This or That? Battle of the Blushes 19

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

This or That: Battle of the Blushes

I’m trying to bring this back as a series. If you’ve been here any length of time you may remember my other This or That posts: Bronzers, Foundations and mascara! Today, i’m bringing you blushes! And not just 2, this is a comparison of 4 of my favorite blushes. So, before we start this battle, let’s introduce the contenders.

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

Cargo Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos $26.00 for .11oz

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

NARS Blush in Deep Throat $30.00 for .16oz

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

Benefit Rockateur Blush $29.00 for .17oz

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

NYX Cosmetics Ombre Blush in Soft Flush $9.99 for .28oz

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

Packaging:

Each of these 4 blushes have vastly different packaging which makes this pretty difficult to chose the best.

Cargo- Metal, compact tin. Easy for travel.

NARS- Using their signature rubberized packaging that is amazing and easily recognizable but also gets insanely dirty. I definitely used some makeup remover for this picture.

Benefit – Again in the signature box packaging. Very fancy, but also very clunky in terms of size.

NYX – Thin and sleek packaging but it’s as large as the palm of my hand.

Winner: Cargo

 This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

Application/Blendability:

Cargo- The silky texture of this blush is easily picked up by a blending brush and can be applied effortlessly with a light hand. This blends in beautifully if you don’t have too much product on your brush. You definitely do not need to swirl your brush around in this as it is very pigmented.

NARS- This blush has an incredibly silky feel and is definitely the most finely milled powder of the bunch. It’s fine texture easily melts into the skin and applies sheer but can easily be built up to a rosey hue without looking like you’ve got too much blush on.

Benefit- Almost a creamy texture if you can believe it. The packaging creates a nice barrier in which to swirl your brush in to get as much product as possible. The creamy texture blends into the skin flawlessly and almost acts as a cream blush. Are the other Benefit blushes like this? Let me know your favorite Benefit blush below!

NYX Cosmetics- You might have assumed that because of the lower price point this wouldn’t blend or apply as well as it does. I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of this blush, especially with how well it applies. Definitely use a light hand and be sure to tap off any excess as this is a very pigmented blush that is super powdery.

Winner: Tie between Cargo and NARS

 This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

Pigmentation/Appearance:

Cargo – Depends on the shade but this coral/tangerine shade is incredibly pigmented and it’s perfect for spring/summer. You definitely do not need to swirl your brush around in this as it is highly pigmented, a few taps in the product and you’re good to go. Lasts all day but is definitely not “swimmable” as it claims.

NARS – Very sheer but easy to build up without looking cakey on the skin. Orgasm is the usual favorite shade but I prefer the more blush pink of Deep Throat. It’s a beautiful natural looking flush with a hint of shimmer. Flatters all skin tones.

Benefit- The very sheer coverage does require some more swishing than all the other brands but the color payoff is fantastic. Because this acts as almost a cream blush I find it lasts longer than all the other brands. Plus, who doesn’t love rose gold?

NYX- Huge color payoff and pigmentation with little product needed. Because this is so pigmented you need to be careful to not apply too much. This lasts moderately well throughout the day but if I don’t touch it up it’ll be gone by dinner time. Have ya’ll tried this ombre blush? 

Winner: NARS

 This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

Removability:

Cargo: Easily removed with soap and water or a makeup wipe.

NARS: Needs a little coaxing with a makeup wipe.

Benefit: Slides right off with some makeup remover

NYX: Usually removes itself but also easily removed with a makeup wipe. 

Winner: NARS- lasts all day and doesn’t fall off your face unless you want it to.

This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna 

Overall Thoughts?

Honestly, I love all 4 of these for different reasons. The Cargo is my absolute favorite in the summer because of its coral shade. It’s not waterproof but I do find this works the best when i’m working up a sweat out in the sun. The NARS I’ve been using for years and feel that this is the most flattering blush shade I’ve ever used. This works on any skin tone at any time of the year. Benefit and I have a very strong relationship and I love me my Rockateur blush but i’m falling out of love with it as it gets older. The product is getting flaky and strange, has this happened to anyone else? NYX is good, but not what I grab for on a daily basis. I love this when i’m in desperate need for a bit more color on my cheeks. The NYX blush definitely is the most bang for your buck but I think the Cargo blush is the most value for your money.  

