BarceLOCA

Well Barcelona really lived up to its nickname of BarceLOCA. We only had a day and a half there so we tried to make the most of it. The first evening was spent seeing some of the sites such as the 1932 Olympic Stadium and the Sagrada Familia (a huge church that was been under construction since 1882 and is expected to be completed around 2026!). It was incredible! Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to go inside but the outside was amazing. Following the Segrada Familia, we went to have dinner at the top of one of the former bull fighting arenas. Barcelona banned bull fighting so they converted one of the old arenas into a mall with several restaurants at the rooftop terrace. Once at the top you get a 360 degree view of the city. The view was incredible! Barcelona seemed much much bigger than Madrid even though Madrid is actually bigger. Barcelona seems more spread out whereas Madrid seemed compact and concentrated in the city center. After the dinner we had a chill night to recover and relax for the next night out in Barcelona.

The second day in Barcelona, we went on a short walking tour around one of the cathedrals. The tour was followed by churros and hot chocolate! A traditional Barcelona treat! The churros were on my bucket list for Barcelona so I was glad we were able to try them. The chocolate was surprisingly not that sweet which was perfect to counter the sweetness of the churros. I also had a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice which was some of the best orange juice I’ve had.

Churros in Barcelona

Following the churros we walked along the La Rambla and did a little shopping. We found this store called the Jamon Experience and decided we had to check it out. The store actually offers a tour with the history of Spanish ham and then had a great selection of ham products to purchase. We skipped out on the tour but stocked up on some ham to take home as souvenirs. I bought some of the thinly sliced Iberico prosciutto type of ham and then some mini chorizos. I had planned on bringing home souvenirs that actually were from the cities I visited rather than just tourist gifts. (Side note: I found out on my plane ride back to the US that you are not allowed to bring any meat products back into the US – including packaged items like the prosciutto I bought. I declared that I had ham and unfortunately had to leave it with customs — I didn’t even get to eat any of it since I had packed it in my checked luggage!)

After doing a little shopping we headed towards the port. We wanted to ride the gondolas but apparently they were closed for the day; instead we walked out on the pier and looked around. At this point we were pretty hungry from all the walking so we decided to grab lunch. We were all dying to try some Spanish paella so Neli did a quick Google search of best paella in Barcelona and came up with Restaurant Barceloneta. It was actually super close to us so we decided to try it out. It was this cute restaurant with an upper deck terrace with views of the port. Of course we had to take a ton of pictures with that view. I think the waiter laughed about the numerous pictures but then he offered to take a few of the group. For lunch we ordered white wine sangria and decided to split the seafood paella and the salt salmon. Both were amazing (I’m usually not a huge seafood fan but this was fantastic).

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After lunch we only had a few hours left before we needed to be back at the hotel. We decided to squeeze in a quick visit to Park Gúell which was another place with amazing views. We only spent about an hour there which was not nearly enough time for the full experience. We grabbed a cab from the restaurant to Park Guell and our cab driver, Agusti Urgell, is actually a semi-famous Barcelona cab driver – he has a notebook that he asks all his customers to sign – he even had a copy of the newspaper article the city did about him!

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That night we went to a traditional flamenco show with a three course meal of tapas appetizers, chicken and rice for the main, and creme brûlée for dessert. The flamenco show was amazing. The amount of passion the dancers had was incredible. I was expecting more of a partner dance but each person danced individually. There was a lot of stomping and finger snapping included. There was also a live band for the performance. The whole show was beautiful.

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I had an amazing time in Barcelona and Spain and will definitely be back one day. Next up Avignon and Nice!!

**I’m still looking for my camera cord so I can download the rest of my pictures. Once I find it I will add some pictures of the Segrada Familia and the view from the bull fighting arena.**

-Stacie

Posted in Lifestyle. Tagged with , , , , .

