Friday, October 31, 2014

An Overnight Skin Savior

As soon as the weather starts getting cold, my skin starts to revolt. You'd think that my normally dry skin (which, in cold weather, starts to turn into a straight up desert) would at least mean no acne or blemishes, but noope. Along with freakishly dark circles, dry patches and paleness that makes me look like the living dead, I also break out like crazy. If I can be blunt, let's just say it really sucks and makes me dread Winter every year.

That being said, I'm hoping this year can be a little different, because I've found a genuine miracle product in Korres' Advanced Brightening Overnight Facial. I picked this up on a whim from Beautylish, swayed by the overwhelmingly positive reviews, but I honestly wasn't expecting it to make as big of a difference in my skin as it has.

I actually have been using this daily as my night cream, and every morning I've awoken to more hydrated, brighter looking skin. It plumps up my face and gives it a healthy glow that is so rare for me during the Fall/Winter months. Does it get rid of my blemishes? No, but it doesn't make them any worse (or plentiful) either. But that said, it really does accomplish what it claims to do, which is hydrate and brighten up your skin. I can honestly say I've been blown away by this beauty, and after about three weeks of use the results have only gotten better. Sorry, bank account, because when this one runs out there will certainly be repurchases time and time again...


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Something Different for Fall

Every once and awhile, I want to have a makeup look that's a little different then my norm. By my norm, I of course mean a very minimal, natural looking face. But there are definitely times that I like to amp up my look a bit, and have some serious fun with makeup (which I know fellow beauty bloggers will understand!). This might not be my everyday Fall look, but it's definitely been my go-to on days where I'm feeling a little more adventurous.

To start with, I prime my face with my newly bought (and already much loved!) Hourglass No. 28 Serum Primer. This primer is filled with lots of beneficial skincare goodies and quickly hydrates your skin, leaving a moisturized clean slate that makes applying foundation a dream. After priming, I keep a very natural looking base using an absurdly overpriced foundation that I'm actually feeling a little bit uncomfortable writing about. I won't go too much into it, because honestly I think the effects of this foundation could be duplicated at a fraction of the price, but I have found myself loving the By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Serum Foundation nonetheless (I have shade 5 Medium Peach). It's nauseatingly expensive but it gives a very natural semi-matte finish that I enjoy for Autumn. Finally, I finish my base by concealing any redness or dark circles with the heavy duty Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in 1.5. I bought this last Winter, and have rediscovered my love for the emollient, hydrating and very high coverage formula. My one gripe with it is that it creases like crazy, but other than that I love it for days where I need a lot more coverage.

For my cheeks I used my Autumn favorite, the lovely Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in First Love. This is such a perfect neutral shade that gives the most natural amount of flush to your cheeks. At $40 it's rather expensive for a cheek product, but I have been so blown away by the formula and results that I'd actually go out on a limb and say it's worth the cost. On my lips I used several layers of (my previously written about) Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape. On an everyday basis I'd usually wear a light layer of this and call it a day, but for a more intense look it's easy to build this up to a deep berry color. The formula is crazy hydrating and long-lasting and, as you all know by now, I'm a little obsessed with this line from the brand.

To finish off the look I swiped a quick layer of the shade Skimp from my Naked2 Basics, and applied a bit of my Rimmel Scandaleyes in Bad Girl Bronze on my lower lash line. After a few swipes of Rimmel's Scandaleyes Retro Glam Waterproof Mascara the look was done! Sometimes there's nothing better than a pop of color against pale Fall skin, and it's a fun look to go for when I have a little bit more time to get ready in the mornings.

Monday, October 27, 2014

T-Swift's Red Lip Inspired

So today is the day that Taylor Swift's latest album, 1989, is being released in the US. I'm fairly sure it's not normal for anyone over the age of 14 to be really excited about this, but my 23-year-old self certainly is. I've been jamming out (alone, in my room) to "Shake It Off" since it came out last month and I cannot wait to hear what other pop-ish hits Taylor has in her newest album.

In honor of the album release, I decided to try out a bright red lip look, which I've always thought of as Taylor's signature. The girl can rock a red lip like no one else, while I personally look a little more like a kid playing with her mom's makeup. That being said, I took out my Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Mightiest Maraschino (which I believe I got in a Clinique GWP awhile back) and swiped a few layers on for a dramatic red lip.

