Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Beauty Plan

I'm pretty much following my beauty resolutions from last year (original post), meaning...
  1. Use the beauty stuff that I already own. 
  2. Don't buy new stuff unless it's to replace a necessity, or it's totally unique and I haz to have it, precious!!! 
  3. Purge the bad stuff.
This is what I did throughout 2014 and I think it worked well for me. It's allowed me to use up some stuff and also to see what actually works for me and suits my current tastes/needs. I'm past the point of hanging on to things in the hopes that they will one day work. Life's too short, people!

I've also decided I'm going to rotate my collection slightly differently than before (original post). Instead of picking a card/new item every week, I'm going to pick a palette for the month and I'm going to commit to using it at least five times a week. On the "off" days, I'm going to use my singles/trios/quads (I'm just going to pick these at random). I was thinking about doing a "pan that palette" challenge with some of the YouTubers who are focusing on the Lorac Pro palette, but I know myself and I know I would get bored or discouraged. Plus, I would feel bad that 99% of my eyeshadows were just sitting there, not getting used. I know powder doesn't "expire" like cream products, but I bought everything for a reason and I want to see that it gets used. 

So, here are the palettes I'll be working from:
  • Bobbi Brown Shimmering Nudes 
  • Cargo Vintage Escape
  • IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette
  • Lancome and MAC customized palette
  • Lorac Pro 
  • Lorac Pro 2
  • Lorac Unzipped 
  • Urban Decay Naked 1
  • Urban Decay Naked 2
  • Urban Decay Naked 3
  • Urban Decay Naked Basics
  • Urban Decay Naked2 Basics
Some modifications: Whenever I'm using one of the original Naked palettes, I'm probably going to pair it with a Basics so I get more matte variety (the same goes for my Bobbi Brown palette, too). Some people say that's how they were intended anyway - as companion palettes - so I'm going to give it a whirl. In the months that I'm using Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics as the staple, I'm probably going to pull in some of my singles/trios to use, just for variety sake. As long as I'm using at least two colors out of the palette, I think I'm good. 

As far as the rest of my makeup goes, I'm steadily working through other categories, such as concealer, powder, lipstick/lip gloss and eyeliner. As soon as I use something up, I just move on to the next one until I get down to the stuff that I love and will end up repurchasing. My mascara stash pretty much consists of Cover Girl Lash Blast and whatever random sample/gift with purchase I've gotten, so there's really no concern there.

Skincare, bath stuff, and hair care is pretty much the same as the rest of my makeup - I'm working through what I have and will only repurchase what I actually love. Thankfully, I think my skincare routine is pretty much nailed down and I have a feeling I'm going to be spending most of 2015 working through a back stock of bath and hair care products. 

Happy New Year, everyone! 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Finish Six by Christmas Finale

I'm late, I know. I suck. But better late than never.

So, I'm sure you've noticed something a bit off about my mini Mario Badescu Facial Spray. Obviously, it has more liquid than in the November update. That's because I re-filled it when I traveled over Thanksgiving. In reality this bottle was full, used completely, refilled, and almost polished off a second time. As I said, I loved having it for traveling and am definitely keeping it for that. I have noticed, however, that the last few sprays don't produce as fine of a mist as they do initially. I don't know if it's something in the smaller bottle's design, but I didn't have that issue with the big bottle. However, once this little guy is finished (again), I'm bringing the big bottle back to my vanity and stowing this one away with the rest of my travel-sized stuff.

My Urban Decay Sellout eyeshadow is DONE! Finito! And I can safely say that I am so flippin' happy. By the time it was finished, I was seriously growing to dislike its frosty pinkness. I don't even want to look at Sin at the moment... But, it does feel good to get an eyeshadow out of my collection. Confession: I'm already looking at replacing it with another Burberry eyeshadow. ::hangs head in shame:: I know. I said I was done. But all of a sudden I felt Pale Rose calling my name. And maybe Mulberry. You know. To have a complete look.

Anyways... I'm calling the Lancome Maquicomplet concealer finished as well. I can still get some of the product out, but I think it's drying out my undereye area. It's been flaking pretty bad the past few days and this concealer isn't doing it any favors. Plus, it was never a fantastic color match for me. It was OK, but not something I would recommend for the uber-pale like myself. 

I think I'm going to participate in the Finish Five by Cinco de Mayo next, only because I'm working with fuller products now, having used up all of the "easy" stuff this past year. I might be able to scrap up one or two smaller-sized items and throw them in as a bonus. Who knows. I'll do an introductory post whenever I decide what I'm including. Right now, all I know for certain, is Stila Smudge Stick in Stingray and L'Oreal Voluminous mascara, because those are what I'm currently working on. I have yet to decide on a lip product or an eyeshadow. Still too many choices...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tips for project panning and reducing your overall collection.

I am by no means an expert on project panning, since this is my first year officially doing it, but I thought I would add my two cents into the mix, in case people were wondering how I've been getting through my collection. It seems to be a trend lately on You Tube and some of the makeup boards, where people are getting more and more overwhelmed by their collections and want to pare down to the staples. My quest these days is to have only Holy Grail items, or at the very least, items that I really, really, really like and will get through in a reasonable amount of time. I grew really tired of buying things, loving them for a week, and then shoving them into a drawer for six months. Makeup should be fun, not a burden or a guilt trip or a panic attack every time you get ready.

