Monday, July 28, 2014

My Fair Lady

As much as I love My Fair Lady, I actually had some qualms about putting it up on my blog, because of a conversation I had with someone that shares almost none of my views.  She felt that this was a very sexist film, and that one of the main characters, Henry Higgins, was a misogynistic jerk.  This made me really nervous, because I began to worry that some of you would think this same way, and I would offend you by putting this review up.

Really, to be completely honest, both of her points are accurate.  In fact, if you look this film up on IMDb, it even calls Henry Higgins misogynistic and snobbish.  That's part of his character.  Also, this film came out in 1964, but was based off the stage play, Pygmalion, which began in 1912.  So, I believe a little sexism is to be expected.  Now that I've gone through all this, I believe it is time to actually start talking about the film itself.

This is another lovely Audrey Hepburn film, this one being based in London.  She plays Eliza Doolittle, who is a poor  Cockney flower girl that randomly runs into the infamous Henry Higgins, played by Rex Harrison, who is a phonetics professor that makes a bet that he can transform Eliza into a woman of high society simply by changing the way she speaks...and how she acts and dresses.

As usual, I won't say too much, but I do feel that it's necessary to mention that yes, it is a romantic comedy, and Eliza and Henry do fall in love.  He does in fact see the error of his ways, and becomes less misogynist and more pompous.  I just don't want you to go into this film with such a negative view of Henry.  He just doesn't know all the lovely reasons to have a lady around in the beginning!

Images from here and here

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sigma Mrs. Bunny Essentials Kit

Oh dear.  I do believe I have a post in which I must use an affiliate link.  However, before any of you begin to think that this post is solely a way for me to try and make money, please do look at some of my makeup tutorials on YouTube.  I don't always disclose which brushes I use, but the light blue color of these brushes is easy to spot, so you can tell that I've actually used these for quite some time before actually talking about them.

This kit comes with 12 brushes, in a convenient little carrying case that opens up to reveal two separate cups.  This is extremely handy, as you can put used brushes in one cup and clean brushes in the other, thereby keeping them from getting mixed up.  Since it would take quite a while to go through each brush in this kit, I decided I would just talk about my absolute favorites.

The first that I could not be bothered to live without is the E40 Tapered Blending Brush, which is pictured on the below on the left.  I've tried so many blending brushes, including the ones from MAC, and none of the others can compare to this one.  I also love the E55 Eye Shading Brush, and use it every single day to apply my main eyeshadow, since it packs on the color extremely well, and the final brush I had to talk to you about is the F30 Large Powder Brush.  I love this for lightly applying bronzer to my neck and forehead, and setting my makeup as well.  It's just such a lovely, versatile brush!

Truly, they are all fabulous, and someday I may have to film a full video talking about each of them.  Unfortunately, there simply isn't enough time to talk about them here.  If you've looked into these brushes before, and are perhaps debating a purchase, I would certainly say go for it!

E05: Eyeliner, E30: Pencil, E40: Tapered Blending, E55: Eye Shading, 
E60: Large Shader, E65: Small Angle, E70: Medium Angled Shading, 
F30: Large Powder, F40: Large Angled Contour, F50: Duo Fibre, F60: Concealer

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ciate's Baby Doll

A while back, I purchased Ciate's Dolls House Collection, thereby purchasing my very first Ciate polishes, and I believe I may be hooked.  Today I'm only talking about one of the polishes from this collection, but I can't guarantee that I won't end up talking about more of them later on.  This just happens to be the one I've been reaching for most so far this summer!

As it says in the title of this post, this polish is called Baby Doll, and is a gorgeous salmon pink color, that has a very pretty porcelain finish, just like all the other polishes in this collection.  For those of you that may be wondering what a porcelain finish is (I know I certainly was when I picked these up!), it's essentially a matte polish that tends to dry just a bit streaky, making it look like actual porcelain.

If you've been around this blog long enough, you probably already know that I love matte polishes (for proof, see my matte grey manicure!), and these are no exception!  Honestly, all of the polishes in this collection remind me of Sweet Tarts or candy necklaces when I'm wearing them.  I especially love this color, as it has just a hint of orange, and for some reason or another, I think most people tend to find themselves drawn more to orange and coral colors during the summer months.  I could certainly be wrong, though!

