Subtle Color

NYX Retractable LIner

NYX Retractable Liner

Colorful eyeliner is always a popular beauty trend in the summer! If you’re brave, you can go for the full on colorful eyeshadow, and I will definitely admire you. However, if you’re like me, and you are much more comfortable with a more subtle makeup look, try a colorful eyeliner. Given that these are very trendy and seasonal, I decided to pick up a few drugstore ones to try out the trend.

At only $4.50 a piece, these NYX Retractable Eyeliners (I have the colors Aqua Green and Purple) won’t break the bank, and they work really well! They are very creamy, so there is no pulling on the eye as you apply them, and I found that they lasted all day on me without any issues, even on the waterline. In my opinion, they are a decent drugstore dupe for the Stila Water Proof Smudge Sticks ($20), which I also love. The only difference is in opacity – these take a little more layering to be entirely opaque, but it hasn’t bothered me with these colors. If I were using a darker color, I think I would have an issue with the pigmentation.

I like to apply either of these on my waterline with any neutral eyeshadow look for a quick pop of color. When I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I’ll apply them together as eyeliner, starting with the green on the inner part of the lid, and then switching to the purple about 2/3 of the way over. I blend them where they meet in the middle to create almost a “tye-dye” eyeliner. Top it with a little mascara, and you have a perfect little summer eye makeup look!

Have you tried colorful eyeliner yet?

June Favorites

June Favorites

June has been an entire month of vacation for me, which has obviously been amazing. I’ve been back home in the south, and I spent a couple weeks on the coast, so my makeup routine has been fairly minimal, but I have found some things that I have really been enjoying.

I’ll start with the obvious: those beautiful stilettos! I found those on sale at TJ Maxx recently, and I am absolutely in love with them. They’re by BCBGeneration, and I would guess that they are from a few seasons ago, because I cannot seem to track them down anywhere.  I love how sleek and modern they are, and as soon as I saw them, I knew they had to be mine.

I’ve also been loving the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray ($26). I tried quite a few salt-surf-texture sprays before I decided on this one, and I am fairly certain that this one is the most effective for my hair type (fine hair, but lots of it). I have naturally curly/wavy hair, and it helps to define my curls without being crispy. Plus, it is so nice to be able to jump out of the shower, spray this on and go, and know that my hair is going to look nice!

The NARS And God Created the Woman palette ($59) is certainly a blogger favorite, and it has become a favorite of mine recently. It was limited edition, but it is still available on Sephora.com. I love how small it is, especially for travel, and I am able to create any eye look I want with just these 6 shades, from a barely-there beige look, to a deep smokey eye – somehow any combination of these shadows looks great together.

One of my only new beauty purchases this month was the Tarte Bamboo FANatic Fanned Blush Brush ($29), which has been on my wishlist for ages. I think they are discontinuing it, because it is not on the Tarte website, and it is no longer in Sephora stores, but it is still available on Sephora.com. It is super soft and sparse, and it only deposits a small amount of color onto your face. I love to use this for my more intense blushes, as well as highly pigmented powder highlighters that are easy to over-apply (looking at you, Mary Lou-Manizer).

Despite the fact that I have hardly worn any foundation this month, I fell in love with the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation ($55) in the shade Nude. I got a whole bunch of samples of this foundation from Sephora at some point, and I had put off using them until recently. It’s a natural looking matte, and it feels absolutely divine – super lightweight. I will definitely be buying this in the full size shortly.

For under the Hourglass foundation, I started using the Laura Mercier Radiance Primer ($20 for travel size), which I got as a points perk from Sephora. I couldn’t use this previously because I was too pale and it made me look orange, but now, it looks great. It adds just the right amount of glow, especially under a matte foundation. Later in the day, if my foundation is looking iffy due to the heat and humidity, I’ve been touching up with a little bit of the bareMinerals Ready Touch Up Veil ($23) in Translucent, which I got as part of the Allure Summer Beauty Box. It is easy to overapply, but if applied lightly with a fluffy brush, it is one of the best mattifying powders I’ve ever used.

Now onto July and a new career path! What have been your favorite products this month?

Makeup on Island Time

Island Makeup

So I’ve been on vacation on the Outer Banks with my family for the past few weeks, which has (obviously) been awesome! I don’t get to spend nearly as much time with my family as I’d like, what with living 500 miles away and all. We always say that everything here is on “island time,” a.k.a. as slow and easy as possible, and my makeup routine has been no exception.

I usually just slap on some SPF if we are going to the beach all day, but if we are going out somewhere, I’ll reach for the Stila CC Cream in 02 Light. I find traditional bases a bit too heavy for the summer heat down here, and this greenish cream sinks into your skin like a moisturizer while evening out skin tone. If I need to, I’ll use the MUFE Full Cover Concealer in 5 Vanilla to touch up any spots. To set it, I dust some of my NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder ($35) all over my face with a fluffy, synthetic brush. It is translucent, and it doesn’t look matte, but it does help tone down shine.