1. Be consistent. Sure, it's boring sometimes, but there's no guaranteed way to get through a product quicker. Mix up the item you're working on with new colors or trends. Watch YouTube, read blogs, scroll through Pinterest, even go to the Sephora/Ulta websites and see how the makeup companies pair different colors together, i.e. NARS duos (Amber F is great to watch for color pairing/inspiration and "Pan that palette" challenges.) You can rotate a weekly makeup basket, or pick a few items to use completely until they're gone. You can also pick a palette to use five times a week or however many days works for you. I find that it helps to use product you actually like, so that way it's not viewed as a punishment of sorts. PrettyPistol86 made a great point when she finally decided to get rid of an NYC blush she'd been panning. Why waste time panning a $3 blush when she has other blushes she loves more/spent more money on/look better? Do whatever works best for you. And if you want to change up your method of how you select makeup, go for it! It's your collection. Do what you want with it. 

2. Apply often. Lipstick, perfume, lotion, etc. If you only swipe your lipstick on twice a day (once in the morning, and once after lunch) try re-applying more frequently, like after you've finished your coffee, or if you think your lips are getting dry. Same thing with lotion. If you wash your hands, apply a hand cream afterward. And who says you can only spray perfume on in the morning? Sometimes I spritz again just before my husband comes home to make sure it's fresh. Obviously, if you're wearing a heavy duty floriental, like Dune or Allure, then maybe skip this step. But lighter scents and body sprays can definitely handle multiple applications in a day.

3. Apply liberally. Lip gloss, lotion, cuticle oil, body wash, shampoo/conditioner, etc. Don't be stingy. You're trying to use things up, remember? Granted, some things can only be applied in certain quantities, like face and eye makeup, but other categories are fair game for being a little heavier handed. 

4. Multitask and/or re-purpose. Make your products pull double-duty, especially when it's something you only typically apply once during the day. Shimmery champagne eyeshadows can easily double as cheek highlights. Eyeliner works well as a shadow base. Top off your eyeliner with a powdered shadow. You can even go old-school and use your lipstick on your lips and as a blush. Some people use hair spray on a spoolie to tame their eyebrows. You can even swap conditioner for shaving cream.

5. Inventory your collection. Nothing smacks down the urge to buy a new eyeliner like the black-and-white fact that you already have a hundred at home (and probably in a similar color). Do it yearly, bi-annually, or even quarterly. Some girls type up a list in Word or Excel. I just write down every category and tally up the numbers in a notepad I keep on my vanity. For example, at the moment I have 0 foundations and 2 CC creams. Unless I have a need for heavier coverage in the future, there's no need to buy a foundation.

6. Keep track of your empties. There's a couple ways to do this, so just find whatever helps you the most. Some people track the money they "get" out of a product, or the money "saved" by using it up and not buying something new. I like it because it's a sense of accomplishment and it shows how long it really takes to use something, even dinky sample sizes. Keep a list, take a picture (that's my preferred method, a la empties posts), draw sharpie lines on the side once  month - it doesn't have to be elaborate. Just something to mark your progress.

7. Purge. The money is already gone. I repeat, the money has already been spent. It's already been "wasted." Keeping old and/or unsanitary things or stuff you know you just don't use does not bring the money back. Why waste any more time or energy on something you don't love? Find it a new home or just chuck it if it's too old to pass on because the money is already gone. Admittedly, this was one of the hardest things for me to accept and still is, to an extent. Watching Pinksofoxy and Tati's decluttering videos have actually been really motivating. They taught me that if I've had something for several years and haven't made a dent in it, then that should tell me something... I'm not using it for a reason. Don't hang on to something that doesn't make you happy. Kristin Gehm is famous for saying "Life is too short to suffer through a bad mascara" and she's right!

Happy downsizing, everyone!

P.S. If you're happy with how your collection is currently but are worried about potentially going overboard again, you can always follow the One In, One Out Rule. If you buy an eyeshadow, another eyeshadow has to leave your collection. If you buy a lip gloss (or four...) then four lip products have to leave your collection. At the very least you won't start accumulating more stuff without thinking about what you already have at home. So far this simple strategy has already saved me from impulse-buying a couple eyeshadow palettes. I only have two eyes. I do NOT need any more palettes. But there's something so alluring about them when you see them under the terrible, yet magical store lighting... until you start thinking about which palette you would have to sacrifice to the makeup gods so you can have your new precious. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

LOTD: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N9 Copper Pink

I got a little mini of this lipstick in the Sephora birthday gift this year, and I actually really like it! It's a medium rose-brown, so I think "Copper Pink" is actually a great name. I find the wear time is average and it feels nice on the lips - not drying, but it doesn't necessarily add moisture, either. I like that you can wear it sheerly or build it up, depending on what the rest of your makeup looks like.

Nekkid lips.
MUFE Rouge Artist Natural in N9 Copper Pink
Swatched once; swatched three times

Monday, December 8, 2014

Burberry Eyeshadows Review + Swatches + F/EOTD

For my birthday last month, my husband indulged one of my all-time vices... BROWN EYESHADOW! Or, rather, neutral eyeshadow, since not all of these are brown. I know they all look pretty similar, but I still love them, and if I was going to get luxury makeup then I wanted to make sure it would be in classic colors that go with everything.

