Favorites: September 2018!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

We’ve made it to the end of another week- and pretty close to the end of another month!

While this week was a short one for me, what with returning from the West Coast and today being my half day at work (until next week, anyway- when my designated half day shifts to Wednesdays for a little while!)– I’m looking forward to the weekend and getting ready to dive into October- the month when I’m at maximum “spooky” power.

I’ll have my look back on September up bright and early this coming Sunday morning before I head out to do some long overdue apple and pumpkin picking- but before I get too ahead of myself- I wanted to share some of the products, purchases, odds and ends that I was coveting and obsessing over these past few weeks.

That’s right- it’s time for my monthly Favorites!

Now, the photogenic products are at a minimum as it was really hard to commit to fashion/accessories/shoes- not only because I was in the desert for a considerable amount of time this month- and also because the temperatures fluctuated so often back here in New England that I never knew what to wear or when! That’s the trickiest thing about September where I live. Summer does everything it can to hold on, while Fall is ready to swoop in and take over!

I digress- there are plenty of other things I enjoyed in September- and they’re all gonna’ get a mention.

Let’s take a look!

When I read that snakeskin was going to have a serious moment this Fall- I couldn’t wait to dive into the trend. Not wanting to go straight for cowboy boots or belts to incorporate the print into my wardrobe- I opted to replace my faux-leather cross-body bag with a faux-snakeskin one from ALDO, instead.

With a braided metal chain and clasp to keep the two spacious pouches within the bag secure- I have been loving this thing, It hangs comfortably, holds the essentials, and matches pretty much everything I own!

I have a feeling is one is going to be getting me through the Spring when it comes time for me to change things up again!

These two products were life savers- especially when I’d left the humidity in Massachusetts and spent time in the dry, dusty climate around Las Vegas during my vacation. It took little to no time at all for my skin, hair, and lips to get dry- but luckily I was prepared!

Knowing fully well that my makeup was going to be running off my face the second I stepped off the plane in Nevada and all that would be left would be dry, patchy skin- I opted for this moisturizing primer from Tarte. Not only did it keep my skin hydrated (even when I was out in the middle of the desert, roasting under the sun!)– but it kept my makeup in place. No touch-ups necessary as I went from day to night mode!

Of course, when it did come time to remove my makeup and turn in for the night- I wanted a sleeping mask that would keep my skin moisturized and bright so I could wake up and go. Enter this glittery, berry-scented and lightweight gel “Unicorn Glow” sleeping mask from Soo Ae Skin Care. After each night I fell asleep with this mask on, I woke up with skin that looked and felt sparkling clean and refreshed. Side note? The packaging is too cute. I’m in love!

And finally, with Fall in full swing- I’ve been gradually phasing out my bright pinks, corals and red lipsticks/lip glosses from the Summer and transitioning into rich nudes and brown tones. I’ve been wearing these two shades (the lighter, “Satin Ribbon” and the darker, “Teddy”) from NYX’s ‘Lip Lingerie’ collection.

These formulas go on smooth and quickly dry to a nice, crease-free matte finish that make my lips look plump and very Autumn-esque. You can keep an eye on my Instagram to see more photos of them up close this coming weekend!

And that’s it for the items/products that could be photographed- but as they say in infomercials- wait, there’s more!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘The Purge TV’ – I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first turned into this mini-series at the beginning of the month, but it’s been such a wild, dark and twisted ride- and now I’m hooked. The show follows three separate story lines that occasionally intersect on the night of the annual purge (the one night a year where all crime- including murder- is legal) as the characters struggle to survive and face their own morality.

It’s pretty intense- although I loved the candle the network sent me following the premiere!

‘Peppermint’ – I love a good vigilante justice flick, especially when the lead is a female- but seeing Jennifer Garner go from the sweet ‘Capitol One’ spokesperson to a no-nonsense Queen who punches bad guys in the face and blows things up? Count me in. I had so much fun watching this with a friend earlier this month. It was completely unexpected and worth a watch for anyone who likes action movies!

– GAMES/TECH/APPS –

‘Dead By Daylight’ – Although this horror movie-inspired PC game would have been a perfect contribution to my October favorites, I couldn’t wait to add it since my friends and I have been having a blast playing it. In the game, you can choose to be a survivor or the “killer” (and some are based off of classic horror movie baddies)– and you either work with your team to solve puzzles and escape the killer- or you go around and kill the survivors before they can escape.

It’s funny and crazy- and is definitely going to keep me occupied in the coming days when it starts raining again!

