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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Camera! ~ Canon 600D


Here's a quick update that'll make everyone a little happier (or at least my frequent blog readers lol)...I'm no longer going to be posting pictures taken by my iPhone since today I finally got my new camera! I used to have a digital camera but after dropping it on vacation last summer, I've been saving up for a new dslr camera. This is the Canon T3i 600D and it takes amazing high quality pictures which will be great for up close shots of products that I'll be reviewing along with my face of the day shots which will be dramatically improved. I was also thinking of posting outfits of the day but what do you guys think?

Now I'm no stranger when it comes to photography, I grew up in a household where my Dad was a freelance photographer and my grandfather worked for Kodak for 40 years before he retired. Surprisingly though, I never got into taking good pictures and always admired photos from afar wondering if I could take pictures like that. Buying this camera is kinda of like a dream come true for me so I'm excited to finally be able to use it and share this moment with you all.

If anyone has any questions about the camera please feel free to ask! I'm no expert, but I have been browsing cameras for a while now so I'd love to answer any questions or hear some opinions on it!

Until next time lovelies, 

-Ruya 
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Kardashian Self-Tanning Lotion




The weather this summer has been horrible and it's hard to get a tan when there's only one day of sunshine a week so I visited my local Ulta store to look for a new self-tanner. I usually only use self-tanners for special occasions but lately I've been looking so pale that I thought I could use a bit of color. I gave away my old self-tanner which was Loreal's Sublime Bronze Lotion which I did like but couldn't stand the amount of glitter in the lotion. On a whim, I decided to take a chance with the Kardashian self-tanner which is a gradual tanning lotion that you can build over time and is packed with vitamins A and E and claims that its also a firming lotion. It retails for around $20 at Ulta but I had a $3.50 off coupon so I did get it a bit cheaper. The tanner actually is part of a 3 step system which includes the primer as the first step and a color extender as the last step. It also comes in a spray version for people who don't like to fuss with the lotion. I decided to not buy the other products in the system because I've used tanning lotions before and never had to use primers or extenders to get a good color, they're totally optional.

The first thing that I liked about this was that it had no glitter and even though its a light, caramel color in the tube, it actually goes on clear once you start applying it. It is a gel-based lotion so it soaks into your skin much quicker and didn't leave my skin feeling greasy at all. Although it does have that artificial tanning smell, it's covered up by a tropical, perfumed scent that's actually bearable so I give them two thumbs up. Another bonus is that I didn't wear gloves while applying this and immediately washed my hands and the color didn't stain my hands or my nails!

So how did it actually look on my skin? It gave me a natural tan in about two hours and there was no patches or streaks anywhere. It said on the bottle that it would take about four hours for the color to develop but it was much quicker on me, for some reason. I was quite impressed and glad that I didn't spend more money on an expensive tanning lotion like St. Tropez, which I was considering to get! I really wasn't expecting a good self-tanner from a celebrity line but its actually quite amazing! I applied it again, once a day and in 3 days I was quite dark. Obviously the color fades away when you shower every day and use scrubs on your face and etc, but I found this one to be quite long-lasting as well and didn't feel the need to reapply after the first three days. Lastly, unlike the Loreal Sublime this one fades away evenly instead of patchy so you don't have to worry about trying to get rid of uneven, brown spots. Overall, people kept asking if I went on vacation and I think that's what the ultimate goal is when using self-tanners! Having a fake tan that's natural enough to have people think you've been chilling at the beach all day ;)  

Until next time lovelies,

-Ruya 


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Saturday, July 27, 2013

How to Get Your Makeup to Last Longer

Earlier today I had the chance to do one of my friend's makeup and since she was the maid of honor, her main goal was to have her makeup last throughout the day without fading or melting. Luckily, by using certain products her makeup was able to last throughout pictures, the ceremony, and even at the reception and I thought I'd share some tips on what I specifically used on her. 

Foundation Primer


The most basic step for long lasting makeup is using a foundation primer before applying anything on to your face. One of my favorites is Smashbox's Photo Finish because not only does it prime your skin but comes in many different formulas to suite your skin's specific trouble areas. My friend had a lot of redness on her skin so I used the "balance" one to even out her skin tone and soothe the redness. If you have pretty clear skin and don't need anything extra for it then Smashbox has their original Photo Finish that works for all skin types. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative then I recommend Loreal's Magic Perfecting Base which I mentioned in my drugstore favorites post. The important part is that you have some sort of base for the foundation to stick on to, especially if it's liquid in order to not have it smudge as much or melt throughout the night. 

