3 Quotes in 3 Days Challenge: Day 3

The last quote I’ve chosen is from Sabrina, my favorite movie, starring Audrey Hepburn. Sabrina is a young, impressionable girl and the daughter of a chauffeur. She falls in love with the son of her father’s employer, and then goes to Paris to attend school. She comes back brimming with life, elegance, and confidence. She says:

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Fashion || We’re on our way

Title inspiration from Lana Del Rey’s unreleased song “On Our Way,” an oft-repeated track on my iTunes. Love it, love it.

Here are some clothes I wore recently:

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Love this high-low top from Forever 21! It’s simple with a trendy touch. Paired with my I-wear-these-with-everything Jeffrey Campbells!

top from Forever 21, necklace from Weezie D. boutique, shoes from Jeffrey Campbell (villainssf.com) and elephant purse from Alice + Oliviasignoff

A glowing review of Edward Rutherfurd’s ‘Paris’

Rarely do I get so excited about a book. Rarely do I see all of my wildest expectations come true. I really, really loved Paris. And I’m just as excited to read every single other book by Edward Rutherfurd.

18730321Paris is built on a simple concept first established by author James Michener. The author creates several families and then tells their stories, and the stories of their ancestors and descendants over a certain period of time. Intertwined in the narrative are major historical events and people that make the reader feel like they’ve actually experienced all of this firsthand.

From the minute I opened Paris on a plane back to New York from San Francisco earlier this month, I was hooked. Despite the dozens of characters, often with the same names, and the jumps between centuries (the first hundred or so pages go from the late 1800s to the early 1300s), this book is so very easy to read. It’s so easy to get lost in, to get wrapped up in the narrative, because Rutherfurd is one thing: a master storyteller.

Each anecdote, if you can call them that, features such lively and well-developed characters. I couldn’t believe how much I got wrapped up in one 80-page story and how much I grew devoted to the characters. I loved each “flashback” so much that I was so sad to see that episode end, but with each chapter, my attention was back. I never, ever felt bored reading this book and at almost 800 pages, I can’t even express how rare that is.

I explored the building of the Eiffel Tower and I walked around Monet’s lily pond, and I felt like I had lived through the horror of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. I’m on the point of gushing here, folks.

People who love stories, read this book. People who love character development, read this book. People who love history, definitely read this book. It descends into gimmicky often, but you become so enthralled that you don’t even care. Read this book if you’re planning a trip to Paris or if you’ve always wanted to. It’ll make you get to know the City of Light on an intimate, personal level.

Five Freaking Stars. signoff

Eyeliner Throwdown || ELF vs. MAKE UP FOR EVER

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In case you haven’t already noticed this about me, I am a hardcore fan and enthusiastic proponent of winged eyeliner. Since I was 14/15, I’ve been winging, and in that time, I’ve tried half a dozen products, both cheap and not-so-cheap, to help me achieve that coveted and perfect cat-eye.

First I used the eyeliner pen/marker thing, which was quickly replaced by a combination of thick eyeliner brush and one amazing product: Sephora brand $10 creme eyeliner, which I used loyally for years until it was, tragically, discontinued last year!

What to do? I wandered around my local Sephora, helpless to stem the waves of grief. I shopped around for alternatives, only to find that most of the products, which were each priced at least $20, were all far too little product to warrant the price. The product that provided the most amount of eyeliner for the price was the $23 Make Up For Ever brand cream eyeliner.

And it was amazing. Unlike the Sephora brand, it had a chalky yet smooth texture that was very, very deep black, did not smudge or budge, and as an added bonus, came off my eyeliner brush so cleanly that daily washing became redundant. Make Up For Ever was my friend.

Until my sister let me try her E.L.F. cream eyeliner, which she bought for a whopping $3. So, with my MFE eyeliner pot sadly dwindling, I decided to pit these two products against each other and see which one came out victorious.

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Price

First things first: the price difference between these products has got to be mentioned. At $23, the Make Up For Ever pot is more than twice what I have usually spent on eyeliner. On the other hand, the $3 ELF version is ridiculously cheap and comes with its own brush (which I tossed, because it’s crap). The low price of the ELF product is automatically a huge plus, even if it does turn out to fail spectacularly to the MFE. So…let’s see if the Make Up For Ever is worth that much!

