What I’ve Been Reading | May 2017

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Hello, everybody! I’m really excited to talk about my book pick for this month with you. I know I typically pick out more light-hearted reads for you all, but I really wanted to talk about this book while everyone is still buzzing about it and the show. And also, I don’t only read YA–I’ve just been devouring it lately. If you haven’t heard about this book or the show Netflix made based on it yet–where have you been? I did watch the show before I read the book, which I try not to do, but it only made me want to pick the book up more.

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher follows Clay Jensen as he tries to understand exactly why the girl he liked, Hannah Baker, killed herself. The story is told from both the perspective of Hannah and Clay, and their inner monologue is mixed together in a way I’ve never seen before. Before she commits suicide, Hannah records a collection of cassette tapes listing the 13 reasons she chose to do what she did. The book is a sad mix of rumors, betrayal, disappointment, and mystery. That being said, I think everyone should have to read this book. No, it’s not a topic everyone is comfortable talking about, but it should be. And it’s so important that we do talk about it. There is such a stigma around mental health issues, and the book gives a perfect example of what happens when a person slips through the cracks. This is not a book you’ll be able to forget.

Go out and grab a copy of this book, or just watch the show–do both. And I genuinely hope that the “buzz” surrounding this right now motivates parents and teachers to read this with their teenagers. Everyone deserves kindness, and no one’s voice should go unheard. So go out and spread some kindness today. Let the people close to you know that you care. Smile at a stranger. You never know what someone is going through, so bring some positivity into the world. It goes further than you think.

xoxo,

❤ Taylor ❤

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Huge Makeup Haul | Spring 2017

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Hello, everyone! Who’s ready for a huge makeup haul? I was on a “no-buy” for most of winter, but once spring rolled around, like my fashion, it was time to change up my makeup look. Grab a snack, because I might have gone a bit overboard…but in the best way!

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BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel 14 Color Eyeshadow & Highlight Palette: I typically do a lot of research on a palette before I buy it, but I really didn’t with this one. I had heard of it, and seen a few of Carli’s videos on YouTube, but had no plans to buy it. Then I saw it in Ulta and changed my mind quickly. I know she has since released a deluxe version of this palette, which includes a few more shadows and highlights, but if you’re after the original, Ulta is still carrying it. I know it is being discontinued, so once they are out of stock, they’ll be gone. If you love a natural makeup look and a palette that multitasks–this is for you. I can’t stop using it and it’s so affordable, you’d be crazy not to pick it up!

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Pixi by Petra x Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse: This has got to be one of my favorite skincare products at the moment. I’ve heard people all over YouTube talking about how great it is, so I ran out to Target to pick it up for myself. This will melt your makeup right off without stinging your eyes, and the cream cleanser leaves your skin feeling so hydrated. I can’t believe I ever took my makeup off without this!

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon: I’ve had a deep love for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen from a young age, and their Elizabeth and James line is no exception. I’ve tried all the perfumes they make, and while I love them all, Nirvana Bourbon has won me over. It has a deep, musky sort of smell with a slight feminine edge. It’s simply amazing and I feel great every time I put it on.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber, and Green Tea: I have loved this product for quite some time, but I typically use the rose scent. To read my full review, check out My Skincare Essentials post.

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Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer in Medium and Tan: This has got to be the most popular concealer in the world right now. I don’t know a single beauty guru who isn’t using this. I, of course, had to test it for myself, and holy moly does it deliver! This concealer is extremely full coverage–I’ve even seen people use it as foundation. Ok…I have too…on super lazy days. It does crease slightly on me but not near as much as concealers I’ve used in the past. I can’t do my makeup without this.

L.A. Girl Cosmetics HD Pro Concealer in Orange Corrector: I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this drugstore concealer, and now I truly understand why. If you are looking to color correct dark spots or circles, this is your guy. They have a full color range and other color correctors too if you have different problem areas, but for me, nothing has helped disguise dark spots and scars like this. I apply Tarte Shape Tape right on top after blending it out and the finish is gorgeous. Such a drugstore gem.

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Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in Smoky Storm: I’d been watching Jackie Aina rave about these eye shadows on her channel for weeks before I finally broke down and bought one. While I don’t use glitter in my everyday makeup routine, this is so beautiful if you’re looking for something to glam up your eyes. There are a ton of beautiful shades, and they have serious staying power. I was wary about a liquid eyeshadow but these dry down completely.

Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss in Frosted: Raise your hand if you’re tired of hearing me fangirl over KathleenLight. Everyone? Ok, sorry. But not really. I first saw Kathleen use this eye shadow on her channel and I was obsessed with the look she created. So, of course, I had to pick this gem up. I typically use my finger to apply the gel and pat it over the lid. It’s not a thick, chunky glitter, it’s much more subdued. I think it adds a lot of romance to any eye look, and even though it’s pricey, I would totally repurchase it.

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Distortion and Midnight Cowboy: Have you ever hunted for buried treasure? No? Then you must not be looking for these eyeliners. These bad boys are elusive, and almost impossible to get ahold of in store or online–at least in the shades I want. So when I saw that Ulta had every shade in stock, I of course had to snatch a few up. I love these glitter liners so much! They are so fun and can be used so many different ways–as a liner, packed onto the lid as a glitter, or on the inner corner. They are the perfect night-out beauty product.

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e.l.f. Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls: I was seeing this highlighter all over YouTube and I figured for the price I had to give it a try. The rumors are true, you really do need to scratch the top layer of the powder off if you want it to really work. It’s a beautiful drugstore highlight, but my biggest problem with it is the that you have to technically damage the product to get it working. This is something that everyone seems to know about it, and yet e.l.f. doesn’t appear to be working to change it. Other than that, if you’re looking for an affordable glow, this is it.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights: I always walk past this UK drugstore brand whenever I’m in Ulta, but I’d never really taken the time to have a look. I decided on a highlighter 1) because I have an addiction, and 2) because I love a baked highlight. This did not disappoint. The color is absolutely beautiful and you can really build it up for a blinding glow. I would highly recommend this!

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Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Trophy Wife: This was my first Huda Beauty purchase and I’m so pleased with the product! First of all, the color is absolutely stunning, and the formula is so comfortable. I love that I can count on it to stay on my lips all day without drying them out. While it is a little on the pricey side, I would definitely purchase this again!

bareMinerals Gen Nude  Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Icon: I have wanted to try the Gen Nudes collection for ages! I’m a long time lover of bareMinerals and I was so excited to find out they created a liquid lipstick line. I got mine during the Ulta sale this year, so the colors were pretty picked through. Icon would not have been my first color choice, but I wanted to try the formula. I do love how lightweight it is, but I found that I had to reapply it multiple times. Maybe it’s because the color is fairly light on me, I’m not sure. I would consider trying a deeper shade, but sadly, these aren’t my favorite liquid lip.

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ColourPop Ultra Glossy Lip in Aquarius, Finders Keepers, and Weho: I really love the formula of ColourPop’s lip glosses. It’s so hard to find a good gloss, especially one that isn’t sticky or gloppy. While I do own some of their sheer glosses, I prefer to use the cream formula. The color pay off is beautiful and I love to top my liquid lipsticks with them. Go get you some!

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ColourPop Ultra Blotted Lip in Doozy and Zuma: I really appreciate that ColourPop turned the blotted lip formula into a liquid, but I can’t say I love it as much as the original. While I do love that it dries down matte, I think it has greater potential to get streaky. I do love the colors they have though, and I think I’ll embrace the “popsicle lip” once summer is in full swing.

ColourPop Blotted Lip in Drip and Candyfloss: These lipsticks have quickly become my most used lip products. I honestly wasn’t expecting much when I ordered them, but if ColourPop comes out with a new formula, I have to at least give it a try. These are so moisturizing on the lips! They aren’t transfer-proof, but for me that’s not a huge issue. The thing I love most about them is how buildable they are. You can go for the “blotted” look and apply a sheer layer or build it to full opacity. These are honestly my favorite ColourPop product ever. I said it! No going back now.

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Kylie Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick in Khlo$: As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of the Kardashians, so obviously I had to include some Kylie products. Especially when she collaborated with my favorite sister, Khloe. I really love the shade Khlo$ because it’s a nude that works on multiple skin tones–and that’s something I struggle with a lot. I would say that on my skin tone, it works best to use a liner, but I could get away with not using one if necessary. I really love Kylie’s matte formula. It does get a bit dry towards the end of the day, but not nearly as much as other products I’ve used.

Kylie Cosmetics Gloss in Candy K and Damn Gina: This was my first time trying Kylie’s glosses. I know there have been issues in the past with the applicator brush fraying, but it looks like she has fixed the problem. My brushes were all great, and the product is AMAZING. The glosses are not sticky at all and go on very opaque. I would say they are a cream formula rather than sheer, and they feel so good on the lips. I seriously can’t get enough.

