Friday, February 21, 2014

Beauty Products I've Been Loving

Over the past few months, I have really been trying to step out of my comfort zone when it comes to beauty products and change up the products that I use. Since my sophomore or junior year of high school, I had been using almost all of the same products and the same makeup routine. I've tried out countless products recently but here are some of my favourites!
The first thing I've been absolutely loving are the Real Techniques brushes. I watch some beauty gurus on YouTube and so many of them rave about these brushes, so when I saw some of them at Kohl's, I had to try them out. I currently have the kabuki brush, foundation brush, and my favourite, the expert face brush. These brushes are so soft and are really great to apply face makeup with. I use the kabuki brush for powder and bronzer, the foundation brush for applying concealer and powder under my eyes, and the expert face brush for my foundation. The expert face brush is especially amazing because as you apply your foundation, the brush buffs it into your skin, giving you a really smooth and natural finish. And to make the brushes even more awesome, they are really inexpensive (around $10 or less for most brushes) and you can buy them in lots of places like Kohl's, Ulta, and Walmart. I love these brushes so much and definitely plan to buy more! Next up on my "to-buy" list are the blush brush and the eye brushes!
brushes from left to right: expert face brush, kabuki brush, and foundation brush

Another product I've been using a lot are the eye shadow palettes by Wet N Wild. I had never tried this brand out until this past autumn. I think it must be a newer brand since I didn't see it in many stores until recently, but I've been really pleasantly surprised by their products. They're a really inexpensive brand, so I didn't expect much from them, but I really like a lot of their products—especially the eye shadows! They come in really nice palettes that are labelled so you know what to apply to your eyelid, crease, and browbone and the colour sets are really good. My favourite palette is called "Walking on Eggshells" and is a very neutral palette with a shimmery beige colour that goes on the eyelid. Their shadows are really pigmented and they last a long time without creasing (which is a big deal for me, since eye shadow doesn't tend to last very long on my lids!) I also have palettes in "Sweet as Candy" and "Knock on Wood" and will probably be adding more to my collection as well!
colour sets from left to right: Sweet as Candy, Walking on Eggshells, and Knock on Wood

Next, I have been wanting to try out a new foundation for a while. I had always used the same one from Covergirl, but in the winter when my skin gets paler, I found that my normal shade was too dark and the next shade lighter made me look too pasty. So I decided to try something totally new and bought L'Oréal True Match Lumi foundation. The first time I used it, I was so amazed at how great my skin looked that I found myself just staring at it in the mirror throughout the day haha! Something really cool about this foundation is that it comes in "undertones" (warm, neutral, and cool) so you can really get a shade that's perfect for you. I use the Neutral 1-2 shade. The only critique I have is that it is not oil free, so for oily-skinned people, it could make their skin look even more oily. But, I tend to have oily skin and I've found that if I use a matte powder and then reapply once or twice later in the day, it's not a problem!

Another product I hadn't branched out with in years was mascara, so I recently decided to try out something different. I have heard so many great things about Maybelline The Falsies mascara, so when I heard about Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes, I decided to try it. I absolutely LOVE this mascara! It makes your lashes look so full and long, doesn't clump, and really does make your eyes look big! My favourite part is that it comes with separate applicators for your top lashes and your bottom lashes, so I don't need to worry about getting too much product on my bottom lashes and make them smudge. I would really really recommend this to anyone looking to try out a new mascara!

As I mentioned in my 25 Things About Me post, I am a huge fan of red lipstick. The most recent red lipsticks I have tried out have been the Rimmel Kate Moss collection. There are a ton of colours, not just reds, and they are all so gorgeous, but I especially love the red ones! I currently have shades 01 and 10. 01 has a darker tone and seems to have warmer undertones and 10 seems to have cooler undertones. If you apply this lipstick, blot it, and then reapply, it lasts for so long. There are also some really pretty coral and pink colours that I will probably try out for Spring!

In both photos, shade 01 is on the left and 10 is on the right

Next up is another product from Rimmel—their 60 Second nail polishes. I've tried a bunch of other nail polishes that claim to dry instantly, but have smudged even after an hour of drying. But this nail polish actually does dry pretty much instantly. After I apply a second coat, I let it dry for about 5 minutes and then can do literally whatever I want and don't need to worry about it smudging. I am someone that gets so impatient waiting for my nails to dry so this nail polish is so perfect for me! The nail polish lasts a while without chipping, and to make it even better, it's so cheap! Less than $3 for a bottle. The only problem is that I haven't been able to find it anywhere other than the Walmart near my school in North Carolina. I wanted to buy some for my sister while I was home in Massachusetts at Christmastime, but couldn't find it in any of the stores near my house. I'm going to have to research some more about where to buy it at home, but I think to be safe, I'll probably stock up on all the colours before I graduate this May! :)
colours from left to right: Red Steady Go, Caramel Cupcake, and Mintilicious

