Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Link List #1

I'm starting a weekly Link List - here goes! (Let me know if you like these types of posts!)

1) This Sugar Free Orange Cake Bites recipe looks delicious. I'm a huge fan of cake pops, and these look just as good but without the caloric overload. Actually, this whole website is great if you're looking to get healthy; it's full of motivation and recipe ideas!
2) Super easy, super cute Knot Your Average Pony hairstyle. I want to wear it every day!
photo courtesy of The Beauty Department
3) I'm sure lots of you have already heard of this website, but just in case - it's great. Register with some interests - I have beauty and humor as a couple - and click "stumble" to be sent to a random site that you're interested in. I'm never bored anymore, and StumbleUpon is how I found the hairstyle above!
4) Sweaters from Urban Outfitters are to die for! Adorable. I really want one!
I love the color of this one - photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters
5.) Hulu. Okay, not a new one either, but it's a huge favorite of mine. All my favorite shows are there: The Office, Community, Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, New Girl, Up All Night, Biggest Loser... the list goes on!

This may be a little bit short, but with time my Link Lists will get better, I promise! Does any of you enjoy these websites too?
Love, Val

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November Faves

Now that November is coming to a close, it's time to sum up my favorite products this month! I stuck to warm tones, mainly neutrals with some shimmer.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Gloss, Papaya - A fun orange shade with just enough pigment and shimmer.
Laura Mercier Paint, Rose Gold - The perfect metallic shade for fall, and so easy to use!
Elf Duo Eyeshadow/Liner, brown- I like to line the upper lash line with this, with or without the LM eyeshadow. It makes for a warm, soft definition.
Revlon ColorStay Mineral Mousse Foundation - Keeps me matte without powder, and evens out the skin with light natural-looking coverage. A must for oily skin.

All for now! What are your November faves?
Love, Val

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: Sephora Color Flip Palette

A travel-sized, colorful, layered palette. It has three layers: eyeshadow, lip color, and cheek color.
EYESHADOWS Range from purples to neutrals to blues and greens. Unfortunately, the quality is uneven. I found the two matte shades on the far left to have the strongest pigmentation and the purples to have the weakest. With a base and a firm hand, I was able to "make them work!"
LIP COLORS A fun range of mostly fall-themed shades; there are neutrals, berries and even bubblegum pinks. My favorites are pictured in the second row from the top; a sheer, shimmery neutral brown and a vamp deep berry.
CHEEK COLORS Supposedly one is a bronzer, but I find the two shades to be more of a highlighter (left) and a blush. The highlight is pink-toned with shimmer; the blush is a lovely deep rosey color, but is unfortunately a total glitterbomb. I don't mind it so much, but some might.

OVERALL The quality is lacking in places, but it's a cute idea and encourages me to try new color combinations. It's compact and easy to toss into a purse.

TO BUY Sephora, $15.

What do you think of the Color Flip palette?
Love, Val

PS - Sorry for the long, long break - school has gotten really overwhelming. I've missed blogging so much and am glad to be back!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Makeup Besties ♡

make/up best/ies phrase 1. Favorite cosmetics 2. Trusty beautifiers 3. Lifesavers

Definition taken straight from the Val Dictionary! I can always rely on my personal makeup besties to help me out when I'm looking "ehh", to get me ready in a flash, and to brighten my mood in the morning. Here they are!

Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer - makes my skin look fresh, healthy, and not made up
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer - camouflages dark under-eyes without looking cakey 
MAC Satin Taupe Eyeshadow - can be popped on the lid and blended for an easy smokey look
DiorShow Iconic Mascara - gives a big, separated lash effect in a flash
NARS Dolce Vita Lipstick - enhances my natural lip color and moisturizes
elf Tickled Pink Blush - adds a fresh, natural pink to the complexion

What are your makeup besties??
Love, Val

PS - Sorry I was gone for so long! School + cross country = a very busy start to September. But I'm back for good! ;)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Earthy Eyes with a Pop of Teal!

