Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog: 2014

31 December, 2014

Weekly Poll: Happy New Year edition!

Happy (almost) New Year! Or for those of you on the other side of the globe, Happy (actual) New Year!

This week's question was inspired by today's date on the calendar. A modern invention, but I like it.

Do you have any New Year's resolutions, goals or plans you're willing to share? What do you hope to improve on or change in 2015?

For me, my #1 goal/resolution is to get organized. Both my physical space and digital space. Would you believe that I have over 2,000 unread emails in my blog inbox? A lot of them are newsletters and stuff that can probably just be deleted, but when your inbox gets to that level of disarray it's easy for real e-mails to get lost. So if you wrote to me recently and I didn't reply yet... uh... sorry.

As for physical organization, we do have a spare room that I use as a home office/makeup/dressing room, but oh maaaaan is it in chaos right now. Too much stuff, not enough space. In the short term my goal is to get rid of some stuff and put everything back into order, but my long-term goal is to come up with a system to ensure that clutter won't stick around for too long. Shredding junk mail right as I get it? Hurling empty shipping boxes out the window with a scream? Something.

With that said, I'll be taking a mini blogging break for the next few days to get a jumpstart on my new life of orderliness. I'll still be checking comments and e-mails (and working my way through the old ones), plus maybe popping in on social media, but don't expect any new posts here until the 4th or 5th of January or so.

So! Here's wishing all of you a happy (and safe) new year, whether you choose to comment on this post or not. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you on the other side! :)

28 December, 2014

Review & Swatches | Pony X Memebox Shine Easy Glam Season 2 Palette

Affiliate Links Bought It

Who wants to see some swatches of a brand new eyeshadow palette? Today I'll be sharing the Pony X Memebox Shine Easy Glam Season 2 Palette, which is the second eyeshadow palette collaboration between Pony and the ever-growing Memebox own-brand makeup line.

Image source: Memebox

26 December, 2014

Review | Primary Raw Seoul DoYou Soy Facial Cream (plus bonus candle-making session!)

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Calling all K-Beauty fans: I have a review of a facial cream with lots of interesting ingredients for you today! Meet Primary Raw Seoul DoYou Soy Facial Cream, a skincare treat made with soy bean extracts, soy milk ferments, rice water, galactomyces and other nice stuff. Mm-mm good!

Primary Raw Seoul DoYou Soy Facial Cream memebox

Some of you may have seen this product before—it was one of the items featured in Memebox Special #61 Green Food Cosmetics. But it's now available for purchase on it's own in the Memeshop, so probably worth of a review, eh?

24 December, 2014

Weekly Poll | It's the most wonderful time of the year... to watch movies!

A happy Wednesday to all, and happy Christmas Eve to those of you who celebrate!

My boyfriend has the next few days off (including today), so we've started binge-watching Christmas movies. Of course when I asked him to pick one he chose Die Hard... not exactly a film about Christmas, but it takes place during Christmas so I'll allow it. Anyway, here's my question:

What are your favorite Christmas films that you can watch over and over? They can be fully about Christmas or very loosely connected to the holiday. Your choice!

In addition to Die Hard, I think there's a good chance we'll be re-watching Bad Santa and Elf, plus enjoying the numerous made-for-television cheesefest films that Netflix has to offer. Five star taste in this household, all the way.

How about you? What's at the top of your video playlist this holiday season?

18 December, 2014

Review & Comparison Test: Tosowoong Makeon Professional Nothing Is Impossible Makeup Liquid Lip & Eye Makeup Remover

Affiliate Links Bought It

One of the staples in my "makeup diet" is a good eye makeup remover. I know some folks like to use their cleansing balm or oil as an all-in-one solution, but when I'm wearing massive amounts of waterproof eyeliner and mascara I feel like it really helps to get in there with a little something extra first. Same goes for really stubborn lip tints. Triple cleanse power! Today I'll be reviewing a remover I started using a couple of months ago: Tosowoong Makeon Professional Nothing Is Impossible Makeup Liquid Lip & Eye Makeup Remover. But first I need to take a nap after writing out that name. Zzzzzz.

TOSOWOONG Makeon Nothing Is Impossible Professional Makeup Liquid Lip & Eye Makeup Remover WishTrend Memebox kbeauty korean beauty products

17 December, 2014

Weekly Poll | Flash Beverage Round

Happy Wednesday, everybody! How's the week before Christmas treating you? A more relaxed or more stressful time? Probably depends on where you work, I guess.

Cup clip art via

Speaking of Christmas, this week's question was inspired by seasonal drinks....

If you could have any beverage in the world delivered to you right this moment, what would you choose? Could be something ordinary, could be something rare, could be something discontinued, could be something that doesn't actually exist. Sky's the limit!

