September 2014 Ipsy Glam Bag!

After being wait listed since I signed up in July I was soooo excited to get my first bag mid September.  I know thats its kind of a thing to trade products with others for things you may want but didn't get but I think I like the idea of just sticking with what I get. I like trying new things and since I don't wear makeup as much as I used to I'm not usually looking for particular products.

So September's theme was street style and the products came in this cute silver bag with little studs on it, just my cup of tea. Here's just a quick rundown of the items I got and my thoughts on the ones I've tried so far.
  • *Crown Brush Deluxe Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet brush, $6.99 - Brushes were just something I never got into until the last year, and I don't have many at that aside from a few e.l.f. $1 cheapies so its safe to say I don't have a lot of judge by. I have used this brush and think maybe that it's slightly large for my eye shape but its very very soft and haven't had a problem with shedding yet.
  • Pacifica Natural Waterproof eye pencil in Gun Metal, $5 - I haven't tried this yet but I'm intrigued with the idea of a silver eyeliner. It sounds like fun!
  • *Cailyn Art Touched Tinted Lip Gloss in Love Affair, $19 - This color is absolutely gorgeous. I was disappointed it doesn't last as long as a lipstain but its very easy to apply, not messy and very bold. It doesn't have that sticky texture which is the main reason I don't normally wear lip glosses. I don't think I would want to pay twenty bucks for this product so it might be slightly over priced, but I do enjoy using it.
  • Mitchell and Peach luxury hand cream, $14 - I love how thick this feels when I'm rubbing it in but how light it feels coming out of the tube. Its super moisturizing and soaks in quickly.  The scent is a bit heavy. Very sickenly sweet and peachy.
  • Nourish Organic Face Moisturizing Organic Face Cleanser, $3 - I haven't tried this one yet either, perfect travel size.
    Total Value: ~$48
*indicates full size product.

Overall I'm really happy with my first bag and am excited to see what next month's theme will be. Yay for not being a completely broke college student this year. I love getting to treat myself a bit.

What's your favorite monthly beauty box?
Interested in signing up for ipsy? You can use my referral link and help me earn more pointsss. :)

Coming up next isss a review for Coastal Scents Revealed 2 palette which is a Naked dupe and a show case of my recent iPhone case haul.

Review: Color Oops hair color remover

I am a natural blonde. I started dying my hair about 4 years ago when I was 17 because I noticed that, like my mom, my pretty blonde locks were starting to grow in a darker, more ash brown shade.  I had always taken a lot of pride in being a blonde, so when it started to change color I just decided to speed up the process.  I've been a few different colors since then, but I have been red the longest.  For the last couple years and a year before that I've had red hair.  I kind of feel like I was born to be a red head.

Top: before Color Oops. Bottom: After. Left: After Dark Ash
However, for the last several months I'd been playing around with the idea of going blonde again and last night was just in a "whatever lets try it" mood.  I wanted an inexpensive option to play with and planned to just re-red it if it ended up looking disastrous. My plan of attack? Color oops and an box of $3 Dark Ash Blonde hair dye.  I knew that bleaching would be much more harmful and potential more expensive by the time I got toner and all those extra products.  So I spontaneous decided to go the walmart route.

The directions were pretty simple to follow and basically mimic your standard box dye instructions except the fact that when you're done applying the solution you cover your head with the supplied shower cap thing.

Just a few things to note about the process...

  • The formula is very runny and watery which I didn't realize until I almost got it in my eyes.  
  • If you think it smells bag when you're applying it, it develops it starts to smell like rotten eggs...and it will continue to smell like that for goodness knows how long. 
  • If you're like me, you might consider using a hair dryer to speed up the developing process, don't. The instructions specifically say not to do this for whatever reason.
  • It is safe to recolor the same day after using this product, but it is recommended to use a protein conditioner before doing so. I also wouldn't recommend bleaching unless you want dead hair.
I was super skeptical when purchasing this product. I fully expected it to be a complete waste of $10. However, I was shocked when I started rinsing my hair to see blonde strands.  Shocked. I hadn't seen my hair that color in years.  Now, because the red dyes I'd used before lighted my hair, it wasn't its original, brown-y or whatever color its supposed to be now but it definitely got all the red out. I'm attaching a before and after picture (they aren't supposed to be flattering, just to show color. haha). And just for fun, I'm throwing in a picture of what it looks like after I went over it with the $3 box color.

