Lina Choo The Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipsticks | Review & Swatches


What better day than Valentine’s Day to talk about some beautiful, luxe lipsticks, right? Lina Choo is a new brand to me and is now available on Beautylish, and they’ve debuted with six shades of The Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipsticks. They’re all named after famous artists, from Botticelli to Da Vinci to Van Gogh, and they come in colorful yet wearable shades.


The packaging of these lipsticks is just stunning. They’re housed in a weighty black tube with gold detailing that has a satisfying magnetic closure. The brand’s logos are etched into the gold tube and also into the lipstick bullet itself. They feel nice to hold and have a good, balanced weight to make application easy - if those kinds of things are important to you.


The formula is what really blew me away. They’re described as a velvet matte, but I’d say there’s a bit of a satin finish instead. They’re not completely matte on me, but rather have a tiny bit of sheen, and I really like that. They’re incredibly creamy and pigmented, giving full pigmentation with one swipe. They don’t catch on dry patches on initial application, and they continue feeling comfortable and actually quite moisturizing throughout the day. They feel like they have a little bit of slip like a lip balm would, but rubbing your lips together doesn’t shift the color. Rather, the color doesn’t budge at all. I can’t believe how long these last on my lips without fading at all, especially for such a creamy formula. I can apply these in the morning and they’re still totally intact by the end of the day, even after eating and drinking. They also stain the lips a little (as well as my arm after doing these swatches), so that probably helps the longevity.

The Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipsticks come in six shades: Andersen (a bright coral pink), Shakespeare (a true classic red), Da Vinci (a deep brick red), Botticelli (a peachy pink), Duras (a cool mauve-y pink), and Van Gogh (a punchy orange-red). I think they would be flattering on a variety of skintones because of their intense pigmentation. My favorites are Shakespeare and Duras.

Have you tried The Great Artist Lipsticks yet? What’s your favorite luxe lipstick formula?

*Lina Choo The Great Artist Velvet Matte Lipsticks have been kindly gifted by the brand, but all opinions are my own.

Review | Laura Mercier Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation


It’s been awhile since I’ve written a foundation review on here, and I think this one was worth the wait. Everyone’s been talking about the new Hourglass Foundation lately, but there’s a different new foundation on the scene that really caught my eye. I’ve always been a fan of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizers (some of my earliest posts here featured it), and I had been meaning to try a foundation from the brand for awhile. When their newest foundation was released, I knew it would be the one for me just based on the name - “Flawless Lumiere Radiance-Perfecting Foundation.” It promises a “weightless, medium-to-full coverage, perfectly-glowing finish in any light.”


I use the shade 1C0 Cameo (which was also my shade in the Tinted Moisturizer), and it’s a great match for me. It comes in 30 shades in a variety of undertones, and there seems to be a good distribution of shades among those 30. Its consistency sits between thick and thin - it holds its shape when pumped out and doesn’t run down my hand, but it spreads easily over the skin and doesn’t drag. It interestingly feels like a burst of hydration when I initially start working it into my skin, which I’ve never experienced with a foundation before. I apply it with a dense buffing brush (this one), and it blends it out super easily and quickly. At this time I don’t have any makeup sponges, so I haven’t tried applying it with one, but I will report back once I do!

I have to make sure my skin has been well-moisturized (but maybe this is because it’s winter) before applying, specifically with an oil or an oil-based moisturizer. This makes the foundation glide on more easily and ensures it doesn’t look dry on my skin. When first applied, it has more of a satin finish on me that grows more radiant within about an hour - once that hour is over, that’s pretty much the level of radiance it will have all day. I typically don’t set it with powder until this hour is up, otherwise it makes it look too dry. The finish is just stunning - it seems to gloss over every imperfection and really blurs out my pores. I’d say they’re correct on describing the coverage, too - it sits somewhere between medium and full. I like to apply a thin layer all over, and then I’ll pat on a little more on areas where I need more coverage. It layers beautifully this way and doesn’t pick up on itself or get cakey. It’s been lasting a full workday on me without getting patchy or fading unevenly. It will wear away a little where I touch my face a lot throughout the day (I’m working on that bad habit), but it doesn’t leave noticeable patches.

