Friday, May 29, 2015

3 Foundations For Different Occasions

I just came up with this title on a whim, and I do find it rhymes pretty catchily. If you've been reading my blog a while, you would know that I'm definitely a foundation junkie. I did take a break for a good chunk of this year (although it was hard), but in the past few weeks I couldn't resist adding some new ones. I've been testing these out and am pleased with all of the results. My purchasing was somewhat strategic, as each of these can be used for a different occasion and give a different finish.

CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation in Natural Beige. As a dryer skinned gal, luminous finish foundations are my favorite. I like a dewy finish that isn't too shiny, and for a drugstore buy, this one is on par with its higher-end counterparts. I would liken it to the Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation, although it has less obvious shimmer. I tried the original Outlast foundation and also liked it, although the finish was a bit blah for me. It has good lasting power and the included pump makes it great for dewy looking skin.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Matte Foundation. Originally, I was skeptical about this purchase--I have NEVER bought a matte finish foundation. I decided it was time to shake things up. I have a bottle of Velvet Lumiere Aqua but unfortunately it's the wrong shade for me. I'm a B20 (not a BR20), which is what I got in this, and again I'm impressed. For a matte foundation, it still provides coverage that looks just like your skin and doesn't make me look flat. This is great for hot days when you know your skin is gonna sweat no matter what. Although it's ideally for oily skinned girls, the velvet finish makes it doable for dry to normal skin types as well.

Cover FX Custom Color Drops in N25. Once again, this is a product I bought with the intention knowing I owned nothing else like it. It's certainly a cool idea--you can add as many drops as you like to build up coverage in any of your sheer bases. This means any primer, moisturizer, or sun screen where you already like the coverage can be turned into a foundation. Since there are so many different shades, you can also add it to an existing foundation to make your color match better. I've only tried it with a few moisturizers and primers, since most of my stash is still in storage (one week until move!) but it's a universal product with many uses.

L-R: Covergirl, Chanel, Cover FX

I'm always looking for recommendations, so let me know what foundations you've been loving lately!

Monday, May 25, 2015

MAC Wash and Dry Collection

When I first saw the previews about this collection, I kind of let it fly by me. I'm definitely guilty of scooping up limited edition MAC products (items last year's Alluring Aquatic collection and Cinderella collections are some of my prouder purchases) but I didn't look into the Wash and Dry collection until last week. By that time, the amazing Freshen Up highlighter was already sold out on the MAC website. I ended up ordering that and the Crisp Whites blush on as soon as they launched Monday and then picked up the other blush and a bronzer in the store.

First of all, let's talk about the GORGEOUS packaging. This might be my favorite MAC packaging to date, and the bright colors make it easy to pick out of a collection. I love how even though MAC limited edition collection products tend to be more expensive, they still fall into a mid-price range that isn't nearly as bad as say, YSL.

Crisp Whites and Hipness Blush. Originally I just wanted the Crisp Whites blush, but once I saw Hipness, I knew I would regret purchasing it since it's also already sold out online. Both blushes both the normal MAC blush formula, which is slightly powdery but not dry at all. Crisp Whites is a light peachy pink, which adds a natural flush of color but is different than my usual rose blushes. Hipness is a brighter coral pink which I use with a light hand. I would say they are mostly matte with a hint of sheen.

Freshen Up Highlight Powder. Now here's the real star of the show--shades can be swirled together for a more intense coral color (it's definitely pigmented enough for fair-skin girls to use as a blush) or colors can be used individually as a highlight. It doesn't highlight pores and the glitter isn't just an overspray, which is super exciting. If you can still find this in stores or anywhere online, definitely don't hesitate to pick it up. 

Golden Rinse Bronzing Powder. Bronzers are one item I've actually never tried from MAC, and although this is a permanent item, I figured the gorgeous packaging was an excuse to try it. This one has a hint of shimmer, as opposed to the more matte shade, so I prefer it to add a glow to my face instead of a contour. The color has decent pay-off, and while it's not the most exciting bronzer I've tried, the packaging steps it up there.

L-R: Freshen Up, Golden Bronze, Hipness, Crisp Whites

Did you pick up anything from the MAC Wash and Dry collection? Do share your thoughts!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Thank You Mirror Mirror!

I was fortunate enough to receive some samples and full-sized products from my favorite makeup store in Vermont, Mirror Mirror. I discovered it last summer, and although my wallet wasn't happy, I certainly was. They are (I believe) the only luxury makeup/skincare/body store in Vermont, offering brands like Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, La Mer, Trish McEvoy, and so much more. The staff is extremely helpful and knowledgeable, which is a benefit of an independent store. In addition to a great variety of products, they also offer manicures, pedicures, waxes, and facials. What more could you want? My favorite products from the bunch are a sparkly pink lip gloss from Bobbi Brown and a satin lip pencil from Nars. If you live in Vermont, I highly recommend checking it out.