Setting Powder

  

I can't stress this step enough, especially if you're using creamy or liquid products for your makeup. Since I always wear liquid foundation and concealer, I always take the time to set it with a thin layer of setting powder. Setting powder is considered the last step after applying primer and your foundation in order to give you a smoother finish and even cover some lines that your liquid foundation may give off. Setting powders are easily found in the same shades as foundations and certain concealers such as Bobbi Brown's, come in concealer and powder sets to make things easier. While I do like translucent powder for every day use, I highly recommend you don't use it for special occasions where there's going to be a lot of pictures taken since translucent powder tends to bounce off the flash and show up in pictures as white spots. It's a nightmare and if you don't believe me, just google some pictures of celebrities and you'll see what I mean. 

Eye Primer 

 
Since I wear eyeshadow every day, I never walk out of the house without eye primer on since it does so much to keep my eyeshadow from creasing and fading away. I'm sure you're all familiar with the famous Urban Decay Primer Potion and although I've used it for years, I think a great dupe for that is ELF's eye primer for only a $1. I usually do two swipes on each eye and a small swipe on my bottom lid if I'm going to be wearing any eyeshadow on the bottom. I also noticed that some people are using primer on their undereye before putting on concealer and while I don't think it's a bad idea, it may clog your pores or worse since it's not intended for that area.

Lip Liners


Although there are many lip primers out there right now, I thought it would be easier and more budget-friendly to use a lip liner instead for longer lasting lipstick. I simply first line my lips and then start filling in the space in between until my entire lip area is covered with lip liner and then applying lipstick or lip gloss on top. This is a great trick, especially if you're using red lipstick because it'll make the color of your lipstick more vivid and opaque and will also not smudge as easily since there is a base underneath. Since I have so many different lipsticks, I only have a few lip liners but the one that every one should have in their collection is a nude lip liner that you can use with any lipstick color. Added bonus: It makes your lips look fuller without making them look fake ;)

Setting Spray


Out of all the products I mentioned in this post, the most important one to me is a setting spray. I use this at the end after I finished applying makeup and spray it on a few times all over the face and let it dry. I used Urban Decay's All Nighter Spray for my senior ball in high school, and my makeup didn't budge all the way to the end of the night. It's amazing how great it works and I can never find another product that could come close to this. They also have two other setting sprays which is Dew Me for a more dewy makeup look and De-Slick which is for oily skin.

I hope this was helpful and let me know what you thought about it! I'd love to hear more tips on long lasting makeup so feel free to comment! 

Until next time lovelies, 

-Ruya

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beauty News: Collab Between Marchesa and Revlon

As you all know, back when I first started my blog I made a post about my love for everything Marchesa so it's no surprise that I was thrilled to hear that Marchesa and Revlon will be joining forces to make a nail strips collection. It's going to be called Revlon by Marchesa 3D Jewel Appliques and will be hitting shelves in October! I can't tell you how excited I am and I'm sure I'll be the first one in line when it comes out since I'm guessing that it'll be sold out quickly.

There's not many pictures of the nail strips on the web but I already have a favorite which are these gorgeous turquoise ones:

 
(Image: Tumblr)

I've never tried Revlon nail strips before so I'm not sure how well the quality will be but hopefully it'll be able to stay on for at least a week. It would be such a shame to have these beautifully intricate designs on nail strips that don't even last long! :( On the bright side, based on this one photo I can already picture the designs to be glamorous and sophisticated for everyday people like us who can't afford Marchesa dresses to wear on the red carpet. I think nail strips are a great idea for Marchesa and an excellent way to cater to all fans and it wasn't something that I was expecting from them. I just wish October would get here faster!

What do you think of this collaberation? Will the nail strips live up to it's hype? 

Until next time lovelies, 

-Ruya
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Nails of the Day: Nude & Purple French Manicure


A plain french manicure seems boring to me so I decided to use one of my favorite nudes for the summer, Essie's Sand Tropez and China Glaze's Flying Dragon which is a gorgeous matte purple. I used french manicure stickers to get the lines straight but they still ended up a little crooked but fortunately it's not that noticeable. Essie's Sand Tropez is my go-to summer color but China Glaze's Flying Dragon is actually a matte color that I discovered after I bought it so it's been sitting in the back of my nail polish drawer. I've never come across a matte nail polish that I liked and I've tried using Flying Dragon with a shiny top coat but it just doesn't have the same shine effect as a regular nail polish. By using it on the tips of my nails you can't really notice that the color is matte and it does have a few subtle blue sparkles in it that makes the manicure look more interesting.

I typically paint my nails almost every week or sometimes every 3 days depending on my mood but this look I haven't easily gotten bored of. It's a great pop of color and for some reason nude nail polish makes my hands look tanner, kinda like white nail polish. The only problem I had was that Sand Tropez is a bit streaky and it takes about 3 coats to make it opaque. I probably should use a better base coat, so if anyone has any suggestions I'd appreciate it! 

What are your favorite nail polishes for the summer? Do you like french manicures?

