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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Baxter State Park

Mount Katahdin, Baxter State Park

For my 25th birthday I decided that I wanted to explore part of Maine that I had never been to before-- The Maine Highlands. More specifically, Baxter State Park.  Baxter State Park is located about 90 miles north of Bangor in Millinocket and is over 200,00 acres in size. Mount Katahdin, the main attraction at the park, marks the end of the Appalachian Trail and is the tallest mountain in Maine at 5,267 feet.

I left our house at 6 in the morning and arrived at the park around 8:30. Once we passed through the Bangor and Orono area, we hardly saw any other cars on I-95. We entered the park through the south entrance and didn't lose cell phone service till we were near the Keep Maine Beautiful Rock, which is located not too far from the entrance of the park. And oh, the irony. There was so much litter hidden behind that rock. C'mon people.

Keep Maine Beautiful rock, Baxter State Park

Before we got through the park gates we stopped at a little info center and talked to a ranger to get an idea of what to do. The ranger gave us lots of good ideas of trails to hike and informed us that kayak and canoe rentals were only $1 per hour, which we didn't end up doing but it was good to know. Honestly I didn't know much about Baxter before we went, so talking to the ranger was very helpful.  Before we left the info center, we walked around to the back of the property to Upper Togue Pond for a great view of Mount Katahdin.

little Niagara and big niagra falls trail, baxter state park

Next we got to the park gates. The person ahead of us was asking the ranger at the gate a million questions and caused a huge line to form-- they should have stopped at the info center! But anyway, the ranger asked for our names and emergency contact information-- that's not something I've ever had to do to be admitted into a state park before-- and we were pleasantly surprised to find out that there is no entrance fee for Maine residents. Once we got in, we felt a little lost even though we had a map. We didn't really know where to go or what to do, even though the ranger had given us a dozen ideas. We saw a sign for Daicey Pond and turned off there.

Little Niagara Falls, Baxter State Park
I don't think we actually saw Daicey Pond, but we found a trail to Little Niagara Falls and Big Niagara Falls. The trail was 2.4 miles long and pretty easy. The beginning was a bit muddy but it wasn't a big deal at all. The rest of the trail was pretty rocky, but flat. The woods were blanketed in thick moss, ferns, and a dozen varieties of mushrooms.  On the way back we encountered a lot more people, including some young children who seemed to be doing just fine.

Little Niagara Falls, Baxter State Park

 We drove around a little more, taking in the views, before we had to head home. This was only a day trip, so we only experienced a tiny bit of Baxter. It was a long drive, but it was worth it. It was so secluded and unspoiled there. Inland Maine is much too underappreciated.

Big Niagara Falls, Baxter State Park

Bonus: I finally remembered to take some video footage, since I'm always saying that my photos don't do enough justice for the beautiful places that I have the privilege of living near. Be sure to watch it in HD!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

5 Favorite Lipsticks

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

Favorite Lipsticks- NYX Liquid Suede, Kat Von D Everlasting, Pacifica Plushious, Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick, NYX Matte lipstick

While digging through a drawer full of makeup earlier this week, I realized something-- I have an obsession with lipsticks. Somehow I have more lip colors than I do black pencil eyeliners, which I didn't think was possible. It makes sense though, I always pick up a new lipstick whenever I shop anywhere that sells them. I have shades ranging from light nudes to blackish-blues. Since I have so many, I decided I would narrow down my favorites and share them with you.

Favorite Lipsticks- NYX Liquid Suede, Kat Von D Everlasting, Pacifica Plushious, Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick, NYX Matte lipstick

NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Whipped Caviar, $6-  My go-to lipstick that you may remember from my 2016 Favorites roundup. It's easy to throw on, and I don't have to worry about letting it dry. I love the color and it stays all day. This is the lipstick that I wear most often.

Pacifica Plushious Liquid Mineral Lipstick in Crave, $10-  One of my more recent purchases, this is a new favorite. The color is beautiful, it smells like watermelon, and is very moisturizing. It doesn't dry completely like most liquid lipsticks, but I like that.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita, $20- No surprise here. This shade is so popular that it was released in an eyeshadow/blush powder, which I have yet to get my hands on, sadly. This chestnut rose shade is so pretty and flattering on so many different skin tones and stays on all day.

NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Tea & Cookies, $6.99- This bubblegum pink liquid lipstick was the first I ever tried, and I loved it instantly. It's so pretty, isn't patchy, and stays on well.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in American Doll, $20-  This is the longest lasting lipstick of the bunch, so if you really need something that won't fade throughout the day, this is it! This shade is a true classic red and applies with ease, there is no patchiness and it dries very quickly.

What are your favorite lipsticks? Tell me in the comments!
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: July Ipsy Glam Bag

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

Gudetama Ipsy Glam Bag July 2017

 I was so excited when a little spoiler for the July Ipsy bag surfaced on June 26th. It revealed that Ipsy and Gudetama, the lazy egg character from Sanrio, collaborated for this bag. I don't usually get excited about stuff like this, but over the past couple months I've really started loving Gudetama.

My sister loves eggs, especially if they have runny yolks. I hate eggs, especially if they have runny yolks. In fact, as I'm writing this I'm already starting to feel nauseous, but I'll power through for the sake of this story. My sister knows how I feel about eggs, and in the spirit of sibling rivalry, has been sending me Snapchat videos of her breaking egg yolks for about the past year or so. I decided to steer into the skid-- I started buying her egg-based cookbooks and sending her links to stuff with eggs on them so that maybe she would think eggs don't gross me out as much as they actually do. It's worked a little, the egg videos are coming less frequently. But anyway, I came across Gudetama and started sending links to all the Gudetama merch to my sister. I started using Gudetama GIFs while texting her. Then I realized-- this stupid little personified egg is actually really cute-- and I think I love it more than my sister does.

Gudetama Ipsy Glam Bag July 2017

  1. Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, $39- This moisturizer smells so good, it has sort of a light botanical scent that isn't overpowering at all. I also liked the consistency, it's more of a gel-cream. I probably wouldn't buy this just because the price is a little much, but I'll definitely use this sample till it's gone.
  2. mPrincess Pressed Eyeshadow in Biscuit, $15.95- I've been using this eyeshadow as a highlight since it's light and so shimmery. I don't really see anything too special about it, it's sort of underwhelming. Nothing about this product particularly stands out to me, but I'll keep using it. 
  3. NUDESTIX Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Rose, $24- This is a really pretty color, though a little darker than what I typically wear, so I'll reserve this for nighttime wear. It goes on very easily and looks great, but this is a product that needs to be reapplied throughout the day. I wore it all day without reapplying and by the end of the day, it had faded considerably in the middle of my lips. It wasn't a cute look. 
  4. Ciaté London Wonderwand Liner Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner in Black, $24-  Obviously I forgot to drop Ipsy Care a line and ask them to please stop sending me black pencil liners because as I've mentioned before, I have a million already. However, this one sounded interesting to me and I was excited to try it. It has a little angled brush on one end which on their website, Ipsy said can be used to wing the liner out. I tried doing that and did not work out. This pencil didn't feel gel-kohl, it just felt more like a dull No. 2 pencil. This is probably the worst pencil liner I've used in a very long time.
  5. TONYMOLY Sheet Masks in Lotus and Green Tea, $3 each- I was, of course, thrilled to receive these sheet masks in my Glam Bag. These were two that I had never tried before and I love TONYMOLY's sheet masks. These sheet masks are so hydrating, refreshing, and I absolutely love the packaging. 
Gudetama Ipsy Glam Bag July 2017

Have you tried any of these products? Want to try Ipsy? 
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bald Rock Mountain

Bald Rock Mountain Trail, Penobscot Bay

On Sunday morning, we were laying in bed completely ready to leave the house but with nowhere to go. We both get easily overwhelmed when our usual spots are crowded with tourists, but that's the thing-- this area gets stupidly busy during the summer, so it's difficult to find a local place that isn't crowded. Finally after a lot of scrolling through our Foursquare to-do lists, we settled on hiking Bald Rock Mountain for the first time.

Bald Rock Mountain Trail, things to do near Camden Maine, dog friendly camden maine

Since most of our hiking trips are spontaneous, we never really get an opportunity to bring Theo but since we had a game plan before we left the house, we brought the dude with us. Theo has always very clearly been more of a winter dog, but a large majority of the trail was shaded by trees, so I knew he'd be fine. We also brought a big Nalgene bottle and portable water bowl for him. Theo was being a big baby and kept laying down in the middle of the trail, so Theo had to be carried for the rest of the trail.

