Monday, December 7, 2015

Of My Black Friday Haul

This year, I stocked up on some basics. Since moving to New York, I have slowly been transitioning my whimsical wardrobe to a more reserved monochromatic one. So what better time to nab some basics than the day with the best sales of the year.
  1. Black Cashmere Scarf | Romwe 
  2. Gray Tee | Romwe 
  3. White Tee | Uniqlo
  4. Loose Black Cardigan | Romwe 
  5. White Button Down | Romwe 
  6. Black Turtleneck | Uniqlo
  7. Plaid Pants | Romwe 
  8. Black Skinnies | AE | Zara

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Of How To Live On A College Student Budget

  1. Keep a record. I use Microsoft Excel to categorize all my spendings. Use different tabs for different categories (e.g. groceries, transportation, eating out, etc). Doing it on a monthly basis allows you to track your spendings so you can see where you can cut down.
  2. Use cash. I generally hate spending cash because cards are simply more convenient. But it's easier to stick to your budget when spending cash because you literally see your funds vanishing.
  3. Start a savings account. If you don't have one already, go start one now with your bank. Try to get into the routine of transferring money into on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. You can do something as small as $5; the point is to get into a habit. I always move the funds immediately after I'm paid so I don't forget and end up spending it. 
  4. Make a wish list. Stop impulsively buying things. If you stumble across something you want, write it down. Collecting a list forces you to prioritize what items you want/need more than others. 
  5. Cut down on buying little things. A pack of gum here and a coffee there really do add up by the end of the month. If you're a regular coffee drinker, set aside a specific coffee budget that breaks down how many coffees you can have per week. 
And if none of those seem to work, just get free meals from Tindr dates. Just kidding...

Of Winter Lipsticks

  1. Rimmel Kate Moss 107 ($5): This is your classic run-of-the-mill deep red lipstick. For such a reasonable drugstore price, you get a lot for your money. The consistency isn't drying despite that it's a matte lipstick and the color pay off is phenomenal. 
  2. Nars Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu ($26): Purple is probably my favorite lip color, especially when the winter months roll around. This color is stunning, but I would apply some lip balm first because the formula is a little drying.
  3. Bourjous Colour Boost Lip Crayon in Fushia Libre ($13): This is my autumn staple. It's a light-medium plum with great color payoff, but most of all, it's incredibly moisturizing. Seriously, I treat this like a tinted lip balm.
  4. Ardency Inn Modster Long Play Supercharged Lip Color in Lucky ($25): Everyone needs a bright lip and fuchsia complements my olive undertone best. I usually save this for when I go out on the weekends, but you could definitely get away with wearing this during the day too.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Of Beauty Shelf Essentials

  1. Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar ($5): This little bar of wonder has worked incredibly well on my acne-prone sensitive skin. I know many people aren't the bar soap fan, but it has lasted significantly longer than any other bottle face washes I've used before. 
  2. Pixi Glow Tonic ($30): I use this religiously after I wash my face, twice-a-day-everyday. Unlike most toners, it's alcohol-free so it won't dry out your skin. I just take a cotton pad and a few drops of this and swipe it all over my face to remove the last traces of make-up or cleanser residue. 
  3. Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion ($10): I had a bottle of this back in high school and thought it did the trick. It's nothing too special, but it's certainly not bad. Eucerin is known for the gentleness of their products, plus this had SPF so win-win.
  4. Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream ($22): This is somewhat new to my arsenal since my beloved Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate ran out. It's thick in consistency, making it more of a cream than lotion, but that just means it's ready to banish those dry patches caused by the upcoming winter winds.
  5. Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment ($38): I got a little sample of this from an advent calendar last year and absolutely loved it. I was never a one for eye cream, because why bother with an extra step at the end of the night, but when my sample ran out, I immediately went to buy the full size. It's not too thick and truly moisturizes your eye area.
  6. Rosebud Salve ($6): I am trying to get into the habit of moisturizing my lips before I go to bed so I'll avoid waking up with dry and cracked lips. This one smells amazing, and if you don't like the tin packaging style, they also sell these into travel-friendly tubes.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Of Things I Want To Make Time For

It's getting towards that time of the year where you reflect back on 2015 and think, what even happened this year? I always have these hopes and plans, but executing is apparently not my thing. Let's say these are some pre-emptive new year's resolutions...

  1. Blog. I have a whopping total of 5 blogposts this year. There's the classic excuse that "I'm too busy", which is only partly true. But for the past 300 days or so, there has to have been some way for me to fit in just a few more posts. 
  2. Read. This was something I really stepped up this past summer. I made it an effort to take time out of my day to read; my friends and I even started a mini book club. (Read Norwegian Wood, one of the most beautifully written books out there) Of course, once school picked up, the number of books I've read dropped. 
  3. Walking. I am a home-body with an adventurous mind. I'm constantly saying that I should get out more, but every time I get home, I snuggle up with Netflix and before I know it, the day is done. With winter settling in, I feel my hermit-crab self emerging....uh oh.
  4. Vocabulary. I wouldn't say I talk like a 3rd grader, but a few extra words in my arsenal sure can't hurt. 
  5. Writing. I used to write stories all the time. I would sit down at my computer and just get going for hours on end. Some were fan-fiction (Percy Jackson, anyone?), some were original ideas. I reached a writer's block a while back and just never really got over it. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Of Why I Use Eye Cream | Tarte Maracuja C-Brighter Eye Treatment

