XO, Noelle

Friday, September 19, 2014

#BeTheGood

XO, Noelle Friday, September 19, 2014
2 Comments
Hi loves! SO much has happened these past few weeks. First off, guess who's a mommy?! This chickie! I promise a real introduction post/birth story so y'all can officially meet Mr. Baby XO (I swear, he has a real name!) but I wanted to share with you a really cool movement going on right now that you can be a part of!

Recently, I was challenged by Jane.com & Cents of Style to #BeTheGood - a campaign focused on simply being nice and spreading kindness. I believe there's an opportunity for kindness every single day. Whether it's holding a door open, footing the bill at lunch time, donating clothes to a charity or a simple compliment to someone - nothing is too big or too small. 

I believe there's always an opportunity to be nice. A few days ago, a little boy was in front of me at Dunkin Donuts, ordering a Coolatta. Just as he took out some cash to pay, the cashier told him that they were only taking card (DON'T YOU HATE WHEN THEY DO THAT!?). The kid looked totally crestfallen. I stepped up and told him I'd get it for him and paid for his drink. It was a win/win: The kid got his Coolatta and I felt amazing the rest of the day. There's no better feeling than helping someone out! :)

How can you participate? I'm challenging ALL of my readers to:

  • Choose a good deed! It can be anything from donating to your fave charity to buying a coffee for a friend. No goodness is too little!
  • Share the good! Pick your favorite social channel (Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, etc.) but first, make sure to take a selfie (or something appropriate to your story), and share your story, big or small. Be sure to use these hashtags to help this campaign spread: #BeTheGood #JaneCares and #CentsofStyle. You’ll see your story featured at Jane.com!
  • Tag your friends! Challenge them to participate in the campaign within 24 hours.
  • Buy a shirt! Jane.com and Cents of Style are selling SUPER CUTE #BeTheGood shirts for only $11.95. All profits are donated to Girls Inc., an organization that inspires girls to be strong, bold and smart.
|| #bethegood #janecares #centsofstyle

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer + System - Review

XO, Noelle Tuesday, September 9, 2014
1 Comment
My recent hair color change has been a long, long, long time coming. I'd been rockin' an unintentional ombre look for quite some time now (ahem, like a year). Last year, I was this awesome mahogany shade, right? Ugh. I loved it. But naturally, I forgot to save shade it was and then I just keep procrastinating trying to match it and then decided to let it grow out instead, etc. It was a mess. It ended up going from this gorgeous red to my natural brunette roots on top and a weird, brassy red/blonde/I don't even know on the bottom. It might've looked okay in pictures but sweet JAY-SUS it looked crazy in person.

Nexxus Color Assure System - How pretty is the packaging? 
Fast forward to early last month when I had it up to here with my weirdo hair colors and decided to just dye it all one color - my natural hair color - for the sake of looking somewhat put together when I have a newborn.
 
Before: Excuse the bushy eyebrows and my piercing popping out || After: Ahhh. Nice, healthy color! #shamlessselfie

One of my biggest fears since dying my hair back to it's natural color is that those weird brassy ends will pop up through. Cue: Conde Nast and Nexxus who were so sweet and sent me their new Nexxus Color Assure System to try out with  my freshly dyed hair.

The Nexxus Color Assure System is the first oil-infused color care system that locks in your new hair color by keeping water out (wait-what?). Okay. Obviously it doesn't really keep the water out, if that makes sense. You still wash your hair and all that stuff like normal but I think what they mean is that it keeps out the harshness that comes with washing your hair and protects your color. The line is sulfate-free and features White Orchid extract that seals and protects each hair strand to help repel water and prevent it from entering the core. Also included in the mix is almond, coconut and argan oils to nurture and keep color-treated hair vibrant and looking fresh for up to 2x longer!

I used the whole system but if I had to choose one main star from this collection, I'd have to say it's the Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer. I didn't even know they made "primers" for your hair but it's so easy to use. Right before you shower, on dry hair, apply two-seven pumps concentrating more at the ends and then working your way up. I used four pumps on my shoulder-length hair and it was no bueno. Even after washing my hair, it felt greasy and gross which they warn you will happen if you obviously use too much. I used two less pumps the next time and it made all the difference. My hair was super soft and healthy looking. After about two weeks in, I noticed that even with as often as I wash my hair (about every other day) my color had yet to fade! Talk about this primer being a total game-changer. I also noticed that my hair didn't feel dry like it sometimes can after dying it and especially with the crazy weather changes going on. 

