Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil and Simple Soothing Toner


One of the new trends in cleansing is the cleaning oil. While they used to only be found when ordered online from prestige brands, some are making their way into the drugstore. When I found out that Simple was selling a cleansing oil for a good price, I had to check it out for myself!
Cleansing oils are supposed to remove makeup by breaking down the particles of the makeup, including water proof formulas, and leave the skin feeling hydrated but not oily. My major concern is whether this would have some type of oily residue after cleansing with it, or that it would not effectively remove my makeup.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Review and Unboxing: Influenster Kat Von D box: lock it concealers, powder, and brushes!


Recently, I was lucky enough to to be chosen to participate in the Kat Von D Influenster Vox box! I was super excited because I love Kat Von D products but an hesitant to buy her face products because I'm so picky about foundation and concealers. I was so pleasantly surprised with these concealers and other products! Below I have included a list of the products and their retail price at Sephora.
The items I received in the box are:
Lock it Concealer cream in L1 neutral and L3 warm ($26 each)
Lock it Setting Powder ($30)
Lock it Setting Powder Brush ($38)
Lock it Edge Concealer Brush ($24)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Healthy Recipe: “Fried Rice” Quinoa



Recently I've been trying to find quick and easy recipes that are also healthy and low on empty carbs and high in vegetables. I've seen various recipes online about making “fried rice” using quinoa which is a very healthy carb and contains a good amount of protein! Below is my recipe and I really encourage you to try it out! It takes less than 30 minutes and is very healthy!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

My Healthy Summer weight loss and diet plan Part Two



As someone who has seen the negative effects of unrealistic diet plans first hand, I knew I didn't want to go on any extreme diet this summer. I vowed instead to make small changes that were doable and healthy. The first thing I did was just to “detox” for the school year. This meant for me no specific diet, but just to go back to my normal way of eating at home. I made sure to eat more vegetables and whole foods and to convince my mom to let me make more decisions about what I wanted to eat. Now, I determine my own lunches but still eat what she makes for dinner. I am though, now able to make substitutions and additions. For example, when the side might be pasta or perogies, I can now make myself a baked potato and steamed broccoli. Just doing this I was able to drop almost ten pounds in two weeks. I could tell my body was ready to get rid of extra weight not just in the form of fat, but also retained water. I felt a lot less bloated than before.
After this initial loss, I realized I had hit a plateau and needed to actually “diet”. I began using myfitnesspal to log my food consumption. This has seriously helped me so much! Not only do I know how many calories I should eat, but also how much protein, fiber, and other minerals I need to eat and what I get from food. My goal came to eating between 1000-1200 calories a day. This is. REALLY low amount for many people! Please go on the app’s suggestion for your weight and activity levels! I am only 5’ 1” and sedentary so I need to eat way less calories than most people.
My other goals have been to cut back on processed foods, sweets, dairy, and sugar in general. This means I have almost completely cut out desserts and candy from my diet. I thought this would be super hard since I love sweets, but have have made healthier substitutions (such as fresh fruit, apples with peanut butter, and no added sugar Greek yogurts). I also allow myself one cheat day a week which is Sunday's when I go to my grandmothers because she makes the best whole made desserts. So, while I am eating dessert, I know no mystery ingredients are involved in the process. I also cut back on dairy since I'm mildly lactose intolerant and shouldn't be eating it any way and cutting dairy is supposed to by good for acne. So I only eat Greek yogurt which is naturally lower in lactose. I've also concentrated it eating a lot more vegetables; my goal is to have them for both lunch and dinner whereas growing up I might only eat a non starchy vegetable a few times a month. I also make sure to drink 8 glasses of water a day and no juice or tea and coffee with added sugar.
I really though it was going to be hard to do this, but after the initial week I have been very able to keep up. By eating 1000-1200 calories a day I have been able to lose one pound a week (or technically 1.25 a week). Dieting isn't fast and healthy dieting shouldn't be! As I write this I am 134 pounds, 21 pounds less than my heaviest weight last semester and only one pound away from my goal and entering the “normal” weight range for my height in terms of BMI. 132 is the lowest I've ever weighted and my ultimate goal would be to weigh less than 130 pounds which is still on the heavier side of an healthy weight for my height.
Now for the problems I have faced…
My main problem or worry is that this is not something I can keep up starting in the fall. I am going back to school for my graduate degree and I'm afraid the stress will be too much and I will eat badly. I will also be going back to the cafeteria instead of buying and making my own meals and the selection, from what I can tell, will be more limited than before. I really don't want to relapse and have to think this much about food continuously. Because it is annoying logging and measuring food every day and just having to choose can be annoying.
Another annoyance I have faced is the lack of noticeable changed in my body. There is a reason why my mother was surprised with my weight; I hadn't gotten any noticeably heavier or bigger! All my clothes still fit; my stomach was just a little bloated! And so my measurements haven't really changed. My stomach is like a half inch smaller than when it was bloated. Not even my breasts have gotten any smaller (which for many women is the first sign of weight loss). Many people would be happy to look the same at a heavier weight, but I'm doing this for health reasons not just appearance. But, seeing a noticeable difference is a lot more motivating than just numbers on a scale.
Regardless of my final number or look, I'm glad about what I've learned about nutrition and how much my body really needs to eat at that I'm capable of weight loss and healthy choices. Loosing weight and trying to be healthy is a really charged issue with many people trying for bad reasons or in bad ways. Even if I haven't lost as much as many people could, I'm just glad I was able to do this is a healthy way. My next goal is to become more active! Hopefully living in the city for school next year will mean more exercise!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

