Sunday, June 29, 2014

My Hair Care Favorites - June 2014

The most popular compliment I ever receive from people is about my hair. Whether I have it curled, straight, or up in a bun, people are always commenting on how shiny it is, how soft it is, and how healthy it looks. I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, but I think a lot of that relates back to the way I care for my hair and the products I use. Today I am going to round up some of my favorite hair care products and a few "rules" that I follow when caring for my hair. I attached a date to this title because my hair care favorites are always changing. There are a few products that I religiously use and repurchase, but for the most part I love to switch up my hair care products. This is what I'm loving currently!

My "Rules" for my hair care!

Rule #1 - I always rotate my shampoo and conditioner every few washes. I usually have 2-3 different sets on hand that I like to rotate between. Your hair, just like your skin, can get familiar with certain products and they will stop working the way they are meant to work. 

Rule #2 - I only shampoo my hair every 3-4 days. This might sound crazy, or even disgusting, if you are a daily shampooer, but I promise that is the reason my hair is so healthy. I try to go as long as I possibly can without shampooing and it totally makes a difference in my hair. If I need a little touch up then I will use dry shampoo which I will talk about down below! 

Rule #3 - I always shampoo my hair at night. I do this so that I can avoid having to blow dry my hair. I know this isn't always possible for everyone, but I'm just sharing what works for me. I maybe blow dry my hair once every three months. That is when there is a weird circumstance that I have to wash my hair in the morning and be somewhere quickly. This reduces the heat damage I do to my hair, since I heat style my hair often I try to reduce the amount I blow dry it by letting it air dry always. 

Rule #4 - Always use a heat protectant when heat styling my hair! Always! This is a good habit to get in if you heat style your hair often. 

Rule #5 - Sleep with it up in a bun, but with a soft hair tie instead of a tight one. This reduces the friction caused when you sleep with your hair all the way down from tossing and turning! I also sometimes sleep with it in a braid and I can wake up with nice wavy hair! 

Shampoo and Conditioner

Shampoo and Conditioner are two things that I always switch up. I always use shampoo and conditioner from the drugstore, I know a lot of people have their opinions on using salon brand shampoos instead of drugstore, but I use so much shampoo with all of my hair that I couldn't afford to keep purchasing high end shampoos even if I wanted to! 

1. Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner
This is my "simple" shampoo and conditioner. It is what I always fall back on because it is just simple and I know it will get the job done. I try to stay away from any type of shampoo that offers "moisture" because that tends to make my hair oily and greasy. 

2. Organix Shampoo and Conditioner
This brand is my all time favorite shampoo and conditioner. I am currently using the "Acai Berry Avacado" shampoo and conditioner. It smells amazing, and works equally amazing. My hair always feels extra soft after using this brand and you can find it at the drugstore. I would recommend purchasing from a Rite Aid or Walgreens when they are on sale, every so often they will be Buy 1 Get 1 Free! This brand also has SO many different scents, my favorite is the Macadamia Oil set.

3. Loreal Total Repair 5 Shampoo, Conditioner, and Balm.
This is a set that I would recommend to anybody trying to get their hair back to the healthy side of things. It is a repairing shampoo and conditioner, and I can totally feel the results when I use this. My hair feels so luxurious and soft after using this set that every time I use it I remind myself how awesome it is for the price! This line also has a "damage erasing balm" which is my favorite product from the line. It comes in a jar, and I apply it just like I would normal conditioner, from about my ears down to the ends of my hair. I let it sit on my hair for about 5 minutes in the shower before I rinse it out. It will leave your hair feeling so soft and healthy! 

After-Shower Treatments

After the shower, I apply the same things every time. I don't experiment much in this department just because I have found products that work amazing for my hair. 

1. Healthy Sexy Hair : Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner
This is a product that I will continue to repurchase over and over because it works wonders for my hair. After showering, I tie my hair up in a microfiber towel wrap for a while and once I take that down, I spray this all throughout my hair and then brush it. This acts as a great detangler, but offers so many great benefits to my hair. I know a lot of people love the Its A 10 leave in treatment, which is around $16 for 4 oz, and this product here is around $17 for 8.5 oz. You get double the product for the same price and I think this does the job just fine! 

2. The Wet Brush
I received this in a PopSugar box a long time ago, and I actually really love it! I will admit, I don't think I ever would have purchased this on my own, but now that I have it, I would repurchase it if something happened to it! I don't really know how to explain why it's so great, but it brushes through my wet hair better than any other brush, doesn't pull or tug at my scalp, and cuts my brushing time in half! 

3. Moroccan Oil
This stuff is the best. This is the "original" moroccan oil, but so many brands now have their own hair oils out now that this stuff got so popular. This isn't cheap, it retails for $43, but worth every penny in my opinion. When my hair is about 70% air dried, I will put a pump of this between my hands and run it throughout my hair. I avoid my scalp during this process just because my scalp doesn't really need oil put directly on it. I run it over the ends of my hair, it smells amazing, and does miraculous things for my hair. This is what really helps my curls last for 3-4 days, and helps my hair stay shiny for multiple days. 

Dry Shampoo

Like I said above, I only shampoo my hair every 3-4 days, which requires a good dry shampoo. I have tried SO many dry shampoos, and they all have their ups and downs. It truly is a process of elimination. I have about 6 right now and I only continue to reach for one and one only. 

Batiste Dry Shampoo
Yes, you're seeing the picture correctly, I'm only recommending one dry shampoo. Like I said, it is all personal preference so I am sure there are people out there that hate this brand. I wouldn't feel honest or loyal to my blog if I started recommending all of the ones I've tried because honestly, nothing compares to this. Batiste is the best brand for dry shampoo in my opinion. I use the one all the way on the right in the picture, for dark and deep brown hair. The only difference in this one is that it is a grayish brown tint to it so it isn't so white. It absorbs oil so much better than any other brand I've tried, smells fine (some smell horrid), and is so affordable. As you can see above, they truly have something for everyone whether you're blonde, brunette, looking for volume, or looking for extreme clean. I find mine at Ulta, or Walgreens, and I will continue to repurchase this one and this one only!

Styling Products

I don't use a ton of styling products because I don't like to load my hair up with product. My hair does a fairly good job of holding a style so I just use the basics.