  1. It makes my skin care routine feel fancier.
  2. Sometimes I get dry spots around my eyes, but this eye cream takes care of that. 
  3. After a long day, it's good to gently massage the eyes and applying eye cream is the perfect accomplice for that.
  4. This tarte one is known for brightening the under-eye area, but if that's not what you are going for, there's plenty of other choices on the market (Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream is a cult classic)
  5. It's light, absorbs quickly into my skin, and somehow manages to make my makeup around my eyes last a little longer.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Of 20 Things to do in my Twenties

  1. Stop trying to be popular.
  2. Eat healthier. 
  3. Read more. 
  4. Follow the news. 
  5. Learn the nooks and crannies of New York City. 
  6. Exercise more. 
  7. Put less pressure on myself. 
  8. Shop less.
  9. Go outdoors and get fresh air more.
  10. Appreciate the little things more.
  11. Blog more.
  12. Stop comparing myself to others.
  13. Don't let my fear of being judged stop me from trying new things.
  14. Graduate college.
  15. Learn to like winter a little more.
  16. Don't be afraid to stray from the norm.
  17. Discover my passion and pursue it.
  18. Take more pictures to capture the moments.
  19. Stop overthinking everything.
  20. Find the happy moments during dark times.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Of Reasons Why I Love | Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Sold online or at any Kiehl's store, Nordstrom, etc.

  1. Simplicity. Five drops (recommended 2-3, but I go a bit overboard) of this each night is the only thing I apply after cleansing my skin. I rub it in my hands and pat/massage it into my skin.
  2. Results the next morning. Most products I have tried that claim fast results tend to be a gimmick, but not this one. If I have a pimple starting to get irritated the night before, it is vastly reduced in size the next morning. 
  3. Somewhat Natural. One of the key ingredients is Squalane, which is a kind of lipid (fat) that is molecularly very similar to our own skin's lipid, making it a strong candidate for moisturizing our skin. However, squalene is found from shark liver, so if you're looking for something cruelty-free, look for olive oil as a key ingredient instead.
  4. Cult Classic. Sure, there's a certain strength to resisting a hype, but it's just satisfying to know that thousands of others out there love it as much as I do. 
  5. You get your money's worth. Although this facial oil retails at a hefty price of $46 per 1.0 fluid ounce, it is totally worth the splurge for me. My skin was a mess before this; I constantly broke out, which turned to acne scars, had dry patches, and much more. My skin's not perfect now, but there's a noticeable reduction in my acne and my skin tone is just overall much more even.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Of Everyday Makeup

  1. (Primer) - I wish I could say that this is something I apply every single day, but alas, I am one lazy human. But when I do apply this, it really makes a difference to making my makeup last longer. I find the Smashbox primer minimizes my pores, but the Hourglass one fights shine a lot longer. 
  2. Concealer - I picked up the Collection Lasting Collection concealer on a trip to London while I was studying abroad last semester. Unfortunately, it's really hard to hunt down in the states. However, I've heard glowing reviews about how Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer is a dupe for the Nars Creamy Concealer, which we all know is a much coveted product.
  3. Foundation - This MAC one is a new addition to my arsenal. This takes less than a minute to apply with a fluffy powder brush. It gives amazing coverage for a powder and doesn't leave that powdery residue on the face. If you have dry skin, be sure to really moisturize before using this. Since it has oil control properties, it's really going to draw out those dry patches.
  4. Brows- Currently, I'm loving the Benefit one. It has a waxy texture as well as a sturdy spool-y brush to really blend the color so it doesn't look like I drew a bunch of lines in as my eyebrows.  But honestly, I think I'm using it because sharpening the pencil and watching it shrink gives me a strangely desired satisfaction. 
  5. Eyeliner - Yet another loved item I picked up from London. But you can find the Soap & Glory Supercat Liner on Amazon, just for a heftier price than walking into Superdrug in London. But I guess if you calculate in the airfare to London...Regardless, this eyeliner has a thicker nib than most, which for me, makes the process of applying it ten times faster. The end is still pointed for precision and this jet black color has incredible lasting power. 
  6. Mascara - I treated myself to a Tarte advent calendar this past Christmas and uncovered these two treasures. I never really considered primer for my lashes before, but this stuff gives loads of definition to my sparse lashes. Then I add two coats of the Tarte mascara. Usually, I prefer waterproof mascara since it holds a curl better. But it'd be a shame if I didn't use the spoils from my calendar, plus, waterproof mascara is such a hassle to wash off.
  7. Lips - This changes everyday, but this Sheseido one in Fantasia is a current favorite. I've been loving plum shades a lot more this season, but this shows up a lot more pink in the picture. But since the weather's picking up, I should probably reach for some pink shades anyway.
  8. Blush - Rose gold has been all the rage lately and Benefit's Rockateur is not an exception. I love the slight shimmer this adds to my cheeks and the rose gold blends the perfect amount of warmth into my dulled winter face.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Of Introductions

  1. My name is Brenda, but many of my friends call me Brendi/Brendy. 
  2. I overthink everything, making me an incredibly indecisive person.
  3. I planned this blogpost far too many times before finally sitting down to write it.
  4. I'm happiest when I'm walking along a warm beach with my toes in the sand, listening to the sound of the waves.
  5. My self confidence is very low, so I struggle with being happy with who I am.
  6. I am not a morning person.
  7. I obsessively watch an unhealthy amount of YouTube.
  8. Winter is my least favorite season, therefore I am substantially glad that spring has arrived
  9. This is my second year studying at New York University. 
  10. The future scares me.