Wednesday, September 30, 2015

An Ode to the Perfect Bronzer

I've been blogging about makeup and fashion pieces for the past three years and I've never been as dedicated to a product as I am to The Body Shop Honey Bronzer. The bronzing powder in 03 Matte is the most buttery soft powder I've ever used. It adds the slightest amount of warmth to the face that looks natural and lasts all day long. For an everyday look, I like to apply a light layer of tinted moisturizer, bronzer, mascara, and a tinted lip balm. It doesn't look like much in the pan, but the product is the best mix of warm and cool tones where it can be used as both a bronzer and a contour. I can't see myself ever using a different bronzer and I'm so thankful that I found this two years ago!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sephora Holiday Beauty Palettes

Sephora is bringing out a lot of beautiful eye and face palettes for the upcoming holiday season that will be perfect for stockings and small presents! The Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette isn't brand new but has three beautiful highlighters and three matte bronze/contour shades for all skin tones. It features different undertones and finishes that are unique and work well on top of cream products or on their own. The Sephora Ombré Obsession Eyeshadow Palette is a really interesting concept that may be complicated to apply but looks so beautiful! There are some lovely neutral shades for everyday and bright fluorescents that are perfect for a more adventurous look. I'm so excited for the release of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit that houses three of the brand's famous highlighting powders, two blushes, and a new bronzer. I've never tried any of the ambient powder collection, but have heard only amazing reviews. At $80, this is a splurge, but six powders for the whole face is well worth the money! Last up is the Olivia Palermo x Ciaté London Smokey Suedes Eye Palette, which is a brand new installment in the OP x CL beauty range. This palette has gorgeous eyeshadows for the fall including a rich plum and forest green. I'm in love with this palette and can't wait to get my hands on it!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden | Vlog

I present you all with yet another vlog highlighting my love for Billy Joel! My family and I were lucky enough to see the "piano man" in concert while we were in New York City. The concert was held at Madison Square Garden and it was incredible! Gavin DeGraw, who is another one of my favorite musicians, was the opening act and Richie Sambora (legendary guitar player for Bon Jovi) made an appearance as well. The whole concert was unforgettable and I'll always remember playing my harmonica with my favorite musician live!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Baylor vs. Rice Recap

The Bears looked as strong as ever coming off a bye week against the Rice Owls on Saturday September 26th. After slow starts against SMU and Lamar, Baylor picked up the pace early in the first half while playing the Owls to extend the nation's longest home winning streak of 17 games. QB Seth Russell threw 12/16 passes for 277 yards and 6 TDs before being swapped out in the 3rd quarter for freshman Jarrett Stidham. Russell's 3 INT against Lamar were replaced with 0 INT against the Owls. The RBs played incredibly as well with 5 different players scoring TDs including Lynx Hawthorne and Ishmael Zamora who had their first scores of the season. Corey Coleman scored 3 TDs of his own, amassing 100 receiving yards (and earning my vote for this year's Heisman trophy). The defense really stepped it up with sacks from Shawn Oakman, Andrew Billings, Taylor Young (so happy to see him back in the game), and Jamal Palmer. The Bears stepped up their game this week and are hoping to defend their title of Big 12 Champions as they play Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium on October 3rd.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

5 Things

1. Searching for a Scout and Samson (temporary) replacement

2. The best food after a game

3. Me and JJ during the Baylor vs. Rice game

4. My Saturday afternoon view

5. The best weekend in Waco companion aka my dad

Friday, September 25, 2015

On Not Knowing What I Want

I love football. I also love music, fashion, writing, traveling, those less fortunate, and living in Hawai‘i. I used to think that based on my hobbies and interests, I would know exactly what I would want to do in life. I've wanted to be a fashion designer, makeup artist, professional blogger, musician, NFL linebacker (I know, this one is a stretch), and sports or fashion journalist, but nowadays I have no idea. I don't know know if I want to continue on my path toward a journalism degree. Although I love to write, I don't think I could spend all day writing articles. I've thought about switching over to communications and doing television work, but I don't know if I would enjoy that either.

Having a plan and a set goal for my life has been consistent ever since I was a child. It's really ironic actually that the most lost I've ever been started when I became an adult. Maybe it's because I don't have the mind of a child and now it's clear that I've been dreaming too big. When does one decide to have smaller, more attainable dreams? I've always been taught to dream big and reach for the stars. But unfortunately, my stars have become quite dim. It's hard to decide what to spend the rest of my life doing while I'm only 18 and I haven't experienced much of anything yet. For a while, my biggest dream has been to have my own band and travel the world as a multi-instrumentalist. How do I make that happen? I have no idea.

