4.29.2014

E.L.F Personal Blend Mineral Foundation Review

This product was in my first Weekly Make Up Basket the other week and it quickly became my go to powder.  The Elf Personal Blend Mineral Foundation is great as a setting powder & as a light weight foundation.  While with my family over the Easter weekend I used this a foundation for the first time & loved it!  Here are my thoughts on this product:
From the Website
Loose mineral foundation in quad chamber packaging to create a perfect mix.  Blends seamlessly into the skin providing an SPF protection of 15.  Mineral based with no parabens, preservatives, or dyes.  Infused with Vitamin E to hydrate & replenish skin.  Dial allows you to control the amount of product.  Each pot containes .28 oz of product. All info taken from the Elf website here.
First Impressions & Application
I picked up the shade Light which has the four colors Porcelain, Fair, Light, & Beige in a little pot with 4 different chambers.  First off the packaging is horrible - but luckily it's easily modified.  In an ideal world, you would use a little bit of each shade to make your perfect blend.  While that's totally do able, it takes way too long.  Under the lid are two types of sifters.  The first one on the top is a dial with a scalloped shaped opening.  This you can turn between each opening of the bottom sifter to shake out just a bit of each color.  That does not work.  What I did was pop off that first sifter so I was just left with the 4 openings of each quadrant.  Luckily, all four shades together works pretty well for me.  One of the quadrants is a bit too dark & too yellow for me but the others blend it out.  So a down side would be that if your were rather fair the Light shade would probably be too dark for you.  If you were able to pop of the top sifter then block off a few of the sifters, you'll probably get the greatest shade for you.

First impression on application was amazing.  I was oil free for the longest time - pretty much a 6-8 hours (my whole work day) and my make up looked good even after leaving work.  I used this for the first time over my CoverGirl 3-in1 Stay Fabulous Foundation, which is a pretty full coverage foundation to begin with but the addition of the mineral foundation brought it up a notch.  I've also liked this over the Almay Blemish Heal Foundation, & I believe over my Lorac POREfection Foundation.  The coverage is great by itself & it does really step up the coverage of a liquid foundation.  It is finely milled & can blend in like you would expect any mineral foundation to do.

Wear Time
When I am testing out a foundation the key for me is that it wears all day.  I need it to look great from morning to evening.  I put my face on at 6am, get off work a 4pm, and do stuff after work - like film - and I don't like to redo my make up.  With this over foundations such as the 3-in-1 by CoverGirl, the Almay Blemish Heal, and the Lorac POREfessional I've noticed I stay oil free for longer.  My regular setting powders have never gotten me past lunch before.  I usually start to notice a break down as soon as I go to the bathroom around like 9am or 10am but with this as a setting powder I find that I'm pretty oil free all day.  When I touch my skin it feels dry...if you have oily skin I think you'll know what I'm talking about when you start to get scared you're gonna swirl your make up around on your face at some point during the day.  I also don't notice the mars around my glasses on my nose through the day.  This powder really makes your foundation stick.
As a foundation itself it also performs well.  I think I'm done with the BB Cream thing because with that I have to set & it's a liquid - this is one step with awesome coverage.  This gives me so. much. coverage!  Over the Easter weekend, I really didn't want to deal with my doing a crazy full face - I don't want to look like it's prom in photos where everyone looks natural.....you know?  I just wanted to even my skin tone & cover some blemishes.  Buffing this in with the Elf Powder Brush (pictured above) really gave me full coverage but it was so light!   The wear time of this by itself is pretty great too. I'd say a full 6-8 hours (+ even).  It covers redness & stays all day.  I found that I didn't get as oily either.  With this, since it's not liquid, you're not getting any weird separation or pooling on your face.

Overall Impressions & Recommendations
Overall, if you can get passed the horrible packaging & you (again.....) fall in the light, medium, & deep categories.......this powder is really good.  For me the pros out weight the cons & the biggest thing is the coverage and staying power by itself.  I would say that if you're looking to try out a mineral powder foundation this would be a great start.  Elf has a Mineral Foundation in different shades - more than the light, medium, dark - here.  The Personal Blend Foundation is $8 & the other Mineral Foundation is $5 (but catch it on a 50% off sale!).  But if it's something you're interested in trying, this is a really affordable option.

