November 20, 2014

Cute & Affordable Holiday Gift Guide with Checklist

Cute & Affordable Holiday Gift Guide

This year I want to keep my Christmas shopping and gift giving ritual as simple and stress-free as possible with the focus more on emerging myself in the true meaning of this sentimental time of year. If you're like me and can't buy big ticket items for all of your family members this season, a thoughtful gift means just as much if not more and is easy to put together on a cinched budget with a little creativity.

Since the holidays are now about a month or so away, I wrote a checklist on the Google Keep notes app on my phone so when I am out and about I can grab gifts or wrapping essentials that might be on sale in order to maintain some sort of organization and a reasonably affordable sum by the time all the shopping is completed. My personal list is more tailored to specific things I want to purchase for my own friends and family, however this is a nice guideline to save and begin brainstorming if you haven't quite made it to that point yet.

Gift checklist:
_ Stocking stuffers and small gifts (lip balm, nail polish, makeup, skincare, hand sanitizer, tumblers, gloves, scarves, socks, jewelry, and other accessories)
_ Gift cards
_ Larger gifts (books, candles, decor, video games, or their wishlist items)
_ Chocolates and candies
_ Wrapping paper
_ Tissue paper
_ Bows and ribbons
_ Boxes, tins, bags
_ To & From tags
_ Cards
_ Gift wrapping tape
_ Shipping materials (boxes, shipping tape, labels, bubble wrap)

One of my favorite ways to put together a gift is to buy little things and put them all in either a stocking, a decorative bag, or a printed takeout box. I fill them up with trinkets like lip balm, candies, nail polish, makeup, rollerball perfumes, skincare products, hand sanitizer, stationary, cell phone accessories, and anything mini sized that will fit. I sometimes like to slip in a gift card to the recipient's favorite store as well which is a nice touch to add if you have the extra money to spend. If gift cards aren't your thing, find a small personal or trendy gift like a book, a candle, a piece of jewelry, a video game, etc., that your budget will allow. If I can find some extra time before Christmas Eve, I might bake some holiday cookies and package them in decorative tins for a homemade touch. Since I live in a different state than a lot of my family members, I like to include a Christmas card with a note inside to explain the gift, or simply express love.

For the women I know, I plan to put together an assortment with a few little pocket-bacs and hand cream from Bath and Body Works, a pair of gloves or a scarf, and maybe something extra like a piece of jewelry from Forever 21 or a new makeup brush from Ulta. I find a lot of cute filler gifts at places like the seasonal aisles at drugstores, the Target Dollar Spot, or the accessory section at many online boutiques. I also find a lot of inspiration from Etsy which offers many things that make for unique presents, especially for a person who has everything and is difficult to surprise. If you are a bit crafty, there are tons of handmade gift ideas on Pinterest that are super affordable and easy to make.

For the men in my life, I tend to buy a specific gift or gift card with a skincare product and some of their favorite candies or snacks. Unless you know what he wants or what his hobbies are, I find any man can use a good moisturizer with an SPF or a trial size skincare kit to have the opportunity to try something new and be able to buy a full size version if they end up liking your selection. When in doubt, I've realized that most men enjoy more practical gifts like clothing and grooming products which makes shopping that much easier on your part.

There is always the opportunity to express your gratitude to the ones you love, so don't be discouraged if you can't shower them with lavish gifts this holiday. It's always the thought that counts, and a simple letter, email, or phone call is the most meaningful of all.

Do you plan out your holiday shopping?
November 12, 2014

Long-Lasting Work Makeup & Routine

On mornings where I can muster up the inner strength to roll out of bed a half an hour early and wipe on some makeup before work, I reach for a consistent group of products that are simple to use and will endure a long eight to ten hours through sweating, dehydration, and general wear during an active day. Besides what I put on when I wake up, I keep a touch up filled makeup bag inside my locker with chapstick, a brown eyeliner pencil, an eyebrow spoolie, oil absorbing sheets, and a pressed powder compact to freshen up on breaks.

A good moisturizer is the perfect base to keep the skin hydrated and smooth all day long, preventing any dryness that can occur especially if I get behind on my water intake. On a freshly washed face, I first like to apply a nourishing serum like the tarte maracuja oil, then layer it with a lightweight SPF such as the Simple Skincare Protecting Light Moisturizer. Since I have an oily skin type, my best defense against a greasy look is to use a face primer like the Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser as well as a mattifying yet breathable foundation like Revlon ColorStay for Combination/Oily Skin. Setting the liquid with a powder locks in the product and enhances the staying power even more, and just a dusting of Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder keeps the shine at bay until I can later touch up with my NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Face Powder. I typically use a concealer like the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser to brighten and hide my dark circles and lightly layer it with a bit of Physician's Formula Mineral Correcting Powder to further camouflage and avoid any creasing.

I usually keep my eye look simple with a sweep of neutral brown eyeshadow on the lid and crease, a shimmering pearl highlight on my brow bone and inner corner, as well as a deep brown or grey gel liner on the lash line and just below the waterline. For an extra boost, using a flesh-toned eyeshadow base like the Urban Decay Primer Potion helps to prevent creases or fading on oily lids. Sometimes I even pat a bit on my under eye area or on my brows to help other makeup stay put as well. For the top and bottom eyelashes, I prefer to use a waterproof mascara like the tarte lights, camera, splashes 4-in-1 as I tend to get unsightly smudges and flaking towards the end of the day.

I only wear lip balm or a moisturizing tinted lip color like the Burt's Bees Lip Crayon as they are no fuss, easy to swipe on without a mirror, and prevent any dryness or cracking.

What are your favorite makeup products that endure a long day at work?
November 07, 2014

Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Cashmere | Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Dupe

Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Cashmere
Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Cashmere
Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Cashmere

Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in 541B Cashmere  0.13 ounces  $.99

Recently while browsing around the makeup aisles at the drugstore, I found a fairly close dupe for the new limited edition MAC Viva Glam Rihanna 2 lipstick that costs around fifteen dollars less for a very comparable color and quality. Described by MAC as a warm metallic mauve with silver frost, Viva Glam Rihanna 2 as well as Cashmere are unique ashy browns with flecks of iridescent shimmers and a silvery frosted finish. From swatches I've compared online, Cashmere appears to be a bit warmer in undertone with less glitter and more sheen, but overall a good match.

The texture of the Wet n Wild shade is smooth despite its glimmer effect and applies sheer in one layer and opaque in about two. I find the formula to be comfortable as it felt light and hydrating on the lips, lasting a good three hours before a touch up was needed. This particular color doesn't exactly look ultra flattering on any skin tone, however it is undeniably fun to wear and play with when mixed and matched with different lip glosses, especially sparkly purples and pinks.

Although the cheap price of Cashmere is hard to resist, if you can envision yourself wearing this galactic inspired lipstick more often than just once a year on Halloween, investing the extra cash in Viva Glam Rihanna 2 is worth every penny as all the proceeds from the sale are donated to the charitable MAC AIDS Fund to support those living with HIV and AIDs.

Would you wear this unique shade of lipstick?

Jordan / 23 / Virgo ♍ / Michigan
This blog is an expression of my love for beauty, style, art, and all things bohemian, kawaii, or topped with a bow. I adore succulent gardens, fairy tales, thrifting, travel, and regularly feed an addiction to iced coffee, YouTube, nude lipstick, and my pink 3DS XL ♡

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