Tarte – Create Your Own Beauty Kit Review

Two posts in one week? What is this? I just received the “build your own custom beauty kit” from Tarte and I couldn’t resist sharing.

I’m sure many of you took advantage of this great deal, but for one day only you could get¬†7 full-size items of your choice plus a makeup bag and brush for $63! It launched the day before my birthday, so I decided to treat myself ūüėČ

The packaging was super cute. Tons of bright colors and unicorns.

First up is the bag. Pictures do not do it justice. It’s holographic and unicorn-inspired and I love it. If it wouldn’t be weird, I would use this as clutch. It’s SO pretty.

Tarte Unicorn Bag

Next up is the¬†Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation in Fair – Light Neutral. To be honest, I think it will be a bit too dark for me. I am super pale, but I’m hoping that I can make it work. The container is gorgeous and I think it’s an interesting idea to have the mesh sifter so that you can just dip your brush in instead of tapping out the powder. It prevents it from going everywhere.

Next is blush. I chose the Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Dollface. This is a shade of blush that I don’t own, so I thought it would be fun to have and the name sounds adorable. It’s really soft and velvety.

I could not resist the packaging of the Limited-edition Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Festival. I was *thisclose* to picking up the bright mint Fairytale shade, but I resisted at the last minute and I’m glad I did. This is the perfect “your lips, but better” shade. I’m really impressed by it. I’ve had it on for hours so far and it does not feel drying and it looks just as good as when I applied it, even though I’ve had things to eat and drink.

I’m less enthused about the eyeliner and mascara¬†only because I have yet to find products that don’t irritate my eyes. I’m going to cautiously give these a try. I picked the Skinny SmolderEYES¬†Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in amethyst and the Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara¬†in black.

Then finally I chose the Timeless Beauty Blush Brush. I really like the floral detailing on it, and it feels really soft.

Tarte Brush

All in all I’m really happy with this beauty kit. I’m definitely going to keep my eye out for next year’s deal! It was a really nice way to try out a ton of their products for an awesome price.

Did you end up creating your own kit? Which item was your favorite?

Ipsy Bag Review – May 2017

Hi everyone! It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that everything looks completely different and I don’t know what I’m doing! ūüėČ

After a very long hiatus from subscribing to Ipsy, I decided to renew my subscription. Having extremely sensitive eyes can be a bummer when it comes to makeup bag subscriptions since they generally include at least one product for eyes. I’m not sure if Ipsy has upped their game or if I was just lucky this month, but I didn’t get one eye product and I was extremely happy with the contents of my bag!

Let’s dive in!

Ipsy May 2017 Contents

First of all, the bag is adorable. The theme this month is Summer Friday and the picks are supposed to “help make all your warm weather dreams come true”. I love the ice cream and popsicle print. Now let’s get into the contents!

Urban Decay Afterglow in Sin¬†– I am all about highlighters lately, and I think I will end up getting the full size of this product once I’m done with the sample. It’s lightweight and I love the champagne color. It’s really sparkly and glowy without being over the top.

Adesse New York¬†Organic Infused Gel Effect Nail Lacquer in Surfer Girl – I haven’t painted my nails with this yet, but right off the bat I like that it is vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic. I normally wear pretty dark nail polish in the fall and winter months, but this pastel blue shade is a nice contrast for the summer months.

Ipsy May 2017 Nail Polish

tr√®StiQue¬†Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Tuscan Wine – This is the only product I was hesitant about from this month’s bag because I remember getting the same product in a different shade awhile back when I was subscribed and I did not like it at all. I don’t know if I just got a dud last time, but I really like this lip crayon. It feels moisturizing and smooth, but is matte. The wine shade seems a bit more fall/winter for me, but definitely something I will be using a lot because I love a good wine-colored lip.

Hey Honey¬†B√©same Mucho – I think this might be my new favorite lip product. I don’t get super chapped lips, but they definitely get dry and I’ve been having a hard time finding the perfect solution. This lip balm is light, creamy, and super hydrating. It doesn’t feel sticky or gloppy, which I really appreciate.

Ipsy May 2017 Lip Balm

Luxie Beauty¬†Dreamcatcher Precision Foundation Brush 660 – Is it bad that most of the brushes I own I’ve gotten from makeup subscription bags? Probably, but I think it’s a nice way to build up a collection. I started out applying my foundation with a brush and have since moved to a beauty blender, but I’m happy to have this on hand to give a try. It seems like it is a nice quality and feels really soft.

