Monday, April 7, 2014

March Beauty Favorites

Pardon the bit of hiatus in the last week and a half.  I attempted to start a post a few times and I certainly thought about blogging a lot more than that but my brain was like nope.  No thanks.  In fact, my brain is still pretty nope but I'm just gonna power through.  Bear with me.  It will be an adventure for us all.  

Ok, let's get to it.  March beauty faves.  I had a pretty great month for discovering new products and perfecting old routines.  Here we go! 
Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm
I've heard about this lip balm so.many.times and always assumed it was super pricey based solely on the fact that it's French.  When I finally got around to investigating it a bit, I realized it's quite affordable for a quality lip balm that will practically last me a lifetime.  The texture is quite different from other balms.  It actually feels a bit dry and even slightly grainy going on but it absorbs instantly, dries matte and leaves my lips baby soft.  It's a morning and evening staple for me.  

Boots Facial Oil
My first go at facial oils! Being naturally oily, it always felt wrong to think of putting oil on my skin.  But I had been reading and hearing so many good things about facial oils lately, that I decided it might be worth trying.  I wasn't willing to commit to a pricey oil yet so I found this Boots version from Ulta online for $9, right in my budget!  It's so gentle and moisturizing without leaving me greasy at all.  In fact, it may be reducing my oil production during the day since I'm properly hydrated.  I'm a convert.  
Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation in Light Ivory
After hearing a lot of great reviews for this foundation, I bought it back in February but couldn't quite figure out the best application.  I assumed it just didn't suit my skin and almost gave up! I gave it one last go (with the help of the next fave below) and now I get it.  A little goes a long way and blend blend blend to a beautiful matte finish.  

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
I've always wanted to try the Beauty Blender but I just can't drop $20 on a sponge.  Mama's gotta eat, afterall.  So when Real Techniques came out with a sponge for about $6, I scooped it up asap.  I don't strictly use the sponge for my foundation but I do use it as a final step to fully blend my foundation and concealer.  I dampen the sponge, squeeze it out, and bump it along my face to fully blend my base.  

The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in 02
This deserves another quick mention (in addition to last month) since I'm loving it so much.  We're baarreelly hitting spring here in Chicago and that means I'm pasty as ever.  This subtle bronzer warms up my skin without making me look like I've taken up fake-n-bake tanning.

Milani Illuminating Face Powder
I bought this entirely on a whim and almost exclusively because I liked the pretty rose pattern.  I think it's marketed as a highlighter for darker skin but it makes the most beautiful blush on my pale skin.  It's warm and bronzey with a slight dewy sheen.  It's been on my cheeks practically all month.  
Nothing too exciting here guys.  My trusty Naked palette.  My go-to shade is Naked, it's been my transition shade allllllll month long.  I always add in a little Buck for extra depth too.  

Keeping it real boring on the eyes this month with some ol' favorites.  The Lorac Pro Palette is the ultimate palette, in my humble opinion.  It's just got everything I need and I've really been reaching for Champagne and Nude all March long. 
L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess
Why did I ever stop using this mascara?  What led me astray?  I don't know but I won't let it happen again.  This stuff is the absolute best for volume, length, pigment, and staying power.  

Benefit Gimme Brow
This stuff.  My brow routine has been taken to a whole new level, y'all.  (< Most boring sentence ever?).  I always used an inexpensive clear mascara to set my brows but Gimme Brow just spoke to me.  It's the best setting gel, pigmented and precise, that keeps my brows in place all day long.  Nary a hair out of place.  It's the little things.  

Milani Brilliant Shine in Bare Secret
I'm having a bit of a Milani love affair at the moment.  This gloss is super affordable, well pigmented and not too sticky.  It's the best pinky-brown shade for days when I have no clue what to wear on my lips.  Which is often.  

Buxom Lip Gloss in Sophia
This was a freebie from Sephora and I was soooooo pleased to see it.  Every time I go to Sephora I convince myself not to spend the money on them but they really are awesome.  Be warned, these lip glosses are super tingly (which I love) but they're beautifully pigmented, super long lasting, and not super sticky.  