Not sure this look will be a common one for me (because I certainly can't rock it like Taylor) but I did love playing dress up for the day. Wearing a red lip is an easy way to have a funny little confidence boost!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Thoughts #2

It's been a pretty busy week (which, unfortunately, meant a lack of blog posts from me - sorry about that!), and therefore a fairly stressful one. That being said, there are still some awesome little things that brought me happiness this week.

1) Wearing fuzzy socks and drinking hot coffee on a cold day. There's seriously nothing better than huddling up under a blanket with some comfy socks and a hot drink when it's cold out.

2) Finally sleeping in after a week long of working early mornings. On Monday through Friday I had work at 5 AM, so being able to sleep in 'til 9 on Saturday felt like a small miracle.

3) Taking a good picture. I am one of the least photogenic people I know (as I'm sure you can tell from many of my blog pictures) but every once and awhile I manage to snap a shot of myself that's not completely gremlin-like. For me, that came while taking pictures for an upcoming post, and I'd be lying if I said that it didn't make me smile.

4) Rewatching The Silver Linings Playbook. I forgot how damn good this movie is, and how much it leaves me smiling by the end. 

5) Finding episodes of Happy Endings on YouTube. For those that have not seen this hilariously underrated comedy, I urge you to stop whatever you're doing and look it up. The first season starts off slow, but after a few episodes I found myself hysterically laughing at just about every line.

6) Finally trying out Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation. This stuff is Photoshop in a bottle, 'nuff said.

7) Family time. One of the best nights I had this week involved sitting down with my parents and laughing ourselves silly watching John Mulaney's stand-up special New in Town. Probably sounds kind of lame that that's a highlight of my week, but it was truly a fun night that I loved spending with family.

8) Pampering myself with a bubble bath and face mask. There's nothing I love doing more in my time off (okay, that's an overstatement but let's roll with it) then pampering myself a bit. I'm always left feeling more relaxed and happy.

9) Discovering Hannah Magg's YouTube channel. I'm probably the last person on Earth to start watching her Weekly Vlogs, but they're an absolute joy to watch! Beautifully edited, and just all around amazing to watch.
10)  My nightly phone calls with Jake. Being in a long distance relationship is tough, but we always make sure to call each other at the end of each day to catch up and talk. It's always a highlight of my day.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Real Talk: Confessions of a Recovering Shopaholic

Today's post is going to be a little something different, but it's one I've wanted to write about for awhile. I feel like it's probably easy to look at my blog and wonder how I can be a recent graduate with a part-time job yet still affording plenty of high-end makeup products. I know it would be easy for me not to mention it, and for it to just kind of be the elephant in the room between me and anyone who happens to read my blog frequently. But I think it's really important to say upfront that my past relationship with money has not been a healthy one.

When I was a sophomore in college, I had a part-time retail job to make some extra cash but I really was not making much money. Up until that point, I only ever used cash and my debit card as my parents had taught me to always make sure you have the money to pay off anything you are buying. Around Christmas time of that year, I thoughtlessly opened up several store credit cards to be able to buy all my loved ones proper gifts for the holidays. I'll fully admit that I didn't know much about paying with credit (interest, late fees, etc.) at the time, and didn't understand that paying the minimum payment each month was not a good idea. Long story (somewhat) short, I ended up falling behind on payments and was swimming in interest fees and debt that I've only now been able to pay off several years later.

Currently, I'm really trying to create a healthier relationship between me and money. If I make a clothing or makeup purchase, I really try and make sure that I have enough money budgeted to pay for it and still be able to put some to the side for savings. I'm trying to rebuild my credit score by making sure I pay off purchases immediately after making them, and hopefully over the next few months will be able to have a higher score (just in time for student loans to start!). I used to make unnecessary luxury purchases (especially beauty-wise) without thinking of the consequences, and now I'm just trying to be a proper adult and think of the consequences when I make a purchase. Instead of buying something on a whim, I'll think about it over the course of a week or so and really decided whether it's something I will use and want in my life.

I am by no means some financial wizard now, and still tend to emotionally shop (a big problem that I have). But I'm consciously trying to make an effort to be a healthier spender, and hopefully a better saver as well.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Concealers to Brighten Up Your Day

When it comes to undereye concealer, I'm a pretty picky gal. I need something that's hydrating, brightening and concealing (doh) while still looking natural. I can honestly say I've tried dozens upon dozens of different formulas, trying to find the perfect one to tick off all those boxes. Along the way, I'm happy to say that I've found three that are all equally impressive, and each find their way into my makeup rotation time and time again.

