Drugstore Beauty Haul!!

CVS Haul, April 2014
I love CVS, and am rarely out of the store in under 30 minutes. So lately, I have been making a list beforehand, checking what deals are happening and budgeting. And, for once, I stayed on plan (mostly)! I do most of my drugstore beauty shopping at CVS because any Extra Care rewards I earn can be used on the spot, meaning I can split my transactions and save some $$. So without any further adieu, let’s get started!

L’Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum: I have had my eye on this for awhile, and really want to try the Day/Night cream, as well, but at $24.99 a pop, I decided to just pick up the one. However, CVS is currently running a special on them: Buy 2 Youth Code products and receive $10 in Extra Care Rewards!

CVS Brand Apricot Exfoliating Towelettes: I was in need of some new makeup removing wipes and decided to pick these up. I generally try something new each time, but I already really like the “exfoliating” properties of this one. However, I find that most CVS brand of facial towelettes sting my eyes.

NYC Liquid Liner: I have heard a few people on Youtube rave about one of the NYC liquid liners, but this was the only type they had so I am not sure I picked up the correct one. I have been in need of a new liquid liner and wanted to try one of the “brush” type vs. the pen-style. The applicator isn’t as thin as I would have hoped, but it is SUPER black! We will see how it works.

Maybelline VolumExpress The Rocket Mascara: This was on my March Wishlist and I finally got around to picking it up! Stayed tuned for a 1st Impression!

Milani Blush in Luminoso: This shade really caught my eye, as I have been really into coral-hued blushes lately. It has a sheen to it, which I like, and kind of has a marbled look with some veins of gold running through. This should look great for Spring/Summer!

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pink Gold: I am not sure that  is the correct shade name-  BUT, I have been wanting this color for awhile now as I am OBSESSED with rose gold! Maybelline is BOGO 1/2 off this week, so got this along with the mascara. I have all sorts of looks planned using this as a base and the UD Naked 3 on top – stay tuned for a FOTD!

<3 Natalia

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FOTD: Spring Shimmer w/ a Pop of Teal!

Finally, it is starting to feel like spring! I thought I would celebrate by going for some color and some shimmer. You’ll have to excuse the wet hair; I was getting ready for work and only had a second to snap a few quick pix. I decided to stay nude with the lips, and in line with my “spring” theme, I opted for a shimmery bronzer on the cheeks, as opposed to blush.

Details 

For the face: Amazing Cosmetics Concealer in Medium, Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 in Medium, Maybelline Age-Rewind Under Eye Concealer in Brightener, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Light, E.L.F. HD Transparent Powder, DermaBlend Powder in Sand, MAC Bronzer in Bronze, Hourglass Ambiant Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, NYX Brow Duo in Medium, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown, Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel, Sonia Kashuk Concealer Quad in Light.

For the eyes: Two Faced Shadow Insurance, Be a Bombshell eyeshadow quad in Bora Bora, L’Oreal Liquid Liner in Black, Smashbox liquid liner in Black, Almay Get Up & Grow Mascara in Black, L’Oreal Lashout Butterfly Mascara in Black, Benefit They’re Real Mascara in Black, Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in Black, NYX Retractable Eye Pencil in Black, NYX Retractable Eye Pencil in Teal.

For the lips: Maybelline Dr. Rescue Balm in Just Peachy, NYX Retractable Lip Liner in Nude, LORAC gloss in Nude.

Spring Shimmer w/ Pop of Teal-close up

 What looks are you looking forward to this spring??

Denim Tops – 3 Ways

Denim Tops - 3 Ways

I’ve really been digging the styles I’ve seen lately with denim tops, so I came up with a couple ideas that I thought I might try.

The skirt in the first outfit would be a stretch for me – I am short and have shorter legs so fuller skirts don’t necessarily look flattering on me. My personal style is a mix of casual and girly, and the denim top can fit both those styles wonderfully!

What kind of styles are you hoping to try out this spring?

Nutrition Challenge Update: 2 Weeks Down, 4 To Go!

This past Monday marked the start of the 3rd week of my boot camp’s nutrition & exercise challenge, so I thought I’d give you all a little update on how it has been going!

Starting weight: 118.8 lb.s     Current weight: 114.4 lbs.

Starting waist measurement: 24 in.     Current weight measurement: 23.5 in.

Starting hip measurement: 35 in.     Current hip measurement: 35 in.

YAY!!! So far, so good. However, I did my weigh in on Saturday and since….well, let’s just say I did a little celebrating in the form of homemade ice cream & chocolate chips. The ice cream was paleo, dairy free, and added sugar free (recipe below), so I am not too worried about that, but I bought some 63% dark chocolate chips for some breakfast muffins I made aaaaand then ate the rest of the bag once I was finished baking. Also, the boy and I dug into some Dryer Rocky Road & raw cookie dough from Papa Murphy’s last night.

