Halloween Costume Reveal #Blogtober14

Today is the last day of #Blogtober14 with Helene and Taylor and it has been AMAZING guys! What a fun activity! Though I didn’t post everyday, the topics that I did post on were creative and outside-the-box, so I can’t thank our lovely hosts enough!

Onto the reveal! So, you’ve seen my ideas for Halloween Costumes on any budget, and I’ve been leaving a bread crumb trail on Instagram for a few weeks now for my own costume. Here is a little summary of the items I picked up for my costume:

Fabulous Green Skirt from ASOS!!!

Fabulous Green Skirt from ASOS!!!

Super cheesy but still delightful wreath pin!

Super cheesy but still delightful wreath pin!

Going Blonde for the occasion!

Going Blonde for the occasion!

Black Shoes Black Tights...

Black Shoes Black Tights…

What my partner in crime will be wearing

What my partner in crime will be wearing

And finally.. our props for the evening!

And finally.. our props for the evening!

Any last guesses?

Let’s see if you got it right!

Source

Source

I’m going to be Ellen Griswold and my honey is going to be Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!!!

Source

Source

Source

Source

In finding this cute pic, I also stumbled upon a Drinking Game, perhaps tonight is the night to try this out!! Here are the rules from PopHangover!

The Drinking Game Rules:

1. Drink every time Ellen calls Clark “Sparky”

2. Drink whenever someone is wearing an ugly Christmas sweater

3. Drink whenever someone mentions Clark’s Christmas bonus or the swimming pool.

4. Drink any time Clark has an awkward moment.

5. Drink whenever Clark is wearing sports-themed clothing.

6. Drink any time someone refers to Rusty as “Rus.”  Take two drinks if they have to yell it.

7. Drink whenever Clark endangers himself and/or others in the pursuit of the perfect Christmas.

8. Drink any time Clark has “crazy eyes.”

9. Drink every time an advent calendar is opened.

10.  Drink any time the Griswold’s neighbors complain.

11. Drink any time someone or an animal messes with the Christmas tree.

12. Drink any time cousin Eddie says something weird.

13. Drink every time Aunt Bethany speaks or sings or just…appears…

I will be posting actual photos of us in full costume on Instagram, so follow along to see those!! We will also be with our good friend who is dressing up as Cousin Eddie!

Most important, I know you want to know what Roxy is dressing up as, so here it is!

We call her Taco Belle!!

We call her Taco Belle!!

What are you dressing up as?!

Helene in Between Blogtober

Tricks or Treats- BB Cream Triple Face Off

I recently went on the hunt for the best BB cream. I scoured my favorite beauty sites (The Budget Beauty BlogVivianna Does MakeupMaskCaraBut First, Coffee) and Pinterest, and found the top 3 recommended brands, choose my colors and decided to test them out against each other!

Here are the contenders:

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB (8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector)- in Light/Medium

Revlon Photoready BB Cream (Skin Perfector)- in 003 Medium

Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Cream SPF 20- in 02 Medium

BH Cosmetics

BH Cosmetics

I used this rounded stippling brush to apply all 3 creams, and I love how flawless it makes application!

I also use this large tapered blending brush for my concealer, love love love!

 

 

First up, Maybellline!

Above are some swatches of the color, as you can see, I chose poorly. However, this color will work for my skin in the winter. Some info from the Maybelline site:

The 1-step wonder for a good skin day, everyday. Packed with 8 great skin benefits for instant skin perfection. Ideal for Normal Skin.

Why You’ll Love It
BB creams combine skincare + makeup in 1 simple step
8-in-1 Skin Perfector:
• Blurs imperfections
• Brightens
• Evens skin tone
• Smoothes
• Hydrates
• Enhances
• Protects with SPF 30
• 0% oils and heavy ingredients

Do I agree with all of Maybelline’s claims? No. But I’m not quite ready to call this one a trick. This BB Cream seems to me like its marketed to younger women, who have less age spots, sun spots, discoloration, etc. to hide. I am no old geaser, but I am in my 30’s, and I’ve gotta have a little more coverage than this BB cream affords me. Check out those imperfections above! Not ok!