For high coverage brightness: The first of these beauties that I discovered was the Clarins Instant Concealer. I believe I had read about it over at gh0stparties and was instantly intrigued by the claims of being medium coverage, natural looking and super brightening. I picked up shade 01 and it ended up being all of those things and more. Out of the three, this provides the most coverage with the least amount of product. It still manages to look super natural, but can really help to conceal any darkness.

For the brightest of bright eyes: I've written about By Terry's Touche Veloutee numerous times, and for good reason. This guy is a beauty blogger favorite for it's thin formula that achieves natural looking results while still providing good coverage and fantastic brightening powers. This concealer/highlighter hybrid was made by Terry de Gunzburg, the inventor of the cult favorite Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat. I personally prefer her Touche Veloutee for it's generously sized pen which can be used to highlight and brighten up even the most tired eyes.
For natural looking brightness, and skincare benefits: My most recent concealer discovery is Chantecaille's Le Camouflage Stylo. When I heard about this pen-style concealer I was immediately intrigued because I have yet to be anything but impressed by anything from Chantecaille. Boasted as a skincare/makeup hybrid, I knew as soon as this launched I needed it in my collection. This probably provides about the same amount of coverage as the Touche Veloutee, but with a slightly thicker formula that provides tons of skincare goodies. It works to keep your eyes hydrated and provides the most ridiculously skinlike finish that you just can't beat. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Happy Thoughts #1

Life can get pretty stressful, as we all know too well. Too often I let myself get bogged down in the stress, and forget to revel in the little moments of joy that happen on a daily basis. It's because of this that I've decided to start a weekly post compiling the little moments that brought a smile to my face during the week. Sometimes they're big, very often they're sort of mundane, but they've all been things that have brought me some happiness. So without further ado, here are the ten things that I've loved about this week.

1) I've never been a particularly big listener of podcasts, but I have a feeling that is about to change because I've discovered maybe the most hilarious one on Earth. Three of my favorite comedians (Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas from The League, and June Diane Raphael) team up with a guest each week to discuss and dissect terrible movies in their podcast How Did This Get Made. If you've never heard of it before I strongly suggest you give it a listen because it is fantastic.

2) I have paid off all of my credit card debt. I plan on doing a post on healthy spending in the future, but the short story is that I have been in a constant state of stress paying off my credit these past few years, and so to finally have it all paid off is a small miracle and a huge weight off my shoulders.

3) On a far less serious note, I finally found a pair of jeans that are flattering to my pear-shaped, very short figure. J. Crew's Toothpick Jeans have been my saving grace, and while they cost quite a pretty penny I am so grateful to finally have a comfy pair of jeans that I adore.

4) This week I had the pleasure of catching up with one of my oldest friends Sarah (who I've known since we were toddlers!), and I was so grateful for the chance to catch up and laugh about all of the recent goings on in our lives.

5) Having a lazy weekend. It's been the first weekend in awhile where I've had absolutely nothing to do, and I can't tell you how amazing it feels to just chill out in sweatpants and watch Netflix for a day. Which leads me to...

6) Discovering a new "marathon show" on Netflix. You know what I'm talking about, that show you just continue to watch until Netflix genuinely asks whether you're even still there (to which the answer is always yes). This week I've discovered a truly guilty pleasure in Arrow, a superhero soap opera with some seriously hot guys to look at. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm speeding my way through season one...

7) Drinking my first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. I know it's a bit late into Fall, and that everyone has already Instagrammed their selfie with a PSL, but I finally had my first of the year and I am remembering why it gets so much hype.

8) Eating Whirly Pop popcorn. If you aren't familiar with Whirly Pop, it's a way of making popcorn on the stovetop, and it always results int eh best tasting popcorn of your life. During the summer, Jake and I seriously ate this every night, but it's been awhile since I made a batch and it felt pretty darn good to make it again.

9) Just like I finally found the perfect jeans, I also found the perfect white T-Shirt in the form of the ASOS Boyfriend T-Shirt w/ Rolled Sleeves. This comfy shirt is the perfect length, and paired with jeans it makes the best possible lazy day outfit (my favorite). I will definitely be buying this shirt in just about every color.