Bald Rock Mountain Trail, things to do near Camden Maine, dog friendly camden maine

Bald Rock Mountain Trail, things to do near Camden Maine

The trail to the summit of Bald Rock Mountain is a big loop, about 3 miles total. We started off on the multi-use trail, which is an uphill graveled trail, and eventually came across the marker for Bald Rock Trail. Bald Rock Trail was kinda steep sometimes, but still easy. On the way down, we continued on the loop using the Frohock Mountain Trail which didn't seem as well maintained as Bald Rock Trail, but it was also still easy.

Bald Rock Mountain Trail, Penobscot BayThe summit of Bald Rock Mountain is the main attraction, of course. The top had wild blueberries growing all over and beautiful views of the Penobscot Bay (you can see more of those views here and here). The summit was a little crowded when we got there, but it wasn't bad at all, especially compared to how crowded nearby Mount Battie usually is. Plus, Theo got to be the center of attention for a few minutes and he always loves that.

Bald Rock Mountain Trail, things to do near Camden Maine, dog friendly camden maine

It was a beautiful day and I'm so glad that we finally crossed another place off of our to-do list. What's your favorite thing to do on Sundays? 
Monday, July 24, 2017

Music Monday #41

No Sleep Records A Comp For Mom, OWEL Dear Me, Bob's Burgers album vinyl

It's been a hot minute since I posted a playlist, the last time being in early May. Since I last posted a playlist, Kesha finally was able to put out new music after battling her music producer/abuser in court for years, HAIM released a new album, and Arcade Fire has put out 4 singles from their new album which will be released on the 28th. Obviously, those are only a few highlights.

This playlist features some of my favorite new tracks and a few old favorites. Enjoy!

Don't forget you can follow me on Spotify and view past playlists hereWhat have you been listening to lately? Leave me some recommendations in the comments!
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: July Birchbox

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

July 2017 Birchbox review

My Birchbox subscription has officially come to an end. For my last box I decided to get the all-curated box for the first time, instead of picking one sample and having the rest be a surprise. Overall I was pretty pleased with this box. There was only one dud, and honestly I was kidding myself thinking it would work for me.

Since this is my last Birchbox I guess I should answer the question: would I renew?  I definitely enjoyed getting a Birchbox each month and discovered so many great new products, especially R+Co's Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner, that was the standout product from all of the boxes that I received. This subscription was a gift from my in-laws, so obviously I didn't pay for it. Compared to Ipsy, I don't think that Birchbox is as good of a value, however Birchbox and Ipsy usually send me very different products. I would renew, however I'm not going to right now simply because I'm trying to be a little more responsible with money. I probably will renew eventually, but not right now.

July 2017 Birchbox review

  1. MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Skin, $31-  I couldn't tell if this made my makeup last longer. It claims to even out skin redness and add radiance, but again, I didn't notice any difference. However, I liked it more than the Smashbox primer that I was sent in last month's box  because it felt more like a moisturizer than a gross film on my face. I wouldn't buy this, but I'll definitely use it till it's gone.
  2. Juliette Has a Gun Anyway Eau de Parfum, $100- This perfume is citrusy and floral, so I thought it would be perfect for me...and I'm not saying that I don't like it...but I can't tell if it's more of a mature scent than I'm used to or if I'm just so set on the usual perfumes that I use that everything else smells odd to me. Even though this is citrusy and floral, I think I'm going to save the rest to use in the fall and winter, I think it would be better then. Hopefully someone out there will understand what I mean by all this. 
  3. Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, $22.50- This is the item I was most excited for from this box. I was worried that it would be a dinky sample size, but it's pretty decent and the product goes a long way. It exfoliates and cleanses and leaves my skin feeling so soft and clean. I'd definitely buy this.
  4. Beautaniq Beauty Blush Serum in Sunrise, $16- I was expecting this to be more gel-like, but it was pretty creamy-- actually extremely similar to the NYX Whipped Blush that I got in my June Ipsy bag. This product also goes a very long way, I swatched it on my hand using a little blob and it was, um, more than enough. I looked like I had painted the back of my hand pink. But that was good to know before I put it on my face! This is a really pretty, natural-looking blush and goes a very long way. 
  5. Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion, $42-  I am always so hopeful when I try out texturing hair products and then I instantly regret putting it on my head. I put a tiny amount of this in my hair, and while it did make my hair slightly more wavy, it made my hair feel disgusting. I wanted to get back in the shower and rinse it out.

