Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday Tips: On Rocksbox

Let me start off my saying this:  just because something seems like a good idea at first, doesn't always mean it's a good idea.  Rocksbox was one of those seemingly good, not-so-great-in-real-life ideas for me.  I'm not hating, I promise.  I'm sure it really is a great idea for people who love buying and wearing designer jewelry.  But, for me, personally, that's not who I am.

Now, I really did like the pieces I received.  And to be able to keep the jewelry as long as I want for $20/month, I thought it was a steal.  However, when I logged in to Rocksbox and saw how much it would be to buy the pieces and keep them forever - holy shitballs!


The packaging is really cute and so were the items I received.  I liked how every piece was in separate baggies with bubble wrap to avoid scratching and bending.


When you first sign up for Rocksbox, you do the style profile thing and then go through a list of items you "favorite" and the Rocksbox stylist takes note of your preferences and sends similar, if not the same, pieces.  The earrings they sent me were one of the items I "favorited" but didn't end up using them because I already ended up getting the same style from The Pi Collection that I love more because it's daintier than the Rocksbox version.  The earrings are listed for $28 (insider's price, $35 otherwise) on Rocksbox.


The necklace was really cute.  I wore it on several occasions.  The big jewels are black and the smaller jewels are like a grey blue.  The quality was nice and sturdy too.  Really nice statement piece.  However, for the list price of $60 (insider's price - $76 otherwise), I'd be able to get 5 different statement necklaces of the same quality at Ross.  Fuck that, bro.  Pass.


I really liked this ring.  It was simple yet chic and not so flashy so I was able to pair it with bracelets and other accessories without looking like those old ladies who seem to be wearing every piece of jewelry they own.  I wore it every day during the week I got it and even pondered the idea of keeping it...until it turned my finger green.  Yup.  And the gold color of the ring then turned to silver.  What. the. actual. fuck.  You would think that if they're trying to pass these off as designer quality jewelry at $30 (insider's price, $38 otherwise) it should be able to keep its color at least!

So, needless to say, my Rocksbox subscription has been cancelled.  I'd much rather save that $20 a month and buy my jewelry at Ross or Forever21 or something.

What do you think?  Are you a Rocksbox subscriber or not?  Either way, I hope this little review has been helpful for you.  I posted it as a "Tuesday Tips" because it's more a post on my advice to not waste your time/money on it like I did, especially if you're a fellow cheap ass and/or you don't wear a lot of jewelry anyway.  My loss is your gain, right?

P.S.  Sorry for the yellowish quality of my photos, it's because of the light in our living room.  Got any photography tips on lighting?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Makeup Mondays: YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer and Perfector [Review]

Yay!  Another makeup post!  Honestly, I'm such a huge makeup geek (always have been, always will) so I love posting these.  #sorrynotsorry if it's not really your jam.  I understand, but I still hope that these posts are informative and inspirational to you if, perhaps sometime down the road, you may be looking for a new lipstick or wanting to try out contouring or wondering wtf a primer is and why you need it.

Anyway.

I was so stoked for this post ever since I got an email saying I was chosen to receive the Influenster YSL voxbox.  I've been a member of Influenster for the past few years but have NEVER been chosen for anything so finally being chosen was kind of a big deal for me and throwing YSL in the mix - I was one happy makeup geek.


Now, time for a little honesty:  Though I am a HUGE makeup geek, I am also a very cheap one.  I will not dish out loads of cash for brand name stuff if I know that I can get something almost exactly the same for way cheaper.  Laura Mercier, Make Up Forever, Dior, and yes, even YSL were brands I never bought.  So being able to try out two YSL products for free - yes, please!

The products I received were the YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer and YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector. The product info, according to Sephora.com is below:

(Primer)

(Perfector)




FIRST REACTIONS

Primer:
Why is this bottle so tiny?  What's with the glitter?  It looks like the body shimmer I used to buy back in middle school. Oh, it's a wand applicator.  I don't know how I feel about that.  Hmm...it's not as thick as my regular primer.  Yeah, nope - don't like this wand applicator.  A little more of an oily feel than my old primer...but, heyyyyyy this is going on so smoothly!  Wow, my skin feels so silky!  Okay, the glitter doesn't show much.  Kinda makes my skin look nice and glowy.  Oh wow, my regular powder foundation looks so great over this!  Damn, this little bottle really packs a punch!

