Tuesday Talk | Spring Transition Piece

Denim Vest
     Considering Tessa and I frequently end up wearing nearly identical outfits, it should come as no surprise that I've chosen a denim vest. I added this to my wardrobe this past summer and have essentially worn it year-round since. This is fantastic to throw over a zip-up hoodie during the cooler, rainy days of spring. However, it's also helpful to bring along to pop on over a t-shirt if things are a little warmer. I even pair it with summer dresses when I want to keep my look casual. A vest allows me to layer up, without completely masking my outfit underneath. Sorted. (P.S. - see it styled here).

Denim/Hoodie Jacket
     This jacket has been a well-loved staple in my wardrobe for about a year and spring is no exception to breaking it out. I've found that it's the perfect layering piece for when the weather is starting to warm up but it's not quite time to rock a t-shirt or tank top solo. The mix of fabrics give a laid back vibe to any outfit, and the fact that it's light denim and grey means it goes with pretty much my entire closet. I usually pair it up with leggings and a longer tank top or oversized t-shirt or dark wash jeans and a basic t-shirt with a statement necklace.

Ankle Boots
     I bought these at Forever 21 awhile ago and have been wearing them constantly. They are easily dressed up or worn casually. They are perfect for the spring transition because they can be worn with pants (like shown) or with shorts or a dress. Bonus: they are clicky. Who doesn't enjoy a good shoe that clicks?
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Forgotten Favorites

This may seem a bit like an oxymoron, but hey, it happens. You buy all of the things, you want to try them out, your forever favorites get moved to the bottom of the drawer. I recently was gifted a really nice makeup storage, by storage I mean it is seriously a small dresser, by my mom. Anyway, the whole reorganization of makeup allowed me to rediscover some long-lost loves.

Anastasia Brow Whiz in Ash Blonde
I have seen numerous people talk about this in their videos or just use it in general. This lead me to dig mine out of the drawer and give it another go. I had been madly obsessed with using my MAC paint pot or my Hourglass Arch Sculpting Pencil but wow. When I used the Brow Whiz again, I couldn't stop. It honestly gives you the most natural looking brows. I find I can really shape them with this and then I will typically go over them with the Benefit Gimme Brow just to add some color.

MAC Eyeshadow in Cranberry
I picked this up last fall because I felt like I needed a wine colored eyeshadow in my life (helloo, I have green eyes). Annyywhooo, it wouldn't be a complete post if I didn't mention MAC at least once. This eyeshadow is perfect on it's own blended out or it can be used in a more complex look. When I wear it to work I typically just blend it out and call it good. At first the color kind of seemed daunting but it's actually extremely wearable. Let's be honest, it probably seemed daunting because it wasn't a neutral.

Em by Michelle Phan Lipstick in Nude
I actually received this in my ipsy bag quite awhile ago and it seemed to fall into the bottom of one of my many lipstick bags rather quickly. Yes, there are multiple, there's even a drawer now that doesn't even contain them all (oh, the perils of life). The first thing that I remain impressed about this nude is that it doesn't make me look like a corpse. It's the perfect shade, and it adds just enough to your lips without having to wear a gloss. The finish is really lovely. That being said, if you're looking for something long lasting, this isn't it. With this being a nude shade, it's extremely easy to reapply at work or school. I may be in it just for the shade, but who can blame me.

What makeup has made a comeback in your routine?
xx Tori
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The Gloss Over

     As you well know, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So here goes: I’m addicted to lip gloss. Much like Tori, I blame essiebutton. I was never too keen on gloss but eventually something clicked and I’ll never look back. Spring and summer are the harbingers of fresh makeup, and lip gloss fits that bill. Bold, matte lips are lovely but pose the risk of seeming over-done. Not to mention they can be tricky to maintain. Just a touch of lip gloss adds color and shine while remaining convenient. After my epiphany, I've found a few favorites. Give these a go if you're a little hesitant of gloss.

ALMAY COLOR + CARE LIQUID LIP BALM in 700 Cantaloupe Crème
     Perhaps the most subtle of this trio, this is an easy finish to any look. The pastel coral subtly warms the tone of your lips which is lovely with a bit of a tan. This does feel more like a balm than a stereotypical gloss. No signs of stickiness here, just a respectable dose of moisture. The pigmentation is sheer, so nice for more casual days.

MILANI BRILLIANT SHINE GLOSS in Sweet Grapefruit and Coral Crush
     This offering is very much classed as a traditional lip gloss – candy-scented and quite sticky. It doesn’t disappoint in terms of shine, though. I also find that the tackiness fades after an hour’s wear or so. While the color payoff isn’t equal to a liquid lipstick they aren’t incredibly sheer. Sweet Grapefruit adds a pretty pink flush to the lips, while Coral Crush is a good option for those a little timid of orange.

NYX BUTTER GLOSS in Peaches and Cream and Strawberry Shortcake
      This duo is another set of shades perfectly suited for the season. These are essentially just an amped up version of the Almay balm/gloss hybrid. They offer more sheen and are nearly on par with a lipstick. These fade gracefully and won’t feather or bleed.

 Are any of you gloss converts? Which formula would you prefer?

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On Repeat #48

Bambi- Tokyo Police Club
     Tokyo Police Club has been an old favorite of mine and they made their way into my Spotify playlist and I haven't stopped listening to Champ (2010). They have an interesting sound; it's not super indie, but I really am not sure how to describe it. Wow, not helpful, I know. Anyway, it was pretty difficult for me to pick a song because I have just been listening to this album straight through. This is actually a band that I can listen to while studying; which is pretty weird because I need absolute concentration, no vocals, while I'm studying.

