Saturday, February 22, 2014

Book Review: Under the Never Sky

Guess what? I read an amazing book! I really want the sequel now but alas it's full priced even as a Nook book so I will have to get in from the library. My book review can also be found on Goodreads here.

Under the Never Sky took me by surprise! I wasn't expecting much when I started the book since I had seen some mixed reviews. Plus, the beginning is a bit confusing with a complex world that isn't entirely explained and it was also slow, so I didn't have high hopes. However, this book ended up exceeding my expectations by a long shot. It's a dystopian young adult novel that takes place in a land where people live in the Reverie, which separates them from the dangerous lands of savages. In the Reverie, people can live in through a virtual world, the Realms, and do not become sick or hurt. Aria is a resident in the Reverie, until after a series of events she is forced into the land outside where she must face the frightening stories she always feared and reconsider the place she called home.

First off, the narration was interesting because it's in the third person, but the chapters alternate between the two main characters, Aria and Peregrine. I was unsure of how that would work but the writing was amazing! I find more often than not alternating between perspectives annoys me, but Veronica Rossi did it perfectly!  I absolutely love these characters. Aria is someone who I connected instantly with because she's just a  normal girl. Sometimes in dystopians female characters are portrayed in an unrealistic manner in that they are all of a sudden super badass or are totally helpless when thrown into a new situation. Aria is a healthy mix of these and I loved seeing her grow throughout the book. Peregrine, or Perry, is an outsider that has special gifts and has a lot of inner turmoil. At first, I really had a hard time connecting with Perry but as he opened up I gradually fell in love with him. I really felt for not only these characters, but pretty much everyone the book. There's nothing better than a novel with characters who you actually care about and have great transformation. The characters make this book truly special.

I love how this book has everything: sci-fi, adventure, romance, and amazing characters. My heart would be pounding one minute with rising action then I'd have butterflies the next. It's a book that will be hard to stop reading once you've started and once you're finished you'll need the next book! 5/5 stars

What books have you been loving? Comment below!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quick and Easy Hairstyles: Bow Headband

Hey guys! There's nothing better than a cute hairstyle that's super quick, right? Well, I'm going to be doing a series of posts about easy and fast hairstyles that are perfect for mornings when you're running late or just simply do not want to spend forever on your hair. Today I am featuring my Urban Outfitter's headband!

Personally, I love the look of a headband going over the hair because it gives a casual but adorable look. I especially love this headband because of the bow and the leopard print! Urban Outfitters has the cutest headbands. They can be more on the pricey side, but I got this one on sale! Even with the higher price, they are totally worth it.

What I like about this headband look is that it suits hair on the messier side, which is perfect for second day hair. The headband pulls your look together and makes you look chic, not sloppy. And it literally takes seconds to put on a headband! If you do want to style your hair you can do loose curls with a curling wand or rollers because wavy or curly looks best with the look.

Hope you guys like this hairstyle! More quick and easy looks will be coming your way soon!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Favorite Winter Candles

Hey guys! So now that winter is winding down (hopefully) I wanted to share some of the candles I've been loving this season! Most of these candles are from Bath and Body Works, except one. Also, like my stacking skills? :P

I got this Bath and Body Work's 3-wick candle holder from my sister Carol for Christmas. It is so cute! I love how the light of the flames shine through the openings in the metal. Bath and Body Works also carries candle holders for every season so if you like this one you can definitely find one that will work for Spring!

Sparkling Icicles- "As sparkling as the ice at the local skating pond, this fragrance features a citrus bouquet, bergamot and a touch of holiday moss." Honestly, this smells like a really nice men's cologne. I would compare it to Bath and Body Work's men's Ocean scent. Even though it's a manly scent, I really love it and it's great that there's candles that can appeal to both men and women.

Snowed In- "Spend the day indoors, away from the cold wind, decorating for the perfect holiday with the inspiring fragrance of fresh juniper, sugared sap and sage." This is a very clean scent with a fruit note. I find that when I'm stressed out and my room is unorganized, I like to burn this because it puts me at ease and seems to make my room (and life) less hectic.

Holiday- "A fragrance that captures the warmth and spices of the holidays with a special blend of cinnamon and clove highlighted by sprightly bergamot." This is definitely a cinnamon scent but it's mixed with a fruity scent too. The best way I can describe this scent is to have you think about how Christmas smells, because that is exactly what this candle smells like.

