Sephora Makeup Haul

Can you believe that I’ve held on to two Sephora gift cards since December?! Neither could I. So this weekend, my best friend and I ventured to Santa Monica to people watch, eat, explore and, of course, shop!! I knew it was time to spend my $45 in gift cards and this is what I bought…

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For the Lips 

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I’ve been very into nude lips and lip liner recently. In about a month, I sharpened down three Milani liner pencils because I like them to be extra sharp when I use them and at times the lines can get a bit clumpy. The Too Faced Perfect Lips in “Perfect Nude” twist-up liner caught my eye and I swiped it across the front of my hand. When I tried to rub the liner off it wouldn’t budge. Good sign. But did I really want to spend $18 on a lipliner? I walked away. And yet, the liner still wouldn’t budge. In the end, I knew I had to have it so I plucked it off the shelf. It is smooth on the lips and even has a soft grip which makes for easy application! I give it 5 out of 5 stars, no regrets in this purchase.

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I’ve been wanting to experiment with OCC Cosmetic stained glosses for a long time. The brand is “vegan and cruelty free” and came with a lip gloss tube and small brush applicator for $18. I chose to go with the top color, “Dune,” a fun neutral beige with a gold tint. I wore this with the lip liner and it was a pretty good combo! I toned the liner down a bit by blending it inward so there wouldn’t be such a high contrast between liner and fill color. Would definitely recommend this product and I’m looking forward to trying other colors!

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Now, my birthday passed in April, but I signed up for a Sephora Beauty Insider Program and received two free NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils! These chubby sticks are Rikugien, a pearly taupe color and Cruella, a deeper red. Both pencils are matte and go on smooth. I haven’t yet tried these on my lips, so I shall do a more in-depth review about them later!

For the Face

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Have you ever purchased something that was almost too perfect to wear? That’s how I feel about the Too Faced Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer. It instantly caught my eye because it is so cute! I like the color of the bronzer, it is a bit lighter with a shimmery, pink pearl tint to it. Honestly, I don’t even care about the color much because the packaging and bronzer itself is so appealing. The color reminds me of an ELF Baked blush that I have, great for a highlighter and not the typical dark bronzer that I’m used to.

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So, here’s a sneak peek of what next week’s blog post will be on: The Peter Thomas Roth Mini Mask Magic Kit! For $20, I was able to get samples of the Cucumber Gel Mask, Rose Stem Cell Mask and Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. Check in next week to see what I think about these precious babies! And thank you to my best friend for this awesome suggestion!

For the Body 

I really lucked out on the gift card thing, and I still had a redeemable coupon for a free rollerball perfume from a Christmas gift. Let me tell you about this gift- it came with about 6 perfume samples and a coupon for a free rollerball perfume! It is a perfect gift for a perfume-lover and allowed me to get a feel for different scents before committing.

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I chose the Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb roller perfume because it is unlike any other perfume I own. I first dubbed it a more mature scent because it is a deeper floral scent, but I soon fell in love. There are definite jasmine undertones and the scent is sweet, but not too sweet. I definitely recommend it!

Well, I hope you enjoyed my small beauty haul. What beauty products do you have your eye on? I’d love to know!

XO- Ashley (@Ashleysita)

Birchbox Bliss!

I’m sure we’ve all wanted to try a sample of a product before we go out and actually buy the real thing. Despite rave reviews and recommendations, it’s hard to know if a product is right for you without trying it first!

Luckily, there’s Birchbox! The company was started in 2010 when two women who loved makeup in their own ways, decided to find a way to make testing beauty products easier! And I’m very thankful for them ;) The way Birchbox works is subscribers either pay $10 a month for a box of 4-5 beauty products or $110 for a year’s worth of boxes each month. Products are based off of a beauty interest survey that subscribers fill out to fit the needs of everyone.

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I received my first box over the weekend and I was so excited! There were five samples that I’m looking forward to share with you. They each came with a small description on what the product was and how to use it, as well as the price for a regular sized product!