Salute - Little Mix
      So I'll be honest, I was not on the Little Mix bandwagon at first. In my book, nothing could (will ever) beat the Spice Girls so I was a little reluctant. Not to mention I have insane hair envy of all of them. Perry was actually one of my inspirations to go back blonde. Anyway, I started listening to their newest album after I became obsessed with Move, which is ridiculously catchy, much like the rest of their album. As per usual, I'm obsessed with the beat of this song and it's an awesome one to blast with the windows down. This has been making the rounds as one of my most played for about a month now. If you want a glimpse into how talented these girls are, listen to Boy off this album. A freaking plus, ladies.

Days - The Drums
    My music has been in desperate need of a pick-me-up now that spring has finally arrived. Since my favorite band for the summer is Best Coast, I created a Spotify radio station (no commercials, unlike Pandora) for the band. Cue a ridiculous amount of new bands to listen to! I came across this song by The Drums and was immediately hooked.

People Are Strange - The Doors
     It's been a bit of a stormy week in KC, so I was all about a laid back musical selection. Not to mention I'm just ever so slightly yet totally over school all together. So in comes The Doors. "People Are Strange" is obviously one of their most popular tracks but it's always been a favorite of mine. Don't quite know where you've been if you've never heard it, but don't worry it's easily accessible on Spotify. Big shout out to "Wish You Were Here" from ma home boys Pink Floyd too.
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Top 5 | Lips

If there's two make up products I can't live without, it's lipstick and mascara. I'm the ultimate mascara junkie and have an ever-growing lip collection though I don't know that I'll ever top Jen in that department. If I'm ever in a rut in my make up routine - which is fairly often - I always turn to my lip products to spice things up a bit. Not to mention they're a great just-out-of-winter-pick-me-up that we've all been needing. Here's a few of my tried and trues and some more recent additions.

MAC Vegas Volt
This is an oldie but a goodie in my collection. I've had it for about a year now and I love the way it will brighten up a make up look. It's a good orange for those who are just venturing into the world of bold lipsticks. Much like is expected from MAC, it's a great formula and wears really well.

Milani Rose Hip
One of the newest additions I've added to my collection, I'm obsessed. I've seen that it's a dupe for MAC's Candy Yum Yum (I haven't swatched them side by side for myself but I shall let you know if I ever do). It's definitely a matte formula, so you'll want something moisturizing underneath. I love pairing this up if I'm wearing an eye look from my Naked 3 palette, as the light pink undertones of the shadow compliment the brightness of Rose Hip perfectly.

Milani Nude Créme
I'm not sure that I've ranted about this enough to y'all, but here we go again. This has become my holy grail nude, even over Soap & Glory's Nudist. The formula is really moisturizing and lasts well. Even when it wears off, it's not a color that you need to reapply as it wears wonderfully. It's new home is in whatever bag I have with me at that moment in time. I'm not sure I can go without this ever again.

Maybelline Pink Pop
When Maybelline launched their Color Sensations Vivid line I went a little cray for it. It's possible I'm still obsessed and eyeing up a few more colors (read: I will own the whole collection at some point). This is a really pigmented baby pink and I love it. This was one of my go-to's last summer, especially if I was keeping the rest of my make up really simple. The best thing about it is that it's a baby pink that won't wash out pale skin tones, which is sometimes hard to accomplish.

Maybelline Coral Ambition
I blame Rachel 1000% for me buying this. Unlike the rest of the products I've talked about, this product is more balm-like and has less pigmentation. I still really love it though. It's another product that lives in whatever bag I'm carrying because it's a good sheer wash of color for days that I'm feeling really lazy.

Maybelline Coral Ambition, MAC Vegas Volt, Maybelline Pink Pop, Milani Rose Hip, Milani Nude Creme

What are your top 5 lip products?

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Spring Lip Favorites

Howdy, y'all! I've had this recent issue where I've been using the word y'all on a fairly consistent basis. I'm not entirely sure where the habit originated since I go to school in Maryland but I'm rolling with it. It may just be due to the fact that I'm way too lazy to say "you all" or "you guys". Most of my decisions come down to the amount of effort required in all honesty.

Anyway, with the theme of the week being Spring Lips I decided to round up my favorite lip products of each general "type" for spring. You know what I mean? Lipstick, lip pencil, lip gloss, what have you. So here they are!

Let's start with the basics. My personal favorite lipstick for spring is MAC's Girl About Town. I spoke about this in the Tuesday Talk posted yesterday so I'm not going to go into much detail. Just know that it is the most beautiful fuchsia shade that isn't drying and stays in plays for hours (even without a lip pencil!).

Next up is my most-used lip product, the lip pencil. When I say lip pencil, I don't mean the narrow pencils that most associate with outline their lips. What I mean is those delightful, chubby-stick products that are the most convenient lip product for a girl on the go. I believe I have over five of these products from miscellaneous brands but I still reach for my Revlon Just Bitten in Honey the most. This shade is the perfect mauve nude for my lips (which are naturally pretty red) and allows the perfect amount of color when I'm sleepy or just not feeling like maintaining a bright lip color. I would say this is probably one of only two nudes I have in my entire lip product collection - I find most nudes wash me out completely.