Cinnamon and Clove Buds- "Warm up with the comfort of a spicy blend of fall's favorite ingredients cinnamon, clove buds, and nutmeg." This smells pretty similar to Holiday in that it is purely cinnamon, but it lacks the fruity scent that the previous one has. But I'm saving this candle for when I use the other one up since they are so similar. What can I say, I love cinnamon!

Autumn Splendor- "Our Autumn Splendor fragrance is a classic fall scent. This combination of clove, peppermint and cinnamon is wonderfully warm and inviting. Irresistibly beautiful! A true refection of the season of fall." This is a candle from Pure Integrity which is a smaller business but this candle is great quality! It smells like fall/winter heaven with a cinnamon scent mixed with some nature notes. I love that when I burn this candle it has the perfect amount of throw that it doesn't bombard the senses with a scent that's overly strong and unnatural. It's just a great background scent that's not artificial.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day Inspired Hair and Makeup

I am so excited about this post guys! Today, I have for you a Valentine's Day inspired look that incorporates some girly curls and a purple smokey eye. Let's get started!

For my hair I am using my Remington curling want which is 3/4 of an inch to an inch along with my Tresemme heat protectant and Indie Hair hairspray.

Going left to right, top to bottom: First, I parted my hair to leave down the bottom third and then I curled it using the 410 degree setting. I was only holding it for 5 seconds, which is important because if you are using a curling wand, or any hot tool for that matter, you do not want to scorch your hair. Then I took down another third of my hair and curled that, then finally curled the top third. I find that parting my hair into smaller sections and curling about an inch sections works best to create curls that last. I like to "fluff" my hair as I put in the hairspray so my hair is still soft and not crunchy with hairspray overload.

These are the products I use for my general face makeup, not focusing on the eyes yet.

I always use my Cerave Moisturizing Lotion for my day face moisturizer. It's hydrating but doesn't make my skin oily, which is great because I have super oily skin!

I use L'oreal's Magic Perfecting Base as my primer, which creates a smooth base for my foundation. This base also helps my foundation last longer.

For a more flawless look I use my Revlon Colorstay foundation which is a medium to high coverage foundation. This version is for oily skin so it helps my face stay matte throughout the day. I also use my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to apply this foundation.

I use Rimmel's Stay Matte powder to keep shine at bay and I love using the Ecotool's Kabuki brush since it picks up the perfect amount of powder. It avoids making my face look cakey.

For concealing blemishes I use Maybelline's Fit Me concealer and for under eye darkness I use Maybelline's Lumi Touch Highlighting concealer.

These are the brushes I will use for my eye look. Going left to right: Ecotools Shade Brush for the inner corner highlight, Ecotools Crease Brush for base and crease shade, Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush for blending, Sonia Kashuk Bent Eyeliner Brush for shadow liner.

I use Maybelline's Color Tattoo in Barely Beige as the base so the powder shadows I add on top will not crease and will last longer throughout the day.

I'm using Stila's Impressionist Palette to create my smokey purple shadow look. This was a gift from my sister, Amberlee!

1. "Pastel"-All over lid
2. "Vision"-Crease
3. "Canvas"-Inner Corner Highlight
4. "Parisian Pink"- Blush

I'm using Busted from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette for eyeliner.

I'm using Maybelline's The Rocket mascara which is lengthening mascara but also adds some volume.

I love this ELF complexion blush to apply blush. It's so soft!

Going left to right, top to bottom: I used the cream shadow as the base, then I applied the shimmery purple all over the lid (shadow 1). Next, I applied the dark purple shadow in the crease (shadow 2). I  blended out the edges around the crease and added Busted as my eyeliner. Then I curled my lashes and applied my mascara. I finished the eye look off with applying the highlight shadow in my inner corners (shadow 3).

I then added the blush, which was hard to photograph. Next, I applied my Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee, which is basically a neutral lip color. If you want to see this lip butter along with all my other Revlon Lip Butters, check out a past post I did in August!

Overall, this look is smokey but soft, which makes it versatile. It can work for many occasions! Plus, purple eye shadows are just gorgeous, especially the ones in this palette! Hope you all enjoyed this look!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine's Day Inspiration: Nail Polish

This week I am going to be doing some posts inspired by Valentine's Day, which I know some people love and some people hate. But let's be real, you don't need to go on a fancy date to justify buying some cute pink, red, or purple nail polish! Treat yourself! You could be sitting on your couch watching Netflix and eating popcorn on the 14th, but still have some fabulous nails. So here are my favorite Valentine's Day inspired nail polishes.

