Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

January 31, 2014

2013 in Beauty: Misses!

       Here is part two of my 2013 in Beauty review! Last time I shared a few of my favorite make-up products that I discovered in 2013. I'm usually quite lucky in that most of the make-up products that I buy are usually ones that I'm a fan of, but of course sometimes I buy a product that I just really don't like. Today I'm highlight four of my least favorites!! These are products that I definitely would have returned if I had saved the receipts (something that I'm doing now with future beauty purchases!).

4 Misses: 

  1. NYX Rectractable Eyeliner in Purple (Ulta, Belk, $4.50) This was a product that I picked up at Belk when I went shopping with my birthday money back in September. I hadn't tried anything from NYX before, and the low prices were what caught my eye! One thing that I love to experiment with is colored eyeliner, and I had been on the hunt for a pretty purple one. Unfortunately, this eyeliner turned out to be a big dissapointment. The color is beautiful, but I have found the actual product to be quite terrible! It looks pigmented before it goes on the skin, but once it's on my eyes it barely shows up. I have to keep going over and over it, and even then it's hard to even get the rich color to last even an hour! I have heard that some of the other types of NYX eyeliner are better so I may try those in the future, but I don't think I'll be buying anything else from the rectractable line.
  2. e.l.f. Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Pink Umbrellas (Target, $2) This is my ultimate least favorite beauty product of 2013. I believe though that it's a true case of "you get what you pay for," since this product was priced at around $2.00. Like with NYX, I hadn't tried any e.l.f. products prior to this lip gloss stick. When I saw this at Target a few months ago, I was hoping that it was a dupe and cheaper alternative to something like Revlon's Colorburst Balms.... but it was only the furthest thing from that! This product dried out my lips more then any other lip product that I've ever used in my life!! And it felt disgustingly sticky as well, even though it wasn't actually a "gloss." I also don't think that the color looked that great once it was on my lips. Two big thumbs down for this product!
  3. Clinique Lash Power Mascara (Ulta, Sephora, Department stores, $16) For Christmas 2012 my gift to myself was a cute set of Clinique's most popular mascaras. It turned out that I wasn't too crazy about any of the mascaras in the sent, but this one was my definite least favorite. This mascara claims to stay on for 24 hours, and it definitely does that... but even to the point where it won't come off at all with make-up remover! The few times that I wore this I struggled so much to get it off at the end of the day. And the worst part is that it didn't even do much for my lashes- I didn't find it to be volumizing or lengthening... it was just kind of clumpy and "bleh." I certainly wouldn't reccomend this mascara!
  4. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Sunkissed (Drugstores, $3) This is hands down the clumpiest nail polish that I have ever used, and that is not a good thing! I love the pretty orange color, but hate whatever the formula is that makes up this polish. I haven't tried anything else from this specific Sally Hansen line, however I will say that I love the polishes that I've tried from Sally's Hard As Nails line, they seem to have a very different formula then this polish! So maybe this color in the Xtreme Wear line was just a dud. But all I can say is I have never used a polish before in my life that is so clumpy, and that's really all that I need to say- no girl wants clumpy looking nails!

     Are there any beauty products that you tried in the past year and just didn't like? 

     xoxo Miss ALK

January 30, 2014

Favorite Things Thursday: Lilly Pulitzer

      Favorite Things Thursday is finally back! I have no idea why I took such a long absence from it... anyways, it's here again and here to stay! As always, I would love for y'all to join in! Just be sure to grab the special FTT button from the homepage of my blog if you would like to participate. :-) Now for today's Favorite Thing:

     I am normally very much of a bargain shopper, and I rarely splurge on things if I can find a cheaper alternative. But, there is an exception to this... a big exception... called Lilly Pulitzer. I.Love.Lilly.

     I love the brightness and the fun patterns of Lilly prints, I love how cute these prints look on clothing (especially dresses!), and I am also obsessed with Lilly accessories! I have a Lilly travel mug, my planner for school is a Lilly agenda, and since getting my iPhone 5S in October I've had only one case... which you guessed it, is Lilly! (Side note: it's one of the best phone cases I've ever had and many phone drops and three months later it still looks brand new!) I think the prints are so gosh darn cute that I have even made a Lilly inspired craft project before!