1.  Garnier Sleek & Shine Anti-Humidity Hair Spray
This is my favorite hair spray. I can usually find it on a good deal at Rite Aid. It smells delicious, and it does the job. It doesn't leave my hair crunchy or stiff, but it still holds my style. It is my favorite hair spray I've tried and it is the one I will continue to purchase. 

2. Straight Sexy Hair Smooth & Seal Shine Spray
This is what I use when I straighten my hair instead of hair spray. My hair doesn't need a hair spray when straightened but it needs a little something to seal it all together and tone down the frizz if I have it. I like this stuff, it just doesn't smell the greatest. I'm open to trying a different smoothing spray once this one runs out if anyone has a recommendation! It does the job though and leaves my hair SO shiny! 

3. Paul Mitchell Hot Off The Press Thermal Spray
This stuff is the best heat protectant I have ever tried. A staple from the drugstore is the Tresseme one in the black and red bottle. Most thermal protectants come in a spray bottle that sprays out too much product at once, but this is in an aerosol can so it sprays the perfect amount and doesn't leave my hair wet from product. I love this stuff, I just don't love the price tag! 

Well, there you have it! Here are my favorite hair care products that I will continue to purchase. What is one of your holy grail hair products? Share down below in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading.
xoxo, Jaimie

Friday, June 27, 2014

4th Of July Roundup : Recipes, Decor, and More!

The 4th of July is exactly ONE week from today! If you find yourself without plans, then this post is going to help you make the plans and plan a last minute party! Planning a party can be intimidating when you think of how many things you need to buy, prepare, and decorate. In all reality, it can be done on a budget, and at the end of the day if your family and friends are there, then it doesn't need to be extravagant. 

Today I'm rounding up my favorite posts that I've found and want to share with you all of these amazing ideas that you can either incorporate into your 4th of July plans, or possibly even just give you inspiration for next year! All of these ideas are fairly easy, and inexpensive, which are the two things that really can help planning a party go smoothly! 


Simply decorating a few things around your house can really help it look more festive! Check out the links below the picture to go support fellow bloggers and find out how they achieved all of these amazing decorations!

This is SUCH an easy way to make your beverage table look patriotic! Find a printable online of a flag, print those out and tape around your water bottle labels. You can also wrap them around beer bottles, kids juice boxes, or soda cans. It is a free way (just need a printer) to step up your decorating this 4th of July! 
Quickly spray painting a bucket from a cheap store can be a cheap decoration for any holiday. Adding some star stickers or even using a stencil will bump up the way you serve your drinks and make it the coolest cooler in town... You like what I did there? :)
These have became really popular through Pinterest and they are such an easy way to decorate your yard or sidewalk! Basically cut out a stencil of a star (or whatever you would like), lay down the stencil in the yard, spray that section with water and then sift flour in the stencil. You will be left with stars decorating the backyard that look like they took forever when they are actually pretty simple! 
n easy way to make your beverage table look patriotic! Find a printable online of a flag, print those out and tape around your water bottle labels. You can also wrap them around beer bottles, kids juice boxes, or soda cans. It is a free way (just need a printer) to step up your decorating this 4th of July! 
Plastic silverware is the best way to go when hosting a BBQ or party, it doesn't require any dish washing and just makes everything seem more casual. This idea is so simple that even the kids can help you put this together! Get some blue or red plastic silverware, wrap a white napkin around that, and then buy the alternating color ribbon to tie it all together. So simple yet so festive! 


Any type of party can't be complete without some good food, snacks, and drinks. 4th of July is the perfect time to break in your BBQ for the summer and some simple hamburgers and hot dogs are the perfect thing to serve for this holiday! Depending on who you are inviting you can ask some to bring buns, some to bring chips, and some to bring drinks to help reduce the cost on your part. Below are some quick and simple recipes that can add a festive touch to your food table! 

A super simple dessert you can offer the kids (or even adults) is to buy a box of Ice Cream Sandwiches, cut them in half, and dip the outside in red and blue sprinkles. Pop them inside of festive cupcake liners and you've got a decorative dessert that barely took any effort! Inserting popsicle sticks or skewers into them will help this be mess-free and easily accessible to all ages. 

Melt some white chocolate chips or almond bark, dip half of the strawberry into the melt, then dip half of the melted section into some blue sugar or sprinkles. This is so simple as well and will add a festive touch to your fruit tray! 

Simply arranging your veggies in stripes, and placing a bowl of dip where the "stars" would appear in a flag can add a patriotic look to your snack table. I love this idea, my favorite out of the 4!! I also found a post where someone did this exact same thing except with fruit. It would be awesome to have the flag layout for both your fruits and your veggies! 

Again with the flag design is a more savory option, a taco dip! This amazed me and I want to try it ASAP! You can really adapt this to fit the normal taco dip you make, just switch up the way you layout the cheese on top! Love this! 


If you want to incorporate some festivity into your beauty routine for the big day, don't be afraid to experiment with color! A blue eyeliner can really step up your look without looking like you painted your whole face for the holiday. Less is more when experimenting with color. Sweeping a thin layer above your normal eyeliner can look amazing, or adding some to your lower lash line is a subtle way to add color. Even experimenting with a blue mascara like Maryam did in this picture below is a great way to dip your feet into the world of color! 
Also, a red lip is a must for this holiday. If you are also nervous about trying out a red lip, don't be! It is all about process of elimination and finding what works for you. The best way to find which lip color will look the best on you is to first determine your undertone. If you are unsure of your skins undertone, check out my post here. After you've done that, just head over to your favorite search engine and search for "Best red lips for my skin tone". It will find you the perfect lip color that will make your skin look alive and your teeth look white. You can also just begin with a red lipgloss to add a subtle hint of color to your lips! 

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and found some inspiration. Whether you're looking to plan your own party, attend someone else's, or just look forward to next year hopefully you found something that would work for you within this post! I hope you all have a FUN and SAFE holiday, and of course see some fireworks! 

As always, thanks for reading.
xoxo, Jaimie

Thursday, June 26, 2014

10 Things I Learned In College - Beyond the Classroom

I graduated college almost two months ago, and I miss it. I never thought I'd say that because when I was reaching my final months I was "so ready to be done with this", but now that it is over I realize how amazing those years of my life were. Today I rounded up 10 things that I would tell someone heading off to college. Take this as you'd like, because everyone's college experience is totally different. Hope you enjoy the 10 things I learned at college. 

