Saturday, May 3, 2014

April 2014 Favorites

It's the end of the month and you know what that means- Monthly Favorites! April has gone by so fast and so many things have happened. But let's get into my favorite products for April! 

Starting with the beauty products :)



My favorite concealer this month was the Smashbox HD Liquid Concealer in Light. It works really well for covering under-eye circles and you don't need to use very much for full coverage. 

My favorite mascara this month was the Maybelline Mega Plush Volum Express in Blackest Black. I don't have very long eyelashes to begin with and this mascara makes my eyelashes look much longer than they actually are and I've never had a problem with clumping ever while using this product. 




My favorite lip balm during the month of April was the Smith's Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve in the scent Minted Rose. It goes on incredibly smooth and it was smells very fresh and light. I purchased mine from Sephora but you can get them online.

And lastly, my favorite scent of the month was a body mist from Victoria's Secret, the Tease Body Mist. The Tease is a light and very feminine scent. It's not too strong to wear to class or to work. 

And now, the non-beauty products- 

For my birthday earlier this month I got a pair of Vans Cosmic Galaxy Authentic shoes in the color Nebula/True White. They're one of my favorite pairs of shoes and I always get tons of compliments on them. 




























I also got a pair of black flats with studs on them from Kohl's and they're the SO brand. They're very simple but can take an outfit to the next level. I really like to dress them up but every now and then I'll dress them down and make them more casual. 














And although I didn't get this in April, I wore it a lot throughout the month and it is a Lauren Conrad denim button up shirt. It's light wash and very easy to style. I tend to wear it over solid color shirts with black leggings or I'll pair it with a dress or skirt. I purchased it a while ago, so if you can find it online, more power to you. 

And my last favorite thing this month was any of the fun patterned socks from Forever 21. This particular pair is my favorite, but I like any of them. They're super cute and super cheap. 



Overall, April was a good month. I made a lot of new discoveries and I will definitely be repurchasing some of these products when they run out. Comment below your April favorites because I'd love to try some new things out during May! I hope you all had a great month and I hope May is even better!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It's a Stressful Time, Isn't it?

Hello! 

It's been a while, I know. And if you're scrolling through my posts, I know I said my New Year's resolution was to post on this blog at least three times a month... It's the end of April now. (#Fail). Anyways, not to make excuses, but I have been super busy lately! Between school, dance, homework, friends, and spending time on Tumblr, I don't have much time to write blog posts. (I've also been lacking ideas, but shh, don't tell anyone.) 

But this leads me into what I've been feeling lately: Stress. The cursed, six letter word that makes lots of people sigh out loud. A little bit of stress every now and then is good- it keeps you motivated and working hard. But too much is unhealthy, mentally and physically. If you're anything like me, high quality work is the ultimate goal in anything you do, but when the laundry list of things to do gets so long you can't see the end of the tunnel anymore, working on anything productive feels so labor intensive. (Please tell me I'm not the only person who feels this way.)

So I did a little bit of research to find ways to relieve stress and I'm going to share a few of my own tips that I've gathered over time.

1. Breathe Deeply. "Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure," psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD, says. (She's a certified life coach in Rome, GA.)
Close your eyes, inhale slowly through your nose, and slowly exhale through your mouth. Focus on the feeling of the breath starting in your abdomen and going all the way to the top of your head, like climbing a ladder up slowly up your back. 

2. Be Aware. "Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behavior with awareness," Tutin says. 
Slow things down a bit and think about the feeling of your feet hitting the ground, or how your lungs feel when they take in oxygen. Focusing on your senses helps you feel less tense. 

3. Focus on What You're Physically Feeling. "Simply be aware of places you feel tight or loose without trying to change anything," Tutin says. 
One night, before you go to bed, try this. Lay down on your back and close your eyes. Start at your toes and just think think about what it feels like. Move slowly up to your knees, then up to your hips, then up your torso, then to your fingertips, up to your elbows, up to your shoulders, then up your neck, all the way to the top of your head. Then, go back down in the same order. Once you get back to your toes, take 2 deep breathes, and I guarantee you will feel more relaxed. 

4. The At Home Massage. 
Start by taking a warm heat wrap and wrap it around your neck for about 10-15 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your shoulders, back, neck, upper chest, and face. Make sure to breathe. If you still feel some tension after, use a tennis ball or a foam roller to massage out any tension. 

5. Reach Out. 
It may sound a little bit scary, but talking to someone else about whatever is stressing you out is helpful. Whether it's a school project, a test, a presentation at work, or just all of the daily responsibilities piling up, people are sometimes the best stress relievers. Find someone you trust and just vent to them about the stressful things in your life. That's what friends are for, right?

