THE LIPSTICK TAG.

DSC_0254Oh yes, I love me some lipstick. All beauty junkies have that particular genre of makeup they enjoy hoarding above all else, and then there’s the stuff we put on our lips, something almost everyone loves unconditionally and hoardes anyway. Personally, I’m a blush gal; I love a good “Snow White” flush to the cheeks, but like everyone else, I’m a lipstick addict as well. I was tagged by the lovely Ana of one of my favorite blogs, Ana Céline Labod, to do this tag, and I thought it would be a great introduction to my personal stash of lippies. Dim the lights, and here we go.

How many lip products are in your handbag?

I’m quite bad about shoving whatever product I’m wearing for the day into my purse and, well. Abandoning it there. Typically I average around 4-5 ish products, which I’m working on cutting down, I promise.

What lip product do you use to rock a red lip?

I’m not much of a red lipstick wearer, but on the rare occasion that I do feel like getting more glam than usual, I’ll throw on the Mireness Glossy Kiss in Flirty Kiss to keep things from getting too red-carpet serious.

How do you store your lipsticks?

I’m actually planning on ordering a set of clear acrylic stands for my high end products, but I currently store all my makeup in my dressing table (it’s the Ikea “Malm” dressing table, if you’re wondering), divided according to products using old Birchboxes. Not the most practical, but it’s a work in progress. Look out, Muji.

I Tag:

Shree from Porcelain Shree

Hanh from hanhabelle

Karen from KPsays

Ash B from A Beauty Moment

Thanks again to Ana for tagging me!

THE MONTHLY ROUNDUP: JAN. 2014 EDITION.

revlon lip butters

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jan fav 2Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby present you with the first monthly favorites of 1997! (*High fives all around*)I mean 2013. 2014. Whatever. I may or may not still be dealing with the post-New Year disorder in which I am quite literally stuck in the past. I know my people are out there somewhere, all you rebels still signing the date as 1/__/13, but I digress. On to the products.

jan fav swatches

L-R: Revlon Tutti Frutti, Berry Smoothie, Pink Truffle, and Peach Parfait; Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze; Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Hot Tamale; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger.

Revlon Lip Butters– Peach Parfait, Pink Truffle, Berry Smoothie, and Tutti Frutti

These have been my go-to lip product all month long, and for good reason; They’re moisturizing, lightweight, and give the perfect amount of color for everyday wear. The three pink-toned shades are perfect your-lips-but-better offerings; peach parfait gleans a pretty shimmer that reflects perfectly to make lips look glowy, pink truffle deepens your natural lip color to a just-bitten pink, and berry smoothie packs a lovely punch with a hefty bit of fuschia added for good measure. Tutti Frutti is very spring/summer, but for the current season, it’s lovely dabbed onto the lips as a pretty stain (or worn full-on to turn some heads.)

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

This is hands down the best primer I’ve ever tried; it smoothes out the skin beautifully and leaves a porcelain, almost powder-like finish that’s soft to the touch but not in the least bit drying. A little bit goes a long way; I’ve been using this since I got it with my Ambient Lighting Palette (review here) in October, and it’s still going strong, plus it’s just the itty bitty 5mL size. Love.

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush– Hot Tamale

This was a purchase egged on by my best friend ages ago; I was skeptical at first, mainly because of the fiery color, but also because from what I had heard buzzing around the internet, these were a no-go. BUT. This little pan of hot pink is such a stunner. It gives that perfect flushed look dubbed by one of my favorite bloggers, Essiebutton, as the “Snow White flush” that makes you look like you’ve just been running through the forest.  Plus, the texture is unlike anything else I’ve tried; it’s like a densely whipped, fluffy marshmallow not unlike memory foam that (ironically) doesn’t bounce back. Weird, I know, but I promise, pick one of these up and have a squish for yourself.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer– Ginger

Probably the best concealer I’ve tried thus far, this blends seamlessly into the skin, banishing dark circles. It is pricey, but it’s honestly incredible for both the undereye area and any blemishes you might have lying around, and in my opinion, well worth the price tag.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick– Bronze

I’ve had this around for a long time in my collection, but it really is a stunner. In some lighting, it shows up as a rose gold sheen, while when out and about in the sunlight, it leans much more towards a golden tint. It’s not the most finely milled of highlighters, but because it blends so seamlessly into the rest of your makeup, the larger flecks of shimmer are barely noticeable. Fishing for complements on the state of your face? Pull out this bad boy and count the catch of the day; I guarantee you’ll get plenty.