OPI Wing It!- This was a limited edition summer OPI nail polish that I got years ago, but it's just such a pretty polish! It's red with purple/red glitter and even though you can't get this polish anymore, I am sure there are dupes for this or similar red glitter polishes.

OPI Instyle Red- I got this for free with my subscription for Instyle magazine and this polish is a bold, bright red. It's very classic and perfect for Valentine's Day!

China Glaze Igniting Love- Just the name alone justifies this polish being on this post! It's a brighter red than the previous OPI and has more of an orange undertone. This is also going to be a great nail polish for summer.

Revlon Enchanting- I love love love this purple. It looks absolutely stunning on the nails and is just a lovely mid-toned purple with a subtle shimmer. This is definitely a polish that you will get compliments on!

Ulta Celebutante- This polish is similar to the Revlon one, but it's a few shades darker and does not contain any shimmer. It's a great solid color!

Sally Hansen Rock Bottom- If you want to go for the dark purple look, I recommend this one. It has a subtle shimmer and would look great for a dinner date!

Revlon Sheer Pink- If you want a polish that is not "in-your-face" but is still pretty, you should go for this Revlon one. It allows you to be festive without being over the top if you are more of a neutral polish kind of girl.

Essie Lovie Dovie- Again, here's a polish with a great love inspired name! This is a bright pink that honestly just makes me happy when I wear it. And with this snowy weather, you need a polish to liven things up!

Sinful Colors Soul Mate- This polish is gorgeous. It is a dusty rose color that would look great with any complexion! I wore this before with silver glitter on my ring finger and it was adorable.

Hope I could give you guys some great suggestions! Comment below which nail polish you'll be wearing for Valentine's Day :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

January Favorites

Hey guys! I just wanted to make a short post about what I was loving throughout January which includes some beauty products, food, clothes, and music!

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque, Paris Amour Body Butter, Aeropostale hair ties, Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara Waterproof, Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette

Whenever I take a bath I love to use a mask since I have the time to let it work in on my face. The Mint Julep Masque has been my go-to mask throughout January and it's been really great. It's a mask that hardens and dries then you rinse it off. It is especially great for pimples because it helps dry them out. For dry skin the Paris Amour body butter from Bath and Body Works has been a dream. It is so moisturizing and I just love using it after I shower before I go to bed so it can soak into my skin overnight. Plus, it smells like girly heaven!

I have a new found love with these hair ties, which do not leave dents in your hair and is very gentle, not to mention they are adorable! I got these cute pink ones from Aeropostale and I love using them when lounging around the house for no fuss hair days. They are also great when you want your hair out of your face while sleeping because it's not going to pull your hair out or damage it.

Maybelline's The Rocket mascara is definitely one of my top mascaras ever! It is absolutely amazing because it is lengthening but still provides plenty of volume. Plus it doesn't clump or flake! By the way, it's the water proof version because I never get the normal versions of mascaras. I have oily skin and even waterproof mascaras tend to run. But if you are in the market for a new mascara, try out this one! And last but not least for my beauty products, I've been in love with my Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay. The palette is centered around rose neutrals and the shadows are absolutely gorgeous. This palette is definitely unique and at first I was a little hesitant since the colors have pink undertones, but they work even on my fair skin tone with blue eyes! A more detailed post about this palette will be up soon!

Simply Balanced Fruit Strips Pomegranate and Celestial Seasonings Peppermint Tea

I picked up these fruit snacks from Target and they are amazing! I love pomegranates and there's no other way to describe these fruit strips besides super yummy! I always find that I can never only eat one... :) At the beginning of January I was sick for nine days- NINE DAYS! My throat was sore and swollen, my nosy was runny and stuffy, and of course I had an unbearable cough. Peppermint tea was my savior to help with my cough, which would always be the worst before I went to sleep. To keep a liquid coating on my throat and soothe it I would drink a cup of peppermint tea right before bed and it was my savior. Also, lemon honey hot water helped my throat a bunch! They made being sick a little less awful.

 Jacket: Aeropostale, Scarf: Walmart, Mittens: Isotoner, Hat: Forever 21

My last favorite for January is my winter gear! As you are most certainly aware, this winter has been freezing and snowy and having good winter gear is a must! This jacket is amazing because it is so warm and I just adore the bright red color. The white scarf looks great against the red; it's such a great combination. The mittens are so fuzzy on the inside and they keep my hands warm even on the chilliest of days. And finally, I love this hat from Forever 21. It is nice and thick which keeps any winter wind from freezing my ears.

And those are my January favorites! What did you love in January? Comment below! And get ready for some Valentine's Day posts this week!