 

What makeup products are you loving this spring? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

❤ Taylor ❤

What I’ve Been Reading | April 2017

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Hello, everybody! Spring is in full swing, and there’s nothing I love more than enjoying a good book in the sunshine. This month I’m talking about a book that truly encapsulates spring for me: blooming gardens, sunshine, music, and of course–shameless romantic that I am–falling in love. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson took me on a whirlwind journey through grief, love, and growth this month and I couldn’t wait to share what I thought with you guys!

If there is one reason to read this book, for me it’s got to be Nelson’s writing style. She writes with such imagery the characters come right off the page, and she manages to blend poetry seamlessly into her prose. I honestly can’t wait to read her other work. The novel follows Lennie, a teenager who has just lost her older sister, and her journey to find who she is through her grief. She finds herself caught between Joe, who is new to her town and shares her passion for music, allowing her an escape from her grief, and Toby, her sister’s boyfriend, who helps her remember it. Nelson explores pain and how it controls the bereft, but more importantly, how to continue to live despite it.

Grab yourself a copy and let me know what you thought in the comments below! Happy reading!

xoxo,

❤ Taylor ❤

20 Facts About Me

 

 

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Hello, everybody! I know I typically talk about baking and beauty and fashion and fitness, but today I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about me. I love reading these on other people’s blogs–I think it gives a deeper insight into the content they post–so I hope you enjoy reading mine. These facts aren’t in any order of importance, and all of them are quite random. Read on to play 20 questions with me!

  1. I was born and raised in Seattle–it will always have a special place in my heart, but Portland has certainly won me over!

2. My favorite color is yellow–it’s so bright and cheery and it just makes me super  happy.

3. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I really really love KathleenLights. She’s probably my favorite American YouTuber. We have very similar style and she cracks me up. I also love all of her beauty collaborations.

4. Speaking of YouTube…I have a bit of a problem. I watch A LOT of it. Mainly British YouTubers. Zoella, Tanya Burr, PointlessBlog, Gabriella Lindley, Patricia Bright, and Sophia and Cinzia. It sounds silly, but while I was living in Texas a few years ago, I didn’t know anyone and my friends and family were thousands of miles away. These YouTubers were really comforting to me and became familiar faces I could look forward to watching. Silly, but also kind of nice.

5. I feel absolutely no shame in saying that I love the Kardashians. Judge me if you must, but honestly it won’t change a thing. I’ve been “keeping up” with them for years. I even have a Kardashian coffee mug (thanks Midori!). And just because I know you’re curious, I’m a Khloe.

6. My all time favorite TV show is Gilmore Girls. I’ve watched it probably over 30 times. I’ve mentioned in a past blog that I even follow the Gilmore Guys podcast where they discuss every single episode (sometimes for over 3 hours). I could probably quote the whole series. It’s my comfort show for sure.

7. I may love baking, but I really hate cooking. I really do try, but somehow everything is a failed attempt. I’m beginning to consider that I may have been cursed.

8. I have two cats–Figaro, who is 2, and Luxe, who is almost 1. They are tuxedo cats and also the cutest cats in the world. Fun fact: Black cats don’t get adopted as often as other cats because people are crazy and superstitious. Which is so silly because black cats are the best.

9. My drink of choice is tequila tonic. It sounds weird but seriously, give it a try. You have to add lime though–that’s what makes it.

10. My favorite season has to be summer. I really love winter because of all the holidays, but summer is just so HAPPY. I love seeing people get outside and enjoy the nice weather, and who doesn’t love the longer days?!

11. Growing up, my best friend and I were OBSESSED with Barbies. I mean…we were die-hard fanatics. I literally had two storage tubs full of them. We would play for hours and create very detailed games. We even created a newspaper for the dolls!

12. That same friend and I also LOVED Mary-Kate and Ashley–she was a Mary-Kate, I was an Ashley. I had posters all over my walls, their calendar, all their books, we watched all their movies, we even had their…Barbies.

13. I don’t necessarily have a favorite food, but my weakness is definitely fries. Waffle, sweet potatoes, shoe string, truffle–give me ALL of them. But actually…please send fries, I’m kind of hungry.

14. I have 3 major girl crushes: Gina Rodriguez, Rachel McAdams, and Mandy Moore. Sigh.

15. My favorite movie of all time is Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand. If you haven’t seen it, which a lot of people haven’t because it’s from the 60’s, go watch it–it’s amazing.

