Friday, August 28, 2015

DIY Marble Table

Happy Fri-YAY! I have been marble obsessed. Who hasn't? From little details to big pieces. I wanted all the things. Especially some of those West Elm mid-century modern coffee tables. Well, I am living in a teeny-tiny apartment in New York City. All my furniture is from IKEA, and though, I am not planning to move for awhile, eventually I will have to move, so investing in furniture isn't on the radar right now. I feel like I haven't done a DIY in forever, so I decided to give it a go after stumbling upon the secret ingredient to this project. Now, DIY-ing furniture may seem like a big task, but this was the simplest thing ever. And it can cost less than $10 or less than $20. Either way- a bargain.

The secret material in this case is marble-patterned contact paper. Basically, it's a big giant sticker that is intended to be used to line drawers and such. I wanted to mix up some of the backgrounds on this here blog and when I came across this at the discount store for less than $2, I decided to give it a go. I was really just going to use it on a piece of cardboard and call it a day, but instead decided to give my IKEA Lack table a facelift. The trick is actually that it's two IKEA Lack tables. I had the brown one since moving into apartment. So, I stole the legs off that one. For the marble base, I bought a second Lack table-in white-for $7. I covered the top with my marble contact paper. Carefully smoothing out an inch at a time with an old credit card. The marble contact paper is a bit sheer, so going with the white table was the perfect choice. Pairing it with the brown legs, made it look a bit classier. Now, this isn't going to fool anyone, but from afar it looks quite nice. And hey, I was using an Ikea table anyway, so at least it's more personalized.

Are you a fan of marble furniture?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Too Faced Most Loved Set

Too Faced does some great mini sets. I have gotten quite a few over the past year. They work great for me as I rarely go through a full-sized product and who doesn't want more things to try for less. They tend to always come with a Shadow Insurance and a Better Than Sex mascara. Very useful items in my book.

The only new products for me are the Melted Lipstick in Fig-which I really wanted to try-and the HangoveRx Primer. I love the formula and colour of the melted lipstick. Long-lasting and the Fig shade is a perfect transition to fall everyday shade. The primer is a great alternative to the silicone-based ones. It smells and feels like coconut water lotion. The Chocolate Soleil bronzer is a fav contour shade that I use all the time. And as mentioned before, Shadow Insurance and Better than Sex mascara are always a welcome addition. I ended up buying two of the kits-one for me to stock up on essentials and one as a gift. Perfect for any make-up lover.

Are you a fan of mini sets?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mini Love | Sephora Bonuses

These little samples are so cute-I can't even. These are a few of the point perks recently offered at Sephora that I couldn't resist. I feel like I had to come up with the full-sized products because I really just wanted to get these little things.

Buxom Shadow in Mink Magnet. This is the most itty-bitty shadow. I love the shimmery taupe shade, and the texture is similar to Too Faced or Urban Decay. I might be convinced to build my own palette. I think this sample may not be available online-perhaps a local store might still have this 100 point perk?

Ole Henriksen Ultimate Life Eye Creme. Another ridiculously adorable little mini. Eye creme samples are always useful. This one has an awesomely thick texture that really wakens and firms your under-eye instantly. It also has a great cucumber scent. Refreshing. This isn't showing up on the discount page-but there are many, many skincare sample options. Don't forget to use these codes online for extra samples.

Bite Lip Lab Limited Edition Trio-Bellini. I have been hoarding points for awhile now. Finally a larger point perk that I wanted. This one is 250. Not bad. It comes with a mini lipstick, mini lipgloss, and little mirror. I love Bite lip products, so I had to get this set. The bright pink shade is super fun too. The minis aren't too shabby size-wise either. It's still available, so if you are looking to cash in some reward points-go for it!

Do you spend your points as soon as you get them or do you hold on to them for bigger sets?


Saturday, August 22, 2015

ABM Happy Mail | August 2015

Another fun neon, silver foil month. I love having a large assortment of stationery on hand. They are pretty to look at and functional for legit get-togethers as well as for just-for-the-heck-of-it moments.

Here were my favourites this month. I used the smashed cupcake 'Happy Birthday' card already. Love the neon envelope and silver foil detail. Succulents & cacti are always a win. I love the simple design of the moon card and the engagement ring card. The moon phases would be cool to use as a print. I love the black envelope though and the silver envelope for the engagement ring.

The larger prints are an easy was to get some art going or even start a gallery wall. They are always so motivating-perfect for an office space or dressing table.