Zoya Chita and Solange: Review and Swatches

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I had always heard great things about Zoya nail polish, but I never had any. After buying my first couple of bottles a few weeks ago and falling in love, I’ve slowly been growing my collection. When my Ulta recently had Chita and Solange on clearance, I decided to pick them up. They are both PixieDusts, which means they are matte and sparkly with a textured finish. The texture on these feels like very fine-grained sandpaper. It doesn’t bother me, but it is a little unusual and I find myself running my fingers over my nails all day long. I usually prefer high-gloss finishes to matte polishes, but these have so much glitter in them that even I’m a fan. Chita is a forest green with silver sparkle. I usually don’t wear dark green polishes because I find them to be a little dull on my nails, but this polish had so much sparkle in the bottle that I decided to chance it. I am so glad I did because Chita is stunning on. It’s a gorgeous green that is not too dark and a great color for fall. This is a perfect Christmas-tree green color, and will be a nice alternative to red for the holidays. I used two coats for the picture, but one would have been plenty.

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Chita was already super sparkly on its own, but I decided to see what it looked like with a top coat. I used a normal clear top coat, but should have used a thicker, high-shine top coat. All it really did was darken the color a little bit, and smooth the finish just slightly. A different top coat might help with the texture, but personally, I prefer Chita matte. It has enough sparkle already that adding a shiny top coat doesn’t really do much. Chita is $10 here.

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I was expecting to like Solange more than Chita, but I actually like it a lot less. It’s a pretty yellow gold color, but it doesn’t really do anything for me. Solange is described as a gold metal foil sparkle, but it doesn’t look very metallic on. It definitely still has some sparkle to it, but they don’t stand out as much as Chita’s sparkles do. The formula is nice but the color is fairly sheer. I used two coats for the photo and it’s still not as opaque as I would have liked. Zoya describes Solange as being more opaque than Chita, but it’s not even close. A shiny top coat didn’t change how the polish looked. Solange is $10 here. Zoya polishes are 5 free.

 

Now is your chance to stock up on Zoyas! They have a promo for 3 free polishes (your choice which ones), plus an 8 oz. nail polish remover, and free shipping with purchases over $25! Use code ELCTBG. Expires 9/21/14 at 11:59pm.

 

What are your favorite Zoya shades?

-Molly

Posted in Nails. Tagged with , .

Lucy, I’m Home

I’m finally back from Europe! I had such a great time traveling through Spain, France, and Italy. Now that I’m back and have time I can finally share the rest of the details of my trip! The majority of my trip was spent on a Contiki tour. Two weeks were spent on the tour followed by a week of road tripping through Italy and then 3 days in Paris! I first heard about Contiki about a year ago while I was in Rhode Island for work. It seemed like a pretty cool concept to me – Contiki offers tours for 18-35 year olds. I started researching Contiki and it seemed like a great way to travel to Europe for the first time. After I had started researching, Neli, one of the girls I work with, mentioned that her and a friend were going on a Contiki trip to Europe and invited me to join. I wasn’t totally convinced at first but then in May I made the decision to join their European adventure – it was seriously one of the best decisions ever!

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Marine and Neli flew to Spain a couple days before me and then I joined the day the tour started. We had signed up for the Mediterranean Highlights Tour starting in Madrid. Upon arrival, we had a meet up with our Contiki group and met our tour manager, Enzo. Enzo was so much fun and definitely made our trip even more fun than it could have been – it was obvious he has a passion for traveling and sharing that passion with others. During our trip he really made the extra effort to make sure everyone had a great time and also made sure to share “his favorites” from each city including “non-touristy” things to do in each city. Enzo is Italian so he even taught us some of the popular Italian hand gestures – which was a fun way to pretend we were Italians for a week! We also had a really great group of people on our tour – the majority were Australians and Canadians with a few other Americans from LA, New York, and Las Vegas. I definitely made friends for life on this trip! I already miss so many people from my trip, but it’s cool to have friends from all over the world now. Even though I was a little hesitant to do a Contiki tour at first, it ended up being a great time. The tour was a great way to see a ton of places in such a short time – it was a little hectic with how fast paced it was but it was a ton of fun. Our tour traveled through Madrid, Barcelona, Nice, Piza, Florence, and Rome with stops in several smaller cities along the way! I would highly recommend doing a Contiki tour if you’re thinking about it!

