Witch Balls

Witch balls are an old Pagan tradition.  They can be used to ward off negative energy, to bring in specific energies, or simply for decoration.  They look beautiful around the house or hanging by the garden.  

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I ordered empty, fillable ornaments from Amazon to use and filled them with items I already had laying around my house.  

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Depending on what you want to use your witch ball for, you can customize them with anything.  For example, I wanted one to bring in positive energy and love, so I filled it with herbs such as Jasmine Flowers and Rose Hips.  Every herb has a magical purpose.  If you want to learn more about them before creating your witch ball, I recommend paganwiccan.about.com.  This is where I get a lot of information about Wicca.  There are also a lot of great books in the New Age section at the Barnes and Noble with tons of information about herbs and flowers, such as The Magic Of Flowers by Tess Whitehurts and The Only Book of Spells You’ll Ever Need by Marian Singer, Trish MacGregor, & Skye Alexander.

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When I’m satisfied with the contents in my witch ball, I close the ornament and tie a piece of twine that I will use to hang it with, through the holes on top and cut it to my desired length.

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Before I tied the two ends of the twine together, I slid a Pentagram charm on for decoration.  You can of course use any type of charms you want 🙂

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I made my next witch’s ball as a decoration and dedication to the Pagan Sabbat, Mabon.  Mabon is the Autumn Equinox, a celebration of the second harvest when people prepare for the dark half of the year.  It falls on September 21st and is known for being a time of balance, because the time of light and dark are equal.  There are many ways to celebrate this Sabbat.  I personally enjoy decorating for Sabbats, so I filled my witch ball with items that remind me of the Autumn Equinox.  Such as corn, grass, and these little Fall decorations I found at Michael’s.  You could also use charms that symbolize balance such as a Yin and Yang, the Sun and the Moon, or anything you want really.  

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I then decided to add a skull, because I personally like dark decorations and Samhain is only about a month after Mabon.  Samhain is the modern Pagans’ Halloween.  It falls on October 31st, and is a time where the veil between the living and the dead is raised, so communication is easier.  It’s also a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed.  As you can see, theres always a holiday or a reason where a witch ball can be useful or festive to hang around.  It’s super easy, they’re appealing to look at, and they can have a lot of symbolism if you want them to.

You can fill them with a handful of your favorite crystals, flowers, herbs, anything you want that makes you happy.  There are no rules.  Enjoy!

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Simple Summer to Fall Transition Makeup

With the warm weather of Summer, I’ve been trying to wear a little less makeup.  I like to do a simple shadow with no wings or falsies.  Summer is all about a great tan so I like to emphasize the color in my cheeks with my 3 favorite face products. I highlight my cheeks for that warm dewy glow with Radiant Aluminizing Drops by Sephora, using a  damp Beauty Blender after applying my foundation.  I then use my “Bahama Mama” bronzer by The Balm Cosmetics and go in with my blush definition 74 brush by Sephora to blend out a soft contour.  Then the tiniest bit of Warm Soul mineralized blush by M.A.C on the apples of my cheeks with a blush brush.  I used a Morphe blush brush that came in a travel set.  These 3 products together create such a beautiful look.  I’ve been wearing this combo on my cheeks for weeks and I can’t get enough of it.  It’s a great natural look for summer and will transition well into Fall.

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The rest of the makeup on my face is super easy.

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Before everything, I primed my face with the Stila Illuminating Beauty Balm, beauty blended the Dewy Smooth Maybelline Fit Me foundation in the shade 120, and concealed under my eyes with the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in the shade 15, also using my beauty blender, then set that with my Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.  Then I went in with my cheek routine.

*I like to use concealer and setting powder on my lids as my way of priming them before applying eye shadow, it creates a nice clean blank slate for the shadow*

For my shadow, I used a little bit of that Bahama Mama bronzer on a Real Techniques blending brush and applied it all over the crease and blended it out, just to add some color but keep a natural, warm look.

I don’t like to change my eyebrows, I just fill them in a little with my Lorac Creamy Brow Pencil in the shade Dark Brown, and brush through them with eyebrow gel by The BrowGal. 

My go-to mascara for months has been Benefit’s Bad Gal Lash on my top lashes and Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced on the bottom lashes.  I find that the Better Than Sex Mascara is more delicate and easier to apply on the bottom lashes. I then go in with NYX’s white liner on my water lines to really open my eyes up.

I complete the look with my Lorac Lip Lustre Gloss and lightly spray my whole face with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.  This setting spray kept my makeup on all day at Coachella, I swear by this stuff. 

 

 

 

 

May Boxycharm Review

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This month’s Boxycharm is my favorite so far.  It includes 6 amazing products including a full-sized Makeup Geek blush!  

