Drugstore Beauty Giveaway ($75 value!)

Hello lovelies! I’ve been promising a giveaway for over a month now, and here it is! (or at least one of them ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). This giveaway includes mostly full-size products that you can pickup at your local drugstore: Covergirl, Maybelline, … Continue reading

Michelle Phan Book Review

Are you a beauty blogger? A fashion blogger? A vlogger? Then KEEP reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

Right before my vacation to Cancun, I was shopping at Target when I noticed the beautiful face of Michelle Phan staring back amid the vast book section. Curious, I picked it up and read a bit, (it’s not your average chapter book), put it back, and went home. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I decided it would make a fun read on vacation, not to mention providing some new inspiration and perspective on my blog! I ordered it from Amazon, and with my Prime membership, it arrived in 2 days!

I have to be honest, I knew next to nothing about Michelle when I first got the book, let alone that she is the FOUNDER of Ipsy! (Something almost all of you are familiar with/subscribe to). As a 27 year old, she boasts an incredible resume:

  • 7 million subscribers on YouTube
  • Her videos have been viewed over 1 billion times
  • Founder of Ipsy
  • Started her own cosmetics company “em”

The first 2 “chapters” (I use the word chapters loosely, as it’s such a guide/advice/tutorial-type book) cover her background. You wouldn’t know by looking at her that she grew up with almost nothing. It was really inspiring to hear her journey, and to read about her dedication and perseverance landing her where she is today. I’ll save the rest of her back story for you to discover ๐Ÿ™‚

If you get a chance, go check out her YouTube channel. She’s just so darn sweet and likeable!

The videos that really brought her to initial fame were her transformation videos. Some of her looks include Angelina Jolie, Sailor Moon, Lady Gaga, Daenerys (Game of Thrones), and (zombie) Barbie!

Even thought she’s amazing at transforming into different characters, some of my favorite videos are her anybody-can-do makeovers. Her instructions are simple and practical, and she doesn’t go out of her way to suggest you buy or use a particular product, which I found very refreshing. Instead, she encourages you to work with what you have.

This is still one of my FAVORITE looks:

The other sections cover a wide variety of topics including makeup tutorials, resume building, career advice, etiquette, and creativity. There’s even a section dedicated to fashion/style! If you go to Amazon’s page, you can peak “Inside the Book.”

This is a great read. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times: she is SO inspiring! It makes me want to channel all my creativity and efforts into something beautiful I can share with others. If you are interested in getting a copy of her book, please enter my giveaway to win! It’s open until Saturday evening at 11:59 P.M.

Michelle-Phan-Book-CoverDomestic (U.S.) entries onlyโ€“I will be sending the book straight to your home via Amazon.com

Once the winner is announced, you have 2ย days to respond to my email (you must leave a valid email address for me to contact you), otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

And in the words of Mish: Good luck!

XOXO Ali

Blog Makeover + First PopBasic Purchase!

Hmmm…things look…different around here, right? I have to admit I am pretty nervous about my blog’s makeover, which I know is super silly. It took me hours to find a layout I liked. I wanted to do something glamorous and holiday-themed, without being too over the top! Do you like it???

In other news, I ordered my first PopBasic collection yesterday! PopBasic sells micro collections of fashion items featuring “limited edition, high quality basics and trend pieces.” The nice thing about these items is that, as the name indicates, they’re basic enough that they will likely compliment many other items in your closet! At the same time, they almost always sell out of their collections in a short time period. They’re so popular that they “open” at a specific date and time, with many fashion enthusiasts marking their calendars so as not to miss out! This is not a subscription service, it’s a one time set purchase. You will not be automatically enrolled to receive the next set.

