Express Yourself

Fashion and Beauty


From the Life of Nora Brooks #1 (UNFILTERED!)

Hello, all! I received a few requests to do a personal blog here and there to keep you guys updated with my life and so forth. This is going to be the first of a new series: From the Life of Nora Brooks. For those wondering, Nora Brooks is the name I use online, although the last name is not my real last name. I like to keep my personal information just that, and I hope you guys understand that. I hope you guys can keep up with my insane rambling– I apologize from now! 

I feel as if when I wake up, I instantly feel a vibe. A vibe of what this day would feel like, and maybe that’s peculiar, but that’s what happens in my not-so-boring life. There really is no such thing as a boring life, is there? When in fact, life is exciting. Each breath, every thought, is all so extraordinary. Have you ever just looked in the mirror, peered at the reflection, and wondered? Thought to yourself, Wow. I’m a human being, and I have so many powers. I don’t have to be supernatural– I can talk, speak, hear, dream, inspire, and so much more. 

That’s precisely what I felt this morning as I woke up and became aware of my surroundings. Of course, when I realized what time it was, there was no time for deep thought. Who wakes up at twelve? My only excuse was winter break– which I had realized with a pang is almost over. Naturally, I ran into a major stress-zone as I remembered science fair.

If you’re required to participate in the competition of doom, you know what I felt. Each year since third grade, I have created a project, gone through with it, and presented it. And won. The pressure is always on to pull it off again, and this time the pressure was seriously gnawing at me as I dealt with an insanely large problem. After dealing with it, I once again doubted my project. Was it good enough, complicated enough?

I always have to tell myself to take an okay project, make it the best you can, and you can get far. I wouldn’t fail if my project wasn’t amazing, considering the judging consisted of so much more than that. With that out of the way, I felt relieved, I’ll admit. I then returned to the spectacular world of Jane Eyre, which yes, I’m reading.

I’ve read shorter versions before as a kid in seventh grade (funny when we look back then and see how different we were), but the unabridged version is much better. I won’t say much to spoil anything, but if you have read Jane Eyre, I’m nearing the end and it’s gotten good. Insanely good. I could barely break myself away to do anything else.

But then I received news of a massive snow storm coming our way (8 to 10 inches!), which practically changed my whole schedule. I’d already been inside the house for a few days, so a break was needed. Around 3, I went out to run some errands. The errands were fairly simple, such as the grocery market, but it was nice to be out in the fresh air. I don’t mind the cold, and I never have. The way people can bundle up in puffy winter coats, scarves and mittens when it’s 10 degrees outside mystifies me. If that’s what you wear in that weather, what happens to us when it’s in the negatives? Hello, insane layering. Somehow, I don’t see that as an upcoming fashion trend.

Getting back to my day! I was actually looking at American Eagle for a new sweater, considering their insane sale. A bunch of adorable sweaters on the sale racks– absolutely nothing more exciting. Unfortunately, not everything can be afforded, but I made away with a maroon-colored, detailed sweater. The fit, and especially the sleeves, has me in love. I’m sure I’ll get amazing use out of it!

I got back home a few hours later, and have been reading, writing some FanFiction, and surfing the internet. I’m still looking out for that snow! And, of course, I just got an amazing idea for my next FanFic chapter. Great timing, no? I figure this has gone on enough– I really enjoyed free-writing in this post. Just letting my thoughts spill out into a blog post unfiltered was a nice change.

Again, I apologize for the insanely long post… now looking back, very, very long. Well, it can’t be helped! Until next time, leave comments and feedback, as always 🙂




Almost 2014

Happy almost 2014! 2013 has gone by so insanely fast, and with it are so many memories and accomplishments. A new year marks the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. The message that comes along with New Year’s Eve is that we must make resolutions and commitments to make ourselves better. Just like we shouldn’t only be kind and giving on the holidays, we should make commitments outside of New Year’s.

One of the reasons I created this blog is to help people find their own style– something that took me a while to do. I used to be so insecure about myself and always was trying ways to be different. There isn’t anything wrong with improving your attitude or striving to do better, but you have to be secure about yourself and accept yourself. Don’t think just because it’s New Year’s you have to become a new person. You should enter the year being yourself, and your decision to change your attitude or lifestyle should be influenced by you. 

I just wanted to take some time to put those thoughts out there. When making your New Year’s resolutions, remember to make them because of yourself and not just on New Year’s. We are all individuals with our own purpose and legacy.

That being said, go ahead and share your start to 2014 or your resolutions– I’d love to know!