     The only downside the Lilly Pulitzer apparel is that it isn't cheap. But I have learned how and where to shop for Lilly sales, and I can proudly say that every Lilly clothing item that I own wasn't bought for full price! You can read about my best Lilly bargain in this post!

     Lilly just released the Spring 2014 collection this past week online, so I thought this would be the perfect time to highlight some of my favorites from the brand new collection:

Iona Shell - $148

Charlton Sheath Dress - $278

Annette V-neck sweater - $118 (this picture would only download for a back view!)

Brielle Fit and Flare Dress - $178

     The above items are some pieces that I really like from the new collection! But I am about to show you something that I am in love with, and have decided that I cannot live without. ;-) It's Lilly's famous Callahan short in two of the new spring prints, and a print from the winter resort collection!

Southern Charm

In the Garden

Trippin and Sippin 

     Y'all. These.shorts. So freakin' adorable! The Callahan short is priced at $64... definitely not a price that I would normally pay for a pair of shorts! But near the end of last semester I got some babysitting jobs, and since this semester has started I've been babysitting non-stop! I have baby-sat every Saturday night since school started again (this Saturday will be my 4th in a row!), and I've had two extra jobs on top of that. So I do have a little bit of extra cash right now, and I will be going somewhere warm and tropical for part of Spring Break (can't wait to blog more about that soon!), so I know these shorts would definitely get used! Plus, it's fun to splurge and treat myself every once in a awhile. :-) 

     Which print do you think I should get for my shorts? I'm planning to stop by Charlotte's Lilly store sometime within the next couple of weeks to see what they have in stock! 

     xoxo Miss ALK 

January 29, 2014

Say hey!

     My friend Katie and I have been good friends since 2002- and she makes up the other half of my longest continual friendship! We met originally met through homeschooling when I was in second grade and she was in third grade, and we did so many things together through the years that we were both homeschooled! Here's a picture of just one of the things that we did together- homeschool girl scouts:

I'm on the far right, and Katie is second from the left- the one with the groovy sunglasses! 

     Katie and I lost touch for a couple of years during middle school and early high school, mostly because we went to different high schools. But near the end of our high school years we were both taking classes at the same community college, and we reconnected through that! Even though I went to college far from home we have stayed close! I see Katie on all of my school breaks, and we text/chat on Facebook multiple times a week!

My high school graduation party in 2012!

Hanging out with Katie's dogs over this past Thanksgiving break!

     Katie is actually a lot of the reason why I originally started blogging! She had a blog all throughout her high school years, and after reading it for many months I decided that I had wanted to start a blog as well! So I may never have started my first blog, Confessions of a Maine Teenager, (which lead to this blog!) if it wasn't for her!

     My sweet friend has recently started blogging again, on a new blog!! I would love it if y'all could stop by her little corner of the web and say hi. :-) Katie is one of my best friends, and an all-around wonderful person, and I know that her sweet personality shines through her blog! I'm also super flattered because she just shared her very first fashion/OOTD post yesterday, and she listed me as the inspiration for the post! Funny how a few years ago she inspired me, and now I inspire her. :-)  Click here to visit her blog, Welcome to the Wackadoodles!

     Also- two of my favorite bloggers shared some exciting news recently! Sweet Julianne from Between the Lines married the love of her life a couple of weeks ago! Here is the link to her first wedding post. And McKenzie from March Rielo (who I have guest posted for a few times) shared something wonderful this morning... she and her husband are expecting a baby! Here's the link to that post. :-) I have been following both of these blogs since early 2011 when I first started blogging- I'm so excited to see how God will continue to bless both of these lovely ladies!

     xoxo Miss ALK


January 28, 2014

OOTD: Greek Pride (collaboration with Adam Block Design!)

      Goodness- between this post and the giveaway that I'm hosting with A-List Greek Designs, I should have just dubbed this week "Greek Week" here on the blog! :-) 

     I am just *in love* with the items featured in this post from Greek apparel company Adam Block Design! When I first talked with the company about doing a collaboration on my blog, they didn't tell me what they'd be sending, so it was a total surprise to me to receive this adorable t-shirt and the beautiful bag! This t-shirt is so comfy, and I know that it will get a lot of use! I especially can't wait to wear it around formal recruitment next September! This t-shirt would be especially perfect for a Pi-Chi (Not sure if that's what all schools call them, but I'm referring to the sorority women that disaffilliate from their sororities during the rush process to help the new members go through recruitment!) since they can't reveal which sorority they're in during recruitment.

