Sunday, December 27, 2015

Pixi Book of Beauty Glow Getters

Pixi has been a very hit-or-miss collection for me. But lately, it's been all hits. They've recently released an entire skincare range (which I purchased a lot of, review coming soon once I have more of a consensus) as well as some new makeup items. I was intrigued by these "Book of Beautys" (basically palettes) and of course had to have the highlight one. The Book of Beauty - Glow Getters features six generous sized highlighters for only $24, which makes each one only $6!

I'm not a huge fan of the packaging--I admit the book style is cute, but it feels a bit cheap. The pans are large but not that deep, so the packaging feels a bit thick and light. The quality of the highlighters themselves are amazing. They're all so soft and luminous, but not super glittery. This is perfect for someone who loves a bit of a sheen without looking like a disco ball. None of them are matte, but none are over-the-top shiny. There are a variety of shades included, from a pearly white to a more golden shade. With a light hand, any of these could be used as setting powders on any area of the face. What's weird is that none of the highlighters have individual names, and although I'm not super familiar with Pixi, I can't find any of them sold individually online.

Right now, this is only available on the Pixi website, and if you use the code "pixiwakeup" you can save 20% on any order. Plus, they have free 2-day shipping for orders over $25. If highlighters aren't your thing, they also have beauty books for bronzers, contouring, blushes, brows, and minimal makeup. They're perfect for any makeup junkie and I'm very impressed. Great job Pixi!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Two Crazy True Crime Series

I wanted to title this "For Those Who Loved Serial" but I've never actually listened to it. I read the summary but since I'm such a film person, I much prefer visual shows. So whether you loved Serial or love mysteries, these two shows are for you. I've never been a huge documentary fan, because there usually isn't enough excitement for me, but these two shows have blown me away. They're both fast-paced and the true crime aspect of them is almost too insane to be real.


The one you can bingewatch in a day... The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. Since it's on HBO, this crazy story really does feel almost like a movie. Robert Durst's wife Kathy went missing in the 80s, and despite all the evidence pointing to him, he was never arrested. Two more deaths connected to him remain unsolved, but despite the mystery surrounding that, the most fascinating part of the series is the interviews with Durst himself. Andrew Jarecki, the producer and director, is one of the only journalists to have exclusive access to interviews with Durst. It's almost comical how obvious of a psychopath he is (his lawyers even encouraged him not to do the interview). Jarecki weaves in re-enactments that are surprisingly not cheesy, as well as interviews from both past and present. It's pretty obvious that Durst did it, which isn't the reason you'll want to watch. It's more of an in-depth look into the psyche of one of New York's top businessmen and the insane life he lead. With only 6 episodes, it's easy to bingewatch in a day, since you'll keep wanting more.

The one that makes you question whether or not he did it... Making a Murderer. With 10 episodes that are each an hour long, Netflix Original Making a Murderer doesn't provide as much flashiness or suspense as The Jinx. What it does is present the facts in such an obvious way that it's painful to see how horribly the justice system failed Steven Avery. Wrongfully convicted for a rape he didn't commit, Steven Avery spent 18 years in prison. There's definitely more doubt as to whether he then committed a murder, landing him in jail again, but the corrupt law force makes you question everything. This may not be as compelling for some, since there aren't as many personal interviews or connection with Steven Avery, but you feel for him way more than Durst. We will never know whether law enforcement did or did not set him up, but the evidence supporting that view is pretty astounding. It makes you question how much power our law enforcement holds, as well as the prejudices against someone based on what they might do. As usual, there are plenty of interviews and twists that will keep you watching until the end.

I meant to do a last-minute holiday gift-guide, but true to my form, my love of mystery and psychological profiling trumped beauty buying. It's not the most Holiday-friendly, warm-feeling material, but I would prefer this over A Christmas Story any day. If you know of any similar series that I should check out, or if you've watched one of these, comment down below!

I'm putting this up a day early, since I will be spending time with my family tomorrow, and I'm sure most people will be celebrating. Enjoy the holidays and the time with your family, regardless of what you celebrate!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunday Riley Power Couple Duo

If you're like me, the mere mention of Sunday Riley has your skin dreaming and your wallet screaming. The skincare line has been on everyone's radar this year, especially the famous blue Luna Oil. But with the lowest priced items starting at around $75, I don't think my skin needs it thaaat badly. I saw this Power Couple Duo at my home Sephora a few weeks ago, but they were sadly out of stock. I was notified last week that it was back in stock online and bought it instantly. You get 0.5 oz of each product (full sizes are around 1 oz and over $100), so this is a $105 value for only $78.

The packaging is an exact miniature of the full-size version, and you can instantly see how luxurious they are. I've only been using them for about a week, so I can't really speak to their long-term effects, but my skin has been loving them. From the Sephora website: "In use together, this power product duo uncovers more radiant, moisturized skin while promoting evenness of skintone. Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment exfoliates and moisturizes the skin while smoothing the appearance of fine lines. Luna Sleeping Night Oil contains a powerful, yet gentle trans-retinol ester and moisturizing botanical oils to reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and sun damage while preventing flakiness and irritation".

I use the Good Genes as a serum before my moisturizer, and you can instantly feel it sink in and working. I don't think you're supposed to use this every day because of how strong it is, so I've been using it for two days then waiting a day. I use the Luna Oil every night, and although it's weird to put a blue oil on my face, it becomes transparent when you rub it in. I have slightly sensitive skin but don't notice any negative interactions. Some of my small bumps have gone down or disappeared and my skin feels a bit softer.

The jury is still out as to whether or not I'll buy the full size of these products when they run out, but I may just buy another of these sets! A little can go a long way if you're careful. They also do have a smaller, less expensive (aka still expensive but looks affordable compared to the skincare) that is worth exploring. I have the Tinted Primer, kind of like a tinted moisturizer, and enjoy it.

