Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Styling my bargain shorts!

I recently picked up two pairs of denim cutoff shorts at a garage sale. The shorts were a dollar a piece and they looked like the perfect vintage cutoffs! Both pairs are a little bit large on me, but with a belt they are perfect and super comfy.

Today I wore the lighter pair with a braided brown leather belt and cuffed the bottom of the shorts. I tucked in a sheer cream lace top from Forever21 (with a basic white cami underneath) and ta da! My cheap, casual, cute outfit was complete!  

I'm really into the high-waisted/cutoff denim trend, not only because it's cute, but because you can achieve the look easily and cheaply by shopping at garage sales and thrift stores, or even for FREE by using an old pair of your jeans. Are you digging this trend?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

DIY: Make not-so-perfect shoes PERFECT (:

Ever found the perfect pair of shoes--the right size, they fit perfect and are actually comfortable to walk in, the right price---BUT.....they aren't the right color? That's what happened to me as I was strolling down the aisles of Payless Shoe Store about a week ago. I saw a pair of size 5 wedges (which always gets me excited, it's not an easy feat to find size 5 shoes!), with nude straps but with a striped design on the side in a color scheme I was less than crazy about. Examine exhibit A:
Now some people may like the design, but I personally didn't care for it; too seventies-ish for my liking. I tried them on anyways to discover they are absolutely the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn! Plus they were under $30. I just had to buy them! I had resigned myself to find some sort of dress...brown perhaps, rusty orange maybe, to match them, when a brilliant idea struck me: I could paint over the awful design with a nude paint and have the perfect nude wedges for summer that would match just about any dress! At risk of ruining my precious new shoes, I gathered my supplies:

-Blue Painter's Tape (Lowe's/Home Depot)
-KILZ Original Primer in a spray can (Lowe's/Home Depot)
-Folk Art Acrylic Paint in #2559 Coffee Latte (0.97 cents at Wal-mart)
-Goof-off (Lowe's/Home Depot)
-Paper towels, small paint brushes, and ear swabs (not pictured)

I began by *carefully* applying the painter's tape around the edges, trying to only leave the part I wanted to paint exposed:
Next, I attempted to paint the shoe, and ended up with a splotchy, uneven mess; it was evident KILZ was going to be necessary. 
So I covered any exposed areas in paper towels and applied two coats of KILZ to the shoes, letting each one dry completely before applying the next one.
Then I could finally paint it and it look even. I applied two coats.
I removed the tape and paper towels and used the Goof-Off and ear swabs to clean up any little oopsies, where the tape didn't stick well and paint/KILZ had gotten onto the straps or rubber sole. The final result looks like this:

VoilĂ ! Nude/tan wedges for summer time! I much prefer the all-nude to the design before. It may seem like a lot of work (and it was!) but it's very difficult for me to find shoes that fit me and that are comfortable. I have a small, weird foot (I can wear a 3 in kids...it's hard to find heels that fit me that don't have Hannah Montana plastered on them!) so it was worth the extra effort. Here's a pic of them on my feet:

Have you ever put your own unique spin on shoes or clothing to make them more to your liking? It was a fun little project, and I'm happy with the results...I can't wait to wear them this spring and summer with shorts and floral dresses! Maybe I'll alter some more stuff in the future :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New hair color!

After about six months of bright blonde highlights, my hair was absolutely frazzled. It was thin and brittle in the first place, so I haven't a clue why I decided to bleach it. It looked like this:

There was quite a bit of blonde in the front, and it would break off and frizz out all of the time. I have spent a pretty penny on high-end hair care products trying to mend it (which I will do a haul about soon, I have discovered some amazing products in the process!). I decided that the healthiest thing to do was to dye it dark so I wouldn't need to keep up with it as often, since my natural color is a very dark brown. I wanted red undertones in it too, since my natural color is reddish in sunlight. Here's the result:

I LOVE it! It's exactly what I wanted! In low light or inside light it looks black-brown, but in natural or fluorescent light the red really shines though! (This pic was taken by the window.) Here's a few more pics:

So now the goal is to leave it alone and let it grow out! I'm still not using sulfates/parabens on my hair, not washing it every day, and taking vitamins that help your hair (B vitamins, Biotin), so hopefully it'll grow out and be HEALTHY and long and strong! No more bleach!! :)

What do you think? Which do you like better? 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Current Faves!

