The Curse of the Familiar Face

Just by a show of hands, how many of you have ever told me that I remind you of someone you know? I’m guessing that I must have a familiar face. My face is not different than most. I’m pretty pale (my friends do call me Snow White from time to time, which I’ll accept since you know I love my Disney Princesses), I have constantly-rosy cheeks (so rosy, it’s a little annoying–I can never wear blush), brown eyes and prominent brows. Think less Lily Collins, more Lucy Hale. That’s about right. Sounds pretty normal, right?

People always ask me if they know me from somewhere, or if I’m related to someone they know. It usually goes a little something like this:

Stranger: “OMG hey I know you!”

Me: “Oh, really?”

(At this point I’m trying to back out of this conversation because this honestly happens so often that it’s kind of frustrating)

Stranger: “Yes! I know you from somewhere but I just can’t place it. You look sooooo familiar.”

Me: *begins naming off places I’ve worked and went to school, etc etc etc*

Stranger: “Nope, none of that…but omg I feel like I definitely know you from somewhere!

I’m not being dramatic when I say that this happens at least once a month. One time in high school, a girl came into class on the first day of drama club and smacked me because she thought I was actually someone else. What is that even about?! We eventually ended up being best friends, but I was pretty weirded out about her for a few months after that, haha.

Are there a band of Christina doppelgängers roaming the United States? I’m not sure if I feel comfortable with that.

And of course when I run into people I actually know (and people who know me) it’s always a no-makeup day. Because that’s just the way life works! Don’t mind me, I’m just hiding my entire face behind my hair because I was TOO LAZY to put on tinted moisturizer and eyeliner this morning…there’s nothing to see here.

I know this is a shorty post but this was bugging me and I’m hoping by writing it all out, people will stop thinking that I look familiar and asking me weird questions. I’ll let you know if it works (it won’t work).

xx,

Christina

Battle of the Subscription Boxes!

How I feel when I get my monthly subscriptions in the mail

So if you’re anything like me, you’ve been totally obsessed with monthly beauty subscription box services. They’ve become absolutely huge within the last two years. The first time I remember hearing about subscription services was in early 2011. I was talking to my roommate Ashley about Birchbox, and we were saying how we weren’t sure if paying $10 a month for “samples” would be worth it.

I’m currently subscribed to only two monthly beauty box services: Birchbox and Ipsy. I’ve had pretty differing experiences with both. They both have their good and bad qualities, things I love and hate.

My friend Leila was the one who finally got me subscribed to Birchbox (more about her, later!) in the fall of 2012.  I really loved it at first– I loved the points system, the customer service was great, and I really found use for most of the samples I was getting each month. But over time, I feel like the quality has gone down quite a bit. Each month I receive at least one perfume sample (which ended up getting tossed anyway, wasteful) that I could get for free at Nordstrom or any other department store, and as each month progresses I feel like I am getting less beauty products for my money. I’m not the only one, either…if you take a look at Birchbox’s Facebook page, you’ll see multitudes of less-than-satisfied subscribers. It’s time to step it up, Birchbox.

Joan Holloway does not approve of Birchbox’s recent antics

Ipsy, on the other hand, I have loved from the beginning. I subscribed to Ipsy in the fall of 2012 as well, and I’ve been happy with every single month’s offerings. One of the things I love the most about Ipsy is the cute little makeup bags they send each month. April’s bag looked a little like this:

Ipsy has always been great about sending full-sized items in their monthly bags. For $10 a month, the same price as Birchbox, I feel like the value is so much higher because of the full-size items you consistently receive. I can’t speak about their customer service because I’ve never used it, but so far I only have good things to say about the company and the products they offer. The full-sized Zoya nailpolish I received last month? YES, PLEASE!!

I’ve turned Leila and my friend Dominique onto Ipsy, and I think they’ve been pretty happy with the offerings so far, as well! If you’d like to sign up to Ipsy using my referral link, you can click here.

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Pop Sugar’s May Must Have box, courtesy of xsparkage

I am also a former subscriber of the Pop Sugar Must Have box. PSMH is a little different than your typical monthly beauty box, because it includes lifestyle, fashion, entertainment and food items. Since it includes so many things, the price is considerably higher– $35 per month. I have only recently unsubscribed, but I have gotten some great boxes in the past. Especially during the winter time, I would consistently get items that I was very impressed with, including Bodum clear glass mugs and a Tea Forté tea gift set. Nice things that I had multiple uses for– perfect.