Like I said, I used the whole system which includes the Color Assure Vibrancy Retention Shampoo and Conditioner (talk about smelling amazing!) and then finished off on dry hair with the Color Assure Glossing Tonic for extra shine. I noticed that if I used all four products together on my thin hair, it would sometimes feel a little weighed down so I'd choose to either just use the shampoo one day and then use both the shampoo and conditioner the other.

A month later... my hair is still all one color and still feels soft and manageable - not dry and straw-like. Whoop whoop! I'm still using the shampoo, primer and glossing tonic. I don't really use conditioner on a daily basis anyway but found that the shampoo was conditioning enough for my thin hair. I recommend using this system 

For more info on the Nexxus Color Assure Pre-Wash Primer as well as the entire system:
Nexxus | Twitter

* Sponsored post by Nexxus for the #ColorAssure campaign but naturally all opinions are 100% mine!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NCLA So LA! - Review

XO, Noelle Wednesday, September 3, 2014
17 Comments
Rockin' these NCLA So LA! nail wraps is my pathetic attempt at keeping summer around just a little bit longer. As I'm checking out tickets for The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze (anyone ever been?). And totally drooling over the MAC x Rocky Horror Picture Show collection (available September 29th). And wondering if I have enough stuff to make these Pumpkin Pie Truffles.

So LA! is a fun sunset ombre design with shadows of palm trees printed on them. This set right here is actually what first got me into NCLA nail wraps. I can't remember who's Instagram I saw them on but someone was rockin' them, found out they were NCLA and the rest is gorgeous lookin' nails history. The collection comes with 26 ultra-thin adhesives and a cute NCLA nail file. The wrap sizes range from wide to small so they fit just about any nail bed.

How to apply NCLA nail wraps:

  • Start off with fresh, clean nails and than apply a coat of basecoat (I used NCLA Gloss It!) and let it dry.
  • Find the size that best fits your nail and peel from the sheet by the flap. 
  • Apply the most round part to your cuticle and stretch down until it fits perfectly. I know some are afraid to stretch it because they think it might break, but I promise you it won't. This is the most crucial part to get a nice, flat, flawless nail. 
  • Once you've fit it to your nail, firmly flatten it down starting from the cuticle and pressing your way down to the tip. 
  • Use the nail file in a downward motion to remove any excess wrap left over. Apply another coat of Gloss It! and you're all set! I really like using a coat for Gloss It! over it because it softens the nail wrap (as well as adds a shine to it) so you can go in one last time and press down anything you missed or smooth out any mistakes.

NCLA So LA! Buy - Price: $16
* Press Sample

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lust List | Fall Edition

XO, Noelle Tuesday, September 2, 2014
2 Comments
I haven't even had my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte but I can feel that fall is definitely in the air. I'm not sure where exactly because it's currently about 1000 degrees here in Connecticut but according to recent fall-themed posts from other bloggers, PSL's debut and the fact that it's September 1st, I'm assuming autumn is somewhere around here.

SO, I've put together my first fall lust list! I love doing these. Here's some of my favorite things I'm currently dying over for those crisp autumn nights:

Sosie Vital Tribal Cardigan | $50 - Ever since I saw this on Pink Peonies, I knew I had to have it. And then it sold out. Old Navy Jersey Tank | $8 - Can't even go wrong with this baby! So comfy and perfect for expecting mamas as well! Refuge Boyfriend Medium Wash Jeans | $34 - I'm such a sucker for cute, ripped jeans. Expecting mom's can switch these out for H&M Mama Jeans! Steve Madden Broyale | $108 - Hello beautiful! Cognac colored bags are SO cute for fall. Modern Double Halo Engagement Ring | Okay. How gorgeous is this? Anjolee.com has everything from gorgeous engagement rings to insanely blinged out bracelets. Kiel James Patrick "Southern Swift" Bracelet | $40 - I've wanted a KJP bracelet for the longest time. I mean, how adorable is this bow bracelet? Smashbox Master Class 3 Palette | $68 - Come to mama you, big beautiful thing, you! Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Motorhead | $18 - I can't help but want to wear this all the time. It just looks SO badass. 


* Sponsored

Friday, August 29, 2014

Baby Update | 36-38 Weeks

XO, Noelle Friday, August 29, 2014
2 Comments
Hi babes! Sorry to mash all the weeks together but the weeks have been flying by and I can't keep track of anything lately! In two weeks, I will have a handsome baby boy in my arms and it's pretty mindblowing. I'd be lying if I said that it all felt real because in all honesty, it feels more like a dream. Like it's happening to someone else and I'm just watching from afar.

