Double Up (On Your Mascara, That Is!)

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To this day, most everyone that I’ve come in contact with has commented on how large my eyes are. I’ve gotten everything from “They’re so big and beautiful,” to “Can you close your eyes a little bit? They’re freaking me out.”Middle school was a great time.

Because of this, I wanted to close my eyes off because I thought it would make me better. Cue a thirteen-year-old Kat with black liner smeared all around her eyes. Granted, it did close my eyes up, but let’s just say I won’t be going back to that style of makeup anytime soon.

Fast forward to present day, I rarely line my inner rim with black. In fact, I love accentuating my eyes and drawing more attention to them. And what’s the best way to draw attention? Mascara, of course!

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Everyone has their preference on mascara, but I’m here to give you a simple tip to getting the best lashes of your life! All you’ll need is a lengthening mascara, as well as a volumizing one.

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Start off with your favorite volumizing mascara as usual. My favorite at the moment is the L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise, which I got during my time at Beautycon this summer. You’re going to do one even coat, ensuring all your lashes are coated.

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After allowing them to dry for a bit (Not full dry!), you’re going to follow that with your favorite lengthening mascara. I’m using the Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Push Up Drama Angel mascara, which is my favorite overall mascara. The wand is everything you need if you want length!

While applying, make sure your wand isn’t heavily coated when applying to your lashes. This is going to help you prevent clumps, while separating the lashes evenly. It’s also going to give you that length that the L’Oreal mascara didn’t!

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After that, you should see that your lashes are defined, but separated. Though it may seem like a lot of work to use two mascaras, but I promise when you do it, once, it’ll be a breeze!

Do you double up on your mascara? Let me know some of your favorite tips on getting your best lashes!

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Monthly Favorites – June 2017

Some beauty favorites from the month of June, along with some tricks to using them.

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The fact that we’re already in July is absolutely crazy to me. I feel like we were just starting the new year, but alas that is not the case. With that being said, the start of a new month means a new monthly favorites!

Last month, it may come as a shock to everyone, but I surprisingly didn’t wear makeup for most of the month. For most of June, I opted for a bit of concealer and highlighter. For that, I used my trusty NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Caramel” as well as the Wet ‘n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in “Precious Petals.”

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Hair

I don’t normally talk about hair because I am absolutely terrible at styling and taking care of my hair. However, I went out of my comfort zone and decided to test out some new products and completely fell in love with the EDEN Coconut Shea shampoo and the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray. I found that the shampoo really made a difference in how smooth my hair was, which I was extremely surprised about.

I’ve also been a fan of really textured waves recently, but never really knew how to achieve it. Being the adventurous person I was, I knew I had to find a way to do it. I decided to curl my hair and then I went in with the spray, but not it the way you would think. Instead of spraying it in my hair directly, I went ahead and sprayed it in my hands and separated the curls by rubbing them in between my hands. I immediately got the look that I was hoping to achieve.

If you’re looking to achieve that Instagram-worthy beach hair, I would highly suggest this method.

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Skin

I was so excited to be part of the Splash Vox Box from Influenster. Inside, I received complimentary products, one being the Exfoliating Mud Mask from Tree Hut. I’d never used any products from Tree Hut, so I was excited to try it out. So far, my skin has really been loving this.

It contains charcoal, which you guys know I love because it helps draw out impurities from your skin also helps keep oils at bay. Also the fact that it’s a mud mask means it’s also perfect for those of you with oily skin. Mud helps suck up the oils from your skin, which I’m always looking for, considering I have extremely oily skin.

The last thing I love about this are the small exfoliants that get that layer of dead skin off. If you have sensitive skin, I wouldn’t suggest using this or possibly using this only once a week or every other week because it could irritate your skin.

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Face

When I did go full-faced glam, I opted for my trusty Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer and the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation for my base.

If you buy one of these, I would highly suggest the NYX Foundation because it’s only $14 and it’s going to last you a long time because a little goes a long way. I find that with four drops, I get a fairly nice amount of coverage. I just suggest using this with a brush because a lot of product will be sucked up by a beauty sponge.

