Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review - Lush products

I have a pretty good sense of smell.  And super strong smells give me a headache.  So I tend to avoid stores like Perfumania, The Body Shop, Bath & Body Works, sand Lush.  ESPECIALLY Lush, as you can smell it from the other side of the mall.

But after watching a million British beauty blogger haul videos with Lush products, I decided to bite the bullet and go in last week and see if I could stand it for more than 30 seconds. 

Ok, it smells really...intense in there.  But they have a lot of products that are handmade and harsh chemical free.  And since I have sensitive skin, it's probably better for me to use.  They specialize in bath products (i.e. things to put in your tub to make it frothy and usually pink).  Since I don't have a tub in the bathroom I use, that was out.  Though they would make pretty good generic holiday presents *note to self.

Anyways, side tracked.  There is a lot going in the store.  But I needed body wash, so I decided to go that section and see what I could see.  I came across Happy Hippy, and it had a clean, citrusy scent, which I like.  I picked up the medium size, and it was not cheap at almost $20.  Gah.  But it was handmade, with a sticker on it giving the name of the person who made it, and the best use by date. 

Ok.  I think I was in the store for maybe 7 minutes, but that was long enough.  There are a lot of products, face masks, makeup, deodorant, lotion, bars of soup, bath bombs, etc.  But I was not going to buy more until I tried this Hippy stuff.

And there verdict is...I really like it.  It lathers really well, leaves my skin feeling clean but not dry, and it definitely perks me up in the shower.  Am I going to rush to buy it again?  Probably not, if only because of the price point.  That's extremely expensive for something that literally gets washed down the drain.  But next time I'm in the mall, I will probably go back in to Lush again and see what I see. I bet their face masks would be pretty good. 

Anyone else use Lush products?  If so, let us know in the comments!

***this is not a paid review***
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Makeup removers

I talk about makeup on the blog a lot.  I've really gotten in to wearing it the last few years, and love trying out new products.  Putting ON makeup is great and all, but taking it OFF is a different story. 

One thing I always do is take off my makeup before I go to sleep.  ALWAYS.  Just do it.  You know why you should.  It's common sense. 

How you take it off is tricky.  'Cause I'm gonna be honest here:  I.  Am.  Lazy.  For someone my age, I should be doing a 3 step process:  Washing, toning, moisturizing.  Except most of the time I just use a face wipe, and that's it. 

I've tried a bunch of different wipes, and the one that I have found works best on my skin is the Aveeno Ultra Calming Makeup Removers Wipes.  (unfortunately I can't find a good picture to post...)
1)  They smell good
2)  Take off pretty much everything
3)  Leaves my skin feeling slightly moisturized-so therefore I can skip moisturizing and go right to bed because I.  Am. Lazy.

I do not like to use wipes to remove my eye makeup because it tends to irritate my eyes, no matter how gentle the wipes are.  So I pretty much always use a separate eye makeup remover.  If I don't take off my eye makeup I tend to get stys, and those are just gross. 

The one I found works the best for me is the Lancôme Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover. 

So yes, it is expensive, but it's a really big jar and it will last you FOREVER.  Just a few drops on a cotton ball or pad, and it will take off the whole shebang in a few swipes.  It doesn't leave an oily residue, and there is no harsh smell. 

These are the two products I use most nights to clean up my face.  If I just use a wipe at night, then I will wash my face in the shower in the morning with either CeraVe or Kiehl's products for a gentle clean.  My skin is sensitive and delicate so I don't like to mess with it too much.  I try to do a scrub once a week to slough of the dead skin and get into my pores. 

And speaking of pores, I have been noticing the blackheads on my nose and it has been driving me crazy.  So I am trying out Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser.

Now I have not noticed a huge different in my pores, but it is a nice cleanser, though I have to moisturize after using it or my skin feels tight.  It is slightly cooling, and definitely does not have any oily residue.  It says to use it morning and night, but I've just been using it instead of my normal CeraVe or Kiehl's wash.  So I'm probably not using it enough to really clean my pores.  Again, I. Am. Lazy. 

Let us know your favorite makeup removing and skin care products! 

Friday, August 29, 2014


So obviously we took a little break from the blog...Bad Bloggers!  BAD!  Life happens, you know?!