I’ll share with you some of mine:

1. Opening up my schedule to give more time to giving back to my community.

2. Being able to blog more and expand this site!



The After-Christmas Guide

I hope everyone who celebrated Christmas had a happy holiday! Around this time of year, everyone can’t help but get in the holiday spirit. Now that Christmas Day is over, the After-Christmas sales are in full swing, and everybody has been using their gift cards to grab on-sale items this season. I got a few requests via e-mail to make an after-christmas guide, and show you guys what awesome beauty deals or finds there are out there.

I haven’t done a complete beauty-related post in a while, so there is definitely a lot of new products out there!

Naked 3 Urban Decay Palette

The hype over this palette is unbelievable. The Naked Palettes have been instant hits, and this is their third palette, hence the name. The colors available are amazing– from soft, subtle pink tones to more glittery darker tones. This is a great palette for those of you just starting in makeup, because the shades are easy to apply and contrast. Even if you have been wearing makeup for a while and are experienced, this is a great palette to have on hand.

I admit it’s a bit on the pricey side, but if you have a Sephora gift card, it’s a great invest. The packaging is also lovely, and it comes with a handy two-sided basic brush.


Little Love Potions by Benefit

For those of you familiar with Benefit, you know that they are doing amazing holiday package-deals on their makeup sets. The Little Love Potions set contains eight of their best-selling products including the Porefessional and Hoola Blush, both of which I have tried and loved. Although they are small and more travel-sized, you’ll still get great use out of the products. The variety of products also gives you a lot of new things to try this holiday season!


Lorac Rockin’ Red Lip Gloss Collection

If you’re looking for some bold, fun lips for the wintertime, this lip gloss set from Lorac is amazing. I own their holiday set from last year, and trust me when I say they never run out. Not only are they good-quality (and non-sticky), amazing colors, and long-lasting, but they’re at a good price to. Again, a steal for this holiday season!


Josie Marin Bare Naked Peppermint Nail Wipes

If you’re into nails or are constantly painting your nails, these nail wipes will be your best friend. No more hassling with cotton pads and damaging nail polish remover, as  Continue reading


Staying Warm

I’ve decided to start blogging a little (read: a lot) more to make up for my long time gone! I’m actually pre-writing a bunch of posts for you guys so I can guarantee that there aren’t major gaps between posts. I’ve been trying a bunch of new ideas out, such as tags, OOTD’s, and so much more, so comment below with requests!

Today I’m going to focus on our mission in wintertime: staying warm! It has been getting insanely chilly lately, and that calls for us to bring out all of those scarves, mittens, hats, and to bundle up! But this year, I’m going to give you guys a bunch of tips on how to not look like Frosty the Snowman (love you, Frosty!) while staying warm.

Tip #1

Swap your massive, puffy coat for two slimmer ones instead. By wearing your leather jacket underneath your slightly bigger coat, you’re providing all warmth needed and still looking great. You won’t look all puffed out, and you have an extra jacket on you just in case. If it gets slightly warmer, you can always shed one of the two layers.

Tip #2

If you must wear snowboots, you can add a chic flair by wearing your favorite knee-highs. Never underestimate the power of a cute, warm sock to transform your snowboots. You can stay extra-warm and mix up your look. There are a bunch of knee-highs, varying from holiday-themed to solid button-ups.





Tip #3

Trapper hats are insanely cute hats that keep you warm during winter. The ear flaps keep your ears from freezing, and the fur provides extra comfort. The designs they come in are cute, with lots of patters and tassels!


Tip #4

A scarf is an amazing accessory. So many styles, prints, it goes on and on! I’ve rambled about scarves before, but I must point it out again: they’re warm, cute, and chic.

Those were my four tips to staying warm this season! I apologize for using the word ‘chic’ so often 🙂 Tell me how you keep warm and your favorite winter accessory! Don’t forget to leave feedback, follow, and like!



Winter! <3

I think we can all agree it’s winter! Over here where I live, it’s already snowed quite a few times! Of course, with winter, comes coziness, candles, and new fashion. I decided to devote an entire post to all things winter-related and show you guys what I love during wintertime. Tell me what you guys love in the comments!

What better way to make your room cozy than with candles? I absolutely heart Bath and Body Works’s winter scents, and my favorites are Twisted Peppermint and Tis the Season. They also came out with these adorable mason jars!