After the conclusion of the tour in Rome, Neli, Marine, and I stayed in Rome for two extra nights, then spent two nights in Tuscany to enjoy the countryside and do some wine tasting, and then went to Venice for two nights. The girls then flew home while I flew to Paris where I experienced my first hostel. My trip to Europe was quite the vacation! It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from home and it was my first time out of the country! Surprisingly, I was never homesick and the only time I was sad during my trip was in the Paris airport coming home! I have even started planning my next trip! Over the next couple weeks I will share more of the details of my trip including all the amazing food (sooo much pasta and gelato) but in the meantime I wanted to share a few details and a few more photos!

Eiffel Tower

-Stacie

Posted in Lifestyle. Tagged with , , .

Lancome Color Design 5 Shadow & Liner Palette in Pink Envy

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I’m a big fan of Lancome’s all-in-one palettes, and their Color Design 5 Shadow and Liner Palette in Pink Envy is no exception. I previously posted a review of Lancome’s blush palette, and this is the same concept, but for eyes. The idea is that you can grab one of these palettes and easily create both a day and night look.

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These palettes make creating an entire look so easy, and they even include step by step instructions. The shadow shades are all numbered and labeled, so you know exactly which color to put where to create their day and night looks. I prefer using Pink Envy to create night looks because it is so pigmented and bold, but Lancome also makes more neutral toned Color Design 5 Shadow and Liner Palettes that would work better for me for daytime.

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swatches inside

 

These palettes contain five different shades- everything you need for a finished look. Pink Envy has a pink lavender shimmer (all over base shade), cotton candy pink shimmer (lid color), silver shimmer (crease shade), white silver shimmer (highlighter), and a black purple shimmer (liner color). As the names suggest, they are all very shimmery, almost too much for me, and I prefer shimmer shadows. I think this palette could benefit from a matte shade or two. The pink lavender base shade is a little too pink for me. I think more of a purple lavender would balance out the cotton candy pink lid shade a little better. The pink lid shade is a true cotton candy pink. It is definitely the standout shade of the palette and an easy one to leave out if you want a tamer look.

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swatches in the sun

 

The crease shade is described as a silver shimmer, but it’s more of a black/charcoal color with silver glitter. Since it’s such a dark color, it’s easy to go overboard with it. This color is best used with a light hand. The highlight shade is my favorite of the five. It’s a gorgeous silver shimmer with great pigmentation. It glides on easily and blends nicely. No chalkiness or dragging with this silver. The liner shade is also great. It’s a darkened purple that works well as a liner color on me. All of the shadows in this palette are highly pigmented and super shimmery. They last well with an eye primer, but without one they can crease and blend together. Pink Envy is a fun, colorful palette that is easy to use. I can’t wait to try more of Lancome’s Color Design 5 Shadow and Liner Palettes (maybe a more neutral palette next time). $50 at Sephora.

-Molly

Posted in Makeup. Tagged with , , .

Book Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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I don’t want to give too much away about We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This is a book best read without knowing too much. The basic premise involves a privileged teenage girl and the family island that she visits every summer. She and two cousins, plus a close friend, make up the “Liars.” The Liars are as close as you can be, until an accident happens and changes everything.

*I have tried to keep this review as free of spoilers as possible so as not to ruin the ending, but read with caution*

It took me awhile to figure out what to rate this book. I’ve read better books, but the story was suspenseful and I couldn’t put it down. I was in shock at the ending and kept thinking about it, unsure of how to feel. I really enjoyed reading the book but I had some problems with it. To start with, it is weirdly written.

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Like this.