My Healthy Summer and Weight loss Journey Part One



First a little background…
Throughout my entire life, I've always been overweight if not obese. Part of this is definitely genetic; almost every person in my extended family is overweight and most are obese. This has been going on for generations. Another large part is my family’s traditional diet. We all eat the same thing we have always eaten back to when we were farmers and factories workers. This means that my meals growing up have been predominantly home cooked, but also mostly meat, potatoes, and bread. I have very few vegetables and fresh fruit growing up. It just wasn't considered necessary or normal to eat a lot of raw vegetables. The final main part of this issue was my lack of exercise. Not to make too many excuses, but I live in a fairly rural area where there are I side walks or parks so there is no safe places to run or play sports. All exercise has to be done on private property or risk being hit by cars going around blind turns.
I have been dieting since around the age of ten or twelve. My mother has been a serial dieter for as long as I am remember. I didn't make any significant weight loss until I was 18 and went to college. A mixture of being able to choose what I wanted to eat and the portions I wanted (At home not eating what my mother made or eating too little always led to annoying comments) and being forced to walk between my dorms and classes and cafeterias led me to loose almost 20 pounds before Christmas.
I managed to keep this weight off until this past year. My senior year was very stressful and made me both mentally and physically ill. I has to go to the doctor several times for vertigo or almost fainting; to the point that she feared I had developed anemia. This stress meant I wanted to go out less, which meant less activity, and also that I stopped caring what I ate. I just wanted something quick and filling whereas before I would go out of my way for healthy option. I was also told that stress also causes the body to retain weight. I then gained the 20 pounds I has lost my freshman year.
Needless to say this was distressful for me. It also came as a surprise. I has though I gained a bit of weight because I knew I had been eating poorly and had been feeling bloated. But no one commented that I looked bigger; my mother was surprised to learn how much I weighed. This summer I made it my goal to loose those 20 pounds I had gained or possibly more. In my next post I will explain my diet plan and plans for the future!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Review and Swatch: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Radish


A recent 100 point perk at Sephora came in the form of a mini Bite Beauty lipstick in the color Radish from the new Amuse Bouche line. Since I had missed out on the previous Bite Beauty perks, I had to pick this up!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Review and Swatch: ELF Studio Lip stain and Gloss in Fashionista


On a recent trip to Target I decided to pick up another product form ELF to try. This happens quite a lot with me since the products or so cheap! This time I wanted to try the ELF studio lip stain and decided to go with the color Fashionista.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: Shills Natural Science Purifying Peel off Mask (Asian Black Peel off Mask)


I’m a big mask lover; I feel that they not only make a big difference, but are also super satisfying to use. This is especially true for feel off masks. The newest and biggest current trend in peel off masks has to be the “black peel off mask” especially ones from Asia.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Healthy Food Recipe: Avocado Chocolate Pudding


Lately, I’ve been trying out some healthy recipes and trying to get more lean protein and vegetables into my diet. As a result I’ve seen many recipes that seem dubious at best. This recipe for avocado chocolate pudding was one of them. The recipe I have below is a mixture of different recipes and me just guess-timating my measurements.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Review and Comparison: Beauty Blender and Real Techniques Face Sponge


sponges wet

Over the last year or so I’ve become a makeup sponge convert. Originally I was all about those foundation brushes, but after I tried the Real Techniques sponge I was sold. The appearance of my foundation when using a sponge has an airbrushed quality; I no longer have any streaks and I think it goes on less cakey and the application time is less.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Review and Swatch: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Thistle




