Arielle's Best of 2012

In 2012 I was able to test several products. I love to see other blogger's and YouTuber's favorites of the year! So, here are mine!

If the name of the product is linked it goes to my review. The store link goes directly to the product page.

Palladio Herbal Foundation Primer//$11.99 //Ulta
This stuff is a dupe for Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. It helps my makeup last all day, plus the formula is very light.

This concealer is creamy but covers blemishes with ease. I love that it does not crease or become cakey.

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Foundation//$15.00//NYX website
Another dupe, but this time it's for Make Up For Ever HD. This foundation leaves my face looking fresh and flawless.

If you want a flawless finish to your foundation, you must pick up one of these. I was so impressed by how much better foundations look after using these!

E.L.F. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzer in Turks & Caicos//$3//E.L.F. website
I love to contour. The combination of these two is perfection!

NYX Stay Matte but Not Flat Powder Foundation//$9.99//Ulta
In combination with my NYX HD Foundation, my face has looked better than ever. This helps bump up the coverage and set my foundation.

Eye primer
I cannot say enough good things about this primer. It is a dupe for Urban Decay Primer Potion at a fraction of the cost. My eyeshadow now lasts all day, where before it was just hours.

If you want an eyeliner that stays put all day, this one is your best bet.
This mascara bumps up the volume and length of my lashes. I have never seen them look so good!

Eyeshadow Palette
This is the year for the dupe! This one is dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. It has every neutral shade you could need.

Clinique Color Surge Butter Shine in Pink-a-Boo//$15//Macy's
I got this one as a free sample when I bought my Clinique 3-Step and I love, love, love the color. I think this formula hydrates and has more shine than the Revlon Lip Butters.

Zoya//$8//Zoya website
Zoya has a beautiful array of shades and they are all opaque. I find their polishes last days without chipping, too.

Deep Conditioner
I love the scent of this stuff, plus it hydrates my dry ends.

Leave-in Product
I have been suffering from dry hair from too much dying. This product has given me back the softness and shine I once had.

This is the first shampoo that has actually given my limp hair some volume.

Clarisonic Mia//$119//Clarisonic Website
This is the first thing EVER that has gotten rid of my blackheads. 
Self Tanner
I use Medium-Dark in the summer and Light-Medium in the winter. It gives me the perfect glow without streaks or orange tint.

If you have tried any of these products tell me your thoughts below. Link me to your 2012 favorites. I'm interested to see what other people have picked!


Swatchfest & First Impressions: Urban Decay Smoked Palette

Urban Decay Smoked//$49//Ulta

My husband bought me the Urban Decay Smoked Palette for Christmas. It was a lust product for me, so I was very excited to receive it as a gift!

I find the packaging to be well thought out. The padding will, hopefully, ward against broken pots of eyeshadow if dropped. The palette also zips and is fairly compact. The top of the palette includes a large mirror. I think I will like this for traveling.

The palette also comes with some bonus items. A full sized 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion, a small tube of Primer Potion and a look book with instructions.

Four of the shades are matte while the rest are shimmer. I found the colors to be buttery and well pigmented, when swatching.

Left to right
Kinky: This shade is essentially the color of my skin. To me, it is a matte version of Virgin from the original Naked palette. 
Freestyle: a matte blending shade with yellow undertones.
Mushroom: I love this shadow! It is a shimmery taupe with plum undertones.
Backdoor: A matte dark brown.
Blackout: You will also find this matte black in the Naked 2 palette.
Barlust: a golden brown a bit deeper than Toasted in the original Naked.
Rockstar: A dark purple.
Evidence: A navy with indigo undertones.
Loaded: An emerald green that swatches nearly black.
Asphalt: A deep shimmery grey.

The three colors that drew me to the Smoked palette were Rockstar, Evidence and Loaded. I am loving jewel tones this season. I ended up purchasing a NYX trio with those three colors since I was not planning on purchasing Smoked. After swatching, the NYX palette is not a dupe for this palette.

Once I get some use in, stay tuned for a full review or tutorial!


Nail of the Day (NOTD): Happy Holidays!

Essie in Set in Stones
Sally Hansen in Red Carpet

I painted my nails with two coats of Red Carpet and heavily layered Set in Stones at the base. I used a clear coat to pull the glitter to the tips while it was still wet.
Did you do a holiday mani? Link below so I can see it!


Beauty for the Soul: Gratitude

I have known the importance of expressing gratitude for quite some time however, I have not always applied it. Through some of my darkest times it was difficult to see past the muck because I had a bleak outlook. Having said that, even in our darkest hours there are things to be thankful for. For me, during those times, it was the fact that I was still alive. After the experience was over, I was thankful for  the opportunity to learn and grow.

