Gift Giving Guide #2: The Frequent Flyer

Welcome to day 2 of the last minute gift giving guide! My last post was for the beauty lover in your life! Today’s set is for the frequent flyer in your life. Constantly jet setting from one place to the next, she’ll appreciate a reminder of her super awesome friends back home!

The Chic Machine Gift Guide

Get This Top Knot set ($15,Ulta)

I’ve been dying to get my hands on this set! Generally, when I don’t want to do much with my hair, I just throw it up in a ponytail, but some days I wish I could have a more elegant look without having to try too hard. Same goes for the traveling girl. She gets on the plane with A+ hair, but when she gets off 6 hours later, she looks more than a little disheveled.

This set includes a Chi 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray, Kenra brand volume spray, Living Proof Instant Repair Lotion, a Mia Beauty Bun, and Big Sexy Hair Root Pump Volumizing Spray, all to go towards the goal of the perfect top knot. The best part is that all of the sprays and lotions are under TSA regulation sizes so all of them can go on the plane with her for a quick touch up in that godforsaken porta potty sized bathroom.

Merino Wool Sweater ($60, & Other Stories)

We all know how chilly it can get on the planes. With some people blowing their AC and the constant 60-degree temp throughout the whole flight, it can get a little uncomfortable. So why not be cute and warm in this stylish wool sweater? It comes in blue, black, and gray, and & Other Stories is currently offering free shipping and returns until January 31, so I would snap this up!

A Magazine Subscription

I know I get tired of having to pay for the good in-flight movies, and by the time I get to the magazines already on board, they’re usually all torn up. That’s why I like bringing my own magazines on board. You know your flyer better than I do, so just subscribe her to a magazine that she’ll adore reading year round. 🙂

A Neck Pillow ($13, Target)

Let’s face facts. Unless you’re traveling first class with no occupant in the seat beside you, planes are generally uncomfortable, so even the tiniest bit of extra comfort can be helpful. Enter the neck pillow! Not only is it great on planes, it’s also good for cars, buses, and other forms of transport your friend may need. It’s like having a mini spa on the road!

A Nice Pair Sunglasses ($155, Sunglasses Hut)

If all else fails, you can never go wrong wearing sunglasses in the airport. They make you look chic and aloof when you’re really just hiding the under eye bags you got dealing with the toddler kicking your seat for 10 hours straight.

That was today’s gift guide! Check back tomorrow to see what to get for the Music Head in your life! Make sure to enter the Ulta gift card giveaway! Also, the TCM New Year’s Eve live chat will begin Dec. 31st @ 8 pm on Twitter. Get hyped guys! 2015 is almost here! See you soon!

 

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Gift Giving Guide #1: The Makeup Junkie

Hey guys! Oh my friggin gosh it’s only 4 days til Christmas!!!! I swear sometimes the school system doesn’t let us out til this late on purpose. It’s like they want us to completely stress out during finals and when we wake up Saturday morning it’s like “Oh hey guys it’s only 5 days until Christmas. You totally forgot! Bwahahaha!” That’s just me though. I’ve finished most of my shopping for my family, and I have a lot of presents stacked by the tree. As a testimony to how old I am, I’ve only been over there once to shake them around and guess at what they are. Regardless, I do have a nice (and to the point) wishlist that I can get some use out of, and hopefully will help you finish your last minute shopping so without further ado, here is my 2014 Christmas wishlist!
The Chic Machine Gift Guide #1

Smashbox Try It! Kit ($18,Ulta)

This set of travel sized beauty products by Smashbox is affordable, and a great way to try out new products. Even though I already know how much I love Smashbox’s Full Exposure Mascara (I’m grabbing a full sized tube with my next check!), I’ve been curious about some of their primers, but haven’t been willing to chuck up the cash for such small sizes. This set includes the Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio in some nice natural colors (which I love), Photo Finish 24 Hour Eye Shadow Primer, Photo Finish Foundation Primer, and the Full Exposure Mascara all in convenient travel sizes! This would be perfect for a new user of makeup who wants to try a lot of things at once without going broke.

Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics Palette ($29, Ulta)

Urban Decay’s Naked collection has taken the beauty world by storm whether you like it or not. Can’t fathom splurging on Naked 2 Palette that everyone has been raving about, but are also suffering a serious case of FOMO? Well I present to you the Naked 2 Basics Palette. This palette costs half the price of the full palette, with 6 colors instead of 12. Now this palette was advertised as a way to complement you actual Naked 2 palette, but after testing it myself, I think it can be used just fine by itself. It’s an awesome way to get quality makeup for a lower price point.

 Lauren Conrad:Beauty by Lauren Conrad ($12.40, Amazon)

This book is a makeup junkie’s dream! Not only does is describe techniques for applying any and all makeup to multiple skin types, it also talks about how to have beautiful skin by just keeping your skin clean! You guys know I’m a huge advocate for that, which is why I love this book so much. This is a gift that the giftee will keep coming back to over and over while she perfects her makeup routine.

Almay Oil-Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover (80 Count) ($5, Walmart)

Since the Makeup Junkie in your life obviously wear a bunch of makeup, she’ll need something to take it off with! I’m a big fan of Almay’s eye makeup removers because they’re very strong, but you don’t have to work to make them work at all. Just one or two swipes and BAM! You’re done! They’re affordable, and even if you only use one wipe a day, that’s still enough for nearly 3 months! Absolutely perfect.

That’s all for today. Check out the site tomorrow for a gift guide for the frequent traveler in your life! Also, don’t forget to enter for your chance to a $15 ULTA gift card right here. And y’all got to come on for the Twitter chats on Fridays! I can’t talk to myself all night can I? 🙂 Happy holidays everyone!

 

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November Favorites

December is here!!! I love December because although I like it rather discreetly, I’m actually a huge holiday/Christmas nerd. I love all the lights and the smell of pine trees and just all that good stuff. November was an okay month for me. I didn’t go out and buy a bunch of new things, so I was going through my Caboodle using old stuff, which reminded me how much I loved them!

e.l.f. Flawless Eyeshadow

E.l.f. Flawless Eyeshadow set in Party Purple

I love this palette for many reasons. a)My favorite color is purple. b)It’s cute and compact. c) It was only $2. In each color is stamped a word showing you where to apply that color. So now, whenever I want a great night look, or I’m just wearing purple that day, this is my go-to. I bought it in early March, but since school started, I hadn’t had much reason to wear it. Fortunately, NYE is coming up and I’m beyond ready!

Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick, Black Orchid 508A- .13 oz

Wet n Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Black Orchid

Oh my gawd. This lipstick has become my ultimate go to, when I want to look polished, put together, and I’ll admit it…French. When I was little, I never played with my mom’s makeup because I thought it was gross how much she put on. Nowadays, I understand that it was mainly the average stuff: foundation, powder, blush, mascara, eyeshadow, liner, and lipstick. But even now, that’s still too much for me, hence my BB cream obsession. It’s the only other thing on my face besides mascara and lip-something. I just envy how French girls look so effortlessly chic, and how they don’t seem to have to use all that stuff. Of course they do, but you’ll never know unless they tell you. That’s why I love this lipstick. It embraces the simplicity of my makeup style, and lets me look glam without looking overdone. It’s a perfect fall color, sort of a deep red mixed with brown color. I love it. Bonus? It was 69 cents when I bought it. I had a $1 off coupon. They had to give me money to take it. 🙂 Best day ever.

 

Christmas Tree Cakes

This is the only reason I get out of bed past November 1st. Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes. Little Debbie is the epitome of snack cakes. I am a fan of Zebra Cakes, Fancy Cakes, and of course the Marshmallow Treats. But the Christmas Tree cakes rise above all of the others. Why? Because a sugar high whilst decorating the tree is something I look forward to each year. If I get nothing else under the tree besides these cakes, I’d die happy.