Hey guys! Today I'm posting a video tutorial of this earthy, brown with a pop of color look I did using my Nuance palettes. Hope you enjoy! (Skip to 1:18 for tutorial.)
Products Used:
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer - 3
MAC MSF Natural - Medium Plus
Nuance Eye Quad - Smokey
Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara- Black
Stila Blockbuster Palette - peachy blush
Nuance Lip Quad - Warm

Tools Used:
Stila Brush #30
Sonia Kashuk Travel Brush
MAC 217 Brush
ecoTools Powder Brush

All for now! How do you incorporate color into your look?
Love, Val

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nuance Salma Hayek Launch, Reviews + Swatches

This month, a new brand of makeup is launching to CVS drugstores! Nuance, by Salma Hayek, is inspired by the subtleties, or nuances, of beauty. From what I've seen, it features earth tones and a variety of finishes. In addition, the line does not test on animals!
I have two quads: a lip quad in "warm," and an eye quad in "smokey." 

Eye Quad
Shades: "Cool Charcoal," a shimmery black-based green; "Warm Smoke," a satin taupe; "Pearl Teal,"a shimmery almost-teal; and "Silver Mist," a pinky-cream.
Packaging: Interesting! A black plastic bulb that opens into a "flower." Comes with a detachable smudge brush in the center. (There is a lot of empty space in the center; therefore, the item is not as compact as it could be.)
Pigmentation: All of the shades have nice pigmentation and smooth texture; my one gripe is that Silver Mist swatches a bit unevenly. 
Lasting Power: Unfortunately, the shadows fade quickly. Use with eyeshadow primer for a full day's wear.
Pearl Teal, Warm Smoke, Cool Charcoal, Silver Mist
Lip Quad
Shades: "Red Hot," a berry red; "Mauve Berry," a muted beige/pink; "Sheer Champagne," a sheer pink with gold shimmer, and "Plum Shimmer," a muted rose with shimmer.
Packaging: Same as the eye quad, but with a lip brush. 
Pigmentation: All are comparable to lipsticks; Red Hot is most pigmented, Mauve Berry and Plum Shimmer are close, and Sheer Champagne is, yes, sheer.
Lasting Power: The shine will fade soon, but the color lasts nicely as a stain throughout the day.
Plum Shimmer, Sheer Champagne, Red Hot, Mauve Berry

Price: I'm not sure of the particular prices of these items, but I do know that the line ranges from $7.99 to $19.99. 
Overall: Worth a shot if you're looking to try a new brand! The quality is great and the products are well thought out. 

All for now! Will you be trying Nuance?
Love, Val

I got these items for free; they were passed out at BlogHer. I am in no way affiliated with or sponsored by CVS or Nuance.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Back To School Makeup!

     It's that time of year again! Time to decide on your own back-to-school look. Will you reinvent your style? Try all the new trends? Stick with the classics? While you work on your perfect first-day outfit, I've already figured out a makeup look that will flatter anyone on their first day!
    It's a simple look designed to bring out your natural beauty. It features very little on the skin, with naturally pink cheeks, big and lifted eyes, and glossy coral lips. As a bonus, all the makeup is from the drugstore. Let's get started! (You may also check out my video tutorial here.)
1) For your base makeup, take time to evaluate what makeup you actually need. As an example, my skin has a few blemished areas and dark undereye circles, but other than that is relatively clear. Thus, I used concealer in those areas and left the rest bare. I even used a little extra on the lids as an eyeshadow primer. Revlon ColorStay Blemish Concealer - Light/Medium
2) Begin by giving your eyes some shine and dewiness with a shimmery cream shadow. elf Shadow/Liner Stick - Basic/Brown
3) Next, define the eyes with a brown liner. Apply accross the upper lashline, gradually getting thicker toward the end, and finish with a "kitten" wing. This will lift the eyes, making them appear large and bright. Apply some halfway through the lower lashline as well. elf Shadow/Liner Stick - Basic/Brown
4) Optionally set the shadows and boost color by applying powder shadows (in colors that match) directly on top of the creams. Revlon ColorStay Quad - Coffee Bean
4) Finish off the eyes with curled lashes and mascara. Revlon Grow Lusicous Mascara - Black
5) Keep the cheeks simple and natural by applying a blush that mimics your own natural flush. To do this, check the color of your cheeks after exercising. elf Studio Blush - Tickled Pink
6) Finish off with a glossy lip. There's a shade of coral for everyone! Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss - Coral Reef
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and have a great day!
Love, Val

Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Faves: Simple + Sweet!