It also contains odd metaphors that come out of nowhere (like when the main character describes how her dad pulled out a gun and shot her in the chest… only to reveal that didn’t actually happen, it’s just how she felt). The main character frequently describes how her veins opened up and blood spilled down her arms, which sounds like another metaphor, until she talks about how the boy she loved bandaged her up (a metaphor, or did it really happen? I’m still not sure). The book is depressing and melodramatic, but it is about teenagers. The main character suffers from “poor little rich girl” syndrome and themes throughout the book include greed, racism, manipulation, and materialism. Also, for a family of Ivy-Leaguers, the Liars sure make some stupid mistakes.

This book was a quick read. Even though the story was fairly simple, it was interesting and suspenseful and kept me guessing up until the end. The characters are flawed but not completely unlikeable. The story slowly unfolds and the twist at the end was shocking. It didn’t immediately make sense and took me a minute to process because it was not at all what I was expecting. Throughout the book, the title doesn’t make much sense, until you get to the big reveal and realize everything you just read is not what you thought it was. We Were Liars is tragic and devastating, but in a good way. It left me feeling depressed and thinking about the ending and I can’t wait to read it again knowing what I know now. I think this is a book that will be more satisfying and depressing during the reread, but I’ll never be able to recreate what I felt when I read the twist for the first time.

There seemed to be a lot of hype for this book, and I would say it mostly lived up to it. It’s not the most well-written book I’ve read, but it had a good story with a surprising ending. We Were Liars is an unforgettable book that everyone should read.

4 out of 5, a must read.

-Molly

Posted in Books. Tagged with , .

Scenes From The Week

Since Stacie is still in Europe (is she ever coming home?), I thought I would give you an update of what she’s been doing. She should be back in the next week or so, and then she can tell you all about her travels herself!

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View from the castle we stayed at in Tuscany.

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Cathedral in Siena.

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Wine tasting in Montepulciano.

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Venice from Rialto Bridge.

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Quick view of the Eiffel Tower on the way to the hotel from the airport.

 

And here’s what I’ve been up to (besides still being super jealous):

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It’s not exactly Italian cuisine, but my Nutty Mixed-Up Salad from Jason’s Deli was still pretty tasty.

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New Julep order. What should I play with first?

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Lipstick of the Day: Urban Decay’s Revolution Lipstick in Obsessed, a great mod baby pink color.

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Been doing a little decorating.

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It may still be over 100 degrees here, but my place is going to smell like fall.

 

How was your week?

-Molly

Posted in Lifestyle. Tagged with , , , , , .

NARS Priscilla Lip Gloss: Review and Swatches

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I’ve slowly become a huge NARS fan over the years. As much as everyone always raved about their products, I was attracted to other brands in store, mostly brands like Stila and Benefit because of the fun packaging. Then I started receiving NARS products in gift sets or as deluxe samples. I have loved everything I’ve tried (and by now I’ve tried a lot of their products). I now appreciate their minimalistic packaging (sure, matte black isn’t that fun, but it is timeless), and I seek out their products. My latest is their lip gloss in Priscilla, a shocking pink color.

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I picked up a deluxe sample of Priscilla with one of Sephora’s promo codes. It’s about two-thirds the size of a normal NARS gloss. Priscilla is a bright, Barbie pink color. I’ve tried NARS’ lip glosses before and was really happy with the product (see my review of Orgasm) but I was worried about the formula of Priscilla. Pinks are my favorite lip colors, but hot pink glosses are hard to get right. Usually they are patchy and don’t go on evenly, or they are too transparent. Priscilla is exactly what I want in a bright pink gloss. It goes on evenly and is completely opaque.

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Priscilla is a grown-up version of a hot pink lip gloss. It doesn’t have any shimmer or glitter so it doesn’t look juvenile on. It looks creamy and has a high-shine finish. This isn’t a sticky gloss, instead it’s moisturizing and lasts fairly well. It feels a lot lighter on than Orgasm did- Priscilla is not as thick. It doesn’t have any scent or taste, which is rare in lip products.

