Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Conquering, Hustling and Making Sh*t Happen

I know it's a bit cliché to make a list of resolutions to start off the New Year but hell, if I can't be cliché on New Year's Eve then when can I? When I started my blog back in August my goalbesides sharing my interest in books and beauty—was to take more chances and put myself out there a bit more. Though to a certain extent that has happened with overcoming my romance reader stigma and just sharing more with readers, I still feel like I'm not pushing myself enough to grow as a person, to take more risks to make myself happier. So let's start off my list of goals for the New Year with a goody...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Adding Some Sparkle To Your New Year's Eve

There aren't many times of the year when you can get away with going full-on glam with your makeupunless of course you work as a showgirl. But for the rest of us normies, New Year's Eve is one of the few days of the year when we're encouraged to get our sparkle on. For the lady looking to add a bit of glitz to her beauty routine to ring in the New Year, I've got a few tips on how to shine bright like a diamond.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Keeping Your Holiday Look Perfect All Through the Night

When choosing the makeup you'll wear for your holiday parties it's important to pick things that will stay in place for the long haul and look great in photos. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you looking fresh all through the night.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

11 Binge-Worthy Shows to Watch This Winter

It seems like more and more shows are having Fall Finales and breaking for the winter. What can you do when all your favorite shows aren't coming back for months? Find some new favorites to binge on! Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu all have some amazing series on offer, so here's a list of 11 binge-worthy shows to check out over your holiday break.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Products I've Used Up #2

Every so often I like to compile the empty products I've used up to reevaluate how I actually feel about the products and if it's worth it for me to repurchase. Here's a look at some of the things I've gone through lately.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Brown Sugar & Fig

When I saw the Triple Moisture Body Cream in Brown Sugar & Fig on Bath & Body Work's website a few weeks ago, the scent sounded like something I would absolutely love. I've been on a fig & plum kick lately and thought the addition of brown sugar would make this a seasonally-appropriate scented body cream. For those who haven't read some of my previous beauty posts, I am a very lazy body moisturizer and wanted something I could just slap on after getting out of the shower and not have to fuss over too much.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review & Giveaway | Sinful Rewards 6 by Cynthia Sax

Bee Carter has spent a lifetime creating her good-girl persona. Three harsh words uttered in anger shred this carefully crafted façade, testing her relationships.

Nicolas, her handsome billionaire, is hiding a decades-old secret. Bee's scandal will draw unwanted attention to his dark past, placing the real estate empire he's built and the employees he manages in peril. Hawke, her tattooed bad-boy biker, protects the rich and famous. His high-profile clients won't want their bodyguard to be linked to Chicago's wild woman.

Both men desire her, craving her touch with a white-hot passion, but who will risk everything to stand by her side—her biker or her billionaire?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gifting With A Personal Touch

Sometimes a gift holds so much more impact when you add a little personal touch. Monogramming is a great way to do that and make a gift seem a bit more special. Say you're giving a Secret Santa or hostess gift to someone you've only met once or twice. A simple gift with a personalized monogram gives the item a bit of oomph

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cris Reads | Reckless (Renegades #1) by Skye Jordan

A couture wedding dress designer to the rich and famous, Lexi LaCroix’s image means everything. Raised on the wrong side of the tracks, her years of polish and hard work are finally about to pay off. But crossing paths with a sexier-than-sin, bad-boy biker who makes her realize how much living she’s sacrificed for her success, one touch is all it takes to threaten her carefully choreographed life.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stocking Stuffers for the Beauty Lover Under $10

Now that we're officially into December the scrambling begins to put together gifts for friends and family that are both thoughtful and desirable while not massacring your wallet. As much as everyone loves presents, sometimes it's the fun, little stocking stuffers that really make a gift memorable. I've compiled a list of some things I think would make a great treat for a beauty lover, all under $10.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Monthly Beauty Favorites | November 2014

It's hard to believe that November has already come and gone and that the holiday season is firmly upon us. Now, if you'll remember I began November by deciding to institute a No Spend November beauty spending ban. One would think that would greatly reduce the number of new favorites I came across over the month, but one would be wrong.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Giveaway & Review | Wild Holiday Nights Christmas Anthology