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I am so happy that this is a full sized blush in a compact with a mirror, as opposed to the blushes that are magnetic and made for adding to a palette.  I feel like I’m getting more of a bang for my buck and it’s easy to throw in my bag and travel with.  This blush, in the shade “XOXO”, applies so smoothly and creamy, it’s super pigmented but not harsh.  Even though it looks like a really bright pink in the compact, it appears more warm and subtle on the skin.  It blends incredibly well, I’m never disappointed with Makeup Geek products.  A few months ago I purchased the Z Palette and filled it up with a bunch of their shadows, I’m obsessed.  All the shadows create an airbrushed finish because of the fine milled powder.  This is my first blush by Makeup Geek and it’s just as amazing as I expected.  

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I love Ella+Mila! This nail polish company is vegan, PETA certified, cruelty-free and made in the USA.  They have insanely beautiful colors categorized by collections with clever names.  This color, “Pistache” is from their BonBon collection, which includes other cute names related to desserts.  I recommend looking at their instagram, @ellamilapolish, and their website, ellamila.com.  They share a lot of trendy nail art photos and their polishes are affordable.  Use 2 layers to get a really nice finished result, it doesn’t chip easily and dries quickly.  I can’t wait to get my hands on some more colors.  

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The other day I wrote a list of products that I need, and on that list was a new eye brow gel.  Good thing I didn’t buy one because this appeared!  I was using the Makeup Forever brow gel, and it was honestly too thick and clumpy and you could actually see the gel in my eyebrows.  But this gel by The BrowGal is super smooth and only takes one glide across my brows to do the trick.  The formula is nice and thin, very easy to use and does not interfere with my brow pencil or smudge it.  I used my Lorac brow pencil to fill in my brows with this gel over it, I’ve had it on all day and went for a run and they stayed as perfectly as they were when I first did my makeup this morning.  

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I love pretty pink lip liners.  This one by Starlooks is called “charmed”.  Love this shade and especially love the name 🙂  It’s very creamy and applies so smoothly.  This is the smoothest liner that i’ve ever used.  I lined my lips with it, contoured them and then filled them in a little.  I used the Sephora Nude Pink Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color over it, which is a little lighter and goes really well with this liner.

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This Purminerals Double Ego eyeliner in the shade “Madagascar” is a really interesting dark earthy, olive color.  I’m used to wearing jet black liners, so this is a nice change and creates a softer look.  One side is a regular pencil liner which is great for the water line or used to create a smoky eye.  The other side is a liquid liner with a really nice sharp tip.  It applies precicely and evenly for the perfect cat eye.  I love this liner and I’ll be using both sides on a regular basis.  It comes in other fun colors like purple and turquoise. 

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I love travel sized perfumes, I leave them in bags and in my car for emergencies.  This Catherine Malandrino Romance de Provence fragrance smells like a floral shop.  I love warm vanilla scents but I do like the way this smells and will keep it around for Spring and Summer. 

 

 

 

DIY Soy Aromatherapy Candles

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 I am definitely guilty of spending way too much money on candles.  I’ll spend between 15 to 20 dollars on a good scented candle.  But now I’m trying to save some money, and I realize that I can make my own candles and create custom scents by mixing essential oils.  Not only do they smell amazing, but they actually have some mental and physical health benefits from the oils.  Plus they’re completely natural.  These soy candles only have two ingredients and they’re super easy to make.  You can make them as strong or as weak as you want, and they could be used as a gift or home decor.

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What you will need: Heat proof jar or candle holder (I used a candle holder from Michael’s and tea cups from Teavana), a Pyrex measuring cup for melting the wax, a pot to heat the water for the double boiler, a spatula, a wooden skewer, a dropper, wicks, soy wax flakes, and any essential oils you would like.

*Make sure you have separate tools for candle making that you do not use for cooking, and when you clean up, scrape excess wax into the garbage, not the sink or it could clog.

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I ordered a 10 pound bag of organic soy flakes from Amazon for 21 dollars.  I have spent that much on one 8 ounce candle!  I filled up my Pyrex with flakes and placed it in a pot filled just about half way with water.  I used low heat on the stove so the water is steaming, not simmering.

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As the flakes melt, the wax reduces down significantly so I just keep adding more flakes until I reach my desired amount of melted wax.  I use my spatula to give the wax a stir when I see it turn to liquid at the bottom. 

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When the wax was all melts and there are no longer clumps, I dip the metal part of the wick in to act as glue and stay in place on the bottom of my candle holder, then use the skewer to hold it down as the wax dries and keep it centered. 

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I bought a wick centering tool from Michael’s which also keeps the wick in place as I pour the wax in.   You could also use a clothing pin to do this.  After I pour the wax in, I place the remaining wax in the Pyrex back into the warm water to keep it melted for the next candle. 