We will be back in September with new posts! 

image from Google

Monday, July 28, 2014

One pot French Onion Pasta

If you follow me on social media, then you know that I pretty much spent all day July 27th cooking.  I made beautiful butter roasted figs: 

I love figs, but I feel like if you don't eat them quickly, they go bad.  So I took half of them, and roasted them for 15 minutes in butter, light agave, a pinch of cinnamon and salt at 400 degrees.  I could have let them go longer to caramelize more, but I was impatient.  My yogurt and granola was waiting for them.  Great over ice cream, or even a simple salad.  A drizzle of balsamic syrup would be delish too.  Yum. 

I also made one of the easiest one pot meals ever.  If you're not following Joy the Baker, you are missing out.  Everything she makes is gorgeous and fun.  Though this is the first time I have ever tried one of her recipes!!!  But when I saw her post for French Onion Pasta, I was like, "get in my mouth instantly."

It was pretty easy.  The only things I did differently was 1)  Cook the onions longer, over lower heat, though I did stir them in 4 minute increments like she said.  Mine took about 30 minutes instead of 15.  But my stove is super sonic hot, so I was afraid to burn them on med/high.  2)  I used EVOO instead of regular OO.  It's what I had.  3)  I used chicken stock instead of broth.  It's what I had. 

I have the same Le Cruset pot that she does, though in a slightly smaller size, so I broke the pasta in half before putting it in, and used just a little less liquid.  But I followed the same amount of time for lid on/off/stirring, and had just the perfect amount of liquid left.  I also did use the cheese and arugula, which gave it a crisp peppery kick to cut through the richness.  Just mix it all together.  The arugula stands up to the hot pasta. 

SO GOOD.  Make it immediately.  Would be great in the Fall.  But is there ever a bad time for pasta?  Don't think so.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trend: layered delicate jewelry

We all know that accessories are the best things to jazz up an outfit.  Shoes, purses, belts, sunglasses, and jewelry all can turn a simple t-shirt and jeans combo into a great look. 

A trend that I am really into, and that I see all over is layering delicate necklaces.  I think it's gorgeous, and gives a slightly bohemian look, but you can still look polished.  All you need to do is wear at least two necklaces of varying lengths, and you've got it.  I personally think it looks better with gold jewelry, but that's just a preference. 

Obviously, we want to look cute, but we DON'T want to spend a fortune.  Trends fade, but good costume jewelry will last!  Of course, the real stuff is nice, but save that for the classic pieces that you will wear after the trend goes away. 

Discs, bars, nameplates, initials, are all great for layering.  The trick is thin chains, and simple designs.  Here's a list of websites with great options:

Bauble Bar-They have a whole section dedicated to layering necklaces. 

Shop Bop-Their delicate jewelry section is large, but the prices are a bit higher, so you have to hunt for the cheaper pieces.  They have a lot of cool stuff though.  They also have a layered section also. 

Forever 21 - We're talking super cheap here people.  Great for building up a little cache so you can switch up your look! 

Asos - They have a ton of different price points, but none of them are expensive.  Some of their stuff is pretty funky.

Etsy- sooooo many options.  I like that you can get them with varying lengths and materials.  Probably my favorite place to get jewelry. 

Here are some looks that I love. Good style inspiration :-)

*all images from Google
Monday, July 14, 2014


Hi! I know that I have been a little (ok a lot) MIA on the blog lately and thought I would share with you what I've been up to.  This past December, I found myself heavier than I'd ever been. I really hadn't lost much weight after giving birth to Kellen. I didn't like the person I saw in the mirror and actually looking in the mirror I always caught myself by surprise. In my head, I knew I was a little overweight but I wasn't clearly able to see just how big I had become.  I was miserable and was still wearing maternity clothes.  I knew something needed to change.

I saw a friend advertising a P90X3 workout group and decided to give it a try. I knew with working full-time and being a mom, I needed something that could fit into my schedule. Trips to the gym were too costly and time-consuming.  So this was perfect. It was 30 minutes a day and I could fit it in on my schedule.  I LOVED it!  It gave me the structure and accountability I needed to make working out a habit. It also taught me so much about nutrition and eating clean. I hadn't realized how much I had let my health, fitness and really my happiness take a backseat (really they were probably more in the trunk!).

As the P90X3 challenge group ended, I had lost 25 pounds and 19 total inches. I was so excited with how I was feeling, I decided to sign up to be a Beachbody coach and help other people reach their health and fitness goals. I am not at my ultimate goal weight yet but I'm getting closer each day. I love being able to help other people feel good about themselves and excited to get dressed in the morning.

