Friday, November 28, 2014

November Favorites!

Happy Friday everyone! Did you all have a nice Thanksgiving? I am honestly still full from all the food I ate yesterday. It was all sooooo gooood. I have some pictures to share with you!

Everything you see here is homemade! Cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing with dried cranberries and chestnuts, green bean casserole with fried onions, and sweet potato casserole with a brown sugar and pecan crumble on top. As I mentioned in a previous post, we just picked up a chicken from Boston Market since none of us like turkey!

Homemade pumpkin pie and chocolate pecan fudge.

I can't believe it, but it is time for my November favorites! As usual, let's start with my food favorite. Back at the start of November BF and I took a little trip to the Culinary Institute of America and had an amazing meal there. You can read more about the experience in this post. This was seriously the some of the best food I have ever tasted.

Next up would have to be this set of candles from Old Factory Candles that I received from BrandBacker to review. These actually ended up being some of my favorite candles ever! I have the coffee shop set, which you can read more about in my review

They smell great individually, but when burned together...WOW.

My next favorite is Julep's eyeshadow brush. I got this a while back in my Jewel Heist Mystery Box and really started using it a lot this month. I love how easily it blends any eyeshadow I put on. I love that this brush has some nice weight to it and doesn't feel cheap at all!

My last favorite is my favorite manicure of the month. I can easily say that it is my Thanksgiving turkey mani! I had so much fun creating this and it was even retweeted by Zoya, which was super exciting. It is always a good feeling when you create something and it comes out the way you saw it in your head.

That's it for November! It was such a quick month, but a really great one. I started a new job as a kindergarten and first grade art teacher and I'm enjoying every minute of it. This December I have another vacation to Florida, this time with the BF, and we are really looking forward to it. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back with a new mani on Monday!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Gobble Gobble Turkey Nails!

Happy Mani Monday everyone! If you follow me on social media, you'll know that I've been sick all weekend with bronchitis. Boooo. I'm feeling a lot better today now that my antibiotics are kicking in, but really all I want to do is sleep. I still made it through work and I just keep telling myself that it's a short week!

I am so excited that Thanksgiving is almost here. I don't know about you all, but I'm going to have a lot of cooking to do. My mom and I will be spending all of Wednesday afternoon in the kitchen and I'm really looking forward to it. Some of you may have figured out through various posts that I am a serious foodie and I love cooking. This year we'll be making green bean casserole, cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and mini pumpkin pies. We're picking up a chicken from Boston Market because no one in my family likes turkey haha! Maybe that's because where I grew up we had wild turkeys roaming around the street and on our roof (yes, the freakin' roof okay?) and we hated them.

Anyway, as much as I hate turkeys I like the harmless cartoon version of them and so I decided to do a fun turkey accent nail for the holiday. I started with two coats of Zoya Purity as my base and let that dry. While that was drying I painted Zoya Kalista on the rest of my nails, except for my thumbs. At the very end I painted my thumbs white. Then I tackled the turkey (ha!) I used a tiny detail brush and started with the body and outlined it Kalista. Next I used that same brush to make his feathers. I finished with his face, complete with the waddle (that red thing that hangs from a turkey's neck...yes I did look it up on Wikipedia).

Sorry for the awkward water spot on the right!

I'm so thrilled with how this guy came out. It definitely took some time but it was well worth it. My kiddos at school are going to flip when they see him!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Makeup by One Direction Review

Hey everyone! Okay, so as you can see from the title of this post I'm reviewing some of the One Direction makeup line. Call me crazy, but I actually really love their music! Their songs are so catchy and fun to sing along to in the car. When Brandbacker offered me the opportunity to review some of these makeup products I figured why not? Plus I think these would make perfect gifts for the upcoming holidays.

I received three sets to review, so let's start with the Electro Glam Mascara. These are super bold colored mascaras for your lashes AND hair. Say whaaaat?! Yes, apparently you can put these in your hair (I have yet to do so). For your lashes, you can add just a pop of color to the tips or go for a bold look by coating your entire lashes. Go big or go home, right? For your hair just swipe the mascara wand through small sections of hair and you're good to go.

The Electro Glam Mascara comes in three colors:

Why Don't We Go There - Shock of blue
Does He Know? - Pinkest hot pink
Story of My Life - Amped canary yellow

Next up are the Liqulights Glow Glosses. These sparkle beautifully during the day and illuminate under UV black light in the dark. Pretty cool. These glosses are enriched with natural oils and vitamin E to keep your lips soft and hydrated all day long. I will warn you that the glitter can be a little stubborn, so you'll need a good makeup remover.

