A brush to save your shadow from the dreaded mascara smudge

Thursday, July 30, 2015

You would think that as I've applied makeup since I was a teenager I would have mastered mascara application by now. Not the case. Without fail, multiple times a week I end up getting a smudge on my freshly applied shadow. I really need to get it together...

With all of those failed mascara applications, I've found a savior for fixing it, in an unexpected place! For years I tried to squeeze my pinky to the freshly smudged sections, whilst trying not to destroy the shadow and get wet mascara all over my finger. (I do not want to start all over again.) I'm sure you can picture it or have even been there yourself!

Eventually, I spotted a solution that was (literally) right in front of me the whole time- in my cup full of makeup brushes! I've swapped out the unreliable pinky for a helpful little concealer brush from e.l.f.! I always hated this brush for concealer- it didn't do well with applying it or blending it, so it sat there useless for quite some time. For fixing mascara mess-ups, though? Perfection! It's small, skinny, and dense so it wipes away the smudge like a dream without messing up the rest of your makeup. And it's only $1!

Will you be using this trick on your next mascara accident?

The pastel nail polish you need in your collection

Monday, July 27, 2015

I don't know about you, but when I go to a salon for a manicure I love to try out colors that I've had my eye on for a while, as a "test run". I did just this last week, and now Essie's Go Ginza is at the top of my must-have list! In the bottle it looks like a white-based pale pastel lilac with a soft pink undertone. It reminds me a bit of White Horse Street from Nails Inc's The New White collection (which I've eyed-up for a while now), but it's much more affordable. Once it's applied it takes on a muted shade somewhere in between purple and pink, depending on how the light hits it. I love the color and although I'm a bit of a purple nail polish hoarder, I don't have anything like it in my collection. 

Have you tried Go Ginza before? What color have you been itching to try lately?

Jewelry on repeat

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Seeing as I've been on a couple of jewelry buying binges lately and I have some well-loved and always-worn pieces that I throw on constantly, I thought it was the perfect time to showcase what's in my jewelry rotation. All of it's still available too, (except for one)!

I was never much of a ring wearer, aside from my wedding rings. However, I wanted to add something into the daily mix and stumbled onto the Galisfly site while shopping on Etsy. Everything in this shop is handmade and I instantly fell in love with the Shiny Cuff Ring in Rose Gold ($25). Pretty sure I've worn it every single day since I bought it last fall and I'm completely in love with it! I'd definitely recommend having a browse through the rest of the store, as the other jewelry is just as fab and ranges from simple rings to ear jackets, statement bracelets, and septum rings, among others. (I'm totally not sponsored, I just genuinely love Gal's jewelry and am always up for supporting small shops!)

The newest addition to my daily ring posse is the Parallel Bar Ring in Rose Gold from Baublebar ($28). Can you be in love with a ring? 'Cuz I'm pretty sure I am with this one. It's so simple, yet still eye-catching and I literally stare at it when it's on...like a complete weirdo. The band is slim and incredibly comfortable, too. It really rounds out what was missing in my ring collection.

If you've been a longtime reader of this blog, then you would've seen this Marc Jacobs rose gold and burgundy watch crop up in tons of photos. I've worn this beauty daily for well over a year and I'm still in love with it! The burgundy face, while unconventional, surprising matches everything. Somehow it jives with every outfit, and it's a little more eye-catching than the standard watch face. Unfortunately it's no longer available, but I love this peach one, this off-black one from the same brand, and this one from Fossil.

I've been a fan of Alex and Ani for several years now and have built up a bit of a collection, but I have a few faves that I wear more than others. The newbie to the group is the Flame Rock and Raw Wrap ($68), which I picked up recently when they were having a sale on their site. I love the almost duochrome purple-y tones to the beads, plus the spikes make it so perfect for adding some edge to any outfit. Love this. My first and most worn charm from the brand is the Eye of Horus Bangle in Gold ($28). I've always had a fascination with ancient Egyptian history the eye of Horus is such a stunning symbol. It's claimed to be a token of protection that wards off evil - probably not, but I like the idea! Last up is the Atlantean Wrap in Gold ($58)! I love the shape and lines of it and the added dimension it gives to my wrist party.