My first week on the job is complete! It's definitely more work and less down time than I'm used to, but it's not so stressful that I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off. The thing I probably hate the most is that I'm not done until later in the day and I often have stuff to do after, which means that I don't have as much time for blog posts! I have a three day weekend, so I'm hoping to get a few good posts scheduled then :)

Monday, May 18, 2015


A few of my favorite bloggers do things similar to this, where they update you on a few things they've been loving without it being a full-on review post. Maybe it's because it's almost summer (when there are so many new makeup launches/books/movies I can hardly keep it straight) or I've just stumbled on some great things but there have been a lot of good products and media I've come across lately.

Anastasia Contour Kit. This is another one of those products where everyone raved about it and I put off buying it. I'm definitely more of a beginner when it comes to contouring, but this is supposed to be THE item to master it. There are three basically foolproof contour shades, two highlighting shades (which are great setting powders), and one more shimmery highlight shade for tops of cheekbones. At $40 and with 6 shades I can actually use, this palette is so worth it.

Ex Machina. I saw this a few weeks ago on a whim--I was actually supposed to see The Age of Adeline but decided on this instead. I'm so glad I did. Taking place in the near future, Caleb has been selected to visit billionaire Nathan on his private island. Nathan is the creator of a Google-type website who has also been creating life-like robots, and Caleb's mission is to test whether or not the robot Ava has a conscious. As the film progresses, Caleb becomes unsure who the monster is and who he should trust. It's a simple film, with only four actors and sleek sets, but without giving too much away, this film really makes you think about technology and who is testing who.

Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline. Lisa Scottoline has always been a favorite author of mine--her books have compelling twists and characters. Her latest centers around psychiatrist Eric, who has a patient connected to a murder case. Things keep going wrong for him (a custody battle and sexual harassment case to name a few), but his care and empathy for his patients made you root for him no matter what. At heart, it is a psychological thriller, but one that really focuses on character development and captivating your attention.

As this post goes up, I'll be starting my first job doing marketing and reception at a local law firm! I can't wait to start for the summer and hopefully continue during the school year. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Beauty Procrastination Tag

The next few weeks will be featuring some rather random posts, as I've mentioned that I'm moving and the majority of my makeup is in storage. I have bought some things at home (of course), which will be reviewed, as well as the makeup I did leave out. It's been a while since I've done a tag and people always seem to love them, so here's a new one I found!

1. Name a beauty regimen that you rarely do?
As I've said before, contouring is something I only do if I'm not feeling lazy or for special occasions.
2. Is washing your make-up brushes something that you do regularly?
It used to not be, but since getting a beauty blender, I've realized how important it is to have clean brushes and sponges. I didn't have a good brush cleaner, but I got one from Sephora and find that works really well.
3. How long will you last with chipped nail polish?
It depends... could be one or two days if I'm getting a manicure, or if I'm inspired I might just take it off right away and do my own nails. I definitely can never get that manicure finish on my own.
4. How long will you put off buying/replacing a beauty product, even if you need it?
I kind of have beauty OCD--if I know I'm running low on something, I'll definitely buy a backup before I run out of the other one. I have my items that I always re-buy but certain things, like body wash, are products I like to try different kinds of.
5. What is your worst beauty habit?
It used to be not washing my brushes, but now it might be lack of effort I put into my night-time skincare routine. 
6. Name something non-beauty related that you put off doing all the time?
Car washes for sure--I always leave it to the rain, which means I only get a few a year.
7. When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready to the last minute?
No way, I always leave ample time. I struggle with cat eyes (the curse of two different shape eyes. I always find it takes me more time than I think, so leaving ample time gives you some wiggle room.
8. Can you commit to spending bans?
I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it.
9. How organized are your make-up and nail polish collections?
I started off with a pretty good organization system, but as my collection grew, I ran out of space to properly house it. I just bought an Ikea Alex (it's about time!), which I'm excited to organize in my new house.

Let me know if you do this tag on your blog and leave a comment here!

Monday, May 11, 2015

MAC Nordstrom Naturals Palette

I invested in this baby a couple of months ago but completely forgot to review it. As I was sadly packing up my makeup collection until I move into my new place in June, this jumped back out at me. I love many MAC products but have never really tried their eyeshadows. Everyone raves about them but I found it a bit much to spend almost $20 on a single shadow. They do have some palettes, although they are ridiculously expensive. Enter this exclusive Nordstrom palette--a great way to explore MAC eyeshadows as they have the 12 best-selling shades. It's a $160 value for only $85, so if you're willing to shell out some cash you are still saving quite a bit.

My one complaint about the product is the packaging--I understand the shadows always come like this, as they are de-potted, but it is quite bulky and big for traveling (not to mention fragile). The actual shadows themselves are a dream. I've heard about each of these shadows on various blogs and YouTube videos (All That Glitters is one I always wanted to try). Nordstrom has definitely nailed it with an awesome variety of all MAC formulas, with glitter, shimmer, mattes, and neutral shades that pop. Only a few are not very pigmented, but they can be used for highlighting or inner corners. I'm very impressed with the buttery formula, and with primer they truly last all day.

 L-R: Vapour, All That Glitters, Wedge, Satin Taupe, Honey Lust, Ricepaper, Amber Lights, Saddle, Mulch, Woodwinked, Omega, Brun, Embark, Beauty Marked, Carbon
*I apologize for my lack of quality swatching photos!

