February Favorites

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Remember how I was complaining on and on about how slow January was going by? Well February was the opposite - I can't believe today is the last day! I normally try to keep my favorites post down to 5-6 products, but there were so many great things this month that there's quite a bit to talk about here.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & GlowAt the end of January my sister kindly let me borrow her Filmstar Bronze & Glow for me to try out and determine if I wanted to use it for my wedding makeup. This is 100% worth the hype and I need to buy my own ASAP - the powders are beautiful and pretty much impossible to overdo. The Sculpting shade is the real star for me here, as it's the perfect shade to subtly chisel out some cheekbones while also adding some life to the face.

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Smashbox Photo Finish PrimerizerAnother bandwagon I'm glad I jumped on this month. Normally I skip primers and rely on my skincare to "prime" my skin for makeup, but this is one I can get on board with. It makes my skin look so juicy and plump, smoothing away any dry patches without being greasy at all. I think this does extend the wear of my makeup a little as it keeps my skin from drinking up my foundation.

Dior Addict Lip Glow, 'Berry' | Yes I know - another Lip Glow. I now have three and they're all very important to my collection. The berry shade is the latest addition to my little Lip Glow family, and I just love the color it gives my lips. It doesn't have as much of a color change on my lips as the other two I have, but it's such a beautiful berry shade that adds a nice flush to the lips. I find it goes well with most makeup looks I do, from extremely minimal to something a little more bold.

Stila Shimmer & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow, 'Cloud' | I keep thinking this was an impulse buy, but I had actually been wanting it for weeks when I finally did buy it at the beginning of the month. I had heard such great things about the Shimmer & Glow Eyeshadows, and I love the original Glitter & Glow Eyeshadow I have so I wanted to give it a try. I went for Cloud, a lavender with a stunning gold shift. I don't have anything like it in my collection. I love plum tones on my eyes, and the gold shimmer in it keeps it wearable, almost like a neutral. The formula is just as great as everyone says, and it doesn't crease on me all day long.

Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence* | I finally finished up the Missha Essence I had been using at the beginning of this month and was able to crack this baby open. I had wanted to try the new Fresh Essence since they started teasing it on Instagram, and it's just as good as I was hoping. It has Fresh's signature cucumber scent and feels super cooling and hydrating on the skin. The watery consistency sinks in instantly, and I find it really helps to plump up my skin. With continued use I think it's really helped to smooth out my skin. I pat on a few layers morning and night, and it's always a step in my skincare routine I look forward to.

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Renee Rouleau Rapid Response Detox MasqueThis is another product I saw on Instagram and decided I needed it. The people I saw reviewing it were saying it was helping to clear up their acne caused by hormones and diet, which pretty much explains me to a T. It works by not only helping to clear up bacteria and excess oil but also soothing redness and irritation. I've never tried a mask that was both great for detoxing and also hydrating the skin, and it's definitely something my routine was missing. Right now, I'm using it about once a week and twice in the week leading up to my period to help ward off those breakouts. I've been breaking out from starting Curology this month, but this mask has been keeping my skin in check otherwise.

Glossier You Solid Perfume* | The latest Glossier launch is of course a favorite for the month. I've worn Glossier You every day since it launched in October, and it's quickly become my favorite scent to wear. Now you can easily take it on-the-go for touchups. The solid perfume is housed in the cutest little pebble that fits right in the palm of your hand. It's super weighted so it feels so nice to hold, and it has the signature thumbprint in it to make it easy to open with one hand. It has a super satisfying magnetic click closure too - I find myself just clicking it open and closed absentmindedly sometimes. The scent wears closer to the body than the original spray of course, but I find it has about the same lasting power on me. I like to layer a bit of this on before spraying the perfume before I leave the house - I find it helps it last even longer. 

Essie Grow Stronger Base CoatMy nails were in a sad state for most of January, and I'm trying to get them back into shape now. I picked up the Essie Grow Stronger Base Coat this month based on Tamira Jarrel's recommendation, and I'm obsessed. It leaves a sheer nude tint on the nails, so I've just been wearing it on its own all month. It really has made my nails a lot stronger, and they grew so long that I actually had to cut them last week - normally they break before I get the chance to cut them. I haven't tried it under other nail polishes yet, so I'll report back on that when I do.