I'm a sucker for anything with a snake on it, so of course the Serpentine Cuff in Rose Gold from Baublebar ($32) totally got me. I was torn between this rose gold and crystal version and the gold and black style (both gorgeous!), but I figured the rose gold bracelet went with the rest of my jewelry. The crystals on each snake make it a bit more feminine, too.

Last, but not least is a statement necklace that amps up anything from a printed dress to a simple t-shirt and jeans. The Flurry Fringe Tassel Pendant from Baublebar (Normally $42- currently on sale for $15!) was on my wishlist for ages and when I saw it pop up as the buried bauble for practically a steal of a price I took it as a sign to grab it! I love the antique gold finish and the thick link texture of the chain. The square tassels paired with the mix of clear and opaque crystals make it such a unique necklace in my collection. It reminds me out something straight out of the Gatsby-era and that probably what I love most about it!

Also, just wanted to share a few tips for getting items for a little less. I didn't spend full price on a lot of these, so I wanted to share a couple of the ways that I've scored a discount. I found the watch on a clearance rack in Macy's. I think it was 50% off at the time, as it looked like a fall piece (my guess, based on the deep color) and I bought it in the spring. So keep your eyes posted at jewelry counters, since you never know what you'll find on sale! I picked up the Alex & Ani wrap bracelet for 50% off, combining a site-wide sale with a coupon for taking a survey for the company. The survey came in an email, since I signed up for them after my first purchase! Combining discounts never felt so good haha! As for the discount on the necklace, I get emails from Baublebar too, and when there's a new buried bauble (aka a super-discounted item) for the week, I find out. So when this one came through I jumped on it immediately in case it sold out! So, long story short, keep an eye out for discounts in stores and if you're a fan of a brand, signing up for emails from them might get you a great discount from time to time!

So what's you're favorite piece out of all of these? What the most worn jewelry item in your collection? I'd love to know!

The duochrome shadow that has my attention

Friday, July 10, 2015

Confession: As much as I love Urban Decay Naked palettes, I've never given their single shadows a glance. I don't know why, but they haven't caught my eye and I've always breezed right by them. Until now, that is. I was browsing through Ulta the other day and after swatching a ton of eyeliners, I happened to take a peek at the single shadows. Most looked pretty standard (read: I already have something similar)- brown, taupe, cream- nothing too exciting. A unique little duochrome color caught my eye and I snagged the last one on the shelf (woohoo!).

The duochrome tones of the shade Tonic really pulled me in, and they definitely deliver when applied. The primary color is a soft lilac-lavender with a bright turquoise as the secondary tone which really picks up when the light hits it. I have to admit, as vibrant as it looks in the pan, it's a lot more sheer when applied than I was expecting. The color is still pretty, don't get me wrong, but it's not as vivid as I wanted it to be. 

Applied solo on the lid, it's great for an light wash of color that's perfect for a slightly more colorful, yet still minimal makeup day. It didn't crease on me, even without primer, so the quality of the shadow is on par with what I've come to expect from Urban Decay. If a bit more pop is what you're looking for, I've found that layering it on top of a gray or purple shadow makes the lilac of the shadow stand out more. It's like a wallflower on it's own and a the life of the party on top of other shadows. So depending on what you're looking for, it can really transform! There's another duochrome shade that I might try out next (Lounge)- this one's a deep green with crimson through it- drool-worthy.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm trying to savor the last few days of my week off of work. How much can a person cram into a couple of days?... Let's be honest, I'll probably just end up sleeping in a bit Saturday and Sunday, going kayaking if it doesn't rain, and watching YouTube and Netflix. But who knows- no plans going into a weekend can lead to just about anything!

Laura Geller blush-n-brighten: the collection grows

Monday, July 6, 2015

Yep, I know. How much can a girl talk about one line of blush? I'm apologizing in advance, 'cuz it's about to get gushy here. Since I now have 5 of the Laura Geller Blush-n-Brightens I thought it would be the perfect time to do a little round-up of my thoughts on the shades in my collection. Overall they're long lasting, highly pigmented, and give the cheeks a bit of sheen. All of the shades make your cheeks look like "natural you with a boost". They each give off a gorgeous healthy glow and are really flattering.

Boysenberry // the pink one
One of the newest in my collection, Boysenberry is the most pink and least shimmery of the bunch. It's considered a matte on their website, but when applied, it still has a bit of an understated glow. The peachy-pink tone is a good one if you're looking for a girly and bright cheek. Admittedly I reach for this one the least out of the group, but I still give it a thumbs-up.

