Sunday, July 21, 2013

Nordstrom Anniversary Beauty Event Tampa

This past Friday I was lucky enough to attend Nordstrom's anniversary event in Tampa.
Judi posted about the event and I'm so glad she did! I had never been to any sort of beauty event yet and I was excited to dive in!

The event was from 5-8. I arrived right as it started and had no idea what to expect. I walked up and found tons of beauty booths set up with experts and makeup artists everywhere! A DJ was even there pumping out fun, upbeat music.

I was surrounded by more high end brands then I knew what to do with! The truth was that I was extremely overwhelmed. I didn't know where to begin! I was afraid to even touch anything! 

To start, I was given a goodie bag of samples (which included perfume samples and a sample size of Smashbox's infamous photofinish primer!) and entered my name into the giveaway drawing. 

I was still taking it all in when I spotted some of my favorite beauty bloggers! Phyrra, Judi, and Genia. Of course I had to go up to them and tell them how much I loved their posts! 

For the sake of full disclosure I have to tell you all how awkward I was. Oh, my goodness. I was face to face with people I have been following for months, some people who have been the people to inspire me to start blogging myself! Of course I was nervous. This was my first time meeting people as Budget Splurge Ember, and it was scary at first! 

However, they were all so nice! They invited me to come with them to the Chantecaille booth and I got to watch them get facials done. 

All the representatives I met at the event were so nice and helpful!

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to share since my phone died! However you can check out Phyrra's post about the event and see the pictures she took! 

All in all I'm so glad I attended the event! It was a lot of fun. I definitely recommend everyone to find out if there is going to be an event in their area, and to attend! It's too fun to miss. Next time I am going to try and get an appointment for all the fun stuff like makeovers and facials!  However even if you don't do that, there is still plenty to look at and learn! There were lots of sales for the anniversary, and lots of exclusive products to check out!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Friday, July 19, 2013

Inner Beauty Friday

Hey ya'll! Welcome to the 2nd installment of Inner Beauty Friday

Despite this being a beauty-oriented blog, I believe very much in "inner beauty" and believe it is necessary to work on this type of beauty above all else. Every Friday I share my journey through becoming more beautiful from the inside out!

Again I'm linking up to Jasmine at Green Eyed Monster who gave me the inspiration to start this weekly post!

 Well, I can't just leave you all hanging! I received an overwhelming amount of support from my amazing followers last week when I announced that I had applied to college.

Because of that, I'm a little disappointed in how everything went down. In my opinion, the education system is not built for the middle (or below) class. Every rule, every protocol, is backwards. Nothing makes sense. It's easy to give up, which is what I have done every semester.

I really, really don't want to give up this time. But it's so hard not to! I went to my school on Wednesday to speak with an adviser and financial aid assistant. I was basically told I would have to jump through hoops, then get TWO loans, and then I might be able to attend school in August.
That's right, I am going to stress myself out for the next few weeks without a guarantee that I will even be enrolled come fall semester.

The details have to do with financial aid once again thinking I'm some sort of rich person (HA! As if I would have a budget oriented beauty blog, am I right?), having to take a group orientation (that wasn't a requirement last time), and not being able to register until the LAST day. Meaning, there is a huge chance there won't be any classes left.

On top of all this, I do not qualify for any grants through FAFSA. I would have to take two loans through FAFSA just to attend ONE year of community college. And that does not leave money left over for a car. Which I would need to get to school. Do you see where this is going? It just doesn't seem entirely worth it to me.

Overall I can't be sure that I am going to start. I have until Aug 2 which is when orientation is. 

I must again stress that I am so thankful for the support I got on my last post. I really hope that everything works out, but I'm trying not to stress out yet seeing as there's nothing I can do until the 2nd.  So after the 2nd I will have another update!
Jenni Fagan the panopticon
Jenni Fagan- the panopticon

Today in the mail I recieved The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan. I received an advanced readers copy through Read it Forward, a website that has a giveaway every week of books! I have been entering for months and my luck finally struck, I won! 
advanced reader's edition
advanced reader's edition!

