Wednesday, March 25, 2015

mexico! (part 1)

I know, I know...I am so incredibly late in posting this. I finally got around to editing and organizing my thoughts on my Mexico trip I took back in December. It was such a memorable trip! It was my first time staying at an all inclusive resort and there are definitely pros and cons that I will get into during these posts. Overall I would say it is worth it if you pick a good resort and I would definitely do it again. Day 1 of my Mexico trip:

We stayed at the Grand Sunset Princess Resort in Playa del Carmen. I traveled with my two sisters, two cousins and uncle. We arrived around midday and it was...well it was breathtaking to be honest. My little sister, who is a teenager and VERY hard to impress, was even awestruck and dazed by the view.

Free champagne on arrival! The resort itself was very well taken care of; very open and clean. We picked a good time of the year to visit since the weather was warm and sunny.

We saw a lot of wild iguanas and cats if you can believe it. They mostly came out at night though while the iguanas preferred to soak up the midday sunshine. There were multiple pool areas scattered all over so it was never too crowded. I loved the pillar design.

We hit up the beach to make the most of our day. My bathing suit top is from ASOS and my bottoms are from NastyGal if anyone was wondering.

The beach had a bar and food area so that could be hit up if wanted. The food was just nutrition and nothing amazing. They had burgers, tacos, and hot dogs. I ate my weight in pico de gallo (the only decent thing available since it was so fresh!). I could have spent all day here...I love the beach! I didn't get much color though since it was in the afternoon.

Day one was mostly us settling in our rooms and hitting up the beach. Next time I'll talk about our second day where we ziplined through the jungle and visited a natural cenote...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

002 book challenge

Time to update my book challenge, where it is more of a challenge for me to "read more" rather than read a certain amount of books in a set period of time. I knocked out 6 books with quite the range in genres if I do say so myself.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver: The concept of this book was so compelling (love is considered a disease) but I felt it didn't really deliver. I think teens would really enjoy this book since it is an easy read and romantic but for me I just thought it felt super cheesy and predictable.

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells: A classic that spawned so much inspiration (the film Hollow Man comes to mind). This was a breeze to read through and quite fun to read due to the old time language. Makes me wonder if anyone really would enjoy the perks of invisibility or go mad.

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk: Spoiler alert I did not like this book. It is my first book by Palahniuk I have read (I have seen the film for Fight Club and loved it but I did not read the book version) and I don't think I will read anything by him for a while since I read somewhere he sticks to the same type of style for each of his books. A lot of text is repeated (part of his style) which annoyed me. I also hated the main character. The "big reveal" that is supposed to shock and and blow your mind at the end of the book was not even shocking and it felt very unrealistic. I finished this book and said out loud, "that's it?!". Very disappointing.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn: I liked Gone Girl more but this book was also a great read. I would recommend it. It isn't predictable and I loved how it kept reverting back and forth between the two important characters so you get so much perspective on how things happened. How do we feel about Charlize Theron being Libby in the movie version? I think she is too pretty for how I pictured the main character to be in my mind but I love Charlize so I'm sure she will perform well.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: I really really enjoyed this book. I was so skeptical at first as it reads in letters back in forth the entire time but after you get past the rough beginning to know who is who, the story was really compelling and touching. It helps that I am a sucker for anything dealing with the Holocaust. I loved the main character and so many moments in her narrative had me chuckling out loud.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides: I really wanted to love this book as so many people raved about it but I just found it to be an okay book. It is a story about a hermaphrodite's family history and journey to self discovery. Some parts were so fascinating (I loved the back history with Lefty and Desdemona in Greece) while other parts felt so boring and unneeded. Eugenides is an excellent writer, his vocabulary really impressed me since he used words that I had no idea what they meant but they fit perfectly in the text once I looked up their meanings. But I found hefty chunks of the book had rambling details that were so unnecessary and unneeded that it made me feel bored. Why do I need to read two pages on the history of how decrepit the church that the main character was baptized in was? I also felt the aftermath of the main character's acceptance of who they were wasn't really put into detail or talked about which is a shame.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

currently in rotation

If you have been keeping up to date with my posts, you may have noticed I haven't really featured new makeup. I keep mentioning how I am trying to power through whatever makeup I own already by sticking to a routine with almost the same products for months at a time. With that being said, I have made a few changes to my routine that I have been enjoying and I wanted to share just what I have switched up.

I never thought I would be into using a beauty blender sponge type applicator but here I am, months in and fully addicted. Yes it is a pain in the ass to clean and yes it is annoying to have to get up and wet the sponge every time but the results are so damn good that my lazy self has been keeping up with it. I have the Real Techniques version and it has only been a few months yet it is already looking worse for wear. I fully plan to purchase the real deal (black or pink, that is the question!) to see if it lasts longer. I might as well throw in their cleanser as well since I have heard that works like magic. I've tried this application method with all the foundations I own and prefer it best paired with Revlon Colorstay. It makes it look so natural yet I don't lose the staying power. So much win.