Now that we're officially in December, it's time to get into the spirit of the season! I love the holidays. The decorating, the baking, the shopping. Apart from playing Christmas music and putting up my tree, one of my favorite ways to get into the holiday mood is to read Christmas-themed romances. And today Harlequin released Wild Holiday Nights, a holiday anthology to satisfy your Christmas cravings. Here's a little taste of what you're in for.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What I've Been Watching | November 2014

This month I've been a bit scattered in terms of my TV routine. I've been trying to get caught up on some of my usual favorites as well as indulging in some oldies-but-goodies on Netflix. None of my favorites from the past month are new shows I just came across, but I've definitely enjoyed the new episodes I've watched (or re-watched) in November.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Breakdown

If you didn't know, I'm actually quite a seasoned Black Friday shopper and have elbowed my way through years of sales. I don't just show up hoping to find things. As with most things, I'm a planner. I like to check out the deals in advance and put together a list of what I need to get. Black Friday shopping is like a tactical strike and I want to come out the other side in one piece and with my targets acquired. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Crazy Smooth Is Right

Another prize from the Allure Magazine August Free Stuff Giveaway arrived this month and I've become a bit obsessed with it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review & Giveaway | Hard to Come By (Hard Ink #3) by Laura Kaye

Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.

As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Restoring My Favorite Top Coat

For those of you who have never heard of Seche Vite, it's a fast-drying, incredibly shiny nail top coat and the only one I use when doing my own nails. It's achieved somewhat of a cult status in the beauty world and I for one think the hype is well-deserved. The one downside to this epic topper is that over time certain ingredients in the bottle evaporate leaving the formula gloopy and hard to apply. But the people over at Seche, in their infinite wisdom, created a fix.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No Spend November: Update

As we're more than half way through November I thought I'd give you all an update on how my spending ban is going. If you missed my post earlier this month, I decided to institute a beauty-centric spending ban for the whole month of November. This was something I decided to do for myself to limit spending before the holiday season and to just give myself a bit of a break so that I could play around with the lovely things I already have in my collection that often go unused.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review & Giveaway | The Viscount Who Lived Down the Lane (Rhymes with Love) by Elizabeth Boyle

In New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Boyle's fourth novel in the Rhymes With Love series, a resolute young woman goes toe-to-toe with the Beast of Mayfair...

The Softest Hair Ever

This past month I've been receiving several goodies in the mail that I won from Allure Magazine's August Free Stuff Giveaway. With a whole month of giveaways that I entered fairly faithfully I came away with quite a few freebies. One of them was a lovely little package of hair products from Dove including the Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Shampoo, Pure Care Dry Oil Conditioner, and Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cris Reads | INTRUSION by Charlotte Stein

I believed I would never be able to trust any man again. That kindness was only for fools and would lead me down that same terrible path into darkness. I thought so with every fiber of my being—and then I met Noah Gideon Grant.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My New Fall / Winter Fragrance

At the beginning of the Autumn I decided I wanted to get a new fragrance that was a bit deeper and more seasonally appropriate. Don't get me wrong, I love my Givenchy Dahlia Noir, but I was looking to spice things up a bit and I knew exactly which one I wanted to buy: Escentric Molecules Molecule 01, a fragrance that's been raved about by British beauty bloggers for its addictive nature and its unusual properties.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cris Reads | COVERING KENDALL by Julie Brannagh

Kendall Tracy, General Manager of the San Francisco Miners, is not one for rash decisions or one-night stands. But when she finds herself alone in a hotel room with a heart-stoppingly gorgeous man—who looks oddly familiar—Kendall throws her own rules out the window … and they blow right back into her face.

Drew McCoy should look familiar; he's a star player for her team's archrival, the Seattle Sharks. Which would basically make Drew and Kendall the Romeo and Juliet of professional football … well, without all the dying.

Not that it's an issue. They agree to pretend their encounter never happened. Nothing good can come of it anyway, right?