4) Ta Da Quick Dry Drops

I already ranted to death about these drops here, but they needed to be mentioned again. They dry your nails really, really fast. But beware! Thicker formulas take longer to dry than thinner formulas. Still a lot faster than before, but exercise caution.

That’s pretty much it for this month. I’ll see you pumpkins this evening at 6:00 pm EST for the 1st TCM Holiday Twitter chat. Remember that if you check in, you earn 4 entries into the ULTA Gift Card Giveaway! Hope to see you there!

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November Julep Maven Box Review

Since it’s the very last day of November, I finally decided to upload this review of my Monthly Maven box. It’s been a crazy week for me with my surgery and all, but I’m recovering well, so here goes nothing.

This month’s theme was The Friendsgiving Collection, right in time for Thanksgiving obviously. I only liked one of the nail colors this month (a gun metal gray named Devon), and I wasn’t in the market for another mascara, so I decided to grab the Core classics box this month. Now, the Core classics box is full of handy tools and formulas to help you achieve the perfect mani/pedi. I finally had earned enough points this month for a free box,so I figured why not?

Hand and Cuticle Stick

This stick was huge! Like if I made a fist and then laid the stick next to my fist, they’re nearly the same size. It’s made pretty much like a glue stick.That made application a bit difficult, but once it was on and rubbed in, my hands and cuticles did feel nice and soft, and it made it easier to push back my cuticles with my…

 

 

Cuticle Pusher

This cuticle pusher is made from stainless steel and it has some tiny grips on it to keep your fingers from slipping. I think that for its actual retail price, $14 for non-mavens and $11.20 for mavens, it’s not really necessary, but it’s an okay thing to have if I’m trying to get a great manicure for a special occasion.

Ta Da Quick Dry Drops

I love these drops! I know that most products that advertise quick drying usually don’t work, or they’re shabby at best, but these drops actually dry my nails within a minute or so of applying them and are completely smudge free after 5 minutes. The first time I thought it might have been a hoax, I was so surprised, but it worked next week when I was on the go as well. This is actually worth the $14 you pay for it. The smell is pretty strong due to the oils used, but I find that a small price to pay.

Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat

This base coat is a pretty nice complement to my Freedom Polymer Topcoat, but I could’ve done without. It’s a bit thick for a base coat, and it’s matte. What’s the point of a base coat being matte? Unless that’s the only thing you put on, but I don’t really see the point. Maybe it’s better when partnered with its Oxygen Smoothing top coat.

The boxes also usually include some sort of candy, and this month was some mint filled caramel pieces. The caramel was good at first and then I tasted the mint, and I’m pretty sure I nearly died. I gave the rest to my brother as he seemed to like them. Overall, this month’s box wasn’t my favorite, and I’m a bit sad that this is what I used my points on. However, I finally switched into the new customizable Maven program, so maybe next time will be better.

My November favorites should be up sometime this week. Also, today is the last day to vote on the nominees for my Holiday giveaway! That ULTA gift card is fired up, but the MAC x Nasty Gal Lipsticks aren’t much farther behind! Go vote now, and be sure to check back tomorrow for rules on entering the contest! See you guys soon!

 

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Mascara Mania: 4 Mascara Product Reviews

Hey, guys! I was going through my Caboodles box of makeup and looking at some of the products I have, and I realized that I got a couple things during my birthday or close afterward that I hadn’t reviewed yet (mostly because I had stopped using them). So here are my (hopefully) short, sweet reviews of 4 new mascara wands I bought recently.

CK One Mascara

I got this mascara from Ulta as a birthday gift for being a part of their rewards club. I will highlight its good parts first. The wand, I think, was pretty innovative. As shown in the picture above, the wand can be used in two different way. The long, full sizestraight bristles are one option, and then the bottom of the wand can be twisted to make option 2, a curved, shorter brush. Annnd…that was about it. The formula clumped on my lashes, then dried funny so that the clumps would proceed to fall off with my eyelashes. Um, I kinda want those. Even though eyelashes are meant to keep stuff out of your eye, they often fall in. Eyelashes covered in mascara formula in my eye? Not pleasant. Then, to top it all off, it takes a ridiculous amount of eye makeup remover to get it off, and even then, it sometimes doesn’t work. I used my Almay wipes and my mom’s Mary Kay remover and we didn’t understand why I still had dark makeup circles underneath my eyes. It was just crazy. It retails for $18 at Ulta, so I’m just glad it was a gift and I didn’t actually buy it. I will NOT be using it anymore.