16. My favorite animal is an elephant. I don’t know what it is, but they seem so peaceful to me! Also, they have amazing memories and are super family-oriented.

17. I don’t drink coffee anymore, because it makes me too jumpy, but I still really love the taste. Typically my hot drink of choice is hot chocolate.

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18. I always have to have my toenails painted. Is that weird? Probably. I just think it looks so weird when they aren’t. Plus I like the color to reflect my mood.

19. Even though I’m a grown woman I truly enjoy playing The Sims 4. Mock if you must, but I’ve loved playing since I was a teenager. I find it very relaxing and you can be so creative!

20. I couldn’t get through life without my girl squad. My friends are the least judgmental people ever and they just get me. Find friends that love you but also call you out when you’re being crazy. Love you, ladies!

Tell me something interesting about you in the comments below! I’d love to get to know all of you!

xoxo,

❤ Taylor ❤

 

Spring Clothing Haul | 2017

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Hello, everybody! It’s springtime, and that means everything is blooming, the sun is shining, and everyone is ready to update their wardrobe. I recently did a massive closet clean out, and I quickly realized that I had nothing to wear anymore. My style has certainly changed since last spring and I’m just loving all the new trends, so I did a little shopping (and by that I mean A LOT of shopping). I did find some of these items at outlet stores, so I will link everything that I can find! Read on to see what I picked up!

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shoreline Slip On: The first thing I have to talk about is my love for my new Converse. I’ve been wanting a pair of white sneakers for so long, but having such big feet, I was worried they would make me look clownish. I will say, if you do have bigger feet, I would recommend the Shorelines over the standard unisex low tops. They aren’t quite as long and narrow-looking and don’t emphasis my foot size. Plus, they go with everything! Jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses, you name it. I don’t know what took me so long!

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LOFT Striped Tie-front T-Shirt: I think technically, this t-shirt (top in picture above) is meant to be loungewear. I found it at LOFT Outlet and, because I’m obsessed with stripes and cropped t-shirts, I just had to have it. I would typically wear this with black high-waisted jeans or shorts, but you could totally wear it with leggings.

H&M Nepped T-shirt: I spend way too many hours browsing H&M, both in-store and online. I walked past this adorable graphic t-shirt about three times before I finally decided I needed it in my wardrobe. It’s so bright and cheery and I love all the cheeky embroidery on it.

J. Crew Ruffle-sleeve Top: One trend that I’m loving this season is unique sleeves on shirts and dresses. The 70’s are definitely inspiring all the flared sleeves I’ve been seeing, and I loved that the flare on this t-shirt was short-sleeved. And also stripes–because I can never have enough of those. The shirt is slightly cropped so I would probably pair it with a pencil skirt or high-waisted jeans. It would look great with a bright pair of shorts as well!

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American Eagle Camisole: I also found this pretty tank at the outlets. I love that it’s black but has such a lovely, bright floral pattern. It is very strappy, so I would recommend wearing a bralette underneath. I plan to wear this with black jeans and my black lace kimono or denim shorts for summer.

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H&M Super Skinny High Jeggings: I have not found jeans that fit me in the last two years. That’s right–I went two years without wearing jeans. Then, one miraculous day, I walked into H&M and found three pairs! The high-waisted jeggings (pictured middle) are so comfortable and look great with cropped shirts and blouses. The denim is very thick–I would never guess that they were jeggings just by feeling them. I’m so happy to finally have a pair of high-waisted jeans to call my own!

H&M Feather Soft Low Jeggings: These were the first jeans I found at H&M (pictured top and bottom) and I couldn’t believe how soft and stretchy they were. These really don’t feel like jeans when you have them on, and they are definitely thinner than the high-waisted pair. H&M calls them low waist jeans, but on me they fit more mid-rise. If you have a hard time finding jeans that fit your thighs and butt as well as your waist, these are the ones for you!

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Forever 21 Not for Everybody Pullover: I’m absolutely obsessed with this cropped sweatshirt. I have always found the band at the bottom of sweatshirts to be so awkward. They ride up and get folded underneath…I just can’t deal with them. This sweatshirt looks like someone cut the band right off and I love how unfinished the hem looks. My favorite part though, is the stitching on the front. Plus, it’s proven to be a good conversation starter!