Amount of product

ELF: 47 grams or .17 oz.

Make Up For Ever: .24 oz

So, the ELF product gives you about half the eyeliner that the Make Up For Ever product does. So an ELF pot the size of the Make Up For Ever pot would still only cost $6.

Color

IMG_1635MAKE UP FOR EVER on the top
ELF on the bottom

The Make Up For Ever is blacker than the ELF, but only slightly so. I did not notice a huge difference in the deepness of the eyeliner on my actual eyes, and it was only apparent when the lines are side by side like this. The Make Up For Ever line is just a teeny bit dry because the pot is old, so that’s why the color looks faded in this photo. However, it is blacker.

Lastingness

Forgive the fake vocabulary. To test “lastingness,” I rubbed off both of those lines with coconut oil, my preferred method of eye makeup removal. Here are the results:

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As you can see, the Make Up For Ever stayed on more through the removal process than the ELF. One day, I also did one eye with each product and kept it on for something like eight hours. Both products seemed to have held up the same way, so no difference there! (I don’t have pictures of that, sadly.)

Texture

I noticed with the ELF product that the color was less even, making it so that a more careful application was necessary to avoid streaks. However, the Make Up For Ever formula is slightly too thick, making application harder. The ELF formula is silky and smooth, and not too heavy. It streaks more, but it’s easier to apply, basically. The thinner ELF formula is also essential to create that thin, sharp wing I love so much.

Actual Wearability

The question here is, which would you actually buy? Based on price, I am definitely leaning toward the ELF product. The Make Up For Ever is superior, but only in small ways. I am not a professional makeup artist, nor am I even a beauty blogger or an authority. For my purposes, and for most women like me, the ELF product is great and for that price, downright amazing. 

Winner: E.L.F.

This was fun. ;)signoff

Summer Reads & Recs || Plane & Beach Reads!

We’ve all seen the displays at our bookstores: whole tables weighed down with books with a placard that says “Beach Reads” or “Summer Reads” (not to be confused with summer reading). The general idea is that beach reads are fun, easy to blow through and frivolous. Plane reads are similar: something like a romance or a thriller that will help melt away those long, uncomfortable hours spent on a plane. And that’s true, but why should plane or beach reads be limited to easy reads?

During summer, I like to re-read, or challenge myself with something more difficult or a classic, because I know I have more time to devote to it. But I’m also one of those people who plonks down on a beach chair and talks to no one for hours. But if you’re like me, check out these stellar beach/plane/summer recommendations!

90619Little, Big by John Crowley

This book was recommended to me by my sister, who has been pestering me to read it since I can remember. Since she also recommended I Capture the Castle to me, which is one of my Top 10 Favorite Books of All Time, I tend to trust her.

Little, Big is magic realism, about a man called Smoky Barnable who travels to another world to marry a woman named Daily Alice Drinkwater. According to my sister, it’s both elegantly written and strange, filled with unexplained magic. Sounds like just my type.

 

 

7190The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Of course I want to read this one! I also have the sequel, Ten Years Later that I thrifted for like a dollar last year. Score.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7603Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi 

Ever since I actually read Lolita, I’ve wanted to read this book. It’s pretty well known and it’s tucked away in one of my shelves, but I want to take the time to read it. It’s about a teacher who secretly teaches this book to her students in Iran, and a true story. 


 

 

 

103575751Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Ach, I’ve been wanting to read this one for over a year, but it’s daunting. I also didn’t much care for Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, the only other novel I’ve read by him, so I’m strangely reluctant.

One of these days I’ll pull this one off my shelf and hunker down, and what better time than the dog days? Long, warm nights and long books go so well together!

 

 

 

17262100The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

I was a big fan of Lahiri a few years ago and even though I much prefer her short stories (especially Interpreter of Maladies) to her novel, I have to read this one. It’s also somewhere in my bookshelves ready to be dusted off and read.

So what are you all reading this summer? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

 

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