I unsubscribed this month from PSMH because I started to feel like nothing in the boxes were truly a “must-have”, as the service claims. They were nice things, but my life wouldn’t be dramatically different if I didn’t own them. The service started out very strong, but I feel like with Birchbox, the quality of the items greatly declined in recent months. I really liked PSMH and will probably resubscribe in the future if I see the quality going up again in their boxes.

My friend Leila and I, disillusioned with the declining quality in our monthly subscription box services, decided to start our own beauty box together. We call it Beauty Pals, and we basically send each other a package each month filled with beauty items we love, and we know the other person will love too. Here’s what Leila sent me this month:

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Such great stuff, including Physicians Formula Cover RX concealer (which is amazing, by the way, and a pretty good dupe for my Tarte Maracuja Creaseless concealer), a custom-made Creme Brulee, Vanilla and Caramel shimmer body wash, Lumene Vitamin C+ Day Cream (which remindes me SO much of Origins Vitazing moisturizer!) and an ahhh-mazing Rimmel Apocalips liquid lipstick, on top of a bunch of other amazing things. I love everything. Best beauty box ever!

What monthly subscriptions are you currently getting? Do you love them and find their offerings consistent every month, or have you had issues with quality as well? Let me know, cuties!

xx,

Christina

February Beauty Favorites & A Few Extras

I’m kind of sad that February is over because it’s one of my favorite months. I’ve always been a big fan of Valentine’s Day, unashamedly so. Pink and red hearts all over everything? Yes, please.

Since I haven’t done a favorites post since November (my first favorite month), I thought it was time for one! Here are my February Favorites (and a couple extras, too, of course):

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 81.) Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer– I haven’t been wearing a lot of foundation lately, so I’ve mostly been sticking to tinted moisturizers and BB creams. I use the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer nearly every day, even though I hated it at first! I have very, very dry skin and when I first started using this, I felt like it made my skin look even worse. But it turns out that I just wasn’t moisturizing enough before applying it- duh! I love it now, and love that it already has SPF in it so I don’t have to add sunscreen before doing my makeup.

2.) Chanel Inimiable Mascara– So I never thought that I’d ever be in love with such an expensive mascara, but I totally am. I was out of my go-to holy grail Dior Show Blackout mascara, and my beauty stylist friend recommended that I try the Chanel. Oh my God. The formula of this mascara is something like I’ve never tried before! It makes my lashes so long and volumized with only ONE COAT, which is unheard of for my lashes. I’m used to layering my mascara or even using two different tubes at once, but this stuff must be made of fairy dust and unicorn blood because my lashes have never looked better. The only thing I don’t like about this mascara is the weird smell, but I’ll gladly put up with it for long Barbie lashes. Yes, please.

3.) First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream– I love this cream! It’s totally gentle to use on your entire body, even your face. Since it’s so heavy I usually only put it on at night after I use my Clarisonic, but I’ve seen such a difference in my skin’s texture since I started using it. There are no parabens or sulfates, which is something that’s important for a lot of people when choosing a facial moisturizer. My skin is naturally very dry, but the FAB cream makes my skin smooth so I don’t get weird dry patches when I put on my tinted moisturizer or foundation. Total winner! I recently purchased the Anti-Redness Serum and Dual Repair Eye Cream from the FAB line, and you’re probably going to see them in a future favorites post since I am OBSESSED with them.

4.) Lush American Cream Conditioner– I’m a pretty new convert to Lush, only having used a couple of their products in the past. I wasn’t too sure about the American Cream conditioner when I first started using it because the formula is kind of watery, and I need a lot of conditioner to get the tangles out of my waist-length hair. But the longer I’ve been using it, I’ve noticed a huge difference in the amount of split ends and tangles I have post-hair washing! I really like the smell (which is nothing like the strawberry vanilla cream scent they tout on the label, by the way, Lush!) and find that the scent lasts a long time in my hair after washing.

5.) Essie ‘E-Nuf is E-Nuf’– I actually bought this polish as a dupe for my beloved OPI Cajun Shrimp which I dropped on the tile floor of my bathroom earlier this year (RIP Cajun Shrimp, I loved you so much). It’s just a really pretty pinky coral, and I’ve found myself reapplying it quite a few times during the month of February. Essie formulas are really great because they are very chip-resistant.

6.) Kate Spade Sprinkles Henrietta Cosmetics Case– I picked this up on total accident when I was shopping for a gift for my mom for Valentine’s Day. I always knew Kate Spade made really great cosmetics cases and have been wanting to get one for awhile. This case is the perfect size for my purse, and most importantly, it’s covered in rainbow sprinkles. What more could a girl ask for, really? SPRINKLES. PERFECTION. It’s on sale at Bloomingdales now, if you want to pick one up too!

7.) Maybelline Baby Lips– I had tried these about a year ago and I wasn’t impressed at all. But I must have just picked up a bad tube because I recently bought two more just out of curiosity, and I love them! Especially the Quenched lip balm with SPF20 (I believe). I have been wearing these on their own or even under my more-drying lipsticks (MAC matte lipsticks, I’m looking at you) and I’ve really been enjoying them. Total lip balm winners for the month!

And now for the extras!

Music Favorites:

Ingrid Michaelson – Ghost (Live from Laurel Canyon)
I’ve been listening to Ingrid’s Laurel Canyon EP a wholeeeee lot this month, and this is my favorite from the album. I wish everyone knew about Ingrid Michaelson because their lives would just be so much better.

Broken Bells – October
I was really into Broken Bells my senior year of college, and I just kind of forgot about them. Earlier this month I heard this song on the trailer for Warm Bodies, and remembered my love for it.

Kimbra – Cameo Lover 
My Kimbra obsession continues into another month…no one is surprised! This song makes me wish I was still a dancer because there would be sooooo many choreography sessions involving this song. So many!

Random Favorite:

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Iced Caramel Macchiatos from Starbucks
Ummm so can we talk about how February was a crazy month for me and I relied on caramel macchiatos to get through the day about half of the time? Because these are instant mood-boosters and just made my life a whole lot better. Thank you, espresso.

What did you love for the month of February? Tell me everything, gorgeous!

xx,

Christina

When Lurking Goes Horribly Wrong

I did something really stupid. It was a total, complete accident, but probably one of the worst mistakes I’ve made in recent history.

Let me start off by saying that EVERYBODY is a little bit of a lurk. If you deny it, you’re just lying to yourself. The internet makes it too easy for us to find information, plain and simple. Wondering whatever happened to your BFF from middle school? Maybe an ex who you cut ties with and haven’t spoken to in awhile?

Since we all know that I’m not a big fan of staying friends with my exes on any social media networks (too messy), I have to admit that I do get a little curious sometimes. Everyone does. And no, this does not make me a weirdo, because it’s perfectly natural to wonder whatever happened to a person that you spent a significant chunk of your life with once upon a time.

So there I was, lurking away on a Tuesday night. No apologies whatsoever. Haha, when I say it like that, it sounds like I was holed up in a dark room crouching over my computer, but it wasn’t quite that dramatic. I was just on my phone perusing.

I happened upon an ex of mine’s current girlfriend. Just to, you know, see what was up with that situation. Girls–you know what I’m talking about. (Side note: he’s probably reading this, because he’s a lurk, too.)

And then the worst thing possible happened when I clicked on her name.

I ACCIDENTALLY FRIEND REQUESTED HER.

Now, if you have ever done anything like this, you know the moment of sheer terror and panic that pierces through your body.

“Congrats! Friend request to Ex’s Girlfriend sent!”

With the absolute quickness, I canceled the friend request (she’ll still get an e-mail about it, so the embarrassment is forever) and thought about deleting my Facebook. But I didn’t. Because this was a lesson to me to stop being such a creep! When you lurk on the internet, bad things happen, obviously. Andddd I definitely learned my lesson.

Has this ever happened to you? Can anything more embarrassing in my life ever happen to me? I don’t think so. Share your lurking horror stories with me!

xx,

Christina

Confessions of a (Former) Radio DJ

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Starting in my sophomore year of college at Flagler, I worked for the college’s radio station, WFCF 88.5. First as a DJ, and eventually as Head Music Director of the station.

I remember the first day of radio workshop orientation like it was yesterday. The station manager asked us why we chose radio workshop for that semester, probably not thinking that some of us would end up loving it and sticking with it for the rest of our time at the school.

“Well, yoga was full,” said Lindsay, a girl who ended up being one of my closest friends at Flagler, and one of my favorite people in general.

The station manager didn’t think it was funny, but we did. People who did radio workshop generally didn’t stick with it. But a few of us did.

By the time I got my own radio show at the tail end of sophomore year, I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea it would happen so fast.

I remember many a morning spent in front of the board, nursing a huge iced coffee from Schmagel’s Bagels or Carmelo’s, or an obscenely large Monster energy drink.(Seriously though…no one should ever ingest that much caffeine and sugar at once…I can’t even look at Monster drinks now!) My shows were usually from 7-9am on Fridays. Even though I have never been a morning person, it didn’t matter. Sometimes I didn’t even go to bed the night before one of my shows. That actually happened more times than I care to admit.

Music has this amazing transformational quality that can take you to different times in your life. Sometimes when I’m at work and I hear a song I used to play on my radio show, I’m instantly transported back to the tiny egg shell carton-styrofoam, sound-proofed room where I spent so many days of my college life. I remember the little yellow light blinking in the dark room, telling me I had a call on the request line, and the way the DJ booth always smelled kind of old and musty until I pulled my bottle of Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy out of my purse to freshen things up. I remember co-hosting shows with some of my best friends and wishing the two-hour block would never come to an end, and having the best time training some young radio interns who are actually still at the station now. I remember thinking that this amazing time in my life would last forever.

I’d give anything to go back to my Friday mornings on the air. Even though I’m technically a “grown up” now (am I really, though? I mean I don’t remember reading anything saying that once you turn 24 you have to act all grown up, eww) I’ll always remember everything I learned from those early mornings and late nights in the DJ booth.

xx,

Christina (aka…DJ Lush)

November Favorites

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Oops, there I go neglecting my blog once again. I’M SORRY GUYS. I’ve actually been doing a lot of writing lately, none of which is suitable for this blog, but I will make it up to you! Here is my ultimate November Favorites post!

First of all, let me just tell you that my birth month was a pretty fabulous one. I turned 24 earlier this month, so that was something. Some highlights from my birthday included: a Disney Princess birthday card from my BFF Ashley, my Little Mermaid birthday cake and the fact that I still get carded at the movies. Which is something that I’m sure I’ll brag about when I’m an old lady, haha.

Time for favorites!

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(Sorry for the dark photo…I’m a super-smart college educated individual that takes pictures AFTER the sun goes down, smh)

1.) Make Up For Ever High Definition Primer– I am fairly certain that this stuff is made from the tears of unicorns. It’s just UNREAL how much longer my makeup lasts with this primer. It’s without a doubt the best one I’ve ever used, and believe me I have tried them all (my bank account weeps thinking about it)!
2.) Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray– Can you tell I’ve been really into primers? Even though I have long hours at work I don’t want it to show on my face, so I’m a big fan of this setting spray. It’s kind of expensive, but worth the money.
3.) Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush– How did I go so long without having this brush in my life? I use it to apply my Revlon Colorstay foundation, and it’s super soft! I actually like it a lot better than my MAC 187 brush, which I used for the same purpose, and it was much cheaper–only about $15 at Target. Sonia Kashuk makes really great brushes.
4.) MAC Lustreglass in Venetian– This gloss has been a lifesaver for me on days when I’m running late and don’t want to do the whole liner+lipstick+gloss routine. It’s pigmented with enough color that I can get away with wearing it on its own.
5.) Lancome Definicils Mascara– This mascara is really great, and it’s up there in rank next to my ultimate favorite, the Dior Show Blackout mascara. Two coats and my lashes touch my brow bone, amazing.
6.) Lancome Artliner Liquid Eyeliner– Artliner has quickly become HG status for me. It’s so easy to use, I can even put it on when I don’t have my contacts in (unlike most liquid eyeliners, and for reference I am blind as a bat without my contacts!). The staying power is really fantastic, and it doesn’t crumble away like the Stila Stay All Day liquid eyeliner I was using before did.
7.) Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Liner in 15C– EVERYONE NEEDS THESE LIP LINERS. I swear, using these makes such a difference! 15C is a rose-pink, and I find myself using it most often underneath Buxom’s White Russian lip cream.
8.) Urban Decay Naked Palette– I always find myself coming back to this palette. I know it’s been my Favorites lists so many times, but it’s THAT good. I haven’t tried the Naked 2 yet or the new Naked Basics, the original is all I need!

Annnndddd how about some non-beauty favorites?

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1.) Two Door Cinema Club – “The World Is Watching”

Ugh, their music is so good it hurts. If you get a chance, go listen to Two Door Cinema Club’s new-ish (not sure when it came out) album Beacon. I promise you’ll love it.

2.) Disney Princess band-aids
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Because I am the klutziest individual to ever walk the earth. I recently had a fingernail tragedy (RIP, fingernail, I miss you so much) and these bandaids are all I have in my medicine cabinet. So Cinderella can remind me of my own personal tragedies all day long!

3.) Starbucks Iced Chai Tea with Pumpkin Spice
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Iced chais with pumpkin spice have been my everything lately! A friend of mine has also turned me on to caramel chai’s, which are delicious as well. Ugh, you perfect tea, I love you so much.

So those are my November Favorites! What have you been loving this month? Leave me a comment or reply to me on Twitter, @xtina1822.

Love you mean it.

xx,
Christina

I ♥ Fall Tag

Trick or Treat, my gorgeous friends! It’s finally Halloween, one of my most favorite holidays. Lately the I <3 Fall Tag has been going around lately and I wanted to do my own version. So here we go!

1.) Favorite fall lip product?
My favorite fall lip product is absolutely, without a doubt Russian Red by MAC. It’s this perfect matte lipstick that looks amazing on everyone and makes your teeth look SO WHITE. Just as a precaution though, if you’ve never worn Russian Red before: Line your lips first! Since this is a matte shade, it can feather and look weird around your lips if you don’t line them first. But lately I’ve been wearing Russian Red with Revlon’s Just-Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic layered over top. The balm takes away any dryness you may have had with the matte lip color and gives you this glossy, long-lasting finish.

2.) Favorite Fall Nail Polish?

This should come as no surprise since I’ve basically been wearing it all autumn, but OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark is just perfect. I like to keep my nails on the short side but I do think it looks a like nicer on longer nails…but not Lana Del Rey-like talons!

3.) Favorite Starbucks Fall Drink?
I know everyone loves the Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks, but my favorite is actually the Salted Caramel Mocha. It’s so horrendously bad for you, so I try to limit myself to one every two weeks or so, but if I could have one every day I totally would. They are just tooooo damn delicious. The caramel and the salt together is so satisfying!

4.) Favorite Fall Candle?

This fall I have really been loving the Marshmallow Fireside candle from Slatkin & Company. Ooh, by the way, these candles are 2 for $20 at Bath & Body Works right now! I love pretty much marshmallow anything, and this candle smells like a bonfire to me. I have the Wallflower version all over my house right now, too!

5.) Favorite Fall Scarf or accessory:

I live in South Florida where it very, very rarely gets to be cool enough to wear cold-weather clothing. Last year I was shopping with my friend Ashley in SoHo and I ended up buying a pashmina for like $2 off of a street vendor cart. And since then it’s become my favorite accessory for the fall! I usually pair it with a black or white top, jeggings or some thick leggings.

6.) Haunted house, haunted hay ride, or haunted corn maze?
Haunted house 100%! I’ve never been in a haunted hay ride or corn maze, so I gotta go with the haunted house. I actually haven’t been to a good one in awhile, since I went to Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando a few years ago.

7.) Favorite Halloween movie?

The Exorcist is still the one Halloween movie that scares the crap out of me. No matter how many times I watch it, I still get SO creeped out. The whole notion of possession by the devil and exorcisms really creep me out. But I love this movies and watch it every single Halloween– and a couple times during the rest of the year, too.

8.) Favorite candy to eat on Halloween?

Well, as I’m sitting here next to a huge bowl of Reese’s, I gotta say those are my favorite. However, I also love Nerd Ropes, and plan on buying an excessive amount of them once all of the Halloween candy goes 50% off tomorrow!

9.) What are you dressing up as for Halloween?!
Today was kind of insane for me (first day off from work in 6 days, ahh!) so I didn’t really have time to dress up or do any cool makeup (I was planning on doing Marina & The Diamonds’ Electra Heart makeup and hair!). However, I made the time to dress up my Chihuahua in her pumpkin costume. She wore it for about half an hour and was a really good sport about it, surprisingly!

10.) What is your Favorite thing about Fall?

The cooler weather, dressing up, festive drinks, tons of candy…honestly, I love it all. There’s nothing I don’t love about fall.

Okay cutie pies, now it’s your turn! Tell me your favorite things about the fall!

I’ll see you in November.

xx,
Christina

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