June Favorites

June 30, 2016

I can't believe we are already done with June, and essentially half way through 2016! I have a bunch of favorites for this month due to the end of the school year and the beginning of summer!


Fashion
Rompers: Once again I've become obsessed with rompers, as evidenced in my Graduation and Bahamas/Father's Day posts. They are so easy to wear and they are super chic.

Beauty
Pogo Balm: Since I've started using only cruelty-free products, I had to find a new chapstick. As I mentioned a few weeks back I love Palmer's flip balm, but I accidentally gave all of mine away and I couldn't find them in stores near me. I saw this lip balm at Target, and noticed that it was all natural and cruelty-free so I grabbed the true vanilla bean and I've fallen in love with it.

Food
GimMe Organic Sesame Seaweed Snacks: I love snacking 0n seaweed because it's not too filling and it's full of vitamins and minerals.

Postmates: This month I discovered that Postmates has come to my area! If you don't know what Postmates is it's an app where you can order food, among other things, from local restaurants and get it delivered to your house. For me, this is useful because there are few vegan options from places like Papa John's, so now I can order a wider variety of foods. If you sign-up for Postmates, use the code 4dqnh7 on your first delivery for $10 off!

Other
Music: I've mostly been listening to the same music as last month, with the exception of Too Good by Drake & Rihanna from Views and Running Out by Matoma & Astrid S. Lately, I've been loving Exchange by Bryson Tiller.

Books: I read A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams, which I enjoyed. It's kind of like a historical fiction drama, but they only historical part is that it's set in the early 1900's, I could easily see the same story being told now.

TV/Films: As for tv, I finally finished Private Practice this month. I really have enjoyed watching the show for the past few months, as I think each of the characters is so different and distinct from other characters I've seen on tv. Film wise I have 2 complete opposites, Finding Dory which was super cute and made my miss being a kid, and The Conjuring & The C0njuring 2 which is strange because I'm not a scary movie person but I really enjoyed these movies.

BoF Daily Digest: This month I subscribed to the Business of Fashion (BoF) Daily Digest which provides super interesting articles relating to the business/fashion industry every day. I love reading them when I wake up and learning a bunch of new, relevant information.

Videos: 2 random videos that I love are Amy Schumer and Anna Wintour Swap Lives from Vogue, and The Hollywood Reporter Close Up The Actresses feat, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Winslet, and more. The latter I watched on the plane ride home from the Bahamas, and I was so captivated the entire flight flew by. I love this series and I cannot wait to watch more! Last, but definitely not least, Summer Break! If you don't know, Summer Break is a mini-series on YouTube sponsored by AT&T following the lives of juniors and seniors in LA during the summer. Year after year, I get pulled in by this show and I'm super excited to watch season 4 unfold!



Thanks for reading this lengthy favorites post, I hope you enjoyed! Leave your June favorites in the comments below. Stay tuned, xo Lauren.


*This is not a sponsored post*

Kylie Lip Kit vs. NYX Lingerie Lipstick

June 24, 2016

A few weeks back I did a review of the Kylie Jenner Lip Kit, and since I've been wearing it a lot I got the idea from my friends and family to do a comparison with a similar, but less expensive product. A lot of Kylie Cosmetics doubters claim you can get the same product for a fraction of the price from brands like ColorPop and NYX. Since I've been going through an obsession with NYX lip products, I decided to purchase the NYX Lingerie Lipstick and do a comparison.

Packaging/Design

The products have an extremely similar design with the black top and clear bottom, so there is no clear winner here. I will say that since the Kylie Lip Kit comes in a box, all of the important info is written on the box instead of the lipstick itself so the packaging is a bit cleaner.

Application

I know there was lots of controversy on the brush of Kylie's lipstick, but the new, most recent version is my favorite. It's small and plush enough to apply lipstick w/o being too messy. As for the NYX Lingerie lipstick, the brush is longer and flatter, and the brush hairs are much shorter. I feel like the applicator gets super matted in the center which makes the application messier and less consistent across the lips. The NYX brush also feels less sturdy, so the clear winner is Kylie's lip kit.