Ipsy May 2017 Brush

That’s it for my glam bag this month! Do you subscribe to Ipsy? What was your favorite product this month?

BeautynetKorea Haul

Hi everyone and happy new year! I started a new job this month so posts have been a little less frequent and I haven’t been reading as much. I hope to get back on track and dive into some books and manga that are in my TBR stack soon.

This post is a little different, but today I received¬†a package of beauty products from BeautynetKorea that I treated myself to with a little bit of my Christmas money. I’ve been interested in Asian beauty products and skincare routines for awhile now, so it was fun to pick up a few products to try them out.

beauty-haul

First I just want to say what a pleasant experience I had shopping at BeautynetKorea. I could spend hours on their site; they have so many interesting products to look at. The shipping was super quick. I received my order 10 days after it shipped (and it shipped 2 days after I placed the order). They were also very generous with the free samples!

beauty-products

Here are the products I ordered:

HOLIKA HOLIKA Gudetama LAZY & EASY All Kill Cleanser Oil To Foam – I haven’t ever tried an oil cleanser or an oil to foam cleanser, but I’m really interested to test this out. I don’t know if it’s more of a gimmick¬†like shampoo and conditioner combos, but I hope it does its job properly. The fact that Gudetama is on it made it too cute to pass up. Seriously, I can’t get over how adorable the Holika Holika x Gudetama Lazy & Easy collection is. I need it all!

SAINT PEAU Eco-Friendly Snail Sun Cream (SPF50+/PA+++) – I wasn’t exactly sure where to begin with picking out a sun cream, but this was listed as one of the top sellers, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong there. It’s supposed to have anti-aging properties, which is probably something I should care more about since I’m closer to 30 than 20 now!

SECRET KEY 2015 New Snail Repairing Emulsion – I’ve been a big believer in products with snail extract ever since receiving some in a Beauteque BB Bag ages ago. It really seemed to help brighten my skin. This product is supposed to moisturize and brighten skin. I know that snail mucus or snail extract might sound weird to people, but I really do think it’s a miracle product. I’m really looking forward to trying this out.

samples

Here are the samples I received:

TONYMOLY¬†Panda’s Dream White Hand Cream – I have TONYMOLY peach hand cream and I love it, so I’m sure I will like this.

TONYMOLY¬†Jeju Snail Essence – Is it bad that I hope I don’t like this because it sells for about $40? I’m sure it will be amazing, though!

TONYMOLY The Black Tea London Classic Serum – This is an anti-wrinkle and whitening serum.

TONYMOLY The Hayan Cherry Blossom Whitening Cream (x2) – This has cherry blossom extract, and I’m a sucker for anything cherry blossom-related, so I’m happy!

TONYMOLY Regencia Homme Multi Fluid – I couldn’t find this for sale on their website, so I just linked to TONYMOLY’s site. I had no idea what a multi fluid was, but it’s supposed to make skin relaxed, moisturized, silky, and elastic. That’s a lot of features. I wonder if it lives up to its promise.

Do you buy any Asian skincare¬†or beauty products? What are some of your favorites? Please feel free to leave me suggestions because this is new-ish territory for me and I’m excited to learn more.

The Sun is Also a Star | Book Review

the-sun-is-also-a-star

Title: The Sun is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Synopsis:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I‚Äôve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents‚Äô high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store‚ÄĒfor both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Rating: 4stars

This book has¬†been a huge deal in bookish blogs and on Instagram, and rightly so. While it’s not one of my all time favorite books, I really enjoyed it. The main story takes place over one day in New York City. Natasha and Daniel meet, Daniel is smitten right away, and Natasha takes a longer time to come around.

The writing style was really different in that instead of long chapters, there were shorter segments written from different people’s points of view. It made it really quick and fun to read. I really liked getting to know little snippets about the side characters, like what they were feeling and what their backgrounds were, even if the interactions they had with the main characters were so fleeting.

I expected this story to be a bit cheesy, but it never was. I liked how the relationship developed between Natasha and Daniel, and how well their different personalities came together. Natasha is more cynical and scientific, and Daniel is a poet with romanticized ideas about things.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I went on a bit of an emotional roller coaster at the end and I didn’t expect it to all come together like that. I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a fun and easy read. It’s cute, it’s quick, but it remains grounded and doesn’t go too over the top with cheesiness or romance.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, however all opinions are my own.

 

Dream Author Panel

Wouldn’t it be so fun to get to see your favorite authors at a panel together? That actually might be possible!¬†Eventbrite¬†is¬†the largest self-service ticketing platform in the world¬†that helps people find and plan events and conferences in your area. As far as my dream panel goes, there are so many authors I love so it’s¬†really hard to narrow it down to a few, but I tried to stick with a cohesive theme for it.

