Hooray! July's Play! By Sephora Has Finally Arrived!

 I seriously love getting my Play! By Sephora box every month. It's a definite upgrade from the years I've spent on ipsy (just dropped that subscription because I LOVE this one so much!) and I really look forward to getting my new order every month. It's just $10 (with tax, $10.71) which is well within my budget and really worth the cost every month to me. I love the promise of high end items every month! Ipsy tends to advertise high end products, but I was just about never lucky enough to ever actually get one. Disappointing. 

Every month's subscription equates to 10 points on your Sephora account, but you also receive a coupon for 50 extra points with a purchase! I am crazy about my points, so I really love getting to take my coupon with me and getting some extra points. I'll usually buy a lipstick which would only net me 20 points, but walk away with 70!

One of the items that I received was a Bobbi Brown mascara! I've never had the chance to try out any Bobbi Brown products but have always wanted to, so I'm super excited to get to try out this mascara this month! The retail on this mascara is $30 for a full sized product, which would be pretty steep to just try out. This mini size is perfect for travel!

Another product that I received was the Caudalíe Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum. Skin care is something that I have been dying to get more into, because I haven't been really nailing my routine lately. The full size of the product is $52, so getting to try this out will be a serious treat!

I also received the Briogeo Roscaro Milk spray treatment! I love leave in sprays just due to the fact that they are so easy to use, and leave my hair feeling soft. The full sized bottle retails at $20, so I'm hoping this works for me because if so, its affordable too!

I am really excited to see a Fresh product in this months box! I have been in love with their rose lip balms for years now, so getting to try one of their masks is really exciting! The scent this mask has is so pretty and delicate. The tubs retail from $25-$65 each. 

The last product that I received was a lipstick from tarte from their Rainforest of the Sea line in the color Set Sail! I LOVE tarte as a whole and haven't had a chance to try out one of their cream stick formulas, but this one feels very creamy and I love how wearable the color is as well. These lipsticks retail for a full size at $21 each. 

I also received a sample of the Clean Reserve Sueded Oud perfume. Every month you receive one sample of fragrance with your order. I like this addition because I have a really hard time picking out a fragrance to commit to, and this makes it a little easier!

Overall, I think this month was a really great selection of items! Do you use any subscription services? What is your favorite? Let me know in the comment section!

Happy Monday!

Emily

She's Finally Here - Urban Decay's Naked Heat Palette - Swatches, First Impressions & More!

I wanted to be mad at this launch so bad, but I just couldn't do it. I didn't like the idea of another Naked palette coming into the fold after so many years of the line not having new additions, but then I saw the palette itself. I was sold. 

I received my first Naked palette as a gift when I was in my freshman year of high school from my mother. At the time, my makeup knowledge was pretty low, my interest was moderate, but I wasn't working so I wouldn't have been able to purchase myself a palette if I wanted to. So, when I received it, it was seriously special. I think thats what really started my love affair with Urban Decay to begin with. Once I started working, I completed my family of palettes, buying each new palette as they were released. Urban Decay was largely the only brand that I was interested in at the time, and once I started to venture out a tad, I started to pick up those palettes less and less. This lead to me feeling a bit apprehensive when I saw that they were dropping a new palette in the line. With the older palettes not getting as much love now, would I even like the new one? 

The Heat palette is a warm toned palette different from all the other palettes in the line. There are both matte and shimmer shades, a full size mirror on the top of the palette, as well as a brush. I could honestly do without the brush, but oh well. I can't complain about getting more for my money. 

The packaging on this palette is so much more beautiful than the other palettes in the line. It feels heavy, and has a magnetic closure. I honestly can't get enough of the packaging, and I don't even want to tuck it away in my drawer. While a lot of people may not care about what the packaging looks like, I feel like it really can reflect on the quality of what is inside. Literal perfection. 

The interior of the palette has a shimmery brown plastic for the area surrounding the pans, and comes with a double ended brush. The top of the palette is a large mirror. While I'll likely never use it, I still like when palettes have built in mirrors in case I take them anywhere for travel. 

The palette has the same amount of shadows that it has in the past. I do think that the pigmentation in this palette is a bit more rich than the others in the line. The pigmentation isn't the best I've ever seen, but it definitely holds its own up against other palettes. I definitely think that this palette is similar to the Morphe 35O palette, which is a tad more on the affordable side if you're in the market for a warm toned palette. 

I swatched my palette without any primer or fix+ like products. Some of the shades are fainter, but most are fairly pigmented. I would have loved if the shimmers were more intense however. 

Overall, I really like the new Heat palette. Have you picked up this palette yet? Do you think it holds its own? Let me know in the comment section below!

XOXO,

Emily

Makeup Storage on a Budget - Tips, Tricks & More!

My makeup obsession started to spark a little during my freshman year of high school. Of course, these were the days that I looked like a total mess. My favorite product back then was a eye shadow stick that was pure silver metallic that I would just put all over my lid, sans eyeliner (thank god.) with a little mascara. I thought that I looked AMAZING! Oh well, makeup is and continues to be a huge learning experience for me. 

One thing that I needed to revamp desperately was my organization. I love my makeup, but with the way I was storing it kept me from using the vast majority of it. Lipsticks were buried under others, and it just wasn't the best for me. I spend a fair amount of money and time with my makeup, so I needed a total overhaul. I wasn't interested in spending a scary amount of money however, but I found the ideal solution. Thanks IKEA.

