Monday, August 31, 2015

August Favorites

Summer is over and fall is basically here! I'll miss my abundant free time but I'm really excited for senior year to begin. This is my last year before I become a "real" adult and I know it's going to fly by. I was kind of all over the place this month, from home to Cape Cod and a week in Georgia, so I didn't get a chance to try many new things. Here's what did make the cut.

Lancôme Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate and Eye Illuminator Concentrate. I don't normally splurge on skincare, but when you get a 20% discount at work, the expensive things suddenly become more lucrative. I've been using these two products for the past month and really like the results. My eye circles have definitely diminished a bit, and I like to use the other serum all-over to hydrate. It even helps fade my scar!
Nars Audacious Mascara. I got the mini size as a sample somewhere and I really like it. The brush has over 200 bristles which are great for lengthening and volumizing. I really see a difference in my lashes when I wear this and they look full without being weighed down. I'm sure I will get the full size when this dries out!
Tyra Sculpt in a Stick. When the woman behind America's Next Top Model creates a makeup line, you know it's going to be fierce. This stick makes contouring super easy--it's the perfect grey shade that mimics shadow to create chiseled cheekbones. I also have the highlight stick but I prefer this.
Tarte Contour Brush. Contouring is made even easier when using this brush. The shape makes it so so easy to blend any bronzer into the hollows of your cheeks and it's really soft. I wish the handle made it easier to put with my other brushes but it deserves a spot front and center on my vanity, as I reach for it every day.
Sara Happ Grapefruit Lip Scrub. As we get into winter, lip scrubs are super important. I know my lips get really dry and I'm not the best about exfoliating them. I got this in a gift set with a lip gloss at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, and this tastes so good I find myself using it all the time.

Books: Pretty Baby by Mary KubicaRemember Me This Way by Sabine DurrantBarbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren HolmesRemember Mia by Alexandra Burt

Music: I've been so bad this summer about discovering new music. The only song I really listened to consistently was a re-discovery from my childhood when my mom used to listen to them, which is Brian Wilson by Barenaked Ladies.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

20 Random Facts About Me

I'm on my last day in Georgia and then it's back to Vermont tomorrow! It's nice to be in a real city with lots of things to do, although the heat is killing me. Sorry for this being the only post this week--expect a big favorites post next Monday. I was looking up some tags to do, and although this isn't a real "tag", here are twenty random facts about me.

1. Originally I came to school just to study Psychology. I needed a minor, so I chose film, but I loved it so much I decided to double major.
2. I'm a speed-reading demon--I read at least 2 or 3 books a week and read about 5 times the speed of the average reader.
3. I've been a vegetarian for about 10 years and don't plan on going back.
4. Before I started dating my boyfriend, he was my best friend. When we first met, I had no idea what was in store for us.
5. I hate mayonnaise and ketchup.
6. When I have nothing to do, my mind wanders way too much. I consider myself an existentialist.
7. My favorite colors are lilac and turquoise.
8. I had no idea when I watched my first Youtube video or read my first blog post that makeup would become such an important part of my life.
9. Once I'm more settled in life, I want a corgi named Spicoli (bonus points if you know the reference).
10. I could eat pizza for every meal.
11. I'm not an outdoors person. I appreciate nature if I can look at it and still be inside away from humidity and bugs.
12. When I was younger, I was only allowed to watch 30 mins. of TV a day. I would save this time to watch Arthur and I still love the show.
13. I had a bunny from ages 12-18 named Bob. He was an albino dwarf bunny and so adorable.
14. Sometimes I feel like I didn't choose the right place to go to school, because I don't love Vermont or one of my majors, but I love my friends there.
15. I can't ride a bike.
16. In middle school, I was obsessed with Abercrombie and Hollister. Now I can't stay far enough away from the places.
17. I never really felt like I belonged in high school and don't really talk to anyone from my hometown.
18. I have 9 piercings--8 on my ears and one in my bellybutton.
19. I played softball for a year in high school.
20. My Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ, which is the rarest.

If you do this tag, comment below with a link to your blog!