Next up, the lip butter. Revlon started my obsession with these products and since Maybelline came out with their own brand, I've become even more hooked (apparently that was possible). However, the most unfortunate event happened and one of my favorite products, Maybelline's Color Whisper in Orange Ambition, was lost on a night out a couple weeks ago. Cue hysterics. I'm definitely going to need to go out and repurchase it so look out for an update on this post with a picture once it's back in my clutches.

Lip gloss is last but not least. I'm grouping lip stain, gloss, liquid lipstick, etc together because essentially they all begin as a gloss. Personally, I love the Maybelline Color Elixirs. They're glossy but not too sticky and the wear isn't too bad for a drugstore product.  The one I tend to wear the most is Celestial Coral, a gorgeous bright pink that is bright enough for my personal taste but also is easy to reapply and seems more natural than many of my other options. Also, Rachel has mentioned that she prefers the L'Oreal version of these Color Elixirs more so check those out as well!

Well, that's all for me today. Leave a comment on your favorite spring lip product!

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Tuesday Talk | Spring Lip Color

MAC's Pink Nouveau
    I really tried to pick a lipstick that wasn't MAC, but here I am. After yesterday's post I thought I would go ahead and pick a spring lip color that wasn't massively bold. Pink Nouveau is a really nice shade of pink. It is just opaque enough to really show through but not in a bubble gum, Barbie pink way. The formula of this is amazing and is actually pretty versatile with different shades of lip liner. My favorites would be Shock Value (MAC) , which will get you to a really bright, neon pink, and Dynamo (MAC).

MAC's Girl About Town
This is one of MAC's most popular shades. It's a beautiful fuschia shade that is universally flattering no matter how pale you are. I usually only wear this lipstick if I'm feeling really fancy because I have a Revlon Just Bitten in Crush that is almost an exact dupe for this fuschia and it tends to be easier to apply, although much more drying. This is a darker spring lip color but great for transitioning from winter to spring when you aren't quite feeling the bright corals or tangerines yet!

Revlon Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya
     I've been keeping things fairly subtle this spring since I faked some actual color as of late (can you even tell in this photo? Nope.) Obviously, this requires a whole new repertoire of shades. I'm usually rushing around and like worrying too much about touch-ups. This is actually my first Lip Butter. Late to the party, I know. It imparts just the right amount of color to warm things up but doesn't look heavy. Plus, it offers some sheen without being so glossy that it makes a mess. P.S. - Revlon is 40% at Ulta right now, so these are even more affordable. Aw yeah.

Milani's Nude Creme

Sorry to break the pink trend, ladies. While I am a big fan of bold, statement lips, lately I've been loving a good nude lip. This color is perfect no matter your skin tone - on paler skin tones it is honestly the most perfect nude I've ever come across, and when I'm tanned it pulls a bit more pink but still a flattering nude. I've found that it completes any make up look I've done. These were BOGO 50% off at CVS not too long ago, so be sure to be on the look out for that great deal (I picked up this and Rose Hip, a dupe for MAC's Candy Yum Yum).
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Lip Color Pairing | Bright Pink Glossy Stain

    Here at FBG, it seems that we have all been getting on the lipgloss bandwagon (and I fully blame Essiebutton). At first it was a bit of a struggle to balance everything out and figure out just the right pairing for makeup. I would guess about 90% of my lip color involves stains or a matte finish, so gloss seems downright crazy. Instead of going straight into buying a lot of glosses, I thought I would incorporate products that I am already comfortable with just to help me get used to them. This involved lip pencils. I know a lot of people seem to be terrified of them because they automatically think the colors don't match and they will look like something out of the 80's or 90's. If used correctly, they really enhance the colors in whatever you are using.
     The gloss that really got it started for me was the YSL Glossy Stain. I know I have talked about this before, but it really is just amazing. It does have a bit of that glossy stickiness to it when you first apply it but that quickly sets into a really nice liquid lipstick kind of texture. I only own one of these but I already have a couple more colors that I am eyeing. I own the color 16 Pourpre Preview. I thought I would just show you guys how I typically would wear this. The lip pencil I am using is Dynamo by MAC. This lip pencil just enhances the glossy stain and takes it to a vibrant magenta hue that is just really nice for spring. Not to mention, the lip pencil makes the glossy stain last a bit longer.

What color combinations are you guys loving?
xx Tori
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The Underdogs

     After a little peruse of my makeup ranks, I found there was a host of products I loved - but didn't use much. Not quite logical. In an attempt to rekindle my affection I'm giving some tlc to a few things I've been missing.

Bare Minerals Power Neutrals
     During a pre-holiday spree, I added this lovely neutrals palette to my cart. I'd heard great rumors about the quality of Bare Minerals eyeshadows and I was not let down. The colors are a great selection, and a little off-beat from your typical "naked" palette. I've dabbled in using these shades, and a standout is Moneymaker - a nice earthy green which is a good alternative to a typical brown.

Forever 21 Cream Cheek Blush
     This one may be tricky to locate, but I did see they repackaged their cream blushes recently and there is a shade nearly identical to the one I own. The formula is less sheeny than other cream blushes I own but still doesn't full transform to a powder finish. As a result, the effect is glowy yet long lasting.This color instantly lifts the face and pairs well with an orange-toned red lip. Definitely one I should be turning to more often.

Rimmel ScandalEyes Kohl Kajal in Taupe
     For days when I'm looking for subltle definition, this is ideal. The color manages to enhance the eyes without looking obvious. The formula is comparable to something like Urban Decay's Glide On pencils, and is almost gel-like.

