Saturday, December 27, 2014

'Tis the Season: My Christmas Haul-iday

It began to look a lot like Christmas a couple of weeks ago, when the snow finally came and blanketed the city in white. I simply love Christmas - from the cookies to the holiday cheer to the lights. In this blog post, I will be highlighting some of my favorite gifts.

Makeup

I have always wanted makeup from Sephora. I received the Urban Decay Naked On The Run, which includes five eyeshadows, an all-over powder, bronzer, blush, lip gloss, mascara and an eye pencil. This set has several neutral shades that are perfect for any occasion.


Naked On The Run Palette
Photo Courtesy: Urban Decay


Naked On The Run Tutorial
Video Courtesy: Youtube
My grandma bought me the Bella J. Deluxe Brush Set from Nordstrom. It has a domed powder brush, flat rounded blush brush, flat eyeshadow brush, duo fiber blending brush, definition brush, and lash/brow groomer brush. These six brushes work well with all of my new makeup.

On the top of my wish list was a Large Ruffle Cosmetic Bag from Vera Bradley. I simply adore the Cherry Blossom print and this bag is durable yet fashionable. The inside of the bag has a waterproof lining, which allows for easy breezy cleaning (If you are like me - a germophobe - then this is a biggie).

To tie everything together, one of my presents was a Two-Sided Makeup Mirror by Conair. It has four light settings - day, evening, home, and office. I honestly don’t care about these different lightings, especially the office because it is pointless since I don’t have a job. With 1x and 5x magnification, this mirror allows one to see the bitty details.

Hair

I am kinda obsessed with anything and everything concerning hair. For a long time, I have been wanting a curling wand. When I unwrapped my Remington Pearl Ceramic Professional Curling Wand, I ran to plug it in to test it out. This wand creates the perfect ringlet and heats up to 410 degrees within minutes. As an added bonus, it comes with a heat resistant glove to prevent any burns, and when I wear it I feel like Michael Jackson.

Between the chlorine and everyday life, my hair gets greasy fast, to the point where I have to wash it daily. One of the latest crazes is dry shampoo, a way to get the fresh shower look in just a few seconds. I got Batiste dry shampoo in the medium and brunette color. It refreshes your hair, adds body and textures, and removes oils. Plus, the spray container allows for trouble-free application.

Swimming

On my room walls, I have action shots of me swimming. Prior to Christmas, I already had two canvases, one of butterfly and one of backstroke. My parents gave me another one of breaststroke to add to my collection. I adore these pics because they remind me of how much I love the sport and they make my room feel homey and unique.

My Christmas Canvas
I hope that you guys had a fantabulous holiday season, because I know I did! I just realized that I forgot to mention that I got Lululemon leggings as an early Christmas treat, and they are amazing. Be sure to comment on your favorite presents below. Thanks for reading and see you next time!

XOXO 

Siena

Monday, December 22, 2014

All Sorts of Suits

In swimming, there are two main types of suits. There are practice suits (you wear these everyday) and competition suits (these are for big meets). In this post, I will be giving you my opinion and feedback on both of these types.

Practice Suits

I have lots of practice suits, because I kinda have a problem of wanting to get a new one every time we are at a swim meet or in the swim apparel shop Aquaholics. Then, I completely forget about all of my old practice suits, and that is why there are like five suits on each of my door handles! 

Anyways, my favorite brand of suit is Nike. They come in several styles with different backs, and have the cutest prints. They last for a long time too, so that’s good! Right now, I wear a blue floral suit to practice. I also have another black Nike suit that I wear to meets that aren’t that major. In summer, we have practice twice a day (the morning and afternoon). By the time afternoon practice comes around, my suit from the morning is still wet. :(

My Current Practice Suit
Photo Courtesy: Metro Swim Shop

You should check out my friend Blaire’s blog, as she has a post all about the suits she wears for swimming and water polo. Blaire, if you are reading this, I really want your acid wash pink Nike suit.