Friday, August 21, 2015

August Beauty WIshlist

As soon as summer is over, we are bombarded with a slew of fall releases. This includes holiday releases (ahhhhh!) and as I'm a sucker for limited edition anything, excited doesn't even begin to cover it. Here are a few of the things that have been on my radar.

Too Faced Stardust by Vegas Nay Palette. If you follow any beauty blogs/instagrams/twitters/whatever, you probably have heard of this palette. I've been impressed with Too Faced palettes in the past, and this one definitely won't dissapoint. The swatches look to die for, and you also get a mini Better Than Sex mascara, primer, and glitter pigment. Is it Sunday yet?

Laura Geller Italian Garden 7 Piece Collection. QVC is a highly underrated place for beauty--they have lots of name brands like It Cosmetics, Tarte, and more. The value sets are an amazing deal because you are getting so many full sized products without the hefty price tag. I've tried a few things from Laura Geller but figured this kit would be a good way to be introduced. For only $60 (which you can pay in 3 installments), you get a Baked Radiance foundation, super cute eyeshadow palette, mascara, eyeliner, lip stain, and 2 brushes.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighter. There isn't a ton of information out about these highlighters from Anastasia Beverly Hills (due to come out end of September) but they're absolutely gorgeous. i follow trendmood on instagram, which is a huge wishlist enabler. I'm a highlight junkie and these seem absolutely to die for--the few swatches I've seen are glowy to the extreme.

What's on your wishlist? I love scoping out new products so share below!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sephora Pro Brushes

I can't believe summer is almost over! I'm going to Georgia with the boyfriend at the end of this week for about 6 days, and I will try my best to get posts in. After that, school starts two weeks from today! Last year I was able to maintain weekly Monday and Friday posts and I'm hoping to continue that trend.

 Makeup brushes are a crucial part of doing your makeup. The right brush can create the look you're going for, and the quality makes a huge difference. I've been using Sigma Brushes for a while, which are very affordable, but I wanted to step up my results. When I was home, I went a bit crazy with the Sephora Pro Brushes. They're a little pricy, but the quality is amazing. There is a huge selection, so you can find a brush for any sort of use. Every one is soft and easy to use, with a nice wooden handle that feels secure in your hand. Here are the five that I feel are the best to add to your collection.

Pro Contour Brush #79Although I already own a couple of contour brushes with a teardrop shape, this is slightly rounder and makes things even easier to apply. I prefer it for highlight, either under my eyes or on my cheekbones. It can be used with creams or liquids and also does work quite well for contouring, as the name would suggest.
Pro Airbrush #55. This is Sephora's best selling brush, and it's easy to see why! It truly does create an airbrush finish with any product you use. I like to use this for powder foundation, blush, bronzing all over--you name it! It's a rare brush that can be used with either liquid or powder products.
Pro Blending Brush #27. I'm a sucker for any type of one-stop-does-it-all blending brush--this one is quite similar to the MAC 217. Crease, blending, all-over, lid, these types of brushes can do it all and are my favorite to bring for travel.
Pro Flawless Airbrush #56. Smaller and more compact, don't be fooled--this brush is different than the 55. It's made to be used exclusively with foundations. Although I have been loving using a Beauty Blender with my foundation, this is a close second.
Pro Flawless Light Powder Brush #50. This brush has the biggest head (is that the word you use to describe the actual shape?), which I like for more all-over powders. You can also use it to lightly apply blush or bronzer, just be careful as it will dispense more product. 

Are there other brushes I should pick up from the Sephora Pro Brush line? Let me know your recommendations!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Too Faced and Stila at Nordstrom Rack

Ahh Nordstrom Rack. It's like TJ Maxx--but better. I've found some really really good deals there, because you get products that were either intended for or actually at Nordstrom. Although you can often find luck at TJ Maxx or Marshall's, if you're looking for more recognizable brand, The Rack is the place to go. One of my favorite bloggers Nouveau Cheap often posts of sightings that readers share, so when I saw that there was a chance to score lots of bargains, I swung by one at home. These were the two I was most interested, although they had lots of Bliss products and holiday gift sets as well.