Much as I love this color, I do realize that it may be difficult to get your hands on, now.  So, if you are interested in achieving a similar manicure but can't get your mitts on this particular collection, you could certainly grab a similar salmon nail color, then haphazardly paint a matte top coat over it (I recommend the one from Revlon - it's amazing!).  As always, please be a dear, and let me know what you think of this manicure!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Anastasia Brow Powder in Auburn

I've never been particularly interested in taking care of my brows on a regular basis.  Sure, every once in a while, I'll tweeze them, but that's essentially where it ends.  I just never really got the hang of doing them, I guess.  However, I recently picked up the Anastasia Brow Powder in Auburn (my hair tends to come off more brown on camera, but it's got plenty of red in it!), and I think this one product has made a huge difference!

To begin with, I think I've really started to enjoy doing my brows thanks to the packaging of this product.  It's so elegant, lovely, and luxurious, it just begs to be used.  Of course, if it was just the packaging I loved, it still probably wouldn't get used.  The formulation is also quite nice, being nice and smooth, and easy to blend without being susceptible to smudging.

I tend to just use the darker color on the left to fill in my brows, and it looks so nice in comparison to my hair color!  Personally, I like to keep my hair a darker, more mahogany brown, which means I'll probably continue using this color, but in the summer, my hair does tend to get a little lighter thanks to the sun, which really brings out the red, so I imagine I'll get plenty of use out of the other shade, as well!

I can't really compare this to other products specifically meant for your brows, as the closest I've ever gotten is using a matte shadow to fill in my brows, then using the Maybelline clear mascara to keep them in place...but I wasn't ever very good at that routine, and I wasn't particularly satisfied with the result, either.  So, I'm afraid I can't say much else about this product, but I've been thoroughly enjoying it!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dreaming of Dreamsicles

I know I already said this, but I am amazed that I've been able to keep up with my "Sweater a Month" goal, so far!  It certainly hasn't been the easies project I've ever decided to undertake, but it has been fun, and I've loved being able to put outfits together, centered around pieces I've made myself!  Honestly, you wouldn't believe how rewarding it feels!

Now, even from the moment I found the pattern for this sweater, I knew this outfit had to be inspired by those lovely orange sherbet and ice cream treats, Dreamsicles.  It's so light, fresh, and fruity feeling, so I paired this lovely sherbet orange top with a tiered, drop waist cream dress that I'd gotten from Forever 21 a while back.

I tried to keep the majority of this outfit fairly neutral, opting for a neutral chevron clutch and a tan pair of wedges I got from Target a while back with one major exception: I decided to add a pop of color, by wearing a light turquoise bubble necklace.  You know the turquoise - the kind that always reminds one of a Tiffany box?  I love that color during the summer, and it looks so nice with orange!

I love this outfit, and it really is a fun one to wear.  It's a little different, but still light and feminine.  It's certainly not meant for those really hot days during the summer, though!  After all, even if this particular sweater is a bit lighter than others I've done, it can still get warm!  What do you think?  Do you like this outfit?  Let me know in the comment section!

Top: Vogue Knitting
Dress: Forever 21
Necklace: Walmart
Wedges: Target
Clutch: JustFab

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray

Most of the time, I’m so focused on trying to make my hair nice and smooth, frizz free, and soft, but this time of the year, it can sometimes be fun to use a salt spray to give your hair a little texture, making it look like you’ve just stepped out of the ocean…which is a bit of an impossibility for me, as I live directly between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. But, everyone likes to pretend to be a mermaid, right? Anyway, my favorite is the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray (You can see why I shortened its name in the title of this post!)

I don’t have a lot of experience with sea salt sprays, though this one seems to work just as well as others I’ve tried in the past with one major difference: this smells incredible. I’m sure if you’ve watched some of my videos, you’ve realized that I love smelling things, and although I can overlook some odors, a product gets major points if I like its scent. This particular product is infused with dead sea salt and sea kelp, which I’m guessing is where it gets its scent, but as I’m not sure what either of those smell like, suffice it for me to say that it when I use it, it makes my hair smell like a tropical beach party, complete with sunscreen, sand, and a pina colada.

