Gold Smokey Eye Tutorial

This gold smokey eye look is a little less intimidating than the traditional darker smokey eye and, can be easily worn for day and night.



1. Prep your lids by applying concealer under your eyes to brighten any circles and, apply eye primer to keep all the shadows we will be applying in place.

2. Using an angled brush, apply a dark brown shadow to your upper lash line, winging it out.


3. Apply a golden shadow to the inner 2/3 of your lid.

4. Apply a dark gold shadow to the remaining outer third of your lid.


5. Apply a dark shimmery brown shadow in the crease and blend it out. If you don’t blend, the shadow is going to look heavy and overly dark (i.e. racoonish).

6. Use a brown liner to tightline your upper and lower lash line.

7. Apply mascara (I am using brown mascara here) to your lashes and, highlighter to the inner corners of your eye and your brow bone.


I Really Want to Like China Glaze Nail Polish

I have long searched for the perfect nail polish brand. In my high school days, it was Sally Hansen Insta-Dri and later, in my college years, I discovered my true nail polish soul mate, Essie. However, while I knew and loved Essie for all that it was, I wasn’t ready to tie myself down to one polish brand for the rest of my life. That’s when I met China Glaze. China Glaze seduced me with its $7.50 price tag and bright neon colors but, it wasn’t until the chipping began that I saw it for what it really was, an Essie imposter.

I bought my first bottle of China Glaze back in March, after I discovered the brand in Ulta. Sitting catty-corner with Essie and OPI, I figured it was destined to be one of the polish elites.

It wasn’t until my second purchase in the China Glaze family that I realized my mistake.


China Glaze is just is not the brand for me. I don’t know if it’s the surface of my nails or the formula of the polish but, I just can’t get the stuff to stay on. When applying, it dries insanely quick, which was a huge plus for me, however, it often takes three coats before I capture the true pigmentation in the bottle. And with all the coats, I figured the stuff would be chip proof but, when applying to my fingernails, the polish chips off several hours later.  I’m not talking tiny nicks but, the lacquer literally peels off in huge chunks even when having washed my hands and using base coat before painting my nails.

I can’t figure out what the problem is.

When it comes to removing the polish, it is impossible to take off. I will go through four or five cotton pads just trying to get it off, which makes me scratch my head because when I want it to stay put, I can’t get it to stay on my nails.


Usually, I am not much for ranting about products that I don’t like on this blog but, I feel a little duped by China Glaze. Online reviews everywhere are giving it 4/5 but, when I start scrolling through them I see the same complaints that I have about this brand. Chipping. Too many coats. Hard to take off.

In my experience, I have had better much better luck with drugstore brands, and when it comes down to it, $7.50 is too high a price for a polish that flakes off the same day as the application. If anything my experience with China Glaze has reminded me of my true love for Essie and that when it comes to forking over that extra buck, Essie is worth the price.

What is your experience with China Glaze?

Naked 1 Tutorial: Summer Gold

We are officially in mid-summer. In Maryland, that means Target is starting to fill its shelves with back-to-school deals, the humidity is slam dunking us all, and the Bay Bridge is plagued by a never ending saga of beach traffic. However, just because summer is here doesn’t mean that I have abandoned my favorite eye shadows. The Naked 1 is my favorite palette during the summer heat because it is super sweat resistant when paired with a primer.

This gold shadow concoction is just one of the many eyeshadow pairings that I have been using so far this summer season.


1. Prep your eyes by applying eye shadow primer and under-eye concealer.

2. Apply a dark golden eye shadow (Smog) to the outer edge of your lower lash line and your entire  upper lash line, winging out the shadow slightly.


3. Apply a golden eyeshadow (Half Baked) to your entire lid.

4. Apply a matte brown eyeshadow (Buck) to your crease. Make sure to blend out the crease after you apply the shadow or it’s not going to look as seamless.


5. Use a dark brown eyeliner to tightline your upper and lower lash line.

6. Apply mascara to your lashes. I am using brown mascara instead of black here.


Why I Don’t Straighten My Hair

I had a really burning desire to straighten my hair this week. I am letting my hair grow out longer than it has been for my entire life and, I was wondering how long it would really be without my curls stealing up precious inches.

So, I heated up the straightening iron on Tuesday, settled down with my clips, and tried to bargain some knots out of my hair with my barely used brush (hint – curly haired people do not get along with brushes). It had been more than a year since I last straightened my hair and even though I was really interested to see what my hair would look like straight again, I realized that I actually didn’t want to flatten my curls anymore.

samandro straight hair

In fact, I’ve become quite attached to my curly hair over the past few years and long gone is the teenager who used to gel her hair into submission every day.

But, I straightened it anyway, and the result was…eh. I used to be so in love with straight hair but, when I looked in the mirror this time around, I missed my curls. I actually seriously missed my curly hair and quickly remembered why I hate straightening my hair.

1. Time – I have such thick hair and, it takes a good 20 minutes to get all of my hair even decently straightened.

2. Hair health – I have a hard time believing that heat protectant can really spare hair from long-term heat exposure. Also, my hair combusts into frizz and split ends whenever I try to straighten on a regular basis even with protectant.

3. The smell – The smell of burnt hair is ick. I also hate the smell of the plates when they warm up. Ick ick.

4. Humidity – My hair is so resilient to the straightener that as soon as the humidity hits 10% every piece of hair just starts to slowly curl back up. It’s like watching all my time curl away right in front of my eyes.