1. Just because you're short on cash doesn't mean you have to be short on memories. Most college towns offer so many free activities. If that isn't an option, I can promise you that some of my most memorable nights from college were just me and some girlfriends just driving around or sitting around. Also, hit up those student discounts because you can often plan a fun girls night out or a date night on a stack of student coupons! Here are some student discounts I found online!

2. Don't be creeped out when people try to talk to you randomly. I was really overwhelmed at first when I went off to college with how many people would just sit down next to you and ask your name and where you are from. I thought they either were extremely weird and had no friends, or they were trying to kidnap me (yeah, I really thught that...) I was used to being from a small town where everyone knew everyone, so this all felt very awkward to me. The only way you can make those "college friends" is if you let your guard down and give everyone a chance. 
Except for when people like this sit down next to you... Then you have every right to be creeped out.
3. Go to class... Really, probably the best advice I can give to anybody going off to college. So many of my professors on the first day of class will say "If you come to class and just listen to the things I say, you shouldn't have any problem earning a B in the course at least". My college released a statistic once that based off our tuition, skipping just ONE class amounted to throwing $50 out of the window. If you aren't a morning person, try not to sign up for 8am classes. Get up and go to class, every week has a weekend. If you went too hard the night before, grab a gatorade and some Tylenol and get. to. class. Oh and added bonus, a lot of my professors will give extra credit on a day that nobody shows up, like the Tuesday after a 4 day weekend, or the Friday before a big break, so if you're always in class then you will literally be getting free points because of other people's laziness. score. 

4. Your network is your net worth. I heard this quote about halfway through my Senior year and it is so true. Your opportunities after college will open up by who you know and who knows you. Don't be afraid to join clubs and organizations that work together with bigger companies in the field that you are interested in. Communications and networks matter so much more than your GPA or your score on that Geology 101 test last week (puke). Obviously it is important to maintain strong grades because that is how your network is bonded by them knowing you're a strong student and would be beneficial in the work force. While that being said, I've heard multiple bloggers, friends, people, say that nobody ever asked them for their college GPA. 

5. Along with #4, don't be afraid to go to your professors office hours to ask questions or even just check in. You will need those letters of recommendations relationships after college and a college professor is a strong relationship that you will be thankful for one day.

6. Create a budget. Regardless of how much money is in your piggy bank when you head off to college, it will all be drained out, Even if you are thinking "I'm in the dorms I don't have to pay rent and bills this doesn't apply". Oh yes it does. Parking fees, concession stands at the football games, going to dinner with your friends, buying a new pair of shoes, HALLOWEEN COSTUMES, bottled water on campus, Starbucks to survive, and so many more things. One huge thing I wish I would have done was created a budget so I knew what I had for groceries, social activities, personal spending, and bills (if you have them). 

7. Staying organized is so important. Little papers and assignments will sneak up on you before you know it so staying on top of things is really helpful. I am a huge procrastinator and honestly I'm better at writing a paper the night before instead of three weeks before (don't judge me). 
Here are a few things I do (I love being organized, feel free to choose one if you're normal)...

  • I use the "stickies" app on my Macbook and keep a sticky note on my desktop with however many days can fit onto it. Usually around two weeks, this is where I put almost everything like work shifts, personal stuff, school assignments, and bills. I open my computer multiple times a day so this was my #1 way of never forgetting something. Plus, it's really liberating to delete an assignment once you're done with it.
This is an instagram picture from a year ago, but this is how I do my "sticky".  
  • Buy a planner. Usually universities hand out free planners at the beginning of the year, but if not you can find cheap ones at Walmart or Target or whatever store is closest. I swear by Lilly Pulitzer agendas, they are so cute that you will want to use them, and they are formatted the way that I prefer my planners to be laid out. 
  • Set alarms on your phone. If you have a paper due by midnight set an alarm at like noon to remind yourself that it needs to be happening sooner than later. Again, you are probably on your phone way more than you would be opening a planner so this one is pretty simple to do.
  • Hang your syllabi on the wall where it will be visible. This actually is something that one of my friends always did and this is what worked for him so I thought I'd include it. He hangs all of his syllabi on the wall above his computer and when he wakes up in the morning he would just go to them and check what they were doing that day or what he needed to bring to class. 
  • Organize your notes. Whether you respond best to writing your notes or typing your notes, there is a way that will work for everyone. Note taking really is a process of elimination and seeing what works best for you. I respond best to color coding and organized information. If my paper looks like a hot mess, trying to learn it is going to be a hot mess. 

8. Stay true to yourself and you'll come out on top. College is a different experience for everyone, so don't feel like you have to act like the college girls in movies, or like you have to act like the perfect small town girl that everyone knows you as. This is the time to, yes, "find yourself". You will meet so many new people and possibly grow closer, or further apart, to people you knew from home. If you don't want to drink, then don't. If somebody is pressuring you and can't understand where you're coming from then they honestly aren't a real friend. It is okay to do things that scare you or that you wouldn't ever do before but just stay true to the person you want to be. 

9. Don't give up on hometown relationships. Stay loyal to the friends you've had since childhood and give them the same attention that you are giving your new, fun college friends. College isn't an excuse to forget about the people who helped you through your hard times in high school or even earlier, so if you want to make it work, you will make it work. Communication is key so staying in touch with your friends at home will help you stay grounded and realize what is important at the end of the day.

10. Most importantly, have fun. Honestly, it goes by really fast. Everyone says that about every experience, but I graduated college over a month ago and I am still in shock with how quick it all went by. Senior year especially went by really quick, so just keep that in mind. Getting good grades and sticking with school is SO important, but having fun is just as important. Don't take your college experience for granted because you will miss it when it is all over. I am forever bonded with a college as an Alumni and I will forever have so much pride for a specific school. GO COUGS

Hopefully you guys enjoyed a little more of a personal post on my blog. I've had my blog for two months now and have mainly stuck to beauty reviews and haven't shared much into my life. If you want any more posts like this, just let me know. If you are getting ready to head off to college, enjoy it and have the time of your life! Hopefully these tips eased your mind a little bit and gave you insight on what to expect. Like I said, everyones experience is so different so take this however you'd like to.