On another note, I devoured (hehe) Carrie Brownstein's memoir Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl in a matter of hours. I love her in Portlandia but knew nothing about her life in her band Sleater-Kinney. It was fascinating reading about her childhood and her path in the music world. She is an absolutely amazing writer--it's almost philosophical, and so intricately detailed you can feel what she feels. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

10 Highlights of 2015

I can't believe Christmas is a week away, and New Years following shortly after! 2015 was a crazy year as always, with a bit more traveling than usual. As this year comes to a close, I thought I would reflect on ten of the most exciting or memorable moments of the year. It's something fun to think about and then look back on. These are in no particular order but I tried to think of them chronologically as the year went on. I know you're thinking I should do 15, but 10 was a lot easier to think of.

1. Going to Disney World for a school class. It was so cool to experience something I've previously enjoyed in an academic setting. Learning can still be fun!

2. Realizing I can overcome traumatizing moments. I broke my nose at the end of January and although it was scary, I dealt with it like a champ and didn't make it that big of a deal. I have a small scar on my face but you can barely tell.

3. Beginning to date my boyfriend. We had been friends for a while before, so starting to date each other was different than any other experience I've had. We already knew a lot about each other, yet there was a lot to still learn.

4. Day or weekend trips to Montreal. It's so close to Vermont and I really wish I could go more, because it's a slice of Europe. There's so much to do and their pharmacies are to die for--each trip to Pharmaprix could be a highlight in itself.

5. Getting published on Thought Catalog! This happened at the beginning of September when I submitted a piece on Bingewatching TV Shows on a whim, originally on the blog. I love sharing my more thoughtful pieces with others.

6. Moving into my apartment. Although I'm now only here until May, it's my first time in college living somewhere for a full year. It has it's quirks but I'll be sad to leave.

7. Heading down South! I visited my boyfriend's mom in Georgia for a week over the summer, and it was my first experience in the South. It's quite different than the North, especially the heat.

8. As lame as it sounds, I discovered a ton of new TV shows that were amazing. Scream Queens, How To Get Away With Murder, Fargo, the list could go on and on...

9. Discovering a community at UVM Hillel. I was previously a social media intern at Hillel, a non-profit Jewish organization on campus, and took over leading the social media team this year. Not only did i get to work in a field I loved, but I built connections and relationships that I hadn't previously found in college.

10. Having the crazy idea to write, produce, and direct a short horror film with my friend next semester. I've loved horror for such a long time and we have high hopes for this. Stay tuned next year for more to come...

Like I said, definitely not a comprehensive list but just a small slice into some highlights of my life. If you do this on your blog, please share below and let me know some of your highlights of 2015!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Too Faced Spring Collection Part 1

It's the most wonderful time of the year... the time when spring makeup collections already are coming out! Also the fact that I just have to survive the rest of this week then my semester is over. As much as I love the break, it's always hard to find things to occupy my time during the four weeks I have off. Luckily for you guys, that means I have more time to do blog posts! I have two much anticipated items from the new Too Faced Spring 2016 collection.

First up is the gorgeous Chocolate Bon Bons Eyeshadow Palette. I love the original Chocolate Bar Palette and the Semi-Sweet one is pretty decent, but this is my favorite. The chocolate shaped tin is adorable, and this one is a cute pink color. Most of the shadows are shaped like hearts, which takes the cuteness to a new level. And it smells like chocolate! I think this might be my favorite simply for the variety of shades--there are some lighter neutral shades, as well as more pigmented and deeper shades I'm not sure why so many companies are including bright pink shades in their palettes, because I personally don't think it's a color I will ever use. Even if you already own the other two Chocolate Bar Palettes, this is worth it.

Chocolate Bon Bons Palette (starting from top left)

I already own one full-size Love Flush Blush, but for less than the price of two full-size ones, you can have a sampling with the Love Flush Blush Wardrobe. It's very long and skinny, which makes it hard to store. Fortunately, each size blush is decent enough to swirl your brush in. Since I already own one, I knew I loved the formula. There are some brighter colors than I would normally wear, but it's good to have for a variety of shades in one place. It's an incredible value for the Too Faced lover in your life.

L-R: Love Hangover, Baby Love, I Will Always Love You, How Deep is Your Love?, Justify My Love and Your Love is King

There are also six brand new melted lipsticks in gorgeous chocolate nude shades, as well as a makeup brush. Expect a post on those in the next couple of weeks and comment below if you've tried any of the new Too Faced products!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Looxi Beauty Highlighting Palette

I love finding new beauty brands off the beaten path. It's great to support smaller brands, and when I saw this post on Budget Beauty Blog, I knew the Looxi Highlighting Palette was something I wanted to try. Unfortunately the Looxi Beauty Website has been down for the past couple of weeks--it seems I was just able to squeeze in there. They make all their items to order, so mine took about two weeks to arrive. Right now, they have highlighters and eyeshadows. You can order them in plastic packaging, or get them cheaper in the pans.

They offer a deal where if you buy 4 highlighter pans for $9 each, you get a free Z-palette. This is my first Z palette, which is an empty palette with a magnetic bottom. They make smaller and larger sizes, but four of the highlighters fit perfectly in this and it looks pre-made. You can't really beat the price of four generous-sized highlighters in an authentic Z palette. Let's take a look at the actual shades.

Ever After is a really unique duo-chrome pink shade that seems kind of weird when you swatch it, but reflects beautifully. La Belle is a traditional golden champagne shade, while Goddess is a slightly darker golden shade. Luxe is super intense--you can see it's the most pigmented and super super golden. For those with fairer skintones like myself, you may need a lighter hand with this. Any of the shades can also be used as shadows. As you can see, they're all very pigmented and shiny. When applied to the skin, there is no visible shimmer but more of a soft, lit-from-within finish.