I started a blog called www.changeyourselfie.com where I will be posting about upcoming workout challenges and clean eating tips and recipes. If that is something that interests you, please check it out. If you are frustrated with the current state of your nutrition or fitness, I would love to help you out! You can contact me through Change Your Selfie or you can email me at allison.oconnell@hotmail.com. I have a few upcoming workout groups starting the end of July and the beginning of August so please email me if you are interested! You can also sign up for a FREE Beachbody account with me as your free coach with access to 100s of healthy recipes.

I will still be blogging on I Like Your Style but it will be a little less frequently than before. Here is my before and after video from P90X3. I'm halfway through Focus T-25 right now and I'm sure I will force Brendan into making another Before and After Video :)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Product review - Maybelline Master Smoky by EyeStudio eyeliner

I have never bought a Maybelline product before.  And after this purchase, I never will again. 

I saw this at Target and thought "oooh, that sounds cool."

I got it in the color Scorching Brown.  Per the directions, you swipe the liner over your lids, and then use the sponge part to blend and smoke it out.

Ok!  Seems simple enough.  Smokey eyes, here I come!  Very exciting! And....

Worst.  Product.  Ever.  The tip broke off after I used it once and it got all crumbly.  You would think the texture would be creamy so it would easily blend.  But no.  It's the exact opposite of that.  And now it's in the trash.  So disappointing. 

*****this is not a paid review***
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary, Sage, and Garlic

What a pretty little protein you are, pork tenderloin!

Now, I got the recipe for this off of Epicurious.  The only hard part was making the "channels."  I used a large meat thermometer to make the holes, and then used the handle of a wooden spoon to try and push the mixture in.  But I didn't do a very good job, b/c when I sliced the loin open, the mixture never made it to the middle.  Anyways, I don't really think it made a huge difference. 

Just be sure to sear the loin on all sides before you stick it in the oven.  I used a large cast iron skillet, and I think that's the best when you go from stove top to oven.  It came out super juicy.  I seasoned the outside very liberally with salt and pepper.  I did not baste it either because  that would be just a burn disaster waiting to happen. 

I just had a bake potato with this, but any side dish will do. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Messenger bags

I have been really into messenger (or cross body) bags lately!  It's a great alternative to shoulder bags that fall off your shoulder and weigh you down.  Decidedly more casual, I wouldn't use one for prom or a black tie gala, but they are great for every day use, especially for travel.  Currently I have a very large grey leather one that I got at DSW years ago (sorry no link, but it looks like a damn suitcase) and then this small one from Michael Kors for travel and on weekends.  I used it down in New Orleans for Jazz Fest this month and it got really beat up! 
So I've got a large one, and a small one, so how about a medium sized one?!  I found these styles that I liked, ranging from mucho expensive (Chloe) to cheapo (Zara).  I love the saddle bag style of the Chloe one, and the Zara one would be so smart for work.  The Sole Society foldover and the Fringescape are perfect for a casual weekend, and I just really loved the vintage feel of the Etsy one.
Happy shopping ladies!! 
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Review - Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser for Dark Circles Concealer

I have abandoned my quest to try every dry shampoo brand on the market, and am now moving on to concealers.  Again, I've remarked on a few here because I'm trying to find one that doesn't crease under my eyes.  Honestly the best one so far has been MAC's Pro Long Wear concealer.  It really does stay on the longest, and even though it does crease, it's slight.  And that's without a primer underneath but on top of foundation.  ALWAYS ON TOP OF FOUNDATION.  But that retails for $19, which is expensive.  There has to be a dupe (we know I like my dupes).

In walks Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer.  I've seen it a lot on the beauty blogs, so when I was in CVS the other day, I picked one up in Light/Pale. 

You want it to be lighter then your foundation, so it highlights around your eyes, and is in contrast to dark circles.
I wasn't sure about the applicator but it's a hybrid sponge/brush.  I'm not going to like how dirty it's going to get: 

But I do like how it goes on the face:

It was a very smooth application.  And you want to apply under eye concealer like this so it will highlight and blend well.  I then used this stippling brush to work it in. 

It blends really well, and I actually think it's a little thinner than the Pro Long Wear.  I tried it once without a primer, and it creased pretty bad.  SAD EMOJI!!  I tried it again with primer, and the results were much better.  Still creasing, but not bad at all.  And I did set it with a translucent pressed powder. 

So at a retail price of $9.99, I feel like this is a good alternative to the Pro Long Wear.  Use this to brighten your face (and contour if you're so inclined) and cover dark circles.  I would not use it as a spot corrector.  It will just highlight any imperfections, so go with a concealer that matches your skin tone for that. 

I think there is a similar product from Rimmel London.  Anybody tried it?  Let us know in the comments!

***this is not a paid review****