When people talk about eyeshadows they can just slap on with minimal effort/blending, these are them! I don't think it's possible to look overdone with these shadows. Even the darkest color blends out in two seconds into a beautiful smokey haze. Some people have said that the purpose of these eyeshadows (and other Burberry makeup, for that matter) is to make it look like it's blending in with your skin, like you are that gorgeous, versus "Wow, look at that chalky, unnatural color on her eyelid!" I don't know anyone with natural sparkly brown eyelids, but I get their point. Compared to say... Urban Decay... the Burberry eyeshadows do seem to melt (for lack of a better word) in with your skin a little easier. You don't have to build and blend and build and blend and build and blend, etc. You just swipe or pat them on (depending on how intense you want it), blend a little, and away you go. They're great no-fuss eyeshadows. Oh, and I didn't have any issue with fall out on my face or the brush kicking up extra powder in the pan.

Are they for everyone? Probably not. If you're into color, you'll probably be disappointed. If you like glittery shades, again, look elsewhere. Also, they're not the cheapest ($29 for 2.5 grams, compared to MAC's 1.5 g at $16 or Urban Decay's 1.5 g for $18). You know you're paying for the name and the gorgeous packaging, but also, I think, a really good product that's going to last you twice as long as the others. Burberry definitely seems like it's catering to the neutral-loving, classically-styled makeup wearer, so if you're that type of person, then give 'em a swatch! I would say I can't wait to try more colors, but I'm actually really happy with the four I have and don't feel a compelling need to get any more in the near future. Maybe once I start using up my other shadows...

Anyway... here they are!!

Burberry Trench, Almond, Midnight Brown, and Pale Barley (plus a Real Technique's Base Shadow Brush)
Burberry Trench, Almond, Midnight Brown, Pale Barley + Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush at an angle. Does this do anything for you guys? I tried to be more artsy, but I don't know if it's working. 
A note on the swatches: I swatched each eyeshadow twice, once with the sponge-tip applicator that comes in the eyeshadow and one more time with the Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush. I swiped the surface of the shadow three times and applied it to my arm with three swipes from each tool, so you get a good idea of what it looks like depending on your application method. I've decided that finger swatching isn't all it's cracked up to be. I don't apply powder eyeshadow with my finger, so why would I use it to swatch? I'm going to include brush swatches from now on because I feel it'll give a more accurate representation for what it's most likely going to look like on your eye (unless you build it up).
Burberry Trench 02 Eyeshadow - I swear it's there!
Trench 02 looks like a matte ivory in the pan, but on me it swatches to a pale khaki color. I really like this shade for blending the others out or as a really subtle brow bone color. People as pale as I am can't really call this a "highlight" shade like darker skintones can, but it's still really pretty. And please don't let the barely-visible swatch fool you. It IS pigmented, it just blends in with my skin too much to really be able to see that.

Burberry Almond 06 Eyeshadow
Almond 06 is a satiny neutral brown. I would say it's not totally matte, but there isn't any obvious glitter or shimmer, just a subtle sheen at times. In the store, it actually looked really warm. I almost didn't get it because of that, but since I read soooo many positive reviews, I took a chance and got it anyway. I'm very happy that I did. I like wearing this all over the lid with some eyeliner for a really basic look, or blended in the crease. On me, it's the perfect transition color. 

Burberry Midnight Brown 21 Eyeshadow
Midnight Brown 21 is another gorgeous neutral brown with golden shimmer. People have compared it to MAC Satin Taupe, but Midnight Brown blows it out of the water, in my opinion. I like it as a crease color, smudged along the lashes, or as a lid color in its own right. Even during the daytime, I don't think it's took dark or dramatic. Just a really effortless, shimmery brown.

Burberry Pale Barley 22 Eyeshadow
Pale Barley 22 is a glowy golden beige that's really kind of hard to describe. It's shimmery, but not obnoxiously so. It's pale, but can be darkened. It pretty much goes with everything. I was initially trying to decide between this and Rosewood and I'm so happy I went the Pale Barley route. (FYI, Rosewood looked like a pinky muddy mess on me. The SA even tried it on my eye and it still wasn't very pretty. So, if you've got my coloring, you've been forewarned.) Like the other colors I got, this one pretty much goes with anything, since it plays well with others but looks fantastic on its own, too.

And since I had to get a new passport picture taken, I figured I'd show my Burberry babies in action!

 I included both pictures to show how subtle the shimmer is in Pale Barley until suddenly WHAM! Golden glow. It's not an obnoxious glitter at all, just a really, really pretty sheen. I can totally see why people went gaga over Pale Barley when it first launched a couple years ago.

  • IT Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair
  • IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye Undereye Corrector in Light
  • IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye Undereye Concealer in Light
  • Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder under eyes only
  • Cover Girl Clean Powder in 510 Classic Ivory
  • Lancome Blush Subtil in Cedar Rose
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone to highlight cheekbones
  • IT Cosmetics Brow Power in Universal
  • Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze as an eyeshadow base
  • Burberry Pale Barley on the lid, Almond in the crease, Trench to blend it out and as a brow bone highlight, and Midnight Brown smudged over the eyeliner and under the lower lashes
  • Stila Smudge Stick in Lionfish smudged along top lashline, under the outer 1/3 of the lower lashes, and to tightline
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Yeyo as a base for Trench on the brow bone, an inner corner highlight, and on the waterline
  • Cover Girl  Lash Blast Volume Mascara in Black-Brown
  • Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Lip Color in Sheer Pink Lust 21

I am going to swatch these next to some other colors from my collection, so stay tuned for a comparison post! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

One In, One Out

 Since the whole point of this year and the upcoming year is to whittle my stash down to my absolute favorite things, I'm going to try really hard to stick with the "One in, one out," rule. Meaning, if I buy something new (not as a staple replacement, like mascara), then something of like-category has to go out. Sooo... since I just bought the Lancome Juicy Tube set, it's time for something to get the boot.


