Friday, October 24, 2014

Southern California’s Scariest Haunts

A Good Hue, Scary Haunts

Ahhh, Halloween is just one week away! One of my favorite ways to get in a scary mood is to check out one (or more!) of the many frightening haunted attractions in the Los Angeles area. From terrifying theme park scares to haunted hay rides and ghost-filled ships, here’s a few hair-raising haunts that will give you goose bumps:

1)      Knott’s Scary Farm
This month I went to Scary Farm not once… twice! We were able to go through all the mazes, including the new Special Ops: Infected, an interactive haunt where guests, led by squad leaders, use laser guns to shoot and fend off zombies and complete a mission. Very cool experience, I hope they keep this one around and better it in years to come! Aside from Infected, the best mazes were Tooth Fairy (they got me a few times, plus just going to the dentist on a regular basis is freaky); VooDoo, which had really well done d├ęcor and scares; Forevermore, based on macabre Edgar Allen Poe stories where the rooms were amazingly done but the scares could have been better; and of course just walking through ghoulish Ghost Town will scare your socks off. With mazes, rides, shows (including Elvira!) and haunted areas, Scary Farm is always a good time.

I didn’t get a chance to go to this one this year but in past years it was always really good… and creepy. It’s Universal so costumes and makeup are extremely well done and the frightening mazes are definitely worth the wait. My favorite is the Terror Tram through the backlot taking you and then dropping you off on real movie sets. Word on the street (or at least the review world) is that Dracula Untold and Alien vs. Predator mazes had the best scares. Between the mazes, the set designs, the terrifying scares (including The Walking Dead and The Purge: Anarchy scare zone) you are sure to get in a good scream or two.

I have never been to this one, or any haunted hayride for that matter, but this sounds pretty cool. Located up in Griffith Park at the old LA zoo grounds, the hayride is about 25 minutes long taking guests through a unique set of special effect scares and frightening scenes. The hayride isn’t all that is offered as there are a few other attractions set up to check out as well. One of my co-workers went last year and said it was good, although she recommends going during the week or as early as possible during the weekend as it gets extremely packed.

It’s been years since I’ve been to this haunt but it’s definitely one to check out as the ship itself is reportedly haunted! The creep factor is definitely high as you meander your way through scares amongst the eerie ship, including an unnerving haunted encounter, and if you’re feeling particularly bold you can even stay the night in a room aboard the ship. This attraction also offers live entertainment with bands and DJs, and you can even wear costumes on Halloween night and Nov. 1 and 2 for Dia de los Muertos (costume registration required).

This haunt is over in my neck of the woods (Inland Empire) and features 5 haunted houses, including a spooky hay ride, and a magic show. It’s fairly inexpensive, about $33 for all 5 haunts and close enough so it’s definitely on my list to check out.

Other notable haunt attractions in the Los Angeles area include ALONE: An Existential Haunting (Um, haunted house by myself? Full contract? I am WAY too much of a wuss to do something disturbing like this), Fright FairScreampark at Pierce College, SixFlags Fright Fest at Magic Mountain and SinisterPointe's Beyond the Mirror.

Southern California Haunted Houses

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weekly Favorites: Makeup Bag Essentials

Last week, I wrote about non-favorite beauty products among my friends and I, so this week I’m highlighting the products that I REALLY like and use on a daily basis. Here’s what is currently in heavy rotation in my makeup bag:

Urban Decay NakedBasics and Naked 2 Basics Palettes: I know, I know—I am always going on and on about these palettes but for good reason—they are fantastic! Whether you’re new to wearing eye shadow or you’re looking for everyday neutral shades, these are great palettes to own. For more, read my Naked 2 Basics review.

MAC Eye Kohl EyeLiner Pencil in Smolder: My go-to eye liner pencil and as straight forward as you can get. The liner glides on smoothly producing a true black line; I love using it as an everyday liner or to create a smoky eye.

Physicians FormulaPowder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent: If you only ever purchase one highlighter, this is the one to get. The product gives a pretty pearlescent sheen without being over-the-top shimmery, leaving cheeks with a natural glow. I also use it on inner corners of eye and brow bone to highlight my eyes.

Benefit “HelloFlawless!” Oxygen Wow Foundation: If you read last week’s post you might be thinking, ‘Wait, wasn’t this one the list of beauty fails?’ True, but it wasn’t my fail. I have been using this foundation for several weeks now and really like it. The foundation is lightweight, so it’s not full coverage and concealer may still be needed; however it does leave my skin smooth, even and brighten any dullness. I apply my face powder over and it lasts all day!

MAC Powder Blush inBlushbaby: Classic everyday color that has been one of MAC’s most popular for years Sheer, buildable color. Should be in every makeup bag/kit natural looking flush, great on a variety of skin tones

e.l.f. Essential NaturalLash Kit: When I need fake lashes for a costume or outfit, I run out to pick up a pair of these. At just $1, they are crazy affordable, especially when they’re going to get tossed at the end of the night, and have a nice, natural shape. I do recommend tossing the glue they come with and opting for Duo Eyelash Adhesive (another must-have!) instead.

Urban Decay EyeShadow Primer Potion: UDPP is a cult product for a reason, it’s that good. Blends easily, doesn’t feel heavy, dries quickly and does what it’s supposed to—helps shadow look even, keeps shadow from creasing and lasts throughout the day. Especially good for oily lids, but works well on my dryer skin as well. A little goes a long way and this stuff lasts, don’t let the price tag scare you away.