Until next time lovelies,

-Ruya
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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner


When it comes to shampoos and conditioners, I'm always on the lookout for a new one to try since I haven't found the perfect ones for my hair yet. Curly/wavy hair is typically dry but on top of that I've been coloring it, using heat, and staying out in the sun for too long so I needed something that's going to repair all the damage quick. Since I've had success with the Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Moisturizing Treatment (see the review here) I decided to sample the shampoo and conditioner from the Argan oil line. I actually bought the sample/travel sizes for $5 together at Rite Aid and loved how adorable they looked! :)

Before I get into the review, there's a few things that you should know about Organix. All of their products are sulfate-free meaning that they're safe to use on color-treated hair. Another bonus is that they're paraben-free and they don't test their products on animals. You can find Organix at most drugstores such as CVS and Rite Aid while Target and Ulta also carries them but I've noticed they're a bit more expensive there.

First and foremost I love the smell of the shampoo and conditioner because it has the same, delicious smell that the moisturizing mask has. I can only describe it as a beachy-tropical smell with the hint of argan oil in it that reminds me of Hawaii for some reason. The shampoo lathered well considering that all Organix products are sulfate-free and usually without sulfates, shampoos tend to not lather but this one worked well. The conditioner was a golden color that instantly moisturized my hair and once I towel-dried I noticed that my hair was easier to de-tangle and comb. Once my hair dried, I loved how  my hair was shinier, smelled amazing, and was so much more moisturized than before. I also noticed that since my hair wasn't as dry, it wasn't frizzy either and left my curls smoother. I was afraid that some moisturizing shampoos would leave the roots greasy but I didn't have any problem with this. It seemed to leave my hair clean while still moisturizing the ends and giving my hair a more vibrant look. After using these products, I noticed that my hair was softer and wasn't as limp as before which made me wonder if my old shampoo and conditioner did that. Overall, I'm happy with this product and will defiantly be buying the full size versions once this runs out. I'm surprised that a product that's actually cheaper worked better than my more expensive shampoo and conditioner. It goes to show that a popular label and an expensive price tag doesn't always promise great results. I'm starting to wonder what other products I should try from Organix since I've had so much success with them lately.

Have you tried any products from Organix? What are your favorite shampoos and conditioners?

Until next time lovelies, 

-Ruya
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Face of the Day: Everyday Makeup

Lately the weather's been so humid so I've been opting for less and less heavy makeup and sticking to my every day makeup routine which I usually do in the school year when I have less time for makeup and need to look polished and pretty quick. I didn't focus on a specific product in this post since I'm not using anything too unique and most people would have these products at home or something similar to it. I also opted to only apply foundation on certain areas of my skin that needed it most, these days my foundation feels a bit heavy and while I'm on the hunt for a BB cream to try I've been doing this method instead. BB creams seem to be an essential for the summertime so hopefully I'll be able to review one soon! If you have any suggestions feel free to let me know :)

When it comes to my everyday makeup I want something that's simple but makes me look polished. It's also important that it goes with any outfit and can be taken from day to night with a few more products. That's probably why I always alternate between Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette and Too Faced's Naked Eye palette. The best investment I've ever made with makeup is with these two palettes and I consider them essentials. As for lips, I typically stick to lip gloss since it's so low-maintenance but it also has to have a bit of color in it since my lips are so pale. Other then that, I use basic products such as eyeliner and mascara but those 2 products are the main focus.




Face
-Loreal Makeup Perfecting Base (T-zone)
-Mac Pro Long Wear Foundation
-Bobbi Brown Concealor
-Dior Original Tan Bronzer in Healthy Tan 01

Eyes
-Urban Decay Primer Potion
-Urban Decay Naked 2 palette; Foxy on entire lid, Tease on crease, Busted on bottom lid
-Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner in Black
-Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara

Brows
-Anatasia Brow Powder Duo in Medium Brown

Lips
-Chanel Glossimer Lip Gloss in Giggle

You probably noticed that I straightened my hair which was a bad idea since it's so humid outside (and it's also getting frizzy in the pics!) but since I got my hair trimmed and my roots/highlights touched up, I've been wanting my hair to look straight and sleek. It's amazing how one hair cut could change your hair and make it look so much more healthier.  

Whats your everyday makeup like? Which products would you consider to be essentials? 

Until next time lovelies, 

-Ruya
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dressing For Your Body Type: Pear-Shaped

If you're someone like me who has a small bust and hips that are wider than your shoulders then most likely you are pear-shaped which surprisingly is said to be the most common body shape in the world. So how do you dress for a pear-shaped body if you want to hide trouble areas such as your wide hips? The secret is with the clothes you're wearing! Here are a few of my tricks...

