Sunday, August 31, 2014

Motivational Quote Monday

Here's a little motivation for your week!

"When someone tells you it can't be done, it's more a reflection of their limitations, not yours"

"Someone's opinion of you does not have to become your reality"

"If you know you can do better.. then do better"

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely." - Henry Ford

And the grand finale, courtesy of Mark Twain....

"Twenty Years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

Have an amazing week!

Au Revoir!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

End of Summer Book Review Wrap Up

Hey everyone! I can't believe summer's over! It seems like just yesterday I was leaving those hallways after final exams. Since I didn't review every book I read this summer, I figured I would list all the books along with a rating (out of 5) for you guys. For books I have reviewed I will have a link in the book title.

1. Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn - 4/5
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - 5/5
3. The One by Keira Cass - 5/5
4. How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer - 4/5
5. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp - 3.5/5
6. Paris, My Sweet by Amy Thomas - 5/5
7. The Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Robin Palmer - 3/5
8. Since Last Summer by Joanna Philbin - 4/5
9. Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita - 5/5
10. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell - 4/5
11. Made of Stars by Kelley York - 4/5
12. Summer on the Short Bus by Bethany Crandell - 4/5
13. Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen - 5/5
14. Paper Towns by John Green - 3/5
15. The Pretty Little Liars Series by Sara Shepard - 5/5
16. Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan - 5/5
17. Delirium by Lauren Oliver - 3/5

Please comment down below if you would like to have a full review for any of these books!
What was your favorite book this summer?

Have an awesome school year!

Au Revoir!

"A book half-read is a half-finished love affair." - David Mitchell

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bare Minerals Blush & Concealer Review

Hey guys! Recently I went to a city that had a Bare Minerals store so my mom and I popped in there for a few things. I purchased the READY Blush, the Correcting Concealer, and the Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush.

First off, the blush.

This READY Blush is in the color The One, which I first picked out because it was the title of the last book of the Selection Series, coincidentally, when I was "matched" the person picked this one out! I would describe it as a pinky nude color (sorry, the photo does not do it justice). It does have some shimmer, but is is not noticeable at all once it is on. Very pretty, very natural. I prefer just a flush of color, but it is buildable. From the one time I wore it, it didn't get too much darker than when I put in on in the morning. Last year, I had one Clinique blush, but I realized that it had darkened so much that it looked like I had two red spots on my cheeks half way through the day! Thus, I had to stop using it. There is a slight smell, but I'm fairly certain it is from the packaging. Speaking of the packaging, it is very nice. The plastic is the soft velvety stuff that I love so much although it is a little hard to open, but that's probably just me. So far I am very happy with this!

Next up is the concealer and the concealer brush. 

This thing is magical. Really. I purchased this Correcting Concealer (with SPF 20, no less) in the shade Medium 1. I needed a concealer so badly and this was a life saver. For a while I was using the CoverGirl + Olay one, but it seemed drying and it was a little too light so if I put it on a blemish it stood out. This one on the other hand is full coverage, not drying at all, and just the perfect color. It does make my dry skin stand out a little, but that's to be expected. It is super creamy and a minuscule amount goes a long way. I used it for the first time the other day and I put on way too much because I had no idea how much I needed! I don't use it under my eyes, so I am not qualified to review it on that front, but it does cover my acne pretty well. The packaging is great and there is no scent. I would highly recommend this!

Since I was not going to be using my fingers to apply the concealer, I decided to get the concealer brush. This is the Maximum Coverage Concealer Brush and it works wonders. It is just like painting, let me tell ya! I felt like a work of art! Quite possibly the Mona Lisa. In all seriousness, it was a great companion to the concealer. It applied the concealer perfectly and picked up just the right amount of product. 

Click on the product for the link!

Hope you liked this! I'll try to do more beauty related things soon. A haul might even be in the works.   And a DIY. And a book review. Sorry about the pictures, my camera is terrible so I had to use my iPod!

Have a great day!

Au Revoir!