I am always being impressed by Eyes Lips Face and love trying things out from the brand because it's so affordable!  I know I do a lot of reviews of Elf on here but honestly it's because I'm so impressed all the time.

xoxo, Moe

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4.28.2014

Make It Monday // Boho Crochet Summer Bag

I've finally picked up my crochet hook again!  Sometimes I am just so uninspired to create things that I don't even try.  Lately I've been looking up crochet bags on Pinterest & pinning a lot for inspiration.  I want to crochet more in the coming months & have challenged myself to make 7 bags before the end of the summer.  I don't know if I'll use them but they are fun & quick to make.  If you're a pretty fast/experienced crocheter you can make this bag in about 3-4 hours!  On Saturday I posted a picture on instagram that I finished the cream colored bag in this post - then on Sunday I got up around 7:30am and finished a second one by 11am.  The second one has bright, beachy colors that remind me of summer!  This bag is super easy - here's how I made it.
Supplies: worsted weight yarn (like Red Heart), size J hook, granny square pattern of your choice.  This project is great to do with scrap yarn - the cream one I used a 1 lb skein that they sell at Joanne's (but you might be able to use one regular Red Heart skein) and the more colorful one was a bunch of scrap yarn I had on hand.  It doesn't take too much yarn to make.

Firs I made up a granny square pattern as I went but you can use a pattern you might love or one you want to try out.  Pinterest has loads of patterns & you probably have a granny square pattern book lying around.  You don't want the pattern too have too many open parts but it should have an interesting enough pattern to look fun in a solid color.  After I crocheted my granny square I added 4 rounds of single crochet to the outer edge making sure I still made crisp corners by doing a sc-ch1-sc combo once I reached the corners.  This will give the bag more solid parts as well as make it sturdy & hold it's shape.  If there are too many holes not only with your stuff fall through but you may end up making a floppy bag.
Next, fold your granny squares in half to make three triangles like in the photo above.  Sew the triangles together.  It might help to lay out your work as your sewing to make sure you're sewing the right pieces together.  The shape of this bag can make it confusing.  I also made sure to put all my tails at the back of the bag so the stitches in the front would match up better & you wouldn't see where each round was joined.
For the cream bag, I braided 30 strands of yarn together to make a thicker strap with some fluffy tassels.  When it came to the strap for the multi color bag, I crocheted a chain with two strands of my yarn held together.  You want to make a sturdy/thick chain because it will stretch once the bag is filled with stuff.  I always try to use a little less than I think I need so it doesn't stretch too much, making the bag unwearable.  For these, I made them cross body bags but you could make a shorter strap.
I left mine unlined because I plan on using these for beach outings or little trips...not as my everyday purse!  But you could hand sew a lining into this purse if you want.

I looovvveee the multi colored one!  So fun for summer!  To me it's a little patriotic looking - so perfect for the 4th of July I guess.  But both of these would be great for any little warm weather outing your planning.  These stretch as well so if you were going to a farmer's market or outdoor fair you can stuff these full of fun goodies.

xoxo, Moe

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4.24.2014

Learn Something New // Great Apps for Learning

Ever since leaving school formally, it's been weird not having assignments or things to be completed.  Blogging sort of gives me something to complete - thinking up and writing out posts - but for the most part I'm not learning anything new.  Zach & I will go to museums & sometimes little workshop/class type of things but nothing that requires studying or developing something.  And sometimes it's a discouraging not having someone to teach you - have you ever tried to teach yourself something?  It's hard if you don't have someone passionate about it teaching you!  However, I've got a great resource for learning (and I'm sure you do to!) it's an iPad/iPhone! I know others of you may have Android devices so I will try to link to these if they are available on your device in this post as well.  Here are some great apps for learning something new or just brushing up on something old:

Duolingo
This is one of my current favorite apps!  I've only been using it for a short time but I've been loving the game style of learning a new language.    I took French in high school & college but it's a little rusty and I want to get better.  Chose from French, Spanish, German, Italian, and a few more.  Learn at your own pace by setting a goal & learning with fun and easy activities.  I like it because it's easy to pick up quick and get a short session in.  Oh, this app is totally free....forever.  Learn more & download it for Apple & Android here.  Don't have a fancy smart phone or tablet?  Use Duolingo online as well!

goREACT
This is the app that started the idea for this post!  We went to the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago and there we played with a little interactive period table.  You can create different compounds and chemical reactions by dragging elements from the periodic table into the Reaction Area.  There you'll create & learn about different reactions, chemical compounds, etc.  Learn how the periodic table is set up & about each of the 118 elements!  Download for Apple here and for Android here.  This app is also free.

Star Walk
This is one of the first learning apps I ever downloaded but I haven't played with in a long while.  You can look up at the night sky from the comfort of your bedroom, making an fun bedtime routine.  You can also reveal the amazing heavens as you lay on your back in your yard or while camping.  Learn about constellations above you and how they look from all over the world by pointing the device towards the ground to see a point of view from the other hemisphere.  Use the scale on the screen called Time Machine to see how the sky looked yesterday or thousands of years in the past.  Download Star Walk for Apple here ($2.99) and for Android here ($3.17).