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Once the melted wax is in the holder, I add the oils.  I chose a few of my favorite scents which include Rosemary, Lemongrass, Lavender, and Jasmine.  I bough the Rosemary oil from Amazon, it came in a 4 oz bottle for 13 dollars.  I bought my other oils at a spiritual store in Rockville Center, Long Island called A Time For Karma.  

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For my first candle I mixed Rosemary and Lavender and it created a really pretty, relaxing scent.  Rosemary oil helps sharpen your memory and Lavender has balancing and soothing benefits.  If you look up the health benefits for each type of oil, it could help you choose what you want to use to make your aromatherapy candle.  In the winter when my nose is all stuffy, I use Eucalyptus oil to help clear my sinuses.  I added about 6 drops of each oil, but if you want a stronger scent you can add more.  After I add the oil I use my skewer to gently stir it in evenly.

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For my other candles, I followed the exact same steps but used tea cups that I received as a gift and added different oils.  I made one candle with Jasmine and Lemongrass.  Lemongrass has vitalizing and cleansing benefits and Jasmine is calming, relaxing and sensual.  My last candle was pure Jasmine because it’s my favorite scent. 

I hope you love these candles  as much as I do <3

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February Boxycharm!

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I love February.  Valentines Day is one of my favorite holidays and Spring is getting closer.  Plus, another month means another boxy!  This months boxycharm is filled with some really great quality stuff.  I love to look at the description card that gives a quick run-down on the products and includes the retail price.  It’s exhilarating to calculate the total cost of my boxycharm and to know I only paid $21.oo 🙂 This box’s products add up to be $133.99! So anyway, let’s get to it…

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I’ll start with my favorite of the month, the Beauty For Real Blush & Glow Stick.  This 2-in-1 blush and highlighter stick has two sides, one blush and one highlight, which makes it a great little tool to carry around in your purse to touch up your makeup anytime.  The highlight color is an absolutely stunning mix between a pale blush pink and a light bronzy copper.  It is extremely flattering and really gives your face a gorgeous dewy, goddess glow.  It can be used pretty much anywhere on your face from, cheekbones, to nose, or all over, even on your lips for a frosty look.  Both colors on this stick have a wonderful, creamy texture that is easily blend-able and applies smoothly to any type of skin.  You can blend it with a blush brush or with your fingers.  I use the PRO small blush brush 74 from sephora and blend in circular motions up my cheeks and cheekbones for both colors.  The colors do not appear too harsh or too pigmented, which is great because there is less pressure when applying the makeup, you really don’t have to worry about messing up or adding too much.  The blush is a more medium, shimmery pink.  It’s beautiful for any season and can be used for a dress up affair, or a casual day running errands for a subtle pop of color.  I like to use these colors after contouring with my nyx contour stick, adding pretty pinks and shine to my cheeks.  I love this stick on a nice sunny day to really show off the glow.

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The Real Tree For Her 10 ML Travel Sprayer is a really yummy fragrance with “the sweet scent of pomegranate, a hint of persimmon and an exotic scent of orchids”, according to the description.  I usually only like vanilla scents, but this fragrance is so delicious and refreshing.  Even though it is very floral and fruity, it has a subtle warmth to it.  I have been wearing it all day although it faded a bit, I can still smell it.  I prefer my perfumes to be stronger, but it’s a travel size so I can easily keep it in my purse and re-apply at any time.  This is definitely a great scent for spring, it reminds me of blooming flowers and sunny days.  I might even buy another bottle after I use up this travel sized one.  If you love floral fresh scents, this is definitely for you.

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The Ofra Banana Powder Godet is an all-in-one face powder that I find very useful.  Ofra is a really great professional cosmetic brand with great quality and trendy products.  This banana powder can be used as a powder concealer, face powder, and eye shadow.  It comes in a little metal pan that you can place in a magnetic makeup palette.  I used it to set my liquid concealer.  The texture is a nice, light powder with good pigmentation that is not too heavy, harsh, or dark.  I brushed a little under my eyes using my e.l.f blush brush, and it created a very smooth, airbrushed finish and brightened up my eyes, while preventing my concealer from creasing.  I have also used it as a shadow, it makes a great transition color for blending, and can be used on the lid paired with a darker color to your crease.  This powder is a very versatile beauty product that is very convenient to have.