H&M Flared-Sleeve Sweatshirt: This sweatshirt is probably one of my favorite things in my closet. One, because I love the embroidery on it, but mostly because it has flared, quarter-length sleeves. It’s pretty long for a sweatshirt, but I typically tuck the front into black jeans. It’s surprisingly warm and looks great underneath an oversized, denim jacket.

Forever 21 Ohayou Colorblocked Sweatshirt: I was hardcore stalking this sweatshirt on the Forever 21 website. I tried finding it stores and was about give up when I saw it glowing from a lone rack in the corner one day. I love the colorblocking on this top. It really brightens up what could be a boring old sweatshirt. It is cropped with a distressed hem, and I typically pair it with blue jeans and my white converse. I could honestly live in it.

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What trends are you loving this spring? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

❤ Taylor ❤

What I’ve Been Reading | March 2017

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Hello, everybody! Today, I’m talking about my favorite book this month: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider. If you haven’t read her first book, The Beginning of Everything, go pick that one up too, because it also great. Schneider, who happens to be a bioethicist, really brings something different to each of her books: the medical narrative.

In Extraordinary Means, we follow Lane and Sadie during their time in a tuberculosis sanatorium. No, this novel is not set in 1850. Schneider dreams up a world in which a new, drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis is sweeping the United States, creating the need to reopen housing for the sick. It is Lane and Sadie’s love story, but it’s also so much more. Schneider gives her reader’s an in-depth experience of what it’s like to be lock away from the world all whilst battling all the normal nightmares of coming of age. I was hooked from the first chapter and couldn’t put this book down. It’s a must read in my opinion. Go grab a copy for yourself!

What have you been reading this month? Leave your recommendations for me in the comments below so I can check them out for myself! Happy reading!

xoxo,

❤ Taylor ❤

March Ipsy Bag | 2017

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Hello, everybody! It is officially SPRING!!!! I’m so ready to wear bright colors and most of all, bright lipstick. Well, what better way to start off spring than with an Ispy bag review? I was pleasantly surprised with my bag this month! I even got a few things I’ve been dying to try. Read on to see what I thought about this month’s products!

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OUAI Treatment Masque: I have been wanting to try OUAI products since they were first released. Jen Atkin is such a talented hairstylist (not to mention she styles the Kardashians’ hair) and I just knew her products were going to be quality. And for the price..they better be! I’ve used this hair mask three times now and I have definitely noticed that my hair has been softer and less frizzy looking. The smell of the product is strong–a bit like perfume–so if you’re sensitive to scent, I’m not sure this is for you. But I would 100% recommend this for all hair types. Go treat yourself!

NEOGEN Lab Coconut Milk Mild Cleanser: I’m always a bit unsure when it comes to using new cleansers. I’m super picky about my skincare, but I really do love anything with coconut oil or milk in it. I’ve used this cleanser for about a week and it honestly leaves my skin so soft! I will say that when I first begin to massage it into my skin it does tingle/burn for a second. I have no idea why, but it hasn’t irritated my skin at all. I think this is a great everyday cleanser!

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Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Vibin: I have wanted to try Tarte’s liquid lipsticks for awhile now. I was so excited to see this in my bag, and I love the color. It’s very vampy and slightly autumnal, but that won’t stop me from wearing it year-round. I applied one coat to my lips and it went on with ease. I wore it for an entire day and it didn’t wear off– even when I ate. These, like most liquid lipsticks, are a bit drying on the lips, but not enough to bother me. I really recommend these, they are worth picking up!

Doucee Freematic Eye Shadow in Marisa: I wasn’t super blown away with this eyeshadow when I first saw it. I have quite a few similar shades in my collection. I did however, appreciate that the shadow comes with a magnetic back so you can pop it right into a magnetized palette. I personally found that this shadow had better pay off when I wet my brush first, but you could definitely use it as is for more of a daytime look. Warning, there is a lot of glitter in the shadow, and it creates a good amount of fall out when you’re packing it on. If you visit the website, you can see that they only sell eyeshadow quads, so if you want this particular shade, you’ll have to purchase three others with it. Overall, for me, this was a pass.

Skone Cosmetics Blending Brush: I really don’t need more blending brushes, but I do really love receiving them in my beauty subscriptions. You can never have too many, and it’s nice to always have a clean brush. I’ve never heard of this brand before, but I was very impressed with the quality of the brush. It’s extremely soft and did a great job of applying shadow evenly and diffusing it out. Seriously, go check this brand out–more people should be talking about it!

What did you get in your Ipsy bag this month? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,