Friday, January 27, 2012

Review: Too Faced Sun on the Run kit

Another review from my recent Sephora Haul.

I had been looking at the Too Faced Flatbuki brush on Sephora's website when I came across this kit.  For $5 more it included a mini bronzer in Sun Bunny.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The flatbuki brush isn't your average brush.  It is, however, more or less what it sounds like... a flat kabuki brush.  The brush stands about 2 1/2 inches tall and rather than being super thick like the kabuki, it has more of a flat appearance.  My favorite things about this brush are the super soft "Teddy Bear Hair"bristles (bonus: they are cruelty free).  Not to mention the shiny pink handle is simply adorable.

The kit also includes a bronzing powder in Sun Bunny (0.08 oz).  At first, I was a little intimidated by the color of it.  Once I tried it on, I fell in love!  The color is simply beautiful, and gave my skin a pretty tan color (without looking orange).  The sad thing is that it made my face a little too tan for the rest of my body, so I think I may keep it in my make up bag for now.  But once it gets a little warmer, you can bet that I will use it daily!

When I opened saw this box, I was pretty surprised.  It was much smaller than I expected.  For the price, I had hoped for a little more.  But because it was only $5 more for the bronzer, I think it was still worth purchasing.

On a final note, I am not affiliated with Sephora or Too Faced in any way.  This review is purely my opinion and was not affected by anyone else and was completely honest.  I am not trying to persuade you to purchase any of the products listed.  I try to research my beauty products thoroughly before I purchase them so that I know what to expect before I buy it.  I want to write my own reviews so that I can help others who like to research their purchases too.  I hope that you found this review entertaining and informative.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hospital Misadventures

Benadryl... my new BFF.
Let me start off by saying this weekend did not go as planned.

Friday night I ate dinner and watched a movie with my husband, then decided to call it a night.  My throat felt a little weird.  You know that feeling when your throat gets kind of dried out?  As much water as you drink, it still feels really weird.  Well that's the kind of feeling I had.  It has happened before so I didn't think much of it.  About an hour later, I was lying in bed not able to go to sleep because my throat felt so weird.  I went to the bathroom, looked at it in the mirror and found that my throat was swollen.  Really swollen.  Definitely not a good sign.  I started freaking out and woke up my poor husband because I wasn't really sure what to do.  We didn't have any Benadryl, but even if we did I thought that I may not be able to swallow a pill.  A few minutes later, I looked at my throat in the mirror again and saw that it was even more swollen, and I felt like I couldn't breathe as well as normal.  I, of course, was freaking out.  Thankfully I married a soldier who can remain calm in a stressful situation.  Travis decided to take me to the emergency room.

As usual, it was packed and we had to wait forever.  When I was finally able to be moved from the waiting room, I found that they were out of rooms, so I had to lay on a hospital bed pushed against the hallway wall.  The nurse had to run some blood tests, gave me an IV, and pumped 2 kinds of medicine into it for allergic reactions.  I have to add, it is extremely awkward to lay on a hospital bed, in a hospital gown with an IV in your arm in the middle of a busy hallway.  Not fun.  Then the doctor wanted to give me a CAT scan, leading to more medication being pumped into my IV.

We finally returned home at 3:40 AM (5 hours after we arrived at the ER).  My throat was almost back to normal.  It looks like I had an allergic reaction to something that I ate, although I still have no idea what it may be.  I think it may be a seasoning in the food that I ate, but I am not completely sure.  The doctor gave me 3 prescriptions to help with the reaction and to prevent infections and they seem to be working well.  The Benadryl definitely makes me feel more tired than usual.

Saturday I felt terrible all day and couldn't eat anything solid.  My throat was almost back to it's normal size, and felt tender.  Not to mention I was groggy from not sleeping much the night before combined with stress and Benadryl.  Thankfully I at least felt well enough to get some homework out of the way.  It stinks that even when I'm sick I still have to do homework.  That's college for ya. :/

Today I am feeling somewhat better.  I am trying to take it easy and hope that by tomorrow I'll be back to normal.  I have to add, I am so thankful that I have such a wonderful husband to take care of me when I'm sick! :)  He has taken such good care of me.  It is nice to not have to worry about anything when you're sick except resting.

