November 29, 2011

Tip: Applying Eyeshadow

If you've ever taken a drawing class you may have learned one general rule: to draw with a light hand and build up darker areas slowly in layers. I use the same rule for applying my eyeshadow. 

The outcome isn't so great when you load up your eyeshadow brush with a dark color and plaster it onto your lids or crease. We've all done it at some point. It's frustrating to try and figure out your next step. Should I wipe it off with a tissue? Should I remove it with makeup remover? Should I apply more eyeshadow? You can avoid this fiasco and it's fairly simple.

Here's a tip:
Lightly dab your brush into the eyeshadow and tap it onto your lids, don't swipe (you'll get a more even application by tapping). Keep building it up until you create the look you want. You might have to go back for more eyeshadow several times but it's better than applying a heavy layer all at once. You'll also waste less product (which also can lead to saving $$$!)

For the crease and outer lid area I like to apply shadow with my blending brush. It gives a light application and blends at the same time. Then you can go back with a regular eyeshadow brush to intensify areas that need it.

Did you find this tip helpful? Let me know!

November 23, 2011

Review: Ultra CHI Flat Iron

I've always wanted a CHI flat iron but always chose other brands instead, mainly less expensive ones. For the past couple years I've been using a Conair Infiniti and it worked great....until I met Ultra CHI.

Mark gave me an Ultra CHI flat iron for my birthday this month and I'm so glad he did. I really didn't know what I was missing out on. I had been using a flat iron that straightened my hair but did nothing for volume or shine. I'm happy to finally join the ranks of CHI lovers.


  • It straightens without taking the volume away.
  • My hair has bounce!
  • It heats up really fast
  • It glides through my hair...no pulling or tugging
  • It adds tons of shine!

I have no complaints or dislikes so far. I'm in love!

Overall thoughts
I know many people already use CHI but if you don't and you're using a flat iron that doesn't work that well, look into getting one. Put it on your wishlist or save up for it. It's worth it! I'm not sure how I went so long without one.

November 20, 2011

Birthday Recap

So yesterday was my birthday (I turned 24) and I just wanted to share how my day went with you guys.



I got up and got ready while Mark made us delicious blueberry muffins for breakfast. I cleaned until my parents came over and gave me gifts. We hung out for a bit and the doorbell rang. It was a flower arrangement from my sister! It was so pretty and an unexpected surprise. Then we went out to a couple stores and out to dinner. After my parents left, Mark and I met up with some people for drinks and then we came home. It wasn't a huge elaborate celebration or anything and I liked it that way.

As for my gifts I'm not going to list all of them but I'll share a few. I was eligible for an upgrade on my phone so my parents got me the newest iPhone. Siri and I are getting along great! They also gave me new boots, Kirkland makeup brushes (Costco brand), and a few other things.  Mark gave me an Ultra Chi Straightener - review to come soon - along with a couple other gifts.

Anyways, so that was my day. Did you celebrate a birthday recently? If so, what did you do?

November 17, 2011

Blogging Tips

You might already have a blog or maybe you're just starting out, but it's always good  to be open to advice no matter what level you've reached. I've been blogging for awhile and have learned a lot about improving my blog. I've put together some basic tips on blogging to share with you and hope that you can share some in return.



1. Create your own style
Play around with different fonts, backgrounds, and colors but remember not to go overboard. Busy backgrounds, bright colors, and crazy fonts can be distracting and make it hard to read. You want your blog to be easy on the eyes.

2. Add pictures to your posts
This makes your blog more appealing. People love to look at pictures. I would suggest taking your own pictures unless you have permission to use someone else's photos. You may encounter issues if you use pictures that aren't your own, even if you have given credit to the owner.

3. Don't be too wordy 
Some people are fine with reading lengthy posts, but many readers want to read your main points, look at your pictures, and move on. The length is up to you, but keep in mind that if you're too long-winded readers may lose interest.

4. Organize your thoughts
 You might want to consider sectioning out your main points and organizing them with titles, bullets, and numbers- that way people can skip ahead to the areas they want to read. You can also use bold or italic font to identify important areas.

5. Proofread and edit your posts!
Write out a rough draft and then leave it alone for awhile. Come back later to read through it and make corrections. It will be easier to catch mistakes.  Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation!

6. Look at other blogs
No, I don't mean steal or copy another blog's ideas, but use them for inspiration!


 Have some blogging tips of your own? Tell me in the comments!

November 10, 2011

November Birchbox: Anastasia, Kerastase

This month I received my first Birchbox! In case you didn't know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service in which you get 4-5 deluxe samples for $10 a month. Once you try the sample you can buy the full product directly from the Birchbox website. I first saw this on youtube and thought it was a great way to try new products without having to buy them.  I love to explore new brands and try different things so I had to sign up.


What's in my November Birchbox
1. Befine Night Cream
Full Size - 1.7 fl oz $30
I've never used a night cream before and hadn't heard of this brand prior to trying it so this was completely new to me. I really like it a lot! My skin felt very soft and smooth when I woke up. I'm tempted to buy the full size.

2. Anastasia Lash Lifting Mascara
Full Size - 8 ml  $22
This mascara advertises that it "will add full volume thickness and uplifting curl". I had a chance to try this out today. I think it does exactly what it claims. I like it but I don't think I want to spend $22 on it.

3. Kerastase Elixir Ultime
Full Size - 125 ml  $54
This conditioning oil is really nice. It has a thin consistency and spreads out onto your hair evenly. I haven't used it enough to tell if it makes a big difference but $54 is too much for me to spend on a hair product.

4. Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste
Full Size - 4.2 oz  $21
I used this once already. I'll have to keep using it to see if it does make a difference but so far I don't have plans to buy it.

5. Alex and Isabelle Classic Hair Ties
Set of 6  $12
This is such a cute and unique idea. When I first saw it in my box I wasn't sure what it was for but then read that it was an elastic for your hair. It actually looks really pretty and feels gentle on my hair. I'd be interested in getting more.


So I can't say I'm disappointed with anything I recieved. I've read that the contents can vary from one Birchbox to another so I'm excited to see what other people received. I will be reviewing my Birchbox every month here so watch for my next one in December!


Join Birchbox
Want more Birchbox reviews? Find them here



Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. A referral link was used.






November 9, 2011

Selling Scarves

So far I haven't mentioned a whole lot about my shop. My reason being that I don't want to constantly advertise it. That can be pretty annoying and there's nothing worse than being pushed into buying something. With that being said, if you aren't aware of it yet, I sell scarves that I make in an online shop. You can find some of them under the "My Shop" tab at the top of the page. To see my full shop you can click HERE .  Check it out if you want. No pressure, this is just a friendly reminder that it's there.

Interested? Here's a little more info...
-I price most of them under $20, which I think is very reasonable.
-If you want specific colors or sizes you can request a custom order and I will be happy to do it (no extra charge).
-I constantly add new scarves so check back often
-I do ship outside of the U.S.
-I accept payment through Paypal.


Keep in mind they make great gifts!!
If you have any questions you can e-mail me at missaf23@gmail.com
You can find updates regarding my shop on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/sparkleknit
Happy shopping!

November 4, 2011

Bath & Body Works Select-A-Shimmer

I recently purchased this product for fun and because I'm always so tempted by it when I go to B&BW. Of course they don't carry it in my favorite scent (Secret Wonderland) but I wanted to give it a try anyways. I chose the scent Charmed Life.



What is this product?
It's a customizable body lotion. One side is a shimmer gel and the other side is a body lotion so you can pick how much or how little of each you want to be dispensed. You just twist the top to the desired position and then pump it out.

Likes and Dislikes
-I like the feel of the lotion.It'svery lightweight and the scent I chose is a subtle fresh scent.
-I like that the shimmer isn't too crazy or over-the-top. You won't look like a disco ball, I promise!
-I love that its customizable. Some days I might want to sparkle more than others.
-I don't like that it's only available in certain scents. Maybe that will change eventually.

Overall thoughts
This product isn't a must-have but I do think it's really fun to have around or even give as a gift. It's a little pricey at $14 so the best time to buy it is during one of their many sales.  It's at least worth checking out next time you pay a visit to Bath & Body Works.

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