Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Passions

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Throughout the course of your life, you'll notice that several questions continuously seem to pop up. In particular, I mean, is "what are you passionate about?" You'll hear this question a million times by the time you're 20 and it gets really old really fast. What does it even mean? How are we expected to know the answer to that question as a teenager, when our brains aren't even fully developed? You'll hear this question when you're in middle school, choosing an extra curricular activity; you'll hear it in high school when you're deciding where to go to college; and you'll hear it in college when you're searching for a career. Even once you've got a degree or two, people will still ask you. Even if you've been in a successful career for years, they will still ask. So what is it about passion that is just so darn important and sparks so much curiosity? And why are we constantly criticized for what our passions are, or are not?

Since I had a mind enough to understand what a "passion" was I have been critiqued for it, constructively and not. As I've grown to an adult, this question has haunted me and it's accompanying comments: you're not passionate about anything, you like too many things, that doesn't count. Being the self-critical and self-constructive person that I am, this repartee stayed with me and continues to challenge me and make me question myself.

If asked, I would describe myself as a passionate person. To me, passion stands for something you care deeply about. There are many things I care deeply about, for example, my writing or my singing. However, I'm also passionate about non-hobbies like my family and love in general. Now that last one is where people start to criticize and misunderstand me. A lot of people have one extremely strong, obvious passion, like an artist's life revolves around his art. Passions are commonly described by people as a hobby, or a career or family. But I've always been a little different. My entire adult life so far, I've hunted for my passion. Was it acting, singing, writing, design, fashion? I put my love into so many things, that I could never choose just one to focus on. I could never give one thing my entire heart, mind and soul.

Today, as I write, I am less than a month from turning 26 and I think I've finally figured it out. In recent past, I had decided my passion was family. After all, if I had to choose one thing out of all of those in that list, family would be it hands down. But it still didn't account for those other things I still felt strongly about.

Funny enough, my epiphany came after watching the final episode of Girl Boss. I won't spoil the ending for you, in case you haven't watched it, but something about what Sophia went through made me realize: my passion is that big 'ol L word--LOVE.

My entire being is fueled by love. Everything I care about is important to me and is amazing because of the love I put into it. This blog has succeeded thus far, because of the amount of love that goes into each and every post. I excel in school, because my love for learning sparks that fire under my ass to get it done. I feel that I am my best self when I am in love.

Now I'm not saying that I need a man to be happy. That's not completely true. I can be entirely content without a man in my life, however when your passion is love the feeling you get when you have that unconditional love of a man that choses to love you is just unmatched. And the feeling I get when I have a man that I have chosen to give my love feels just as grand.

I'd always struggled with figuring out my passion, and I'd always claimed to be "just a relationship person," but I had never found the connection between the two. Why am I always happier when I'm with someone? Because I am fueled, I am driven by love and having someone to share that with is amazing. And I know a lot of people will say, "can't you give your love to your family and friends?" The answer there is yes, but it's just not the same. If you've ever loved someone romantically, you understand what I'm getting at. I'm counting on you to back me up on this.

But for as long as I can remember I have loved love. I love romance, I love affection, I love caring for someone and I love being in love. Love has always been the driving force in my life, whether it was being given or received. Love is my passion and everything I put that love into means something special to me. And I now feel like more a complete person finally understanding that about myself!

Where do your passions lie? Are you struggling to understand your's just like I did with mine? Discuss in the comments! I'm happy to give advice on this and connect with you on this very intellectual and spiritual level <3

XO, Briana

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lancôme Love!


Hello lovlies! I realize it's been a while since I've posted and I apologize. I'll start with my usual spiel: I'm graduating on Saturday, so the past month has been hectic blah de blah de blah. You get the gist. But I do have some great reviews lined up, so keep your eyes peeled for more regular posts from me! On that note, let's get down to business!

Recently, I was lucky enough to be chosen by Influenster to try and review and entire collection of Lancôme products! I'd heard some great things about the foundation in particular so I was really excited to get my hands on it! The group includes the Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation SPF 15(in 250 Bisque-W), the Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Camouflage Concealer(in 220 C Buff), the Click & Glow Highlighting Skin Fluid(in Lumières de'Or), and the Le Métallique Metallic Lip Laquer(in Mirrored Nude.)

