Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Smashbox Double Exposure Palette

I didn't hear great things about the first palette, but this looked so tempting I had to try it. I got the Smashbox Double Exposure Palette from Ulta and am excited to play with it. I was disappointed because the top right shade, Veiled, came kind of broken but I didn't want to return the whole thing. The shades are big enough that I didn't think it was a huge deal.

You get a variety of 14 shades, which is great for the value. The brush seems to be decent quality, and it also came with a mini Full Exposure mascara (not shown).

  •                   TOP ROW (Left to Right): Silver, Mauve, Peony, Blanc, Quartz, Flushed, Veiled
  •             BOTTOM ROW (Left to Right): Midnight, Temper, Haze, Noir, Copper, Fig, Espresso
Each shadow seems very buttery and applies evenly (all swatches were done without primer). Most people had a problem with the super glittery shades and fallout in the first palette, so this one avoids that. I think my favorite part about the palette is the array of colors--you have some warm, some cool, and a good mix of neutral and pop colors. It seems very similar to the Lorac Pro Palette, so I wonder if I'll like it as much. Shadows can be used wet or dry, although I've never been one to use wet shadows but I guess if I wanted a really intense look I could.

This palette is great to pick up if you want some neutrals and other shades in one palette. Although there are less shadows than the Lorac Pro Palette, each individual shade is bigger and contains more product. The package is definitely bulkier which makes it a con, but overall I have good vibes so far!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Gifts for Beauty Lovers

The holidays begin in less than a month, and Black Friday is this Friday! There are so many great gift sets out already, so if you have a beauty lover in your life, one of these is sure to please (hehe rhyme. Also they work fine if you're looking to treat yourself).

1. Nars Virtual Domination Cheek Palette. I love Nars products, particularly cheek ones. This great palette includes the popular Deep Throat blush (one of my faves), Ms. Liberty highlighter (I've heard good things), two new exclusive shades, and a big Laguna bronzer. You save 90 dollars, get a great variety, and it's perfect for travel. What's not to like?
2. Sephora Gold Brush Set. I think Sephora brushes are great for their value, and this includes six different ones! They all have a beautiful gold finish, instead of the normal black, and even come with a display so you can have them front and center on your vanity.
3. First Aid Beauty Hydrating Duo. You can split up the lip balm and moisturizer or give them together. I know my skin gets really dry in the winter, and their ultra repair cream is great for hydration. The lip therapy works wonders on chapped lips and they're both fragrance free, so you can give this to anyone.
4. Smashbox Double Exposure Palette. I actually just got this for myself (expect a full review around Wed.) but I've had my eye on this for a while. I don't own the first exposed palette, but this one seems different enough that I could justify it. There's a nice variety of shades, so if you've been giving the Naked palettes to someone the past few years, this may be a welcome change. Shadows can be used wet or dry as an added bonus.
5. Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Butter. If you know someone who loves pampering their skin, this body butter may be right up their alley. The texture is just as whipped as it looks in the picture, and it's one of the most moisturizing things I've ever tried. It also smells amazing and is great to soften skin right after the shower.
6. Charlotte Tilbury Mini Lipstick Charms. I couldn't do a beauty lovers gift guide without including something from Charlotte Tilbury. This kit features three of her awesome lipsticks in So Marilyn (a great true red that I love), Bitch Perfect (a nudeish coral), and Penelope Pink. A full size lipstick from her sets you back about $32, so this kit is great if you want to try out a few shades.

What's on your list for the holidays? If you'd like to see a non-beauty gift guide with more fashion and accessory type things, let me know!

I'm on Thanksgiving break this week, which means I have a whole 9 days off of school. It's awesome to come back and relax (minus the three take home finals and two in person finals I have to prepare for), but it can also be a bit lonely. I love the city of Boston more than Burlington, there's a lot more to do, but I miss the people from Burlington. Crazy to think I only go back for two weeks then am home for a month (can't think about it).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's in My Travel Makeup Bag?

I'm going home for about a week on Friday, and although I have some makeup at home, I always find that there's a reason I left it there. It's hard to narrow down my collection to fit into one small bag for a week, but I managed to do it. Here's what I'm bringing home for the week (and will most likely bring again for December break, which is a month). A lot of these products have been featured on the blog before, since they're some of my all-time favorites. Most products are Charlotte Tilbury, which is no surprise as it's my latest favorite makeup brand.

As you can see, I'm kind of in need of a bigger bag (I do have the large Vera Bradley cosmetic but it is currently stuffed with blushes), and I have my eye on the Charlotte Tilbury Christmas makeup bag coming out soon.





What are your essentials when you're limited to one bag for makeup?

How on point is this buzzfeed article about 29 struggles all Sephora addicts know to be true--I know they definitely apply to me. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Add Some Sparkle and Shine To Your Holiday Look

Next week is Thanksgiving, and before you know that Christmas will be upon us! I always love to add glitter, sparkle, and shine to my look, but I find that it looks especially nice and glowy for the holiday season. Whether you have a party to go to or are just sitting under the fire, these are some of my favorite products to add a bit of shimmer.

1. Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette. Easily my favorite eyeshadow palette lately, and Charlotte's best selling one. The four shades work so well together for subtle shimmer or can be built up for a more night time look. These are my favorite palettes because they take the guesswork out of what shadow goes where and they're long lasting.
2. Laura Mercier Baked Highlight Shimmer. Holiday time is the best time for using highlighters because they add a "lit from within" look, especially when skin can look a bit sallow. This is a beautiful champagne shimmer that can be used above the cheekbone, as eyeshadow, highlighting under the brow bone, or whatever else you want
3. Bobbi Brown Golden Bronze Highlight. Bobbi Brown's holiday collection has a lot of gorgeous pieces, but this is the one to go for. It's a more dramatic highlight than the Laura Mercier one, and the golden tone adds more definition. It doesn't emphasize pores and is incredibly smooth.
4. Tarte Airblush Maracuja Blush in Shimmering Peach. Cream blushes are great to wear out to events because they're very long lasting. I love these ones from Tarte because they're shimmery yet still look natural on. Their powder blushes are great as well if you prefer that formula.
5. Charlotte Tilbury Blondie Lip Gloss. This little guy is the perfect size to pop in your purse. I love natural lipsticks that can work on their own or on top of any color--the shimmer isn't chunky and adds a lot to a look without looking blah.
6. Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow. If you want a glow that extends beyond the cheek and lip realm, look no further. Wonderglow can be used as a primer to enhance skin before foundation, or you can add it after on places you want to make skin really glisten and glow.

I just read Amy Poehler's book Yes Please which is a fun, comedic read with stories/musings/poems... you name it. If you're an Amy Poehler fan, I highly recommend it. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Beat the Dry Skin Blues

Winter is coming (let's count how many times I've said that in a blog post). And my normal/combination skin suddenly becomes super dry. These are a few of my favorite products to help keep skin moisturized and supple.

1. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. I've mentioned this a couple of times before, but it's my ultimate dry skin savior. Although it's a "mask", it's more of just an intensive moisturizer that helps my skin feel supple then I wake up. I use it at least four times a week and you can also use it on dry areas on your body like elbows and knees.
2. The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream. This moisturizer is one of their best selling items for a reason. I use this as a morning moisturizer that has more of a lotion texture but moisturizes as well as a cream. I love all products from the Vitamin E range because they just make skin so soft.
3. Vitamin E Moisture Serum. If moisturizer isn't enough, this serum is for you. You put it on immediately after cleansing and the liquidy texture contains lots of good-for-your-skin ingredients like honey and wheat germ oil.
4. Murad Hydrating Toner. Although I use toners morning and night, they can also be great in the middle of the day if your skin is feeling dry and needs a pick-me-up. This is light enough that it's easily absorbed and won't mess up your makeup. Supposedly it helps skin retain water and bind water to the skin, but I'm not sure how easily that can be done.
5. Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel. Another great moisturizer, but I love this one because the black gel is supposed to work to minimize the look of pores. The packaging is hygienic and innovative since you don't have to constantly dip your fingers into it. 