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Lips

I have perpetually dry lips, so when I apply something on my lips, it has to be something moisturizing or I’ll end up taking it off in an hour. I found that I’ve really been loving the Kopari Coconut Lip Love as a lip balm. It’s been super moisturizing and I love the fact that it smells like coconuts. Also, I’ve been loving the Revlon Ultra HD Matte LipColor in “Seduction.” Thought it’s matte, I don’t find that it dries my lips out, which I love.

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Eyes

When I did wear eye makeup, I gravitated towards the Huda Beauty Textured Eyeshadow Palette – Rose Gold Edition. There’s not much I can say about this other than the fact that the shades blend out beautifully and they all are extremely pigmented. When you are using the textured shades at the top of the palette, I would suggest using your fingers because you’ll get the best payoff.

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Brows

I have been talking about these two products for so long, but only because I am so truly in love with this combination. The ColourPop Brow Pencil in “Black ‘n Brown” and the Benefit Gimme Brow in “#3” have been my favorite brow combination for quite a while now. The ColourPop pencil is so nice and easy to use because it’s not too thick and it’s easy to get thin, hair-like strokes. The Benefit Gimme Brow helps define the hairs I already have, making everything look more natural.

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Lashes

Lastly, my mascara is the one thing that I found I’ve changed up a lot. Recently, Ive been loving the Maybeline The Falsies Push Up Angel mascara and the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise mascara. I’ve been loving combining the two for long, voluminous lashes.

If you like the voluminous mascara you are currently using, but you’re looking for more length, try layering a lengthening mascara over it. If you’re looking for the opposite, then vice versa. Don’t be afraid to layer it up!

With all of that being said, that is everything that I’ve been loving in the month of June. Please let me know if you’ve tried any of these and let me know what you were loving last month.


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Current Skincare Favorites


I remember the first time I got a breakout. It was as though the world had ended with that one white head that appeared on my forehead. 
I feared the mocks that I would surely get from others in school. Surely they’d call me pizza face or something a bit more creative. All-in-all, I knew I had to do something about it. This resulted in me popping the pimple, leaving angry red scratches all around it. 
I’m not going to say that I’ve learned not to pop my pimples ever again, but I definitely realize it’s not the end of the world when a friend pops up on my face. I also learned the importance of skincare.
Now, I’m going to be honest and say I still get acne, but it’s hereditary. Both of my parents have bestowed the wonderful gift of adult acne to me. Though I’m aware that I will probably always have acne, there are some products that I have noticed have done some great things for the overall appearance of my skin.


I spoke about the Origins Active Charcoal Mask in a previous post. I finds this really helps taking the gunk out of my pores and opens the up for other acne-fighting products. I do this about twice a week at night and find that my skin is extremely smooth afterwards. The charcoal helps clear toxins in your skin and is an ingredient that I suggest everyone incorporates into their skincare.


A standout product for me has been the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner. Glycolic Acid is another ingredient that is great for your skin. If you have dark marks, this will assist in lightening them up and improving the overall texture of your skin. This has done an amazing job at lightening my dark marks. In the couple of months that I’ve used this product, I’ve noticed a huge difference in the overall appearance of my complexion.


Another Mario Badescu product is the Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea. Just as you would assume this does, this really soothes my skin after I do some intense skincare. I use this daily, just to give me an extra bout of hydration. I know this can be scary to my oily friends, but the combination of aloe, cucumber and green tea doesn’t affect your oil production. It’s just a refreshing spray in the morning and night.
Lastly, I’d like to talk about the M-61 PowerSpot Pad for combination/blemish-prone skin. This little pad packs a powerful punch. With ingredients such as salicylic acid, tea tree and witch hazel, this works at really fighting your breakouts. I use this twice a week at night and my skin looks and feels great in the morning. My breakouts are visibly reduced and texture seems to have been smoothed out. I will say that this is an extremely strong product so if you have sensitive skin, you may want to steer clear of this. I do, sometimes get a stinging sensation, especially if I rub it over popped acne, so do be careful!
With these products, I can say that my skin has been the best that I’ve seen it in months. Also, though these may work for me, they may not work with yours, so just be mindful of what your skin concerns are and test out products before you buy to be sure they won’t irritate your skin. If these do work for you, I’m glad I could steer you in the right direction. 

April 2017 Favorites

A new month calls for a new monthly favorites and I have a few things that I’ve really been loving.

I can’t believe how fast the days are flying by. We’re already in May! (Cue Justin Timberlake.)