Patterns

A great way to distract people from seeing your flaws is a patterned dress. One of my favorite style icons, Leighton Meester is actually pear-shaped yet you can't even tell from the dress she's wearing! The entire dress isn't actually striped horiztonally but in different directions with ruching across the hips and a touch of polka dots to distract the eyes and make the dress seem visually appealing. Have you also noticed the red mary-janes? Your eyes tend to skip the hips and go straight for the shoes with this outfit, believe me it was done on purpose! Stripes are obviously hard to pull off on camera and not look wide but she nailed it! If you're too scared to wear stripes then try to start by wearing polka dots or floral prints which are great for the summer! 


Jackets

Jacket's are pretty much my wardrobe staple, I own so many of them and I don't even remember when my love for them began! They're incredibly figure-flattering and I own one for every occasion and love wearing a great blazer from work or to a night-out like Lauren Conrad did here. The trick is to find a great jacket that doesn't land on your hips but a bit past them to elongate your figure and make you appear taller.


Focusing On The Shoulders

As I mentioned earlier, pear-shaped people have hips that are wider than their shoulders so by bringing more attention to the shoulders with cut-out tops, embellishments, or structured shoulder tops, it focuses it on the upper body instead. Here, Demi Lovato chose to wear this chic TopShop dress with embellished sleeves that suites her pear-shaped body perfectly while the high, rounded neckline elongates her body at the same time.


Long Necklaces

Going along with the idea of elongating your body, I've noticed many pear-shaped women are on the shorter side and want to look taller in order to balance their body proportions. If you're someone who doesn't want to wear heels all the time, then a long necklace defiantly does the trick and it's easy to just throw it on and go! Although I'm not the biggest fan of Kim Kardashian, from time-to-time she does wear nice outfits and I especially love this outfit because her blazer has high shoulders and she paired it with a long silver necklace. Some people may argue that Kim has a more hour-glass shaped figure but I think it can work for both body shapes.


A Slimmer Lower Body

When it comes to buying bottoms, many pear-shaped people tend to have trouble but I usually stay away from anything that's going to add extra volume to my hips such as pleated skirts or side pockets.  Since I'm short, I tend to tailor all my pants or skirts and it makes a huge difference when it comes to the way my clothes fit and look. Take Jennifer Lopez here, wearing impeccably tailored pants with a bit of a flare at the bottom which some people say can balance the wide proportions of your hips. Personally, I don't wear flared bottoms and stick to my dark skinny jeans but I can see the way it works in some cases! 


Overall, I'd like to say that fashion is all about experimenting and it doesn't mean that you have to stop wearing your favorite clothes just because you assume that you look "fat" in it or have certain trouble areas...we all do! If you have the confidence, then you can pull off anything! The fun part is that there are no guidelines or rules when it comes to fashion, it's all about how you feel. We all have a certain way of dressing and I've developed these tips because I feel comfortable with the way I dress for my body shape and thought other people may want to try it out. It doesn't mean that one body shape is superior over the others. It's all about accepting who we are and working with what we got :) 

Until next time lovelies,

-Ruya

(all images found at Google Images and Tumblr.com)
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Favorite Drugstore Makeup Products

As much as I try to love drugstore makeup, I just can't seem to find products that I really like. I find that some of the quality of drugstore makeup is lacking and I hate how you can't test the products in stores and I've become too lazy to go and return a product if I don't like it. I think that's why I always sticked to high-end makeup since I feel that it's worth it to buy one product that you really love instead of buying 5 cheaper products that you somewhat like. Luckily, over the years I've discovered my favorite drugstore products and have always sticked to buying these products again and again. Once I really love something, I just can't seem to let it go ya know? Almost all these products I use on a daily basis and some of them I even use on people who want me to do their makeup. Also, some of these products can be used as dupes for other high-end products which I absolutely love. Who doesn't want to save money on makeup yet still have the same effect as a high end product?

Revlon



Let's begin! In my last post, I mentioned my love for Revlon nail polishes but it also goes towards some of their makeup as well. The first on the list is this Revlon Colorstay Quad in Enchanted, which is amazing for every day use. I typically don't even use a brush when applying because the shadows are easily blendable with your fingers and are very pigmented. I can also use the dark green eyeshadow as a liner since the color almost shows up as black. For around $6-$7, it's a great quad to have in your collection. 


Continuing with the Revlon products, another favorite eyeshadow of myn is the cream eyeshadows in Seashells. As you can see, I've hit pan on the white color and I swear I've used it for almost every ocassion including prom! The gold color is also beautiful as a highlighter when your skin is tan and I've used the pink and grey colors as an all over shadow. It does crease a bit but after using primer I've seen less creasing so it's not a big problem. The cream shadows comes in many different colors but I find that this one is an essential for every day use. 


The last Revlon product on the list is the Just Bitten Lip Stain in Twilight. I bought this when I first saw the commercials and I became a sucker for plum colored lipsticks. This one has a lip balm on one side, unlike other lip stains and I find that it keeps my lips moisturized and helps the lip stain to last longer. I've worn this color to school before and although most people would be intimiated by a plum color for the day time, I found that it was very wearable and gave me full, lucious looking lips. 