Casual sweaters are not only insanely comfy, but they’re also fun to wear. A major thing I like to do in winter is to layer, and you can easily put a collared blouse underneath a slouchy sweater for a fun look. There’s also a TON of fun patterns available everywhere! I loved these ones from Forever 21.

open knit






Like I said before, I love to layer in winter, and what better to layer on top of a fun tee than leather, sweater, or flannel jackets? I love it when the jackets have a mixed sleeve material in contrast to the rest of the jacket. For instance, a flannel jacket with leather sleeves and a leather hood. Amazingly chic.






For all of you hoodie and sweatpant lovers, your ultimate winter love: character-slash-comic sweatshirts. When paired with skinny jeans or leggings, boots, and a messy pony or bun, never underestimate the power of comfy.




Combat boots or UGGs? A question that we face. Every. Year. Last year, it was definitely UGGs, but this year, combat boots are getting way more appreciation. Let me just say that I’m one to be… not in the bandwagon. (Yes, guys, last year I was rocking combats while everyone was in UGGs… and can you guess? This year I’m into UGGs ;)) So I decided to include both, choose depending on your own style!



So that’s for my Winter Favorites. I kept this pretty short and picture-filled because I’ve been super busy lately 🙂 Promise longer posts soon! I also wanted to address comenting: I recently noticed a few followers commenting amazing, supernice things about me … just not on my blog. On my BFF’s blog, Laurel. Please understand I love your support, but please comment about my blog on my blog. You probably didn’t realize it, but you did hurt her feelings. Laurel is an awesome person, with an awesome blog. Please support her 🙂

Request down below!!




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Black Friday Haul!

Yes, guys: Black Friday. Those two words literally drive us out of the door at one a.m. and give us this unlimited supply of energy. I got to visit a bunch of my favorite stores and get a few things for really awesome deals! While I do admit to getting quite a few things, I definitely did not go all-out crazy like most.

Before I start this out, let me just say that hauls are super-requested on this blog and my previous blogs which is the reason I’m doing this. I got all of this stuff on Black Friday with my own money, and please keep in mind the prices were much cheaper than usual. Otherwise, I would not have splurged this month! I was also in desperate need of a winter wardrobe. I honestly do these hauls because you guys love seeing my style and what I would buy.

I apologize for any bad quality pictures. If you guys would like any links to the things I bought, just e-mail me at . I’m going to do this by store! Bear with me!

Forever 21

It was insanely crowded, but so worth it! I grabbed a bunch of accessories.

photo 1

I’m not the person to go out and buy a lot of cases, but I fell in love with this owl case! I love the darker colors, which is great for fall, and it’s actually quite good quality. I’ve had it on my phone for a week straight.

photo 1

When I hear winter, ‘hats’ and ‘beanies’ immediately run through my head! I thought the colors were so light and pretty, especially the mint green and light blue. The material is also really thick, and keeps my head really warm.

photo 3

photo 4

I’ve just recently gotten into the whole scarves trend. I saw this pretty rose-patterned cream scarf and thought it would go with so many outfits. Although it is more spring and summer appropriate, it adds a pop of color to my outfits.


I have seriously been really into this store lately! The launch of Bethany Mota’s line is so close, and I can’t wait! I saw this casual heart wink sweater and immediately grabbed it. You can actually wear this in a lot of ways and play with the neckline, as you can wear it off the shoulder, a more open back, or normal.

photo 2

Abercombie and Fitch

Okay, so you all are probably thinking, Abercombie and Fitch? Insanely expensive. However, when I saw this coat, I decided to go ahead and grab it. It was a necessity, considering I have no winter coats, and it’s already snowing! Since it was 60% off, it seemed very practical. It’s a faded green, longer coat with both a zipper and light-and-dark brown buttons.

photo 2


It has two pockets that can both be buttoned as well as accessed from the sides (two pockets in one). There’s also two ties at the very bottom, and a slight waist. The details on this don’t make the coat just hang– it will cinch in for a figure.

photo 3

The inside is a matted fur, with some panels of velvet-material. There’s also an insanely useful inside pocket for headphones and your phone, to guarantee nothing gets damaged.

photo 4

One of my favorite parts about this coat is the hood. It’s lined with fur that’s almost ombrè– starting at a dark brown and becoming lighter near the tips. Another edgy detail is the buckle and paneling.

Overall, I just love this coat. It’s edgy, practical, and something that I personally love, which is most important.

Charming Charlie

Like I said from before, I’ve gotten into scarves. I decided to go ahead and get another one from Charming Charlie’s at half off. The print was actually really unique, with a floral script and a pink-themed ombrè. Also, although I don’t know if you guys can see, there is elastic sewn in to give it adorable ruffles.