While I was sad to see Bite Beauty’s previous range of lipsticks go, I was pleased to see that the new range called “Amuse Bouche” have been fantastic in quality and shade selection. What really excited me recently was a new expansion to the Amuse Bouche line of really interesting colors like green and black, but especially the color Thistle which I had to pick up as soon as I could get to a Sephora.
Thistle is a truly interesting and unique color. It is like a cool toned greyish muted dusky rose or mauve like color? There is really no good way to describe it. In some lights it looks more pink, or purple, or grey, or nude. It’s nothing like anything else I own.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

London Pass Review: My Choices and Recommendations


The London Pass is a service where you can make a onetime purchase of a pass and then go to an unlimited amount of places that accept the pas. This includes museums, historical monuments, and more. I was given a special type of London Pass by my university which gave me five places I could go out of the list and I could do it anytime over the entire semester (as opposed to an unlimited number of places over a limited time frame). I spent a lot of time choosing where to go and scanning the list and so I want to give you my honest reviews of the places I went and my top options for someone buying the pass.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Healthy Food Recipe: Two Ingredient Protein Pancakes


As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been trying out more popular “Pinterest” style healthy recipes. This time I tried the famous Two ingredient protein pancakes!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Please follow me on Instagram!

Do you love sneak peaks? Do you love seeing things before anyone else? Then please check out my Instagram! I post pretty regularly and I post a lot of pictures of products that I will be reviewing before they are ever seen on my blog!
So please follow me in Instagram: @artisticartifice

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Review and Swatch: Wet n Wild Summer 2016 Highlighter "Precious Petals" and Liquid Lipstick "Indigo your own way"


It only took me a few weeks and over ten drugstores, but I was finally able to find Wet n Wild's Summer 2016 special limited edition collection with the highlighters that everyone has been wanting! From the collection I bought the lightest highlighter in "Precious Petals" and the purple metallic liquid lipstick in "Indigo your own way." Hopefully these swatches and reviews can help you to decide if you should try to find them or buy them off of the WnW website (where they are listed for sale).

Saturday, May 7, 2016

London Bubble Tea Ranking


Bubble Tea is one of the most beautiful foods in the world, at least in my opinion. Delicious and cold with the little surprise tapioca at the bottom! Since I love Bubble Tea so much I decided to go on a little quest to see what bubble tea in London is really the best based on recommendations and online rankings.
I have these places in no particular order and go over where you can find the shop, the prices, variety of flavors and more!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: SK-II Essence and Mask


SK-II is one of those brands you hear about online as the holy grails of skin care. I swear it is featured on every list of “Best skin Care Products” out there. But, it’s also one of those items that as soon as you see the price, you often just done know if it is worth it. So, when Influenster informed me that I would be receiving the SK-II voxbox I was overjoyed.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Event Review: London Symphony Orchestra

Through my school I was able to go to a few “cultural events” that I could choose. One of them was a trip to see the London symphony orchestra. The orchestra takes place in the Barbican center, which if you go to Barbican tube stop there will be large signs telling you which way to go. 
The area the symphony was in was three tiers, and when I first walked in I expected there to be many empty seats, but a large amount of people came in the last few minutes, and when the show started there were no empty seats in sight. This is probably partly because of the price; my ticket was only 12 pounds.The show itself was very enjoyable; there was also a chorus and two opera singers for a song. 
I have to say my experience wasn’t extraordinary, but some people seemed really excited about the conductor and the guest pianist so maybe they are big in the circuit. I just enjoy classical music casually so I have no idea if it was a good, excellent or whatever performance. Overall, if I lived in London these 12 pound tickets would be a good alternative to a weekend movie. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Trip to Dublin (including Guinness Tour)


My big trip this year was to go to Dublin, Ireland for three days. While I will spare you the fine details, I would like to say a few things about the top places I went to eat and entertainment and my accommodations.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Review and Swatch: NARS nail polish in Orgasm


I've never owned a full sized NARS product before, mostly because of the price, but my experiences with NARS so far i.e. The mini lip pencils from the Sephora Birthday Gift, have been good. So, when I saw NARS nail polish in their signature shade, Orgasm, at T.K. Maxx for only £5.99 I had to get it.

Monday, April 4, 2016

A Trip to Windsor Castle


One of the trips you can chose to take using a London Pass is to go to Windsor Castle, the family home of Queen Elizabeth II and the burial place of King Henry VIII among others. At first I was a little hesitant to go because it actually isn't in London proper and you have to take a national rail train out. But, it turns out to be very easy and a great trip for a Saturday.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Trip to the Beefeater Gin Distillery



I'm a gin girl, there is no doubt. My go to drink is a gin and tonic or a gin fizz. I kept a liter of gin in my dorm room at university; I could go on and on. So, as soon as I saw my London Pass had an option for me to go on the Beefeater Gin Tour for free, I knew I had to go.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Trip to the Skygarden



On my first tour around London, one spot the tour guide made sure to point out is 20 Fenchurch Street, more commonly known as The Walkie-Talkie, and it's infamous Skygarden. It's infamous because part of the reason the Walkie Talkie was allowed to be built was the company’s promise to create a public garden in London. What they didn't tell anyone was their plan to built it at the top of their skyscraper.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Trip to Laduree, London Harrods



Laduree is a French patisserie that has a few shops in London. They are known for their macaroons, which are very good, but also apparently their hot chocolate. Since I had never had their hot chocolate before, and wanted to have a nice treat, I decided to stop by the Laduree in Harrods because it's very convenient to get to and if you have to wait in line, which you will, you can wait inside. In convent garden, for example, you have to wait outside to be seated and most of their seating is also outside which is not great for February.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Review and Swatch: Butter London After Hours Set: Nail Polishes in Fairy Lights and Queen Vic


On Black Friday I picked up the Butter London After Hours set at Ulta. This set includes two full sized polishes in Queen Vic and Fairy lights and was priced at $15 which is the normal price for one color so this was like BOGO Free.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Review and Swatch: Topshop Lip Cream in Smart


I’ve heard a lot of good things about TopShop’s beauty line, but the products are often expensive and hard to find in the US. But, recently Nordstrom had an online clearance sale of many topshop products with free shipping and so I decided to try out the topshop lip cream in the color “Smart.”

Monday, February 15, 2016

Review and Swatch: Kat Von D Everlasting liquid lipstick in Ayesha


I’m loving the liquid lipstick trend and attempting to try out as many brands as possible. Today, I’m reviewing one of the post popular brands: Kat Von D.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Review and Swatch: Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick in Mochalicious 914C


Because of my apparent need to own all of the wet n wild megalast lip sticks, and my new obsession with brown/nude toned lipsticks, I decided to purchase 914c Mochalicious.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review and Swatch: Hard Candy Glamoflauge in very light


I’ve been curious about Hard Candy Glamoflauge for a while now, but ever picked one up. Recently I ran out of my liquid concealer and decided to buy this at Walmart. Hard candy can only be found at Walmart; this sells for $6.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Review and Swatch: Black Friday 2015 Lorac Love, Lust, and Lace Matte eyeshadow palette



Last year I got the special Lorac Black Friday Eyeshadow palette in Vintage Vixen on a whim because who wouldn’t get an eyeshadow palette for $12? There was a choice between matte and shimmer shades and I went with matte because I feel like that texture is under represented in eye shadow palettes. I didn’t expect a whole lot; but this soon became one of my favorite palettes. So, this year, when the same deal was offered but with different color, I went for it!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Review and Swatch: Revlon LE Nail Polish in Confident (Fall 2014)



I go to dollar tree quite often just because of finds like this one; a limited edition Revlon nail polish from fall 2014 in the color “confident”.
Confident is a red sheer jelly base with red hex glitter in two sizes and smaller regular glitter and bar glitter.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Review: Jingle Vox Box


In my recent Vox Box from influenster, The Jingle Vox Box, I received many products for review, but all of my opinions are my own.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: Ore-Ida Tater Tots


Who doesn’t love tater tots? They are like a magical mixture of French fry and hash brown, so when Influenster gave me a coupon for a free full sized bag you know I went for it!
The type I got was the mini tater tots. I had never had these before; I usually go for the full sized ones. These are about 2/3 the size of the standard tot, so not tiny. They do get crispier than the standard tot though and that why they are my new favorite!
To cook you simply lay them on a cooking tray in a 425 degree f. oven for around 15 minutes. Then, you can have them as hash browns for breakfast or with chicken strips for lunch. You can even have them as tot nachos; totchos!


Overall, these really are delicious and I’m definitely choosing the ore-ida mini tots over the full sized now!
I received these free to review but my thoughts are my own. 

Ore-Ida Totchos Breakfast Recipe


Recently I received a coupon for a free bag of Ore-Ida Tater Tots from Influenster to try and review. I decided to pick up the Mini Tots because they are the crunchiest! Today, I’m going to give you my favorite recipe to eat these for breakfast.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Review: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream


In my recent Vox Box from influenster, The Jingle Vox Box, I received many products for review one of which is this Cetaphil moisturizing cream.