As always, thanks for reading
xoxo, Jaimie

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

All About Primers

Today's post is all about primer! If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry, just keep reading! A face primer is exactly what it sounds like, a primer to apply before you apply your face makeup or powder. You wouldn't paint a house without applying a primer first, and you should be using a base coat or nail primer before painting your nails, so your face isn't any different! I have used a primer for a few years now but I still know there are many out there that don't even know it exist. Hopefully this either helps you discover a primer for the first time, or to find some new products if you already have been using a primer.

What does a primer do!?

First, primers can offer many different benefits depending on the one you choose and love. Some primers contain SPF in it, some claim to minimize pores, reduce natural oils, moisturize, and some even offer anti-aging benefits. Most primers aim to smooth out any fine lines, blur any imperfections, and fill in large pores, but this all of course depends on the primer you choose.

Next, primers can come in a variety of textures. The majority of primers contain a mixture of waxes and/or silicones, which really help smooth out the skin and fill in any fine lines and pores. All of the primers I have tried are either transparent, or tinted. Tinted primers can provide a little extra layer of coverage if you need it or just help to reduce redness and blur any imperfections. Transparent primers can still offer the "blurring" effects by

Face primers can be personalized for your skin type. If you have oily skin, you might want to consider going for a primer that aims to minimize pores and reduce oils. If you have dry skin you might want to consider trying a hydrating primer that is going to give your skin a lot of moisture. Also, if you have dull skin you might want to aim for a primer that is going to give illumination and a natural glow to the skin. If you are unsure of your skin type, you can check out my post HERE to help determine which skin type fits you best! Please keep in mind that I am a combination oily skin type, so most of the primers that I will mention down below aim to reduce oil, fill in pores, and leave me with a matte finish. If you are looking for a brightening primer I know that Loreal Magic Lumi Light Primer has really great reviews!

Why should you be using a primer?!

Like I said above, primers can offer a lot of skin care benefits, but there are more reasons to try one out! A primer is going to offer a great barrier between your skin and the makeup products you use for the day. A primer has skin-loving ingredients in it, so placing a barrier between your face and your foundation/bb cream/powder is going to help reduce the clogging of your pores. If you can find a primer that works for you that happens to contain SPF, then that is another added bonus! My holy grail primer doesn't include SPF so I just apply a separate one when I do my skin care in the morning.

The main reason I started using a primer is because I was tired of my foundation disappearing from my skin halfway throughout the day. I am one of the lucky ones that got blessed with oily skin, so my makeup can tend to slip and slide throughout the day if I don't go through the correct steps to keep it in place, which all starts with primer. It definitely helps my makeup stay on longer and all adhered together instead of disappearing.

What are the best primers?!

So hopefully by now I've convinced you to go try one out for yourself, and if you are going to do that, then there are a few great ones from the drugstore that I can recommend that you can start off with before splurging on an expensive one.
***I apply all of my primers the same. I apply about a pea-size amount between two fingers, and pat that into my T-Zone. Patting motions instead of sweeping really help minimize pores and get the most out of your product. After patting it into my chin, nose and sides of nose, and the middle of my forehead, I rub what is left over the rest of my face (usually not much left)***

1. Maybelline Baby Skin : Instant Pore Eraser
Out of the three up above, I prefer this one the best. It offers a really great texture that helps fill in any fine lines and definitely helps fill in pores. I don't think it does as great of a job as my high-end primers which I will show later, but for the price point it really does the job! If you are looking for your first primer I think this is a really good place to start. I picked mine up at Target for around $6.00.

2. NYX Shine Killer
This one is extremely similar to the other two up above, does a fine job for the price and it does pretty much what you need a primer to do. The thing about this primer that sets it aside from the rest is that you can apply this throughout the day OVER your makeup. This one always stays in my purse in case my oily skin peeks through late in the day and I need to help it get back to a matte finish. I still apply it the same way when I apply over makeup, I use a really small amount and just pat it onto where I want the shine to reduce. You can find NYX at Ulta, and some Targets for around $12.00. I'd honestly recommend almost anything in their range, it's a really good brand!

3. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Primer
This primer is really great, it is definitely a silicone base primer as you can tell by the clear texture.  It is relatively cheap and it is a great primer for beginners that haven't ever tried one. This one offers some benefits for mature skin so if you are looking for any anti-aging properties, then I would recommend you this one! I don't notice my makeup slipping off my face when I wear this. You can find this at all drugstores for around $6-$8.

I have definitely tried a lot and can confidently say that the ones that have worked best for me were a little more expensive, but worth it. I have oily skin, so having a good primer is really essential for me to refrain from looking splotchy throughout the day. I have found the one I love and it isn't cheap, but I would recommend it to almost anybody with any skin type!

1. Benefit PoreFessional
MY. ABSOLUTE. FAVORITE. Yep, this primer beats out all other primers on this post. It isn't transparent, but it isn't aimed to be a tinted primer. It has a little color but it isn't going to cover a blemish or anything. It fills in my pores so nicely, blurs any fine lines and really just helps even out my skin tone a little before whatever other makeup I decide to do that day. I really love this stuff, it retails for $31.00, and I think it's worth every penny!

2. Cover FX SPF 30 Protection Primer
This has about the same texture as the drugstore ones mentioned above, but it does provide SPF. It has a really nice citrus smell (if scents matter to you), and is a transparent primer. I really do like this, I don't know if I would repurchase it just because it retails for $38.00. I received this in a FabFitFun Box (post coming soon on the summer box), so I didn't actually have to purchase this. I won't repurchase it, but it isn't a terrible product. The added SPF is a bonus.

3. Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12 Hour Primer
This one also contains SPF 30, and also is a tinted primer. This is going to provide extra coverage for you and it can even just be thrown on if you want to even out any redness before running some errands. It can be worn alone or under foundation, but when applied right it can provide a really good base for your look! This one retails for $35.00. I love almost everything from Tarte.

4. Mirabella Prime
This one isn't anything special honestly. It preforms just like the drugstore ones above in my experience. I wouldn't recommend this to you unless you are like me and just like trying products for the fun of it! It can be used for both the eyes and the face which is an added bonus, but it doesn't feel like anything special to me.