Maybelline


I haven't tried many Maybelline products in the past, but I fell in love with the Dream Mousse Blush in the color 40 Soft Plum, after buying the Revlon lip stain. Although a plum colored lip stain looked great against my skin tone, I was hesitant about the blush especially because it was cream and seemed as if it would look dramatic on my skin. Through trial and error, I learned to apply this with a stippling brush instead of my fingers and found that it gave a gorgeous, healthy glow to my skin because of the suddel sparkles in it. The stippling brush allowed for less color to be applied on to my cheeks at once and I became more comfortable with cream blushes due to this. I also love the texture of the Dream Mousse blushes and find that they go on easier than other blush I've used. 


Maybelline seems to be the brand that always comes out with a new mascara every couple of months and everyone I know has a favorite Maybelline mascara. Myn (which is also another holy grail mascara!) is the Mega Plush mascara. The funny part is I originally bought this because the colors on the tube caught my eye but I fell in love with it because of the volume it gave me without making my lashes look too dramatic. Plus a big bonus is that it's a huge, fluffy brush that doesn't make your lashes clump at all. Score!


Back when I was first getting into high-end makeup, I remember everyone on youtube mentioning Mac's Blacktrack Fluidline and how I wished I could've bought it. Back then I didn't have a part-time job and was still in high school so I couldn't afford it and bought this instead. I'm so glad I did because it seems better than Mac's and it's a lot cheaper! It's a creamy, black gel liner that comes with it's own lining brush which you can actually use and not throw away! Another bonus is that it doesn't dry up as quickly as Mac's does and you can simply warm it on the back of your hand if it does. It gives you clean lines and lasts a long time on the lids. What else can you ask for? I no longer use pencil eyeliner because of this!

Loreal


I tend to avoid buying face products from the drugstore due to hearing people always talk about the bad chemicals in them that could ruin your skin. Ignoring that thought, I was looking for a cheaper dupe for Benefit's Porefessional which is fantastic for covering up pores and evening out skin, but for $30 for a small tube I just couldn't afford it anymore. I finally found the Magic Perfecting Base and I love it more than the Benefit primer! It covers up pores, reduces redness, and gives you a smooth canvas for your foundation to go on easier. One of my favorite things about it is the fluffy, pink texture that blends easily into skin and surprisingly covers up oily areas on my t-zone. I've used this product on girls that I do makeup for and people always wonder what product it is and are surprised when I tell them it's Loreal.

Rimmel


It's no secret that I'm obsessed with everything British from the movies, fashion, and history, and for a while I was following a lot of British bloggers and noticed that many of them used Rimmel products which is luckily avaliable to us in the States. Following my love for plum-colored products, I bought the Moisture Renew Lipstick in Vintage Pink and for the first time ever, found a lipstick that didn't dry out my lips or sink into fine lines! It's also not too shiny and comes in a great range of colors so I'd defiantly give this a try if you're looking for some new, cheaper lipsticks!

Physican's Formula



A lot of people seem to rave about Physican's Formula's bronzers and I tried them and actually hated them so I thought I'd give another product a try which was the wet/dry eyeshadow quad from the Baked Collection in the color Baked Oatmeal. At first, I didn't really like it because it wasn't very pigmented but once I tried it when it's wet, I fell in love with the colors and how it gave me a polished look without a lot of effort. This is a product that I keep in my purse when school starts and I know that I don't have time to do my makeup at home. As you can see there's a dent in the white eyeshadow and that's because I highlight with that color all the time and I love the fact that I don't need a brush to use this.

ELF


When I first discovered ELF, my friends and I ordering their products left and right because of the cheap deals. Then I realized that a lot of the products, I didn't like and was only buying them for the cheap prices. A lot of their products I gave away but this one I couldn't part with because it's such a great dupe for Urban Decay's Primer Potion which I can't live without. Every time that I put on eyeshadow, I use primer beforehand and $26 for a primer that I'm using every day isn't very cheap. The Elf primer is only a $1 and I see no difference between the two primers when it comes to how long it lasts or creasing so why not go for the cheaper one?

I hope you enjoyed this post and I'd love to know what are some of your favorite drugstore products? Have you tried any of these ones?

Until next time lovelies,

-Ruya
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nails of the Day: Seductive Purples


I know, I know the title's cheesy but I couldn't think of anything better to describe this gorgeous purple combination I put on after I took off my gel nails (I didn't know how hard it was to take them off!) and was surprised that I never thought of this combination before. I used Essie's Lilacism and one of my all time favorite nail polishes' Revlon's Scandalous. 