The reason I am not discounting this cream entirely is because, come winter, I put on my snowboarder hat (literally) and like to have a product like this to use. Minimal coverage, so it doesn’t look like I put on makeup to hit the hill, and SPF to protect my skin. This one is loaded with SPF 30 and feels lightweight, so I won’t mind having this on all day while being super active.

Coverage: 2 out of 5

Color: Wrong

Verdict: Treat for activities, Trick for daily use

Next is Revlon…

This color is pretty perfect for me, and here is some background on the product from the Revlon site:

A lightweight, multi-benefit Beauty Balm that combines skincare, makeup, and sunscreen into one step.

– HYDRATES like moisturizer
– SMOOTHES like primer
– COVERS like foundation
– BLURS FLAWS like concealer
– PROTECTS with SPF 30 like sunscreen

Please note, this did not “blur flaws like a concealer” I added the above concealer (Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer) to my under eye area prior to taking the photo, since I’m pretty self-conscious about that area. Interesting that I didn’t need to do that with the Maybelline option, most likely because it’s so light in color. Note: I picked this one up prior to finding “the one” concealer: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer. I can’t live without it. Read all about it here

My apologies for the blurriness of these photos, I’m not sure what was going on that day! We’ll call them ethereal! Anywho, this cream has a really nice consistency and smoothes and evens out the skin tone. I did need to use the concealer before taking the photos, but it did cover my sun spots. I also had to set with a finishing powder since it is “luminous,” to put it nicely. No one wants to be shiny, so use the finishing powder- Revlon has a nice Photoready option. I got carried away and added a bit of blush too, so don’t get confused, this won’t automatically blush-en your cheeks!

This BB Cream has become my go-to for work and casual weekend activities. I would not replace my Revlon Photoready Foundation for nighttime activities and events, but this is great for daily wear!

Coverage: 5 out of 5

Color: Just Right

Verdict: Treat

Last up, Lumene!

This is another perfect color match. I actually had a great coupon at CVS and popped in the other day to pick up the lighter shade of this for winter time, so that I won’t be left out in the cold. Hardy har har har. From the Lumene site:

Light, moisturizing and conditioning cream helps to even out the skin’s natural tone and correct small imperfections.

Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 20 protects against the harmful rays of the sun, helping to prevent premature aging of the skin. Your skin will have a natural, even tone. Suitable for all skin types. 

Anti-aging
Brightening
Hydrating
Covers imperfections
Evens skintone
Protecting

I put this cream on as I was headed out the door to yoga, and it ended up offering better coverage than I thought! It lives up to all of the claims, and smells amazing- like fresh citrus! That is one thing the other creams were lacking, they’re both scentless. This one is a nice treat! I use a Vitamin C serum daily (Valentia Even Glow) and I’m hoping that continued use of both will lighten the sun spots and scars that I have.

I really like this BB Cream and I use this a lot on weekends for running errands, and times when I don’t want any heavy makeup feel at all, while still looking polished. I tried applying Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser as a primer prior to putting this on, and it really balances it out! Something about the scent says “glowing” to me, and I will usually add a bit of bronzer and set this with a powder to complete the glowing look.  

Coverage: 4 out of 5

Color: Just Right

Verdict: Treat

 

So, who won the battle? The Revlon BB cream is my fave, followed closely by the Lumene BB Cream. Like I mentioned, I will use the Maybelline BB cream in the winter for snowboarding, and suggest it for any of my fellow skiers and boarders out there. Other than that, it’s not worth picking up! Stick with one of the other two, Revlon for more coverage and Lumene for a little less coverage, and a great scent!

I hope these reviews were helpful! Do you have a favorite BB Cream to recommend? I am ALWAYS on the hunt for new beauty products to try!

your new faves

What Inspires Your Senses?