Kristin Ess Signature Hair WaterI really need to write about my favorite hair products, because then you'd see what a Kristin Ess love affair I've been having. The Signature Hair Water is a new addition to her line, and I was instantly intrigued - it seemed like it might just be a spray can of water, but I bought it anyway. I've actually found this great for reviving my hair when it starts to get frazzled by the second day after washing - it's got a bit of castor oil in it as well as their "zip-up technology" that help to seal split ends. Normally getting my hair wet without washing it makes it dry super puffy, but this doesn't do that. I've found it super helpful this month when my hair has gotten wet from being outside shoveling - I'm not left with frizzy hat hair afterward.

Books, Movies, TV, Etc | Stop what you're doing right now and go watch "I'll Have What Phil's Having" and "Somebody Feed Phil" on Netflix. They're both docuseries starring Phil Rosenthal (creator of Everybody Loves Raymond), and he goes to different cities around the world and seeks out the best food. He's such a goofy guy and they're both great "feel-good" shows. Speaking of heartwarming shows, I've also been loving the new Queer Eye series - I haven't watched them all yet, but I'm hooked. I love it just as much as the original and I love all five of them. I listened to the audiobook of Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher this month, too, and while I read the book already, I'd highly recommend listening to the audiobook. Carrie Fisher narrates it, and her daughter Billie Lourd reads the journal entries included. It was great to hear it come to life, and it made me miss Carrie Fisher even more. For music, I'm totally behind on this, but I'm finally listening to Lana Del Rey's Lust for Life album and I'm obsessed. I've always been a Lana fan, but until now none of her albums really topped Paradise for me.

What were your favorite things this month?

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

New In Beauty | Christmas Additions

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I had said I wasn't going to write a "what I got for Christmas" post on my blog, but then after (unsurprisingly) spending all of my Christmas money on beauty things, I thought I'd pull together all the new beauty bits I'm trying out - from the ones that were gifted to me by my parents and sister to the ones I went out and bought myself with giftcards after. 

Maison Margiela Replica By The Fireplace Candle

Do candles count as beauty? I'm not sure, so that's why I'm starting with it. I got this from my sister after we both had been pining for the perfume but were unsure of how it would actually smell on us. The candle is absolutely beautiful - the scent still fills a room when lit, but it's not overpowering. The scent is exactly like a fire - cozy, warm, with equal notes of smokiness and sweetness.

Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil, 'Bare Rose'

This was also a present from my sister - she bought herself one back in the VIB sale and was constantly saying how good it was, so I of course needed one too. She got me the most "me" shade of the bunch, Bare Rose, which is a lovely nude pink that goes with everything. They really do feel like a gel on the lips, rather than feeling dry or waxy, and they stick around for so long. They actually remind me of the Marc Jacobs lip liners, which are my other favorites.

Lilah b. B. Merry Divine Duo Lip & Cheek Set

I've been so into lilah b. lately. I had had my eye on their Divine Duos, and this set seemed like the perfect way to try them out. My parents got me this, and I was super excited to open it on Christmas morning and try them out when I put on my makeup for dinner that day. It comes with a beautiful wine shade that sheers out to a perfect flush on both the lips and cheeks, and a subtle rosy highlight that's perfect for more minimal days. The formula is creamy and super easy to blend - it's quite effortless.

Lilah b. Divine Duo Lip & Cheek, 'b. true'

I loved the formula of the Divine Duos in the set that I spent a giftcard on this beautiful neutral pink shade. I haven't used it on my lips yet, but it's probably the most perfect blush color on me. I'm already hooked, and I can already see myself getting very into collecting all these beauties.

Essie Nail Polish, 'Mooning'

I also got this from my parents Christmas morning, and I'm so excited because I was getting tired of rotating through the same few nail polishes over and over. All I really own are nudes and neutrals, so this lovely toned-down blue will be a perfect break from that. Essie polishes are some of my favorites and tend to last the longest on me. I'll be sure to post it on Instagram when I use this on my nails!