For cheeks, I’ve been using the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge ($26) in Hibiscus (which was limited edition, but Calypso Coral is close-ish), just dabbed on and blended out with my fingers – nothing too scientific. This stuff does not budge on your cheeks, which is ideal for the humidity here! I’ve also been loving the untinted Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment ($23) for my lips – it is a basic balm that has SPF in it. Ain’t nobody got time for burnt lips.

I’ve been skipping eyeshadow and eyeliner and just opting for a natural-looking, defining mascara (mine of choice has been the Dolce & Gabbana PassionEyes Mascara ($32) in Black). Once I’ve applied it, I use an angled eyeshadow brush to press a bit of it into the roots of my lashes, which helps to open up the eye and make my lashes look naturally full.

Last, but not least, I spritz the Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray ($15) on my hair for beachy texture, and I’m done! This stuff is better than any salt spray I’ve tried. It gives awesome, natural texture without looking like a mess. Plus my hair has been loving this break from the heat tools I usually use on it!

Five minutes and I am ready to go! What do y’all use on holiday/vacation?

Neutral Palette #9: Urban Decay Naked Palette

Urban Decay Naked 1

Ah, an oldie, but such a goodie! No series of blog posts on neutral eyeshadow palettes would be complete without talking about the Urban Decay Naked Palettes, the first of which is the warm-toned Naked 1 ($54). This is the palette that started the neutral palette frenzy that has occured over the past few years. I’ll try to keep this pretty short because this came out years and years ago, but really, it is one of the best palettes out there. No one does a neutral palette quite like Urban Decay does.

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Review: NYX Powder Blush in Cinnamon

NYX Powder Blush

In a recent NYX haul, I picked up a bright orange blush in the form of the NYX Powder Blush ($5) in Cinnamon. I know, I know, I also thought it may be terrifying. Since I have olive undertones, orange is not one of my most flattering makeup colors – true story, the orange lipstick makes my skin look grey, but I figured at $5 (and I had 25% off of that), what’s the harm?

This is quite an intense color in the pan, but it isn’t overly pigmented, which I think is a good thing when it comes to neon blush. Cinnamon is a true, crayola-crayon orange, and it swatches quite bright as well on my arm, but blended out, it actually looks more natural than many of my more pink blushes. The effect is almost like a brightening bronzer, or a cross between a bronzer and a peach blush. It gives some color to the cheeks, but it doesn’t resemble a “flush” in any way; it’s more like a “glow.” I can’t say that orange blush has ever been on my radar before, but after seeing the Daniel Sandler Watercolor Blush in Trip, it skyrocketed to the top of my wishlist.

You can see thus blush on me in my last post!

The packaging is sleek, simply, and fairly sturdy, with a little window so you can see the product inside. The texture of the blush isn’t overly soft, so I’d definitely feel comfortable traveling with this – plus it is super compact (only slightly larger than the Rimmel blushes).

As with most NYX products, the NYX Powder Blush is a great deal for the price. The texture isn’t chalky, and it does not emphasize pores, but the wear time on me is only about 5 hours. Overall, I’m pretty impressed, and I may try to branch out and buy more orange makeup!

Have you tried a NYX Powder Blush?

Big Life Changes + FOTD

FOTD

Guys. Huge news. HUGE. I quit my investment banking job this month. After a year of 90 hour weeks, boring financial models, and endless amount of bullshit, I am done! I couldn’t write about it on here previously because I hadn’t told my bosses that I was leaving yet, but now, it is official. I’ll be staying in New York City, which I love, and I’m moving to a job in the retail industry starting in July that is much more up my alley. It’s a product development role, and I am confident that it’s a step in the right direction career wise. I haven’t been this excited for a change like this in ages! Hopefully, I’ll be able to establish a healthy work/life balance, work out more, and be able to enjoy Manhattan more fully.

I am super, super excited about that, but in the meantime, I get to spend June at home with my family! I’ll be on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for most of that month (where there is no wifi), so I won’t be too active on social media, but I’ll still be blogging. (:

What’s on my face? I just took this quickly before running out the door to meet a friend for lunch – 10 minute makeup. Stila CC Cream in Light ($44) | Bobbi Brown Corrector ($24) in Light Peach | Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29) in Vanilla | bareMinerals Touch Up Veil ($23) in Translucent | NYX Powder Blush ($5) in Cinnamon | Urban Decay Eye Primer ($12) | UD Eyeshadow in Verve (Naked 2: $54, Singke Eyeshadow: $18) | The Body Shop Shimmer Brick ($22) in Green Light (the dark teal) | Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen ($12) in Emerald Gold | Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs Lip Color in Blush Beige

Review: Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara

Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara

You know, I’m surprised the Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara ($9) doesn’t get more blogger coverage because it really is a good drugstore mascara! I’m pretty picky about mascaras, and I like to have a bunch of different ones available – sometimes I want volume and drama, other times I want my-lashes-but-better, and some days I want length on length on length. This mascara is the perfect lengthening mascara.