Since I just finished the IT Cosmetics gloss and the Maybelline Nearly There lipstick, I figured adding the C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve and the NYX Butter Gloss in Merengue equaled out to my four lip products. I can't even tell you when I bought the Rose Salve. It's been years, I know that. And while I obviously made a dent in it, I'm generally not a fan of potted products anymore, plus this one never really did much for my lips and the smell gets overwhelming after a while. Also, I wasn't liking the way NYX's Merengue looked with my skin. I LOVE the other two that came in the set last Christmas (Creme Brulee and Apple Strudel) because they're warmer and seem to go better with my coloring. I can tell you exactly how many times I've worn Merengue out of the house in the past year - three. Three TIMES since last Christmas. I've tried it on a dozen more times than that, but usually end up wiping it off and going with something else. So, needless to say, it's time to find a new home for Merengue and just trash the Rose Salve and all it's hidden germiness.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Empties #6

Since I'm terrible about sticking to a specific month or any time table, for that matter, I figured I'd just wait until my Sephora bag is full before I post my empties. So, here's number six in no particular order. It's quite the mix this month, if I do say so myself.

Ralph Lauren Romance Body Wash - This smells lovely, but it doesn't lather very well. I ended up mixing it with my Aveeno body wash to get the lather and smell that I liked. I wouldn't seek this out to repurchase, but if it came in another gift set, then I wouldn't complain.

HEMPZ Body Sensitive Skin body wash - This was a freebie, obviously. It was ok. I wouldn't purchase a full size, though.

HEMPZ Body Sensitive Skin body lotion - Another freebie. It smelled like an oatmeal cookie, even though it said it was fragrance free. Aveeno also has oatmeal in it and they don't smell anything alike. It moisturized well enough, but I wouldn't purchase a full size in this either.

Bath and Body Works Crisp Morning Air Hand Cream - I liked this when I first got it, but after a while the apple smell got to be overwhelming. It is definitely a thicker hand cream, but it does manage to sink in after a few minutes. I don't see myself repurchasing this, though. I prefer a less smelly hand cream for day to day use.

H2O Spa Unscented Hand and Nail Cream - This was ok. I got it as part of a set many moons ago. It wasn't very thick, which can be a perk, but I didn't think it did anything particularly special. I wouldn't repurchase.

Redken All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner - These were great when I first got them. It made my hair super soft and it smelled nice. But after a while, they stopped working like they used to and I was happy to just be rid of them. I may repurchase in the future, but I doubt it.

CLEAR Total Care Shampoo (not pictured - just use your imagination) and Conditioner - I only bought these because they were out of the frizz control variety. The Total Care was ok. Not my favorite. And the shampoo isn't featured because the black part where the product comes out separated from the rest of the bottle and shampoo would just ooze out. So gross. This was nice enough, but no wow factor. Probably wouldn't repurchase.

Pantene Silky Moisture Whip - This is my second can, so I obviously like it enough that I bought it a second time, but when it was time to replace it I actually went with the Dove version just out of sheer curiosity. I like that this was a mousse, but it didn't leave my hair crunchy.

Tresemme Tres Two Hairspray x 2 - When I finished the big can, I moved on to my little one. I think, as far as hairspray goes, that this could be Holy Grail material. I have some other stuff I'm working through right now, but I have another big bottle waiting in the wings.

Lancome Fabric eyeshadow - This was a pale, slightly shimmery ivory/champagne color that was a smidgen darker than MAC Shroom. Maybe more along the lines of MAC Brule, but with shimmer. It was a good base/blending color or a really subtle highlight. I wouldn't repurchase only because I have a zillion similar colors in better/softer formulas.

Maybelline Master Drama Eyeliners in Midnight Master (black) and Bold Brown (dark brown) - If I had to pick a favorite drugstore eyeliner, these would be them. That being said, however, I am really attached to my Stila Smudge Sticks. They're in identical packaging and more than likely come from the same facility, but the Stila ones are much softer/easier to blend. Plus, they come in more colors. So, if I was in a pinch, I would repurchase the Maybelline ones, but if I get a choice, I'll stick with Stila. Here's my Swatch Wars post featuring these two, if you're curious.

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium - I'm already on my second tube. I had this one for six months before it finally got to the point where it was flaky and goopy and I figured it was just time for a new one. Ultimate lazy-brow-day product.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Butter Gloss in Perfect Nude - This is the second of these glosses that I've finished, but I don't think I'd repurchase at this point. I think I like their CC Lip Serum better (it's a slightly smoother formula) and I just bought all of those Lancome Juicy Tubes... so... yeah. Also, I tried using everything out of the bottom, but I just couldn't get it all. I took the stopper out, turned it upside down, put it in hot water, steamed it in the shower. Nothing! That bit at the bottom would NOT move, just like the other tube. So, I'm not that heartbroken about it.

Purpose Gentle Cleanser - Have I declared this as my Holy Grail facial cleanser yet? If not, HG MATERIAL!!! There. I said it. It smells lovely, foams nicely, takes off my makeup in one washing and doesn't dry out my skin. I've repurchased this umpteen times and I have another bottle going now. Here's my original post/review on this gem. 