‘Hidden Agenda’ – Another group mystery/horror game, this PS4-Smartphone hybrid game (from the company behind ‘Until Dawn’!) allows players to work together to track down a serial killer, or- depending on your motives- sabotage your team. We played this as a group right before I left for the West Coast and it was the best. time. Seriously. Get your friends together and give it a shot!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Maple. Pecan. Everything – Coffee, muffins, candles, etc. I don’t care what it is- if it’s got maple and pecan in it- I’ll eat it or use it to scent my home. Who needs pumpkin spice when this combination is taking over this Fall? I can’t get enough of it!

And I think that’s it, everyone! This month had a lot of fun things I’ll be using well into October- but I’m sure I’ll have some new finds to share, too!

I’m off to finish up some work and enjoy a company luncheon. Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful Friday and beginning to your weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: December 2017!

Good Morning, everyone- and Happy Friday! Are you all ready for New Year’s Eve? Me, personally? I’m compiling the last of my 2018 resolutions and putting together the final touches on my “Year In Review” post that will be up and running this coming Sunday morning (and it’s a doozy- let me tell ‘ya!)

But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. We’re still in December and I have a few favorites to share from this past month! Some were products that kept me feeling festive, and others were gifts I received around Christmastime- but they all held a special place in my heart over these last few weeks and I know I’ll be enjoying them well into the new year, too!

I’m a big fan of OGX hair care products- which have always worked well for me and always come in the most lovely fragrances- so when I heard they had launched a limited edition, holiday-inspired collaboration with YouTuber Kandee Johnson- I searched high and low to get my hands on some of their conditioners!

I was lucky enough to find them at my local pharmacy and stocked up- but by far my two favorite scents are Frosted Sugar Cookie- which makes my hair smell like a dessert, and Sparkling Cider- which is the perfect mix of apple and cinnamon.

These conditioners leave my hair silky, smooth, frizz-free and moisturized- and I’m going to be so sad when this collection is gone for good!

Winter is absolutely brutal on my skin from head to toe- so I always try to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and apply lotions and moisturizers rigorously- but sometimes I need a little something extra to help out and this month I turned to the Christmas-themed sheet masks from The Crème Shop to give me a healthy glow and an extra boost of vitamins/antioxidants.

Made and manufactured in Korea, these masks are mess-free and have been giving me a beautiful, soft and clear complexion despite the fact that we’ve entered single-digit temperatures outside. I look fresh-faced and feel lovely after each time I use one of these- and I’ll be packing a few of the masks with me when I head to California in a few weeks to keep my skin dewy after takeoff!

Side note: how adorable is the packaging?

I have been coveting metallic lips and eye-looks lately- which I think are especially gorgeous this time of year when there’s snow and frost everywhere. This rosy pink, metallic-sheen lip liner and gloss set that I picked up from Primark for $4.50 (seriously) has quickly become my favorite go-to everyday cosmetic item because it makes my lips POP when I wear them together.

The gloss is long-lasting and non-drying- and the finish is so neat looking. You can see a photo of me wearing it in THIS Instagram pic, in case you’re curious!

I can’t stress enough that Primark is one of the most surprising places to find good-quality and inexpensive makeup!

I recently ripped the inside of my pineapple-printed wallet that I’ve had for the last couple of years- and I was pretty bummed out about it- but this past Christmas my oldest brother and his wife surprised me with a brand new, navy blue Kate Spade wallet as a gift- and it is a fine replacement that matches my handbag, wardrobe, etc.

I’m a big fan of Kate Spade products since they’re well-made and durable- and this wallet holds everything I switched over from my old one- and then some!

And finally- courtesy of my other big brother and his wife- this Pennywise (the Tim Curry version!) FUNKO Figurine absolutely cracked me up on Christmas Eve when I opened it.

Although the made-for-TV-movie isn’t exactly the best or scariest adaption of the book- it’s still a classic- and I’m excited to put this guy up on my wall alongside my Walking Dead and Captain America figurines!

But that’s not all! A few other things made my Favorites list this month, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – I know opinions on the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise are divided, but I personally liked the film. To me, TLJ is aiming the plot and the characters in an exciting, new direction where anything (and the unexpected) is possible while still incorporating the most important and cherished plot-points/characters from the original. I’m looking forward to whatever comes next!

“The Disaster Artist” – Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE the best-worst-movie ever made, ‘The Room’- and I try to catch the midnight screenings around the city with my friends as much as possible. That being said, this movie is James Franco’s finest work. Inspired by the book that detailed the making of the movie from the point-of-view of one of it’s stars- ‘The Disaster Artist’ is interesting, funny, and even sweet at times. It’s definitely worth a watch if you’ve ever enjoyed ‘The Room’!

– GAMES/APPS –

TILE – Probably known more for their heartwarming, ugly-cry inducing commercial where a lost stuffed panda wanders an unknown city looking for it’s owner (the most adorable of little girls)TILE is actually a pretty neat, handheld tracking device that you can sync up to your Bluetooth to help you locate missing keys, phones, etc. The company was kind enough to send me one of their devices earlier this month- which has since found a permanent home on my car keys since I’m prone to misplacing them!

