Monday, April 30, 2012

Dug Up from the Drafts: Accepting Who We Are...and Aren't

Hello, dear readers,

I don't know about you, but I hate having drafts floating around my "Posts" box. Until just now, I had five of them polluting my Blogger profile, so I knew I had to take action.

Three of these blogs were promptly deleted, as they were incomplete and irrelevant or merely contained a title and no content. This is the first of the two that survived. Apparently, in one of my first few posts, I promised you that I'd be writing a self-esteem series. I now believe the reason for that was because the creation of this blog coincided with the beginning of a very difficult time in my life. I was doing this for myself more than anything, to reinforce what I knew was true but didn't fully believe. Not that there's anything wrong with self-esteem posts! I just don't actually plan to do a series on the subject unless I feel particularly inspired. In any case, here is the first in my previously planned self-esteem series posts. This is very brief and unfinished, but I think the last sentence is conclusive enough for what it's worth. I changed the font just now to make the separation between past and present painfully obvious. Enjoy this snippet from January 23, 2011:

For those of you who read my very first posts, you may remember that I promised a self-esteem series. Well, I'm finally getting to it! I hope you enjoy.

Let's all take a deep breath and admit it: We've all been guilty of looking at celebrities in magazines, the girl a few seats away on the train, or even our best friend and wondering, Why can't I look like that? Why am I not as skinny, fashionable, pretty? Why does everything always seem to work out for her and not me?

I'm bringing this up because I think it's important to recognize that part of building a healthy self-esteem and self-image is realizing who we aren't in order to focus on who we are.

Who we aren't? you ask. Why would we need to dwell on that? Well, we don't, and that's exactly the point. Let me explain: Focusing on someone else and wishing you could be like them actually prevents you from improving yourself. Becoming the best "you" possible is what you should be striving for.

It's absolutely fine to be inspired by other people, but it's important to recognize that we can each only be one person and no one else.

That's all I wrote. It's short, simple, and to the point, I suppose. Granted, I planned to finish this at some point but was apparently never motivated enough to do so.

I hope you liked this little blast from the past. I'll be posting the second of my drafts sometime this week. I did actually update and complete that one a few days ago. This one remains unchanged.

Wishing you a great week,


Saturday, April 28, 2012

40 Beauty Questions: Reloaded

Hello, dear readers,

I have a new night time skincare routine [morning hasn't changed] and foundation routine coming up soon, and I'm also long overdue for a review on the Fusion of Color powder products. Because I want to take pictures for my foundation routine, I have to do it when I'm actually wearing makeup for a "Before" and "After." I literally just started my new skincare routine last night, so I'm in no position to share it with you. I can't exactly tell you anything until I get some results, positive or negative. For today, then, I'm doing a tag that I did back in September 2011, so we can both see how different the answers are. Considering September was less than a year ago, they'll be extremely similar, but I want to do it anyway!

Here we go:

How many times do you wash your face daily?

Twice. I'll use Olay Cleansing Cloths Sensitive to take off makeup after walking home from school, but I'm not counting that as fully washing my face.

What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo) 
Combination and somewhat sensitive [oily nose and chin, normal to dry forehead and cheeks]. Fun fact: I tend to be allergic to products like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, while retinoids don't really bother me at all. It's the opposite to most people's reactions.

What is your current facial wash?

Olay Foaming Face Wash Sensitive Skin

Do you exfoliate? 
Yes, weekly.

What brand do you use?

I just use my regular face wash with baking soda. It's a great, gentle exfoliant.

What moisturizer do you use?

In the morning I use Olay Complete Daily UV Moisturizer SPF 30 Sensitive Skin; I use SPF 15 in the winter. At night, I use Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture Sensitive Skin. This has remained the same! Told you it wouldn't be that different.

Do you have freckles?
I have a few very faint freckles on my face, and a smattering on my arms. They tend to only be visible in the summer.

Do you use eye cream? 
No. I do have a sample size of the Clinique Eye Roller serum, because it came as a gift with purchase. I use it when I'm particularly exhausted in the morning.

Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
Yes. Oh, the joys of adult acne. Instead of just breaking out on my chin from hormones, I now break out there as well as on my cheeks and nose. I occasionally break out on my forehead, too! Thankfully, the breakouts aren't that noticeable, but that doesn't make them any less annoying.