Olay Pro X Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser - I got this in 2011 (original post) and it was just time to use it up and get it out of my flippin' shower. I ended up using it as a body scrub, too, although the granules were far too small to do anything effective. I usually only used this is the morning or when I didn't have makeup on, so I can't really attest to how well it worked in that area. I would not repurchase, however.

Pixi Glow Tonic - I love this toner. I just found out about it earlier this year (apparently it's a dupe for a very expensive European toner) and when I ran out, I bought a second bottle. It smells a little medicinal, but I don't mind it. I typically only use this at night, so it lasted me from February until November, but I know plenty of people in the beauty world who use this twice a day. 

Finacea - I didn't know if I should put this in here or not, but I figured it couldn't hurt. It's a prescription for people with acne and/or rosacea and I've had great success with it. This little tube lasted me three weeks of nightly use, so a little bit goes a long way. It hasn't dried my skin out at all, like some people said, and I've never had any burning or tingling. I have a full size tube that I'm working on now, but I seriously think it'll last me an entire year, or close to it, which is a good thing because this stuff is expensive, even with decent insurance...

Mario Badescu Almond & Honey Facial Scrub - This little sample smelled divine! I love almond anything, so I was super excited to try this. The granules weren't to my liking (too big of chunks sporadically mixed in, so you never knew what you were getting), but the smell alone made it a pleasant experience. I wouldn't repurchase, though.

Mario Badescu Orange Protective Cream - Another sample size that smelled awesome! The "protective creams" are designed to be worn in harsh weather, either over your moisturizer or in lieu of it, depending on your skin. I definitely like it for winters here in Po'Dunk. Between the cold, wind, and dryness of heated buildings, it's nice to smooth this on day or night. Plus, it smells like a dreamsicle! 

Mario Badescu Hyalauronic Eye Cream - This is a really nice eye cream to use at night and in the morning, even under makeup. It's not tacky or goopy or super thin. I'd say it's a medium "weight" eye cream. It's not an oily or goopy mess, but it doesn't soak in in two seconds like some gel-based formulas and leave your eye area dry again. The tub also lasts quite a long time. I think I bought this in April (I'm about 99% sure, since that's when I went on a Mario Badescu kick) and it JUST ran out at the end of November. So, 1 oz may not seem like a lot initially, but you only need a little dab. I already bought a second tub.

Thanks for reading my random rambles about trash. :) 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sephora Flawless Refresh Set

At check out the other day, Sephora asked if I wanted the Flawless Refresh Set or the Party Pamper Set. Refreshing sounded better to me, so that's what I went with. Since the website just offered a little thumbnail of each set and not a full listing, I figured I'd post what it contained for anyone else that was curious or trying to decide between the two.

  • A red, rubbery sequin-looking makeup bag
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume sample
  • Prada Candy Florale perfume sample
  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser with Fab Antioxidant Booster
  • Bliss Grapefruit + Aloe Body Butter
  • Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate
  • Glam Glow Thirsty Mud Hydrating Treatment
  • Tarte LipSurgence Lip gloss sample in Exposed
  • Clinique Almost Lipstick sample in Black Honey
I think I'm most excited about the lip products and the Glam Glow. I'm mildly curious about the First Aid Beauty cleanser and Clarins eye treatment. I'm borderline about the perfumes and the Bliss Body Butter is definitely going to one of my friends as a stocking stuffer. I'll keep you posted on the rest, though. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Finish Six by Christmas Update

Here's the original post and the first update. Today I bring you an exciting second update!

I'm not sure how well it photographed, but I'm almost done with the mini bottle of Mario Badescu Facial Spray. The line is halfway between the bottom of the label and the bottom of the bottle. I'd say this only has two or three days left, at most. I'm definitely going to be able to polish that off. And I'm also keeping the mini bottle because I think it'll be fantastic for traveling.

I finished Maybelline Nearly There lipstick early in the month and I have to say that I'm quite happy about it. It was a beautiful color, but wearing it day in and day out kind of got old. I contemplated buying Hourglass Rouge Velvet Creme lipstick in Whisper as a replacement for it, but I keep stopping myself. I guess I'm pretty happy with how downsizing my lipsticks are going that I don't feel the need to add to it right now.

I'm also pretty excited by the progress in Urban Decay's Sellout eyeshadow! Once you hit pan, this stuff seems to go pretty quickly. And now that I've hit major "ring" (apparently it's the new term for using up all of the product along the outer edge/ring), it's getting really crumbly. I have to keep pressing it back into place with my finger otherwise it starts flaking up. I could just repress it with isopropyl alcohol, but I a) don't want to "undo" all of my visible hard work and b) I'm worried it'll mess with the texture.So, I guess we'll see.

And nothing really new to report on the Cargo Texas Lash mascara or the Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer. The mascara is still just mediocre in my opinion. The concealer's doe foot wand keeps coming up with less and less product, so I imagine it's nearing the bottom. I might have to take the stopper out one of these days to get a better assessment of what's going on in there. 

It's the final push, people! The next update will be the grand finale! And in case you want to jump on board, a lot of YouTubers are going to do a "Finish Seven by Spring" project pan. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do that too, but I haven't decided which products I'm including. I guess I better decide quickly, since there's only a month or so left!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Lancome Juicy Tubes Shimmering Neutrals Set + Swatches

I know I'm in the middle of downsizing my collection, but for some reason I felt the need to own the Lancome Juicy Tube in Hallucination. I swatched it in Sephora and admired its pale, golden beige-y ness and thought that it would be the perfect gloss to throw on top of any other color. Well, since I'm more of an Ulta girl and prefer their point system, I figured I would just run down the road to Ulta to pick it up. Much to my (initial) dismay, they didn't have Hallucination in stock, but the sales lady quickly pointed out this set and appealed to the frugal shopper in me. Unlike normal holiday sets, all four of these Juicy Tubes are full size. Full size, people! And the best part is it's only $30 for ALL FOUR! They normally retail for $18, so when you think about it, this set breaks down to $7.50 per tube, which definitely beats paying $72 if you were to buy each of them individually. 