Have you tried any of these products? Want to try Birchbox?
Monday, July 17, 2017

Birthday Vinyl Wishlist

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

I make an Amazon wishlist for my birthday every year, which usually has an eclectic mix of items on it, but this year my list has nothing but vinyl records on it. I didn't intentionally do that, it just happened. It makes sense though, I've really been focused on beefing up my collection lately. Who cares if I'm running out of storage, a collector has gotta collect! Here's what I'm hoping to unwrap at the end of the month.

Bright Eyes Studio Albums box set

Studio Albums 2000-2011 by Bright Eyes
If you've been around for a while, you may recall seeing this item on last year's wishlist. Obviously, this 6 album, 10 LP box set isn't in my possession yet. Bright Eyes has been my favorite band for well over a decade, so it makes sense that I own this, right?

Master of None Season 2 Soundtrack
I love Master of None. Love it. I love the cinematography, the characters, the story lines, and the music. I especially love that Arnold greets people by saying "DiGiorno." It's just a perfect show and I added this to my list as quickly as my fingers could go.

vibrate: the best of rufus wainwright vinyl

Vibrate: The Best of  Rufus Wainwright 
Rufus Wainwright is one of my favorite musicians ever. I couldn't decide which of his many albums I wanted, so I went with this compilation. Side note: if you ever have the chance to see him live, go!

perma two of a crime vinyl

Two of a Crime by Perma
Perma is Sherri Dupree-Bemis of Eisley and Max Bemis of Say Anything. I love Eisley, I love Say Anything, and I love Sherri and Max. In case you didn't know, they're married and the music that they make together is so sweet. I believe they're putting out a follow-up this year or next, and I can't wait.

the new pornographers whiteout conditions vinyl

Whiteout Conditions by The New Pornographers 
I've had songs from this album stuck in my head almost daily since it was released in April. Truthfully, I would take any albums from this band because I somehow don't have any yet.

Neko Case Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule vinyl box set

Truckdriver, Gladiator, Mule by Neko Case
Yep, another box set. This box set has 8 albums and is Neko Case's full discography, of course excluding her numerous side projects. (She's also a member of The New Pornographers). Many of the albums included in this box set have been out of print for years.

Resistance Radio the man in the high castle album vinyl

Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Album
I started watching this show but couldn't get through it. It's a great show, but I need happy and funny things in my life right now, and this show isn't happy or funny in the slightest. But this album is fantastic. It has various artists covering songs from 1962 and is such a well-curated album.

Bambi soundtrack picture disc vinyl

Bambi Soundtrack Picture Disc
I love Disney, but I don't think I love it nearly as much as other people. I never buy Disney-related things, but I am dying to get my hands on this. Bambi has always been one of my favorite Disney movies, despite how sad it is, and the soundtrack is wonderful. Plus, picture discs are super-cute and I don't own any yet.

What have you been listening to lately? Tell me in the comments!
Saturday, July 15, 2017

Life Lately + Link Love #5

Knight Pond, Northport Maine

Well, it's been a while since I last did one of these. In case the title isn't self-explanatory, this is a series where I ramble about my life and post links to things around the internet that I've been diggin'.

Life Lately:

I've just been taking it easy and trying to relax. I've been taking lots of time for myself, which usually includes sheet masks and playing the Sims, which I'm slightly obsessed with. My anxiety has been pretty bad lately...and for the last 10 I'm really working to get a handle on that. Oh, and I watched GLOW on Netflix. And then I watched it again. I'm not particularly into wrestling, but it has Allison Brie and Kate Nash, and I'm very into them. I really enjoyed the show and highly recommend it.

My 25th birthday is at the end of the month and I was having "oh god, I'm so old!" feelings last month, but now I'm over that and just excited to celebrate. We're planning a trip to Baxter State Park and the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, which I'm very excited about. I've never been that far north in Maine and I've wanted to go for a long time. Unfortunately we won't be hiking Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine at 5,267 feet, because it takes an estimated 8-10 hours. Ever since I sprained my foot in May, too much hiking has really not been good for me, so we're going to stick to shorter trails.