The Liquilights Glow Glosses also come in three colors:

Through the Dark - Electric glitter poppy lip gloss that glows to neon red-orange under UV light
Kiss You - Orange glitter rush lip gloss that glows to neon yellow under UV light
Taken - Powerhouse glitter pink lip gloss that glows to neon orange under UV light

Last but certainly not least is the Rock Me Nail Kit, obviously what I was most excited to try!

This kit features neon UV-reactive nail polish and UV-reactive glitter nail toppings that add even more glam to your mani. Your nails will light up day and night. For a more subtle accent you can sprinkle the glitter over wet polish, or you can dip your entire nail in for a ton of sparkle.

 Three coats of each, no glitter.

With pretty!

The Rock Me Nail Kit comes with three nail polishes and three glitter toppings:

Happily - UV iced blue
Moments - UV neon pink
Diana - UV 3D holographic

Kicks - UV snow cone blue
Not Afraid - UV electrified pink glitter
Star - UV holo glitter

Makeup by One Direction is already in stores! You can get these sets at the following locations:
Macy's, Dillards, Boscov's, Stage Stores, Beauty Brands, Lord & Taylor. Overall I thought these were really fun products that would appeal to younger girls. Or 23 year olds like myself!

You can find more information about Makeup by One Direction at


Disclaimer: This post was powered by BrandBacker. I received this product for free from Markwins in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Avon Teal Appeal

Happy Friday everyone! I had such a crazy week. BF and I had booked a vacation to St. Thomas months ago and decided to cancel it because of the virus being spread by mosquitos in the Caribbean. We would much rather be safe than sorry! We switched our whole trip to Marco Island on the west coast of Florida. "But wait, Brooke...weren't you just there?" Yep. But I really enjoyed it so I have no problem going back. Plus it's vacation so anywhere warm is better than being in cold New Jersey.

For today's mani I used Avon Teal Appeal. I never thought of myself as a green person but this color is lovely. I would describe it as a dusty teal. For the accent nail I used Revlon Copper Penny. I got a little carried away with pictures so here's just a few of them.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Essie Mochacino

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all kept warm this weekend. New York City was freeeeezing! My boyfriend and I had a big date night on Saturday, starting off at 5 Napkin Burger. I had their original burger with sweet potato fries and I have to say...yummmm yum. Then we went to the movie theater to see Gone Girl. I read the book so I knew what was going to happen, but the movie still managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. I was seriously impressed by the acting and the way the movie was filmed. We ended our night at Max Brenner, of course. We ordered the Urban S'mores and let me tell you, I had so much fun with these! They brought out marshmallows, graham crackers, pure melted dark chocolate, toffee bananas, warm peanut butter sauce, and raspberry sauce, plus that cute little grill thing to cook the marshmallows.

The bf was making fun of me because I spent at least 5 minutes putting one s'more together.

Now to top off this glutton-fest we went to The Melt Shop for lunch on Sunday. They do grilled cheese, tater tots, and milkshakes, along with a few other things. The menu is small but everything on it looks amazing. We both ordered the fried chicken grilled cheese made with chicken tenders, pepper jack (I substituted cheddar), red cabbage slaw, and their Melt Sauce on sourdough bread. We also ordered the shop tots which are just tater tots with parmesan cheese on top. It was so delish. 

Looking at this picture is making my mouth water!

After all that eating I think it goes without saying that I'll be taking it easy on the calories this week. For my nails I decided to pull out an old favorite, Essie Mochacino. This is such a pretty shimmery taupe-y brown/gray. It works great as a neutral with a little something extra. I accented it with gold dots and I love that they look like tiny rocker studs!

While I was writing this post I noticed that the spelling on my bottle's label is wrong! Funny, huh?


Friday, November 14, 2014

Julep Lacey & Savannah

Happy Friday everyone! I just finished my first week at a new teaching job and I thought it went great. I'm planning on celebrating this weekend with my boyfriend at a certain restaurant that you've seen me mention a few times before...can you guess what it is? Yup, Max Brenner. I just can't get enough of that place!

Today on my nails I'm wearing Julep Lacey as a base and Julep Savannah as an accent on each nail. Lacey is a gorgeous dark blue with some shimmer. I like that the shimmer keeps it from looking black. It is opaque in one coat. Savannah is a blue topaz glitter. This one is really pretty, although a little thick. I think these two colors go perfectly together.

Savannah has a gold cap because it is from Julep's birthstone collection.

I just love the way these two colors complement each other!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

KISS InstaWave Review

Hey everyone! Thanks to BrandBacker I had the opportunity to try the KISS InstaWave. It is a fully automatic tangle-free curler that instantly creates beautiful curls.