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Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation

I haven't needed a new foundation, but I've been on the hunt for one anyway. I always want something with lighter coverage (or that can be sheered out) and a glowy finish, and this ticks all the boxes for me. It feels quite thick coming out of the tube, but it spreads so easily on the skin, and a little goes a long way. It can definitely be built up to a full coverage, though I prefer wearing it more toned-down. It has the most beautiful finish - it's dewy, but it looks so natural and skinlike. I haven't worn it for a full day yet, so I will report back on wear time. I have the shade P10, and it may just be the most perfect foundation match I've ever found.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil-in-Stick Lipstick, '44 Nude Lavalliere'

I 100% got this because of Allana Davison, and she's right - it's the most perfect nude. Every time I've featured it in an Instagram photo, people have asked for the shade name, so I guess it's an all-around crowd-pleaser. YSL lipsticks are some of my favorites and are just beautiful - I had never tried the Oil-In-Stick lipsticks before, but they feel so creamy, comfortable, and moisturizing on the lips. It doesn't last incredibly long on me, but wearing it over the Pat McGrath lip pencil makes it last longer and makes a perfect pair.

Lancome Matte Shaker, 'Rosemantic'

I wasn't planning on spending a Sephora giftcard on this, but I saw they were on sale (I guess they're reformulating them?) and Sephora had an extra discount on sale items. I had one shade and love the formula, so I went for Rosemantic, which is a deeper, cool-toned rose shade. It's so beautiful and will be perfect in this cold weather! 

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow, '757 Dream Matte'

This was another sort-of impulse buy, and although I have way too many eyeshadows (and often don't even wear eyeshadow), I just couldn't pass this up. I've heard great things about this formula, and the collection of cool, purple-toned shades in this little palette had me head over heels. I prefer cool-toned eyeshadows, and I didn't have anything quite like this. The shadows feel so creamy to the touch and are quite pigmented, so I'll report back once I actually use it on my eyes.

Herbivore Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme

I had my eye on this since they first announced its launch, and honestly it was mostly for the color and packaging. I'm a sucker for anything blush pink. But this cream is quickly becoming one of my favorites - I'm still in the early stages of testing, but so far, so good. It's a light, almost air-whipped texture that still drenches the skin in moisture. It feels like almost nothing on the skin, and yet my skin feels completely hydrated - usually I need to feel like I smeared a stick of butter on my face to feel like I'm moisturized, but this one does the job while totally sinking into the skin. I've used it both day and night and it's lovely either way. It plumps up the skin so much that is perfect to use before makeup.

What beauty bits have you picked up recently?


Glossier's New Fragrance that Smells Like You

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Glossier has been killing it with their new releases this year, and their latest one pushes them into another new realm of beauty: fragrance. They've just launched their first perfume, Glossier You. As the name suggests, it's meant to be more of an "enhancer" kind of scent, working with your body chemistry to smell like the best version of You. The whole concept fits in so well with Glossier's minimal, "you're beautiful the way you are" message.

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Glossier You is designed to smell the same for pretty much the whole time you're wearing it, meaning it consists mainly of base notes. There's of course some (synthetic) musk in there to mimic that warm, skinlike smell, as well as ambrox and ambrette, giving it a smooth, comfy vibe. It also has top notes of iris and pink pepper for a sparkling and fresh opening that mellows gracefully into the aforementioned musk. It leaves such a "familiar" smell on the skin, like the way I've always wanted to smell. It makes me feel grown up and put-together, even if I've just rolled out of bed. I've been describing it as the way I want my favorite fragrance to smell after I've been wearing it all day - except it smells that way from the get-go. Glossier says, "Please be advised that the formula comes incomplete. You are the first ingredient." I love that. It really does feel like a natural smell. Your skin, but lovelier.

Because it's got a lot of base notes, it lasts quite a long time (on me, anyway - all body chemistries are different!). I can spray it on at 6am and still smell it on my clothes and body when I come home from work at 5pm. It barely changes as the day goes on, too - it just gets slightly muskier as those sharper top notes wear away. It feels like such a natural scent that I've been wearing it everywhere and getting lots of compliments on it. It's not a "what perfume are you wearing?" but a "You smell good!" You wear the perfume, not the other way around.

Lastly, can we just talk about the bottle? It's weighty and glass and fits perfectly into the palm of my hand. I love the thumbprint indent detail - it makes it so easy and pleasing to hold, and it helps convey that "meant for you" feeling. Like, "it fits in my hand perfectly."

I'm seriously into Glossier You - you can order yours through glossier.com/reps/kelsey and get 10% off your first order (or just to support me if it's not!). If you're not into buying fragrances blindly, all orders will come with a sample of You. Glossier You can be shipped to continental US and Canada as well as the UK, and is $60/$75CAD/£45 for 50 mL.