A closeup look at the foundation - this is a light layer. Bronzer/blush/highlight are from the Hourglass Volume III Palette, lips are NUDESTIX Sin.

A closeup look at the foundation - this is a light layer. Bronzer/blush/highlight are from the Hourglass Volume III Palette, lips are NUDESTIX Sin.

This has instantly become one of my favorite foundations - I could probably get rid of all of my other foundations and be just fine. I’d feel confident wearing this for a special occasion as well as every day. I just really love how it still manages to look like glowy, healthy skin, despite offering a higher coverage than I’m used to. It’s really been making me feel more confident while I’m waiting for all these Christmas-chocolate-induced breakouts on my chin to clear up.

Have you tried the Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation?

2018 Favorites: The Makeup


Since I’ve been posting my 2018 favorites on Instagram this week, I thought I’d dust off the old blog and post them here as well - this way, I can give some insight into why these were my favorite products this year. Because this started as just making pretty flatlays for Instagram, I didn’t really do any narrowing-down of my lists, so even though they’re split into three parts, they’re still pretty hefty. So grab a snack and settle in!

My makeup style hasn’t really changed in quite awhile - looking at my 2017 Makeup Favorites, I still use and love all of those products. My 2018 favorites are still glowy, and creamy, and quite pink-toned. I tried to keep my favorites to things I discovered in 2018, otherwise it would just be a repeat of 2017!


Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter - I put off buying this for part of the year because I wasn’t sure what it was. But oh man is it beautiful. I use it underneath my foundation as a primer and it leaves the most beautiful glowy sheen to the skin that still shows through foundation.

Lancome Skin Feels Good Hydrating Skin Tint - This was by far the standout base product of the year for me. The lightest shade is too dark for me so I specifically bought a white mixer so I could still wear it. It’s smoothing, really glowy, has good coverage for being labeled a “skin tint,” and it has good lasting power on me.

MAC Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer* - This concealer feels weightless, blends in like skin, and has great coverage and longevity. A win all-around.

Ohii Glass Powder* - This powder stole the show for me this year. I’m usually not even that big into powder, but this one looks invisible on the skin, diminishes shine but leaves a glow, and sets my makeup well.



MAC Eyebrows Styler in Stylized* - I’ve always loved these kinds of skinny brow pencils the most, and I’ll never go back to another one after trying this. It has buildable pigmentation so you can go for a soft brow or something more bold, and it lasts forever. I wore this for my wedding and also have had it last perfectly through super sweaty kickboxing classes.

Glossier Lidstars* - I had totally forgotten these launched last year. I’ve been using them so often it feels like they’ve been part of my collection for years. These are the easiest eyeshadows to just swipe on and go. I like that they’re on the sheer side so they’re more subtle and suitable for my everyday look. They also work really well as eyeshadow primers - I have super creasy eyelids and these keep that at bay for me - I used Cub underneath powder eyeshadows for my wedding!

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Groundwork - this is a recent addition but I can definitely see myself using up the whole pot. It blends easily and stays put forever. Groundwork is the perfect shade to just add a hint of definition without being “oh shes’ wearing eyeshadow.”

Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Quad in Pillow Talk - If I suddenly had to get rid of all of my eyeshadow palettes except one, I would save this one. The pinky-nude shades are super flattering on my skin and my favorite kinds of colors to wear. As with all CT shadows, they are soft, buildable, blendable, and long-lasting.

Milk Makeup Kush Mascara - This makes my eyelashes look like those super fluffy, over-the-top lash extensions, and I love it. It stays put without smudging, holds a curl, and the fibers don’t get into my eyes.

