Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raw til 4


So lately I've been watching more of the videos posted by a few of the YouTubers that talk about eating raw (Freelee the Banana Girl, Fully Raw Kristina) and decided to give it a try.  I tend to try to eat relatively clean and healthy as much as I can, because I found that I feel much better and much more energized when I do.  It was probably around last November sometime when I started lifting more and started going back to Bikram yoga that I decided to also incorporate cleaner eating into my lifestyle.  Of course I have cheat meals and even cheat days, but by simply being more aware of what I'm eating each day, my diet has become much healthier in general.

I decided over the weekend to try adopting Raw til 4, where you eat raw foods until 4pm.  Essentially, your dinner can be anything you want!  I made the decision to try to do this because I tend to eat raw for lunch anyway, and my morning/afternoon snacks are usually fruit and vegetables.  I figured that this shouldn't be too harsh of a change for me and it could be fun to try out :).

So my main change thus far has been for breakfast.  My go-to breakfast in the past has been Honey Bunches of Oats cereal with milk and occassionally an Acai bowl with greek yogurt.  In starting Raw til 4, I decided to start making smoothies for my breakfast.  Here is what I had for breakfast yesterday and today.  Much like I had found in the past, these smoothies look like a small amount but they end up being not only quite filling, but they also give me so much energy to start the day!

Raw til 4 Breakfast Day 1
Day 1 Breakfast

I started this day with a pure fruit smoothie- nothing adventurous for day 1!

Ingredients used:
- Strawberries
- Pineapple
- Watermelon
- Banana
- Coconut Water
- Flax Seeds

This came out sweet and fruity, much like I expected.

Raw til 4 Breakfast Day 2
Day 2 Breakfast

I started day 2 with a more adventurous smoothie.  I threw in cucumber and watermelon, with a mix of some of the more common fruits used in smoothies.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out but I felt like living life on the edge ;).

Ingredients used:
- Watermelon
- Cucumber
- Strawberries
- Blueberries
- Coconut Water
- Flax Seeds

This turned out to be delicious!  Still a bit fruity but the cucumber toned it down so it wasn't as sweet.  The blueberries also added a nice flavor as well.  Definitely will be doing this one again!

One thing I have found (both in the past and now with this venture) is that eating clean and healthy requires a lot of creativity and preparation.  You have to think a lot more about your meals and what you can eat, but I think that adds a bit of fun to my day!

If anyone has any smoothie/meal recommendations, shoot them my way!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Gradient Nail Tutorial

Hi guys!  So if any of you are nail polish addicts like me, you probably have a plethora of old, unwanted, rarely used nail polishes.  I was trying to figure out what to do with mine when I decided I might as well try to incorporate them into my nail looks.

Today, I decided to grab a few of the pinks that I haven't touched in forever.  I was trying to decide what to do with them and figured maybe a simple nail gradient would be fun.  To go along with that, I figured I might as well do a quick tutorial on the nail look!  To start, I grabbed a handful of polishes that looked like they might work together, a small make up sponge to make the gradient effect, and a bottle of acetone for cleaning.

Gradient Nail Setup
Gradient Nail Setup
The polishes I chose were pretty random and I wasn't sure how they would work together.  I swatched each color on a piece of paper first to see how I might want to use them.  I decided to use the L'Oreal polish as a base color and then use the remaining three (Essie, Sinful Colors, Love & Beauty) for the actual gradient.

TL: Love & Beauty Bubble Gum, TR: L'Oreal Colour Riche Macaron Noisette BL: Essie Your Hut or Mine, BR: Sinful Colors, You Just Wait
TL: Love & Beauty Bubble Gum, TR: L'Oreal Colour Riche Macaron Noisette
BL: Essie Your Hut or Mine, BR: Sinful Colors, You Just Wait
Polish Swatch
Swatched the four polishes
Before I started with the base color, I started with a base coat.  I currently use the generic Ulta base coat, but I'm almost out!  Does anyone have a base coat recommendation?  After my base coat, I painted two coats of the L'Oreal Macaron Noisette.  Side note- I LOVEEEE these L'Oreal colour riche polishes.  I first found them when I was in Belgium and immediately became obsessed.  They are a slightly thicker formula and because of that, tend to stay on for almost two weeks without chipping!