Stila Valentine's Day Pretty in Pink Blush. Originally $18, this is marked down to only $6 on the website, but by the time you pay for shipping, it's more costly than the $10 I got it for at the Rack. The design is super cute, and you get either a light light pink or a more baby pink that you can use individually or together. It doesn't have any visible glitter, but gives a nice sheen to the cheeks. Pigment isn't crazy, which is great because I only like pink blushes like this when it doesn't make me look like a clown. 
Too Faced Air Buffed BB Cream in Vanilla Glow. This was the real steal of the show--it's not available in stores but still full priced on most online retailers, whereas i got it for $8!!! Amazing right?? Although it's a BB Cream, it's a thick, almost concealer like texture that applies nicely and doesn't look cakey. Cream foundations can be a tricky one but this isn't tacky or sticky. It also comes with a cute little Kabuki brush that's amazing quality and perfect to use for this--how rare is that? They had almost all of the colors, which was a relief. I picked the second lightest just by opening and looking at them and it's a good match.

Have you tried either of these? Gotten anything good lately at Nordstrom Rack? Comment below!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Matte-r of Fact: Urban Decay vs. Maybelline

Matte lips are a trend that definitely grew on me. I always used to think the glossier/shinier, the better. I still shy away from matte shadows--I'm all about the shine there--but have found some great matte lip products on the market lately. There's the matte liquid lip trend (expect a post coming soon with some comparisons) and then the creamy matte lipstick trend. It looks matte but is moisturizing and not drying. I was excited to try Urban Decay's new Matte Revolution lipsticks and noticed they were very similar in both color and feel. But are they exact dupes?

Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipsticks. I have the shades Stark Naked, a light nude, and 1993, a medium brown. First, let's talk about the packaging. Urban Decay definitely wins in this category--I love the sleek black tubes. The outside packaging has the name and color so you know exactly which one they're getting. They are so so creamy and non-drying, plus they last quite a while. Both are opaque with one swipe. And best part? Each shade has an accompanying lip liner (Urban Decay has some of the best) so you can really achieve the full color you want.

Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick. Once again I went with two shades, Clay Crush, which is more of a true nude shade, and Nude Nuance, a rosy nude that's a bit deeper. Obviously the colors are not obvious dupes but there's both a lighter and darker nude so you can find one depending on your preference. These are just as creamy and pigmented as the Urban Decay ones, although they have slightly less staying power. The tubes are a little bulkier but nothing crazy. They're also normally $7.99, compared to Urban Decay's $22, plus you can also find drugstore coupons.

L-R: Maybelline Clay Crush and Nude Nuance, Urban Decay Stark Naked and 1993

So the colors might not be complete dupes, but besides that, the formula is almost identical! Maybelline has more of a color selection with a cheaper price point, while Urban Decay offers matching lip liners and slightly longer staying power. Either way, if you're looking for a creamy matte lip, you can't go wrong with either of these.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Upcoming Summer Movie Releases

Going to the movies isn't just a fun activity for me, it's a weekly occurrence. I love movies so much -- the escape they can provide, connecting with characters, being surprised by a plot, and more. As a film major, I feel it's only my duty to stay up to date with the latest releases, whether they are indie or blockbuster. This summer has actually had quite a few hit releases, but here are some that I'm looking forward to seeing that are either recently released or coming soon.

The Diary of A Teenage Girl. San Francisco in the 70s? Kristin Wiig in a non-comedy role (although this is a dramedy)? I'm sold. This indie hit tells the story of Minnie, a fifteen year old who has an affair with her mother's boyfriend. It's gotten quite a lot of buzz and unfortunately is such a limited release that it isn't playing anywhere near me. I'll have to find it online. Rotten Tomatoes describes it as, "Boldly unconventional and refreshingly honest, Diary of a Teenage Girl is a frank coming-of-age story that addresses its themes -- and its protagonist -- without judgment."

The Gift. I remember seeing the trailer for this a while ago and completely forgot it came out this past weekend! I'm a huge fan of psychological thrillers and fans of Jason Bateman should enjoy seeing him perform in a role a bit out of his comfort zone. Him and his wife experience distress when an old friend (turned stalker) shows up and creates chaos in their seemingly ideal life. Rotten Tomatoes and critics are giving it good reviews, and I saw it Friday. It's quite good -- each character is cast perfectly and it's a subtle kind of creepy that will leave you thinking.

The End of the Tour. It seems like a story you wouldn't care about -- a reporter (Jesse Eisenberg) goes along with famous author David Wallace (Jason Segel) for the end of his tour. I was hooked from the commercial. Jason Segel is in a more dramatic role, while Eisnberg plays his usual awkward-yet-engaging-kindof-strange character. Their chemistry seems riveting and makes what could be a mundane story into something interesting. Critics rave about the script, which can really make a movie, and I'll definitely be seeing this soon.

Fantastic Four. I'm a sucker for super hero movies, especially Marvel ones. The studio does a great job of combining action films with realistic characters that you relate and root for, with a pinch of comedy and drama. This film doesn't get the best reviews, but should still be entertaining. Even just looking at the cast should keep you entertained for a while--hellooo Miles Teller and Smash Williams from Friday Night Lights.

Have you seen any of these movies? What movies are you looking forward to? Share below!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Kiko Cosmetics Haul

When I heard Kiko was launching an online store (and there was no warning, it was just announced and ready to rumble) I screamed inside. I've been wanting to try Kiko for the longest time and although there are a handful of US stores, none of them are convenient for me. Everyone who has access to Kiko raves about their affordability and quality products. As you can see, I did quite some damage but this was certainly a long time coming. They're having an awesome 50% off sale so unfortunately some of the products I purchased (from the Generation Next collection) are sold out online.

Tri-Soul Baked Blush in Deluxe Coral. I'm a sucker for anything baked. This blush is absolutely lovely -- finally milled, decently pigmented, and you can use the lighter stripe as a highlight or swirl everything together. My only gripe is the packaging--I love the wood look but it's actually quite heavy and bulky. The idea behind the Modern Tribes collection is great, but the packaging is a bit much.
Mosaic Blush in Luminous Baby Pink and Hypnotic Mauve. Unfortunately these are sold out, so I'm glad I snatched them up when I did. Lily Pebbles raved about these when they launched in the UK (March I think?) and I coveted them ever since. I'm a sucker for design and packaging and these mosaic babies just do it all. They're not the most pigmented, but sometimes I like that for no-makeup makeup days or they can be built up. 
Glow and Highlight 02. Sadly this is also sold out. It's a two-in-one blush and highlight stick that works better if you do both at the same time, instead of trying to achieve only a blush or highlight. It translates to a nice sheen on cheeks. I know the swatches all look kind of similar, as I do tend to stay in the same natural-ish color family, but trust me when I say they're all different enough.
Water Eyeshadow in Taupe. This is the other item that Kiko lovers rave about. It took a lot of restraint to only order one shade, but I'm quite happy with my purchase. On my arm, that's one swatch with no primer, so you get a lot of color payoff. They're similar to the Nars Dual Intensity Shadows or new MAC intensity shadows.
Unlimited Stylo in Cocoa. I figured I should round out my order with one lippie purchase. Kiko certainly kills it on color selection, so I can imagine being overwhelmed if I go into an actual store. This is a semi-matte finish that leans towards the creamy side, and although it claims it lasts for 8 hours, it only wore a couple before fading slightly. It's a nice little buy at the price and I love the color.
Dark Circle Tone Corrector in Yellow. I feel kind of dumb for getting the yellow shade, when I should have been buying orange to cancel out blueness. But putting anything orange on my face seems weird. This is meant to correct color tone before concealer, and it does a decent job. I'm figuring the yellow can also cancel out redness anywhere else.
Dark Circle Concealer in Peach. You put this on over the corrector and I really really like it. It's everything I want in a concealer -- creamy (yet not cakey), long lasting, and does a great job of canceling out blueness. I'm not a huge fan of the pump packaging, as I find I only need a little and too much is often dispersed at once. Oh well.
Precision Eyeliner. Originally I wasn't a fan of the separate brush eyeliners (is there another name) but they've grown on me. It's easier to have a thin line and I'm trying to improve my cat eye game, what little I have. This is a nice matte black that stays pretty well.
Generation Next Face Brush. I got this mainly for appearance reasons--I mean, purple handle and pink brush, how cute? The handle is very sturdy and although I've only used this once, it's a good all-over powder brush. Clearly others must have thought so as it's also sold out.