MathBoard
Intended for students this quiz based problem solving app gives you math questions at your fingertips.  I'm horrible with multiplication tables so this app is a great way to quiz myself & brush up.  Great for any kids in the household too as they can start from as low as kindergarten level & work up.  Don't worry, no calculus in this app (if thats what you're wanting to learn, I found this for Android & this for iPhone - but a better search my lead to more).  Download from Apple here ($4.99) and for Android here ($4.99). 

Art
If you want to brush up on your Art History or never knew the difference between Van Gough & Toulouse Lautrec - this app will show you who's who.  Read artist biographies, see examples of their work, and save & email images.  Options to go to online sites to learn more will give you Art History at your finger tips.  If you're interested in learning about artists, their work, and different periods in Art History the subject is at your finger tips.  An easy going way to learn a new subject.  Download for $0.99 from Apple here.  Alternative is Art Academy from Android for free here.

I know it's coming on that time for school breaks & I just feel like summer is a time where you sort of put off learning because you're too busy catching some rays.  All of these apps will help you learn something new in a few minutes a day.  Keep your brain fresh guys!

xoxo, Moe

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4.23.2014

Wednesday Decor // Spare Bedroom Construction

I was looking through some photos on my computer & found some old (old, ooolllddd) pictures of our construction on the spare room down stairs.  We worked on the whole down stairs in one swoop but for some reason the spare bedroom didn't ever make it to the blog.  It's almost, maybe, sorta done so I thought I'd just share these pictures of our spare room bare bones & in progress!  Just to give you some reference if you check out this post we're in the part of the map labeled Spare Room - also these are bad iPhone photos!
From the outside, the spare room had a weird window separating it from the garage.  The garage wasn't a fully finished room, just a garage...so I'm not sure why there would be a window anyway.  There are boards on the walls to act as studs to attach the drywall to & we ended up just boarding up the window inside the wall.  Surprise for someone who finds that I guess.
When you entered the room, there was only one door on this side of the wall.  That door lead to a bathroom/utility room.  There wasn't a closet & that set up wasn't really great for a functional spare room.  So we added walls and doors.  The white door leads to the utility room & under the stairs.  The next space over now has a door leading to the world's smallest closet.  And to the left of that (and in the picture below) is a door to the bathroom.  We moved the original wall on that side about a foot or so into the room to accommodate a sink in the bathroom.
A better view of the bathroom.  You can see where the original tile ends - thats where we took the wall from & moved it into the room.  We took the sink - which originally was at the back of where the closet is when that was all one bathroom/utility room - and put it in front of the toilette.  The bathroom was drywalled and we left the original standing shower.
From left to right - bathroom, closet, utility room, entrance to the room
 Finally the doors installed make this room look like a nightmare out of Monsters Inc.  Four doors in this spare room!  Terrifying right??  Now, of course, we have it all carpeted, drywalled, and painted (except for one door!) and it's coming together.  The bathroom is nearly complete & the spare room keeps collecting random junk...how do I stop this??  I can't believe I didn't share with you an in depth look at the progress of this room.  Hopefully later in the Summer I can give you a tour of the fully finished spare room!

xoxo, Moe 

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4.21.2014

Weekly Make Up Basket #2

It was super fun this last week to create a weekly make up basket to rotate somethings in my collection.  I definitely found some things I love in last weeks make up basket - look for a review on the ELF Personal Blend Foundation & the ELF Essential Lipsticks.  I also fell back in love with the Almay Trio & realized that the Wet n Wild Walking the Red Carpet palette isn't that terrible (still not great, but not too terrible!)  This week I did a lot of thinking when I chose things & next week I won't.  I'm going to grab & go.  Pretty much my make up is organized by categories so I'm going to just grab two or three things from each drawer.  So here we go, this weeks basket:
Eyes
Lot's of eye stuff this week (lots of everything this week).  The first is a palette from Black Radiance in Downtown Browns.  I believe that both Wet n Wild & Black Radiance are owned by they same company.  I do like a lot of Black Radiance eyeshadow but have yet to try their other products.  Their lipsticks always seem so tempting.  Next, I depoted nearly all of my Wet n Wild eyeshadows & these are a few in an Elf custom compact.  The three on the right are from the Comfort Zone palette, the purple-ish one on the left is from the Silent Treatment trio, & the top one is from the limited edition trio in Enlisting for Beauty.  Final eyeshadow is a clearanced Gilded Bronze single from L'Oreal.  Going to try to use some of my Wet n Wild Shimmer Eyeshadow Primer this week too.
Blush
I've been loving the shimmery blushes in my collection & last week's basket got me back into them.  This week I'm going to go back to the Balm's Hot Mama blush (reminds me of NARS Orgasm, am I the only one?), trying the NYC Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder in 001 Spring Petals (I believe this is/was limited edition from their new Spring line but it doesn't say limited edition), and the Physicians Formula Happy Booster in Natural.  Originally I bought the Happy Booster in Natural thinking it was a highlight someone was talking about but it's actually a true pink color with a little bit of a sheen.
Highlights
Even though I'm doing shimmery blush if ever I stray from those this week, I want to use my favorite Wet n Wilde Shimmer Palette is Rose Champagne Glow.  I also want to get some use out of the ELF Baked Highlight in Moonlight Pearl.  This was in a products I regret buying video I have yet to upload!  Now I'm thinking I won't do that because I'm trying to give some products another chance!
Face
Two things that are solely face related, or like base face related - a concealer & a primer.  The concealer is from the Revlon PhotoReady line.  I got this attached to a compact make up from Big Lots for $5.  I bought a ton of them in all the shades!  This is the shade medium deep and I want to try some cream contouring again this week.  The primer is a sample from BirchBox and it's from Grand Central Beauty.  It says it's supposed to work as a filler & primer, especially under eyes.  Not sure what that really means but I'm going to give it a shot.  I think I'm going to cancel my BirchBox subscription actually.
Lips
Three lip products this month - a crayon type lip color from Be a Bombshell in Shameless.  It's a bright mauve color that leans more natural if you catch my drift.  It's not too bright but not too dark.  It's a good spring color.  Two lip glosses - Revlon Super Lustrous in Super Natural & a small Elf one from the Ursula palette in the 2013 Halloween collections.  Pretty much just want to use that little one up.  They are so small you'd think they'd use up quickly!
So that's it for this week!  I am loving that I'm finding things to do reviews on by rotating my stash regularly.  If you ever see something you want to know more about let me know because I'd love to do a review.