Drew's not so sure. Kendall may be all wrong for him, but he can't stop thinking about her, and he finds that some risks are worth taking. Because the stakes are always highest when you're playing for keeps.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monthly Beauty Favorites | October 2014

It's monthly favorites time! October was a month for keeping things simple and transitioning my products to what will work best for me in the colder months. When the temperature drops, my skin and scalp naturally get drier and the products I use need to be adapted to compensate for that. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

No Spend November

It's hard to believe that October has already come and gone and that soon Christmas will be right around the corner. Being a beauty enthusiast, I've noticed that's it's become harder and harder to resist a sale and the urge to try that new product everyone has been raving about. At times it's completely compulsory and I end up picking up things that are not all that different from products I already have at home. Sometimes I buy things and set them aside thinking I'll find a time to use them but I just end up forgetting that I even own them. Since the holidays are coming soon, which inevitably means lots of spending for others and lovely new things for me from my family and friends, I thought that November would be the perfect time to institute a beauty spending ban for myself.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What I've Been Watching | October 2014

This month began with my binging on some pretty random shows on Netflix. I stumbled across The Dead Files while looking for a distraction and it definitely served the purpose. The Dead Files is a paranormal investigative show where a retired New York detective and a medium both explore the same haunted places on their own and then comes together at the end of the episode to discuss their findings. It's interesting to see what she feels during her walk-through compared to what his research and discussions with the inhabitants and historians turns up. At times it definitely feels staged and overly produced but it was a great way to get in some spooky-time pre-Halloween.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal & Review

 It's that time of the month again when I find a little beauty treat for myself in the mail in the form of a new Ipsy Glam Bag. This month's theme is Beauty Candy. Check out what I got in this month's bag.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review + Giveaway | KEEP ME SAFE (Slow Burn #1) by Maya Banks

 A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister—the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cover Reveal & Excerpt | LEAVING AMARILLO (Neon Dreams #1) by Caisey Quinn

Some promises are made to be broken...
Music is my everything.
After my parents died when I was a kid, moving into my grandparents’ ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo seemed like a nightmare. Until I stumbled upon my grandfather’s shed full of instruments. My soul lives between the strings of Oz, my secondhand fiddle, and it soars when I play.
In Houston, I'm a typical college student on my way to becoming a classically trained violinist headed straight for the orchestra pit. But on the road with my band, Leaving Amarillo, I'm free.
We have one shot to make it, and I have one shot to live the life I was meant to. Leaving Amarillo got into Austin Music Fest and everything is riding on this next week. This is our moment.
There’s only one problem. I have a secret...One that could destroy everyone I care about.
His name is Gavin Garrison and he's our drummer. He's also my brother's best friend, the one who promised he'd never lay a hand on me. He’s the one person I can’t have, and yet he’s the only one I want.
One week.
One hotel room.
I don't know if I can do this.
I just know that I have to.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Style Staples: The Boyfriend Jean

If you've become a little tired of wearing the same ol' skinny jeans and want a more casual, cool-girl vibe, why not try this season's boyfriend jean trend. I just actually bought my first pair! For a long time I thought I would never be able to pull off the look because of my curvier figure, but this season there are a ton of slimmer cut boyfriend jeans on offer that have a more feminine, skinny fit. Hell, some even have a bit of stretch so that they hug your shape and don't give you a sad, droopy booty, because that's just never in style.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cris Reviews | N.Y.C. HD Trio Eye Shadow

A few weeks ago Rite Aid was having a 40% off sale on New York Color (N.Y.C.) products and I decided to pick up a little eye trio to try. I think the price came out to around $1.50 or so. I chose the trio in Central Park Plums because I thought the colors would be great for a Fall eye look and I hoped the plum crease color would make my brown eyes pop. When I saw it in the drugstore it reminded me a lot of the Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Trios which I'm an enormous fan of. I expected the same level of pigmentation and smoothness but sadly, this was just not the same.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall Style Staples: The Statement Tee

In the past I've vocalized how uncool I thought printed t-shirts were but this past year my opinion has definitely shifted. Although I still don't like shirts with giant printed logos or branding, I've become quite partial to statement tees, or rather, t-shirts with a slogan or message clearly printed across them. I think they pair so well with both skirts and jeans and add a casual, relaxed vibe to dressier pieces.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

September Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal & Review

Although we're already half way through October, I received my September Ipsy bag late in the month so I haven't been able to show you all what I got. I wanted to make sure I was really able to give you my opinion on the items rather than just putting up a "here's what I got" post. The September bag's theme was Street Style, which worked perfectly during Fashion Week season. Now, let's get to the goods. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Fix Cracked Eye-Shadows

