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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Influenster Cosmo VoxBox 2012

So I recently signed up for a website called Influenster. Basically, you sign up, earn badges, and gain points by writing reviews, answering questions, and connecting with social networks. If you earn lots of points they sometimes send you a VoxBox, which is filled with free products for you to review. I qualified for the Cosmo 2012 VoxBox, and here's what I got!

The first thing I grabbed when I opened the box was this Ghirardelli Sea Salt Escape chocolate bar. I LOVE chocolate, especially with almonds. I've never had sea salt in my chocolate before, but I think I died when I tasted this. It is AMAZING. I wish they'd sent more :(

Another thing that came in this box was this Venus Embrace razor. I actually used to have this razor, and I recently switched because I got a Schick razor in my Birchbox. The Venus one is very good and I'm excited to try the Venus & Olay cartridge. It also came in a cute little bag with coupons for more cartridges.
One of my favorite things in this box was the Forever Red Eau de Parfume from Bath & Body Works. It says it smells like pomegranate and red osmanthus with a sexy surprise of vanilla rum. This little bottle is worth $10. I love how it smells. It's not going to be my new signature scent or anything, but I am glad to add this to my collection. It's the perfect size for on the go.
I have to say, I was AMAZED by these pens. I used to be obsessed with erasable pens in like 8th grade, but I quit using them because they all wrote terribly and were even worse at erasing. These, on the other hand, write really well, just like gel pens, and erase so well you can't even tell you ever wrote. I cannot wait to use these. An 8-pack is $11, so that's a purchase I'll probably be making soon.
If you liked this stuff or are just interested in the program, you can check out their website here. Thanks for reading! What was your favorite thing from the Cosmo VoxBox?

Friday, November 23, 2012

5 Ways To Get Motivated To Work Out

So Christmas is right around the corner and the weather is getting colder by the day and I feel absolutely no desire to get out of bed, let alone work out. I figured now would be a good time to share with you the ways I keep motivated. As you may know, I play tennis for my university, but during the winter we have no practices or anything. I still need to stay in shape for when the spring season starts, plus I need some way to get rid of all the Christmas calories I'll be consuming. Here are 5 ways I convince myself to get out of bed and get moving:

1. Pinterest Inspiration:
     One thing you can do while you're still in bed is look at the health/fitness section of Pinterest. You can find workouts, motivational quotes, and healthy recipes. After I pin some things to my fitness board I feel extra excited to try the foods or the workouts.

2. Cute Workout Clothes:
     It's much easier to convince myself to get dressed and go to the gym when I have a cute new workout outfit that I haven't worn yet. I love the way I look in my cropped workout leggings, so I at least have that to look forward to. Picking out an outfit makes getting ready to work out a little more enjoyable.

3. Try Something New:
     If you're anything like me, running on a track sounds like one of the absolute worst ways to spend an afternoon. Running and lifting weights are so boring to me. I like to do something with a purpose other than making myself sweat. Try signing up for a tennis league or grabbing a friend to play racket ball. If you make it interesting, it won't even feel like a workout! Not into any sports? Try something like Zumba; it is just as good a workout as playing a sport, trust me.

4. Get Organized:
     I always get more motivated when I have a workout plan laid out. If you're not sure where to start on making your own, try fitness magazines or looking online. My dad is very into tennis and weight lifting so he designs mine sometimes. When you set goals for yourself you're much more likely to work towards and achieve them.

5. Reward Yourself:
     If you try your best and do all your workouts for a month, reward yourself! You deserve it! Buy something you've had your eye on or treat yourself to a spa day. Avoid rewarding yourself with junk food, since that's kind of backtracking your progress.

Those are my tips for staying motivated, even in the cold winter months. I hate winter weather; it makes me want to hibernate. Working out makes me feel much better though, once I convince myself to do it. How do you keep yourself motivated to stay fit?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

New Obsession: Sinful Colors Magnetic Nail Polish

I was browsing Target the other day when I saw that Sinful Colors magnetic nail polish was on clearance. I grabbed Captivate Me, a maroon color, and a dark green one that I can't remember the name of right now. I really only grabbed the green because it was the only one that didn't have the magnet missing, but now I am very excited to wear it for Christmas!

