February Favorites

The shortest month of the year is officially over and it definitely flew by! I am very much a fan of “fresh starts” so I always look forward to the end of the month and the start of a new one. I was not expecting to have a lot of favorites this month as I was on a strict “no shopping” policy in February. I was only including make-up and clothes at first when I decided I was going to do this but later decided this was going to apply to all “things” (with the exception of food) and am definitely happy I stayed dedicated and didn’t break my rule. I do have a list of things that I will be buying tomorrow since it’s finally March and I can shop again but in my defense, all those things are necessities and I waited long enough to get them. I highly suggest doing a no shopping month if you’re someone that frequents the mall, the internet ( my mailman probably thinks I have a problem) drugstores and department stores, you get it. It makes you be a lot more selective at what you are actually going to get (there are a few things I am hoping didn’t sell out when I first saw them in February and a few I thankfully changed my mind on, avoiding the purchase) and helps save some money. I’m going to try to do a no shopping month again sometime soon as I think it’s good to exercise your willpower that way.

I received some feedback about my change of format on my last month’s favorites that the paragraph form is not preferred over the bullets and numbers. I was however, told that the categories were a good idea so this time I am going to divide my favorites into categories again but this time I will write them out in bullet form so it’s easier to sort through. So with that long intro out of the way, let’s get started…

Beauty

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  1. Too Faced Creamy Peach Oil Lip Gloss in “Papa Don’t Peach” – First of all, I absolutely love the name of this lipgloss. Second of all, this lipgloss literally smells amazing and if you like the smell of peaches, you will like this product. The color is a pinky nude with some brown undertones and is super flattering. This stays on your lips pretty long for a lipgloss and applies so smoothly and beautifully. I highly suggest picking this up. I’ve been wearing it on its own and on top of brown lipsticks all month and I can’t get enough of it.
  2. Aveeno Positively Radiant Make Up Removing Wipes – I was hesitant on putting this on here since I am working on an overall review of the best make up removing wipes but I would be lying if I said this wasn’t one of my favorites this month so it had to get mentioned. Now, as far as actual make up removing properties, these aren’t the best. These do not get your eye make-up off that well BUT your skin looks so good after using these that I can’t help but still love them. I would take off my eye make-up with micellar water and then take off my foundation and other make up with these wipes. Whoever labeled this product was definitely right – these leave your skin looking ultra radiant and so glowing. I love this stuff.
  3. Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Sleeping Mask – I picked this up while browsing the shelves at Ulta a month ago and have been using this about once a week since. This stuff is no joke. It makes you wake up with the most hydrated, plump, healthy looking skin. It is so easy to rub in and I just rub in a thin layer before bed and voila, my skin is transformed overnight. This is also very affordable for a sleeping mask as those tend to be on the pricier side.
  4. Out the Door Topcoat – I’ve been in the market for a new topcoat for a while because as much as I love my original OPI topcoat, it was time for something new. This topcoat dries almost instantly and your nail polish does not chip for at least 4-5 days at all when using it. I am super impressed. The price is also right on this one – it is under $5 ! If you do your own nails – you need this.

Fashion 

Leopard Slip On Keds – To those who read my last post, this one won’t come as a surprise. I am absolutely obsessed with these leopard print slip ons from Keds and have not stopped wearing them all month. I’ve worn these to work, I’ve worn these to walk around the city, and I will keep wearing these while the weather permits. These are ultra-comfortable and great for walking around. I didn’t even have to break them in. They also go with pretty much everything (especially considering I treat leopard as a neutral). I recommend picking these up while they’re still in stock at 6pm. They’re also on sale right now for under $30!