Makeup Forever Mascara in Smoky Extravagant

This mascara was also a disappointment. It came in my Sephora Birthday pack, and you’d think that even just a sample Sephora gave to you would be good. Wrong. This…well it was the opposite of the CK One mascara. No color at all. My eyelashes looked the exact same color and length as when I started. Just overall, I didn’t like it, and I won’t be splurging on a full-sized tube ($24,sephora.com).

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

This mascara, on the other hand, was the bomb.com! I picked this (and a sample sized lipgloss) in a set from Ulta for only $10 and it was $10 well spent. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this mascara. It does everything the Makeup Forever one didn’t. It lengthened. It curled. And it made my lashes blacker than squid ink. I am definitely getting the full sized either myself, or for Christmas. It retails for $20, which is a bit pricey for me, hence the Christmas wish.

L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara

I am a pretty big nerd and I will admit to casually watching manga, mostly Attack on Titan and Pokemon Indigo League. I’ve always loved the characters’ big, shiny, and unnatural looking eyes for some reason, so when L’Oreal came out with the mascara designed to give me that look, I will say that I fangirled a lot. I grabbed it for $8 at Ulta and I fell in love. While the Smashbox Full Exposure mascara is great for my everyday look, the Miss Manga mascara is great for nightlife and parties, or days when I’m feeling extravagant. I always apply two coats on top and one on the bottom and it really does make my eyes look bigger, which is a plus when they’re always hidden behind my glasses.

And that is all for today! I will be incapacitated for most of tomorrow after some doctory stuff, but if I’m feeling better, I’ll try to get something up tomorrow night. Don’t forget that voting is nearly over for my giveaway! The Ulta card is leading the way, but if you want me to give away a different prize, then go vote here. Love y’all to death. Enjoy your families this Thanksgiving!

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My Winter Nighttime Skincare Routine

Going into fall and winter, my skin dries out kinda bad. It’s not pleasant to have your face tighten every time you go outside, even with moisturizer. Enter my night time routine. It’s been helping keep my skin clean and moisturized at all time, so I never have to worry about dry winter skin anymore. This is the set of products I use during the winter time in order to minimize dryness and bring some moisture back into my skin!

The first thing I do is take a shower because it puts some water in my skin, which I’m trying to trap there. As soon as I get out, I put on lotion. During the winter I tend to use a heavier body cream or scrub than regular lotion because it helps retain the moisture better.

I enjoy using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter because not only does it moisturize my skin, but it also helps replenish the skin near or around my old scars. Next, I focus on my face. If I have time, I’ll put on a mint mask to dry out any pimples and relax for 15 minutes. If not, I skip straight to my face wash, Clean and Clear Essentials Foaming Face Cleanser. Compared to my summer face wash (which doubles as a daily exfoliater), this is actually a semi-heavy formula. It removes all my makeup from the day and makes me feel fresh. If it’s the night time, I use my Julep Night Shift Sleeping mask. Since I just blogged about it less than a week ago, I’ll spare you the details, but I love it, and it works.

There you have it! Do you have any products for dry skin that you especially like? What about your own skincare routine? Let me know in the comments! See you soon!

 

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October Favorites

It is wayyyyy too cold outside. I don’t do cold. Which is quite ironic seeing as I’d like to live in New York in theory, but in reality, the cold and I are not on friendly terms. However, the later months do bring holidays and oversized sweaters so I will deal. October went by so fast! Halloween came like *snap* that. It actually started raining while I was trick or treating (no I’m not too old to trick or treat), so that wasn’t pleasant. What was pleasant were a few of the things I discovered during the month.