Maybelline Vivid Lipstick in Hot Plum
     To be fair Hot Plum is nowhere in the realm of an 'everyday' shade. It's well pigmented, and a flashy color. Yet I still love it on the lips. Come spring & summer, effortless makeup is epitomized by bright lips and a minimal face. This cool-toned shade works well with my complexion, and would stand out against a warmer skin tone. Bonus: the formula is creamy and non-drying.

MAC Lipstick in Hue
    On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a muted warm pink. Hue tones down my lip color ever so slightly. The glaze finish helps it to be wearable and simple to touch up on the go as well. Personally, I pair it with a slightly heavier eye to keep things in balance.



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On Repeat #47

Get Me Some of That - Thomas Rhett
I'm not exactly sure what took me so long to post this song because this is my JAM. Seriously, anytime this song comes on it's an automatic reflex to blare it and sing at the top of my lungs. I just don't think it's possible to find a better song to put you in a great mood. For whatever reason it reminds me of my freshman year of college and since I'm verging on starting my final year in just a few short months, I'm all about living it up as much as possible throughout the next year. Which means reverting to my freshman habits, and I'm not even mad about it.

Never Matter- Toro y Moi
     At the beginning of the week was I was suffering from a bit of post concert depression. That being said, I had to stop listening to that band and pull myself back up (post concert depression is a real thing, okkaii?). Anywho, Toro y Moi and Blood Orange definitely did that for me. I actually haven't listened to this song in awhile, but once I started, I haven't been able to stop. If you've ever heard Blood Orange (which I hope you have because Dev Hynes is wow), Toro y Moi sort of along the same line.

Fineshrine - Purity Ring
     I stumbled across this band because a good friend of mine added them to one of his playlists I follow on Spotify. I think I heard about 30 seconds of this song before realizing I had a new obsession. This is the perfect study music for me. It's electronic, it's chill, it has ethereal vocals, it's perfect. The entire album has a similar vibe to it as well. I highhhhhhly recommend them if you're looking for a new band to discover and place on repeat for the next four days.

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Review | Equate Beauty Self Tan Bronzing Spray

I did a post a while back on my fake tanning routine, and now I've given this tan a run through and feel like I can properly review it for you. So here goes nothing.

I originally picked it up because it said "Compare to St. Tropez" on the bottle, and the packaging is really nice. I swear to God I'm a marketer's dream (which is ironic since that's what I'm studying... anyway). Last summer I raved about Banana Boat's Sunless Tanning Spray, but I think that Equate might take the place as far as holy grail status goes.

This applies with a tinge of color which I love because it makes it easier to see spots you've been over, and it makes it easier to see where you still need to rub product in (if I didn't mention it in my routine, I spray, rub in, and repeat until I think I've got a good coverage going). It's a green based tan (very similar to St. Tropez and other high end brands) so you don't look orange at all, which is obviously a huge plus. I've found it applies quite well as a face tan too, when first sprayed into hands and then put onto the face. *Disclaimer: This is not formulated to be a face tanner. However, I do not have sensitive skin and have done this with all my other spray tans as well. Take that advice with a grain of salt.* Within the first two applications, I haven't noticed a whole lot of streaking or patchy-ness. A few here and there in the usual trouble spots (knees, elbows, ankles) but this is quickly remedied with a quick spot spray and some lotion. For now, I don't think I'll go much darker than what the tan has shown to be now (2 applications, 3 days apart) as it develops to be quite dark even after one application. Or maybe that's just me with my ghost skin...

Downfalls of this tan... First off: it's a messy application. I would definitely advise you to use this in the bath tub/shower area so you can just rinse it down after because it will get everywhere. Secondly, you will definitely smell like fake tan - for at least 48 hours. I've found that that's the stretch time, after showering a second time after application I don't notice it anymore.

Other than that, I don't have any complaints about this tan. It's hard out here for a girl like me (aka pale and always streaking with any other tan I've tried) to find a good fake tan. Now that I've got two on rotation, I'd say I'm in pretty good shape for the upcoming seasons.

Have you tried this tan? What did you think?


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On-the-Go Minimalist Makeup

Howdy, y'all. If you're anything like us over here at FBG, you're constantly on the go during the day. I'm always running all over campus to work, class, teaching, studying, whatever it may be. On days when I have to wake up particularly early I'm not interested in putting on a full face of makeup. So what's the plan instead? I'll give you a quick run-down of my on-the-go face these days.

After washing my face, I'll begin with blending in some Maybelline Dream Matte Powder just to eliminate shine and even out some of my skintone. This obviously is very light coverage but I'm not inclined to put on liquid foundation at 530a.m. I'll continue with concealer for my undereye area and any discoloration using the two concealers I talked about last week (Sonia Kashuk and L'Oreal). If I'm feeling fancy, I'll swipe MAC Painterly Paint Pot across my eyelids just to even out the skintone up there as well which usually helps to open my eyes up a little more.

I'll continue with a brighter blush such as Tarte 24-Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Natural Beauty, a pinky-red matte shade that is perfect when wanting to add some color to your face in a non-obnoxious way. I'll usually complete the simple look with a few swipes of mascara and a pink or nude lip color. Today I used Maybelline Color Elixir in Celestial Coral as well as Maybelline Colossal mascara in black. 

That's all for me this week! Happy 1st birthday to FBG!