Base Coat and Base Color
Base coat -> Base Color... so neutral!
L'Oreal Colour Riche Macaron Noisette
Close Up of L'Oreal Colour Riche Macaron Noisette
I chose the L'Oreal polish as the base color because as you can see, it's super nude and close to my skin color.  I didn't want to brighten the colors too much so I figured it would be a good base for the gradient.  Next, I decided to create a gradient using Essie Your Hut or Mine, Love & Beauty Bubble Gum, and Sinful Colors You Just Wait.  Before dabbing these colors on a make up sponge and sponging onto my nails, I taped the sides of my nails to make the clean up process easier.  After starting to sponge, I quickly realied the You Just Wait was way too sheer to contribute to the gradient so then I just took it out and created a two tone gradient with the Essie and Love & Beauty polishes.

Nail Taping
Taped around my nails
Nail Sponge
Time to sponge!
Nail Sponging
Close up of the sponging... Already switched to two tone gradient
Sponging Complete
Sponging complete!
After I finished dabbing the sponge on all my nails (I did two coats of the sponging), I removed the tape and was left with a slight mess around my nails.  The tape definitely kept it cleaner than it would have been otherwise, though!

Post Sponge Clean Up
Post Sponge Clean Up
To clean up my nails, I used a bottle of acetone (from Target) and eye make up q-tips.  I HIGHLY recommend both of these.  The acetone makes the clean up MUCH faster and the make up q-tips are pointed and therefore, are easier to use when cleaning up small spots around your nails.

Clean Up Materials
Clean Up Materials
After cleaning up the polish around my nails, I decided I wanted to add something else to my nails because they seemed too boring with only a two tone gradient.  I randomly picked a polish from my polish collection and decided to add some dot accents to my nails.  I used a dotting tool for this, but a toothpick, pen, or pencil are things I have used in the past when I didn't have dotting tools accessible.

Sally Hansen's Mellow Yellow
Sally Hansen's Mellow Yellow
The yellow dots added a nice touch to my two tone gradient nails.  After finishing the dot accents, I added a quick layer of Seche Vite (which btw, is the BEST top coat ever) to my nails to finish things off.  The final manicure is below. 

Seche Vite
Seche Vite... BEST TOP COAT!
Completed Nail Gradient Manicure

And that's the end of my gradient nail tutorial!  I hope you enjoyed it.  Have a great Friday! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ipsy July 2014 Unbagging & Review

Hi guys, welcome to my very first blog post!  I decided to start off doing a July glam bag unbagging and review since it's not only my first post, but also my first glam bag!  I spent some time browsing blogs reading Ipsy vs. Birchbox reviews and finally decided to try out Ipsy... hopefully this review will help any of you who are on the fence about joining.  I got my very first glam bag in the mail last week and am super excited about it.   Here's a quick unbagging and review on the things I got.

Being my first glam bag, I had NO idea what to expect.  Not going to lie, I was probably way too excited about this bag simply because of the fact that I opened my mailbox and saw a bright pink package inside.
Ipsy July Glam Bag 2014
You have to agree... this packaging is pretty awesome.
After opening the package, I pulled out the glam bag itself and a little Ipsy card to go along with the bag.  The card basically advertised this month's glam bag theme - Sunsationally Sunkissed.
Sunsationally Sunkissed
Ipsy Glam Bag July 2014, Sunsationally Sunkissed
To start off, let's just have a moment of appreciation for how amazing the bag itself is.  I love the bright pink color and the scallopped edges.  The material itself is some sort of lined faux-leather, which I also have no problem with.  It's also a good size for keeping a few things together inside my everyday bag.  Here's a close up of the bag itself.
Ipsy Bag
So bright!
So let's FINALLY see what's actually inside the bag.  I definitely spent way too much time being excited about the packaging and bag itself... I need to calm it down!  So anyways, my glam bag came with five items, one of which actually was outside of the bag because it was too large to fit.  I'll start with that one-

Item 1: Healthy Sexy Hair, Soy Renewal Beach Spray

Healthy Sexy Hair Beach Spray
Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
The very first item I got was this 1.7 fl oz bottle of Healthy Sexy Hair's Soy Renewal Beach Spray.  This spray itself is probably worth the $10 spent on the monthly glam bag, if not more!  I was pretty excited about this item because I LOVE their shampoos and conditioners.  I tried out the beach spray on my hair and it was a lot like I expected.  It gave a beachy texture to my hair (felt a little dry/straw-like, but I expected that of a beach spray), it smelled good, and it gave my hair a ton of volume.