L-R: Ever After, La Belle, Goddess, Luxe

Once Looxi is back to taking orders (crossing my fingers it's soon), I highly recommend doing the highlighter and Z palette deal. There are at least 3 more shades that I don't have, and besides the slightly longer waiting time, this is something that any highlighter junkie should add to their collection.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Collaborate With Me

I'm not sure if it's been the holiday season, or the fact that it gets dark at 4 pm, but lately I've been finding it hard to get motivated to blog. Posts don't even take me that long to do, but I feel like if my heart isn't in it, that might come across in my writing. There are times when I want to just give it up completely, but I've put so much time into it that doing so would be a huge loss. Anyways, enough of being a downer.

Whether you're an avid reader of my blog or stumbling on to this for the first time, I would love to have guest posts! I've seen other bloggers do this and I think it's a great idea. You don't even have to have your own site (although it's a great way to promote it) and it can be about literally anything! My favorite makeup collections are when the brands collaborate with another person or company, so why not bring that concept here?

If you're interested in having a post featured on here, or working together on a joint post, comment below or shoot me an email at

Friday, December 4, 2015

More Makeup From Across The Pond

European drugstores just kill it. Although the beauty selection in the US has some decent items, I've found that the drugstore makeup in the UK is really a notch above. There are a lot more brands that stay on trend with what higher-priced collections do and there's certainly more of a selection. Let's just say I've had many dreams about spending hours in Boots. Whenever I know of anyone heading to the UK, I always try to finagle them to bring me some makeup from across the pond. My friend was recently in Scotland and kindly purchased me these items, so here are my first impressions.

No 7 Shimmering Glow Palette. Fortunately, some Boots UK products are available in the US, but it's mostly skincare. They have some cool limited edition collections in the UK, including their Christmas collection. I'm a sucker for highlights, but was kind of surprised by this. It looked golden online but is actually silver. The tone reminds me of the Chanel highlighter I missed out on last Christmas. It swatches decently, but I'm interested to see how the silver looks on my skin. It would always make a beautiful eyeshadow shade if it comes to that.
Seventeen Easy on the Eyes Palette in Birthday Suit. I guess Black Friday is a thing in the UK as well now, so my friend got this on sale for 4 pounds--which is less than $8! It's impossible to find a good drugstore palette that inexpensive that provides the results this one does. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the swatches, but the 12 nude shades are gorgeous. They're not the most pigmented, but definitely impressive for the price. I like the inclusion of a few cream shadows which make good bases.
Sanctuary Wonder Body. This looked like a good dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Legs, and I know Sanctuary is a great brand. They have so many luxurious skin and body products at inexpensive prices. I've tried the famous 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask and love it, so figured I would love this too. I haven't used it yet, as there really isn't a need to show off my pasty limbs as winter approaches, but the golden shimmery lotion seems like it will sheer out. I'm always afraid of looking streaky, but I think this will blend into a subtle glow that also hydrates. 
Collection #BlushandGlow Palette. So many Youtubers raved about this, plus the price was great, so I figured I needed to have this. Collection is another very inexpensive brands with stellar product results. Although their packaging is a bit cheap, the powders feel far more luxe than the look would suggest. Each product is not overly pigmented and is perfect for a soft, everyday look. Sometimes the blushes in these palettes can be clownish, but these are great.

Collection Blush and Glow Palettte, No 7 Shimmering Glow

Have you tried any of these products? And if you live in the UK/have access to a Boots, let me know what else I should look into trying!

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Favorites

Once again, we are at the end of a year. It's crazy that December is tomorrow. Since I'm graduating in May, I feel like time is moving way too fast for me to handle. It was pretty temperate for a New England winter a couple of weeks ago but starting yesterday, it's become freezing. There was no shortage of favorites this month, so here we go!

Breakups to Makeup Bag. Look how cute this is! I love the gold metallic writing and obviously inside there are a slew of my favorite things inside when I use it. It holds a decent amount and is very durable. It's made of vegan leather which makes it even better!
Ciate Olivia Palermo Smokey Suedes Eyeshadow Palette. Ciate, which used to just do nail products, launched a makeup line this year. And for the holidays, they have an ultra-luxe makeup collection in collab with Olivia Palermo. This eyeshadow palette is gorgeous. Most shades are shimmery, which are my favorites. There are some nudes, a dark green shade, and deep plum shade which are perfect for creating a smokey eye. It's slim and compact for travel, so it makes a perfect holiday gift for the eyeshadow lover in your life.
Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in Sultry. It wouldn't be a favorites without a liquid lipstick right? Revlon launched these at the drugstore about a month and a half ago and I'm obsessed. They're the best drugstore liquid lipstick I've found--they do dry down matte and last a long time. I love this pinky nude color and wish they had more MLBB colors (I'm not a fan of the brighter shades).
Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick in It's a Keeper and Naughty Nude. Rimmel always releases their new products in the UK and then they slowly trickle to the US. I got these from Feel Unique and love them. They have more of a lip balm texture, but with the pigmentation and lasting color of a lipstick. There are a ton of shades and Feel Unique usually does offers on them as well.
Hylamide Hydration BoosterGlow Booster, and Eye Serum. I had heard a little about the Hylamide Range but was super excited when I saw it at CVS (currently on sale for BOGO 50% off). I've been using the glow serum in the morning to add radiance to my skin and the re-hydration serum at night to add hydration (duh). I use the eye serum morning and night and I'm very impressed with how it hydrates and slightly diminishes my under-eye circle. It's relatively affordable skincare that delivers high-end results.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette

Happy Black Friday! I'm writing this post on Thanksgiving but hopefully by the time this goes up, I'll have a new computer. I usually do most of my shopping online but my computer is on its last legs. Best Buy is having amazing deals on Macbooks, so I'm waking up at 6:30 am (which would have already happened. It's weird writing to the future). But I digress, on to the product review!

Unless you've been living under a rock, if you care even a little about makeup, you know that Gwen Stefani collaborated with Urban Decay to create a limited-edition palette of her favorite shades. It launched on Urban on Sunday and was available to Sephora VIB Rouge just on Tuesday, which is when I picked it up. It's launching online and in-stores for everyone in Ulta and Sephora on 12/1, so you don't have to wait long to get your hands on it.

The Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette features 15 eyeshadows, which are all a decent size. I have a few individual UD eyeshadows but most of them I own are in the Naked Palettes. This palette is obviously more square, and comes housed in a beautiful black and gold case that Gwen designed herself. It's very sturdy and has a large mirror. I'm taking the shade descriptions straight from the Sephora website, as I'm horrible at describing them myself.

"This palette contains: 
- 15 x 0.04 oz Eye shadow in Blonde (pale beige/pink iridescent shift), Bathwater (pale beige with gold pearl), Skimp (pale nude satin), Steady (medium rose/metallic gold shift), Punk (reddish brown matte), Baby (cool metallic rose), Anaheim (light taupe-brown matte), Stark (nude-pink matte), Zone (medium brown matte), Serious (smoky gray with iridescent floating pearl), Pop (pale coral with iridescent sparkle), Harajuku (metallic blue-pink/iridescent micro-shimmer), Danger (deep metallic royal blue/blue micro-sparkle), 1987 (bright metallic yellow-gold), Blackout (blackest black matte)"

There are actually a fair amount of matte shades, which are the smoothest of them. A few of the glitter shades are a bit chunky but nothing horrible. I was intimidated by the bright pink shade but as you can see in the swatches, it's a lot lighter than I thought. The navy blue and gold shades are some of my favorite, as they're so unique and pigmented. Overall, I think there are a great variety of shadows and you can do a neutral or more smoky look. This is a must for fans of UD and Gwen Stefani. I'd love to see more celebrity collaborations in the future!

I hope those who celebrate Thanksgiving enjoyed their day and are taking advantage of the amazing sales this weekend! Have you tried this palette or are you thinking of buying it? Let me know!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Kiko Cosmic Starlets Collection

Kiko is without a doubt one of my favorite affordable makeup brands. It used to only be available in Europe but over the summer, they launched an online store and a few retail locations. Their limited editions are especially fantastic, and I had been waiting for a new one to launch since it had been a few months. Just last week, the limited edition holiday Cosmic Starlets collection launched. There are a variety of giftsets, from lip and nail polish duos to some fragrances. I ordered a few of the items online, so here are my first impressions.

Moon Dust Face Powder in Mysterious Pink and Fairy Mauve. Baked blushes/highlighters are one of my weaknesses. This collection in general is slightly more expensive for Kiko, but as you can see above, you get quite a lot of product. The collection features red futuristic packaging, and I'm very impressed by these two products. They are pigmented, finely milled, and don't emphasize pores. I was impressed with how easily they were able to blend into my skin, and both colors are perfect for winter.
Shining Star Lip Lacquer in Cool Mauve. Although it looks like a nail polish, this is actually a lip gloss! It's a gorgeous MLBB nude with a hint of shimmer and it's so moisturizing. It's enriched with Vitamin E, which helps dry lips (perfect for winter). There is no intense taste or scent to it, which makes it a great find for those who are sensitive to certain scents. I wish they had more than four shades or I would certainly get more!
Temptress Lip Set in Misty Rose. I guess since this has the name "Rose" I expected it to be more, well, rosy. It's quite nude and very light compared to what I normally wear. The other colors were a bit too bold for me. I like the lip liner better, as I think the lip shade might be too light. Fortunately, it's sheer enough that one layer makes it a more wearable shade for me. It might be a good base to a lipgloss though. If you like light peach nude shades, this one is for you.

L-R: Mysterious Pink, Fairy Mauve, Misty Rose Lipliner, Misty Rose Lipstick, Cool Mauve

I know this collection is incredibly new to the US, but I highly recommend the blushes and lip lacquers! Have you tried anything from it?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tarte Tarteist Contour Palette First Impressions

By now, I'm kind of sick of seeing the contour palette trend everywhere. I feel like I'm pretty satisfied with the ones I do own, but that all changed when news of this new Tarte Tarteist Contour Palette popped up all over my social media. I've used one Tarte bronzer and have been pretty impressed, so I was definitely curious with this one. In addition to this new palette for spring, Tarte has released a gorgeous new eyeshadow palette (on my Holiday list) and brush. Currently, this palette is only available for Sephora VIB Rouge/VIB members but should be launching for the general public soon. Let's take a look!

I love the packaging. A circular compact is new and fresh, plus it's slim enough for travel and the mirror is huge. Shade 1 is a light highlight that doesn't have any shimmer but can be used to brighten. Shade 2 is a yellow correcting powder that I especially love to set undereye concealer. Shades 3 and 4 are contouring shades that can be used for a variety of skintones--obviously shade 4 is the darker one, so creates a more defined contour. I love that they've included a blush shade "Accentuate" that's a rosy plummy shade, so you can really do your whole face with this. The center shade is called "Glow" which is a shimmer highlight, although it doesn't really show up on my skin. Those who like a very subtle highlight might like this, but it's my least favorite shade of the palette.

L-R: Glow, Highlight, Correct, Contour-Soft, Contour-Deep, Accentuate

I've only worn this once, but I think if you're a beginner at contouring, or want a palette that you can use to finish your whole face, this one is for you. Fortunately, I'm lucky to have access to VIB Rouge products ahead of time, but I know it can be disappointing for those who aren't a part of it. The availably is really my only complaint about the product, so it's a winner in my book!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tom Ford Highlighting Duo Dupe

Is it just me, or is there nothing better than finding a good dupe? I am obsessed with highlighters and use any excuse to get my hands on one. I recently got this one on the left from Vasanti and noticed it was quite similar to the super duper expensive Tom Ford Illuminating Duo.

Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo. Tom Ford is crazy expensive--their products are extremely luxurious but are usually not worth it. This is the second item I have purchased from him, and I know, it's ridiculously priced. But this was a summer splurge and something I can use for a very, very long time. Each highlighter is quite large, as I find that sometimes when you buy duos they are smaller than normal. The packaging is only the best from Tom Ford--sturdy yet slim enough for travel with a large mirror. The top cream shade is softly illuminating and not frosty at all. The bottom shade is more of a golden champagne that would show up wonderfully on dark skin tones, or fairer skin tones can use it with a lighter hand. They melt into skin seamlessly, giving you a glow that doesn't look like sweat. The top shade is supposed to give a "luminous glow of daylight" and the bottom shade "is like the romantic illusion of candlelight".

Vansanti See The Light Powder Duo. Upon first impression, obviously there is less product (what you would typically expect from a powder duo). But $29 compared to $80 makes it worth it, as these are still sizable enough that your brush can pick up each shade individually. These aren't as creamy as the Tom Ford duo, and even from the swatches on my arm, you can see they don't sink into the skin as effortlessly. But they aren't chalky or pore-emphasizing, so they're still quite good. The white shade is more similar, and maybe even more pigmented. The gold shade is certainly more gold as opposed to a pinky-champagne undertone. They're still natural and a much more affordable option if you live highlighter duos.

L-R: Tom Ford Top Shade and Bottom Shade, Vasanti Top Shade and Bottom Shade

Overall, although the Tom Ford is a luxurious product unlike any other, the Vasanti Duo is a much more affordable alternative. I would say if you want to splurge for an amazing product, go for the Tom Ford one now as it's limited edition and sold out almost everywhere. But if you don't care about spending as much and still want a nice highlight duo, the Vasanti one will not disappoint.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Need a New Lip Favorite?

Holiday season launches are coming at us full force. It seems like every other day I find out about a new makeup launch and I cannot resist, especially lip products since they are on the less expensive end of things. I had been anticipating a few of these launches for a little while, so saved up for those. Here are the six I've recently acquired and whether you loved nudes or reds, I'm sure you'll find a new favorite in one of them.

Jeffree Star Androgyny and Doll Parts. I've never tried a Jeffree Star liquid lipstick, although I've heard good things. It was mostly because the colors were a bit too crazy for me, but when I saw these limited edition holiday shade launches, they looked a lot more up my alley. I'm obsessed with Androgyny, which is unfortunately sold out--it's a beautiful mauve shade with a hint of plum. Doll Parts is pulling really pink in my swatch below, and although it isn't as bright as it is below, it's still a little out of my comfort zone. I prefer to apply this one more sparingly.
Dose of Colors Bare With Me and Brick. Dose of Colors are a great brand (I love the Kylie Jenner-esque shade Stone) and was excited when these launched. Bare With Me is a brand new neutral shade, while Brick is a returning deep wine shade. They don't have a tacky feel and have pretty good lasting time, although I think the Jeffree Star ones last a bit longer.
Smith & Cult The Shining Lip Lacquer in Now Kitsch and One Word Chorus. Although Smith & Cult are known for their nail polishes (which I've never tried because nail polishes are one item I don't believe are worth splurging on), their lip glosses are a fairly new launch. They have a variety of shades and as you can see below, there is decent pigmentation. Of course, since they are a gloss, they do apply more sheer and are more moisturizing than a liquid lipstick. This means they don't last as long but I love the color selection and shine they have once on the lips.

L-R: Androgyny, Now Kith, Barely There, Doll Parts, Brick, One Word Chorus

With the holidays only a month and a half away (where has the time gone?), it's time to treat yourself with a new lippie. Whether you're more of a liquid lipstick or gloss person, hopefully one of these shades entices you and becomes your new favorite. Let me know if you've tried anything from any of these lines!

Monday, November 9, 2015


As I'm coming up on a year and a half of working with my blog, I thought it was time to do some reflections. I started this blog as a way to fill some time at a job that (fortunately) allowed me to pretty much do whatever I wanted. I was able to post everyday, although I didn't have many followers. As time passed, I was able to find the blogs I consistently read and build relationships with other bloggers.

It's hard to get motivated to write during the school year. It's not that I'm overwhelmed with work, but sometimes I feel like "Who's even reading my blog?" "Why does it matter?". Although I've missed a few days, I try pretty consistently to post Mondays and Fridays. Sometimes I put a lot of effort into the posts, whereas others I can bang out in ten minutes. I've also been traveling a lot this semester, which makes it harder to write posts.

I admire full-time bloggers who have turned their passions into careers. Unfortunately, I'm still not at a stage where brands are wanting to work with me and send me products. This means that I spend a lot of money on beauty products. Sometimes they are for the blog, and mostly I'm just influenced by other people. I wish that I could spend more time on this blog and have partnerships with brands, but unfortunately that just hasn't happened. The makeup community in Vermont is dismal, so writing these posts and talking to others is my way of staying connected.

I enjoy writing more personal pieces, and sometimes want to pour my heart out into the internet, but I'm a lot more of a private person in that sense. Although I know some of my friends read these pieces, a lot of people I don't know read them as well (but if I'm being honest, maybe it's the people I know who read these that I don't want knowing personal information). And that's just not the main audience that reads these.

Do I know what I'm doing when I graduate in about 6 months? Do I have any idea where I want to live? The answer to both of these is a resounding no. I have so many ideas and things I want out of life, but as John Lennon says, "Life happens when we're busy making plans". So I'm slowly accepting that although soon I will begin applying to a bunch of jobs that I've already spent time looking for, I realize that where I live is less important than finding a satisfying job. This will 99% not be the job I stick with, but after having moved over 6 times in the past four years with just as many job shifts, I'm ready for some stability. After living in Vermont for four years, I know I need and crave a bigger city.

Sorry for the randomness of my post, but if you've been following my blog for a while, I thought you would like to stay somewhat updated in my life and where I'm at right now. And if you don't care, I'm surprised you even made it this far and more makeup posts will be coming up soon.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Intro to H&M Beauty

If I'm not mistaken, pretty much the entire community was blown away by H & M's gigantic new 700-piece beauty line. Everything is under $15 and there's a huge variety of products. I took the plunge and bought a few things online, but then when I visited my sister in Washington DC, they had the actual displays. It was like a mini Sephora. I know only certain stores have the actual displays, so it's worth a call to your local one to see if they got it. I purchased some of these items as a gift for a friend, but she was kind enough to let me include them in the first impressions before I gave them to her.

