Beauty, Reviews

Surf’s Up VoxBox Review ~ Part 1

Early last week, I received my first Influenster VoxBox, and I was very excited to discover that it had a beachy, summer theme (as you could probably guess from the name)! Included in the box was a Sinful Colors Professional nail polish, CoverGirl mascara, a Hawaiian Tropic after sun lotion, a First Aid liquid pain relief shot, and two coupons for Jamba Juice at-home smoothie kits. I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes, and I have reviewed two of the five items below. I will post a review of the other three products sometime next week.

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Sinful Colors Professional Nail Polish in Firefly ($1.99)

To be honest, my first thought when I saw the bottle of neon yellow polish was far from positive. Yellow is not one of my favorite colors, and I’ve never thought that it paired well with my complexion. Nonetheless, I did my best to keep an open mind as I applied three thin coats of the polish to my nails. Having never heard of the Sinful Colors brand before, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of quality and was pleasantly surprised by how easily it went on my nails. Furthermore, it took no longer to dry than most other polishes I have used. Two days later, my nails looked as good as they did when I originally painted them, but I could no longer handle the color and decided to take it off.

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I was very impressed with the overall quality of Sinful Colors Professional Nail Polish and shocked to find out that it only costs $1.99 at Walgreens. I do not plan to ever use the Firefly polish again, but I would happily purchase this brand in the future if I found a color that better suits my complexion and style.

CoverGirl Bombshell Curvaceous by LashBlast Mascara ($9.49-11.99)

I have had both good and bad experiences with CoverGirl mascara in the past, but so far I am extremely impressed with the quality of this product. It definitely adds length and volume to my lashes (which are naturally blonde, thin, and short). Applying the Bombshell Curvaceous mascara involves two steps – side 1 (a base coat) is supposed to provide lashes with “extreme volume,” while side 2 (a top coat) is said to “intensify” the look. After using side one the first time, I was already pleased with the appearance of my lashes in terms of fullness and length. Applying the top coat simply made my lashes look darker.

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I had read some negative reviews of this product prior to trying it myself, but I think the majority of those people had bad experiences because they were trying to rush the application process. The wand for this mascara is quite big, and it does take a little longer to apply than most other mascaras since it involves two steps. Therefore, I do not plan to use this mascara every day, but I am excited to use it when I have time to put more effort into my make up.

I received all of these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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Friends, Music, Trips

The Best 3 Days of My Life ~ Bonnaroo 2014

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The weekend that I’ve been looking forward to for the past month and a half finally came, and it definitely did not disappoint! In addition to seeing 16 different bands perform, I also met some pretty incredible people and made several priceless memories during my 3 days on the farm. Needless to say, Amanda, Colleen, and I have already started discussing plans to attend Bonnaroo again next year! I will do my best to convey how amazing Bonnaroo was in this post, but the only way you will be able to really understand is by experiencing it for yourself!

The girls and I drove through the night on Wednesday and arrived in Manchester, TN around 4:30 am the next morning. We got to our parking spot by 5:45 am and finished setting up our campsite about an hour later. Once we were done unpacking, Amanda, Colleen, and I spent some time getting to know our neighbors before beginning to explore our surroundings. Since we were amongst the earliest arrivals to the festival, we were able to really enjoy the beauty of the farm. Below, you can see our campsite and our view of Centeroo (the heart of the festival where all of the stages and attractions are).

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We were amazed by the layers of beautiful graffiti covering the walls surrounding Centeroo and overcome with euphoria once we saw what was contained within them. The grass and trees were a vibrant shade of green, and every structure was painted with a wide array of bright colors. After only a few hours on the farm, I was in love and had decided I was never going to leave.

On Thursday, we saw The Wild Feathers (3:15-4:00 at The Other Tent), The Unlikely Candidates (4:15-4:30 at the New Music on Tap Lounge), Allah-Las (4:45-5:15 at That Tent), and ZZ Ward (6:00-7:00 at That Tent). Amanda and Colleen were exhausted and went to bed around 8:00, but I stayed up to see Cherub (9:00-10:00 at That Tent) and hang out with some other friends at their campsite. ZZ Ward and Cherub were my favorite performances of the day. I especially enjoyed ZZ Ward’s cover of Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home.”