Find out what was in my box below.

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The Goods

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1.) COOLA Tinted Moisturizer 

This mineral-based moisturizer is said to soften and even skin tone with a matte finish. Now, I’m always on the hunt for a good moisturizer and I knew this one would be a perfect product for my graduation day because of the matte finish and SPF 30!  The cream was smooth and easy to put on, and the smooth, matte finish lasted throughout my 4-hour graduation festivities. Would definitely recommend this product for those willing to spend $36 on a moisturizer!

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2.) Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel

Now I’ve tried this beauty product before because I stole it from my mother’s makeup collection >:), but now I have a cute travel-size one to take along with me. This clear gel really works to tame and define brows and can be worn alone or over your favorite brow pencil or powder. I personally haven’t mastered the art of perfect brows, no #EyebrowsOnFleek for me, YET! I want to try to tinted Anastasia Beverly Hills tinted brow gel, they have 5 colors, including blonde and auburn! Full size costs $22!

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3.) Staniac from theBalm cosmetics 

Staniac is a two-in-one tinted lip balm and cheek stain said to give a sheer, rosy tint. I tried it on as a balm and was, unfortunately, not too satisfied with the outcome.The balm felt very gel-like and although it felt cool on the lips at first, it was hard to evenly spread the color and my lips stung after a minute. The color didn’t last me very long, mostly because I licked my lips a bunch after applying it. I am looking forward to trying this product as a cheek stain, but I’ve been warned to smear it with a quick hand because it dries quickly. Full-size cost is $17.

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4.) Whish Shave Cream 

I am both pleased and heartbroken with this product at the same time. At $20 for a full-size, this organic, smoothing shaving cream can definitely get a bit pricey but there are SO many pros that I’m tempted to become a devout user. My sample was coconut scented and I got lost in its sweet, island scent. This product is all-organic which helps to soothe and moisturize dry skin, leaving you feeling fresh. It is half the texture of a typical shaving cream mixed with half the texture of lotion, it makes shaving a dream and it smells divine!

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5.) Beauty Protector, Protect and Oil 

Ah, yet another amazing and wallet-breaking product. Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic, at $25.95 per 4 oz on Birchbox, it is a fair deal, but I’m a drugstore kind of girl! I have a problem with frizzy, fly away hairs and I’ve tried using various oils to tame my mane. All of the oils I’ve tried have left my hair feeling greasy and weighed down. Beauty Protector is different, however. I applied a small amount to my wet hair, let it air dry 80% and blew dry the rest. My hair felt incredibly smooth and, here’s the kicker, IT SMELLED INCREDIBLE. This oil smells just like Pink Sugar perfume, a sugary vanilla scent. I give this product an A+ and I’m dying to buy the full-size product, if I can teach myself how to use it on occasions only!

Have you ever tried Birchbox before? What did you think about it?

Sincerely your Birchbox noob,

Ashleysita (@Ashleysita)

XOXO

DIY Gifts [Mother’s Day Edition]

Happy Mother’s Day to all my readers; whether you are expecting, have expected and lost, have one, have a few, foster, adopted, or a father who plays both roles. Even though we should be treating you amazingly every day, today is just a day to recognize you even more for the responsibilities that you have taken on. YOU are an amazing person. YOU are an amazing wo(man). You are one of the most important people in our lives. You’re out hero, our role model, our everything. Thank you.

For those looking for a last minute DIY gift, below are my top 5 favorite from Pinterest. Yes, I love Pinterest. Only because it has been a while since I have actually made my mom something. I did not list the details but you can click on the links to find the women who actually took the time to create these gifts.

1. Hand-shaped Ring Dish by mamapapabubba.com

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2. Nail Polish (or makeup) Storage made from a frame

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3. Candle with image by evite

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4. Custom Mug by pounds4pennies

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5. Mother’s Day Photos (even though this says FATHER)

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*there was no tutorial for this. My instructions- take a few photos with of your children with hand written signs, print them at Target and buy a collage frame (very good prices at Target.)