Last on my list, I stopped really quickly into Ulta, which was insanely packed! I only got one item that I’ve had my eye on for a while– the new BC nail polish collection. It has a lot of cute winter colors, ranging from an opaque red sparkle to deep plum. I’ve tried BC’s nail polish before and loved both the colors and quality, and I’m looking forward to wearing these colors! It came with a total of 5 large nail polishes.

photo 5



That’s it for my Black Friday Haul! I hope you guys enjoyed seeing what I got. I personally love looking at hauls and other people’s styles. If you have any amazing deals you guys grabbed, feel free to comment and give us a link! Put requests for my next post and be sure to like this one. 🙂


I’m adding this in on December 10th. Due to internet problems, this did NOT upload on December 2nd with my November Favorites. I didn’t figure it out until today, and I apologize! I might still post my November Favorites, but it’s already a week and a bit into December… Tell me what you think!




October Favorites 2013!

Hey guys! So I’ve done two or three posts like this- technically a monthly favorites where I tell you all what I’ve been loving this month. I personally love doing these, because I like seeing what other people are into, and also this is great if you’re looking for any recommendations. I received a very positive response, so I decided to go ahead and do an October Favorites.

Yes, it’s seriously November. I was like what? Honestly, that went by so incredibly fast! But October also meant officially fall, which in my language, equals : fall products and clothing! So I got to try out a lot of fall products and have a ton of things I’ve been loving!


LUSH Santa’s LipScrub!

I don’t know if you guys have been introduced to LUSH yet, but I’ve recently become more and more obsessed with this store! It’s technically a cosmetics store with fresh products that are not tested on animals. They have amazing products, ranging from shampoos and face masks to bath bombs! I’ve always been a fan of their lip scrubs, and when they got the new scents, I had to grab Santa’s Lip Scrub. It’s an actual lip scrub that you apply, and it gets rid of any dead skin and makes your lips ultra-soft and hydrated! I definitely recommend that you guys check it out.

santa's lip scrub

L’orêal Infallible The Super Slim Eyeliner

I’ve been recently into wearing eyeliner a lot, and the L’orêal Super Slim eyeliner is perfect. It has a felt tip, which is great for doing a cat-eye or for clumsy eyeliner appliers *raises hand*. This also doesn’t mess up during the day but removes pretty easily with a good makeup remover. Also, the price is totally worth the product.

loreal felt tip

Benefit Dallas Blush

Benefit’s new boxed blushes have been getting a lot of hype, and I just had to check them out! I fell in love with their Dallas blush– it may sound skeptical, but it’s a super pretty color that shows up as a darker pink. I have tanned skin, so this blush seriously worked. It didn’t give me that bright, neon pink look I always get, but a soft, more glow-y look. The quality is amazing and totally worth it, and I suggest you guys check out all the boxed blushes!

dallas blush


Slouchy Cardigans

Since the weather’s been turning a little cooler recently, I’ve been wearing a lot of slouchy cardigans that come in super pretty colors- red and brown. Comfort chic!

Crew and Knee-High Socks

I absolutely love pairing crew or knee-highs with a pair of boots. It looks so cute and fall-like– I couldn’t resist grabbing a few from, yes, Urban Outfitters. I actually own the flowered crews as well as the knee-highs! I grabbed them on sale, and the quality is amazing. They are ultra soft and pretty!

crew socks


knee high


I’ve been into a lot of music lately, so I had to have a seperate category!

First off, let me just say that Counting Stars by One Republic has just been… oh my goodness! No words for how amazing that song is!

I know I’m so late, but I’ve also been into Imagine Dragons and especially one of their hits, Demons! Deep:)

The 1975 have also been a favorite band of mine, and I can’t choose just one song!

And, finally, Jay-Z’s new album, Holy Grail! Been listening to that a lot!

And now introducing a new part to the favorites! I found the ‘favorite questions’ online and decided to do them for fun!

Favorite iPhone App? Snapchat and Instagram!

Favorite book series? To many to count! I just read Allegiant (NO. WORDS.), House of Hades, and the Selection. Too many great books! Oh yeah, and of course, the Fault in Our Stars.

Favorite candle? Twisted Peppermint!

Favorite beverage? Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate.

So that’s it for my monthly favorites! Comment below telling me what you think– up next is a fall hall, but it might take a few days to create! Pinterest account update: I’m going to be creating a separate account for this website to make everything easier, launch date TBA. Also, November means NANOWRIMO month. As a proud participant for now four years, I’m happy to be doing it again! for those of you who don’t know NANOWRIMO, it’s a super cool organization for young writers encouraging us to write a whole novel in one month! Check it out!