For those of you that haven't tried these, I will forewarn you that they are not for everyone. I have read so many reviews where people complain about the smell (my four range from fruity to caramel/vanilla, depending on the shade), the fact that these are sticky, and people's preference for a lip gloss with a wand (these are a squeeze tube with a slant tip applicator). So, your mileage may vary depending on what your personal preferences are. Obviously, I like them enough to have splurged for four at the same time. 

Simmer, Melon, Pamplemousse, and Caramel Gospel

Simmer, Melon, Pamplemousse, and Caramel Gospel

Simmer, Melon, Pamplemousse, and Caramel Gospel - I tried a slightly different angle, hoping you would be able to see the different sparkle/dimension.

As you can tell, they're on the sheerer side, which (again) is either a pro or a con, depending on your personal preference. I personally prefer sheerer lipcolors these days because I've definitely entered the lazy/no fuss rut in my life where I don't want to be bothered touching up lipstick all the time or having my lips dry out.

Oh, and if neutrals aren't your thing, there is a pink set also available. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Beauty Minimalism Snapshot

Beauty Minimalism Snapshot

Clearly I was bored and playing around on Polyvore, so I figured I would share what my ultimately whittled down collection might one day look like. Obviously, this wouldn't be all of it, but it was enough to give you the general gist. 

Featured Products

Lorac Unzipped palette Everyone should know by now how much I love a warm, shimmery, bronzey eye, but in case you missed me blathering on about how much I love this palette, please refer back to the Perfect Palette Tag, Question 4 (and kind of 8). 

Lorac Pro Palette This one has pretty much any other color I could possibly need. And I couldn't just pick one palette. It actually pained me to just pick two. 

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium This is awesome for lazy brow days, and I can always use one of the brown eyeshadows if I need more/precise definition.

the Balm Mary Lou Manizer It's shimmery and champagney and pretty and can double as yet another eyeshadow, in case the two aforementioned palettes weren't enough.

IT Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter I would take any shade, really, because they're so sheer and moisturizing and pretty much go with anything. I would also be happy with Lipstick Queen in Medieval or Saint Pinky Nude. Or my Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait. Basically any lip product with some color, that actually moisturizes for a decent amount of time, that isn't fussy to apply or one that I fear smearing around during the day, and that I can put in my pocket without it melting (Fresh Sugar Balms, I'm talking to you!). 

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly I love that I can use this without foundation and it actually matches my skin! It's the closest thing I've found to my beloved (and discontinued ::shakesfist::) MUFE Full Cover Concealer #2.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder It's wonderful to set your undereye concealer with. Some people use it as a subtle highlight, too, but I like a little more BAM! on my cheeks.

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Stingray (and Lionfish, not pictured) I think everyone needs a black and a brown and these two are pretty much everything I could ever want in eyeliners. I actually hope to one day get rid of ALL of my eyeliner, except for Stila Smudge Sticks. 

And last but not least, my HG mascara, Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume. I don't care what color it comes in, brown, black/brown, or very black. I love this mascara. I've purchased umpteen tubes of it since it launched... like eight years ago? 

Products Not Featured (because I could only fit so much in the collage... but still find them necessary)

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly or Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze and/or Creamy Beige I love all three of these bases for different reasons. I use one of them every day, I kid you not, depending on what color I'm planning on putting on top of them.

Lorac Behind the Scenes primer For the days that I know I'm going to be up 24+ hours, or when I want to be extra sure my eyeshadow doesn't go anywhere

Cover Girl Pressed or Loose Powder I bounce back and forth between the two. It's what I've used since I first got into makeup when I was just a wee lass, raiding my sister's makeup bag. Some people say the powder smells, but I quite like it. And I've yet to find a more expensive product that beats it.

Jack Black Lip Balm (or any other HG balm that may come along) I can't believe I didn't put a lip balm in my collage, ::face.palm:: Oh well... It's a given. Anywhere I go, Jack comes with. It's such an everyday-don't-even-think-about-it type of thing, because there's always one in my pocket. Always. And if I somehow manage to leave the house without one, I go buy one. That's how hoarding starts, people. 

IT Cosmetics Bye-Bye Under Eye Corrector in Light Some days my translucent under eyes are particularly shadowy and this stuff makes me look human again. The NARS is good, don't get me wrong, but sometimes by the end of the day the blue starts to creep back in, unless I have a layer of IT on first. 

And last but not least, if I get to pick another brow product (not very minimalist, I know...), I pick the IT Cosmetics Brow Power pencil. They last forever. I love the spoolie on the other end. Brow Power and Benefit's Gimme Brow were just made for each other. 