I have switched up my bronzer game. Instead of using the luminescent theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer, I have switched it in favor of Soleil Tan de Chanel. This had a moment in the beauty blogging world (which is when I bought it) and while I do enjoy it I don't think it is a MUST TRY (obviously, as it has been sitting in the back of my inventory collecting dust until now...). It is a bit orange and application can be a little patchy so some much needed blending with a Sephora Airbrush #55 brush is required. It does have its merits in that it is matte and helps warm up foundations that don't match perfectly.

I was browsing my Instagram feed and saw someone post their pot of Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer and I had a total "ohmigosh I own that and I haven't used it in light years" moment. That is just one cue that you own too much makeup, folks. Inspired by that picture I pulled mine out and have been using it to cover blemishes. This sucker really covers up spots with the tiniest amount. It is nice to know I have alternatives to my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage if needed.

Per usual I always end up switching up my blush choice on a weekly basis but Milani Rose D'Oro has surprisingly been stuck for about a month now. I am surprised because this was featured in one of my Box of Neglect posts where I deemed it a BOX item (to be donated or given away) but I eventually changed my mind on the color and resurrected it for use. Funny how that works, sometimes items need a third chance with me apparently.

I like to prime my eyes with some sort of base before applying eye shadow and since I used up my beloved MAC Groundwork Paint Pot I thought I should show some love to my other paint pot choices. I chose Painterly, a classic that brings back a lot of Makeup Geek nostalgia for me since I bought it due to her frequent use of the product. I don't love this as much as Groundwork but I do consider it somewhat of a staple as you can't go wrong with these cream-like shades for a base.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

014 items used up

Empties time! I feel like I powered through a lot of products this round, a lot of skincare and makeup staples bit the dust and it felt really great to finally throw all the empty bottles in the trash. Operation use up more stuff in my stash is going swimmingly.

If you have been following me for a while you know I am a fan of Caress body washes. They are cheap, smell nice, and don't make my skin feel squeaky clean (a sensation I hate). Passionate Spell and Evenly Gorgeous are my favorite scents.

A staple for me, this always shows up in my empties you guys have to be bored of it by now. I use this in place for shaving cream, cheap and it never ever gives me razor burn.

I remember a lot of people were raving about these newer L'oreal hair products and I wasn't impressed by them. They were okay but I wouldn't repurchase. I didn't find it particularly nourishing, repairing, or moisturizing.

This stuff was a impulse buy at Sally's. I regret it. It was a bit awful. If you sniff this from the bottle it smells similar to the greatness that is Moroccan Oil, but once applied to the head it all went wrong. I was not a fan and it didn't make my hair feel particularly magnificent either.

I enjoyed all three of these moisturizers. Victoria's Secret True Escape was a nice change from my normal scents that I stick to but I would only get this again if it was on sale. The Bath and Body Works Twisted Peppermint has become a winter staple for me, so much that I buy it in bulk now. It sinks in quickly, makes my skin soft and moisturized, and I love the scent. It also makes my skin tingle after application, a little extra effect I am a fan of. And another tub of The Body Shop Satsuma made it's way out. I have gone through way too many tubs of these.

I polished off three staple items in my skincare; Thayer's Toner, CeraVe Moisturizer, and shu uemura cleansing oil. I love them all, buy them in bulk, and have talked about them so many times here that you could search my blog and get countless hits.

The Clarins Lotus Oil I dedicated a full review post on and I feel the same way about it. I would definitely repurchase it and it really opened my eyes to facial oils. I was sad to see it empty! It really reduced my oil production and changed the balance of my skin for the better.

This was a nice cleanser to keep in the shower for my morning face cleanse. I feel pretty neutral about it as it did a good job at cleansing my face but it isn't remarkable enough for me to highly recommend it or repurchase.

I did a battle of the exfoliant pads post featuring both the Peter Thomas Roth and First Aid Beauty versions. I enjoyed both of these pads but I would recommend and pick the First Aid Beauty pads as my favorite of the two. They were gentler and gave me more noticeable effects.

I am not a fan of Urban Decary 24/7 pencils as they just do not last on me. I really wanted to love Perversion, it was such a rich, inky black shade and applied so smoothly. I won't be repurchasing as the lasting power is just mindblowingly short on me.

Cheap and effective. I like this and would repurchase. I just have to use up all the other concealers I own first U_U

I can't be without this. It is probably one of my top 5 makeup items in my stash. It does crease on my lids but it's a small price to pay for such a staple product. Plus it is nothing a little UDPP can't fix. Emollient in application and a neutral mid tone brown shade that is universally flattering. Can't go wrong. I already have another pot of this.

I really like this drugstore option. I can see why this wouldn't be for everyone as it can be quite full in coverage and it has a satin finish, but I love it for daily wear. It lasts all day on me and it makes my skin look so darn good. Especially in photos. For daily wear I sheered this out to make it look more natural, but for nights out it can easily transition to fuller coverage. I just wish it had a pump instead of a gaping open mouth. Can't always get what we want...