      And the tote bag... oh my goodness. I wish Blogger would let me insert that little iPhone emoji that is the smiley face with hearts for eyes, because that's how I feel about this bag! The aztec-like pattern is so cute, and the colors featured in it are all of my favorite colors! This bag is so roomy, and it will make th perfect beach bag this summer. But since I love it so much I will definitely be using it way before beach season starts! :-)

      But my favorite thing about working with Adam Block Design was how personal they were. I loved receiving this sweet note with my package!

     This note will be joining a note from Michelle of Pink Bubbly jewelry up on one of the walls of my dorm! I hang encouraging cards and notes that friends and family send to me while I'm at school, and I love throwing blogging related cards up there too! 

     I would encourage all sororities that are looking at ordering t-shirts (which is pretty much every chapter of every sorority) to check out Adam Block Design! They can do custom designs, and they also offer some of their own pre-made awesome designs. They are officially licensed to sell Greek products, so they should be able to make products for all 26 of the NPC sororities! 

     It seems very fitting that my blog is suddenly doing all of these Greek related posts, because over the past weekend my chapter of Alpha Delta Pi had officer transitions! This means that I'm officially the chaplain of our chapter now. The fact that ADPi had a leadership position created for Christian leadership was one of the reasons that I fell in love with that sorority in the first place, and I can't wait to see what I will accomplish as chaplain in 2014! I am taking over the position from Lauren, one of my sweet sisters and also a sister who I am blessed to have apart of my own Diamond Family! Here's a picture of Lauren and I at an event at our college a couple of months ago:

      I can't wait to see what adventures and experiences being apart of ADPi will bring for me in 2014!!

     xoxo Miss ALK

January 24, 2014

Product review/giveaway: A-List Greek Designs!

     One of my biggest higlights of 2013 was that it was the year that I became a Panhellenic woman! I'm a proud member of the first and finest sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. I love sorority apparel and jewelry- anything that shows off my letters makes me a happy girl!

     I am thrilled to be hosting a giveaway for all of you with a wonderful Greek company! A-List Greek Designs sells beautiful customizable jewelry for all of the Panhellenic sororities. Their motto is to "strengthen the bond between sisterhood and style"... I love that! A-List was so kind as to send me an adorable little package with one of their necklaces to style and review:

How cute is this package?! A+ to A-List Greek for package adorableness! 

Top: Forever 21. Sorry for my awkward face/the awkward lighting... this picture was taken quickly in a hallway near the college cafeteria before I headed off to take a French test. ;-) But shout-out to my awesome sorority sister P for taking the pictures for me!! 

      I love how unique and different this sorority necklace is! It is also way more delicate than I expected, but I like that. I do have one complaint about the necklace, but this isn't really a fault of A-List Greek directly (since I like to make my product reviews 100% honest I wanted to include this). I think this specific necklace might be better for a sister of a two-letter sorority, like Chi Omega or Delta Gamma. I say that because it's hard to see/read all three of the little letter charms at once. In the above picture I had to move them "just so" so all of the letters could be seen in the picture. (Usually it looks more like APi or AD haha.) But again, that's not a fault of the company... and I still think this necklace is awesome overall. And another reason it's awesome is that it's small enough that I can wear it with my internship uniform polo shirt!!

Nail polish: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant in Skylight

     A-List Greek Designs has been generous enough to not only send me a necklace to review, but they're also giving away a beautiful necklace to one of you!! I decided to select a different necklace for the giveaway then the one that I received. You will have the chance to win the Sorority Pearl Drop Necklace! It can be engraved with any Greek letters, so girls in all sororities are welcome to enter this giveaway! Here's a picture of the necklace that you could win:

      Enter the giveaway below!! It will end on January 30th, 2014. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

     xoxo Miss ALK

January 23, 2014

Just when I thought my life couldn't get anymore awkward...