Amelie Collection – $70

1d18e9e56ae5c225f634d847a8190b5d_650pxI ordered the “Amelie Collection,” released yesterday at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. EST). This set features the:

  • Le Breton dress (RRP $70) – A fun twist on our classic Le Breton. Weโ€™ve taken it out for a spin, added pockets and adjusted the sleeves to a 3/4 (really 1/2) length for transitional dressing.
  • Silver tube necklace (RRP $25) – For those days when youโ€™re after that perfectly simple, yet delicate accessory. Wear on its own or layered with another chain. Alloy, silver plated.
  • Infinity knot bracelet (RRP $20) – Whether worn on its own, or stacked with other pretty pieces, our Infinity Knot Bracelet will be a lovely addition to your collection.ย 

8f6663fea96200ecaa1e205a5e341157_650pxSince this was my first purchase, I got $15 off (You can too! Just click here!) the purchase price of $70. Some of their collections push $80-100, so I waited for one I really loved to use my $15 off.

I can’t wait to get it in the mail! I already know exactly when I’m going to wear this for the first time–at the airport on my way to Cancun in a few weeks ๐Ÿ™‚ It’ll be a nice transition piece (as indicated) from the freezing temps in Ohio to the 70’s and 80’s (hopefully!) in Mexico! I’ll instagram some pics from the airport and trip, so be sure to follow me on instagram!

7a10dd338f31fa9cce6c625ff0b81e78_650pxI also have some super amazing giveaways (yes, that means more than one!) planned for the Holidays, so press the “Follow” button so you won’t miss out!

XO Ali

Birthday Guilt-Free Beauty Haul

It was my birthday and I was in Target, so naturally, purchases are guilt-free! Especially these beauty goodies…

10I’ve been monitoring Pixi by Petra and Sonia Kashuk for about a month or two now, as I knew Target carried both brands and they were rather new to me. Pixi does not do any testing on animals, nor do they use any suppliers that follow those practices. I also love the simplicity of the brand and packaging. They don’t try to overdo it and the product is still lovely. Sonia Kashuk, on the other hand, popped onto my radar when I saw the brand won multiple spots out of 31 winners on the CEW Insiders 2014 Beauty Awards. Out of 5 submitted products, they placed 3 winners, and were a finalist for a 4th in the entire beauty industry! Was I missing out on something right under my nose??

Beauty Haul

Pixi Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Plum Quartz – I fell in love with this $12 palette through Pixi’s instagram page.

IMG_2149As you can see, there is quite a bit of color payoff, which is one of the reasons I had to have it. Plums, pinks, and browns are perfect fall colors, though I like to wear them year-round with my fair skin-tone. I can’t wait to experiment more with Plum Quartz!

IMG_7343(Left to right: Pixi Radiant Rose, SK Bronzer, SK Blush, SK Bronzer/Blush blended, SK Sheer Pink Lust, SK Illuminator [thick swatch], Elf Pink Balm, L’Oreal Paris Doutzen Lipstick)

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Radiant Rose – this pretty rose hue goes on lighter than the stock swatch indicates. It glides on creamy and has quite a lot of color payoff for being marketed as a “balm.” It’s rather pricey at $14 a tube, but I would definitely try Pixi’s other colors if they were to go on sale after loving this product this much.

Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo in Glisten – to the naked eye (and in Target’s harsh florescent light), it was difficult to really tell the difference between the three different $12.99 options–Glow, Glisten, and Glimmer–so I picked the middle option. This was a CEW Winner, and with its two-in-one compact, it’s easy to carry around and mixes like a dream to offer that perfect summer glow.

Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Lip Color in Sheer Pink Lust ($10.99) – this was another CEW winner, so I picked up a handsome nudey-pink color to fill in a gap I had in my lippy drawer. I didn’t realize it mimics the texture of a gloss (which I usually avoid), but it was wearable for a few hours before I ended up wiping it off. I won’t knock the product, as I know my comfort level was a bit off.

Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Translucent Illuminator ($14.99) – I own and have sampled plenty of BB and CC creams, but I wanted a cream that just brightens skin tone without feeling like you’re caking on the makeup. I am very pleased at how blendable it was, though the smell is somewhat offputting. The cream is a glistening gold and melts with your skin, so as not to leave harsh toning effects. I swatched a thick layer to show how it comes out of the tube.

e.l.f. Lip Balm in Pink – e.l.f. is another one of those brands that I always overlooked, but after seeing so many positive reviews on beauty blogs, and for how dang cheap the brand was, I figured ‘what could it hurt?’ I have not yet applied this $3 balm to my lips, but the color for the price is about expected.

e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator – if you like brown sugar at all, stop what you are doing and spend the $2 it takes to buy this beauty product. It scrubs your lips as you apply it back and forth, and leaves a soft, waxy texture that you can leave on to keep them moistened. I like to rinse it off, however, and apply lipstick immediately afterwards for a soft, hydrated lip full of color.

