Categories
Everythanggg

everyday makeup

Hey guys. I’ve gotten quite a few messages on Instagram asking about my everyday makeup routine. Well, ask and you shall receive! 

I’m using ‘everyday’ lightly. I definitely do not wear this look everyday.
But this is my go-to day look.

I tend to focus on my skin makeup and brows because they’re the most important part of the look for me. 

I use a mix of drugstore and high-end products. I’ve listed some budget-friendly alternatives too! 

I hope you’re able to find a new product (or two)! 😋

Your skin is the canvas. Makeup is the medium.

So taking proper care of your skin will result in better makeup application and wear. 

I’m in the middle of figuring out what skincare products my face likes so if you’re interested in a skincare routine in the future, let me know! 

While my skin is going through its phases I’ve been switching between two face primers.

THIS Ciate London primer is great for hydrating dry or dull skin. It has a very subtle fruity scent that dissipates soon after application. 

I like wearing this product when I’m having a relatively good skin day. 

THIS Peter Thomas Roth primer is great for those with oily skin like myself. 

I shine like no other, I swear!

For cheaper options of skin prep, I enjoy THIS Milani Prime + Correct Setting Spray. 

It’s a primer AND setting spray — two for one! 

You can grab Milani products at any drugstore. I think I got mine at Ulta

While my primer sets on my skin, I move to eye makeup. 

My go-to shadow is a bright shimmer color all over the lid with heavier application towards the tear duct and a neutral warm brown swept in the crease. 

I have been gravitating towards THIS neutral shimmer set from Mac Cosmetics and THIS warm neutral palette from Thrive Causemetics

The Mac glitter shadows do have a bit of fallout which is why I apply shadow before undereye concealer or foundation. 

Stars In My Pocket (champagne shade in Mac palette) packed on the inner lid.

Frida (terracotta brown shade from Thrive palette) and Let’s Roll (red bronze glitter shadow) blended in the crease.

I picked up THIS undereye brightener by Becca a few weeks ago and have been loving it. 

My under eyes tends to crease throughout the day resulting in an aged look. 

Not cute. 

I put some product on the back of my hand then use my ring finger to warm up and apply the brightener under my eyes, around my nose and any dark spots. 

The product is a little heavy so a little goes a long way! 

After the brightener, I go in with THIS concealer. 

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

The only other Bare Minerals product I have tried is THIS gel serum foundation.
I unearthed it from my collection and admittedly don’t like it as much as the concealer.

This concealer is incredibly lightweight and natural-looking while providing INSANE coverage!  

If you have more dry skin you may not need to set the Becca brightener.

However, I do have rather oily skin and find the concealer and brightener looks best when I set with a bit of translucent powder. 

There is some under eye settling throughout the day.
I just blend it out with my finger then I’m good to go!

THIS Maybelline dark circle treatment is a comparable holy-grail drugstore brightener! 

I’ve been using THIS loose drugstore powder. I also really like THIS compact. 

It’s made for oily skin and I do find my shine holds off longer when set with this! 

I was recommended THIS Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer towards the end of summer by a girlfriend of mine and have been using it since!

I start by using a bit of the bronzer on a small contour brush and follow the “three-technique”. 

If you’re unfamiliar, it’s when you sweep bronzer from your temples, accentuating the cheekbones and then along the jawline. Mimicking the number three with your brush strokes.  

If I want more a more defined look I will follow up with THIS deeper bronzer by Becca in Bronzed Bondi

Clearly I need a makeup shopping spree

I’ve just about run out of THIS NYX WonderStick in Light but I was loving it while using it! 

Super blendable. The primers I mentioned for sure help the product glide but even alone this contour stick is awesome! 

If you’re willing to invest a bit more in a cream bronzer, I would recommend THIS one by MILK Cosmetics.

I am rather pale and do not find the shade to be too dark or muddy for my complexion.
Another incredibly creamy, blendable product!

My go-to powder blush recently has been THIS darker mauve shade, Truffle by The Body Shop.

This winter I’ve been really into cream blushes. THIS Lip + Cheek Stick by MILK Cosmetics brings such a youthful, glowy look to the skin. Shade Werk.

For highlighter, I’ve been sticking with my tried and true layering duo.

The label has completely worn off but the highlighter I use is very similar to THIS Clinique cream one.


It’s a really pretty pink, pearly shade. It reminds me of Benefit High Beam which I used to death in high school.

I apply the cream product to the back of my hand, then using a damp makeup sponge dab the product onto the high points of my face. 

Cheekbones, brow bones, the tip of the nose, and cupids bow. 

