August Favorites | 2016


Happy September! August was a very busy month for me, since work started back up, the kids came back to school, and my boyfriend started classes again. This month, I’ve been relying on products that I can always rely on that will get me through the day.


The first product that I want to share with you is my Classic May Book from May Designs ($15). I’m a huge planner user, and I wanted something simple that could really drive my day. I like that this planner is very simple and I was able to completely customize it to my needs. I chose the custom classic notebook with the weekly agenda and graph page layout. The agenda pages are undated so you can begin whenever you’d like. I use the graph paper section as my to-do list for the week as well as to take notes for things I need to do in the future. You can basically have a May book for anything you could ever think of from baby books to notebooks and everything in between. When you first visit the site, you can also get 15% off by giving them your email address. I have seriously been living out of this all month and it has served me well so far!


August was very hot for us here in Illinois, so I’ve been shying away from using any kind of liquid foundation. I’ve been sticking with my trusty powder foundation, this time I’ve been using Tarte’s Creamy Powder Foundation in fair-light neutral ($35). Mornings have been hurried around here and I needed something I knew would be easy to apply and even out my complexion without melting off of my face. This product is also great for touch-ups since it doesn’t turn cake-y during the day. Also, hello beautiful packaging! That’s always  plus for me. Something that I’ll be able to find easily in my makeup bag and that’s secure enough that I know it won’t open and make a mess.


The last product that I’ve been using a lot this month is IT Cosmetics’s No-Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner. I got this as a sample in my Ipsy GlamBag and I have really been enjoying this. It twists up in its packaging and is very easy to apply. It’s good for both the waterline and to line the top and bottom lids and it doesn’t transfer even throughout the heat. The formula is very black and once it sets, it doesn’t budge! I’ve been really appreciating this liner in these last days of summer. The only turn-off is that the full-sized product is $22. Yikes! Although looking the Ulta website, it’s currently on sale for $11! 

As we move into September and cooler mornings, I’m looking forward to cool football Saturdays. Let me know in the comments what some of the products you’ve used that have gotten you through this hot month of August!

First Impressions | Make Up For Ever’s Excessive Lash Mascara


Today I’m going to share my initial thoughts about Make Up For Ever’s Excessive Lash Mascara. I got this as a sample from a Sephora purchase. The full size retails for $25 and only comes in black. The website claims “long lasting panoramic volume that fans out for a truly dramatic, eye-opening effect.”


The brush is made up of shorter, thicker brush bristles, which made it easy for me to coat my lashes from root to tip and to get the bottom lashes. If you’re looking for natural looking lashes from this mascara, this is not the product for you! It immediately gave me false-looking lashes, which is something that I personally like. I was able to apply the product to my lashes without it getting chunky. The combination of the brush and the product allowed me to fan out my lashes, which made my eyes look larger, and I didn’t have track marks on my brow bone by the end of the day. Another big plus is that it didn’t flake down my face throughout the day!

This mascara is a great option if you’re looking for a more luxury-priced product that gives you va-va-voom lashes. While the price is up there, it lives up to the claims.

What are some products you’ve recently tried or have been dying to try?

Holy Grail Brand | ColourPop Cosmetics

ColourPop Cover

For those of you who live on the Internet like me, you’ve probably already heard of ColourPop Cosmetics. But for those of you who tend to shop for your makeup in stores, ColourPop probably isn’t part of your repertoire.

So let me introduce you. ColourPop is an online cosmetics line based in Los Angeles and is only about 2  years old. The brand started with eye shadows for $5 each and has now grown to include lip and face products. They’ve also collaborated with a few YouTubers to create some limited edition products and colors. I hesitate to say that this brand’s products are cheap, because the quality is definitely not, but the price-point makes my wallet very happy. Not only that, but their website’s product descriptions are sassy and hilarious, which makes the experience just that much better. Another bonus is that the first time you visit the site, you get $5 off your first order, which is the cost of a lippie stick, so basically, you have no excuse not to try one of these treasures.

While I am still exploring the products that ColourPop has to offer, my favorite so far has to be the Lippie Stix. They have tons and tons of options from nudes, to reds, to teal and navy blue. They offer 8 different finishes that range from Matte X to Glossy and everything in between. They also sell liquid lipsticks that are very popular, but I like the ease of the application of the Lippie Stix.

ColourPop NamesThe ones that I own and that haven’t left my top drawer are the Primer, Cami (matte x), Lumiere (matte), Juice Bar (sheer), Kiddo (sheer), and Bound (glossy). While the color swatch on the back of the sticks look similar, they are all very different products. Naturally, the more matte the lippie stick, the longer it’s going to last on the lips.