I look forward to reading this and providing a review on it for next week's edition of Inner Beauty Friday!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

p.s. I got my Ipsy July bag!! Review will be posted tonight or tomorrow :) spoiler alert: I love it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Honorable mentions: Looks that almost fell through the cracks

Since I'm still getting the hang of this whole ~blogging~ thing, sometimes I let perfectly good posts just pass me by.
I know. Shit's weak.

(see my honorable mentions after the jump!)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Inner Beauty Friday

So while this may be a beauty oriented blog I wanted to make something clear: I believe above all else that outer beauty is not important.
I believe in making yourself beautiful to your standards.
Not anyone elses.
I don't want anyone to think that I am obsessed with makeup and care so much about my appearance. The cold hard truth is pretty far from that. I am usually too lazy to put on makeup. 

The point is, I wear makeup for me. Because I like experimenting with colors and seeing what new things I can try. I do not believe in the idea that everyone has to wear makeup, or that you have to wear makeup to be beautiful.

I just wanted to be very clear on that

Because it's something I feel so strongly about, I was always attracted to "Inner Beauty Fridays" that Jasmine/ Green eyed monster posts every week. 

I think it's important to identify that there are much more important things to focus on improving, rather than your looks.

SO, without further ado, welcome to my first edition of Inner Beauty Friday

Today, I took a deep breath, and applied to college.....again.

I graduated from high school four years ago. When I first graduated, I had zero interest in going to college. I felt that college isn't necessary, nor for everyone. I still feel that way, but now I'm a bit smarter about it. I was a bit of a little punk back then, and just wanted to rebel.

For the first year or so, I thought about college but not enough to actually pursue it. Then about a year and a half ago, I made the effort to apply. 

I have been through a lot of shit involving my community college. Financial aid has screwed me, deadlines have caught me off guard...long story short, I still haven't been to college!

I know that I'm going to be in debt for a very long time. I know that with this economy, having a degree doesn't guarantee you a job. I know all this, but I still want to go so badly, it hurts. 

I'm a gemini- I don't know if you believe in all that stuff but the basics of a Gemini fits me pretty dang well. I have a thirst for learning. I want to be educated. I yearn to be taught new things.

So, today I took that first step...again. It's a scary place to venture into. It's extremely overwhelming, if you've never done it before. Especially on your own. A lot of people have their parents helping them, or don't have to worry about things like financial aid. But some of us have to suck it up and do it ourselves!

So, wish me luck, blogging world. I hope that come next week I will be all signed up for classes, and ready to finally begin this new adventure in life.

I believe in educating yourself and making yourself the best you that you can be, and that's what inner beauty is all about!  

Does anyone else have experience in struggling with going back to school? What's inner beauty to you

Let me know! Jasmine and I have thought about making this a blog-hop kinda thing, with as many people getting involved as possible.

Follow your bliss, all the way to school!
Ember Darling

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Liebster award!

I am extremely honored to say I have been given a Liebster award by one of my fellow bloggers, Chinella.
This lovely lady was one of my first followers and comments frequently on what I post. Her support sometimes is what makes my day!

In case you aren't familiar with the Liebster award, I will do my best to fill you in. It's an award given by peers to bloggers who have under 200 followers. The idea is to recommend smaller blogs so that you can spread the word about them!

The rules are kind of hard to track down. There's no official site or anything, it's just a word of mouth kind of thing. But here's the gist of it:

1. Link up the person who nominated you (it's just polite!)
2. State 10 facts about yourself
3. answer 10 questions given to you by the person that nominated you
4. Pick 10 bloggers with under 200 followers to nominate
5. Come up with 10 questions for those nominated
6. Go to their blog and let them know you nominated them!