Tropic Hues // the one that goes with everything
Where to begin...Tropic Hues is the faintest, but most used one of them all. The shade is shimmery yet sheer and gives the cheeks a light wash of color and glow. It's probably reached for most often because it goes with any makeup look since it's so neutral, but it still gives a light flush of color to the face.

Pink Grapefruit // the one that looks good on everyone
I won't hammer on too much about this, since I've already done a full review (here). Pink Grapefruit is that blush shade that I use when I'm looking for a boost. I love the mauve mixed with the shimmery pink and the glowy-warmth that it gives to my face. The color is more of a medium tone, so it would be really beautiful on many different skin tones. 

Golden Apricot // the one for the peach blush lover
Out of all the shades I have, Golden Apricot just screams summer to me, The peach-heavy color, sprinkled with a hint of gold is perfect if you're looking for that golden goddess look. (Who isn't?) It has just enough pink laced in it to make it nicely balanced, too, so it's not overpoweringly peach.

Sunswept // the one to give you a slight tan
The color that Sunswept gives to your cheeks is a unique one in my blush collection. It's almost a hybrid of a blush and bronzer. This one also has a balanced combination of peach and pink, but it's the level of bronze throughout it that makes it stand out. I swear, every time I wear this and look in the mirror I instantly notice that I look more tan than I normally do. The only downside is that if you're more pale you'll definitely have to add some bronzer around your face to make look more even and natural. 

Have you ever tried the Laura Geller blushes before? If you've tried Roseberry or Pink Buttercream, let me know you're thoughts and if I need to pick them up to round out the collection!

I hope you all had a great weekend! For the 4th of July we didn't do anything special. Steve and I watched fireworks on Thursday night, so on Saturday we did a little shopping (of course!) and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. On Sunday we went kayaking, which I'm sure my arms will be thanking me for all week. I think we're going to go out again on Monday, but to a different creek. We thankfully live in an area that's full of places to go boating, jet skiing, kayaking, canoeing - you name it- so it's about time we got around to picking up some kayaks. It was actually really fun, but definitely a workout- especially for someone as out of shape as me. I'm on vacation all week and I'm really looking forward to relaxing a bit.

My favorite bronzer for...

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Favorite Products by Category series continues! As a pale lady, a bronzer can be both a friend and enemy. It can add a nice warmth and color boost that can sometimes be lacking, but add too much and you can look overdone and unnatural. I rounded up my favorite bronzing products and what I like to use each of them for so let's dive in!

Nars Laguna Bronzer // the one for all-over color
Laguna. You probably know what it is by that one word alone. I resisted buying this for the longest time, but finally buckled back in December. Boy am I glad I did. The faintest hint of sheen throughout pan makes me steer away from using this as a contour, but I love whacking it on all over my temples, cheeks, and well, basically everywhere for a hint of color. In addition to warming up your face, it works wonders as a crease shade for your eyes. Double duty? Bonus points.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer // the one for countour
Benefit's Hoola Bronzer was one of the first non-drugstore products I ever purchased. I'd seen everyone mention it at some point in a makeup tutorial, so naturally I had to get it. Several years later, I still love it just as much as I did when I first picked it up. A gorgeous cool tone, it works great as a contour for a bit of subtle definition, even for pale girls. I tend to concentrate it under the cheekbones and along the jawline when my face is screaming for added dimension. It's incredibly pigmented and very finely milled, so a tiny bit goes a long way. Must be why there's barely a dent in mine...

Pop Beauty Secret Sunshine // the one for a warm glow
This little number showed up in a Ipsy bag last year, and is annoyingly no longer for sale on the Pop Beauty website. (Isn't that always the way?!) However, it's still worth a mention, since there's plenty of similar shimmery bronzers out there that give off the same look. There's definitely a noticeable shimmery sheen to it, so I won't use this for contour and I'm not too keen on it being everywhere, either. I prefer to concentrate this on the cheeks and temples to give me that golden goddess look...or as close as I can get to that via makeup.

Laura Geller Sunswept // the one in a blush
This blush has such a warm, bronze undertone to it that every time I wear it I somehow look tan, without looking unnatural. The pink that runs through it adds just enough color to balance out the bronze qualities, making it such a winner. There's a slight sheen within it, too, giving it another layer of dimension to your cheeks as it catches the light.

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