Thursday, May 26, 2016

Elf Instant Lift Brow Pencil Review

I feel like I've been doing a lot of reviews lately, but it's because I've been branching out and trying new products, when in the past I would get stuck in a rut of buying the same product over and over. I actually hadn't planned on doing a review of this product, but I ended up loving it so much! Elf is such a great brand because their makeup is really affordable and great quality for the money.

I've been using the Boots eyebrow pencil from Target, and when I went to go get another one, they were out. My poor dad was with me at the time, and he tried so hard to find the pencil I was looking for, bless his heart. I put him out of his misery and just decided to try out the Elf pencil. I didn't really know much about it, and honestly I was not expecting much at all and thought I would end up replacing it when I went to a different Target.

I'm actually not quite sure what the whole "instant lift" part is supposed to mean because I don't really notice a lift in my eyebrows at all, they just look like a nicer version of my eyebrows, haha. The packaging of the pencil reminds me of the Mac eyebrow pencils since it's a twist pencil, and the product itself is very similar (for much cheaper). Overall, the packaging does not feel cheap at all, and the spooly is very nice!

 I also like the overall size of the pencil, and it's very easy to grip because it isn't too thin at all.

Here is a closer look at the product. The only thing that was a little challenging at first was the fact that the pencil isn't as opaque as other eyebrow pencils I've used in the past. It just takes a little bit extra to get it as dark as I like - not that I even like it that dark - but it isn't like other pencils I've used before. At first I didn't like this, but after using it for a couple of days it's actually kind of nice because it's easy to fix mistakes!

I also really like the quality of the product, and the whole formula of it. Some of the pencils I've used are kind of waxy and feel like they weigh down my eyebrows, but this one definitely doesn't. It blends really well and ends up looking very natural. Maybe that's what they mean by an instant lift, because it doesn't clump your eyebrows together?? We just might never know.

Here is another look at the spooly. I really like the size of it - it's a lot bigger than other ones I've used before! It's also nice that it's covered with the plastic lid. It is a bit rougher than usual, but it makes the product blend really well with my actual brows.

Overall, I am super happy with this pencil, and I would definitely recommend it for those who want natural looking eyebrows, but still want to make them pop. I honestly used to be one of those people who never understood why you would ever fill in your brows, but I'm so glad I started to. I was always just worried that it would make my face look ridiculous, but if you don't go too overboard, it just enhances your natural brows!

What is your favorite brow product?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Concealer Review

Tarte has been one of my favorite brands for a while now, as I am sure you are well aware of. I rave about every product I have tried from them, so when I saw their new Rainforest of the Sea collection I was so excited to get my hands on it! I had been using the Maracuja Concealer for probably two years, so I definitely felt like it was time to change things up. Since I haven't tried a new one in so long, I decided it was time to try something new.

Along with the new concealer, I got a Beauty Blender as well! I was definitely very late to the train, but I'm so glad I finally decided to get one, because it is seriously the best makeup sponge I've ever used, and really helps to make my concealer look flawless.

I decided to get the nude beauty blender because I didn't want the pink one to start looking dirty really quickly. I'm really glad I went with this one because it doesn't look discolored at all yet!

 Okay, can we just talk about the packaging?! The whole collection has the prettiest boxes and bottles. They ombre coloring with the gold lettering is so gorgeous and gives off the impression of high quality right from the start.

The bottle itself is also so pretty. The applicator is a little off-set wand, so I just apply it directly to my under-eye area and blend it in with my damp beauty blender. This product goes on very easily, and blends out so well. It also doesn't crease at all throughout the whole day, and lasts for 12 hours! It doesn't advertise that, but mine has been lasting for the whole day while I wear it. I set it with my Elf translucent powder and it does not budge.

Only one layer is needed to cover my dark circles, which is really impressive! My dark circles are very dark no matter how long I sleep, which is very frustrating. I can never seem to get rid of them naturally, so my only option is to cover the suckers up. This product does that flawlessly, though, so I'm very happy with it!

The only "bad" thing I found about this product was the smell. When I first opened the bottle, it smelled kind of chemical-y, or like nail polish. I was initially worried about putting it on my face, but I didn't have any problems with it whatsoever, and I have now gotten used to the smell.

This concealer comes in 6 different shades and is pretty affordable. While it isn't the cheapest or most expensive products out there, it works wonders. It's also very hydrating which is awesome for my dry skin! I also use it to highlight my noise, forehead, and chin and it works great. Again, it blends out very well in those areas and gives my face a nice, natural glow.

-Stays all day
-Covers my dark circles completely
-Easy applicator
-Covers blemishes as well
-Works great as a highlight over my entire face

-Weird smell at first

I also made a video review about this product, so if you want to see the actual applicator and swatches, make sure to check that out!

Have you tried anything from this new collection yet?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Why I Decided to Study Abroad This Summer

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to see other places. I knew coming into college that I wanted to study abroad sometime during the four years, but I didn't know when. This past fall quarter, back in 2015, a representative from a study abroad program in San Sebastián came into my Spanish class to let us know about the program. I was instantly interested, and decided to apply. Fast forward a couple of months to winter quarter, I heard about another summer program in London from the English department, that is conveniently taking place right before the San Sebastián program. I decided to apply to that program as well, thinking I would at least get into one program.

Well, I ended up getting into both programs, and thought at first that I would have to decide between the two. After talking with my parents about it, they asked me, "Why not do both?" Great question, mom and dad. Through a lot of consideration, and a very stressful week of deciding before the deadlines, I have decided that I am going to do both programs this summer. The London program starts just two weeks after spring quarter ends, and goes from June 19th to July 23rd, and the San Sebastián one starts literally one day after, and ends August 24th.