Hi all, second semester is in full swing...my last semester of college!...but I'm going to try to post as much as possible.

For now, here's my current favorites!

Hair, skin, and body care:

    • Queen Helene's Mint Julep Masque. An oldie but a goodie! This masque is a thick, mint green paste that you leave on skin until dry and wash off with warm water. It makes my skin feel super soft and it has sulfur in it to dry up acne. It's about 3 dollars at drug stores, so it's also really affordable.
    • Clinique #3 Clarifying Lotion. I love this toner! It smells pretty strong but the smell doesn't linger on the skin. It removes any oil/dirt on the skin but doesn't leave it feeling dry, tight, or like there's a film left on it. Plus it has a small amount of salicylic acid to combat pimples and prevent them from forming.
    • John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze. I use this three times a week and it makes my hair so soft and shiny; it feels HEALTHY when I use this stuff! It's not heavy either, so it doesn't have the effect a deep conditioner might have where your hair gets oily quickly or just seems weighed down. Just apply after you have used the shampoo & conditioner of your choice and leave on for 3 minutes. Rinse and style as usual. Easy, fast, and it really delivers results. 
    • Victoria's Secret "Give A Little Pink" Body Lotion & Body Mist. I got this for Christmas from my future brother & sister and law, and I have been using it like crazy! It says it's snowy violet and apple blossom scented, but to me it just smells fresh and light and perfect for everyday. I have been into using the coordinating lotion/spray/body wash lately, and I think it makes the fragrance last so much longer. 

  •   Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup. This stuff is great for the winter months. It's the perfect medium coverage, and it leaves a nice, subtle glow that makes skin look fresh and dewy despite the dullness or dryness that occurs due to the cold. I wouldn't wear it for going our at night, but for an everyday foundation, it's great. I'm in shade #40, Nude.

  •  Bare Minerals Eyeshadow in Magnifique. It's a deep brown plum that is gorgeous on the lid for a dark eye or in the crease for a smoky look. It looks matte but it has a beautiful purply iridescence that adds dimension to the eyes. It looks like you have spent a while expertly layering shadows when really you only swept one color on!

  •  L'Oreal Carbon Black Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner. THIS IS THE BEST LINER EVER! It's so rich and pigmented, glides on evenly and smoothly, and stays on! In the pictures below, I have compared it to my old favorite eyeliner, Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof...it blows it out of the water in all dimensions, pigmentation, lasting power, and price!! The L'Oreal can be found at drugstores for about $8.

L'Oreal Extra Intense on the left; Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof on the right.
See the difference? Hard to believe the L'Oreal is about $20 cheaper too! 

What are your current favorites?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cosmetics Company Outlet Goodies

It's better to give to receive, but every once and a while a treat for yourself is called for, especially in the midst of the end of the semester! I purchased a few things for myself at the Cosmetics Company Outlet, or CCO. If you live in the Maryville/Knoxville area, you know that you have to drive all the way to Pigeon Forge to visit the nearest CCO (it's in the Tanger Outlet Mall). A CCO has high-end make-up, skin care, fragrance, and hair care products at discounted prices. They may be last season, from a special edition or in special packaging, being discontinued, etc. The one that I visited had Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Estee Lauder, and MAC, to name a few; I exclusively purchased MAC. Here's what I picked up:

MAC Paint Pot in Dangerous Cuvee, a beautiful silvery lilac color. It was $11.75, as opposed to $17.50 regular price. This paint pot is from the Cham-pale limited edition collection.

MAC Satin Lipstick in Mystic, a deep berry color for winter. It was $10.25 as opposed to $14.50 regular price. I'm not sure what collection it's from. Here's a photo of me modeling it:

MAC Viva Glam VI Special Edition Lipglass, $10.25 compared to $14.50. This lip gloss is the perfect pink color, not to pale and not to bubblegummy---it's great for everyday wear.