I headed a city over to the closest IKEA to me to scope out the perfect set of drawers. Being IKEA, I knew they would be sturdy, basic, and well within budget. I saw that a bunch of other people had luck with the "Alex" drawer set, so I tried to find them among the other billion sets of drawers. 

The Alex drawer style has several options for you to choose from. I chose the cheapest option ($72) which has 5 drawers. There is also an option that has 9 drawers, and a wider set of drawers with wheels on the bottom. I didn't need wheels or a ton of drawers, so the cheapest option ended up being the best choice for me anyways. 

Hello bright new drawers!

Hello bright new drawers!

It took me a couple hours to put my drawers together, I'm not the best with building things, but it wasn't too bad. The drawers fit perfectly under my desk, which keeps the footprint small. The real fun is all the organization that is inside. 

I went to the dollar store and picked up some small plastic baskets in various sizes to help me sort all my makeup into categories. I didn't spend more than $10 for all my baskets combined, so I think it was a pretty good deal! 

My top drawer has baskets for lipstick, lip gloss, mascara and eyeliner, as well as a tiny basket for my lashes. Behind the basket I stashed away my lip balms that don't get as much use. I never would have guessed how many mascaras that I had before I sorted everything out!

My second drawer has all of my blushes, single eye shadows, and foundations/concealers. The bottom layer of my shadows are all of my baremineral pots, turned upside down so I can see the shades, with my colourpop and various other shadows on top. I also keep my glitters and stila magnificent metals  shadows in that basket as well. 

My favorite drawer is my palette drawer! I keep all of my Urban Decay palettes in their own basket, with all the other palettes stacked around the drawer. I still have tons of room for more palettes in the future and don't have to worry about them falling on the floor anymore. 

My bottom two drawers tend to hold all of my more practical items. This drawer has baskets for skincare products, hand sanitizers, perfume samples and hair care samples.

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My last drawer has all of my nail polishes, face masks, and hair ties. I still have some room on the side of the drawer for extra storage in the future!

I would totally recommend using some sort of basket to sort and organize makeup, or at least a small acrylic box if your collection is smaller. The more you organize, the more you'll be able to see and use the products you spend money on!

Another tip for storage is using cute mugs as brush storage! This allows the brushes to dry after use, and is really affordable. I use my favorite mugs to store my brushes, and they add a cute touch to my desk. I sort my brushes into three categories: face, eye, and all over powder. This helps me get ready quicker in the morning, because I'm not wasting time hunting for my favorite brush!

I also like to organize the hair care products that I use most often in a small cart next to my desk. I got my cart from IKEA, but I've seen similar carts at Target for about $30. I use the top tier to hold hair ties, hair products, medications, and pretty much everything else that I reach for on a regular basis.

The second tier of the cart houses all of my lotion and perfumes. I didn't realize how much perfume and lotion I had until I sorted everything out. Now I can use everything more often! 

The bottom tier of my cart mostly has hair bows and headbands, along with makeup bags that I'm not currently using. I love to keep a stash of bags because they are awesome for organization when I travel or for in my bag.

How do you organize your makeup? Have any amazing tricks? Share in the comments below!

XOXO,

Emily

Better Late Than Never - June's Play! By Sephora Unboxed!

I admit that I am a little late to the party with this month's Play! By Sephora, but after a long vacation, busy days after, and a month that flew by, I'm happy to be getting this up before my next box arrives! Sometimes life happens and totally knocks everything off schedule, but every once in a while, that isn't always a totally bad thing.

I received my box while away on vacation, so its been patiently waiting for my return. I just got around to opening it up and getting to see all the fun treats that I received! The brands they selected this month really are top notch in my opinion.

The first item that I pulled out of my new bag is a primer! The porefessional is one of my all time favorite primers, with a silicone like texture that applies smoothly. Foundation goes on perfectly, with pores almost erased. A little goes a long way, and I am so excited to have a travel size version of this gem.

I've used DevaCurl in the past and really loved it. My only complaint was that the products were so expensive, and I really couldn't afford to buy more every couple months. However, I am really excited to get to try out their SuperCream! Their products always leave my hair soft and bouncy, and I'm hoping that I have luck with it. 

Another hair product that I received is the Madam CJ Walker Beauty Culture Curl Whip Styling Souffle. I've never tried any products before so I'm really excited to get to see what they bring to the table. I've had luck with products with coconut oil in the past, so I have a good feeling about this as well. 

Another item that I received is a Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. I am totally in love with these lipsticks and am starting a small collection of them, so to get a tiny perfect liquid lipstick to toss in my bag is so perfect. The color is wearable and natural, not too bright and perfect for work. I'm tempted to buy the full size to match it now!

I also received a setting spray by Supergoop! This setting spray also has sun screen built in, which is great because in all reality, I should be wearing sunscreen daily to protect my skin. It also has rosemary and dries to a matte finish. I use setting spray just about daily so I'm really excited to see if this beats out my all time favorite, Urban Decay All Nighter and Oil Slick.