I heard someone talking about peppermint lattes yesterday and that sounded really appealing to me, hence the question. I don't think I've ever actually had a peppermint latte before though, so here's hoping my fantasy drink isn't gross? I'd ask for it to be made with soy milk and served with a candy cane on the side. I love destroying my teeth.

How about you? Coffee? Absinthe? The tears of unicorns?

09 December, 2014

How I'll Be Stuffing My Boyfriend's Stocking This Christmas: 2014 Edition

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It's the most wonderful time of the yeaaaaaar! Is it just me or are the number of pre-Christmas special shopping days increasing every year? Did you participate in any pre-Black Friday week sales? Or perhaps Green Monday? (What the heck is Green Monday?) Happy Shopping Year! Argh. I find the present number of "shopping holidays" a bit overwhelming at times, but I can't deny that they're really good for picking up gifts on the cheap, which means that most of my holiday shopping is DONE.

I did crappy little post last year called "How I'll Be Stuffing My Boyfriend's Stocking This Christmas" and it ended up being one of my most-viewed posts of all time, so I guess men's gift ideas are a subject of interest, huh? Today I thought I'd share how I'll be stuffing my boyfriend Stan's stocking this Christmas, since I've already made my list and checked it twice (and had the contents of it shipped to my house while I hid indoors from the Black Friday shopping crowds).

29 November, 2014

Finding Financial Peace: How I plan on saving an extra $1000 in 2015


Building up a savings account can be difficult for people in their 20s and early 30s. A lot of us are new in our careers and not earning the "big bucks" just yet, some are still recovering from student loan debt, and others are just starting to learn the intricacies of budgeting and money stuff. I've always been financially aware, but I didn't really worry about saving money in my 20s—I wanted to travel the world! So travel (and spend money on travel) I did. But now that I'm a little older I've started to worry that I don't have much of an emergency savings—I'd like to think that I'm invincible, but the truth is that emergencies (and unexpected expenses) do happen and it's better to be prepared than not. With than in mind, I'm challenging myself to save an extra $1000 in 2015 to give myself a bit of financial peace of mind, and I think I've come up with a feasible way to do it!

28 November, 2014

Review: XO Memebox Meme Mask Intensive Moisturizing Hydrogel

Affiliate Links Bought It Press Sample

I'm sure some of you have noticed this, but Memebox has been rolling out all sorts of own-brand goodies on their global site recently. When I first heard that they were releasing a line of masks I didn't pay much attention until an Instagram post by fellow Meme-fan Fanserviced alerted me to to the fact that these are hydrogel masks. I looooooove hydrogels, and these are very reasonably priced ($3 each or less!), so I added one to my last Memebox shop order for testing purposes! And then a couple days later a two more Meme-masks showed up unannounced in my mailbox for review. Whoops. I'm not going to complain though, because these masks are pretty baller!

XO Memebox Meme Mask Intensive Moisturizing Hydrogel hydrogels

Indie Friday | Review: Wiggle Perfume's Mathilde

Bought It

Happy shopping madness day, everyone! :P I thought I'd take a moment away from the insanity of holiday shopping to write about one of my favorite indie fragrances: Wiggle Perfume and Sundries' Mathilde.

Wiggle Perfume and Sundries Mathilde 5ml rollerball

20 November, 2014

Bespoke Post - Slate Box Review & Unboxing

Press Sample

Looking for a holiday gift idea for a dude or foodie in your life? Today I'll be sharing a review of the Bespoke Post Slate box, which I think would fit the bill quite nicely for both of those parties. Or for me. Please send this box to me, strangers on the internet. Chomp.

Bespoke Post - Slate Box review unboxing

17 November, 2014

ShopLately Favorites: Gorgeous Handmade Rose Gold Accessories

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What do y'all think about rose gold? Personally I love it—sometimes yellow gold can look a bit "off" on my skin, but rose gold is really pretty and flattering, I think. If you're also a fan, you're in luck! This month I've combed through ShopLately's vast catalog of jewelry and picked a few of my favorite rose gold baubles to share. (Hint hint: Know someone else who loves rose gold? Holiday gift ideas!)

shoplately favorites handmade rose gold jewelry

14 November, 2014

Indie Friday | Darling Girl Glitter Glue vs. Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy: Which one is better?

Bought It

For this week's Indie Friday I thought I'd focus on something really basic: Glitter eyeshadow fixatives/foiling mediums. These are typically used under really sparkly or shimmery eyeshadows to make them appear more vivid and make the glitter pop—definitely good if you want to sparkle like a vampire. But which eyeshadow medium is the best? Two of the most commonly-discussed indie products of this type are Darling Girl Glitter Glue and Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, so today I thought I'd pit them against each other in an epic eyeshadow battle. Your eyelids will never be the same again.