Do you have anything you swear by to help stop flaky skin? Let me know!

*This post was also featured in the online magazine I'm a part of, Her Campus UVM.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The "Me Time" Tag

Two of my favorite Youtubers, Essiebutton and Amelia Liana, created this tag. As winter quickly approaches and all you want to do is stay inside, I figured this tag was more than appropriate.

What do you watch or read during me-time? I love to catch up on my favorite Youtube videos, it's a great way to relax. For reading, I'll read pretty much anything but I recently read The Jewel by Amy Ewing and loved it.
What do you wear during me-time? #nobra
 I'm pretty much in leggings 24/7, but they are definitely an essential "me time" item. I also like a big comfy shirt and fuzzy socks.
What are your me-time beauty products? If it's "me time" (and no one else will see me), then I honestly don't really wear any makeup. I love to use a nice face mask (like Origins Clear Improvement Mask).

Current favourite nail polish? 
The Sally Hansen Gel Polishes are great because they last longer than normal polishes and don't ruin your nails.
What do you eat/drink during me-time? 
Popcorn is essential--I eat multiple bags a week. Trader Joe's Iced Pumpkin Scone Cookies are divine. Since it's fall, I also enjoy drinking apple cider.
Current favourite candle?
 Unfortunately I can't have candles in my sorority house, so I haven't played with candles in a while. I always love BBW's offerings though.
Do you ever have outdoor me-time? 
I'm not the biggest outdoor person--occasionally I'll go for a drive alone to clear my mind.
Would you ever go see a movie alone? For me, one of the most fun parts of seeing a movie is discussing it after and if there's no one who saw it with me, how can I do that?

Favourite online shop? Nordstrom is great for clothes and beauty, plus they have free shipping.
Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time? 

I tag anyone who wants to do this--post a link if you do!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Best Budget Eyeshadow Buys

I love a good eyeshadow quad/palette more than anything but certain ones can be very expensive. Here are a few ones from the drugstores (all less than $10!) that perform really well. This post was originally written as a guest spot on, another awesome beauty blog.

1. Rimmel Glam Eyes HD Eyeshadow. I know these have been available in the UK and Canada for a while, but I've seen them slowly making their way into US drugstores. First of all, I love how you get five different shades so you can create a variety of looks. The sets usually include mostly shimmer shades, but there's very little fallout. They can be used wet or dry, although I'm not a big fan of doing wet shadows. They claim to last up to 8 hours and I've found it to be pretty consistent with minimal wear throughout the day.
2. Wet n Wild Color Icon Shadow Trio. If you're looking for a super affordable option that doesn't disappoint, look no further. I know sometimes people think the cheaper an item is, the cheaper it will perform but these babies prove that theory wrong. Each shade is super pigmented, creamy, and lasts for a long time. The packaging is a bit flimsy but at literally $3 it's hard to complain. I also have a couple of the bigger, 5 shade shadows and those are more hit-and-miss.
3. Almay Intense I-Color. Although these are supposed to correspond to specific eye colors, I find that the shades are so gorgeous they can work with any eye color. Again, these are more shimmery but they blend together so well to create a nice look. I love the packaging because it lays out exactly where you should put each shade and the plastic is a bit stiffer.

If you're looking to keep these super affordable, you can certainly use the plastic sponge applicators they come with. I personally don't like these and throw them out--instead I love using my MAC 217 Brush

It took me a lot longer to get to than I wanted, but yesterday I devoured Jodi Picoult's latest novel, Leaving Time. As per usual, it did not disappoint and all the characters were extremely fleshed out and relatable. There's a twist at the end which I did not see coming and made me love the book even more. I highly recommend it.