 Today I am co-hosting a link up with the lovely Mar of to & fro, What Inspires Your Senses 

On the last Wednesday of every month, challenge yourself to select 5 of your favorite personal photographs – one that best describes each of your 5 senses: see, smell, taste, touch and hear. As an added challenge, come up with one for the “sixth sense“, an open-ended category to interpret your own way. No photography skills are needed, just your imagination and creativity!


What inspires your senses?


How to participate:

1| Linkup your blog post with the photos that inspire your senses.

2| Follow your host (Mar @ t.o. & fro) & cohost (Jamie @ SnapGinger).

3| Link back to the party in your post, either with text or button below.

4| Check out as many blogs as you can to see what inspires others’ senses!

5| Share on social media, using the hashtag #whatinspiresyoursenses!

t.o. & fro
t.o. & fro

Mark you calendar for the next opportunity to linkup on Wednesday, November 26!

Interested in co-hosting in the future? Check this out. 

Link up here:

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SEE the beauty in the little things around you

SMELL the coffee and the fresh salty air reminding you that you’re alive

TASTE the fresh baked yumminess of treats made with love

TOUCH the fresh pristine fruits of the fall

HEAR the noises that come out of this little one

SIXTH SENSE Invigoration is like fuel for the soul

What inspires your senses? Don’t forget to use the hashtag when sharing on social media! #whatinspiresyoursenses

Halloween Costumes for Any Budget

Today I’m sharing my favorite Halloween costume ideas, for any budget! I’ve linked up my favorite pins below! Remember to follow me on Pinterest for all of my holiday shenanigans!



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Also, today you can enter to win the wonderful October Giveaway featuring Karli, from September Farm, me and some other fantastic bloggy friends!! The prize is $150 PayPal Cash!! Woohoo! Good Luck all!

jess | nelle | kaelene
amy | karli | sarah
rachael | jamie | lisa
ali | alycia
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Indiana

For anyone who thought this was going to be a post about the state of Indiana, my apologies, it’s about only the greatest of action heroes known to man: Dr. Indiana Jones.

He is my hero, and I love all 3 of these movies, I grew up with them! they are ingrained in me!

I figured, what better way to celebrate the last day of my personal #100daysofGetMoving challenge than with my personal hero, Indie himself?! So today Indiana Jones, I salute you! Thanks for getting me moving!

If you’ve followed along with me, moving and shaking since July 15, that is awesome, and congrats to you! I’ve learned so much about getting motivated and keeping myself moving and going over this time. It’s been great to have the little voice in my head constantly pushing me to get up and go! I really held myself accountable since I always wanted to have new fresh updates on the blog to share with everyone, and hopefully inspire you too!

Here are my fave moments from the challenge, in convenient gallery form! Click through to the original post for all of the updates, info, tips and inspiration you can handle!

My Favorite Book and Books I’m Reading October #Blogtober14

My Favorite book of all time is The Great Gatsby, but that is terribly unoriginal, albeit, an awesome piece of American literature. My favorite book of recent years is The Night Circus. Erin Morgenstern could write about pretty much anything and I’d read it. {hint hint, write some more books Erin!!} If you haven’t read it, stop what you’re doing and download it immediately to your kindle or phone or any device because you will not be able to put it down. And if you haven’t read The Great Gatsby, pick up that one too. Read them both together and fantasize about magical, mystical, romantical places!

The Night Circus

By Erin Morgenstern

And now, for the books on my reading list for October!

The Arsonist: A novel

By Sue Miller

I’m going to start another trilogy you guys!! Wish me luck!

Helene in Between Blogtober

Also, today is my Saturday Confessional on September FARM, so head over and say hi to Karli and read all of my dark and dirty secrets!!

One Beauty Product I Can’t Live Without #Blogtober14

This is one of my favorite topics for all of #Blogtober14- Helene and Taylor really have a knack for keeping it interesting!

I love all things beauty, but there is one product that I put on, no matter the day, time or weather. I could be gearing up to run a race, or in a race to surf the couch for the afternoon, going out or staying in, it doesn’t matter. The one product I can’t live without is concealer!!

Why you ask? I have dark under eye circles. And I’m not talking your regular, run of the mill, “I look tired when I am tired” circles! I have full blown, bluish purple half moons under my eyes, that showed up somewhere around my 17th birthday. Thanks genetics.

I have tried every different variety of concealer and I’ve read countless reviews on some of my favorite beauty blogs (The Budget Beauty Blog, Vivianna Does Makeup, MaskCara, But First, Coffee). And I do have a few favorites: Benefit Erase Paste is an amazing product! I love the coverage, but I find it being a little too thick at times. Revlon PhotoReady was my old stand by, but its a bit drying, and isn’t 100% flattering a few hours after application. It is amazing in photos though, right after you apply. Dermablend Quick Fix is similar to the Revlon version, however, I like it better for blemishes than on my under eye region. BH Cosmetics has an awesome Concealer and Corrector palette that is really good on acne, and has a few options to counteract days when my under eyes are looking especially purpley.

I love some of the highlighting products I’ve tried too, Revlon makes a Primer Brightener that is a really good dupe for the Benefit Ooh La Lift. And sometimes I will take a little help from the Garnier Skin Renew Ant-Puff Eye Roller. It is so very cooling, and that’s just how I roll (terrible).

But for my favorite, awesome to apply, great coverage, minimal creasing, long lasting, spendiferous concealer, the award goes to Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer. Say that 5 times fast!

I use the Neutralizer shade, which is supposed to be for extreme dark circles, but I have purchased the Honey shade as well to try it out. I just noticed on Drugstore.com that there is a Brightener version as well, for a luminous touch, so I might have to pick that one up too.

I admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of this product when I tried it out many many moons ago. I wasn’t either when I tried it again a few months ago. But, after watching the lovely Kallie in this review, I realized I was doing it all wrong. Start at 2:55 (if you don’t have 8 minutes to be entertained by Kallie) and learn. 

I picked up a blending brush, and used it on the concealer after applying with the sponge applicator and I swear the heavens poured down full coverage sunny light beams of awesome onto my face.  Kallie was so right, and I have my new favorite under eye concealer!

As you can see below, I stocked up at a recent BOGO half off sale at CVS. The packaging also claims to be a treatment, and the Maybelline site boasts that this “Active formula with Haloxyl reduces the look of puffiness and shadows while fading the appearance of under-eye circles.” So I’m interested to see how these claims stack up with continued use.

Will you try this amazing Maybelline concealer? What is your favorite beauty product? I’m always looking for something new to try!!

Helene in Between Blogtober

Also, I am taking part in a Giveaway with Trish from Beyond the Khaki Pants today, the prize is a $50 Amazon Gift Card!! You can enter to win below! Don’t forget to check out the bloggers involved! Good Luck!

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Fave Insta & Blog Editing Tools & Apps #Blogtober14

Today I’m back again, linking up with Helene and Taylor for #Blogtober14 and the topic is Fave Insta and Blog Editing Tools and Apps! I have a lot of faves, so I will highlight them all and let you know why I love them so!

Like most bloggers, I use my phone a lot for blogging, social media and occasionally, my personal life 😉 Here is a screen shot of my social media folder (I have an Android phone). The apps on my phone are evenly divided between those I use for Instagram and those I use for my blog. If they’ve made it to my phone, and stayed in this folder, that means they’re a fave and I use them pretty regularly.

Let’s dive right into my Instagram apps!

Instagram Apps

Instagram– duh 

Snapseed– this is my fave photography editing app- I use this for every photo I upload to Instagram, and I often don’t use any filters, it makes the images look professional! Professional enough that I often use my Snapseed photos on my blog!!!

A Beautiful Mess– this is a fairly new Instagram editing app, brought to you by the love ladies of the blog, A Beautiful Mess. The idea of an app created by bloggers for bloggers is just brilliant. But really, anyone can use it to create amazing and unique images for Instagram. Thanks ladies!