"I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that, then I realized I was somebody"

Monday, August 18, 2014

Motivational Quote Monday

Hello! I've been thinking that since Monday is the start of the week - and everyone is unmotivated on Mondays - that I will try to spark your inner motivator by having some quotes every week. I'll have about 5-10 quotes per post. Unfortunately, this is a little late because I was quite busy today. Erm, a little busy. Well, I was procrastinating. See? I need motivation too! (Quotes courtesy of Pinterest)

"Ask yourself if what you're doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow"

"She's a dreamer, a doer, a thinker. She sees possibility everywhere"

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." - Bill Cosby

"You don't have to be better than everybody else. You should strive to be better than you ever thought you could be"

"All glory comes from daring to begin"

"Making a big life change is pretty scary. But, know what's even scarier? Regret."

There ya have it! Good luck for everyone with school or college or university or whatever you are starting! Stay motivated and stay positive!

Au Revoir!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mwah Lip Balm Slider Tub Review

Hi guys! Today it is a product review with pictures! Be warned, it could get ugly. I will be reviewing the Mwah lip balm in the flavor coconut chick that I purchased at Ulta (you can get it here).

I was roped into buying this product after seeing it in a magazine because they have very good ads (and look at the packaging- how can you resist that?). It is also "99% Natural, Solar-Factory Made, and Never Tested on Animals" as stated by the Ulta website, and let me tell you, I am always looking for a good natural lip balm. After having it on my wish list for months, I finally saw it in Ulta and bought it. Once I was in the car, I ripped it out of its plastic wrap and tried it. Boy, was I disappointed. Okay, so let's start with the packaging. It is this amazing soft plastic stuff (you know what I'm talking about!) and it's bright and fun. The lip balm slides out of the cover completely and you have to apply it with your finger.

That brings me to the product itself. Gosh. I literally have no words. It was that bad. I have nothing against applying lip balm with my finger (although it is not ideal), but I couldn't even get any product out! It was so hard, very unlike the more creamy lip balms out there, and I had been carrying it around with me in my purse, no doubt getting warm, for a while. At one point, I tried scraping some product out but that didn't even work. The little product I could get out was more of an oil consistency and didn't even taste very good even though the reviews I read raved about it. The smell wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. I mean, you could tell it was coconut, but to me it didn't seem like a true coconut scent.

Overall, I would give this a 1.5/5 because I couldn't get the product out, it didn't smell or taste good, and it didn't seem very moisturizing, thus a complete waste of about $4. It does have good packaging though (hence the 1.5)!

Have you tried this out? If so, tell me what you think of it!

Au Revoir!

"Look ahead that is where your future lives"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

10 Things to Know Before You Start High School

The start of high school is one of those times where you can either be incredibly nervous or incredibly excited... Or both. Hopefully with these tips, you will be extatic about the start of a new chapter of your life, prepared for all the possibilities you will be offered, and ready to be the best 'you' you can be!

1. Try new things
I cannot stress this enough. Join a sport or a club. Try out for the school play. Volunteer. You will be sorry if you don't. Even now, as a junior, I wish that I had gotten involved in more things my first two years. I know everyone always says this and it may seem a tad cliche, but step out of your comfort zone and try something. What have you got to lose? Be brave. 

2. Make an effort to talk to people
This is one I am still working on. Don't get discouraged if you aren't the most outgoing person. I know I'm an introvert so I really have to push myself to strike up a conversation. Try complimenting someone or joining in to conversation if it's about your favorite band or TV show. At least put yourself out there. It may seem super awkward at first, but you will make so many new friends if you do. If you are skeptical about this, read Popular by Maya Van Wagenen because it will truly show you how talking to others can change your life. 