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Tuesday Talk | Spring Nails

Revlon Color Enamel in 211 Charming
     I think my love of lilac polish goes back to a video I saw where Lisa Eldridge was wearing one (lame, I know). It just looked like the epitome of spring. Even though it's actually snowing right now, I have some pastel love going on. I've had this polish for quite some time and I just keep going back to it because it is just the perfect shade for my skin tone. Like other Revlon polishes, the formula on this is A+.

Ruby Wing Color Changing Polish in Peony
     I'm not so sure that I'm in love with the color changing aspect here, but I do love the color it applies as, which is a beautiful pastel-neon coral (which changes to a dusty rose with sun exposure, btw). It's a bit more summery than spring, but I'm skipping seasons at this point and don't even care. I'm in love with the whole neon-pastel trend. Honorable mention to Birchbox & Color Club for their collaboration collection last year because that was on point in that regard. My only complaint about this polish is how it applies. It took me about 4-5 coats to get the opacity I wanted and even then it was still streaky near the base of the nail. Setting that aside, I love everything else about this polish, and I think it will definitely be one to live on my nails this season.

Essie Nail Polish in Sunday Funday
     As most nail polish purchases are in my life, this shade was an impulse buy while in the beauty department of Target. That is a dangerous store, I tell you. I'm not a huge fan of pink as far as wearing it in my clothing (except for scarves) but when it comes to beauty, pink and I are best friends. During the summer and spring I tend to get tan due to my wonderful Italian genes and this nail polish really pops against the darker skintone. As of right now, it's popping against my translucent skin but that's alright. This shade is a bright pink with a bit of shimmer in it and it applies pretty opaque. I would still recommend two coats, however.

Kate Moss for Rimmel in Reggae Splash
I actually posted about this on Instagram yesterday (ps if you don't follow us yet we're @ the_brokegirls). I'm quite impressed by the formula of these, especially for a $2.99 price tag. The Lycra helps the polish to not chip which is always something I struggle with. We seem to only have a limited range at CVS at the moment but I am definitely looking to pick up a few more shades. For now, this lovely almost pastel orange will do.
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The Body Shop | The Best and the Worst

I made mention of my trip to Lush and The Body Shop in last weeks post. I thought I would go ahead and quickly review some of those purchases; whether they be the best or the worst. So let's start with the bad and end with the good, shall we?

Worst: Tea Tree Pore Minimizer
Lily Pebbles had mentioned this in one of her posts awhile back. It didn't sound like she was massively impressed with it and she said it had dried her skin out a bit. Surprisingly enough, I didn't really notice it drying my skin out, but it also didn't make my pores appear smaller. In fact, it didn't really do anything. It ended up being just another product to apply and let's face it, I have enough products to apply. I tried this for a couple of weeks consistently hoping that with time I would gain some results, but alas, this product was a bit of waste of money

Middle: Seaweed Clarifying Toner
Before this purchase, I had been exclusively using the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner. I thought I should have at least another product so I wasn't using the Mario Badescu toner day and night. I was pointed in the direction of the Seaweed collection because of my skin type, I took the word of the guy working there when he said this range worked with any skin type. So far, this toner is alright; nothing massively impressing but not disappointing either. I will probably try other products but I can't say I won't ever repurchase this. It doesn't dry my skin out but I haven't noticed any magnificent skin clearing work being done with it.

Best: Nutriganics Smoothing Eye Cream
I've tried about three eye creams before this and by far, this is the most amazing. It goes on very easily and completely moisturizes around my eyes. I especially love this in the morning because it preps my skin for concealer. After using this, my concealer stays put without looking cakey. I don't really have a desire to try out other eye creams (although I'm sure that won't stop me) but this one is a keeper for sure.

What Body Shop products do you guys have?
xx Tori

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Back to Basics | Sensitive Skincare

     As Tori recently mentioned in her review of Lush Ultrabland, after my short-lived trial of the cleanser I went through an allergic reaction. It was the only new addition to my routine and it seems as if Iris is the culprit. A small bout with contact dermatitis sent me into skincare survival mode, and I significantly pared back my routine. Sticking to cleansing and moisturizing (along with a few over the counter medicated creams) seemed to look after my skin without exacerbating the irritation.

     I continued to wear minimal makeup a few days during my reaction. Naturally, I would never think of sleeping in my makeup. So to remove all traces I turned to the Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing balm. This has been a part of my rotation for a while now. It does the job, no fluff. The lack of fragrance and potentially problematic essential oils was ideal for my flare up. Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer followed my cleanse, making sure to keep things hydrated yet calm.

    Come morning, I found all of my current cleansers to be too harsh considering the current condition of my skin. I picked up Neutrogena's Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser in the creamy formula, not expecting too much. If you are looking for a miraculous, transformative cleanser this won't do it for you. Still, this managed to remove any build-up from the previous night and left my skin feeling balanced. I've actually continued use, just because I like how unassuming and simple it is. To finish off, I used the CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion. A staple in my routine, hyaluronic acid offers lasting hydration and dimethicone  (a common ingredient in makeup primers) smooths things over well before applying base. It has never bothered my skin in the least and saw me through the reaction.

     Obviously anyone can react to any product or ingredient, so this routine may not work for everyone. However I hope it can help if you suffer from quite sensitive skin and I highly recommend everything I've mentioned. Ultimately, my advice would be to isolate what is causing the issue (and discontinue use) and temporarily rely on only products you know are gentle.