I hope some of these tips helped! Whether your stress is caused by work, school, family, or friends, these tips can help in one way or another, I promise. If you have any stress relieve tips, leave them in the comments below for myself and other readers! Thank you for you feedback, as always, and remember to breathe! 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year Resolutions?

Hey! Yeah, hey you! Happy New Year! 

I hope you all had an incredible 2013 and have big and small goals for 2014! (Already typed 2013 about four times on accident.. sigh.) Even though it's so cliche to want to do big things and change your life for New Years, it truly does start now! 

On that note, I just have a few things to say about New Years resolutions. 

First: Why does everyone wait until January 1st to do something?
I understand wanting to start the New Year in the "right way" or waiting until it's a "clean slate" but honestly, it's really just another day. The only difference between January 1st and say, July 8th, is that January 1st starts a new year. But why does that mean everyone is going to start eating less junk food or buy a gym membership or start being nicer to people on January 1st? If you really want to make those changes, or any changes to your life, start when you decide you want to make a change. Not until the New Year. 

Second: If people want to accomplish these goals, why do they (almost) always give up on them? 
The running (no pun intended) joke is that gyms make the most money on the first and second day of the year and then they go back to normal because everyone starts their New Years resolution and then they give up. If everyone waits for the New Year for a "clean slate" and a "fresh start" why do they give up on it so easily? It's one of those things that will just never click in my mind. (If you want to try to explain it to me, please, be my guest!) 

Third: People. Go. Crazy. 
What do I mean? I mean that people set unrealistically high goals for their New Years resolution. For example, I want to lose 30 pounds by February. Well, that's a pretty big goal if you haven't already been working out and eating right. You have to be dedicated and really want to achieve that goal otherwise you're just setting yourself up for disappointment. (Maybe that's why almost no one keeps exercising past January 2nd..) But again, it goes back to people not really wanting to work at these goals. I mean, it's not going to be easy, but who said it would be? 

Fourth: Disappointment. 
People get disappointed. They set high goals, don't want to put in the work, get disappointed that they didn't get the results they wanted, and go back to their old ways. Sound familiar? I'll admit, I've been in that position before. Set a high goal, start working really hard, slow down a bit, then stop altogether and be like, but how did this not work? My advice on this topic (from personal experience): Even though you're excited to get in shape or to start doing something you've never done before, start small. It's hard to contain yourself when you're super excited to start something, but you'll thank yourself later. After three weeks, you'll be glad you started jogging instead of hitting the ground sprinting. Reach smaller goals then set larger goals that are easier for you to reach instead of starting big from the get go and then being disappointed when it doesn't work out. 

Okay, I know I probably sound really negative. But I'm not, I promise. These are just thoughts I've complied in the last 24 hours and realized that most people probably don't see these things. Or maybe they do and we all just want to think to ourselves, "Yes! Someone agrees with me!" 

New Years resolutions can be great if you stick to them! Working out for a solid three months gets you into the lifestyle where you just don't want to quit because you're reaping the benefits. Being kinder and more generous to people in your life can change the way you view life and bring new people into your life. Doing something you've always wanted to do and then doing it is the best feeling in the world. What I'm trying to get at is New Years resolutions aren't all bad. They can be the best choices you've ever made! 

With that said, I have a few for 2014. I tried to keep the list short so I don't get overwhelmed and quit on all of them. So without further ado, here are my 2014 New Years resolutions. 

  1. Blog at least three times a month, on this blog! (I don't want to over-commit myself to this day every week but I know I can handle more than two if I sit down and just write! I would love for this blog to grow into something by this time next year!)
  2. Do some form of exercise at least once a week. (Whether it's yoga, going to the gym, whatever. Although, in Wisconsin the snow is insane right now. So unless you want to slip on the ice, save the running outside for springtime.) 
  3. Don't be so serious. (I tend to, over time, get very serious about everything. Whether it's school, other people, or myself, I just get so serious. Sometimes I need to just live a little and remember, I'm allowed to have a little fun every now and then.)
One last thing to say, then I'll wrap this thing up. To make sure you do these things, try writing them down in a place you see every day. Whether that's writing down your goals in a cool way on some paper and hanging in your room or making a reminder that's on your phone or laptop and seeing it every day so you don't "forget" them this time. If you see it written somewhere every single day, you're more likely to just do it and say, "Yeah. That's right, I did it."

 So stop sitting around and waiting for something to happen. Get up and go do it! My favorite quote for this subject is this: "Yesterday you said tomorrow." -Unknown. 

