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!