Ah yes, this existential crisis arose out of my worry over what major to choose. How trivial is that? I'm still young, I'm healthy, and I have stable family and friends. I'm one of the lucky ones. And yet, this constant reminder that I have no direction is what keeps me awake at night. Don't choose the wrong major. Study hard. Pass your classes with flying colors. Make the most of your time at Baylor. I don't want my time here at this beautiful university to be wasted. I want to remember what it was like to be curious and excited about my future. I want to have the biggest dreams and plans for my life and learn how to sleep well again. I guess these things just take time.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Overlook on Hudson B&B

There's nothing I love more than Billy Joel and photogenic landscapes (and football and my pets and online shopping and breakfast food) and my overnight stay at Overlook on Hudson combined three of those things! The house once belonged to my favorite musician Billy Joel in the 70's in which he wrote the iconic "New York State of Mind". My family and I were lucky enough to stay in the house for a night as we drove from Boston to New York City! The owners of the B&B were so kind and hospitable as they welcomed us with open arms (and brownies). My kind of people! They provided us with four separate rooms, two bathrooms, homemade breakfast, and the most beautiful view of the Hudson River. Staying in Billy Joel's room on the second floor of the house was surreal and so inspiring! I highly recommend this B&B for any New York stay!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Current Luxury Wishlist

I'm always shopping online and I've recently found a handful of fashion and music items that I'd love to add to my collection. The Dvf Secret Agent Bag in Leather and Croc is the most beautiful accessory to come off of the S/S '16 runway and I can't wait to get my hands on one. Dvf is known for her dresses and other clothing pieces, but her handbags were what kept the audience excited during the runway shows. The unique part of this collection of purses is that the front 'pocket' zips off and becomes a clutch. Buyers can purchase different colored clutches to zip on their secret agent bags and have the option to take them off whenever they please. The Johnson Blues King Harmonica Set isn't very pricey but is arguably the most exciting item on this wishlist. It includes all 12 keys of harmonicas and could be so useful now that I have my harmonica neck holder! I love the idea of owning a harmonica in any key so I can play them with any song I want. Another musical instrument that I'm lusting after is my own Yamaha Oboe. I taught myself how to play the Oboe during Christmas of last year and I instantly fell in love with it. Since I was borrowing one from my high school, I sadly had to give it back at the end of the year and I haven't been the same since (a little dramatic, I know). I would be ecstatic if I owned my own Oboe to practice on because it's one of my favorite instruments to play! Last on the list is the Dior 'So Real' 48mm Sunglasses in Palladium/Crystal, which isn't a new piece but is so beautiful! These stunning sunglasses have been seen on all the celebs and fashion bloggers as of late and for good reason! The glasses have a unique shape that's universally flattering and I'm a huge fan of their reflective lenses. They cost an arm and a leg, but Christmas and my birthday arrive at the end of the year and hopefully will these sunglasses!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Easy Everyday Makeup for School

I'd like to rewind back to the summer time when I registered for classes and decided that 9 am was a great time to start the day. I've had such a hard time waking up for my morning classes and having to roll out of my bed (more like try not to fall out of the lofted bed) is a daily struggle. Adding in making my hair and face look presentable and my morning to-do list keeps growing. Fortunately after wearing makeup for six years and writing a beauty blog, I've practiced and (semi) perfected an easy everyday look to wear to school.

The first step I take in my quick makeup routine is slathering my face in moisturizer. I love the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel because it hydrates my skin without making me greasy throughout the day. After I moisturize, I apply a mattifying primer like the Makeup Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer to keep shine at bay and help the rest of the makeup to last longer. I haven't used a foundation in months because I've been loving the Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Ochre for beautiful coverage with a light texture. This is the best foundation-like product I've ever used for everyday! It's not a full-coverage product by any means but makes the skin look even and natural. While I wait for my base to sink in, I like to apply the NARS Pro Prime Eyeshadow Primer on my lids to ensure that the shadows last all day. To achieve this golden bronze eye look, I only apply one shadow to my eyes. How easy is that? I love the MAC Woodwinked Eyeshadow applied with fingertips to speed up the process and pack on the pigment (alliteration intended). I then coat my lashes with the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, which most of you may know, is my holy grail mascara. Applying lashings of this product really opens up the eyes and only takes 20 seconds! For a little brow TLC, I quickly fill in the fronts and tails with my Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette. We're almost done so stick with me here! I conceal any blemishes and bags with the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, which I love so much and set my skin with Bare Minerals Mineral Veil. This is the key step to the whole regime! This powder looks completely natural and fresh on the skin but keeps my t-zone matte and everywhere else glowing! It's a genius product that all skin types would love. To finish up the face, I bronze my skin with The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in the shade 03 Matte and dust on a bit of the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Blushing Bride for a pink glow. Last but not least is a slick of my favorite lipstick in the form of MAC Plumful! This is the perfect shade for the in between summer and fall season and adds a nice bit of color and shine to the lips.

