Friday Favorites | 1.1.16

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a wonderful and safe New Years celebration. I wanted to share a few things I’ve been enjoying this week. Christmas brought a lot of events and running around, so I have some favorites from the weekend and some other fun bits from the work week.

Beauty

Wet N’ Wild Color Icon Blushers, Mellow Wine & Berry Shimmer | These blushes from Wet N’ Wild do not get enough love and attention, especially these two shades. This range carries four shades, the other two being Heather Silk and Pearelscent Pink, which I also own. While the other two are great, and a lot of people talk about Pearlescent Pink being a dupe for Nars Orgasm, Mellow Wine and Berry Shimmer are perfect for the winter months! Both are true to their name – Mellow Wine is the pigmented winter wine, mauve color that goes with any look and Berry Shimmer is a deepened red with a bit of shimmer. I wore both of these blushes mixed together over the course of Christmas weekend, and Mellow Wine was great for the office during the work week.IMG_0373 (2)

 

These blushes are very pigmented so use a light hand or a duo fiber brush. I know I keep talking about my Sigma F15, but I LOVE this brush and it’s great for so many different tasks. I’ve seen people use the same kind of brush to apply highlight and even bronzer – it really is the best multitasking face brush and I highly recommend picking a few up for your collection. I have three.

Milani Bronzer Xl- Powder Glow – Limted Edition Dolci | I purchased this limited edition shade Milani bronzer and highlight duo this past summer because I thought the bronzer would be a good shade for contouring. For the first few weeks I had I remember loving the hihglight for a bit of glow and stuck to using the bronzer when I would contour. This past week I started using the bronzer again only I used it for all over bronzing and warming up my complexion, and it’s great! My previous favorite was the NYC Sunny Bronzer and it was starting to look a little warm for this time of year. The bronzer half of this duo leans more neutral than warm, great for contouring, but also great for bronzer during the winter months.

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The only bummer about loving this product is that it’s limited edition and you can’t get your hands on it anymore. I’ve heard great things about the Wet N Wild Color Icon Contour Palette which comes in two shades, Caramel Toffee and Dulce de Leche. I’ve never seen these in my local Walmart or Walgreens, where most Wet N Wild products can be found, but they’re worth keeping an eye out for.

Lifestyle

TweetDeck and Latergram | Since I’m at work for the most of the day during the week, I can kind of slack in the social media department. I have just about every type of account out there (check the sidebar to follow me!), but I’m pretty terrible at posting updates or pictures throughout the day. To keep my posts consistent and be on the same schedule as blog posts, I start using TweetDeck again and I’m trying out Latergramme. I’m sure a lot of you have used TweetDeck before, and if not it’s super easy! You can log into your Twitter account on any computer, schedule tweets, and personalize the your Twitter dashboard with it. Sometime’s I’ll use Bit.ly to shorten my blog post links and then schedule to tweet about them throughout the week.

Latergram is similar to TweetDeck, but for Instagram. Unfortunately, Instgram doesn’t let you post directly from Latergram, but you can schedule the image and caption ahead of time and then you receive a push notification on your phone that redirects you to Instagram to post. Latergram has some bugs to fix yet and I’m not a big of how they have the keyboard setup in their app, but it’s great for having an image from a blog post scheduled shortly after it’s on my blog! Does anyone else use third-party apps or programs to schedule posts? I’d love to know what some other great options are.

New Pens | Remember when you were growing up and hated going back to school shopping? Is anyone else like me and now LOVES all things school, office, and stationary related? I don’t know what it is about owning every pen available at Target, but I feel the need to always be purchasing fun new pens even when I don’t need them. I purchased some Write Dudes Ultra Glide Gel pens while I was running errands and I’m loving them. They 0.5mm which my preference for gel pens; ballpoint I prefer 0.7mm. The colors are great, they write really well and smooth. And they were only $2.99! I love color coordinating my planner, especially with purple for my personal events. I recommend checking these out if you need new pens for the New Year!

