for you, but I love the slight glow, hint of color and sheer coverage, and smoothing and evening effects it has.

I have no idea what AquaCurrent technology is, but I find it amusing when companies come up with cutesy names to describe what are probably basic ingredients.

You can read another review of it on Beautypedia, which gives a more concise summary of what I just said, but is a professional product review website so I give it a lot of credit for my choice of purchase. It also gives an ingredients list, which I find quite useful.

I hope this was helpful for those of you looking for sheerer coverage, especially as we head into spring and approach the summer months.

Warm weather is on its way!