L-R: Coral, Baby Pink, Mauve, Highlight and Glow, Taupe, Coca, Corrector, Concealer (Peach), Eyeliner

Phewph! There's my mini-review/first impressions of what I'm sure will be many Kiko orders to come. There's free shipping over $35 and it came in about five days, so it's going to be hard to resist. For a limited time, you also get the cute purple makeup gift box for free, which will come in handy for organization. Have you tried anything from Kiko? I'd love to know your recommendations from the line!

Monday, August 3, 2015

July Favorites

I'm ready for fall. To be quite honest, I'm not the biggest fan of summer. It's always a relief for school to be over, and relaxing is nice, but then I find myself wanting more about a month in. I miss the cool (yet comfortable) fall temperatures and the stimulation and engagement I get when being in class. Plus almost all of my friends were in different places this summer so I miss them. Pretty much the only good thing about summer is all of the exciting makeup launches, although my wallet probably doesn't like that. There are lots of exciting favorites this month, so let's jump in!

Becca Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector. Everyone raves about the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors (super pigmented and creamy highlighters), but I think the internet exploded when this launched. It set a record for fastest selling product at Sephora, and rightfully so. It's a gorgeous pinky-champagne color that would look good on any skin tone and truly makes your highlight look "on fleek".
Givenchy Healthy Glow Powder in Shade 1. Although I only got this last week, reviewed here, I've been loving the subtle glow it gives on its own or over foundation. It's quite compact too so I'm definitely bringing it to Cape Cod with me.
Κat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Synergy and Raw Powder. I swatched these when they first launched and knew I had to have them (so obviously bought them a few weeks later). They're SO pigmented and creamy that you don't even need a primer. Naturally, I was drawn to the bronzy and burgundy shades. If you're a fan of crazy colors, she has all your needs. Although $21 seems a bit pricy for a single shadow, they're quite large and you only need a little for a heavy dose of color.
Sephora Pro Airbrush 55. How is this one of my first times trying the Sephora Pro Brushes? They're so soft and I picked up a few other ones (expect a post coming soon) but this is my favorite. You can use it for brush, highlight, contour, powder... basically anything. 
Sonia Kashuk Multipurpose Number 16 Brush. This is similar in feel to the Sephora brushes, although half the price! This is bigger and fluffier, so I only use it to apply powder all-over or to set things, but it's been another one I've been using everyday.
Charlotte Tilbury Norman Parkinson Color of Youth. When this collection first launched, I tried to resist. But it's Charlotte Tilbury so how could I? The packaging is gorgeous and luxe, even more so than normal. This is my favorite of the bunch--it looks scary pink in the pan, but applies beautifully to cheeks with a healthy flush glow. You literally can swipe it on and go.

L-R: Champagne Pop, Givenchy, Charlotte Tilbury, Κat Von D Synergy, Raw Powder

Books: Sick in the Head by Judd ApatowSummerlong by Dean BakopoulosEight Hundred Grapes by Laura DaveCharlie, Presumed Dead by Anne HeltzelThe Nakeds by Lisa Glatt

Is it bad that I haven't really been listening to any music new month? It's just been the same things from last month on repeat, and I've spent most of this month watching Fringe. It's by the same creator of Lost, and features a special FBI team that deals with "fringe" events (things that are outside the realm of normal). I'm on my last season and need new recommendations to watch when it's over!

What have you loved this month? I love reading other favorites so share a link to yours below!