It’s not sticky or greasy at all, which is another lovely factor, and is easy to use, as all you have to do is mist it on your hair, then comb through it. Much as I love this, though, I would not recommend using it every single day, as it is comprised of salt, which tends to dry your hair out. While having textured hair is nice right now in the summer, there’s something to be said about having super soft hair once fall comes back around!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Eyelet Panel Tunic

I fear that I may have to mention how pleased I am with myself every single time I share a new sweater with you.  I also must admit to you that I'm not the best at following through on things, so the fact that I've already completed five of twelve (almost half!) of the sweaters I'd set out to is a tremendously big deal for me - my goal is to have one sweater for every month of the year, though I am still behind on January and February.  Also, I would like to mention that if any of you have felt inclined thus far to also make any of the sweaters I've shared with you, please share them with me via Instagram or Twitter @meganandpearls using the hashtag, #makingsweaters!

This month, I've decided to make this creamy mango tunic that reminds me of something one would wear to a tropical resort.  I used the Bernat Baby Sport yarn (which I also used for my Anisette Cardigan - March Sweater) in the color Peach Blossom.  The thing I love about this yarn is that it comes in lovely pastel colors, and it's nice and light in general so that you can still wear these sweaters when it's a little warmer out.

Compared to some of the other sweaters I've done so far, this one was rather simple without any cabling or added details, but that doesn't mean it's not just as lovely!  Sometimes the simpler items really do make the biggest impression, and I think this one is perfectly elegant in its own right.  As with my other sweaters, if you'd like to see this particular one in action, please come back on Friday!  I'll be doing another fun, Outfit of the Day using it!  Oh, and if you would like to make one for yourself, this is yet another pattern from Vogue Knitting (no, I'm not being sponsored!) that you can find here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hollister Malibu Beach Body Spray

Scents are amazing, aren't they?  In an instant, they can transport you to a different time entirely, bringing back memories you'd completely forgotten you'd had.  For example, toward the end of my freshman year through the summer and beginning of my sophomore year of college, I was wearing the Malibu Beach Body Spray from Hollister, and now it's become not only an instant reminder of that time, but also an essential part of my summer routine.

Like all scents from Hollister, Malibu Beach is a nice, casual beachy scent, perfect for summer.  It is comprised of vanilla, marzipan, almond, and just a little musk - essentially summer's version of the bakery scents I adore so much in the winter!  In most of my perfume or fragrance-related posts, I mention that there is a scent or two that I really can't smell, but in this one, I can smell everything quite well.  The one that stands out most, though, is the marzipan.  Perhaps it's just me, but I just don't think of marzipan being in perfumes very often, though it really is a nice, sweet, candy scent.

I truly love the way it smells, but this is one of those scents were I love the way it makes me feel, too.  It doesn't necessarily have a spectacular cooling sensation when you apply it or anything like that, but it relaxes me almost instantly, and it feels as though all is right in the world.  Where Vera Wang perfume is clearly my "power perfume", this scent is one that I use to calm down, and feel like a beach bum.  And really, who doesn't want to feel that way in the summer?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

EOS Sweet Mint Balm

I've tried several EOS balms, and to be completely honest, most of them have been fairly unremarkable in my opinion.  True, they're quite adorable in their little egg-shaped packaging, but the formulation of most of them leaves something to be desired.  However, there is at least one exception that I've found, and that is the Sweet Mint Balm.

A while back, in a Current Empties video, I'd shown the second of these balms that I'd gone through, and have since gone one to my third balm.  I have several lip balms and treatments that I've tried to use up, and though I've attempted to refrain from any further purchases in this department, I've come to the conclusion that an EOS Sweet Mint balm simply must be in my makeup case at all times.  In fact, I actually prefer this balm to my Dior Crème de Rose balm - I'm not saying that it works better than Crème de Rose, as Crème de Rose is incredible, but when you consider the price of each product, the Sweet Mint balm simply offers a bit more "bang for your buck".