The other week while getting ready for work, I accidentally upended all of the contents of my eye makeup drawer onto my bathroom floor. Yep, the whole shebang. Suffice it to say, there were some casualties, and one fatality. Three of my eye-shadows were cracked, and though I was a little pissed at having to clean everything up before leaving for work, I wasn't too fazed because luckily I know how to fix them. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Blog Tour + Giveaway | LEARNING THE ROPES by T.J. Kline

Rule #1 - Don’t lose focus...
Barrel racer Alicia Kanani has had a long road to the top - and she’s not quite there yet. Finances have always been tight, and in the glitz and glam world of professional rodeo, that means that second best is probably the best she can hope for. With the National Finals coming up, she’s certainly not looking for a pair of cowboys to distract her.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ulta Skincare & Makeup Haul

Last week, Ulta was having a crazy sale, so I picked up a boat-load of things (though most of them were gifts for other people). My package just came in today and I couldn't wait to show you all what I picked up.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blog Tour + Giveaway | WHAT A WALLFLOWER WANTS by Maya Rodale

In the third novel in Maya Rodale’s charming Wallflower series, London’s Least Likely to Be Caught in a Compromising Position finds temptation in a devilishly handsome stranger . . .

Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret.

Everyone knows that she’s the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season-but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What I've Been Watching | September 2014

I know this is called 'What I've Been Watching' but since I watch A LOT of TV shows for my podcast, many of them not so great, I'm going to stick to just my monthly favorites.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monthly Beauty Favorites | September 2014

For me, September began with some awful skin. I was breaking out all over my face and my skin just looked horrible. I decided to go back to some old favorites which I had stopped using (mostly due to sheer laziness). The Clarisonic Mia Skin Cleansing Brush (which I somehow forgot to include in the picture) is something that has been hyped from here to high heaven, but I'm here to tell you that all of it is true. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cris Reads | Whatever It Takes by Dixie Lee Brown

Assassin Alex Morgan will do anything to save an innocent life—especially if it means rescuing a child from a hell like the one she endured.

But going undercover as husband and wife, with none other than the disarmingly sexy Detective Nate Sanders, may be a little more togetherness than she can handle. She's used to working alone, and no man is going to change that—not even a man who makes her heart pound and her defenses crumble with just a touch

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Weekly Rundown #1

I had a few new things come my way this week that I wanted to let you all in on. Most of this is just a sneak peak, and I'll definitely give you a more detailed review in the upcoming weeks.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Products I've Used Up

Some of my favorite beauty videos are usually empties videos because you get a look at what bloggers really use on a daily basis and a more reliable review. Here are some of the products I've completely used up lately.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The 5 New Fall Shows I'm Most Excited About

Now that all of the Fall premieres are gearing up, I thought I'd let you in on some of the new shows I'm most excited to see. I watched all of the new Fall TV trailers and read all of the synopses for my TV podcast, Antenna Heads and I've handpicked the 5 shows I'm most looking forward to.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cris Reviews | Freeman Charcoal Mask and Peppermint & Plum Foot Scrub

A month or so ago, I picked up a few Freeman products at Rite Aid for $4.29 a piece. They intrigued me. I don't think I've used anything from Freeman since I was...13 or so, but the descriptions sounded up my street. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fall Style Staples: The Printed Pants

When it comes to Fall fashion, or dressing in general really, I like to try and keep things as effortless as possible. I'm the kind of person who is usually running late (mostly because I love to sleep) and being able to just toss a few basics together in the mornings makes things so much simpler. That said, I don't like to look basic.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

One of the most hated aspects of many a beauty routine is cleaning makeup brushes. That said, it's also one of the most important. Think about the residual makeup that builds up on your brushes. Would you want to keep putting that on your face, day after day? Hell no! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Ultimate Brow Product

The road to loving my brows has not been an easy one. There were those awful years when I over-plucked to try and balance out my brows and improve their shape.When I learned the beauty of a fuller brow, there were the days where I had to look like a yetti so that I would give them a chance to fill in before getting them threaded. And then there was that moment of epiphany when I realized that girls with amazing brows aren't just born with them, they cultivate them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Etsy Love | Frostbeard Studio

While trolling Etsy, as one usually does, I had the idea that I wanted to highlight some interesting Etsy shops I've come across in my random perusing of the site. Sometimes I stumble across an item, fall in love, check out the seller's store, and just become overwhelmed by the awesomeness. In such instances, I'd like to share my finds with you all so you can reap the benefits of my many hours spent window shopping.

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