Item 2: Hang Ten SPF 08 Dark Tanning Oil

Hang Ten SPF 08 Dark Tanning Oil
Hang Ten SPF 08 Dark Tanning Oil
The second item I got is this Hang Ten SPF 08 Dark Tanning Oil.  As you can see in the picture, I haven't even opened it yet.  I've been spending a ton of time outside so I haven't really felt a need/want to use this product.  I've heard good things about it from other people but for now, I probably won't get good use out of it.  *Potential Giveaway!* I'm considering giving this product away so if any of you are interested, leave a comment and let me know! :)

Item 3: Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm
Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm
Pixi Lip Balm Test
Pixi Lip Balm Test
The third item I got is this Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in the color Pretty Pink.  Simply from looking at this product, I knew I really liked the color.  I did a quick test run on my hand and found that the balm is extremely smooth and the color is pretty pigmented.  I did try it out a bit later and I can say that I will definitely get some use out of this.  The color is really nice and the balm is moisturizing and doesn't dry out my lips.  It also smells good, which is always a plus!

Item 4: POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer

POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer
POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer
POP Beauty Bronzer Test
Bronzer Test
The fourth item in my glam bag was this POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer in the color Secret Sunshine.  I haven't ever tried a POP Beauty product so I was excited for this.  The bronzer came in a cute and compact packaging- it fit easily in my makeup bag.  Similarly, the color itself is perfect on my skin tone.  I'm pretty dark in the summer and I found that the color of the bronzer was dark enough to go on my skin.  It also has a bit of nice shimmer to the color, as you can see from the picture above.

Item 5: Bare Minerals 5 in 1 BB Performance Cream Shadow

Bare Minerals 5 in 1 BB Performance Cream Eyeshadow
Bare Minerals 5 in 1 BB Performance Cream Eyeshadow
Bare Minerals Cream Shadow Size Comparison
Look at how cute and tiny this bottle is!
Bare Minerals Cream Shadow Test
Bare Minerals Cream Shadow Test
The fifth and final item in my glam bag was this Bare Minerals 5 in 1 Cream Shadow.  It's very miniature, as you can see in the picture where I'm actually holding the product in my hand.  Despite being so small, it became obvious that a tiny bit of product goes a long way.  When I tested it on my hand, a simple dab left a ton of product.  The color itself is a nice neutral taupe and it was easily blended with my finger.  I actually tried out this product as a base without a primer and it stayed really well throughout the day.

Eye Close-up
Neutral Make Up with Bare Minerals Cream Shadow
Quick neutral make up with the Bare Minerals Cream Shadow
Above is a quick eye look using the Bare Minerals Cream Shadow.  I basically dabbed a bit of the cream shadow on the outer corners and blended inwards.  I then placed a sheer neutral color in the inner half of my eyelid (from Naked Basics Palette), lined my eyes with the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liner, and added L'Oreal Lash Architect 4D to my lashes.  I then quickly added a pair of falsies on top of that to finish it off.

I figured I might as well create a quick everyday look to test out the POP Beauty bronzer and Pixi balm as well so I added that soon after.  Everything actually came together pretty easily, given that I put minimal thought into ir.
Everyday Makeup Look
Everyday Make Up Look
And with that... this is the end of my very first post!  I hope you all found it helpful in some way!  I definitely decided that Ipsy is worth the $10 a month.  I'm sure I'll get tons of use out of most (if not all) of the things in my July glam bag.

Have I convinced you to join Ipsy yet?  If so, click here to join!