Another staple product. It smells heavenly and makes my lips soft with lasting results. I also like how it applies matte and not shiny so it could be unisex.

I am a mascara junkie and go through so many and can't stick to one kind. I recommend L'OREAL Butterfly if you have full lashes and are looking for more length as this product really separates and fans them out. This mascara surprisingly gave me the most compliments when worn, it made my lashes look very long and fluttery. It doesn't do much for volume though so if that is your main concern you won't be impressed by it. I rarely use waterproof mascara but I will pick up a tube every summer from Maybelline Full n Soft as it works the best for beach days. I tried out the L'OREAL Manga and it was okay, I wouldn't repurchase because it wasn't memorable and it clumped quite a bit on me. Lastly I used up a mini Benefit They're Real mascara which I also didn't care for. It did not give enough volume for my taste.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

what's in my travel makeup bag

This past weekend I went out of town and I filmed a short video of what I packed inside my makeup bag. I tend to stick to favorites, compact items, and drugstore options when it comes to traveling. I keep a lot of the same things permanently in my travel bag because 1. I'm lazy 2. I have so much makeup that I have other options to use while they chill in the bag for all eternity. I do take out my base products and I will switch up my blush options every now and then (per usual with me, can't ever stick to one blush for long) but almost everything else stays the same. Let me know if you are enjoying me making little quick videos like this, it has been fun making them and interacting this way. Check it out below!

travel makeup bag feb 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015

night time routine

Last December I filmed a little "get unready with me" video that I thought would be fun to share with you all. Most of these products are going to end up in my next empties post as I am almost done with each product and already have new items to replace them.


Each night when I get home I first start off by removing my eye makeup. I use a Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover that I poured into a Bioderma bottle for easy handling. I follow with Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Oil and then double cleanse with La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cream. After washing up I dry off my face and use the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads all over my face and down my neck. I then put two drops of Clarin Lotus Oil on my fingers and press the oil into my skin, mostly dispersing the product on my forehead, nose and inner cheeks. I finish off my face with a layer of Puritan's Pride Retinol Cream. The last couple steps are applying some eye drops into my eye balls (I had LASIK back in 2012 and eye dryness comes with the territory) and putting some of the magic blue pot that is Blistex Lip Medex onto my lips.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

thoughts of the week

1. Confession, I've never been a fan of Beyonce. I've always thought she was gorgeous and her voice is out of this world, but her entertainment style and song choices never appealed to me. I am, however, a huge fan of Mitch and Scott from Pentatonix and they have their own YouTube channel. My favorite videos they post are the ones of them singing and I have probably watched this video over 25 times. I stubbornly put off listening to the real Beyonce versions since she released them back in November. I finally gave in and watched her visual album on YouTube (she made a music video for every single song on this album) and I have to say, I get the hype. My favorite songs are Rocket, Yonce, Haunted, and the ending bit to Ghost.

image source

2. I am really enjoying my short hair. I cut it back in the beginning of December and was having slight haircut regrets but that has long gone now. Less product to use, less time to waste styling it. My favorite product I have been using to help with some volume and kickass texture is BedHead Queen for a Day. I read on many Into the Gloss interviews that professionals frequently pick this for fashion and runway shows.

3. My coworker convinced me to start the show Once Upon a Time and I am really enjoying it so far. You would think Disney story lines would come off stale as a show but they spin it in a way that works and keeps it interesting. I'm currently starting season 2 so no spoilers!

4. I went to a Brazilian Steakhouse for the first time ever this past weekend and it was such a fun experience. If you have never been to one, there is usually a salad bar that you are able to frequent while the waiters come around with spits of meat that they cut off pieces of your choosing on your plate. Think of that restaurant that makes everyone sick in the movie Bridemaids (lol).

5. I am obsessed with vlogs. This is huge you guys because I was a former vlog hater but I have been converted. I blame Vlogmas. I think you have to enjoy/like/want to know the person that is vlogging for them to be interesting. Who are your favorite vloggers? I am missing thefashioncitizen vlogs tbh, I hope they decided to do more beyond vlogmas.

6. What do we think of the Harry Potter illustrative books coming out? I will probably buy them as I love the series and having artistic illustrations sounds really appealing to me. I love seeing how others visualize the stories.

7. I watched one of the best movies I have ever seen on Netflix recently. It was called The Intouchables. It is in my top movies of all time so I really recommend it. It made me laugh and feel good inside. Bonus that it is based off a true story.

image source

8. Another thing I have been obsessed with is Snapchat. I think I felt too old for the app but my coworker persuaded me to use it and showed me the ropes and now I'm hooked. I update it pretty frequently so if you are interested in seeing the mundane going-ons of my life, feel free to add me; my username is kellyyes. Let me know your username if you have the app!

9. This was the most ridiculous article I have read this week.

10. This Jimmy Fallon interview with Nicole Kidman is hilariously awkward and it made me laugh very much.