Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Product Review: Valentia Even Glow Serum

I'm a huge skin care and anti-aging buff, so I was thrilled when BrandBacker invited me to review Valentia's Even Glow Serum!

Image via Valentia

This is a vitamin C serum for face, and it contains 20% vitamin C. For those of you who don't know a lot about skin care, this is GOOD. Vitamin C does wonders in protecting your skin from harmful free radicals and in helping to reverse sun damage, and it's known to boost collagen production (which, in turn, reduces fine lines and wrinkles). Additionally, there's sea buckthorn oil, green tea, and other natural ingredients in this magical potion.

I love serums like this, because you only need one or two drops to cover your entire face. The Valentia Even Glow Serum smells like oranges, so I actually looked forward to applying it!

My own image. I love the dropper--it makes application so easy!

Unfortunately, I can't take all of my skin care products with me to Europe next month, so I plan on passing this on to my mom when I leave. For the time being, though, it makes my skin feel silky smooth and leaves my face glowing!

Right now, Even Glow Serum is retailing for $35, so grab it before the price increases! And with Valentia's 90-day money-back guarantee, you really have nothing to lose.

Full disclosure: I received this product courtesy of BrandBacker, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Birchbox Unveiling (August 2014)

August 2014

August was all about lightening up one's beauty routine to accommodate for the hot, sticky weather. For the second month in a row, subscribers were allowed to choose one of five samples, which I thought was really great!

Here are the products I received.

Giveaway: Ulta Gift Card, Psych DVDs, Harry Potter Mug

My friend Emily at Designs By Emily F is turning 23, and she's celebrating with a giveaway that I'm co-sponsoring! Go enter!

Giveaway open to US Residents only, winner will be chosen 2 weeks from today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trip to Ohio

Last week, I spent a few days in Ohio to visit my best friend Lydia (who happens to blog at Down and Out In Sephora) in Granville. The weird thing is, she's lived there for almost 10 years and this was the first time I'd ever come to visit! How crazy is that? We see each other at least once or twice a year, but it's almost always at my house in Michigan.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Traveling in Style

One of the hardest decisions to make when traveling, in my opinion, is what to wear on the airplane. You need to wear enough layers that you can adjust for changing temperatures, but not so many that you're unable to carry them all when you're hot from running through the airport. The most important factor, though, is maintaining that delicate balance while opting for heavier pieces from your wardrobe so you can maximize what goes in your suitcase. It's an art, I tell you.

With my imminent move to France, it's important that I wear bulkier clothes on the airplane but still look cute. I'll be landing in Paris, after all! So, I've put together two possible looks that I could wear on board. And make sure to vote on which look is your favorite!

Photo via Robert Couse-Baker, modified with text.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Snapshot of Déols

I move to France in six weeks, and I'm getting super excited about it!

As I've mentioned before, I'll be living in Châteauroux, but I thought I'd give you guys a quick look at Déols, the town in which I'll be teaching. I'm teaching English at a single elementary school, and the location is perfect. The school is close to the bus stop, which is only a 15-minute ride! (Plus, all buses in the area are free.)

Déols is an extremely small town on the Indre River with a population of only 8500. I don't plan to spend much time there outside of teaching, but it looks so quaint that I thought I'd share some photos!

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Wish List

I'm baaaaack!

Sorry about going totally MIA for the past week. My computer was acting up, and when I took it to the Apple Store they said I needed to replace the hard drive...lovely. Luckily, it behaved well enough that I could back everything up, and now I have a brand spanking new hard drive!

Anyway, it's the first of the month, meaning it's time for my monthly wish list. Here's what's on my radar right now:

Let's start with those pants. I've wanted crepe pants for a long time, but these have tiny embroidered camels all over them! They'd be so perfect for Morocco, and the clutch matches them perfectly.

With all of the excitement about going to France, I'm growing more and more impatient about buying Caudalie products. I love the Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil, and can't wait to get my hands on it so my face stays fresh and clean all night. The Beauty Elixir will keep my face hydrated on those long train rides and flights, and I've been on the hunt for a morning eye cream.

Finally, there's MAC Heroine lipstick. This color is a cult favorite, but I didn't want to make the plunge without knowing how it would look on me. While my mom was at the Bobbi Brown counter when we went to the Nordstrom Sale, I popped over to the MAC counter and asked to test it. It looked so much better than I expected, and it's really amazing how the color looks different on different people!

So tell me--what's on your wish list this month?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Beauty Haul Giveaway

It's been a while since I've had a giveaway on this blog, but get excited because I'm participating in a few over the next few weeks! First up, the summer beauty haul giveaway!

Birchbox Unveiling (July 2014)

July 2014

This month's Birchbox theme was Power Up in partnership with Women's Health. They put together some great tips on how to engage in healthier habits and are even hosting a contest to win a trip to New York! But now, time for the fun part--my box.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Let's #ShareBeauty. I'm not talking about eyeshadow palettes and makeup tips--I'm talking about stories.

I love traveling and experimenting with makeup and beauty products, but it wasn't always that way. Well, I've always loved traveling--but I didn't cultivate an interest in beauty, makeup, and skincare until I spent last summer in France.

French women really do have this certain je ne sais quoi about them. Their makeup is simple yet chic, and they all have flawless skin. Before France, the most I ever did to my skin was put on my nightly acne medications and slather on some lotion if my skin felt dry. I never conditioned my hair, either--it took too much time. (I hate showering, and I always want to be out of the shower as quickly as possible.) Now, I have an elaborate skincare routine (I just bought this Kiehl's set and can't wait to start using it!), wear sunscreen on a daily basis, and care about anti-aging prevention. I condition my hair, use argan oil in it, and wear heat protector. And I don't even think about leaving the house without wearing lipstick or lip stain.

It doesn't take a lot of makeup to make me feel beautiful--just glowing skin (thanks to my skincare routine), shiny hair, and a dash of red lipstick. And I can't wait to see how this interest grows as I prepare to spend the upcoming year in France!

Similar to how my time in France inspired my beauty routine, the girl in this video uses her skills to inspire an entire city. Take a look:

What makes you feel beautiful? I'd love to read your responses in the comments below!

Also, don't forget to enter the #ShareBeautyContest! This contest is presented by Regency Beauty Institute and Refinery 29, and you could win a beauty treatment valued at $2000. Click here to see contest details and learn how you can enter!

Full disclosure: This post was sponsored by Regency Beauty Institute, but all content and opinions are my own.