What were your favourites from this batch of Happy Mail?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Physician's Formula Cat Eye Mascara & Eye Booster Liquid Liner

Please ignore my whack-a-do bang situation. It happens. Anyway... I mentioned loving these two products from Physician's Formula in my monthly favourites. I saw these products on display advertised as a cat eye kit. And I am all about the winged liner look, so I was suckered in. Plus, it was buy one, get one. So really- no loss. The Eye Booster Liquid Liner has been around awhile, but I hadn't tried it yet. I got the black shade. I love the metal packaging and the felt pen like applicator is perfect for wings both bold and thin. I was initially hesitant regarding the serum claims, but I actually think my lashes are longer. It took a week to notice, which makes me think it's true (the placebo effect would occur much earlier right?). I usually prefer natural-styled mascara wands, but the Physician's Formula rubber ones get my seal of approval. It takes using it a week though before I am a fan of the formula-which is probably true for most of my run-ins with mascaras. I can't exactly say that the Cat Eye mascara is really any different from the leaf tube, or the green leaf tube, or the pink leaf tube-but hey why not try the black with red velvet tube for a change.

Have you tried any of the cat eye products?


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Review | Nars Cheek Palette 'Blame it on the Nars'

I have been crushing on Nars blush palettes for what seems like forever. I finally went for it with the Blame it on the Nars palette. I have been using it everyday and love every piece they included.

The bronzer is Casino, which is a nice mix-up from the usual Laguna. I don't think it's too dark for me as a contour which is great. I use the included mini Ita brush and love the result. The blush shades are perfect everyday essentials. Day Dream is a warm pink with a hint of shimmer, and New Attitude is a matte cool-toned pink. I have been mixing them together for a great summer-but still office appropriate-shade. Satellite of Love is a sparkly highlighter, but I don't think it looks to obnoxiously glittery on the skin.

I read mixed reviews on this palette, but I am all in. I haven't been using any other bronzers, blushes, highlighters since. Plus, the packaging is gorgeous-inside & out.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Haul | Zoya Nail Polish

I ordered these awhile ago, but forgot to share! I picked up some summer shades from the most recent summer collection, while also getting a few oldies to transition to fall.

Talia -Blue-Teal Creme
Cecilia-Green-Teal Creme
Serenity-Blue-Toned Purple Creme
Ryan-Navy Blue Creme
Hunter-Forest Green Creme
Blu-Palest Blue Creme

My Zoya collection is growing!  I am really looking forward to the Focus & Flair Fall collection. Aggie & Charli are on my list for sure.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Birchbox | August 2015

I am going to have to rock some pool nail-art to match this fun August Birchbox! I think the theme is "Soak It Up!" I will be soaking up the last weeks of summer. I am so excited for fall though...

Box Breakdown
Juicy Couture I Am Juicy Couture
Coola SPF30 Organic Makeup Setting Spray
LAQA & Co. Cheeky Lip Cray Cray
IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer
Parlor by Jeff Chastain Smoothing Blowout Spray 

Birchbox is such a lovely monthly treat. I am always eager to open the cute box filled with little samples. This month I received a good mix of things. I think they do a great job curating. I am most excited about the Coola Makeup Setting Spray. I love Coola sunscreens and wanted to try this version. I am also having a moment with make-up setting sprays again, so it's nice to have another option. You can definitely tell it has sun protectant, so watch out for your eyes & nose. It dries quickly and not too chalky feeling, like sunscreen can. I keep getting perfume samples! I thought I opted for the reduced amount. I almost can't believe that Juicy is still releasing perfumes. This one is a bit too sweet for my taste, but if you like the candy/vanilla scents, give it a try. The IPKN Primer is super brightening. It almost looks opalescent on the skin. I haven't tried it under make-up yet-I am hoping it keeps the brightening in a natural way. I probably have way too many lip crayons, but how can I resist? This LAQA cheek and lip crayon has an oh-so appropriate name-Cray Cray-and is a pretty pinky peach shade. Finally, I received a sample of the blowout spray from Parlor, a brand exclusive to Birchbox. I love hair products, so I am excited to try this out-it smells amazing. 
What did you get in this month's Birchbox?


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Favourites | July Beauty

The weeks are just flying by! Well, I already had my summer vacation, so I am ready for fall! Too soon, too soon? Not for me. July was an exciting month. Preston turned 25 (ah!), I received an offer on a new job (yay!), I had to resign from my current one (eek!), and we went to our hometown in Florida. Luckily, I had a good arsenal of beauty products to keep me from looking too haggard. There is nothing like a 10-Day vacation to show you what your favourites are.