Pressed Powder Blush in Deep Brown and Tawny Peach. These have a nice satin matte finish--they aren't super super matte but there's no shimmer at all. I picked up two neutral shades and the brown shade could even be used as a very light contour.
Perfectionist Finishing Powder in Ivory. For some reason, I can't find the color I got online (they are out of a few things) but this is a soft, lightweight powder that reminds me of a slightly fuller coverage Charlotte Tilbury powder.
Natural Bronzer in Solar Flair. For only $10, the packaging is so minimalist chic that I really admire what they've done. This powder is soft and the most natural/cool toned bronzer of the four.
Concealer Pen in Vanilla Ivory. This isn't quite the Touche Eclat dupe I was hoping for, as it settles into fine lines a bit more, but is still a worthy contender. I chose the peachy shade to counteract dark circles.
Concealer Palette in Light/Medium. I love these concealer kits with multiple shades, as I often do my friends' makeup and these work for a variety of skintones and needs. I was very impressed with this one's creamy consistency.
Liquid Eyeliner. Although this is a nice jet deep black shade, I wish I had picked up the pen version as I find brush ones harder to maneuver. The plus is that they do often have a deeper application of the actual product.
Aubergine Dream Eyeshadow Palette. Unfortunately none of the eyeshadow palettes are online, but they had a great selection of at least six or seven. I chose the more purple shade, as that's one of my favorite wearable colors. Most of the colors are decently pigmented and last all day.
*I haven't actually worn any of the lip formulas for an extended period of time yet, so can only give first impressions.
So Cocoa Cream Lipstick. Vampy lips are perfect for fall, especially in a hydrating medium/full coverage cream formula.
Lip Pencil in Au Natural and Choc Therapy. Pinky neutral lipliners are one of my weakness, especially since they're usually one of the more inexpensive items in a collection. Au Natural reminds me of Charlotte Tilbury's Pillowtalk and they're both non-drying.
Cream Lip Stain in Storyteller. I guess this different than a liquid lipstick as it dries down to more of a stain? I also picked up a liquid lipstick, so I'll have to test out the formula differences.
Lush Lip Vinyl in Chic Chock. Oops didn't realize that they even have three types of liquid lip formulas--a lip vinyl, lipstick, and stain. This one is more magenta than Storyteller.
Lip Cream in Screen Siren. I picked up this color because it's a bit out of my comfort zone--it's a slightly darker red but definitely more bold than what I'm used to.

Unfortunately, it looks like they are sold out of a lot of products online, especially the lip ones. Hopefully they restock soon but it's definitely worth a look in store if you are fortunate to live near one. Let me know if you want any in-depth reviews/swatches of any products, but based on first impressions, I'm quite impressed. It's hard to find an affordable brand with a variety of colors/products with great packaging and H&M does it all.

Monday, November 2, 2015

New York Haul (Kiko, Ulta, And More)

Two weeks ago, I went on an unexpected weekend trip to New York with my boyfriend. Although the reason for the trip was not under the best circumstances, he knows I love makeup and was so kind as to tag along as I scoured beauty stores. I'll show you what I got at various stores, with some old favorites and new discoveries of places to shop. I've only used the products maybe once or twice, so I'll be giving short reviews (otherwise this post would be a novel), but let me know if you want to see more in-depth reviews of anything.

On our way there, we stopped at an Ulta in Albany. I love Ulta because there are none super close to my house, and their online service is not the best, so I always enjoy going to the stores.

Essence Long Lasting Cool Nude Lipstick. I think Essence lipsticks are great for the price, and this new cool mauve shade was calling my name.
Essence Soo Glow! Cream Highlight. For some reason, I can't find this on the Ulta website, which is why I was surprised when I saw it on the display. I'm a sucker for highlighters and you can't beat a $4 cream-to-powder one.
Essence Mosaic Compact Powder. I thought this was a bronzer, but it swatches more like a highlight. It's so sheer that it could be used as an all-over powder, but it is pretty shimmery, so watch out for that.
NYX Highlight and Contour Palette. 8 different shades for less than $30? I've found NYX products to be generally good quality, but so far the bronzers are out-performing the highlighters.
Laura Geller Inkcredible 5 Piece Eyeliner Set. This one grabbed me right by the cash register. You get 5 full-sized eyeliners for less than $30, and there's a great shade variety with all of them super long lasting on the waterline.

Our next endeavor was the Palisades Mall, where I was finally able to go to a Kiko store for the first time and also discover Korean makeup/skin brand Skinfood. The associate Lucy was very helpful and friendly, and even threw in two free black honey masks (which are amazing). Unfortunately they don't have an online website so I've tried to find the items on Amazon.

Rebel Bouncy Blush in Treasure Rose. This is my favorite limited collection I've seen in a while, so I wanted to pick up a few more things in the gorgeous rose gold packaging. This isn't really a spongy blush but does have a softer texture.
Bronzer Powder in 102. Again, I'm so impressed with how inexpensive yet good quality their products are. This isn't anything super special, but I just wanted a slightly shimmery darker bronzer.
Intensely Lavish Lipstick in 02 Mauve. Another product from the Rebel Romantic collection that I already own in another shade and love the creamy, hydrating formula.
Soft Touch Blush in 105 Dark Rose. Okay now this was a total impulse buy--I was just so happy to be in Kiko I was grabbing things left and right. But it's a solid blush that wears pretty well and is a darker neutral color.
Pencil Lip Gloss in 12. (See above explanation except it's a lip pencil not a blush).

Skinfood Salmon Dark Circle Concealer. I can't get enough of products that will help me cover up my dark circles, so this salmon-shade works wonders before I apply concealer.
Rose Essence Blusher. A very creamy blush that sinks into skin. I got a more coral shade that seemed scary when I swatched it but actually blended to be one of the less intense colors.
Skinfood Black Bean Lip Pencil 03. I had no idea this lip pencil contained black bean extracts, or what that even does, but it's a rosy-peach retractable lip liner.