Durability

For durability, I mean how long the product lasts, I just couldn't think of the right word. However, obviously Kylie's lipsticks have been tested all over the internet and they last all day, even longer than a day in fact. When I first received my package it was around 5pm, and of course excited me put it on right away. I wore it all evening even though I was just sitting around my house. I don't think I wore makeup that day or I just didn't take it off at night, because when I woke up the next morning Posie K was still on my lips. It obviously didn't look as fresh as when I applied it, but it was clearly still on my lips. To be honest, while I'm glad it doesn't go away after an hour or two, I'm not sure I love that it stays on as long as it does. On the other hand, the NYX Lingerie lipstick definitely doesn't last over 24 hours, but it lasts a few hours for me which is perfect, I prefer to reapply anyways to keep my lips looking fresh.
NYX Lip Lingerie ~ Bedtime Flirt

Wear

Although Kylie is quick to dispute it, many people feel that the Kylie lip kit is drying, myself included. As I mentioned in my original review, it's fine if you apply a good moisturizer before applying it, but since then I've noticed that even when I do this after 2 hours my lips feel like paper, smooth but definitely not moisturized. The NYX Lingerie lipstick does not feel like this at all. You can 100% feel like there is a product on your lips, and it's not sticky, but you can't really rub your lips together as smoothly.

Removal

As I previously mentioned, Kylie's lipstick takes some work to remove. I usually use a makeup removal round with my regular makeup remover, and the removal time depends on how long I've been wearing the lipstick. As for NYX Lingerie, if it doesn't come off naturally after a few hours, a wet paper towel can be used to remove it easily.

Availability

I think both brands have limited availability. The Kylie lip kit has a history of selling out within an hour, although recently Kylie has been increasing her stock. To get the Kylie lip kit you must be following her on social media to know not just when she'll be restocking her products, but which ones, and you must get online immediately if you wish to purchase it in time. You'd think that since NYX is a drugstore brand it would be easy to stop by and pick up the Lingerie lipstick, on the contrary, because NYX has so many products they don't stock them all in each drugstore. I went to 2 different drugstores and Target in search of this product before I went online to find a location that had it stocked.

Price

The Kylie Jenner Lip Kit retails at $29 but comes to $37.95 after shipping since it's only available online. The NYX retails for $7 and it still only about $8 after tax, which is about 1/5 of the price of the Kylie Lip kit. Granted, Kylie's lip kit comes with a lip liner, and NYX Lingerie does not, you could buy a lip liner from NYX and the price would still be less than half that of the Kylie lip kit.
Kylie Lip Kit ~ Posie K

Overall, the decision of which is "better" boils down to the individual person. As a senior in high school, I'm not a huge fan of spending $40 on a lipstick that I don't wear every day because the color isn't that natural on me, so I prefer the NYX Lingerie. However, if you prefer a bold lip that stays on all day and don't mind paying a little more, then the Kylie lip kit is a much better fit. I don't regret purchasing the Kylie Jenner Lip Kit; I do wear it often and get compliments on it, I just feel like the NYX Lingerie fits my lifestyle better.

I hope you enjoyed this (extremely) lengthy post, leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite liquid lipstick is! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

Bahamas/Father's Day 2016

June 20, 2016

This is our family's 4th year in a row celebrating the summer in the Bahamas, and our 2nd year spending father's day here. In honor of father's day, we spent the day soaking up as much sun as we could in the plethora of pools housed by Atlantis (see cool GoPro vids on my Insta soon: @laurennalstonn)!


In preparation for our trip, I made a few purchases, my favorite being this off-the-shoulder, striped romper from Urban Outfitters. You may have been able to tell from my graduation outfit that I'm obsessed with off-the-shoulder right now, and since stripes are totally in the for summer, and rompers are super easy to wear ~ this piece is a must have (a no-brainer really).

Although it's hard to see in the photos, I paired the romper with a simple gold constellation necklace, my orange espadrille wedges, and my favorite french braids. I wore this outfit to explore the marina village, as well as father's day dinner at Nobu.

