October Favorites

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When I sat down to write this post, I named it "September Favorites," so you can really tell where my head is. Like I say every month, October went by so quickly! This month's favorites is yet again a mix of new and old favorites - just the way I like it. I haven't been as strict about my spending this month, but I'm going back on my low-buy now to save money for Christmas. So next month's favorites may be more rediscoveries than new products.

Glossier You* | You had to guess this would be here, right? This has only been out for about a week, and I had only been trying it a week before that, and yet it's already become a firm favorite. You can read my review for my full thoughts on it, but I just love that it's a subtle, "skinlike" scent that sits close to the skin and isn't heady or overpowering. Usually I like my perfumes to have a bit of rose in them, but this doesn't and I'm still in love. I don't think I've ever gotten more compliments on a fragrance as I have on this.

Jordan Samuel Skin etOILe Facial Oil I also wrote a review on this oil this month, and it's been a daily staple for most of the month. My skin absolutely loves this oil blend - it's become more balanced, even, and radiant this month after consistent use. I use it every night without fail, and sometimes in the morning too. I need to check out the retinol version next!

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NARS Powermatte Lip PigmentsI fell so head over heels in love with these this month. I thought I was over the liquid lipstick trend, but I guess not. These feel so lightweight on the lips like a stain, and although they're quite a flat matte, they don't make my lips shrivel up. I love how easy they are to wear - on an everyday basis, I've been tapping a little onto the center of my lips and blending it out for a more stained effect. Starwoman is now the only red I want to wear forever and ever, and American Woman and Save the Queen are perfect everyday shades. I think I'm getting Walk This Way from my sister soon, too, so there's no end in sight for this obsession. You can check out my review for swatches of the three shades I have, too.

Pixi Glow TonicThis is a rediscovery this month. After using The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid Toner for awhile, I just really missed the Pixi Glow Tonic. It's so much more pleasing to use, and I think it has much better effects on my skin. I've been using it every morning to wake up my skin, and it's been keeping it smooth and (aside from some hormonal breakouts) clear. I'm fully back on the Glow Tonic train, and I won't stray again anytime soon.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder FoundationSpeaking of breakouts, I've been actually wearing foundation this month as opposed to a smattering of concealer. While I'm not happy about the breakouts, I am happy I've rediscovered my love for the Light Wonder Foundation. It gives good coverage for me, and it leaves my skin looking so glowy and healthy. It also seems to smooth over any texture and blur my pores. It lasts throughout the day on me, and it looks beautiful both on its own or mixed with other products like the Glossier Skin Tint.

What were your favorites in October?

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NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments | American Woman, Save the Queen, Starwoman

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Do you ever put off trying a product for so long, and then when you do, you get mad at yourself for waiting so long? That was me with the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments. Maybe it's because they came out at the peak of my spending ban, but now that I've allowed myself to buy a few more things here and there, I jumped at the opportunity. The first shade I tried blew me away so much that I immediately bought two more within a couple days.

I had pretty much been over the whole liquid lipstick trend, finally admitting it just wasn't for me and my dry, sensitive lips. But the NARS Powermattes are so different from the thick, drying liquid lipsticks I had been used to. It's a thin, watery formula (don't tip the tube over while it's open) that feels more like a stain when applied and sets down to almost nothing. It moves with your lips so it doesn't crack throughout the day, and it's such a lightweight layer that it doesn't make the lips shrivel up with dryness. There aren't many lip products where I truly want to own every single shade, but this is one. The formula is quite versatile too - the shades I've tried all apply quite opaque with one layer, but they can easily be sheered out for more of a stained look.

T-B | Save the Queen, American Woman, Starwoman

T-B | Save the Queen, American Woman, Starwoman

The applicator is quite interesting - rather than a typical rounded doefoot, it's pointed and a little more stiff. This makes it super easy to get a crisp line without needing a separate lip liner. The thin consistency of the lipstick also makes it super easy to blend into a blurred lip, if that's what you're into - you need to see these in action on Katie Jane Hughes's Instagram. I'm trying so hard to learn how to blur them like her. 

The first shade I picked up was Save the Queen, inspired by my girl Amelia, because she was wearing it in her Instagram stories and it looked SO pretty that I needed it too. It's a beautiful dusty mauve shade that's just the kind of shade I always go for. It's a little more purple than the usual neutral moves I gravitate towards, so it's perfect to pair with all the cool-toned eyeshadows I love. Next I just had to try the formula in a red and grabbed Starwoman. It's a stunning blue-red that is seriously making me think about getting rid of all the other red lipsticks in my collection. Nothing compares to this. If you like blue-toned reds, get this one. The latest addition to my collection was American Woman, a more typical "me" shade - a neutral brown/pink. This is quite close to my natural lip color, making it the perfect "my lips but better" shade for me. I've been wearing this dabbed and blended into a lip balm almost every day since I got it. 

I still have almost all of the remaining shades on my wishlist and I can't decide which I'll get next. Any suggestions?

Have you tried the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments?