I'm not exactly sure what technique to use to make that perfect star shape; some of mine turned out well but some just looked swirly. I am definitely a fan of this polish, especially the maroon one. Actually it looks like more of a shimmery grape color in real life; think the exact color of grape juice. I love it. What's your favorite magnetic polish?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 2012 Birchbox Review

I looked at my box online a couple of days before it actually came in and I got SUPER excited! It looked like the best box yet! I'd been wanting to try the Oscar Blandi texture and volume spray for a while, and the cupcake bath bomb looked adorable! The theme this month was giving, and they sent a little pillow pack to use as a gift wrap sort of thing. It's very cute. There is also a coupon for $15 off a pair of $88 shoes from Chromatic gallerie. It's cute because there's a code you can give to a friend as well.
I was so excited to see this FULL SIZED mascara! If I'm going to splurge on anything, it would either be hair products or mascara. Good job birchbox! It does make your lashes longer, but not necessarily thicker. Maybe a couple coats would do the trick.
I was actually sort of disappointed with the texture and volume spray. It seemed to work okay, but it smelled terrible. Like bad enough that even if it worked really well I wouldn't buy it. It smells like my grandma, and i's pretty strong. It made me a little dizzy when I was enclosed in my car. I'll still try it at least one more time, maybe it'll grow on me.
Miss Me by Stella Cadente was probably my least favorite perfume sample I've receive from BB. It sort of smelled like baby powder. Not necessarily bad, I just won't be purchasing it.
I am excited to try the Caldrea hand soap. I love the little sample sizes, and I am going to put them in my purse and try them instead of yucky public bathroom soap next time I'm out.
I am also very excited to try the Smitten bath bomb. It looks adorable, and I hope it smells as delicious as it looks. Unfortunately I don't have a bath tub, so I'll have to wait til I'm at Ben's this weekend to try it out.

All in all, this may be one of my favorite birchboxes ever. They sent me stuff that I never would have purchased or tried on my own. That's why I even signed up in the first place. Oh, forgot to mention, they also sent a SoyJoy cranberry bar. It was sort of yucky. Just not my thing. I am very jealous of the people who got chocolate. If you were one of those lucky people, did you like it?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lomography La Sardina Camera Review

I ordered a La Sardina camera from Lomography a couple weeks ago and it finally came in last week! It took so long because of Hurricane Sandy, but I'm actually very grateful for that because the weather has been absolutely perfect for the last 3 days. I already own the Fisheye 2 and I was getting kind of bored of fisheye pictures. To me, the La Sardina seems like the next step up from Fisheye--there are 2 different focus settings now, and the flash has different distance settings. Other than that, though, it's very simple. It has a wild angle lens, bulb and normal settings, multiple exposure switch, and it takes 35mm film. The flash does take a weird battery (CR123A) but I found it at Walmart.

 It's one of the beach editions so it's very summery looking and sort of makes me sad because summer is such a long way away :( But the weather has been lovely lately so I made my sister come outside with me and shot about half a roll of film outside. I found that, like the fisheye, it takes its best pictures in bright, outdoor settings. I didn't get to experiment with the flash much inside but I like it so far. One problem I ran into when taking outdoor pictures was that I kept forgetting to focus the lens properly, so a lot of them turned out soft and blurry but I kind of like it. That's the fun of lomography, after all!

There's a couple examples of badly focused ones. I still like them. The colors turned out very nice.

Here's one taken inside with no flash. I think if the light had been coming in the window at a different angle it would've shown up better. But I'd say you need a flash inside 90 percent of the time.

These two are my favorites. I actually remembered to focus the way I wanted to and they turned out as I planned for the most part. All in all, I love this camera and I cannot wait to take more pictures with it. It takes beautiful photos, and even the accidents turn out pretty (which is good because my photography skills could use some work). I would most definitely recommend this camera for someone who is new to lomography or new to film photography. Unless you're a complete perfectionist, you are going to find at least one charming photo in your roll that makes you want to go out and try again. That's exactly what I'm going to go do, since the weather is gorgeous.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mary Kay Makeup: I'm Not A Fan

I went to a Mary Kay party tonight. It was the first one I've been to since I was a really little kid and my mom had them. I am just not a big fan of Mary Kay. I believe their makeup is overpriced. They try WAY too hard to make you buy things. When they're not trying to sell you a skincare kit for $135, they're trying to convince you to become one of them.

They'll talk you into thinking that selling Mary Kay will make you beautiful and popular. They boast that they can give you self-esteem, a new outlook on life, and a pink Cadillac. It's for bored housewives who have nothing better to do. They sucked my mom into it. She suffers from depression and has generally low self-esteem. They made her think selling Mary Kay would make her more confident and empowered. She spent a ton of money buying the starter kit or whatever you want to call it, and then she ended up not selling anything. Why? For one, my mom is a bit shy as it is, and she's not gonna push unwilling people to buy makeup they don't want. Also, we live in rural WV. The majority of people you run into look like they haven't even brushed their hair that morning, let alone went through their $135 skin care regimen.