     I have a big French test today, so last night I met with my French tutor. He also lives in my dorm, so we always meet in the lobby. About 10 minutes into tutoring, a few police officers and all of the RAs entered the lobby and started talking about a fire alarm. Before waiting for them to set it off (because I HATE the sound of fire alarms), my tutor and I headed out the door and towards the library, which is luckily only two buildings away.

     But as we started walking there, I noticed that my feet were feeling the gravel that we were walking on a bit more then normal. In the dark I looked down... and saw that I was still wearing my FUZZY PINK SLIPPERS. And since I live on the third floor of the building, there was no time for me to go back at get shoes!

     Now mind you, had these been cute fuzzy pink slippers, like maybe ones with little bunnies or another small animal on them, it would have seemed almost cute. Like yes, maybe a little weird that a normally dressed girl is pairing her outfit with slippers, but at least the slippers would have seemed "normal." Or mocassin slippers would have been okay as well. But folks, of course I was not blessed enough to have chosen a normal pair of slippers last night... here's what I was sporting:

     On my feet, these things kind of look like old men's socks that are 12 sizes too big that happen to be pale pink. I've had them for so long that they also kind of fall off my feet as I walk in them. They're basically slippers that never leave my room... just bringing them down to the lobby for tutoring tonight was a big step!

     Anyways, we arrived in the library only to see that it was pretty full. Our school's coffee shop is attached the the library, and there's a few study rooms in there. We saw that one of them was open, so we headed towards it. But to get there from the library you have to go down this long walkway that dumps open right smack in the middle of the coffee shop.

    Let me first say that I have not had much like with guys since being at my new school. The guy/girl ratio here is very off, (70% girls y'all), so there aren't that many men to choose from. None that I have met so far have really been anyone that I would be interested in dating. But of course, tonight, as I enter the coffee shop in my hideous, half-falling-off slippers.... there's like at least eight attractive guys all standing right by the hallway and they all look at my feet! And no, I'm not just saying they looked at my feet for comedic affect... like, they actually did. (Eight hot guys in one place doesn't happen much at my school.) I must have turned redder then the fire alarm.

      I had to repeat this whole thing when I left the study room about a half an hour later. Next time that I go for tutoring in the lobby, I'm wearing SHOES.

      And speaking of guy attention, I was hit on in Target a couple nights ago. While browsing the bathing suits (Which by the way- Target has some super cute suits out!! Go stop by before your size sells out!), I felt a tap on my leg, and I heard a voice say "You're beautitful!" I look down, and there's a boy standing there... who couldn't have been older then four years old. Hey, it still made my night. ;-)

     Welcome to my awkward life, y'all.

     xoxo Miss ALK

     P.S. Favorite Things Thursday will return next Thursday after an unintended long break!

January 21, 2014

Book review: "Whispers of Hope"

     A couple months ago, I was graciously gifted a copy of Christian author Beth Moore's new book called Whispers of Hope. It was given to me to review on my blog by Icon Media Group. I am so glad that they picked my blog as one of the ones to review the book, because this book seems perfect for me!

     A couple months after I started college in 2012, I realized that my faith needed a lot of work. I feared that I was turning into a person who was only a Christian in name and not in actual faith or actions. I decided that the first thing that I needed to do was to find a church and become involved in a bible study or other ministry. I had thought that just by going to a "Christian college" that was enough, but it definitely wasn't! God blessed me with allowing me to find a great church to attend last year, and I also joined a women's bible study at school. This year after transferring colleges, I right away began visiting churches and after a few weeks of that I found the perfect church in Charlotte! At the end of this month I will become the chaplain for my chapter of Alpha Delta Pi, and I'm also hoping to join a bible study at my new church if my schedule allows. And lastly, my church at home in Maine has finally started a college student small group that I'm hoping to get more involved with this summer!

      So while 2013 was the year that I got the whole Christian fellowship thing down, but I want 2014 to be the year that I grow my prayer life. I have been praying since I was a little girl, but my praying style is to do short, silent prayers throughout the day. There's nothing wrong with this, but I don't want that to be the only way that I pray. I want to start getting more comfortable spending several minutes in deep focus and talking to the Lord verbally. And Whispers of Hope is exactly the type of book that I needed to start doing this!

