Lash Queen

23 Dec

Have you ever done something that you felt was a total game-changer but actually sounded insane when you explained it to other people? That’s how I feel about getting a lash perm (also known by its less aggressive name, the “lash lift”).

I wrote that opening back in 2015, in a much-edited but never-published blog post about my lash perm experience and obsession. I also wrote this:

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, a lash perm is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Yes, it sounds crazy and maybe a bit reckless. If you’ve ever gotten a perm (or, like me, had to wait at the salon countless times while your mom got one), you know those chemicals smell slightly terrifying. Having them in close proximity to my eyeballs and having to keep my eyes closed for the better part of an hour left me thinking, “Will I be blind by the end of this? Did I just make a huge mistake?!” However, when it finally came time for me to open my eyes after my first perm and look in the mirror, I had the lashes of my dreams that lasted well over two months.

The lashes of my dreams…

Well friends, my dreams have gotten darker, longer, fuller, and pricer. Yes, I’ve become a willing victim to the siren song of lash extensions. And I’m fully obsessed.

A brief photo history:

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Clean lashes with no perm // Clean lashes with fresh perm // Permed lashes with a few coats of Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara // Lash extensions (+ eyeshadow & tightline)

Rather than rambling on about the in-salon process, I wanted to focus today’s post around my top 3 tips for maintaining them. Most places will recommend coming in for a fill every 2-3 weeks, but I can usually stretch to 4 weeks by following these simple rules:

  1. Cleanse carefully | This is KEY to ensuring that my precious extensions stay looking as fly as possible for as long as possible. I still use my Foreo Luna Mini + Fresh Soy Cleanser combo for daily morning and evening cleansing. Now, instead of splashing water on my face to rinse all willy-nilly, I use a washcloth for precision rinsing, especially around my eye area. I bought a bulk pack of washcloths from Amazon so I can use fresh ones often. I also take care to wipe across my eyelids to remove any oil build-up because oil is enemy #1 to lash extensions. I’ve seen a ton of blogs saying not to get your extensions wet, but you really do need to clean around there for the health of your eyes. Google pictures of people who didn’t do this at your own risk. I try not to get mine wet for at least 24, max 48 hours after a fill and avoid excess water in general, but I cannot stress enough that optical hygiene is important! To finish the cleansing process, I use a spoolie to comb through the lashes and make them look pretty and fluffy again.
  2. Sleep softly | If you’re not already using a satin pillowcase, you should be. Have you ordered one yet? I’ll wait. Not only do they help keep your hair looking fresh (particularly if you’re living on 3-4 days of dry shampoo, may or may not be speaking from experience here) and reduce wrinkles, but they are also gentle on lash extensions if you tend to shove your face deep into your pillow when you sleep. I’m more of a back/side sleeper myself, but I take extra comfort in knowing that my lashes are semi-protected if I get too turnt…toward my pillow. Also, no matter how much you want to, do not rub your eyes when you wake up. Rub your eyes as little as possible.
  3. Minimize makeup | I’ve already cut minutes out of my makeup routine because I don’t have to do the ol’ lash curler and mascara dance anymore, and I save even more time by getting a relatively dramatic lash style that requires little to no additional makeup day-to-day. It also saves my lashes because I’m not rubbing brushes and eyeliners into my lash line on a daily basis. On days that I wear eye makeup, I only use primer and powder eyeshadows. I love me some Kat Von D Tattoo liner, but I’ve been off of it since my lash perm days ended. Powders are much easier to remove. At the end of the day, I use the Garnier SkinActive micellar water (pink cap) on my eyes and all over my face for daily makeup removal, which I like better than the Simple version. Garnier also just started making this micellar water available in wipe form!

Before I signed off, I wanted to address the myth that lash extensions wreck your real lashes. Everyone’s eyelashes are on a natural growth cycle that takes about 4-6 weeks, and some of them fall out every day. When those lashes fall out attached to a lash extension, it feels more dramatic because the fake hairs are so bold. However, if you’re taking care of them and get them removed properly when you’re done, you shouldn’t see much damage.

Have you had lash extensions? Do you get any special (but necessary, right? right?!) beauty treatments?

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Wacky // Weird // Wonderful

15 Aug

Today, I wanted to show you the bolder side of my makeup stash. Because sometimes you just have to buy some unconventional sh*t.

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Let’s start with the newest addition to my collection: the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit in Moonchild. I didn’t even know this was coming out, but one morning I opened up Instagram, spotted it, and immediately logged onto the ABH website. It happened to be the same day this palette launched, so there wasn’t much out there yet in terms of reviews. I hesitated for a moment, but the shades were more unique than anything else I’d seen before so I just went for it.

These can all be applied as a sheer wash (this is how I usually wear them) or built up for maximum impact. My current favorites are Blue Ice, Blue Moon, and Pink Heart. I’ve also been having tons of fun layering them! Totally worth the price for 6 such special shades.

The other 3 products are all for the lips. If I had to pick one makeup item to go bold with, it would hands-down be lipstick. I find lip products to be the easiest for experimentation. I don’t have to worry about blending or anything, and if  a certain lipstick doesn’t go with my vibe for the day, it’s super easy to remove and apply a different one.

