Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog: October 2015

30 October, 2015

PSA: You need a computer backup system! (AKA Tales of Hard Drive Woe)


This post was sponsored by Carbonite as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

Did you know that October is Cyber Security Awareness Month? The month might nearly be over, but it's never too late to keep an eye on your digital life, as it were. One thing I finally got around to doing that I should have done a long time ago was installing an automatic cloud-based file backup system (in the form of Carbonite, to be precise). Here's the thing: I've had a lot of with repairing my computers when they went on the fritz in the past, but even if you have a 100% success rate with restoring files from busted drives, other stuff can happen—laptops get stolen and sometimes, if you're the same kind of special fool that I am, you intentionally hide your hard drive from yourself and never find it again.

A family photo I managed to scan again... but many others have been lost.

Yes, you read that correctly—I hid my own hard drive. There was a reason, believe it or not... I was going out of town for a week or so and was concerned that someone might steal it if they broke in, so I tucked it away in some unseen corner of my apartment. Problem is, I hid it from myself so well that I couldn't figure out where I put it when I got home! That was back in 2013 and I still haven't found the thing, despite hours of looking. Did it sprout legs and walk off?! Maybe I'll find it again someday, but in the meantime I'm quite sad to have lost it... that little drive contained a bunch of irreplaceable stuff like scans of old family photos, short stories I wrote long ago, plus what might be the only existing files of some short films I made in college. Bummer, bro.

29 October, 2015

My Fall/Winter Purse Essentials


Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife #CollectiveBias

True story: I used to be one of those people who carried a massive duffel bag-sized purse everywhere. The good part about carrying a gigantic purse is that you tend to have everything you could ever possibly need hidden somewhere in there. Hard candies? Of course! Sixteen different kinds of lip balm? Obviously! A small toy fish made out of flannel? AND HOW. Thing is, after a while lugging around a giant bag gets a bit tiring—especially if you're like me and rely on public transportation to commute (and are constantly shielding the bottom of your bag from the tops of children's heads on the bus). So now I carry a small purse, which means means I have to be sort of selective about what I hoard in there. Today I'll be sharing some of my purse essentials for the fall/winter season, chosen with both health and comfort in mind.

My fall winter purse essentials  #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife #CollectiveBias

28 October, 2015

WORTH THE SPLURGE? Kérastase Resistance Thérapiste Bain Shampoo & Soin Premier Thérapiste Conditioner

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Since we're already talking about scrimping and splurging today, how do you feel about splashing out big bucks on haircare products? For a long time I was one of those people who would only buy drugstore haircare, but I've been trying to broaden my horizons lately and try new things. So when Influenster sent me a couple items from salon brand Kérastase's Resistance haircare line I was naturally quite curious—would they be worth the extra cost? Read on to find out!

Kérastase Resistance Thérapiste Bain Shampoo & Soin Premier Thérapiste Conditioner

Add fun to your selfies with the Fanta Freaky Foto Booth this Halloween


Who's getting excited for Halloween? I finally came up with a funny idea for a costume that won't be too difficult to execute—I won't be dressing up as an entire five-person boy band this time, unfortunately. But I think I'll keep my idea secret for now as it's one of those things that's probably only funny if you actually see it. (Hopefully I'll take some pictures on the big night!)

Anyway, if you're itching to dress up for Halloween but don't quite have your costume in order yet, might I recommend checking out the Fanta Freaky Foto Booth? Fanta has put together a fun little app for Halloween that allows you to upload a selfie and add digital "costumes" at the click of a button!

Remember when I was a blonde? Yeah, I barely do either.

Rebecca Asks | Scrimp and Splurge

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Hope all is well and good.

I've been weeding my makeup collection lately, trying to pull out things that I don't really like or that don't work for me and get rid of them. As I was doing this I started to notice a pattern in my makeup-buying habits—there were certain items I only had cheap versions of and others that I spent a lot more on. Which brings me to this week's question...

Which items in your life are you likely to scrimp on and which items are you more likely to splurge on? If you're not big on makeup, don't feel left out—this question applies to anything one might spend money on.

