Thursday, February 28, 2013

February In Review

February was a big month for Rhinestone Religion -- I posted more than I ever have in a single month, mostly due to my new blog binder and editorial calender. It's kept me motivated and organized, and knowing quite of few of my readers are bloggers themselves I can't wait to share the project with you. It still requires a few tweaks here and there, but there should definitely be a post detailing how I put it together within the next two weeks, so sit tight! 

Until then, why not take a look at the rest of the content that was put together in the last month? You never know what you may have missed. 

Daily Style:
♥ Red in the Snow
This was my first time wearing colored jeans! Though I would be lying if I said I wasn't dying for dress weather.
♥ My Valentine's Day
The outfit I picked out for my Valentine's Day date with my boyfriend. It went so much better than expected (the outfit, that is!)
♥ Pearls and Studs
Know what you should never do? Buy something from Forever 21 with a million tiny pearls sewn on.

Tea Tuesday:
♥ New Additions
Check out all the tea I added to my collection!
♥ Adagio Hugs and Kisses & Sweet Nothings Review
A review of the themed tea I received as a Valentine's Day gift.
♥ Fava Tea Company
My first impressions of a local tea shop.
♥ Reddit Tea and Coffee Exchange
Just letting everyone know about this exchange, who doesn't love getting mail?

Other:
♥ Mor Cosmetics Haul and Review
A review of Mor Cosmetics, a brand with the most beautiful packaging in existence.
♥ 3 Easy NYFW Beauty Trends to Try
Three on-trend ways to spice up your beauty routine.
♥ Fashion Inspired by Adventure Time II: Fionna and Lumpy Space Princess
Ideas for outfits inspired by the characters from Adventure Time!
♥ Current Beauty Favorites
What I can't live without.
♥ Valentine's Day Gift Guide
A list of prezzies for Valentine's Day.
♥ Valentine's Day Date Outfit Ideas
Cute ideas for ways to dress for Valentine's Day date (or any other day!) from casual to dressy.
♥ February Activity Ideas
Things you could have done in February, but February is over now. Boo.

See you in March! ;)






Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tea Tuesday: New Additions

I went a little crazy this week and bought approximately a bajillion new teas to add to my collection. Adagio is awesome and lets you get sample sized packets  for a couple bucks. Since I'm still new to their brand the offer was too good to resist, I went through the entire selection and got samples of pretty much anything that looked good! Shipping was really fast too, I think it only took maybe two business days. I got so excited when I saw the package sitting on my front step this morning! 

I ended up with: 
♥ Thai Chai

I also went back to Fava Tea Company, my local shop which I wrote about here. I restocked on my favorites from my sample purchase like their Spiced Pear and Raspberry Patch, and I picked out three new teas to try; Vanilla Spice Chai, Almond Spice Chai and French Breakfast.

The French breakfast is amazing. The leaves smell and feel creamy, and the brew itself is like coffee. I've been drinking it when I want more caffeine in the morning but I don't want to get the jitters and it's just as satisfying. 

I haven't had a chance to make any of my Adagio samples yet, which should I try first?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Link Love 02.24.13


So excited for the Kate Spade Saturday line!
♥ Here's a great Tumblog for color combination inspiration
♥ 3 More Ways to Decorate Your Dorm Room Desk Space -- I'm not in the dorms anymore, but these easily apply to home offices too! My desk actually doubles as my vanity so I can only use it as a workspace if it isn't littered with makeup.
♥ Great for bloggers and literally everyone else, 10 Makeup Tricks That Make You Look Spectacular In Photos
♥ Freaking finally, the first real Game of Thrones Season 3 trailer. My body is ready.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mor Cosmetics Haul & Review


I first stumbled upon Mor Cosmetics while aimlessly flipping through a magazine. One of the features had a collage of items that every woman should have in their purse, and Mor Lip Macarons was pictured. 

Now, for those of you who don't know, I'm a complete sucker for packaging. I'm also a complete sucker for macarons and beauty products. Needless to say my curiosity was piqued to put it mildly, and I instantly went to their website to take a look at what else they offered. It was love at first sight. Everything matched my aesthetic perfectly and I had to try some of their products out for myself. I know, I shouldn't put so much stock in packaging, but everything was just so pretty!


The Belladonna Hand Cream was the purchase I was most apprehensive about. Scented lotions are tricky for me because if it's too heavily perfumed I get a headache and never ever want to use it ever again. As much as I love LUSH, I've stopped buying their body and hand creams for just that reason. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the subtlety of this scent. I didn't find it to be the least bit overpowering, in fact it's a very delicate fragrance -- sort of like a floral baby powder, which doesn't really sound quite a appealing as it is.