I know that may seem like a lot of steps and products for the early morning, but I promise it takes no more than 10 minutes to apply everything (tried and tested as I ran late for my journalism class). I hope this is helpful to anyone who's working or going to school and is looking for an easy and effortless everyday look! I guess I should head out to my next class now...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Picking A Purple Polish

I'm not one to usually wear purple anything but when I saw this polish, I knew I had to pick it up. Essie Lapiz of Luxury is a beautiful cool toned purple nail polish that goes on opaque and lasts up to a week without chips. I love this varnish specifically because of its intense color payoff and because it looks amazing against a tan. Some purple shades can be too light or too dark, but this polish is the perfect mid-tone that isn't distracting or too bright. I've been sporting this on my fingers and pairing it with Essie Guilty Pleasures on my toes for a nice summery contrast!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

30 Days In College

I've successfully completed a month of college! I arrived in Texas on August 14th and have been at Baylor since the 17th. It's been a big transition from Hawai‘i customs, music, and culture to that of the Lone Star state, but I'm doing okay.

I am taking five classes that I really enjoy (for the most part) and the work load isn't too hard to manage. I have some excellent professors who have genuinely taken an interest in me and my work. My least favorite class of the moment is French, which is so difficult! I should have taken Japanese. Oh well, we'll just see how the rest of the semester goes. The campus is so beautiful but I haven't had time to explore the different buildings and spots that could be great for studying. I got lost on the first day of classes, but I've quickly found my way around and have differentiated between the similar looking brick buildings. So far, I've enjoyed studying and doing work in my room in the evenings but an outside study spot could be helpful! My roommate and I have also become good friends and hang out throughout the week, which is so wonderful. I'm thankful that I live with someone who has similar interests and gets along well with me and yet has her own set of friends and hobbies.

Band has been a fantastic way to meet new people and I don't know what I would have done without it. Although I was dreading joining college band, I'm so grateful that my dad pushed me to join for the year. The first day of pre-season was horrible and I wanted to quit but I'm glad I stuck it out! I've made some amazing friends through it and get free tickets to the football games, so I can't really complain! Of course, my favorite part of the games is when we welcome in the football players and I get to see Shawn Oakman and Andrew Billings (and every other player that I love aka the whole team).

Although I'm genuinely enjoying my time here, I'm starting to get to the point where the homesickness is hitting me. I know that's normal especially since I'm in a completely different environment but sometimes it's a little rough. I miss being in my own home with my family and friends, eating local foods, playing with my pets, going to the beach, going hiking, and even being at Kamehameha. I'm lucky to have so many people and things to miss and look forward to seeing in December. I'm also really blessed that my best friends and I Skype almost every night and don't intend to drift apart. Staying in touch with family and friends is really important during college and I'm so thankful that I have people in my life that care about me.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this mess of an update on how I'm doing and how I'm coping with my transition into university. I truly am having a great time and am so blessed to be at the school I'm at. I can't wait to see how the rest of the semester plays out and to go home during Christmas time!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

5 Things

1. Miniature college girl

2. Trying (and failing) to like mexican food

3. Waco gems

4. Photos of the greatest people I know

5. Care packages to keep me sane

Friday, September 18, 2015

Two Steps to A Long Lasting Base

I've been properly using a foundation pair in order to achieve flawless and long-lasting skin. In the Texas heat, it's easy for makeup to slip and slide around but with this duo, my base stays put all day long. Starting off with primer, the Makeup Forever Step 1 Skin Equalizer is a mattifying primer that fills in pores and fine lines without adding grease to the skin. I apply a pea-sized amount to my t-zone so that the extra oil on my skin is soaked up all day. This primer has a weird silicone texture that takes some getting used to but once it's applied, it's not going anywhere. On top of the primer, I like to wear the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer in the shade Ochre for an everyday base. Although it's a tinted moisturizer, the product gives a medium-buildable coverage that feels light on the skin and protects from UVA and UVB rays. The tinted moisturizer and primer work really well together to stop oil from seeping through the skin and they last all day long without patchiness. They're both amazing products that I highly recommend!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sleeping Over Billy Joel's House | Vlog