Have a good week!

xoxo, Moe

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4.17.2014

Boost Your Blog // Two Simple Things to Prepare your Blog for the Week

Blogging is something that I try to be really good at (be a good blogger, post everyday, interact with others) and something I try to remind myself that I am doing for myself.  My blog started out as a way for me to document my life and, by nature, to share my experiences with others.  I'm always torn between promoting my blog & just sitting back and connecting with it on a personal level.  Because of this I'm also always trying to make it easier for myself to blog and to go out to do things to blog about.  It's a hard balance.  I love blogging but I also love living.  So when I feel like I have nothing to blog...I stay silent for a while, enjoy my time.  Then I'll hop right back on it again. 
Bonus Tip - Enlist a helper, you can see that Em is very helpful when it comes to blogging.

Anyway, in order to make it easier for me to not worry about my blog during the week I've come up with two things I do on Sundays (usually my blog day) to prepare by blog for the week.  I set it up & forget it - here's how:

Schedule Posts - I love the schedule feature of blogger.  I can sit down, write 5 posts, and then schedule them to go up when I want to.  Usually I'll sit down on Sunday & execute any posts that have been rolling around in my head all week.  Sunday is my organize get the blog ready for the week day.  I find I put less pressure on myself if I can brainstorm all week then execute.  Sometimes I'll work on projects for the blog during the week but there's less pressure because I'm not going to blog it right away.  Other times ideas need time to develop so I'll write the body to a post then come back to it later.  Scheduling posts means that I'm not writing/blogging everyday & have time to just enjoy.

Scheduling Tweets - I like to sit down at the beginning of the month & go through some of my old posts to find posts I'd like to repromote.  Maybe it was a really great post or maybe it's relevant to right now - and I'll use TweetDeck to schedule an archive post to tweet each weekday of the month.  This way I'm promoting my blog twice in a day - one tweet goes out when my blog post goes live usually early in the day (use Networked Blogs for this!) and one tweet goes out later in the day with the archive post.

These two things let me seem as if I'm active all week, get all my ideas out there, & still leave me time to actually live the life I want to blog about!  This is one of my creative spaces & I like to keep it no pressure & free!

How do you prepare your blog for the week?  Are you a Scheduler?

xoxo, Moe

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4.16.2014

Wednesday Decor // Deck Decor Inspiration

Well after the most god awful winter...it's finally getting warmer up north.  In fact, right now I'm sitting at our little table on our little deck typing away.  The chilly Spring weather is here but the snow is (hopefully!) out the window.  There are no longer little patches of snow here & there and those giant snow piles in the parking lots have all melted.  It is wonderful!  Zach, Em, & I have been enjoying a lot of time outside on the deck:
Right now I can't wait to get our little outside oasis all fixed up!  We have a little table set with two chairs & have already had our first dinner out side - it was delicious by the way.  Next is to clean up from winter - leaves, cobwebs, etc - to get the porch good to go for the Spring & Summer.  Here's my deck decor inspiration:
New Melamine Dinnerware - Last year we had nothing on out porch all Spring & Summer long.  We'd sit on the porch outside our front door but never on the deck off the kitchen.  I'm thinking of extending (and fully developing) the colors from the kitchen to the deck.  There's a soft sage & brick red color pattern going on in the kitchen so extending that to the deck will be nice.  These melamine dishes & acrylic cups are great for this!  I love the pattern on them & the won't break when dropped.  Added bonus.