Physicians FormulaEye Booster 2-In-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum: When I want a classic cat eye, I read for this bad boy. It’s a liquid eyeliner with a super fine brush and an excellent formula that dries quickly (no smudges!) and stays put all day. It also has an added bonus of a lash boosting serum which enhances lashes over time.

MAC Eye Shadow inSatin Taupe: If I were forced to have just one eye shadow to use for the rest of my life, it would be MAC’s iconic Satin Taupe. The color, the pigmentation, the ease of which it applies- seriously, like silk- is just absolutely amazing. It’s a frosty mid-tone grey-brown and has a perfect balance of shimmer—definitely a versatile, go-to shade to add to your makeup collection if you haven’t already.

Smashbox Photo FinishFoundation Primer SPF 20: Call me old-school but this has been a favorite foundation primer of mine for years. When primers first started stealing the beauty scene several years ago, this was one of the major players and still is. Smashbox’s primer line has since grown to include primers for redness, illumination and my personal favorite, with the added bonus of SPF.

What are some of your makeup bag essentials? 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Good HUES-Day: Pumpkin Beauty

Pumpkin seed oil products

Remember a few years back when putting oils on your face was a huge no-no and everything was labeled oil-free? Now products with oils, namely of the coconut and argan varieties, are popping up everywhere and have been found to be really good for both skin and hair. The latest in the oil craze is pumpkin seed oil, often known as “green-gold.” This oil, which is so perfect for the fall pumpkin season, can not only be used on salads and in other recipes (it’s recommended to not heat it) but can also be incorporated into your everyday beauty regimen. PSO is rich in vitamins A, B, E and K, and contains omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids, zinc, and iron—all of which help promote hair growth and health, as well skin care benefits such as anti-aging and perfecting skin tone. You can purchase a bottle of pumpkin seed oil, or try one of these products for the pumpkin-obsessed:

This hand cream provides intense moisturization with a mixture of organic pumpkin seed oil and jojoba oil to deeply penetrate skin, helping not only to combat dryness but to fade the appearance of age spots as well.

Using both pumpkin extract and pumpkin seed oil, this scrub exfoliates dead skin cells to help condition and polish skin for a glowing complexion. Available for a great price at HSN!

I use this masque and love it—there’s a faint smell of (real!) pumpkin and it leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth. The pumpkin enzyme works to digest dead surface cells while antioxidant ingredients fight free radicals.

An organic face serum that helps to renew skin via cellular regeneration and is an intensive repair treatment. The pumpkin seed oil in the serum helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines.

A skin care triple threat, this one uses Alpha Hydroxy Acid to peel, exfoliates with Pumpkin Enzymes and then polishes with Aluminum Oxide for a fresh-faced, youthful glow.

This mask mixes organic pumpkin puree with yogurt and Bentonite clay to deep clean pores and boost natural radiance—and it’s 99.6% natural.

This pumpkin spice scented body lotion uses pumpkin enzymes and pumpkin seed oil to help improve overall skin tone and skin elasticity to help reduce the signs of aging and to regenerate sun damaged skin. 

Linking up with Tuesday Pretties 

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Favorite iPhone Apps

Do you ever have those times where you left your phone behind? I did this on Friday as I was heading to a friends house for a skin care party. I hadn't been to her house yet but I knew the general area. When I got close, I reached in my purse for my phone to look at the directions and address and... nothing. I forgot my phone at home! 

It's amazing how much we rely on our phones now and for so many reasons-- calls, directions, maps, cameras, and so much more. There are thousands of apps now and for almost everything! I was recently introduced to Kabbage, which is a productivity boosting app providing loans for small business owners-- any app that can help me be more productive is always a winner. Here's a few of my other top favorite apps:

I live outside Los Angeles and traffic can get bad. REAL bad. Waze is a great app for finding ways to cut through traffic. I also use it to find out if an accident happened on the freeway when it’s backed up and to make sure my route is clear.

Since losing Google Reader a couple years ago I have all my must-read blogs listed on Feedly. I love that I can categorize the blogs I follow and mark posts as read, very similar to GR. I also love that I can customize how I want to see posts, I prefer the magazine layout.

This is a straight-forward app that makes it easy to create shopping lists. While I’m shopping I can pull ShopShop up, and cross off items as I stick them in my cart. Whenever I randomly think of an item I need to get, I can easily add it to my shopping list and, even better, it will remember my items so I can simply click to add them to my list. So helpful!

I love cooking and the BigOven app comes in handy on a weekly basis. I mainly use it to add my meal plans for the week to the calendar portion, but you can also use it to search for recipes (they have TONS!). I love having my meal plans handy—makes grocery shopping and cooking much easier!

This has become my numero uno photo editing app and if it’s available and you don’t have it, um why?? I can easily edit my pictures (and make them look SO much better) on Afterlight and there’s so many more filters to choose from—and I can layer on filters over one another—and create cool lighting effects.

Overdrive & Kindle
I was going to stick to just 5 favorite apps but these two apps are also favorites. I check out books from the library often (hello, free!) and if they have them available to download, it’s an even better option. I can use either Overdrive or Kindle apps to read my checked out e-books on my iPad2 and I don’t have to remember to return them. Very cool.

What are some of your favorite apps?

Linking up with Monday Morning Gossip

All opinions are my own, I was not provided monetary compensation for this post.