Let's start with the foundation! This was the one I was most excited about, after hearing NikkiTutorials rave about it for months. The first time I put it on, I wasn't super impressed, but I realized I wasn't using enough and that my dump beauty blender seemed to dilute it a bit. When I tried it again with a bit more product, I fell in love. I need a bit more coverage in certain spots and this foundation did the trick! It's super buildable, but still pretty high coverage to begin with. Unlike a lot of high coverage foundations, this one feels light in comparison and doesn't make you feel like a total cake face. It's a photoshop finish without piling on the product! I have mostly dry skin, and it felt nice: not drying or oily at all! The color matched me perfectly without a tan, which I will now have to use a good deal of bronzer to wear it now haha! But the wide range of colors and tones makes for an easy match! Also, Lancôme was not kidding when they said ultra long wear. This baby lasts and this is coming from someone who starts their day at 5am and goes to bed at 10pm some days. I put it on, went to work, came home, napped for a few hours and it still looked flawless! Definitely would recommend it for anyone looking for a medium-high buildable coverage!
My silly face with just foundation.
Next up is the concealer. Unfortunately, the color on this wasn't as easy to match so it was kind of hard for me to judge. I'm hoping to update when I have a deeper tan, however I still think it will be too cool toned for me. But I'll base this review mostly on the formula. This is a great concealer for blemishes and other things you want to cover, but I wouldn't recommend it for under the eyes. I liked it to cover up a couple of scars that I have. I usually have trouble covering them, but this concealer erased them like magic. I wish so much that the color was right because I would absolutely use it regularly! On the opposite end, I found that the formula was really super oily and shiny to a fault. It didn't bother me on the scars but when I used it under my eyes I had to choice but to bake, which still didn't mattefy the area completely. It did a good job with coverage, but I'm still pretty attached to my Tarte Shape Tape for my under eyes.
Another silly face with foundation and concealer.
The highlighting fluid was pretty cool and something different. I had never tried a liquid highlighter, so I was absolutely curious! This one gave a subtle golden glow and it was beautiful on the cheekbones. I'm used to the more powder metallic highlighters, but the liquid made it seem more like a "glowing from within" look than the "I just smeared unicorn blood on my face" look (which I happen to enjoy by the way lol.) It was very easy to use and great for travel. It does have an applicator tip but I would recommend using that if you're not applying on top of powder. I just put some on my finger and dabbed it on. Overall, I think it's really pretty and something out of the box!
Check out that glow though!!

Finally is the lip lacquer. Lancôme describes it as full coverage, however I found the color I got came off more as a gloss. It may have been because the color was very close to my lips but regardless, it was very pretty on. I did also try it as a lip topper over a nude lipstick and that looked nice too! So I think it's a versatile product that feels nice and hydrating on the lips. I would be curious to try one of the bolder colors.

Overall, I think Lancôme's Teint Idole collection has a lot to offer! My favorite was definitely the foundation, but I will absolutely use the other products as well! Below is a completed look featuring all of the Lancôme products. Have you tried any of these? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! Much thanks to Lancôme and Influenster for letting me try these for free!

XO, Briana

Monday, March 27, 2017

Grace & Frankie

Not only have I become totally obsessed with the show, Grace and Frankie, but I have also come to the realization that those characters are pretty much the two parts to my personality. Gemini's are often referred to as having "split personalities," however it's not always a devil and angel situation. In my case, one of my twins is just like Grace: a driven, hyper organized career woman. The other twin, however, is just like Frankie: a free spirited, bohemian artist.

Having to cater to both of these personalities can be really difficult! Making decisions is a constant struggle, because I often can't satisfy them both. Recently, I've been trying to decide what I want to do after I graduate. Looking at the big picture, the type of job I want is pretty specific.  In my Grace state of mind I think, "Go to New York. That is where you'll find the most opportunities and the biggest job market in your field." But then Frankie chimes in: "But it's the North and there's winter and it's cold and there's no beach."

Like, obviously Grace's idea makes much more sense and is in charge of my logic system. She focuses on the best options and what will make me successful. But then Frankie is the center of my happiness. She knows that even though something makes more sense, it's not necessarily going to make me happy.

I know it sounds like it, but I promise I'm not schizophrenic. I'm simply excited about this metaphor that finally has allowed me to explain what it's like to have two very different parts of yourself and also helps me understand why I often feel conflicted. I can now more easily assess each part to my argument and decide whether to listen to one or compromise with both.

I guess the moral of this story is that if you find yourself having a crisis and can't understand why, just break it down!

XO, Briana