5. Smashbox Photo Finish
I only have a sample size of this primer, but I have gone through about 10 sample sizes so I've used it enough to know I like it. It is a transparent primer as well, but something about it just preforms so much better than those drugstore options. This is known as one of Sephora's "Iconic" products so that definitely says a lot! If you want to dive into the high end side of primers, I would recommend the Benefit Porefessional and then this one!

I hope todays post helped you learn a little about the importance of a primer, and helped you discover some new products!

As always, thanks for reading
xoxo, Jaimie

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Collection : Review

Today's post is going to be a review on an eye shadow palette from the brand Too Faced. If you watch any beauty youtube videos or follow any beauty blogs, you have probably seen this palette all over the place, it has been extremely popular over the past two months it has been out! The only reason I didn't purchase this sooner to try is because of the price tag, which we will discuss later on. I finally found it on a great deal and have been playing around with it for a few weeks now that I can give a well rounded review for you!

This palette has a really fun play on being a "chocolate bar" as you can see in the picture below. It is shaped like one, and fun fact, it even smells like chocolate! Yes, it smells like chocolate. This palette is made with 100% pure cocoa powder so it smells extra yummy when you are working with it. I actually don't like chocolate and the smell doesn't disgust me or anything so if you aren't a fan of chocolate I wouldn't let the smell be a reason that you decide not to purchase this. 
It has a magnetic feature that allows it to open and close, and the packaging is very sturdy. It has a mirror inside, and comes with a plastic film that tells you all of the colors. I usually throw away these plastic films, but there is no other place on the palette that tells you the names of the colors so I have to keep it. That part is a little annoying to me, but that's just me! It really isn't that big of a deal.
The colors all have the cutest names such as "White Chocolate, Amaretto, Triple Fudge, Creme Brûlée" and many other sweet names. Like I said above, in order to know the exact names you have to keep the plastic film inside the palette. 
Alright, so down to the details. This palette has 16 colors. Some of the colors are completely matte, some are more of a frost shadow container a very even shimmer, and others are a little more on the glittery side. A few of the shades have amazing pigmentation (swatches below) and others were a little chunky and uneven. Below I will break down the shades one by one letting you know how they felt, and which ones are my favorite! I swatched from the top to the bottom, left to right.

1. Gilded Ganache
This color is a really dark chocolate brown. It has quite a bit of fall out when I swatch it, but nothing major. This color also has shimmer to it, which might not be very visible in the swatch, but you can definitely see the shimmer in the palette itself. I haven't personally worked with this color yet, but it looks like a really good color for a darker night time look!
2. Salted Caramel
This color is one of my favorites. It is a matte brown with a warm tone that has hints of being a camel orange color. It has really great color payoff for being a light brown, and it blends beautifully. I have used this with many different looks that I have created so far with this palette. I use it as my main transition color in my crease which just helps all of the other shadows blend together seamlessly. If you are familiar with MAC Soft Brown shadow, this is a little lighter than the MAC shadow. 
3. Hazlenut
This is also another favorite of mine out of the palette. It is a medium bronze color that is a shimmer shadow. It blends really nicely and is very pigmented. It is a really smooth, and rich color, would be great for all over the lid for a darker look. Love this one! 
4. White Chocolate
White Chocolate is one of the two bigger shadows in the palette, and is one of the "highlighting" shadows. This is a creamy pale beige color. It isn't a stark white color, but is as close to white as it gets while still being a "beige" color. It is perfect to highlight the brow bone and the inner corner, and it contains no shimmer or glitter, completely matte. I've been using this one with every look. 
5. Marzipan
This has been my #1 favorite color in the palette so far. I have been putting it all over my lid and then playing around with darker colors in the crease. It is a beautiful peachy-orange color that has a slightly metallic finish. It is the perfect formula that creates a natural sheen that doesn't look glittery, or shimmery. If you are familiar with MAC All That Glitters, this shadow isn't quite as dark. 
6. Creme Brûlée
This is a golden shadow, but a darker gold without the super yellow undertones that most gold shadows have. This shade has really good pigmentation, and blends really nicely also. I have used this a few times since owning the palette and it looks great with brown eyes! 
7. Semi Sweet
This shadow is a medium-dark brown color that is a matte finish. This makes another good transition color when you are working with darker looks. It is a little harder to blend than the other matte shadows in this palette, but it isn't anything that makes me not want to reach for that color. It has a great color payoff and really darkens any look! A lot of people are familiar with MAC Brown Script, which has more red undertones than this shade does and is a few shades darker. 
8. Haute Chocolate
This is another really great color. It is a chocolate brown color that has a little bit of a red undertone, and also has a frosted finish. It is really similar to the shade Hazlenut which is #3 on this list, just a few shades darker. It has great color payoff and blends great! 
9. Milk Chocolate
This has been my go to blending color in the palette. I use this color as a beginning transition color, and also to finish off any look to ensure that it is well blended. I was actually surprised at how badly it swatched, because it barely looks pigmented, but it works really well as a subtle blending color. 
10. Strawberry Bon Bon
This color scares me! I have a hard time working with pink colors on my eyes, but I am determined to incorporate this into one of my looks soon! It has great pigmentation, and it is a matte finish. It is a really nice milky pink color, with a cool undertone. 
11. Cherry Cordial
This color is gorgeous, it is a warm toned shadow that is a dark brown color with a little bit of plum color incorporated. This is one of the shadows that has actual glitter over a matte base, but it isn't super noticeable when you swatch it or work with it. 
12. Black Forest Truffle
This is the other shadow that has prominent glitter in it, which I am not usually a fan of but it isn't super noticeable when you swatch these colors. It is a dark brown color with burgundy and bronze incorporated into it. This color didn't have the best texture or provide the best pigmentation, the swatch above took a few tries. Overall though, it is a beautiful and unique shade. 
13. Candied Violet
This is the third shadow that contains glitter, and this one is a cool toned violet shade. It had good pigmentation, and has a slightly gray tone to the violet which makes it a little easier to work with. 
14. Triple Fudge
This is another matte shade, and the darkest in the palette. It is a deep dark brown with a little bit of a forest green undertone, nothing too noticeable. It has great pigmentation and can definitely be built up for a more opaque finish like the swatch above. It was one of the shadows in the palette that had a slightly chalky feel to it, but still blended well. Out of the matte finish shadows, this one was my least favorite if we were just focusing on the formula.  
15. Amaretto
I'm obsessed with this color!! It has a frosted sheen to the shadow and it is a medium-dark brown with red undertones. It is so buttery and easily has amazing pigmentation. I have loved this shadow and it is my #2 favorite I think! MAC Her Cocoa is pretty much the same exact shadow if you are familiar with that one. 
16. Champagne Truffle
This is the other one of the larger shadows in the palette, intended for highlighting. It is a pink toned white color (that doesn't make sense, but the best way to explain it!) It has a metallic sheen to it, so if you prefer a shimmery highlight, then this palette gives you that option as well! 