Facts about me
1. I have a tuxedo cat named Potey, and he's the love of my life.
tuxedo cat
Potey Tinklefink 
   2. I love music, and my favorite band is Yellowcard
   3.I am obsessed with milk. I drink, like, a half gallon a day.
   4.  I love Disney, I have an annual pass to Walt Disney World
  5. I have been to over 50 concerts. Probably even over 100!
  6. Ke$ha is my alter ego
  7. I am completely too invested in Pretty Little Liars, Justified, and Parks & Recreation
  8. I might be biased because Amy Poehler is a role model of mine...Leslie Knope is even MORE of a role model to me
 9. I got involved in the 'fat acceptance' movement thanks to Tumblr.
 10.I might go into politics when I'm "a grown up" 

The questions Chinella gave me
     1. Since when did you know you had a passion for beauty & fashion? -- My passion for fashion has actually been a pretty recent thing. My mom wasn't really the type that taught me how to do my makeup or any of that sort of thing. I spent my youth being extremely misguided in the sense of makeup. I also was never interested in fashion because I thought that being fat and fashionable were mutually exclusive. I didn't know that you could be fat and fashionable! Which, obviously, is absurd!

    2.Did you ever try to give up on blogging? When I first decided to make a beauty blog, I initially made a tumblr. I had a tough time keeping up with it and realized it wasn't right for the things I wanted to do. I still have the tumblr and plan on incorporating it better into the blog. Also when I first started my blogger I didn't go all in right away. It took a while for me to catch a groove.

3. What is your favorite thing about beauty & fashion? I am really just into the whole idea of making yourself look how you want. Whether that's enhancing your favorite features, hiding your least favorite, or just altering your look to how you see fit. I tend to like looks that "take chances" and aren't just a simple look. I have a more 'alternative' style so I guess this fits with that. I love body modifications so I think makeup is just an extension of that!

4. What is your worst thing about beauty & fashion? I don't like that a lot of people think there is only one ideal of beauty. It's about time the world realizes there are so many ways to utilize fashion, and it doesn't have to be the same for everyone!

5. What is your current favorite fashion trend? Personally I really love that studs and spikes are trendy right now. If it were up to me, everything I wear would be covered in them.

6. What's your advice to new bloggers?  Just keep at it! Don't get discouraged. Google is your friend for stuff you don't know or know how to do. Honestly I'm a pretty new blogger myself so! 

7. Your most memorable blogger moment? When I got my first GFC follower. When I made my blog there was no longer an option for a GFC widget. Miracle upon miracles, and a long story later, I somehow got one. Getting my first follower on there was a huge accomplishment for me because I think that's the way most people follow.

8. Favorite makeup product at the moment? I love Nyx soft matte lip creams, I basically want them in every color!

9. Your biggest support when it comes to your blog? Definitely my boyfriend. He may not totally understand my passion for it but he is pretty supportive about it and tries to understand.

10. Who is your biggest beauty & fashion inspiration? Honestly that's so hard to answer. I don't have many specific people that inspire me...I just take inspiration from several different places and combine it into one! (pinterest, tumblr, real life friends, bloggers, youtube tutorials!)

My questions for my nominees
1. Who or what inspired you to start blogging?
2. What is your favorite drugstore makeup product?
3. What is your favorite color, and how do you incorporate it into fashion?
4. What is your advice to bloggers who want to give up?
5. What is your favorite holiday and why?
6. Favorite type of shoes?
7. Where do you buy most of your clothes?
8. What is your advice to fashionistas on a budget?
9. Who is your celebrity style inspiration?
10. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?

last and not least, the nominees!!!
For the record, it's really hard to see how many followers some people have. If I could, I just looked at GFC. However, GFC was acting up when I did this and sometimes wouldn't load. If I couldn't, oh well! Hopefully you aren't offended if you have 2000 followers, not 200. 

