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).

Monday, October 5, 2015

Shopping My Stash: Bronzers and Highlighters

My makeup collection is all over the place. Since getting an Ikea Alex (the 5 drawer version), I'm able to organize products by drawer but still haven't moved beyond that. If you know of any inexpensive drawer organizers for lots of products, please share below! Because of this, products pile up and often get forgotten. I often "shop my stash" to rediscover products that I love and haven't used in a while. After a small clear out the other day where a Mary Lou-Manizer shattered and resulted me to clean the whole drawer, here are the bronzers and highlights I rediscovered.

Aerin Pretty Bronze Illuminating Powder in 01. I always forget about Aerin, since they're such a small line, but their products are amazing! This is a gorgeous all-over bronzer with a hint of shimmer that is great for warming up the face and adding a glow. I wouldn't use this for contouring as it's too warm but could be used for subtle definition if you wanted.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Rose Gold. If you've been reading my blog lately, you'll know that I've been loving Becca lately. I forgot that I have another shimmering skin perfector in rose gold (I know this is also in the Afterglow Palette but this is a large version). It's a gorgeous dark gold that works with any skin tone, although I have to use a lighter hand so I'm not looking like a disco ball.
Soap and Glory Glow All Out Powder. Soap & Glory has expanded its skin care line in the US, so I'm hoping the makeup follows. I got this on ebay, and it's a gorgeous light pink highlighter. It's not too frosty and with a light hand, this could probably be used as an all-over setting powder.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Light. This is a product that I got the minute it came out, used it for a few days, completely forgot about it, then rediscovered once it's buzzing on YouTube (this is a trend with products). It's a little deeper and more luminous than the Aerin one, and starts out sheer but can be built up. I use this in place of blush some days when I want a golden glow on my cheeks.
Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. If you're fair like I am, this is a perfect bronzer color that gives just the tiniest hint of a glow without making you look muddy. It can be used for contour or all over, and there are two darker shades that you can pick up depending on your skin tone. The product itself is very finely milled and smells like chocolate, so what's not to love?
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. This is the palette that started my love for Hourglass, so I feel horrible for neglecting it (as if it has feelings ha). I love my full sized Diffused Light, which I use all over to diminish redness. The first two shades, Dim Light and Incandescent Light, can be used all over with a light hand, to set undereyes, or applied more liberally for a real highlight. The last shade, Radiant Light, is a gorgeous bronze highlight. It's an incredible value with 3 large-sized shades if you're looking to try some Hourglass.

Have you shopped your stash or rediscovered any new products lately? Let me know!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Favorites

Despite all the new products I have acquired this month, I haven't really had enough time to fall in love with any of them. My favorites this month have a few rediscoveries (always great to shop my stash), especially when it comes to music. Plus, as much as I love the beginning of a new school year, can it be a favorite that September is over and my favorite month October is here?

Laura Geller French Vanilla Baked Highlighter (I can't find this anywhere by itself but it comes with 2 other highlighters for a good price in this set on eBay). This is the perfect undereye setting powder. It's small enough that your brush dips in perfectly and has become an everyday staple. Don't be fooled by the highlighter part of it--it definitely brightens up but there is no shimmer or sparkle at all. If you prefer traditional highlighters, you can get 2 shimmery ones that come with this in a set.
City Color Spring Beauty Blush in Bouquet. This was purchased on a whim after a review on Budget Beauty Blog, but at only $2 this is one of the least expensive items I own. I bought 3 colors, but this one is my favorite due to its natural hue. You get an amazing amount of product and each shade has a gorgeous flower design that makes it feel far more luxe. Hurry and get these online before they run out because they're so cheap you have nothing to lose.
The Body Shop Oils of Life Revitalizing Oil. Face oils are the newest part of my routine--I sometimes use Kiehl's Midnight Recovery serum at night but I thought things would be too oily for the day. This one is moisturizing and I put it on right before my makeup. It sinks in instantly and really brightens and hydrates. I love it so much that I'm definitely interested in purchasing the rest of the line.
Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme in Beloved. Oh man did this take a while to get. The internet went crazy when these launched a few months ago, and I searched many Walgreens but couldn't find any. Then, when they launched online I got one shade but the one I really wanted (Beloved) was sold out. Imagine my surprise when I was home last weekend and found a fully stocked display of these! They were buy one get one half off, so naturally I got 7 of the 8 shades (the last one seemed waaay too light for me). Let me know if you want a full review of them! Beloved steals the show as a perfect brown rosy nude color that smells like vanilla and dries down matte.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Concealer in Light, I forgot how much I loved this. It's a creamy yet full-coverage stick concealer that blends and brightens really well. I usually apply a corrector, apply (and fix) my eyeliner, then put this on after. It doesn't crease and might be comparable to the super-duper expensive Cle de Peau Concealer, though I've never tried it so I can't say for sure.

TV Shows: This is the month when all of my shows come back (yay!) but I've especially been loving Scream Queens and How To Get Away With Murder. Check out my post reviewing them if you missed it.

As always, let me know what you've been loving this month and comment below!