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You can see how even, opaque and glossy it looks on. In person it’s even brighter, and more of a true hot pink. NARS’ lip gloss is great because it doesn’t settle into lines, bleed, or get tacky. It also fades evenly, so it looks nice even as it wears off. Since Priscilla is such a bright shade, it leaves a light stain behind as the glossiness disappears. This gloss leaves lips feeling smooth and moisturized. Priscilla is $26 for 0.18 oz here.

Have you tried any of NARS’ lip glosses?

-Molly

 

 

Posted in Makeup. Tagged with , , .

Julep September 2014 Maven Box: Swatches and Review

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My September Julep Maven box has arrived! And this time it arrived fairly quickly (within the first week of September), so I’m pretty happy about that. September’s theme is The Art Walk Collection (see more here). I don’t always get excited about Julep’s polishes during the Maven Reveal, but once I have them in hand I fall in love. It must be something about Julep’s marketing- what colors they pair together, how inaccurate their swatches can be, that the promo pics for this month collection look like they came from the 1990s… I don’t know what it is, but there have been collections that I thought I hated and then after seeing real-life swatches of individual colors, I had to have them all. I love bright and pastel colored polishes, so I never get excited when I see dark, moody fall colors, but I am so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone with this collection.

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Since I have a customizable Maven box, I was able to choose exactly what I wanted. I love the customizable option. I’ve skipped so many Maven boxes in the past because I haven’t liked both colors in a box, but now I can pick and choose what I want. It’s perfect for someone like me! This month I chose Mary Lee (from the Boho Glam box), Ryan (from the It Girl box), and the Aurora Pink Plush Pout Lip Crayon (this month’s new beauty product).

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Mary Lee is described as an oxblood satin. I don’t usually wear red nail polish, but I don’t have any colors like this so I decided to try it. Plus, it reminds me of Coco, a color from Julep’s Set The Stage ’20s collection, one that I always wanted to get but never did. I’m already referring to Mary Lee as Coco in my head. Mary Lee has a nice formula that only needs two coats to look good. It’s quite a bit browner than I was thinking it would be. It’s still a red color, but it can look chocolate brown in some lighting. Julep’s swatches make it look a lot redder than it is in real life. The satin finish isn’t super noticeable. It obviously doesn’t have a glossy finish, but it’s not super matte either. It’s almost like a neon polish finish.

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Here I added a gold glitter top coat for a couple of accent nails. I used Sephora by OPI’s It’s Real 18k Gold Top Coat (similar to OPI’s The Man with the Golden Gun, but with smaller flakes). This is an older polish that contains flecks of 18k gold. I really like this top coat. It adds just enough sparkle and dimension without being too glittery. I also feel super fancy wearing it. :) I usually wear it over lighter colors, but I thought it would be a nice contrast to Mary Lee. You can see how the shiny topcoat brightened Mary Lee a bit.

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Here is the mani with Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat over it. I love the shine this topcoat gives nails. I liked Mary Lee a lot better with the shiny finish. It looked richer and not so one-dimensional. I’m really happy I got this color (even though I wish it had more of a red tint), it’s great for fall. Mary Lee is $14/$11.20 Maven here.

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The second color I chose was Ryan, an overcast teal satin. I was more excited about Ryan than Mary Lee, but I was disappointed with the formula. My bottle was very watery and streaky. It was hard to get good nail coverage without polish going everywhere. It wasn’t as smooth as Coco and showed every imperfection. It also had a very strong smell (similar to Julep’s India and Ally- maybe it’s the blue coloring?). Ryan was slightly more satin-y than Mary Lee, but was still a little too shiny. It is just a little greener than Julep’s swatches.