Glossier Lash Slick* - This is my go-to on more natural days. If the Milk looks like dramatic lash extensions, then this looks like more subtle extensions. The real magic? Pairing the two together. I put the Milk on first for the fluffiness and volume, and then comb the Glossier over it for definition and extra length. I wore the pair for my wedding (sense a theme here?) and didn’t smudge at all - and I cried a lot.



Laura Mercier Blush Colour Infusion in Rose - This is such a pretty blush. The color is the perfect flush on me, and the formula practically blends itself. I really need to look into picking up another shade or two.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Storm* - Cloud Paints were my blush favorite of 2017, but the new shade Storm that dropped last year became my favorite of the lineup. It’s the prettiest warm rose shade that looks a little like mixing Dusk and Haze. It leaves the prettiest flush that looks like you’ve been out in the cold.

Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tints - Probably my favorite cream blush formula. It feels a little dry to the touch at first in the pan, but it blends so seamelssly over the skin. I have the shades Petal (a pretty everyday peachy pink) and Rosy (a more bold pink) and love them both.

Onomie Boosting Lip + Cheek Sticks* - These are usually my everyday go-to’s because they’re so easy to use. They’re compact and travel well, and they’re easy to blend out with fingers on the go. They leave a beautiful dewy finish on the skin without being tacky, and they last a super long time.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow - Can you believe I never tried this until last year? The bronzing side is probably my all-time favorite bronzer now. It’s the perfect in-between shade that both sculpts the face and adds some warmth without being orange on me.

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter in Nude - I only just got this for Christmas, but I got the original Skin Fetish set when it was limited edition and am just happy I can talk about it again. This leaves the glossiest glow on the skin without being sticky at all. It’s definitely worth the money in my opinion (again, I got this as a gift, but I did by the original myself, so…)

Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette - This was actually an impulse buy last year, but it became one of my most-reached for products. The shades can be applied lightly for a glossy-looking glow, or they can be layered on for a stronger mirrorlike sheen. I use all four shades in the palette, too.

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand Highlighter - This might be the most beautiful highlighter I own. It leaves such a glassy sheen on the skin that truly looks lit from within. I’m not a huge fan of the packaging, but the formula is so lovely and sets down so your hair isn’t getting stuck in it all day or anything.

NARS Highlighting Powder in Capri - This also leaves a glossy look to the skin (my favorite kind of highlighter, obviously). The formula is smooth and easy to layer and blend, and Capri is the perfect pink/fair/champagne shade for me.



Bobbi Brown Lipstick in Sandwash Pink - I had to include this because it was my wedding lipstick! The formula is beautifully creamy and comfortable, but still has good lasting power. Sandwash Pink is the most perfect neutral-pink-brown, hands-down.

Lancome L’Absolu Lacquer in Infra-Rose - I fell hard for this formula last year. One layer is a little sheer and a little glossy, but you can add another layer for an opaque, glassy finish. Despite being a glossy formula it lasts such a long time without transferring or sliding all over the place. I layered this over Sandwash Pink for my wedding reception, and the whole thing was still intact when I washed my makeup off at 3am.

Bite Beauty French Press Lip Gloss in Dirty Chai - I’m really hoping Bite makes these coffee-scented lip glosses permanent. They feel like a balm on the lips, wear off evenly, and aren’t sticky. Dirty Chai is such a pretty warm rose color that doesn’t pull orange on me. I ordered a backup because I’m for sure going to finish this one.

ILIA Color Block Lipstick in Rosette - This is probably one of the most comfortable lipstick formulas I’ve ever tried. It glides on effortlessly and just feels like a balm, while still packing tons of pigment. Rosette is the same exact color as my lips, so naturally I’ve reached for it almost every day since I got it.

Pixi x Chloe Morello Lip Icing in Cake* - This was my everday go-to at the beginning of the year, and now I need to start wearing it again. Again, it has a balmy feeling rather than a sticky gloss feeling, it’s packed with shimmer that doesn’t feel gritty and makes the lips look plumper, and it smells like lemon cake (which is a nice change from vanilla scented everything). Definitely worth picking up!