Overall Winner – Cargo!

Question of the Day: Have you guys ever used this blush or any of the other shades? I’d love to know your thoughts! Leave a comment or tweet me!

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This or That? Battle of the Blushes // Being Leanna

 


Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting! 4

Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting!

Did anyone else’s week zip by? One second it was Sunday evening and I was scheduling all my social media for my Spending Ban Update and then bam it was Thursday night. I haven’t gotten anything done this week. I had many an aspiration to get a lot of blog work done this week because I knew the weather was going to be crappy. And, none of it happened. I actually had quite the jam packed week! So, in old school style I thought i’d write up a nice weekly recap! 

Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting // Being Leanna

// Aquarium

I went to a new aquarium in my area and it was actually a lot of fun. I’m a big fan of aquariums, especially ones with jellyfish, so I was thrilled we got one near here. It was a bit small but it was perfect for families. The best part was that they had a huge area where you could pet the stingrays! I’m not sure if you’ve ever pet a stingray before but it’s the best. They’re like dogs. But they feel way cooler. 

// In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I’ve been reading this for ages and I finally finished it! Everyone has been reading and recommending this and I loved The Woman in Cabin 10 so I thought i’d give this a go. Not a huge fan to be honest. The entire first half was pretty slow and uneventful. The ending didn’t have as big of a twist as I was expecting. It’s well written but you can tell it was her first novel. If you’re interested in suspenseful novels I suggest picking up The Woman in Cabin 10 instead. 

Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting // Being Leanna

// Target

Need I say more? I went to Target for the first time in 2017 this past weekend. You heard me right, the first time in 2017! As soon as my spending ban was officially over I grabbed my keys and headed straight to Target. I mostly grabbed necessities (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste) but I also grabbed some things I’ve been dying to try. Keep your eyes peeled for a review of these two mascaras and the cult favorite Pixi glow tonic!

// House Hunting

Is still going pretty slowly. I want to be picky but not too picky so nothing out of this world amazing has shown up. I’ve gone and seen a handful of places but they all fall short somewhere. It’s starting to get a little discouraging but all the excitement i’m getting to be able to decorate my own place again is keeping my spirits high. If you’re interested in the house stuff I’ve been loving lately check out my Pinterest page!

Weekly Recap: Aquariums, Target and House Hunting // Being Leanna

// Sushi

I go back and forth with what my favorite type of food is all the time. The past few months though all I’ve wanted is sushi. I love it. I had a little girls night Tuesday after work and met up with a friend for dinner. No, that’s not all mine, just most of it haha. We went to an amazing sushi place in Albany (Kuma Ani) and I about died with excitement. I tend to try something different every time so I don’t have a favorite but i’d love to hear what yours is!

// 13 Reasons Why

Yes, i’m watching and yes i’m obsessed. I read this book way back when I was actually in high school and this story was relatable. I had to tune in and I started watching this week. I’m five episodes in and although dramatic and obviously centering around a depressing topic i’m loving it. Are you watching? 

If you’re ever curious what else i’m up to be sure to follow along on Instagram and Twitter!

How was your week? What are you looking forward to the most this weekend? Let me know in the comments! 


Spending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts 16

Spending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts // Being LeannaSpending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts

Guys, my spending ban is over!! Cue the fireworks and noise makers. (Also cue my first trip to Target in 2017!!!)I am so excited to share with you all the final month in my 3 month journey of spending as little money as possible. I’ll take you through all of the goals and tips from my first post to tell you what worked and what didn’t. I’ll be sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly today so stay tuned!

To give a little background (if you want the full story click here) I started this spending ban to get me to my savings goal by the time I was ready to buy a house. I’m working with a grant program where I had to deposit money into a special savings account for 10 months. Well, my last deposit went in on April 1st. So, officially, i’m done with the grant program and all I have to do is find my house! 

Before you get into this post, you should read the full story, my month 1 update, and my month 2 update!