Well, that's all for now.  I think I might relax on the couch for a bit and read a book I picked up from the library Friday morning.  Here's hoping you all are feeling well and that you have a great rest of your weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Third Grade... Take Two

For those of you who may not know, I am currently attending a university in Florida and my major is elementary education.  This week I had the exciting experience of beginning my second internship (of three).  For my first internship, I worked in a first grade classroom, and this semester I am working in a third grade classroom.  I was very nervous at first.  After all, I haven't been in a third grade classroom since I was in third grade.  I had many questions as I entered the classroom on my first day.  These questions included: (1) How big will the kids be?  (please, please, please let them still be cute and little!) (2) Will they like me? (3) Will they think my Hello Kitty ID holder and folders will be dorky, or is that still cool in third grade? (4) What kind of math are they doing? (please, please, please let it be something I remember how to do so I don't look stupid!)  Thankfully, all of my questions were soon answered and I wasn't disappointed!  I also found out that I will already be teaching Science next week which will be super exciting!

I am truly honored that I get to work with such an amazing class this semester.  I know that I have so much to learn, but I have a feeling that I am going to grow a lot.  I can't wait to see where this semester takes me!

Although I know completely that teaching is the career path for me, I didn't always feel this way.  Until my Sophomore year of college I wanted to work with animals.  But then one day I began wondering if my major (at that point it was Marine Biology) was right for me.  After thinking and praying about it for some time, I felt as though I was being called to teaching.  As I thought about teaching more and more, it seemed like the perfect fit for me.  I had always loved children, but for some reason, until that time I had never considered working with them.  I finally decided that teaching was where I was meant to be, and I changed my major.  I haven't looked back since.  There are times when I feel like I want to work with animals again, but then I remember that I can teach my students about them and educate them on how to help our environment.

Most importantly, I hope to teach my future students that learning can be fun.  I didn't always enjoy school.  In fact, some years I absolutely hated it (fourth grade was one of those years due to my horrible math teacher... but that's another story).  I want my students to know that learning is worth the time and effort.  It isn't a bad thing.  It is a truly wonderful thing.  The same goes for reading.  So many children (and adults) that I know loathe reading.  It makes me so sad because I think that reading is amazing.  How else can you go on a free trip to another time and place without having to leave your couch???

I could go on and on, but I think I will end my story here.  I am sure that I will be writing more about education and learning in the near future, especially as I continue to work in my internship.

P.S. Enjoy reading my blog?  Feel free to click the "Follow" button or subscribe via email. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Make Up For Ever HD Complexion Starter Kit

For my first review, I thought I would start with the Make Up For Ever HD Complexion Starter Kit which I bought during my recent Sephora Haul.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Let me start off by saying although this kit was pretty expensive, it comes with a lot!  The kit includes the HD Microperfecting Primer (0.5 oz), one bottle of HD Invisible Cover Foundation (1.01 oz), the HD Microfinish Powder (0.17 oz), and the HD Kabuki Brush.  I thought I would give you a break down review of each product in the order in which I use them.

The first product I apply is the HD Microperfecting Primer in #0 Neutral.  At first, I was a little disappointed by how small it was.  However, I quickly realized that a little goes a long way.  The primer has a very light and pleasant scent which I only smell during the application.  It makes my face feel soft and I can definitely feel it creating the perfect base for applying my foundation.  Be sure to let the primer dry before applying your foundation.

Next comes the HD Invisible Cover Foundation.  One thing that is great about this kit is that it lets you choose your own shade of foundation.  At the Sephora store, you just pick your bottle of foundation and place it in the box.  When purchasing online, you choose the kit with your shade in it.  My foundation is #117 in Marble (for light skin with yellow undertones), but I will definitely have to move up a few shades during the summer (although I am very pale in the winter, I tan very easily in the summer).  I noticed a difference between the HD Invisible Cover Foundation and my previous foundation.  This foundation gives great coverage, something that I am always looking for.  I wouldn't say that I have horrible skin, but I wouldn't say that I have great skin either.  I guess I am somewhere in between.  Surprisingly, I found that the foundation feels much lighter and natural on my face than others with extra coverage.  I usually feel that I have to either sacrifice coverage or feel with foundations, but this one has it all!  The HD Invisible Cover Foundation comes in a ton of different shades, so I was able to find one that matched my skin perfectly, rather than having to choose one that was a little too light or a little too dark.  I also have combination skin.  I found that this foundation works well with combo skin because it has enough moisture to not be drying, but it doesn't add extra oil either.  To apply to my skin, I use my Sephora Professional #45 mineral powder brush.  I dab the foundation onto my skin, and then blend it in with the brush in a circular motion.