Miscellaneous

  1. Starbucks “Cascara” Latte – I consider myself to be a big coffee fan but I am probably more of a “latte” fan than coffee since that’s the form I prefer. I am a loyal fan of the vanilla latte at Starbucks but I am always trying their new drinks as they come out and this most recent one has temporarily replaced the vanilla latte as my go-to drink. The Cascara latte is on the sweeter side but not as sweet as the vanilla latte. It’s made from dried fruit of the coffee cherry and as far as I know is not limited edition so should stick around for a while.
  2. Bootay Bag Subscription – I considered putting this in the Fashion category but decided as a subscription service, miscellaneous is probably where this should be. Bootay Bag is a subscription service for undies. Cute, sometimes lacey, girly, pretty undies. You pay $12/month for 2 pairs and can upgrade and pay an additional $13 for a bralette. I haven’t upgraded since I’ve only receieved this once but I will definitely be doing so at least once in the future. I plan on writing a full review dedicated to this subscription once I get a few more bags but as far as my first one goes, I am very impressed. The quality is higher than Victoria’s Secret in my opinion and the designs are very cute. You can choose between getting only thongs, no thongs or a mix.

 

Well that’s all I have for the month of February. Let me know if you’ve tried any of the things mentioned above! I love reading your comments!

Time for spring!

Keepings Things “En Pointe” – Ballet Inspired OOTD

Ballet seems to be the inspiration for a lot of current trends – blush tones, lace up ballet flats and now lace up leggings as well. These leggings are a great way to combine athleisure (as I consider almost every look with leggings to be more athleisure based) and girly-ness. They are also a great piece to pick up for the spring as they are easy to wear with long sleeve tops and bomber jackets at the beginning of spring when the temperatures are still on the lower side and just as easy to wear with any lighter/short sleeved top as well.

I have been pairing mine up with more flowy, comfortable tops as I am very much a believer that if you’re wearing leggings, your shirt should be on the longer side and cover your tuchus. I got my leggings from SheIn (you can find them here) and there’s a few things I want to address with this pair. One, the lace up part of the leggings is very long and I had to alter them to be a more appropriate length for my legs. While some may see this as a disadvantage, I see this as a great thing as someone that is taller can easily snag this pair of leggings without problems. For reference, I am 5’5” and cut off about 6 inches. Another thing about these leggings is they are definitely more on the sheer side. The material is kind of thin which is why the longer shirt part is even more important. That being said, they are very soft and comfortable and very affordable (we are talking under $10) so I would still recommend picking these up.

Another piece of this outfit that I want to focus on is the leopard slip on Keds. I have been wearing these all month and they have definitely become my go-to comfortable shoe for when I know I will be covering some distance. The first time I wore them, I walked around for several miles and there were no blisters, no discomfort. These are definitely great to have for spring, summer and even fall and I highly recommend picking these up. I found these at 6pm and they can be found directly here. I am not surprised I fell in love with these as I have been a huge Keds fan for years and have always loved their shoes for walking around and exploring (they’re my go-to vacation shoe brand as I know I can wear them with dresses, jeans, leggings, you name it).

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Brand Spotlight – Glossier

 

I’ve been looking forward to this Brand Spotlight for a while now as I’ve always heard great things about Glossier and have wanted to try the products out for myself. I will only be reviewing 4 products today, but as some of you may already know, Glossier doesn’t have a ton of products to choose from so trying out 4 products is almost trying out half of what is available. I knew there were things I had to try as they are the most talked about products ( the Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Stretch Concealer) and there’s a few more on the website that I think I will be ordering in the future to try out. If I like those other products, they are sure to get a mention in my monthly favorites. I won’t be talking about the products in any particular order since there’s only four of them so let’s get started…

Milky Jelly Cleanser – The way this has been described by almost everyone is that it’s a very unique/different feel texture-wise and that there’s no other product on the market like it. This cleanser does an amazing job getting make up off and that includes everything – mascara, eyeliner, your entire dark smokey eye look is gone after using this. It doesn’t take a lot of rubbing either so it’s very gentle on your eyes and skin. I will definitely be repurchasing this when I run out. This product gets an A from me.

Stretch Concealer – I do have to admit I am a bit disappointed by this product. Everyone always raved about this one and said that it’s the best concealer for a dewey look and how great it is and I personally think it’s just okay, at best. This does not cover up almost anything for me and if I don’t set it with powder within one minute of putting it on my face, it creases. I did try it as an eyeshadow primer and got better results from it that way so that is probably how I will be using it for the rest of the time I own this product. I will also say that putting it on top of a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation seemed to make it go on smoother and crease less.

