The 5 Minute Face: Makeup in a Hurry

Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time in the morning for elaborate and time consuming makeup.  When it’s one of those mornings when the alarm somehow didn’t go off, blaring all three scheduled timings of Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” or if the kids refused to turn the television off, it’s a struggle just to get dressed on time.  Don’t skip your morning routine of pampering yourself with your favorite cosmetics, instead employ your emergency backup routine: the 5 minute face.  A few years ago, this was all the rage on YouTube, and makeup bloggers and gurus took part in the challenge of a full face of makeup in 5 minutes or less.  While it’s easy to look up one of those videos to take notes, it takes practice to get the routine down just right.  Instead of spending a few hours in front of the computer and mirror to try your hand at mastering the routine, invest in a few items that will make your “5 minute face” a lot easier!

Face Moisturize

Do not skip this step!  If you put only one thing on your face, choose moisturizer.  No matter the season, it remains one of the most important steps in makeup application.  For those who have dry skin, it helps avoid dry blotches and helps prevent your skin from “drinking up” your liquid foundation which can result in red irritated skin, amongst other issues.  For those with oily skin, it will help control the shine and break outs that can occur when oily skin is not properly cared for.  For dry skin types, try Neutrogena’s Healthy Defense with SPF.  For oily skin types, try Yes to Tomatoes Daily Balancing Moisturizer.

All-in-One Foundation

Leave the 5-layer routine (that is, moisturizer, primer, concealer, foundation, and powder) for days when you don’t have just 10 minutes to leave the house.   Opt for a product which cuts down a few steps without compromising on the result, such as Stila Cosmetic’s One Step Foundation.  This foundation combines primer, concealer, foundation, and powder to give you a flawless finish in just one easy step.  If you’re anything like me, your first concern would be your skin type and how this foundation will work with dry or oily skin.  Stila took it one step further as this foundation reacts to your skin’s need by hydrating and controlling oils.  It minimizes pores, uses natural mineral pigments, and for those who put this highest on their list: it diminishes the look of wrinkles and fine lines.  Best of all, it’s long wearing, fragrance free, and high definition friendly!

Source: Free Digital Photos

Source: Free Digital Photos

Eyes Liner & Lids

Go for a nude look with liner.  This allows for more versatile makeup to match whatever outfit you pulled out of your closet, and it also allows you to play with color on your lips.  Swiping one color on your lips in a hurry is much easier than coordinating it with a combination of shadows, and when the clock is ticking, versatility really is your friend.  Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil is easy to apply and stays put all through-out the work day, which makes it an easy choice for a go-to liner and offers 40 different colors for those adventurous types.  If you insist on a shadow over your lid, try Sephora’s Matte shadow in No. 75 Sandcastle.  It will add a warm beige tint to your lids to complement whatever shade of liner you choose.  Note: avoid shimmers.


While products such as lash conditioners are great for when we have the time to apply several coats of different products, those “5 minute face” mornings call for something fool proof.  Maybelline’s Great Lash Lots of Lashes is a staple in almost every makeup artist’s kit, because it provides a quick and easy application with lots of pigment.  The brush is the perfect size, which ensures that every lash is coated.  It also helps separate to avoid clumps and those unsightly “spider lashes” that can occur all too easily.  Just one or two coats will give you perfect lashes in hardly any time at all.


I have been the victim of those dreaded “bleeding lines” all too often, and if your lipstick tends to run, you feel my pain.  The solution?  A lip pencil that doubles as a lipstick.  While this is surely not a new invention, NARS perfected the all in one lipstick with their Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero or Dragon Girl among 14 different shades.  It glides on easily, and does not leave your lips dry.  For those who insist on their signature tube lipsticks, don’t fret – I have something for you as well!  Skip the process of matching a liner to your choice of color.  Instead, try a liner such as Sephora’s Universal Lip Liner which goes on clear and prevents any shade of lip color to smudge or “bleed” around the outline of your lips.

While it can take a few tries to perfect, the 5 minute face is completely achievable if you use the right products.  Once you have the routine down, you can even incorporate your favorite items into the quick morning look, but who knows!  You might just get addicted to these easy go-to items in your in-a-hurry kit.