On the left is the front of the box and on the right is the back.

The revolutionary KISS InstaWave is a fully automatic tangle-free curler that instantly creates beautiful, long-lasting curls with ease (no need to be a pro). The InstaWave is easy for anyone to use, from any angle, with any hand. It features a curl dial with left/right curl directions. This does take a little bit of practice and definitely takes some time getting used to. There are two heat settings controlled by a low/high switch. When you turn on the device there is a red light that will turn blue once it is ready for use. The maximum temperature is 420 degrees. This device automatically shuts off after 90 minutes, which is a great feature for people (like me) who occasionally forget to turn off their heat styling tools.

When the light is red it means the device is warming up. It heats up pretty quickly.

Press down on the left arrow to rotate to the left and the right arrow to rotate to the right. You can see that the blue light is on, meaning the device is ready to use.

Step one: Hold InstaWave vertically.
Step two: Simply place section of hair (1-2 inches thick) on the InstaWave curling rod.
Step three: Touch the curl dial either left or right, and the Instawave instantly and automatically catches and curls the hair. I recommend alternating the direction of your curls for a natural look.
Step four: Hold for 5-10 seconds, hold longer for tighter curls and less for more beachy waves.
Step 5: Pull the InstaWave down vertically, letting hair out.

The curls I got with the InstaWave are gorgeous!

Overall I was pretty impressed by this product. I didn't find it heavy to hold up and after some practice it was very easy to use. The KISS InstaWave is available at Target, Ulta, and Amazon for $59.99. You can get more information and video tutorials at


Disclaimer: This post was powered by BrandBacker. I received this product for free from KISS in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Essie Sexy Divide

Happy Manicure Monday! I'm back from Florida and I miss it already. I went with my family to the west coast of Florida, which is a big change for us because we always stay on the east coast. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and laying out on the beach every day was perfection. We also had some incredible seafood. Pictured below is an amazing salad I had one night with grilled shrimp, kiwi, strawberry, mango, pecans, dried cranberries, good. And then of course we tried the key lime pie at several places. I liked each one!

It was amazing how much wildlife we saw there. Over the course of the week I saw pelicans, turtles, different types of fish, a dolphin, and an armadillo. A freakin' armadillo you guys. Like what?! I also found some beautiful shells on the beach. We saw a bunch of conch shells with the animal still inside, which I had never seen before. We put those little guys back into the water.

How cute is this guy?! He was just chilling on our way out of the beach.

We played mini golf on two of the nights and I actually wasn't that bad. I even got a hole in one! Very exciting stuff, I know.

I just couldn't pass up this photo op...

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw me post a bunch of the spectacular sunsets. In case you missed them, here are three of my favorite photos.

The last one is my favorite. How perfect are those birds?!

I wore the same nail polish all week so I was super excited for a change when I got home. I pulled out one of my all time favorites, Essie Sexy Divide. It is a deep purple with hints of shimmer and it is absolutely stunning. Funny story about this polish: I got my first ever manicure a couple years ago (I always painted my own, but I had a gift card to use up) and chose Sexy Divide from the salon's selection. As soon as I left I immediately went to the store and purchased this color. To this day it continues to be one of my most worn colors.

I will never get over how gorgeous this color is!

I just want to remind you all that I have a giveaway that is running until next Sunday. The prize is a set of candles of your choice from Old Factory Candles! Click here to see my review of their Coffee Shop set. The giveaway is at the end of the post.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Old Factory Candles Review + GIVEAWAY!

Hey everyone! I'm back from Florida and I had an amazing time. I'll be sharing some pictures from my trip on tomorrow's post. I have a candle review to share with you today. I LOVE burning candles, especially in the colder months. I know around this time of year everyone is all about the Bath & Body Works candles, but thanks to BrandBacker I had the opportunity to try Old Factory Candles.

Here is some info about Old Factory straight from their Amazon page:

"Old Factory candles are hand-poured in the USA with natural soy wax, self-trimming cotton candle wicks, and premium fragrance oils. The Old Factory Candle Gift Sets each contain 3 different scented candles. Each candle burns clean and even for 20 hours. The subtle jar design makes it the perfect complement for any decor, and any room of the house - kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, family room, great room, and basement. Each gift set is themed around a group of related fragrances. So everyone is sure to find something perfect for every occasion, every room in the house, and all the special someones in your life. Old Factory Candle Gift Sets are sold exclusively on Amazon."

