Friday, February 28, 2014

5 Things

As the week (and month) winds down, I thought I would gather up 5 pictures, links, and products that I've loved for the past couple of weeks. There are some beauty items and great songs thrown in to the mix for fun as well! I'm hoping to make this type of post a weekly thing so I hope you all enjoy reading it!

  • Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede Perfume

Guys, this is the most gorgeous perfume (and the lux packaging!) that makes me swoon whenever I spray it. It's a bit pricey, but the classic feel and smell is so perfect. I'll have a full review of it coming soon! 
  • New York City by Almost Savages

I first heard this song on Gossip Girl and it's really comforting. The mix of instruments really calms me and I've had it on repeat non stop for a week!
  • Chicago PD

This new show on NBC is incredible! It's like a mixture of Hawaii Five 0 and Criminal Minds with the perfect amount of action and drama. The cast is a great group of actors and I highly recommend watching the show!
  • Watercolor Prints

Watercolor paintings and beauty prints have been so inspiring to me lately. I love the mix of colors and I'm hoping to be able to paint some of my own this summer!
  • NARSissist Eye Palette

This eyeshadow palette is the only palette I've been using since purchasing it. It's filled with gorgeously pigmented matte and shimmer neutral shadows (what more could a girl ask for?) and I love every single one of them! I've posted a first review here.

I hope you all enjoyed this type of post. Any thoughts and suggestions are welcomed!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick

I've recently dipped my toes into the makeup world of Bare Minerals and I'll never turn back now! BM makes such amazing face and lip products that deserve more recognition than they get. I purchased a couple of lip glosses that I talked about here, which are as fabulous as their lipsticks! The lippy I bought is called Get Ready ($19), which is a cool toned medium pink. The texture and formulation of the product is unlike any other lipstick I've tried. The lippy feels buttery soft on the lips and leaves amazing pigmentation. The shade is the perfect 'my lips but better' color and I've been using it almost every day! Because of its sheeny moisturizing finish, it doesn't last very long at all (around 1-2 hours) but the texture and color is worth the meh lasting power. There are so many other shades to choose from and I know I'll be picking up a few more when I get my summer job back!

Have you tried any of the Bare Minerals Moxie lipsticks?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Top 5 Foundations

Hi guys! I'm back today with a new post and a refreshed mind after a horrible cold. I'm still under the weather but school is beckoning me and staying home isn't an option anymore. I hope you all understand about the lack of posts for the past couple of days!

I've purchased many a foundation in my recent years of "full face makeup" as they are my favorite beauty bits to buy. Foundation is the one product that I'm willing to spend big bucks on because of the sheer greatness of it. In my opinion, when your skin looks good, the rest will follow. Despite my overflowing counter top filled with products, I usually reach for one of my 5 favorite foundations.

For the sheer 'no makeup makeup' look: I usually reach for Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua ($48) in B30. VA is extremely lightweight and leaves the skin with a natural finish. On good skin days, this is what I tend to slap on with my fingers for an easy, everyday look. Although the lasting power isn't great, it's perfect for easy days when all you want is a hint of coverage to even out any blotchiness.

For oily skinned gals: A great (drugstore!) base is the Maybelline Fit Me Stick ($8) in 220. Maybelline seem to really nail it when it comes to base products, especially with their Fit Me range. The stick foundation is possibly the easiest foundation to apply. All you need to do is stripe the product on the face and quickly buff it out with a kabuki to get a semi-matte finish that lasts all day (literally).

For medium coverage: My favorite medium buildable foundation is NARS Sheer Glow ($42) in Punjab. I've raved about this foundation for so long because I just can't get enough of it! The formulation and the texture are amazing for the price. The color is the perfect match against my neck, which leaves me with the most natural color. The satin finish isn't too glowy or matte, which is something I love about the foundation!

For a great all round base: *DISCLAIMER* I used to absolutely hate this foundation, but after a second try, I grew to love it! This sure showed me that first impressions aren't always accurate. Another amazing drugstore buy is the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous ($10) in Warm Beige. Finally, a drugstore foundation with a pump! Who would've thought it came from Covergirl? I haven't tried and loved many products from the brand (besides my holy grail Clump Crusher mascara) and I was so surprised by this foundation.

For the ultimate full coverage lover: Laura Mercier Silk Creme ($50) is the foundation that I've used up completely (not even a drop to spare!). This foundation is definitely not for the faint of heart. The hefty price tag and extremely full coverage must be handled specifically and delicately or else the user might end up looking like a cake face. I found that two small squeezes of the tube leave you with the perfect amount to buff all over the face. When applied accurately, the foundation leaves you with the most flawless and natural look.