As I mentioned earlier, this is the only EOS balm that I've found that I'm fond of enough to repurchase (I've also tried Summer Fruit, Lemon Drop, and Strawberry Sorbet - which is my second favorite), but at about $3.00 a balm, it's not much of a gamble to try a few flavors out if a different balm tickles your fancy rather than this one.  They're also available in Blueberry Acai, Pomegranate Raspberry, and Honeysuckle Honeydew.  Have you tried any of them?  Which is your favorite?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bye Bye Birdie

I have thought about how I should go about writing this post for such a long time, and have come to the conclusion that to talk about this particular film, I must talk about two different movies.  You see, this was first adapted to film in 1963, starring Dick Van Dyke in the role of Albert Peterson, but was redone in 1995, this time starring Jason Alexander.  Much as I love Dick Van Dyke, I find it necessary to talk about both versions, as I actually prefer the 1995 version (it truly tears me up to say this!).

With the exception of this one movie, I'm the type that always prefers the original over remakes, but I simply can't get myself to do that with this one, and after much consideration, I think I've figured out why.  The film is about a songwriter, Albert Peterson (Dick Van Dyke and Jason Alexander), who has recently picked up the rock n' roll superstar, Conrad Birdie, as a client.  However, soon after, Conrad is drafted into the army (sound like anyone else we know?), threatening to ruin Albert's musical career.  However, his fiance, Rose Alvarez (Janet Leigh in 1963 and Vanessa Williams in 1995), comes up with a plan to have Conrad play one farewell show, where he kisses a lucky member of the Conrad Birdie Fan Club.

The lucky member chosen is a young girl named Kim MacAfee, and I think it's her role that makes the second version so much better in my eyes.  Perhaps it's just me, but I feel that Kim should be a sweet, innocent young girl, and in the 1995 version, Chynna Phillips pulls this off.  However, I don't think Ann Margaret, who had the role in 1963 does this as well.  She simply has too "sexy" of a voice, and while I truly adore her in some of her other films, like Viva Las Vegas, she just doesn't do it for me in this film.

I would certainly recommend seeing both versions, though!  It's just one of those things were you need to see both in order to form your own opinion, which could easily differ from mine.  I'd love to know what your opinions on these films are, so please do let me know in the comment section!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Independence Day Glossybox First Impressions

Well, I've done it.  I've re-subscribed to Glossybox (I also subscribed to Boxycharm, so look forward to a First Impressions on that when I get it!).  I was never incredibly interested in subscription boxes, because I do like to choose my products, but for some reason it finally clicked in my brain that in going through some subscription services for beauty products, I get to try a bunch of products for less than I'd pay for them if I were to go out and buy the exact same product!

Also, before you watch this first impressions video, I will make the disclaimer that this is not an unboxing video.  I get far too excited when I get packages in the mail, so I have to open them right away, and since packages do not get delivered directly to my house right now, I find it unlikely that I will be able to ever do an unboxing video.  However, given that I do test some of the products out right away, I can give you my first impressions on the products, which I think may be useful, as well!

I hope you like this quick little video, and if you do, please be sure to head over to my beauty channel and subscribe!  I appreciate your support so much!  Also, if you know of any beauty boxes I should try out, please let me know in the comment section below!  I'd love to know if I'm missing out on some of your favorite boxes!

July 4, 2014: Happy Independence Day!

I must say, after yesterday's Independence Day festivities, I am quite exhausted!  However, it was such a fun day, and I wouldn't change a thing!

If you didn't already know, I live in a rather small town in Minnesota, so some of these summer activities are a pretty big deal - even if they're not quite as well funded as some of the bigger shows.  We still go to the local parade (which is longer than the few seconds I show in the vlog, by the way), and depending on where you sit, the fireworks can be pretty awesome!

We, of course, have our own secret viewing spot, which puts us nice and close to the fireworks, so that you can actually feel them, which is incredible!  We really did have an amazing 4th of July, and I hope you did, too!  What are your Independence Day traditions?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fizzy Dreamsicle Cocktail Recipe

Does anyone else remember having Dreamsicles on warm summer days?  Those lovely orange and ice cream popsicles that would make your mouth water?  Well, I certainly do, which is why when I found out that there was such a thing as a Dreamsicle Cocktail, I had to try it out, and have been loving them ever since!