Fail.

BUT, one thing I have learned since getting serious about eating (mostly) clean and exercising is that slip ups here and there do not make or break your health or goals – throwing in the towel because of them will. So, last night while the boy and I were shoving spoonfuls of delicious cookie dough & ice cream into our faces, I stopped 3 bites in, set my alarm for boot camp, told myself to stop feeling guilty and went to sleep. Then, this morning I started fresh, avoided the cookies in the break room at work and am back at it.

 

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream (dairy-free, sugar-free, paleo)

Ingredients:
3 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 can chilled coconut milk (full fat)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions:
1. Put all ingredients into a food processor.
2. Pulse until combined and smooth.
3. Eat!!
 

BowWow Trainee: Bruno

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Meet Bruno!! He is a 2 year old yellow lab that I have been training for the past week and a half and have basically made my new “accessory”.

He came to me after being a Guide Dog “reject”; his new owners adopted him in the hopes that he could be a stability therapy dog for the husband. Bruno had been trained through Guide Dogs on his basic obedience before leaving the program, but had been unable to pass his NSAR service dog registration in order to be accepted to stability school.

And that is where I came in!

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So far, he has been a model student, and since he already knew his commands, we have been focusing on the requirements for his service test. These basically entail being controllable, on-leash, in a public setting. This has allowed me to take him on field trips and really test him out in different situations.

I have taken him to the feed store, a couple jogging sessions, our down town theater district, and to an event where we have a booth. The event has been the biggest test as there are lots of new people of all shapes and sizes. Tomorrow I plan on taking him to the farmer’s market.

Bruno goes home on Sunday, which I am a little sad about 😦 However, his owners generally drop him off for daycare once or twice a week, so I won’t have to miss him for long!

Wish him luck on passing his service dog tests!!!

NEW Workout Shoes + Discount Code!

I have had to limit all my spending so far this month to the essentials – food, bills, boot camp, insurance, etc., but have been in need of a new pair of shoes for work and/or working out for at least 6 weeks. I had planned on waiting till pay day tomorrow, but surprise! in my inbox was an email with 20% off discount code for The Clymb.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Clymb, they offer discounted prices on outdoor gear (hiking, running, snow, cycling, etc.) and “adventure” travel packages. Similar to HauteLook, but only for athletic apparel & accessories.

The shoes I chose are:

Women’s Altra Superior shoe from The Clymb

These are designed more for trail running, but are made specifically for women and have extra “grippy” stuff on the soles for stabilizing yourself on uneven terrain. They are light weight, which is definitely something that is important to me when choosing shoes, and are shaped more like a foot, so as to allow for more speed when running.

The discount is only good for one day (today 3/13/14)! If you are interested, you can sign up here. Enter code BESTPRICE at check out for an extra 20% off your order!

Where is your favorite place to shop for athletic gear?

6 Week Nutrition Challenge

Last Monday, we started a 6-week nutrition & exercise challenge in my boot camp. I thought it might be helpful to those of you who are looking for a diet/exercise plan if I posted the guidelines we are following! Within the past week, I have already noticed a difference in the way I look, especially in my mid-section. This plan follows a point system (as there will be a prize for the most points at the end) that you do not have to use, but I find the points helpful to track, at a glance, how I have done day-by-day.

Nutrition

  • You start with 5 points each day & subtract a point for each rule you break. Rules are as follows:
  1. YOU CANNOT EAT: Gluten or grains (including rice), dairy from any source (i.e., milk, yogurt, & butter), processed foods (i.e., pretty much anything in a box or bag),  sweeteners (including honey, agave, coconut palm sugar, xylitol, maple syrup, etc.), soy products, white potatoes & beets, fruit juices (unless fresh squeezed), drink supplements (like protein powders), all alcohols & most oils (including olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, etc.)
  2. YOU CAN EAT: Quinoa, coconut or almond milk, Stevia (only sweetener allowed), fruits, vegetables (excluding white potatoes & beets – starchy!), meat, poultry, & fish, coconut oil, avocado oil, coffee & herbal tea, and water.

Exercise

  • Start with 0 points each day, and can earn 2 points for doing at least 20 mins of an exercise that raises your heart rate (walking your 15 year old dog around the block once doesn’t count!).
  • No “partial points”. Must do at least 20 mins for 2 points, or no points at all!

Stretching

  • Start with 0 points each day, and can earn 1 point for doing at least 10 minutes of stretching.

Sleep

  • Start with 0 points, and earn 1 point for getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Water

  • Start with 0 points, and earn 1 point for drinking at least 2 liters (8 cups) of water. No partial points!

*There is a total of 10 points possible each day*

Other recommendations/guidelines I follow:

  1. Try to eat your most fatty meals in the evening, as you burn fat & muscle during sleep – so ideally you are burning the fat!
  2. I keep my fruit intake to bananas (preferably slightly green), citrus (grapefruit, orange, lemon, & lime), and green apples. Fruit tends to be high is natural sugars, so I try to steer clear of most of them – oranges are my one “cheat”.
  3. Use a calorie &/or fitness tracking app – I LOVE MyFitnessPal, or just keep a food & exercise journal. I find this extremely helpful to keeping myself on-track with calories and portion control.
  4. Do it with a friend! I buy all the groceries, so the boy is an easy nutrition partner, but apps like the one mentioned above have social media sharing capabilities so you can see what your friends/family are doing and can help you keep accountable. I also find that seeing how well other people are doing motivates me (or brings out my competitiveness!).

We also did a weigh-in and hip & waist measurements on the first day, as well as a “bench mark” workout. At the end of the 6 weeks, we will weigh in, do measurements, and complete the bench mark workout again to see our progress. We are also banned from weighing our selves until the end! In case you were wondering, our bench mark workout was as follows (time yourself!):

  • Run 1/2 mile
  • 3 Rounds of:
    • 100 jumping jacks
    • 80 sit ups
    • 60 squats
    • 40 push ups
    • 20 burpees
  • Run 1 mile

I didn’t get my time for the bench mark, but I weighed in at 118.8 lbs., 24 in. waist, & 35 in. hips. I am hoping to drop my weight to 110-112 lbs by the end of the 6 weeks.

Hope this is helpful to some of you! How do you stay fit and healthy?

Hiking with the BowWows

We’ve been on a hiking-streak this weekend. First, we went to Helen Putnam Park and did a relatively quick jaunt up to the top of the hill. We like this hike because it isn’t a long trek to reach the entrance – it is actually within walking distance from my parent’s house. We usually go off on one of the side trails to make the hike more interesting and to add a little difficulty, but you really have to watch out for ticks. This time we decided to take a different trail than usual and it ended up being shorter, but the view at the top was amazing!

The next day, we hit Bodega Bay, to one of the boy’s favorite hike spots. We have to access this hike through private property, so I am not super stoked to go there often – I am more into following rules and worried that I will anger the homeowners. The boy has been multiple times and has never run into an issue, so I suggested that we go now that the weather is getting nicer. This hike is a bit treacherous as the path hedges along a seaside cliff and is mostly used by cattle. Also, there are lots of cow pies and muddy spots to avoid. The first time I went on this hike, I had just recently adopted Zephyr and didn’t know too much about his personality. I made the mistake of letting him off leash and he immediately took off after a little herd of sheep. It is a good thing there wasn’t a shepherd around, as Zephyr can look pretty wild. However, the end view is totally worth any apprehensions that I have – it takes you to a private beach that doesn’t look to have been touched by anything but cattle and other animals. It is the ultimate romantic picnic spot!

The BowWows are now happily passed out on the bed with the boy – it has been a weekend well spent!

Review: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade

Dip Brow Pomade in Auburn

Dip Brow Pomade in Auburn

Lately, I have really been into trying different products for my brows and when I saw that Anastasia came out with this pomade, I was intrigued. After watching a couple reviews and tutorials on Youtube, I decided to pick up one for myself.

I have been into a lighter brow color lately, though my hair is a fairly dark brown. At the time of purchase, however, I had just dyed it a dark brownish-red, so opted to pick up the Auburn color because 1) my hair was reddish (duh) and 2) because it seemed lighter in hue than the Chocolate or Dark Brown. I had originally wanted to pick up the Blonde, but they were out of it at my Ulta.

Anastasia offers 5 shades: Blonde, Auburn, Chocolate, Dark Brown & Ebony.

Auburn

Auburn

Price is $18 for 4grams/0.14oz. and claims that the formula is waterproof, smudgeproof and great for those that live in humid climates or have oily skin.

Does it work? In a word, yes! The application is smooth and I generally don’t have to worry about setting my brows with a gel afterwards. It lasts all day without fading, even if I have to go to my aerial class right after work. You do need to work fairly quickly when applying as it sets within 30-45 seconds. I generally work in sections, brush through with a spoolie, then move on to the next section.  Be careful to not overload your brush with product – a little goes a long way! I get a little on my angled brush, then pat the brush in the cap so as to get rid of any excess. I then use what is left in the cap to finish the rest of that brow.

The one con of this product (which isn’t really a con) is that I wish they had a lighter brown shade. I need to purchase a different color now that my red hair has faded, but the Chocolate color still looks fairly dark and I am tempted to get the Blonde, but am not sure that it would fit my medium/olive skin tone.

Bottom line: A must try! If you have problems with your brows moving, smudging, fading, etc., then this is the product you have been looking for! Just make sure to use a light hand, as once set, this pomade will not move!

Hope this review was helpful! What is your favorite brow product?