PicLab– this one lets you add really cool typography, filters, textures, borders and other graphic elements to your photos. I’ve used this app to create quite a few of my post headers!!

InstaFrame– this is a photo collage maker, and it offers tons of basic collage options for when you can’t decide on just one pic for Instagram. Although I really am loving the “outside the box” collage options on A Beautiful Mess, this one is a great standby.

PhotoRepost– the re-tweet program for Instagram- vital!

Flipagram– who doesn’t want to turn a collection of Instagram photos into a video?! This app is super easy to use!

#SquareDroid– I just added this to my phone this morning, based on this post from LaShawn at Everyday Eyecandy. To quote LaShawn, “I can’t stand to be constrained by the square!” #nomoresquares

 

Now let’s move onto my mobile Blog Editing Tools!

Blog Editing Tools

Buffer– this app is so vital! I am constantly reading other blogs on the go, and scheduling posts to Twitter and Facebook from those blogs and my own. Buffer makes it all so easy! The free version limits you to a queue of 10 posts per media outlet, so I am considering upgrading.

IFTTT– until I upgrade Buffer, I have IFTTT (If This Then That) work for me. I created a recipe that creates a tweet every time I post to my Facebook page. So instead of getting 10 buffered tweets through Buffer, I get those plus 10 buffered tweets based on my FB buffered posts. I also set up recipes to create tweets when I post to Instagram, and to my blog board on Pinterest. Because I want to Tweet my followers into submission 😉

StumbleUpon– I try to submit every post of mine and most from my favorite bloggers to StumbleUpon. It is awesome in my 10 ten sources of traffic!

Pages Manager (Facebook)- Because why wouldn’t Facebook make everything that much more difficult. You can’t simple manage your blog page (you do have one right?! you must!!) in the regular Facebook app, NOPE, you have to use this one. And a messenger app. And a “take my first born” app. I kid, but really, I still see the notifications in my regular Facebook app, so its a duplicate in my book. 

Pinterest– This app is so vital! This has saved me in so many waiting rooms, on train rides, in long car rides, and in a recipe needing pinch!

Twitter– always gotta be tweetin’!

Facebook– duh #2 (I almost always have a notification here because I refuse to download the messenger app!

Google+– Some say its the devil, some say it will save us all. I tend to agree with Helene (of Helene in Between fame): Google controls the internet, this is their form of social media, so use it, be Google’s friend!

 

The tools I use for blog editing are not limited to apps on my phone, I am constantly working on my blog on my PC, and here are the tools that I use for that!

Blog Editing Tools on PC

PicMonkey– I would not have most of the graphics on my blog if it weren’t for PicMonkey. I dove right in and splurged for the Royale membership and I haven’t looked back once! It is the best money I spend each month. I’m confident enough in my mastery of PicMonkey to design party invitations and other personal items with it! I will be sure to post once I do!

MailChimp– a blogger’s gotta have a way to send out e-newletters and MailChimp is the one I chose! It is one of my vital blogging tools, making campaign set up a breeze and results tracking simple!

Hemingway– this is one of those great editing tools! Run your post through the Hemingway editor to simplify and enhance readability. We all want to have better sounding content! Hemingway is here to help! (I ran this sentence through!!)

Unsplash– we all need our free images, so why not sign up for weekly emails from Unsplash and get them delivered right to your inbox? I download one, two or all ten and save them to my stock folder, where they’re always ready for me!

Google AdWords Keyword Planner– this is one piece of blog software that totally mystified me at first, but that I’ve grown to love. For any post I write, I will run a few main ideas through the tool and produce a list of tags and keywords to use in the post. Again, Google runs the internet, why not make your blog posts more SEO friendly using their software? No-brainer!

 

I hope this (extensive) list has been helpful! Check out my #Top5 Apps for Getting Organized post for more techie goodness, and My Favorite Instagram Accounts to spice up a lackluster feed. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see these apps in action! 

Helene in Between Blogtober