Below are my swatches and descriptions/reviews of my favorites. The swatches were done with two swipes of each of the products. The photo was taken outside to try and get the most natural light as possible, and the photo was not doctored besides adding the text. Primer is not pictured, but described below.



Primer: Website description – “Our Lippie Primer enhances the wear of any lip product and keeps your lips looking and feeling healthy! Our primer contains itty bitty spherical beads that fill in fine lines making lips instantly smooth and plump! It also contains mango, avocado and shea butter for moisture and Vitamin E, which soothes your lips.” 

At first, I attempted to put on chapstick before applying these lippie stix, but learned quickly that it just made the product wear off faster. I knew I needed something to nourish my lips before putting on a product that was so matte. This primer is great! It feels so smooth and really helps get the most out of the color. I’m not sure it it completely fills in fine lines, but it definitely helps and is better than putting color directly on your lips. Overall, I love this product and would recommend it to anyone who is going to purchase the matte Lippie Stix.

Bound (glossy): Website description – “You’re bound to be addicted to this light nude pink in a glossy finish.”

This is a great summertime color! It’s glossy, but not shiny and just makes your lips look good. It’s more pink than a nude, but doesn’t look like Barbie pink. Since it’s glossy, it doesn’t last super long, but it’s easy to reapply without a mirror.

Cami (matte x): Website description – “No need to cover up in this neutral mauve pink iIMG_8664n a Matte X finish.”

I have to say that this one is my absolute favorite. Though the description says it’s a
“mauve pink”, it does have more of a reddish neutral look on my skin tone. It’s super matte and lasts for a long time. The picture to the right is a picture of me wearing Cami after wearing it for about an hour and after eating and drinking! It also doesn’t transfer very much which makes it great for date night😉 Love, love, love it!

Juice Bar (sheer): Website description – “Cool toned berry pink in a Sheer finish, because obviously it’s good for you…”

This color is a great one for meeting friends out in the afternoon. It’s good for daytime, but it’s a little more than wearing Bound. This sheer formula is buildable and nourishing on the lips.

Kiddo (sheer): Website description – “A warm taupe in a Sheer finish – 10 points if you are thinking of who we are thinking of when you say this name…”

I’m sorry, but any description that references Sex in the City is automatically a winner. This color looks a little darker on me than the swatch on the website, but it’s great nonetheless. It’s probably the most neutral of my bunch, which makes it great for keeping in your purse. It goes well with any look and it’s another sheer formula, so it’s easy to wear and it’s nourishing.

Lumiere (matte): Website description – “A dusty mauve pink in a matte finish created by the lovely @KathleenLights – ‘I wanted a color that both bold and shy people could wear. It’s not a would look great on EVERYONE!'”

This color is long lasting and more pink-toned on my skin tone than Cami. This is a great dinner/evening color, but let’s be real: some of us just where whatever color feels the best at the time.

The moral of this story is that I’ve been wearing nothing but these ColourPop Lippie Stix on my lips for the past few months. You can’t beat a great product that’s only $5.

Have you tried anything from ColourPop? What are some of your favorites by them? I’m excited to try some of their eyeshadows!

July Favorites | 2016

July Favorites


Catrice Cosmetics Prime and Fine Professional Contouring Palette ($7.99 at Ulta)

Contour FinalI have been telling everyone I can about this product! I’ve been on the hunt for a cool-toned contour for a few months now. One of my biggest pet peeves lately is that makeup brands seem to be repackaging their bronzers and marketing them as contour powders. Bronzers should be warm-toned and contour shades should be cool-toned (because you’re trying to recreated a shadow).

What I’d discovered was a lot of expensive palettes with a bunch of options where I’d probably use only one of the shades, but have to pay for the entire palette. I wanted something more budget friendly and something that I could use all of the product. I was hunting around and found this gem. They offer a warm palette and a cool toned palette, so I opted for the Ashy Radiance option. Not only do I love the contour shade, but the highlighter is great as well! The powder is very finely milled, so it’s easy to blend and the colors are just beautiful on the skin! Plus, it’s only $7.99, paraben free, and not tested on animals. I’m in love.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso ($7.29 at Target)Luminoso Final

I know, I know. Milani Luminoso is a cult beauty product and I’m a little late on the
bandwagon, but this has been my go-to summer blush! It’s so easy to use and it makes your skin glow. It’s not glittery at all; it’s more of a satin finish which is so perfect for the summer months. My skin gets red in the heat as well, so I don’t need to make myself look more flushed with a dark blush, so this is a great option for me when it’s so hot out.



Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water in Fair/Light ($42 at Ulta)

BB Water FinalThis product found a place in my vanity drawer because I was looking for a foundation that was light on the skin, easy to apply, but a little more coverage than my go-to BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.

This is a very unique demi-matte product that comes out in a dropper and just blends right in with the skin. My favorite way to apply this product is to add a drop or two to my Complexion Rescue and just blend it into my skin with my fingers. I typically do this when I want a little more coverage when I’m going out with friends or going to an event.

On its own, this BB Water is light-medium coverage. It also has SPF 30 and doesn’t make your skin look cakey by the end of the day. For those of you looking for more coverage, but aren’t a fan of thicker, liquid foundations during these hot summer months, this might be something you’re interested in.

NYX HD Finishing Powder in Transluscent ($9.99 at Ulta)

I just recently veered away from my previous favorite Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Finishing Powder FInalPowder honestly because of the packaging. The product is great, but in a makeup bag, the lid never ever stays on and it makes a big mess. I wanted another drug store finishing powder that would travel well and still work great.

I tend to look for translucent powders because there’s no worry of it clashing with your foundation or making your face look cakey. I use this product with a fluffy powder brush and it was just exactly what I was looking for. It’s not a game-changer, but it gets the job done and as you can tell, I’ve already hit pan, so it’s a well-used product in my makeup drawer.



This month I really got into Halsey. She not only has an interesting sound, but she is legitimately talented. She has done a few of her songs with one microphone that she performed and recorded in one take and they are amazing (click here if you want to listen to it). It’s great to find a musician whose album isn’t only good, but they sound great without all of the effects. Some of my favorites by her are Castle, Hurricane, and Ghost. I’ve been listening to her all month.

App of the Month


Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at 12.15.03 PMThis is another thing this month I haven’t been able to shut up about. This is a fitness app that has on demand elliptical, treadmill, cycling, yoga, and outdoor running classes (click here to go to the app store). There’s a subscription fee, but your first week is free if you want to try it out. You can sort classes by difficulty and duration and the instructors are so motivational and the playlists they come up with for the workouts really pump you up.

Personally, I’m an elliptical fan because I get shin splints like crazy. This app has allowed me to get the most out of my workouts. I get way more out of my gym time than I would without it.



I hope you all have survived the hottest month ever that was July and I hope that whatever August has in store for you is the greatest! Leave any comments below if you’ve tried any of the things I mentioned or if you had anything that you particularly enjoyed in July!

Girls Who Game | Sexism in the Gaming Community

Princess Edit

I have played video games for as long as I can remember. The first console I played on was a Super Nintendo with my Dad, and now I play in the Xbox Live community on Xbox One. I would categorize myself as a gamer and as a woman.

Video gaming has always been a male-dominated activity and community. Growing up, I always had to play video games as a male character (ex. Mario), typically trying to save the damsel in distress (ex. Princess Peach). Many other games such as racing games and first person shooters didn’t have a choice to be a female. The female characters were typically wearing very little while cheering for the men at the starting and finish line.

According to Wikipedia, a study in 2014 found that women made up 57.8% of the mobile market, 53.6% of the role-playing game market, and 50.2% of the PC market. It also found that men composed 66% of massively multiplayer online gaming players, 66% of first-person-shooter players, and 63% of digital console players. If that is the case, why does it feel like women make up much, much less of this population?

In the early 1980’s, women were said to have a playable character in 1 in every 7 video games, who were often more scantily clothed and sexualized than their male character counterparts. It seems as though women began as damsels in distress, then evolved to be supporting characters to leading male roles, and finally are beginning to take on the main protagonistic role in gaming. It wasn’t until about 1991 that women began taking roles as villans.

That being said, it was just in 2014 that Assassin’s Creed released a new installment of their popular video game that didn’t include any playable female characters because it would have “doubled the work”.

Aside from the actual video games themselves, there is blatant sexism in the gaming community.

My boyfriend and I play a lot of video games together, specifically Destiny on our Xbox Ones. In Destiny, I am able to create female guardians that are not overly sexualized and are actually pretty bad ass. For those of you who do not play Destiny, there are many opportunities for socializing. There are social locations where you can buy and upgrade your gear and help other players with different missions and player-vs-player situations.

It was here that I was finding I was getting a lot more messages and requests to play than my boyfriend. It was not because my light level was high. It was because my gamertag was illinigirl. My naive self fell for this a couple of times before I realized they just wanted to chat with me because they knew I was a girl.