Verdict? I was insanely happy with this product and I'm ashamed to say that I didn't think it would work like this.  This won't work for blues, purples, pinks, etc. And I'm not sure how going black to blonde would work. But other than that, I recommend it! If you try this with darker colors send me your before and after pictures! I'd love to see how it works on black or brown hair.

Coming up! My first ipsy bag has been shipped! So look out for my unbagging(?) post coming up next week!

In the Nude: Being Confident in Your Own Skin

When I was in 7th grade, I started putting on foundation every day before school.  About 13 is when I became aware of other girls being skinnier, prettier and having better skin that me and I wanted to fix that.  Over the course of several years I went from just foundation, to discovering eyeliner and eyeshadow, and then going all out with a full face routine. Every. Single. Day. I was so self conscious about my appearance that I refused to go to school, or anywhere that anyone other than my parents would see me, without wearing makeup.  When I turned 18, I developed moderate acne from having relatively clear skin before so the makeup use only got worse.

One day I was out with a friend to get foundation and she picked out a tinted moisturizer for me.  I was skeptical when I used it, and my self esteem issues sky rocketed when I applied it only to realize it didn't cover acne at all.  My friend made the harsh suggestion that maybe if I didn't cover my face with so much makeup it would go away.  At first I was horrified at the thought. I'd never been able to let anyone see me without makeup, not even long term boyfriends. But as the weeks went by,  I decided to try it out.

I now only wear makeup when going out or other special type events.  I'm comfortable enough to go barefaced to school, work, and my boyfriends house.  I cannot possibly express what a huge accomplishment this is for me.  My acne is hormonal, so going au natural didn't improve that much but the confidence I have gained from this experiment was a monumental achievement.  I no longer feel like I have to wear mass amounts of makeup for people to want to talk to me or take me seriously.

The How-to:

Making this life adjustment is not easy, especially if you're someone like me who wears makeup for confidence-boosting reasons.  I've been doing this for a month and even though I never used to take makeup-less selfies, I still wasn't quite comfortable going filterless for the blog's photo.  It takes a bit of time to get used to seeing your face without it on and you might feel sloppy or unattractive at first.  I think a great first step is to use a lighter foundation before you stop wearing makeup completely.  This way you get used to how your skin looks when blemishes, or other things you're bothered by, are more visible.  I went from full coverage foundation to tinted moisturizer and it was a shock to say the least.  However, after a couple weeks of using just such a light coverage foundation every day, I realized that going bare faced wouldn't look much different.

When you finally decide to make the brave move of going completely barefaced, its okay to only start with a few days on and a few days off. Even just going makeup-less once in awhile is so much better for your skin than 24/7 face paste. Along with proper cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and drinking plenty of water the condition of your skin can greatly improve.  Its so easy to forget to take off your makeup and night, or to use the wrong products for your skin type, things that can cause your skin to break out or become dull/dry.  You'll love how much better your skin looks and feels after a few days of going makeup-less and you'll love that extra 15 minutes you can sleep in the morning that you would have otherwise spent time staring at your self in the mirror.

All this being said,  I still love makeup and I like how I look while wearing it. I love be able to accent my eyes and wear different colors for different occasions. But I also love that now I can look in the mirror and think my eyes are just as beautiful without makeup and they are while wearing it. I love that I can see the "family heirloom" birthmark on my forehead that I would never see before because it was covered up with foundation. I needed to learn how to be more confident in my own skin and I love that after 10 years I was finally able to achieve that.

So if this is something that you're interested in because you want more confidence in yourself or you think it might improve your skin then I encourage you to give it a shot! Don't be afraid to take small steps and don't be afraid of what others might think or say. You. Are. Beautiful.