A new month calls for a new monthly favorites and I have a few things that I’ve really been loving.
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In April, I found myself reaching for the Tarte Tartelette in Bloom palette. It’s raved about for a reason. This classic has a variety of colors that are pigmented, easy to blend and smell like chocolate. What more can you ask for?
Though I am late to the game on this primer, I have to say I’m very excited about this discovery. Last month, I picked up the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and I haven’t put it down ever since. I was genuinely surprised at how much I really love this. I didn’t realize that this was highly rated by people with oily skin when I picked this up. It’s not necessarily going to leave you matte, but it will leave you with a smooth base for your foundation.
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Another eyeshadow palette I’ve been using has been the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette. I’ve captured a lot of pictures of this on my Instagram page, but it’s only because I really do enjoy it. I find that the colors are fairly easy to blend and you can get many uses out of this single palette from everyday to bold looks. The only downside is the smell. Sometimes it’s a bit too potent, making me want to forgo it, but once it’s on the lids, you won’t smell it throughout the day. I struggle to support this palette, especially with all of the controversy going around Too Faced currently, but I have to admit that I did use this palette quite a bit in the month of April.
Back on a lighter note, the Total Control Drop Foundation by NYX Cosmetics. I’ve talked about this on the blog before so I won’t go too in-depth about it. I can layer it up and I don’t find that it gets cakey once I do. I don’t find that I produce more oils throughout the day with this, which is a big plus!
The next product is actually a repurchase. This is the Black N’ Brown Brow Pencil from ColourPop. I ran out of this pencil and I thought I could use something else in its place, but I found myself really missing this pencil and I immediately reordered it once I realized. It’s not too creamy, nor is it too stiff. I find that It’s the perfect size for me to get thin, precise strokes for my brows.
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I’ve briefly touched on the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit here on the blog. I’ve really been loving this. A lot of contour shades for deeper skin come across red on my complexion, which is great for bronzing, but not ideal for contouring. This gives me the best of both worlds and I like to mix the two deeper colors to give me an all over bronze.
Another thing I’ve been loving has been the Wet N’ Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in “Precious Petals.” I’m surprised that I don’t hear people raving more about this. It’s a fantastic formula that is very smooth to the touch and you can build it up to an intense glow. (Which is what I normally do.)
The last thing is something that I don’t talk about very often, which is the E.L.F. 19 Piece Brush Set. E.L.F. has really stepped up their game and it really shows with these brushes. They’re extremely soft and apply my makeup with them has been a breeze. I haven’t experienced any shedding since I was given them on Christmas. Though they’re a little pricier for E.L.F., it’s much more affordable than some other brush sets on the market. I highly suggest these.
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That was quite the list! I’m really loving all these products, but I’m excited to try out some new ones in the month of May. Please let me know some of your favorites so I can test them out! I look forward to hearing them!

Winter Reading List 2017

Winter is the perfect time to incorporate hygge into your daily life. If you’re wondering what hygge is, it is a Danish concept that defines the feeling of warm, cozy comfort. (You can read more about it in this article I wrote on Womanitely.com a while back.)

With that being said, my favorite way to incorporate hygge into my life is by taking the time to grab a cup of tea, throw on some fuzzy socks and read an interesting book. Here are some of the books that I’ve had my nose in these winter months.

  • Adulting is a Myth by Sarah Scribbles
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    Sarah Scribbles literally draws out what it truly means to be an adult in a comical way that leave you laughing at how true it is. I received this as a gift from Her Campus for my graduation. So, if you know anyone graduating, this is the perfect gift!
  • Capture Your Style by Aimee Song
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    Are you addicted to Instagram? Do you want to improve your aesthetic? Do you love Aimee Song? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to grab a copy of Capture Your Style. Song goes in-depth of how to really lock in your own personal style, using Instagram. I’m so glad to have gotten this from the lovely Christina from Tiramisu for Breakfast. Definitely check her out!
  • Facts by Bernhardino Pierre
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    Before I really go into this book, I have to disclose that my cousin actually wrote it. However, I have to say that if you like poetry and someone really laying in the facts to you, this is an amazing ebook to read. If you’re looking for a book with advice on love, life and happiness, I highly recommend this. You can find the ebook here.
  • Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
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    If you haven’t heard of Sweetbitter before, I would probably think that you were lying. It’s been on the New York Times list of bestsellers. I’ve just started this book but the style of writing is utterly beautiful. It’s a coming-of-age novel that follows a girl, Tess, who just moved to NYC and finds herself at a job in a restaurant. If you’ve read this, I beg you, don’t give me any spoilers!
  • The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
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    True Issa Rae fans unite! I was so excited to open up a gift from my sister to find this. Before Insecure, Issa Rae created the YouTube show, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The show followed the life of “J” who is the epitome of an awkward black girl. I don’t want to give too much away so I’m just going to to say that her new ABC show, Insecure is loosely based off of the YouTube show.
  • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
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    This was another present from my sister for Christmas. I actually haven’t started this one, but as you can tell from the title, it’s a self-help book that looks into helping you from self-doubting yourself. I’m so thankful to have received this book because I definitely am one to self doubt myself. Hopefully, I can get some pointers from Jen Sincero.