One of my favorite parts of my Play! by Sephora box is the fragrance sample that I get every month! This month I received a tester of Bright Crystal by Versace. I actually own a bottle of this fragrance so I'm excited to get to toss this little guy into my bag to use during the day. It's always really fun to get to try out new scents each month, even though this one isn't new to me!

Do you subscribe to a beauty box? What's your favorite? Or, did you not think it was a good value? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great weekend!

Emily

Wolfgang Puck Express at Disney Springs Experience and Review

My last trip to Disney was rainy to say the least. It was different from the typical afternoon rain that is common in Florida; it rained from morning until night most days I was there. We made do, but we definitely spent a fair amount of time in rain coats and carrying umbrellas.

The one good thing about all the rain was that it left a fair amount of time open for shopping! It was something that got us out of the camper and walking around while still keeping us somewhat dry. I haven't spent a lot of time in Downtown Disney since they rebranded the area as Disney Springs, so it was nice to get some time to explore and just check out the shops that they put in the area. 

We were pretty hungry when we arrived and really needed a place to grab a bite to eat that wouldn't be too expensive and would also be quick so we could get back to our shopping that we had to do. We ended up by Wolfgang Puck Express anyways, and we decided to give it a go.

Neither my mother nor I had ever been to Wolfgang Puck Express, so it was a new experience for us both. We ordered our meals, and were given cups for drinks to take to the self service drink area, and a marker to place on our table so that the servers could bring our food to our table. This was a nice change from the typical quick service places that Disney has, which pretty much leave you to balance everything your family is going to eat on one single tray while also fighting through the crowds of people. 

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We sat at a table that had a nice view out the window and our food was brought out fairly quickly, The staff wasn't really anything to write home about which was a bit strange, because Disney usually has the best service known to man. They weren't unpleasant but they weren't really great either. My mother ordered the Chicken Salad Sandwich ($11) and I ordered Crispy Chicken Tenders ($13) in true Emily fashion. Am I really going out to eat if I don't order like a 5 year old?  Probably not. 

While I didn't try out the sandwich (I'm seriously picky) my mother said that the sandwich had fresh, herby flavors that she really enjoyed. She loves any sort of sweet potato fry so it wasn't much of a long short for her to enjoy them too, but having a choice in fry is always nice. 

Sadly, my plate wasn't really anything to write home about. It was a pretty standard plate of food. I was hoping for tenders, but I would more so compare the chicken to extra large chicken nuggets (think ground chicken). The fries were tasty however, but it was a pretty standard meal for me. It also came with a tomato salad, but I'm not really into raw tomatoes so I left that be. 

Overall, I think I'll pass next time I'm in Disney Springs and try out another place. Wolfgang Puck Express was alright, but nothing really special for me. Theres so many places in Disney Springs to eat, so to pick a place thats subpar really isn't a thing for me. 

Have you eaten at Wolfgang Puck Express in Disney Springs? Tried any other places at Disney Springs? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

XOXO,

Emily

 

8 Essentials That You Need In Your Travel Makeup Kit

This post may contain affiliate links.

I am wholeheartedly guilty of wanting to bring all my makeup with me on vacation. I want to bring every lipstick, because there's always a chance that I might need that bright pink shade for a day. On my last trip to sunny Florida, I brought two whole makeup bags with foundations, concealers, multiple mascaras and powders, and then proceeded to use about three products the entire trip. The weather was too muggy for foundation, and just about any other product that I attempted to apply ran down my face in the sun. I wasted SO much space in my bag toting all the makeup in the world with me, when I couldn't even use it. That's when I realized that I needed to make a list of the essentials and stick with it. It would keep my time getting ready in the morning short and sweet, and my bag light. 

1. Waterproof Mascara - This is a product that I almost felt afraid of for a long time. I am addicted to my Urban Decay mascara and felt a little sad parting with it for this trip, but it has been so worth it. I had no smudges under my eyes and my lashes looked full for the entire day in the sun. I prefer Bella Pierre Volume Lash, which you can get for 5 dollars and some change on Amazon!

2. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes - Literal godsend for me. These take all the makeup off at the end of the day, even matte lipsticks and waterproof mascara. After a day running around, this takes out the step of showering or washing your face to remove the makeup. I stash these just about everywhere, they're just that good.

3. Waterproof Eyeliner - Once again, keeps you smudge free and sharp all day. My eyeliner tends to run just like mascara, so having a product that stays put while I'm out and about is so important. I am in love with Kat Von D's Trooper liner, it stays all day long and the applicator is amazing. 

4. Oil Blotting Sheets - Another godsend. When you're traveling to warmer climates, it helps to have something to help clean up your skin midway through the day. I have combination skin, so this really helps me touch my face up without using a powder. I prefer the Clean & Clear sheets, I keep a pack in my bag for whenever I need them. 

5. Lipstick - If you aren't a lipstick person, you can leave this one out. I admittedly will pack up about ten of my favorites to take with me, but since they're smaller I can easily pack multiples. I am in love with Kat Von D's Everlasting Lipsticks. The pigmentation is incredible, it goes on smooth, and isn't over the top drying for a liquid matte lipstick. They stay all day and are my go to lipstick. 

6. Face Wash - While this may seem almost painfully obvious, a good facial wash eliminates so many problems in the future. I have been using Purity Made Simple by Philosophy for years now, and it is amazing. It's non drying, has a simple fragrance and lasts me ages. 