Here are a couple of my somewhat rational examples:
  • SCRIMP: I almost always scrimp on mascara—drugstore all the way for regular everyday black mascara. I'm actually pretty vigilant about replacing them every few months, so it doesn't make sense to me to spend a lot on them.
  • SPLURGE: I'm willing to pay a lot more than drugstore prices for lipstick if I really like the formula. Not to say that there aren't drugstore lipsticks that deserve a place in my makeup pile, but for colors I wear frequently, I'm glad to fork over extra cash for something I really love.

Now for a couple that are slightly less rational:
  • SCRIMP: Once in a while I go crazy and buy a shit-ton of dried beans. Dried beans are usually cheaper per ounce than canned, but when you add in how much the energy your stove consumes to cook them costs, the difference is pretty negligible (at least at the rate we're eating them). Have I mentioned yet that cooking dried beans is a pain in the ass? I mean it's not like it's hard, but when time is precious it feels a little silly to watch over a boiling pot for two hours just to save ten cents on every pound of beans.
  • SPLURGE: I am weirdly particular about which brands of seltzer I buy. Some of them taste different to me than others, so I will always get one of my preferred choices, even if it costs twice as much as the other options. You'd think that all sparkling water tastes the same, but I guess not? Whatever, I can afford to be a little crazy.

So how about you? Wanna join me in an epic bean-boilin' session?

23 October, 2015

Review | Mizon Special Solution Good Night White Sleeping Mask

Affiliate Links Bought It

Do you ever suffer from "product blindness?" Like when you have so many skincare (or makeup) products, you kind of forget that you have some of the more unassuming ones. Such has been my relationship with Mizon's Good Night White Sleeping Mask—it looks so boring that I totally forgot I had it. Until today, that is, so now I'm going to review it!

Mizon Special Solution Good Night White Sleeping Mask review and ingredients

Friday Swatch-A-Thon: Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+, eyeshadow and more!


Happy Friday, everybody! I'd like to kick off the weekend with something a bit colorful: A makeup swatch-a-thon! So many swatches, so little time.

Friday Swatch-A-Thon: Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes+, eyeshadow and more!

The subject of today's swatch-a-thon is Younique. I've got eyeshadows, eye pencils, lip stuff and more to show you! Whoa! I always see a lot about this brand on Facebook, so when Younique offered me a few of their products to try I was naturally very curious.

Etude House Pink Bird Box: Mini reviews of the ugraded Collagen Moistfull skincare line, Precious Mineral Cover & Bright Fit BB Cream + GIVEAWAY!

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Who's ready to hear about some new makeup and skincare goodies from Etude House? Pink Bird Box powers activate!

Etude House Pink Bird Box September 2015

22 October, 2015

Unboxing | Rakuten Affiliate Network Bonus Box (Q3 2015)

Affiliate Links Press Sample

You know what I like? Surprises. So when Rakuten Affiliate Network e-mailed me last month and asked if I would like to review their latest Bonus Box, I was pretty excited! (And I may or may not have stalked Instagram for sneak peeks until the box arrived.) I've had a bit of time to test most of the things in the box by now so I thought I'd share my thoughts today... who knows what surprises lie in store? EEP!

Rakuten Affiliate Network Bonus Box (Q3 2015)

19 October, 2015

My "No Makeup" Makeup: A FOTD + Tips & Tricks


Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FalsiesPushUpDrama #CollectiveBias

I've been really into natural-looking makeup lately—in other words, "no makeup" makeup. Don't worry, purple eyeshadow is still on the menu for me sometimes... but these days I often find myself wanting to enhance my natural beauty rather than transform it, if that makes sense?

Over time I've developed a pretty consistent "no makeup" makeup routine, so today I thought I'd share how I do it, plus a couple quick tips and tricks for adding "oomph" to your look without making you look like you've totally piled on the slap.  Even better, the whole look can be achieved with the few super-affordable Maybelline products pictured below!

14 October, 2015

Totally Rad: LISTERINE® gone PLAID! (Plus Target Cartwheel offer & the easiest plaid nail art design ever)


Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RinseMadeRad #CollectiveBias

I don't know about you, but I am *LOVING* the fact that plaid is trendy right now. There are few things more cozy than soft flannel shirts—I've been wearing mine a heck of a lot since the weather started to cool down. And if wearing plaid on your body isn't enough for you, it seems like like it's also popping up in home decor and personal care items too! One of the most novel things I've seen get the plaid treatment lately is LISTERINE® as part of Target's Mad for Plaid collection—how fun are these bottles?

Rebecca Asks | What are your plans for Halloween?