Decorative String Lights - These string lights are super cool!  I love the shape of the bulb - they are called Edison Bulbs - and I think they will look really neat all lit up at night.  The cord is brown so it will blend in with our deck which is also painted brown.  I was thinking about searching for cool Christmas lights at the end of the season but I didn't want to deal with the green cord looking all funky against the brown color.

Plants, Plants, Plants- I want to try my hand at an herb garden again since it didn't quite work out last year.  My plan in to make a large tiered pot sculpture, if you will, with three tiers & put it in the corner that will get the most sun.  I also want some window baskets hanging off the railings.  Maybe some hanging planters too? Who knows.  This year I'm hoping my potted plant path will go better than what I did last year!

Decorative Pillows - Not that our chairs really need pillows but adding that touch can't hurt.  I'm sort of digging an old world vibe and the pattern on these pillows really says it for me.  Plus I need to find some sort of outside doggie bed for Emrys....he'll never lay on it but it will look pretty, right?

I can't wait to get started on this little space.  I'm slowly realizing that it's ok to have your home be a work in progress.  I'm so envious of others who seem to have a fully decorated home all the time!  The only place in our house that is fully done is probably our bedroom!  We had a clear plan with that one.  I am hoping to have this all prettied up (along with my other Four Simple Goals!) by the end of May.  Just enough time to enjoy it!

What are your outdoor decor plans this season?  Anything you're dreaming of?

xoxo, Moe

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4.15.2014

Things I am, Try to Be, & Am Not // Part 2

While going through my blog a while ago I came up on this post titled Things I am, Try to be, & Am not that was written in November of 2012.  Currently it has been over a year since I wrote that post & I'm in a different spot - yet I still feel I am the same.  During that time I'd just moved up north & had spent probably exactly a month in the new house, which was a mess.  I still feel I am all of those things I listed but I wanted to search more within myself to decide what I am, try to be, & am not right now:

I am
+ a hard worker who pushes herself to the breaking point.
+ dreamer of dreams and sometimes not a doer.
+ worrier when little  things go wrong.
+ learning where my no point is.
+ changing into someone in her late twenties.

I try to be
+ more organized both in life & in my home.
+ a positive person by sharing 3 great things that happen.
+ a goal achiever instead of a just a goal setter.
+ less of a worrier & more rational.
+ patient.

I am not
+ able to take things lightly when I'm in my go mood.
+ where I'd like to be in life and working to change it.
+ able to enjoy coffee as much as I'd like

Who are you?

xoxo, Moe

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4.14.2014

Weekly Make Up Basket #1

So, usually Monday's are reserved for Make it Monday but seeing as I haven't felt all to creative lately I'm changing it up a bit.  I still want to have at least 3 to 4 posts on my blog each week & hate skipping Mondays aaaannnnddd I need to rotate the things I use make up wise like whoa.  So I decided to do a weekly make up basket post.  I have a pretty large collection of make up (98.9% drugstore) and I need to use it all.  I'm also thinking that there's going to be more of a focus on my YouTube channel as long as I can keep up my Thursday and Sunday upload schedule!  Anyway, here's what I'm going to be using this week:
Eyes
I have four palettes I want to get some use from.  First is the Ursula palette from the Elf Halloween 2013 collection.  I love the spring purples & the teal shade in there.  It's time for be to break away from neutrals and this is a good start.  Two palettes from Wet n Wild - Walking the Red Carpet from their new 2014 Spring collection & Newport Nights that came out around Summer 2013.  I've hit pan on that orange shade in Newport Nights and loved using it for a bit of color in the crease last summer, so I'm busting it out again.  The Walking the Red Carpet palette isn't something that is my favorite (not compared to last year's Spring Collection!) but if I want a neutral eye I can go to that one.  Hopefully I don't rely on it this week!  Finally, this little trio at the bottom right is one of the first little trios I bought way back in high school.  It is a repackaging of the Almay Intense I-Color trios.  This is the original one for brown eyes.  I wore the crap out of this in high school & college - it was seriously my only eye shadow look ever.  Of course I paired it with the purple liner in the line as well.  So I'm excited to bust that out for nostalgia.
Cheeks
I have two blushes from the Studio M Collection that I believe is only sold at Meijer.  Honestly, I don't think you can get these products any more as I've seen them replaced by NYX!  These two blushes are very shimmery & very pink.  They almost look the same but I promise they are slightly different.  They don't have names on them but one is more of a true, deep pink & the other is a lighter pink with a golden shimmer.  Reminds me a bit of the Balm's Hot Mama blush.  I also have a liquid highlight from Elf called a Radiance Enhancer.  This on is in the shade Moonlight...not sure if Elf makes this anymore either.
Face
These two powders are ones I've only played with a little bit.  The Wet n Wild Take on the Day Mattifying Powder was included in a Products I Regret Buying video I haven't uploaded yet but I saw someone use it as an under eye setting powder, so I thought I'd give that a go this week.  It doesn't work at all for setting your face - it's got some weird shimmers in it so I'm not sure how it will be under the eye but I thought I'd give it one more go.  Next is the Elf Personal Blend Foundation.  It has four quadrants so you can create a custom shade to match you - however, I popped off the little sifter since it didn't quite work how I'd like it to & am just going to combine all the colors.
Lips
Two lip products this week - both from Elf.  The first is a matte lip color in Praline.  I haven't worn any of my collection of these & I have every color.  Next is a lipstick from their Essential line in the color Charming.  It is a nice natural, pink color & I haven't worn any of my collection of these either!
So that's what I'll be trying out this week and I'm hopefully going to keep doing this to get some good use out of my collection.  I find myself relying on the same things but when it comes to branching out I am overwhelmed by my collection!  I promise to get back to Make it Monday when I feel more inspired - I do have an idea that I want to execute this week, so here's hoping for that!