Also, at the Mary Kay party they handed out a form. If you fill out the form entirely, you get a prize or something. One of the questions on the form was "What type of payment method will you be using today?" and you could check "cash" "credit" etc. The last option on the list was something like "Husband Plan" and she explained that you could use a combination of cash and credit so your husband/spouse didn't have to know how much you spent. That made me a little sick to my stomach. It reminded me of when I was a kid, I wanted a laptop really bad. I'm not even sure why I wanted my own laptop that badly. But finally I talked my mom into taking me to the store to look at them, and of course, we left the store with one that was like $700. I already felt incredibly guilty at that point, and she told me not to tell my dad about it yet. She said she would tell him. I knew she wasn't going to that day, and I felt like I had done something horrible. Dad was going to be so angry at us and it was all my fault because I had to have that laptop so bad. Of course he would notice a brand new laptop lying around. He found out a day or 2 later, and was beyond angry, just like I thought. I still feel guilty right now, as I'm writing this. What I'm getting at is that it's not right to hide financial decisions from your spouse. If you don't have the income to buy things, don't do it. Any company that encourages keeping secrets from your own husband/boyfriend is not a company I'd want to buy from, and especially not somewhere I'd like to work.

To me, Mary Kay seems very materialistic. I mean, I guess that makes sense because it's a makeup company and all, but they really try to drill it into your head that buying and selling Mary Kay can improve you. It's all about more, more, more. If you throw a party, you get a bracelet. If you work your way up high enough, you drive a pink Cadillac. When I think of Mary Kay, I think of spoiled women wearing too much makeup promising you a pink car, too. I think of women whose entire lives revolve around themselves, justified by feminist reasoning.

Wow, when I started writing this I didn't intend for it to be a long, angry rant. I meant to say how I didn't think Mary Kay was right for many people, even though they'll do everything to convince you it's The Thing For You. I also didn't even get around to telling you that I don't even think their products are that great. I've disliked everything I've ever tried (and believe me, I've tried a lot of them). To me, a good makeup company hands out samples, not job applications. The right type of person can succeed in this business, but not everyone. My aunt and uncle actually divorced because my aunt was trying to be a Mary Kay consultant, along with a few other similar businesses, and she just kept losing money. For me, I'll stick to medical lab science. I am not the business-woman type, no matter what Mary Kay has to say about it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall Break

So this weekend was our "fall break" which actually just means there were no classes Friday so I came home for the weekend :) I took my sister and her friend downtown and we ate at a little cafe and shopped in this super old, stuffy bookstore. I remembered the bookstore from when we were kids; our mom used to always drag us in there. All these years later, the same guy works there and it seems even more full of books. There are tons and tons of shelves stuffed with old books, and even a few new ones. I bought 3 books for about $2, something that is impossible at Books-A-Million. Also discovered a store that sells sort of a mix of everything--candles, jewelry, a few tops. I bought a large crew neck top even though it's sorta big. I'll make it work ;) anyway, here's some pics (I took my fisheye to waste some film).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 2012 Birchbox Review

For this month's Birchbox the theme was "transformation." I have to say, I'm slightly disappointed with this box. There wasn't anything I fell in love with in this box, and to me it seems like they just threw something together so they could work on the goop boxes. I thought we might get something fun and crazy or colorful, but nope. And why did we get a Tilli bag? It's basically a designer sandwich bag, which is cool I guess if you've got money to spend on completely pointless items. I'll definitely find a use for it, but I feel like it was kind of a filler to make the box seem more full.
I wasn't a fan of the sample size of the Nexxus products. You can only use it once, and for shampoo or conditioner, I don't think once is enough to decide what you think of it. I haven't tried them yet, but I'm pretty sure I've used Nexxus shampoo before so I'm not super excited about it.
I haven't tried the BB cream yet. I know lots of people got these a couple months ago, which makes me kinda feel like Birchbox just have some left over and sent them out. But then again, I do kind of see how BB creams could be "transforming." I looked at it though and I think it might be too light for my skin tone :/
I did sorta like the highlighter, but I'm not exactly sure what to do with it. The little card they gave with suggested areas to highlight was definitely helpful. I just put on a bit with my finger since I don't have any brushes or anything in my dorm (oops). I'm going to do a little youtube research and figure out how to use this best and then get back to you. I've never really used anything like it before, so I'm glad Birchbox sent me this!
This lip gloss was probably my favorite item this month. It's Naked Princess Naked Shine Luscious Lip Gloss to be exact. It went on nice and smooth, it's not sticky, and it smells great. I'm a bit surprised Birchbox didn't choose a more colorful gloss, but then again, it's fall and neutrals are IN. I wish I didn't have such thin lips so I could rock this gloss!

All in all, I wasn't really thrilled with this box. But I did end up looking at what I got online before it came in (it came pretty late this month) and so I'd already known what I'd got for a while and it just wasn't as exciting. Never doing that again. So now all I'm gonna do is wait for next month to come around. I'm honestly glad I didn't go for the goop box this month, nothing in there looks any better than what I got. What about you guys? What did you get this month?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hair Trend: The Sock Bun

The hardest part of fall/winter for me is figuring out what to do with my hair every day. My hair is long, and I hate the feeling of dry, damaged hair that has been curled and straightened much too often. I am a typical lazy college student, so it's not like I have lots of time to do elaborate hairstyles. I have recently discovered the sock bun, and it is a solution to all of those hair problems.