Saturday Styles in LA 5/9 [Mother’s Day Edition]

A little late, sorry.

In honor of Mother’s Day tomorrow, check out these super cute Mommy + Me styles from Pinterest! Be sure to check back tomorrow for my last minute top 5 DIY Mommy gifts. You’re never too old to create something from the heart ♡

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Photo Ready Makeup for Graduation!

Ah, graduation day! There’s two weeks left until my graduation and I’ve caught a bad case of senioritis. I wish I could just plop a nice spring break down in the midst of playing catch up with piles of writing and reading, taking graduation photos and trying to find the perfect shoes to go with my dress and oversized black graduation gown.

So, whether you are the graduate this year or you’re attending a graduation, I have a few beauty tricks to help you survive, and quick too!

The Prep 

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SPF Moisturizer or Face Makeup with SPF

I hate to sound “old,” but it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry and sitting under the sun, listening to speakers drone on about your university and your classmates that you don’t really know can leave a lot of time for the sun to work its magic or nightmares on you. For me, I get burned really easy, especially right underneath my eyes. Add a SPF moisturizer into your routine, ELF’s is only $3! I like to add the moisturizer first and let it sink in for a moment while I brush my teeth or what not.

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Shine Eraser

Whether you feel a bit misty from heat, nerves or emotions (don’t cry, mom, graduation is a good thing!), shine erase pads are always great to have! I love the ELF brand because the pads are only $1 and the green tea extracts leave my skin feeling smooth.

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Bobby Pins!

These little babies are life savers! You always have to account for the unexpected and you never know when that extra gust of wind could knock your cap off! They’re also buddy magnets, guaranteed a girl-in-need will spot your prepared self and ask to borrow some.

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Waterproof Eyeliner

No, I don’t think you’re a pansy and I’m not a pansy either… well, sometimes, but that’s not the point. The point is wind, pollen, confetti, SOMETHING could get in your eye and irritate it and you wouldn’t want your eyeliner to smear all over your lid! Now, let me tell you a secret, I actually used to avoid this $3 Wet N’ Wild eyeliner because it worked TOO WELL! This is a potent, long-lasting eyeliner and I often use it for just the wings of my eyeliner. It is easy to apply and really does work.

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For the Makeup!

Now, I know this can sound silly, but here is my theory for graduation beauty. You don’t want to do a hair style or makeup style that is so completely out of your norm that it doesn’t represent you properly! Trust me, you don’t want to look back at your grad photo in 20 years and have your kids ask you what you were thinking.

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I believe that spicing up your usual routine is the best way to go for graduation. Add a classic red lip, go a little heavier on the mascara or toss a pair of false lashes on, but don’t mask your natural beauty too much!

DIY Creative Guest Books [Graduation Edition]

When I graduated high school, I didn’t have a party. When I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree, I didn’t get a party. When I graduated with my Master’s degree, I didn’t have a party. However, when I eventually go for my PHD I will definitely throw myself a giant party for all my hard work. You all are invited! ;)

Sadly, I wasn’t even invited to anyone’s party either so I can’t even come up with some DIYs to use for this segment. I guess I am no fun. Anyways, below I have found some awesome creative guest book ideas for your party and for future parties to come from Pinterest! Thanks Pinterest, you always have my back ♡

1. Jenga
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2. Oh The Places You’ll Go book
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3. Large wooden initial
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4. Globe
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5. Polaroid
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Saturday Styles in LA 5/2 [Graduation Edition]

To those who are graduating within the month or two, congratulations!

If you’re like me, you’ve already started the hunt for the best graduation dress over a month ago. If you haven’t here are my top 5 favorite dresses from Forever 21. Don’t forget to pick out some cute shoes, too! The shoes are going to be the first thing people see (because you’ll have your gown on.)

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*Click on the images to be taken to Forever 21