"Do-the-trick Buff and Line Brushes"

Ah, my favorite purchase: The Do-The-Trick Buff and Line Brush set from the Magic, Mirth, and Mischief collection! It's a set of 5 short handled brushes: the 168, 209, 252,219, and 187. It was around $35, compared with $49.50 when they came out in 2009. I have been wanted the 168 & 187 foreverrrr, I am so excited to finally own them! As you can see from the bristles, I have already tried them out and LOVE them! Merry Christmas to me <3

What have you purchased for yourself lately? 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Cards!

It's that time of year: time to make my Shutterfly Christmas cards!

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.


Are you making your own photo Christmas cards this year?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holy Grail Hair Dyer!

Hello my lovelies! I'm baaaaack! I've been EXTREMELY busy with school, and my poor blog has been neglected. But now that I'm nearly finished with my senior thesis, and Christmas break is right around the corner, I am excited to be able to post more frequently.
If you've ever read any of my posts talking about hair care, you know that I have thin, brittle, unhealthy hair. In the past few months I have tried a number of things to combat this: using sulfate free shampoos, always using a heat protectant, and taking vitamins that encourage healthy hair. But there's a sneaky culprit I've missed until now: my hair dryer!
Here's my old hair dryer. Looks friendly enough, right? I got this baby at Sally's beauty supply about a year an a half ago. It makes sense that any kind of heat we expose our to isn't going to be the best thing for it, but the type of heat can really, really a difference. 
Here's a few pics of how my hair looks after I blow dry it. My method is the easy way, to flip my head upside and blow dry, and brush through at the end. The pictures are after I'm done drying but before brushing.

I would often get awful tangles in my hair during blow drying, like this:
I attributed this frizzy, awful mess that is my hair after blow drying to my hair's poor condition.


Enter the Hana Air Professional Hair Dryer. It uses a ceramic heater the emits infrared ionic heat and infuses hair with pure tourmaline crystals, a.k.a lots of shine! When I opened the package, I was surprised how beautiful it was! Yes, a hair dryer can be beautiful. It's inspired by Italian design, so it's super sleek, right down to the sturdy box it comes in that magnetically closes. 

But the best part about this dryer is the way it quickly, evenly dries my hair, and leaves it so silky and shiny. It has 2 fan speeds, 3 different heat settings, a cold shot button, so it's sure to have a setting you like. I prefer high fan speed and high heat, just like I used on my old hair dryer.  For both sets of pictures, I used the same shampoo and conditioner (Organix Morroccan Argan Oil) and Tresemme Heat Protectant. The only difference is what hair dryer I used. Again, this is BEFORE brushing through my dried hair.

Look at the difference!! So much less tangled and healthier looking, even before brushing it out right after drying. This picture is after brushing:
It's like I have totally different hair. Who knew that my hair dryer was one of the main contributors to my hair woes? No website I looked while doing my research on how to get my hair healthier even mentioned hair dryers. They obviously haven't tried out the Hana Air hair dryer, it really makes a world of difference. 

What it comes with:
-Free Heat Proof Pouch
-Free 2 year warranty on your applicance
-Concentrator that attaches to the end for more precise blow drying
-Free same-day shipping
-Beautiful, user friendly design
-Environmentally Safe
-Emits Ionic Heat that conditions hair, plus tourmaline for added shine
-Visibly makes a difference in the appearance of your hair!
-The retail price is $314.99, which is steep for a hair product....BUT Misikko.com always has great sales. Right now you can purchase it for less than $195. That may still sound expensive for a blow dryer, but I believe in investing in certain things that are worth it (for example, my Clarisonic...it wasn't cheap, but it has been worth every penny!). Since this dryer has improved the appearance and manageability of my hair, I think that it's definitely a wise investment. In the long run, it may even save you money because you'll end up spending less on hair care products. If you have damaged, brittle, unhealthy hair like me, or you just want a fantastic hair dryer, I highly recommend giving the HANAair Professional dryer a try!

If you're not looking for a hair dryer, check out some other professional-grade hair products Misikko offers:

Thanks so much for reading! In your opinion, how well does your current hair dryer perform? Would you try this hair dryer?