I'm a big fan of Revlon polishes which are pretty cheap and come in many unique colors. This particular one reminds me of a Deborah Lippmann nail polish with the mix of fine and chunky purple glitters against a black nail polish mixture. It is a bit on the vampy side so I opted for an accent nail on my ring finger and thumb since after all it is summer and I didn't want to go too dark. I typically don't wear black nail polish on its own but I do love when it's combined with colorful glitters such as Butter London's Black Knight which I currently have on my toes.

 The pictures of Revlon's Scandalous don't do it justice, it was very hard to capture it on camera but as you can see it shines beautifully in the light. As for Essie's Lilacism, it's a muted lilac purple which is one of my favorites for the springtime while Revlon's Scandalous would be considered more of a fall/winter color. It only took two coats for the colors to be fully opaque but I opted for three with the Revlon polish since they tend to be streaky. I've had no patience lately when it comes to doing my nails so that's why I went for something simple but what stood out to me the most was using a girly, pastel color against a more dark, edgier color which is unexpected and I've been surprisingly getting a lot of compliments on it. Who knew?

Also, you may have noticed that I didn't put a watermark on my pictures and I decided not to anymore since there's really no point since people can still steal the pictures by cropping out the watermark. I always credit photos that I've used from a website anyways so I don't think it's a huge problem to be able to tell which photos are myn.

What do you guys think of Essie and Revlon's nail polishes? Any ideas on what colors are best for the summer? 

Until next time lovelies, 

-Ruya 
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why I Prefer Online Shopping


Today's another one of those days where I feel like there's no good place to shop in my hometown. I wouldn't call it a small, one pony town but its more like a small sized city that has everyone wearing the same things and lacking in sophisticated stores. I'm always envious of British bloggers and bloggers from large cities that have stores like Zara and Topshop to shop from. What do I have? Forever 21, Charlotte Russe and many other teenybopper stores that everyone else shops from. I'm not saying that you can't find good stuff in shops like that, it's just they carry the same styles that you can never stand out. I think that's why I always liked online shopping, especially when it comes to my love for Zara. No one even knows what Zara is here in upstate New York! Can you imagine that? I'm sure some of you live in places like this where it seems like no one can relate to your love of fashion and you're just all alone. 

These days I barely buy anything when I go shopping in a mall with my friends and once, when I thought that shopping was a fun experience has turned into an annoying event that I never really look forward to anymore. I've become an expert at online shopping and no longer mind the shipping rates if it means buying something that I actually really like. I've also noticed that when I online shop, there's a less likely chance that I'll buy something impulsively because I'm actually putting more thought into what I'm buying. Sure, there are a few problems with buying online like having to ship it back if you want to return it or not being able to feel the quality of a product but overall I've had a good experience and it can be just as addicting as regular old shopping. I always find myself browsing through online shops when I'm bored or creating wishlists. 

Although I still do go try on and buy clothes at my local Express store (one of the only tolerable stores at my mall), online shopping has defiantly become my favorite way to shop. I mean just look at all the cool stuff you can find on Ebay! Plus there's no waiting in line, having to deal with crazy sales associates, and you can do it all in the comfort of your own home while wearing pajamas. Alright, rant over. I just needed to get that out of my system haha. 

Does anyone else live in a small town and feel the same way? Is online shopping better than going to the malls and department stores? I'd love to hear what you guys think! 

Until next time lovelies, 

-Ruya

(image found at weheartit.com) 
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Current Obsession: Kate Mara in Elle July 2013

I've been a fan of Kate Mara for a while now but sadly not a lot of people know about her since her sister Rooney Mara has become so popular. I've only seen Kate in a few movies as a supporting actress but I fell in love with her chic, girly style that is frequently seen at fashion shows and on the red carpet. I wish I was fortunate enough to have her amazing taste in clothes or even to look like her and was surprised to see the fashionista featured in this month's Elle magazine. Since many people seemed to like my last current obsession post, I thought I'd post one every month and basically further my obsession with fashion. Totally healthy right?

The photo-shoot consisted of Parisian-inspired looks along with a mix of more edgier, safari looks which is frequently seen in summer issues of fashion magazines. From the first page, I adored the Valentino dress and shoes she was wearing which is the epitome of classy and I can totally see her wearing this on the red carpet.


Black and gold is actually one of my favorite color combinations and even though I tend to shy away from black during the summertime, the black jumpsuit and gold necklace she was wearing made me rethink the whole idea. Also the bohemian hat she's sporting while her hair (and the dog's!) is flowing in the wind? Stunning.


 Another favorite of myn was the black Versace dress she's wearing below and it reminded me of the black, snake-skin, backless dress that Rihanna wore to the Met Gala a few years back. I'm in love with the way the fabric almost looks like leather and how it has an unexpected cut from the hip to the collarbone. It's not something you can really pull off in every day life, but it's fierce nonetheless.

Aside from the clothes, she was once again sporting her signature makeup look which is prim and proper featuring a peach lip and filled-in brows. Her makeup is perfect for the summertime and is minimal enough to let the clothes do all the talking while still making her look gorgeous and put together. I think that's how every day makeup should be: no fuss and enhancing your natural beauty.