7. Lip Balm - After being in the sun, wearing lipsticks, and just general wear and tear, at the end of the day, you need a good balm to help bring your lips back to life. I put a balm on nightly to avoid dryness, and I love the Jack Black Balm. 

8. Moisturizer - This is an absolute must. I am in love with Cetaphil for my skin, its affordable, and you get a ton in the tub. I use the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry/Sensitive skin and I love it. 

Whats in your makeup bag when you travel? Any essential items you can't live without? Let me know in the comment section below!

XOXO

Emily

8 Travel Essentials Everyone Needs in Their Bag! - CastlesandContours.com

8 Travel Essentials Everyone Needs in Their Bag! - CastlesandContours.com

A Visit to Basin White at Disney's Grand Floridian

There is always something so special about visiting the Grand Floridian at Disney World. I guess that I personally romance it as a dream vacation that I aspire to have one day, so when I get to visit and just wander, it's always a lovely day. On my last trip, my mother and I decided to have a day just visiting the resorts, so we hopped on the monorail and ended up at Basin White, a luxury bath products store that is on the second floor of the Grand Floridian. It's pretty hard to miss, as its located directly next to the doors once you enter coming off the Grand Floridian. 

Doesn't it look perfect?!

Doesn't it look perfect?!

Lord. This store is something straight out of my dreams. I love the black and white decor, bright lights, and products displayed beautifully. I wholeheartedly went in without planning to purchase anything, and within seconds, I just realized that it wouldn't be possible for me. The smell in this shop is phenomenal, and a billion times better than Lush to me. While they don't boast as many products as Lush, this shop definitely felt way more luxe, fitting well into the Grand Floridian Resort. 

Shampoo bars! Who would've thought? 

Shampoo bars! Who would've thought? 

This place had me like a kid in a candy store. All of the products are so colorful, with some even featuring tiny Disney motifs. My mother and I were gasping at just about everything because everything was so over the top adorable. 

The amount of bath bombs in this store is insane. I'm obsessed with bath bombs like the rest of the world, but I was afraid that if I picked one up, it wouldn't survive my flight back home. However, they also offer a product that they call "Bath Bomb Marbles" which are teeny tiny bath bombs that you can mix and match for about $5. I picked out some favorite scents, as well as picked up some soap samples. 

TREATS TREATS TREATS!

TREATS TREATS TREATS!

Another incredible thing that they offer in store is a sink to test out hand scrubs. Let me tell you, once you've been in the parks for a couple days, something that pampers you a little is so welcome. We selected a scrub, and our hands felt amazing for the rest of the day.

Another super affordable option that Basin White offers is a station to make your own bath salts! The salts are all in super pretty glass containers, and you get to select different scents to mix together in a vial. I just think its really fun to get to have a little DIY moment with the bath salts and get to personalize your own product to take home. 

I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the cast members that were staffed in Basin White. The ladies that helped my mother and I were over the top sweet and helpful. We only had about eight billion questions for them, and they knew it all!

We really had a ton of fun getting to visit Basin White in Orlando. Have you stayed at the Grand Floridian and spent some time in this shop? Just visited the shop while on vacation? Let me know in the comments! 

XOXO,

Emily

Pin me for later - A Vist to Basin White at Disney's Grand Floridian 

Pin me for later - A Vist to Basin White at Disney's Grand Floridian 

Happily Ever After Dessert Party Review - Fireworks, Treats and More!

Once Wishes was announced to be leaving the Magic Kingdom back in May, it also took the Wishes Dessert Party with it. I never had a chance in the past to attend the party, but was always jealous of the people who got to watch the fireworks from a near perfect area, eat all the yummy desserts, and just relax while everyone else mulled around trying to find a spot for their family to watch in front of the castle. Happily Ever After began its run and brought along a new party; still with the desserts but now themed for the new show. I booked a reservation for my mother and I to celebrate Mother's Day on our June trip. 

Our reservation was at 7:45, but we were allowed onto the patio at about 7:20, where we were escorted to our table and given a wristband that would allow us in and out of the party area as needed. The patio also has its own restroom, which is awesome when all the bathrooms in the park around fireworks tend to get packed full. 

While I felt silly with so many things on one wrist, it was nice to be able to leave the area if need be and get back in with ease using the wrist bands provided. 

While I felt silly with so many things on one wrist, it was nice to be able to leave the area if need be and get back in with ease using the wrist bands provided. 

The spread of desserts at the party is unreal. They offer you a flute of sparkling apple cider once you arrive, and have loads of cupcakes, macarons, fruits, ice cream, and an assortment of drinks to try out. 

A cold flute of sparkling cider after a long day in the parks is really amazing. 

A cold flute of sparkling cider after a long day in the parks is really amazing. 

All of the dessert carts were totally rebranded for the new show, and are totally cute!

 

They had pre-prepared plates for the kids with brownies, rice crispies and more with melted chocolate dipping sauces, complete with Mickey straws to go with the drinks. 

They also offered trays of fruits and cheeses as some healthier choices for guests. It was nice to have some fruit with all of the cupcakes and cookies!

One of the first desserts I tried was the Oreo Mickey Treat, which is an Oreo cookie topped with a cookies and cream mouse and a few chocolate discs. These were so delicious and I wish I had snagged a few more while we were there. 

