fall

My October 2016 Julep box: ‘Dark and Stormy Nights’

(Disclosure: post contains affiliate links.)

I haven’t ordered a Julep Maven box in what seems like forever. I haven’t really been doing my nails much lately and I’ve been trying to save cash, but I was really digging the October options and had some Jules saved up to splurge, so I got a sweet little box to treat myself! The theme this month was “Dark and Stormy Nights” and here’s everything that was included:

Julep Dark and Stormy Nights box

Katya (Classic With a Twist)—deep acai berry creme. She’s similar to some other Julep polishes that I already own but I just love vampy almost-black polishes and if I decide not to open her she’d be perfect for giving away. I’m really a sucker for these shades.

Ebony (It Girl)—graphite holographic. This polish is soooooo pretty in the bottle and equally mesmerizing on nails.

Jean (Classic With a Twist)—black cherry creme. Such a vampy twist on classic red nails. It makes me think of a classic horror heroine and definitely fits with the “dark and stormy nights” theme!

Desiree (It Girl)—high-gloss holographic top coat. This was a bonus polish included in all boxes this month and since I adore holos, I can’t wait to play with her.

Fifi (It Girl)—tea time pink creme. This was the October mystery polish. It’s not necessarily something I would have picked for myself but it’s very soft and pretty and a nice pedicure color to offset black or charcoal on my fingertips (or vice versa—I like contrast between my mani and pedi).

Colton (It Girl)—black iris creme. This looks very, very similar to Katya, but I think it’s a shade darker and cooler. Up close you can see that it’s purple, not black.

Silver nail studs and skull print nail stickers (not pictured here, but you can see them on my Insta)—I haven’t played a lot with nail art so I got these add-ons to try out. Wish me luck with the studs!

If you’re curious about Julep, here’s how it works: each month you receive a box of $40+ worth of nail polish and beauty treats for $24.99 ($19.99 if you prepay for a three-month subscription, or $16.66 for a six-month plan). You can opt for a curated box or swap out options and add on exclusively priced extras. Not feeling the monthly options? Skip that month altogether. If you’re interested in becoming a Maven, you can currently get a free twelve-piece polish set when you start a new monthly subscription. And if you’re an existing Maven, don’t forget that you can get $10 off your order of $25 or more with the code “OCT10” now through November 30!

Are you a Julep Maven? Did you post your Dark and Stormy Nights box on your blog or social? If so leave me a link in the comments so I can check it out!

OOTD: fall colors and falling leaves

Fall colors

I think this is my favorite time of the year. The autumn colors are gorgeous and I get to wear all of my favorite things: boots, cozy scarves, and lots of layers. It’s been a bit rainy here but I did get outside to take these quick OOTD pics. I’m loving my new boot socks and wear them everyday!

Fall colors

(T-shirt, sweater: Target; jeans: Walmart; jacket: Wet Seal; boots, boot socks: Payless; scarf: Kizuri; earrings: Pier 1)

Busy Girl Nails Fall Nail Art Challenge: Oxblood

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=c2ee1d9d5d&view=att&th=14145e1846770103&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_hlwakfee0&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-vRK_05JL8Ki9OxfFi3rdr&sadet=1382805013605&sads=ey_PRR78D80uNV5i854nnnzt4PA&sadssc=1

I missed out on the first two weeks of this challenge, but I had to jump in for week three since it’s my favorite fall polish color: oxblood! 

I used two coats of Julep Lucy. My one gripe about the older Julep polishes is that they are runny, so you have to work carefully to avoid streaks and extra cleanup at the end. Otherwise I love this color. It’s pretty dark on the nails but not so much that it looks black.

I Love Fall Tag!

Happy October everyone! Amy from Small Budget Beauty tagged me to do the I Love Fall Tag, so of course I had to hop in (you guys know how much I love fall!). So here are the ten questions and my answers! I tag any of you who want to do this; if you’ve done this tag leave me a comment with your blog link so I can go see your answers. :)

1. Favorite Fall lip product?
Dark, vampy lip shades! I feel like October is the one time of the year when you can wear really vampy makeup and get away with it.

2. Favorite Fall nail polish?
Anything vampy! Dark burgundies and blackberries are my fave.

3. Favorite Fall Starbucks drink?
I used to really love the pumpkin spice lattes, but I guess those aren’t vegan (boohoo). I really don’t get into Starbucks that much anymore anyway–they’re expensive and crowded!

4. Favorite Fall candle?
Just about anything from Bath and Body Works. The spiced cider candles are awesome! They make the house smell so cozy and warm.

5. Favorite Fall clothing item or accessory?
Scarves and boots! I live for boot weather.

6. Haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?
I went to a haunted corn maze once and it wasn’t that big of a deal. But honestly, I’m not big on intentionally scaring myself. I’d rather look at those haunted house reaction shots on the interwebz and try to guess what they’re looking at.

7. Favorite Halloween movie?
I’m not big on Halloween movies either. I went through this phase when I was younger where I was convinced I couldn’t find a horror movie scary enough to truly scare me, so I watched a ton with no effect. Then someone said if I hadn’t found a winner yet I should watch Paranormal Activity and holy crap, I wish I hadn’t. That movie has left me jittery to this day. On the other hand, I can watch zombie movies all night with no ill effects. I guess different things scare different people.

8. Favorite candy to eat on Halloween?
Chocolate and candy corn! Homemade vegan Reeses Cups are the best.
 
9. What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
I need to find out if we’ll be allowed to dress up at work. If so, I’ll be putting together some sort of steampunk outfit. But I haven’t given it much thought. If I do dress up I’ll definitely post pictures on the blog.