Set an amount that’s do-able:

At the end of my three month spending ban I wanted to save up an additional $1,200. That may not sound like a lot for you, or it may sound like a ton of money. If you’re thinking about going on a spending ban you need to set a goal that’s attainable. $1,200 was attainable for me and I did it (plus a little extra!). I could have done more but by month three I honestly wasn’t feeling the spending ban any more. It was my most expensive month yet. Luckily, I received a nice tax refund at the beginning of the month and I was able to put all of it into my savings account! 

Set an allowance:

This did not work for me at all. In January I used some Christmas cash I was given as my allowance for the month. In month 2 I just kept track of what I spent every week and tried not to go crazy. I started this ban telling myself that I would allow myself $40 per paycheck to do whatever I wanted with. I’m sure it it would work for some people but it just didn’t for me.

Cash is king:

Also great in theory but it just did not work for me after month 1. I used up my Christmas cash and then it was strictly a card in month 2. I used some cash in March but that was only because I collected money at work for a group lunch and paid on my card. So, I used the cash as spending money the rest of the month. I’m not a cash person. I know it’s a great budgeting tool but I like to think that I have enough self control to not go crazy on my card. I exclusively use my credit card for purchases and pay it off each paycheck. It’s just what works for me. Plus, I earn miles which is how I was able to go to Philly and not pay for my hotel room! 

Keep the temptations away:

Probably the best thing I did was unsubscribe from dozens of email lists. It is so refreshing to go into my inbox and only see emails I actually want to read. There has been no J. Crew, Banana Republic, Sephora or Express emailing me every day to tell me what deals are going on. I couldn’t unsubscribe from Ulta but I didn’t spend a dime there this whole three months. And I even had a gift card! 

Eye that checking account:

I mean, I did this and I didn’t do this. I wasn’t religious about it in March but that’s because I knew I had the safety net of my tax refund. Also, because I mainly use my credit card for everything I checked that statement way more often. I pretty much only went into my checking account on days I knew bills were coming out, I was getting paid, or I was going to make a credit card payment. 

Lessons Learned:

Don’t be to hard on yourself if you spend a bit more than planned! January I spent $368.40, February I spent $193.42 (and $377.81 from my vacation account), and in March I spent a whopping $695.85. Whoops. See the full breakdown below. 

Here’s why i’m not mad about March being crazy expensive. I was really over being on a spending ban. Somewhere in the second week of March my mindset switched from “save every dime so you can buy a house” to “spend the money while you still have it!”. So, I spent the money. I bought hiking boots that were $128.74 and couldn’t be happier and I bought a $95 Groupon to go parasailing in May and i’ll be checking off a 30 before 30 bucket list item. 

Spending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts // Being Leanna

More tips for starting your own spending ban!

If you’re looking to start a spending ban for yourself I’ve got 5 of my best tips right here:

// Set an attainable savings goal. There is nothing more disappointing and discouraging than setting yourself up for failure. I knew I could set aside $1,200 in 3 months. I wish I could have done $2,000 but I knew that wasn’t realistic so I didn’t make it my goal. 

// Set a time frame for the spending ban and mark it on a calendar. 3 months was just too long for me. I was itching to spend money come the middle of the third month. Maybe a week, a month or even just a weekend will work best for you. 

// Tell your friends and family. My friends knew I was on a spending ban and were more flexible with cheap hangout options. It was incredibly nice having their support. Some people thought it was dumb so I just had to remember that I was doing this for me, not for them and that kept me from being bummed if I had to not do something. 

// Don’t completely deprive yourself! There were a few times I had to say no during my spending ban but I never deprived myself. If there’s something you really want, or something you just can’t live without don’t say no. I bought hiking boots! Do I need them? I mean, they’ll be super useful because I want to get into hiking, but I didn’t need them immediately. LL Bean was having a sale so I snagged them. Same goes for the Groupon for parasailing. Groupons don’t last forever and it was a great deal. 

// Write down every single thing you buy. Do it. I promise, it’ll help. It can be a pain but it’s so worth it. Keeping track of everything you spend seems so much more real when you’re actually writing it down instead of just looking at your bank statement. It’s scary seeing what you spend money on. So much food! 

Have you ever done a spending ban? If so, let me know how it went in the comments!