If you're ever bored, I suggest playing around on Polyvore, or actually going through your collection and just challenging yourself to hypothetically pare things down. Like the Perfect Palette Tag, it's a great way to re-evaluate your makeup collection compared to your actual needs/preferences. I honestly don't know when or if I'll ever have a collection this "small," but it's something I can keep in the back of my mind whenever I get palette goggles for the latest, greatest release. Writers refer to their SNI "Shiny New Idea" that tends to take over and distract them from current works in progress; I, on the other hand, have an issue with SNP "Shiny New Palette" and I've been working really hard to break the habit. Maybe I'll actually try the Pan That Palette Challenge in 2015 and see what kind of damage I can do. Some of the girls on You Tube are going to work on the Lorac Pro, but I feel like I should pick something older, like my Lancome/MAC palettes or UD Naked. I still have some time to mull it over... 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween FOTD

Here's a little belated Halloween FOTD for you. We had our annual Halloween party on Saturday, November 1st and I went as Cleopatra, which was a first for me. I practiced doing my makeup once beforehand and it turned out terribly. I was going to do it again and then time got away from me... so the night of the party I got ready three hours beforehand just to make sure I had enough time to fix things in case they went awry. I'm happy to report they went much more smoothly the second time.

Please excuse the stray red hair poking out...
...aaaand please excuse any stray little black hairs you see. I had to trim the bangs on the wig and the cut ends kept re-appearing all night.

  • IT Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair
  • Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer in Ivoire
  • Cover Girl Clean Powder in 510 Classic Ivory
  • MAC Accentuate Sculpt & Shape Powder to contour and highlight
  • L'Oreal Lush Raven eyeshadow in my brows, with some Physician's Formula Eye Boost in Ultra Black to add extra depth and fake hairs (although you can't see them)
  • Flirt! 40 Palette eyeshadows in dark green, teal, gold, and charcoal. 
  • Maybelline Master Drama pencil eyeliner in Midnight Master
  • Maybelline Lasting Drama gel eyeliner in black
  • Physician's Formula Eye Booster in Ultra Black to smooth things out
  • Cover Girl Waterproof Lash Blast Mascara in Very Black
  • NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Halloween Tag

Halloween is without a doubt my favorite holiday. It has been since I was little. I may have even mentioned it a time or two on here. So, even though I'm just a lurker on YouTube, I couldn't help but jump on his tag as soon as I saw it. I snagged the questions off of Marianne's blog here


1. What is your favorite Halloween movie? Hocus Pocus. I watch it every year, sometimes during other parts of the year (I do it with Christmas movies too; I'm not just playing favorites to one season). I'm also a huge fan of Practical Magic and Sleepy Hollow. I watch those multiple times in a year, too.

2. At what age did you stop trick-or-treating? I was probably in my early teens. I don't actually remember, probably because even though I stopped trick-or-treating, I still dress(ed) up to hand out candy. It's kind of the same thing, right? Except half of the work because I already buy the candy I like. 

3. What is your favorite Halloween tradition? For the past six years my husband and I have thrown a Halloween party for our friends and everyone has a blast. It's not the stuffy costume party like Allison's parents have in Hocus Pocus, though. Three words: apple.pie.shots. Other than the party, though, my husband and I dress up (like I said earlier) to hand out candy. 

4. What is your favorite Halloween food/beverage? Apple pie shots? Kidding. Not really. I love apple cider. Something about it being America's historical drink of choice, plus the plethora of its availability in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions makes me happy. Other than that, I guess I would say Italian beef, which sounds weird, but it's usually what we serve at our party, so I've come to associate it with Halloween. 

5. Do you like going to haunted attractions? Yes and no. I loved when we went to a haunted corn maze and when we went to Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA because they had seven different haunted houses and creatures based on which "country"/section of the theme park you were in, i.e., zombies in Italy, werewolves in New France, vampires in France, etc. But, I'm also a chicken and I have an incredibly exaggerated startle reflex. So, even though I know it's all fake and nothing will hurt me, I still jump and shriek like a five year old, much to my embarrassment and my husband's ceaseless amusement.

6. Vampires, witches or werewolves? This is such a hard question. Seriously. I love vampires. I've totally fallen for the Victorian portrayal of tortured souls and endless love wrapped up in merciless killing machines. However, I love witches, as evidenced by my ongoing love for Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic. I love Salem and studying the historical witch trials, too. Werewolves are cool, but they're definitely my least favorite. So, I'm going to cheat and say.... Vampires for novels and movies, but witches in a scholarly, real-world sense. 

7. What is your favorite Halloween candy? It depends. Usually some combination of chocolate and caramel or chocolate and peanut butter. So, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Twix, Milky Ways, etc. No Whoppers or Hershey Bars, please. I don't like the malt and I prefer smoother chocolate a la Ghiradelli or Godiva, because I'm a chocolate snob.

8. Do you decorate your house for Halloween? Inside and outside. We've had the interior decorations up since the last week of August. No joke. After Halloween, the macabre stuff goes away, leaving the pumpkins and maple leaves through Thanksgiving and then it's full-on Christmas for a month. 

9. Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, or Hayrides? We grow our own pumpkins. I haven't been on a hayride in forever, so Corn Maze! 

10. What are your plans for this Halloween? The day of we're handing out candy before I have to go to work at 11 pm and the next night we're having our annual Halloween party. 

11. What is your favorite Halloween TV episode/special? I'm actually quite partial to "All Halliwell's Eve" on Charmed, Season 3 Episode 4, where they travel back to the 1600s and meet their ancestor. However, I am also a fan of Catherine Bell's series on Hallmark called The Good Witch. (See, I really do have a thing for witches...) And I'm super excited that they're turning the TV-movies into an actual TV series in 2015!

12. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever held a seance or done ouija? Yes, I believe in ghosts. There's just too many recordings, pictures, videos, personal experiences, etc. to deny there's something else after death and sometimes people don't move on. I have never held a seance or played with a ouija board because that is just inviting trouble, in my opinion. 

13. What is your scariest Halloween experience? When I was little, like six or seven, we went to a historical farm for some Halloween event and one of the actors came up and grabbed me from behind. I think that's part of what put me off going to a lot of haunted houses, even though I know they can't touch you anymore. I still hate when people sneak up on me. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Finish Six by Christmas Update

In case you missed it, or want to compare photos, here is the original Finish Six by Christmas post.

As you can see, I finished the big bottle of Mario Badescu Facial Spray and have made a nice dent in the smaller bottle. Likewise with the Ralph Lauren Romance Body Mist. I should easily polish that off in the next month.

I know it's hard to see any sort of progress on the mascara and the concealer, but I figured I'd photograph them anyway. I've been using the concealer regularly since April, so it's got to be close to being finished. And I've already noticed a textural difference in the Cargo mascara. It seems to be drying out more and more, which is good, since the first few weeks it had a really wet formula, which I don't personally care for. I'm definitely most proud of the pan on UD Sellout! There wasn't anything and then all of a sudden BAM! Beautiful, silver pan. I showed my husband and he was less than impressed, but I knew you guys would be proud. I'm also quite pleased with the progress on the Maybelline Nearly There. I figure it'll probably last me through November at this rate.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

FOTD: Autumnal Bridal featuring the Lorac Pro Palette

Yesterday I posted my Bridal Beauty Inspiration post, and today I felt like recreating one of the looks for you. Since autumn is my favorite season, it was only natural that I picked the second "bride" picture/makeup. It centers around the gorgeous golds, browns, and garnet in the Lorac Pro Palette and I felt it was definitely appropriate given the season.

In sunlight.
In sunlight.
Indirect lighting.
Indirect lighting....and photobombed by my Cairn.
Products Used

It Cosmetics CC Cream in Fair

Lancome Maquicomplet Concealer in Ivoire under eyes and on blemishes

Cover Girl Clean Powder in 510 Classic Ivory

Lancome Blush Subtil in Miel Glace

It Cosmetics Brow Power pencil + Benefite Gimme Brow in Light/Medium

Lorac Behind the Scene Eye Primer

Lorac Pro Palette
  • Light Bronze on the inner half of the eye
  • Gold on the outer half of the eye and underneath the inner half of lower lashline
  • Cream and Taupe to blend out the transition/crease
  • Garnet in the outer corner and under the outer half of the lower lashline
  • Sable to deepen the outer corner
  • Nude and Cream mixed together on the brow bone and inner corner
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Damsel, smudged out

Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume Mascara in Black/Brown

It Cosmetics Vitality Lip Flush Butter in Pillow

It Cosmetics CC + Lip Serum in Laugh

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bridal Beauty Inspiration

Today I'm bringing you something a bit different. I was contacted by the lovely Carolyn from a new-ish wedding planning website called Loverly. Basically, Loverly is like Pinterest with the added benefit of being able to shop directly from its site, but it's focused entirely on weddings. They have everything from stationary to dresses to beautiful inspiration pictures. It's been seven years since I was a blushing bride, but that doesn't mean I don't get all girly at the thought of planning hypothetical weddings, especially when you have such an awesome site like Loverly.

Carolyn asked me to style the makeup for three dresses from their vast inventory (click here to see for yourself) and these are the three I picked. I hope you guys like them! 

David's Bridal
smokey navy bridal

For the first bride, I envision an urban sophisticate. Her wedding takes place at evening, with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, either in a gallery or even a yacht club. She keeps the classic elements of a wedding dress, but it's sleek and modern. Naturally, her makeup has to be elegant, but not ho-hum everyday. 

IT Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette
  • Soft Light on the lid
  • Warmth in the crease
  • Midnight in the outer corner and underneath the lower lashes
  • Noir to darken the outer corner
  • Sheer Joy on the brow bone and inner corner

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Midnight

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

MAC Sculpt and Shape powder duo 

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Whisper

David's Bridal

Autumn bridal beauty

The second bride is a true romantic, blending together the magic of a Medieval lady with the beauty of nature. The delicateness of her dress is offset by the rustic, autumnal colors of her makeup, making this the perfect look for a country church wedding or a gazebo beneath blazing maple trees. 

Lorac Pro Palette
  • Light Bronze on the inner half of the eye
  • Gold on the outer half of the eye and underneath the inner half of lower lashline
  • Cream and Taupe to blend out the transition/crease
  • Garnet in the outer corner and under the outer half of the lower lashline
  • Sable to deepen the outer corner
  • Nude and Cream mixed together on the brow bone and inner corner

Lancome Blush Subtil in Miel Glace 

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Damsel

Lancome Hypnose Mascara

IT Cosmetics Vitality Butter Gloss in Naturally Pretty

Oleg Cassini

Classic bridal beauty

The third bride is classic, through and through. Getting married in a gorgeous cathedral, she channels her inner Grace Kelly. She pairs a princess ball gown with a timeless look, centered on winged black liner and red lips. Everything about her is perfectly sculpted,  but still soft, like the beautiful Hollywood icon-turned-real-life-princess. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in Milk Chocolate

MAC Lipstick in Russian Red

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
  • Suspect all over the lid and under lower lashes
  • Tease lightly through the crease
  • Foxy and Bootycall together on the brow  bone and inner corner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in Intense Black

Chanel Inimitable Mascara