Darling Girl Glitter Glue vs. Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy: Which one is better? Comparison test swatch swatches

31 October, 2014

Indie Friday: Etsy Thanksgiving Wishlist

Hopefully most of you are out partying or trick-or-treating right, now I'm guessing a lot of you won't see this until tomorrow ... in which case, happy November! :P For my fellow Americans, now's the time to start thinking about your plans for Thanksgiving. This year I think Stan and I will just stay home and cook a massive feast for ourselves, but I still find myself looking at and bookmarking party decorations. I just can't help it. In that spirit, I'd like to show you a few things I found on Etsy that might pumpkin spice up your Thanksgiving celebration! (I should go to comedy jail.)

All images above were sourced from and are the property of their respective sellers.

1. Vintage 50s Cornucopia Print Full Circle Cotton Skirt by SavvySpinsterVintage ($105):
Want to be the Thanksgiving hostess with the mostess? Nothing says "I am committed to the fall holidays" than a wearing a massive skirt printed with cornucopias. I think this skirt is both adorable and ridiculous—too bad it's way too small for me!

2. Pumpkin Macaron Mason Jar Soy Candle by brooklyncandlestudio ($19):
I know everybody is obsessed with pumpkin spice-scented things come fall. This candle has notes of natural cinnamon, clove, ginger, and a "light almond top note", which makes it sound like a classier version of your average pumpkin spice fare. In any case it sounds delicious, and would make a decent olfactory substitute if you can't actually bake a pumpkin pie!

3. Whole Pumpkin Pie Polymer Clay Magnet by GuiltfreeDecadence ($10):
When I'm baking something, I usually write the recipe down on a piece of paper and stick it to my fridge with a magnet so I can refer to it as needed while I'm working. Wouldn't it be perfect to hold up your favorite pumpkin pie recipe with a pumpkin pie magnet on the fridge this year? Just saying.

4. Pumpkin Soap by crimsonhill ($5):
This soap is not only shaped like a pumpkin, but it's made with pumpkin flakes too! I feel like these would be perfect (and adorable) to put in your guest bathroom if you have people coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. Assuming you have a guest bathroom. Which I don't. But I bet some of you do! Hooray for extra toilets!

5. Funny Turkey Earrings by Buttonwilloe ($12):
Going back to that hostess with the mostess thing, novelty Thanksgiving earrings are a must, and what better a subject than turkeys? If these cartoonish turkey earrings aren't your thing, a quick Etsy search for "turkey earrings" with reveal a wide variety of styles, including some rather macabre roast-type turkeys.

And there you have it, Thanksgiving sorted! Well, except for the food. And guests. Shit.

What do you think of my Thanksgiving wishlist? Would you buy any of this stuff?

27 October, 2014

Review: OST/C20 Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Today I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful skincare product that gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling: C20 Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum. (Literally. It tingles for a few minutes after I apply it.) In all seriousness though this is a good Vitamin C serum available at a very reasonable price (in my opinion), so read on if you're in the market for such an item!

OST C20 Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum Vitamin C box

Quick note about the name: Some of you may have seen a similar-looking product branded as OST Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum—it's the same thing as this. They rebranded it as "C20 Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum" earlier this year. Not sure why as the new name is a bit redundant, but in any case it's the same thing inside the bottle.

22 October, 2014

Weekly Poll: It's All About The Money

Happy Wednesday, everybody! I was having a good one until I realized that I might have a hole in one of my teeth. I sure know how to have fun?

In a bizarre twist, the possibility of unexpected dental bills made me think of this week's question ....

What's the very last thing that you bought? I don't care if it's mundane or embarrassing, spill it!

The last thing I paid money for was the postage for my NoNoBox 2 giveaway winner's prize, which ended yesterday. But if we're talking tangible objects, I guess it would be a bunch of food items on my maiden voyage to Costco this past weekend. We just joined up, so went a little nuts and bought as much as we could carry. (Literally, because we don't have a car or granny cart to lug stuff in.) We got too many foods to list, but I did post pics of a couple of my favorite things here and here. I'm so freaking interesting, aren't I?

Your turn! Tell me about your latest haul, whether it was clothing or tissues or a salad for lunch. Mmm, tissues and salad.

Cooking Up Kawaii Treats with Jillicious Charms and Accessories on Shoplately (Giveaway!)

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Lovers of quirky jewelry and all things adorable, this post is for you! I recently had a chance to try out Jillicious Charms and Accessories (one of the merchants featured on shopping mega-site ShopLately), and I'm beyond pleased with what I got. If you're a fan of food-themed accessories or stuff that's just fun or Kawaii in general, you NEED to check out this shop. Today I'll be sharing a few of my favorite picks from Jillicious, plus a special sale AND giveaway! Are you excited yet?! Not sure if it's the adorableness or an excess of caffeine, but I'm going nuts over here.