xoxo, Moe

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4.10.2014

E.L.F. Baked Eye Shadow Review

I'm trying to get back on the product review train here because I've got a lot of products in my collection & have a lot I'd like to say about them!  Today I'm sharing four of the Elf Baked Eyeshadows that I picked up from Target a bit ago.  I'm now seeing Elf Cosmetics in places like Meijer, Wal-Mart, & Kmart in addition to Target.  So these amazing (yes amazing) cosmetic line is becoming more & more available.  Anyway, here are my thoughts on these baked shadows:
 From the Website
Silky & blendable formula provides smooth and even application.  Rich Pigmentation for a beautiful effect.  Infused with active key ingredients Jojoba, Rose, Sunflower, Apricot, & Grape to nourish & hydrate.  Long lasting & shimmering color can be worn wet or dry - wet is more vibrant.  Taken from the website here
First Impressions & Application
From seeing these eyeshadows on the shelf they are gorgeous.  I love the sophisticated packaging of the Studio line of Elf products.  They are usually characterized by black, matte packaging.  The packaging of these eyeshadows is a little different - the doomed, baked shadow is under a bubble of clear plastic on a black, matte disk with a snap closure.  At first look I fell in love with the look of the texture of the eyeshadow in the pan & the color range.  There are 10 beautiful colors - I have Enchanted, Toasted, Bark, & Burnt Plum.  You get .12oz for $3.

When I first opened the packages I wasn't impressed with hard texture of the shadows.  In fact, I packed them away for a while.  I kept bringing them out & swatching them dry and just wasn't impressed.  I think I must have broken them in because I suddenly got a lot of color payoff from them dry.  I don't do the wet baked eyeshadow thing - so I swatched them the way I would wear them which is dry.  You can see the swatches below.  After breaking them in I found they applied nicely with a flat brush or a blender brush.  My favorite of these four is enchanted - it's a lovely, nearly duo chrome champagne/gold color.
 swatched left to right : toasted, enchanted, burnt plum, bark
left to right : toasted, enchanted, burnt plum, bark
Wear Time
Overall I would say these don't last any longer than any other eyeshadow.  Obviously, they will last longer with a primer or other base underneath.  You can create a whole look with these shadows & I imagine a one-shadow look would be perfect with these!  Wear one wet over the lid the blend out with the dry shadow into the crease.  I find that these do apply more evenly & last better over a base.  I like them over something thicker like a Maybelline Color Tattoo.

Overall Impression & Recommendations
These are pretty nice but maybe not for the price.  Don't get me wrong....Elf has the best price range for great quality, but I think you should snag these as a part of a 50% off sale.  They aren't too expensive if you want to experiment but picking them up at $1.50 a pop is a much better deal!  They aren't the best thing Elf has to offer in the eyeshadow department but they aren't bad.  The colors aren't that unique - pick up Enchanted if you pick up one at all - but they have the versatility of being wet or dry.  I guess you could say I'm 50/50 on this.  Out of all of them I recommend Enchanted just because of the color.  I'm not going to tell you they suck...I guess I just feel slightly moved with these as they are cheap enough to experiment with.

Elf offers so much to try at such an affordable price.  Pick them up from retailers above or from the Eyes Lips Face website here.

What are your favorite products from Elf?  Have you had success with these shadows?

xoxo, Moe

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ps. this item was bought by me for a review.  I am not being compensated for this post at all.  Read more about my disclosure policies here.