The last two products, the HD Microfinish Powder and the HD Kabuki Brush, I use together.  The Kabuki is super soft and it feels amazing on my face.  The base is about 1 inch wide, and the brush stands a little under 3 inches tall.  The brush is very thick and despite it's small size, it gives full coverage.

The HD Microfinish Powder pleasantly surprised me.  In fact, it amazed me!  I honestly didn't think it would make that big of a difference, but wow. Wow, wowwow.  This little pot of powder makes all the difference.  It is ultra fine powder and is made from 100% silica.  It is uber soft and feels like I'm rubbing pixie dust on my face.  Or crushed pearls.  Or you know, something else magical.  Not only does it feel magical, but it really creates the perfect finish to my makeup.  It really makes my skin flawless looking.  The powder slightly mattifies your skin, it's translucent, and it works with any skin tone.  This is also an Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner, so you know it has to be good!

All in all, this is one amazing kit.  My skin feels great, and it looks great too.  It is long lasting, so I don't have to worry about it melting off of my face or having to reapply throughout the day.  I am tempted to carry my powder and kabuki in my purse with me, just because they feel so amazing.  Although this set is a little pricey, it is a great deal.  The kit costs $79, but it is a $109 value.  When I first bought this kit, I thought that it probably wouldn't be too much better than my usual foundation (which I could pick up at any drugstore or my local Walmart), but I was dead wrong.  I know now that I will never be able to go back to my old makeup.

At Sephora, you can test these products before you buy them, so I would definitely recommend trying trying out the foundation before purchasing it so that you are able to match your shade.

Now it's your turn.  What do you think of this kit?  Would you like to try it?  Have you tried any of the products before?  Which products do you use and love?

On a final note, I am not affiliated with Sephora or Make Up For Ever in any way.  This review is purely my opinion and was not affected by anyone else and was completely honest.  I am not trying to persuade you to purchase the Make Up For Ever HD Complexion Starter Kit or any of the products listed.  I try to research my beauty products thoroughly before I purchase them so that I know what to expect before I buy it.  I want to write my own reviews so that I can help others who like to research their purchases too.  I hope that you found this review entertaining and informative.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sephora Haul!

For Christmas, I received a few gift cards for my local mall.  What happens when I have money to spend at the mall?  I go crazy in Sephora!

If you haven't heard of Sephora, I urge you to find one near you or check out their website as soon as you finish reading this post.  You can check out their website here.  One of the things that I love most about Sephora is that they carry a number of different brands in addition to their own.  This makes it easy to pick out the best product for you without having to remain with the same brand.  I also love that you can try almost every product before you buy it.  Also the salespeople at my Sephora are so friendly and helpful.

I had my eye on the Make Up Forever HD Complexion Starter Kit for a few weeks, so naturally that is where I headed first.  The kit includes HD Microperfecting Primer in #0 Neutral, HD Invisible Cover Foundation in your shade (mine is #117), HD Microfinish Powder, and HD Kabuki Brush.  (You can read my review of the HD Complexion Starter Kit here).

I also purchased the Sephora professional #45 mineral powder brush.  With the multitude of brushes placed before me, I asked a Sephora salesperson for help.  She recommended the mineral brush because it would take less time to use than a regular foundation brush and that it gave your makeup an airbrushed look.

I also looked for a concealer to help hide my dark under-eye circles (more on that in a post coming soon).  Once again, I was overwhelmed, but my salesperson helped me narrow down my choices.  After trying on a few concealers, I chose the Amazing Concealer in Light Golden.  I chose the smallest tube, but a larger one is also available.