Hey all! It feels like I haven't blogged in forever! ...But really, it's only been a week. I was at camp, but I'm so glad to be back and share my July favorites!
July was a month of little/no makeup for me, because my skin has been giving me problems and I wanted to let it clear up.
Sephora Eyelash Curler: I've been too lazy to deal with eye makeup remover, so instead of mascara I just curl my lashes! This gives the best curl without pulling or snagging.
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer: I'm just about out of my Revlon concealer, so I picked up a replacement at MAC. This has medium/full coverage, and awesome lasting power, as well as a convenient pump. I wear NC35, and I like to dab a bit under the eyes daily; for nights, I'll apply some on blemishes too.
Burt's Bees Tiger Lily Tinted Lip Balm: This is a lovely, sheer, nonwaxy lip balm with a pleasant scent. Tiger Lily is a peachy, natural lip color and very sheer; it just lightens up my natural shade. I've been wearing it daily!
MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot: For a bit of sparkle on the eyes, I like to apply this lovely warm peached gold cream shadow as a wash across the lids. It's quite sheer, so it's perfect for a subtle look or as a base!
That's all I've been loving! What are your faves right now?
Love, Val

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Winner! Fresh Giveaway

Well, it's that time again! Congratulations to....
Sadi, I've sent an email requesting your address. If I don't recieve a response in one week I will have to choose a new winner.

Please congratulate the winner, and if you didn't win, don't worry! I love doing giveaways and will have plenty more soon. :)
Love, Val

Saturday, July 16, 2011

4 Minute Makeup!

I don't know if many of you know this but I actually have a YouTube channel! I've only done a few videos, but nonetheless - it's been fun. I thought I'd share one with you today. It's a tutorial for makeup in four minutes! (And as you can tell, I'm still pretty awkward in these. Ha. That's why blogs are great!)
How To:
1) Apply a mineral foundation all over the skin for a little bit of coverage. Using a smaller brush, pinpoint more of the mineral foundation to the areas ou need it - specifically, under the eyes and on blemishes. (GloMinerals loose base, ecoTools powder brush, Stila brush #30)
2) Liven up the cheeks with a blush! I used a cream stick blush for quickness, applied to the back of the apples and blended out with fingers. (NYC blushable cream stick - Big Apple Blush)
3) Get your face an all-over dewy glow with liquid highlighter! I applied to the tops of the cheekbones and all over the eyelids, as an eyeshadow. (elf Shimmering Facial Whip - Lilac Petal)
4) Curl the lashes and apply mascara, as always! (Sephora Lash Curler, Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara)
5) Finish off with tinted lip balm on the lips! (Wet N Wild lip balm in 104)

Hope this helped! Any requests, video or blog?
Love, Val

Sunday, July 10, 2011

EOTD: Neutrals, Shimmer, Winged Liner

I absolutely love playing around with makeup to find new neutral combinations, and this was one I particularly liked so I thought I'd share!

MAC Painterly Paint Pot

lid + inner corner: Physicians Formula Sunset Strip - 2nd shade down, a frosted pink/beige
crease/lower lash line: Urban Decay Smog - bronzey brown with satin finish
outer v: MAC Satin Taupe - grey/plum/brown with satin finish
blending out the crease: Clinique "No Show Taupes" Duo - darker, a matte medium neutral brown

upper lash line and wing: Stila "stay all day" Waterproof Liquid Liner
tightline, between upper lashes: elf Cream Eyeliner - black

Revlon Grow Luscious - black

All for now! Would you like more EOTD posts?
Love, Val

Friday, July 8, 2011

Natural, Cruelty Free Drugstore Goodies!