Get nuts with it! 

Then using my ring finger, I layer THIS Mac Mineralized Skin Finish in Lightscapade over the areas I applied cream highlighter. 

BROWS 

I’ve been getting my eyebrows threaded at Zara Brow Bar for about four years now. 

I love the way my brows have transformed and I’m super pleased to not have to put a ton of work into them! 

My brows aren’t super thick so I prefer a thinner style crayon/pencil to give a more natural look. 

I used THIS definer crayon/pencil in Brunette or Dark Brown for a while. 

But recently I switched up to an old favorite. 

THIS $10 micro brow pencil by NYX. When I take my time to use this, my brows look BOMB!

LASHES + LINER

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper has been my eyeliner of choice for about four and a half years. 

There was a stint of time — about 2 years — I wore winged eyeliner every day. 

I really like makeup! And I really wanted to perfect wings. 

Which I did. 

I would typically wing it out but I’ve been trying to perfect baby wings. 

That’s my new passion project. 

For my lashes, I was really loving THIS Tarte mini I picked up at Sephora but the fallout was too much. 

It was settling on my undereye area and irritating my contact lenses. 😔

I grabbed an old favorite on a recent trip to Sephora.
Another MILK Cosmetics product.

THIS mascara is worth the hype!

LIPS

L’OREAL Infalliable Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Dose of Cocoa; L’OREAL Infalliable Pro-Matte Gloss in Statement Nude; Sephora #LIPSTORIES in #9; Bite Beauty Amuse Bouchie Lipstick in Chai; Milani Lipstick in Naked; MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Twig. (left to right then down)

Variation of mauve/rosey mixes.

Spritz my face with Milani Setting Spray. 

I’m good to go. 

I always wash my hands immediately after because I wear a lot of dark clothes and touch a lot of product.

That’s it! Talk to y’all soon, 

Alex 

Categories
fashion

01.2020 fashion favorites

DISCLAIMER: Most stuff is from Nordstrom Rack. I am not sponsored. But I should be.

Hey guys! At the start of the month, I picked up new fashion accessories! I also received some stuff over the holidays. 

Thank you to everyone. I love you all. 😌

Needless to say, this month I have had a fun time trying out all sorts of new (to me) products! 

staple basics

I have a worn-to-death pair of black high-waisted Topshop jeans with slits in the knees. Super cute. Love them. 

Those babies were worth every penny! I’ve worn them to death for the past 3 years.

However, they’re ready for retirement. 

But ladies, we all know how difficult is it to find those perfect jeans…

After the holidays, during the killer sales, I went on the hunt for a new pair. 

‘In the Black’ Levi Mile High Super Skinny Denim

I stumbled upon Levi Mile High Super Skinny distressed black jeans. They are super flattering with the perfect stretch/structure ratio. They feature a chic single-knee slit and raw hem ankles, adding a little sass! 😉

They fit true to size. Andddd if you eat a little too much you can hide your open top button with a belt super easily! 😋

Retail price of $98.00. (They’re on sale on Levi’s site for $69.00 currently through the link above!)
I snagged them at Century 21 for $29.99. Yup! – over 60% off.

Over the summer I picked up a cute v-neck crop top by Free People in white. I wore it to death. It is very similar to this one available at Urban Outfitters by Out From Under.

Absolute repurchase!  

In late December when Urban Outfitters was running a sale on bralettes I picked up three new ones. All are seamless material and I am obsessed! 

I love layering them under shirts or sweaters in place of a bra! The seamless material is fitted so it holds your body in place. 

They are easy to wear on days when you’re busy running around and want to be comfortable without looking sloppy. 

10/10 would recommend.

shoes

I picked up these versatile Jeffrey Campbell Hydra Platform Waterproof Chelsea Boots in matte black. I wear them just about every day. 

I truly feel like I can conquer the world in these shoes. 

That feeling is amplified by my being able to walk in the rain.  

Their retail value is $55.00 – 60.00.
I paid $34.00!

Nordstrom Rack is the shit!
HOLLA! 😎

accessories

Aside from rings, I have never been a big jewelry gal. When I was in high school and early college, I had a necklace and rings I wore all day, every day. 

However, now I like earrings. ☺️😋

This month I’ve been wearing mini sterling silver hoops constantly. 

I’ve taken notice of a lot of others wearing hoops so it must be a trend at the moment. Feed into fast fashion and grab yourself a set!
I got mine for around $19.00 at Target.  

I dislike cold weather greatly. 