Now that I am in a better place, I have made a conscious effort to express gratitude. One day, I saw the above quote and it solidified how gratitude can impact the human spirit. Expressing gratitude truly is a "...release of loveliness." When we are able to see the light of our lives, we are able to see the love that surrounds us.

Often times, when negativity clouds our minds, it is difficult to see what we have or be grateful. We tend to dwell on what we do not have. As Oprah said, "...if you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough." When our minds are occupied by the haves nots, shoulds and self hatred we are not expressing gratitude for the beauty of what is. Without gratitude how will you ever see your life as enough?

In order to create happiness in your life, it is essential you begin to express gratitude. As we begin to seek what already is, we will be shown that we already have enough because, "the secret to having it all is knowing you already do"-author unknown. When we begin seeking out things to be thankful for we tend to be able to see more things in our lives to appreciate.

I challenge you to seek out 2-3 things each day to be thankful for. Even if it is as simple as,  "I am thankful I woke up today" or "I am thankful for this cup of coffee." To begin this process, here are some ideas:

Begin a gratitude journal. Each morning, or evening, commit to recording the things you are thankful for. The easiest way to do this is through the iPhone app Gratitude Diary. This is an app I try to use everyday. Here are some of mine:

Carry a symbol that helps you to remember to express gratitude. Some people like to carry a religious item, such as a cross, some carry a stone or some wear jewelry to serve as a reminder. Here are some gratitude symbols you can purchase through etsy.

Set a reoccurring reminder or alarm on your phone that will encourage you to acknowledge what you are thankful for.

I will conclude with this quote:

“[Gratitude] turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”-Melody Beattie

Start your gratitude journey today, leave me a comment with what you are thankful for!


Guest Blogger: Joanne of The Convenient Beauty

I have a guest post today from Joanne of The Convenient Beauty. I discovered her blog from a giveaway she was hosting that I happened to win. I became a regular reader of her blog pretty quickly. Joanne is able to combine brilliant writing and photography to review beauty products. I believe Joanne's blog is up an coming!

Hi everyone,
Thank you for having me over! Being one of the followers of Beauty by Arielle myself, I'm really excited to share with you what I do as an hobby.  

Today, I'd like to present to you my current favorite lipstick. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Mulberry ($24 for 0.13 oz), beside being so on trend right now, feels festive and glamorous. I've been wearing it since the first cool breeze hit Houston. It's a brown-tinted violet mulberry color that works really well with my coloring (I have light medium skin with warm undertone). It has enough depth so that it stays vampy yet warm enough to not wash me out. 

The texture of this lipstick, as promised by the brand, is creamy and smooth, which is a plus but at the same time creates another challenge. Like most dark lipsticks, Mulberry quickly settles deeply into my lip creases, emphasizing every teeny tiny lines. On top of that, the creamy hydrating formula slides on unevenly. The lipstick absorbs fast into my lips and starts to fade after one hour. 

In order to have an even finish and maximum color payoff, I take my time to layer about 4 thin layers of Mulberry. Don't waste  your tissue to blot it. Regardless how thin or thick you apply Mulberry, one blot just takes it all away. I mean ALL. What's left is just sheer tinted balm. I would recommend you just layer, allowing the lipstick to set for a few seconds between each layer. 

Under direct sunlight (warm lighting) it looks browner

 In more neutral lighting it leans more violet plum

Another fix to this uneven and short wearing is to layer a dark lipliner underneath Mulberry. It will act as a smooth base for the lipstick to glide on. I'm just lazy with lipliner so if I want to maintain the vampy look, I need to touch up about every 2 hours. Yikes, I know. But I LOVE the color so much that this inconvenience is bearable. However, I'm on the hunt for a dupe of this color. The formula itself is really good, for lighter colors only. This dark vampy color requires drier and higher consistency for better wearing. 

Bite Beauty lipsticks come in a sleek tube made by rubber-like material but not quite as rubbery and dust-attracting like Nars. You get a decent amount of product for a reasonable price. On the other hand, since Mulberry is hydrating and needs to be reapplied frequently, I imagine to finish it rather quickly. 

Whenever I wear wine/vampy lips, I keep the rest of the makeup simple yet not too pale. For this look, I pair Bite Beauty Mulberry with subtle golden eyeshadows and a neutral blush to tie the gold and brownish violet together. Hope you enjoy it!