1) Bath and Body Works Lotion in French Lavender and Honey

loveeee Bath and Body Works with a burning passion! I got a coupon in the mail in late September for a free travel sized item. So I went in and smelled a billion different things when I fell upon this beauty. It does smell very much like lavender, but I’m not getting too much honey. More like vanilla I guess. I decided to give it a spin, and if I liked it, I’d come back for the full size. Fast forward about a week and I’m back with my buy one get one free coupon. I grabbed the full sized lotion and shower gel which should hold me over until the Vanilla Bean Noel collection comes back this month (SQUEEEEE!).

 

2)Night Shift Sleeping Mask

I wrote about this in my October Maven Review, and I’m coming back to rave about how much I like it. In the course of a month, my skin feels softer and lighter. It smells great and I think it’s got some lavender scents in it, which helps me sleep.  It’s become a part of my nightly skin routine. It can feel a bit heavy when you first put it on, but your skin absorbs it in the next few minutes so that’s good. Overall a great product from Julep! And you guys wonder why I rave over them so much. 🙂

 

3) MAC Rocky Horror Chromographic Pencil in Black

So I ended up buying this pencil because all the Rocky Horror lipsticks sold out online (and MAC has no intentions of restocking. I asked.), and the nearest full store stocking them is Perimeter Mall in Ga. (Hint. That’s not close to me at all). While I may end up making a weekend trip there just to grab that lipstick, for now, this is what I got. It doesn’t sharpen very well, but once it’s working, it’s very pigmented. I can deal.

 

4) House of DVF

I am in LOVE with this show. First of all, who doesn’t dream of working in a fashion house, most of all DVF? I admire that lady with all of my being, and it’s fun having a look inside her office. This season is following 10 girls DVF wants to pick from to make her DVF Global Ambassador, and the claws are already out. But you know how on shows like ANTM or Project Runway, it’s the mean girls who seem to get away with everything and make it to the end? Well, this episode, DVF actually eliminated a contestant because of their potential to be one of those girls. And that ladies and gentlemen, is one reason I admire her. I will be watching feverishly for the rest of the season. IT comes on at 10 EST  Thursday nights on E!

5) How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are by Anne Berest

Who doesn’t want to be a French girl? Their effortless beauty has been envied by even the most self-confident of fashionistas. But there is an attitude behind the clothes and makeup, and these four French beauties are here to break it all down for you. From how to pack like a Parisian to how to parent like a Parisian, this book has it all. I loved it, but I would recommend a mature mind before delving into this book.

 

6) & Other Stories

Last, but certainly not least, is & Other Stories. This European gone American store is amazing! I ranted about it in a previous post, but I’m here just to tell you again about how much I love this brand’s aesthetic The stories are based off of different European cities (my fave in the collections is Paris:s ee above), so it has something for everyone!

These were my top picks for the month! Enjoy your chilly weather!

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European Edge: & Other Stories

Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been gone, but I think I may have been on my deathbed this week haha. So I’ve been doing a little online perusing and whilst reading this month’s issue of NYLON magazine, there was an amazing article about this new European shop called & Other Stories. It’s one of H&M’s sister brands that came out about a year ago and took Europe by storm. Sadly for us Americans though, they didn’t have any shops in the US and they didn’t cater to us online either. But those days are over now!

European Chic

Although the initial release date for the US online site was set for tomorrow, they decided to open it two days early (i.e. yesterday! I should check my email more) and everything is to DIE for! Cashmere turtlenecks, cute leather belts, and every loafer you could ever wish for! The style is H&M, but not. It has that chic edginess that the Europeans are known for. The cuts and drapes of the clothes are very French-simplistic. Regular clothing, accessories, and jewelry styles are mostly less than$150, and the ready-to-wear styles range from $25 (tee shirts) to about $400 (outerwear). If I had to pick, my favorite item that I’ve found so far is this black and white striped top. It’s so Parisian chic with the simple European silhouette that I love.

