Makeup Monday – February Favorites

I know it’s a little farther into March for such a thing, but I still have favorites videos popping up in my YouTube feed so at least I’m not the only slacker. These aren’t things I’ve just used this past February, but they are products and items I’ve enjoyed immensely over the past month!

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Bee All Natural Organic Lip BalmI got this item in an Ipsy bag. Like Burt’s Bees, these are made with beeswax, but somehow I love this formula more. It moisturizes without feeling heavy or slick on my lips, and it isn’t shiny at all, which makes it an excellent prep for lipstick. I use it every single morning – I put it on after I brush my teeth and let it sink in while I do the rest of my makeup, and it makes my lips soft and ready for any lip look. The scent I have is grapefruit, which smells fresh without smelling fake or chemical. They also have unscented, peppermint, cinnamon, and chocolate.

Maybelline Brow DramaI feel like this product has upped my brow game. Before, I would use my Milani Easy Brow pencil to fill in my brows, and then I would use a random dark brown pencil to add a little depth. This worked fine (and honestly, using a darker pencil or other product is a good trick), but this product just makes my brows look fuller and sharper. I still use the Milani pencil first, then I go over my brows with the Brow Drama in Soft Brown, which is slightly darker than my natural color. The gel formula also sets my brows in place so they stay looking nice all day! It also comes in Blonde and Deep Brown. It would be nice to see them come out with a couple other colors – an auburn would be nice, and a more taupe shade that’s in between blonde and soft brown.

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte and Poreless FoundationThis foundation is really, really great. The whole Fit Me! line is well formulated and has a nice range of colors. I have it in 130 Buff Beige, and it’s a really nice color for me – even with my pale winter skin. It evens out my complexion, and it does make my skin nice and matte without making it look like dull plastic – I don’t even have to use a powder right now. That might change in the summertime when it’s warmer out, but for right now as it wears my skin just looks like skin, rather than looking patchy or powdery or oily.

BH Cosmetics Professional Blush PaletteI’ve talked about this before, so I won’t go on about it – suffice to say I have been using this palette for blush and bronzer exclusively since I received it. I honestly haven’t even looked at my drawer of blushes and bronzers at all in the last month; the only time I even open it is to get a highlighter. The brown you see in the bottom left hand corner of the picture is a nice contour shade; I love the bright pink right below it as well. But honestly I’ve found a reason and a makeup look to use every single color in the palette at one point or another.

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes – Pink GrapefruitThese towelettes contain citrus oil, which is a natural astringent and therefore good for oily skin. I like these because the towelette is nice and thick and soft, and the formula doesn’t sting my eyes or rub my skin raw. It gets all my makeup off and doesn’t make my skin feel sticky or greasy either. It does a pretty good job with my eye makeup too, even though I still use my eye makeup remover just to make sure all my mascara comes off. I like the scent, too, very fresh and fruity.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight PerfectorThis is still the sample I got last week! I’d say there’s still about half left – you don’t need to use very much of it at a time so it’s lasting me a while. I really like this product – I put it on at night either on damp hair after a shower or on dry hair, and it makes my hair shiny and bouncy, despite the fact that I desperately need a haircut. It will also help protect your color if you dye your hair. The product is super lightweight – my hair is extremely fine so that’s important – and isn’t greasy or oily at all, so it doesn’t transfer to your pillow or sheets.

Coach Poppy Eau de ParfumI got this in a little set with a roller ball and a hand lotion when it was on clearance after Christmas. I tend to alternate between different perfumes but lately I keep reaching for this one. It’s a little bit fruity, a little floral, but has deeper notes of sandalwood, cedar wood, and vanilla to balance that out. I think it smells really good on me, and I seem to get more compliments when I wear it than any other perfume.

Target Women’s Statement Necklace in Mint/SilverThis necklace kept catching my eye every time I walked past the jewelry display, then the display changed and I didn’t see it again. Later on my friend and I were at a different Target looking for accessories for a dinner out that night, and I spotted it in their jewelry department and snatched it up! It has such a lovely vintage feel, the rhinestone centers of the flowers make it sparkly, and even on my small frame I love these chunky statement necklaces. It’s particularly nice with a lower cut top or strapless.

