August 8, 2019 – Birb (OOTD #542)

On August 8, I saw a lot of birds.

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For a while there, birds were my favorite animals (but cats are more my taste now). There was no particular type of bird that was my favorite during my bird phase — just whatever had wings and could fly (sorry ostriches and penguins). I’m 100% a girl who would have gotten a tattoo of birds in flight on my collarbone back in 2013 or whenever that was trendy. Bonus points if it comes with an inspirational quote about wanderlust.

I’ve never had a flying dream in my life, though I’ve always wished I could have them. Flight as a concept is just so cool to me — like, you just flap your wings and away you go. Maybe that’s why I like traveling in airplanes so much.

The main feature of both islands I saw were the birds. There were some sea lions and cool rock formations too, but the birds were really the main attraction. They were literally everywhere — in trees, on the ground, in the air, in the water. I guess that shouldn’t shock me — of course birds are populous on a pair of uninhabited islands. There are no humans to bother them and few predators to hunt them.

Because of this, they’re not nearly as skittish as most birds and will let you walk right up to their nest if you don’t make any loud noises. I got more cool bird photos on this day than I think I’ve ever gotten in my life.

The babies were all so big and fluffy! I wouldn’t have been surprised if you’d told me that they were full-size, and the blue-footed booby babies just looked like giant cotton balls for their entire lives. They’re the sort of animal that you just want to reach out and pet — you can’t, obviously, or else you’d ruin the whole point of not disturbing them so that they don’t become skittish in the future. Still, they were so cute. I’m having a hard time deciding whether the bird babies or the sea lions were the cutest creatures I saw on my trip — and yes, that includes the giant tortoises, which I’ll write about in an upcoming post.

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to the Galápagos Islands this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!


Outfit 1:

Top: Zara

Coat: Forever21

Jeans: Hollister

Outfit 2:

Dress: Forever21

May 19, 2019 – Roaming Rome (OOTD #503)

Packing for Rome was so hard.

I’ve never had to pack for such a long period of time before with only suitcases to put my things into. Packing for Notre Dame is different; I have storage boxes and suitcases and a whole car trunk to load them into. For Rome, as I had to fly, all I could bring were my suitcases.

I brought two suitcases to check, plus my backpack. Naturally, I didn’t start packing until the night before my flight left, so I didn’t really have the time to put together intricate plans for outfits.

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And besides, I didn’t even know how to plan. I knew it would be hot since I was going to be there May-July, but I didn’t know how hot it would get. Do Romans wear shorts and t-shirts, or are they always stylishly conservative? What kind of dress would my supervisors at my internship require?

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As you probably could’ve guessed from the aforementioned fact that I didn’t start packing until the night before my flight, I never bothered to research the answers to these questions.

And so the packing strategy I ended up going with was something like this — clothes I knew I liked and that I knew would be versatile. For example, I packed this plaid Zara blouse, which I figured could be dressed down with ripped jeans (as you see here) or dressed up with a blazer for work.

And I think it worked! For the most part, I think my attire was appropriate for my European audience, who on the whole, dress a lot nicer than Americans (no offense). Does that make me feel like I fit in? Yes — but I’m not sure how I feel about that. One thing I like about the US is that dressing nicely helps you to stand out in a crowd of basketball shorts and hoodies — you can’t easily do that when everyone around you dresses up too.

The solution? I guess it’s time to start dressing more like the “lazy American.” The next OOTD on LEDJ — leggings, a Victoria’s Secret hoodie, and Birkenstocks.

Sponsored link: Check out these extreme distressing black denim skinny jeans on Dresshead.com!


That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life in Europe this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Top: Zara

Jeans: Hollister

REVIEW: BeautyBlender Bounce Kit: Part 4, The BeautyBlender Solid Cleanser and Final Thoughts

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.


This is part four of a four part review. For part one, on the BeautyBlender primer, click here. For part two, on the BeautyBlender sponge, click here. For part three, on the BeautyBlender foundation, click here

And now, as a final mini-review: the soap.

I didn’t really like this. It’s a solid block, like a bar of soap, and it just doesn’t work well for cleaning the sponge. You kind of have to grind the sponge against the soap in order to get any lather going, which I’m not positive isn’t bad for the sponge in the long run.

With a sponge that’s meant to absorb and dispel liquids, you’d think a liquid cleanser would be the best option. In fact, I’m pretty sure BeautyBlender has their own liquid cleanser, and so I don’t really know why anyone would have use for the solid one. I can see a solid soap working great for a brush with bristles because you can rub the bristles into the surface of the soap, but there’s no easy way to do that with a sponge.

My favorite way to clean my sponges is simply to use a touch of hand soap, squeeze it into my palm, and then roll the sponge around with the soap in water until I get a later going. Then, I squeeze it out until the water runs clear. I may not wash my sponges (or brushes) as often as I should, but I can’t imagine that this solid soap bar is going to encourage me to do it more regularly. It doesn’t seem like it would make the process much easier.

In conclusion, I liked about half of the products I received. The foundation and sponge were great, if overpriced. The primer was hard to review with only a sample size, but I thought it was okay. I thought the soap was lame.