Perfector:
Ohhh, it's so cute!  Okay so there's a pad to this.  Why is the pad separate?  Oh cute, the inside is the same shade of pink as the outside.  Kinda looks like lip balm...but feels kinda like a powder?  Oh wow, so silky.  Hey, it really does have a blurring effect.  Oh, yuck the pad has my foundation on it now.  Oh, okay, I get it now - it's like the balm fills in pores, creases and lines and then fills over them with the foundation I already put on my face.  Cool, no shine in my oily areas!  I wonder if it would be better to use it before I put my makeup on?



The Primer is pretty cool.  It really did hold my makeup on and made my powder foundation look like it had better coverage like a liquid. I did see on Sephora's website that the primer actually is a lot bigger than the sample size I received and that it is a pump applicator rather than a wand one which is the main issues I had with the one I got.  Other than that, I really did like the primer though I haven't fully tested it against my Younique one (pigmentation, water resistance, long-lasting, etc.) so I really can't give you a full comparison yet.  Maybe I'll start collecting other primer brands and compare the lot against each other.  To the death.

As far as the Perfector goes, there's really no product that I have ever tried that I can compare this to.  I really really really love the Perfector.  It's like a filler - my fine lines, creases, pores, freckles, etc. are filled in and covered with the transparent balm and it picks up a little bit of my foundation to cover the filled in areas and blur it out.  Like, no Instagram filter needed!  It also really helps at mattifying shine without those icky wax paper sheets (those don't work on me, btw).  I can honestly see the difference the instant I put it on because my features don't look as harsh and it makes my regular powder foundation look like it's airbrushed and my skin looks flawless.



Now, down to the price (via Sephora):  The full sized Primer is going for $52USD while the Perfector is listed as $55USD.

Would I pay that much for it if I hadn't tried them?  Hell no.

Would I pay that much now after I've tried them already?  I'd say probably not for the Primer - I haven't had enough time to test it out against my regular (cheaper) Younique primer so as of right now, no.  The Perfector I'd consider splurging on because there isn't a product out there (that I know of) that can give me the same effects as it does.  (If you know of a similar product, let me know!)


So what do you think?  Have you tried any YSL beauty products?  Would you splurge on these?  What primer do you use (if any)?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Literary Ladies Check-In



Okay, so I'm a few days late on the update, but here it is:


1. A YA book (mandatory!) - Silvern by Christina Farley

2. Non US Author (mandatory!) - Three Daughters by Consuelo Saah Baehr

3. A book that was recommended by a blogger (mandatory!) - The Martian by Andy Weir recommended by Lisa

4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more - The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

5. A book with a kickass female character - Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

6. A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show) - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity - Bossypants by Tina Fey

8. A book with a one word title - #Girlboss by Sophia Amouroso (reread)

9. A suspenseful book - The Atlantis Gene by AG Riddle

10. A book about Summer - The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (reread)

I've only got three (okay, more like 1 + 2/3 + 1/4)  more books to go!  It's funny because I never really realized how much I've read in the past month until I crossed it off just now!  I've got a little more than 100 pages to go on The Goldfinch (It's almost 800 pages long!) and then will be getting into The Virgin Suicides (a pretty easy read) and lastly, #Girlboss.

What about you?  How many books have you read so far?

Sunday Sweats: Vol. 5

This past week was about the same as last time as far as progress.  Let's just dive right into it, shall we?

Monday:  Nothing.  This is usually a C25k running day, but since we had no water I wasn't about to get all sweaty and not be able to take a decent shower.

Tuesday:  C25k.  Joey was playing basketball down at the court in our village so we (Trace and I - girls didn't want to run) ran from the court to the gas station.  There were less stray dogs on our route since we were in the busier part of the village, but cars were going a lot faster than what we were used to.  There aren't really any sidewalks in Merizo so we had to move to the grass/people's yards when cars went past.

Wednesday:  Nothing.  I had been feeling sick all day and when I got home from work, all I did was eat the soup Joey made for me (thanks, honey), curl up on the couch and watch TV.  You know you're sick when you're wearing sweatpants in a room with no air conditioning on Guam.

Thursday:  Was still feeling a little out of it, but I pushed through and ran the C25k anyway.  Made me feel a lot better when I was done.  All the kids came with since Joey had a baseball game.

Friday:  Another day of nothing.  Came home and relaxed.