10) Watching the leaves change. It seriously feels like Summer just ended, but this past week the leaves have drastically changed to that beautiful yellow/red color. Driving around New England during the Fall never fails to leave me speechless, it's simply beautiful.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Search for a Medium Coverage Foundation

As a lover of low-coverage bases (and even going makeup-free, as I wrote about yesterday), it might come as a bit of a surprise that I am currently on a desperate quest for a medium-coverage option. Don't get me wrong, I love my low-coverage options for day-to-day wear, and my adoration for Charlotte Tilbury's Light Wonder Foundation is undying. That being said, sometimes I like getting a little fancy and dressing up for a night out, and for those days I like having more of a medium-coverage option.

Of course, me being me, I have a long checklist of necessary qualities this foundation must have (I am ridiculously picky, the fact that I have a boyfriend who puts up with me is a small miracle). So for this foundation I need natural looking (dingdingding, this is the big one) medium coverage that's not drying, not cakey and will last through a work day without falling apart.

Sounds like a mystical unicorn of a product, no? Well, ladies and gents, there's a possibility I might have found it. After reading several rave reviews I took a trip to my local Dior counter and tried out their Dior Star Fluid Foundation, and after a few days of using a sample I think I might have finally a foundation that checks off all those boxes.

This stuff is definitely medium coverage that can even be built up to full, yet feels lightweight on the skin with a satin finish. As for hydration, I wouldn't say it's particularly hydrating, but when I use it over a moisturizer, or at least a moisturizing primer, it works beautifully (I've yet to have a problem with it sticking to dry patches, which is huge). A no-makeup makeup it is not, but once it dries down to that satin-y finish it definitely does give you a your-skin-but-better kind of look that's perfect for Fall.

Now, the one big recommendation I must give with this product is that you must get it color-tested in person. I was matched to shade 022 Cameo in store, a more pink-y color that I would never have guessed would match well to my more yellow-toned skin. When I first went to the counter, I wagered a guess that I would be either 020 or 021, but once they were swatched on my neck they oxidized to an almost orange on me, giving me the appearance of an unwell Oompa Loompa. I've seen plenty of beauty bloggers who look gorgeous with those two shades, but they were absolutely not for me, and I'm so glad I tried them on in store.

So while this guy is certainly strong contender for my new medium coverage foundation of choice, now I want to turn to you guys and see if you have any recommendations? I know I have a whole lotta boxes to check off, but if you have any foundations you're loving I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bare Faced Confessionals

The other night, I found myself taking a bit of a trip down memory lane. Let me clarify - by memory lane, I mean I spent a solid hour taking a trip through time by looking at all of my Facebook photos. There were many laughs to be had, seeing me in the drunken haze of my college days, all the way back to my awkward raccoon-eyed eyeliner phase in freshman year of high school. Honestly, nostalgia really set in, and remembering all the fun times had me yearning for the past a little bit.

Except...I kind of wouldn't change where I am right now for the world. Hear me out - I am currently only working part-time, I'm living at home after graduating, I constantly have a bank account teetering on the edge of all accounts, I should be looking back and yearning for the easy, breezy glory days of school. And don't get me wrong, there are some days I'd give anything to go back to the days where all that mattered was sobering up by the time you had your 8 A.M. class.

But there's one major difference between the teenaged Morgan of yesteryear and the Morgan of today, and that's that I am am finally comfortable in my own skin. When I look back at a lot of the good ol' days, it's easy to remember the awesome moments with friends and the first kisses and the late night sleepovers, but it's a bit more painful remember the constant anxiety of not feeling able to fit in, of feeling fat and ugly and constantly unsure of how people perceived me. Are these things I still feel to this day? Absolutely, I'm only human after all. But the difference in my self-confidence between then and now is like night and day.

In high school I don't think I would ever have let anyone see me without makeup, especially when it came to boys. Now? Most days if I'm just running errands I'll throw on some sunscreen and call it a day. I doubt anyone particularly notices, and if a random passerby happens to well who cares? 

I'm far from perfect, and I absolutely still have a million moments each day when I pick apart my faults. I have crooked teeth, perma-dark circles, cartoon eyes and a crooked nose. These things still bother me, but not nearly to the extent they did in high school. I might not yet be 100% confident in my skin just yet, but I've gotten a whole lot closer since my teenage years. 