I hope you enjoyed this post, leave links with your favorite rompers in the comments! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

*This is not a sponsored post*

Beauty Hack: For Whitening Teeth

June 16, 2016
I always hate looking back at photos and seeing how yellow my teeth look or having to whiten them in photos. Dental hygiene is super important, and even though I brush and floss every day my teeth aren't always a white and bright as I would like. Crest White Strips and similar products can be costly, so I found a way to whiten my teeth for free!

A lot of people who use this trick mix the baking soda with their toothpaste to whiten their teeth, and while this works, I've found a better technique. I used this trick on prom night as well as graduation, and I brushed my teeth with my regular toothpaste, then coated my wet toothbrush with baking soda, then used mouthwash. Completing the steps in this order provides the best possible result. 

I like this trick because most people have baking soda in their home, so no matter where I am as long as I have a toothbrush I'm all set! Leave me a comment letting me know if this works for you, or what your favorite beauty hacks are. Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

Graduation

June 12, 2016

Yesterday was my school's graduation and since lots of my friends were graduating seniors I showed up to support them and see them for possibly the last time in a while. I saw this romper on Lulu's website a few weeks ago and I knew it would be perfect for the event!

I paired my new romper with my Kendra Scott Rose Quartz earrings that I wear for all special occasions (and non-special occasions, they're just my favorites) as well as my gold Kate Spade watch that I wear everyday. As for my shoes, I wore a simple pair of wedges. My black crossbody is from Forever 21.

I love the detail on this romper as well as the fact that it's easy to through on with wedges and appears to be super fashionable and put together. I'll definitely be wearing this romper a million more times in the summer!

Thanks for reading, let me know in the comments where your favorite place to get rompers is! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

*This is not a sponsored post*

Vegan What I Eat in a Day

June 8, 2016

I have officially been vegan for 3 weeks now, so I wanted to share with you a recipe for each meal of the day!

One of my favorite things about becoming vegan has been that I've been cooking more lately. I never cooked before because my mom made all of my meals that weren't cereal or PB&J, but since my diet has become more restrictive I've been forced to discover and create meals on my own. I'm not saying I spend hours in the kitchen each day, but when you cook for yourself you have a much greater appreciation of food!

Breakfast: Vegan Pancakes
So this recipe I found in The Teen's Vegetarian Cookbook while I was babysitting last week! I made them over the weekend, and they were a bit messy because it was my first time ever making pancakes, but they were delicious none the less.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup soymilk, rice milk, or nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
2 tablespoons liquid sweetener, such as maple syrup, apple juice, etc. (I used maple syrup)

1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
2. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and mix just until moistened; a few lumps are okay. (Don't overbeat, or pancakes will be tough.)
3. Heat a nonstick griddle or frying pan over medium-high flame until a few drops of water drizzled onto it forms beads and bounces around. Pour 1/2 tablespoon of oil (I used PAM) onto the griddle and heat until hot.
4. Pour batter onto the griddle to form circles about 4 inches in diameter. Cook the pancakes for a minute or 2 on one side. When bubbles appear on the surface, slide a spatula under the pancakes and flip it over. Cook the pancakes on the other side for another 1 or 2 minutes.

Lunch: Vegan Chicken Salad
A week ago I went over to Weaver Street Market in Carrboro, and I discovered their Vegan Chicken Salad. It tastes just like regular chicken salad, except it uses soy nuggets instead of chicken! I'm absolutely obsessed with it and I've had it for lunch 2x in the past week.

10.5 ounces Delight Soy! nuggets, slightly thawed
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup chopped curly parsley

1. Place soy nuggets in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
2. Place in a bowl and combine mayonnaise, salt, pepper, celery, and parsley. Stir to fully combine.

I'll admit, this recipe my mom made for me and I loved it! It's honestly so tasty and the recipe makes a lot so you can eat it for a few days. I found it on Pinterest, and if you follow my recipe board (@laurenalston12) you can see other recipes I try!