A review of Sex Tape starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel


Sex Tape is the newest comedy to hit theaters and features two legends of laughter, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. The last we saw them together was in Bad Teacher as gym instructor and middle school teacher romantic interests. The on screen chemistry was present there, and Sex Tape  proves that this pair is a comedic winner. This time they play a very in love married couple who has lost the sexual spark that was the driving force of their relationship from the start. In order to reignite it, they attempt to drunkenly create a sex tape in hopes that it will rekindle the flame that parenthood and careers have put out. Unfortunately, the power of technology renders the result of the night out of their grasp as the film, taken on one of Jay’s (Jason Segel) ipads is directly uploaded to icloud, of which their family and friends happen to have access to. Upon receiving a mysterious text message about the tape they thought would be for their own private use, the couple vehemently seeks out ways to prevent anyone else from seeing the tape and go on a series of adventures in order to do so. The film marks their quest to not only track down who has seen the sex tape, but also to rediscover why they started having sex in the first place. Among the cast is Ellie Kemper and Rob Corddry playing the couple’s close friends and Rob Lower as Cameron Diaz’s boss. The talented extended cast offers further comedy and an enlightening detour that averts the attention from the entire film being completely about Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. The plot was original and unpredictable; Sex Tape was a different kind of comedy in that it was a perfect balance of family heart touching and hysterical raunchiness. Humor stemmed out of the relatability and ingenuity of the relationship between husband and wife, two people with the desire to get back in the groove but no smooth way to do so. The film was action packed and high energy, with no notably dull moments or uncomfortable silences. I feel thoroughly laughed out upon leaving the theater, and can say the same for the rest of the audience that spent an hour and a half laughing hysterically.

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Rotten Tomatoes gives Sex Tape a harsh 20% rating, and audiences a low 45%. Despite these critics, it was safe to say that the  movie goers I encountered as well as the people i went to the theaters with deemed the film one of their favorites of the year. I say look past all the negative criticism on this one, and watch Sex Tape if you want to laugh hard and emerge with a great mood!

Three Nutrition Apps Everyone Should Use!

I’ve got nutrition on the mind and a secret to share: the “freshman fifteen” is a misnomer.

To be precise, there should be a caveat attached, an addendum added in fine print at the bottom. Maybe even a warning label? Something that looks like this:


I graduated from college three months ago, and let me tell you, nobody warned me about the live-at-home-and-gain-an-infinite-number-of-pounds clause. The ease with which my parents spend money at restaurants is mind-boggling, considering that, until recently, I was living off buttered noodles and peanut butter sandwiches.

Luckily there are ways to combat lazy eating! And one way is with apps.

As I imagine most Millennials are, I’m very addicted to my smartphone. I use things like Facebook, Pinterest, and Candy Crush every day. However, there are so many constructive and actually valuable apps out there (because let’s be honest, my life could be much more productive if Candy Crush didn’t exist). A particularly helpful genre is that of nutrition apps.

There are different kinds of health apps: kinds which track what you eat, others which measure your workouts, etc. Here are three of the top nutrition/food-tracking apps of 2014:

CalorieKing® is an app that hosts hundreds of thousands of food labels for pretty much anything you can think of. From Hostess donuts to Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, you can pull up the food label and get information on fat content, cholesterol, calories, etc. The app is organized by food category, food brands, and fast food chains. So, whenever you’re out and deciding what to order, you can nip onto the app, do a quick search for the restaurant, and figure out which choice is the healthiest for you. For more information, visit

MyFitnessPal allows you to log all your meals through a search that finds what you ate and lists all its nutritional information, including calories, sodium, etc. It calls it your food “diary,” designed to help you come back and reference what you’ve eaten in the past. It also keeps track of the time and type of exercise you perform daily (or, if you’re like me, weekly). The app also helps you achieve your weight loss goals by putting in your current weight, determining how much you would like to weigh, and how much you can eat in the allotted time to lose the weight necessary for your goal. Create an account at

MyPlate calorie tracker is perhaps my favorite of the three apps, and the one I use most often. It’s quite similar to MyFitnessPal but comes across a touch more user-friendly. With the app you are able to update what you’ve eaten at each meal, plus the exercise you’ve done, your weight, and the amount of water you’ve drunk. Like the others, it allows you to search for particular brands of food and lets you change the serving size to match what you ate. Visit for details.