Other than that, Spencer and I have been spending a ton of time at Knight Pond (pictured above) because Spencer has a new hobby-- model boats. It sounds dorky and boring, and it is, but it's also kinda cool. Spencer has a couple models that are just that, they don't have any mechanical components, then he adds all the mechanical components needed to turn the boats into functioning RC boats. It sounds easy when I put it like that, but he puts a lot of work into it.

I'm 100% an ocean girl over ponds, lakes, and rivers but Knight Pond is beautiful, and the drive there is beautiful. It's very secluded and usually not crowded at all. However, people have bonfires there and leave behind their garbage, broken beer bottles, and cigarette butts. Apparently they can't see the trash cans located 3 feet away from where they sit around the bonfire pit. Usually while Spencer drives his boats around the pond, I gather garbage and throw it away. I wonder if the litterbugs realize that picking up after themselves won't kill them?

That's it for my passive-aggressive rant. has been pretty uneventful, but in a good way.

Beech Hill Preserve, Rockport Maine
Another one from our trip to Beech Hill Preserve

Link Love:

  • Still planning some adventures for later this summer? All National Parks have free admission on August 25th, so why not go? 
  •  Jen recently celebrated a year of blogging and shared what she has learned in the past year. 
  • I feel like this can really come in handy for bloggers, as well as people who sell things online-- check out Ashlynn's tutorial for a DIY, affordable softbox light.
  • Alyse recently went to Alaska and her photos are making me pretty darn jealous. She really got some beautiful photos. Fun fact about me: I was very close to moving to Alaska 6-ish years ago.
  • I absolutely love Robyn's style. I've had my eye on a pair of pants similar to the ones that she's wearing in her post, but I'm not sure if I could pull them off. 
  • Victoria recently celebrated an adoptiversary with her adorable dog, Lulu. Stuff like this gives me alllll the feels. 
  • Shameless self-promotion-- I've added a Ko-Fi button to my blog, which is basically a tip jar. It's the button under my little bio that says "Buy Me a Coffee." I've already received a couple tips and I am still absolutely overwhelmed that people actually enjoy my blog enough to give me some of their hard-earned money. That absolutely blows my mind, makes me feel all the warm fuzzies, and honestly it does inspire me to write more. Knowing that people enjoy my content that much pushes me to keep going. 

Have you read any great posts lately? Link 'em in the comments!
Saturday, July 8, 2017

Current Favorites #5

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

tonymoly, e.l.f. cosmetics, pacifica, NYX cosmetics, No7, morphexjaclynhill

I found such great new things this past month, y'all. Usually I sort of dread doing makeup because it just takes forever, but lately I've been loving it thanks to the items on this list. I'm just so excited by all of my recent purchases, especially the last item on this list, which I swear I'll shut up about eventually. Here's what I've been loving lately: 
  • Tony Moly x Pokémon sheet masks- It's time for me to admit that I'm a huge sucker for cute packaging, possibly to a fault. I found a 5-pack of these Pokémon sheet masks on Amazon (which have since disappeared off of Amazon, but you can still find them on YesStyle) and bought them instantly. I love Tony Moly's sheet masks and the Pokémon packaging is just a bonus.
  • e.l.f Cosmetics Contour Palette- I needed a new contour palette and although I haven't had the best experience with e.l.f. products in the past, I decided to give this one a shot. I certainly couldn't turn my nose up at the price-- it's only $6. The shades are easy to apply, easy to blend, and never look muddy like some other contour shades I've used. I'll definitely buy this palette again.
  • Pacifica Plushious Liquid Mineral Lipstick in Crave- I was wary about this purchase because I knew that unlike other liquid lipsticks, it doesn't dry all the way. I was afraid that it wouldn't last or would be sticky like a gloss. This lipstick certainly doesn't last all day though the color does remain a bit, but it also doesn't dry my lips out at all, it's a beautiful color (similar to Tarte's Tarteist  Lip Paint in Rosé), and smells like watermelon. I wish that it did dry a little more than it does, but it's a great product for when your lips need a break from drying products. I guess it's more like a pigmented gloss but without the stickiness?  I really like it and I'm definitely going to purchase it in more colors. 
  • NYX Cosmetics Liquid Suede Metallic Matte lipstick in Bella- NYX recently released their much-loved Liquid Suede lipsticks in metallic finishes and I picked up the color "Bella" which was described as a deep reddish copper. I'm not really seeing copper, to me it's more of a deep reddish berry shade. This is a liquid lipstick that will dry your lips out a bit, but it also lasts a very long time. Since this is a pretty glittery lip color, I reserve it for nights out.
  • No.7 Beautiful Eyebrow Sculpting Pencil in Blonde- I've been using No.7's eyebrow pencil for years because their blonde color is the only one I've found that isn't too dark on me. Seriously, why are so many blonde eyebrow pencils actually dark brown? Anyway! This isn't the exact eyebrow pencil I had been using, the old one was just a basic pencil. They have redesigned their brow pencils to twist-up instead of be sharpened, and the pencil is angled much like Benefit's Goof Proof Brow Pencil
  • Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette- In case you missed it, I wrote a whole darn post on this in which I talked about my favorite and least favorite shades, whether it's worth the $38 price tag, and more. 
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review: Morphe X Jaclyn Hill Palette