And last, but definitely not least are the Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain (which I believe are now called ColorBurst Balm Stain). I actually tried this product for the first time in the summer of 2012, but I love them so much and use them almost every day, that I had to include them in this post! I have the colours Smitten, Sweetheart, and Romantic. The Smitten (magenta) and Sweetheart (bright pink) are super pigmented so I only use a light amount of those, but the Romantic (red) isn't quite as pigmented so I find that I need to apply quite a lot to get the colour dark enough for my liking. These are a balm stain, so once you apply it, you don't need to worry about it creasing in your lips at all or making them look dry, and it lasts super long. More recently, Revlon released more of these balm stains in matte and lacquer colours, so I'm definitely going to be getting more for the spring!
Colours from top to bottom: Smitten, Sweetheart, and Romantic

I hope you've enjoyed reading about some of the products that I love at the moment! Once I start buying new products for spring and summer, I will likely be posting again with some of my warm weather favourites! If you have any products that you absolutely love, please tell me about it in a comment. I love to hear recommendations on products to try :)

xo Christie

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

First Adventure of 2014—New York and DC!

2014 is going to be a big year of travelling for me! I'll be spending a weekend in Atlanta later this month; most likely popping up to Burlington, Vermont where my sister goes to school during my Spring Break; going on a cruise in the Bahamas or Caribbean this summer; and heading to Dublin, Bath and London, England, and Paris and Lyon, France in the Fall. But to kick everything off, I recently spent some time in New York City and Washington, DC!

My university has something called Winter Term in which students take one class during the month of January. Classes on campus meet 3 hours per day, 5 days per week, but there are also a bunch of classes that travel. Most travel abroad for the month, but there are also some domestic ones that travel in the USA too. My class studied the differences between Wealth and Poverty, focusing especially on New York and DC. I'd been to New York five times before but was so excited to visit again! I mean, it's New York--you can't possibly get tired of visiting New York! I was also so excited for DC because I had only been there once before when I was in middle school, so I did not remember it too well. Rather than go into lots of detail about the two cities, here are some pictures so you can see how great of a time I had!

New York City:

the amazing Times Square
As part of the class, we took a tour of Wall Street. Here is where all the magic happens—the New York Stock Exchange
This is the Freedom Tower which is part of the 9/11 Memorial. Last time I was in New York, they were finishing construction on this, so it was so cool to see the completed tower!
Also as part of the 9/11 Memorial, there are huge pools of water where the two towers used to be. Around the pools are the names of all of the people who died on September 11th. I think the monument was such a great way to honour all of the people who lost their lives that day.
exploring New York at night. That's the Chrysler Building in the back!
One night, the 11 of us in the class decided to check out Chinatown for dinner. We walked down Canal Street and decided on a tiny little hole in the wall restaurant. The food was amazing and so, so cheap!  
After we ate our dinner, I got this fortune cookie and thought it was pretty funny :)
This is the view from the NYU student centre overlooking Washington Square Park. So beautiful!
One night, the class went to see the broadway show "Newsies" which was so good! And a guy who graduated from our university two years ago was in the show, so we met him afterwards which was awesome!
Our class spent two days meeting with people at the United Nations. Here we are standing outside under some of the many world flags that line the street outside of the UN!
This is a piece of the Berlin Wall that is at the United Nations.
We also decided to go to the huge Toys R Us in Times Square! My favourite part—the enormous lego structure of the Statue of Liberty!
And here's one more picture of Times Square because it's just so amazing looking :)

Washington, D.C.:

some really cool street art
the Washington Monument
the class posing near the Jefferson Memorial
the Jefferson Memorial
the World War II Memorial
representing my state in the World War II Memorial
We had a free afternoon to explore and decided to check out the Smithsonian Natural History Museum!
a cougar on the prowl
the Hope Diamond
the Capital Building! On our third day in DC, we were supposed to come to the Capital to lobby representatives from North Carolina. But unfortunately DC was hit by some snow, the entire city shut down, and we were forced to head back to North Carolina a day early.
We were lucky enough to be in DC for Martin Luther King Day and went to the MLK Monument!

the White House! I was so excited to see the White House from this angle. When I had been in DC before, we only saw the other side of the White House (which is below). But this was the exciting side that you always see in movies!
selfie at the White House! Hey Obama :)
And lastly, here is the White House from the other side

I had such a great experience in both New York City and Washington, DC revisiting spots that I love and getting to explore and see so many new places too!