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick in Doutzen’s Nude – this was the biggest let down of the beauty haul, at least by first reactions alone. This lipstick went on so wet, and was nearly impossible to get an even coat. The color itself is supposed to be light, but I thought it was almost like a sheer gloss.

What beauty products are you looking to binge-buy soon?!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway by clicking on the link below! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Birthday Lovin’

Wahhh I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love I received from family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers! My birthday was on Monday, September 1st, but the celebrations started Sunday night!

Rather than throw a party or do some kind of dinner, I thought it would be fun to get a bunch of friends together and go bowling Sunday night, since the majority of us had Monday off for Labor Day. It was also college-night pricing which means cheap lanes, cheap pizza, and cheap booze! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sorry the pics are somewhat difficult to see as it was so dark in the alley.

bdayI also celebrated with my family beforehand, and my mom made me a couple types of cupcakes with my favorite color (yellow!) and my favorite flower (sunflower!).

On Tuesday, my coworkers surprised me with balloons and a special cake with more sunflowers and yellow things! Ha I guess everyone knows my weakness.

I got so many fun, great gifts that I wanted to share:

11Birthday Goodies:

-My boyfriend got me a Nook Glowlight, the Molecule 01 perfume from Barneys, and the Topshop purse (not pictured) I wanted. Guess he reads my blog after all ๐Ÿ˜‰ I yelled at him for spending that much, but he would hear none of it.

-My best got me the Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Gold Palette, which I just recently discovered but that she picked up for me months ago (she knew what I wanted before I did!). Her and my friend Dave also got me some cute little Sailor Moon memorabilia and Dave picked up the hard copy of F(x)’s album, Red Light.

-Toni got me the Sephora “Give Me Lip” collection, which has an awesome variety of lip products from Urban Decay, Nars, Buxom, etc. She also blessed my wallet with a $50 gift card to Sephora, which likely won’t survive this upcoming weekend โค

-The fam picked up a number of items off my wishlist too, including a new game for my 3DS, some baking mats, a pretty coral scarf, and a white and rose gold watch. My mom also got me a bag of 26 yellow things, ranging from candy, cupcake liners, and post-its, to glow sticks, nail polishes, and a loofa.

My heart is full. Thank you all so much for your warm wishes.

Much love XO

My First Triathlon

What a crazy, quick, long, dirty, fun weekend it was! ๐Ÿ˜€ I wanted to get a quick post in on my first every triathlon I completed on Sunday (the 31st)! I have a lot more about the weekend that I plan on posting about later, including pictures from my birthday and some of the awesome things I received from my beloved friends and family!

sbr-3The race was called “The Great Buckeye Challenge” and since it was my first triathlon, I completed the shortest race they offered, the mini triathlon (mini, sprint, olympic, and half-ironman). It consisted of a short 250 yard swim, a 7 mile bike, and a 2 mile run, so nothing super crazy. I completed it in 1:06:57, which made me super happy considering I was planning for 1:15-1:30!

– 09:38 for the swim
– 04:36 for the 1st transition (I wasted too much time drying my feet off even though it was pouring down rain!)- 31:45 for the bike
– 01:26 for the 2nd transition
– 19:29 for the run

buck-creek-park1I wish it had been as nice out as the stock picture of the reservoir above, but it was absolutely pouring down rain the entire time leading up to the run portion. The rain left me bitter cold, and my knees/lips were blue and my hands were white/translucent by the time I started. Luckily, I warmed up right away as soon as I got moving in the water.

My bestie and her hubs came out and cheered me on as I was crossing the finish line. They managed to get a couple shots of both me (mini tri) and Ryan (sprint tri) as we were on the last leg of the race.

IMG_9291 IMG_9290My tank was soaking wet and stretched out tremendously during the run (I swear I’m wearing shorts! lol). I’m hoping the race website uploads some pics of the swim and bike portion too.

Look forward to my posts this week! I have a lot of them coming!

XO

Also, don’t forget to enter my beauty giveaway (click on the image below to enter):

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New Photography Equipment

Hello everyone!

I purchased some equipment from Amazon this week (that will be delivered today!) to assist with taking pictures for the blog ๐Ÿ™‚ I got a cheap light tent for about $30 and some velvet jewelry display stands.

I’m pretty excited to try it out with my new Limited Edition Birchboxes for CEW (Prestige Headliners and Mass Appeal) that have arrived! Hopefully my turnaround time between receiving product and posting about it will decrease. I probably could have made one for cheaper, but sometimes paying for convenience (and quality) is more attractive…

Don’t forget to enter my massive beauty giveaway by clicking on the image below!

img_1671-3XO Ali

100th Post: My Favorite Looks

I can’t believe this is my 100th post! I was looking back through all my posts since the beginning, and I definitely picked up the pace in 2014. I will work my hardest on providing more interesting and insightful posts for your viewing. Thank you so much for following along โค

It’s awards season, and it’s time for the selection of my favorite looks I’ve posted for the past year! I thought it’d be fun to list a variety of outfits throughout the no-new-clothes challenge, especially for new readers ๐Ÿ™‚ There were some hits and some serious misses, but I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite outfits (and linked them up to their original posts).

Best in Show

IMG_6467Original Post Here

Yellow lace dress: Target | Green cardi w/ black trim: H&M | Black fringe booties: Target | Chain necklace: Forever 21

I absolutely love this outfit. I started really experimenting with colors here. I would usually pick one focal piece and find accessories or neutral tones to compliment it, but this outfit just came together and is hands down my favorite outfit I’ve recorded over the year. My eclectic college fashion is shining through in this dress + boots combo.


Best Use of a Bow Tie (Tied…No Pun Intended)

20140210-211946.jpgOriginal Post Here

Cream-colored sweater: Forever 21 | Burgundy bow-tie shirt: Forever 21 | Gray skinnies: Delia’s | Burgundy suede wedges: Forever 21

IMG_8642Original Post Here

Pink cardigan: Maurice’s | White bow-tie shirt: Forever 21 | Gray jeggings: Reitman’s | Black flats: Target


ย Best Accessorized Outfit: Leopard + Red

20140203-223125.jpgOriginal Post Here

Leopard-print sweater: Forever 21 | Lips: Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple | Gold nail: Ruby Wing Color Changing Polish

20140203-223202.jpgBracelet: Ann Taylor


Best Costume/Dress-Up: Park Bom

IMG_5195Original Post Here

Black faux leather jacket: Target | Cherry blossom dress: Forever 21 | Gold wedge sneakers: Amazon | Wig: eBay | Circle lenses: Pinky Paradise

20131105-185555.jpgMy favorite part about this outfit is a tie between the dress (I’m obsessed with cherry blossoms) or the circle lenses (hello, big eyes!).


Best Surprise Combo: Yellow + Gray

IMG_5085Original Post Here

Gray cardigan: Target | Yellow blouse w/ eyelet collar: Forever 21 | Black skirt: Forever 21 | Black heels: Target

This particular outfit was very influenced by Louis Vuitton (see post). I have since sold the blouse because it was 3 sizes too big, and this is the only way I could disguise it (not versatile enough).


Best Rediscovered Item: Floral Studded Blouse

outfitOriginal Post Here

Floral/stud blouse: Forever 21 | Salmon-colored honeycomb sweater: I | Black skinnies: H&M | Burgundy suede wedges: Forever 21


Best New Item: Black Sheep Sweater

IMG_6554Original Post Here

Black Sheep Sweater: Forever 21 | Black skinnies: H&M | Black heels: Target | Pearl Headband: Forever 21

I have an upcoming post on any new items I acquired during my no-new-clothes challenge (sounds counter-intuitive) using funds I made selling clothes, and this piece tops the list out as my favorite.