Tweezerman Mini Tweezers

I picked up this adorable pair of brow helpers in TJ Maxx before Christmas on sale for just $11.00, including a travel mirror for on the go. They work exactly the same as the full size for a fraction of the prize, and are totally worth all the hype. They really are the best tweezers I’ve ever tried; the sharp tip is very precise and allows you to get even the tiniest of hairs. The Christmas  mistletoe print doesn’t hurt, either, making these perfect for travel.

L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Waterproof Mascara

This little tube honestly gives the best volume right at the root of the lashes I’ve seen from a mascara in a long time, and gives extra oomph to the bottom lashes to really make eyes pop. It layers really well too, without going spidery and turning into an overly made-up mess. A must-have for any mascara lovers’ collection.

There you have it! All the products I’ve been obsessed with this month. What have you been loving in January? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

THE CAPSULE BAG #4.

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the capsule bag #4-3The week in beauty has been through a bit of re-discovery with some new bits thrown in after my previous haul. I’ve done an entire post about my new purchases here, if you’d like to take a look. On the bases front, I’ve been sampling Smashbox’s CC cream like nobody’s business. This stuff is uber-creamy and blends in effortlessly when paired with my long-time brush lover, the Real Techniques Buffing brush. I know I rave on and on about the Nars One Night Stand cheek palette, so what’s one more post featuring it as the centerpiece of my affections? Maybe too much. Definitely too much. In short, I made up my mind long ago to never give in to the hype surrounding Nars Orgasm, thinking it would be too sheer against my medium/tan skin, but I’m so in love with this shade that I’ve forsaken every other blush I own for the past week in favor of this golden peach tint. See the review here. The Tarte Aqualilies Smooth Operator Setting Powder was featured in the haul post linked above, and it’s been great to keep my T-Zone shine free all day. Let me know if you’d like to see a review on this one below. Lastly, I’ve been getting back into eyeshadow with a bang lately, and the Wet N’ Wild for Beauty Benefits Ultimate Expressions Palette is absolutely stunning. A gift from a certain best friend, the gold shade packs a serious punch with some shimmer to match that of my all-time favorite shadow, MAC woodwinked. (If you’re interested in seeing some of my other MAC shadow favorites, take a look at this post.) And there we have it! All the products I’ve been loving for the past week, simples.

URBAN DECAY OCHO LOCO 2.

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ud 82I’m sure we’ve all heard our share about how incredible Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliners are, since the beauty world has hyped them up to the point of no return. I’ve tried sample sizes of the pencils before, and even then was completely blown away by how amazingly they get the job of defining them eyeballs (and lashes, of course) all too well. Even on my beyond-oily eyelids, once these set, they don’t budge ever. So naturally when I heard there was a set out for the holidays including not one, but eight full-sized pencils, I was a woman obsessed with getting my mitts on this year’s version of the “Ocho Loco.” The set includes three shades from the permanent collection (Perversion, Roach, and Deep End), and five that are new and exclusive (Mars, Ultraviolet, Tornado, Crave, Twice Baked).

ud 83L-R: Roach, Twice Baked, Crave, Perversion, Mars, Deep End, Ultraviolet, Tornado

Roach is a shimmering reddish copper.

Twice Baked is a medium bronze. It’s lighter than Roach, and less warm-toned.

Crave is a dark mate chocolate brown.

Perversion is UD’s classic matte jet-black shade.

Mars is a bold, shimmering green.

Deep End is a stunning aquamarine/teal.

Ultraviolet is a deep blue with noticeable shimmer. This one has quite a purple tone to it.

Tornado is a blackened, shimmery purple. It’s quite dark, and looks like a glistening black in some lighting.

Overall, I’m completely in love with this set. I was skeptical about a few of the brights, but I think they’ll be great for simple statement looks worn alone with mascara for summer. Ultraviolet in particular is beyond gorgeous on its own as a bold take on a cat eye, and Deep End is stunning on the waterline to thrown in a pop of color. While there are a few bright shades, I think the set is totally wearable on the whole with all the neutrals and a great way to get your hands on a lot of shades for a great price. It retails for just $59; if each pencil was bought alone, it would set you back a whopping $160, so it really is an amazing value. It also includes their Grindhouse pencil sharpener which is amazing, and worth $10 alone. Plus, you get the lime green exclusive one, which kind of makes the whole thing totally worth it. It is limited edition but still available at Ulta.com here and the Urban Decay website here. All the eyeliner you could ever need (for the next two months), simples.

 

 

 

 

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!