In addition to concealer, I looked for a bronzer to add a little color to my light skin.  I was a little nervous about choosing a bronzer because I did not want to look like a pumpkin.  I tried on Too Faced bronzer in Snow Bunny and fell in love!  The color is great to add some warmth to my often too pale skin. (You can read my review of the Too Faced Bronzer in Snow Bunny here.)

As I hunted for a good bronzer brush, I picked the Too Faced Sun on the Run kit.  The kit includes a mini bronzer in Sun Bunny and the Too Faced flatbuki brush.  So small.  So cute.  (You can read my review of the Too Faced Sun on the Run kit here.)

Last, I picked up some Sephora brush cleaner to help me clean off my pretty new brushes.  I chose the small bottle so that I can see how much I like it, but a larger bottle is also available.

As usual, Sephora also hooked me up with lots of awesome free samples!  Really, who doesn't love free stuff?

Through the poll I posted last week, I found out that you all would like to read some reviews and recommendations.  As a result, I decided that I will be posting reviews of all of these products in the near future.  Once I do, I will add the links to this post so that if you ever decide to re-read it, you will have access to all of the product reviews.  Don't worry, I will be sure to spread them out so that you don't get too tired of make up (if that could ever happen).  Look for my first review on the MUFE HD kit soon.  It is definitely my favorite out of these purchases and I am dying to write about it.

Have you tried any of these products?  If so, which one?  If not, which one would you most likely want to try?

Oh and before I forget, for those of you wanting to know a little more about me, check out my new "About Me" tab located at the top of the page.  If you have any questions about me that are not answered there, feel free to ask.  There is another new tab up there as well with a list of a few of my favorite blogs.  Let me know what you think! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The ABC's of me

First of all, I have now made it possible for you to subscribe to my blog via email.  All you have to do is enter your email address in the box under the section that says "subscribe via email" on the left side of my page.  Once you subscribe, you will be sent an email confirming that you wish to subscribe.  From then on, if I write a new post, it will be emailed to you.  No post, no email.  It's that simple. :)  You can also follow me through Google Friend Connect.  All you need is a Google account (or gmail email address).  Click the blue "Join this Site" button under the "Followers" section on the right, and you're all set.

Now on to the post...

Want to know a little more about me?  Well, here you go!  If you fill out this survey too, please leave me the link in the comments below.  I would love to read it and learn about you too! :)


A - Age: 22

B - Bed size: California King

C - Chore you hate: Folding laundry

D - Dog's name: Sadly, I don't have a dog.  Well, I kind of do, but he was a family pet when I lived at home, and he lives at my mom's house.  His name is Max though and he is a cutie.

E - Essential start your day item: My alarm clock.  Otherwise I would probably sleep till 11:00 every day without meaning to.

F - Favorite color: Blue, Pink, and Orange.  Depends on my mood.

G - Gold or Silver: White gold.

H - Height: 5'4"

I - I am: a dork.

J - Job: Right now I have a seasonal position at a textbook store.

K - Kids: None.  I do however have a pet fish.  His name is Mushu.  He was named after the adorable dragon in the Disney movie, Mulan.

L - Living arrangements: I live in a tiny apartment with my husband (and Mushu, of course).

M - Mom's name: Kimberly

N - Nicknames: Riss, Rissy, Rissa

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: I had surgery on my finger once.  But I was a 1-year-old baby, so I don't really remembered if I stayed over night or not.

P - Pet Peeve: I have several!  Probably the weirdest one is that I hate it when people touch me with their feet.  For some reason I have always had this weird foot phobia.  I guess because feet are just so weird.  My sister has harassed me with this for most of her life.

Q - Quote from a movie: Once again, I have many.  A few of my favorites:
- "I love you Binky... but I don't have to like you right now." - Andie from "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"
- "I caught you a delicious bass." Napoleon Dynamite
- "Alllllllllrightly then." Ace Ventura

R - Right or left handed: I'm a righty

S - Siblings: I have 1 fabulous younger sister, Darby

T - Time you wake up: 7:30 AM

U- Underwear: I'm not sure how to answer this.  Yes, I wear them.

V - Vegetable you dislike: Brussels sprouts.  But then again, does anyone like them?  I also don't like okra, which my husband (and all of his family) loves.

W - Ways you run late: Usually I just lose track of time.  For example, this afternoon I was almost late for work because I was doing my makeup and watching a fashion video on YouTube and forgot to pay attention to the clock.