Thanks so much if you’re still here - I know that was a lot! What were your makeup favorites of the year?

This post contains affiliate links. Products marked with an asterisk (*) have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own.

How to Look More Awake on Early Mornings


I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier lately - not only do I try to get in to work by 7am (and my commute is at least 40 minutes), but I also like having some spare time in the morning to sit with Olive while she’s sleepy and cuddly. So while I’m getting in more prime puppy cuddles, I’m also having to work a little harder to not look absolutely exhausted. I’ve found this quick 6-step routine always makes me look a little more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Cooling/Depuffing Eye Cream

When I’m tired, it mostly shows in the puffiness of my eyes. I like layering a cooling and depuffing eye cream on before I start my makeup. Usually these are quite lightweight, so they work well underneath concealer. My favorite is the Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb - it’s lightweight yet still creamy, and it works incredibly well at depuffing for me. I even find it helps to minimize dehydration lines under my eyes with just one use, so concealer applies more smoothly on top.

Undereye Corrector/Brightener

My biggest problem is puffiness rather than dark circles, but I do find my undereyes get a bit more shadowy when I’m tired. I like layering a lightweight brightener/corrector under my concealer to cancel out any darkness. I love the Ohii Wake Up Pen* in the shade Peach - it’s a sheer peachy tone that counteracts blue undereye circles, and it has a soft sheen that diffuses and reflects light, making the area look less dark. It has a thin consistency that blends into the skin easily and sits well underneath concealer.

Hydrating, Skinlike Concealer

There’s nothing worse than cakey undereyes when you’re trying to look more awake and alert. A hydrating and skinlike concealer will sit better on dryness and fine lines. Usually these formulas aren’t full coverage, but paired with the brightener/corrector, it shouldn’t be a problem. I really like the First Aid Beauty Bendy Avocado Concealer* for my undereyes - it’s very creamy and hydrating and mimics the look of skin, and it still has pretty good coverage. I’d say it’s medium coverage rather than full. It also works well all over the face, if you were wondering.


Invisible Powder

Sometimes more hydrating concealer formulas tend to settle into undereye creases, but this can be remedied by setting with powder. Since you’re taking so much care to keep the undereyes hydrated, though, you’ll want a formula that’s weightless, invisible, and non-cakey. The Ohii Glass Powder* is one of the best I’ve tried - you truly can’t see it on the skin, it doesn’t dull a glow, it’s incredibly blurring (further helping any fine lines you may have under your eyes), and it really does set the makeup. (Heads-up, right now there’s a duo available with the Wake Up Pen & Glass Powder!)

Brightening Champagne Eyeshadow

Now that the undereyes are taken care of, another thing you can do is choose a reflective, brightening eyeshadow in some kind of champagne shade (or perhaps a gold/bronze if you have a deeper skintone) - basically, something that’s a similar tone to your skin but shiny. This will make you look more awake and help to open up the eyes. I like Liar Liar by Colourpop - it’s cheap but a beautiful buttery formula, and the shade is the most perfect slightly pink champagne tone for me. Another tip is to bring it into the inner corners of your eyes to really brighten things up.

Lengthening/Defining Mascara

Speaking of opening up the eyes, the last step is to curl your eyelashes (if you’ve never done it before, it makes SUCH a difference!) and use a lengthening mascara. This combo really gives the illusion that your eyes are open wider, making you look more awake. My favorite mascara for this is hands-down the Glossier Lash Slick - it gives crazy length and definition and looks like you have eyelash extensions in, and it doesn’t smudge at all. This is the only mascara I can use on my bottom lashes, and on days I want a more dramatic mascara, I’ll still layer Lash Slick over the top to make sure every lash is separated and defined, and it keeps everything from smudging.

What are your top tips for looking more awake?

*Products marked with an asterisk have been sent to me, but all opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links.