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OMG this Shray Ms. Amazing Facial Mask is currently on my face and it’s so cold and moist!  Definitely caught me off guard and woke me up!  I was very nervous before I put this on my face because my skin is super sensitive and so are my eyes, but I don’t feel any irritation at all, in fact, this feels pretty good.  It smells super fresh and nothing is burning or tingling.  Once you get passed the cold, it’s quite relaxing.  You could kick your feet up for a little and you’ll feel like your in a spa.  All you have to do is unfold the mask, stick it on your face, and peel the paper off, then leave it on for 10 minutes.  This is a lot easier and cleaner than a clay mask or anything you have to wash off.  I just peeled it off and I gotta say, my skin looks a lot healthier than it did 10 minutes ago.  The redness in my cheeks reduced and my skin feels very soft and hydrated.  Once it’s off all you have to do is pat your face dry with a tissue.  Very quick, easy and super sensitive, you could use this mask every day.  I will definitely be buying more of these!

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In the theme of February and Valentines Day, this boxycharm came with a heart shaped body wash buffer called, Spongelle You Have My Heart On A String.  It smells amazing and looks adorable, but unfortunately, I have super sensitive skin and eczema and can only use organic soap from Trader Joes.  So since the packaging is so adorable, I’m going to pass it on to a friend.

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When I wake up in the morning, my eyes are super dry and need serious hydrating.  I tried out this Freeze 24/7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum about 20 minutes before I applied my usual makeup.  The texture is light and not oily at all, it applies smoothly and a little goes a long way.  I didn’t feel any burning which is always a good sign for me, and it doesn’t have a smell.  It absorbed into my skin very fast and didn’t leave any residue.  This serum slightly reduced the puffiness under my eyes and really did help make my makeup application easier.  I will definitely use up this whole bottle.

That sums up my February Boxycharm!  I am very happy with my products and can’t wait to use them again 🙂

November Boxy Charm Review

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Boxy Charm is a monthly beauty subscription box and for 21 dollars a month, you receive 4 to 5 random full sized beauty products.  Some of the products that I have gotten are really great quality and I use them almost everyday.  If I’m not crazy about a product I just pass it on to a friend.  But for the most part, I’m really happy with everything.  This month’s box came with a blush, leave-in hair treatment, lip stain, a concealer brush, and an eye serum.

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This blush is by the brand Studio Makeup, in the shade “Wildflower”.  It’s very soft and applies very easily.  It’s not too pigmented, which I like for blush because I can slowly add more without looking like a clown the first time the brush touches my face.  This rosy pink is perfect for any occasion and is very soft and natural.  I’m a fan of this product and will be using it a lot.

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The above product is by the brand Cool Way, and it’s a leave in treatment to hydrate your hair.  I really do love the texture and the smell, but I didn’t see a huge difference in the appearance and feel of my hair when it put it in.  I’m just going to stick with my Josie Maran argan oil, it’s pure magic.

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Okay, seriously love this lip stain.  The shade is called “All Of Me” and it’s such a pretty pinky rose taupe.  The texture is so smooth and buttery, one layer is all you need.  I’m definitely going to be wearing this a lot and trying more products by this brand.

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This adorable little concealer brush is by the brand Luxie and it’s Number 211.  I love this because it’s pink and rose gold, but it’s also 100% cruelty-free, vegan, and paraben-free.  It’s great for getting in creases with concealer but could also be useful for highlighting eyebrows, applying eye shadow under the bottom lash line, or packing on eye shadow to the lid.

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I haven’t used this eye serum enough to see results yet, but so far I really like it.  Oh, and it’s real cost is $65! I did a little research on the site and I was sold with the description of their products, “pūr~lisse’s unique patent-pending secret is the Lotus Lupine Peptide Complex. This age-prevention complex formula combines powerful antioxidants, Chinese plant extracts, French marine plants, vitamins, and peptides to keep skin beautiful, healthy, and youthful. Lotus Lupine Peptide Complex contains 5 key ingredients: each one’s value supported by scientific studies.”  I’m going to keep using it and see how it goes!

 

Headbands

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Headbands have so many magical powers.  During the Fall and Winter, they are one of my favorite accessories.  I personally love when my hair is pulled out of my face, it’s just more feminine and refreshing.  I mean, what’s the point of a flawless contour if your hair is covering it?!  During these cold seasons, I absolutely adore sparkly, festive headbands, especially paired with a pea coat and booties.  So girly and elegant.  But sometimes when I’m just lounging in yoga pants and need to run errands, I throw on a more casual bohemian, thick headband.  It’s effortless but gives me a more finished look and adds an attractive focal point to my outfit.  I naturally have really thick and crazy hair, so on a bad hair day where it’s a little greasy or frizzy, I have always relied on a good headband to hide my roots and still put everything in place nice and neat.  I just recently purchased these headbands from Forever 21, H&M, and Ulta, they were all under ten dollars.  I’ve bought headbands from these stores years ago and they have held up really well.