X - X-rays you've had: I have had several.  The most interesting one occurred in elementary school.  I was playing this dreadful game in PE where my entire class had to grab hold of a parachute and shake it up and down.  We were each assigned a number.  When the coach called our number we would run under the tent and find another spot.  I'm not really sure how that sounded like a good idea.  When my number was called and I started running, a boy's large head collided my poor little nose.  Once I finally escaped the parachute, I was covered in blood, rushed to the nurse's office, and my mom was told that I had possibly broken my nose.  Thus, the x-ray.  By the way, my nose was thankfully not broken, but my shirt was ruined.

Y - Yummy food you make: I have a casserole that I make called "chicken and cracker casserole" that everyone (including my super picky sister) loves.  I also have a few recipes that I got from my Abuela (that means grandmother in Spanish) that are absolutely amazing including Spanish bean soup and spaghetti.

Z - Zoo favorite: I have always loved giraffes.  When I was younger I had an awesome stuffed giraffe named Giraffey, which we all know is a super creative name for a 3-year-old.  I also had a stuffed dog named Doggly Woggly.  I know that wasn't the question, but that tidbit was so interesting that I had to throw it out there for you.

If you made it this far, congrats!  Thank you for taking the time to read about me.  When I get tired (like I am right now) I get a little weird.  You probably understand what I mean from reading this survey.  I apologize.

Don't forget, if you take this survey yourself, leave me the link so I can learn about you too!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new

"We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." 
-Edith Lovejoy Pierce

 Happy New Year!

I can't believe that it is already 2012.  Last year brought many events and changes in my life.  Because I did not get the chance to do it yesterday, I thought I would write a brief look-back post on 2011.

Looking back on 2011

January was an exciting month for me.  My husband (then fiancĂ©), Travis came home from deployment shortly before Christmas 2010.  It is a little difficult to explain, but when you have been apart from someone for a year, you have to take some time getting reacquainted.

The fact is, you both change, even if you don't realize it.  Although it is a little odd, it is still a wonderful feeling.  Every time you are together you remember what it has been like for the last year.  Sadly, we still lived in different cities at the time, so we visited each other as often as possible, but because I was just beginning a new semester at my university, we were not able to spend as much time together as we would have liked.  The next few months did not pass by as quickly as I would have liked.  I was incredibly busy with school, packing, and finishing my wedding plans.  Finally the spring semester ended and I became even more overwhelmed with the preparations for our wedding.  After what seemed like forever, our wedding day finally approached.  It was definitely the happiest day of my life.  It was such an amazing day, and I couldn't stop thinking, "Oh my gosh.  It is finally happening," (after all, we had been engaged for a year and a half).

We spent the two weeks following our wedding on the beautiful island of St. Lucia.  It was such a beautiful place.  It is difficult to describe how wonderful those two weeks were.  I was finally married to my prince charming and relaxing away the stress of the previous year and a half on the most beautiful beach I have ever seen (and coming from a Floridian, that's saying something).

Once we came home, we lived in Travis' hometown for about a month until we found a place to live in my city.  We finally found an apartment and moved to the city.  Since then, we have had a lot of fun getting used to the married life.  In August, I started this blog.  I have had a lot of fun so far, and I am excited about working on my writing, and hopefully gaining some new followers along the way.  Although I don't have many followers so far, I have had people read my blog from countries all over the world, including Russia, the Philipines, Germany, Zimbabwe, Australia and several more.  It is such a wonderful feeling to know that my words are being read.  So a special shout out to my international readers... THANK YOU!  (P.S. I would love to hear from you!)

This December, Travis and I spent our first Christmas together bouncing around from house to house and visiting family.

My fabulous sister and me baking

Max and me on Christmas Eve

On December 31, we celebrated at my mother's house with family and friends.

I have big hopes for 2012.  2011 was such an incredible year that I am excited to see what the future holds for Travis and me.  I begin my second internship in a few weeks.  I can't wait to put what I have learned in school to use.  This fall I will be graduating.  Between those events, who knows. :)

How did you ring in the new year?  What was your favorite event of 2011?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Well, that is all for now.  I hope you all have a very happy first week of 2012!