Spending Ban: Month 3 Update- Final Thoughts // Being Leanna

 


Rediscover Your Old Makeup Favorites 14

Rediscover Your Old Makeup Favorites // Being Leanna

In January I put myself on a three month long spending ban (Month 1 & Month 2) and I told myself i’d start to de-clutter before I bought a house. One of my goals in de-cluttering was to go through all of my makeup and toss what was old or i’d never use. I also wanted to use up as many of the sample sized products as I could. In doing those, I got rid of a ton of stuff! But, I also rediscovered a bunch of favorites that had been hidden away. 

Today I wanted to share with you guys the products i’m loving again to remind you to shop your own collection! You never know what’s hiding in those drawers. I also wanted to share these rediscoveries with you because if I was this excited about rediscovering them than you definitely need them in your own collection!

Seeing as it’s spring now lots of us are doing some spring cleaning so I highly encourage you to go through your makeup stash and take a peek at what’s in there. You never know what you could rediscover! 

Rediscover Your Old Makeup Favorites:

E.l.f. High Definition Powder in Sheer

This lovely powder covers up any oil, looks matte, stays all day. It is a loose powder so it will get everywhere if you’re not careful. Shocked I let this fall by the wayside. For the price, it’s definitely the best powder I’ve used. $6.00

Philosophy The Microdelivery Peel

So good I wrote a post about it before and, it’s my most viewed post! Love this two step process, first you apply the scrub and then come in with the lactic acid gel. It heats up and feels amazing on the skin. Wash it clean and it literally gives you the smoothest skin ever. My winter skin could have really used this. $72.00

Rimmel Wake Me Up Anti-Fatigue Foundation

Seems to not be available anymore but they have it in a BB cream. Then again I bought this in England so maybe it was never available here? You can find it on Amazon or the BB cream at Ulta. This foundation has a dewy finish without being too shiny. I have fairly oily skin so it’s saying a lot if I don’t think this is greasy looking. Love the finish and staying power. $6.99

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in Peachy Dream

I’m starting to wonder just how old my makeup is? I did a huge cleanout not too long ago and tossed anything I didn’t think was good anymore. This isn’t sold either, can be found on Amazon though. Honestly, any peach/coral blush is a favorite of mine. Why I ever stopped using this is beyond me but i’m so happy it’s back. 

Rediscover Your Old Makeup Favorites // Being Leanna

Elizabeth and James Nirvana in Black and White

Mini rollerballs are the best for traveling or keeping in your purse. Or your car which is where I found mine recently. #oops These two scents are amazing. They’re a bit musky which I love. The white is more of a day time scent while the black is more for night time. The best part is that they can be layered for an even more amazing scent. $25.00 

First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy

Best eye brightener around. I’ve mentioned before that I get super dark circles if I haven’t been sleeping well and this really counteracts that. It can be easily layered under any concealer without creasing which is obviously really important. If you need an under eye brightener, this is it. The stainless steel tip is also insanely cooling and refreshing on tired eyes and puffiness. Win win. $36.00 

Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment

If you’re looking for a balm (bomb, get it?) tinted lip balm this is the one you need. Best lip balm/moisturizer ever. It’s one of the few tinted lip balms that I actually enjoy, most tinted balms tend to not be moisturizing. And it smells amazing. Pretty pricey at $24.00 (I have a mini) but I only break this out on days where my lips really need help. The color is gorgeous and there are 12 shades!

Rediscover Your Old Makeup Favorites // Being Leanna

Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express in black

My favorite drugstore mascara. I always have a backup on me ready to go but i’ve been trying to use up the 5 other open mascaras I have *no shame*. The formula is amazing, really adds volume without clumping. I’m blessed to have super long lashes but they don’t curl or look very thick and this mascara really helps. If you’re looking for an amazing, inexpensive mascara, this is for you. $6.99

Makeup Eraser

Bought it, loved it, went on a micellar water and makeup wipe binge and now i’m back to it. Love it, works well, easy to clean, does stain pretty easily with mascara though. If you haven’t tried it, it’s pretty great. Promise. $20.00 

 

Bhcosmetics Contour and Blush palette

This is really inexpensive for the amount of product you get. I highly suggest it for anyone who wants some color variety but doesn’t want to break the bank. Not the best quality but it does last well on top of foundation. Very pigmented so you’ll only need a small amount. $10.99

Rediscover Your Old Makeup Favorites // Being Leanna

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Original

Love the original formulation, works well, does what it says and it’s super cheap at $7.99 a bottle. I got a dozen different dry shampoos in my Birchboxes and I had been trying to use those up. Now that they’re all gone I went and grabbed my Batiste instead of buying one of the samples I had. That’s saying a lot!