Jillicious Charms and Accessories packaging

21 October, 2014

Review: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Are you the sort of person who loves a good facial scrub? If so you may want to check out the product du jour, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant. Speaking as someone who is generally more of a chemical exfoliation enthusiast I was a bit skeptical of this product, but I ended up liking it a lot! Read on for more info.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

20 October, 2014

Falling For Autumn | Halloween Inspiration

Who out there plans on celebrating Halloween? If so, do you have your costume and/or party preparations in order? I won't be hosting a party myself, but I do enjoy perusing the internet for novel Holiday-related entertaining ideas, so today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite spooky finds to whet your creepy whistle.

I've been bookmarking some of the more fun and creative Halloween ideas I've come across lately on a special Pinterest board, so if you're still struggling for party/decor/costume ideas, check it out:

Follow Hello Pretty Bird!'s board CELEBRATE - Halloween on Pinterest.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few of my favorite posts from the board:

DIY Pizza Slice + Delivery Boy Couples Costume via Studio DIY
Exactly what it sounds like—a really fun and unexpected couple costume. Though if I were doing it, I'd probably go as the delivery person and have Stan be the pizza because he's so darn cheesy. Har har har!

Mashed Potato Ghosts of Halloweegans Present and Past via Wing It Vegan
A rather macabre vegetarian meatloaf/burger with adorable mashed potato ghosts. Cute AND creepy! Perfect for your Halloween party or gaining energy before a long and hard trick-or-treating session.

10 DIY Halloween Costumes for Dogs via Premeditated Leftovers
A round-up of funny costume ideas for your furry friend. I don't have a dog, but if I did I'd probably go for the "Poop Factory" costume by Turtles and Tails. I'm so classy like that.

Candy Corn Coolers via Gourmet Mom on Tablespoon.com
The perfect beverage to put you in the Halloween mood and rot your teeth. Throw in a little vodka and you've got something amusing and sweet for the adults out there who are too old to go out and beg for candy!

Bagels of Doom via Milk and Cuddles
True story: I eat a bagel for breakfast at least once a week. How fun would it be to dress up your boring old everyday breakfast for Halloween and surprise your family/roommates/imaginary friends with it? Maybe not practical, but fun.

If you're an avid Pinterest user, be sure to follow me and/or follow my Halloween board because I'll be pinning more in the days to come. As for me, I have a couple of silly costume ideas rattling around my head, but still haven't decided on anything for sure yet, so stay tuned! At the very least you can be sure that I'll be dressing up my bagels.

Do you have any special Halloween plans or costume ideas? If Halloween isn't a big thing where you live, what would you do if you could celebrate?

17 October, 2014

Indie Friday: My Storage System for Indie Eyeshadow Jars & Samples

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Who out there has a growing indie makeup collection but isn't really sure how to store it? This post is for you! Today I thought I'd share my methods for storing indie eyeshadow jars and samples in a non-confusing way. Is my way the best way? Not sure about that, but it's worked for me so far. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for your own collection!

08 October, 2014

Review: Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel

Affiliate Links Bought It

Got oily or combination skin? Have trouble with creamy moisturizers? Enjoy reading blog posts? Then I highly recommend you read this review of Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel, (phew, what a mouthful) because (a) I think it's a product worthy of a look and (b) this is definitely a blog post. Yup.

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel tube

Weekly Poll: Sick Day

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Hope you're feeling grand.

Unfortunately I'm not feeling so grand this week ... I've come down with a bit of a cold. Nothing life-threatening (insert ominous soap opera cough) but bad enough that I had to postpone the trip I was supposed to take this week. What's more fun than going on a trip? Sitting on your couch and coughing for hours, of course!

I haven't had a bad cold for a while, so this latest bout of illness got me thinking ....

Do you have any tried-and-true feel-better rituals for when you're sick? A favorite soothing drink, stupid movie or TV show you like to watch, lazy activity, etc.

I'm realizing that my main ritual as an adult is something along the lines of "Take medicine, pass out, drink hot tea when conscious." Could use some improvement. When I was a kid, I had my sick day ritual down pat: My parents would let me lie in their bed during the day (which was normally not allowed) because they had a TV in their room. I would spend the day watching cartoons, reading, or playing with our Atari game console (which was ONLY brought out for sick day occasions—low-fi video bowling anyone?) And I would always drink Sprite or 7-Up mixed with cranberry juice out of a bendy straw. Being sick as a kid was never fun, but these memories do sound a lot more appealing than the Mucinex + drowsiness routine I currently have going on.