Did you ever have to use Pro-activ? 
No, and I don't think I would.

What foundation do you use? 
Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup in the shade 01.

How about concealer? 
Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer in Light. You may have noticed that I'm always the lightest shade, unless the lightest shade is too dark. Then I try a different line!

Do you know your undertone color?
I've been told by some people that my skin looks peachy. My undertone is mostly pink, with a little bit of yellow thrown in. However, yellow-toned foundations tend to look orange on me. I'm probably one of the few people that actually wants peach or pink-toned makeup. 

What do you think of fake eyelashes?
No. The only way they're acceptable is when they're natural enough that I can't tell you're wearing them. Sorry. 

Did you know that you are supposed to change your mascara every 3 months?

What brand of mascara do you use?

When I do amuse myself by wearing mascara, I've used one of the Organic Physician's Formula mascaras, or a Clinique mascara. I can't remember the name, but it is not the High Impact Mascara. I'm the worst person for that particular makeup item, because it either bleeds below my eyes, or I rub my eyes right after putting it on. Am I the only one that feels weighed down by mascara?Sephora or MAC?
I shop at Ulta, because they have drugstore and higher-end brands. If I didn't, it would definitely be Sephora.

Do you have a MAC Pro-card? 

What makeup tools do you use in make up application? 
A brush for powder; flat foundation brush or my fingers for foundation; just my fingers for concealer.

Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?
No because I don't wear eye makeup. I tend to put concealer on my eyelids, though, to neutralize the darkness and brighten the eye area. This is still true.

For the face? 

What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)?

Like I said, I don't wear eyeshadow. I do, however, like neutral colors on other people, or a lighter wash of any color. Bright eyeshadow is great on people who know how to use it. This probably doesn't answer the question. 

Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner? 
I don't wear eyeliner, but I own both pencil and felt tip. Still true!

How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?
The few times I have used it, I think I poked my eyes maybe once.

What do you think of pigment eyeshadows? 
They look harder to work with, and I imagine I would make a mess.

Do you use mineral makeup?
I do own makeup that considers itself mineral makeup. I say "considers," because pretty much all makeup contains minerals. You know those powders you buy? Plenty of them contain talc, which is, indeed, a mineral.

What is your favorite lipstick?

I've been loving my Revlon lipsticks lately, especially ColorBurst lipstick in Carnation for spring.

How about lipgloss?
I haven't worn it in a very long time, but Avon Glazewear lip glosses are probably my all-time favorites.

What is your favorite blush to use? 
I own a couple of blushes, but 1) I'm rubbish at using it, and 2) I don't feel like I need it. I don't have a favorite

Do you buy your makeup on ebay? 

Do you like drugstore makeup? 
Yes. Every brand in any price range always has good and lousy products. There's always something to like.

Do you go to CCO's? (cosmetic company outlets)

Did you ever consider taking make-up classes? 

Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?

No, but I can occasionally put on too much if my lighting is dim. Then I leave my room and look in natural lighting and brush off as much as possible!

Name a makeup crime that you hate? 
Corpse lips, spider lashes, orange tans, and unblended eye shadow. 

Do you like colorful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
I generally prefer bright lipstick and neutral eyes.

Which celebrity always has great make up?
Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, Rachel McAdams.

If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item, what would you use?

Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on?
Yes, and I often do when I'm walking to school and I know it will sweat off anyway.

Do you think you look good even without any makeup on? 
Everyone has good and bad days, but generally yes.

In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?
Like I said, every brand has fantastic products and terrible products. I can't choose a single brand that's great all around.

What do you think of makseup??
I think it's a fantastic way to minimize the appearance of imperfections so the focus is on your features. It's a nice confidence booster, too.

I guess that wasn't much of an update, was it? At least that didn't make it any less entertaining to fill out.

If you've done this tag, let me know so I can read it!

Have a splendid Saturday and Sunday!


Friday, April 27, 2012

And the Concerts Keep Coming: Jon McLaughlin Hits the Road

Hello, dear readers,

As you may have noticed, this post is about yet another concert. I feel like that's all I've been posting lately, but it's so exciting! I'm going to see Jon McLaughlin in Minneapolis, MN, on June 5th, and I am more than thrilled. It's part of his Promising Promises tour to promote the album of the same name that will be launching around that time. McLaughlin is another of my top three favorite male singers. He plays multiple instruments, all wonderfully, I might add, and his lyrics are deeper than your average Top 40 pop hit. That's not to say he doesn't deserve to be in a "Top ..." list; he really does. You may remember his hits "Beat of My Heart" and "Industry" from a few years back; they were played on several radio stations for a long period of time.