I love red velvet, and they had cupcakes themed with the colors from Happily Ever After! They were so cute and iced perfectly with yummy frosting.

They also had mini cheese cakes and strawberry tarts. I did not try either of these treats, but my mom loved them. It's nice to have some desserts that aren't just cupcakes!

They also had an assortment of macarons in all sorts of flavors. These desserts are really trendy right now, and I loved how colorful they were. 

They also had some smores inspired tarts! These were also adorable and super yummy!

The last cupcake that they offered was a classic cupcake with purple frosting and chocolate chips on top. The icing on this cupcake was a little on the heavy side and wasn't my favorite, but they were still cute and yummy.

While I'm not really one for chocolate covered fruit, the chocolate covered strawberries that they had were huge, and beautiful. My mom enjoyed a few of them since the party has a dessert buffet!

In addition to the apple cider, they also provide coffee, tea, lemonade and iced water to drink. I'm sure that if you preferred a different beverage that the cast members would be happy to get it for you. The service from the cast members at this event is unparalleled and over the top amazing. They make you feel so special as soon as you arrive and throughout the entire event as well. 

Once it was about 8:30 or so, they began to escort us over to the garden where we would be watching the fireworks from. The reserved location is to the right side of the hub with a near perfect view of the castle. Since the whole area is reserved, there is plenty of room to walk around or sit to watch the fireworks. This is such a treat because the hub is usually packed so tightly with people that you're up against total strangers.

Going to a "private event" in the Magic Kingdom felt so fancy!

Going to a "private event" in the Magic Kingdom felt so fancy!

Cast members stand near the entrance of the area in order to keep guests clear from the area who did not attend the party. While everything around us got crazy, we got to sit and relax while we waited for the fireworks. It was nice for my mother who is a photographer to have lots of space for her tripod and to not have to worry about it being knocked over by another guest not paying attention.

Overall, my experience with the Happily Ever After Dessert Party was incredible and I would totally recommend it to anyone looking for a special treat while on vacation. While it can be a bit pricey, I felt that it was totally worth the expense.

Have you tried the Happily Ever After Dessert party? Did you love it too? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO, 

Emily

 

 

Pin me for later!

Pin me for later!

Enjoying Kakigori in Japan - Disney's Epcot Center

I love almost anything that has to do with Japan; I love the movies, culture, fashion, and the food. I love travel vlogs that people film in the Japan Disney Parks and I am just about destined to visit one in the next few years. For now, I'll just have to allow the Japan Pavilion in Epcot to tide me over.

Before I left for this last trip, I spent a while searching for the best foods to try around the countries. A desert called kakigori came up over and over in other people's favorites, and I was intrigued. I had never heard of kakigori before, but many described it as a yummy and sweet shaved ice that has syrup poured over the top. Some people opt for sweet milk on top to also add a little extra flavor. I included kakigori in my bucket list for this list, and before I knew it, we were in the parks, and passing the stand that sells kakigori.

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The stand is between the American Experience and Japan Pavilion, selling drinks along with kakigori. I picked up a strawberry flavored kakigori but decided against the sweet milk for the time being. This dessert was so refreshing and cool in the sun, but you need to eat it quickly or it will melt down quickly. I think that this would be a perfect treat for everyone, including picky kids, because of how candy sweet it is. One kakigori is plenty for a few people to share and cool off with as well. I paid four dollars and some change which was a bargain for most treats in Disney, especially since a few people can share. I shared mine with my mother while we checked out the koi ponds and did some people watching on a bench. It was a perfectly refreshing treat on a beautiful day in Epcot!

Have you ever tried treats from around the world in Epcot? What's your favorite?

XOXO,

Emily

Meeting Star Lord and Baby Groot - Disney's Hollywood Studios

I have to admit that I was pretty upset in hearing that Moana would no longer be meeting at One Man's Dream. We all fell head over heels in love with Moana's story, but when I heard that Baby Groot and Star Lord would be making their appearance, I wasn't too sad anymore. I recently really started getting into all the Marvel movies and with the release of the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie, it was only fair that these two got their moment in the parks. 

The day that we visited was hot, humid, and without a single breeze. Being in Florida, this is expected, but with a half hour until our next Fastpass, this was a much welcomed reprieve from the sun beating down on us. One Man's Dream is interesting in its own rite, so we took a stroll through the exhibit, taking some time to learn a little about Walt himself while headed to the queue. 

I expected the line to be on the long side with the recent release of the film, but the signs said that it would just be about a half hour until we could meet and have some photos taken. Fair enough, so we got into line. The queue is decorated with images of space, with the line being guided along arrows drawn on the floor. Like almost all queues, the air conditioning was glorious. It was nice and quiet, and the line moved along quickly. We maybe waited for 15 minutes before we were taken through a doorway to wait our turn to meet the two. 

First things first, Baby Groot is so so cute. He chatters and dances while Star Lord talks to him. I loved this little interaction and it really helped to make the experience more fun. While my mother isn't too familiar with the film (she called it Masters of the Universe which killed me), she even enjoyed getting to meet cute little Groot and Star Lord. The personality of these two totally came through which was amazing. 