Happy Wednesday, everybody! It's that special time of year already, oooooh spooky.

art via

In case you hadn't already guessed, this week's question was inspired by a certain upcoming holiday. I'll keep it simple:

What are your plans for Halloween? Costumes, parties, solo movie marathons and candy? Spill it!

For the past couple of years I've been kind of boring on Halloween—stayed in, maybe watched a scary movie or two. This year I've decided to get off my lazy butt though and actually go to a friend's party—which means I need to come up with a costume! So far I haven't decided on one for sure... a lot of my ideas are silly and probably require more time to execute than I actually have (like making a bunch of puppets so I can go as an entire boy band). I should really start planning these things farther in advance. (Forget I said that if I post some incredible 11th hour costume on Instagram come October 31st though.)

5 Tips to Help You Wind Down At Night

A couple of weeks ago I shared my tips for waking up from a non-morning person. I have learned over the years that stress is often a big part of the cause of sleeplessness for me, so it's essential that I take time to relax and wind down so I actually have a fighting chance at falling asleep. Today I'll be sharing a few of my favorite relaxation techniques—they're a great way to just a great way to help yourself feel good and maybe get a better night's sleep.

13 October, 2015

Taking Pasta Night on the road: Easy date night idea + a chance to win a Buca di Beppo gift card!


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Buca di Beppo®. All opinions are 100% mine.

Here's a fun fact: Did you know that October is World Pasta Month? As I mentioned in my recent fall traditions post, Pasta Night is a bit part of our eating routine once the weather cools down—but just because it's cool enough to turn on the oven doesn't mean we want to cook every single night! Luckily, Buca di Beppo is in on the global pasta fun and running a very special promotion this month—Create Your Own Pasta Bowl! Stan and I decided to head over there last week for a little impromptu date night... read on to find out how we pasta'd it up!

12 October, 2015

Review | Miraclear Adjustable Facial Cleansing Tool

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Poll time: Do you prefer to use a brush/tool to cleanse your face, or just go in with your fingers? I go back and forth: I like not having to worry about cleaning my cleansing tools, but sometimes I want a little more exfoliation than my bare hands can provide. And thus my quest for the perfect cleansing tool continues! Today I'll be looking at the Miraclear Adjustable Facial Cleansing Tool, which combines the convenience of silicone with the scrubbiness of well... silicone.

Miraclear Adjustable Facial Cleansing Tool review and how to use

Tips & Tricks: How To Make High Heels More Comfortable


Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ByeByeBlisters #CollectiveBias

Fashion-wise, I think my favorite season is fall. I love being able to cozy up in flannel and boots without being so cold that I have to bundle up in puffy outerwear that makes me look like a marshmallow—plus fall colors are fun. I haven't been super into all things Marsala this year, but I just bought an inexpensive pair of heels in the color and I'm really digging them. Problem is, getting used to a new pair of heels can be a bit uncomfortable—but I want to wear them NOW! Luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve (or I guess my pants leg?) for making high heels more comfortable to wear as soon as possible—and today I'll be sharing them with you.

09 October, 2015

Six of my not-so-traditional fall traditions (+ GIVEAWAY!)


For some reason, I always find fall really inspiring. Maybe it's the beauty of the changing trees, maybe it's because there are always new people moving into town around this time of year, or maybe it's because the summer humidity is no longer stifling my brain. In any case fall is definitely my favorite season. While I enjoy leaf-peeping as much as the next person, I have a few slightly more personal habits and not-entirely-traditional traditions I carry out every year... are they strange? I'll share them and you tell me! ;) I'll also be giving a little prize away at the end of this post so a lucky reader can share in one of them with me.

05 October, 2015

Review & Swatches | Allure & Butter London Arm Candy Nail Lacquer Collection (+ GIVEAWAY!)

Affiliate Links Press Sample

Now that fall (and jacket weather—brr!) is in full swing, I thought this would be a good time to share my swatches of Butter London's recent collaboration with Allure Magazine, the Arm Candy Collection. Arm Candy consists of six fashion-forward, fall-tastic shades in a variety of finishes, so there's something to please everybody. Even better yet, Butter London has provided me with an extra set of nail lacquers to give away to a lucky reader—yay! Read on to find your new favorite shade for autumn.

Allure & Butter London Arm Candy Nail Lacquer Collection review swatches

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