THE CAPULE BAG, #9.

DSC_0253No but seriously, it’s Oscar night. For as long as I can remember, tonight has been the one night I look forward to the most every year (aside from Christmas Eve, because who doesn’t love going to bed dreaming about gifts in the morning?). Thus, the week’s makeup bag has been seriously lacking because I’ve been focused on… other things. Like watching the last few films before the show, prepping my couch for viewing, and dealing with more excitement than the nominees themselves. First up, the Oscar goes to Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua Foundation in B40 for best performance by a foundation in a leading role. Versatile, easy, perfect. Covers everything and feels like you have nothing on your face. For best performance by a beauty tool in a supporting role, Tweezerman travel tweezers. Gets rid of pesky hairs on your face. Need I say more? It was a tie between best performance by a lip product this week, featuring the  in Rimmel Apocalips in Stargazer atop Revlon’s lipstick in Jungle Peach (review to come). And they’d like to thank the Academy….

2013 EYESHADOW HALL OF FAME.

eyes-bestLooking back on the past beauty year in review is a typical thing going around the blogosphere these days, so I figured I’d throw my hat in the ring with a few of my own posts. I will be doing two more over the weekend; one for general beauty and one for fragrance and bath favorites, but these eyeshadows were so good I had to give them the honor of their own post. Yes, they all happen to be MAC; over the course of last year I really didn’t venture too far into single shadows from any other brand, and I fell so in love with these it was unnecessary to start. First up we have Mulch, a stunning deep bronze. This one is a firm favorite all over the lid and blended out into the crease and under the lower lashline for a quick and easy smokey eye all year round. For a bit of understated color I’ve been reaching for Sumptupous Olive all year long; I love this paired with Woodwinked, but it also looks amazing on its own smudged around them lashlines. Love. Handwritten is my favorite deep brown shade; it’s quite warm-toned which suits my skin better than say, Espresso. I love this as an alternative to liner on lazy days, but it’s perfect to create a smokey eye working its magic in the crease. The all-time favorite shadow award easily goes to Woodwinked. This was the first eyeshadow I ever (yes, ever) bought, and I may or may not have bought it in secret while out with friends and then hid it in my sock drawer so mum wouldn’t find out whilst I figured out how it worked, but I will confess to nothing. Let me just say this; if you’re at all into gold/bronze shades, you need this in your life. Rant over.

You can buy all the products here. What shadows have you been loving this year? Let me know in the comments below!

14 WEEKS OF MELODIES, #14.

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Long Black Road-Electric Light Orchestra

… And here we are. It’s the last of the fourteen weeks for this blog hop as 2013 comes to a close, so I won’t bore you by droning on and on about this week’s pick. I’ve been loving listening to the American Hustle soundtrack (which is incredible, by the way) as a little 70’s throwback, and the song Long Black Road? Yes. I’m obsessed. It’s not for everyone, but I do love listening to it while jogging (I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to 70’s and 80’s music…). I can’t believe I actually managed to do every single post in the blog hop; I’ve been quite busy but I’m happy I stuck with it and did all fourteen. Wishing you all a very happy New Year’s tonight :)

 

MY FAVORITE BLOGS OF 2013.

blog favesWith this being the year I got into both reading blogs and running my own site, I wanted to give a nod to the ones that both inspired me to start my blog and those that I’ve enjoyed reading all year long.

Porcelain Shree

I adore Shree’s blog; she always keeps her reviews detailed, but still very to the point. A lot of blogs I read usually don’t include any lifestyle/personal bits, so I love how refreshing it is that even though she stays true to chatting about beauty, she gives her readers peeks into her own life and updates us about what’s going on. Plus, I’m a sucker for pretty blogs, and her new layout is seriously gorgeous. Love.

20/30 Glam

My first ever comment from a reader on one of my posts came from this lovely pair of bloggers, Julie and Ashley. Besides being two of the sweetest people, they keep the reviews coming and I seem to always end up ogling the products on their blog. I don’t tend to see many tips/tricks posts around the blogosphere, so I love that they’ll do series of quick bits about new ways to use the products you’ve got.

But First, Coffee.

I’ve been reading Kallie’s blog for a while now, and I actually just saw that she reached a thousand Bloglovin’ followers, which is huge, so congratulations to her! First off, she’s seriously gorgeous, and I love watching her on youtube as well (you can check out her channel here). She gives great reviews for products, and I love reading her Sunday Inspiration posts as well.

Ana Céline Labod

I started reading Ana’s blog a few months back after seeing her Face of The Day post (here) and I remember noticing how absolutely stunning she is. I read a few of her older reviews and loved her style as well, and from there I was hooked. I love the way her blog looks (sensing a pattern here?), and her reviews are honest and concise, with some gorgeous photography thrown in.

hanhabelle

Since discovering Hanh’s blog a little while ago, I always do that thing when a post of hers pops up on my bloglovin’ reader where I drop everything to read. She has lovely taste, and her blogging style reminds me a lot of Kate’s from ghostparties., one of my favorite blogs. I love good photos when flipping through blogs, and hers are no exception, always sharp and stunning.