4.07.2014

#FOTD // Documenting My Make Up Addiction

So recently I've been trying to document what I've been wearing cosmetic-wise each day.  I haven't really been keeping up with it & I need to get back on it.  I've found it's really helping me rotate my ever growing make up collection.  Taking a picture as often as I can shows me what I'm really reaching for every day.
I've been trying to work through things I haven't touched in a long time & not relying solely on favorites.  Like the Coty AirSpun Face Powder is now becoming a staple in my routine.  It has a crazy, perfumed scent but I've been trying something new recently - it's called the Wayne Goss Method.  Instead of jumping straight from primer to foundation applying a thin layer of a finely milled, loose face powder all over the face between the two steps.  I've found that this really makes my foundation stay on longer! 
I've also been trying to find the best under eye concealer.  I love the Dream Lumi but not pictured here is a new love of mine - the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer.  Both of these are thick enough to stay around but not too thick to get cakey.  About midday I see concealers starting to look weird under my eyes but these stay put nicely.  I've also been setting my under eye with the Elf Undereye Setting Powder - caution: there's glitter in there.
I'm also all about testing out primers.  While I think that primers are necessary but I don't really know if one is better than another.  I know the ones I don't like but all the others seem to work pretty much the same all across the board.  Bronzer for me recently has been the Balm's Bahama Mama.  If you look at mine you will see a giant dip in it!  I got it off HauteLook for a really affordable price as well.  Currently & also not pictured, I've transitioned into using a L'Oreal True Match Powder in Cappuccino.  Keeping track of what I use means I've also moved into a routine where I know what I like & can get ready in decent time.  Changing out my favorites not only keeps my collection in rotation but challenges me to find other looks - and reinforces what I would repurchase.

So that's why I've been posting #FOTD pictures to Instagram recently.  I'm going to get back into it as well - keeps me accountable & shows my growth!

What are your favorite items from your collection?  Do you switch it out often?

xoxo, Moe  

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4.04.2014

Four Simple Goals for April 2014

I don't what it is with me publishing unfinished posts recently!  This was up all day with no intro text & just these four goals!  Anyway.....April means Spring & a lot of these are spring cleaning related.   Here's what I'm hoping to get accomplished this month:

Plan for our garden in the Spring
We need to transplant & prepare for a little vegetable garden that we want to maintain this year.  You may also remember our fail at an herb garden.  Well, I'm totally all over it because I'm going to put planter boxes off the side of the patio for an herb garden.  I also need to plan what I'm going to do for the front yard this year.  I spent a lot of time planting stuff last year, then I hated it.  So I need to take like a Lowe's gardening class!!

Organize closets/cabinets
This might be a goal broken up into a few days/weekends!  I really (like, really really) need to get our bedroom closet under control but there are things stowed in places that just need to be taken care of!

Collaborate on the blog with others
Whether it's guest posts or group posts I want to actually get back into interacting with others in the blogging world.  I also want to be better at commenting & responding to comments I get on the blog here!  I'm horrible with that :( but hopefully this will make a habit.  I just want to interact more with others - I'm better on Twitter & Instagram.

Work with Zach on a regular post for the blog
It's always been fun when we've worked together on something for the blog.  Every year I do a big semi-how-to post on our Valentine's Day pasta making but I want to try to come up with a regular post we can do together.  Even if he's just being handy it would be nice to have him regularly here on the blog!

Hooray for April!

What will you do this month?

xoxo, Moe

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4.03.2014

Vinted App Review & Tips for Selling

My best friend Katie has turned me on to something wicked - it's an app called Vinted (available in the App & the Play store) where you can sell clothes/accessories you don't need any more.  Maybe they don't fit you or they don't fit your style, list them & sell them!  I think this app is pretty cool so I wanted to give you a little review & some tips for selling.  First some info & my thoughts:
This app is free in the app store.  It's free to list items, when you sell an item however Vinted keeps about 10% to pay for the up keep, etc of the app.  Vinted regulates they payment & shipping labels.  Once you buy an item, Vinted holds the funds from the seller until you've received the item.  So if you are a seller you won't see the cash until the buyer has verified they've received what you've sold them.  Additionally, the buy pays directly for shipping!  This is my favorite part - there is no out of pocket cost for you when you run to the mailbox!  Once a buyer has paid for an item you get a notification.  You then send the shipping label to your email, print it, tape it to your package, & drop it at the post office.  So. Stinking. Easy!  Once the buyer has confirmed they have they item, the funds are released to you & you can transfer it to your bank.  You and the buyer can leave feed back for each other & move on.  This app is easy & the easiest I've ever sold anything online.  I love the ease of use & the simplified market place.
As with any online market place there are a few tips to increase your sales & the overall look of your shop, here are some of my tips:

Use a dress form or a model - the better a buyer can see the fit of the item the more likely they are to understand it on their own body & purchase it.  If you can't take pictures of your self a body form like this (Katie sells clothes from her closet on one of these, I use a dress form) can help to sell your items better.