This post contains affiliate links meaning if you click and/or make a purchase with one of those links, I make a few cents at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Poppyseeder!

Early last month beauty YouTuber Jaclyn Hill officially announced her collaboration with Morphe Brushes -- a palette of 35 custom, brand new shades -- and I freaked out. I love Jaclyn's videos, which definitely played a part in this purchase, but I was excited to see that the palette wasn't full of nothing but warm neutral colors. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot, but there's also a good selection of bright shades. Besides a couple little single shadows from NYX, I don't own many neutral eye colors so I definitely needed more in my collection, but bright colors always appeal to me so much more.

The palette went on sale on the Morphe website at 11AM EST on June 21st and sold out online in less than 45 minutes. I was able to order mine within 15 or 20 minutes, due to the site having a purchase queue to keep things running smoothly. The palette is priced at $38, I used Jaclyn's coupon code for 10% off which saved me $3.80, and I paid $7.95 for shipping to my PO box, which brought my total to $42.15. I've been eyeing Morphe's palettes for a while, but this was my first purchase from them so I wasn't completely sure of what to expect. The palette itself is pretty big, definitely the biggest one I own, and the pan sizes are pretty generous compared to palettes from other brands in this price range.

Morphe X Jaclyn Hill palette names
Color names written in white don't mean anything-- it's just for easier reading. 
I usually prefer matte shadows, but the shimmer shadows in this palette have my heart. They're just so beautiful and creamy. Everything applies so easily and blends like a dream. Instead of ranking all 35 shadows, which would probably make my head explode, I've listed my top 5 favorite and least favorite shadows from this palette.

5 favorites:
  1. Queen- Holy guacamole, this is beautiful. It's so creamy, pigmented, and makes me feel fancy as hell when I wear it. If you love gilded gold eye looks, you'd love this. 
  2. Sissy- This shade didn't immediately stand out to me, but so far I've used it more than any other shadow in this palette. It's such a beautiful pink shade with a hint of  gold.
  3. Pool Party- This is such a bright, pretty blue. It's so pretty for summer and I'm already planning icy blue lids for winter. 
  4. Royalty- I'm more of a lavender kinda gal than a true purple kinda gal, but I really love this shadow, especially paired with Queen, Sissy, Faint, or Little Lady. 
  5. Hustle- This one is a smokey silver shimmer shadow, which is something I'm always drawn to. If I'm doing quick makeup, I just swipe this color over my lids and I'm done (with eyeshadow, at least).
5 least favorites:
  1. Twerk- Not as pigmented as I had hoped for and it is a lot more purple than it looks in the pan. 
  2. Abyss- This shade also isn't as pigmented as I had hoped for, but it can be built up, which can be good when you're working with black shadow. I think this would have been amazing as a shimmer shadow. Make my glam goth dreams come true!
  3. 24/7- Glittery brown just isn't my thing. I can't really see myself wearing this one again. 
  4. Soda Pop- This is a really dark purple color, which I can only see use for on my lower lash line. It's not for me.
  5. Pukey- I just don't like this color on myself. I think it makes me look sick...kinda pukey, in fact.
I have a couple issues with this palette, but they're both pretty trivial. It's so big, which is great, but that makes it difficult to store. I keep all of my makeup in a train case and this palette is way too big to fit in there. The other issue I'm having is that I have a hard time differentiating all of the neutral shades. One day I used M.F.E.O. and loved it, so I went back to use it the next day and couldn't remember if I had used that one or Silk Creme. I'm trying to memorize the names so I don't have this problem, but it's not going well. I think I'm having an issue with that because I usually use such bright, rainbow-y colors, not neutrals.