New "Clean" Beauty Favorites | Kosas + Jillian Dempsey


Beauty sales season hit me hard this fall - I grabbed a few too many things in the Sephora VIB Sale (let me know if I should write a post on that, too), and then I was sucked in by Credo Beauty’s sale. I had never ordered anything from Credo Beauty before, but the shipping was so fast, and there’s so many brands there that I’ve been meaning to try, so I think this might be the start of a dangerous obsession.

I made a beeline to the Jillian Dempsey and Kosas Cosmetics sections as soon as I saw them both offered - I’ve heard nothing but good things about both brands and had a couple things I wanted to try from each. I ended up getting the Tinted Face Oil and Lipstick in Rosewater from Kosas, and two Lid Tints and two Cheek Tints from Jillian Dempsey.

Kosas Tinted Face Oil & Lipstick

T-B | Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tints in Petal & Rosy, Lid Tints in Lilac & Bronze, Kosas Lipstick in Rosewater

T-B | Jillian Dempsey Cheek Tints in Petal & Rosy, Lid Tints in Lilac & Bronze, Kosas Lipstick in Rosewater

The Kosas Tinted Face Oil is something I’ve been wanting since its launch - a tinted face oil sounds right up my alley. It comes in 10 shades, which is not the most inclusive shade range, but since it’s very light coverage it is forgivable if the shade isn’t a perfect match. I got shade 01, and it seems to be a great match. You have to shake up the bottle before dispensing to make sure the pigment is dispersed in the oil, which always gets me weird looks when I’m applying this at my desk at work. It’s a super runny, thin oil and you have to be careful when you tip the bottle over. It blends so easily and smoothly into the skin that I can slap it on and have it looking good in about 10 seconds flat. I do find that if I don’t wait long enough after applying certain moisturizers (like the First Aid Beauty Priming Moisturizer), it can pill, but it’s usually not an issue. I don’t use it over a primer, and I don’t powder it either. You’d think this would look greasy as the day went on, but it just looks more and more beautiful with time. It actually has a bit of a satin finish on me when I first apply, slowly becoming the best version of dewy over time. My favorite thing about it is how beautifully my cream products apply and blend on top of it - I’ve actually fallen back in love with my Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate again because of how easily it glides over the Tinted Face Oil. This has been my everyday go-to since I got it, and I definitely feel like it was made for me. I do find that by the end of the day, it’s mostly faded away, but it fades away so evenly (and was light coverage to begin with) so it’s hard to even notice.

The Kosas Lipstick has also become a fast favorite. I’m not sure if it’s just because the tube is the same, but it really reminds me of the NARS Audacious Lipsticks. It’s smooth and creamy, but has great pigmentation and a satin finish. The shade Rosewater is one of the best my-lips-but-better shades I’ve found - if you took my natural lip color and made it a tiny bit more pink. this is the shade you’d get. It’s perfect for adding a quick, subtle flush of color to the lips, and the formula is super comfortable and wears down to a lovely stain over time.


Jillian Dempsey Lid & Cheek Tints

I’ve seen the Jillian Dempsey Lid & Cheek Tints all over Instagram lately, so I had to try them out for myself. I had heard the Lid Tints crease pretty quickly, but I love a good messy, glossy lid so I didn’t mind and ordered a couple. I got Lilac, a pale pinkish-purple, and bronze, a sheer wash of bronze-y brown. They are so beautifully juicy and glossy, and yes, they do crease - probably within 30 minutes for me. But you know how there are some products that crease, and then when you try to blend them back out, they disappear? These aren’t like that. They’re easy to manipulate right back into place without losing any product, so I really don’t mind the creasing at all. I just tap my eyelids every so often throughout the day and know they’re still going to look good. I’m so tempted to just order all the other shades now.

