Last year, I started adulting. I had my first full time job which made money not as tight for Christmas, but it also made me a lot more busy than my student and part-time schedules. To make up for the lost time, I had to be more efficient. Google spreadsheets with lists of who to mail holiday cards to and gift-giving ideas by person. I loved being on top of it and even had a bit of a wrapping theme going on, thanks to the Target dollar section. Last year, my wrapping paper featured graphic text, accented with gold and pink tags and tape. This year, I am going with a more traditional theme. Think cozy winter day. Plaids, wood, and fabric. Preston & I also kept the same theme with our 2015 Christmas cards. I am looking forward to giving the perfect presents and having the wrapping be just as special.
Dyker Heights is a quiet little neighborhood in Brooklyn. It resembles a suburb more than the city with single family houses and large yards. It is probably best known for its insane Christmas light displays. We had never been before and were quite blown away. As suburb kids, we remember driving around in the car to look at neighbors' decor. This walking tour was like that-times a million, all in four blocks.
We probably had a little too much fun playing with camera settings to bring out that bokeh.
Growing up I was a huge No Doubt fan. I even saw them in concert right after the Rock Steady album was released. Oh man, did I love Gwen Stefani. So when I heard about the Urban Decay collaboration, I was super excited. My favourite shadows with my preteen style icon.
This palette definitely fits Gwen's pin-up inspired vibe. Lots of light neutrals to pair with winged liner and red lips. There are a couple of brights thrown in and some smokey shades, perfect for deepening that outer-v. My favourite combos so far are Steady & Punk and Baby & Serious. Skimp or Blonde for the inner corner, and the many matte shade options, loving Anaheim, for a transitional/blending out shade. Though lately, I've been into more middle-toned shades which this palette really doesn't have any options. It's either light or dark, but it's been fun to go back to that look. If you are a fan of champagne shades, this is definitely the palette for you. You have all different variations of champagne-copper (Pop), taupe (Baby), golden (Bathwater), rose (Steady). But again, they are all light champagnes. I have been using this palette all week and haven't needed any other shadows. It's all here. Though, I know I will end up missing my mid-toned taupes. For that, I am adding UD Naked Smoky to the Christmas wish list.
The last Birchbox of 2015! I am loving the cozy, yet glam, silver knit print, as well as the contents of this box.
theBalm FratBoy Blush
Coastal Scents styleEYES formalEYES
(Malin + Goetz) clarifying clay mask
gorge I'll Make You Look Amazing Daily Spray
amika The Shield Style Extending Spray
Another happy mix of hair, skin, and make-up products. I love Malin + Goetz, so I am excited to test out the clarifying clay mask. I have been needing a good detoxifying mask-hope this one fits the bill. I have developed quite the collection of mini dry shampoos and have even tried one from amika previously. This is a little different as a 'style extending spray', but it seems to be the same deal. I love the packaging-print & size. Another beauty product running rampant in my cabinet is conditioning sprays. Love them. I am looking forward to trying this one from gorge with lime oil and green tea. Finally, I got too super cute mini make-up samples. FratBoy is a cult favourite blush I can't wait to try, and the shades in the Coastal Scents duo are right up my alley. This box also included a $10 code for the Birchbox shop-perfect for holiday gifts (yourself included).
The older I get the more difficult it is to make a Christmas list. When your sole income is based on birthday money, it's easy to have a laundry list of things you want. This year, I am really after little luxuries and upgrading some everyday items (putting some Christmas money towards the higher ticket items).
Love the scent and texture of this duo. It feels like I'm at Drybar getting a profesh blow-out everytime I used it. The packaging is gorgeous too, and I am happy with the longevity of the product. I wasn't one to splurge on shampoo and conditioner as I seem to run through it so fast, but it hasn't been the case.
In trying to maintain the (now not-so) new hair, I picked up this brightening creme. The blonde looks just as bright as it did when I first got it. Now, if only I could manage to find the time to style it as nice...
Love, love, love Liz Earle. And this peppery scented, moisturizing little pot is perfect for this time of year.
Liz Earle Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion
This has been such a useful product with my allergies driving me crazy. It's so soothing and light. I would say it's more of a toner than a lotion. It also removes any stubborn bits of makeup.
Pixi Glow Tonic
After longing for it to hit the US and then stalking the aisles of Target, I finally found it! I am all for super toners, and this one is just that. It smells great-natural florals and keeps skin bright with gently exfoliation.
Since I have been using it daily since I bought it, I thought I'd re-mention it as a favourite. Sometimes it's those daily items that manage to be so integral to the routine that they get forgotten. This might be the only liquid liner I'll ever buy again. I love the dark shade, long-wearing formula, and the fine brush bristles in a pen format that gives the perfect flick.