5. I don’t feel like me – My curly hair is a part of me. It curls exceptionally well with minimal effort and, I actually like it a lot. It took me such a long time to realize that I love my hair, frizz, mess, and all, and, every time I straighten it, I feel like I am missing an important part of me. I got bullied so much in middle school because of my hair, and it took me such a long time to realize how awesome it is the way that it is.

tl;dr – Love what you got.

May 2014 Favorites

If I am going to get back into this blogging thing then I should probably go back to the beginning – beauty. During my hiatus, I have been falling in love with new beauty products and even though I am almost a week behind the game – here are my May 2014 favorites!

Last fall, I discovered CeraVe’s moisturizer and found a friend for life. So when I was looking for a new facial cleanser in April, I decided on CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser and, it was a wise choice. This cleanser does a good job at removing most waterproof makeup but, it leaves my skin feeling happy instead of  tight and dry.


I have been a fan of brown shades of mascara since the beginning of this year but, surprisingly brown can be hard to find on the shelves a lot of the time. I have been using CoverGirl’s Lash Blast Fusion in brown for the past few weeks and, it’s earned my seal of approval. It’s lengthening, darkening, and does not flake. I have been using the waterproof formula and have been impressed how well it stays in place during the day without being hard to remove at night.

Nexxus’ Diametress Luscious Volume Shampoo has been my go-to shampoo these past few weeks. $14.99 at Walmart, it’s on the pricier end of what I usually pay for hair care but, I was impressed by this brand after borrowing some from my similarly curly haired mom.

It has that amazing salon shampoo smell and does a great job of managing frizz and boosting volume. It really helps my hair to curl better.


This polish is an old favorite that has come back to my life. I was sorting through my nail polish collection when I came across this Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Blue-Away. I have moved away from painting my nails since I have gotten back into climbing (clinging to synthetic rock has a way of ruining my nails) but, I love this color for my toes. It’s bright, fun, and summery, but most importantly, it’s inexpensive.

What is your favorite summer beauty product?

Makeup Rut

Didn’t you used to be like – a beauty blogger? I feel like we should have a chat as to why my beauty content has all but dried up the past few weeks. Simply put, I’m in a makeup rut.

Every time I go into Walmart, I browse the beauty section with the intent to buy something new and exciting only to settle on an old product that I know that works. Recently, I’ve just stopped wanting to put that much effort into trying new products when I know that my old standbys work, which sucks because it means minimal beauty content.

My makeup collection at the moment…

My only way to explain this recent lack of beauty interest is three things.

1. It’s hard for me to spend money on something, use it once, and then realize I don’t like it and want to get rid of it. It actually stresses me out to buy products and then not use them. I feel like they are silently judging me in the drawer. I won’t throw away old products until I’ve finished them. And if the idea of not using products stress me out than having way too many products gives me massive stress. When I open my makeup drawer, I like to have one mascara, one concealer, one eyeliner. This makes new content a struggle since I tend to hang out with one product for a month or two months at a time.

2. I am super busy as graduation approaches. It’s so much easier to use things that I know work every single day rather than having to worry that I will use something new, won’t like how it looks, and will have to waste time taking it off and redoing my makeup.

3. My skin is almost perfect right now, and it makes me very nervous to try face products when I know what I am using works. Also, in clearing my skin, I have abandoned foundation and blush entirely.

The point of this post is not to make excuses or to apologies – it’s just to fill all of you in to what’s happening. I don’t know when or if I am going to decide to get back into posting more regular beauty content but, I know some of you signed up for this whole show because you like when I talk nail polish, blush, and lotion. If that’s the case, I wish that I could suddenly rekindle my love of eye shadow but, I don’t know when that will be the case.

Here’s to figuring out my blogging future.


What’s In My Bag

It kind of freaks me out that the last time I did a what’s in my bag post was this exact date last year. I totally did not even do that on purpose. I feel like there should probably be some creepy sci-fi music playing in the background.


As for my most recent bag selection, I’ve reverted to my old Primark purse from the fall since it is still in relatively good shape. Oh, Primark. I miss thee.


As it turns out, I have shoved so many cards, receipts, and dollar bills into my phone wristlet that it no longer closes properly. My phone is a Nokia Lumia 920. It’s a decent phone, and the screen is pretty resistant to cracking if dropped, which is pretty much my selling point for any phone.


I am definitely a receipt hoarder. Not only do I still have the SIM card packaging from my phone in England but, I also have copies of my passport stuck in the side pockets of my purse. Hmm. Maybe I should throw away the receipts from December of last year too.

travel umbrella

I always always always carry a mini umbrella in my purse or backpack. I don’t understand when I am walking around campus, it’s pouring rain, and no one has an umbrella. I guess I am just too anal retentive for my own good but, I check the weather every morning and always have a backup umbrella.


Last up, I have my new favorite sunglasses from Forever 21, Revlon ColorBurst lip gloss in Peony, and my keys floating around at the bottom of my bag. I don’t know why I have never done a review on the Revlon ColorBurst lip gloss but, it has been my go-to lip gloss for the past few months.

Also, I had the brilliant idea to put a hair tie on my key ring carbineer a few weeks ago. I don’t know about you, but, it seems like I am always desperate for a hair tie and end up using a rubber band or my lanyard to tie up my hair when I don’t have one. Ouch. Now, I can just take the hair tie off my keys and put it back as soon as I am done. I know, my genius is astounding.

What are the necessities in your bag?