Whichever app you choose, the key is to stick with it. It takes about seven days to start habitually posting daily. It’s also important to be consistent in order to assure accurate results. Like anything worthwhile, if you put consistent effort in, you’ll be pleased with the outcome.

My College Freshman Dorm Experience

I will never forget my freshman year at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. It was a year of new friends, a long distance relationship, and adventure in a new city. But perhaps the year’s most memorable aspect was my living situation: seven roommates in a four bedroom, one bathroom dormitory.

First-Year Student Dormitory Requirement

USF has a first-year student residency requirement on campus, the only loophole being if you live in the surrounding counties (Hillsborough, Pinellas, etc.). Coming from a small, suburban town in South Florida called Davie, I couldn’t get out of living in the dreaded freshman dorms. Yes, I said dreaded. Though in my housing application I had marked my preference for the beautiful, high-tech, state-of-the-art dorms on the north side of campus, I was put in the oldest dormitory, dating back to the school’s beginnings in the 1960′s. The rusty, brownish-gray building resembled a prison, especially with its long, thin windows. I lived on the third floor, so you can imagine what a hassle moving in was. My poor uncle had to carry my 40-pound mini fridge up three flights of stairs, and help move several other heavy boxes and personal items which I anticipated would fit in my room. On the few USF tours I had had, and during my orientation, the guides had (of course) shown us the highest quality dorms on campus. Aside from the single bedrooms we were shown, the double bedrooms (two students to a room) had more than enough space for two closets, two beds, two dressers, and two desks.

Dorm room!

Every girl’s fantasy dorm set-up!

A Different Set-Up

My living arrangement was, let’s just say, different. My uncle and I, upon first entering the room, discovered a very small bedroom with two beds about two feet or less apart. The room was too small for any desk, so a space was provided in a cramped area just outside our bedroom. We used this for my microwave and as a pantry area for our food. Between my roommate and me, there wasn’t a lot of space for either of us to study. The “dressers” were a part of our closet…except the closet wasn’t really a closet, but more of an open space in the back of our room, made of aged wood with a metal bar to hang clothes. The bedroom to our right was the same set-up: two girls in one bedroom with a desk area outside. To the right of their room was a narrow door which led to the bathroom area, which was community style: one shower, two sinks with two mirrors, and two toilet stalls. Another door, right of the stalls, led to two bedrooms the same style as ours–two girls living in each–totaling eight people in a space smaller than an average two-bedroom apartment. Yet another downside was the fact that the A/C unit was controlled solely by the far right bedroom (the one farthest from my roommate and mine). This meant that if those two girls kept their room locked day or night, we had no way to control our room’s temperature.

A Bright Side

The only aspect of this arrangement which made my freshman year worth it were my wonderful roommates. We were forced to get comfortable with each other quickly, because we couldn’t actually sit in our rooms without overhearing each others’ conversations, as our walls were so thin! The experience humbled me, and I hope other Millennials can experience something similar at some point in the near future. Having roommates (in my case, seven) taught me a lot about people and made my college experience unique, to say the least. Sharing a small living area allows the most diverse groups of people to coexist. My roommates and I were sort of shocked to have been placed together, considering the vast differences in our personalities and interests. We all had very different backgrounds, but because we were all freshmen learning the ropes, we stuck together like glue. From late night trips to 24-hour grocery stores, to every meal together in the dining hall, we never had to feel alone. Living with those girls truly opened my mind. Outside of college, we were a group that would likely never have formed such close friendships. Though we all resented our living situation, we at least had each other. I hope that all Generation Y women should have an experience like mine, no matter the challenges that come with it. We often forget to step outside of our comfort zone and make friends with different kinds of people, but sometimes it is with these different kinds of people that we share the best and most important experiences.