Good luck to all starting out New Year’s Resolutions! If you’re starting out a new gym membership, be prepared to wait a half an hour for a treadmill. If you’ve added new goals to your weight lifting, you can do it and be as strong as you want! If you’re working towards more artistic goals, like becoming more creative like me, then write down all your ideas. New year, new adventures!

Gym Accessories I Love & Recommend

The New Year is nearing and many New Year’s Resolutions include being more healthy and getting active! I can already tell that people are starting in on these resolutions as the traffic at the gym has picked up a lot since November – but that’s good! I’ve been a gym goer now since about fall of 2012. It’s a hobby that I love, and I share with others to encourage them to give a new activity a try. I was not into running when I started, so instead I stuck with lifting weights. In 2013, my New Year’s Resolution was to start running and it took me until this past year to really feel like I was good at it. I actually enjoy getting in a good run, especially when I can get a run in outside during the fall – my favorite!

If you’re just starting out at the gym life, go for it! Do what you can and work towards your goals. If you’re like me and work better when you have certain accessories, like having a cute desk organizer at the office, then having some fun gym accessories will make going to gym that much more exciting. Now, I’m saying that all of these items are necessary. In fact a lot of these are things that you can forgo for a long time, but they’re are add-in to your gym bag that I love and totally recommend purchasing if your goal is to stick to the gym and become more fit.

Gym Bag 
So you’re going to need a gym bag to put all of these cool items in. You can use whatever you have around the house or what’s easiest for you to carry around day-to-day. I head to the gym right after work so I bring everything I need and leave it in my car. A backpack works great and can be easily carried so you can carry a briefcase or purse if you’re going to the gym directly from work or school. I got a basic gym bag on Amazon when I started going to the gym, but it only lasted a year before starting to tear. If you’re going to buy a new bag, I recommend getting a good quality one right away to carry the weight of clothes, shoes, water bottle, etc. I purchase a basic Adidas bag on Ebay, new with tags, for a deal around $15, similar to this one here. And it’s purple, my favorite color! It doesn’t have a lot of pockets, but it’s roomy and I can fit all of my gym clothes and shoes then all my work clothes when I’m heading home after my workout.

Fitbit
I’ve already raved on about how much I enjoy my Fitbit in a previous post, but I’m again going to tell you that I’ve had my Flex since August and it’s my favorite gym/fitness accessory. If you’re someone who likes to make to-do lists or likes planning tasks on paper, then you’ll probably benefit a lot from having a Fitbit as you go through your fitness journey. I love seeing how many calories I’ve burned throughout the day and doing the Workweek Hustle challenges with my friends. Since I switched to my new job about a month ago, I’m very happy to report that I’m getting A TON more steps in than I used to! Seriously, go get one!

Blender Bottle
Some may not think that a Blender Bottle is essential to keep in a gym bag, but in my opinion it’s the best option for a water bottle. I personally own two Blender Bottles so that I have a back-up if I leave one at work or it still needs to be washed from the day before. Mine also come with a loop on the top which is handy for a carabiner.  I shared my go to recipe for my breakfast protein shake a few posts ago and I always use my Blender Bottle to make mine. I also like to use it when I’m taking Emergen-C or those Crystal Light packets to shake everything up. It’s also the water bottle that I bring on vacation, hiking, or throw into a (large) purse because I know it doesn’t leak. A few years ago, I purchased a Camelbak because it’s claim is that it’s leak-proof and it has a lifetime guarantee. While I still prefer my Camelbak for the straw on days I’m running at the gym, I have had three caps that have all leaked when I’ve put the bottle in my gym bag after a workout.

Athletic Clothes and Shoes
While I don’t think going out and purchasing all new gym  clothes in totally necessary, I do think that a few good items makes getting dressed for the gym a lot more fun. For the ladies, investing in a comfortable sports bra that works for your body is key. My favorite are the ones with thinner racerback straps – they put a lot less pressure on the upper back and shoulders. I also really enjoy athletic running shorts that are made from the wicking material. Any old tees or tanks are perfect for working out, so no need to invest in those.