In any case, if you're in Minneapolis, you should check out his concert. Tickets are available here, and if you don't live there, here's his tour schedule. If he's playing near you, and you've never heard him before, check him out on YouTube and see what you think. I'm biased because I have seen him perform, but it was a short set at a free event.

For the record, no one is paying me to mention any concerts. McLaughlin and Eric Hutchinson just happen to be two of my favorites [Jason Mraz is the third, but I'm not thrilled with his new album.]. I'm super enthusiastic about going to concerts, especially because I've hardly been to any, so I want to share with you what I truly believe is fantastic music.

My posts will be beauty related shortly, but I find it fun to write about my interests and the goings-on in my life. I enjoy the fact that it makes me feel closer to my readers, even though I can't see any of you!

So see if you like his music, and definitely get tickets in Minneapolis if you'll be there on June 5th. What if we ran into each other?

I hope you have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rockin' Out with Eric Hutchinson

Meeting Eric Hutchinson!  (I'm on the right; my friend, Beth, is on the left)
Hello, dear readers,

Today's post is just an update on the Eric Hutchinson concert and what it was like to meet him and see him perform. I've been singing all of the songs on his new album non-stop since Monday, April 23, so I feel like this is an appropriate topic. As it turns out, my friend and I were not the only winners of the "Meet Eric Hutchinson" contest. In fact, the other girl and her guest were already tipsy when we went to meet him behind the kitchen area. It was quite a strange meeting place. They were also much louder and bigger than we were. In general, they were much more aggressive in conversation. We only really got to say "Hi, nice to meet you" and our names before the other girls started talking.

We had also wanted to sing one of his songs for him, because we harmonize to them all the time. Needless to say, we didn't get the chance. As for feeling starstruck, it didn't happen. He showed absolutely no personality, and he looks happier in this picture than he did actually talking. It was a meeting of approximately five minutes. He also came out after the show so anyone could meet him, which I felt negated the purpose of the contest. Maybe no one else got pictures, or the line was so long that not everyone stayed. 

We were pretty disappointed after meeting him, simply because we barely got the chance to say anything, and he exhibited about as much charisma as a doorknob. However, we changed our minds a bit after the concert. He was amazing, a completely fantastic performer and entertainer. He must have been saving his energy for that. [We can hope, right?] We had a wonderful time dancing and singing along at the top of our lungs. He sang somewhere around 20 songs, I believe, three of which were not his own. It lasted an hour and a half, after a very subpar, 45-minute, opening act. 

Overall, I think I can speak for us both when I say that we're pretty thrilled to have met him, despite his lack of enthusiasm before the concert. And, hey, we came away with a great picture of us!

That just about sums up the event. I can't really do it justice through a blog post, but I can tell you that we had an absolute blast! I'm going to buy his new album today; listening to it on Spotify was only acceptable in order to learn the songs before heading to the concert.

Well, that's all, folks.

Have a thrilling Thursday!


Monday, April 23, 2012

A Wedding, Four Colleges, and a Concert

Hello, dear readers,

I know I said I wouldn't justify why I was gone for so long, but I thought I'd share some of the nicer happenings that have occurred in my life while I was away. Last fall, I left Indiana University for very personal issues and threw myself into the college search for fall 2012. I believe I got my first two acceptance letters in March, and the third came just last week. I'm still waiting on the fourth [apparently they want to see my midterm grades], but I've already made my decision. It's beyond exciting for me.

This is a view of Indiana University, my previous institution.
This college is much closer to home and happens to be the only school of the four that offers  Communications, the major I had originally chosen at IU [it was called Communication and Culture there]. It allows me to study film, rhetoric, journalism, and all other types of current media. It's great because I can study several areas, which opens up career options in industries such as publications/publishing, advertisement, and, of course, journalism and film. It's also ideal because I don't know exactly what I want to do. I'm interested in publishing and publications, but that's as far as I've gotten.
Not the actual cake! Their topper was a bird and a wolf.