The original recipe I followed came from Drinks Mixer (which you can see here), but of course I had to change it up a little.  You know, make it my own, alter it to my particular taste buds, etc.  So, I decided to give it a little more of an orange taste by adding a little more orange juice, and thought it could use a little fizzier texture, so I added a little Sprite, too - though I imagine club soda would work as well.  If you are of legal age, I do hope you'll try these out, and let me know what you think (also, please drink responsibly!)!

1 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Amaretto
2 oz. Half and Half
3 oz. Orange Juice
2 oz. Sprite

Mix together Triple Sec, Amaretto, Half and Half, and Orange Juice, then top off with Sprite.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cricket's Favorite Things

Though he can be an incredible pain, most of you seem to absolutely adore Cricket (our bengal cat)!  In fact, I recently got a request to share with you some of Cricket's favorite toys, food, etc., so I did it straight away!  As an aside, I absolutely love doing request videos, so if you have any ideas, please let me know!

I will warn you before you start this video: Cricket is not a normal cat.  His favorite foods are his cat food, moths, and daddy longleg spiders, and he refuses to play with almost all toys catered to cats with the exception of a ball that has a jingle bell in it.  So, his favorite things aren't what most cats would find appealing.  Given that, this may actually be an entertaining video to watch!

Items mentioned:
Super Bouncy Balls
Jingle Bell Cat Toy Balls
Universal Remote Laser Light
Nerf Gun
Rudolph Stuffed Animal

YSL Rouge Volupte in Opera Rose

I’m sure by now it’s no surprise that I love YSL’s lipsticks. I think I’ve mentioned them quite a few times, and I still can’t get over their intoxicating scent of red wine. Perhaps intoxicating is the wrong word to use there, but I really do adore their scent. It’s definitely my favorite feature of these lipsticks, and I fear that in talking about that one bit so often, I may have overlooked some of their other lovely qualities when I’ve talked about them in the past. That is why I’ve decided to dedicate a post to a lipstick that most of you already know that I love, focusing on my favorite to wear during the summer, Opera Rose.

Skipping over how delectable they smell, let’s talk about formulation. These babies are so soft and smooth to apply, and actually seem to hydrate your lips a bit, so after quite a bit of wear, your pucker doesn’t feel dried out and scratchy like it does with certain other lipsticks. Honestly, it’s like rubbing a stick of butter all over your lips, which may not sound appealing, but imagine how soft that would feel! They’re also very pigmented, as you can see from the swatch of Opera Rose, and they last quite a while on your lips, making them a nice, easy wear. They don’t really stain your lips, though, so if you are looking for a very long lasting formula, you may want to look elsewhere. These do require maintenance, but they’re so lovely to apply, I certainly don’t mind!

Opera Rose in particular is quite easily one of my favorite lipsticks to wear during the summertime, because it’s color is so lovely and bright without being overpowering. It’s described as a vibrant rose pink, and you lovelies know I’m a little more neutral in my color schemes, so it may seem odd at first that I would like a color described as ‘vibrant’. However, the rose is what saves it! If you are like me, and aren’t particularly interested in bright colors, even though they are amazing for summer, allow me to introduce you to the trick of rose. Basically, rose is a little darker pink with just a subtle hint of tan, which makes it a bit more neutral than the baby pinks, hot pinks, and corals. Perhaps you’re a bit braver than I am, and having a neutral hint is not a big deal in a bright color, but it’s something to think about, regardless!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Reacting to Old Profile Pictures

Today's video was so much fun to do, since it involved looking at a bunch of my past Facebook profile pictures (my personal Facebook pictures, I might add)!  Oh, and you guys are going to love this: these pictures span about eight years!  Dearest, that number truly makes me feel old.

That being said, I hope you enjoy this video as much as I enjoyed making it!  It's interesting to go back and see how much I've changed (or haven't - let me know what you think in the comment section!)!

As always, if you haven't already, I'd love it if you popped on over to my YouTube channel and subscribed!  That way, if I forget to tell you lovelies that I've posted a new video (something we all know I'm prone to doing) you'll still know about it!