That's about it.  Not a very eventful week as far as workouts go.  Still feeling not-so-great but oh, well.  Life doesn't stop for sick days.  Just gotta pop some DayQuil/NyQuil and move the fuck on, right?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Inspiration overload.

My mind is kind of all over the place today.  You ever get that way?  Where ideas and inspiration are hitting you like a machine gun and you're trying to keep up but you can only hold so much of it in your brain at once so pieces of those ideas start falling out?  Obviously run-on sentences are a symptom too.

I've got a bajillion random things on my mind today that I wanted to share because I feel like I need to just get it out so I can clear my brain for the weekend ahead.  That being said, here's the random shit storm I've got brewing up top:

For the love of sales!  JustFab, where I basically get ALL my shoes (excluding sneakers/trainers) and bags is having an End of Summer Sale where everything in the sale section is $10 or less!  Shoes AND apparel.  Fuck.Yes.  I've actually maxed out my budget for the month already (damn you, back to school shopping!) but I don't think I can pass up a sale like this.  EVER.  I may just have to dig between my couch cushions for any loose change that I can put towards this sale.  Anyone wanna donate to my shoe fund?  Haha.

$10 Sale!


Book life.  Things have been slow on the reading front lately.  I've got three books to go until I've completed my Literary Ladies List and I'm actually surprised that I've been keeping up.  I started re-reading #Girlboss but then put it aside when I started on The Goldfinch (which I love because it's kind of like a real-life Harry Potter - you know, orphan boy, lots of tragedy, interesting characters and dark secrets).  I'm a little more than halfway through The Goldfinch and I'll probably be finished with it by this weekend.  Virgin Suicides is up next because I figure I'd rather make #Girlboss my last read since it's inspirational and empowering, which is a great way to end something.



TGIF.  The kids started school on Monday so it's been a full week of waking up early, dealing with morning tantrums, late nights, filling out forms, crowded bathrooms, packing lunches and snacks, etc.  I'm sure once we all get used to the routine again, things will be a little easier which is what I'm looking forward to.  This weekend is for sleeping in, relaxing, and putting our lives back together after this hectic week.

I would have posted a "first day of school" photo of the kids here, if I had taken any.  Oops.


Poppin' posts.  I've got a list of post ideas I'll be drafting up this weekend that I'm excited about.  Rocksbox review, a fashion post (no ridiculously-priced shit, just bare-bones basic pieces that you can build on), YSL Influenster review (okay, this one is kinda pricey but awesome), brand spotlight, and more.

 


TGIAF.  Thank goodness it's almost fall.  I seriously cannot wait for the temperatures to get at least a little bit cooler, considering Guam's climate.  We don't go full-on trench coat and fur, but leggings, light sweaters and boots are great for windy/rainy days.  I've actually been on a "kicks" kick lately and have started collecting sneakers/trainers because (a) they're cute and so comfortable and (b) there's really so many styles that you can find a sneaker to match every outfit you have - I even pair them with dresses and wear them to work.  BOOM.



So, what's on your mind today?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What's Your Sign?

Linking up with Nadine and Laura!


In true Gemini fashion, here I am linking up a few days late.  I've always been interested in astrology and the like and while some days my horoscope is off, mostly I agree with my sign as far as personality traits and tendencies go.

Geminis are represented by the Twins, which means we have two different personalities (arguably more) and see both sides of every situation which attributes to our indecisiveness.  This is probably why Joey will never get a straight answer when he asks me "what do you feel like eating?"  (Sorry, honey.)

Strengths:  Gentle, affectionate, curious, adaptable, ability to learn quickly and exchange ideas, imaginative, witty

Weaknesses:  Nervous, inconsistent, indecisive, impulsive, devious, restless

We shine in chaotic situations and multi-tasking is one of our best skills but even though our personality is split, our body is not and we can only keep up with things for so long before we burn out.  Story of my fucking life.

Those born under the Gemini sign are very social and have a need to communicate with others.  Without a stimulating conversation or steady flow of communication, Geminis will get bored or frustrated.  Honestly, the main reason I blog is for constant communication and conversation with others, especially crazy/witty/give-no-fucks bloggers like me.  Just having an email or comment string with someone is exciting for me.