2.Christy @ Avoiding Atrophy- this girl is HILARIOUS, and I love her style of writing. She also has a lot of advice! I highly recommend her to you, even if she isn't a beauty blogger.
3. Becky @ Does my blog make me look fat?- a fabulous fatshionista!
4. Shannon @ From My Desk to Yours- a lifestyle blogger that I actually know in real life!
5. Katy @ Katygracefully , a health and fashion blogger who has GREAT fitness tips, but doesn't body shame!
6. Lit From Within- a great nail polish blog from a central FL beauty blogger!
7. Em from Plus Sized Millard- another fabulous fatshion blogger!
8. Polished Plus- yet another fatshion blogger! 
9. Beth at Tinkerbell and the lost girls- fatshion beauty blogger
10. Rachel at A dress is for life  ANOTHER great fatshion blogger!
EDIT: for the record I feel like a major dick. I had specifically written down one of my favorite bloggers, Your beauty fix then somehow when I was actually writing the post, I completely left her out. I feel awful but decided it was worth mentioning her even if it was late, because she really is one of my favorite blogs!

Well there you have it folks! Another huge thanks to Chinella for thinking of me. Hope to see all my nominees passing along the award :)

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Jordana Facebook Giveaway!

This is just a quick post to let everyone know that if you go to Jordana Cosmetics on Facebook and 'like' them, then click the 'made in the USA' tab before July 16th, you could win!

100 people a day will be chosen to win the Made in the USA giveaway. It doesn't say exactly what you win, but free Jordana cosmetics is a great prize!

Winners must be 18 or over and live in the US or Canada.

I am not affiliated with this giveaway, I just wanted my followers to know about it and give them a chance to possibly win some free swag!

Comment and let me know if you won!! I would love to hear that one of my followers won something!

Special thanks to Hip2Save (my favorite couponing site) for letting me know about this giveaway!

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Independence day nails!

So as you may have already seen I recently posted a quick post of what nails I did for Independence day, but now I'm ready to go more in depth with my look and tell you how you can achieve a similar one!

First off, I love holidays. I love...themes. and partying. and holidays provide a lot of that! Unfortunately this year I had a very uneventful holiday. But that didn't stop me from rocking some awesome nail art!
I had seen lots of inspiration on other blogs and on pinterest all week. But I couldn't decide what I wanted to do myself! I finally decided that there was no way I could choose one of the manicures, so instead I decided to take elements of several different ones and make it my own!

I apologize in advance that some of these are smart-phone quality photos. But I still think they get the point across!
4th of july themed nails
4th of July nails!
Instructions after the jump-->

Monday, July 8, 2013

Walmart Haul (Fing'rs and more!)

So a little while back I saw Nouveau cheap post about a brand Fing'rs that I had never heard of. As soon as I saw her post I knew I had to get to Walmart ASAP. I waited about 2 days to get paid and then literally the first thing I did with my paycheck was go and check out the display!

I am sad that I forgot to take a picture of the display, but you can go to your local walmart and there is probably an endcap dedicated to it in the beauty section, like there was at mine. Or you can click on the word 'post' above where I linked through to Nouveau Cheap's post about it. 

So let's jump right in:
There were so many awesome colors, I had a really rough time narrowing it down. And so cheap! Because of the size of the bottles I assumed that the polishes were nail art brushes- but they aren't. I am actually more pleased with that, but bummed that I didn't grab more for that reason. I heard that the displays are being wiped out but hopefully I can get to them again and grab a few more.

fing'rs heart 2 art polish
Fing'rs heart 2 art polish
As you can probably tell, these are GORGEOUS. From Left to right we have purple reign, blue a fuse, & in mint condition 
These all retailed for less than $2! And they are gorgeous! I haven't done a full swatch yet but I am a little disappointed in the glitters (the 2 that are in focus)...they look packed but in reality they don't seem to be that packed. However with a little manipulation and layering I'm sure you could get some great payoff! I will be sure to post a manicure soon where I spotlight these colors!

nail polish from this haul including fing'rs, sally hanson, sinful colors
all the nail polish from this haul

As you can see I did not just get Fing'rs brand. Now you can see in mint condition better. After those we have-

Sinful Colors tempest - a bright lavender shade, Sinful Colors kissy- a deep hunter green loaded with gold glitter, and Sally Hanson Insta-dri pink blink a soft pink that reminds me of a ballerina.

The sinful colors were around $2 and the Sally Hanson was $4.