My favorite genre is magical realism. I cannot get enough of it. I love the whimsy and magical elements in a real world setting. I thought that would be the perfect panel theme: magical realism authors.

dream-author-panel

Sarah Addison Allen РShe is, hands down, my favorite author. Her way of writing helps me perfectly imagine these gorgeous southern towns in her books and there is always a dash of magical realism and whimsy. Can I also take a second to talk about the foods and recipes she adds in her books? They really add something special to the experience as she describes the foods and their different powers/properties, like in Garden  Spells, and then will include the recipe in the book. I love the characters she creates and I would happily pack up and move to any of the towns in her books because she makes them seem so charming.

Charles de Lint – His books were my first experience with the magical realism genre, before I even knew that was an actual genre. I liked fantasy books and the cover of¬†Dreams Underfoot caught my eye. The beginning of the synopsis says, “Welcome to the music clubs, the waterfront, the alleyways where ancient myths and magic spill into the modern world.” Once I read that one, I was hooked and bought armfuls of his other books. I love the characters he creates and how their stories intertwine in the urban, yet magical town of Newford.

Alice Hoffman – After reading all of Sarah Addison Allen’s books, I needed more magical realism in my life. So many people on book forums recommended Alice Hoffman. I decided to give¬†Practical Magic a try, and my need for this genre has been satisfied once again! I’m sure most people have read the book or at least seen the movie, but it’s about two girls, Gillian and Sally, who live with their elderly aunts who “encourage the whispers of witchery [from the townspeople], with their darkened house, their love concoctions and their crowd of black cats”.

I would love to find out how the authors toe the line between complete fantasy worlds and and the “real” world when writing, because it’s a delicate and perfect balance they create, in my opinion. It seems like it would be too easy to just go all out and make a complete fantasy world, but to balance it with contemporary seems like it needs to be carefully done so that it remains believable. I would also love to know what inspires them to add that dash of magic into their books because that’s what makes them so special, in my opinion.

Which authors would make up your dream panel?

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts Under $30

Do bloggers have their own version of vlogmas where¬†they blog every day for the month of December? That sounds exhausting, although I guess some people daily blog normally. I’m getting more and more in the holiday spirit, so I thought it’d be fun to create a few more gift guides and fill my blog with more frequent festive fun! ūüėČ

Today’s gift guide is gifts under $30. These gifts are perfect stocking stuffers, gifts for friends, or maybe even a gift exchange because they won’t break the bank.

holidays

1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8

Which gift would you love to give or receive?

Book Review – Hollow City

hollow-city

Title: Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

Author: Ransom Riggs

Synopsis:¬†The book, as the second in the series, picks up just after the wights have ransacked Miss Peregrine’s time loop. The monsters captured the children’s caretaker ymbryne, but the kids rescued Miss Peregrine from the wights. The book begins with the children paddling through the sea between Wales and England while the wights pursue them in submarines. Although they were able to rescue Miss Peregrine, she remains stuck in the form of a peregrine falcon.

Rating: 4stars

 

I recently finished the second novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, and I can’t get enough¬†of this trilogy. I will try to limit spoilers in this review, because it had some twists and turns that I was not expecting!

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book¬†– some people seemed to love it while others thought that it was boring. I am in the first category, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. The reader is thrown into the adventure right away in Hollow City as the peculiar children try to save Miss Peregrine and help her turn back into a human. I thought this book was full of action and mystery and I was hooked right away.

I really liked getting to know the characters better and I feel like there was a lot of character development and some of them got to shine a bit more in this book that¬†had a more minor role in the first one. It’s so hard to write this without spoiling things!

I felt deeply invested in the characters and the story, remaining nervous but hopeful that their mission would succeed. This book took the characters into and out of various loops where they made some friends and met some enemies. The majority of the book takes place in a war-torn London, and I was on the edge of my seat as the characters tried to beat the clock to help Miss Peregrine.

The ending had a twist that I did not see coming at all. I felt a mix of shock and horror after reading it, and also a ton of curiosity as to where the third book in the series is going to lead.

All I can say is I highly recommend this book if you liked the first one in the series. If you haven’t read the first book yet, I highly recommend that you do so! It’s such a fun adventure and full of moments that will leave you on the edge of your seat. I can’t wait to read Library of Souls to see how the story concludes.

Have you read Hollow City? How did you feel about it?