For years I have been telling my grandmom I plan to move somewhere that doesn’t experience frigid winters. However, I still have a degree to complete in Philadelphia so I made the rational decision to invest in quality cold-weather accessories.

Free People makes a scarf blanket. Unfortunately it’s sold out on Nordstrom Rack at the moment but you can check out other colors here.
Yes, a blanket that is socially acceptable to wear in public, guys! 

It’s 100% wool and incredibly warm. I love it! 

It retails for $48.00. I paid $21.00 at Nordstrom Rack.

activewear

I was gifted a black pair of Lingswallow leggings from Amazon for Christmas by my lovely aunt. ☺️

These leggings are amazing! They are double banded and keep you feeling very secure. I was shocked by how well they perform during workouts!

I hate the feeling of loose-fitting leggings that make you self conscious while doing burpees at the gym, ya know? Not these. And they’re affordable! 

I ordered myself another pair in a dark purpley-gray color. I plan to order more soon! 

I tried out a bunch of beauty products and everyday essentials I wanted to share but this post will be way too long! Another time. 😉

What are your January fashion favorites? Let me know in the comments! 

Thank y’all for reading! 

Talk soon, 
Alex

Categories
beauty Everythanggg fashion

october favorites

Hi guys! I am going to be the hundredth person to say this but I cannot believe 2019 is coming to an end. October went by ~scary~ fast. (ba dum tss) 
Come on, I had to!! 

In all seriousness, October moved quickly. Throughout the month I rediscovered a lot of old go-to’s which is always awesome for a college student on a budget. But I did pick up a few new items which I have been rocking hardcore. 

If you want to know more about the stuff I’ve been loving for the month of October, read on! 

FASHION

Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know what I’m going to say. Those of you who don’t already follow me: you are missing out! I have been LOVING my Free People Teddy Bear Peacoat. I’m not sure what the actual color is called but it’s an off-white, cream color — super versatile! 

I picked this baby up at Nordstrom Rack on 17th and Chestnut for a BARGAIN. The regular price was $150, but after the markdown I paid just under $70! That is wild for a warm, stylish FREE PEOPLE jacket.  

Aside from the color I got, there were two other options: hunter green and burnt orange. I would have bought them all if that was practical, however, it is not. 

This month I have started to dabble in fashion DIY. Nothing super drastic — I have not learned to sew yet, but we’re working on it!! Nonetheless, I’ve been messing around with a pair of sharp scissors cropping just about every sweatshirt I own and distressing old pairs of jeans. 

I unearthed an older pair of dark wash Gap jeans. I love (most) Gap jeans. They really make the booty pop, ya know. But anyway, sometimes you need to kind of grow into your clothes and so I bought the jeans a few seasons ago but really never loved them on me. 

All the snacks I have been eating recently must be doing something for me because the fit of these jeans is now perfect! (Shoutout to Oreos and cinnamon raisin bagels, woot woot)

After cutting some tasteful slits, roughing the seems up a bit with an old nail buffing block (get creative with what you’ve got!!) and distressing the ankles, they turned into my new fave pants. 

As I mentioned, jeans aren’t the only things I’ve been cutting up. Cropped sweatshirts are my new jam. 

I always lusted after the cute ones you can buy but I thought, “I can cut jeans. I can cut sweatshirts too! This is what Youtube tutorials were created for.” From there, I have never looked back. 

A family friend asked me if every sweatshirt I own is cropped. 
No, dude. I have two that are not, FYI. 
Let’s be honest, if I’m at home I am probably wearing a cropped hoodie. They’re sooo cozy!! How can you blame me?!

AND the best part is that you don’t get too warm since it allows better airflow (duh). Throw on some leggings, cozy socks and you’re all set to be the most comfy person in the house. 

Grab your scissors and get cutting. I’d recommend starting with older stuff you don’t care as much about incase there are any technical difficulties. 😋

BEAUTY

I’ve been cycling through my makeup collection which, unfortunately, was placed on the backburner since summer was so freaking hot! Nonetheless, I rediscovered two L’Oreal face products I have really been enjoying: Magic BB Anti-Redness and True Match Concealer in fair/light N 1-2-3. 

Both products are great. Dare I say holy grails??! Super blendable, buildable coverage. Honestly, I dig the entire L’Oreal True Match line. 10/10 would recommend. 

Photo by L’Oreal Paris

Those of you present in the tri-state area during October probably took notice it was rather wet month, which makes my hair sad. 😔

One of the reasons I dislike rainy days so much is because my hair can get super frizzy then I am totally fed up with it. The other reason is because after 21-years of living I have yet to get myself a pair of rain boots which would keep my feet dry and cozy. 