The Beauty Recensionist

Giada’s been a pretty constant reader of my blog, which always makes me happy; I love knowing that people out there actually care about what I write. Her own blog is fabulous; great photos, reviews, the whole nine yards, very reminiscent to me of Vivianna Does Makeup. Lovely read.

There you have it! My most-read blogs of 2013, simples.

SCRUB A DUB DUB.

scrub 1

scrub 2I’ve always loved me a good ol’ lip scrub, but I’ve mostly made my own since they’re incredible easy to whip up, so I haven’t really seen the need to spend money on one. That is, until all the buzz started up about the Lush Popcorn lip scrub, and then of course I had to have it. So, on my latest quest to my not-so-local Lush shop, I finally went home with my own little tub, and I am so in love with this thing it’s probably unhealthy. The taste is amazing, it has this incredible salty-sweet taste that’s basically the best popcorn medley in the entire world all in one little glass jar. The only downside I found with this one is that because it is on the dryer side of lip scrubs, it is messy since the sugar tends to break up when you apply the product, but I put a few drops of water into the tub (and I do mean drops) and it totally did the job. While browsing the lush website, I also happened upon the new Santa’s lip scrub for Christmas, which is cola-flavored with cherry and date infusions, and even includes little edible red hearts. This one is beyond cute, and seriously tastes like a good cherry cola. Fortunately, I have an amazing friend who happened to be on her way to a Lush store and picked one up for me, so yeah, I’d say it was kind of a Kwanzaa miracle, but I digress. Do you need at least one of these? Yes. Will your life be a thousand times more enjoyable with both? Absolutely.

What are your favorite products to exfoliate your lips? Let me know below! And don’t forget to join in on Blogmas and enter the giveaway below!

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A VERY LUSH CHRISTMAS.

Let it come as no surprise, I am a huge lushie. I love most everything about the brand, from their whole natural philosophy to their adorable merchandise. So I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t at least a little giddy when their Christmas collection came out. The full collection includes over 30 different bath and body products, as well as a few skincare bits. I recently popped into the shop after a trip to my not-so-local Ikea store, but I mainly stuck to bath bombs, with a few scrubs in the mix.

cindersFirst up, meet Cinders. This one’s described as a “warming cinnamon crackler” by the brand, and it’s priced at $4.95 here. It’s meant to give you the experience of sitting fireside, and I have to admit it does make your tub look (and smell) like a vat of bubbling cider. While it did fizz when first popped in and bubbled for a while, I had expected more of the “crackling” action to be going on; instead, there’s a few pops in the beginning and then it kind of settles to a normal bath bomb experience, although it did leave my skin feeling soft and smelling yummy after use. It’s nice, but I don’t think I’ll be stocking up on this one for the year.

snowmanNext, we’ve got the scrumptious vanilla ballistic, Snowman, priced at $5.95. For any Butterball lovers, this one has the same scent, if in a bigger size. Lush says that, “Snowman’s cocoa butter melts into hot bath water to get skin seriously soft,” which I have to agree on. I’m a big Butterball fan myself, and this cute rendition is irresistible. Love.

secret santaAs soon as I saw this next one in the store, I almost fell over it’s so freaking cute. Enter, Secret Santa. Here’s what Lush has to say about this one: “Modeled after the very first LUSH Shop in Poole, England, this limited edition holiday invention holds an exclusive new perfume called 29 High St! Drop the entire house into your tub or break it in half for two baths and revel in the cheerful orange water as notes of jasmine, lime, tonka and Sicilian lemon envelop your senses.” This definitely smells of a lush shop (I’m even considering picking up that new perfume just because it smells so damn good) and I love that you can break it into three pieces and get three full baths out of it. It’s on the pricier side of their bath bomb range at $9.95, but totally worth it in my opinion for the large size. My personal favorite.

bombardinoThe undisputed winner of cutest bomb (which sounded way better in my head) is baby Bombardino. This little guy smells of lemon cheesecake and is supposed to have a bit of champagne in there too. In summation, he smells divine. Great quickie bath and great gift, especially for kids.

puddy in your handsLet me preface these next two bath ballistics by saying that I’ve got some pretty amazing friends, one of whom was shopping at the nearest Lush and immediately called to ask what I wanted her to pick up. SQUEAL. First we have Mr. Pud (whose full name is Luxury Lush Pud, if you were wondering.), who smells exactly like my all-time favorite, Twilight, but with festive colors. I love this one, and I love that it’s big enough to split into two baths, since I hate only getting one use out of bath bombs.

sex bombThe second bath bomb she picked up for me, which is actually not a part of the Christmas line but their most popular item I’ve been wanting to try for a while now, Sex Bomb. They’re not kidding, this one smells seriously sexy. It’s packed with Jasmine, among other things like Sandalwood to keep things sweet but a bit musky.

oh yes, please pass me my ponchoOff the bath train and into the shower, I picked up the Ponche shower gel. This stuff smells amazing, especially for those mornings when you’re feeling particularly groggy. It’s got orange and tequila in it, and really gets me going for the day. I would say use a scrub afterwards, as it leaves things a little film-y, which would normally be fine, but because of the color, it is a bit annoying to towel off and see that the cloth has turned orange-y. Guilty as charged.

