Monday, March 20, 2017

Music Monday: Nick Hakim



Nick Hakim is a Brooklyn-based musician originally from Washington, DC. He is currently on tour and his debut full-length album Green Twins is due out in May. 



The Green Twins (Live in London)





Cold
Bet She Looks Like You
The Light










Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Go Deep: 20th Anniversary of The Phoenix Lights



Those who know me well understand that I have a fascination with all things paranormal or unexplained. The story of the Phoenix lights is particularly interesting to me. On this, the 20th anniversary of the mass UFO sighting, I share with you a well-executed documentary that has always stuck with me.














Now Playing: "Senior Living" by R√∂yksopp

Monday, March 6, 2017

2017 Makeup No Buy Update: February Temptations

February Temptations



 So, February was a bit of a disaster for my no-buy. I had a feeling it would be one of the most challenging months of the year for me. My birthday was on the 1st, I still had gift cards leftover from Christmas, I always treat myself to something on Valentine's Day, tax returns, new releases, the list goes on... Lots of good excuses. Some valid reasons.

 I was proud of my flawless track record in January and that has inspired me to continue on in March. For Lent, I'm attempting to not shop for anything. I've already slipped once but you'll see in the product descriptions below for my February temptations why that might be.



Dior Addict Lip Glow in Berry, $33

I have this lippie in a couple other shades. I reach for the lighter color most often. I thought this berry (which in actuality is closer to a bright pink) would be a nice addition to my collection. It's on the list but I might hold off on this one all together.



Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, $54

I have been a major proponent of the Smashbox Primer Water but lately, I've noticed that my blush and highlighter doesn't seem to last very long. I heard so many good things about this primer which doubles as a lip and eye base. I got a sample and was really impressed with the results. The price tag is very steep though. I might put this on my list for the upcoming Sephora VIB sale.



Lancome Rose Blush Highlighter

I was going to pass on this highlighter but the unique packaging and limited edition hype won me over. I ended up using a gift card on it and acquired it while Lancome was in gift (securing a new Aplum blush which was missing out of my collection). The packaging is pretty but it barely fits in my drawer. I haven't reached for it. I see that these HTF beauties are going for quite a pretty penny on ebay. I might have to part with this and do the flip. Spoiler Alert: I may have cheated on my Lenten no-shop to get the Estee Lauder Heatwave Highlighter. I might flip this as well or keep it in place of the Lancome flower concoction.



Chanel Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder Highlighter, $70

Another highlighter that grabbed my attention was this limited edition release from Chanel. I have been collecting Chanel highlighters for about 10 years now. The past few seasons didn't include one which was very disappointing. When I saw the red packaging and the golden sheen, I knew I had to procure this into my collection.



Wet N Wild Cushion Highlighter, $6

I love anything with a cushion formulation inside cutesy packaging. This adorable little release from Wet N Wild was very tempting. I passed on it during a Walgreens sale but it was just so adorable!



Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss, $30

The last thing I need is lip gloss but the new Chanel lip gloss formula piqued my interest. I'm glad I held off from ordering any before seeing them in person because I'm not a fan of the new packaging, formula, or color range. I have a ton of Glossimers but never reach for them for similar reasons. Chanel does lipstick incredibly well but they just can't seem to master how to top them off.



Too Faced Peach Oil Lip Gloss in Papa Don't Peach, $19

I had no desire to jump into the peach craze from Too Faced. Enough is enough. But then I smelled this lip gloss. The color and formula is smooth. I love anything with an oil so this is definitely on my list for a future sale.



Clarins 4-Color All-In-One Liner Pen, $30

I have enough liners for 15 women so for me to be tempted by one it has to be really good. At first I thought this clicky pen was just a gimmick but it has a solid construction and decent formula for 4 very wearable shades (black, brown and cobalt blue eyeliner along with a creamy nude lipliner). The packaging reminds me of the pens I loved so dearly when I was in elementary school. I'm a nostalgic type of person who has an affinity for pens and makeup. I also happen to love Clarins so it's no surprise that I caved and bought this during gift.



Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation, $28

The Dior Airflash foundation is a cult favorite for a reason. I got my sister hooked. It's a very unique product that until recently was not duped. I've always wanted to use it but it's very expensive and the lightest color is still a few shades too deep for me (the pains of being fair-skinned). This alternative from Sephora Collection is a fraction of the price and the color range is far superior. As for the formula, it seems to have potential. I might give it a try in the future. I tend to go for light cushions and BB creams but my skin has been acting up lately and it might be beneficial to have a fuller coverage option in my arsenal.



Etude House Wonder Park Candy Highlighter, $12

I love my Etude House goodies. My best friend is traveling to Korea later this year and you better believe I'm sending her with a list of places she has to go to shop. K-beauty is all the rage and for good reason. This product is more of a color correcting finishing powder than a highlighter. The Etude House spring collection is so charming. I can appreciate anything with a holographic theme park motif as I have so many wonderful memories from growing up with summers spent at Kennywood Park.



Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum, $10

Speaking of Etude House, I have noticed that their lash serum isn't as effective on brows as it is on my lashes. I've been wanting to experiment with a few other affordable alternatives. This one jumped out at me on Pinterest. It's on the drugstore watch list.