Will you be trying You?

Glossier You was sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. I make a small commission on orders through my rep link, and I direct that money back into my blog. Your orders allow me to try Glossier's new launches, too!


The Monthly Review | March

March absolutely flew by - all in all it was a good month. I picked out bridesmaids dresses, had a good month at work, and Brett graduated from the Police Academy!

Beauty/Fashion

This was another good month beauty-wise, meaning I spent more than I probably should have on new products. The month started out on a high note with the launch of Glossier's newest product, Cloud Paint* (review). These have been pretty much the only blushes I've used all month - they just look so natural on the skin. I keep thinking I have a definite favorite shade, but it changes every time I put one on - it's very rare that I've found a product where every color is flattering on my skin. I've also been using my custom MAC Palette (review) that my sister made me as an early birthday present nonstop. She filled it with the most perfect shades for me, and it's made me fall back in love with MAC. I've also fallen hard for the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, which I reviewed on Wednesday, and the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer this month - I love the NARS Concealer so much that I bought a second shade to create my perfect shade match.

I've also gotten back into wearing perfume lately - at the beginning of the month I was using a sample of the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose. I'm a sucker for anything rose scented, and I love the smoky edge to this one. At the end of the month I finally treated myself to the Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Perfume Oil, and I could probably never wear another perfume again and be happy about it. It's probably the best-smelling perfume I've ever worn. I'm going to try to wrap my head around the scent and put up a more detailed post on it soon.

I actually have a fashion favorite this month, too - I finally ordered myself the Odette Earrings in Silver from Common Muse when I saw they were back in stock, and I couldn't be happier with them. I love everything on Common Muse's site, so I may have just started a dangerous habit. Their classic, minimal pieces really speak to me - I like that they're not overly dainty.

TV/Music/Podcasts

I had been meaning to start watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix for the longest time, and this month I finally did. I instantly fell in love and keep marathoning it on the weekends. It's such a funny and endearing show, and the whole cast is great. I also watched the entire second season of Love in one sitting when it was released this month - for some reason I don't even really like either main character, but I still can't get enough of the show and wish I could have Mickey's entire wardrobe.

Once again, I'm still on my Van Morrison/Simon & Garfunkel/Carole King kick, but with the release of Ed Sheeran's Divide, I've had some new stuff to listen to. I love pretty much every song on it, but I actually think Nancy Mulligan might be my favorite.

I got back into podcasts this month - the three I've been rotating between have been Fat Mascara, You Must Remember This, and My Dad Wrote a Porno. Fat Mascara was great this month especially because they had Emily Weiss, CEO and Founder of Glossier, on as their interviewee - it was definitely my favorite episode so far. You Must Remember This has been super interesting this month too, as the "Dead Blondes" series continues. There were three episodes dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, and as someone who has only seen two of her films, it was really fascinating to learn more about her life. And of course, my favorite thing to listen to on my way home from a long day at work is My Dad Wrote a Porno. It's a guy whose father has written a self-published erotic novel, and he and two of his friends get together every week to read a chapter. It's absolutely hilarious, and I'm sure people driving by me think I'm a maniac laughing in my car.

Other Highlights

One last physical object that's been a real treat to use this month has been my new camera! I upgraded from my five-year-old Canon Powershot to a Canon Rebel T5i - my first DSLR! It's been so much fun taking photos and learning all the settings, and I can already tell an improvement in my photos. The kit lens it came with has been great, but I also got myself a 50mm lens that I love using - I used the kit lens for the flatlay at the top of this post, but the other photos within the post were taken with the 50mm. 

Onto actual life highlights, I mentioned I picked out my bridesmaids dresses this month! My sister had a big fashion show trying on dress after dress until we settled on two she loved - one had a little bit of sparkle, so we decided that she would wear that one as my Maid of Honor, and then my other three bridesmaids would wear the other dress we loved. The other big thing this month was that Brett finally graduated from the Police Academy, and at the top of his class! I don't think I've ever felt more proud and happy for him. He starts his first official day on the job today!

I hope everyone had a great March and an even better April! What were the highlights of your month?