How about you? Any classic sick day creature comforts or must-haves?

PS Today is the last day to participate in my reader survey! Please fill it out by 11:59PM ET tonight for a chance to win $10 and my undying love.

04 October, 2014

Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer - Review & Comparison Test

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As a fan of brightly-colored and shiny eyeshadows, I'm always on the lookout for a good, long-lasting eye primer that isn't too expensive. For super-sparkly eyeshadows I usually bust out Glitter Glue or something like that as well, but I guess there are times when I just don't want to be bothered with that extra step?

Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer box ingredients

I recently picked up a tube of Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer to test in just that capacity. Etude House is an inexpensive Korean brand for those of you who don't know, and while they don't have any physical shops in the U.S. (yet), their products are quite easy to find online.

02 October, 2014

What I got in my ModCloth Stylish Surprise - Fall 2014

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When I saw that ModCloth was having another Stylish Surprise sale I knew that I had to partake—the stuff I got in the last one was pretty cute, and definitely a good value for the money. Little did I know what terrors awaited me this time around ....

 ModCloth Stylish Surprise - Fall 2014 October September what I got unboxing reveal

Not familiar with the ModCloth Stylish Surprise? ModCloth (online retailer of cute dresses and other awesome things) will clear out their stock a couple times per year (usually around the end of a season) and sell mystery garments for $10 apiece. A great deal (assuming you like what you get), as their clothing tends to be quite a bit more expensive than that. Last time dresses were mixed in with other apparel, but this time there was a separate dress category, so I snapped up five of them. I was super-excited about getting only dresses this time, until I saw what actually showed up in my mailbox. Yeah, it was pretty bad. Is curiosity killing you yet?! Fine, I'll show you what I got.

26 September, 2014

Indie Friday: My most-used indie beauty products

Bought It

Indie beauty stuff, I have lots of it. I thought it might be interesting to look through my collection and share which products I've been using the most often lately. Sometimes I'll give products a good review but they don't necessarily achieve OMG MUST-HAVE status, so I thought it might be interesting to look at a few of the things that have ascended to that level. Some of these are perennial faves, some are seasonal faves, but what do they all have in common? I like them. I mean like-like them. Swoon.

19 September, 2014

Indie Friday: The Sweet Anthem/SA List - Fall 2014 Fragrance Anthology

Bought It

At long last, my SA List fall box is here! There was a bit of a shipping mix-up which resulted in me getting this waaaay late, but the owner was super-fast to rectify the situation once I noticed it was missing, so kudos to her for that.

15 September, 2014

Keeping Unnaturally Red Hair Vibrant with Nexxus Color Assure


I have a not-so-secret secret to share with you: I dyed my hair bright red again a few weeks ago. I didn't document the experience because it came out a little different than I expected (hellooooo Ronald McDonald meets a carrot) and needed a bit of after-care to not look ridiculous, but I look semi-normal now! Hooray! This post isn't about dyeing hair though, it's about maintaining dyed hair. If any of you reading have ever dyed your hair bright red before, you know that it is the MOST impossible color to maintain. Washing your hair less often helps, but eventually you're going to need to wash it if you don't want to look greasy. Society and their demands, man.

I recently had an opportunity to try out the Nexxus Color Assure haircare system, an oil-infused line that promises "2X longer color protection and vibrancy." I agreed to test the products for at least three weeks, and naturally I couldn't wait to see how they fared against my newly-found Ronald-ness.

Nexxus Color Assure system product line

There are four products/steps in this system. I'll go through them in the order of use for clarity.

14 September, 2014

Insta-pamper with scrumptious-smelling body care by Nubian Heritage

Affiliate Links Press Sample

I am (and always have been) a sucker for good-quality scented body products. I have become sort of picky with my fragrant choices over the years though: I tend not to like products if they smell sort of artificial, and in the case of lotions and whatnot, they also need to be pretty darn emollient. Call me crazy, but I want my body moisturizers to actually moisturize. Today I'd like to introduce you to some lovely body products by Nubian Heritage that fit the bill in both departments. Insta-pamper session, no reservations required.

Nubian Heritage Body Care

12 September, 2014

Indie Friday: Etsy Wishlist + Gift Card Giveaway!

Hey hey, it's Friday! Have you got fun plans for the weekend? Or will you be glued to your computer like me? Today I thought I'd share a few of the items on my Etsy lust list. For enabling entertainment purposes. Even better yet, every single thing on my list is $10 or less! Hooray for not breaking the bank. I hope this whets your indie shopping appetite, because I'll also be giving away a $25 Etsy gift card to one lucky reader! Woo-hoo! (Giveaway details/Rafflecopter widget below.)

10 September, 2014

Weekly Poll: It's Pumpkininny!