      The intro of the book has Beth explaining her method for praying, which is called P.R.A.I.S.E. It stands for: praise, repentence, acknowledgement, intercession, supplication for self and equipping.  Other then this, the introduction to the book is quite short, and Beth jumps right into the daily devotionals. This book is meant to be read and used over 10 weeks, or 70 days. Each daily reading begins with a few scripture verses and a traditional devotion, and then the next page has journaling space to right out different prayers for each of the P.RA.I.S.E. categories. You are then encouraged to verbally pray everything that you wrote down.

     Most of these devotions take me about 10-15 minutes between the reading, journaling and praying. It isn't very much time at all, but yet it has been so hard for me to make time for this in my day-to-day life! I feel so guilty about that when I think about all of the hours each day that I spend on social media or other online things... can't I give God a little more of my time? I have been loving this book so far, so there's really no excuse for me! Right now I'm on day six and I'm trying to find the time of day that works best for me to do these devotions. I tried mornings for the first few days, but I'm thinking that at night before bed might be working the best.

      So far I haven't found a specific theme with all of the devotional readings, but all of them have encouraged me greatly! Last night's, which was day five, was all about God's forgiveness. I am excited to see what other topics will be coming up!

      I would reccomend this book to any Christian who is looking to grow their prayer life! This book definitely takes commitment to get through it. (Something that I have been struggling with but am willing and eager to worth through!) Thank-you again to Icon Media Group for gifting me with this copy of Whispers of Hope!

     xoxo Miss ALK

January 20, 2014

January via Instagram.

    I have the day off from school today, and I will be using part of today to prepare a few blog posts for this week! Also- get excited because I have a few wonderful giveaways coming up in the next few weeks! But until all of that, here's a peak into some things that I've done in the past couple weeks thanks to my Instagram account:

     A couple Fridays ago my big sister in my Alpha Delta Pi (Jess) and I went on a Big/Little date! I took her out to see my former college and she got to meet some of my friends there. Then we crossed the state line and ended the night with a stop to my favorite store, Charming Charlie!! It was raining during the whole time we were out and the CC that we went to is about an hour and a half from Charlotte, but that didn't stop me. ;-) My love for Charming Charlie is deep y'all! Anyways, both of us found some adorable things and it was a wonderful night. I am so happy that Jess and I are getting closer, she is a great big sister! (Taking a friend from my new school out to see my old school was also on my January goals!)

      Here are the things that I got at Charming Charlie during my trip with Jess! My favorite item is hiding in the back behind the earrings, it's a cute set of stacking rings! I honestly love all of these things though, and the best part is I got everything shown here for only $23! Charming Charlie has a great rewards program called Charm Club Rewards, and the coupons that they send are good. It's probably a good thing that CC isn't already in Charlotte (or Maine)... if they were my bank account would be GONE!

     I am finally the owner of a pair of Jack Rogers! I have wanted to buy some for a long time, but I just couldn't justify spending over $100 on a pair of sandals. (I could if they were Tory Burch, but those are way out of my budget!) I came close to buying a pair at Nordstrom on my birthday, but I decided that I would wait until I could find a deal on them. The thing is, since Jacks are so popular right now they don't usually go on clearance. But I made it happen! Here's how:
     For Christmas, one of my mom's best friends gave me a generous $50 gift card! It was one of those gift cards that you could use at either Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic or Piperlime. I am not a huge fan of any of those stores, so when I get gift cards like that I usually use them on Piperlime, which is a great online clothing and accessories website! Just for fun I decided to see if Piperlime sold Jack Rogers... and indeed they did! The gift card brought the price of the shoes down to $60 something, but I had a feeling that I could still get the price even lower then that. I started googling "Piperlime coupon codes" and eventually I found one that took 20% off my order! So I got my beautiful Jack Rogers for a grand total of $44 (shipping was free!). Now that is a price that I'm happy with. :-) Can't wait to break these in once the weather gets warmer!

     I mentioned this briefly in a recent post, but for those of you who don't know- my roommate had to leave school unexpectedly for this semester. I have missed her a lot, so I went to spend that night at her home in South Carolina this past Friday night! It was a great way to kick off the long weekend! You can see that my inner Mainer came out in this picture... yes, I still get really excited whenever I see a palm tree. :-) I'm surprised too that the palmetto trees can survive in winter temperatures... it was in the 40s I think when this picture was taken! Oh, and while I was there I found out that my roommate plans to come back to our school this summer! I can't wait until she's back on campus. I will share more pictures from my time in her city soon!