If you’re reading anything interesting, I’d love to get some recommendations to add to my bookshelf So go forth and practice hygge, and don’t forget to grab yourself a cup of tea!

Blogger Tasting at Ginger Juice

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Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to join several other bloggers for a private blogger tasting at Ginger Juice in Richmond, Va. There, we got to try some amazing new dishes that are going to be served at the location and I have to say, all of them were so yummy! We were also able to meet Erin Powell, the owner, and Jermaine Jonas, the Ginger Juice chef.

Ginger Juice is a small fresh juice shop, located in RVA. The shop just opened in 2015, and has gained much popularity for the section of freshly pressed juice. Powell began juicing when her redheaded son (Hence the name “Ginger”) didn’t want to eat her vegetables and she’s been juicing ever since.

During the tasting, Jonas prepared some delicious plant-based options for us, and I have to say, I’m getting hungry all over again looking at the pictures.

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We started with a kale salad, which I’m surprised to say that I enjoyed, considering I have a love-hate relationship with kale. It was paired with their “Golden” pressed juice.

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We, then got to try the avocado toast with chipotle cashew mayo and cucumber, paired with what I believe was their “Greggory” juice.

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For dessert, we started with a slice of lemon pie with a raspberry sauce.

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And we ended the night with my favorite from everything we tasted: vegan ice cream.

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As takeaways, they prepared our choice of a shot of tumeric or ginger, along with their “Glitzy” fresh pressed juice. Taking a shot of ginger is really helpful to your immune and digestive systems. Warning: The shot of ginger is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for the spicy, yet refreshing ginger flavor. It did clear out my sinuses though, so that’s a major plus!

Final Thoughts:

There are major benefits to juicing. It promotes healthy eating habits, curbs hunger, detoxifies your body, and much more.

If you’re in Richmond or plan to visit anytime soon, you should definitely stop by Ginger Juice to taste the fresh juice and awesome food choices. Both Erin and Jermaine were so incredibly sweet and friendly.  If you’re nervous about vegan options, trust me, Jermaine Jones, the chef knows what he’s doing. You’ll love it.

If you’re not going to be in RVA anytime soon, don’t worry, you’re able to find a selection juices that you can ship right to your home! Get your cleansing on today!

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Top 5 Deep Lips for Winter

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It’s that time of the year again. The weather is colder, snow has fallen, and dark lips are in.   I’m sure that all of you have seen this image floating all around Instagram about the “perfect” winter makeup. This look is paired with the perfect deep, plum lips.

I really do love a deep, purple lip in the winter time. It can be paired with a neutral eye to make a bold statement or with a dramatic, smokey eye to make your look more sultry. After some thorough research, I’ve managed to culminate a list of my top five plum lips.

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Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in “An Affair”
This is a deep plum shade that is perfect to pair with just liner or a blown out smokey eye. Very creamy and comfortable to wear. Sold out on the Laura Mercier website, but it’s on Sephora.com for $28!

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Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in “Firebird”
This has more of a pink undertone, if you’re nervous about going dark. The cream finish makes it super easy to apply. It’s $17 on the Urban Decay webpage.

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Bite Beauty Matte Créme Lip Crayon in “Aubergine”
I’m a big fan of the Bite Beauty Lip Crayons. This eggplant shade, in particular, is easy to apply and comfortable on the lips. It’s $24 on Sephora.com.