 The cream itself is rich and moisturizing, it actually keeps my hands feeling soft longer than my medicated Eucerin cream. I love that it has the added effect of making me feel like I'm pampering myself by using it, even though it's actually really good for me. 


I got a little tin of soap as well, called Little Luxuries Marshmallow Soapette which sounds freakin' adorable. I haven't had a chance to actually use the soap yet... I almost don't want to because I don't want to ruin it. I'd rather keep it in tact as decorative soap for when I finally have an apartment with a decent sized bathroom. 

I can tell you that it doesn't really smell like marshmallow, which is fine with me because I mostly selected this one because I liked the shade of pink (I know, I know I'm terrible.) Right now tin and soap are decorating the top of my dresser. I like them better there. 


And of course, the reason I ventured to Mor Cosmetics in the first place -- the lip macaron. I'm sad to say, I was initially disappointed. It was much tinier than I was expecting, and for some reason I was expecting (through no basis in reality) for there to be a tint of color to the formula, but it's just clear. The tin itself also feels a lot cheaper than I was expecting. The tray of the product moves around a little bit in the container, and you can see below what the inside looks like.


 $10 felt like an excessive amount of money to pay for basically a peach-scented tin of Chapstick. My opinion changed when I tried it, however. It's remarkably moisturizing, even decadent feeling. I am an absolute Chapstick addict but I only need to use my lip macaron once for every maybe 5 reapplications of Chapstick that I'd have to do otherwise. The soft feeling lingers for a long time, and tastes delicious too. That said, buying another one seems unnecessary for the price tag so I'm perfectly content with just having one in my collection. 

Overall, I'm completely pleased with my order and I can't wait to purchase from Mor Cosmetics again. I'm especially interested in trying their scented candles and gorgeous perfume, which I think I may be getting in the near future!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Red in the Snow


Getting so sick of Wisconsin weather. Just the other day, I was getting out of my car to go to work and I realized I barely even needed my heavy coat. I heard birds chirping, the snow was starting to melt and make little puddles for me to dodge across the parking lot and the wind didn't feel like burning on my face. "How delightful, spring will be here soon!" I said to myself in my best Disney princess impression (not really) and went about my merry way.

Not five minutes into my shift a customer passingly mentioned the snow storm that was coming. I mean, I guess that's what I get for not watching the weather, but seriously? Make up your mind, Wisconsin.


I'm getting sick of boots and I'm getting sick of pants. I know, I know -- no one really wants to hear me complain. So I'll make note of some good news. If I were going to be stuck wearing the same pair of boots for four months straight, this pair from Nine West would be it. They're super comfy wedges, they're waterproof and they don't weigh 50 pounds like my last pair of boots so I don't take an extra 20 minutes lumbering to class. The best part? I got them at an outlet mall for only $24.99.

Outfit Details
Jeans: Express
Boots: Nine West
Necklace: Express

Still, I have a rack full of cute flats that haven't been worn yet because I'm waiting for the slush to disappear. Keeping my fingers crossed for some warmer weather soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tea Tuesday: Adagio Hugs & Kisses and Sweet Nothings

When I posted about my Valentine's Day, I mentioned that my boyfriend gifted me some new tea from Adagio, which is a brand I've been dying to try for a few months now. I only ever hear good things about them and was eager to try some of their tea for myself.

Unfortunately, the Valentine's Day gift set Love Petals was sold out. But, I still got two of the tins that came in the set -- Hugs & Kisses and Sweet Nothings.


I won't lie, I not-so-subtly dropped some hints before Valentine's Day that I had been eyeing these up. Look at those tins, even if I hated the tea I know for a fact I would have found a way to decorate with the containers. The good news is that I absolutely love both of them!


Hugs & Kisses is a rooibos tea blended with rose petals and cornflowers. The blend itself is absolutely gorgeous and brightly colored, I almost want to just eat it straight out of the tin. 

The flavor is a little bit heavier than it looks, but that's to be expected with most rooibos. I think it's better with a small amount of milk mixed in (almond milk, for me!) It leaves a slightly strange aftertaste in my mouth, but the initial flavor is great so I don't mind as much. It also has little to no caffeine, which is perfect for me because I like to drink tea before bed. 


Sweet Nothings is a white tea, and is actually the first white that I've added to my collection. I was a little bit apprehensive about it at first, because white teas are more delicate. They are more sensitive to temperature and steeping time, and the flavor is more subtle. Most of my tea is black, which is pretty much the exact opposite of all of those things. 