Although I was excited for the palette, I was also concerned that it wouldn't live up to the hype and that I wouldn't find much use for it. I'm happy to report that it totally does live up to the hype and I've been using it everyday. A few shades were a little disappointing and a few just aren't for me, but it's still a fantastic palette and a great value. In the past I've paid more money for smaller, much less impressive palettes so this one has given me a new standard. I don't regret this purchase one bit.

You can now get this palette from Ulta Beauty.
Monday, July 3, 2017

July VNYL Delivery + Why I'm Not Renewing

Why I'm not renewing my VNYL subscription

This is the last box in my 6 month VNYL subscription, so I was really hoping it would be a good one. I was counting on 3 exceptionally spot-on choices that would maybe convince me to renew my membership. As you can guess from the title of this post, that didn't happen. I've decided that I won't be renewing my membership, but I'll get to that later. Let's talk about what they sent me.

Why I'm not renewing my VNYL subscription

The first track made me think this was an electronic album and I couldn't stand it-- I stopped it halfway through and put something else on. On my second listen, I powered through the weird first track and discovered that this is more psychedelic post-rock, I suppose you would call it. The opening track just doesn't fit or even make sense to me. Besides that, I'm not into this album. Listening to it in full puts me to sleep and it's a little irritating. I could probably listen to some tracks from this band on a playlist with other artists, but this album is not my jam.

Why I'm not renewing my VNYL subscription

I know that a lot of people love The Walkmen, but I'm never been into them. This is another album that nearly put me to sleep. It just does nothing for me.

Why I'm not renewing my VNYL subscription

This is the only album from the bunch that didn't put me to sleep. It's soulful blues-y rock and very upbeat, though only one track stood out to me, most sort of blended together. But this is an album that I will listen to again, unlike the others, and I think this band would be really fun to see live.

I was hesitant to talk about this, but being honest in my reviews is very important to me. I have been pretty darn positive about VNYL in the past but there have always been some things that bothered me, and over the past month I've been putting a lot of thought into this. Here are the two main reasons why I'm not renewing my membership:

1) They didn't stick to my music preferences that I set in my profile
VNYL sent me duds as well as a few albums that were new to me that I really enjoyed, but only once did they stick to my preferences, which was my April delivery. I selected that I was "cold as ice," meaning that I only wanted them to send music I already know and like. I made my profile as specific as possible-- I wrote in what I like and don't like with no characters leftover, I linked my Spotify,, and Discogs profiles, but I still received a lot of music that didn't really feel like it was curated especially for me. I'm happy that I ended up discovering new music, but I also have a handful of albums that I'm never going to listen to and they were a waste of money. If they offer the option to be "cold as ice," they need to stick to it-- or make more of an effort.

2) Coattail-riding marketing tactics 
Despite the previous thing I mentioned and another factor, I tried to stay as positive as possible about this subscription service because it's expensive and I didn't want to admit that it wasn't as great as I thought it would be. I was still considering renewing my subscription until this tweet popped up on my timeline because funny enough, VNYL "liked" it. Yet another example of why you shouldn't use bots!

See anything weird there? For some context, Vinyl Me, Please is record subscription club that launched in 2013. This was the final nail in the coffin. VNYL is blatantly using their competitor's name in their ad campaign to trick people into clicking over to their own website. As both a business owner and a consumer, I find this marketing "strategy" to be very skeevy and dishonest. If anything, this only makes me feel more inclined to join Vinyl Me, Please.

I love the idea of VNYL but the execution needs some help. An annual membership is $420 and after my 6 month trial, I can't say that it's worth it. What do you think about all this? Have you had a similar experience with VNYL?