Monday, November 4, 2013

October Favorites? Splendid!

In my time of employment limbo, I found myself watching a lot of videos on YouTube, specifically beauty videos.  I started by watching tutorials for products I had or hairstyles I wanted to try, but I found myself watching countless videos of vloggers' monthly favorites.  For some reason I find them kind of fascinating.  I think it's interesting to see how products are featured by many different people one month and completely ignored the next.  Anyway, with the big fat move, a lot of my stuff was packed up for a couple weeks, so I definitely found myself reaching for some things over and over.  These are my favorites from the month of October.

Hair - Macadamia Natural Oil Hair Masque
Every beauty blogger and vlogger I've read/watched in the last year has mentioned this product.  It's a deep repair treatment that rebuilds hair and improves elasticity and shine.  It's kind of pricey for a hair product, so I was skeptical to buy the giant tub at first.  While browsing the shelves at Ulta one day, I found a trial size foil packet of the mask, which I thought was great.  I love being able to try a generous sample size of something before committing to a full purchase.

I definitely think this product has helped my hair feel healthier.  It combats frizz without weighing my hair down.  I use it once or twice a week after shampooing and conditioning as normal, and I've noticed significantly less breakage at the ends of my hair.

Make up - Benefit Erase Paste in 02 Medium
Be it genetics or sleep deprivation, I have some major dark circles under my eyes.  I recently tried a roller ball style under eye concealer, but when I tried to blend it in, the makeup often turned white and just looked plain weird.  I've been using the Benefit Boiing concealer on the rest of my face for a few months now, and I had heard great things about Erase Paste.  I once again found a mini size in Impulse Aisle (you know, the kiosks with the tiny sizes of everything right by the registers) at Ulta, and thought I would give it a shot.

I was nervous to use it at first, because it's a very salmony pink color.  I had no reason to worry though because the pink counteracts the darkness under my eyes to blend out to a more natural skin color.  I do need to set the concealer with powder so it doesn't settle into the creases under my eyes, but I'm having much more success than with the previous products I've tried.

Nails - OPI San Francisco Collection: Haven't the Foggiest
I've alway had great success with OPI nail polishes, and I love this color.  The silver is shiny without being full of chunky glitter.  It applies beautifully and finishes almost like chrome.  I applied two coats to my nails (along with base coat and topcoat) the Thursday before we moved, and the only reason I had to take it off 7 days later was because I snagged a nail, and it took a big chunk of lacquer off my nail.  I knew it would only get worse as we finished moving.

Skincare - Boscia Luminizing Black Mask
I've heard great things about the Boscia brand in general and the Black line in particular.  Once again I was able to find a trial size of the Luminizing Black Mask (are we seeing a trend yet?) in a trio with the Brightening White Mask and the Cooling Blue Mask.  All three are peel off masks which can be a little weird.  In fact, I was removing the Brightening White Mask while talking to Stacey last night, and she had to look away because it looked like I was peeling off my own face, apparently.

I liked all three masks, but the black mask was my favorite.  It left my skin feeling clean, my pores were minimized, and it wasn't drying as some purifying masks can be.  Now I'm even more interested in trying out the other products in this line - especially if I can get them as samples!

Kitchen/Food - Gimme Some Oven's Hummus Crusted Chicken
I've been trying to consume more vegetables - plant life in general, really - lately, and I saw the Hummus Crusted Chicken recipe from Gimme Some Oven on Pinterest.  Hummus comes from chickpeas which are plants, so that's close enough for me!  The recipe also involves roasting some veggies with the chicken breasts, so that's good too.  I have a weird relationship with hummus.  I like it, but I don't think I had it for the first time till after college, so it's still kind of a new food for me.  Because of that, I remain skeptical of it.  This chicken singularly changed my mind about hummus.  This is the best chicken recipe I think I've ever made, and I've made a LOT of chicken.  The hummus creates a great coating for the meat (I wouldn't call it a crust, even though it's titled that) which keeps all the juices in, creating a tender and flavorful dish.  I made it twice in October, and both times, it was cooked perfectly.  I'm usually concerned about undercooking poultry, and this dish didn't even require extra time in the oven.  Of course, I can't leave well enough alone, so I did sprinkle some panko crumbs over the coating to give it some extra crunch.  I highly recommend this recipe.  It's super simple to make and completely delicious.

TV - The Mindy Project
If you're not watching The Mindy Project on Fox, then I'm not sure we can be friends anymore.  Mindy Kaling's show is in its second season, and every episode leaves me telling Stacey that I just love it so much.  I adore the Mindy Lahiri character in all of her simultaneously self-aware and delusional glory.

I love that Mindy's character is fun and silly and over the top while still being smart and good at her job.

I love the supporting characters in the series, too.  I'm especially happy to see Adam Pally making appearances this season.  I was heart broken that ABC cancelled Happy Endings, so I'm really happy to have him back on one of my shows.  Also, Pastor Casey?  Amazing.

Music - Ray LaMontagne "You Are the Best Thing"
I realize I'm late to the Ray LaMontagne party, but at least I showed up eventually!  I actually listened to this song because my friend Adam mentioned it on Twitter.  As a trumpet player, I'm a sucker for a good tune with a horn section.

Listen to/buy the track here.
This song reminds me of music from my parents' generation, and that's a very good thing.  LaMontagne's voice is so raw and soulful.  I like a lot of his songs I've listened to, but I keep coming back to this one.

Book - Rob Sheffield's "Turn Around Bright Eyes"
I've read Rob's two previous books, "Love is a Mix Tape" and "Talking to Girls about Duran Duran", and I enjoyed both quite a bit.  I first started reading his books because I recognized him as one of my favorite people on the VH1 "100 Greatest..." shows.  His books are autobiographical, and he doesn't hold much back.

Buy it on Amazon
I really admire how thoroughly he incorporates music into his books.  It's clear that music truly is his passion.  "Turn Around Bright Eyes" focuses on the importance of karaoke in his life and relationship.  It's kind of a strange concept, but he makes it work so well.  There's a chapter on the Beatles that is just superb.

Place - New Apartment!
We are finally all moved in to the new apartment!  Of course we're no where near finished unpacking, and we don't have a couch, but we're all in!  Slowly but surely we're making our place feel more like home.  Nearly all of the Ikea furniture has been assembled, and we're starting to get rid of boxes.  We both love the new place so far, and hopefully that won't change any time soon!  I can't wait to start having people over once we're more settled.

Misc - Keyboard shortcut: command + shift + T
Ever close a tab in a web browser and immediately regret it?  Command + shift + T will reopen the last tab closed.  One of the great things is that if the accidentally closed tab isn't the most recent page, you can keep doing it until you find the right one.  I've been using this trick a lot recently, because apparently I'm an idiot who keeps closing tabs I need to refer back to.

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