Milani Retouch & Erase Lite Lift Concealer, $9

In keeping with the drug store, Milani has been one of my favorites for years. There have been several new releases from Milani (the lip scrub, balm, primers, setting sprays, highlighters) that have tempted me this month! I've stayed strong and didn't cave on any of them but they're definitely taking up residency in the back of my mind.




Items I 'shopped from my own stash' this month:


FebruaryShopStash




Too Faced The Little Black Book of Bronzers

I'm a major book lover so of course when this product was released I snatched it right up. It's very slim but takes up a lot of square footage in my bronzer drawer. I don't always reach for it but I've recently made the effort. I love the lighter shades that are harder to find from other brands. Too Faced knows how to brew a good bronzer. I definitely recommend all of their singles.



Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Alloy, $22

I don't reach for liquid eyeliner very often despite having the full range from Stila. I'm trying to use them more often before they wither away. I wore this particular charcoal shade when I went to see the new 50 Shades sequel. You know you're a junkie when you match your makeup to the movie you're going to see.



MAC Fix +, $24

It took me a long time to finally grasp the best way to use this product. Many people think that it's a setting spray but it's actually for finishing. The difference? It won't prolong the wear of your makeup but it will dilute any powder or cakiness that may have occurred in the 'face beating' process.



Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

When these were released a number of years ago, I instantly fell in love with their formula. I was sad to see them discontinued but promptly bought backups and the remaining colors when they went on major clearance. I don't buy backups of products pretty much ever but I do have a few from this range. I think Urban Decay made a major mistake by tossing these from their lineup. Some of my favorite lippies ever made! I'm definitely trying to get as much use out of them as possible.



Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze, $7

I have quite a few of these in my collection but I don't reach for them very often anymore because my ColourPop, Dior, Lancome and Chanel bouncy cream shadows have taken their place. They've dried up a bit but a drop of Inglot Duraline brought them right back to life. If you have a cream shadow, liner or primer that has solidified, I can't recommend this product highly enough. One drop is all you need to magically transform a tough substance into a good-as-new creamy consistency. Bad to the Bronze has always been my favorite shade from the bunch. It was fun to reintroduce it back into the rotation.



Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Pink Punch, $4

I've been trying to switch up my lip balms and use as many as possible this winter. I forgot that the Baby Lips aren't just cute but they have some decent coloring. I have several but enjoy this pink shade the most. Very moisturizing.



Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light Palette, $80

This was a pricier item and I want to make sure that I'm not just admiring its gorgeous packaging but actually using it. Hourglass has the best powders in the business. Worth every penny. I love that this palette is essentially a one-stop-shop for the face. If I needed to, I could use this and not have to reach for anything else. Finishing powder, blushes, bronzer, and highlighter all in one convenient, elegant design.



Forever 21 Macaroon Lip Balm

These precious little lippies have been popular for some time. I absolutely love their sweet colors and darling packaging and picked up quite a few from Forever 21 several years ago. I've been trying to get as much use out of them as I can. When the product is gone, they make for charming little pill cases or can be repurposed for other products.












Now Playing: "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man

Monday, February 13, 2017

Music Monday: Yellow Days



I love the feeling I get when I discover a new artist whose talent is so palpable that it sends electricity coursing through my veins. It doesn't happen very often but this sense of musical euphoria is one of the reasons my ears are always receptive to new music.

When I first discovered Yellow Days, lesser known by his birth name, George van den Broek, the 17-year-old phenom out of England made my heart soar. The power behind this young man's voice evokes a bygone era that neither he nor I were alive to experience. It's raw emotion like this which makes me a music lover. His debut EP, Harmless Melodies, is out now along with a more recent release that can be heard below. 

People

Go Home

Gap in the Clouds

Your Hand Holding Mine
















Sunday, February 12, 2017

Flick Pick: Frank & Lola


I recently bit the bullet and administered an ad-blocking program to my computer. As an avid YouTube watcher, it's one of the best digital decisions I've ever made. But when I'm on my mobile device, I still suffer through those pesky commercials. While most ads are no more than time thieves, when properly executed, they occasionally deliver inspiration and guidance. Enter the promo for Frank & Lola that ran before a vlog I watched from a Wiccan medium who lives in DC (shout-out to Psychic Bob).



Deliciously described as a 'psychosexual noir', Frank & Lola delivers in the form of fast-paced suspense and erotic romance. Viewers are taken inside the scattered lives of characters whose worlds are divided between the bright lights of the two very different cityscapes of Las Vegas and Paris. In his feature debut, writer-director, Matthew Ross, enchants with seedy cinematography that perfectly sets the tone. Fans of similar movies within the genre such as Manhattan Night will enjoy this film as well. 7/10.


Frank & Lola is available for rent or purchase online.











Now Playing: "Weird Fishes / Arpeggi" by Radiohead
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm living life in beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I hold a journalism degree from West Virginia University. I have worked in television news, fashion marketing, PR, and cosmetic sales. My love for writing and sharing with the world my various passions is strong. One of my many ambitions is to be published and continue creating in the fields of digital and print media, literature and film. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going to concerts, reading, following Pittsburgh sports and traveling as often as possible. Some of my favorite things include beauty, style, architecture, books, tarot and astrology, thrifting and my shih-tzu, Ireland. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!