Geminis tend to take on more than they can handle.  Since we're interested in so many different things we get distracted easily and have a hard time following through with things even though our heart is in a good place.  And, true to form, I'm going to have to stop this post here because I've got a Legal Ethics Project that I was supposed to finish like last month that I'm still working on.  Oh, plus I want to read more of my book (The Goldfinch), start cutting fabric for another bikini, take photos of stuff I'll be posting about next week, clear up the living room, figure out what to wear tomorrow, brush my teeth, read more blogs...


Now you go - what's your sign?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday Tips: Living through a water outage on Guam

If you follow me on Instagram, you would have noticed my post the other day where I made a joke about Guam's water outages:


Water outages happen a lot here, especially during and after storms (remember my Typhoon Dolphin post where I mentioned that we had no water or electricity for days?) and there's really nothing you can do but sit and wait for the problem to be fixed.  Over the years, I've adapted to the outages and have learned ways to cope with the situations.  Though they'll never be pleasant, at least we make them more manageable and easier to deal with with these tips:

1.  Take your tiara off - there are no princesses here.  When you have to go days without running water, it's best not to act like you're the shit because you will probably be smelling like shit eventually.  Learning to handle the situation is the most important thing.  Everyone else is probably feeling just as gross and nasty as you are after not being able to shower all day so don't be so quick to lose your temper.  It is not a life or death situation.  You will survive and come out a better, more self sufficient, person after all of this.

2.  Save tap water in sealed containers beforehand.  If a water outage is scheduled to happen (or even if it's not), it's best to prepare ahead and fill up a few gallons of water just in case.  Buckets, empty storage bins, whatever you've got.  When there is a water outage on Guam for a long or uncertain amount of time, there are usually reservoir tanks set up in the villages for residents to get water.  You will have to bring your own containers and stand in line to fill them up just like everyone else.  Remember #1 above.

3.  Buy bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth.  The water in the reservoir tank is non-potable, which means it's not suitable for drinking.  Keep bottled water stocked so you can at least brush your teeth.  You can also conserve water by drinking alcohol instead.

4.  Jump around and try to muffle your screams.  Unless you've decided to boil your water on the stove (not really worth the wait in my opinion), chances are you'll be showering in cold water.  Jumping around helps but it's best not to scream out loud or your neighbors might think you're being murdered.  They won't come to your rescue of course, because that means they'll have to use their water to wash your blood.  Best just to try to keep it down by pretending you're on an episode of Silent Library or something.

5.  Be prepared for awkward moments.  If you've still got water trickling out of the bottom spout in your shower/tub, consider yourself lucky because your water hasn't run all the way out yet and you've got yourself a free yoga session!  Squat down and get as low as you can to fit yourself under that spout because who knows how long that precious trickle will last!  If it's raining outside then even better because mother nature is helping you out!  Grab your shampoo and your loofah and shower outside.  Like camping.  Real camping - not that "glamping" bullshit.

6.  Hold your breath.  You're in for quite a wake up call if you think your shit smells like roses.  Without water, you won't be able to flush your toilet so your bathroom is bound to smell like a port-o-potty sooner or later.  Sure, you can mask the stench with sprays and fragrances, but just the thought of all that crap sitting in the toilet is enough to make you want to vomit.  You're going to have to manually flush that out by pouring a bucket into the bowl to force all those roses down the drain.  Fun, huh?

7.  If you've got the cash, treat yo'self.  If you really cannot go without a long hot shower, you can always rent a hotel room somewhere until the water in your area is restored (assuming that it's not an island-wide outage).  You can also splurge and stock up on wipes to keep you feeling fresh throughout the days.

8.  Stay lazy.  During water outages, it's best to keep still.  Guam is almost always hot and even just sitting outside can make you sweat so it's best to be as lazy as you can until your water is restored.  No working out, doing yardwork, etc. because you'll get sweaty and stinky and who knows how long it'll be until you're able to shower.  Perfect excuse to stay indoors with the A/C on and binge on Netflix.

9.  Keep things simple with kids.  Most times, wherever the water outage occurs, schools in the area will be closed.  This means that you'll not only be out of water, but your kids will be stuck at home all day.  To conserve, prepare meals that don't require water to cook with (sandwiches, pizza, etc.) and aren't so messy.  Probably also not a great idea for them to be outside digging in the dirt either.  Keep it simple and have them do activities that don't require a lot of water to clean up.

10.  When water is restored, take the longest shower EVER.  You deserve it.  You've survived!

So, what do you think about my tips on surviving a water outage?  Have you ever had a water outage that lasted more than a day?  Do you think you'd be able to last a week-long outage?