Happy Wednesday, all!

It's not technically autumn yet, but I'm already seeing scores of blog posts pop up dedicated to dressing for fall and eating for fall and just generally falling for fall. (See what I did there?) Which brings me to a very hard-hitting, topical question:

How do you feel about the pumpkin/pumpkin spice craze?

It seems like everybody and their grandma is already stocking up on pumpkin candles and pumpkin lattes and whatnot. What do you think—totally delicious and worth the hype or kind of bleh? I've always been a big fan of pumpkin pie and pumpkin as an ingredient in other recipes, but I'm not sure where I stand on the latte issue. And pumpkininny candles either smell good to me or give me a headache, depending on the manufacturer.

So where do you stand on the pumpkin issue? Pumpkin all the way? Sometimes? Never? In space? Deep thoughts.

08 September, 2014

10 Favorite Foodie Uses for Coconut Oil

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Ah, coconut oil. My Pinterest feed is inundated with posts professing its muli-tasking, beautifying abilities: You can use it as conditioner! As makeup remover! As a natural mouthwash! And so on. While some of those things are definitely true, I still tend to think of coconut oil as a cooking ingredient more than anything else, so today I thought I'd share a few of my favorite foodie uses for the stuff. (And if you want to steal a spoonful for your hair every now and then I certainly won't oppose.)

05 September, 2014

Indie Friday: A few tidbits from the Haus of Gloi Autumn 2014 Collection

Bought It

You know it's almost fall when you start contemplating picking up pumpkin scented bath goods. I've been able to resist the pumpkininny-ness of this seasonal transition so far, but I did find myself browsing the Haus of Gloi autumn release and ending up with some Halloween candy-scented items instead. Oops. Yay? I didn't go totally wild with my purchasing this time, but I thought I'd share my thoughts on the few items I did get for future reference and posterity.

Haus of Gloi autumn fall halloween 2014 collection

Everything came wrapped up in tissue with fall leaves printed on it. Aww.

02 September, 2014

Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation Review & Swatches

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It's almost fall, y'all! Weird. I actually just bought a bunch of summer clearance clothing in preparation for winter, but that's a weird topic that should probably wait until later. Um, anyway, who wants to hear about a new (ish) and awesome foundation? The product du jour is Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation. Some of you may remember this popping up in my Walgreens summer beauty post, but I wanted to give it a more detailed review.

Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid Touch Foundation 10 Porcelain Ivory 15 Ivory

I own this foundation in two shades: Porcelain Ivory (10) and Ivory (15). These are the lightest options in the range and there are 10 additional, darker shades. Not a bad selection.

27 August, 2014

The post you've all been waiting for: My review of the ONE DIRECTION Up All Night Makeup Collection

Press Sample

I'm sure you've all been wondering lately "Man, when is R. going to write about One Direction's makeup or fragrance line?" Well, your today's your lucky day. I got my hands on the One Direction "Up All Night" makeup tin (one of the three kits from the LE "The Looks" collection featuring 1D by Markwins), and I'll be sharing all my super-relevant old lady opinions about it below.

Background info:
The Looks Collection comprises three keepsake tins inspired by One Direction™s globe-conquering albums, Up All Night, Take Me Home and the latest chart topper, Midnight Memories. Each tin comes complete with everything you need to show off your personality. Are you a rock n roll girl, a fun party girl or the girl next door? We have just the right collection for you and illustrations to help show you just how to get your perfect look. All your beauty essentials are housed in a LIMITED EDITION collectable keepsake tin with removable sleeve, complete with ONE DIRECTION doodle stencils to decorate your keepsake tin and make it uniquely your own!

Weekly Poll: What's in YOUR bag?

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Are you back to school by now? (If you're an adult with a boring 9-5 job do you wish you were still in school right now?)

This week's question was inspired by other bloggers. Hi, other bloggers. I've seen a lot of "What's in my handbag?" type posts/videos, which I think are fun to read, mostly because I'm ridiculously nosy. I probably won't ever do one of those tags myself though because the real contents of my bag is probably something like 90% crumpled paper and used tissues (allergies, yo.) Perhaps there are others of you like me out there. Which brings me to my question ....

What beauty/personal care items do you always keep in your purse or backpack?

Makeup comes and goes from my cesspool of a bag, but these things usually remain:
  • Lip balm: Dry lips make me crazy. Nuff said.
  • Hand cream: See above, except replace lips with hands.
  • Tissues: My body consists mainly of allergic reactions to things you can inhale. That, and you do not want to be using a public restroom only to discover there's no toilet paper.
  • Sunscreen: I get crispy easily. This is where all those tiny beauty box samples of SPF come in handy.
  • Hand sanitizer: Never go into a public restroom in NYC without it.