What do you all turn to in times of skin sensitivity? See ya later!

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GRWM | Everyday Eye Look

Hey y'all, we had some beautiful weather today, which of course meant I needed to be outside and enjoy it. I had some errands to run and whatnot and I thought I would show you how I did my makeup today. xx Tori

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Top 5 | Studying Essentials

Man oh man, has this semester been the bane of my existence. I didn't really get my ass into gear until after Spring Break and even that was questionable. So here I am, five weeks left, and an absurd amount of work to do in preparation for finals. Joy to the world. Thankfully, I've managed to get my studying down to a science (lolz, get it? Since I'm a science major. I crack myself up). So, here are a list of my top 5 necessities that may help you plow through some work on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.

1. Caffeine (duh).
     I have so many forms of caffeine in my apartment that it's become a space issue. Not only do I have my trusty Newman's Original K-cups (my personal favorite coffee) but I also have various forms of tea. My personal favorite caffeine source is an Iced Chai Tea Latte using half milk and half Tazo Chai Tea concentrate. That shit is good, man. It's also a really nice alternative to drinking coffee all the time. In addition, my mom recently sent me a care package with a box of assorted teas and a can of Chai Tea as well (reviews to come soon - they're both from World Market). Last but not least, I live by my trusty Wild Sweet Orange tea from Tazo. I know it doesn't contain caffeine but the citrusy flavor is perfect when I'm in the final stretch at 2am and don't want to drink more caffeine.

2. An amazing thermos.
     I am not joking, a good thermos can change your life (and save your bank account). I never knew such high quality thermoses (is that the plural of thermos?) existed before I got this one for Christmas. I unfortunately took the tag off so I'm not sure where it's from but I would guess Starbucks... I think my Mom said she bought it there. Either way, look for a thermos that is made of metal on the inside (at least that's what mine is). This thermos keeps the ice in my Iced Chai Lattes from melting for over 4 hours. It blows my mind every time. This thermos isn't as good for hot beverages but still keeps them hot for around 3. That's incredible to me because when I get out of my two hour lab at 9am, I still have a hot or cold drink instead of buying one or going back home. And that's how a broke girl lives.

3. The perfect study playlist.
     I'm not sure if I'm the only one but I have different playlists for different types of studying. When  I'm reading, I need music with no words because I get distracted. Copying notes or working problems requires a combination of pop and rap (mostly rap recently). Writing essays requires a more chill/laidback feel. If you're interested in the playlists I use, check them out below:

4. Snacks.
     If you're drinking gallons of caffeine, you're going to need some food to counterbalance the jittery feeling you'll be experiencing in the next 20 minutes. It's the absolute worst to be fidgety when you're trying to get a bunch of work done, take it from me. I know it can be tempting to pick up chips or candy to study to, but in reality you know you'll just eat the entire bag and that's not a good look. Plus, you'll be feeling like absolute shit in about an hour and you'll have a major sugar crash. I recommend pretzels or Goldfish crackers if you want something crunchy. Another recent favorite for me has been edamame, which are delicious beans that are just as addictive as a huge bag of Frito's. Plus, you're getting some veggies in which is difficult enough on a normal basis. Other good snacks: pistachios, fruit, string cheese, a bagel with peanut butter, or a smoothie. Aaaand now I'm hungry.

5. A reliable, productive place to study.
     I hate doing work in my apartment this semester. I did it all the time in the fall when the weather was dreary but now the sun is out and it just makes me depressed that I'm cooped up in inside. My new favorite place has been a cubicle in the library. You are still around people but the dividers help prevent me from getting distracted and there is plenty of space to spread your shit out and really camp out for a few hours. Make sure your study place has enough room, isn't full of distractions, and even rather isolated. It's easier to stay focused when eleventy people aren't walking by every fifteen minutes, believe me.

Well that's all for me today, folks! Study hard and know that summer is right around the corner, you'll make it through!

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On Repeat #46

Sing - Ed Sheeran
I have had over 2 years to prepare myself for Ed Sheeran to release new tracks, and I'm still not ready. Ed is by far one of my favorite artists but he's also pretty painful to listen to. And I mean that in the same way as when I say it's painful to listen to One Direction. They all just make me mad. I had actually been avoiding listening to Ed's new single but driving to class ended up hearing it by accident. It's a different feel from his last album, and it took me listening to it about 3 times in a row to actually get a good hold on it and decide that I like it. So if you'll excuse me I'll now be dying until June.

Ain't Too Proud to Beg - The Temptations
      This week has been dragging on, so I seriously needed something to revive me. My brother put together a MoTown Spotify playlist and that has essentially been all I've listened to this week. It is a good switch up from the typical boy bands I turn to when I'm tired of productivity, but still have several hours of work/school left. The Temptations are catchy and awesome, which is obviously all I need from music. Otis Redding's These Arms of Mine was a strong contender this week. I really can't believe I don't listen to it more often. Spotify has a few good MoTown albums which could substitute for this playlist.

I'm pretty sure Tessa has used this exact song before, but that should just play into how awesome it is, right? I know I have used a song off of the same album, but "R U Mine," and "Do I Wanna Know," have been getting a lot of play time on the radio lately. "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High," is no exception, I think I hear it about 3 times a day when I'm at work. I think I still prefer their older albums, but you really can't go wrong with the Arctic Monkeys.