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MAC Plushglass Lip Gloss in “Oversexed”
I’m a big fan of the MAC Plushglasses because of the plumping effect. This is perfect if you’re over the matte trend and you want to go glossy. Unfortunately, MAC.com does not carry it online anymore, but you can find it on eBay.com for $21.

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ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in “LAX”
I’m absolutely obsessed with this vampy red color. If you love to go really dark, this is the lip for you. (Be sure to exfoliate before you apply!) Find it on ColourPop.com for $6.

I’m a big fan of all of these lippies. Do you have a favorite out of the ones I listed? If I didn’t list your go-to vampy lip, comment your favorite because I’d love to know.

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VERT Beauty Review

VERT Beauty is a boutique located in Denver, Colorado that sells a variety of organic beauty products. Along with green beauty services, VERT Beauty offers a line of natural and eco-friendly beauty products.

I had the wonderful opportunity to review some products from the company.

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I was able to get my hands on several VERT Beauty products. Products included were the Cheek Contour brush, Concealer brush, and the Beauty Eyeliner Pencil in ‘Vert.’

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First off, I have to say that I was very pleased to find that the Contour Brush was extremely soft. Just as the name suggests, the bristles are contoured to fit the hollows of your cheekbones. The bristles are made out of natural ebony capra (goat) hair that allows you to get a medium to full coverage with your bronzer application. This brush retails for $32.

Best Uses: Applying bronzer or contour in the hollows of your cheek as well as around the perimeter of your face.

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The next brush, which is my favorite of the two is the Concealer brush. The synthetic bristles are perfect for covering small breakouts. My favorite thing about this particular brush is the design. The brush has a removable “cap” that allows it to be perfect to put in your travel bag for on-the-go touch-ups.

The bristles are perfect for applying concealer because it is stiff enough for precise applications, but flexible enough to allow you blend out edges. This brush retails for $20.

Best Uses: Carving out your brows, outlining your lips and covering up small blemishes.

The last thing that I was given the beautiful VERT Beauty Eyeliner Pencil in the color ‘Vert.’ The color is this beautiful turquoise-jade shade. It’s buildable, so you’re able to add more layers to get your desired pigmentation. I found that the product itself was very smooth and easy to glide on. Ingredients include jojoba oil, mango seed oil, flower extracts and other nourishing ingredients that ensures that the pencil won’t skip over your lids. (No wrinkles with this product!)

VERT offers five different eyeliner pencil shades. Shades include Noir Or (black gold), Bleu (navy), Violet (purple), Cuivre (copper), and Vert. This pencil retails for $17.

Best Uses: Make hazel and brown eyes pop by creating a wing with Vert. Greens tend to make these color eyes stand out a bit more.

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I’m so glad to have been able to test these products out. I love learning about eco-friendly brands like VERT. The brushes are definitely worth it in my opinion. The brushes I received are from the VERT Beauty Brush Kit, which retails for $185. You can purchase the brush kit from the website here.

You can see other products VERT Beauty has to offer on the website.

KBShimmer Review

These products were given to me to test, but thoughts are 100% my own.

KBShimmer is a beauty company that offers a variety of products from body scrubs to nail polishes. At the beginning of the month, KBShimmer launched their Winter/Holiday Collection with 16 new shades. I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on some new nail polishes from the new collection.

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Also, would you like to know the best thing about the two polishes? They’re not tested on animals. (Claps for saving the bunnies!)

I was given two shades: Get To The Poinsettia (right) and Have A Look-Ski (left). Both have a holo (holographic) cast to them, which made me fairly skeptical of the pigmentation of them. However, after trying them out, I was pleasantly surprised.

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Let’s talk about Have A Look-Ski first. It’s a very pretty teal holo. It comes out a bit lighter on the nails than what you see from the bottle.

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I’m a big fan of nude polishes because the go with everything, but this color was a refreshing twist on my everyday look. I was able to get the full pigmentation of this polish after two coats. I really enjoyed wearing this for the weekend.

Get To The Poinsettia is definitely my favorite of the two. It was also the more pigmented of the two. Though the website says to apply two coats, I found that one coat was pigmented enough to fully cover my entire nail.

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Much like Have A Look-Ski, Get To The Poinsettia has a holo cast to it. I applied it to my toes and it lasted the fairly well, considering I didn’t apply a top coat to my toes.

Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed the two polishes. My favorite thing about the two polishes is how quick-drying they are. By the time I finished applying one coat to each of my fingernails, my first hand was dry. If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself!

I just have to say that if you are a germaphobe like me and you constantly wash your hands, you definitely need to apply a quick-dry top coat. This will ensure that your beautiful holo nails will last longer.

The polishes in KBShimmer’s Holiday/Winter Collection are now available. You can purchase them for $9.25 at KBShimmer.com, Amazon, and select salons and retailers.

(Pro-tip: Make your manicure last longer with a couple of easy steps! Make sure your nails are clean by sweeping them with acetone or alcohol before you apply the polish. This ensures that your nails don’t have any oil on them, which will help you avoid peeling. Also, wrap a bit of the polish around the tip of your nail to avoid chipping!)

 

Sneaky Trick for Oily Skin

I’ve looked up all the tips and tricks for oily skin and I’ve found one that has really helped me with some of my oiliness throughout the day.

I know I’m not the only one that struggles with their t-zone producing oils throughout the day. I’ve looked up all the tips and tricks for oily skin and I’ve found one that has really helped me with some of my oiliness throughout the day.

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Step One:
After washing and toning your face, the best thing to combat oils is to moisturize. The reason why your skins produce oils throughout the day is because your skin is is trying to compensate for a lack of moisture in your skin. (Weird right? You can read more about it in this article.)

I use the Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15. It’s lightweight and it protects my skin from the sun.

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Step 2:
The next step is for you to prime your face. The reason for priming your face is because it allows you to fill in your press and create a smooth base for your foundation to go over. If you have oily skin, there are oil-control primers that help to keep your oils at bay.

I use the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer. The trick with this is I don’t rub it into my skin. I apply it to my fingers, rub them in and press it into my skin. This allows it to sink into my pores and have the best results.

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Step 3:
Now that we’ve prepped out skin, we’re ready for foundation. As you can see, I have two different foundations on my hand. I have a mattifying one and a luminous one. I use the mattifying one in my t-zone to help with the oils that I produce throughout the day. I use the luminous foundation to go around the perimeter of my face to give me a healthy glow.

Here, I’m using the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24 Hour Foundation, which I’m having a love/hate relationship with. I have some texture on my skin and I’m finding that throughout the day, it starts to get cake around that area.

I am also using the Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation. It was in Allure’s Best of Beauty for a reason. It give a beautiful glow to your skin and I found that it doesn’t cake up throughout the day.

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Step 4:
If you couldn’t guess, the next step is to blend it all out. I start in the middle and work my way out, but you can go ahead and do it any way you’d like.

I’m using the Beauty Blender. It’s perfect for blending out foundations.

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Step 5:
After that, you can go ahead and finish up your makeup. (With crazy baking faces and all!)

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Lastly, go ahead and check your face! I found that through the summertime, my face looked less oily throughout the day when I did these tricks. I’m going to continue using these throughout the fall and winter.

Do you have any tricks and tips that you use to help keep your oils at bay? I’d love to know what products and steps you use.

Worth it or Not? — Sephora Favorites

We all check out the Beauty-to-Go section in Sephora while we’re waiting to go check out. Is that item worth it?

We all check out the Beauty-to-Go section in Sephora while we’re waiting to go check out. (If you’re anything like me, you end up letting the rest of the line go in front of you so you can check out every item.) While you’re waiting, your eyes come across the Sephora Favorites: Give Me Some Lip and you probably aren’t sure if it’s worth the $28 or not.

Well I’m here to tell you, it definitely is worth it.

Before we get into the contents of the kit, let’s talk about the adorable packaging. It’s in the shape of lips and I’m kind of embarrassed to say how long my sister and I gushed about how adorable it was.

The price is also fairly reasonable. I know some may think that it’s not, but let’s think about it. A full sized lip product, such as the Too Faced Melted Longer Lipstick (Deluxe size included!) is $21. In the Sephora Favorites kit, you’ll get multiple products for just $7 more.

Inside, Sephora includes around six deluxe-sized lip products. The products can be a hit or miss, depending on the theme. This particular Give Me Some Lip Kit was definitely a hit.