DULL SKIN SAVIORS.

skangelsAfter all that partying to ring in the New Year, my skin seems to be at an all-time low. We’re talking dull and dry with more under-the-skin spots than I care to mention. The stress of the holiday season always manages to take a toll on my skin, so I’ve been relying on this roster of handy-dandy skangels (skin angels, obviously) to restore the balance, or at least make it look like it. On the actual skincare front, of course my Origins GinZing, which I’ve reviewed here, is a staple to perk up the complexion; it’s great for that morning-after (the party, I mean) feeling when your skin just needs to look that little bit brighter. To de-puff, I’ve been religiously applying Caudalie’s SOS Vinosource Eye cream in the morning as it’s light but moisturizing. The Revlon Nearly Naked is a year-round favorite for me, but when I’m faking healthy skin, it’s an absolute Godsend; gorgeous dewy but natural finish for a great price, followed by the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger to banish undereye bags. Lastly, to add to the healthy skin look, I top off the base with Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal on the cheekbones, chin, and down the bride of my nose. No powder to be seen here, nothing that might make the skin feel any drier than it already is, just your setting spray of choice and we’re ready for a photoshoot in a health magazine. Simples.

THE NYE EDIT.

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DSC_0248Happy New Year everyone! I’ve got quite a few begginning-of-the-year-themed posts lined up, but I wanted to share the manicure and eye look I sported last night with all of you. I didn’t go crazy with the nail art this time; just simple, black cherry/wine colored tips for the evening with a bit of sparkle. Butter London’s La Moss (can you tell it’s Kate-inspired?) is my go-to deep burgundy shade for this time of year; smooth formula and stunning in two thin coats. I added a little sparkle to the mix with another Butter shade, West End Wonderland on the accent nail and I was good to go in under ten minutes. Eyes were kept simple, an itsy-bitsy kitten flick courtesy of Mrs. Bobbi Brown and my gel liner of choice, Black Ink, with lashings of mascara. Apologies for not taking a better photo of the makeup; we had company and I was in a rush to snap some photos and go. End of the year eyes and tips, simples.

What did you sport on your eyes and nails for NYE? Let me know in the comments below!

WHAT I’M WEARING: BACK TO SCHOOL

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DSC_0333School starts next week, and  of course that can only mean one thing. Well, that’s not true. It also means tests and essays and an entire assortment of other nasty, awful things. But mainly, back-to-school means shopping. Out with the old, in with the new. I’ve been rebooting my skincare and makeup recently as well, so I’ll be doing a post on it shortly. My closet, however, is a different story. The clothes stay. That is, I’ll be re-wearing all of last year’s clothing, at least until labor day sales show themselves on the horizon. To be honest, I don’t need the reboot in terms of garments, so I’d rather not waste money on unnecessary items.

The first day of school, among other things, stands out as being one of the most stressful days of the year. The others are every single day afterwards until summer. But amongst these strong contenders, day one of the year is budding with with nerve-wracking potential, both good and bad. A new year can mean a new, fresh start, or, after the first day, things can take a turn for the worse, and we can end up on a path straight into the land of no return. First impressions on this very important day, as you might expect, are essential. I’ve planned my first outfit of the year to show you all today, so I hope you like it!

The top is from one of my favorite stores in New York, the massive, four-story Uniqlo. If you’re looking for staple items for a great price, that’s the place to look. They have an amazing selection and are incredibly affordable. Check out their website here. The shoes (not pictured) are a pair of Prada loafers I picked up on my last trip to The City at Saks’ shoe sale. If you’ve been to the Saks on Fifth Ave. in NYC, you know that the eight floor is shoe paradise. A few years ago, I walked into Prada and spotted these, begging (and even crying about it in the store) my parents to buy them for me. But, being the young child that I was and the shoes being around $490, it was a no-go. Imagine my surprise when I spotted them for just $175 at Saks? It’s still a pretty high price, but the quality is fantastic and they’re incredible versatile, smart shoes. I prefer to invest in a pair than buy twelve that run down in a year. You can get them here. The bag is a Cambridge Satchel in the 15-inch, their largest offering. It’s wonderfully sturdy and fits slim books and a laptop perfectly, it’s a great option for college students, since it’s beyond stylish and incredibly functional. You can pick and personalize your own Cambridge Satchel here. Last but not least, I found the necklace at Ann Taylor one day for $10 on the sale rack, so unfortunately you can’t get it anymore, but any statement collar/necklace will do! I just went for something more subtle for school, but the shirt is merely a blank canvas; accessorize to your liking. The pants were a bargain buy for just $7.80 at Forever 21, and here I’ve just rolled them up slightly.  There you have it! Be sure to let me know what you’ll be sporting for back-to school this year :)

THE NEW THING VOL. 1: MAC SYRUP

mac syrup mac syrup 2

Ooh yes. She’s a beaut. For the past three months, I’ve been hoarding a little collection of empty MAC containers to exchange for a free lipstick, but I just hadn’t had the time until Monday. If you haven’t heard of it, MAC do a nifty little program called “Back-to-MAC”, wherein you can exchange six empty containers (depotted eyeshadow containers, used up powders, etc.) for a free lipstick. I was told at the counter I visited in Dillard’s that the policy has changed a bit; you can exchange them for a free eyeshadow, lipstick, or eyeliner at freestanding stores or a lipstick (excluding the Viva Glam and Sheen Supreme lines) at counters in department stores. After a bit of searching for the perfect rosy shade and a lot of blotting paper, I finally happened upon Syrup.