Throw in a lipstick and you're ready for ANYTHING. Even the bathroom at Penn Station.

26 August, 2014

Review: TonyMoly Changing U Magic Foot Peeling Shoes

Affiliate Links Bought It

I don't know why, but it seems like foot peeling treatments are all the rage at the moment. Are people's feet suddenly way more disgusting and calloused than before? In any case, I've had these Tony Moly Changing U Magic Foot Peeling Shoes (phew, what a mouthful) in my pile-o-things to try for ages and finally got around to using them last month. Want to know if they worked? And maybe see some gross pictures of my feet? Keep reading!

Tony Moly TonyMoly Changing U Magic Foot Peeling Shoes

Note: I'm serious about the gross foot pictures. Don't say I didn't warn you.

22 August, 2014

Indie Friday: Glamour Doll Eyes Paper Runway Collection

Press Sample

Happy Friday, everybody! Today I have some pics and swatches to share with you of some indie eyeshadows that I think are absolutely lovely: The Glamour Doll Eyes Paper Runway collection.

Glamour Doll Eyes Paper Runway Collection GDE

20 August, 2014

Weekly Poll: Electronic Fashionista

Happy Wednesday, everybody! And if you're a student or a parent, happy back-to-school time! (Groan. Cheer?)

Speaking of back-to-school, I was browsing some back-to-school sales online and that got me thinking about online shopping. And thinking of online shopping got me wondering about online clothing shopping. (Sort of related to the original topic, right?) So here's my question:

Do you prefer shopping for clothing in a traditional retail store or online? Why?

I used to love poking around in clothing stores for hours and hours, especially places like TJ Maxx where there are often numerous clearance treasures to be discovered. Nowadays I find that I rarely have the patience, so I do end up buying a lot of things on the internet, even knowing that there may be fit issues and I'll have to return them (though luckily, that doesn't seem to happen too often). Online shopping could never replace a visit to a good thrift store though. So many special things waiting to be discovered there. I wish there were better thrift stores around here.

How about you? Do you enjoy shopping for pajamas in your pajamas or the more "traditional" way?

19 August, 2014

L'Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blur Foundation (and That One Time I Had A Tan)

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It's still summer, despite my wishes that it would suddenly become fall. And stay fall. Autumn weather is nice. But since it's still summer, I remain gung-ho about trying out lightweight foundations that contain SPF. I like my sunblock mind you, but anything extra that help prevent my face from getting sun-fried is good, in my book. Today I'll be talking about my experience with the new L'Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blur Foundation, which has SPF 18 (in the form of Octinoxate, if anyone's curious.)

L'Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blur Foundation

18 August, 2014

Review: Paula's Choice RESIST Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA

Affiliate Links Bought It

I've been on a "test all the AHA body lotions" kick lately. Someday I may do a detailed comparison if I have time, but I'll give you a big fat spoiler right now: Paula's Choice RESIST Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA has been the most effective and least annoying to use for me of the bunch so far. Effective how, you may be wondering? Well keep on reading and I'll give you the whole scoop.

Paula's Choice RESIST Skin Revealing Body Lotion with 10% AHA tube

17 August, 2014

Fork It: A Quest for the Tiniest Microwave Oven

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I was always one of those people who was adamant that they didn't need a microwave oven. "You can reheat things on the stove or eat them cold!" I'd proudly say. Maybe this is just a sign of getting older, but lately I'm just not patient enough for that sort of thing. Also, I've been eating a lot of crappy food recently (ramen 4 life) because I don't have the patience to watch a solid frozen block of homemade soup from my freezer slowly dissolve in a saucepan. So I decided to suck it up and finally join Microwave Nation. Problem though—this is the only available counter space in our place:

This little nook is about 12" wide and typically occupied by an electric kettle, small toaster, and 90% empty bottle of Canadian Club that's been there since last June. (Sorry, I'm not a total drunkard.) All important things, but they're small enough to be moved elsewhere. Problem is, this little counter is a few inches too narrow to fit even the smallest of standard microwaves—ahhh! What's a gal to do? Getting a small rolling cart to keep it on is also an option, but it would have to be very small so as not to block off access to everything else in the kitchen. (Apartment life, yo.) So with that in mind I went on a quest for the tiniest microwave I could find—behold my fascinating results below!

15 August, 2014

Indie Friday: How I store my perfume samples

Bought It

Happy Friday, everybody! This post is for all the perfume sample hoarders out there. I don't know about you, but I feel like it's hard to come up with a perfect way to store perfume sample vials. I saw this post on Lipstick & Libraries a while back about keeping samples in a 38/357 Cal ammo case, which is an AWESOME idea—if you're storing mainly standard-sized sample vials. But of course I seem to enjoy sellers who enjoy oddly-sized vials (like Darling Clandestine), so a lot of my treasures won't fit in a box of that size. I'm also sort of cheap frugal, so I decided to repurpose some storage boxes I already had into The Perfume Zone instead.