Friday was our busiest day, and it started with a performance by one of my favorite bands, Hunter Hunted (12:00-12:45 at the Sonic Stage). We also saw The Naked and Famous (5:45-6:45 at The Other Tent), Vampire Weekend (7:30-8:30 at What Stage), Phoenix (8:45-10:00 at Which Stage), Ice Cube (12:00-1:00 at Which Stage), and Skrillex (1:30-3:30 at Which Stage). Hunter Hunted, Phoenix, and Skrillex were absolutely amazing, and I think those three performances alone were worth every penny I invested in the trip. Hunter Hunted (left) and Skrillex (right) are pictured below.

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On Saturday, we were all worn out (and a little hungover, to be honest), so we decided to hang out at camp with our neighbors instead of seeing Royal Canoe and Desert Noises. Eventually, we made it to Centeroo and saw Grouplove (5:00-5:45 at That Tent), Cage the Elephant (6:00-6:30 at Which Stage), Chromeo (7:30-8:30 at Which Stage), Zedd (9:15-10:30 at Which Stage), and the Skrillex and Friends Super Jam (12:00-1:30 at This Tent). Grouplove and Zedd were my favorites of the day. I was particularly excited when it rained confetti during Zedd’s finale!

Unfortunately, my dream of staying on the farm forever did not become a reality. Amanda and Colleen needed to be back in South Carolina by 10:00 Sunday night, so we had to leave around noon and miss some artists we were really looking forward to seeing that afternoon/evening (Capital Cities, Arctic Monkeys, Broken Bells, and Wiz Khalifa). One benefit to leaving the festival early was that we were able to avoid traffic and make it back to Atlanta in only 3.5 hours!

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Despite the fact that we had to leave a day sooner than we would have liked and the fact that I still haven’t caught up on sleep, I would not change a single thing about my first Bonnaroo experience. Those three days on the farm were literally the best of my life, and I cannot wait to go back next year! I would highly recommend that anyone with even the slightest inclination to attend Bonnaroo make it a priority to save up and fit the trip into your schedule – I promise it is worth every cent.

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P.S. I apologize for not posting about this sooner. Between Bonnaroo and my trip to Orlando last week, I’ve only been home for 2 of the past 10 days. Over the next week or so, be on the lookout for a post reviewing the products I used during my stay on the farm as well as a post about my family vacation in Florida.

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Music, Organization, Trips

Bonnaroo Preparation and Packing List

I can’t believe Bonnaroo is only 10 days away!! In the month that has passed since I bought my ticket, I’ve read multiple articles and blog posts about what to pack for a music festival, asked my friends who’ve been before for any advice or tips they could offer, and used the Bonnaroo app to make a schedule of all the artists I want to see. I’ve also been gradually purchasing things I’m going to need for the trip in order to spread out some of the financial burden. Today, I compared several music festival packing lists I found online, thought about the types of food I like and will actually be able to bring to the farm, and made my own Bonnaroo 2014 Packing List. There are still a few items on my list that I need to purchase (food, ear plugs, and a portable phone charger), but I’m finally beginning to feel somewhat prepared. Now, I should probably try to get some sleep so that I’m at least moderately functional at work tomorrow.

Bonnaroo 2014 Packing List

Beauty, Reviews

Julep Maven Summer Brights Welcome Box Review ~ Part 2

Since my nails started chipping yesterday, I decided to give myself a fresh manicure today and try out another color from my Summer Brights Welcome Box. I was disappointed that Mariska (the polish I used today) did not go on as smoothly as Caitlin (the polish I used last weekend), but it seemed to dry more quickly than Caitlin and still only required two coats. Mariska has a matte finish and is a color that I never would have picked out on my own, but I am very pleased with how it looks and am happy that I received it in my box.