I cannot explain how excited I am to be going to Europe this summer. I have only ever been out of the country once when I was five years old, to volunteer in Mexico. London and Spain are a huge step up from that, since they are on a whole other continent. Both programs are homestays, meaning I will be living with two families, one in London, and one in San Sebastián, which I think will be so fun and a great cultural experience. I have always dreamed of going to both countries - England and Spain - since a huge part of my family is English, and I have been studying Spanish for about six years now. I am also majoring in International Studies and English, with a minor in Spanish, so these programs are the perfect fit for me.

Since I was wondering when I was going to fit in studying abroad, here are a couple of reasons why I decided to do it during the summer.

Because I am double majoring and have a minor, I don't have a lot of time during the school year to study abroad.
It would be extremely hard to try and fit in a study abroad program, since I have to be consciencious of all the classes I am taking, and how to fit in all of my major(s) requirements. Dedicating a whole quarter to a study abroad program that only satisfies one of my majors or minors would be very challenging, and not the best in terms of time management.

I will be getting ahead of the game, credits-wise.
This summer, I will be getting 30 extra credits essentially, which will make me a senior by next year, my junior year. While this won't really allow me to graduate early since I have to get through all of my major requirements, I won't be scrambling to get all of my credits done by the end of my senior year.

I am extremely busy during the school year.
College isn't only about the academics - they are very important - but it is also about extracurricular activities. I am a part of three different clubs, I have a job, and a very big class load, so it would be really hard to take off for a whole quarter, and drop everything, essentially. It's not that it wouldn't be doable, it would just be very hard, and not something I want to take on. I am already stressed out enough during the year, and missing a whole quarter would not be the best for my anxiety.

Europe is gorgeous in the summer.
I have looked up so much about the places I will be going, and have talked to natives from the area, and they all agree that summers are gorgeous in England and Spain. Summers can be kind of lackluster here in the Pacific Northwest, so I am especially excited to spend a month in San Sebastián, where I will basically be living on the beach.

I'll have time to travel a bit afterwards.
When I was in the third grade, we had an exchange student from Spain who is now like family. He lives in Madrid with his girlfriend (they are adorable), and they offered to let me stay with them for a couple of days. I'm super excited to see the capital of Spain, and see what the city is like! Since it's during the summer, I'll have plenty of time to stay with them for a little bit.

I am so stoked for this summer, and I can't wait to not only learn about the class subjects, but more about myself as well! I don't want to have too high of expectations, but I'm hoping that both programs will be a lot of fun, and that'll I'll be able to meet some great people. I'll be posting all about my experiences abroad this summer, and also tips for studying abroad once I get back, so make sure to check back with my blog!

Have you ever studied abroad, or do you want to?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Dear Mommy

Since Mother's Day was yesterday, I wanted to share with you all a video that I made my mom. When my family went to the beach for my birthday, Joycie and Rachel helped film this so I could make a video to show how grateful I am to my mom for all that she does for me. You can watch it here!

I have always been really close with my mom and looked up to her a lot, so I wanted to do something special for her this Mother's Day. Lately I've really been loving making videos like this one, and also The Year I Learned How to Love Myself; I find it to be so much fun, and so satisfying once they are done because you can look at it even years later and still be proud.

My mom ended up really loving the video, which I'm very happy about. It was so much fun sitting down and doing kind of a "spoken card" since I always make my family cards for holidays. This way, she'll have the video to look back on while I am at college and she is missing me, and be able to hear my voice.

Anyway, I just wanted to post this really quickly since I'm really happy with how the video turned out, and also relieved that my mom (and dad!) enjoyed it as well.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

5 Last Minute Mother's Day Gift Ideas

I am a chronic last minute shopper. You would think I would've learned by now, but without fail, I always seem to wait till the last minute to buy gifts for people. It's not that I forget about it, I think too much about what to get for people, and whether or not they'll actually like what I get them. I'm actually doing pretty well this year for Mother's Day, I just have a couple of little things left to get, but other than that I am all set. If you need some more ideas for something special to get your mom last minute, this guide is for you!

Framed Photos
One of my favorite gifts to give people is a framed photo. In this day and age, so many of our photos are just kept on our phones or laptops, so to receive a physical photo once in a while is so nice. I'm just a huge fan of photos in general, and I think it's really cool to give them to others as well. I personally would probably not go for a frame as cheesy as this, but get your mom whatever she would like!

Lotion or Skincare of Any Kind
Lotion and skincare in general is also something I personally love getting for my mom, because she never gets it for herself. I love getting my mom nice lotion, like the ones from Kiehl's, because it makes her feel special, and I know she secretly loves getting spoiled on Mother's Day (what mom shouldn't?!)

Perfume is also something that my mom never really buys for herself, so it's fun to get some for her on special occasions. My mom and I tend to have the same taste (or rather smell, should I say) when it comes to perfume, so it's always a safe bet that if I like, so will she. Perfume also comes in such pretty bottles and packaging anymore, so it's always fun to get a pretty bottle as a gift.

Flowers are seriously the unsung heroes of the gift world. They are so pretty, and are just so nice to receive as a little bonus gift. I personally love flowers, whether I am giving or receiving them, and my mom especially loves to get them for Mother's Day. Since I live in Seattle, I love getting them from Pike's Place, because they seriously have the best flowers!

Special jewelry is always a great gift to give your mom, especially if she's like mine and never gets it for herself! There's so much cool jewelry out anymore, so there's definitely something for every mom. You could even get creative and make some! Plus, every time she puts it on, she'll think of you!

Alright, there are five last minute gift ideas for Mother's Day 2016! I am so excited to give my gifts to my mom this year, and I also have something else really special planned that will be going up on my YouTube channel at the end of this week, so keep an eye out for that!

What are you getting your mom for Mother's Day?

Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day! :)

Disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored post, and not all photos are mine.