Cadbury Mini Eggs: In retail parlance, when Valentine’s is over, Easter begins, and when Easter begins – Cadbury Mini Eggs appear. I love this candy above all other candies you could possibly throw at me; Easter is my favorite candy holiday just for these. I buy loads of them every year, and I buy them early because I’m not the only one who loves them. The candy shell is nice and crispy, doesn’t taste fake, and the chocolate inside is divine. So if you want to bribe me now you know what to get me! That or Tagalongs Girl Scout cookies, which coincidentally come out around the same time.

Those are my favorites! What products have you been loving this month?

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Skincare Saturday – Peter Thomas Roth

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I purchased this set from Sephora a while ago. In it, you get samples of their Max Sheer All Day Moisture Lotion, Instant FirmX Eye gel, Laser-Free Resurfacer, and FirmX Peeling Gel, plus a full size bottle of their Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel. At $38 this set is a fantastic value – this cleanser alone is $35 plus you get to try other great products! And the samples you get are generously sized and work wonders, but I’d like to talk about the cleanser today.

This oil-free formula contains glycolic acid, which exfoliates and encourages skin cell turnover; salicylic acid, which helps control oil production; panthenol (pro vitamin B5), which moisturizes and nourishes the skin; and lemon, lime, and grapefruit extracts, which help brighten the skin. It’s supposed to help clean and nourish the skin while diminishing fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. It’s good for all skin types except sensitive skin – so whether it’s dry, combo, oily, or acne-prone, it will work for you!

I really love this cleanser. It cleans my face without making it more oily or feel stripped of moisture, it gets all my makeup off – even eye makeup, without stinging my eyes – and I do think it’s working wonders on my skin. Because of the glycolic and salicylic acids I don’t use it every day, but I feel like it’s gentle enough that I COULD use it every day without it harming my skin. It also has a really nice peachy, fruity scent that’s not overpowering. I either use just my hands to massage it into my face, or I use my Olay ProX Advanced Cleansing Brush for extra exfoliation when my skin is feeling particularly dull. That brush, by the way, does a very serviceable job if you don’t feel like splashing out for the Clarisonic or Michael Todd varieties; I don’t feel like the brush is overly harsh on my skin, and it does a very nice job of cleansing and exfoliating my face.

So if you’re in the market for a new cleanser, give this one a try! I would highly recommend you get the kit – for $3 more you can try some other really great products (I love the Resurfacer in particular). Have a beautiful weekend!

Fashion Friday – Blog Edition

I love reading various fashion blogs, for inspiration or just for fun. Here are a few of my favorite ones from around the interwebs!

Go Fug YourselfThis is pure fun. I mean I guess sometimes it could serve as inspiration, if cracked out fashion is what you’re going for. Heather and Jessica chronicle all the questionable, eyebrow-raising, often hilarious, sometimes amazing fashion of celebrities and quasi celebrities. Their writing is top notch and often hilarious – Heather’s spoof of Jennifer Lopez (“HOLA LOVERS”) is a particular high point – and they can be as deliciously bitchy as their beloved Dynasty icons. Look out soon for Fug Madness – their version of March Madness which pits the best of the worst of the past year against each other.

The SartorialistThis is the work of a fantastic street style photographer named Scott Schuman. He travels all over the world and photographs any interesting fashion that catches his eye, both men’s and women’s. It’s beautifully shot, and super interesting to see the choices made by impossibly chic people of different cultures and walks of life.

Trop RougeVanessa of Trop Rouge has one of those effortlessly cool, slightly androgynous styles. It’s fun to scroll through her site and dream of oxford shoes, blazers and cool hats! Also she has enviable hair.

The Chronicles of HerJust a lovely fashion site filled with pretty easy things. She tends toward high end but there’s still a lot of great ideas here.

The Little MagpieA site run by a Scot by the name of Amy Spencer. She has kind of a bohemian chic vibe going, and has a good mix of high and low fashion. She is one of the people I want to be when I grow up.

I hope you find some of you next favorite sites here! Happy reading!

Thirsty Thursday – Baileys Honey Bee

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I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I love a good cocktail name. I mean how cute is Honey Bee? Good thing it’s also delicious!