So, what are your New Years Resolutions for 2014? Let me know in the comments below because I'm really interested to see what you're all working towards this year! I hope you all have an incredible year and take advantage of every opportunity given to you! 

xx, Rachel 

-PS: I include my social media links underneath the heart so you can talk to me whenever you want! Maybe keep me posted on your New Years resolutions! I'm all about encouraging each other! :) 




Monday, July 8, 2013

Current Drugstore Favorites

Hello!

I recently saw a discussion in the Makeup section on LaurenConrad.com and I was like, "This would be a PERFECT post for my blog!" (Side note: I highly recommend signing up for LaurenConrad.com - You get tons of tips on fitness, beauty, and so many other things. I love it!) 

The topic was "Favorite Drugstore Products" and that topic seemed like the perfect idea. I did change the topic a little bit to "Current Drugstore Favorites" because my favorites are always changing and I also thought I could post during other seasons when my preferences and needs change because of the weather. So without further ado, here are my Current Favorite Drugstore Products! 

Let's start with Face products!

During the summer, I prefer BB creams because foundations always seem just a tad too heavy and cakey on my skin. I have tried 4 different drugstore BB creams and this one is by far my favorite! The Covergirl BB Cream in number 805, fair to light! I've found that it gives amazing coverage, it lasts all day, and most importantly for the summer time, it doesn't feel cakey on my skin. You get a decent amount of product and a little bit goes a long way when you're applying it. I purchased mine from Target and it costs around $7.00.

Going with the light makeup theme for summer, I'm very picky about my pressed powders. When I find an excellent BB cream, the last thing I want to do is find a powder that makes it look or feel like I caked on makeup! With this being said, my favorite pressed powder is the Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder in number 004, Sandstorm. I love this powder because it's matte so it gives a polished look and it's not too heavy. I just dust this powder over my makeup to set it and my makeup stays in place all day. The bottom line with this powder is that I love that it gives me a finished look without looking or feeling cakey! I again purchased this powder from Target and the cost is under $10.00.

Sometimes when I put the powder on, it covers the natural flush in my cheeks, but this is expected. Although I believe summer is the perfect time for bright colors, I prefer to keep my blush subtle so I can let other features shine. My current favorite blush is the Nyx Blush in number PB25, Pinched. It gives the right amount of pink for a laid back summer look and has just just enough shimmer without looking super pink and sparkly. I also purchased this blush at Target and it goes for under $8.00.

Now onto one of my favorite areas, Eye products!

For my current favorite drugstore products, I chose two mascaras because during the summer, I find that my eye shadow tends to wear off easier even with a primer, and I think making your eyelashes big and bold is the perfect replacement for eye shadow! 

My first current favorite mascara is the Maybelline Rocket Volum' Express in Very Black. I love this mascara so much and I've been using it for a while now. It makes my lashes look so full and voluminous but doesn't get clumpy. I can also get away with using this on my bottom lashes, which I'm very picky about because I don't like my bottoms lashes too long, but this mascara just makes them look full and gives a nice look to my eyes overall. I purchased this mascara from Walgreens and it goes for around $8.00.

My second current favorite mascara is the Maybelline Falsies Big Eyes Volum' Express in Blackest Black (Waterproof)! This mascara is relatively new and I was intrigued with it's special features. It has one wand for your upper lashes and a second wand for your lower lashes! This is all in one tube of mascara! I recently purchased this from Target and I am in love! It makes my tops lashes looks full and gives just enough definition to my lower lashes without making it look too over the top. I'm excited to take this with me when I travel because instead of packing two mascaras, I have two all in one! This mascara costs around $7.00 at Target.

Last but not least, Lip products!

Like I said before, I think summer is the perfect time for bright colors, and I like to make this happen by using lip stick! A product that I'm not including as a current favorite although I adore it, is the Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach Kiss. It's skin tone and it moisturizes very well before applying the lip color! I purchased this at Target for $3.00.

The reason this one is my first current favorite lip product is because it's a bright, fun, summer color and it doesn't look tacky but it's still a fun way to make your lips pop if that's the look you're going for. It's the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in number 029, Red Lacquer. This lipstick is more of an orange-ish red but still safely in the red category. If you're wanting to get away from the classic red but too afraid to try a more orange based lipstick, I defiantly recommend this! It also lasts for several hours but I recommend re-applying this if you want the color to stay intense. This product costs around $5.00 at Target. 

My last current favorite drugstore product is the Rimmel London Lasting Finish By Kate Lipstick in number 104. I love this color because it's not red but it's not a bright pink - It's a nice, dark, dark, dark, pink. Whenever I wear this, I think that it's enough to be noticable on my lips, but not enough to be over the top. It also lasts for a really long time, but like the Revlon lipstick, I recommend re-applying to keep the color fresh. I purchased this lipstick from Wal-Mart for around $4.00. 

Alright! That's the end! Those are all of my current favorite drugstores products! I really wanted to give you guys my opinion on them, so this post was quiet lengthy, but I really hoped you enjoyed reading this! 

I would love to try new drugstore products, so comment below your current drugstore favorites and let me know if you'd like to see more of these posts in other seasons in the comments as well! 

Lastly, Click Here to go directly to my profile on LaurenConrad.com! Feel free to add me or send me a message. Thanks! 


Friday, June 28, 2013

Amanda Bynes

Hello! 

By the title of my blog, I think you can guess that I'm into pop culture. I love watching E! News and reading celebrity gossip magazines. I love reading celebrities tweets and seeing their Instagram photos. There's always the celebrities that tweet inspiring things, like Demi Lovato, and then there's the celebrities that abuse the freedom of the internet and make people feel really bad. By the title of this post, I think you can guess the example of the second one. Amanda Bynes. 

I think it's safe to say that everyone knows that Amanda has been going on somewhat of a downward spiral. She's been attacking other celebrities via Twitter and changing her appearance, including going for plastic surgery for her nose. Some of us remember The Amanda Show, but she was also in What I Like About You, She's The Man, Hairspray, and Easy A. Easy A came out in 2010 and that was kind of the last time anyone paid any real attention to Amanda. 

Before her attacks on fellow celebrities, she only had around 11,000 followers on Twitter and was not verified. Now, Bynes has over 2.5 million followers and is verified. A few people on her list of insults are Drake, Jenny McCarthy, Courtney Love, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Chrissy Teigen. Amanda has called out Drake several times, referring to him as "ugly" but then praising him. Weird, right? It gets weirder. 

Bynes tweeted pop star Rihanna, "Chris Brown beat you because you're not pretty enough," This was over the line! Even though it's not good to call other celebrities, or anyone for that matter, ugly and to put them down, telling Rihanna that Chris Brown beat her because she "isn't pretty enough" is taking it too far. Amanda has since deleted the tweet. I give Rihanna respect for her response to the troubled star. Rihanna tweeted, "Ya see what happens when they cancel Intervention." Two points for you RiRi! The weirder part of this is that Bynes recently called Rihanna a beauty. We just never know what she's going to say next. 

Amanda's go-to insult is calling people "ugly" and making sure that she compliments herself. She has also asked the press to use recent photos of her and to make sure that the photos they use on their websites and in their magazines aren't "unflattering and fat" photos of her. 

What are your thoughts on Amanda? Let me know in the comments below! 



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DEMI by Demi Lovato

Hello!

As you all know, I'm a music lover and I appreciate good music. I'm also a huge Demi Lovato fan. I think she's an inspirational person and she's so open about her experience with depression and eating disorders that it just makes anyone in that situation or anyone who was in that situation feel so much stronger. 

She recently released her newest studio album, DEMI, on iTunes. I was thrilled when I saw her tweet that with the purchase link. I immediately went to the link and purchased the entire album. I was blown away and spent all night just listening the album fully through over and over and over again. 

I'm sure everyone has heard the song Heart Attack on the radio. I love that song, but there was a particular song on the album that made me emotional and made me love her more, if that was even possible. The song Warrior, track 13 on the album, is the song that moved me the most. It seemed like a closing to her song Skyscraper from her previous album, Unbroken. The song Skyscraper meant the entire world to me as it explained everything about my life at the time and made me realize that I wasn't the only one going through dark times. With the song Warrior on DEMI, I felt like there was closure. I've gotten better personally since the song Skyscraper was released, and Warrior felt like finally closing that door in my life. The track number also happened to be my lucky number, 13, which only made it somewhat more special to me. Demi also recently got a new tattoo that says "now I'm a warrior" on her upper left shoulder. I think it just shows that we have moved on and that we're onto better chapters of our lives.

There are also some tracks on the album that bring out inner divas. The song Really Don't Care, track number 8, featuring Cher Llyod, is one of those songs that makes you want to get up and sing along. It's so full of attitude and they don't say anything subtly. The song Something That We're Not, track number 10, has the same type of attitude. The lyrics from these two songs just stick out so clearly in my mind, and I suppose it's because behind the catchy beats and amazing artists, the message is so clear and so true. 

I also think the song Nightingale, track number 6, is a sweet song paired with amazing vocals. Demi did such a good job on this track. Her voice is so relaxing and I've literally had the song on repeat, just soaking up the chords, or completeness, in her sound. It's unbelievable what Demi is capable of, but this song will blow you away. 