...What could be better?
Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes, EcoTools Bamboo Powder Brush
The title, explained -
Natural: The Yes to Cucumbers wipes are 98% natural; the EcoTools powder brush is from natural and recycled materials.
Cruelty Free: I don't think many of you know this, but I've been only buying cruelty free makeup, hair products, and body products (working on skin care and tools) since around the start of 2011. Neither of these products was tested on animals, and the brush contains no animal hair.
Drugstore: I picked them up at Walgreens!

I hope you enjoyed this quick lil' post! Any interest in a review of either product?
Love, Val

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grocery Haul?

Lately I've been on a health kick, so little things like going to the grocery store have become fun for me! Haha. I thought it would be fun to show what I got, giving you an idea of my meal plan.

If you have any questions about a particular food, go ahead and ask me in the comments! (I was too lazy to list every name.☺)
All for now! What do you get at the grocery store?
Love, Val

Friday, July 1, 2011

June Faves ✼

This has been a month of dewy skin, glossy lips, thick lashes and a touch o' bronzer. Read on for my faves!
Stila Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer is a lovely, illuminating base. It's very sheer, but I love how lightweight it feels. Perfect for summer.
On top, I apply Revlon ColorStay Blemish Concealer. It contains salicylic acid (great for treating acne), making it perfect to cover blemishes. On lazy days this is fine for an undereye concealer as well. (I apply it with my MAC 217 brush - great for a seamless, no-makeup look.)

Urban Decay Afterglow Cheek Tint in Crush is a beautiful, bright cheek color. I love the brightening, youthful effect this gives to the cheek.
Benefit Hoola Bronzer is my trusty matte bronzer! Read back on my old (embarrassing) Sephora Haul for more.

I like to define my eyes with Estee Lauder Artist's Eye Pencil in Softsmudge Brown. It's a great warm brown color that I pencil in across my upper lash line, then wing at the end to mimic flirty outer lashes.
Sephora Nano Eyeliner in Pearl Beige goes in the inner corner and the waterline for sparkly, bright eyes.
Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara adds great volume and nice length to the lashes, all while conditioning them! I noticed a difference after the first use - my lashes felt stronger and thicker.

Nars Lipstick in Barbarella is THE coral color I have been looking for! It's gorgeous, sheer and it matches my walls. Love.

I hope you enjoyed these faves!! Would you like a review on any of these products?

Love, Val

P.S. I'm going away for Fourth of July weekend, but I have a post pre-scheduled and I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: e.l.f. Blush & Bronzing Powder

This blush/bronzer duo was my first e.l.f. product ever, and well - it's responsible for my obsession today!

Color: The blush is a light, neutral pink; the bronzer is a warm brown.
Finish: The blush has large, visible shimmer - this is the only downfall to either product. The bronzer has small gold reflects, but I don't notice them on the face.
Texture: Really nice for the drugstore! Smooth and well pressed.
Payoff: Decent color payoff; just enough without being difficult to work with.
Wear: All day, as most cheek powders are for me.

Overall: If you don't mind a little glitter, this duo is wonderful for any makeup collection and definitely worth the price. The bronzer is my absolute favorite for summer, and the blush adds a pretty light pink glow!
To buy: The e.l.f. website or Target stores, $3.

**I've heard that the blush is a good dupe for Nars "Deep Throat" blush, and the bronzer for Nars "Laguna" bronzer. I don't own either, so I can't compare, but keep it in mind!

Hope you enjoyed the review!
Love, Val

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My 3 Essential Brushes

Hey guys! So lately, I've been realizing that I reach for the same brushes over and over again: my Sigma F80 for face, my MAC 168 for cheeks, and my MAC 217 for the eyes. Here I'll give you a review and overview of each brush!
top to bottom - F80, 168, 217

Sigma F80 Brush
Design: Flat-topped, synthetic bristles densely packed in a circle.
What it does: Perfectly blends out concealer, applies foundation or tinted moisturizer, or applies cream blush.
Why I love it: It cuts down so much time in my getting-ready routine! I especially love it for blending out concealer - the finish is flawless without losing coverage. See my review.