I'm not terribly sure there's a point to my tangent, other than just being able to appreciate the confidence that comes with age. And hopefully, five years from now I'll look back at this and be able to see how far I've come.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The One Palette Every Minimalist Should Own

Earlier this year I received the wonderful Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette as a graduation gift from a friend. I adore the palette, and can honestly say that I use it more days than not - the lovely shades of beige-y colors can be used for just about every occasion. Because I love Naked 2 so much, when I heard about the Naked2 Basics Palette I didn't feel the need to rush out and buy it. I figured it would be much of the same, and there was no reason to invest in the six shades offered in Basics.

Well, let it go on record here - I could not have been more wrong. This Basics offering gives you six matte, basic (see what I did there?) shades that are a makeup minimalists' dream. As a lover of simple makeup, I honestly think I could exist off of this one palette and be completely happy. Since buying this bad boy I've worn the nude shades Skimp and Stark almost every day, and the light flush of color gives my eyes a natural brightening effect. For a more dramatic look, Cover has been my shade of choice for a reddish brown smokey eye.

So if you're a minimalist when it comes to makeup like me (an odd sentence coming from a beauty blogger, I know), than I implore you to give this small palette a try. The butter-y formula and matte finish are absolutely dreamy, and the shades are perfect for everything from a no-makeup makeup look to a smokey eyed night look. While my love affair with the Naked 2 Palette is still going strong, this Basics offering is the perfect companion, and the most wonderful palette for Fall.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Everyday Fall Makeup

Autumn is fully in session, people. The leaves are changing colors and the temperature is dropping, which means it's time for pumpkin spice everything, cozy sweaters, and berry lips. So I decided to join just about every other beauty blogger out there (in this lovely corner of the Internet we bloggers live in) and share my current everyday makeup routine for these crisp Fall days.

While I occasionally will mix things up with my routine, recently I've really found myself sticking to the same products each day - partially for convenience, partially because I love the products. For my base, I prime my skin with my much loved Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow, and follow it up with my new foundation obsession, Charlotte's Light Wonder in Fair 4. The two of these combined work some serious magic on my skin, blurring and perfecting with the lightest, most hydrating formula. I truly feel like it makes my skin look like "skin-but-better", which is kinda the dream. Plus it works so darn well on my parched skin that I sometimes feel like this foundation was made just for me.

To finish off my base, I've recently been favoring Chantecaille's latest offering, their Le Camouflage Stylo in Shade #1. While I adore my By Terry Touche Veloutee (and don't see the love affair ending anytime soon), I was immediately intrigued when I heard about this skincare/makeup hybrid from Chantecaille. It's full of hydrating and anti-aging benefits, all working to diminish dark circles in the long term while concealing and brightening them immediately. I always take these claims with a grain of salt, but so far I've been loving this guy! I'll try and pop up a full review in the near future...

After my base is done, I've been using a combination of the lovely Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette as well as my Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick in Bad Girl Bronze to do my eyes. I adore the Naked2 Basics Palette for it's wonderfully neutral matte shades, and I've found myself swiping some of the shade Skimp over my eyelid daily. I finish off my eyes by smudging some of the Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Stick around my eyes and using Rimmel's Retro Glam Scandaleyes Waterproof Mascara for my lashes. For my eyebrows, I've been using Charlotte Tilbury's Brow Lift in Brooke S., the best brow pencil I've ever used.

For my lips, I've been favoring the berry look and using my lovely Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Grandest Grape (which I reviewed here). I've been complimenting the stronger lip color with a more neutral cheek, using (yet another Charlotte product) Cheek to Chic in First Love. I kind of overlooked Tilbury's cheek offerings originally (crazy, considering how much of her line I've bought), but the amazing formula for this blush has me questioning whether I should buy every shade! It's so pigmented, easy to use, and housed in the cutest darn packaging I've ever laid my eyes on. First Love is a very neutral pinkish peach shade that looks fabulous on any and everyone, and I'm not sure I can recommend it enough!

So there you have it, my everyday Fall makeup look! What products have you guys been loving this season? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Giving Volume to Oily Hair

I'm a walking contradiction. It makes about zero sense to me, but I find myself with fairly dry to normal skin on my face, and rather oily hair. I would have thought that my skin could just pick a type and stick to it, but for me that's just not the case. So while I slather my face with as much moisture as it can handle, I have to take a bit of a different approach for my head.