Balm DotCom – I used this as a lip balm instead of a body or hand salve as some people do. As a lip balm, this stuff is the bomb (dotcom- sorry, I had to). I got this in the mint flavor and have used it as a lip balm and as a primer for liquid lipstick. This let the liquid lipstick go on smoothly and never dry out my lips or crack. I will definitely be repurchasing this product when I run out. I think I may try a different flavor next time though for some variety.

Moisturizing Moon Mask – If I’m going to be 100% honest, I did not see any difference in my skin after using this. I used this mask once a week for the entire month and did not see any changes. I know it’s supposed to be hydrating and smoothing and I will continue using this until I run out but it’s for the sake of not being wasteful at this point and not for the benefits I’m seeing from this mask. I read later after buying this mask that their other mask ( the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack) is the more popular one and am definitely wishing I tried that one instead.

Overall, as far as my impression for the brand, I definitely think I will be willing to try their other products. Their boy brow and their face primer gets a lot of attention as well so I may be trying those out in the future. Let me know if you’ve tried other Glossier products that I did not mention or if you have similar or different experiences with the products I talked about today. As always, thanks for reading!

Mad About Plaid

I used to associate plaid with strictly “fall fashion” but times have changed as I’ve been wearing plaid all throughout this winter. This may have something to do with the mild winter we’ve had so far as most of my plaid items don’t exactly fall in the “warm” category but a recent coat purchase has changed this for me. For those that are familiar with Shoedazzle, their end of season blow out sales can have some pretty insane deals. This year’s winter blow out resulted in me obtaining this plaid coat and I have been wearing it non-stop since it’s come in the mail. It is surprisingly warm considering the material it’s made of and the open neck aspect.

My favorite way to wear this has been with bootcut jeans ( you can get mine here) and heeled booties. There’s a very 70’s vibe with this outfit ( the bootcut jeans and heeled booties part) that I’ve been loving. It’s been all about the 90’s recently so I’ve enjoyed mixing it up with a different decade’s inspiration. My shoes are an Oxford inspired cognac booties that I raved about in my December Favorites and 2 months later am still obsessing about.

Many places have great plaid coats on sale right now since the winter season is coming to an end so now is a great time to buy outerwear. Some of my favorite finds for plaid coats have been this black and white version from Target (super affordable and on sale right now), this neutral toned version from Nordstrom, this Madden Girl version that is almost identical to mine (plus a hood) and my favorite one – a Jessica Simpson dark plaid wool version.

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January Favorites

And just like that, the first month of 2017 is already over. January is always one of my favorite months because 1) it’s my birthday month and 2) I have always loved the “new year, new me” concept and the idea of starting fresh with the beginning of the year. This year, January was extra special because it was also my month off rotations which gave me plenty of time to spend on myself – whether it meant actually going to the gym as often as I  wanted to, plenty of time to try new products and read books that had nothing to do with pharmacy. Since I had the entire month off, I came up with quite a number of favorites and decided that I want to try a different format for how I share those with you. Please, let me know if you like this format better or want me to go back to the old numbered format. With the new format, I’ll be able to share a lot more things I liked in a month, so I hope you guys prefer this format as well.

Beauty Favorites:

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As I mentioned above, I had a lot of time to try new products in January which resulted in a lot of beauty favorites. The first one I’d like to talk about is a base coat for nail polish – Bonder by Orly. It’s made my manicures last a lot longer, dries very quickly and keeps the staining away. I think a lot of times we put more emphasis on the top coat but a base coat is just as important as it separates your nails from the nail polish that could stain them and could be the true reason your nail polish is chipping quickly. A hair favorite this month was the Sparkling Soda Shine Mist by Dry Bar. This is a shine spray that is used as a last step to your hair routine and makes your hair look super shiny and sleek. I’ve been eyeing this for months but decided to actually try it out in person at Sephora before committing since the price tag is a bit steep on this one ($28) and I was sold after trying it. Never has a shine spray made my hair look that much shinier and that much better. A skincare favorite this month has been the Pixi Glow Tonic Toner by Pixi. I have never been able to tell a difference in my skin from toners until I tried this one. The way I’ve been applying this toner has been after washing my face in the morning with a cotton pad before applying my make-up and as a last step of my skin care routine at night and it has made my complexion a lot more glowy and radiant. This can be found at Target for $15. A make-up favorite for January and probably for many months to follow was the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer that I was finally able to snag after months of it being out of stock. Everyone has been raving about this concealer and I was finally able to find out why for myself. This is the best concealer coverage-wise that I have ever owned. I’m pretty sure you could cover a tattoo under your eyes with this one. It does not crease and there are many shade options available. I do believe it is exclusive to Ulta and the Tarte website. My last beauty favorite for the month are make-up brushes. I got these from a company called Mikasa and my favorite ones from the brand have been the E300 blending brush, E230 flat shader brush ( I’ve been using this for my Colourpop shadows and while this doesn’t work quite as well as using your fingers, it is the best I’ve been able to find brush wise for applying that formula), the E100 angled liner brush (perfect for those who underline their eyes with black shadow instead of using eyeliner) and the F111 blush brush. You can get 15% off your order using the promo code “AZIRBAYEVAMUA15” (an affiliate code) and this code works for everything on the website – make up, hair products (they have some of my favorite brands including Macadamia, Bain de Terre), hair tools, and nail polishes (Essie and CND).

Book Favorites:

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to read for pleasure instead of for school so I was very excited for my month off. I got to read 4 books in January and two of them were definitely worth talking about. The first book that I really loved in January is called A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce CameronThe movie for this book also came out at the end of the month which was part of the reason I wanted to read it earlier on. The book is so hard to put down and really makes you wonder what is going on in your furry friends’ heads. I personally do not own a dog but have owned one in the past and know so many people that are currently dog owners and really think that this book is a must read for all of them. Yes, you’re going to cry because the book definitely has emotional moments but it’s still worth picking up. It’s written in a dog’s point of view so not exactly hard language to follow and is definitely a quick read. The other book I absolutely loved in January is Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. The HBO series based on this book is starting next month and I cannot wait to watch it ( and no, I don’t only read books that are coming to TV/movie theaters, it just worked out that way this month). This book is about events leading up to a murder investigation and takes place in Australia. The murder investigation shouldn’t scare off people that usually like to read “lighter” books because the book is written with humor and is about kindergarten moms and what happens in their lives when a new, young mom joins the “group”. It’s so well written and funny and Liane Moriarty is a great author to check out.  All her books have a twist that you do not see coming at the end and every time I finish one, I go online to see what else I can read by her because she is just that good at what she does.

Online Favorites:

I am subscribed to several blogs (more like newsletters than personal content) like MyDomaine, WhoWhatWear, Byrdie and several others. Some of my favorite articles that I read last month from these articles include:

17 Simple Habits You Need to Adopt to Be Healthy in Your 20s

How to Take Control of Your Money in 2017: A Month-by-Month Guide (such a great read for those of you hoping to take control of your finances in 2017)

Miscellaneous Favorites:

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I’ve recently been trying to cut down on my caffeine intake (from 2-3 cups of coffee/day down to just one) and I’ve been looking for something to substitute my 2nd and 3rd cups of coffee. I turned to herbal teas since they don’t have any caffeine and the one I found that has changed my life (a bit of an exaggeration, but the first time I tasted this, I truly believed this statement) is the Peach Lemon Tea by Private Collection. I’ve been drinking this with honey instead of adding sugar and have been easily able to forego my 2nd and 3rd cup of coffee since I’ve discovered the tea. Staying on the caffeine topic – another favorite is my “Kiss Me, I’m Caffeinated” mug that my fiance got me for my birthday which is featured in the header image of this post. The mug is from Target and can be found among many other mugs with cute sayings. This should be available at most local grocery stores. My last favorite of the month is a song that is super fun and upbeat and has been the song I jam out to during my drives. It is Be Mine by Ofenbach and can be found by clicking here.

 

What were some of your guys’ monthly favorites? Please let me know if there’s anything worth checking out! As always, thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to comment below!

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