If you want to see more from the photoshoot or want to know more about her and the new show she's in, pick up this month's Elle or watch a few movies she's already starred in such as one of my favorites, 127 Hours. 

Until next time lovelies,

-Ruya

(all photos were found at Tumblr and Elle.com)
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Holy Grail Material: Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara


One of my favorite mascaras which I also consider holy grail material is Chanel's Inimitable Intense Mascara which I've been wearing non-stop for the past month now. This was actually my first Chanel cosmetics purchase and it was an impulse buy since it retails for $30.00 at Nordstrom, but in this case I think it's true what they say: you really do get what you pay for. Most people look for a mascara that's going to make their lashes longer but with me, it's all about volume since I'm already blessed with long (and annoying!) lashes. This mascara gives me the right amount of volume which looks natural enough to wear every day with only one coat! It almost feels like I'm not wearing any mascara at all because it's so lightweight and doesn't make my lashes look spidery and fake. I'm very impressed with Chanel and am defiantly looking forward to trying out more makeup from the line in the future. 


This mascara is a dry formula with a plastic-tooth brush that separates and defines lashes effortlessly and because it's not a wet formula, I find that it doesn't smudge easily and dries quickly if you're on the go. I also noticed that this mascara separates my bottom lashes better than any other mascara I've tried since most mascaras that are aimed at giving more volume come in big brushes which makes it harder to put on the bottom lashes.

(top photo: no mascara, bottom photo: after two coats)

I never wear mascara in other colors and always stick to black but this mascara does come in other colors such as Purple and Rouge Noir which is a gorgeous berry color, if anyone's interested.

The only thing I hate about this other than the price is the fact that the mascara seems to be smaller than most mascaras! When you look at the picture of it in my hand, you can tell that it looks small and it's exactly 0.21oz which is significantly smaller than my other mascaras that are 0.26oz and so on. I also wouldn't recommend this to anyone who likes to use more than 2 coats of mascara because it does clump after 2 coats but overall, if you're a Chanel fan or want to treat yourself to a mascara from a higher name brand that gives lashes more volume then I defiantly recommend this! I'm surprised this one isn't talked more! 

Until next time lovelies,

-Ruya
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Friday, July 5, 2013

How To Be Financially Savvy When Shopping


Lately I've noticed that I've been going from paycheck to paycheck and not being able to save money like I used to. When you're a college student like me who has a part-time job, one of your goals is to be able to save money for the future. On top of it, I'm a business major and even though I may not have a good understanding of the stock market, I am aware that every financial decision you make can have an impact on your future. Being a fashionista and saving money? You typically don't hear that in the same sentence but I was inspired to write a post about how it's actually POSSIBLE to save money while still looking stylish and keeping those shopping urges at bay.

Tip #1.) Can You Afford It?

Ask yourself this question every time you are debating on buying something. I usually ask this question to myself when I make a big purchase such as the Coach handbag I bought last month. I saved up for it for a long time and made sure that it wouldn't make a big dent in my bank account, so yes I can afford it because I've made sure that I've taken care of my other priorities first :) But if you're making big purchases without thinking twice about other bills you have to pay or the fact that half of your bank account is going to be empty after the purchase then there's a problem! Yes I have enough money to get a pedicure every month but can I afford it? Absolutely not.

Tip #2.) Cost Per Wear

This is probably the most useful piece of advice I can give anyone...How many times are you going to use/wear it? Now you can actually go on and calculate the specific number of times you're going to wear it but I'd rather not and rather think about it in general terms. Here's an example: I'm at Zara and spot a gorgeous coat that just came in for the winter and I can actually afford it. I got rid of my last coat so I'm in need of a new one, it's black and has a simple enough design to be able to wear every day and goes with all my outfits so cost per wear increases. Did I mention Zara and it's high quality? Cost per wear increases again because it'll last a long time :) Easy right? People don't think about these things when they're buying aimlessly left and right! 

Tip #3.) Keep All Your Receipts

If you really want to give yourself a scare then at the beginning of each month, start keeping all your recipients in a box and at the end of the month, look through all your recipients and calculate how much you're exactly spending on clothes, makeup, etc. It scared the heck out of me once I realized that I was spending close to $70 per month eating out when I could've kept that money in my wallet. 

Tip #4.) Does Buying Cheap Always Equal Money Saved?

People always think that spending less money on things equals more money being saved. That's true up to a certain point *sighs*. Let's use my eating out example: I have a friend who's EXTREMELY CHEAP and thinks that she's saving money even though she goes out to eat as much as I do. Whenever we go out, she orders the most cheapest items on the menu and thinks she's saving money. The interesting part is that it all adds up over time! Getting that $4 meal a few times a week adds up and before you know it, you've spent just as much money as you were avoiding to spend.
Tip #5.) Do You Need It?