Simplify your background & use natural light - photograph your clothes on a plain background.  Find a blank wall in a room with enough light to show the natural color of the item.  The small format of the app helps conceal imperfections in your photography but you do want to use every available resource to your advantage when it comes to selling your items!

Use the in app camera - you can import photos but if you're photographing with your phone you might as well use the in app camera.  It's not that bad & has a pretty good auto adjust if you tap the screen.  It's pretty easy to set up a single piece of clothing, photograph it, & move through the listing process with out having to do too many steps.

Be descriptive & use hashtags - I haven't done too much research here but from my experience using hashtags in your listing description helps.  The app actually encourages hashtags in the description.  When you are titling & describing your item be sure to use descriptive words that make sense.  What would someone search to find this product? is the question you should ask yourself when listing.  Tags like Festival, Nautical, Boho, Preppy are nice adjectives to discern style & really help others find your items.  Describe any imperfections as well.

List the way the item fits - there is a sizing option when listing but that might not always be accurate.  If you have something where the tag says XL but it fits you more like a medium, list it as the size the tag says but add in the description the way the item actually fits.  I got questions that I tried to answer honestly about sizing - if something is sort of free in size, help your buyer understand how it might fit on different frames.

List with reasonable prices - You can list anything and everything on this site - from name brand to small brand - so list with prices in mind.  No one will pay full price for something you've had for 3 years in your closet.  I see this as a way to unload my unwanted things so I'm not looking for top dollar here.  You'll make a little bit of cash but don't expect too much.  People will also try to make you offers - accept them if you want to - but don't list things too high.  I've also found that listing things a little too high might sell them but then you have more room to list them for cheaper once they've been favorited.  Sometimes buyers will favorite then sweep in when you lower the price.  It's a fun game to play!!

Find a scale to weigh your items - generally a shirt you might be able to list with the lowest shipping range, a dress the mid shipping range, and shoes/etc the highest shipping range.  But don't under estimate!  If you can find a scale do it!  Thanks gramma for the shipping scale for Christmas!

Overall I love this app for getting rid of my unwanted clothes easily, quickly, & for a little bit of cash.  I love that Vinted controls the shipping labels - that's what eventually sold it for me!  I mostly list on the weekends when it seems that activity is high but have made sales through the week.  If you want to shop my closet check out my store by searching for Fivesixteenths in the app.  You should find me!

Have you used Vinted?  What do you think of the app?

xoxo, Moe

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4.02.2014

Three Great Eye Shadow Primers

Making you're eyeshadow stay all day is a huge goal for all of us..is it not?  I'm always faced with creasing & it sucks.  I'm not sure if I have unusually oily eyelids or perhaps it's just the name of the game but only a few eyeshadow primers really work for me.  I'm always up for trying more but lately I've been turning to these three guys:
Maybelling Color Tattoo in - This is one of the color tattoos from their matte collection last summer I think.  I've never been a fan of the color tattoos as regular eyeshadows but this one as a base is perfect!  It evens out my lids & is just tacky enough to hold shadow but not creamy enough to slide around my eye in an hour.  The texture of this one is kind of weird and to me it feels a bit thicker than the other, shimmery color tattoos.  Sorry, but these are no longer available (so sad) but I'd suggest scouring your Big Lot's or just keeping an eye out for them because sometimes these things pop up in those types of discount stores.

Wet n Wild Take on the Day Eye Primer - As you can see, this tube has had a lot of love.  This used to be my one & only go to eye lid primer.  I also have the shimmer version of this & they both work nicely.  The actual product smooths on clear unlike the other two in this post.  I like the tackiness of this as well - just enough hold, not enough to crease.  

Milani Shadow Eyez pencil in  - This is one I'm turning to more & more as it is more of a drier formula.  It evens out my lid since it's in that almond color and since it's a bit lighter than my skin tone it can act as a brow highlight, too.  I love the slightly less tacky texture of this pencil & it smooths on the lid like a dream.  The best thing about this pencil is Milani added it to their permanent line!  It was limited edition but now you can buy it on the shelves.  Don't you hate that all the best things are limited edition?
Left to Right: 
Maybelline Color Tattoo, Wet n Wild Take on the Day, Milani Shadow Eyez in Almond
These have been in constant rotation in my make up routine lately.  I try to trade things out every now & again to make sure a lot of my collection gets an even amount of love.  Other eyeshadow primers & bases just haven't lived up to these three, though!

What helps your eyeshadow to stay crease free all day long?  Any recommendations?

xoxo, Moe

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