     Happy Monday! I hope that all of you are enjoying your day off, and if you didn't have the day off then I hope that your Monday is still wonderful! :-)

     xoxo Miss ALK

January 17, 2014

I am blessed beyond belief.

     Those of you who follow my on Instagram will know that I started my dream internship with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation last week! I can't even put into words how much this internship is the perfect fit for me. I love it so, so, so much, and I've only been there for two weeks!

     I go into great detail about all of the reasons that I love it: the fun atmosphere (see above picture for reference), the fact that the other two interns that I work with are awesome, the fact that my boss is wonderful, the fact that everyone who works in the hospital is super friendly, the fact that I'm interning for an organization that has one of my top career role model's names on it (that would be Ryan Seacrest in case you're missing the obvious!), the fact that the technology is state-of-the-art, or the AMAZING fact (well, I think it's amazing) that one of the days that I'm in the studio is Throwback Thursday... which means that we're playing mostly 90s and early 2000s music... which y'all know comprise most of my jams! ;-) Yes, I could go into detail about all of that, but I just want to share something with you instead that I think will make y'all appreciate how much being a Ryan Foundation intern means to me.

Picture credit: the Levine Children's Hospital Twitter account! (Although truth be told this may have been a picture that I took! My main duty while the band visited was to take pictures of them on the hospital camera :-))

     Today was the interns' first experience with celebrity guests. The studio was visited by the Fresh Beat Band from Nickelodean! The members of the band were so sweet and did an amazing interview. But the best part of the experience for me was to see the joy on the patients and family members' faces while the band was in-studio. The Fresh Beat Band held a meet-and-greet after their time on-air, and seeing the kids give them hugs was one of the most beautiful things that I've ever seen in my life. It's not easy to be sick and in the hospital, and it's even harder when you're little! These kids are so brave, and I'm so glad that these guests could help make their days a little brighter! After seeing one patient sing a beautiful song a cappella while meeting the band (and then the patient told the band how much she loved and appreciated the hospital staff), I started to cry. I really can't even describe how amazing and precious it was to witness that. And I was possibly more humbled then I have ever been in my life. It's good to be humbled like that.

    I still cannot get over how God blessed me with an internship that is so amazing.  Major shout-out to Ryan Seacrest for creating one of the coolest non-profits ever. :-) My first two weeks with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation have been crazy good, and I cannot wait to see what will happen throughout this spring!!

     "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28 NIV

     xoxo Miss ALK

January 15, 2014

2013 in Beauty: Hits!

     I'm taking a break from UK trip pictures today to post about one of my main loves: make-up! I feel like 2013 was the year that I really got into make-up. I've always enjoyed make-up and thought that it was fun to wear, but I wasn't allowed to wear make-up everyday when I was in middle school and early high school, and my last few years of high school I did the same make-up look every single day (silver eye shadow, a little brown eyeliner and mascara). This past year was really the year that I started education myself more about how to apply and experiment with makeup, and I started buying from a lot more brands as well.

     I decided that it would be fun to make a list of some of the products that stood out to me that I discovered this past year! This is not a sponsored post, and all of these products were things that I bought myself with my own money, and all opinions are honest. :-) I've decided to feature five awesome beauty products that I discovered in 2013, which I'm calling hits. If this post is popular then I can do a post with my least favorite products of the year as well!