In other news, my hospital bag is finally packed and I'll have a post on it up soon! Procrastination at it's finest. Packing took about three weeks to do because I like to have everything covered and kept reading different lists. I like to have all the bases covered but HATE overpacking. It's a conundrum, people.

My last appointment was last week. I met with a new doctor (I swear, there's like twenty!) and he asked if the baby moves a lot. I was like, "Eh. Yeah. He has certain times but nothing crazy." It's always been like that and he's always been fine. I have an anterior placenta so sometimes he'll be moving and I just don't feel him. It's been like this almost my entire pregnancy. Apparently, the doctor didn't like that and had me undergo a stress test for about an hour -_- I mean, better safe than sorry; I didn't mind that at all and everything was absolutely fine but good Lord, I was starving and so aggravated. So yeah. That was my first stress test. Good times.

How far along? 38 weeks.
Total weight gain: 28 pounds although I feel like I've gained WAY more.
Maternity clothes? Abso-freakin'-lutely. I've also been wearing Target stretchy capri leggings that I've fallen in love with almost every single day.
Stretch marks? Yup. All over my belly. 
Sleep: Tuesday night, I didn't wake up once to pee. Calm before the storm?
Miss Anything? Not feeling little aches and pains all the time. I miss having energy and feeling like "me", if that makes sense.
Movement: Yes but it's definitely changed. No more little pokes and kicks but more rolls and waves. Also, there's more movement in my pelvic region.
Food cravings: Pretzels and iced coffee! I swear, this has been my jam for months now. Oh and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! OM NOM NOM. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nadda.
Gender: It's a boy! 
Labor Signs: Lightening crotch, pelvic pain, sore back, tiny loss of mucus plug (but not a lot), leaky boobs, period-like cramps (yeah, didn't miss those!) and swollen feet. I feel like I rode a horse for a year straight.
Symptoms: Mostly the above.
Belly Button in or out? In but it's starting to flatten out. It's a race against time!
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Super cranky, actually. Whenever I'm anxious, I snap and that's totally me right now. Between closing on the house the same day at my due date, I feel like everything is happening all at once and I may or may not be freaking out a little.
Looking Forward To: Meeting our sweet baby! 

OCC Unknown Pleasures Cosmetic Colour Pencils for Fall/Winter 2014 - Swatches & Review

XO, Noelle Friday, August 29, 2014
21 Comments
Hi boobalahs! Yesterday, I brought you swatches and a review of the OCC Unknown Pleasures Lip Tars for their Fall/Winter 2014 which are IN-SANE and make me wish that I could rock a dark metallic purple lip all day, errday. Today I'm bringing you swatches and a review of the two online-exclusive Cosmetic Color Pencil shades - Sebastian and Lydia! The name "Cosmetic Color Pencils "basically mean that they can be used for almost anywhere - lips, eyes, brows, etc.

"The 'Unknown Pleasures' collection captures seasonal trend as created by OCC on the runways of NYFW, with shades that made their original debut at the Fall/Winter 2014 Collections. 'Unknown Pleasures' offers a range of colors that promise to tease and tempt the senses with chic neutrals like 'Lament' and 'Covet', to ultra-modern vamp shades like the Matte and Metallic duo of deep purples 'Pagan' and 'Technopagan'. In addition to the six all-new Lip Tar Mattes and Metallics and coordinating Nail Lacquer shades, 'Unknown Pleasures' delivers online-exclusive offerings as well as two new Cosmetic Color Pencil shades!"


Sebastian is a plum-toned taupe.
Kylie Jenner lips, anyone? That's the first thing I thought of. I never in a million years thought I'd actually like this but I found myself totally wanting to rock this out. Definitely different and would look amazing with MAC Brave or something like that over it. I also think that this would be perfect for an eyebrow pencil. Smooth and opaque, for sure.

Lydia is a darkroom plum.
First off, let me note that there is a warning that Lydia is not meant to be used around the eye area. As cool as a plum eyeliner would've been, this is much better as a lip liner/shade anyway. It appears patchy in the picture but I promise you it filled in smoothly and opaquely. Definitely a fun, fall color!

OCC Unknown Pleasures Lip Tars | Buy: OCC / Sephora - Price: $16 
// Available in Sephora stores and OCC flagship boutiques 9/19
* Press Sample