MAC 168
Design: Softly angled, super soft natural bristles; just enough pressure to pick up blush.
What it does: Beautifully applies bronzer as a contour, blush, and highlights! It's versatile too - turn it on its side for a thinner line, or use it wider to cover the apples of the cheeks. (See my 168 tutorial here!)
Why I love it: It's so convenient to have one brush for every cheek product!

MAC 217
Design: Domed, flexible bristles in an ellipse shape.
What it does: Easily creates an eye look! Can be used in the crease, on the lid, for blending, highlighting, or even under the eye.
Why I love it: Again, convenience wins out here! The quality is outstanding as well.

All for now! What are your favorite brushes??
Love, Val

I received the Sigma brush for review; I am not being compensated, nor am I affiliated with Sigma.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I'm really excited to announce a giveaway today of Fresh Cosmetics!!
I'm giving away Fresh's 20th anniversary set!

It includes:
Soy Face Cleanser (20 ml): A gentle, daily cleanser perfect for all skin types that removes impurities and makeup-even mascara-while toning and hydrating.
Twilight FreshFace Glow (5 ml): A sheer illuminating cream that instantly imparts a stunning yet natural-looking radiance to all skin tones.
Sugar Honey Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 (4.3 g): A nourishing lip moisturizer that has a warm nude tint, offering sheer coverage or buildable color.
SuperNova Mascara (2 g): A glossy jet black formula that defines, thickens, and lengthens lashes in one clump-free coat.
To enter:
Please fill out all the information below to be entered. Only enter the form once, please.
If I do not receive a response from the winner within one week I will have to choose a new one.
Open internationally!
Giveaway ends July 15th at 6:oo PM PST.
Let me know if you have any further questions!

All for now! Good luck, everyone!
Love, Val

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ferris Wheel Inspiration

This is a guest post from Alessia of Luello's blog. Read my guest post for them here. Leave some love!

Fashion inspiration can come from a myriad of sources. Challenge your wardrobe (and your styling abilities) this summer by getting inspiration from the places you go and things that you do!

Here’s some fashion inspiration coming your way, inspired by a trip to the fair!

Enjoy a summer’s day, indulge in some cotton candy and ride the Ferris wheel in style!
-                    Embrace color and choose a cute pair of colored denim cutoffs, like these pink ones by J Brand!
-                    Opt for a basic cropped tee for a relaxed and comfortable look.
-                    Nothing says summer like espadrilles! Forego wearing flip-flops and instead wear these for a fun and youthful summer look!
-                    Keep your hair simple! Try to tousled fishtail braid (since the rollercoasters will mess up your hair anyway!)
-                    Revlon’s line of scented nail polishes perfectly complements the fun, bright colors of summer! With scents like Bubble Gum and Gumdrop, you’ll never want to take it off your nails!
-                    Most importantly- remember to stay hydrated! (It helps to remember to carry a water bottle when there’s as cute as this one by KOR!)

Visit for more products by brands like J Brand, William Rast and more!

Monday, June 6, 2011

May Faves!

For me, May has been a month of glowy, fresh skin with subtle eyes and coral lips. On to the faves!

Stila Tinted Moisturizer is an illuminating, glowy start to any makeup look. I love its barely-there coverage; just enough to even out the complexion.
I like to follow up with a tiny dot of Stila Perfecting Concealer, which covers blemishes and redness beautifully.
Atop the cheeks I apply Revlon Colorstay Brighten Finishing Powder for a sheer highlight - right above whatever blush or bronzer I wear that day.
I adore this $1 e.l.f. "Day 2 Night" Quad; the pigmentation is excellent and the colors are fab. I use the cream shade on my lid with the taupe brown blended through the crease.
I like to finish off the look with Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Coral Reef for a glossy coral finishing touch!

This is my 1st anniversary for my favorites posts! Read last May's here.
Have an excellent day!
Love, Val