The Cheek Tints are the standout favorite of this whole haul - I actually only got one shade initially, and went back and ordered a second as soon as I tried it. It has more of a cream-to-powder formula than the Lid Tints, so they stay put all day, and I can see them working well on more oily skin types, too. I first got the shade Petal, a subtle pinky-peach, and then went back for Rosy, a bright pink. They have the perfect amount of pigmentation - they pack a decent amount of color right away without having to layer lots of product, but it’s not so much pigmentation that it’s hard to blend out and doesn’t look clownish. Petal is going to be perfect for when I’m wearing red lipstick this winter as it’s such a lovely subtle shade, and Rosy has already become my everyday go-to - I love a good healthy flush on my cheeks, and this is one of the best shades I’ve found. They blend out effortlessly despite feeling a little bit stiff in the pan and instantly become one with the skin. I actually went a little overboard with Rosy the other day and had someone ask me if I had a fever - they thought it was just my cheeks naturally flushing rather than me piling on too much blush.

So overall this Credo Beauty haul was such a win - have you tried either of these brands?

MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks | Review + Swatches


One of my favorite things about the beauty world is watching trends evolve. First everything was all about the super opaque and precise matte liquid lip look, and now we’re coming around to more sheer stains and glosses. MAC’s new Powder Kiss Lipsticks are coming at a perfect time - they promise a soft, weightless, velvety finish perfect for a blurred lip stain straight from the runway, that you can wear every day.

When I first saw the photos of these lipsticks, I was immediately intrigued. The bullets themselves looked SO matte that they seem like they could be powders pressed into a lipstick bullet shape. They also come in a rubberized matte tube - think NARS packaging. I’m all about a more sheer, worn-in lip look so the Powder Kiss Lipsticks seemed perfect for me.

When first swatching these I was surprised at how easily they glided onto my lips/skin. They truly feel velvety and are like nothing I’ve ever tried. They feel so lightweight as you apply them and while wearing them - it’s almost like you can’t feel them at all. They’re not quite as pigmented as MAC’s regular matte lipsticks, and they have a soft-focus finish to them that makes them look like a lipstain once applied. Weartime has been good for me, a few hours if I’m not eating, and they’re easy to blend back into place as they wear away, too. I’m surprised something with such a matte finish doesn’t feel dry on the lips - they almost feel like you’re wearing a lightweight balm, so even my prone-to-dryness lips stay hydrated throughout wearing them. They apply best on dry lips (with no balm), otherwise they can tend to go a little patchy. And just as a heads-up - the scent is a little different than most MAC lipsticks here: it’s like the normal MAC lipstick vanilla scent, mixed with a little bit of rubber (?), which isn’t great, but the scent doesn’t transfer to the lips. I just love the finish of these - it’s like you spent a lot of time blurring and blotting down your regular full-coverage lipstick, and you’re left with this beautiful blotted stain.

MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks come in 16 shades (descriptions from MAC’s website)::

MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks in (top to bottom) Devoted to Chili, Fall in Love, Lasting Passion, Impulsive, Sultriness, Style Shocked, Influentially It, Burning Love, Sweet No Sugar, Scattered Petals, My Tweedy, Shocking Revelation, Mull it Over, Mandarin O, Best of Me, A Little Tamed

MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks in (top to bottom) Devoted to Chili, Fall in Love, Lasting Passion, Impulsive, Sultriness, Style Shocked, Influentially It, Burning Love, Sweet No Sugar, Scattered Petals, My Tweedy, Shocking Revelation, Mull it Over, Mandarin O, Best of Me, A Little Tamed

Devoted to Chili - warm brick red

Fall in Love - bright creamy fuschia

Lasting Passion - clean bright red

Impulsive - warm brown

Sultriness - baby blue pink

Style Shocked - clean red orange

Influentially It - nude beige

Burning Love - deepened red wine

Sweet, No Sugar - clean warm pink

Scattered Petals - pale clean pink

My Tweedy - blushy nude

Shocking Revelation - clean blue red

Mull it Over - dirty peach

Mandarin O - bright creamy salmon pink

Best of Me - pale milky beige

A Little Tamed - midtone pink

My favorite shades have been a mix of Sultriness and Devoted to Chili for daytime, and Burning Love for more special occasions. The MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks are out now and are $19. Will you be trying them?

MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks were sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own.