January Favorites

January has been a wild month full of change for me. I started a new job where I actually get to use the chemistry degree I worked so hard for, but as the company is about an hour and a half away from where I lived with my parents, I moved out for the first time and into an apartment with my boyfriend. I haven't had much time for beauty in all the craziness of packing up my life and relocating, but I managed to still find a few standouts for the month.

The thing I'm most excited about is the lipstick I made at the Bite Beauty Lip Lab (I wrote a post about my whole experience here). It's obviously the perfect shade in my opinion, because I picked it out. It's the ultimate dusty rose shade for my complexion - since my skin has so much pink in it, most dusty rose shades just look brown. But this has the perfect amount of pink in it for me. I had it made in the Luminous Creme formula which is absolutely gorgeous as well. For more details on what shades were mixed to make this color, check out the post about my trip to the Lip Lab.

Another makeup bit I fell head over heels for this month is the Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara. I had previously thought that I would never again buy a high end mascara, but here we are. After watching many, many Allana Davison videos and swooning over how pretty her eyelashes always looked, I took the plunge and ordered a tube when I got a Sephora giftcard for Christmas. I'm absolutely hooked - it fans out my lashes and makes them look so much fuller and thicker. And, as a plus, it lasts all day without smudging on me, despite it not being waterproof.

The last piece of makeup I've been loving this month is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. If I did a December Favorites post, this would have shown up there. But two months in, and I'm still in love. I never used powder before this, but it really helps my makeup last a bit longer without mattifying my skin. It keeps the skin looking so radiant, which is always what I go for, and the subtle yellow shade helps to counteract the redness I've been getting in my cheeks.

For skincare I've been all about the newly-released Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser - I've only been using this for a couple weeks, but it's already earned its place in a favorites roundup. This is seriously the best face wash I've ever used - never before has my skin felt so clean without a trace of tightness. And now that I don't wear waterproof mascara, it easily takes all my makeup off at night.

My last beauty favorite of the month has been the Narciso Rodriguez For Her Eau de Parfum. I pretty much begged and not-so-subtly hinted to my boyfriend to get me a bottle of this for Christmas. The bottle itself is beautiful, and it's got the most lovely scent - notes of musk, iris powder, rose petals, and benzoin balm. It smells floral, but in a totally different way than other floral perfumes I own (I'm sorry I can't describe it any better). It lasts such a long time on me, too.

What were your favorites this month?


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Spring Fragrances

For a long time I was really intrigued by the idea of a “signature scent,” and I had found it in the original Stella Eau de Parfum by Stella McCartney. But as we move into warmer weather, I was finding that it was a bit too warm for me to spritz on during hot sunny days. So I dropped the idea of only wearing one scent all year round and took off for Sephora.

The first one I was drawn to was, of course, the newly-released Stella Eau de Toilette. It smells almost identical to the Stella EDP on me, but it doesn’t have those warm notes. Instead it’s floral yet fresh and perfect for spring and summer - the top notes of mandarin and frozen lemon really make this rose-y scent crisp and light. It lasts a couple hours on me before I feel like I can’t smell it at all anymore. I was spritzing this every day nonstop until the Philosophy Fresh Cream fragrance fell into my clutches (aka I smelled it when I bought the Stella, couldn’t get it out of my mind for 3 days, and finally ordered it). The Fresh Cream scent isn’t something I thought I would like - I usually go for more floral scents (hence my fragrance wardrobe of Stella, Chloe, and Marc Jacobs Daisy) than sugary sweet ones. Usually vanilla fragrances are too warm or synthetic-smelling for me, but this one is absolutely perfect. It smells like vanilla for sure, but just pure, fresh vanilla if that makes sense. Think of eating a vanilla sundae (complete with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles, of course) outside on a sunny spring day, and you’ll have this scent. This one lasts almost all day on me - one spritz and I’m still catching whiffs any time my wrist happens to be anywhere near my nose by the time I’m ready to head home from work. Out of these two new additions I’m definitely more a fan of the Philosophy Fresh Cream (as I’m sure you can tell from this rave), but once the excitement about it dies down a little I’m sure the Stella EDT will find its way back into the rotation. The way I see it, I now have a new spring scent for any occasion: when I’m feeling something floral, I’ll reach for Stella, and when I want something sweet, I’ll look no further than the Fresh Cream.

Have you tried either of these fragrances?


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