This is probably the second question you should be asking yourself after "Can you afford it?". With me, I always seem to buy more makeup when in reality I don't really need it and there's no reason to add it to my makeup collection. I bought the Naked 2 palette last year and it was a great investment since I use it every day, but buying another Naked palette? Do I really need it when the colors are similar to my other one? Nope. You gotta learn when to draw the line and to stop buying meaningless stuff that's not even going to be used.

Tip #6.) The Perks of High Quality

It's no secret that I love good quality clothes and brands and it's not because I want to brag or show off my money, it's because I'm getting more out of my money from those brands than from cheaper stuff that you would find at Forever 21. Not that there's anything wrong with Forever 21! It's just I've noticed over the years that buying cheap clothes always makes me go out and buy more clothes  because they get worn out so easily. Plus I like saving my money and buying something expensive that I know is actually worth it and will last a long time. After having a few staple pieces in your wardrobe that are expensive, you can mix and match and you won't have to go out and buy new clothes as much.

Tip #7.) "...But I Deserve It!"

That is the most overused excuse in the book when trying to convince yourself to buy something. Sure, getting a raise at work or passing all your finals with flying colors are reasons to treat yourself because, yeah you do deserve it after working so hard! But if you keep saying that to yourself all the time or "emotionally shopping" in order to not feel so sad or get rid of feelings of boredom then sooner or later you'll regret it and end up with a huge dent in your wallet. It's just not worth it, trust me! There are a million other ways to make yourself happy other than shopping and understand that once in a while, you deserve to treat yourself and buy something nice. Just don't go overboard and do it all the time!

I hope you enjoyed reading my little guide to being more financially savvy and forgive me if it was a bit too long! It's a lovely thing being a fashionista but it's not so enjoyable when you're 23 and in debt, I've seen it happen before sadly! Have any more tips to share? Feel free to leave some comments :)

Until next time lovelies,

-Ruya

(images found at weheartit.com)
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My Current Hair Care Routine

 (this is what my hair would look like if I spent more time on it, a good blow-dry and some romantic curls with my still-brand new curling iron)

When it comes to my hair I'm quite low-maintenance, I'm not really experimental when it comes to hairstyles and prefer to have one signature look kinda like Jennifer Aniston or Mila Kunis. Although, when it comes to protecting my hair that's a different story. I've been coloring my hair a couple years now and on top of that I straighten it from time to time and the amount of damage has increased. On bad days my naturally curly/wavy hair is frizzy, life-less, and extremely dry and I've discovered some products along the way to help restore my hair back to life. Here's my current routine: 

When it comes to washing my hair, I only do it every 2-3 days because curly/wavy tends to be extremely dry and it prevents my hair color from fading away too quickly. I recommend using a sulfate-free shampoo for color-treated hair because it helps the color to last longer and the one from Living Proof is specifically designed for damaged hair. Most sulfate-free shampoos don't lather well but this one surprisingly does and I could see a difference in my hair in about a week! It was much stronger and the brassiness from my dark blonde highlights were toned down and looked so much better! The price is a bit steep at $28 but they do have a starter kit for a bit cheaper in case you wanted to try it out.

I already made a post about the Organix Argan Oil Renewing Mask and you can click here to read it but every one who has damaged hair should defiantly look into buying a moisturizing mask to use at least once a week to renew hair. Other ones that I recommend are the Living Proof Restore Mask and the Fredric Fekkai Rapid Results Moisturize Mask which I've had great results with. 

If you're someone like me who tends to straighten their hair often or use a lot of heat on then I defiantly recommend a good heat protection spray. I cringe whenever I see someone flat-iron their hair without heat protection on beforehand! The one I'm using right now is a pretty basic one from CHI called Iron Guard that's sold at Wal-mart for around $13, that I spray into my hair and it soaks it up quickly and doesn't make my hair greasy or weighs it down. You don't need to go all fancy especially if you're using it every day as long as you have something to protect your hair.

Out of my entire hair care routine, this product is probably my favorite. I never used any serums or oils on my hair before but after receiving a sample from Sephora I was hooked! I use 2 or 3 drops of the Ojon Instant Restorative Serum every day and warm it up between my hands before applying it to my ends and I swear my hair looks so much more healthier! It's great for split ends and especially if you have dry hair like me. I've used it on both my curly and straight hair and it looks amazing each time! One bottle lasts for a long time since you can't use too much of it or else it'll look greasy and I've been meaning to try out more products from the Ojon damage reverse line because of my success with this. Also, did I mention the instant shine it gives my hair?

I told you I was low-maintenance haha...I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives to these products but I just haven't found them but almost all these products you can find at either Ulta or Sephora and they typically do deals on them or give coupons so keep an eye out! 

Until next time lovelies, 

-Ruya
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