Enter Lush's wonderful Seanik Solid Shampoo and Big Solid Conditioner. Since both are salt-based products, you'd think combined they would be a nightmare, but for my hair they are a lifesaver. I started using the wonderful Seanik Solid Shampoo back in June, where it was recommended for me in lieu of Lush's Big Shampoo. It completely cleanses your hair, lathering up and leaving it squeaky clean. However, since it's so clarifying it definitely requires a conditioner to give your hair just a bit of moisture.

I tried several conditioners in combination with Seanik, but none gave me the wonderfully soft, voluminous hair that the Seanik and Big Conditioner duo did. While Seanik works as a solid bar that you can lather and run through your hair, the Big Conditioner took a few trial and error sessions to figure out the proper use. The best way, I've realized, is to take a dime-sized amount and mush it up in your hands under warm water, creating a bit of a paste. The conditioner is full of lovely ingredients such as jasmine, coconut oil, lemon and lime which will work to moisturize your locks while still clarifying and giving your hair a little extra oomph.

I've been so impressed with the results of using these two, and they've quickly become the only duo that leaves my hair soft, moisturized and not oily. Lush never fails to impress me, but these two products have become must-haves for me, and I'm already planning on repurchasing once I run out!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Glow Duos

 Left: Sculpting, Right: Candlelight 

Left: Tansoleil, Center: Bettina, Right: Blended

Recently I've become a huge fan of cream based blushes and highlighters. While I used to favor powder formulas, more and more I've been preferring creamy products for their ease of use and their staying power throughout a long day. My love for these cream products can really be attributed to one little duo in particular, and that's the Kevyn Aucoin Creamy Duo palettes

Aucoin's offerings come in four different duos, of which I currently own numbers 3 and 4. The first I picked up was Duo #4, Aucoin's Candlelight and Sculpting palette. Aucoin's line is famous for their Candlelight and Sculpting powders which act as the ultimate contouring products. This particular Duo features both of these products in a cream formula, which has helped make contouring a far easier process then I ever thought possible. On most days, I'll blend in a bit of Sculpting underneath my cheekbones to add a bit more of a sculpted look (hence the name), and then highlight underneath my eyebrows and on the cheekbone with the lovely, sheer Candlelight. The formula is so creamy and easy to blend that I often just use my fingers to get the job done, though a blending brush can also be used.

I was so impressed with Duo #4 that I recently picked up Duo #3 as well, which combines two gorgeous blush shades named Tansoleil and Bettina. The initial reason I picked this Duo up was because of the shade Tansoleil (a stunning apricot), but I was especially sold after the lovely sales associate at Space NK showed me the results of blending Tansoleil and Bettina together. At first I thought Bettina was more of a brownish nude color (if that makes sense), but blended together these two make a very unique warm apricot sort of shade that I have been loving for Fall. It's something completely different than a normal pink cheek, and I couldn't be happier.

As you can tell by the pictures above, I've been getting quite a bit of use out of these bad boys. I've been so impressed with the formula and pigmentation that I would imagine it won't be long until I bring Duos #1 and 2 home with me as well!

Monday, October 6, 2014

An Introduction to Berry Lips

I have a fairly minimal makeup routine, which is probably sort of odd coming from a beauty blogger. I prefer a lighter base with minimal eye makeup and a pop of color on the lips and cheeks. With Fall fast approaching, I decided to add a little something different to my routine, and that came in the form of a new berry lip color.

Since I'm a bit of a wimp, I wanted to start with a shade that could be worn sheer or built up, so after an embarrassing amount of research I purchased my much loved Clinique Chubby Stick in the shade Grandest Grape. I've spoken before about my love for Clinique's Chubby Stick offerings, and the praise is much deserved. The Chubby Sticks are super moisturizing with the ability to be worn more sheer or built up to a deep color. I have loved every single shade that I've bought, and this one was no exception.

Grandest Grape sounded like a fairly terrifying shade at first, evoking images of a Barney the Dinosaur type color that I would not want anywhere near my lips. Upon swatching it in store, it's actually a wonderful deep raspberry shade that leans more pink-y red than anything purple. And, like all of Clinique's Chubby Sticks, this one can be built up quite nicely. For example, the middle picture shows me wearing one layer of the shade, while the bottom picture shows me wearing two layers. It could certainly be built up more, and I've loved wearing a deeper version of it when going out at night with friends (a rare event, but occasionally I do leave my house).