The perfect everyday mascara, it gives your lashes a pretty effect. Not too crazy, but longer and darker. The formula is quite long wearing too. It feels almost gel like.
Freeman Daisy Oxygen Revival Mask
My most fun discovery of the month. This mask starts as a gel in your hands then when you apply it to your face it turns into a foam comprised of thousands of little oxygenated bubbles. It feels so cool! Literally-and neat too.
What were some of your beauty favourites this month?
Last night, we picked up our Christmas tree and spent the evening decorating while watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. It's crazy how fast the last quarter of the year goes. Our wild Thanksgiving weekend journey from Jersey to upstate New York has come and gone, and now I am counting down the days 'til Christmas. Every year, we make the trip down to Florida. Though there is no chance of it being a white Christmas, being with family is what really makes it feel like the holidays.
Preston & I had an exciting Thanksgiving. Let me start from the beginning. Last minute, Preston's dad and brother got flights up Wednesday evening which resulted in David's Tea shopping, dinner at Talde, and a night of board games in our apartment in Brooklyn. Of course, we started the next morning with Bagel Pub- a favourite we introduce to all our guests-and headed off to New Jersey. Thanksgiving day was full of family and food. Before the quintessential meal, we went on a walk to White Rock. I love how welcoming Preston's family has been to me, ever since we were just two crazy teenagers in love.
Friday morning started our road trip through upstate New York. Preston and I have been living in New York City for almost five years and wanted to see a different side of the state of New York. The extra days of Thanksgiving weekend made it a perfect opportunity to see the sights. Our ultimate destination was Niagara Falls. We went through Scranton, PA humming the office theme song along the way, rode around Ithaca and Cornell, and edged our way up the wine country of the Finger Lakes, passing small farm town after small farm town. What we can only imagine as a complete one-eighty from the life we live in Brooklyn.
Our first major stop was Watkins Glen park. A beautiful hike of a million waterfalls. I think it might be the coolest natural location I have ever been to. I'll confess, the park is closed for the season, so we had to jump the fence. The rule-follower in me freaked out a bit a lot, and I only let go my breath when I saw others had done the same. It was an uncharacteristically warm day, so it wasn't dangerous. With ice it definitely would be though, so I would suggest coming in season.
We had a lovely dinner at an Italian restaurant in town, enjoying some of that local wine. At 4pm. We were exhausted from the long day of travel and the gorgeous hike, so it felt way later than that! For 'lodging' we decided to set up camp in the Finger Lakes National Forest. It was so fun to light a fire and play some cards in the tent. We went to bed early, and woke up the same and traveled the final leg to Niagara.
It was a weekend of waterfalls. It was amazing to see the roaring rapids of Niagara Falls. I'll admit, I imagined them a bit taller, but I hadn't conceptualized how powerful the waves were! Now, I really can't understand the whole going over in a barrel thing. We brought the drone and managed to get an amazing video of the falls. We were nervous with the risk of losing it, but all is well. We stayed on the U.S. side-so we didn't get the panoramas- but we loved the feeling of standing right above the falls. For a souvenir, we stopped at Starbucks to get the You Are Here Niagara Falls mug to increase my collection. I am excited to drink holiday teas from it.
Another 7 hours later and we were back to Preston's grandma's house in New Jersey. We ended our Thanksgiving weekend by helping decorate her house for Christmas. It was the perfect ending to our Thanksgiving weekend. I am so thankful for having my travel buddy. I mean it has to be love when you enjoy spending 14 hours in a car together, right? I love that we can share adventures together and family time too.
Who doesn't love Wet n Wild eyeshadows? Great colours at great prices. My friend scooped this perfect little neutral palette up for me. It's Vinyl Collection and was limited edition to the Silver Lake collection that was released quite a while ago. I wanted to share the shades as they are great everyday shades and perfect for fall, but in case you didn't have the palette, showcase some other similar Wet n Wild shadows from their permanent collection.
I compared Vinyl Collection to a couple of my favourite singles, Brulee and Nutty, and the cult-favourite Comfort Zone palette.
Hope that was helpful for if you have forgotten about Vinyl Collection in your make-up stash or had been wanting some similar affordable shades!
I love the idea of sharing with friends and family a yearly photo update. What started as a tacky (on purpose!) photo shared on Facebook, went to a photo printing evening-plus some rubber cement. This year I decided to go all out with some professional printing. I decided to go with Tiny Prints. I received their catalog in the mail and fell in love with the variety of designs. I went with a classic Christmas theme. Of course, adding a touch of gold foil! I added on the tree envelope liners and buffalo plaid return address labels. I can't wait to write a personal message on the back and mail these pretties off!