Although it's an investment, this palette is definitely worth it for the quality of shadows and variety of looks it can create. It's limited edition and exclusive to Nordstrom, so make sure you order it while you can! What MAC shadows have you tried? Let me know!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Two New Reads

It's been a hot minute since I did a book review on this blog. I actually hate that phrase--it's definitely been more than a minute, more like weeks, but oh well. This is for a couple of reasons: it's been hard to find time to blog or read and I also just haven't read that many great books lately. That changed last week, when I read two amazing books that I thought I should inform you guys about. It's almost beach season, so these are perfect to take on a vacation and read by the pool (or in your air conditioned room. No judgement).

Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova

I loved this book so much that I spent all last Friday morning/afternoon reading it and couldn't put it down. First of all, I love books that take place in Boston, and this one takes place in Charlestown, a part of Boston I haven't really been to. The story begins with an Irish cop who starts acting strange (losing his motor functions, temper acting up, etc) and finds out he has Huntington's Disease. From then on, we see how this horrible disease affects not only him but the rest of the family. An alternating perspective follows the youngest daughter Katie, who is living with the fear of potentially being positive for the disease and how that is affecting her life. What's so horrible about the disease is knowing you may be positive ahead of time, then not developing symptoms until later in life, eventually losing all motor functions. The disease itself is devastating, and seeing how it affects the entire family was told incredibly well. I genuinely felt the emotions each character was feeling, experiencing the love, compassion, and anger alongside them. Although it's incredibly sad to see Joe's decline and how the family struggles with the disease, the book and characters try to remain as positive as they can. I won't give away the ending, but it's not as sad as one would expect, although the book certainly deals with heavier topics.

Night Night, Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron

And then of course we have a mystery novel. I think what I loved about this so much was its settings--it takes place in Beverly Hills in the 1980s, but often references the Old Hollywood and glamor of the 1940s. This started out a bit iffy, but as it progressed, I found myself more and more drawn into the mystery. From the beginning of the story, we learn that Arthur (the protagonist Deirdre's father) has been murdered, so we are to understand why. The motive is not revealed until later in the story, and it also appears that Deirdre is being framed for the murder. More and more details and twists are revealed as the story progresses. We learn a lot about Deirdre's childhood and all of her memories as they connect to her father's murder. My favorite part was that I really didn't see the ending coming, and Ephron does her best to throw you off track. I'm definitely going to be checking out more of her novels.

Have you read any good books lately? Leave your suggestions below!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Helpful Makeup Links

I know I get the majority of my makeup ideas from the internet. If you're completely new to makeup, or have been a beauty aficionado for years, here are some helpful tips and tricks for a variety of looks and products.

For the beginner who wants to get the most out of their eyeshadow palette...

19 Useful Tips for People Who Struggle With Eyeshadow

For those who want to revive their dry skin...

The VDM Guide to Glossy Skin

For those who have no idea how to do the contouring trend...

Quick Tip: Contouring

For the experimenter who wants to make the most from their money...

Multitasking Makeup Products

For the one who thinks they knew everything...

Into the Gloss' Best Beauty Tips

Friday, May 1, 2015

April Favorites

As I'm writing this, I have my last day of classes as a junior. I have a few finals and then I'm completely done with the year next Friday. I feel like just yesterday I started school, and now I only have a year left. It sounds cheesy but it's totally true. This has been a month of playing with some new and old favorites (did you catch my Shopping My Stash post?), so on to the makeup favorites!

Dior Eye Reviver Eyeshadow Palette. Would it really be a favorites without including an eyeshadow palette? I saw this one from Dior and held off on purchasing it for a while, then finally caved. It has 4 beautiful neutral shades with just the right amount of shimmer, a highlight shade, and a gel eyeliner that I've yet to figure out how to navigate. 
Hourglass Ambient Bronzer in Luminous Light. The minute this launch was announced, I knew I would be loving it. The Ambient Blushes are some of my favorites, and this bronzer doesn't disappoint. It's very warm and glowy, so I wouldn't use it for contouring. However, it gives you a great sun kissed glow and warms up the face so well. 
Original Beauty Blender. I think I'm the last person on earth to buy a Beauty Blender--originally I was kind of skeptical about it. However, I tried my friend's last week and I loved it. I especially love it for blending in concealer, but it really does give an amazing finish. It seems crazy to spend this much for a little sponge but it's worth it.
Laura Mercier Transluscent Loose Setting Powder. Normally I don't deviate from my finishing powders, but I forgot I had this one and pulled it back out. I use it to set everything once I'm done and it gives such a blurred finish. It can help tone down some extreme blush pigment if I feel I've overdone it. 
Rommel Good to Glow Highlighter in Soho Glow. I wish this was available in the US because it's the best drugstore highlighter I've come across. It's one of those liquid ones that can be worn on it's own, mixed in with foundation, or on top of cheekbones for a little extra glow. This bronzy shade is my favorite of the bunch.

Books: Dark Rooms by Lili AnolikPretty Ugly by Kirker ButlerWe All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach