February Favorites

IMG_8043.JPG

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.

IMG_8044.JPG

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.

IMG_8045.JPG

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.

Five to Try

five-to-try-1.jpg

These kinds of posts are some of my favorites to write - I just love discovering new products that I love and want to recommend. I'm happy about how much healthier my spending habits have been lately, but I still do miss trying new things all the time. 

Glossier Body Hero Daily Perfecting Cream* | This month Glossier launched Body Hero, a duo of body care products to give you that "Glossier Glow" on the other 90% of your body. Buying the Duo saves you $5, but my favorite product of the two (and the standout for me) is the Daily Perfecting Cream. It's a rich, buttery texture - think Priming Moisturizer Rich, but in a tube - but it sinks in really quickly. It has the loveliest orange blossom neroli scent that isn't overpowering and stays close to the body, and it also has the teeniest bit of shimmer to give you a dewy glow. I used to only moisturize my legs after showering, but I love this stuff so much that I actually use it all over. You can get 20% off your first Glossier order through my rep link.

five-to-try-2.jpg

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip LuminizerAnother huge launch this month was that of Fenty Beauty - I tried a bunch of products from the line, and actually the standout to me has been the gloss. I love that she started with just one shade, and it really does seem universal. It's a warm rose nude with a bit of shimmer that looks just beautiful. It makes the lips look fuller without being too over the top, and the formula is comfortable and moisturizing rather than sticky. I love the scent too. You can read my thoughts on the other products I've tried in my Fenty Beauty Review.

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask* | I've heard so many great things about this mask over the years, so I was so excited when it was sent to me this month. I'm all about exfoliating masks to brighten my skin, so I knew my skin would love this. It's a smooth, creamy consistency that spreads over the skin easily, and it smells really citrus-y. It contains glycolic, lactic, citric, and tartaric acids to dissolve dead skin cells and reveal brighter skin. I love this one because it's not harsh on my skin - I can use it in the morning with no leftover redness, and it makes my skin super smooth.

Laneige Lip Sleeping MaskThis is another cult-favorite I finally got my hands on this month. My lips are a little weird and react to random lip balms, so it took me awhile to stray from my Balm Dotcom in the day/Bite Agave Lip Mask at night routine, but this one has fit in nicely and hasn't given me any reactions. It's not quite as thick or sticky as the Bite lip mask - it actually feels quite smooth and soft on the lips. It still manages to stick around all night, and I can still feel it on my lips when I wake up in the morning. I love that it smooths my lips so well overnight without even having to use a lip scrub. It's a great one for lazy nights when I just want to get in bed for sure. Plus, it smells like pink Starbursts (the best flavor), so you really can't go wrong.

Dr. Dana 9-Free Nail Color* | Along with curbing my spending, keeping up with gel manicures went out the window, so the new nail system by Dr. Dana has been perfect! My nails were in rough shape, but the Hydrating Base Coat* has really helped too. They've come out with a line of six shades, all created by strong women - a collection I can get behind. They're all beautiful colors, but my favorites have been Gayle (King), the perfect nude, Judy (Joo), a classic deep red, and TheSkimm, which is their bespoke blue shade. The polishes apply well and aren't streaky, and they have the BEST brush ever. It's so easy to apply to the nail quickly and neatly.

Have you tried anything new that you love lately?

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


New Year's Eve Nails

If I could only talk about one thing that changed about me this year, it would be my sudden interest in keeping my nails painted. Earlier in the year I would go weeks and even months without painting them, resulting in me constantly chewing on them until they were painfully short. Luckily I've been keeping on top of it lately (it makes for good Instagram content), and I've been able to grow them out!

I was playing around with my nail polishes last week and pulled together a festive look. I actually did this for Christmas, but it's lasted really well and it looks glitzy enough for New Years as well. 

I started with my favorite base coat, the Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat, then went on to two coats of the Essie Nail Polish in Blanc. This is my favorite white polish because it's quite opaque and doesn't get streaky. White nails tend to look a little stark on my pale skin, so I decided to jazz up the tips a bit with some glitter. I wanted to do a more ombre look, so I started with Essie Hors D'oeuvres, which has fine blue and silver shimmer and some slightly bigger silver and gold glitter pieces. Then on top of that to build it up towards the ends of my nails, I dotted on some Essie Summit of Style - this is my favorite glitter nail polish as it's just a stunning antique gold. I always whip it out at the holidays - last year I wore it over a deep red. Once I had the glitter looking like I wanted it to, I just finished it off with a coat of the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Topcoat. I really like how these turned out!

What are your favorite nail polishes to pull out for the holidays?


Follow

Essie Favorites (The Neutrals)

When it comes to nail polishes, I’m pretty much only loyal to one brand - Essie. I’ve got a couple Sephora Formula X polishes and some Nails Inc in my collection too, but Essie is just my favorite. There are so many colors to choose from, new shades coming out every season, and most of the shades I’ve tried have an excellent formula. On me, with a base coat and top coat, they don’t chip for days. I thought I’d run through my top favorites, and it turns out they’re all in the same kind of color family - very neutral, of course.

The palest of my favorites is Ballet Slippers. It’s a milky pale pink that is a little sheer, so it takes about three coats if you want a pure opaque color. But this is one of those super pretty “my nails but better” colors when worn more sheer-ly, so I really like that it’s versatile. This is probably my most-worn shade because I just find it so pretty. If you’ve been wanting to try a while manicure but are worried about it looking too stark, try this one - the soft pink hue won’t leave you looking like you’ve painted your nails with Wite-out.