Lastly, in a mall near my boyfriend's house, we discovered a random makeup store called Flormar. They started in Italy and are relatively new to the US. The store reminded me of MAC, but with Kiko pricing. I don't think you can order directly from the store online, but there are a few of them around, so I recommend checking it out.
Puffy Eyeshadow in Lily Fields. I couldn't even find this on the english website. The packaging is so big that originally I thought it was a highlighter (similar size to MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes), so I gravitated towards the glowy champagne color.
Terracotta Blush in 44. I'm a sucker for anything baked, and these are definitely dupes for the MAC Mineralize Baked Blushes or Laura Geller ones.

I know that was a lot, so thank you for sticking with me if you've read all the way to the bottom!

Friday, October 30, 2015

October Favorites

Man October flew by! It was a busy month for me, with trips to NY (huge haul post coming Monday) and DC. I have so much new stuff to keep trying that it's been hard to find some favorites I consistently use, but these are the five I've been loving. 

Lune + Aster Moonrise Glow and Contour Bronzing Palette. I love Blue Mercury but often forget about it--they have a cultivated collection premium skincare and makeup brands. Lune and Aster is a new brand that was created by their founder, and everything is natural. Although I only got this last weekend on my trip to DC, I've fallen in love. The bronzer is a magical shade that works for either contouring or just an all-over glow, and the highlighter is a gorgeous shimmery peach shade. The powders are so soft and pigmented while still giving a soft look.
Gerard Cosmetics Serenity Liquid Lipstick. Ahh another liquid lipstick! It seems that every brand is coming out with their own and they're impossible to escape (good thing I keep buying and supporting them). This formula has a weightless feel that dries down matte without giving my lips that weird cakey look. Of course it's a nude pink that is perfect for everyday.
Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base 01. I got this deluxe sample from Sephora and can't stop using it. Although it's a primer, I also use it alone on days when I don't want a heavy base. It's golden color sheers out to provide hydration and a dewy look that does what the name says, providing a fresh glow. I think I see a full-size of this in my near future once I run out.
Pur Minerals Artist's Blush and Contour Palette. Pur Minerals is a brand that isn't super familiar to me, but when I saw this palette on Ulta, I went for it. I'm very impressed--the blushes are both colors that I would wear, one highlighter is shimmery and one is matte, and both bronzers work for my skintone as well. My only complaint is I wish the pans were a bit bigger so I could pick up the product more easily, but at only $28, I can't really complain.
Marc Jacobs Decadence. I never was a fan of the Marc Jacobs Daisy fans, but when I saw many reviews talking about how different this one was, I ordered it online without even smelling it. It was a risk, but I'm glad I did it. Sephora describes it as "Qualitative. Opulent. Surprising." and I agree. It's a more musky, sophisticated amber scent with a hint of rose and plum that is unlike anything else I own. Plus the gorgeous handbag packaging alone is enough to convince you to buy it.

Music: Once again I've been pretty bad on discovering new music this month. I've been so busy that it's easier just to listen to my old favorites--I usually throw on The Kooks Pandora.

Books: Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-DayDid You Ever Have a Family by Bill CleggThe Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

It's hard to believe that there are only two months left of favorites before the new year! Pretty soon my little blog will be 1.5 years old, which is crazy. What did you love for the month of October? Share below and have a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2015

10 Things I've Learned About Makeup

I've been in love and involved in the beauty community for over two years now. I used to do the most basic makeup, and I still like pretty natural looks, but here are ten things I've learned about makeup in my two years of "research". Some are more specific to me, whereas some are more general.

Just some makeup I've been meaning to put away :0

1. Winged eyeliner is hard and takes time to get right. I can always do it perfectly on one eye and then mess it up on the other (I swear my eyes are different shapes)/
2. Invest and get some real brushes. You can find pretty good cheap ones, like Real Techniques, but usually the ones that come with products aren't the best. 
3. Do your research! I almost always look up at least one review/video of a product before I buy it. Also learn your return policies, because most stores do at least give store credit if you've tried and bought a product you didn't love.
4. You can never have too many nude lip products. 
5. If you have a serious collection, organize things! I have an Ikea Alex, which is very helpful, but the drawers themselves are messes. If anyone knows of inexpensive drawer organizers that hold a lot, please share!
6. Makeup setting sprays are life-changing. I hardly spray my makeup during the day, although this is good to do if things are getting cakey or need some rejuvenation. But a simple spray after you're done helps everything last a lot longer and I do really notice a difference.
7. Priming is another great way to keep your makeup on longer. Even if you just moisturize before foundation, or use a cream eyeshadow before your powders, doing something to help lock in your makeup before you apply also extends wear-time.
8. Not all makeup is created equally. I truly believe that a lot of high-end products are worth their upwards of $50 price tag, but I might find a blush I love just as much for $3 at the drugstore. 
9. I kind of ignore expiration dates. The only thing I really follow through with is mascara, because it is the most noticeably expired and I'm scared of eye infections. If something does look really weird or funky I will toss it.
10. Have fun! I don't care what some people say, makeup is as much of an art as painting or drawing. Whether your canvas is yourself or someone else, it's not permanent and there are endless looks to create.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Filming Face Of The Day

It's been a hot second since I've acted. I did plays/musicals in high school, but just filmed a short neo-noir film for a friend's film project. It was fun to reenter the spotlight and I will definitely post some stills once it has been edited and finalized. It was in black and white, so my face was pretty natural, but we made sure to do a dark red lip to pop. Here's everything I used for the natural, no-makeup yet femme noir look. My bag was the Fleur De Force makeup bag which was super big and great for holding everything.