I got to attend my cousin's wedding while this blog took a long nap. It was very unconventional but perfect for that particular couple. The waiter handing out champagne for the toast seemed to think I was 12, but one of the wedding attendees got the idea that I worked for the restaurant. Weird. Needless to say, he was embarrassed when he found out I was a wedding guest. Do waiters generally wear fancy dresses and red lipstick? Perhaps.

I apologize  for this extremely text heavy post. I inserted pictures at random intervals for the fun of it. It's slightly more visually interesting than just blocks of text, I suppose. I'll leave you with one last bit of news: My best friend and I get to meet Eric Hutchinson, one of our very favorite singers, tomorrow night! We've been fans since his single, "Rock and Roll," was on the soundtrack to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. We had entered a contest for a chance to meet him, but we had no idea we'd actually win!

I realize that this has nothing to do with beauty, but I need to get back into the blogging spirit. I promise beauty posts will be coming soon!

I hope your week gets off to a great start.


Friday, April 20, 2012

A Tag Consisting of 11 Questions

Hello, dear readers,

I have to admit that I'm cheating a bit on this tag. You're supposed to be tagged by another blogger; answer the questions; and create 11 of your own. Then you're meant to tag 11 other bloggers. I don't plan on coming up with 11 questions, nor tagging 11 bloggers. If you want me to create my own, let me know. Otherwise, on to the questions [randomly found on Sunnie's Obsessions]:

1. What nail polish are you wearing now? 
NYC Long Wearing Nail Enamel in Fuschia Shock

2. What’s your favorite blush?
 I don't wear blush, so I can't answer.

3. What’s the most expensive beauty product you have?
 I believe Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup is the priciest. 

4. What’s your favorite mask? 
I don't purchase masks, but I do make my own honey mask once in a great while. It consists of, [would you believe it?] honey.

5. A random fact about yourself. 
I am often the only one laughing out loud at the movie theater. Yes, I am that person. Remember me? The one you always want to smack?

6. Sephora or MAC? 
I've mentioned in a previous tag that I don't shop at either of these stores. I prefer Ulta. Between these two, I would choose Sephora for the wider range of brands and products.

7. What magazine(s) do you read? 
If you read yesterday's post, you'll know that I have too many magazines. Here's the roundup: 
  • Magazines I subscribe to and/or were gifts: Marie Claire, Allure, Seventeen [though I'm starting to feel too old for it], Elle
  • Magazines I get for free due to some sort of promotion/giveaway:  Shape, More [I realize this one is meant for middle-aged women.]
  • My mom's magazines: Family Circle, Woman's Day
  • My friend's magazines: Teen Vogue and whatever random magazines she buys for fun
8. What’s your favorite perfume?
Probably Strawberries and Champagne from Victoria's Secret. I also really like the VS Romantic Wish.
9. What’s the best base coat you have ever used?
I don't know that I have a best base coat, but I quite enjoy the Wet n Wild Shine Clear Nail Protector as a base and top coat.

10. What’s your favorite foundation?
Since I own just one, I have to say Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup.

11. Where do you want to travel the most?
I can't pick just one for this. I'm going to generalize and say Europe.

Feel free to do this tag, whether it's the proper format or not. 

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Well, Look Who's Back! (and Lately I've Been Loving...)

Well, hello, dear readers,

I have been gone for nearly a month, and I really miss blogging! I could give you several legitimate excuses, but I've pulled disappearing acts so often that I don't feel it's necessary. One thing that I have been doing in the meantime is writing for CHAOS Magazine. I've mentioned this in the past, and I'm just bringing it up because it has changed websites. CHAOS moved from Blogger to Wordpress, so all of my posts are on there, if you're interested in reading. Like I've mentioned before, I totally understand if you don't have the patience to look for my posts specifically, because you can't just click on my name and read the posts. If you go to the Beauty category under Skincare or Makeup, you can scroll through and find most of my mini articles. 