Another thing you may have noticed by now is I like a good simple cocktail. I hate it when I find something that looks really interesting and tasty, and then I click on the recipe to find that it has ten ingredients and involves chopping and muddling and pouring in such a way that the layers don’t mix. Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely an artistry to such drinks and if you’d like to make me one while I sit and watch and drink, then please be my guest. I’ll even cook you dinner. But if I’m making my own drink, I want it to be clean and simple.

This cocktail involves three ingredients, and you don’t even have to have a shaker. I found it on Baileys’ website; the measurements there are in metric and I think I’ve ably translated it to ‘Murican measurements. Be warned, it is very boozy – so go easy, honey.

Baileys Honey Bee
  • 2 1/2 oz. Baileys
  • 1 oz. whiskey (I used 2 Gingers)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ice (optional)

If using a shaker: Fill shaker with ice. Add in the Baileys, whiskey, and honey. Shake, then strain into a glass. I did not have ice (cocktail fail), so I put my little mini bottle of Baileys into the freezer for several minutes until it was nice and cold. Then I measured out the whiskey and honey into a measuring shot glass and stirred well until mixed. I poured that into the glass, then added in the cold Baileys and stirred again.

I really liked this drink; it was sweet but not cloyingly so, strong but didn’t make me wince every time I took a sip. The nights are still cold here, even though spring is right around the corner – so do yourself a favor and dream of summer with this Honey Bee!

What I’m Loving Wednesday – Pan’s Labyrinth

A dear friend of mine borrowed me this movie, as I hadn’t seen it – and wanted to – and it is his favorite movie of all time. I can see why; he’s an artist, and this movie is an art lover’s dream. It is beautiful, magical, brutal, horrifying, all at the same time.

In Spain, 1944, a young girl named Ofelia and her pregnant mother arrive at the home of her new husband, a cruel army officer who is in the middle of trying to quell a guerrilla uprising. A lover of fantasy stories, she explores an ancient maze on the property and encounters a faun named Pan, who tells her she is a long-lost princess and that she must complete three dangerous tasks to achieve immortality. It is directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim, Hellboy, The Strain) and stars an almost entirely Spanish cast. The dialogue is in Spanish, with English subtitles.

Del Toro is known for his horror/dark fantasy art style, but what surprised me is the fact that it wasn’t the fantasy and fairy underworld scenes that were the most frightening. Those were intricate, and a wonder to behold. The scariest scenes were the ones set in real life, as Captain Vidal ruthlessly hunts the army who opposes him, and doesn’t care who he hurts – or kills. There are many violent scenes in this movie, and they are absolutely brutal; there is one scene in particular that involves stitches that I could barely watch (although it didn’t help that I was recovering from the stomach flu). The story is sad at points, but ultimately uplifting. It’s definitely a story that has stuck with me after watching it, which doesn’t happen that often – I think the last one I couldn’t get out of my head for days was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

If you somehow missed this movie when it came out in theaters, seek it out now. It is well worth two hours of time!

Travel Tuesday – Dreams Edition

I’ve been dreaming of vacations. Does this happen to you this time of year? I think it does to most of us, especially those of us in the midwest or – especially this year – the east coast, where winter just won’t let up even though the stores are starting to have garden supplies and swimsuits. In no particular order, here are the places I would love to visit someday.

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(photo found on amongraf.ro)

France: I spent two weeks in France the summer after my senior year of high school, and I have been wanting to go back ever since my plane touched back down on US soil. The picture above is Nice – Paris was great, of course, for the monuments and history and shopping; but the south of France is where my heart lies. If my group had accidentally left me behind in this otherworldly coastal city I would have been just fine with that. I’m determined to get back here one day, and it would be a dream come true to live there permanently.

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(photo found on Buzzfeed)

England: Anywhere in England, really. London would be a must of course, but I’d also love to see the little bucolic towns like Bibury in this picture. It seems a beautiful country with so much rich history and culture. Wales, Scotland and Ireland would be included in this dream vacation – I’d love to see it all!

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(photo found on flickr.com)

Egypt: I have been completely obsessed with Egypt since I was a little kid. I still harbor a dream of basically being Rachel Weisz in The Mummy – albeit with more historical accuracy and less gooey mummies. The culture, the history, the stories of the gods, it all fascinates me to no end. Plus I love the idea that so little of Egypt’s treasures have been found – that there’s still more wonders to unearth in the sand. It’s still not the happiest place on earth, politically, although one small grace is the fact that they rely heavily on tourism for income, which means that tourists are still safer here than in many other Middle Eastern countries. I’m still determined to get there one day and see the pyramids and temples for myself.