The white tea is blended with sunflower petals, lavender buds and apricot. It isn't as pretty to look at as Hugs & Kisses, but the taste is amazing. It's light and refreshing without being too fruity, because fruity tea just makes me feel like I'm drinking juice. I'm not turned off to the idea of white tea anymore just thanks to how delicious this blend is and I want to buy a bajillion more flavors. 

It's too bad that the third tin in the set, Ripe for Romance, was sold out. From the website, it looks as though that blend was a favorite in the reviews. Which I mean, is probably why it was sold out in the first place. It's a black tea with chocolate and raspberry flavors I'm sure I would have loved. I'm signed up to get a notification when it comes back in stock, so hopefully I'll get a chance to review that one as well!

I've been doing Tea Tuesday for a few weeks now and I'd love some feedback on the feature. Do you enjoy Tea Tuesday or find it useful at all? Anything you'd like to see added or improved upon? Please let me know!


Monday, February 18, 2013

3 Easy NYFW Beauty Trends to Try


I mentioned a few days ago about how I feel like I've been stuck in a beauty rut lately, doing more or less the same look every day without experimentation. Which is extremely frustrating for me, because in High School I used to be known for playing with my eyeshadow and lip color almost on a daily basis. I definitely have the technical skills to be able to do crazy looks, it just seems like I haven't like taking any risks lately. Talk about squandering.

Looking at some of the beauty trends from New York Fashion Week, I've been gathering inspiration for really simple ways I can breath new life back into my look. Maybe take some baby steps toward finding my adventurous spirit again? Thankfully, most of the popular looks this season are easy enough that you don't have to be a professional makeup artist to pull it off (which is good, because I'm only freelance!)  

So, I've gathered a couple of my favorite no-fuss looks from the runway as well as the products you can use to achieve them. Trust me, this is just as much for you as it is for me! 

(Source)

Bold eyebrows can be a daunting trend to try because of their intensity, but done right it can be both versatile and flattering.

To dip your toe into the trend, try using a small angled brush and eyeshadow to lightly darken you brows. You can get a convenient kit with everything you need to achieve this look, or you can simply use eyeshadow and brushes you may have at home. Alternatively, for a more dramatic look use a felt-tipped liquid pen to give your brows a strong shape.

A tip I've picked up to soften up bold eyebrows and still appear feminine is to wear a pair of fake eyelashes. Keep your lips a pale pink or nude color to draw even more attention to your eyes.

(Source)

Bright eyeliner is a quick and easy way to add some excitement to your beauty routine. All you need to do is a quick swipe of color and add some mascara. 

Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil is a personal favorite of mine, I have one in five different colors! They're long-lasting and the color is rich and intense, so they're perfect for creating this look. I'm also a big fan of MAC Fluidline, but because it requires the use of a brush it takes a little bit more skill to apply and may not be best for beginners.

For fun ways to play with this trend, try doubling up on cat eyeliner in two different colors or using the liner above the crease or your eyelid instead of the lashline.

(Source)

One of my favorite ways to quickly get ready for class in the morning is to use a highlighting powder to brighten up my face. My "miracle product" for this is MAC's Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle, which I recently blogged about in this post. I use a big, fluffy angled blush brush to dust highlighter on my cheekbones toward my hairline, my eyelids and down my nose and lips for an instant facelift. 

A cool trick to give yourself an all-over glow is to mix a small amount of reflective pigment like MAC Vanilla in with your foundation. If you don't have any pigment, you could also  scrape a small amount of eyeshadow to create the mixture as well. When I do this, I either keep the rest of my makeup as natural as possible or pair it with very subdued eyes and bright lips for an unexpected pop of color. 


I hope you're inspired to play around with your beauty routine, let me know what you try! 








 
This post has been submitted to IFB Project #83: The Best Beauty Trends from NYFW 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Link Love 02.17.13

♥ This article titled "The Circus of Fashion" poses the question -- If fashion is for everyone, is it fashion?
♥ 101 Fashion Tips and Tricks Every Girl Should Know
♥ For my fellow A Song of Ice and Fire and/or Game of Thrones fans... a Tumblr for you.
♥ How to brew cold tea via a Beautiful Mess
College students will love 27 Ways To Make Your Groceries Last as Long as Possible
♥ Target Spring 2013 Lookbook via the Budget Babe. I love that I can find some real gems at Target sometimes!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fashion Inspired by Adventure Time Part II: Fionna and Lumpy Space Princess

WHAT TIME IS IT? Time for part two of my Fashion Inspired by Adventure Time series! If you've never heard of Adventure Time, here is a quick description of the massively popular Cartoon Network TV show from my first installment of the series

Adventure Time is a strange "kid's show" on Cartoon Network that takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of Earth known as Ooo. The denizens of Ooo are all mutated life forms as a result of the "Mushroom War" except for Finn, the hero and only known human. Despite its bright colors and simplistic art-style, Adventure Time's stories often have thinly-veiled adult humor and sometimes morbid themes which accounts for its large following outside its target audience. Adventure Time also tips its hat toward various geek cultures through references such as D&D alignments and video game-like "boss fights" and music. It also has ton of unique characters... 