The Shy Person's Guide to Rocking a Bold Lip

As someone who doesn't like being the center of attention at all, the prospect of wearing a bold lip out in public used to scare me. I would always put one on, decide it was "too much," and replace it with a more understated nude. Over the last few months I've been working my way up and building up my comfort levels around wearing bolder lip shades, and I've finally started feeling like it's no big deal. I figured I'd share the tips that really helped me for my fellow lipstick hoarders out there.

Start with deep nudes & neutrals

The first step I took in branching out to bolder looks was to wear deeper nudes/neutrals. Since they were still a natural brown/pink shade, they remained in what I felt was "wearable" territory, while still looking a bit more "done" than my previous nude staples. Try to pick something a few shades darker than your natural lip color. My lip color is more of a cool-toned rosy shade, so something like the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Do Me Baby is my perfect deeper nude shade.

Blot, Blot, Blot

Once I started heading towards brighter shades and away from neutrals, I found them much easier to wear and get used to when I blotted them down. Starting with a layer of lip balm really helps to sheer out the color, as well. Deeper berry shades like the NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress or Audacious Lipstick in Audrey work really well as they add a really natural-looking flush to the lips. Or if you know what color family you're going for, a sheer matte lipstick like the Glossier Generation G's would be perfect - Jam is a good way to ease into berry shades, Crush into bright pinks, and Zip into reds.

Wear it around the house

This was the biggest one for me - I just had to get used to seeing myself in the mirror in these bolder shades, so popping one on when I had nowhere to be really helped. I did this with deeper liquid lipstick shades. It also helped me get used to how these particular shades wore throughout the day, so once I started wearing them out, I knew when it would be time to touch up. We're our own toughest critic, so we often think we can't pull something off, when in reality, you're just not used to seeing a different look on yourself. I thought I couldn't pull off bright reds for the longest time until I started wearing the MAC Lipstick in Russian Red and the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red around the house - once I got used to it, I realized I loved the look and bought myself the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, which had been on my wishlist for years.

Keep the rest of your makeup minimal

My biggest problem with a bold lip was that I felt a little too "done." I prefer to keep my makeup on the natural side of things, so I found that adding in a bold lip made everything look too much on my face. So I brought down the amount of makeup I wore on the rest of my face to keep everything looking fresh. A dewy base with bright, minimal eye makeup and fluttery lashes looks perfect with any bold lip - I had a whole post dedicated to that specific look here.

Do you wear bold lip shades? What are your tips for easing into them?


A Look | Glossy Skin & Bold Lips

I've been super into playing around with my makeup lately - when I'm not quickly slapping it on at my desk at work, that is. I recently got NARS Dragon Girl, and it inspired me to pair it with a minimal, glossy look.

I started off by using the Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich* as my base - this really hydrates my skin and makes it plump and smooth and ready for makeup. I also patted on a bit of the Milk Makeup Blur Stick around my nose where my pores are the largest to blur them out and help my makeup go on a little more smoothly. The Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint has been my favorite base product as of late, and when I need a little more coverage I've been mixing it with the Stretch Concealer before applying. It leaves me with super dewy skin, and you can't even tell there's product there. I have a few spots of hyperpigmentation from old breakouts, so I spot concealed them with the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer - I put a tiny bit on the spot with an eyeliner brush and blended out the edges so the heaviest coverage is concentrated only where it's absolutely necessary. Dark circles were taken care of with the Onomie Bright Concealing Elixir,* which is still a favorite.

I wanted to stick to all cream products to keep my skin looking dewy and glossy. I used the darker shade of the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate as a bronzer, and it really adds a healthy, subtle glow to the skin. For my blush I used the Glossier Cloud Paint* in Beam - I feel like my favorite shade of these changes every week, but currently it's the peachy pink Beam. It makes me look so awake, like I got over 8 hours of sleep, so it's hard to want to wear anything else. Besides the lip, the most important part of this look is the highlight. I started off with my usual layer of Glossier Haloscope in Quartz, my go-to. I really cannot go a day without wearing this - it makes my skin look super dewy. To amp up the dewiness and glossiness, I patted a bit of the Ciate Dewy Stix on top. This is basically a clear face gloss in stick form. It's not sticky in the slightest, just pure glossy dew.

Going along with this glossy theme, I used the Tom Ford Cream & Powder Eye Color in Young Adonis. It's a taupe shade that has that specific kind of shimmer that makes the eyelids look wet. I applied the cream shade and patted a bit of the matching powder on top in the center of my eyelids. I beefed up my eyelashes with the Wander Beauty Unlashed Volume & Curl Mascara and a bit of the tightlining with the Colourpop Creme Gel Liner in Brew-Haha. And brows were taken care of with Glossier Boy Brow in Brown, of course. 

As the finishing touch, I went in with the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl - this is my new obsession as of late. It had been on my wishlist for literal years, and I finally got around to buying it. It's such a blue-toned red that it borders on being bright pink, which is absolutely perfect for me. To set everything and keep it all looking glowy, I used the Pixi Glow Mist.* I've been loving using this lately - it really hydrates the skin and brightens everything up.

What's your favorite bold lip color?

I mentioned a lot of Glossier products in this post, and you can get 20% off your first order by shopping through my rep page! I do make a small commission on orders through my page, but that money gets invested back into this space!

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.


Falling For Lip Gloss

I feel like glossy lips are slowly but surely coming back on trend - it was matte everything for such a long time, with every brand coming out with liquid matte lipsticks, but I think with the warmer weather returning, simpler, glossy lips are making a comeback.

When I want a clear gloss I always go for the Glossier Lip Gloss - you're in luck, because this once limited edition beauty is coming back today! Just check the Glossier website (or my rep link) to see when it's back. It's actually a really moisturizing gloss and leaves a glassy sheen. This was the one that got me back into glosses when it came out in the late fall last year. Another sheer option is the Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Plumping Gloss - this is such a comfortable gloss. It feels weightless and cushiony, and it does very subtly plump up the lips without stinging. I love the pleasant minty scent, too.

Another minty, plumping gloss is the Buxom Full-On Lip Cream - I have the shade Hot Toddy, which is a beautiful warm nude shade. These also feel really comfortable on the lips and not too sticky. The pigment is definitely discernible on the lips, but it still allows whatever is underneath to show through. I'm dying to get my hands on White Russian next.

I've recently gotten back into wearing the Jouer Moisturizing Lip Glosses.* With all the hype around the Lip Cremes, I forgot how lovely the glosses were. My favorite shade is Sorbet, a warm pink with subtle golden shimmer that really enhances the lips and is perfect for spring. This is another non-sticky, "cushiony" formula that actually nourishes the lips. And if you want the OG gloss/balm hybrid, look no further than the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors. These don't get as much love as they used to in the blogging/YouTube world, but they're still such beautiful lip products. These don't feel like a gloss whatsoever - it really feels just like applying a lip balm.

The two most recent additions to my collection are already shaping up to be my favorites. I just talked about the NARS Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls last week, but I definitely need to get my hands on more NARS Lip Glosses. The formula is beautiful. I also just got the new Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in Caresse (714) after hearing Grace from Damselflavored rave about it. It's such a beautiful gloss, and the fact that it's Chanel makes it feel all the more special. Caresse is a beautiful brown-y nude shade that's pigmented enough to wear on its own but will let a lip color underneath shine through.

Lastly, if you're wanting a lip gloss that packs a punch in the pigment department, definitely check out the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses. These don't get as much love as the Liquid Lipsticks, but they're insane - it's like applying a glossy liquified lipstick. I have the shade Kristen, which is another pinky brown shade (surprise, surprise). These do feel a little heavier and stickier than the rest of the options here, but it's to be expected with the pigment load. It's still a lovely gloss nonetheless and one I reach for when I'm running out the door but need to look put together.

What are your favorite lip glosses?


The Everyday Lip Duos

I've been getting back into wearing lip products on a day to day basis - it's about time, because my makeup collection is filled with more lip products than anything else. For my everyday makeup look, I've been using a lip pencil all over my lips for long lasting color, topped with a comfortable formula. And everything I've been using has been a neutral or nude color, of course.

The Pink-y Nude

On days when I want something a little more pink, I've been starting off with a layer of the Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in 010. I've mentioned this lip pencil quite a lot lately, as it's quickly become one of my favorites. The Bite Lip Pencils are absolutely beautiful - so creamy and comfortable and yet longwearing. 010 is my perfect "my lips but better" shade - just the slightest bit deeper and rosier than my natural lip color. I've then been topping it with the NARS Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls. I've had this shade on my wishlist since it came out, and I'm so happy to finally have it. I've been getting back into lip glosses lately (I just got one of the new Chanel ones a couple days ago - more on that soon), and this formula is lovely. It's not too sticky and yet not slippery - it will definitely stick around on your lips for awhile. Chelsea Girls is a perfect everyday beige-y pink shade that goes really well with the 010 Lip Pencil.

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T - B | Bite 010, NARS Chelsea Girls, Bite 036, Lise Watier Jennifer

The Brown-y Nude

If I'm not wearing a pink-y nude, it's a brown nude. Again, I start this look with a Bite Beauty Lip Pencil - I just can't get enough of them. For the more brown look I use the shade 036, a taupe-y color with just a hint of rosiness. This shade really defines the lips and helps them look fuller without even having to overdraw them. On top, I've been using the Lise Watier Fondant Supreme Lipstick in Jennifer. I heard of these from Allana Davison's YouTube videos (if you don't watch her do it now, she's a gem), and she always gave them such high praise that I had to pick a couple up when they had a sale for International Women's Day. These are the most comfortable lipsticks I've ever tried. They feel just like a lip balm, but there's definitely enough pigment to consider them a lipstick rather than a tinted balm. The weartime is impressive, too, considering how creamy they are. Jennifer is the most beautiful nude - it looks pretty pale when swatched, but it lets some of your natural lip shade shine through, so it looks incredibly natural and goes with anything. Together with the lip liner, they make the perfect brown nude pairing that I just can't get enough of.

What are your favorite lip pairs for everyday?