5 Hits:

    1. Mally's Perfect Prep Under Eye Brightener (Mally's website, Ulta, QVC, $35) I truly believe this is the best under-eye concealer out there! I have been a fan of Mally products for a long time, but this might be my most favorite Mally item of all. I have always been prone to dark circles under my eyes, and this eye brightener helps to eliminate them without having you look too made up! On busy days when I don't have time to put on a ton of face make-up I can still use just this without it looking weird on my bare skin. And the best part- a little goes a long way with this product!! You only need the tiniest little smidge of this on your finger to take down those dark circles. And this means that it will last you for a very long time! Definitely worth the $35 in my opinion.
    2. Maybelline's Color Show Nail Polish in Styled Out (Drugstores, $2.99-$3.99) This nail polish is such a fun and unique blue color!! The sparkles within it add to its beauty. It also stays on for quite awhile for a drugstore polish (with a top coat)! My only complaint is that sometimes it's a little hard to take off, but since I love everything else about it that doesn't seem like a huge issue. :-)
    3. Sephora Collection's Look Color In The Eye Brush Capsule (Sephora, $22) I was in need of some new eye make-up brushes this fall, so I used some of my birthday money to buy this cute little brush set. I think that these are great eye brushes! I love how they all fit in the cute little capsule, and I LOVE the pretty hot pink color of everything in the set! And it's perfect for traveling!
    4. Benefit's Speed Brow (Benefit's website, Sephora, Ulta, Department stores, $18) I have already posted about this amazing eye brow gel once before (you can read that post here!), and I will continue to sing of its praises. This eye brow gel is simply fantastic. Before splurging on this I was using a Revlon gel, and it didn't even come close to how amazing this is. To any girl reading this that has unruly brows, you need this product. Your brows will thank you!
    5. Benefit's World Famous Neutrals in Sexiest Nudes Ever (Sephora, $30) For a couple years I had been using two different Almay eyeshadow quads with sparkly purple-y neutrals similar to the shades in this shadow kit by Benefit. I loved the colors of my Almay shadows, but the quality of them just wasn't that great and the staying power was terrible (I'd have to reapply them so many times in a day just so thye'd show up!). Back in September I brought one of my Almay quads into Sephora and asked an employee to reccomend a shadow set with similar colors, and she picked this Benefit set! I love it! The colors of the shadows are beautiful and pigmented, and I think it's so cool how there are two gel shadows in the kit and four traditional shadows. 

     What are some of your favorite beauty products that you discovered in 2013? Do share! 

     xoxo Miss ALK

January 14, 2014

UK Trip: Two days in Scotland.

A statue symbolizing marriage. Found at the Englis/Scottish border near an old blacksmith's shop that used to be a popular spot for weddings a couple hundred years ago! This was also Christmas Day by the way!

My Australian friends and I on the tour bus!

Amazing sunrise.

So these last two pictures were taken on a bus tour of the city of Edinburgh. I was soooo tired that morning that I fell asleep right after this picture was taken and stayed asleep for the rest of the hour! Ooops!

Tea shop!

Edinburgh was beautiful.

This street reminded me of the old part of Quebec City in Canada.

Coolest clock ever!

My parents and I with our bus driver!

Bagpipes at a traditional Scottish dinner served to our tour group.

The city as seen from Edinburgh castle!

Edinburg castle selfie!

Amazing stained glass in the Edinburgh castle chapel.

Leaving Scotland we had a small glimpse of the ocean!

     We arrived in Scotland after dark on Christmas Day. Christmas was ironically our longest day of bus travel! Our bus took the "scenic route" through the mountains and lakes region of Northern England, so I think that we were in the bus for over six hours. And since it was Christmas, all of the rest stop facilities that we stopped at were half desserted! Oh well- Edinburgh was beautiful and it was worth the long day of travel to get there.

     I think that with this part of the trip my pictures really just speak for themselves! Edinburgh is a wonderful city filled with lots and lots of beautiful old architecture. There was so much to see, and we barely had time to see half of the things that we wanted to. But we did make time to visit a lovely little UK tea shop, tour Edinburgh castle with our group (although it was freezing that day!), have a traditional Scottish dinner with our group at an old inn, and take in the craziness of Boxing Day. I'm still not really sure what Boxing Day actually celebrates, but it's the day after Christmas, and it's essentially the UK version of Black Friday. (We stopped to browse in Topshop for a few minutes on Boxing Day and the amount of people in there was insane!! I didn't even think the sales were all that great haha.)

    One thing that was very interesting to me was the process of crossing the England/Scotland border. I assumed it would be like going from Maine to Canada... a full-on border patrol, passport inspection, and possible searches. But there was none of that! Since both England and Scotland are part of the United Kingdom, crossing from one country to the other was just like switching states here in the US. There was a sign that said "Scotland" or something like that, and that was it! I'm definitely glad that we didn't have to stop and unload the whole bus. ;-)

     xoxo Miss ALK
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