Thanks again to Influenster and BeautyBlender for sending me these products to review! I love switching up my fashion blog with reviews; it prevents things from going stale and gives me something new to write about. It also helps me to live out my lifelong dream of being a professional critic, à la the villain from Ratatouille.

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite sponges, primers, or foundations? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

 

REVIEW: BeautyBlender Bounce Kit: Part 3, The Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation

This is part three of a four part review. For part one, on the BeautyBlender primer, click here. For part two, on the BeautyBlender sponge, click here. For part four, on the BeautyBlender cleanser and my final thoughts on the whole set, click here.

That leads us onto our next review, the foundation. Of the four products I received, this was the one that excited me most. I already owned a similar sponge to the BeautyBlender, I wasn’t thrilled with the little foil packet primer, and soap is kind of inherently boring (more on that later). The foundation was the most unique item I received, if you ask me.

And I like it. It’s got a thick consistency, almost like a BB cream, which makes it buildable. It can be a little heavy, which is why you need the BeautyBlender sponge or a buffing brush to help blend it out. It’s not really one I’d recommend applying with your fingers. The color is a little orange-leaning for me, but most foundations are.

The coverage is medium-to-full, the consistency is buildable, and its claims to longevity are valid, if not magical. It lasted through a regular 8-hour day for me, though it was definitely looking kind of patchy at the end of the day.

The finish is described as “velveteen matte,” which I would very much agree with. It’s no Revlon Colorstay, but it’s far from having a dewey finish either. It has a creamy texture and a semi-matte finish, if that makes sense. I definitely wouldn’t wear it without a powder; it didn’t set well enough on its own for that.

I both love and hate the packaging. I love that it’s sturdy and chic-looking, and I love that there’s a switch where you can lock the pump to stop product from accidentally coming out (seriously, why don’t more products with pumps have this?). I think the little tray that you’re supposed to pump the product out onto is silly and gimmicky; I tried it once and I honestly can’t imagine using it again. I prefer just to pump the product out onto my hand, dot it onto my face, and then use the sponge to blend. By using the tray, you create an extra mess for yourself to clean up, which seems unnecessary to me.

Speaking of messes, what about the last product I received — the solid BeautyBlender cleanser? Click to go onto the last part of this BeautyBlender review series, featuring the BeautyBlender Solid Cleanser.

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite sponges, primers, or foundations? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: BeautyBlender Bounce Kit: Part 2, The BeautyBlender Sponge

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.


This is part two of a four part review. For part one, on the BeautyBlender primer, click here. For part three, on the BeautyBlender foundation, click here. For part four, on the BeautyBlender cleanser and my final thoughts on the whole set, click here.

Now, onto the sponge and the foundation: I really like these, the sponge in particular. I remember back when the BeautyBlender first became trendy on online beauty circles back in 2011-ish. It was a funny shape, expensive as hell for a literal sponge, and unlike anything anyone had seen before, but all of the YouTube beauty gurus were raving about it.

Back then, I bought a little knockoff sponge from CVS, which I still have (not with me here in my DC apartment, unfortunately, or else I’d provide a comparison photo). It was squishy, bouncy, and held water like it was supposed to, and it was half the price of the BeautyBlender. It was my favorite way to apply makeup for a while, before I discovered the RealTechniques buffing brush which changed my life forever.

So now, in 2019, is the BeautyBlender sponge worth it?

Eh…it’s worth it to buy an egg-shaped sponge, absolutely. There’s really nothing better than a wet sponge for liquid foundation application, if you ask me, if you have the time in the morning to wet a sponge and spend a minute or two sitting there and bouncing it on your face. It’s not a part of my daily makeup routine because it takes too long and I’m usually in a rush (hence, the buffing brush), but I like one for special occasions where I want my makeup to look really flawless.

For size comparison, here’s the sponge dry…

…and wet.

As you can tell, it really swells up with water.

I appreciate the BeautyBlender for being the first of its kind and totally revolutionary, but the thing is, you can buy similar makeup sponges from other brands. There’s no reason in this case to buy name brand, if you ask me. Go buy a knockoff. Like I said, the CVS generic brand one is pretty good (or at least, it was when I was in 8th grade and I first bought it). As I hear, RealTechniques has a comparable makeup sponge too.

So how about the foundation itself, the product that this sponge is supposed to complement? Click here to go onto the next part of this BeautyBlender review series, featuring the Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation!

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite sponges, primers, or foundations? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

REVIEW: BeautyBlender Bounce Kit: Part 1, The Leveler Pore Minimizing Primer

Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.


This is part one of a four part review. For part two, on the BeautyBlender sponge, click here. For part three, on the BeautyBlender foundation, click here. For part four, on the BeautyBlender cleanser and my final thoughts on the whole set, click here.

A half a year later, and I’m back with another Influenster VoxBox review!

My last one was way back in May 2019, back while I was still on Notre Dame’s campus. That literally feels like a lifetime ago now, at this point in August 2019. I’ve been all through Europe, a part of South America, a part of the Middle East, and moved into a new apartment in Washington DC in the span of time between those dates. I know only four months have gone by, but it seems so long ago!