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I really wanted to pair Ryan with Julep’s Ciara. I thought the teal sparkles in Ciara, along with the shiny finish, would work well with Ryan. It didn’t turn out quite as I had planned (partly due to Ryan not looking that great on its own), but I still liked the colors together. Next time I think I will use Ciara as a base, and add dots or chevrons with Ryan.

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I really like Ryan with the Freedom Top Coat. I thought it made the color pop more and added a lot of depth. The shiny finish made it go from being a so-so color for me to being one that I actually want to wear. I’m happy I got Ryan, if only because it will make me wear Ciara more. Ryan is $14/11.20 Maven here.

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The third item I selected was Julep’s new Plush Pout Lip Crayon in Aurora Pink. I usually think of nail polish when I think of Julep, but I’ve been really happy with most of the beauty products I’ve tried. However, this lip crayon is an exception. I was expecting to like this a lot, but I actually hate it. Not so much that I’m just going to toss it, but enough that I don’t think I’ll ever be happy wearing it. Julep says this is a full-coverage lip crayon with a moisturizing treatment core. Well, it’s pretty much full coverage, and it is moisturizing, but that’s about all it has going for it.

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First, I was expecting a medium, warm pink color. In reality, this is pretty orange. It’s not orange enough to be considered a nice bright orange shade, or even a pretty coral color, but it is definitely a pink with an orange tint. I found that it went on patchy and was hard to blend, and it settled into my lip lines. This is supposed to have a semi-gloss finish, but it seemed to be more matte than glossy, but not matte enough to say that’s the look you were going for. (Kind of like how the satin polishes aren’t quite matte, but they’re not glossy either). It reminded me a lot of the finish I got when I used Revlon’s ColorBurst Matte Balms (felt slippery but looked matte, patchy, settled into lines a lot). These lip crayons have gotten a lot of good reviews though, so maybe it’s just me. $20/$16 Maven here.

This isn’t my favorite Maven box I’ve ever gotten, but it’s not the worst, and overall I’m satisfied. I really like the colors of Mary Lee and Ryan, although Ryan’s formula isn’t that great and I will probably always use each color with a shiny top coat. I did not like the Plush Pout Lip Crayon, but I will give it another shot. You can check out the rest of Julep’s polish colors here. They have so many great ones to choose from!

There were four promo codes in this month’s boxes:

Use 10FORYOU for $10 off a $20 purchase (through 9/30, not valid on Mystery Boxes, Secret Store items, Jule Boxes and gift cards).

Use COLORFORYOU to get a free polish with a $15 purchase through 9/30.

Use JULEPPERK for 30% off a purchase, through 9/30.

Use PLUSHPOUT for 30% off Julep’s new Plush Pout Lip Crayons, through 9/30.

 

Sign up for Julep Maven using my referral code here and use the promo code FREECITY to get your first box (3 polishes and 1 beauty product) for FREE, just pay $2.99 shipping.

 

You can read more about Julep’s Maven program and my experiences here.

-Molly

Julep Maven is a subscription service. By signing up you agree to their terms of service. You can call or email to cancel at any time. Their window for choosing products is the 20th-24th of each month, and then you are billed on the 27th and boxes start shipping. You can earn a skip every six months. My Maven is $24.99 per month or $59.97 if you pay for three months upfront. Maven Luxe is $39.99 per month or $104.97 if you pay for three months upfront.

Posted in Nails. Tagged with , , , .

Book Review: Lucky Us by Amy Bloom

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About a month ago, I reviewed Amy Bloom’s Away. I loved it, and couldn’t wait to read her latest novel, Lucky Us. Lucky Us is the story of two sisters, Eva and Iris. Taking place in the 1940s, the novel begins when Eva’s mother abandons her with her father (and her half-sister Iris). Eva and Iris form an unlikely pair and when Iris seeks stardom in Hollywood, Eva tags along. This novel encompasses their lives from Ohio to Hollywood to New York. Along the way, the two experience some good luck and some bad luck, and manage to create their own family.