All in all, this shade might just be the perfect introduction for anyone looking to try berry lips (especially shy folks like me). I love any lip product that can be worn sheer during the day or built up at night, and it's for that reason that I foresee this shade getting a lot of use from me this Fall.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Bronze Eyes for Autumn

Hands down, one of my favorite parts of Fall (aside from the very cliché Pumpkin Spice Lattes) are the amazing makeup trends that seem to come around year after year. I'm not terribly daring with a lot of my makeup choices, often favoring a very minimalistic, simple look that works best in Spring/Summer, but one trend that I do adore for Fall is a more bronze, copper-y eye look. A few weeks ago I picked up Charlotte Tilbury's Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet, an amazing eyeshadow stick that's part of Charlotte's "Green Eyes" centered collection.

As you can tell from my picture above, I've already used this gem down to a nub (gotta buy a sharpener!), and with good reason. It's waterproof, long lasting, and highly pigmented - which is great because the color is stunning. I've been loving it for lining my eyes, creating a kind of smudged look that's less harsh looking then eyeliner. As much as I've been loving it for that use, though, I personally don't find it creamy enough to use all over my lids. It might just be me, but when I use it all over my lids I find it gets a bit patchy (and the same thing happened with another color I bought, Champagne Diamonds). Has that happened to anyone else?

Anyways, it was this one tiny flaw (and a slightly more expensive price tag, at $26), that led me to try out the very similar looking dupe of Rimmel's Scandaleyes Shadow Stick in Bad Girl Bronze. The option is far more affordable at $4.99, and also has the benefits of being waterproof and long-lasting. I also found it to be a creamier formula, which made it ideal for using all over the lid. That said, there are a few areas where Charlotte's offering reigns supreme, such as pigmentation. While both options are long-lasting, I find after a day of use that Charlotte's Colour Chameleon looks the same as when first applied while the Scandaleyes Shadow Stick requires some reapplication and touch ups throughout the day.

These things are not a huge deal, especially for the amount of money you save. As much as I love Charlotte's options (especially color-wise), I'm definitely looking forward to picking up a few more shades from Rimmel's line because I have certainly been impressed!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G in Coachella Coral

Charlotte Tilbury sure knows how to create a quality makeup product (and a ridiculously long coordinating name). I've tried a wide array of Tilbury's makeup range now, and after about a month of testing everything out I can safely say that she has created a flaw free line. I have adored everything, so choosing a standout product from the line is incredibly difficult. That being said, her K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipsticks have converted this lipstick hater into a true fan.

As a beauty blogger, it's a bit embarrassing to admit that I'm not a fan of lipstick, but alas it's true. My lips are perpetually dry and cracked year round, so more often than not lipstick works to emphasize my chapped lips. I had read that Charlotte's K.I.S.S.I.N.G 'sticks were incredibly hydrating, so I figured I'd give them a try. I chose Coachella Coral, a gorgeous pink-y coral that I could see working for any and everyone. In addition, I picked up Charlotte's Lip Lustre in Portobello Girl, a sheer pink that was recommended to be paired with Coachella Coral.

Now, Coachella Coral looks stunning worn alone, and can be layered for various levels of intensity. It's super hydrating, pigmented, and a joy to wear. And as lovely as it is alone, paired with Portobello Girl it's long lasting and looks truly breathtaking. It really doesn't add too much by way of color, but does create the perfect (non-sticky) glossy look, making your lips pretty show stopping. I've been wearing this duo on a daily basis, even though I know Coral might be more suited for summer looks. I've never gotten so many compliments from a lipstick, and it has me itching to try more colors from the brand!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Life Lately: Florida

This past week I was finally able to fly out and visit Jake, after two months apart. And just to sweeten the deal a bit, I was able to visit him in his current enviable place of residence, the sunny beaches of southern Florida (I know, I kind of hate him too). He had to work a few of the days that I was there, but we were lucky enough to still be able to sight see a bit and visit a few of the local beaches and restaurants (though, I must say, the place he is living might have the most gorgeous scenery of all).

The trip really cemented my desire to move to Florida (and get out of the currently rainy and cold Northeast), and Jake and I are frantically looking down there for full-time employment before his current job ends in a month. On Sunday, we had breakfast on the beach (which was a five minute drive from the house) and it was at that moment that I felt a strong determination to make the little dream I was living in a reality. So, yeah, I guess it's good to have goals? I might not know what I'll end up doing, but I'm darn sure I know where I'd like to be doing it.
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