One of those two problems have been solved by a $14.00 bottle of mousse from Target! About a month ago I picked up Kristin Ess Instant Lift Volumizing Mousse on a whim. I was looking for a product to add more body to my hair. I had used a curl cream by the brand previously and enjoyed it, so why not give something else a go? I am not disappointed. 

The mousse does its job of adding volume, thickness and hold. However, another bonus is that it does an awesome job of combating frizz! I typically apply a generous amount of mousse to my hair while it is wet. I have found flipping my head upside down and scrunching the mousse closer to my roots, specifically towards the back of the head, really adds that extra oomph. This technique, sometimes paired with a tousled blow-dry, yields the best results for me. 

LIFESTYLE

At the start of the month I decided to implement some new habits, one of which is attending networking events more regularly. These events are an amazing way to meet new people, exchange ideas and build my network. I’ve come to the realization that if I want others to take me seriously, I have to first take myself seriously. Ya girl got business cards. They’re awesome. I’m happy. 

Alex Swanson, Freelance Content Creator, 2020.

But anyway, If you follow me on social media (if you don’t you are really missing out) you may be aware I attended a social media panel hosted by Gather: Social Media Group earlier in the month.

My friend and former colleague, Camille Mola, spoke on the panel along with four other amazing women. These boss ladies discussed how they have built, and continue to grow, their presence on social media and all that jazz. Everyone shared wonderful knowledge; it was amazing. Awesome, insightful, beautiful boss babe Camille (in the killer white booties above) also has a blog. You should go check it out after this post. ☺️

Although I was not a panelist, I spoke a lot. Probably more than an audience member should have but hey, that’s me. And in my defense, it kind of became an open forum!! 

I guess the panelist didn’t mind too much because I, along with four other audience members, were gifted “INFLUENCER: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media” by Brittany Hennessy

If you are anyone who is interested in gaining traction as a content creator (…”influencer”…), get on this book! It is written from the perspective of a scout. Brittany Hennessy founded her own influencer development company. In this book she is telling you exactly what the people who have money to give you to promote their products or brands want to see. 

Another lifestyle adjustment I have been working towards during this month is drinking water. Those of you who know me personally are probably thinking, “Alex, what?? You drink tons of water — it’s super annoying..”
While this may be true, I do not drink as much water as I should! Especially in relation to the amount of coffee I consume. (I am trying to cut back but it’s so difficult. I have been drinking coffee since I was about 8 years old? My gram would have me fix her cup each day after work and obviously I had to taste it to make sure it was perfect. Based on that factual evidence, gram is the root of my coffee addiction. Love you anyway.) 

Drinking more water was something I was aware I should work on, but it wasn’t until Adrienne Finch told me in an episode of Self-Made CEO that should really try harder that I actually started doing it. Transitioning us perfectly into podcasts! 

Okay, real talk, podcasts intimidated me. They still do! I’ve wanted to get into them for the longest time but I had no idea where to start. I am one of those people who gets a bit overwhelmed when there are too many things to choose from. Then I end up procrastinating the choice altogether.  I know I am not alone with this one, haha. 

However, my want to get involved with podcasts finally outweighed my fear of entering that new world. One of my favorite Youtubers from back in the day, Kenzie Elizabeth, launched a podcast series, IYSM. So I found it on Spotify, saw an episode title which jumped out to me and hit play. From there I eased my way into other suggested podcasts. Now here we are. I’m hooked! 

If you’re looking for one to start out with, an OG Youtuber, Lauren Elizabeth, just launched a series. It would be a great one to start with since there are currently four episodes live. Give MOOD a listen! 

Lauren is an awesome boss woman and I aspire to be like her. 

RANDOM

I am big into dental hygiene. 

After I brush my teeth, I want the inside of my cheeks to burn when I smile. 

Although I love the dentist and I’m a super freak when it comes to teeth, I never fed into the mouthwash gimmick. Until now. Crest Pro-Health Intense Mouthwash has totally changed my life. It is scary looking, which I love. And this stuff gets the job DONE. 

I find oral hygiene to be similar to exercising — it sucks in the moment but afterwards you feel great. Yeah, this sh*t is going to burn. Keep swishing. 

I get a lot of questions and comments about my teeth, so if you guys would be interested in hearing more about that stuff, let me know in the comments below! 

If you’ve stuck around this far, thank you for reading. Time is the most valuable thing a person can give and I appreciate each moment given my work. ☺️

Talk to y’all soon! 
Alex