I focused on Princess Bubblegum and Marceline for the first post, and now for part two I'm featuring Fionna and Lumpy Space Princess! 

Fionna


In one episode, (two this coming Monday!) every character in the show was given a gender-swapped version of themselves, a sort of alternate-reality Ooo. If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil the reason behind the swap but I can tell you that some of the gender-swapped characters are insanely popular for only having been featured in one episode. 

Fionna is the gender-bend of Finn, the human protagonist of Adventure Time. I figured going with the female version of the main character would be the best route for featuring female fashion. An outfit inspired by Fionna was a little bit tricky to put together at first due to the risk of it seeming too costume-y, but by using a loose interpretation of her already very mainstream outfit I was able to create a look that definitely draws inspiration from her tomboy attitude and practicality while still being very wearable. 

This polka dot sweater is the perfect color to match Fionna's top, and adds some interest to the otherwise solid-colored ensemble. A pair of medium-length shorts are perfect for adventuring, and a green satchel in place of a backpack keeps the outfit from looking like a costume. Add a sword accessory, because Fionna is all about swords, as well as a white knit hat to tie in with the character's signature look and you're ready to fight some evil!

Lumpy Space Princess


Like, lump off! Lumpy Space Princess aka LSP is a fan favorite and was specifically requested in the comment section of my previous post. If you've never seen Adventure Time, it's difficult to explain why LSP is so hilarious. Just, watch this video and you might understand

This was another tricky one to put together because Lumpy Space Princess isn't humanoid. She's just... a purple blob. So I had to look into her character for some inspiration. 

Set the color scheme with a purple dress, and then add quirky bright-yellow accessories. It's revealed in one episode that LSP is actually homeless, so I thought a dingy leather bag would be a perfect nod to that little tidbit. A bold, berry colored lipstick was the natural choice when I remembered an episode in which she smeared jelly on as makeup and looked lumpin' hot. 

There's another gender-bend episode coming Monday, be sure to watch!

What other characters would you like to see featured in Fashion Inspired by Adventure Time? I have a lot to choose from so I'm going to get to as many as I can. Make requests in the comments! 


Friday, February 15, 2013

My Valentine's Day



I know a lot of people have some very strong feelings about Valentine's Day. Personally, I think obsessing over it too much is silly. If you don't have someone to celebrate with, it's really not the end of the world nor is it something that should make or break a couple. In the grand scheme of things, it's not worth getting upset or depressed over.

That said, this was actually my first Valentine's Day in years that I've been with someone (and High School doesn't really even count, right?) so it was pretty exciting for me this time around. My boyfriend brought me adorably well thought-out presents, including a book about octopuses. For those of you who don't know, I have a mild obsession with cephalopods though my favorite is actually the cuttlefish. He also made some keto-friendly cookies, and I got some tea that I can write about for next week's Tea Tuesday!

Outfit Details
Blouse: Modcloth
Cardigan: Target (similar) 
Shoes: Nine West 

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what I was going to wear until I had finished my makeup for the evening and was staring with eyes glazed over at my closet. I wanted to get a bombshell red dress similar to this one just for the occasion, but I had been searching for almost a month and hadn't found one I loved. So, strapped for time I scrambled to put together this outfit, utilizing a few new pieces in my wardrobe. I guess it didn't turn out too bad for something I threw together, the woman at the table next to us at the restaurant complimented me on it!

What did you do for Valentine's Day? Tell me in the comments!






 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Current Beauty Favorites


I've been making an effort to do my makeup everyday. In the past, with an 8AM class that would have been absolutely out of the question but I've got it down to the point where with a few products I can look passably presentable in 5-10 minutes. MAC Soft and Gentle mineralize skin finish especially has been a savior, I brush it onto my eyes and cheekbones over a little tinted moisturizer and instantly look like I could possibly be awake. 