I've been a huge fan of Billy Joel since I was a little girl and while we were in New York, we were able to spend the night in his former home! The house was turned into a Bed and Breakfast by a lovely couple who maintained the property well. It was a dream come true to spend the night in the home where Billy Joel wrote "New York State of Mind" (one of my favorite songs ever) and rest in the place where he once lived. I hope you enjoy this vlog!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

J. Crew Plaid for Fall

J. Crew is one of my favorite clothing brands and they always nail it when it comes to their seasonal collections. Although I don't wear plaid shirts that often, I've been inspired to pair one with a silk top and denim skirt or with trousers and strappy sandals. These four options from J. Crew are all affordable and are the perfect addition to any wardrobe during the fall!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Noelle Listens | September 2015

Tornado by Jónsi

North by Sleeping at Last

In My Veins by Andrew Belle

The Devil's Tears by Angus and Julia Stone

West by Sleeping at Last

You're Not Alone by Saosin

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Fashion Show of my Childhood

Ever since I was a little girl, fashion was a huge part of my identity. I loved venturing into Neiman Marcus and touching all of the "grown up clothes" before I knew how much they actually cost and watching Project Runway (to my mother's dismay; she was always wary of the R rated language and content). All of the clothes I saw were beautiful and made any woman look like a princess. Now that I'm older, I've noticed the simplicity of a gown or blouse slowly disappear as the Jeremy Scotts of the world have taken over. Fashion wasn't as easy as it used to be and shows became boring and too avante garde for my taste. It was only when I saw the Dvc Spring 2016 collection that I felt transported back to the days of my childhood when everything was beautiful and inspiring. Diane knows what looks good on a woman and what is and isn't wearable. The whole collection is full of gorgeous gowns, jumpsuits, and dresses inspired by the designer herself in the 60's. Each model wore teal shadow, neutral blush, and flowers in their hair to give homage to the floral generation. I can't wait to get my hands on these pieces for the spring!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Baylor vs. Lamar Recap

Image courtesy of Baylor Athletics

The Bears played their first home game of the season against Lamar and overcame four turnovers to beat the Cardinals by five touchdowns. Junior QB Seth Russell connected with Junior WR Corey Coleman for four touchdowns to set a school record. Junior RB Shock Linwood rushed for 130 yards and three TDs and Sophomore RB Johnny Jefferson rushed for 121 yards and one TD of his own. Seth Russell completed 23 of 34 passes with 342 yards but miscommunication errors led to his four turnovers in the game. An uneasy Bears defense allowed the Cardinals to rack up 31 points of their own causing the frustration of DC Phil Bennett. However, the Bears were able to come back from a scary first half and exploded in the second to defeat the Cardinals in McLane. Baylor vs. Rice will be played at McLane on September 26th, at 2:00 pm.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

5 Things

1. One of the hardest goodbyes (I just really love my dog, okay?)

2. Aloha, Hawai‘i

3. Texas is wild

4. I love the stadium more when it's not 100 degrees

5. Food with friends is the best

Friday, September 11, 2015

Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

Although I love wearing makeup in the morning-early afternoon, it makes me want to rip my face off at night. Foundation, eyeshadow, heavy mascara, etc can begin to feel heavy and limits what I can/can't do to my face throughout the day (e.g.:not rub my eyes, delicately scratch my nose). The Simple Cleansing Micellar Water poured on a couple of exfoliating cotton rounds saves me from ruining my face after a long day. It feels and smells just like water, but has the heavy duty formula of a cleansing oil. I love using the micellar water as a one-step cleanser in the mornings because it doesn't need to be washed off the face and it's easy to use. I highly recommend it for all skin types and especially those who sometimes hate makeup yet blog about it!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Noelle Eats | Peter Luger Steakhouse

Whilst my family and I were in New York, we decided to eat dinner at one of the most iconic restaurants in the city- Peter Luger Steakhouse. The restaurant is located in Brooklyn and houses some of the most delicious steak I've ever eaten. There were eight of us in my family's party and we all tried different dishes that were incredible. Dad and I shared a steak for two, mom tried the ribeye, and Megan ordered an amazing steak as well. Some of the sides we ate were broccoli, french fries, onion strings, and creamed spinach. We also got their thick cut bacon! I almost forgot that crucial piece of information (I know, how could I forget?) BTW: typing the list of food is making my mouth water as I stuff my face with cookies in my dark dorm room. The waiters were all very attentive and the restaurant felt classic. The steak I ate was cooked perfectly and I still wish I stuffed the leftover bread in my purse before we left but I guess I decided to act like a civilized lady that night. If you ever are in the Brooklyn area, please go to Peter Luger and order every item listed above. Two-three pieces of bacon per person seems like a good idea as well. Don't forget to take the bread!
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