Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Year in Review

It's finally new year's eve! I started this blog February of this year and I'm shocked I've kept up with it for so long. I wanted to sit down and write down some of the more memorable moments of this year. This isn't really about the blog posts, because sometimes I feel like, we care so much about new product launches and swatches and hauls, we kind of forget about real life. I love those bloggers that blog as their job, but we can't all do that. 

This year was my first full year as a working adult. It feels so weird thinking that less than two years ago, my friends and I were still in college. Thinking back, we used to stress out about grades all the time, but now we have to worry about paying back our student loans and thinking of ways to move out of our parents' house.

Beginning of this year I promised myself that I would travel abroad and I did it! I was thinking about traveling alone to Italy to visit a couple friends at first, but Katie and I decided to travel together. We visited Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Rome. It was an amazing trip. I love exploring and this was a good break from the boring and tedious job. Remember to treat yourself and take vacations once in a while, even tiny ones. I was so burnt out, I almost quit.

Art exhibit with Fanny!

A little bit of Shanghai in San Francisco. Missed these kids and all the fun we had studying abroad.

Barcelona adventures!

Birthday celebrations with the trio.

Silly photo booth props with Katie! It was a very Merry Christmas with friends.

Birthday wish? Be happy.

What was your favorite moment of 2014? :)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Music Mondays

It's the last music post of 2014! Did you all have a good Christmas? It's been such a relaxing four days, I really don't want to go back to work. Hope everyone has a good week! It's the New Year!

Nicki Minaj gets a lot of criticism, but I was surprised I really liked some of the songs on this album. The song "Grand Piano" is beautiful and so different for her!

 A nice, chill song to listen to.

Demi Lovato's ballads always get to me and this one is no different, it gave me chills.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful day with your family and friends and loved ones. I ate SO much this past week, my food baby never goes away! Decided to share some snaps with you all from this week. I love the holiday season. The hot cocoa, Christmas treats, and twinkly lights everywhere you go makes me feel all warm inside. It's also one of the only times of the year that my friends and I get to see each other all together. It gets harder to plan these hangouts as we get older, so I really do treasure the times we get to all chat.

The shopping center near my house really outdid themselves this year with the decorations. The twinkly lights were everywhere!

My little Christmas tree! It's not much, but it's enough!

My old middle and high school friends always get together this time of year and do a little gift exchange. It's not my birthday until this weekend, but they surprised me with a homemade cake. I was literally having the worst day and they made me forget all about it.

Christmas tree decorating followed by milk and cookies, followed by Love Actually of course. Missed hanging out with these girls.

How did you spend your Christmas? I can't believe this year is almost over!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Music Mondays

It's the last Christmas Music Mondays post this year! I hope you guys liked listening to all the songs!
I'm going to take a little break this week, so I'm probably not going to post anything until Friday. Have a Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy your time with family and friends! :D

Look at all these people!

I love Kelly Clarkson's Christmas songs!

Thought this song was perfect for this week, since Christmas is so close!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas & Birthday Wishlist 2014

christmas and birthday wishlist 2014
Sorry about not posting on Wednesday everyone. Does anyone else feel this way? But whenever it's stormy and rainy out, my mood kind of turns gloomy too. It's been raining quite a lot here recently, this combined with working overtime just exhausted me out. But I've been meaning to write this post for a while now. My birthday is December 27th, two days after Christmas, so I thought it'd be a good idea to post what I've been eyeing lately.

ASOS Club L Dress in All Over Sequins  

Christmas and New Years is the perfect time to wear sequined dresses and I've had the hardest time trying to find one. I need to do some shopping ASAP.

ZARA Wool Duffle Coat with Fur Hood  
Saw this coat and it's gorgeous. It's so warm and I love the buckle details. Everyone needs a good Winter coat!

Aerie Blanket Scarf

Plaid scarves are suddenly so popular again! But this one from American Eagle looks so snuggly and soft. Perfect for this cold weather!

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow 
Charlotte Tilbury has officially landed in America! This is the one product I really want from her makeup line. The rose gold packaging is beautiful too.

NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret
Do I need more lip pencils? No. But I mean, you can never have enough lip products! This is a limited edition holiday set from NARS. I am SO tempted to buy this.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Swatched these blushes in a Sephora recently and they are the softest blushes. The marbling looks amazing. They're sheer colors, so you can't really go wrong during application.

What do you want for Christmas?? Hope you all enjoyed reading this post! Remember to stay warm! :D

Monday, December 15, 2014

Music Mondays

Did everyone have a nice weekend? It felt very festive this week, especially with all the holiday parties and Christmas shopping! Enjoy! :D

One of my all time favorite songs. I listen to this all year round.

Pentatonix's Christmas videos are so beautiful.

I really like this cover by Meghan Trainor.

Friday, December 12, 2014

NARS Audacious Lipstick

NARS Audacious Lipsticks retail for a whopping $32.00 USD each.  These are some of my most expensive lipsticks, but they are worth every penny. Creamy and long-lasting, I wish I could own every color. These have a semi-matte finish, and it comes in a huge range of colors. The only con is that these are transferable on contact. Packaging wise, it is so much better than the original matte finish that attracts so much dust and fingerprints. These are made of metal and have a magnetic closure. I noticed they also leave a stain on your lips, at least for the darker colors.

I recommend scrubbing your lips or wear lip balm underneath before applying. These are extremely pigmented, and these full coverage lipsticks do not look attractive with chapped lips.

Has anyone tried these lipsticks? Which one is your favorite color? :)

Left: Charlotte - oxblood burgundy   Right: Rita - Scarlet

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

TARTE Magical Moments Deluxe Best Sellers Essentials Set

Hello my lovlies! I hate writing blog posts on products that are not carried anymore, but I really wanted to give my opinion on this little set. This was offered by Sephora during their Black Friday sale. I wanted to get my hands on this the most out of all their offerings this year. For only $10, it was a steal. 

Let's talk about the Lights Camera Lashes Mascara. I hate it. The formula was too wet and not volumizing at all. From all the four star reviews on Sephora, I thought I would love it. I always curl my lashes before applying mascara and after one swipe of this mascara, it straightened them all out. WHAT? Anyways, I kept applying a couple more coats, thinking it would at least lengthen or do something, but nope. It felt like I was applying black ink to my already black eyelashes. So glad I got a sample before purchasing the full size. I think this would work well for people that have naturally full and curly eyelashes. I apologize if this is one of your favorites, but it was not for me.

The mini Amazonian Clay blush and LipSurgence Lip Gloss are both in the shade Magic, which is limited edition. However, this pink coral color is very similar to some of Tarte's other shades, such as Blissful and Tipsy, but a bit more pink. The blush is matte and is perfect for that natural flush. The gloss has a bit of sparkle in it, but it's very creamy and has a nice vanilla fragrance to it.

Overall, I liked this set, with the exception of the mascara. I hope some of you were able to get your hands on this, if not, I'm sure Tarte will come out with something similar next year! They have tons of holiday sets out right now, so check those out! Thanks for reading! :D

Monday, December 8, 2014

Music Mondays

I watched the musical Annie with Katie today. It was my first time watching the musical and it was so adorable! It's set during Christmas time, so it put us all into the holiday spirit, even more adorable were the little kiddies sitting next to us. The cutest little boy asked behind me, "is that a real dog?" AHHH. I hope these songs will make your Mondays just a little bit brighter! :D

Kristin Bell. The whole time I was hearing Anna's voice! This song is so sweet, and I love that it's a modern Christmas song!

These girls' voices are all so good!

A classic Christmas song made even better with Sam Smith's beautiful vocals.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Michelle Reads: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso

This book was super popular a while back and I finally got to finishing it. For those that don't know, Sophia Amoruso is the founder of the online store, Nasty Gal. I've never personally bought anything from there, but the clothes on the site are super trendy and they have tons of brands for everyone's price range. 

#GIRLBOSS is sort of her autobiography, but it's also very inspirational and teaches all the girls out there that if you put hard work into what you set out to do, you will succeed. Even if there are bumps and barriers along the way. It was very interesting reading how Sophia Amoruso started her business, how in seven years, she made her tiny, one person job into a multi-million dollar company. She's very personable and relatable in her writing, with lots of humor added in. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for some inspiration and motivation. Everyone can be a GIRLBOSS. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to run your own company, but I guess own your life and take charge of it. Because only you can do it.

Has anyone read this book? And what were your thoughts on it? :)

*BTW I'm starting a new feature on the blog, kind of like my weekly Music Mondays posts. I will put up at least one Michelle Reads post a month. This also forces me to read more. Hope you all will like it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rome Photo Diary

Rome. The Eternal City. Our last stop was the place I wanted to see the most. This city is say the least. Once you arrive in the city center, you are bombarded by ruin after ruin, monument after monument, chiesa after basilica. How can anyone ever run out of things to do here? Even though I loved Rome, I think once is enough. Maybe when I'm older I'll want to come back. The city is beautiful, but the amount of tourists really turns you off. Be prepared. Having a local guide might be helpful too.

The ancient history of this city is so interesting and being able to see all these places and touching them was quite humbling actually. I felt so small and insignificant, compared to everything we saw. The artists of that time period created such awe-inspiring masterpieces and you wonder how they did even did it.

We made it to the Colosseo! Please buy your tickets in advance. You get to skip a very long line, unless you want to wait of course.

I wish we got to see the lower grounds.

These steps were so beautiful and quite easy to walk up too.

The Pantheon is literally in the middle of a busy square.


The Spanish Steps. Too many people.

The view was nice at the top though.


Caprese salad (I ate this everyday)

This staircase is actually two, just like a double helix. This is how you exit the Vatican Museum.

Saint Peter's

Every church we went into had it's own special thing about it. This was one of my favorites. There are huge sculptures of the twelve apostles in this hall.

Our last meal in Rome had to include pizza.

The best gelato I've ever had in my life was at Giolitti's. I would love some hazelnut gelato right about now please.

I hope you guys have liked reading about my Europe adventures. I actually really liked writing these posts and sharing my pictures with you all. If I travel some more, I'll try to do these photo diaries again. :D

Monday, December 1, 2014

Music Mondays

Today is December 1st, which means...CHRISTMAS SONGS. This month I will try to find my favorite Christmas songs for you all to get into the Christmas spirit. There's only 24 days left! :D

I love how they used kids in this video, even though the lyrics in this song are kind of creepy.

Pentatonix always has the really good covers.

Something to get you smiling on the Monday work grind. Can't wait for the Minions movie to come out!

Friday, November 28, 2014

November Favorites

Christmas is just around the corner! This is seriously my favorite time of the year, all the holiday festivities and feasts, the cold weather, and boots.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This month I've been trying out some new products and some old ones.

This is a holy grail cleanser for many of my friends, and I've been wanting to try this for a while now. The cleanser doesn't foam up much, which is good for dry skin. I've been using this every morning and so far, my skin hasn't seen that much of a difference. The biggest difference I've noticed is the softness of my skin, this makes your face feel clean without all the scrubbing and foam. The cucumber smell isn't my favorite, because it's almost too fresh, it literally smells like a cucumber. I only got the small size, so we'll see how my skin feels once I finish this tube. So far, I like it.

My poor lipstick has been stashed away in the back of my drawer, forgotten for a while now. But lately, I've been using this lots and it always travels with me in my bag. This is a MLBB lipstick, and you can wear it all year round. Plumful is a "lustre", so it has a nice sheen to it and quite sheer, but you can build it up nicely. I highly recommend this shade.

I don't want to go into too much detail about this lip pencil, but this shade has been a staple every time I go out at night. Winterberry is a limited shade, unfortunately, but hopefully they will make this permanent. These lip pencils are super opaque, a bit of a matte finish, and so creamy and moisturizing.

I regret not buying more Kiko products everyday. The only store I found in the US is in New Jersey, that's too far. My eye makeup has been really simple lately, just a slight cat-eye, lots of mascara, and this champagne sparkly color in my inner corners. It's not too sparkly, so it's okay to use during the day time too.