3. Always do your best, and never compare your best to someone else's
Honestly, you will feel so much better if you do this. I know that I've always compared myself to other people, whether it be grades or looks or whatever. You have to remember that everyone is great at something and that you can't be the best at everything. Who cares if you got a bad grade? I'm sure you've received plenty of outstanding grades in your life. So you're not the best on the track team. Who cares? At least you're trying. Trying says a lot. Worry about yourself because thinking about someone else won't make you any better. Figure out what needs to be done to be your best and do it. You can compare yourself to others or actually do something about it. (Hint: choose that latter)

4. Be confident, or at least fake it
Seriously, confidence is key. If your confident, people will respect you so much more. You will feel better about yourself and you will be happier. Confidence is usually not one of those things that can
be found overnight. You have to practice it and improve it constantly. Try doing little things to start becoming more confident. Start small and work up to what scares you the most. Like the great Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Do something everyday that scares you." Make this your mantra. Having better posture can even make you appear more confident. Sorry for the double quote, but "Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud." It's true. Even if you are the least confident person out there, you can do it! You are amazing and always will be (not to make this cheesy or anything). Faking confidence is a good start. I know first hand that it works. Throw your shoulders back, keep your head held high, and take on the world with your awesome-ness!  

5. Have fun
This might not seem like advice that is given too much, but it should be. If you're anything like me, you are all about school. Honestly I like school! Learning is so important and is so thrilling when you find something you enjoy! Sometimes though you gotta take a step back from the books and let loose. Go to the football games, go to the dances, initiate a group activity, or even just have some friends over to hang out. It's important that you don't get worn out. Rejuvenate, relax, finish that scarf you've been knitting for that past year. You don't want to look back on you high school years and realize all you did was study, do you?

6. If you don't like something about yourself, change it
Do it. Change it. I dare you. There is a quote that says, "It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not." I feel like high school is a time to grow and figure out who you are. I have tried to change at least one thing about myself that I wished was different ever year. Freshmen year it was getting over my fear of being with older kids because I was one of the few freshmen in one class. Sophomore year I changed a lot (even if it wasn't too noticeable). I wore sweaters because I wanted to and for some reason never had the guts to wear them to school before (it's stupid, I know, but don't judge!). I tried to have fun, be myself and talk more in classes. I actually made a few new friends because of that. I even forced myself to raise my hand in some classes (the raising of the hand is very strange for me. I hate it.) and I ended up sort of liking it. I also embraced my love of British television (specifically Doctor Who and Sherlock) and my love of bands (specifically One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer) and bonded with many people. It's also a great conversation starter. Junior year, hopefully I am going to join some more clubs, work backstage for the play, raise my hand more, and talk more in general. It is possible to be who you want to be. Take baby steps, be the person who you envision yourself as. Just remember: what you change should be more of an enhancement; don't become someone you're not.  

7. Stay true to yourself and stand up for others
This piece of advice is particularly important. I will start off with saying that there will come a time when people will try to get you to do thing you will not want to do. Just. Say. No. Don't care if it doesn't make you look cool. Don't care if you are the only one not doing something. Don't do it. Know who you are and stick to it. If you hear someone being mean to someone, even if it's your friend who's the one doing the bullying, stop them. I know it's hard because I've been there. Seriously, I have. Always try to stand up for someone, even if you know it's just gossip or if you don't even know the person. Say something like, "I'm sure that's not true." or " He (or she) seems really nice!". Wouldn't you want someone to do that for you? In the end, you will wish you stood up for that person and you will regret it if you don't. Of course, don't be mean about it, do it in the nicest way possible, but do it nonetheless. 

8. Be studious
I know this kind of contradicts number 5. There needs to be a balance between fun and study. Don't spend all of your time partying or procrastinating. Sure a new episode of your favorite show is on or a new youtube video was just posted, but those things will always be there. Record them. Add them to watch later. School won't always be there. That paper that's due next week? Yeah, time's not going to stop so you can procrastinate and still be able to finish it. Don't overwork yourself because that won't help anything either. If you work at it for a little bit, you'll be able to find your perfect balance between having fun and studying away. 