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs in Fairest Glow

I’m very fair and you can always see my veins so, in the summer, if I haven’t gotten a little tan I always spray this on before heading out. It’s perfect for work so I can get away without stockings and it’s perfect for those short shorts that show off a lot of leg. I haven’t had any issues with this coming of which is a huge bonus. If you aren’t great with fake tanner (me) you need this in your life. It’s 300x easier. $12.99

Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm

$39.00 This is the first BB cream I bought and i’m still in love with it. I always forget how great it is on my skin and how well it holds up throughout the day. The spf 45 is the biggest winner for me, it’s the perfect summer foundation when you’re looking for light/medium coverage.

Rediscover Your Old Makeup Favorites // Being Leanna

Two of the lip products you see in the pictures above got tossed a few days after I took these pictures. When looking up links for you guys I noticed that neither product had been sold in quite some time so I trashed them. Don’t want to be using old products on my face!

Question of the day: Have you ever done a search through your collection and discovered some new favorites? If not, now’s the time! 

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Must See Historic Sites in Philadelphia 7


Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

Must See Historic Sites in Philadelphia, PA

When planning a trip to Philly you’re probably on a mission to see the amazing historic site, the Liberty Bell. After all, it is pretty famous. But, did you know that the Liberty Bell is in the middle of Independence National Historic park? 

Independence National Historic Park has been around since 1948 and it consists of over 20 buildings on 55 acres of land. Talk about impressive. Check out a map here to start planning your visit. It’s tough to see everything so I’ve summed up my top 3 spots to see within the park. Certainly you should hit as many spots as you can but if you’re cramming everything into one weekend these are the 3 you need to visit. 

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

General Park Tips

Most of the historic sites are free to enter but, Independence Hall requires a timed ticket (still free) to get into. Tickets can be picked up at the Visitor’s Center which opens at 8:30. The visitor’s center also has a cafe, restrooms and maps for the whole park. Most of the sites don’t open until 9 so you’ll have time to grab breakfast before you go. In the warmer months I highly suggest getting a portable breakfast and eating in the grass or on one of the many park benches to take in all of the sights. There are security persons and metal detectors to get into the buildings (at least the ones I went in) so be mindful of what you’re bringing with you. You’ll need to take off your jackets upon entering and put any coats and bags through a conveyor like at the airport. 

 

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

Independence Hall

If you’re American or have ever taken an American History class you’ll know this as one of the most historic sites in the USA. It’s the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, where the Articles of Confederation were adopted and where the US Constitution was enacted. In the west wing lies the original copies of all three of those documents. There is so much incredible history here that it’s my number one must see in all of Philadelphia. 

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

Congress Hall

Located within Independence Square, Congress Hall is exactly what it sounds like. From 1790-1800 this was home to congress and the senate while Philadelphia was the temporary US capitol. Both George Washington and John Adams has their inaugurations here. If that’s not enough history for you the Federal Mint, the Navy, and the First Bank of the US were all established here. 

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

Liberty Bell Center

Located directly across from Independence square the Liberty Bell center is another must see attraction. The bell itself is located at the end of a long hallway sprinkled with everything you could ever want to know about the State House Bell (as it was originally called) and its famous crack. Believe it or not, the crack isn’t a crack at all, it was part of a repair job gone wrong! Be sure to ask the attendants any questions you may have; they know all that there is to know about the bell and its history!

Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna

There you go! The top 3 historic sites you need to see in Philadelphia. Yes, there are dozens more but these are the 3 you cannot leave town without seeing. Conveniently they’re all right next to each other so it makes for the perfect mid morning itinerary. Be sure to check out this review on the Sonesta Philadelphia if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Philly! Also, make sure you’re always looking for art, it’s everywhere in Philly. I even wrote a whole post about the best street art in Philly so you’ll have a guide!

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Must See Historic Sites In Philadelphia // Being Leanna