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It’s a gorgeous, plummy rose shade that’s not heavy on the lips but stays put for three to four hours. There’s no noticeable shimmer in it once it’s on the lips, but it has a nice sheen to it because of the lustre finish. MAC lipstick finishes can be quite confusing, but lustres are generally more hydrating than your average lippy and are sheerer in application, lighter on the lips, and glide smoothly on. This one’s a great everyday shade for all skintones; it pulls a pinky-plum rose on my skin tone but could easily lean more rose or purple-y depending on the undertones in your skin. Definitely at the top of my year-round lip wardrobe.

THE BLUSH GUIDE.

Flushed cheeks. Glowing cheeks. I’ve-just-been-running-through-the-forest-like-Snow-White-cheeks. Cheeks. The toughest trick in the world of lipsticks and mascara? Not really. Every woman, it seems, has, at one point, been on the journey to find the perfect blusher. With so many options today, how do you ever begin to find the right one? Blusher tends to be skin tone-specific; certain undertones in the shades look best on certain complexions. Sound tricky? Here’s my breakdown of the world of blush for every skin tone.

Porcelain Skin
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For the uber pale, glowy cheeks can easily be achieved with apricot-tinted blush. Try Nars “Luster” blush for a bit of shimmer to highlight cheekbones and give a gorgeous, luminous finish without being glittery. For a rosy flush, try out Dior’s Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening Blush in #001 “Petal”. Adjusting to your skin tone, this one looks scary in the pan, but gives the perfectly natural pink  flush to the skin, especially for very light complexions. You can buy the Nars blusher here and the Dior one here.

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In most cases, blusher for fair-skinned women stays in the range of peachy-pinks. Try Nars “Orgasm” blush (which you can purchase here) for glowy cheeks all year round. To get the Snow White flush, try out something crazy pigmented for a bit of fun, like Kevyn Aucoin’s The Creamy Glow Blush in “Liquifuschia”, sold here, or Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blush in “Natural Beauty”, here.

 

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Like fair-skinned women, peachy-pinks, as well as corals, tend to be the most flattering on medium complexions; try out Benefit’s “Coralista” Blush, here. If a deeper version tickles your fancy, try out its pinkier sister, “Bella Bamba”, here. Bright rose shades are lovely for a pop of color, like Illamasqua’s cream blusher in “Laid”, which you can pick up here.Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.37.21 PM

Olive/Tawny Skin

Olive and Tawny skin tones (think Eva Mendes, Nina Dobrev, Freida Pinto) can get away with brighter shades. In general, the rule of thumb is: the darker the skin, the brighter the blush. There are exceptions, but that’s usually an okay rule to go by. Now, don’t go out and pop cherry blusher heavily on them apples and say I told you tom but it’s a good starting rule to know. Try out different shades of coral and amber for the perfect natural blush. For glowing skin, Nars “Luster” looks amazing patted on the apples of the cheeks, as does Nars “Torrid”. Olive-skinned ladies may have a problem with Nars “Orgasm” showing up on their skin; even though it’s meant to be universally flattering, I wouldn’t recommend it. However, for a pinky flush, Nars “Deep Throat”-its less shimmery, more pigmented counterpart-may be for you. You can pick up all four here. Try out MAC’s “Frankly, Scarlett” blusher lightly applied along the outer part of your apples for a true flush, here.

Almond Skin

Lastly, deep-skinned women can try out almost any bright blusher there is. Tangerine shades, however, tend to be the most flattering on almond skin. Although it looks absolutely terrifying in the pan, Nars’ “Taj Mahal” (here) blusher looks incredible on dark skin, giving it the most perfect golden-orange glow imaginable. For the perfect flush, try out fuchsia shades like YSL Crème de Blush in #5 Fuchsia Temptation (here). If you have a MAC Pro store nearby, check out their powder blusher in “Full Fuchsia”, or order it online here. Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 2.52.57 PM

So there you have it! My quick and easy guide for finding your perfect blush.  Simples.