I think the brush on mine is just bent, but in general, it’s a pretty large, straight brush that does a good job of separating the lashes. The bristles are very stiff! The formula is not too wet, but not dry either, and it layers very well. I never have any clumping issues. I wouldn’t say this is the most dramatic mascara, but it definitely looks like you have mascara on when you wear it. It’s one of my favorites to pair with a simple cat eye.

Maybelline Lash Stiletto Mascara Applied

The left eye has two coats of the Maybelline Lash Stiletto on, and the right eye has no mascara at all. (Both eyes have the L’Oreal Super Liner applied.) As you can see, it does a really good job of opening up the eye. It’s not clumpy, and the brush allows easy access to those corner lashes. If you are looking for a super-dramatic, volumizing mascara, this isn’t your pick, but if you’re looking for feathery, envy-inducing length, I would definitely recommend it. Overall, I’m really pleased, and I would definitely repurchase this!

Have you tried the Maybelline Lash Stiletto Ultimate Length Mascara?

The Body Shop Haul

Body Shop Haul

Let me tell you, The Body Shop has awesome sales. 40% off the whole store? I couldn’t resist! My Body Shop wish list has been growing in recent weeks, especially with the blanket coverage of the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil. I’ve used all of these products for a couple weeks now, and overall, I’d consider this haul a pretty good success!

Obviously, I picked up with Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil ($18). I’ve never tried a cleansing oil before, so I don’t have anything to base my impression on, but I think I like it. It does a decent job of melting away makeup, and it doesn’t leave any residue. I still have to really soak my eyelashes in it to get mascara off, but luckily, it’s very gentle on the eyes. I’m not as amazed as other bloggers have seemed to be, but I do like it.

I also grabbed two random makeup picks, one of the Color Crush Shine Lip Colors ($13) in Sunset Romance, and a Shimmer Cube Eyeshadow Set ($22) in Green Light. The lip color is one of my new favorites; it’s a super sheer coral-red that gives a nice “just bitten” color to the lips. I’ve loved it for daytime recently! I had been wanting to try one of the shimmer cube eyeshadows, so of course I looked first at the neutrals, but I ultimately decided that since I have so many neutrals, it made more sense to branch out a little and get a set of greens. I love the dark teal in the bottom right corner above – it’s a gorgeous eyeliner color when used on a wet brush, and it also looks subtle and not obnoxious in the corner or crease of a smokey eye.

Last but not least, I purchased the Honey Bronzer ($20) in 02 Fair Matte. At this point, who hasn’t tried this product? I don’t think I’ve read a bad review of this anywhere. It is super subtle and lovely and everything everyone says it is. You can’t go wrong with it, plus it is hard to find a pale, matte bronzer.

What have you been loving from The Body Shop?

But I’m Not a Lip Gloss Girl…

Lip Gloss Roundup

For someone who is “not a lip gloss girl,” I sure have a lot of lip gloss products. Some of them I’ve received as samples, or as part of a set of products, but in general, I think I justify buying them by thinking, “maybe this one will convert me to lip glosses.” While I haven’t loved all of these, and I’m still pretty picky about them, I do think I have been successfully converted, and I find myself using a couple of these all the time!

The Can’t-Live-Without-It Glosses

The Maybelline Color Elixir Lip Glosses ($9) (pictured above in Rose Redefined and Breathtaking Apricot) are my favorite lip glosses to date. They aren’t sticky at all, and they leave a nice stain as they fade, which is tough to find in a lip gloss. They have a subtle shimmer that is actually very flattering!

The L’Oreal Color Riche Extraordinaire Lip Colors ($10) are similar – they go on like a gloss, and once the gloss wears off, they leave a nice stain behind. I have the shade 202 Coral Encore; it is super pigmented, and it wears 4 hours on me, which is ages for a gloss! I love both of these, and I would definitely purchase other colors.

I also loved the NYX Butter Gloss ($5)! It isn’t even remotely sticky, and the vanilla smell (which is actually pleasant) wears off after about a minute. These lip glosses are super pigmented, but I have Tiramisu, which is nearly my exact lip color. I use it when I have either bright bright blush or heavy eye makeup on to pull my makeup together.