Even though I didn't talk about all the songs on the album, I love them all so much that it's difficult to chose a favorite. She did such an amazing job creating this album and she has proved that she doesn't need everyone's "validation" anymore; she's her own person and she's making the music she wants. 

I didn't take about every song on this album, but if you would like me to talk about the other songs on the album, leave a comment below! In the comments, feel free to let me know what your favorite tracks are off the album! 

[CLICK TO PURCHASE THE ALBUM ON iTUNES! --->  DEMI by Demi Lovato  <--- ]


Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Great Gatsby Film Reivew

Hello!

With today being Mother's Day, I wanted to do something my mom and I both enjoy and we decided to celebrate last night by seeing The Great Gatsby. I was DYING to see the film (Hello, Leonardo DiCaprio!)  and the soundtrack (Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey!) was awesome! I haven't read the book, but I plan to in the near future. 

*This contains spoilers for the film! Consider yourself warned!*

I'd like to start off by saying that I thought the film was fantastic. The costumes were glamorous and the parties were large. I think the wardrobe, hair, and makeup all fit the parts very well. Everything seemed materialistic, which helped to develop the characters. But the costumes were grand and the attention to detail in every party guest made me realize how people in the Roaring 20's were very into things that looked nice and how they loved money. The costumes just really added to the entire film. 

The characters were so personable. I feel in love with Gatsby right away. No one really knew anything about him and he looked like this big and important business man and independent person, but he was a hopeless romantic. He could have anything, or anyone he wanted, but Daisy was all he wanted. He was so close to having her but just couldn't get her. I loved that he was ready to give everything in the world to her. The mansion, the clothes, the money, everything. He did everything for her, trying to get her back. I also think Leonardo DiCaprio captured Jay Gatsby so well. He had this air of confidence about him but you could also see the raw emotion in the character. You saw him go through so many different emotions and you just wanted to be there for him. I loved Leonardo DiCaprio and Jay Gatsby!

Daisy. At first, I was all for her. I thought she was just as hopelessly in love as Gatsby, but towards the middle and end, I strongly disliked her! I thought the choice between Jay Gatsby and her husband Tom was simple. Gatsby. The one who would give her everything, the one who would never consider cheating on her, the one who was ready to leave everything to be with her, the one that was in love her for five years. It seemed fairly simple, right? Apparently not. She never ended up telling Tom that she didn't love him and she was in love with Gatsby the entire time. It disgusted me the most when she didn't show up to Gatsby's funeral. She was the reason he was shot, at least in my opinion. She was the one driving the automobile that killed Myrtle, not Gatsby. Plus, if she was really was in love with Gatsby, why couldn't she tell Tom she loved Gatsby and why didn't she go to the funeral? I think she was a very self-centered character. She wanted nice things, she loved the attention from Gatsby, yet she loved everything Tom was giving her. She wanted everything and didn't care who she hurt in the process. Mainly she hurt Gatsby, but she also killed Myrtle. She didn't even stop after she ran over Myrtle, she kept driving. I was just very fed up with her at the end. But, even though I was annoyed with the character, I loved Carey Mulligan as Daisy. I think she captured the innocence of Daisy but also captured her pure desire so well. 

The other thing I LOVED about this film was the music! Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey was used so much, and I love that! It's a beautiful song, but they changed the way it sounded so you didn't necessarily realize unless you knew the song, like I did. But the entire album (Which I own - Available on iTunes and in stores) just captured everything. I love that they mixed hip-hop, like Jay-Z, gave it a modern feel, but there was music that was reminded you of the 1920's and took you back to that era. The music in the film just made everything much more believable, and as a music lover, I was very impressed with the scores and the songs. The music aspect of the film gets 5 stars out of 5 from me!

Overall, I would give this movie 4 stars out of 5. I felt like it took a while for the story line to fully develop where you could actually see where things were going, but once the story took off, I was completely captivated. This wasn't a big deal to me, but the thing that really took away from the film, in my opinion, was Tobey Maguire, who played Nick Carraway. I think the character itself was fine and I think it was a good perspective to tell the story from, but I feel like Tobey looked almost confused in nearly every scene. I think his facial expressions were pretty close to the same all the time and he looked like he didn't know what to do. That's the only thing that took away from the film for me. 

I overall loved this film, and if you haven't seen it, I recommend you go see it! For me, it was an incredible film and was totally worth going to see! 

Comment below your thoughts on the film if you've seen or comment below if you want to go see it and are planning on going!