Investing in a good pair of cross trainers or running shoes, depending on your fitness routine, is definitely worth it. I went about a year without investing in good shoes because I didn’t think they were needed. Once I challenged myself to start running, I bought basic Asics for around $40 – a great investment then upgraded when I started getting better. As for lifting shoes, you generally want something that more flat and stable. For my lifting days, I also have the Asics Gel Fit Tempo Cross-Training shoe which I love! I got these on sale in early 2015 and I don’t want have to ever replace them – great for lifting too!

Other Basics
In addition to all the fun gadgets mentioned above, it’s a great idea to always have an extra pair of socks, headphones, antibacterial wipes, a mini Febreze, and a small towel in your bag. If you’re someone who likes to shower right after a workout, then you’ll want to add your preferred toiletries and a towel to dry if your gym doesn’t provide them. In the three years I’ve been a gym goer, I’ve never showered at the gym so I don’t keep any of that in my bag. That sounds a little gross, I know, but I use to live a block from my gym and I usually never plan anything too close to when I have a gym date scheduled.  If you plan your gym dates after you leave work and you live in a colder climate, then I recommend bringing your gym bag into your job or office from your car to keep your clothes warmer. There’s nothing fun about putting clothes on that have been in a 20 degree car all day. I usually grab my bag at lunch and let it sit in my office.

Of course accessories aren’t going to be the reason you start a fitness routine or become more fit as the year goes on – that’s all about you. But you can do it. Once you have your reasons for your fitness routine, you’ll have your motivation! I know it sounds crazy to some that I love going to the gym, lifting weights, or running, but it’s the truth and make me more happy than any of my other hobbies.

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope all your resolutions are attained this upcoming year. Leave your fitness goals or New Year’s Resolutions below, I’d love to hear what they are.

Bronzers of Summer

For the longest time, I was not using bronzer. I was determined not to like bronzer because I’m so sick and tired of hearing about contouring, carving, and slimming. Since spring, and especially now that June is leading to warmer weather I’ve been warming up to using bronzer to do light contouring and adding some color around my face. I’ve found a technique and brush that I’m happy with and I have a few bronzer shades to recommend.

I have warm undertones and I’m naturally tan looking throughout the year. I don’t have a MAC shade to refer to, but my color match in the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural is Medium-Dark, which shows up a bit dark on me in the dead of winter otherwise it matches me perfect. Because I have a bit of a warmer complexion, I do prefer warmer bronzers even for contouring. Both of my favorite bronzers at the moment, unfortunately, are limited edition, but I highly recommend both. The first bronzer is the Milani Bronzer XL All Over Glow Limited Edition Dolci, which is acutally a bronzer, highlight duo and I’ve never liked a bronzer as much as this one. The highlight works great as well for a subtle highlight so this was a perfect purchase for me. The bronzer is more on the neutral side, and comes across as a matte but the highlight is has a bit of sheen to it. I really love this for a subtle contour in my cheekbones with a fluffier brush, like a Sigma F40. I had been using a smaller contour brush for precise application, but I just don’t like that kind of look on me. I found this bronzer and the rest of the limited edition products in their summer line along the size of the regular Milani display in CVS.

The next bronzer I’m loving for summer is the Wet’n Wild Color Icon Bronzer Limited Edition Bare In Mind. Again, I found this on a side display in Walgreens however it was along a random aisle in the store, not near the beauty section. At first, I liked this for contouring but I do think the shade is a bit warm for that right now. Instead, I’m using it for warming up my complexion around the perimeters of my face and along my jaw and neck line. The packagings of this bronzer is a little of a rubbery texture, reminiscent of Nars packaging, but it stays way cleaner than Nars packaging.

My favorite brush for applying bronzer and contouring is my Sigma F40. Like I said, before I was using a smaller contour brush, like the Sigma F05, but because I hate the look of heavy and precise contouring, I stopped using that brush. I much prefer the fluffy brush for slight contouring but nothing too slimming. I’ve never liked bronzer so this is a new makeup experience for me. It’s kind of nice, since I wasn’t enjoying applying makeup or purchasing new products to play around with, so I’m very happy with these two products for summer!