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Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in “Lovecraft”
This is a beautiful mauve color that’s perfect for fall time. It’s creamy and very pigmented, much like many other Kat Von D products.
The full size retails for $21.

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Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15 in “Rose”
This is a high-end chapstick. It’s not my favorite chapstick, but the thin formula is great to keep your lips moisturized underneath your matte lipsticks. (Bonus: it smells great and leaves a slight pink tint on your lips!)
The full size retails for $24.

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Too Faced Melted Longer Lipstick in “Melted Chihuahua”
If you haven’t tried the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks, stop everything you’re doing now and run to your local Sephora now. These are very creamy and leave a beautiful shine to your lips. I really do love the formula.
The full size retails for $21.

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Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in “Stepping Out”
This is my favorite product in this whole set. The color is absolutely perfect for my deeper skinned makeup lovers. Also the formula is perfect. It’s extremely comfortable on the lips and long-lasting. This is definitely a must-have and I can’t wait to purchase other colors.
The full size retails for $24.

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Nars Satin Lip Pencil in “Rikugien”
If you got last year’s birthday present from Sephora, this is the same lip pencil that was included. It glides on easily and the color is easy to wear everyday.
The full size retails for $26.

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Lancôme Juicy Shaker in “Boom-Meringue”
This by far is the weirdest product I have ever tried. You can use it as both a lip and check color. To use it, you need to shake it and the oil (top layer) that you see will combine with the  color (bottom layer). I am equal parts intrigued as well as I am confused by this product. I can’t give a full recommendation to buy this, but I do have to say it’s very nourishing on the lips.
The full size retails for $21.

So final thoughts?

highly recommend that once the next Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip sets. For only $28, I don’t think you can beat that. Though this particular set is not available in Sephora stores anymore, these individual products are still on the market. So makeup lovers all around, be sure to take advantage of these when you have the chance. You don’t want to miss out on the next set!

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them because I’d love to get your thoughts!

10 Books I Will Fight to Read

***Originally posted on HerCampus.com.

I have no problem with someone disliking a book, but when they attempt to hinder me from reading something, there’s an issue. I refuse to allow anyone to stop me from reading a particular book and I encourage everyone else to fight for their right to read. This week VCU Cabell Library has been talking all about banned and challenged books.

There are some things worth fighting for, and I have many books that I will always fight to read.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

If you haven’t heard of the wizarding world, I’m highly concerned. Harry Potter looks at the life of the wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends. It’s been challenged for supernatural themes.

Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Kite Runner tells the story of a friendship between a wealthy boy and his father’s servant. It’s an emotionally beautiful story that you can learn a lot from. It has been banned for offensive language, being too mature for the age group and violence.

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is a controversial coming-of-age novel that follows the life of Holden Caulfield. Though originally published for adults, it’s very popular among adolescents.  It was challenged for offensive language, sexual content and being too mature for the age group.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

If you haven’t read this, you’re missing an amazing coming-of-age story that is told by the protagonist, Charlie, who writes letters to a stranger. It’s been challenged several times for offensive language, nudity, drugs and more.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter looks at the life of Hester Prynne, who is shammed by her town in Boston after she conceives a child through an affair. It has been challenged by school districts for being “obscene.”

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

The Satanic Verses follows two Indian Muslims who miraculously lived after they were trapped on a hijacked plane that exploded. Salman was accused of misusing his freedom of speech throughout the text and consequentially, the book was banned for being blasphemous.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men tells the story of two men on the search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression. It’s been challenged numerous times because of vulgarity and racist language.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

If this wasn’t an assigned reading for one of your classes, go out and read it now. To Kill a Mockingbird deals with racial issues in America. It’s been banned for offensive language and racism.

The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This novel is about a girl named Alice that falls in a rabbit hole into a magical world. It was banned its portrayal of animals with human qualities.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

American Psycho is a novel that looks through the eyes of a serial killer. It’s been challenged in several countries for violence towards women and being harmful to minors.

Every day, books are challenged and even banned from schools and public libraries. Books have been challenged by critics, individuals and groups that have deemed them as unfit for the public because of their beliefs.

For the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, VCU Libraries has provided a series of interactive events centered around fighting for the right to read. Events will include selfies, a video booth, green screen photos and a lecture from VCU professor, Tom De Haven. For a complete listing of events, visit the VCU Libraries events page.

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