Empire - Shakira
     Holy effffffff, Shakira's new album has been my mother flockin' JAM the past couple weeks. The first three songs are just so easy to completely rock out to and the rest of the album is just so on point. I never thought I would like Shakira's music but her song "Empire" was a free download from the Starbucks app a few weeks back so I thought I would give it a shot.... and I couldn't stop listening to it. You have to go check out this album right now, believe me. On other note, this song starts off a little slow but don't let it deceive you. This is a roll down your windows, hair in the wind, belting the lyrics while sipping on a Passion Tea Lemonade (that last part may just be me) type of song. Sing it, gurl.
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What's On My Face #2

I shared a photo on Instagram of my make up yesterday (side note: our Instagram is @the_brokegirls, if you aren't already following us) and I am absolutely obsessed with how awesome my make up looked. I had picked up a couple new items so of course I had to try them out.

My skin has been having a bit of a never-ending freak out lately, so I used my trusty Covergirl Whipped foundation as a base. It has a medium coverage but doesn't ever feel piled on. My favorite way to apply it is with my Real Techniques Sponge as it applies a thin layer but doesn't cake up if you build it up to a fuller coverage. I also used my Covergirl under eye concealer which I talked about in this week's Tuesday Talk, so I won't go any further there. For blush, I used a bit of The Balm's Instain in Swiss Dot applied with my Real Techniques Blush Brush.

I bought MAC's Woodwinked at the beginning of the week and have been dying to use it ever since so I finally did. I combined it with Urban Decay's Nooner from the Naked 3 Palette as my crease color. Of course my winged liner is courtesy of Rimmel U's Get In Line Liquid Liner in black. Finishing up, I used Maybelline's The Falsies in Black Drama.

Tried and trues only here: I filled in with Urban Decay's Faint (from Naked Basics) using a combination of Real Techniques and Eco Tools angled brushes. Finished off with Maybelline's Great Lash in Clear as a brow gel.

Another new product here. Rachel and I hit up CVS on Tuesday night and ended up hitting the jack pot on BOGO 50% sales. I picked up two Milani lipsticks and fell in love with both. First off, they smell like Now & Laters. Second, the color range is ridiculously perfect. So I went for the nude shade that I picked up - Nude Creme. It's pretty much the perfect nude as it's not too pink or too brown. It finished off my look perfectly and really tied it all together. The wear on these lipsticks is pretty good so I'll probably be picking up some more soon.

What have you been loving lately?

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Tuesday Talk | Favorite Concealer

MAC Studio Finish Concealer (NC15)
     I know I've mentioned my struggle of finding a good concealer before and I still haven't found my holy grail product. The Studio Finish Concealer is the closet I've come though. I typically use the Revlon Photo Ready concealer for redness, but Studio Finish is great for under the eyes. I'm convinced that nothing will ever completely cover my dark circles, but this does a fine job. It has SPF 35 which makes me feel pretty good about this product. Using a moisturizing under eye cream is necessary when using this product to ensure it doesn't look cakey. I really like applying this with the tip of my Real Techniques Sponge.

Sonia Kashuk All Covered Up (01 Porcelain)
     Soooo I apparently completed spaced that the Tuesday Talk this week was on concealer since I did my post on concealers last week (oops). However, this time I uploaded a picture so y'all could get a better understanding of the consistency f this product. It's a little wetter than MAC Studio Finish but I feel that they could be comparable. This product blends well and matches my skintone almost perfectly but I believe there are only four different colors. I usually just use my finger (I know, poor form, but I'm a girl on the go). It also has pretty nice packaging for the drugstore, albeit a little bulky for the amount of product inside. However, this has been my favorite concealer recently but like Tori, I still haven't found my holy grail.

Covergirl Fresh Completion Under Eye Concealer in Classic Ivory
Well, what a surprise we have here. I think I've used this concealer in every video I've posted (which if you aren't subscribed to our YouTube channel go do so now.. New videos every Saturday!). Much like Tori, I don't think I'll ever find a product to actually help my under eye area, but this comes pretty darn close. It has a really creamy consistency and it actually just a tad too light for my skin (a real feat to accomplish) so it has a highlighting effect that makes it look like maybe I did sleep for 8 hours last night. Of course I have yet to find a concealer that I love enough to repurchase, I think I'll forever be on the hunt. Suggestions welcome.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Fair
     I'm not sure that I've ever actually mentioned this product, but it has been a game changer for me. The price tag is a little steep unfortunately. However, if you are ghostly it can be quite the challenge to find a concealer that is actually fair enough. This is the right shade and undertone for my skin, and works well for dryness. If you tend to be oiler, it may slide around a bit on you. If you find that concealer tends to look cakey and dry, give this a go. I find it can work on both blemishes and the under eye area. It is densely pigmented, so you only need a minute amount. Paired with a tapered eyeliner brush this is perfect for some Lisa Eldridge pinpoint concealing.

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Review | Lush Ultrabland Facial Cleanser

A couple of weeks back, a friend and I took a lil' jaunt into The Body Shop and Lush. Major damage to my wallet ensued, but it was worth it. Since I've been using this product for awhile now I feel like I can do a pretty well rounded review on it.

To start, Lush already had my heart because they are a cruelty-free, natural brand. I had been using the Boots No7 Cleansing balm prior to this purchase and I just wasn't in love with it and decided on Ultrabland.

With ingredients like Almond Oil, Rose water, Honey, and Glycerine, this cleanser has made its way into moisturizing heaven without leaving your skin feeling heavy or greasy. However, I recommended this product to Rachel and she is fairly sure that the Iris Extract in it had a reaction to her skin. I consider my skin really sensitive and I have had no problems with that, but I wanted to make sure that's out there just in case. 