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I have to admit though, I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to face characters that are playing people who in live action movies. I am totally in love with Chris Pratt, so I was a bit leery of the meet and greet in general because I was worried about the authenticity to the film that the meet and greet would provide. However, I was not disappointed. Both of them were spot on!

Have you met these two in Hollywood Studios yet? Loved the experience, or were a little less pleased? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,

Emily

 

Parks + Anxiety - Mental Health Awareness Month

I've had full intentions on getting in a post during May about mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness month, and with about one in four people suffering from a mental illness at some point in their life, it is a super important month! As someone who was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder at a fairly young age, I have to hold this month to heart because there is such a huge stigma associated with mental illnesses. With a little more awareness, people may begin to understand a little better. 

For the last ten years or so, my family has made frequent trips to Disney World for vacations. This was right about when all my anxiety came to the forefront, and to be honest, I was terrified of Disney for a while. The crowds, heat, and noise all left me feeling overwhelmed, cranky, and exhausted. If you know me now, then you'd be shocked to ever hear that I didn't want to go to the parks. Thankfully, I've spent a fair amount of time hashing out what helps when I'm feeling off, and I would love to share with you all of my tips and tricks!

If a trip to Disney (or any amusement park, for that matter) is on the horizon and stressing you out, fear not! There are so many ways to ease the anxiety no matter where you're traveling. One of the most important things for me when I go into the parks is that I am in open communication with my family about how I am feeling, and when things start to slide downhill. My family has been on this ride with me the whole time, and when you start to feel anxious, sometimes a hand squeeze or a hug can make all the difference. I always communicate with my mother before hand about how I expect to feel, and what I'm going to do in the event of a panic/anxiety attack. We have it down to a science almost in Disney, and knowing that I can find a quiet space if I need to is super comforting.

Another thing that is super important to me is that my phone is charged. If I have to break off from my group, I need to be able to get in contact with them later on! It also is super helpful to have guided meditation on your phone, so that when you find a quiet spot, you can calm down quickly. I also love games that can help to distract me from the commotion too. Portable chargers are available everywhere now, and I carry one everywhere in the parks, so I never have to worry about losing a charge. 

Hydration is something that people often overlook because they are so excited to see what the park has to offer. While it seems super basic, drinking water all day helps just about anyone to feel their best in warm, humid weather. Having a headache or feeling sick does nothing to ease anxiety, so I prefer to avoid it all together by staying hydrated. Water is so available, all you have to do is find the nearest stand or quick service and ask for an ice water. They'll give you a big cup for free!

Something that really gives me peace of mind is knowing little corners of the park that I can sit when I feel overwhelmed that are a bit off the beaten path and a little quieter. If you're headed to Disney World in Orlando, I love hanging out on the wall that is at the entrance to Storybook Circus, the area surrounding the Jungle Cruise in Adventure Land, and the Tangled themed area in Fantasy Land. I like to grab a water or snack, get comfortable, and watch the people and families walk by. I can do some deep breathing, post some pictures on Insta and come back to a baseline. 

Getting to the parks when they first open can help to beat some crowds. While I am absolutely not a morning person, in Disney, I have to be. The weather is a tad more mild in the morning, I feel rested and much more able to keep myself in check. Morning is my favorite time to be in Disney, because of short lines, and breakfast in Disney is always the best. Grab a coffee and donut from Joffrey's at the Ticket and Transportation Center and you'll be ready to go!

I hope that my experience within the parks can help you on your next trip, whether having anxiety or not! Downtime can help everyone on an amusement park trips.

If you know someone who suffers from chronic anxiety, just offer your love and support. It totally means the world to us!

Love,

Emily

 

It's Finally Here - May Play! by Sephora Bag!

To say that I was excited to finally receive my bag was a massive understatement. If you've read my blog before you know that I am a total sucker for anything that is subscription based, and so when I saw that Sephora had its own service I had to get on that list one way or another. One small problem; to receive this bag, you have to almost always join a waitlist because everyone and their mother want to get their hands on this. For $10 a month, you receive 5 deluxe samples (nothing from the drugstore!) and one fragrance sample, as well as a makeup bag and a coupon for 50 additional points in store.

The box that the bag arrives in is absolutely adorable. Its covered in the signature Sephora black and white stripe, with the bag itself being a clear plastic makeup bag. I really love how cute everything was packaged up, it really made the entire experience feel special, right from the first moment you start unpacking.

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The first item that I pulled out of the bag was a mask by Tata Harper. The theme this month was up and coming products, so I am super excited to try this out (and will probably post a separate review soon!) and see if I enjoy the brand. The little jar is glass and heavy, which made it feel expensive. It has a fresh scent which is delicious. I can't really foresee getting more that one use out of the jar, which is a little disappointing, but I am really thankful that I get to try it out soon. The full sized jar is a hefty $58, so I won't complain too much!

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The second item that I received was the tréStique mini highlighting stick. I was really surprised by this item, because I was a little leery of a cream highlighter. This formula isn't a cream after all though, its a gel which is perfect for all skin types. The highlight on this isn't blinding or super metallic like some would like, but it has more of a natural glow which is perfect for everyday wear. The formula is smooth, creamy and soft, and doesn't feel too heavy on the skin. The full sized item is $34, so getting this in the bag this month was a big treat!