10. What is your favorite thing about Fall?
Everything! The way the air smells, the look of changing leaves, hot cocoa, the fall fashion…fall is definitely my favorite season.

Ethical fall fashion: ten pieces

When I first started blogging about ethical consumerism and ethical fashion this summer (click the hyperlinks to see those posts), I meant to throw together a wishlist post of fashion items that were fair trade, eco-friendly, made in the USA or vegan. Somehow that post never got put together (oops!) but now that fall is right around the corner, I thought it was a good time to put together a little list of items for that summer-to-fall transition period. The best part: everything here is under $50!

(All links below go directly to the web page for the item; they are not affiliate links.)

1. Shirred tunic, $38, One Mango Tree
2. Print dress, $48, Lulu’s
3. Shorts, $21.60, One Mango Tree
4. Sweater, $35, Tree of Life
5. Colored denim, $49, Land’s End
6. Earrings, $17, Roozt
7. Ankle boots, $45, Fashion Conscience
8. Scarf, $16, People Tree
9. Tank top, $20, Glik’s
10. Floral tee, $33, Fashion Conscience

Accessory Friday: printed tights

Now here’s a trend I have been loathe to try…and an item that might make me change my mind. Readers, I present Fair Isle knit tights. Normally printed tights give me pause, but these are so cute–and the black-on-gray pattern is muted enough that it doesn’t seem too scary.

Fair Isle Knit Tights, $9.80, Forever 21

Product review: Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit

When I got the Kiss Ever Pro strip lashes in my Influenster VoxBox, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to use them–a glass candle in the box broke and it looked like glass might have gotten into the eyelash packaging! Luckily upon closer inspection I saw that there was some inner packaging protecting the lashes from any shards of glass, so I got to try them out when I dressed up for Halloween–and now I have a review for you!

The product: Kiss Ever Pro Lashes Starter Kit, $5.99 at drugstores

The claim: The lashes are supposed to give you the salon look in a snap, with easy application and 24-hour glue.

I tried it: I must first confess that I’ve never tried strip lashes before, so I can’t say whether these are any easier or harder to apply than other brands. I will give you my opinion of these versus individual lashes at the end, though!

These lashes are very thick and full. They’re quite soft and lush, which makes them look very natural (or as natural as false lashes can ever look). Unfortunately, they have a very thick black band at the base. You can’t really see it in the packaging, but it’s impossible to miss once it’s on your lid. To wear these lashes, you will absolutely need an ultra black liquid liner to line your top lids and hide that strip.

I tried using the little lash tweezer and finally gave up; I found it easier to use my fingers to press the strips into place. The glue seems very nice and as a bonus it is latex-free!

Let’s look at my lashes before application, with just a touch of mascara. I do recommend brushing on a bit of black mascara because unless your natural lashes are ultra-black, they will show up oddly against the falsies.

My natural lashes are pretty long, but not overly thick. Now, let’s look at what happens when I add the Kiss strip falsies. I used black liquid liner to finish lining my top lids to disguise the strip, which I think worked very well. Then I curled the strip lashes and my natural lashes together with a lash curler, and added a couple of swipes of ultra black mascara to blend them. Finally, I used a black pencil liner to lightly line my lower lash line and added some waterproof black mascara on my lower lashes to balance it all out.

Now those are some movie star worthy lashes! The glue worked pretty well to keep the lashes on during my evening out and it didn’t irritate my eyes at all. I noticed that after about six hours the corner of one lash strip was starting to come a bit loose, but since this was my first time applying strip falsies I’m blaming that more on my application technique than on the glue.

When it came time to take them off, I found that they peeled off fairly easily, though I did press a makeup remover pad to my eyes for several seconds first to loosen everything up. I cleaned off the lashes with makeup remover and put them back on their tray for storage. They look undamaged and ready to wear another night.

Okay, I promised I would compare these to individual lashes; so, which do I think is better? Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the strips. I didn’t like having to disguise that thick black strip, but I suppose in all honesty, if you’re wearing these than you’re not going for subtlety. The biggest reason I would choose small clusters of individual lashes over heavy strip falsies is simply the feel of them: I felt like I had two caterpillars perched on my lids all night long!

That is certainly not the fault of Kiss–the lashes are actually very lightweight and lovely. It’s just an exceedingly odd sensation to be able to see your lashes in your peripherals, and feel that you have giant fuzzy things on your lids. After wearing them all night, I wasn’t as weirded out by the black veil in my upper peripheral vision, but if you’ve never worn strip falsies of this thickness before, it will take some getting used to!

On the other hand, after I took off the strips, my natural lashes looked so sad and thin! I wouldn’t wear these every day, but for a big night out when you want a super-dramatic eye look, they definitely deliver. I don’t think it’s easier or harder to apply either type of lashes; they just require a slightly different approach, though if you’re new to strips, you might want to practice aligning them first to be sure they don’t wind up crooked.

The verdict: Buy them! I think you’d be hard-pressed to find another pair of such soft, thick, nice strip lashes for such a low price–and I love that the glue is suitable for those with a latex allergy. Like I said, for everyday wear individual lashes might be better for a lush but more low-key look; however, I’ll definitely be re-using these for my extra-glam date nights, and I’ll be sure to repurchase them in the future. It just goes to show you that it’s good to try something different–you might end up really, really liking it!

If you want to see my full Halloween look, click here!

Disclaimer: I received these lashes courtesy of Influenster for testing purposes; however, that does not affect my commitment to providing you with an honest and thorough review.