Fing'rs nail art kits
nail art kits
Aside from polish I also got some nail art goodies. From left to right, Salon Perfect nail art duo. This is great, and exactly what I've been looking for. One side is a dotting tool, and the other is a thin but sturdy brush to do nail art with. This was around $2. 

Next is the Fing'rs heavy metal extreme nail art kit. This kit comes with 20 sheets of foil (I have never used foil but I am willing to try it out!), 68 studs, & a small black bottle of polish. It retails for $6 and change. I have been wanting to try studs on my nails for so long (I'm obsessed with studs!) and I know this is much more expensive than buying some offline, however, I paid for convenience and peace of mind knowing that I wasn't putting my credit card online.
and last is the Fing'rs heart 2 art stripe out nail art. This comes with 3 rolls of striping tape and was around $3. Again, I definitely overpaid but it was worth it to me because it was still cheap enough. 

organix repairing awapuhi ginger sulfate free shampoo
Organix repairing awapuhi ginger shampoo- sulfate free

Last but not least from Walmart I got a new shampoo to try. I have never tried this brand- Organix. But I was looking for a sulfate free shampoo, and I wasn't totally thrilled with the last one I tried. This retailed for around $6 for 13 fl oz. It smells yummy, too!
sulfate free!
As you can see from the label, it is indeed sulfate free.

So, I was very pleased with my haul and even though I felt like I bought all cheap items, it definitely added up quickly!

I can't wait to use the nail polishes in some upcoming looks! In fact, in mint condition is next up! 

Follow your bliss, even if it leads to Walmart,
Ember Darling

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July nails *sneak peak*

I know that waiting until the actual holiday to post holiday nails is a little...ditzy. How is anyone supposed to be inspired if they see it AFTER the holiday? (that's my philosophy anyway!) 

BUT I didn't actually do my nails until last night. Whomp, whomp, whomp.

So here's a sneak peak of my nails. This was just taken with my cell phone so, better pictures are to come, along with the details of how I did it and the polishes I used!

Thanks for checking them out! I know they aren't great but I'm pretty pleased with them. I can see myself getting better, although I have a LONG way to go! 

Hope everyone has a great, fun-filled, safe holiday! Personally, I love holidays. I love doing all the cheesy things that come along with holidays. So, I hope everyone has a beer, eats some grilled food, and plays with some fireworks today!
4th of july nails
let's not talk about how much love my cuticles need. And also let's not address my inability to stay between the lines.
Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling

Monday, July 1, 2013

What's in my purse? Let's go down the rabbit hole

I am one of those girls. The kind that keeps everything they could ever 'need' in her purse. As a result of this, my purse is always around 10lbs. Some boys (my brother or boyfriend) will pick it up and marvel at the fact that I carry such a burden every day!

Yes, boys, it's a feat! Respect it!

So today at work while I was being oh-so-productive I realized I wanted to look for a receipt from Walmart (which the haul post is coming for!) But while doing that I realized I really  desperately needed to clean out my purse.
a small bag that is one of 3 inside my purse. Unnecessary? Yes. Adorable? HELL yes. From Forever 21

And while doing so, I took inventory. Just so you guys are aware of how crazy I am. And how unnecessary I am. It's ridiculous. I fully admit it.

  • Three (3) packs of gum- 5 Cobalt (unopened), Extra Polar Ice, Extra Orange Creme Pop
  • Six (6) pens- 3 of these are Disney pens. I am a little obsessed.
  • Four (4) lighters - yet I can NEVER seem to find any. So, I put them in the side pocket. No more digging for lighters, hooray!
  • two (2) unopened contact lenses. I guess it's good to be prepared!
  • two (2) nail polishes- Sinful Colors black on black & NYC Big City Dazzle
  • Deodorant- Secret va va vanilla (My holy grail deodorant, so in love with the scent!)
  • two (2) camera battery chargers
  • two (2) cameras- Fujifilm point & shoot & Kodak underwater point & shoot
  • two (2) pairs of sunglasses- leopard print and floral print
  • travel sized Bath & Body Works antibacterial hand gel gold dust 
  • One pack of cigarettes- Camel Turkish Royals (the only cigarettes I will ever smoke)
  • travel sized bottle of Bath & Body Works fragrance mist- secret wonderland
  • Trial sized Neutrogena daily facial cleanser that I thought was hand lotion this whole time
  • two (2) wallets - one for daily use and one for all the cards that are rarely used