& Other Stories | Striped Top

I’d pair it with a black midi skirt and kitten heels. Want to check it out? Use the code FRIENDS until Halloween for 20% off your first order! Also, they’re having FREE SHIPPING and FREE RETURNS until then as well!If you’re in the New York area tomorrow, go check out their physical shop in the heart of Soho on 575 Broadway (between Houston and Prince) You’re welcome! Happy shopping!

 

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October Julep Maven Box: The Black Magic Collection

Ah fall. Thou art the most irritating season weather wise. Luckily for the fashion and cultured world, that’s a different story. And while the crisp winds and gloomy days may not be my forte, I do love the color palette for fall. The bright yellows, dark reds, comfy browns help me ease into the season and gear up for holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Speaking of Halloween, I recieved my October Julep Maven Box (titled the Black Magic Collection) and gosh do I love it!

What’s Inside?

I switched from my regular Bombshell box and picked up the Classic with a Twist box consisting of DeAnn (a reddish wine color) and Logan (an almost bruise-colored purple). Both remind me of fall because of how they’re like deep colored versions of my favorite summer berries, blackberries and raspberries. Also in the box was a mask called the Night Shift sleeping mask. Basically, you massage it over you face before you go to sleep, then rinse it off in the morning. I’ve only been using it a few days, but it does moisturize my skin overnight, and it smells great! I’ll update you on the long term results later! It also had CANDY CORN!!!! I love candy corn! Candy corn is bae. I just can’t even begin to talk about how much I love candy corn and how I flipped out when I opened the box and saw it. Just….yes. Thanks, Julep!

With this month’s box purchase, I now have 2000 Jules(rewards points) so I can grab a free box! You want a free box too? Just click here and for $3 shipping, you get a free box, and a bunch of cool,new beauty and nail products to try every month. Customize it however you like!

That’s all for today! I’m going to my school’s Homecoming Dance tonight, so check out my Instagram and Twitter (both @thechicmachine) for plenty of prepping and actual event photos!

 

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September Favorites

Today is the last day of my glorious birthmonth, September. This month was full of shopping and parties and a lot of fun! Since there was so much shopping, I have lots of favorites this month so let’s get going!!

1. Vera Wang Pink Princess Perfume

I love this spunky,fresh perfume. I saw it in Kohl’s a couple months back when it was first released and I feel in complete and total love with the scent. But not the price tag($60 for a 1 oz bottle??No Thanks.). Enter TJ Maxx. I love TJ Maxx because they often carry designer scents for much cheaper than originally priced. I got my bottle for just $15!! It has great fruity scents like strawberry and blackberries IMO. And the bottle is too cute!

2.Julep’s Sapphire Birthstone Polish

Of course I always talk about Julep and their nail polishes, but that’s because I can never get enough. They released a birthstone polish collection at the beginning of the year, and I’ve been feverishly waiting for mine to get here. Now that I’ve got it, I’ll say that I’m extremely pleased. I talk about it in my Julep Box Reveal video, and after trying it I realized it does take a couple coats to get full coverage, but once you’ve got it, it’s amazing!

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3. Urban Decay’s NAKED Skin BB Cream

I have already ranted and raved about this product in a previous post, but I felt the need to put it here again. LOVE Urban Decay. The brand is totally one of my favorites!

4.Almay’s Oil-Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

So I know in one of my videos I say this stuff had a slightly medicinal smell and it was a bit off putting. And it was at first, but I guess I’ve gotten used to it at this point, and they way it works so well, taking off all the makeup, I can deal. My only problem with it is how saturated the pads are. I can wring out the formula from them becuase there’s so much product in them. It leaves my eyes and eye area very wet and can even get in my eyes making them sting. I just make sure to dab off the excess with a towel.

5. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page

Last but not least, is my favorite book of the month. I love the retelling of classic fairytales and stories, the Wizard of Oz being one of them (Wicked anyone?). This book tells the story of Kansas resident Amy, and how she ends up in a new Oz, where the wicked are good, topsy turvythe good are Wicked, and Dorothy has turned topsy-turvy. I just finished this last night and my god!I can’t wait to finish reading the series! Great for dystopian fans as well.

 

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