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I am super excited to get the Milk Makeup Blur Stick this month! I have seen this product in so many videos and everyone seems to be loving it. This product is great for mattifying and blurring pores, two of one of my major skin concerns. A full size is $36, so I'm excited to try this before buying the full size out.

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I also received a small size of the Grande Lips plumper! I've only tried out one plumper before and it is my favorite gloss, and have seen this brand floating around on the Sephora website, so I am really pleased to have received this sample! I imagine that this bottle will last me at least a month wearing it daily, and it is perfect to just toss in my bag and take with me everywhere. The full sized item is $27, so for an item that I probably would've purchased otherwise, I am really excited to have received this.

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I. LOVE. HAIR MASKS! There is nothing like deep conditioning your hair, and having super curly hair, my hair tends to get dry really fast, making it super frizzy and unmanageable. Theres nothing better than taking a bubble bath and putting a mask in your hair, and just relax. I can really never have enough masks in my kit, so I am super thrilled to get to try out this product! This mask retails for $58, so this is a real treat.

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Every month with Play! by Sephora, you also receive a fragrance sample. This was part of the bag that I was really excited for, because I can be super indecisive when it comes to fragrance. Getting a vial to test out over and over is amazing for me. I received a sample from Clean Reserve, in the scent Sen Santal. It is a light scent, clean and refreshing. I plan on trying it out a few days this week to see if its a possible purchase for me in the future. The full sized bottle is $95, so to try this out this month is really exciting.

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One of the amazing things that Sephora does is also offer you bonus points on your account for subscribing! If you make a purchase within the month in store, 50 extra points can be added to your account. 50 points equates out to $50 spent, so I'm not complaining about this extra freebie.

Do you subscribe to the Play! by Sephora box? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO

dsfjka

Favorite Products of April - Glitter, Glitter & More Glitter!

I have to say, April was a great month! School is starting to wrap up for me, and summer is almost here! I'm so ready for a summer full of fun, new cosmetics, and I'm counting the days to my Disney World Vacation! I am so excited to bring the blog some travel content and Disney magic to everyone! This month has also been a great month when it comes to new products! I got to try out so many new and exciting products this last month, but some products rose to the top for me.

 

1. Stila - Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadows

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I am OBSESSED with these shadows. I have absolutely never seen a shadow that has such intense shimmer and the glitter is to die for. If you like your makeup low-key, I can say without a doubt these are not for you. But, if you like shimmer and glitter, these will be your best friend. I purchased one shade, and quickly went back for more. These are insane for inner corner highlight and for an all over the lid shadow. These cost $24 at Ulta and Sephora, but I think that they are totally worth it.

 

2. It Cosmetics for Ulta Airbrush Radiance Fan Brush #116

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These brushes hold a special place in my heart, because way back when my mother bought me a few brushes from this collection for Christmas. It was way back in the beginning of beauty journey, where I knew next to nothing. Those brushes have survived and thrived with me, living through a billion washes and still working perfectly. While I still have a long way to go, those brushes will be along for the whole ride. Sometimes the splurge is worth it!

Recently, I figured that I was seriously lacking a good fan brush, and headed out to Ulta to see if I could find a brush that would fit the bill. Since I love the It Cosmetics line,  I beelined to that aisle to see if they had any fan brushes. The #116 brush is so buttery soft and gorgeous, and I picked it up for about $18. I think that brushes are an awesome investment into your kit, because they will be with you forever if you take good care of them.

 

3. Lip Smacker Tsum Tsum Lip Balms

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Okay, this might be a bit of a childish pick, but I am totally obsessed with Disney's Tsum Tsums. The line of little tiny plush characters is my favorite thing, so when I saw that they made Tsum Tsum balms, I needed one. This flavor is strawberry, and it is exactly like the silly lip balms I had as a kid. For about $5, you can have a little bit of nostalgia in adorable packaging. You're welcome.

 

4. Kat Von D Trooper Liner and Urban Decay Perversion Mascara 

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These two belong together forever and ever for me. I just stumbled upon the trooper liner pretty recently, and I love the brush style tip, super opaque pigment and long wear that it offers. Urban Decay's Perversion has been a favorite of mine for years now, and is my go to mascara on a day to day basis. The formula helps my lashes too look fuller and brightens up my face, helping me to look way more awake than I actually am. Both products retail for about $20, but they are so worth every penny to me.

 

5. Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation

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I never thought that I would find a foundation at the drugstore that I would love. As a super pale girl with combination skin, I have a fear of looking orange or oily, and for some reason I am really awful at color matching myself, but this foundation is perfection. It's only about $6 at Target and the color range is great. This foundation keeps me matte all day long, and for the price point I can't complain at all.

 

6. Anastasia Bevelry Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit

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Before this collaboration, I had never purchased any glow kits from Anastasia for some reason, and really, wasn't super into her brand. I have a cream contour kit that I use on occasion, but most days I don't contour, so its used every once in a while. This palette, however, has changed the game for me. I have never gotten to use pigment that is so creamy in my life, and these highlights are the best I own. I use Forever Lit daily, sometimes layering it with Kitty Kat for a little more of a pinkish glow. The other shades are way too dark for me, but I plan on using them as shadows because the pigment is amazing. I really wish that she would make a line of highlighters that had a palette with shades specific to skin tones, because no one really gets full use out of highlight palettes that have too dark or too light of shades. Just a thought. No complaints with this baby though. At $40, it might be a little on the pricey side, but I think that it is totally worth the price.