I actually received another VoxBox in between the last one I wrote about and this one, but I never got around to posting a full review of it. The way Influenster programs work, you’re not actually required to write a review — all you have to do is take the brief survey in the end, and you’ll remain eligible to continue receiving boxes. I like to write the reviews, both for the sake of having content for this blog and because I think it helps me to get more boxes, but last time, I just wasn’t able to get to it in time. I mean, I was literally in Rome for most of the time the campaign went on; you’ll have to excuse me for not having a chance to write a review for a facial scrub.

But I’m back, with more time than ever (at least for now, until my internship in DC begins) and there’s nothing that would make me happier than to write a review for you. So let’s dive in to my latest Influenster package: a BeautyBlender package consisting of the classic BeautyBlender sponge, their Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation, The Leveler Pore Minimizing Primer, and BeautyBlender Solid Cleanser.

I’ll begin with the primer, as it’s the first product I put on my face. It came in this little foil sampler package which I was admittedly not impressed by. Look, I’m really appreciative that I was sent a full-size version of the foundation (a $40 value itself), the cleanser, and the sponge, but I’m really not a fan of receiving a foil sample that I could’ve received for free from a makeup counter and then being asked to review it, as if I could give a detailed, honest review for something I can only use two or three times.

But that’s beside the point — what do I think of the primer?

It’s nice. I’ve never used a tinted primer before, and part of me thinks it’s a nice thing (who says no to extra coverage?) and another part of me thinks it’s pretty unnecessary. The best primers, if you ask me, have correcting properties in addition to helping your makeup to go on smoother/last longer. And by correcting, I mean a correcting color — for example, using a green-toned primer to counteract redness. My normal go-to primer (Revlon Photoready) is pink-toned, to help with brightening. Your foundation is for matching your skin and concealing imperfections; you don’t need your primer to do that too.

I personally prefer a thicker, slicker primer than this one, but I know a lot of people don’t like the feeling of a heavy silicone-y product on their face. This one’s pretty thin and lightweight — good for avoiding heavy, cakey makeup, but bad for doing much to help your makeup glide on smoother. I didn’t really feel like my skin texture had changed much after application.

So how about the foundation itself, the product that this primer is supposed to complement? Click to go onto the next two parts of this BeautyBlender review series, featuring classic BeautyBlender sponge and the Bounce Liquid Whip Longwear Foundation!

Have you tried the any of these products? Or do you have any suggestions for your favorite sponges, primers, or foundations? Let me know your thoughts below!

That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, BloglovinTwitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

July 6, 2017 – Full But Fulfilling (OOTD #60)

London: Day 2


We headed into the city for the first time today, and I feel like we did a pretty good job, if I do say so myself.


We purchased travel passes for a week so we’ll be able to make it around the city via bus, train, or the Underground (it’s still very hard for me not to say subway, haha). Took the Greater Anglia train into Liverpool Street from Broxbourne, and from there, we can hop on the Underground to get about anywhere.


I love the Underground. It’s ridiculously easy to navigate – totally different from the subway system in New York, which is a mess that I’ve ridden plenty of times and still don’t quite understand. Another huge help is that I downloaded an app called CityMapper, which helps you decide what transport to use based on your location and where you want to go. 10/10 would definitely recommend – I don’t know where I would be without it!

Today was a pretty full day – we saw St. Paul’s Cathedral (didn’t go in because it cost like 20 pounds and we’re cheap), and then we got lunch at a place called Ask For Janice, where we heard they had some of the best crumpets in town.


I’ve admittedly never had crumpets before, so I don’t know how they compared to other crumpets, but they were really good! I’d definitely go back. Crumpets, if you haven’t heard of them, are basically small pieces of bread kind of like an English muffin that have been coated with about 5 cups of melted butter – terribly unhealthy I’m sure but also terribly tasty.


From there, we got back on the Underground to get to the British Museum for afternoon tea. Amanda and I both ordered elderflower, and it was absolutely delicious. Probably some of the best tea I’ve had in my life. And the little sandwiches and cakes – oh, it was all so amazing, and I was sad I couldn’t finish it all. The British Museum itself was also quite interesting, very warm and crowded though.


The rest of the day was spent shopping on Oxford St., where I very specifically wanted to see a Zara. I don’t believe we have any in the US (and if we do, it’s only one or two in a major city, none of which I live near), so I probably spent more time and more money there than I should have, but it was worth it.

And in the evening, we went to see Wicked on West End. Now, I saw Wicked many years ago in Louisville, when the US had a tour of it, and I fell in love. It was my first Broadway musical, and I was in awe of the talent and production that went into a show. The West End performance was no different – it’s probably been 10 years since I saw Wicked last, and yet I was still blown away. Plus, this time I knew the songs, so I was able to hum along a bit.

By the time the show got out, it was probably 10:30 in the evening, so we got the Tube back to Liverpool Station and then a train back home.

Like I said a very full, but also a very fulfilling day.

I’ll see you in the next one. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at lensembledujour@gmail.com!

Shirt: Free People

Skirt: River Island