Nars Blame It on the Nars Blush Palette
Urban Decay De Slick Make-up Setting Spray
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo & Conditioner
Physician's Formula Cat Eye Mascara
Physician's Formula Eye Booster Liquid Liner 
Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette
it's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product

 So, I ordered the Nars blush palette in NYC and had it shipped to my Florida address. Yup, I am that much of a beauty addict. I have been using it every day since. I love the mini Ita brush to contour with Casino, and I have been mixing the two blush shades for a summery, yet everyday, shade. The UD Make-Up Setting Spray has been a must-have for the Florida (and NYC!) heat. I haven't repurchased in awhile, and now I wonder how I had gone without. I needed all the hair products I could get-salt water, pool water-it takes its toll. Some favourites were the Living Proof duo (these were perfect travel sizes), my recent DryBar minis (including the brush!), and it's a 10 leave-in, because that stuff is like magic. The Mai Tai Spritzer was great to have on vacation to livin' up second day hair and revamp a braid. For my classic winged liner look, I have been loving Physician's Formula Cat Eye Mascara and the Eye Booster Liquid Liner. I'm surprised I haven't tried the liner sooner- if you like pen applicators, you will love it (more on that to come!). To keep in the super summery frame of mind, I have been busting out the bold lip. This Bite Beauty Lip Duo is the best. I also have a neutral set too. It's great to have two options in such compact packaging. Both Lignonberry and Tangerine were perfect summer brights. Plus, it's $12-go get it!

What were your beauty favs this past month?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Florida Photo Diary

I just arrived back in Brooklyn after a nice summer vacation in Florida. As a 'grown-up', it can be difficult to find that time to relax. As a kid, I thought summer break was way too long, but of course now, I kind of miss it. Luckily for me, my hometown is in sunny, beachy Florida. It's great to be able to visit my family and have the quintessential summer holiday. I shared many pictures along the way on Instagram, but I also wanted to diary-style a few new ones and highlight some of my favourite moments.

Preston's family has so many different animals. It's funny to see how our [now] city cats take in the outdoors. They love exploring and go right up to the mini horses, goats, and anything else. 

Braids & bold lips were my thang this vacation. I loved this summer look. This packing list was super helpful and made planning outfits easy.

We had a blast at Universal Studios. When we lived in Florida, we would go to the theme parks all the time, so we try to make a trip to Orlando whenever we are in town. We really wanted to see the newest addition to the Harry Potter World. It was indeed magical.

Another 'tourist' spot I love to visit is historic St. Augustine. It's so beautiful to walk around. This time, my mom, sister, and I visited San Sebastian Winery. I have to say the wines were a bit on the sweet side for me, but it was a fun experience listening to live music on the rooftop.

I probably had a little too much fun with the inflatable donut (and the flash tats). I secretly had it shipped to my mom's house just in time for pool fun. I am not a huge summer person, but I do miss the lack of swimming access I have in New York. Nothing beats having a pool in your own backyard.

Boating. Another water activity I miss. I am so grateful that we were able to do so much this trip. It was a blast speeding down the intracoastal. We had so many sunny days (excluding the 3pm showers).

Preston & I are high school sweethearts. It's seems silly saying it that way, but it's true. We also went to college together. It's crazy to think that we graduated four years ago. With that in mind, we decided to drive out to the swamp to visit our alma mater. It was so uncanny walking around, seeing where we used to live, where we used to get lunch, have class. So many routines that were daily, turned into something we hadn't done for years. We also got to see another side of Gainesville with the guide of a friend that still lives there.

Not going to lie, Preston & I do tend to revert to our youth with trips back home. I think that's normal right? We played in the pool for hours (I have the sunburns to prove it) and had regular board game nights. Grown-up board games, though. It's fun to have more people around for games as two-player games are hard to come by. A new favourite was Coup. The above zombie game is a nightmare. I don't think it's been beaten yet.

The food theme of this trip was tacos. Which is fine by me, I love tacos. We met up with friends in Jax Beach on one of the last nights and finished the evening off by a stroll along the ocean.

Preston was able to sneak some mountain biking in, along with extreme go carting. We also had to take Rococo to the vet for a dental cleaning. I was so worried, but she is all better and has clean teeth. We are settling back into our routines, though tomorrow is going to feel like a long one. Now that I had my summer vacation, I am eager for fall. Plus, I start a new job in a couple of weeks, so there is a lot to look forward to. It's always hard to leave our families, but Christmas will be here before you know it, and we love our life together in Brooklyn. Why can't there be teleportation machines already?!

What did you do this summer?