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I also decided to try the eye liner and lip gloss that came in my Summer Brights Welcome Box when I went out for drinks with some friends last night. The Kajal eye liner has two ends (one black and one brown), and I chose to start by using the lighter shade. I’m not exactly sure what I expected, but I was amazed by the quality of the eye liner. It went on more smoothly than any eye liner product I have used in the past, and it lasted all night without smudging. I was similarly surprised by the quality of the lip gloss. Glowing is a great shade of pink for my complexion, and the gloss was significantly less sticky than many others that I have tried before. Needless to say, I would highly recommend Julep’s Kajal eye liner and lip gloss to anyone in the market for new make up.

Crafting

Pinterest Project ~ Flower Headband

As I stated in my post a few weeks ago, I already completed one Pinterest project this summer and planned to make a flower headband as my second project. Earlier this week, I found a tutorial that I liked, bought my supplies, and started mentally preparing myself for the task. I am not a very crafty person and tend to be kind of a perfectionist, so mental preparation is a necessity whenever I attempt to make something. By the time I finally started making my headband a couple days later, I was extremely excited and optimistic. 

Unfortunately, the process of making my headband was not as easy as I expected it to be, but I was able to stay positive and ended up with a headband that makes me very happy. Because I did not find the instructions given in the tutorial I used to be exceedingly helpful, I have listed the supplies I used and the steps I actually took below.

What You’ll Need:

  1. Artificial flowers
  2. Wire cutters
  3. Floral wire
  4. Floral tape

How to Make Your Own Flower Headband:

  1. Using wire cutters, cut the flowers off of their stems leaving about a quarter of an inch of stem at the base of the flower.
  2. Cut a length of floral wire about 5 feet long.
  3. Lay out the flowers in the order in which you want them placed on your headband.
  4. Begin wrapping the floral wire around the base of your first flower. I would suggest making 4 or 5 loops, but you made need more loops if you are using bigger/heavier flowers. Don’t worry if the flower does not feel completely secure, because you will be doing something later to reinforce its attachment to the wire.
  5. Once the first flower feels relatively secure, you can move on to the next one. Make sure the stretch of wire between flowers is straight and without kinks as you go. If you wait until you are finished attaching all of your flowers to straighten the wire, the flowers will end up further apart than you might like.
  6. Continue adding flowers to the wire in this manner until you have about 12 inches worth of flowers attached. For me, this ended up being 8 flowers.
  7. Now, it’s time to reinforce the attachment of each flower to the wire. Grab the petal on the underside of the first flower that is closest to the wire section between the first and second flower, and wrap this petal around that section of wire. Repeat this process with the petal from the second flower that is closest to this same section of wire. Then, tear off 2 or 3 inches of floral tape, and wrap it around the petals you just twisted around the wire. Repeat this process using petals between each pair of flowers. I found this step to be the most tedious, but it was the best way I could think of to securely attach the flowers to the headband.
  8. Once you have finished attaching all of your flowers, you should have a couple feet of wire left. Place the headband on your head in the position you hope to wear it, and wrap the remaining length of wire around the back of your head until you have made a complete loop. Hold the wire in this shape, and remove the headband carefully from your head.
  9. With the wire held in the same position it was in while on your head, begin wrapping the remaining length of wire around the base of your first flower. 1 or 2 loops should be enough.
  10. Then, spiral the wire around the floral tape between each flower 3 or 4 times in order to hold the tape in place and give the headband more stability. This step may not absolutely necessary, but I was not sure how well the stickiness of the floral tape would hold up over time and wanted to make sure the petals remain attached to the wire as long as possible.
  11. Continue in this fashion until you have reached the last flower on your headband.
  12. Lastly, cut off any remaining wire, and try on your completed headband!

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Initially, I wanted to have two different types of flowers on my headband (as shown in the picture on the left), but I changed my mind once I started actually attaching the flowers to the wire. Ultimately, I ended up with a headband that I love (as shown in the picture on the right), and I can’t wait to wear it at Bonnaroo!