And I think that’s everything for December 2017! I’m looking forward to sharing my memories of this past year that was before the ball drops at midnight and we welcome 2018- but for now- I’m off to enjoy my Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

Beauty Report: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

While many of my friends are typically the first ones to try out new technology or discover up and coming bars/restaurants to introduce the rest of us to- I’m almost always the first one trying and reviewing whatever new makeup/skin care/hair care/cosmetics are hitting the market and creating a buzz among consumers and bloggers alike. It’s a pretty great trade-off of information, I have to admit. My friends will tell me where to get the latest cocktail craze popping up in filtered Instagram posts across the city- and I’ll tell them what dry shampoo is going to save their scalp this Summer or what sunscreen is going to give them the best coverage for the cheapest price.

Of course, sometimes the hottest new products sell out- and keep selling out- before I can get my hands on them as quickly as I’d like- so when Glow Recipe’s coveted Watermelon Sleeping Mask was FINALLY restocked a couple of weeks ago- I was so excited to snag a jar of it to see if all the hype I’d been reading and hearing about was worth the $45 price tag.

Glow Recipe, a company that promotes natural and harsh-free skincare products inspired by trends in the Korean cosmetics market- have been consistently selling out of their most Summery-scented product yet- this nighttime repair mask/peel that boasted being able to refresh and rejuvenate my skin while I slept. What’s in it, you may ask? According to Glow Recipe’s website:

“This pillow-proof formula acts as a radiance-boosting hybrid hydrator, formulated with soothing, amino-acid rich Watermelon Extract, hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, and pore refining AHAs that work while you sleep to gently exfoliate and clarify.”

The mask can also be used as a 10-minute hydration booster when applied (in a thicker consistency) to troubled areas and then rinsed off after waiting 10-15 minutes.

I’ve used a few different Korean beauty products in the past that have yielded some amazing results- so I couldn’t wait to give this pretty pink jar a go.

The first thing I noticed about this mask, apart from it’s adorable packaging- was that it smelled exactly like Watermelon Jolly Ranchers candies (my favorite!) and therefore I had to resist the urge to taste test this, too. Believe me- it was tempting!

The second thing I noticed was that the mask’s consistency was much thinner than I expected and was a lot easier to apply as a result. At first glance, the gel-like substance resembled Clinique’s Moisture Surge Moisturizer– but once I used the small, plastic spatula included with the mask to apply it to cleansed and gently dried skin- it spread over my face and absorbed way faster than the Clinique moisturizer has ever done- which means I don’t need to use as much to make sure my skin is covered. Considering the amount of this stuff packed into the 2.7 ounce glass jar- I’m more than getting my money’s worth! This product is going to last me months since I don’t need that much at all each night.

Once applied, there was no sticky or greasy residue. My skin did have a bit of a sheen to it- but it didn’t feel oily or slick. It felt soft to the touch and, like promised, none of the mask came off on my pillow or my sheets while I slept.

Each morning that I woke up after applying this mask- I noticed that the mask had, in fact, peeled- and some trace flakes were left behind along my T-Zone and jawline (but rinsed off easily!) Underneath the dried pieces of mask, my skin looked brighter and felt a lot softer. Minor imperfections and darkened spots from past breakouts eventually started to fade more and more with continuous usage, too!

My one warning is that after the first couple of uses- some blemishes that were hiding out under the surface of my skin came to a head in the form of sporadic whiteheads. I’ve read this is a fairly common reaction with masks/peels and they were easy enough to buff away with my electronic cleansing brush in the mornings- but it’s worth mentioning to those who may panic at the first sight of any type of acne. It goes away the more you use the mask! Mine cleared up in just a couple of short days and hasn’t been back since!

VERDICT: I can absolutely see why this mask sells out as often and as quickly as it does- because it actually works really, really well! After the initial aforementioned minor breakout shock wore off and I continued using the mask consistently (maybe even a little borderline religiously!)– it didn’t take long at all for my skin to look and feel more radiant, softer, smoother, clearer and brighter. A little of this formula goes a long way so there’s really no possible chance you could waste this or run out of it quickly if it’s used correctly and sparingly as directed.

And I mentioned it before but it’s definitely worth repeating- it smells delicious! It’s not very often I get to put something that smells like fruit-infused candy on my face so I’m more than a little thrilled when it happens!

You can pick up Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask at their official website, as well as Sephora– and be sure to add yourself to their mailing list for alerts of when they’re back in stock in case they’re sold out!

Have you used the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask? Do you know of something comparable? Is there something similar that you prefer, instead? I’d love to hear about it!

xx

– Ashley –