When I received my candle set I was impressed by the packaging from the box to the labels. I opened the box and there was a card on top of the candles showing the name of the set and which scents are in the box. It took me a while to decide what to get, but I finally settled on Coffee Shop. This set has Coffee Bean, Hazelnut, and Chai Tea.

These candles smell incredible when they are lit at the same time, but individually I would have to say my favorite is Chai Tea. The scent quickly filled my room and didn't give me a headache like some other candles tend to do. Overall I was super pleased with the experience!

I placed the candles on my vanity with my perfumes and I love how they look.

Old Factory has a huge variety of candle sets to choose from. The sets are priced at $25 each and gift wrapping is available. Shown below are the other candle sets that are available. I have Fall Harvest and Spa Day on my list! I definitely think there is something for everyone.

Below I've provided the Amazon links to each candle set for your convenience.

Romance: Rose Petals, Champagne, Dark Chocolate
Spa Day: Cucumber, Lemongrass, Green Tea
Vacation: Sea Breeze, Hawaiian Lei, Awapuhi
Winter Wonderland: Hot Cocoa, Roasted Chestnut, First Snow
50 Shades: Leather, Jasmine Bubbles, Vanilla Sex

And now onto the most exciting part, the giveaway! One of you lucky readers will get a code that can be redeemed for a free set of candles of your choice from Old Factory. This giveaway is exclusively for U.S. residents. You must have an Amazon account and a PayPal account (unless you have Amazon Prime). The company will use Paypal to reimburse you for shipping. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter below. The only entry you must complete is telling me in the comments section which set you would choose if you won (I really want to know!) Each extra activity you complete will increase your chances of winning, although they are not mandatory. One winner will be selected at random. Contest ends 12:00am EST on 11/16/2014. You have one week for entry. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: This post was powered by BrandBacker. I received this product for free from Old Factory Candles in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Zoya Tinsley

Happy Manicure Monday everyone! I just have a super quick mani for you today because I have to get out the door and head for the airport. For the next week I will be hanging out with my family on Florida's beautiful West Coast! When I get home I'll actually be starting a new job as a kindergarten and first grade art teacher! I am so excited to have this much awesomeness happening all at once.

Before I get into the nails, I must share some pictures from my weekend at the Culinary Institute of America. My boyfriend and I drove up for a mini getaway and we had an amazing experience. We ate at the American Bounty Restaurant, which I highly recommend. It was seriously so wonderful. I started with butternut squash soup and my boyfriend had mussels. His broth was so good that we were dipping the bread in it! For dinner I had chicken with red cole slaw and fried mac and cheese. He had a ribeye with brussels sprouts and a pumpkin bread pudding. Dessert was this sort of deconstructed apple pie but with this toffee cake instead of pie crust. Whatever it was, it was delicious.

I'm salivating just thinking about this amazing food.

Our yummy dessert. How gorgeous is that plate?!

We also got this complimentary plate of homemade candy with our check. From left to right we had a delicious pumpkin donut, a green apple gummy, fresh caramel, and a chai infused truffle.

Now I can share my mani! I knew I wanted something light that would also last me all week at the beach, so I chose Zoya Tinsley. This beauty is a rose gold foil metallic with a ton of gold shimmer in it. I can't wait to see how it looks in the sun. The application was great, although I found it to be a little sheer. I decided to use two coats, but I think three would look even better.

Not a huge fan of seeing visible nail line but I still love the color.

Here is the color I used: Zoya Tinsley

I love the way this color looks in the bottle!

This is probably going to be my only post for the week, I do want to enjoy my vacation! I will be back next week with a fresh mani and a glowing tan ;)


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Influenster Vaseline VoxBox

Hey everyone! I'm so excited that I got my second VoxBox from Influenster. Influenster is an online community of consumers who give reviews on products and experiences. If you are active on the site, Influenster may invite you to participate in their VoxBox programs, where members receive complimentary products to review! Here is what the box looks like:

And here is the product I got.

This is Vaseline's new intensive care advanced repair lotion. It is fragrance free, which I love since I have very sensitive skin. I got a full size product, which is valued at around $3.99 for 10oz (price checked at Walgreens). 

One of the info cards it came with had this cool before and after test and I had to try it out right away.

The left circle shows the texture of the skin on my elbow before using the Vaseline lotion. It definitely looks dry and scaly. I applied the lotion and then placed the second test strip on. The right circle shows my skin after applying the product. Huge difference!

Based on my first impressions of this product I am pretty pleased. I think this will be wonderful in the winter when my skin gets extra dry. Definitely check out if you're interested in receiving free products (who isn't?!)


Disclosure: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.