Enough shameless self-promotion and CHAOS promotion. I owe you all a blog post, so I am bringing you another edition of "Lately I've Been Loving...":


  • Pottermore. Who else was thrilled when this site finally opened to everyone? I've gone through all the levels in the first book, which is the only book available, but I haven't read all the content yet. I was so eager to be sorted, that I ended up leaving quite a bit of reading for myself. I got into Ravenclaw, by the way, as did my brother. Have any of you joined? If so, what house are you in?
  •  LEGO® Harry Potter™Years 5-7. Yes, I am a Harry Potter nerd and extremely proud of it. There's no doubt about it. It's so fun wandering around "Harry's Wondrous World," and, yes, that is a reference to one of the two themes composed by John Williams. Exploring the castle and going through all the challenges that Harry Potter faced is just too much fun. It's based on the movies, not the books. I've played Years 1-4 with my brother when it came out, and I've also done LEGO® Pirates of the Caribbean™, also an enjoyable experience.
  • Marie Claire magazine.  I am aware that I have far too many magazine subscriptions [three that I pay for; Marie Claire was a present from my sister; and I get two more for free through some magazine website- that's not to mention the fact that I read my mom's magazines and borrow from my friend!] . However, I do like that this one is not only full of fashion and beauty, as per usual, but contains news stories and relevant content. It makes it more interesting and less shallow than, say, Allure, to which I also subscribe.
  • Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup in shade 01. This is my very first foundation! I actually prefer using my fingers to apply it, though a foundation brush works nicely as well. It's nice and light, with sheer but adequate coverage. A funny backstory: The lovely lady at the Bloomingdales's counter suggested Acne Solutions foundation, but the lightest shade was too dark! This one is a much better match, and I only use it where I need it. I may do a review of it if I feel this isn't a good enough description.
  • Revlon lipsticks. I believe these were present in my last "Lately I've Been Loving..." post. I've rediscovered my love for Super Lustrous lipstick in Gentlemen Prefer Pink, a very light, blue based pink. It's a bit of a cross between a Barbie pink and a bubblegum shade. I use it most when I'm wearing pastel or grey tops, because I can look washed out otherwise. I also still love Super Lustrous lipstick in Demure, a warmer version of my lip color. The two lipsticks together make a really perfect neutral pink, everyday sort of color. I also love the same type of lipstick in Love That Pink, a bright reddish pink. It's quite a bold hue, and it almost shows up more red than pink on me. I like that I can tone it down by applying it with my finger and amp it up by using it straight from the tube.
  • Reading. It's recently been a bit sporadic, but I do enjoy reading for pleasure and often don't have time for it. At the moment I'm concentrating on Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe, which I've been taking out of the library since last November or December. The problem isn't that I'm a slow reader; it's that I don't crack open the book often enough. I'm also reading Straight Talking, by none other than Jane Green. It's a great book for the most part, but I got annoyed when the main character did something stupid. I know it's going to end the way I expected, but I just had to put it down when I got to that part. I'm not going to spoil it.
  • Yoga. I tried it for the first time last week, and I've only done it three times total. Obviously, I'm the furthest from an expert as you can be, apart from someone who's never tried it. I love it because it's challenging and relaxing at the same time. You get to focus on breathing [which is a great ab workout! Who knew?] while holding poses that challenge your muscles. It's great! I almost feel as if it's a better workout for building muscle than Pilates. I still love them both.
  • Walking. I walk to and from school most days, and it's a wonderful way to get a workout in a practical manner. No basements involved. I managed to somehow injure my hip a couple of weeks ago, rendering me unable to do most exercises since it affected the rest of my leg as well. Walking has been the only form of exercise that I've been able to do until just about now.
  • Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Smoothing Serum. Yes, I still have the generic version. I wanted to finish this one up first, but it's the exact same product. It works wonders on my hair when I can tell it's drying into a horrible mess, or it already has dried into a frizzy mass. It's basically a lifesaver. 
  • Eric Hutchinson's new album, "Moving Up Living Down." I haven't bought it yet, but I've heard most of the songs. He writes brilliant lyrics, and his style is a mix of several genres of music, including jazz, folk rock, and pop. Just search his name on YouTube and fall in love. I'm going to his concert with my friend and fellow super fan on Monday. I'm so excited!
I realize these are mostly non-beauty favorites, but I think that's often the case. As always, I appreciate family and friends. I didn't include them in the list, because they're a constant "favorite," and I would have to continue to add them to all of these types of posts.

Let me know what you've been up to lately and what you've been loving.

It's nearly Friday, so I think it's all right for me to say, "Happy Friday!"