In practice, my coach makes all the boys - for the girls it is optional - wear drag suits. You wear a drag suit to create drag (nice definition Siena: not) and help you become less water-dynamic. I wore a drag suit for the short course season last year, and at first I felt like I was moving an inch per hour, but once I got used to it everything was just fine. Then, that glorious (sometimes) time of year came along, taper time! During taper you drop drag, and let me tell you that first set without drag was amazing. I don’t wear a drag suit anymore, as a feel like it didn’t make that much of a difference and it caused my shoulders to hurt.

Competition Suits

Competition suits are also known as “big suits”. These suits have special oils on them that repel water. When you get out of the pool, your suits dries within seconds and the water drips off in a beading effect. It is super cool! Unfortunately, these suits are only effective for a couple of races before they become worn out. Competition suits come in two styles - fastskins and kneeskins. My favorite brand for fastskins is Speedo, and for kneeskins it is BlueSeventy and Arena. 

Look At All Those Kneeskins!
Photo Courtesy: New York Daily News
These suits are a pain to get on because they are super tight. My friends and I have several memories of bonding over our suffering. These suits are also worn by all Olympians - even though they are sponsored and get a new “big suit” for every race. It is really time that I learn life will never be fair. While some people believe that they do not work, I disagree. Every time I wear a kneeskin, I just seem to step up and race! 

That is all that I have for you today. Thank you for reading and be sure to check back for more posts!

XOXO

Siena

Monday, December 8, 2014

Nail Details

I went through a phase a little bit ago where I was just obsessed with painting my nails. Every couple of days, I had to redo them. I’m not like that anymore, but I still love anything and everything about nails. Since I am a swimmer though, I have given up on the whole “no-chipping” concept, as the chlorine seems to rob them of all perfection. In this post, I’ll be giving you some insight on my favorite nail polish brands and colors, easy nail art, and how I try to achieve the salon worthy manicure/pedicure.

Colors and Brands

My two favorite brands of nail polish are definitely Essie and OPI. Stars have been seen wearing Essie at the Emmy Awards and Fashion Weeks. Essie nail polish lasts long and has easy application. The founder of Essie, Essie Weingarten, has created a stellar product. Next, OPI is known throughout the world for their nail care. They provide customers with high-quality formulas and all of their polishes have renowned names. OPI also gives back through advocation for women’s health, education, and anti-violence. 

Within each of these brands, I have my go-to colors. For Essie they are Mod Squad (electric pink) and In the Cab-ana (aqua). Both of these Essie colors are bold and preppy. For OPI they are Pink-ing of You (light pink), Step Right Up! (nude), and Suzi Sells Sushi by the Seashore (medium pink).Woah, that’s a lot of pink! These three colors are very subtle and pair well with any outfit. 


Essie's In the Cab-ana
Photo Courtesy: A Girls Guide to an Organized Life

Easy Nail Art

While some people splurge on all types of nail decals and tools, I have found that household items like bobby pins, chopsticks, and tape do the trick as well! You can do a simple flower by bending the bobby pin and dipping it in the color of your choice. Place five dots in a circular shape on the corner of your nail, and then add another dot in the middle with a different color. To make leaves, place a green dot just outside of one of your five white dots, and use a chopstick to draw out one of the corners for a triangular shape. If you are in a more geometric mood, you can use tape to create stripes of any size and direction. The possibilities are endless!


Salon Quality

For some reason, every time I do my nails, my left hand always turns out better since I am right handed. On my right hand, nail polish always gets all over my skin. Since I am obviously not a pro, I like to dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover and go around all the edges. Whenever I get my nails done, it seems like the color is smooth and not streaky. I have found that if you do two coats (maybe even three for lighter colors), you are able to get a more even application. And finally, don’t forget your top coat. A top coat not only provides protection to keep your nails from chipping, but it also gives them that extra salon shine. If you follow these tips, hopefully others will be asking you where you got your manicure/pedicure done!

As a fun fact, whenever you rip a kneeskin, you can put nail polish on the hole to keep water from entering the suit! Anyways, that is all that I have for you guys today! I hope that you enjoyed this post and check back soon!

XOXO

Siena