So what have you been loving in March?
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mocha Toffee Meringue Bark

It happens pretty frequently that I get a burst of creative inspiration around 10am and I have SO MANY IDEAS and I want to CREATE and the world is full of OPPORTUNITIES and rainbows and sparkels!! (This is usually directly following a particularly strong iced coffee.)  

But I have this little thing called a job.  Annddd it makes mid-day blogging and baking damn near impossible.  I mean, technically speaking, I can fit a KitchenAid mixer at my desk but I get the feeling it wouldn't go over well with management.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Prime Time Roundup

I have been on quite the primer kick the last few months.  I never used to waste my time with it unless I had a big night out and I knew I needed my makeup to last.  Meanwhile though, I'd come home from work every day looking much worse for wear, like my makeup had taken a trip south.  

I realized primer can be an everyday habit that takes 5 seconds but yields great results.  I've amassed a collection at home to address any skin needs and now I almost never go a day without it.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dark Chocolate Ritz Cracker Ice Cream

Apropos of nothing (ok, it wasn't nothing, it was this Buzzfeed article.  I just wanted the say "apropos of nothing" ok?), I started thinking (and I mean really thinking) about dinosaurs.  It's like, duh, I knew they existed and I knew it was long time ago but I never really thought about them.  If I had to estimate how long ago they lived, I would have said 65,000 years ago.  THIS IS VERY EMBARRASSING BECAUSE IT WAS 65 MILLION YEARS AGO.  Million.  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Springtime Pastel Nails

Get ready for some serious Sally Hansen love here.  It wasn't my intention to be so Sally Hansen-heavy in this post but I couldn't resist a few of their adorable pastel shades and they round out my springtime nail lineup.
In years past I was a fervent pastel-hater, especially when I was younger, but this year?  Cannot get enough.  

So let's look at the goodies.  
First up, a drugstore steal.  

Sinful Colors in Sugar Rush
Sinful Colors is certainly a hit or miss brand but at $1.99, it's not such a terrible commitment if you you're unhappy with the color.  In this case, Sugar Rush is a creamy pale blue and so lovely for spring.  In two coats you'll have opaque color and sky-blue tips.    
Zoya in Gie Gie 
This is the only pearlescent shade of the bunch but it's a good one.  A flattering ballerina pink is so feminine and all-purpose.  The formula is thick and opaque, a one-coat wonder if you need it.  Zoya really has their head in the game lately.  

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Coral Reef
Here comes the Sally Hansen love!  Coral Reef is a punch of color that's walks the line between springtime bright and summer neon.  It's another creamy formula that is an excellent quality for the price.  This will spend plenty of time on my fingers! 

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Lacey Lilac
Just feast your eyes on this perfect pastel purple.  It screams springtime to me and is such a wearable way to wear purple.  The pale color is so flattering on even the palest of hands (ahem, me) and would look stunning on darker skin tones too.

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Mint Sorbet
Quite possibly my favorite shade in the bunch!  A mint green is maybe one of the only ways to wear green on your fingers and this shade does not disappoint.  Another one-swipe shade and you're good to go with a new springtime neutral.

What shades are you eyeing for spring?

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Momofuku-inspired Salted Frosted Flake Crunch Cookies

Feels like the blog has been a bit quiet, eh?  The fact is, I do much of my blogging on weekends or weeknights since I have a regular 9-5 job.  And most weeks, that works out just fine.  But I've been a bit busier at work lately and I've gotten down to some nitty gritty wedding planning and before I know it, it's 10pm and I've fallen asleep on the couch with my laptop balancing on top of my chest and a blank blog post in front of me.  


Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Affordable Neutral Palette: Pop Beauty Caffeine Eye Trilogy

Neutrals.  Love 'em.  It's practically all I wear and I usually swoon for almost any good neutral palette that includes some beautiful shimmers and buttery mattes. And if you've followed this blog for any time, you'll know I'm no snob towards drugstore products.  70% of my makeup collection is drugstore.  


Eyeshadows?  Not so much.  I've always found most drugstore selections lacking (Maybelline Color Tattoos and L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows aside.  They're the bomb).  So when I make makeup "investments," I tend to do so with good eyeshadow palettes.