What are your most used foundations?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Current Makeup Wishlist

Current Makeup Wishlist

Tom Ford eyeshadow / Nars cosmetic / Hourglass cosmetic / Estée Lauder foundation / Lip gloss / Nars cosmetic / Too Faced The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette

There have been amazing launches of makeup recently and my wishlist is quickly growing. I'm all about flawless skin and neutral palettes (as usual) so the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Palette and Tom Ford Cocoa Mirage Palette are on the list of course. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation is a base product I've been wanting to try for years literally. The full coverage, non cakey formula sounds like a dream on my current problematic skin. The NARS Creamy Concealer has been mass marketed as "radiant" and "glowy", but I've heard that the extremely full coverage product is more of a matte formula, which sounds like it would be amazing on blemishes and redness. To set my foundation, I've been using the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder for years, but it's not the best of the best. I would really love to try Chanel Les Beiges Powder for a natural, silky finish that rids the skin of shine and oil. I've become a big fan of NARS makeup and their Sin Blush looks like the most perfect color. The violet undertone gives the cheeks a natural flush with a hint of shimmer (perfect for Spring). Last but not least is a new launch from YSL: YSL Gloss Volupte Lip Gloss is absolutely stunning. Their glamorous and luxurious packaging is very typical of the brand and the shimmery formulation looks beautiful.

What products are on your makeup wishlist?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dupe Alert: Yves Saint Laurent vs. Rimmel

For my third edition of "Dupe Alert", I have an amazing lip pairing to share with you all! I'm a huge fan of the YSL Glossy Stain ($35) in the shade Rouge #9, which is a bright and vibrant red. The packaging is typical YSL: luxurious and glamorous. The lasting power is great; I've used it for 14-15 hour days in Washington DC without any smudging or bleeding. The only problem I have with the product is the horrible smell of wine. The scent is very strong and is not pleasant to me. Because of the expensive price tag, I wanted to see if I could find a dupe for the glossy lip product that I've loved so much. After a full year of searching, I think I found a great dupe! The Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer ($7) in 401 Aurora isn't a match with the Glossy Stain color wise, but they do have extremely similar formulations. Aurora is a cool toned hot pink, which is a color I've been loving lately. The Show Off lip lacquer has a doe foot applicator (similar to the YSL one) that is slanted, which makes application very easy. The color range is wonderful and the shades are all beautiful! The scent of the Show Off smells of melons, which smells delicious! I'm not quite sure yet about the lasting power of Show Off, but I will definitely let you all know! The only differences between the two similar lacquers are the smell and the price ($28 between the two!). Overall, I'm very pleased so far with both lacquers, but the Rimmel one takes the cake because of the pleasing smell and the nifty price tag!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Review + Swatches

Although I have piles and piles of makeup on my bathroom counter, bedroom floor, living room table, etc, I discovered a hole in my collection: concealer. I've tried multiple drugstore concealers that always did the job, but not as well as I'd like. It took me quite a while to take a leap and purchase the Lisa Eldridge loved Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in the shade SC3. (Be warned: this is not a cover up for under eye circles as the formula is very dry!) My makeup hero and beauty mogul Lisa Eldridge has used this concealer on blemishes and redness for over 15 years, which was my final push in making the buy. Secret Camouflage is a very hard, dry textured concealer that works beautifully on blemishes and redness. The palette comes in two shades: one yellow toned and one pink toned. The idea of SC is to be able to mix your perfect shade by using the two colors. Because of the dry formula, the concealer can be used as a pin point cover up for spots and blemishes. It's definitely a full coverage concealer and stays all day even on my extremely oily skin. Looking for a new concealer? This one's Lisa and Noelle approved!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Glosses

I recently went on a little Bare Minerals shopping trip and I picked up a few of the brand's best sellers (excluding the ever so popular loose powder foundation). BM is a brand that is extremely popular and successful in the cosmetics industry with products ranging from loose powder eyeshadows to full coverage glosses. The lip products are absolutely stunning and are incredibly pigmented and moisturizing. The lip glosses ($18) are very glossy without being gloopy. The two glosses that I picked up are Rebel, a creamy, cool toned petal pink, and Style Setter (an incredible free sample!) which is a warm coral pink. Neither of the glosses have any shimmer in them, which is a characteristic I look for in a lip product. They are both very full coverage without looking or feeling heavy on the lips. The slanted doe foot applicator makes application a breeze, as I don't have to bend my arm at an awkward angle to apply the product. My favorite part of the glosses is the fact that they both smell like mint chocolate and they feel tingly and refreshing on the lips. Overall, I'm very impressed with the BM lip glosses and I will definitely pick up some more colors! I'll also be posting reviews of my other hauled products very soon so stay tuned!