I always wondered how ballerinas got those perfect looking buns. Then I came across a "hair donut" in Claire's, and it hit me. I looked up some youtube videos and discovered that all you had to do was roll your hair using a "donut" or a sock (that's why they're called "sock buns") and you could have a sleek, cute ballerina bun. I love it! It's a very quick and easy, yet professional look. It can look pretty with a comfy, sporty outfit, or chic with office wear. Days when I wake up late but still want to look good, I will be putting my hair in a sock bun. What do you think?

Sunday, October 14, 2012


So, I've got a big week ahead of me, since it's the last week of tennis (we leave for conference finals Thursday), plus I have two important tests, and Ben's birthday is this weekend. I feel awful that the gifts I ordered him haven't even come in yet, and I won't get to spend time with him on his birthday because I'll be at conference finals. If I can make it through this week then I am capable of ANYTHING.

I should have a real post coming again soon once my October Birchbox comes in. Before I even signed up for Birchbox I used to look up reviews and see what everyone else got. That was the first time I discovered how popular beauty blogs were. Actually, the main thing I had in mind when I decided to create this blog was using it for BB reviews.

If you don't know what Birchbox is, basically it is a monthly subscription service that sends you 4-5 deluxe beauty samples for $10 a month. Sometimes you even get full sized products, which is cool. I signed up for Birchbox because I don't really wear makeup and I wasn't sure where to start. I hate spending money, so it's not like I was going to go buy a bunch of products and try them out, so Birchbox was the perfect thing. Also I like the idea of a little monthly gift in the mail :) The reason I chose Birchbox over all the others was because of their points system. You can review the items from your box on their website, and for every review you do, you get 10 points. 100 points is worth $10 in their store. Actually, since my October box is late, they emailed me a couple days ago saying they're giving me 100 points!

So until my October box comes in, you'll just have to deal with boring personal posts :( I went to homecoming last night. It was honestly probably the worst homecoming of my life. I was the DD and had to haul all my drunk friends to the drunk bus (it takes you to the dance if you don't have  a car, don't wanna drive, etc.) Then, when I went to the actual dance, the music was awful. Ben and I didn't even dance. My drunk friends managed to have fun even with crappy music, but I wasn't feelin' it. We left early and took a couple friends with us because they were sick, so we stopped in Sheetz to grab some nice, greasy food. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea, and there were a bunch of drunks chanting order numbers at a very frustrated/annoyed cashier. One guy even had his shirt off, and two others almost got in a fight. We ended up leaving before our food was even ready. The whole night was a real disappointment.

The one good part of the night was getting all dressed up. I painted my nails with the new red Essie fall polish (Headmistress?) and got to wear my new black dress. I also used The Balm Staniac lip stain in Beauty Queen, which is arguably one of the best things I ever got in my birchbox. Hopefully this time next week I'll be typing up a review on all my lovely October BB items and not feeling the slightest bit stressed!

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Favorite Photos

So, its been a crazy busy weekend (actually I just spent it at my boyfriend's house) and I don't have much to write about, so I figured I would share with you guys a few of my favorite pictures. Some were taken using my Lomography Fisheye 2 camera, and the others were taken on my iPhone. I don't have a dSLR, but I've been wanting one for a while. I don't have the money for one, though. I was lucky enough to get my iPhone, honestly. Anyway, here's a few of my favorite pics :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Product Review: Twistband Hair Ties

     Okay, I dunno about you guys, but I have been seeing these things everywhere. Basically, it's a hair tie that is made of soft, stretchy material that is wider than normal hair ties, so it won't leave a dent in your hair. I got one in my Birchbox this month, and I was so excited to try it! I have to put my hair up a lot for tennis, and it would definitely be nice if my hair still looked good when I took it out of the ponytail after a match.
    I took it with me when we went to a tournament for the weekend, and overall, I have to say I was not super impressed. No, it does not dent your hair, which is lovely, but I still don't think it's worth over a dollar a hair tie when you can pick up a large pack at Walmart super cheap. I wore mine for a couple matches and what I found was they tend to slide so your ponytail falls down. I have slick hair as it is, and I have trouble with that when I use regular hair ties. The twistband ones were pretty bad about it, though. Also, the hair ties are pretty big, at least compared to the regular ones that cut off your circulation. I have very small wrists, though, and I ended up losing the darn thing before the weekend was over.
     Overall, I wasn't a fan of Twistband hair ties. I don't hate them, but I'll be sticking to my cheap Walmart ones. They look pretty cute, though, and if you have extra money lying around to spend on hair ties, go for it. What do you think of them?