My next favorite is the only one that’s not a typical creamy finish - it’s a metallic. It’s called Buy Me a Cameo, and it’s a beautiful rose gold. This one applies really evenly despite metallics being notoriously streaky. I really like using this color as an accent nail with Ballet Slippers on my other nails.

The perfect neutral shade for me is Ladylike. It’s like a mix of rose, beige, and gray, with maybe a little bit of lavender thrown in the mix too. It’s incredibly flattering on my pink-toned skin and adds a little something-something without being too attention-grabbing. This is reminding me I need to break this one out for my next manicure.

If you took Ladylike and deepened it by a few shades, you’d have Merino Cool. Like Ladylike, it just adds a nice definition to the nails without being a crazy color. But since it is darker, it makes a bit more of a statement. This is a perfect color to wear as the weather starts cooling down.

Lastly is the newest of the favorites, and it’s Angora Cardi. This one is another perfect color for fall because it’s got a berry tone to it, but it’s not dark and vampy like some other Essie loves (Sole Mate being the one that didn’t quite make it into the top 5). It seems like it has a bit of gray in it to tone down the color and make it seem like a neutral. This would be a good one if you normally like red nails but are looking for something a little more toned-down.

What’s your favorite nail polish?


Follow

The Beauty Haul

I don't know what it is about the past few weeks, but I've been on a roll with the hauls. I've picked up so many new beauty bits and bobs, unfortunately for my wallet, but it's all in the name of the blog, people! Trying out new products and finding new favorites is one of my favorite and most satisfying things, so it's a little hard to not get carried away with the spending sometimes! Don't worry though, after my latest splurge I'm going to be a lot more careful about spending money. Sorry for such a disclaimer-y intro - it's my hard-earned money used on stuff that makes me happy, so I guess I don't need to make excuses.

I'll start off with a couple new skincare additions - two masks, to be exact. I've actually used sample sizes of each of these and fell in love, so I just had to get the full size of each. The first is the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask - it's perfect for me because traditional purifying clay masks really dry my skin out, but this one has more hydrating elements so it doesn't leave my skin uncomfortably tight. The other is the Fresh Rose Face Mask, which I just had to pick up when I saw the new limited edition packaging - how beautiful is it, seriously? This one really helps soothe my skin after a long day and feels excellent in the hot weather.

I've also picked up a few affordable makeup bits too. I've been wanting to start trying to wear gel liner more often, so I pulled out the Maybelline one I had lying around to use a couple weeks ago. It completely smudged all over my eyes - it was under my eyes, it was in the crease, it was not a good look. It immediately went in the trash when I got home that day (it was close to expiring anyway). I remembered hearing about a lot of people preferring the L'Oreal version (called their Infallible Lacquer Eyeliner), so I decided to try it out. So far, it's been great, and I actually really like the brush it comes with. I got evenly-shaped (tiny) wings on my first try yesterday! My other drugstore purchase was the Maybelline Full 'n Soft Waterproof Mascara. I really didn't have a need for this - I've got three other drugstore mascaras I rotate through, but I just loved the sound of this one. It really does make your lashes full & soft - very fluttery and perfect for everyday.

You may have seen that last weekend I went to Providence with my boyfriend for our anniversary (I wrote about what beauty bits I packed here), and there was a huge mall near our hotel. While waiting to be able to check into our hotel we decided to pop in and look around (I wanted to see if the Macy's inside stocked the Anastasia Liquid Lipsticks because the one at home doesn't - and this one didn't either). We stumbled upon a Kiko store, so I just had to go in. I came out with three Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows (only two are pictured because I gifted one, shade 36, to my sister). I kept shades 05, a purple-y taupe-y bronze (which looks identical to By Terry's Misty Rock once on the eyes) and 37, a sheeny burgundy color that will be great for fall. I've been wearing 05 nonstop so far, and as long as I use primer underneath it it won't crease throughout the day. I also picked up the Unlimited Stylo Lipstick in shade 13 - it's one of those brown/pink neutral colors that I just can't get enough of. When I was looking at this shade one of the women working told me it was what she was wearing, and it looked awesome on her so I had to get it. It's really creamy and comfortable on the lips but seems to have good longevity as well. And it smells like a MAC lipstick.

My last three purchases are evidence that I should probably stop just wandering around Sephora when I don't really need anything. I picked up two products from Sephora's own line - the Formula X Nail Polish in Thrilling, and the Cream Lip Stain in Marvelous Mauve. I was fully enabled by Jasmine's review on her Formula X Nail Polish and felt like I needed to get one myself. Thrilling is such a pretty color - a bit hard to describe, but it's like a pale dusty rosy lilac color. I posted a picture of it on my nails on my instagram here. And you may remember my review of the Sephora Cream Lip Stains (here), but it's one of my favorite liquid lipstick formulas. I've wanted to get my hands on Marvelous Mauve for ages, but it's always been sold out. I finally caught it in stock, and it's just a perfect mauve-y neutral that feels really comfortable on the lips and isn't overly drying. My last unnecessary Sephora purchase was the Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Role Play. I don't know why I thought I needed this, but it's an impulse purchase I have no regrets over. I love the packaging and think it looks beautiful in photos (expect to see this one popping up in many blog and instagram photos), and it's such a lovely formula. It really is a "gel" consistency, rather than something creamy, but it's still incredibly comfortable on the lips. The color is a lovely darker pinky nude and it actually goes perfectly with the Marc Jacobs (P)Outliner in Prim(rose).

Have you picked up any new bits lately?


Follow