Mixing animal embarassing!
  • Ipod classic 
  • $2.82 in change
  • an assortment of movie tickets, concert stubs, and Disney photo passes
  • wristbands (I collect them when I go to clubs/bars), a hotel key, and other momentos
  • headband
  • got2b powderful volumizing styling powder sample
  • Redkin rough paste 12 sample size
  • tums refreshers
  • Pepcid AC
  • Pepto Bismol Pills
  • Keys
As you can see, I keep everything but the kitchen sink. But if you thought that was it, you are wrong. There is more! Yes, more.

I have three smaller bags that I keep inside my purse. As I type that I realize how insane that sounds. 
The one that is packed full is the purple velvet one. The purple doesn't show up in pictures but trust it is a royal purple velvet bag from H&M
 Inside you will find all my 'beauty' contents.
some jewelry and the purple velvet beauty bag

Literally all of my lip products are in this bag. Why?? That is beyond me. Truth be told, I don't even wear lip products every day, and I don't even wear half of these lip products at all! Why do I carry them around daily?? gah!
Also, jewelry. Another thing I don't wear everyday, yet insist on carrying around for no good reason other than they will get lost if I don't.

  • Octopus necklace from Merbellas at the Renaissance Festival
  •  Leopard print watch from Windsor you can find here
  • pair of gold leopard earrings from Forever 21 you can find here
  • Starfish ring from H&M (pretty much my favorite ring) unfortunately I could not find it online. I saw some similar ones but didn't feel comfortable linking them since I did not know who they belonged to
  • Gold bow ring from Forever 21 you can find here
  • black stone ring from H&M
  • gold anchor necklace from Forever 21
  • black & white rhinestoned leopard ring- I don't remember where I got this but a similar one can be found here
  • the dark spike ring from this set
  • gold key double knuckle ring from Forever 21 
  • gold knot dangly earrings from Forever 21
  • Plastic? resin? white rose ring from Forever 21
And that's my jewelry. Also stuffed in the same small bag is all of my lip stuff:

  • Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo
  • Either Wet n Wild or NYC brand - literally the whole package does not say the brand name on it. Weird! lipstick in Pink Slip
  • Carmex cherry lip balm in the squeeze tube
  • Urban Decay lipstick in sellout
  • Rimmel Stay Glossy in black
  • Revlon Colorstay Overtime in Enduring Iris
  • Covergirl Outlast lipstain in 450 saucy plum
  • Essence Breaking Dawn Pt 2 Collection lipstick in A piece of forever
  • Maybelline Superstay 10 hr stain gloss 170 pleasing plum
  • Covergirl Outlast lipstain in 440 wild berry wink
  • Ulta extreme wear lipstain in 14
  • Maybelline Superstay 24 hour color - this is my holy grail lip product! On & on Orchid
  • Maybelline Superstay 24 hour lipcolor - The sticker fell off of this but this is my holy grail red lip color! I am guessing it is either keep up the flame or endless ruby. Whatever it is, I love it!
  • Urban Decay Pocket rocket lipgloss in Max 
Other makeup and things in the same pouch:
  • E.l.f shimmering facial whip in lilac petal
  • container of safety pins with bobby pins stuffed in, that I forgot were there until I was doing this
  • E.l.f. mineral eyeshadow in royal
  • Covergirl brow and eye pencil in Midnight black
As you  can tell, I carry a lot in my purse!
Might be hard to tell, but it's a clear plastic puch with old-school style 'tattoo' art on it.

Are there any other purse hoarders out there like me? When you look through your purse you get uncomfortable with yourself like, why do I have this? I will never need this! Yet you stick it back in anyway...

Please tell me I'm not the only one! ;)

Follow your bliss,
Ember Darling