Now it's time to start planning for my second adventure of 2014... Atlanta two weekends from now!

xo Christie

Saturday, February 8, 2014

25 Facts About Me

There was a popular YouTube tag going around this past year called 25 Facts About Me. I thought this could be an interesting second blog post so you can get to know a little bit more about me!

1. I am from a little beach town south of Boston and go to a small liberal arts university in North Carolina.

2. I am studying International Business and Marketing and hope to work in International Education.

3. I spent a semester abroad in Lyon, France which was the best 4 months of my life so far.
4. I am obsessed with England and hope to live in London a few years from now.

5. The top places on my travel bucket list are Australia and Greece.

6. I have a little bit of an obsession with red lipstick and own about 10 different ones.

7. Although I am from the US, I prefer to use British spellings and Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. (I got used to using both while I was abroad and liked them!)

8. My favourite (you see about the British spelling?) movie is (500) Days of Summer and my favourite TV show is Breaking Bad.

9. My favourite bands are All Time Low and One Direction.

10. I have a labradoodle dog named Chloe.
11. I can't sleep if the room is completely dark which a lot of people find weird. I've heard it could be a mild form of claustrophobia.

12. I also can't sleep if the closet door is open. No idea why.

13. I have a bit of an addiction to tea and drink anywhere from 3-5 cups of tea on a normal day. A couple summers ago, I was drinking about 7-8 cups per day but had to cut down when it made me have to go to the bathroom every half hour.

14. I am a chocoholic and can't go a whole day without eating something chocolate.

15. I much prefer public transport to driving, but if I do need to own a car someday, my dream car is a red Mini Cooper convertible!

16. I'm definitely a shopaholic! My favourite places to shop are Forever 21, H&M, Target, and Marshall's. I am also a huge fan of Primark and New Look and hope they expand to the US in the near future.

17. I love baking but despise cooking actual food that isn't dessert.

18. In high school, I played guitar in an all-girl rock band.
19. If I could trade lives with anyone for a day, it would be Kate Middleton.

20. I am a proud feminist. I never understood why so many people think being a feminist is a bad thing.

21. If I could have one superpower, it would be teleportation. It would satisfy my love for travel and also make it possible to visit my international friends regularly!

22. When shopping, I have a weakness for Peter Pan collars and polka dots.

23. I have one sister who is two years younger than me.

24. I always wanted to be a singer, but I have possibly the worst singing voice on Earth.

25. Last summer, I interned in Seattle and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest!

So there you have it, 25 Facts About Me. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xo Christie

Welcome to my blog!

Hi everybody and welcome to my blog! I have wanted to start a blog for a while now and this year, I decided to make it one of my New Year's Resolutions. And since I have been stuck in bed with the flu this week, I have decided to finally give it a go!

This will be my second experience with blogging after the blog I kept during my semester abroad in Lyon, France in Fall 2012. I plan to incorporate my love for travel into this blog as well, but I want to focus on other areas too like fashion, beauty, movies, books, and just life in general. I loved blogging during my semester in France, and since I've been back in the US, I've missed writing blog posts regularly. And now that I am a second semester university senior with only two classes and some free time on my hands, I figured it was the perfect time to start blogging again! As a little intro to the blog, I have decided to share my other resolutions for 2014 with you:

1. Write down all of the good things that happen to me throughout the year, store them in a jar, and read through them all at the end of the year.

2. Exercise at least 3 times per week. (I do have to admit I have been majorly slacking on this resolution, but I plan to start P90X as soon as I recover from the flu!)

3. Eat half as many fruits/vegetables per day as carbs. This may not seem like much, but for a college student with a limited food budget, eating a balanced diet is hard!

4. Graduate and get a job.

5. Visit some of my friends from my semester abroad. (I am planning a reunion cruise with some of the girls for this summer and will be seeing friends in England in the Fall!)

6. Travel to a country I've never been to before. (In the Fall, my sister will be abroad in England and I'm planning to visit with my parents. We are planning to go to Ireland as well, so that would fulfil this goal!)

7. Have $5,000 in my savings account at the end of the year.

8. Stay in touch with college friends after graduation and continue to stay in touch with my international friends.

9. Improve my Spanish and French speaking abilities.

and 10. Start a blog :)

Thanks for reading and you can look forward to a variety of exciting posts in the future!

xo Christie

Me on a class trip to DC a few weeks ago
My sister and I looking glam on New Year's Eve

P.S. Here is the link to my other blog if you are interested in reading that as well: