Reviews

Best in Beauty 2014

by agirlandhermutt on January 23, 2015

Happy Friday Friends! If you have been reading for a bit then you know that I LOVE all things make-up, fashion and hair. That doesn’t mean that I’m a pro at any of these, but I do enjoy pretending to be! In past years I have talked about monthly favorites or items I was into throughout the year, but this past year I kind of dropped the ball. So we are doing a whole big ol’ round-up of my tried-and-true products! Warning: This is going to get a bit long! Enjoy!

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Face

It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation
Color: Light-Medium
This powder foundation is perfect for someone who wants full coverage, but hates the feeling of traditional liquid foundation. I used this foundation all summer and winter long. It goes on perfectly and lasts all day! Even the super sweaty days.

IT Cosmetics Buffing Foundation Brush
This sucker came as part of a little kit that I got off QVC when I ordered my foundation. When applying the IT Cosmetics foundation with this brush I got that airbrushed looked that can be really hard to achieve with powder foundations. It is jam packed with synthetic hairs that don’t shed. A must for any brush.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
Color: Luminous Light
After watching about a bajillion bridal make-up tutorials, I was convinced to give this finishing powder/highlighter a try. Yep. It is just as fantastic as people said. It gives my face a light glow (now sweaty looking) that makes me look sun kissed. It isn’t sparkly or shiny, but truly a glow. Perfect for those of us who have grown out of the glitter make-up stage. This stuff ain’t cheap, but it also doesn’t take much so it will last forever!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush
Color: Prim (or any color)
I debated putting this one in because my favorite color doesn’t seem to be a part of the regular Tarte blush rotation. I got the color Prim in the Chic to Cheek collection over the holidays and fell in love. But honestly? All of the Amazonian Clay blushes are fantastic. They last all day long, have a ton of pigment and have a fantastic texture. Is it weird to like a blush texture? I just mean that it goes on really smoothly without having any patchy spots. Which happens with other blushes and that can get weird.

Makeup Geek Rounded Blush Brush
If you haven’t watched Marlena, the woman behind Makeup Geek, on YouTube then go do that and come back later. She has great tutorials and her make-up line is fantastic. What I’m most in love with though are her brushes. This rounded blush brush is PERFECT for applying bronzer. It lets me be a bit more precise in my application and doesn’t get all muddled on my face. These bad boys are always sold out so stay on top of the website to grab one the minute they are restocked.
Eyes

It Cosmetics Brow Powder Universal Eyebrow Pencil
Color: Universal Taupe
This brow pencil takes some getting used to, but once you do…magic. The universal concept is simple. Press lightly for light color and press harder for darker color. No lie. It works! I alternated between dark and lighter brows throughout the year. When I’m doing a no make-up look, I go lighter. When I’m dressed up, those bad boys are DARK. Bonus, this stuff looks really natural.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil
Color: Milk
This eye shadow/liner pencil doesn’t crease. Ever. Which makes it perfect for a primer of sorts. When I want my darker shadows to stand out, I first apply a layer of this pencil, rub it in with my finger and then apply my regular eyeshadows. Suddenly the colors just POP.

Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara
This is a relatively new favorite, but deserves some attention. I’m a sucker for advertisements and this mascara had Katy Perry in it. Yessss. BUT! This is actually a really nice mascara! It provides a really natural look where the lashes are longer and fuller, but not over the top. A perfect every day mascara for sure. And take it from this small eyed gal, it doesn’t smudge!

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics
I’m obsessed with the Naked line from Urban Decay, but the first basics palette just didn’t wow me. When the Naked2 Basics line came out I was surprised to see that there was a bigger range of shades. This ended up being my go-to and travel eye shadow palette. They are all matte and just look great with anything.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer
Color: Brightner
I don’t have a huge under eye circle problem, but I do really like that whole Kim Kardashian bright eyed look. This concealer is perfect for getting the bright look without being heavy and settling into my fine lines. Plus, it is CHEAP!

Lips

Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Balm
Color: Pudgy Peony & Whole Lotta Honey
These little chubby sticks are so cute and perfect for my lips. The sticks have a sheer quality to them, but with still plenty of color. They also live up to their moisturizing name. Don’t you hate when moisturizers dry you out?! Not the case here.

NYX Wonder Pencil
Color: Light
Ok, this is my lip secret. I use this as my lip liner. My lips + this pencil= BOOM. Big ol’ lips.

It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush 4-in-1 Reviver Lipstick Stain
Color: Je Ne Sais Quoi
My lips but better. Gorgeous sheer color that just seems to bring out my natural color. Plus, it stays put all day long for me! Be careful with this lipstick in the heat though. It is a softer lipstick and will become a big ol’ puddle in your bag if you let it get hot.

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Hair

Sexy Hair Healthy Hair Soy Touchable Weightless Hairspray
I don’t typically use hairspray. I’m blessed with good hair that just holds curl and styles. HOWEVER! There are times when I want to just make sure everything stays in place. This hairspray gives me the hold I need without becoming a helmet head. I also don’t need a professional hair wash the next day to get this stuff out. Seriously. I have had to do that before. It was awful! This spray really does leave your hair touchable but still provides a great hold.

Herbal Essences Sleeker the Butter Shampoo & Conditioner
Mmmm. This shampoo and conditioner smells so good! I should note that I wash my hair about 2-3 times a week. At most. So when I condition, I REALLY need to condition my hair. This combo not only smells good, but keeps my hair looking and feeling healthy without feeling weighted down.

NuMe Titan 3 Curling Wand Set
First…don’t ever pay full price for a NuMe product. There is ALWAYS a coupon code to be found online. I think I paid about $65 for this set and I really love it! The variety of barrels give me a great option for curls. I tend to stick to the medium sized barrel (25mm) but have used the others too. I wouldn’t say using a curling wand is faster for me than a regular curling iron, but it does provide a much more natural and relaxed curl. Great for when you want curled hair but don’t want to look like you spent an hour getting ready. And use the glove that comes with it! Safety first folks.

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Other Goodies

OPI Nail Polish
Color: My Vampire is Buff & My Favorite Ornament

I’m obsessed with gel manicures and this combo was my favorite for the whole year. Simple. Elegant. Gorgeous!

Ponds Luminous Clean Wet Cleansing Towelettes
Never ever ever ever go to sleep with your make-up on! A quick swipe with one of these wipes and your make-up will be gone. It takes off the most stubborn eyeliner and mascara with ease.

The Body Shop Body Butter
Smells: Almond, Coconut, Vineyard Peach, Strawberry, Honeymania
I’ve mentioned these body butters before and I still adore them. They are super moisturizing without being sticky and I just love them.

The Body Shop Body Mist
Smells: Coconut, Almond
If we ever hang out in the summer, I will smell like coconut. If we hang out in the fall or winter, I will smell like Almond. Light, delicious and long lasting. These body mists are perfect for those people that want to smell good but don’t really care for the traditional perfume smell.

Eyelash Extensions
Sigh. I *wish* I had the time and money to keep these up year round! The price is totally reasonable for the amount of work they do, but every time I went I thought about other things I could be doing with that money. I would totally do it again for an event, big trip, etc. They were perfect for my wedding! Locals, I got mine done by Lash L’Amour in Newton. Total pros.

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So there you have it! My top beauty faves for 2014! I’ll be posting in a few weeks about my wedding make-up and hair where you will see a few of these favorites appear again. I also plan on doing a bit of a Not So Hot products post. Hopefully I can save you a few bucks with that one.

See you soon and have a great weekend!

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Fall 2014 Fitness Favorites

by agirlandhermutt on November 24, 2014

Hi friends! It is Thanksgiving week and the number on thing on my mind this week is…fitness. HA! Thanksgiving is all about good eats and tons of treats. I’m totally on board with that, but just not to the stretchy pants extreme. If I’m not careful I can inhale some mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce without even blinking an eye. I’ve worked so hard to lose weight that I don’t want to put myself in to a spiral over the holidays that ends up with me on New Years Eve making some resolution AGAIN to lose weight.

So instead, I focus on my fitness.

Rather than share my favorite Thanksgiving recipes (which I get from other bloggers anyway), I’m going to share my recent Fitness Faves! Enjoy!

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Your Trainer Paige’s Boot Camp

*Fun Fact: I consistently call her website “MY Trainer Paige” instead of Your. I can’t get it straight. Ever.*

I’ve followed Paige’s blog for a while now. Then a few years ago I roomed with her at the Blend Retreat and was totally impressed. She is not only gorgeous and totally fit, but she is well educated about her profession, full of opinions (and research to back those opinions!) and just a really wonderful person to know. Yet another great introduction from my buddy, Lauren!

A few months back she put on her first online boot camp but I was in the thick of triathlon training and wasn’t able to participate. Then came her Glute Camp and I was all in. Holy crap it was hard.

When she announced her second round of boot camp I signed right up. <—I paid fair and square to be a part of her program!

The boot camp included 8 weeks of:
-a Facebook group for support
-weekly emails
-conditioning and strength workouts with videos on how to properly perform each move
-nutrition guidelines and challenges

The first six weeks of the challenge I was on point. The workouts were ROUGH but successful. Unfortunately the last two weeks fell right around the same time as my wedding and well…you know how that goes. I’d definitely like to give her bootcamp a go again when I know I can dedicate myself to the whole 8-weeks.

I’ve participated in a few online challenges/boot camps that were great. BUT! Paige’s bootcamp was fantastic. She not only tells you what to do each day, but she also tells you WHY you are doing that particular workout.

If you get a chance to check out her site or one of her challenges, you MUST.

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Fabletics

Before we start, I have to tell you that I was sent these items were sent to me to try out for free. However, I’ve never ever told you about a product that I wouldn’t purchase again with my own money. Almost 98% of the items I tell you about on the blog are bought with my own $$$ but every now and then I come across something I really like that I want to share.

When they first contacted me I had heard about Fabletics a few times, but hadn’t really looked at the site. I thought their name was a bit hokey. Sorry!

Their description of Fabletics was “co-founder Kate Hudson designed Fabletics activewear to be stylish, comfortable and a little bit sexy, with designs that fit perfectly into your everyday lifestyle. Fabletics is also incredibly affordable!”

So I checked out the lookbook and was surprised to find that I liked many of the outfits. It is a subscription service that sends outfits monthly that are typically 2-3 pieces for around $49-59. Similar to StitchFix but for athletic clothing!

The outfit that I picked to try out were:

-The Switchback Tee

-Sevan II Sports Bra (Black)

-Salar Legging (Black/Charcoal Stripe)

I was a bit concerned about the sizing for the leggings. I like my pants to be tight but not so tight that they become see-through. You know what I’m talking about. Based on their recommendations, I went with the size L.

So here I am in all my selfie glory. 😉

My thoughts:

-The top was too big. I got the large and it just wouldn’t stay on. The fabric was also a bit sheer for my taste. I don’t mind sheer, but this was just see-through. It was a super comfortable fabric though and I would definitely try this again in not only a smaller size, but also in a different color.

-The sports bra is PERFECTION. It is comfortable and super stylish. If you are blessed in the chest area, this might not be for you. I’m gifted with smaller boobs and I found this sports bra to be just enough. I also found myself wearing it out and about in place of a regular bra. I want this in every color possible!

-The pants are fantastic. But I wish I had read the reviews a bit more and gone for the larger size. The fabric is super thick (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!) and tight. This is my style of legging. I think sizing up just one size would have given me a bit more give in the leggings that would make them that much more comfortable. However, the quality of these pants was great. I’ve worn them several times (with a long tunic style top) with no pilling, tearing, falling down, etc.

Big butts need bigger sizes. Fact. And this has to be one of the least flattering photos of me recently. Awesome! 😉

This is the outfit on its way to me now! I love the solid colors with the print pants and that off the shoulder sweatshirt just screams “ERIN!”. I will let you know if I have more success with the pants!

If you are comfortable with purchasing activewear online, then give Fabletics a try. <—Yes, that is an affiliate link. It costs nothing for you, but I make a few Fabletics bucks!

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ClassPass

I think I might be dating my ClassPass! I joined up the Monday after the wedding and I’ve been to 4 different studios and about 8 different classes. I’ve tried a few barre classes, yoga studios and of course, spinning.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with ClassPass…

ClassPass is an alternative to a gym membership. With ClassPass, you get access to the best boutique fitness classes in your city. There are over 1,000 classes available to ClassPass members, including cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, dance, martial arts, and more.

For $99 a month, ClassPass members get unlimited classes to use at studios in the ClassPass network. While a member can take as many classes per month as they’d like, they can only visit the same studio 3 times per monthly membership cycle.

I tried ClassPass for free back in May of this year, but didn’t sign up right away for a variety of reasons all dealing with my schedule and knee issues. Then a few weeks ago they announced that PureBarre Brookline had joined in as one of the studios and I decided to join back immediately. I was surprised to find that they had added TONS of new studios to the mix. I can pretty much find a class to go to in any part of the city at any time of the day. Rumor has it that a mobile app is coming soon. BOOM!

The ONLY thing that drives me nuts is that in order to cancel a class with no penalty, you have to do it 24 hours in advance. I understand putting a time limit on this, but 12 hours seems much more reasonable, right?!

For those of you who get bored of your workouts or studios easily, check out ClassPass!

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Let me know if you give any of these a try!

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Five Fitness Faves & a Bondi Band Giveaway!

June 13, 2014

Hi there! Guess who doesn’t suck at swimming?! This girl! I finished up my 3rd week of classes last night and I’m pleased as punch at how well I am doing. I’m still swallowing a lot of water, but I’m getting better at not choking every single time I do that. Tips are welcome! On […]

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