Where do you dream of traveling?

Makeup Monday – Ipsy/Sephora Mini Haul

So that was a bit of an extended break yes? It all really boils down to me managing my time better, especially the weekends that I have to work. I’ll work on it! But, that means this Ipsy haul will be more of a review than a first impression, since I’ve had some time to play around with the products.

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Five products, as usual, three of them full size! I’ll start with my least favorite and work up to my new (spendy) holy grail product.

City Color Creamy Lip Stain – Flirtini: I hated this product. That swatch up there makes it way prettier than it has any right to be. It is a nice creamy pink color, but other than that, this is the first Ipsy item I’ve gotten that’s gone in the trash. When you first put it on, it feels greasy and patchy and slides all over the lips, it dried out my lips horribly as the night went on, and worse yet – it doesn’t stain! As soon as I ate dinner the color was gone. I also wasn’t a fan of their matte lipstick – I got that in an earlier Ipsy bag. So, so far I would say stay away from this brand, although their products are cheap.

Model Co. Blush Cheek Powder – Cosmopolitan: Wow this blush is $22. It is a nice formula, very smooth and blends nicely, but the color is just too light/cool toned for my skin. If I apply it lightly, you can’t see it at all; if I build it up more I look like a clown. Not a good look! I would have liked to receive the other color, which is a warmer peach, but honestly I have no need for it since I have the BH Cosmetics palette.

Eva NYC Up All Night Volumizing Spray: This product works as intended – spray it on your roots, then blow dry or style as needed – but I didn’t notice it really doing anything for my hair that most drugstore products can’t do. Not a bad product by any means, just didn’t knock my socks off.

Emité Makeup Professional Eyelash Curler: A $25 eyelash curler? Holy high end products this month. I wish I had more use for eyelash curlers! This is a very nice tool, works great, and is beautifully constructed. I have fairly longish lashes, and they already kind of curl up naturally – I’ve never found the need to curl my lashes and the couple times I’ve tried with this product, I didn’t think it added anything to my lash look. However, I do like to use it when I wear false lashes, to gently crimp together the falsies and my natural lashes.

Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil: Oh em GEE. I cannot tell you how much I love this product. It’s been a skin game changer. I was a little skeptical at first – I have combination skin, but the oily bits get VERY oily – but this product moisturizes without making my face oily, smells amazing, and my skin still feels nice in the morning. It hasn’t broken me out in any way; in fact I feel like it’s actually improved any breakout areas, and my skin feels more plump and glowy. It is not cheap, however. It’s a UK product – they do ship worldwide, however, except for their perfumes – and the full size goes for £30 for 20ml, which equals out to around $47. I have never spent that much on a face product ever, but I’m thinking I may have to bite the bullet on this one; this stuff is honestly amazing.

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I popped into Sephora yesterday and picked up a couple little things.

Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo – Fig and Date: I have a previous color combo in Palomino and Violet, and I love the formula and the color payoff. Right now they have this duo plus another one in Tangerine (orange) and Lingonberry (bright pink) – I had to really stop myself from buying that one too, because I already have so many pink colors! This is a neutral duo; the Date side (the bottom swatch) is a more brown neutral, and the Fig (top swatch) is more rosy. Date reads a little dead-girl-lips on me, although it would be nice paired with a darker lip liner, or over the top of a more intense lip color. Fig, however, is pretty much my perfect my-lips-but-better color! Plus these are very moisturizing and comfortable to wear.

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – Black: Still on a quest to find my holy grail mascara. This … might be it. Or very close. One coat of this stuff added serious volume and color to my lashes; two coats was even better. I love volumizing formulas best – like I said my lashes are already kind of long, and I love the look of full, dense lashes!

Plus I got a couple of samples – which let’s be honest, why else shop at Sephora? – a moisturizer, and an “overnight perfecter” from Living Proof. I really like Living Proof’s hair products – I use their anti-frizz serum all the time – so I’m excited to try that out.

And that’s it! What new products have you discovered this month?