Have you tried any of the Bare Minerals products? What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Fragrance + A Memory

I've talked about the Chloe eau de Parfum ($75) multiple times before, sharing that it's been my favorite perfume to wear. The light and floral scent is very wearable and the glass bottle with a pink ribbon is beautiful. Chloe is a very reminiscent fragrance for me as it always takes me back to my trip to Washington DC.

I had had Chloe since December of 2012, right before I left for DC in January to perform in the Presidential Inaugural Parade. Because of my new found love for the perfume, I wore it everyday to freshen my bundled up layers of clothes in the 10 degree weather. The air was always crisp and chilly, which blew the scent all around me as soon as I stepped out of the hotel. The perfume will always remind me of the Inaugural Parade and the excitement my friends and I felt as the day drew closer. Most of my friends have moved on to college and the group of companions I once held so dear to me have grown up and moved on. On days when the memories of DC are especially hard to remember, I like to spritz some Chloe on my wrists and remember the days of simple and pure bliss. Days where playing in the snow were mandatory and study hall was optional will always be constant in my memory. I'll continue to repurchase this fragrance to remind me of happier times with great friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New York Fashion Week A/W 2014 Beauty Picks

Fashion Week is any fashionista's dream and destination during February. The four fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan, and Paris) are always full of fashion bloggers, magazine editors, journalists, and celebrities running around in their Louboutins trying to get to each show. Although the different weeks are dedicated to the clothes and the shoes, my eye was drawn more towards the makeup and hair on the models. Each show was so different and inspirational in the beauty department, so I had to show you all some of my makeup, hair, and nail favorites!

3.1 Phillip Lim
Alice + Olivia
Carolina Herrera
Costello Tagliapietra
Creatures of the Wind
Diane von Furstenberg
Kate Spade
Marc Jacobs

Michael Kors

Narcisco Rodriguez

Peter Som

Rag & Bone

Vera Wang

Which one of these is your favorite look? 

Monday, February 17, 2014

An Ode to the Clarisonic Mia 2

When the first Clarisonic launched in 2008, every beauty guru and celebrity were hot on their heels trying to get their hands on one. If you're not aware of what a Clarisonic is, it's basically a battery powered, deep cleansing device that just so happens to cost a good $200. The website claims to give your skin a "6 times deeper clean than your normal cleanser/exfoliator", which is definitely debatable. Is it a hell of a lot more expensive than a regular exfoliator? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. I was given the Clarisonic Mia 2 (of course, in Baylor green!) for my birthday two years ago (thanks mom) and although I tossed it aside for 7-8 ish months, I've been giving it another go recently. The soft, vibrating brush head gives the skin the deepest and most refreshing clean I've ever experienced. I usually turn it on and let it soak under warm water, apply my cleanser on the brush head, and rub it on the face in 10-20 second increments. With my current spotty skin condition, I'm willing to try anything to get my face at least decent looking without makeup and I think I'm on my way there with this bad boy. Oh Clarisonic, how I've missed you...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Essie Mint Candy Apple

Essie have quickly become my favorite nail polish brand because of their vast array of multi-colored polishes that suit every season. I currently own three of their polishes ($8.49): Master Plan, Berry Naughty, and most recently Mint Candy Apple. Master Plan is a lilac-taupe that suits all seasons in my opinion because of its gray hue. Berry Naught is a deep, burgundy red that looks amazing during the fall and winter to create a rich and sensual vibe. Because I'm slowly growing my nail polish collection, I found that what my stash was lacking was a perfect spring pastel shade. After a quick trip to Target, I found the shade. Mint Candy Apple is one of the brand's most popular shades that beauty bloggers and regular street gals go crazy for during the spring. The polish has a gorgeous Robin's Egg Blue tint that sets it apart from all the other mint shades in the varnish world. The formulation is one of the best in my opinion; it goes on opaque in one coat. Just one. This will definitely be my spring polish of choice. Spring nails sorted.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bangs' Best Friend

Ah, bangs. Although I love my new fringe cut, it can get pretty messy and irritating. The long strands that cover my forehead now often become greasy and oily throughout the day because of my sigh, oily skin. Because of my desire to keep my bangs clean everyday without actually washing them daily, I rummaged through my bathroom cabinets and found the Batiste Dry Shampoo ($5.99). This bottle of goodness is pretty large for the price (please ignore the tacky TJ Maxx sticker; I hate those things!) and it works its magic on my bags every other non washing day. I usually just spray it on any greasy spots (after I apply skincare, but before I apply makeup) and while I apply my makeup, I let it sit and soak up any oil. After my face of the day is put on, I brush through my bangs and voila! Bangs are now grease free and shiny!