Covergirl's clump crusher is another product I've been fawning over lately. I was a big fan of Covergirl's Lash Blast and have probably gone through at least 50 tubes of it in the last few years, and Clump Crusher is similar, but the brush is much easier to maneuver into the corners of my eyes and to get bottom lashes. One coat looks great too, it's perfect for getting ready quickly in the morning. 

Despite having amassed a pretty huge collection of eccentric makeup like orange lipstick, I'm finding myself drawn towards neutrals and more traditional looks lately. I might have to challenge myself to go outside of my comfort zone soon before I get stuck in a rut. 

What are your favorite beauty products right now? Tell me in the comments!




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tea Tuesday: Fava Tea Company

I've been on the hunt for local and online places to purchase tea as of late. I felt like I got into a bit of a Teavana rut just because it was a shop that I passed by so often. I was longing to explore other options. I was very, very pleased when I noticed a place called Fava Tea Company just outside the mall that I frequent.

I did some research before I stopped in and found out they're a local company with two locations in Wisconsin, one of which is actually back in my hometown so I'll be sure to stop by that shop next time I'm visiting my family.
The first thing I noticed about Fava was the size of the store. I didn't feel at all like I was going to knock something over if I turned around too quickly like I often do in Teavana. There were maybe four or five other customers in the store when I stopped by, and there was more than enough space for all of us to explore.

The walls of the store are lined with canisters containing the various teas, each with a smaller tin so you can take a closer look before purchasing. There were also several teas ready brewed for sampling scattered across the store. The selection of tea is huge, but to help keep track of what you like there are little menus available to mark down the quantity of which teas you want to purchase while you browse.
The second thing I noticed was the sense of independence while looking around. A huge selling point with me at any store is my ability to peruse without a sales person hovering over my shoulder, making suggestions or pushing products I don't want. I've been known to avoid going to certain stores just because I've had experiences where I felt  smothered by the employees.

The sales people who were working at Fava when I stopped by managed to perfectly walk the line between helpful and hands-off. I was greeted, asked if I had any questions and then left to freely take a look at whatever caught my fancy. That's exactly how I like it.
After a good twenty minutes in the store, I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the selection. To be honest, I wanted to try one of everything. Thankfully, I noticed a sign on the counter that they were offering sample gift sets for (I think) $26. The set came with one ounce of six different teas, and I decided that would be a good way to get an introductory feel for their offerings. I purchased the box, along with one other flavor.

I couldn't wait to get home, I ended up trying them all within a two-day span. The only one not pictured below is one that came with the gift set called Raspberry Patch -- because I drank it all!

1. Fava's Winter Blend: This one actually ended up being one of my favorites. It's a black tea, and the flavor reminds me of the Holidays. It's seasonal, so I hope I can get another bag before it's gone.
2. Spice Pear: This is the one that I purchased on my own outside the gift set, I'm glad I did too because it's tied for my favorite. Of course, both of the one's I liked best are seasonal, boo. It's another black tea and the flavor is very unique and not overwhelmingly fruity.
3. Lemon Meringue: I was surprised that I liked this one. It's a rooibos, so it's low in caffeine and I have a tendency to drink tea before bed so that's definitely a feature I can appreciate. The flavor is fresh and like the Spice Pear, slightly fruity.
4. Moluccas Spice: I'm on the fence about this one. I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. This is another rooibos. It has a very heavy scent and flavor.
5. Almond Cookie: Not quite as sweet as you'd expect from the name. Another black tea. It smells heavenly, but the taste is more subtle.
6. Nutcracker Sweet: This one was my least favorite. It smells nice, and I tend to like nutty flavors so I thought I'd enjoy it. And to be honest, the initial flavor is alright but it leaves a weird aftertaste in my mouth. This is an oolong.
7. Raspberry Patch: (Not pictured) I drank all of this one so I wasn't able to take a photo, which is a shame because it was gorgeous. I tried this one last, because I'm not usually a fan of very fruity tea and I assumed going in I wasn't going to like it. I was really surprised when I took my first sip and actually really enjoyed it. It's definitely better iced in my opinion, I made an entire pot of it for me and my boyfriend and used it all up but it's definitely on my re-buy list. I'm sure it would be especially amazing in the Summer.

Overall, my experience at Fava Tea Company and with their products has been a positive one. I can't wait to go back to Appleton to pick up more of my favorites and try new tea as well. Even though there were a few in the sample pack I wasn't crazy about, I was able to try some that I ended up really enjoying and probably wouldn't have picked out on my own.

Even if you're no where near the Fox Valley or Milwaukee area, they have an online shop that you can check out as well!

I love finding and supporting locally owned businesses, if you know of any local tea shops in your area I can order from please leave them in the comments!









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