9. Don't care about what the "popular" kids think of you
Now, you should care a little bit about what people think of you. You should be aware of how you
are being perceived and you should always try to be the best person you can be. What you shouldn't do is get wrapped up in how popular you are or do something you hate just because the "popular" kids are doing it and you would be cool if you did, too. Precious time should not be wasted stressing over how people think of you. You know what? High school is such a small part of your life and chances are you won't even see any of your classmates after you graduate unless you go to one of those reunions. Don't hold yourself back because you aren't beating like the "popular" kids. Be you! Don't care about messing up. Don't be someone you're not (we all saw how that worked out for Cady in Mean Girls). I know this is easier said than done. In my life, whenever I get a question wrong in front of the entire class, I always get embarrassed, but then after the first minute of embarrassment wears off, I'm like, "So be it! I got something wrong! Who cares!" You gotta be you. Have friends who let you shine your light. There are so many better things to do than obsess about how people think of you.   

10. Have goals
Having goals has really motivated me throughout high school. Goals allow you to really think about what you want. I think one of my teachers said, "A goal without a plan is just a wish." It may have been an actual quote, now that I think about it. If you have a goal, do everything humanly possible to make it happen. Whenever I feel discouraged or like I'm never going to be good enough, I always remember my goals. Then you don't feel so bad anymore. One day I found myself absentmindedly scrolling through Pinterest and I realized, What the heck am I doing? This isn't doing anything! It made me feel motivated to start my summer homework. Then when I was procrastinating my summer homework, thinking of why I was actually taking the class, I realized that this was what I've always wanted (no joke, I've wanted to take the class since day one of freshman year) and that taking this class was really going to get me places. Goals are funny like that. At the toughest of times they will always be there to motivate you. If you're doing nothing, do something.

Hope you found this helpful! I'm sorry it is so long! For any incoming freshmen, I wish you the best of luck. You will have a blast wherever you are. Aim high, dream big, and be awesome!

Au revoir!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book Review: Paris, My Sweet

     Bonjour mes amis! Today, I am reviewing "Paris, My Sweet" by Amy Thomas. This book is a true story which was very intriguing for me. It is also set in Paris which was why I initially wanted to read it. I'm pretty obsessed with all things France (and England). "Paris, My Sweet" is about Amy, a New York Times writer and Sweet Freak blogger. She had gone to Paris to try out different sweets for her blog and fell in love with Paris even more than she had on a study abroad trip in college. When she returns to New York, one of her coworkers offers her a job writing for Luis Vuitton in Paris! Amy can't believe her luck and snaps it up like a macaron in Laduree. As she arrives in Paris, she realizes there is a huge language barrier, despite her French lessons, and she misses her family, friends, and life back in New York. She is constantly reminded of her lack of a love life since it seems everyone in Paris is in a relationship and, after a year of being in Paris, her best friend in NY is getting married! Amy realizes that even though her hectic life in New York doesn't even compare to her life in the city of light, she misses her old routine. After her first year in Paris, does Amy decide to stay in the city she's dreamed about for years or go back to the city where everything is constantly changing?
     I have read many reviews for "Paris, My Sweet" (on GoodReads, specifically) and some say that Amy is being very self centered. I didn't think this was the case. If you are reading a piece of literature that is about a person finding their way and is nonfiction, I think that it is okay to talk about yourself. I mean, the book is about Amy and the ups and downs of her Parisian life! For someone who is considering moving to France (or at least doing a study abroad there, this was very beneficial for me. I didn't want to read a book about all the places she went because there are guidebooks for that. I wanted a real story about someone like me! "Paris, My Sweet" delivered! It definitely made me re-evaluate my plans. I never thought that things like being a single woman in a sea of couples could be difficult, but I suppose it could! Then there is the fact that the language barrier will make it hard to make friends, even if you are somewhat fluent. Besides the reflection part, there were so many mouth watering deserts described in every chapter that it made me want to board a plane and hop on over to Angelina for some thick and creamy hot chocolate. This was practically a guide to pastries, too!

     All in all, "Paris, My Sweet" earns 5/5 for me. If you are considering moving to Paris, definitely pick this one up!

     You can grab a copy here!
     And be sure to check out Amy's Sweet Freak blog and her current blog!

Au Revoir!

"Paris is always a good idea" -Audrey Hepburn