I know I covered the use of this in this here post,  so I won't go to much into it. Basically I use it to remove my eye makeup, rinse it off with a cloth, and then I go over the rest of my makeup with it. I have had a lot of trouble with dry, dehydrated skin and this product is actually a holy grail product. 

The pot that I bought contains 3.5 ounces and I don't really feel like I've made a dent in it. I have probably had this product for two months now and I use it every day. The 3.5 ounce container is $29.95 (I don't remember spending that much on it? That store was a blur). They do offer it in a 1.5 in case you just want to try it for $16.95. So it's not the most budget friendly purchase, but I completely love the fact that I know the ingredients and the pot even tells you who made your product and when. 

What's your favorite moisturizing cleanser?
xx Tori
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Haircare Update | Video

     Yo errybody, I've added a few new products to my hair care routine and thought I'd give a lil' info about how things have changed. If you'd like to see a few other staples in my collection, check out dis blogpost. (And please don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe!)



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Essie Dupes

    I frequently fall victim to the allure of Essie polish. Pretty hues all wrapped up in minimalist packaging – am I really meant to resist? However, with a steadily rising price tag they aren’t the most frugal of purchases. Luckily (during countless hours wandering the drugstore) I’ve discovered a few substitutes.

    A deep, berry pink is lovely to wear year round. After hearing Kate of gh0stparties praise this shade I decided it needed to be mine. Though I don’t think the color too unique, it took me quite a while to find a dupe. Everything was either too bright, too pale, or the wrong undertone (such adversity I’ve struggled through). At last, this insanely cheap option from Sally Hansen appeared. Bonus: the formula is lovely and is opaque in one coat.

    I mentioned this Maybelline offering in my Spring Edit video, but only upon purchasing Splash of Grenadine did I realize how similar the two are. Unfortunately I much prefer the formula of Essie’s version, as Maybelline’s can be a little streaky. Though Lust for Lilac may be slightly more pastel, it allows you to achieve the same effect at less than half the price.

    Turquoise & Caicos is well-suited for the warmer weather, and last summer I donned it all the time. Still, that nice green-tinged blue can be found on a budget. NYC’s line of polish is consistently good quality and seems to stay fairly updated with the trends.  Also, if you’re lusting after Essie’s Matte About You topcoat NYC’s Matte Me Crazy will do the job.

    A taupe polish is a staple in my collection, and these two are perfect examples. Neutral, but with an undertone of purple, they are fantastic when I’m hoping to look pulled together but not dull. The Sally Hansen Salon Manicure line is slightly pricey for a drugstore option, but the quality is not lacking. If you’re looking to save just a few dollars, Commander in Chic won’t disappoint. Bonus points for the pun.

     This is the perfect nude for me. I frequently have issues with natural shades being too orange or too dark. Surprise, surprise. The cool undertone works well with my coloring and is a little more unique than your basic nude. Caramel Cupcake is so similar to the Essie version that I could easily touch up a manicure with either of the shades. Rimmel's quality is on point, and it even boasts a wide brush that makes application no fuss. Boom.

     Occasionally, I am partial to a bright color on the nails. Secret Story fits the bill perfectly. However, Revlon offers the same shade at nearly half the price. I believe I've mentioned their line several times, as it's one of my favorites from the drugstore. Essie's shade is slightly more pink, but the difference is nearly imperceptible on the nails. 

Have you all found any strikingly similar shades? Auf Weidersehen until next weekend!

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On Repeat #45

Donald Trump - Mac Miller
Spring has finally and officially arrived here in the Midwest, as marked by the appearance of tornado warnings and watches, and now of course I'm just ready to fast forward to summer. I've been on a throwback of what I listened to last summer, namely Mac and Wiz Khalifa, and throwing in Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino for good measure. I honestly forgot how much I love Mac Miller and his reentering into my life has been a welcome one. So if you need me, I'll be desperately wishing it was summer so I can drive around with my windows down blaring music.

A Certain Romance - Arctic Monkeys
     Is there really anything to not like about this song? Answer: of course not. I haven't listened to this album in a while and I quite enjoyed its return. I've been a little short on the new music front lately so I've been revisiting a few of my older Spotify playlists. Also, can we just talk about the new app redesign? Round of applause. Anywho, this has definitely been the musical highlight of my week. Tracks like She's Thunderstorms and Black Treacle have also snuck in when I want something slightly more laid back.

You Are The Stars- Yellow Ostrich
     I know I've talked about them before (relatively recently), but that won't stop me from doing it again. The more I listen to this album, the more I love it. Each song as a completely different feel to it, which is kind of different from their first album. This song is just beyond beautiful and you can tell that Alex's voice has matured a lot since their start. The lyricism is reminiscient of the EP Ghost (which I absolutely loved). Like I've said before, I cannot wait to see what else this band has in store. If only they would have a show in KC or Lawrence so I could see them live.

Bad Girls - M.I.A.
     I'm not sure why I've never listened to M.I.A. before other than her famous song Paper Planes buttttttt this song is the shit. I've been plowing through homework with midterms coming up and this song makes me feel like such a badass. She has such a different beat and feel that anyone else in the industry and that's what really draws me to her. There's also just such a swag to her music that I allllmost feel like I might have some (we all know I do). But really, go check out some of her other work. You won't regret it.

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