The Take-It-Or-Leave-It Glosses

I just can’t make up my mind about The Maybelline Color Sensational High Shine Lip Gloss ($4) in Captivating Coral, due in part to the fact that this “coral” is actually orange, and therefore pretty unflattering on my olive complexion, so I don’t wear it that often. That being said, the formula isn’t bad. It’s decently pigmented and it isn’t sticky, but it has some glitter in it. You can’t see the glitter at all once it is applied, but you can feel it – this gloss is actually kind of gritty, which is bizarre.

The jury is also out on the NARS Lip Glosses ($26). I got the shade Orgasm as a deluxe sample from Sephora, and let me tell you, it matches the blush almost perfectly. It is a super shimmery (but not glittery) peachy-pink. This is one of the most pigmented lip glosses I have ever used – it goes on nearly opaque, and the formula is one of the best I’ve used. It almost looks like a pink-to-orange duochrome on the lips, and I can’t think of a single occasion where I would need a duochrome lip gloss. I’ve been applying two dots on the lips and sheering it out with my finger, and it seems to give a flattering sheen to the lips. Even in a different color though, is any lip gloss $26 good?

My last undecided lip gloss is the L’Oreal Color Caresse Wet Shine Stain ($10), which is a gloss-stain hybrid. This is unlike anything I’ve ever used – it goes on like a gloss and dries almost like a plastic coating on your lips that stays super shiny for a few hours. It’s not uncomfortable, but it does feel a little strange. I have Eternally Nude, a dark, warm nude, and I do like it, but the finish is pretty unique. I don’t hate it, but I can see how some people would.

The Can-We-Not? Glosses

I only have one lip gloss purchase regret – The Tanya Burr Lip Gloss ($13). This was one of the biggest disappointments for me, given that bloggers everywhere raved about this gloss! I have the shade Let’s Travel the World, a pretty sheer red, and it smells like a watermelon lollipop. Weirdly though, the smell does not go away. It becomes a revolting smell after 5 minutes of wear when you constantly have to smell it, plus this gloss is super sticky, and it gets on my teeth (a.k.a. everything I do not like in a lip gloss).

I also really didn’t like the Cargo Lip Gloss ($7) in Tuscany, a pale pink with some glitter that goes on almost like a clear gloss. I hate, hate, hate to rag on Cargo Cosmetics, because I really do love the brand in general, but this lip gloss is fairly sticky. With all the innovation in lip gloss over the past few years, I’m especially critical of sticky lip glosses because it is just not necessary anymore.

Any recommendations for me? What are your favorite glosses?

May Favorites

May Favorites

This has been an extraordinarily busy month for me! (More on that later this week.) I have found myself reaching for whatever is quickest and easiest in the mornings this month, partly because I’m so bad at getting up early, and partly because I’ve been doing a lot of going out and celebrating lately, and the last thing hungover-me wants to do is put on a full face of makeup.

I’ve talked before about how brunch is a big event here in New York. Nothing fixes the hangover from Friday night like a champagne brunch on Saturday morning. This past Saturday, I threw on some of my Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer ($32) in 5 Vanilla under my eyes and on any blemishes, MAC’s Lady Danger ($16) on the lips, and topped it off with some mascara – 3 minutes and out the door. A nice bright lipstick makes me look and feel more put together than I actually am, which has been crucial over the past month for me.

If I do put a little more makeup on, I find myself reaching for L’Oreal’s Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner ($9). It’s one of the easiest to apply liquid eyeliners that I have ever used! The nib is fine and stiff; it is very easy to be precise and to get that elusive cat flick. I am in no way an eyeliner expert, and even I can get even winged eyeliner with this stuff. It’s

I also purchased the MAC 217 Blending Brush ($24) earlier this month (finally, I know). I won’t say too much about it, because every blogger on the planet loves this brush, but this baby really is indispensable. It is the perfect length and stiffness for blending, and it makes a quick smokey eye impossible to screw up. MAC has nailed it with the 217, and I hardly use any other brush any more.

As far as nail polish is concerned, I’ve been loving Sally Hansen’s Triple Shine Polish ($5) in Dive In. I got this as a part of the Allure Summer 2014 Beauty Box, and the teal is such a perfect summer color, not to mention that the formula is great. It just screams “take me to the beach and put a margarita in my hand,” which is exactly how I feel right about now!

Last but not least, I finally got my hands on the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water ($9)! Micellar waters have not caught on the the US yet, and boy are we missing out! This stuff is great! It melts makeup away, and it is just as easy to use as a makeup wipe, but it doesn’t leave a residue, and you don’t have to pull your eyelashes out to get mascara off. Even after a long night out, I have no excuse not to take my makeup off because this stuff literally only takes 2 minutes, even for a full face of makeup.

Clearly the theme of my month was laziness – ha! What are your favorites for May?

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