I would also recieve messages out of nowhere from men who saw my gamertag and would simply say “hey girl”, “where are you from?”, “do you have a boyfriend?”. In these instances, they didn’t want a competant playing partner, they wanted a companion and an opportunity to flirt.

Messages would also shift another direction if I was having a particularly rough game. These messages would be along the lines of “You play like a girl. Oh wait…”, or “Get out of this group. You don’t belong in here. You’re bringing the team down.”

It finally got to the point that I just decided to pay the $20 to change my gamertag to something more gender neutral.

The messages have definitely decreased since changing my gamertag, but my character is still female. In social locations in the game, I still get requests to join games and things because they can see that my character is female. So, what do I need to do to blend in? I think the answer is to create a male character, but why should that be required of me in order to not be harassed in this virtual community?

That makes me wonder if there are more females in this community than meets the eye. Maybe more and more women are simply creating gender-neutral gamertags and are playing male characters.

I don’t think that’s the answer. I think women need to be able to be proud to be female gamers. Maybe if every single female gamer were to just rock the female character, men would see how many of us there are. I think that changing your online identity to be more gender-neutral or to come across simply as male is doing a disservice to the female gamer community.

So women, I encourage you to choose the female video game character. Go ahead and equip the purple shader and wear it proud! We need to stop shying away from showing our female identities in the gamer community and make everyone wish they could play like a girl. Because I am higher light level than you. Bring it.

March Favorites | 2016


Happy Spring!! The weather has been all over the place here in Illinois, but the trees are budding and the flowers are blooming so we are on the way to warmer days!

I have a few things to share that I have been using a lot in March and it’s a good mix ofIMG_8989.JPGdrugstore and more high-end.

Blistex Five Star Lip Protection ($1.49)

This is the smoothest lip balm I have ever used. It doesn’t really smell like anything and it immediately makes your lips feel smoother. It also contains SPF 30, which is a definite plus! I think the most important thing here is that it’s less than $2 and it actually works!



IMG_8990.JPGNyx Cosmetics HD Finishing Powder ($9.99)

I was on the hunt for a new translucent matte powder since I was so tired of my Rimmel Stay Matte powder dropping and smashing everywhere because of the terrible packaging. I came across this HD Finishing Powder by Nyx and I am in love! It is very finely milled, so it does not get cake-y at all on the skin. I mostly use this on a beauty blender to set my concealer, but will also dust it across my face when it’s a warmer day. This powder also comes in a banana color for brightness and a mint green color for redness.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara ($10.50)IMG_8988.JPG

I first heard about this product from Zoella on YouTube and was immediately interested. This mascara is specifically for the lower lashes. The brush is tiny, which makes it easy to grab all of those little hairs. It almost coats the lashes in little plastic-y tubes like the blinc mascara. It doesn’t smudge at all! The description says that you can put mascara over top of this product, but I just use it alone.

Honestly, I had been using the blinc mascara only for my lower lashes (it doesn’t quite give enough volume for my taste for my upper lashes), but this is so much more convenient and easier to use on the lower lashes because of the tiny brush! Plus, how adorable is the packaging?!

These are some of the things I’ve been reaching for the most this past month. I’m excited for all of the spring/summer launches coming up and for adding some more color into my routine!

Let me know if there are any fun products you’ve been trying this month!

Product Fail Friday | Pixi Blush Duo in Rose Gold


I just received my March ipsy Glam Bag and I was so excited to try Pixi’s Blush Duo in Rose Gold. One side of the product is a beautiful rosy color with a gold tone to it and the other side is a golden highlight color. The colors in the pan look beautiful and I was very optimistic about the product. It looks as though you can use the sides alone or mixed together.

When I first swatched the colors on my finger, I was a little unsure. The blush-colored shade was not very pigmented and both of the colors seemed a bit powder-y. When I went to test out the product on my face, I decided to swirl the colors together on my blush brush. When I applied it, the pink color was not pigmented enough to be a blush. The product also seemed to turn a little powder-y when I added more.

unnamed-1.pngI decided to look on their website to figure out what their claims were. On this ipsy site, it
claims the following: “This silky blush gives the perfect sheer flush on the apples of your cheeks. Its natural mineral powder formula reflects light, applies true to colour, is hydrating and feels lightweight on the skin. Each duo features two shades to be worn alone or layered.”I guess from my experience, the key word in that description is “sheer”. I almost wish they would have marketed this product as a highlighter or illuminator.

I will probably use this product when I want a more natural looking highlight, but I don’t think I will re-purchase it. I was really hoping this would be a more illuminating blush when used together, but that is definitely not the case. Since it was marketed as a blush, I would definitely say that this product was a fail for me.

What products have you been trying this month?