Like Away, Lucky Us is a beautifully written book. The idea is very simple (it’s the story of two sisters and their lives together), but Bloom writes it in such a complex way. It is not overly emotional and dark, but at the same time it is heartbreaking (in a light, easy way, if that makes sense). Once again, the characters are fully fleshed out and complex. They are not perfect, but it is easy to understand them. I found them all to be likeable even though they didn’t always make the best choices. I enjoyed reading about the girls’ adventures and meeting all the interesting characters along the way. The story could have been cliche or predictable, but instead it was surprising, without being shocking (everything that happened made sense for the characters), and it felt very fresh. At the heart of the book is a story about family- how it is possible to collect family members over time, and how much you are willing to do for them, but it isn’t cheesy. I appreciated the historical aspects of the book (parts revolve around WWII) and I liked how Bloom showed how the war affected everyday people (a character is accused of being a German spy and is first sent to an internment camp before being shipped off to Germany). Bloom uses letters throughout the story to show what is happening to characters who are no longer part of the main narrative. It was a nice way to keep in touch with them, even though they weren’t part of the main story any longer. The ending isn’t very dramatic, and the story is tied up nicely without being too overdone. I was satisfied at the end, even though the story could have continued.

I didn’t find this book as compelling and hard to put down as Away, but it was still a great story and I enjoyed reading it. What makes Bloom’s books stand out for me are her compelling characters and beautiful prose.

4 out of 5 (Only because I rated Away 5 out of 5 and I loved it so much more)

-Molly

Disclosure: I received a Kindle version of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

 

Posted in Books. Tagged with , .

Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Metallic Peach

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I recently picked up Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Metallic Peach. I had been eyeing these shadows for awhile, but wasn’t sure what color I should get. They are a little on the pricey side, so I wanted to make sure I would get a lot of use out of whichever one I chose. I finally decided on Metallic Peach, a soft peach shimmer, because it is more of a neutral color, but it still packs a lot of shine. These are cream-to-powder shadows with beautiful multi-dimensional metallic finishes. I’ve never seen shadows quite like these; they really stand out.

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Each Magnificent Metals Eye Shadow comes with the shadow, a mini Stay All Day Liquid Eye Primer, and a mixing tray. To use it, replace the primer’s cap with the eye dropper, and use the mixing tray to mix together a bit of the shadow with a couple drops of primer. You don’t have to use the primer to use the shadow, but it helps the color last longer.

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In every Magnificent Metals display I’ve seen, the shadow has been dry and flaky, but straight out of the box, mine was pretty wet. It is a cream-to-powder shadow, but I was expecting it to be drier. It still contains flakes of metallic shadow, but they have a creamy feel and blend well. I didn’t think it needed any liquid primer straight out of the box (I thought it would make the shadow too watery) but as it dries out I can see how liquid primer would be needed.

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On the left is one swipe of the shadow and on the right it is built up more. These are swatches of the shadow straight from the pot- no liquid primer added. The directions say to dab the shadow on, but I found I got better results if I swiped it on (if I dabbed, most of the shadow stayed on my finger). Metallic Peach is a gorgeous champagne color. It has just a hint of pink to it. I loved this by itself or in the center of my eyelid to add a bit of sparkle and brighten my eyes. It also looks great layered over bright-colored shadows (I liked it a lot over green and blue and I think it would be nice over black as part of a smoky-eye look). The Magnificent Metals shadows really do have a super metallic, foil finish. They are a more grown-up version of glitter shadows, and I didn’t have any fallout with mine. It did crease when I built it up, but just a small amount layered over another shadow lasted all day. Next time I want a super sparkly look I will try mixing it with the liquid primer to see if it helps with the creasing. These aren’t the easiest shadows to use, and I think they are overpriced, but they are absolutely gorgeous. I thought Metallic Peach worked well as part of a dewy daytime summer look, but obviously it will also be great for nighttime. Stila’s Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadows are $32 here.

-Molly

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