Want to see what I did? Keep reading ....

13 August, 2014

Weekly Poll: Let's Get Social

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Is your week driving your crazy so far or has it been smooth sailing? Oh, life.

This week's question is for those of you who spend a lot of time on the internet. Which I'm guessing is most of you, seeing how this is an internet blog and whatnot.

What's your favorite social media network at the moment and why? How about your least favorite?

I think my favorite right now is Instagram (Shameless self-promotion: Follow me!) I follow a variety of accounts, and some of them are really creative, which is AWESOME. I also see some people using it as sort of a way to microblog: Writing short reviews, beauty techniques, etc. Very cool.

My least favorite at the moment probably won't surprise anyone: Facebook. (Here's a less enthusiastic follow me.) As a blogger it's annoying that they only serve up my posts to about 1/10th of my followers on average, and as a personal user I find the way the "News Feed" a lot more confusing than it used to be. Stop being selective about which of my friends' baby pictures you're willing to show me, FB.

How about you? What are your social media loves and pet peeves?

08 August, 2014

Indie Friday: A review of Silk Naturals 8% AHA Toner

Bought It

There are a lot of things I love about indie beauty products, but one of the biggest pluses is that they tend to be extremely affordable. Case in point: Silk Naturals' 8% AHA Toner, which is humbly priced at $8.95 for 4 oz/120ml. I've done a lot of searching for AHA products on the internet over the past few months, and this is probably the cheapest AHA toner I've come across, so I decided to give it a whirl. I've been using it regularly for 2+ months now so it's about time I wrote a review, eh?

Silk Naturals 8% AHA Toner

07 August, 2014

PocketDerm: One month in

Affiliate Links Bought It

At the end of June I wrote about how I was starting acne treatment with PocketDerm, so since a few weeks have passed I thought this would be a good time to write about how it's going. The short version? Not bad. Want me to be more specific? Keep reading.

Review: Hey! Pinkgo Girl Sheet Masks

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Calling all sheet mask fans! This post is for you. I don't review sheet masks as often as I used to because honestly a lot of them are very similar, but the ones I'm writing about today are actually pretty unique. Hooray!

Hey! Pinkgo Girl Sheet Masks on Amazon

The mask brand du jour is Hey! Pinkgo Girl, which launched in Taiwan last year. They make eight different types of masks, and four of them are available through an official distributor on Amazon in the USA. With Prime shipping, no less. I like things that are easy to purchase in my home country. Anyway, I'll be reviewing the four Amazon-able mask varieties today. I've also seen this brand name translated as "Apple Girl", just FYI.

06 August, 2014

Recent ShopLately Jewelry Finds + Insider Program Free Trial

Affiliate Links Press Samples

I don't know how many of you reading follow me on Instagram, but I've been sharing some of my favorite fun and "quirky" pieces of jewelry there recently, photo-of-the-day style. So if you're into that sort of thing you should follow me there! And speaking of fun and quirky jewelry, want to see some of my latest ShopLately accessory finds?

Weekly Poll: Life's A Picnic

Happy Wednesday everybody! Have you been working hard or hardly working? (I wouldn't blame you if it's the latter.)

This week's question was inspired by my own real-life experience attending a picnic this past weekend:

You're invited to a picnic and asked to bring food to share. What do you bring?

Since I was attending my own recent picnic as an out-of-town guest I didn't exactly have time to prepare an elaborate feast, so I brought chips and hummus and pico de gallo. Could be worse. Normally I would make pasta salad or something like that. Others brought things like bread and cheese, quinoa with veggies, and fruit. Mmm, fruit.

How about you? What do you like to snack on whilst lounging outdoors?

30 July, 2014

Weekly Poll: Thanks, Future Self

Happy Wednesday, everybody! How are you? I'm preparing to go on a trip out of town. And by "preparing" I mean putting one thing in my suitcase, getting distracted, and wandering away repeatedly.

This week's question is for all the blogger bloggers and/or beauty enthusiasts out there:

If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of beauty advice, what would you say? And at what age would you visit your former self?

I think I'd go back to about age 13 or 14, when I started getting bad acne. I'd tell baby Rebeca to invest in some light moisturizer, because despite having oilier skin then, I was also getting random dry flaky bits all the time due to cleansing the crap out of my face in an attempt to curb the acne. Tricky, eh? If I got to give a bonus tip I'd say lay off the seafoam green eyeliner (yes really), because that shit just looked strange.

How about you? Got any potentially life (or skin) changing advice to share with your past self?