Please go watch Big Hero 6 if you haven't already. This movie was hilarious, and so heartwarming. Does anyone else want a real life Baymax? This might be my favorite movie this year. Can't wait until the DVD comes out!

Hope you guys have enjoyed reading this post! Tell me what you've been loving this month! :D

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What Are You Thankful For?

Happy Thanksgiving! Decided to do a different kind of post today, something more serious. Life isn't always about beauty products right? Just kidding, it's not, but it's still a big part of it...HAHA

So what am I thankful for this year? 

I always complain about my boring job, but I am extremely grateful that I at least have a job, especially when I know other people that have been having a hard time finding one. At least I'm working and I have a steady income, even though this job sucks.

I'm thankful I was able to travel to Europe for over two weeks and see four different cities that I never thought I would go to. I was able to travel without asking my parents for any financial help, which is a really big deal. Does anyone else feel bad when asking parents for money? Even if it's just a twenty, I feel like since I'm older and I have my own money now, I shouldn't ask anymore. Sometimes I see people waiting to buy something with their parents, because they know the parents will buy it for them, and it kind of bothers me. Because it's not an expensive item, just like a sweater or something like that. Anyways, be thankful for your family, even when they drive you crazy every day.

I'm thankful I have a handful of friends that I can always count on. After college and moving back home, my group of friends shrank down a lot. No more having the convenience of walking next door and sleeping over and staying out super late downtown. It's really sad that we don't get to see each other as often, but I really do treasure the times we do get to hang out. 

So have a happy, relaxing, delicious Thanksgiving weekend everyone. Stuff your faces and go do some shopping. Sephora Black Friday sale??

Cute little potted plant tiramisu my friends and I had last night. Remember, there's always room for dessert!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Music Mondays

Happy Monday! Is anyone else excited that it's a short week at work?! I'm so ready for my four day weekend! To all the non-Americans, you all still enjoy the week! :D

This video is funny and funky, hence the title, "Uptown Funk". Haven't liked a Bruno Mars in a long time, but this one is so good!

Even if you're not a fan of their music, just watch this video. Especially pay attention to Zayn. *swoon*

For any Kpop fans out there, I've been obsessed with this song the whole week.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Berlin Photo Diary

The third stop was Berlin (pronounced "ber-lean" by a few German friends). This was my favorite city of the trip, there's just something about the environment and people. Once you arrive, you can just feel the energy. After spending four days in Berlin, I'm strongly debating whether or not to move here. I loved how in this city, all these different cultures meshed together and no one feels out of place anywhere. There's always something to do, whether it be going to an art gallery or maybe seeing the Festival of Lights, which we were fortunate enough to witness during our stay. They have open markets every Sunday and it's packed with anything and everything. We went to Mauer Market and I wanted to buy all the cute furniture, but I didn't have enough room in my suitcase!

In front of Berlin Cathedral. The tour guide told us this cathedral was built to imitate ancient cathedrals of other cities, and it was only a little over 100 years old. This picture was taken by the first friend we made on the trip, Danielle! We went on the same walking tour and hit it off right away. It was so sad to see her go :(

Currywurst! Covered in ketchup curry sauce and I didn't hate it!

The Memorial of Murdered Jews. It was really sad walking in this area. The cement blocks are actually really tall in the middle, and you just feel so small and lost in them. Please do not step or jump on them. It's disrespectful.

Random statue of a man.

Brandenburg Gate. ALL THE TOURISTS.

And here the street art begins...

East Side Gallery. Did you know the Berlin wall was really two walls?? One for each side. The things you learn.

"Many small people who in many small places do many small things that can alter the face of the world" - I wonder who wrote this.

Some apfelstrudel at Mauer market. There were so many different kinds of strudels to choose from!

Molecule Man statue

Haagen-Dazs just tastes better when you're in a foreign country...YUM

Oktoberfest festivities go on all day!

Humboldt University during the Festival of Lights

My favorite image was here.


Our last night in Berlin. Brandenburg Gate is beautiful lit up.

I'll be back!