A simple look with Mulberry

YSL Touche Eclat No 8 (under the eyes)
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (only to set Touche Eclat)
Burberry Blush in Tangerine

Urban Decay Primer Potion (original)
Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Liner in Espresso
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch Mascara (lengthening formula)

EOS lipbalm
Bite Beauty Luminous Cream Lipstick in Mulberry

Thank you for this fantastic post, Joanne! Make sure you stop by her blog.

If you would like to be featured on Beauty by Arielle in 2013 e-mail me at beautybyarielle(at)gmail(dot)com.


Birchbox: Month 12

It's my final Birchbox! So, what did I get?

Cartier Baiser Volé perfume, value 10¢
Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Advanced Volume Shampoo, value $5.50
Frownies Eye Gels, value $9.98
ModelCo Shine Ultra Lip Gloss, value $16
Juicy Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream, value $3.90
Lifestyle extras:
Cartier Déclaration d'un Soir (Birchbox man sample)
$50 off a $125 rental at Rent the Runway
Total value: ~$35.48

When I opened my box I was instantly excited. This is the first box where I was pleased with every item. I'm looking forward to sampling it all!

What arrived in your Birchbox?


Fashion Week 2012 Giveaway

I have teamed up with Spunky Real Deals for her 500 followers celebration. Co-hosting with her is Christie from Satisfaction through Christ. Several bloggers and artists have paired up to giveaway beautiful fashion pieces this week!

I am working with Etsy artist Bezel+Zin. She has created a gorgeous pair of v earrings with a jade stone. This giveaway is open internationally!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Beauty for the Soul: How to Attract Positivity

Several weeks ago I wrote about negativity and what you can do to identify where your negativity lies. I must admit, I am a recovering bitcher complainer. My negativity manifested into more negativity and more complaining. I did not like it one bit, so I began implementing steps to recover. Just like negativity attracts more negativity, being in a positive state of mind attracts more positivity. Here are some little things I do, and you can too, to get yourself into a more positive frame of mind. 

Start your day off right. Wake up in the morning and take a couple of minutes to yourself. Whether this occurs while lying in bed or at the kitchen table, take a couple minutes for you. I get my morning cup of coffee, sit on the couch in silence, then I pray, journal and meditate. This gets my day on the right track. Find what works for you. Maybe you need to listen to some soothing music, read a good blog or simply sit in silence. Either way, take a few moments to yourself.

Don't engage. If you are around people who are being negative or complaining it's quite easy to jump on board with them. By the end of the conversation you're probably not feeling better either. If you see a conversation headed in a negative direction do not engage. Change the subject, tune out, leave the conversation politely or set a boundary letting people know this is not a conversation you will be engaging in. The less you engage in this type of talk the less likely you are to have the thoughts yourself. If you have friends who tend to be in the negativity with you it's ok to say to them, "I have decided I need more positivity in my life so let's try not to talk about ___ today. I am really working on being positive."

Surround yourself with positive people. It is difficult to engage in negative talk when you're with an upbeat person. Being around positive people helps you to not engage. These are also people to learn from because they already have the don't engage step down. Watch how they handle situations where people are being negative-they might show you a new way of handling things.

For every negative statement come up with two positives. As a way to lessen the negative talk, come up with positive statements each time a negative one pops into your head. This way, you are training your mind to combat the negative. For example, let's say your thought is "this ___ is never going to get better" recognize this as a negative thought and take the time to come up with two statements that are positive. For example, "nothing has indicated to me that ___ won't get better so there's no reason to think like this" "in the past I have always been able to pick myself back up and this is no different. I am strong."

Thought stopping. This is a common skill taught in therapy. It is very similar to the above tactic. When you recognize you are engaging in negative thoughts just stop. There have been times I have had to say to myself, "stop, Arielle!" Once one negative thought pops in it's a snowball effect because more will keep coming. If you don't consciously try to stop it, it's going to keep happening. Combat this with two positive statments or some people, including me, like to use prayer or meditation. 

Surround yourself with positive images. I recently created a happiness board on Pinterest to surround myself with positive images. They are mostly quotes that lift up my spirits. Some mornings I spend time on the quotes board picking out images that help me feel better. It is hard to be brought down when you have positivity surrounding you. The same goes for TV or radio. We are bombarded with visual and auditory images daily. Choose wisely. If you recognize the images you surround yourself with are negative in nature it's likely they are bringing you down. 

Need some help getting on the right track? Here are some tools I use:
People to follow on twitter: @YourDailyHappy @IAmTheWiseOne @LifeTools
Podcasts: Jillian Michaels
Blogs: The Daily Love (sign up for their newsletter)