 

7. LimeCrime Diamond Crushers Lip Toppers

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While Lime Crime is a bit on the controversial side, I decided to try out one of their newer products, a iridescent lip topper. This lip product smells like the grape lip glosses that we all used as kids, but packs a serious punch of shimmer. It dries down quickly on top of other lip products, leaving you with a super glittery lip. I haven't seen any other products work like this one does, which makes it a total winner for me!

 

8. Tarte Make Believe in Yourself Limited Edition Palette

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Last but not least, the gorgeous Make Believe in Yourself palette from tarte cosmetics. They recently put out an entire Unicorn themed line, with this palette at its center, and it is so perfect its not even funny. I swatched the palette here if you'd like to check it out, but this palette is creamy, blendable perfection. If you love shimmer as much as I do, then this palette is definitely something you need to add into your arsenal as soon as you can, because this palette is limited edition! I picked mine up from Ulta for $40, not too bad if you ask me.

Do you use any of these products? Love them or hate them? Let me know in the comments!

Happy May!

dsfjka

Tarte's Newest Collection - Unicorn Magic!

It seems that one of the current trends in makeup is whimsy and nostalgia. While some have argued that this is almost infantilizing to women, I am one of those people who has absolutely fallen in love with all the trends that have come out in the recent months. Tarte has really really stepped up the game with this trend, putting out a whole line of unicorn inspired products, from brushes, to a brand new palette. While some brands may think that they invented the concept (*cough* Too Faced *cough*), I am really excited that everyone has put out such fun lines recently. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Make Believe in Yourself palette, which comes complete with tons of shimmer shadows and a massive pan of iridescent highlighter. I picked mine up at Ulta, but it seemed like these palettes were going pretty fast. After all, this palette is really perfect for the summer and is a welcome departure from the normal toned palette. IMG_0021

First off, the box that this comes in is gorgeous. The pattern on the packaging is so colorful and bright, and the metallic accents are to die for.  This palette is a little on the small side, with the palette itself being circular.

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The actual palette is gorgeous. I love the golden tones, combined with the same pattern from the carton on top of the palette. This baby feels expensive and heavy, and I am so in love.

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The shadows are absolutely gorgeous in the pan, even before you use them. My only complaint is this palette really isn't a stand alone palette, as it only comes with one matte. Even so, its not really a complaint because I purchased this palette for the killer shimmer shadows, not mattes. I'm thrilled that these shades are unique, because I am so tired of getting palettes that have the super generic colors that all other palettes have.

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I swatched each color in the palette without a primer, or being foiled. These shadows are seriously intense, shimmery and absolutely perfect. The shadows blend to perfection, are super creamy, and not powdery or chalky or at all. They feel expensive, and like your typical tarte shadow. This palette also smells absolutely amazing, like most tarte products do.

I absolutely love my palette, and would totally suggest that other people who want some whimsy pick one up too.

Do you have this palette? Have it on your list? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO,

dsfjka

Urban Decay Moondust Palette - Worth it?

Urban Decay has my whole heart, whole wallet, the whole deal. I have really followed this brand since my makeup love began, my first real palette was a Naked palette that my mother got me for Christmas way back, and I've been hooked since then. Pretty much any time that they released something new I wanted to get my hands on it, try it out, and pretty much every time I have fallen in love. There have been some misses along the way, but when you purchase cosmetics you are bound to find things you don't really prefer. When I saw that they were releasing this super glittery palette, I NEEDED to see it in person and swatch some, possibly purchase it if I liked it. So, I had the hardest time getting my hands onto this palette. I searched and searched but NO WHERE had this available, or even a tester out for me to look at. I drove all over the place, no luck. I eventually gave up and blindly purchased it on Sephora's website, and really had to hope for the best. I hate purchasing cosmetics online, because I really like to see the texture and colors in person before purchasing. I took the plunge, bought it, and waited a couple days for my package to arrive, along with some other things I picked up.

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First things, the carton that this palette comes in is gorgeous. I love the holo effect on the text, and the little galaxies all over the box are so pretty. I'm kind of a fiend when it comes to packaging, so I really appreciated the box being really beautiful.

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The outside of the palette is glittery and has mirrored text, also love this. It's super pretty and the glitter doesn't flake off. That was a huge concern for me, because who wants glitter all over their makeup area? Literally no one.

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The inside of the palette started to get a bit dicey for me. The packaging on the inside looks and feels like really cheap plastic. Sorry Urban Decay, but for the price point, it shouldn't feel like its about to fall apart. The inside of this palette fell super flat for me, it doesn't feel special or luxe or anything like that. At best, this felt like a drugstore palette. Huge disappointment there. It does have a large mirror, so I can't complain too heavily.

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This is where my real disappointment started to set in a little more. In the palettes, the shadows look like pure glitter pigments that would be super shimmery on the eye. When I swatched them, I expected them to be really beautiful and eye catching, and they ended up chalky and not really glittery. The glitter is in the pigment, but it needs at least 10x more to be worth it for me. I was really, really disappointed.

Do you have this palette? Better luck? Let me know in the comments below!

dsfjka

10-ways