It Cosmetics QVC Palette (can't find online but had a blush, bronzer, cream highlight, and setting powder)


MAC Giambattista Vali Lipstick in Eugenia (no longer online)

I also used my mini Bioderma to remove/fix any makeup. Let me know what makeup you would use if you had to do a neo-noir look!

Friday, October 16, 2015

New Product Update (MUFE, Tata Harper, Chanel, Lorac)

There is literally so much new makeup coming out I can't keep up with it. Also, I'm totally inspired by the Pixiwoo "New Product Update" videos that they come out with every month or so showcasing all the newness that has hit the shelves lately (although they're far more fortunate than me with the amount of products they recieve).  Christmas is over 2 months away and yet every day it seems like brands are launching new products. With that being said, it's certainly not feasible or economic to purchase everything you see, so these are five of the new products that have launched within the past few weeks that I think are worth picking up.

Make Up Forever 15 Artist Shadow Palette. Makeup Forever shadows have to be some of my favorite. They're all pigmented, buttery, and the shimmery shades aren't glittery while the matte shades don't fall flat. Each of these colors are a decent size, and I like how you can create more bold looks with this. I own way too many neutral palettes, so the green, bronze, and gold shades are great ways to spice up your look without looking gaudy.
Lorac Mega Pro Palette 2. If you buy one eyeshadow palette this season, or year, have it be this. I mean, you really can't beat 40 shadows for less than $60. I'm guilty of owning the Lorac Palettes 1 and 2, as well as the Mega Pro Palette 1, but each palette has mostly different shades. These are quality shadows and although the surface is big, there's a huge mirror and it's thin enough to use for travel There are a variety of shades, from cool to warm or matte to shimmer, and there are enough bold or neutral shadows that you can really use this for anything.
Chanel Illuminating Powder. First of all, let's talk about the design. How gorgeous are the interlocking Cs--even if the product stunk (which it doesn't) collectors will want this just for the packaging. You can use the beige shade alone to brighten with a subtle highlight, while the peach shade is a little more bold and can be used as a blush or highlight. I like to swirl the shades together, since they're kind of hard to get out individually, and use this as a subtle highlight or a blush on days when I want a lighter look. 
Tata Harper Very Illuminating and Very Bronzing. Are you sick of seeing contour/highlighting products yet? I'm not... bring them on! I'm not super familiar with the brand, although I know they're one of the few that actually is in Vermont, but they're all natural. They're creamy but not so creamy that they're hard to blend, yet creamy enough that it doesn't feel like chalk. Although the highlight looks quite white and icy, it's almost sheer and sinks into skin with a hint of sheen. I only wish they came in a kit together.

What's been on your radar for new beauty? 

Monday, October 12, 2015

LA Girl Velvet Contour Sticks

My experience with the LA Girl brand is pretty limited, although the products I have tried (BB Cream and Concealer) are quite good. Part of the reason might be that the brand has limited availability in stores, although you can order from their website or ebay (what I did). I love highlighters, as you know, and when I saw these came out recently, I knew I had to try them. The Velvet Contour Stick range has 3 highlighters, 10 blushes, and 3 bronzers at $5 each. Today I have 2 highlighters and 2 blushes to show you, although *spoiler* they're so good I might need to order more.

Luminous is a pinky toned highlight, while Radiance is more of a golden/light tone. They're both more glimmery than shimmery, and the small stick shape makes it super easy to swipe onto the high points of my face. I wish they had come out with more highlight shades! My Bae is a pigmented coral shade that normally I stay away from, but what I love about the stick form is how easy it is to sheer out colors and apply them with the intensity you want. Since they are so creamy, I can blend it so I get a nice flush of color and avoid looking like a clown. Although it's in the blush range, Glimmer is more like a pinky highlight. It has more pigment than the other highlighters, but is also shimmery so I have to make sure I don't go overboard or else I'll just look really sweaty.

L-R: Luminous, Radiance, My Bae, Glimmer

Overall, I think these are a great product and with the inexpensive price point and extensive color range, you'll definitely want to pick up a few. I wish I had picked up a bronzer to give you all a sampling of the whole range, so let me know if you've tried any of the shades of the new Velvet Contour Sticks!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall Favorites Tag

One of my favorite Youtubers, Jaclyn Hill, created this tag as a YouTube video and although I don't have a YouTube channel, I thought it would still work as a blogging tag. I love anything to do with fall, so if you do this tag on your blog/channel, share below!

Favorite Candle: My boyfriend recently bought me the Golden Cinnamon candle from Bath & Body Works and it smells amazing. I forgot how intense (in a good way) these candles smell and they're usually on some sort of sale. This one has cinnamon, sugar, and caramel, but they have a big selection of fall candles.
Favorite Lip Color: Oh god this is a toughie. I've been trying out so many new lip products lately that it's hard to find a favorite, but I love anything mauve/nude. The Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Glastonberry is one of my favorites not just for the formula, but its an amazing vampy purple shade perfect for fall.
Favorite Drink: I don't really have a specific "fall" drink, but I find myself drinking more apple cider.
Favorite Blush: Again another toughie! It would have to be a neutral or warm golden shade, like MAC Warm Soul
Favorite Clothing Item: A recent discovery has been this Urban Outfitters Cardigan. I have the black and tan shades and am wearing them all the time. They're made of such a soft material and are so drapey and comfortable that they go with anything.
Favorite Fall Movie: Again, as much as I love fall, I don't think I have a specific movie that I watch every fall. If I like a movie, I'll just watch it whenever i feel in the mood.
Favorite Fall TV Show: If we're talking a new show, then Scream Queens for sure! And as far as returning shows, American Horror Story: Hotel just came out Wednesday and is amazing so far. And I can't forget How To Get Away With Murder.
Favorite Thanksgiving Food: Because I'm a vegetarian, I'm not a huge fan of most Thanksgiving foods. I do love a good veggie stuffing though.
Favorite Halloween Costume: This is supposed to be my favorite Halloween costume I've ever been, and I think that might be a Hershey's Kiss when I was a toddler (sadly no pictures could be found).