I did also pick up the Popcorn Lip Scrub and was given the Santa’s Lip Scrub as another gift by the same amazing friend (are you sensing a trend here?), and I have a review on both to come, so stay posted!

We are also still in the midst of Blogmas, and the giveaway is ending in six days! If you haven’t already entered, please do so below! What are your favorites from the Lush Christmas 2013 line?

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THE HOMECOMING HAUL.

hoco

hoco2Oh yes. I love homecoming week. It’s this incredible lapse of the year where everyone gets along, everyone’s friends, everyone comes together. Oh, and we get to go to school dressed in decade day apparel, animal costumes, and maybe even the occasional red solo cup outfit for stages of life day and “college days”. Yeah. I lurves it. Every year, as a part of the prep-process for HoCo week, I will admit to going on a slight spending spree. Well, not slight. That may just be a bit of an understatement. But hey, let’s be honest. It’s kind of a big deal. So yes, I splurge. It’s just that I usually do all my school year shopping around the end of July, and then ban myself from dishing out a cent on any sort of frivolity for the time being. But homecoming. That’s not just an excuse to buy useless stuff. It’s practically a sign from the universe saying, “You’ve been good. Now go buy yourself something special.” And everyone knows, if you don’t listen to the signs… It’s just bad. So really my small transgression against my bank account is totally justified, since I’m basically listening to the universe.

But I digress. On to the products.

I placed my first NastyGal order, and I gotta say, I’m kind of in love. Yeah. I’m having an affair with that website. But what can you do? You know what they say, you can’t help who you love. And I LOVE this. I bought two dresses, a simple, off-the shoulder black one and a more formal white number. The prices on the site are fantastic; you get great quality without emptying out your entire wallet. Their shipping is an absolute dream, if one can describe shipping as being dreamy. I originally placed the order with the complimentary 3-day shipping (which I gotta say, is incredible. I can’t believe they ship out that fast with no extra charge.), but I was worried it wouldn’t arrive on time, so I phoned in and asked how I could go about paying to upgrade my shipping. The response? No charge! Upgraded to Next-day shipping for free. Craziness. You can find the black one here and the white number here.

Next up, I got into some Sephora lurvin’. Ever since hearing all about the Hourglass ambient Lighting Powders around the blogosphere a few months ago, I’ve been absolutely dying to get my hands on one, but with the huge range of shades available, I had absolutely no idea where to start, plus there’s the ginormous price tag attached. So when I heard a palette with three shades was popping up for the holidays, I went beyond obsessed. No joke, I was mad woman crazy about getting it. It includes three shades: Dim Light, a neutral setting powder, Radiant Light, a warm, shimmery shade, and the limited-edition Incandescent Light, a stunning highlighter with green-pink micro shimmer. It packs a pretty penny, coming in at a grand total of $58, but I think it’s a great way to dip your feet into the world of Hourglass and try out a few shades. I never finish products anyway, so I’m not too worried about running out any time soon. Keep checking back; I should be posting a full review in a few days. Definitely worth the splurge. Have a look here.

Whilst on the Sephora site to order the palette, I decided to finally pick up the NARS radiant creamy concealer that everyone has been raving about in the shade Ginger. I’ve been in need of a new cover-all recently, and this one does it all. A few dabs under the eyes and a quick blend with the fingers is all you need to cover those unsightly shadows under your eyes, and a little stipple over blemishes and around the nose does an incredible job of giving flawless skin without looking cakey at all. It’s buildable, but not heavy, semi-matte but natural. Basically it’s the most perfect thing ever since God created Ryan Gosling. Or my dog.

Lastly, I popped on over to the Amazon to steal a few new brushes from the Real Techniques rainforest, as It’s been a while since I last added to my collection, and I’ve been wanting to try both the core collection and the travel set (purely because of the multi-task brush). They’re both excellent, as are all of Samantha Chapman’s brushes, but I especially love the buffing brush and multi-task brush. The former is even better than my beloved expert face brush for foundation; I find that the new addition blends the stuff in beautifully with no streaks, with which I tend to run into problems when it comes to the expert face brush. The multi-task brush, meanwhile, is my new favorite blush brush. I still love my MAC 109, but this thing applies the product exactly where I want it for a fraction of the price. My only beef? You can’t buy the brushes individually. But I can deal, considering the quality of these babes.

Homecoming was absolutely fantastic; I’m fortunate to be part of a wonderful class of peers that elected me for Homecoming Court for my second year in a row, so that was exciting. Hope you enjoyed! What beauty bits have you picked up recently?