For the Coconut Rice:
  • 1 ½ cups dry jasmine rice
  • 1 (15 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
For the Salad:
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 red cabbage, shredded
  • 1½ cups shredded carrots
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cashews, finely chopped
For the Ginger Peanut Sauce:
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Lime wedges

1. Rinse the dry rice well until the water runs clear.


2. In a medium-sized pot, mix together the rice, coconut milk, garlic, salt, and water Cover and bring to a boil.

3. Once the pot reaches a rolling boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

4. After 30 minutes, turn off heat and let sit (with the lid on) for an additional 10 minutes.

5. As you wait for the rice, make the peanut sauce.

6. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter and honey. Microwave for 15 seconds, or until the peanut butter thins. Stir well. Add the ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Stir again. Thin as desired with water.

7. Fluff the rice and combine it with the chopped vegetables and cashews. Drizzle with a bit of the Ginger Peanut Sauce and taste-- you most likely will not need to use all of it. Serve with lime wedges.




Desserts are so hard to find vegan because I feel like everything has either milk or eggs. However, since finding this recipe on Pinterest I've made these brownies 3 times!

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup non-dairy milk or water (I used almond milk)
1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl
3. Add wet ingredients, mix well until blended
4. Pour batter into a 9x13 pan and bake for 25-30 min, until the top is no longer shiny

Those are 4 of my favorite vegan recipes, let me know in the comments below if you would be interested in seeing another post like this in a few weeks and also link your favorite vegan recipes for me to try! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.

Kylie Jenner Lip Kit Review

June 5, 2016


I've tweeted about it (follow me on twitter) and mentioned it in my May favorites, but I finally got my hands on my Kylie Jenner Lip Kit!  I ordered Posie K, which is a magenta/pink and is perfect for my everyday look. I know that a lot of people want to read reviews before purchasing so today I'm providing you with an in-depth review of my lip kit!


The lip kits retail for $29 not including the $8.95 for basic 3-6 day shipping. I placed my order on May 13, and it shipped on May 16. It was delivered to my mailbox on May 18, but I didn't receive it until the following Wednesday due to problems with USPS, not Kylie Cosmetics.  I would consider this good timing for processing and delivery as I would have received my lip kit 5 days after ordering it.

As far as the formula for both products I'm highly impressed. I'd heard lots of critiques that the liquid lipstick was drying, which made me nervous since I already struggle with dry lips. I agree that if you just apply the lip liner and lipstick you will experience more dryness than normal, but if you apply a super moisturizing product such as vaseline before putting on Kylie's lipstick then that problem is eliminated.


The packaging is great quality from the black & white box that it comes in, to the tubes of the lipstick and lip liner themselves. The lipstick tube is a solid, clear material that feels extremely durable. The lip liner is a black with a matte finish also feels durable. My only qualm over the product is that they lip liner is not retractable and must be sharpened.  I have a strong preference for retractable lip products because it's so much cleaner and sleeker to access at all times.

Last, but not least I want to discuss the wear of the product. As advertised, the product does not fade or wear off when eating or drinking. I've noticed on numerous occasions that Kylie's lip products last me an entire school day, which cannot be said for other lipsticks I've used. It also lasts all night, which I discovered after falling asleep without removing my makeup. When I got up in the morning my lipstick was still as prominent as when I fell asleep. While I'm impressed, I'm not 100% sure that this is a good thing. It definitely takes some effort to remove the lip product with makeup remover, which is why I do not wear it every day.

Overall, I think I'd give Kylie's Matte Liquid Lip Sticks & Lip Liner a 4 out of 5. The point off comes from the price, limited availability, and fact that the liner is not retractable. I major deterrent of this product is the price and availability, so in comparison, I'm going to try the NYX Lip Lingerie products and do a post comparing the two sometime soon. I do, however, enjoy this product and hopefully, I can get my hands on Koko K in the next restock!

I hope you enjoyed this post, leave a comment letting me know if you've tried the Kylie Lip Kits, and which one is your favorite! Stay tuned, xo Lauren.
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