Friday, February 14, 2014

The February Beauty Bundle

With the end of January and the beginning of the 'month of love', I discovered a handful of new products that I've been loving! You'll probably notice that this month's beauty bundle is more of a tools than makeup stash as I've currently been using the same products every month.

Starting off with the tools, I have been and will continue using the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to give my skin a flawless, airbrushed look. I won't go on a tangent about this brush as I've talked about it multiple times before, but I'll just say that it is the best makeup brush I've ever used. Hands down. The Shu Uemura S Curler made its way back into my makeup bag and I'll be using it to curl my lashes when I don't want to apply mascara. The small head allows the user to lengthen and define certain parts of the lashes, which is very handy and easy to use. The Bare Minerals Ready Blush/Luminizer in The Love Letter & The Daydream have also been thoroughly talked about on TIN and with good reason. The berry hued blush leaves my cheeks with a natural flush and it lasts all day long! Nails have been my forte for the past couple of months and two products in particular are really leaving a lasting impression on me. When I change my nail polish (which is of course, at least twice a week), I'll be reaching for the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover to remove any crazy cuticles and keep my nails looking polished. I've discovered a nail wonder in the Revlon Colorstay Gel-Smooth Base Coat to keep my polish lasting all week without chips or streaks (just an fyi, the base coat kept my Julep nail color on for 10 days without chips. 10 days.)

With February well on its way and winter leaving my skin dull and spotty, I'll gladly welcome Spring with open arms in March/April. Spring, please be good to me.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Simple & Pretty Valentine's Day Nails

Valentine's Day is approaching quickly and although it's not my favorite 'holiday', I still wanted to jazz up my nails and makeup for the occasion. I'm not really big on the whole nail art trend which has been very popular lately, so I went for a soft and romantic nail. To achieve the shimmery pink that I've been sporting, I applied the Julep Nail Color in the shade Zora as a pink base coat and the OPI Mini Polish in Happy Anniversary as a shimmery second coat. Both polishes apply very smoothly and have a pretty good pigmentation. The pink is very soft and reminds me of the essence of February. The OPI shimmery polish is very subtle and grown up; no glitter chunks here. The result is a gorgeous shimmery baby pink, which is absolutely perfect for Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Real Techniques Core Collection Review

Real Techniques is a brand that has been raved about for years by every beauty blogger under the sun and with good reason! I purchased the Real Techniques Core Collection ($18.99) a couple months ago and I've been using the brushes nearly every day. I've shared my love for the Buffing Brush before (it's still my most used brush, fyi) and the other two brushes that come in the kit are of equal quality. The Buffing Brush applies foundation absolutely flawlessly, leaving me poreless and glowing. The Pointed Foundation Brush works perfectly for applying powder under the eyes and on any blemishes because of the pointed tip. The bristles are rather small and although I don't use it for foundation, it works fine with concealer and powder! The Contour Brush is the second of my most used RT brushes. Because of the dome shape, it fits right on the apples of my cheeks. It applies blush very easily and blends well. Overall, I couldn't be happier with the Real Techniques Core Collection and I highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for affordable makeup brushes!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Kate Spade Spring Picks

It's no surprise that Kate Spade is my favorite handbag brand (as I've showed you all my two purses and wallet from the brand) and their newest releases are to die for! The recent additions to the line are fun, girly, and chic, which is what Kate always represents, no? I'll definitely be on the lookout for sales on the adorable bags, clothes, and jewelry and fingers crossed, a gorgeous new handbag will be on my shoulder come Summer 2014!

Ooh La La Tobyn
2 Park Avenue Sweetheart
Ooh La La Belini

2 Park Avenue Cheri
Shore Road Laurel 
Paris and the Single Girl Book Clutch 

Cordette Dress

Tanner Dress 
Dorothy Coat 
Charming Charm Bracelet 
Gabe Flats 
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