Overall Review: 
Alright, so now the part you all are waiting for, is this worth it?! Well, this palette retails for $49.00 in the US, which is pretty standard for the high end palettes containing over 10 shadows. When I initially saw this palette being released, it didn't look like anything that I needed since I own quite a few palettes. I didn't want to spend $50 for a palette similar to my others.

I luckily got this on an amazing deal (no longer available, sorry), and that is the only reason I ordered this palette. I do really enjoy it, and I am really glad I have it, but I don't feel like it is unlike any other colors I already own. I have all of the Naked Palettes, the Lorac Pro palette, and a few MAC palettes. If you own any palettes similar to those, then I don't think that you will be blown away by this palette.

I will say, if you can ever find this on sale around the holidays or on QVC or HSN (where I got mine), then I'd definitely get one if it is on sale! If you don't own any palettes, then this is a great one that offers multiple different looks you can achieve and has a lot of the basic colors that any palette would have. If you are looking for a good first palette, this would definitely be up your alley! 

Hopefully this helped you determine whether or not this palette is for you, or at least you just got to look at some pretty colors for 5 minutes! What is your holy grail palette? Are there any palettes out there that I should be trying? Let me know!!

As always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Top 6 Must Have elf Products

elf (eyes.lips.face) has always been known as being a "cheap" brand because the majority of their products are under $5. In the past year or so they have really stepped up their products, with still keeping their prices incredibly affordable. Every once in a while I'll place an order online to try new products, and sometimes they are a complete bust, but sometimes I can really find great products that are a fraction of the price of other products similar to it! Today I will share with you 6 of the products from elf that I would recommend over and over, and that I will continue to repurchase myself!

Elf has three categories to their makeup, Studio, Essential, and Mineral. I will say that the majority of products that are just complete busts are form the essential and the mineral collections. The studio collection has really been the one that stands out to me and has plenty of great products all right around $3.00!

1. Studio Brushes
I have tried pretty much their entire brush collection and only a few really stand out to me and I use daily. The powder brush is really great, it is only $3.00 and it is by far my favorite powder brush I have ever used! The top of the brush is flat so it makes it really easy to apply powder to give an extra layer of coverage and it totally feels like some of my more expensive brushes! 

The brush on the right is the kabuki face brush, which also feels like a luxury brush to me. This one is actually $6, the only thing in this post that isn't three dollars, but that is still a really great price for a really great brush. It is so soft and has lasted me a few years at least. I use it as my last step to my makeup to make sure my blush and bronzer are blended smoothly with no harsh lines! 

If you are looking for some new brushes, the studio line of brushes is actually really great! 

2. Studio Brush Shampoo
Speaking of brushes, if you want to keep them nice, then it is essential that you wash your makeup brushes! Elf has a really great brush shampoo that is also just $3. It does the job and this bottle lasts a long time, you can also use baby shampoo to get the same effect but if you're looking to try something new for your brushes I have purchased this elf brush shampoo multiple times! Elf also has a daily brush shampoo that comes in a spray form for spot cleaning your brushes between uses that I have never tried, I'm sure it is great and I will definitely pick one up next time I'm at Target! 

If you want to learn more about washing your brushes make sure to check out my tutorial here

3. Studio Matte Lip Color
These matte lip colors are really great! I picked up the color "Rich Red" a long time ago on a whim and it is actually really great! The lip stick is shaped in a way that it could also resemble a lip liner so it makes it really easy to apply a dark color like the red and make sure its perfect! They last a pretty long time considering the price, but I wouldn't reach for this if I'm looking for something that is going to stay all night long. They are cheap, and work great for the price if you're looking for a lip color to throw in the purse, they are fool proof! 

4. Studio Brush & Bronzer Duo
This blush and bronzer duo is one of elf's best selling product, and the main reason is because its a dupe for a high end duo. If you don't know what dupe is, it is exactly what it sounds like, a duplicate for a different product. There is three different color options for this duo from elf, and the color St. Lucia is pretty much exactly like the blush/bronzer duo from the brand NARS in the color "Laguna/Orgasm". You can google pictures of the two and they look identical! The NARS one might have better pigmentation or lasting power considering it is $40 more, but if you're in the market for a great blush and bronzer, then I would choose this one before the NARS one! 

5. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer
This is pretty much the only product from the mineral collection from elf that I have found worth it. It is a great eyeshadow primer! If someone was to apply this on one of my eyes, and my Urban Decay primer on the other eye, I honestly wouldn't be able to tell the difference! It is so affordable, one tube lasts a long time, and it honestly does the job. I would totally recommend this guy! 

6. Studio Blush
One of the first products that I decided to give a try from elf was their blushes! I own 3 or 4 colors and I really like them. Obviously they aren't as great as my blushes from mac or a high end brand, but they really get it done for only being $3! They are pigmented and have pretty good lasting power! They have a good color selection, some of my favorites are Blushing Rose, Mellow Mauve, and Fuchsia Fusion. 

Where to Buy Elf?
If you aren't sure where you can buy elf at, check out this page, enter your zip code and it will tell you places near you where you can find these great products! 

Am I missing any great products from elf, what products have you tried from them and loved? Also, I have done this type of post with elf and MAC, any other brands that you would like me to sum up my favorites from? Let me know!

As always, thanks for reading! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Birchbox VS. Ipsy - June 2014

Hey everyone!
Today's post is going to be another post about subscription services! If you are unfamiliar with what a beauty subscription service is, it is a program that you pay for monthly (sometimes yearly), and a box of sample, deluxe, and sometimes full sized products show up at your doorstep in a box! In this monthly series I compare the two cheapest (that I know of) boxes on the US market. Birchbox and Ipsy. They both cost $10 a month and you get a box delivered to you with 4-6 products. Some months are definitely better than other months, but that is the fun of subscribing to one of these services! 

I forgot to mention in last months post, that Ipsy also sends a makeup bag with each months box. So all of the products you get are inside a cute makeup bag that you can use for so many different things, so that can add value to choosing Ipsy over Birchbox. Okay, lets get started! 

Birchbox: What was in mine? 

1. Vasanti Cosmetics - BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Reguvenator 
Full Size Value - $34 for 4.23 oz
Sample Size - 20g
Verdict - I love getting skin care samples, my skin isn't too sensitive, but I still like to look up reviews to make sure that it hasn't caused any negative reaction to a large amount of people. This has great reviews, saying that anybody with larger pores (hello, me) needs this product in their life. It isn't like your normal exfoliator with big micro-beads in it like a scrub, they are very minuscule but I'm really excited to try this! Also, impressed by this sample size for Birchbox, will definitely use!

2. Egyptian Magic - All-Purpose Skin Cream
Full Size Value - $26 for 2oz
Sample Size - 0.25 oz
Verdict - This is like a petroleum jelly consistency, and says that it is an all purpose cream used for many different things. It only contains 6 ingredients, all natural so that makes me feel more comfortable trying it! The reviews are great, some love it as an eye cream, lip balm, to help with dry skin, and other uses all over! I am excited to try this out, maybe as a lip balm. I'm going to look a little further into reviews on this to find the best way to use this. Bot a terrible sample size, enough to determine whether I like it or not!

3. Cynthia Rowley Beauty - Silver Eyeliner
Full Size Value - $16 for 0.04 oz (normal eyeliner size)
Sample Size - .03 oz
Verdict - I don't really know when I will use a silver eyeliner, but boy is this one amazing! It is so pigmented and literally looks like I'm painting silver paint when I do a swatch of it. Like I said, I don't really know when I will use this, but its a great product and a great sample size.

4. Joie - Perfume
Full Size Value - $98 for 3.4 oz ... yeah.
Sample Size - It doesn't have an actual ounce value on the packaging, but its tiny ;) Just a little vial of perfume that you would normally get from a beauty counter.
Verdict - I'm not a fan of this smell, its really light and fresh, but just not for me. I won't be getting use out of this product, but that is sometimes what happens with subscription services!

5. Davines - Shampoo, Conditioner, and All-Purpose Treatment
Full Size Value - $24-$28 for each product
Sample Size - The shampoo is a great size 2.5 oz, the conditioner and treatment are in foil packets (ugh) each .13oz
Verdict - I will probably get use out of the shampoo, but probably will skip on the conditioner and treatment only because I don't like using foil packets. Just my preference though!

Ipsy : What was in mine?
The products from Ipsy come in a makeup bag every month, and this month Rebecca Minkoff teamed up with Ipsy to design the bag! I am in love, it is so summery and cute! I will be keeping this one, some months I have to toss the bags or else I would have 50+ makeup bags just laying around the house!

1. Nyx - Butter Gloss in "Eclair" 
Full Size Value - $4.99
Sample Size - FULL SIZE
Verdict - This was the first item I saw when I opened my box and I was soooo happy. Nyx butter glosses are my hands down favorite lip product, over my mac lip glosses, and any other high end lip glosses! They smell amazing, go on like butter (hence the name) and have pretty great lasting power for the price. I have so many colors, but surprisingly not this one, score for me!

2. DERMAdoctor - DD cream
Full Size Value - $38 for 1.3 oz
Sample Size - .3 oz
Verdict - This has an average review of 3.8 out of 5 on Sephora. A lot of people say that it is an okay product, not amazing, but not a bust. The sample size is a little small for Ipsy, but still large enough for me to get a few uses out of it. It is a "self-adjusting" color so we will see how it works, but I'm not disappointed with this sample!

3. Nicka K - Shimmer Eyeliner in Green
Full Size Value - $4.99
Sample Size - FULL SIZE
Verdict - I love wearing green eyeliner on the bottom lash line with my brown eyes, it makes them pop and brings out the brown (if that is even possible). This is a liquid eyeliner, and I've never tried green on the top lash line but the color is so gorgeous, a really pretty emerald green when swatched and you can barely see the shimmer so I will be trying this one out! Excited!

4. Marc Anthony - Dream Waves Beach Spray
Full Size Value - $8.99 for 4.2oz
Sample Size - 1.52 oz
Verdict - The sample size is definitely a deluxe sample, enough for me to get multiple uses. It smells just like coconuts, which is one of my favorite smells! Definitely the correct smell for "beach waves" I will be trying this out soon, happy about this sample!

5. Be a Bombshell Cosmetics - Mascara
Full Size Value - $15
Sample Size - FULL SIZE
Verdict - I love getting mascaras in my sample boxes, and this one definitely looks like one I will like! It has a really strong smell, which kind of turned me off but the company released a statement about this saying that their products are as natural as they can be and most companies cover up the chemicals with fragrance, and they choose not to. So I know it is safe to use, and I will definitely be putting it to the test! It is a very standard mascara brush, looking forward to trying this!

Overall Verdict?

For June 2014, Ipsy definitely won. I was impressed with some of the samples in Birchbox, but out of 5 products in my Ipsy bag, 3 of them were full size. The value was definitely higher for Ipsy and the bag was adorable as well! What was in your birchbox or ipsy this month? Post a picture to instagram and caption #glitterwithgraceblog, I would love to see what you got!!

Want to see more birchbox vs. ipsy posts?
 - May 2014 

As always, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How to Determine Your Skin Type

I did a post a while back on how to determine your skin's undertone, and today's post is very similar! Today I will talk about how to know your skin type, which is referring to actual skin care and not makeup. Knowing your skin type is really important for finding skin care products that work best for your skin. First, it is important to know the main types of skin that people can have and the characteristics of each.

Dry Skin : If an individual has flaky, tight skin, they probably have dry skin. People with dry skin have trouble retaining moisture in their skin, and their skin usually has dry patches or flaky patches. Dry skin can lead to premature aging, so proper moisturizing is really important for people with a dry skin type!

Oily Skin : People with oily skin is the exact opposite of dry skin. Oily skin obviously produces oil, gets shiny throughout the day, and they usually have much larger pores than those with normal or dry skin. Oily skin can lead to more blackheads, and blemishes so proper cleansing and toning is really important for people with oily skin!

Combination Skin : If you read the two above and can picture your skin falling into each category, then you probably have combination skin! People with combination skin usually get oily around their T-Zone (draw a T down the middle of your face, above eye brows, nose, and your chin are the areas most prone to oil production) and get dry skin around their cheeks and/or eyes. I happen to have combination skin and it can be hard to find a good skincare regimen because different parts of your face require different needs.

Normal Skin : Normal skin is exactly what it sounds like, normal skin! If your skin doesn't get oily, or dry at all, then your skin type is Normal. Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing is still equally important, but normal skin types often are prone to less blemishes, and blackheads.

Usually reading through the characteristics of skin types can be enough to help an individual figure out their skin type, but if you haven't came to a conclusion from the information above, there are some things you can do at home!

Look At Your Pores : If your pores appear to look very normal in size, and nothing is unusual, then you might have normal skin. If your pores appear very large, then you might fall into the oily skin category, and if they are extremely fine then you might have dry skin! If they fall right in the middle of those options, then combination skin might be your skin type!

Use a Blotting Sheet : You can pick up blotting sheets at the drugstore, or you can simply use a tissue. Use it to blot your face, if the tissue or sheet becomes transparent that is the oil that you are blotting off of your skin. If you don't pick up any oil, you may be dry, if you pick up quite a bit of oil, you are probably an oily skin type!

It is also possible to fall into multiple categories, for example, I am considered Combination Oily skin type! I am oily the majority of the time, but depending on the climate I'm in and the time of the month it is, I can get dry patches especially on my jaw line and eye area.

A person might be Normal to Dry, Normal to Oily, or whichever skin types you fall under! Usually skin care products will be categorized into separate categories for each skin type. I usually buy products aimed at Combination skin, but a lot of it is personal preference. Knowing your skin type can definitely help the buying process when shopping for skin care! Hopefully this post helped you determine yours!

As always, thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Orange Is The New ... Everything

I've been seeing a lot of orange lately, mainly because I've been binge watching Season 2 of Orange is the New Black, but I've still been seeing a lot! While quickly reaching the end of season 2, I thought I would do a fun post highlighting all of my favorite orange products! I had fun rounding up my brightly packaged products to share with you all, and actually found that these are all products that I swear by! Here we go!

1. Herbal Essences Dry Shampoo

This is a recent purchase for me, because I love trying new dry shampoos. Dry shampoo is one of my deepest darkest secrets of how I maintain healthy hair (if you'd like a whole post, let me know!). I saw some good reviews of this one the other day and decided to give it a try! I really like it, it works well as a dry shampoo, not my absolute favorite, but I would still recommend it! It has a really yummy citrus scent, which is a definite plus for a dry shampoo because they can tend to smell nasty. I really like this, you can purchase online here, or you can find this at your nearest drugstore! They also have a rose scented one, but I'm not one for floral scents. 

2. The Body Shop Lip Butter in Mango

Ahh, lip butters. If you've read any of my posts on my blog before, you probably get catch the drift that I'm addicted to lip butters/balms/masks/treatments. I can't stand dry lips which leads me to constantly applying some sort of product. I picked a few of these up in an airport while I was wasting time, and I really love this one! It smells exactly like fresh mango, which is the most amazing thing about The Body Shop, their products have such genuine smells! You can purchase this one online here, or you can find the nearest The Body Shop to you here.

3. Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Cleansing Foam

This is one of my favorite face washes, this is my second bottle! I specifically use this one in the morning since it has such a fresh citrus smell it wakes me right up! Even on the bottle it says "delivers a burst of oxygen" and as silly as that sounds, its so true! It is so refreshing and I love using this bright and early in the morning. This retails for $28 here, but I can usually find Bliss products at TJ Maxx for over half of the price! I use a few of their skin care items and I refuse to pay full price for them. If I see them at TJ Maxx I will usually pick up one or two things, I found this there for $12 both times I have purchased it! Don't pass the beauty section in that store, there is usually really good deals.

4. Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask

I use a face mask about once a week, sometimes more depending on how my skin is feeling. I think its really important to draw out any impurities that might be backed up in your pores, and it really helps your face just feel refreshed and extra clean. I bought two masks from this brand earlier this year and I really enjoy both of them! They are fairly affordable, you can purchase this one here, and they do a really good job! This one smells just like oranges because it is an orange & bergamot mask and I love it! I leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then just rinse it clean!

5. Essie Nail Polish in Sunday Funday

Okay so I might be cheating a little with this one, it is more coral than orange, but close enough! I just came to the realization though that I don't own an orange nail polish! I thought I literally had every color but I guess not. I love this color, not much to say about Essie polishes, they have an amazing formula and are always coming out with fun colors! You can pick this one up here.

6. Bath and Body Works Room Spray in Peach Bellini

If you have ever smelled the Peach Bellini line from bath and body works, then that is what my house currently smells like. Also, can we just take a moment for this packaging?! Adorable. These were on a one-day sale for $3 the other day, and I won't tell you how many I bought, but lets just say I hope I don't stop liking the peach smell anytime soon... They are regularly $5.50 which isn't a bad price, and they have a lot of scents you can check out here! (They are only $2.75 online right now!)

7. Apricot Body Cream by Forever 21

I got a set of 4 of these body creams in the fall, and they are my favorite! For how inexpensive they are I expected myself not to like them, but I am almost out of all 4 tubes that I got! The set came with a blackberry vanilla scent that is amazing and that one stays in my purse! They smell delicious, and keep my hands moisturized longer than some of my other hand creams that aren't cheap. Next time if you are in Forever 21 and you see these lotions, pick one up and you won't be disappointed!

8. Bath and Body Works Body Mist in Oahu

These body mists are usually on sale where you get 3 for $12. They are a smaller bottle, but I switch my fragrance so often that the smaller sizes are perfect for me. I prefer body mists over actual perfume because I can tend to get migraines from strong smells and these are light and airy! This one is a warm coconut smell, and it makes me smell like summer!

Well that is all, I hope you enjoyed reading about my orange inspired blog post! Now, back to binge watching Netflix!!

As always, thanks for reading.