Best Baby/Bridal Shower Outfit

IMG_6484Original Post Here

Royal blue/mint peplum dress: Forever 21 | Mint belt: Forever 21 | Mint watch: Charlotte Russe | Mint shoes: Macy’s (Nine West)


Best in Sports Luxe

20140202-212905.jpgOriginal Post Here

Neon yellow jacket: Brooks | Track pants: Adidas | Polka dot shoes: Keds

Okay, this is probably more sports than luxe, but it was the only picture I managed to capture of any kind of workout gear, and it really has become a comfortable staple. My favorite place to wear it? The airport on my way home (I like to dress up for the airport on my way to places, ha).


Best Feminine Look: This Dress

IMG_7620Original Post Here

Greige cardi: Forever 21 | Salmon-colored dress: H&M | Braided sandals: Aeropostale

Between the chiffon outer layer, the ruffles, and the pretty spring-color, this dress always makes me feel so feminine and pretty. It’s perfect to wear to work with a cardigan, or to wear out shopping on a hot summer day.


Best Modern-Day Professional Look

IMG_6650 Original Post Here

Green cardi w/ black trim: H&M | Purple cutout tank: Forever 21 | Black pencil skirt: Charlotte Russe | Black heels: Target

This look, complete with a relaxed sock bun, is one of my favorite modern-day professional looks. The contrast between the bright green and the purple is blended together with matching earrings from Old Navy. The black trim on the cardigan pulls in the skirt and your basic set of black work pumps.

There are many other looks I liked and wanted to post, but I narrowed it down to these few.

What do you think of my selection? Do you agree/disagree? I’d love to have some feedback as well as some inspiration for what you would like to see in the future!

XO

Beauty GIVEAWAY!

IMG_1646I’ve been wanting to do a beauty giveaway for the last several months, and I’ve finally collected a fair range of products, brands and sizes that I think anyone would want to try ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a Rafflecopter giveaway, so you’ll have to follow any of the links on this page, or the image at the bottom of the page, to enter!

One lucky winner will receive ALL of the following products:

IMG_1671-Pรผr Minerals Mineral Glow ($23.50)
-Murad Oil-Control Mattifier (deluxe size)
-Dr. Brandt BB Matte Cream w/ Signature Shinerase in Light to Medium ($39)
-Ulta Hydra Quench Foaming Oil Cleanser (deluxe size)
-Sample packets for Philosphy Hope in a Jar, Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer, and GlamGlow Youth-Mud
-Ulta Eyeshadow Quad in Bone, Ice Queen, Truffle, and Gunmetal
-Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (sample size)
-Ardell Natural Lash Starter Kit in 101 Demi Black ($6)
-Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (deluxe size)
-Ulta Eyeshadow Quad in Sahara Sand, Sunkissed, Mosaic, and Glittering Sand
-Ulta Dual Ended Eye Liner in Black and Deep Brown
-Dolce and Gabbana Desire Perfume (sample size)
-Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream Perfume (sample size)
-Ulta Beauty Smoothie in Buttercream Cupcake (3 oz. travel size) ($4)
-Pink Beauty Travel Bag
-Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain in Valentine (mini size)
-It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product for Hair (2 oz. travel size) ($12)

Rules for the Giveaway

1. You must submit your entries through Rafflecopter.
2. This giveaway is open worldwide!
3. You must leave a valid email address so that I can contact you if you won to get your mailing address (no P.O. boxes please).
4. I am not paid/endorsing any of these products. Users should read ingredients/instructions carefully to avoid any allergies.
5. One (1) winner will receive (1) beauty bag filled with multiple products by myclosetisfull.net.
6. Winner will be contacted following the close of the giveaway. Winner must respond by email within 48 hours, or a new winner will be chosen.

Since I can’t embed Rafflecopter into my blog, you can click here or the image below, and it’ll take you to the entry page. Good luck!

img_1671-3XO Ali