Get ready of the close-ups…

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Top to Bottom: NYX Liquid Suede in Stone Fox, Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Witches, MAC Lipstick in Cyber

NYX’s Liquid Suede in Stone Fox is one that I’ve had my eye on since it first launched. I’d never seen a color like it on the drugstore scene before. It’s a stunning blue-grey that dries down to what I would call a demi-matte finish. I had read and watched reviews that the formula wasn’t particularly long-lasting, so I didn’t rush out to purchase it. However, on a particularly moody day, we crossed paths and it became mine. This stuff definitely doesn’t live up to its waterproof claim, but I’ve gotten through a full day of work with it intact (I ate very carefully during lunch).

Next is Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Witches. This is a true black that dries down to a full matte finish. I wanted my first black lipstick to be as budge-proof as possible, and Kat Von D’s formula fits the bill. This formula is surprisingly comfortable, and it lasts as long as you avoid oily foods. Between all 3 lip products, I actually find this to be the most wearable in terms of color and comfort!

Finally, we have MAC’s Cyber. This one was actually my first truly bold lip purchase – I don’t count reds, pinks, or lighter purples as bold. I would classify this product as “aggressive” both in shade and formula. Cyber is a blackened purple in MAC’s Satin formula, which I picked since it’s not as drying as their Matte formulas. That being said, in sacrificing a matte finish, I also sacrificed some wear time. To maximize its longevity, I team Cyber up with a lip liner (MAC’s Nightmoth is my vampy go-to) and touch up as needed throughout the day.

What’s the weirdest product in your collection?

Complexion Reflection

12 Jul

I remember the first time I got color-matched for my first foundation like it was yesterday. My neighbor was a Mary Kay saleswoman, so my mom hosted a party for a few of my girlfriends. We were freshmen in high school. The neighbor extolled the virtues of foundation above all of the other products on the table. It would even out our adolescent, acne-spotted skin! It would act as a protective barrier against environmental pollution! It would make us women!

At that point, my skin wasn’t particularly bad, but it was definitely not perfect. I constantly changed my face washes, toners, and and spot treatments throughout high school. Mary Kay foundations were eventually swapped out for Clinique ones, which I moved on from once I got to college and had to start paying for my own makeup (read: I started experimenting with the drugstore stuff).

Two years out of school, I can finally say that I’m comfortable with my bare skin. I don’t go totally makeup-free on the daily, but if I have to leave the house without anything on, I don’t mind. Day-to-day, I cover any “imperfections” with my MUFE Full Cover Concealer, treat my under-eye area with the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Under Eye Eraser, and top it all off with a light layer of my L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte 16hr Powder.

complexion products

hate to say it, but truly investing in my skincare has made an immeasurable difference for me. I already talked about my love for Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Oil in my previous post, and I’ve also been ride-or-die for…

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  • Foreo Luna Mini | Okay, “investing” isn’t 100% true for this one, as I received mine as a gift from a very generous friend. However, this little wonder has been a game-changer and I can’t imaging washing my face without it again. I use it morning and night (after removing my makeup) and pair it with the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.
  • Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield | This product moisturizes, provides SPF, and blurs my pores, so it definitely helps me feel extra comfortable sans makeup. I also like Juice Beauty’s SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer, but Murad has the upper edge given the pore situation.
  • Nivea Men’s Sensitive Post Shave Balm | This was all the rage on the internet a few months back thanks to goddess vlogger NikkieTutorials. It extends the wear of my makeup, but even better is that I’ve found that the touch of witch hazel in the formula helps calm my skin and keep it clear.
  • Pixi Glow Tonic | Y’all. I don’t even know how many bottles of this I’ve gone through. I use it morning and night and can absolutely tell a difference when I go without for a few days (aka on weekends when I maybe indulge too much).
  • Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask | Not only does this smell like you’re rubbing pumpkin pie all over your face, but it WORKS. Whether I’m feeling a stress breakout coming on or I forgot to wash my face for a few days (see above), I always turn to this to get my skin back on track. I use a little metal spatula from Muji to scoop some out, and I only use it 1-2 times a week.
  • Ole Henrikson Truth Serum Collagen Booster / Pure Truth Activating Oil | I’ve also gone through several bottles of these. If you don’t already know why you should have a Vitamin C in your routine, Google it!

Finally, something that has made a major difference for me has been reducing my dairy intake. Long story short, I realized that the more dairy I had in my diet, the more I was breaking out. I still can’t quit cheese or the occasional milkshake, but I’m all about subbing in coconut or soy milk where I can!

What do you do to keep your skin in check?

Pretty Young Things

31 May

What is it about gorgeous packaging that makes an amazing product even better? Sure, scooping magical goo out of a boring container doesn’t diminish its power, but it doesn’t make me feel special. I’m not saying I need everything to be gilded and cast in crystal, but some brands have certain aesthetic touches that take their products to the next level. Today, I wax poetic on three of my favorite luxe products that have hit the beauty scene within the past year (give or take a few months…).

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The Young Cult Classic – Sunday Riley Luna

How many skincare posts have I drafted in the past year about this gem, only to leave them unpublished and gathering virtual dust? You’ve probably heard about this stuff before, but tl;dr this is an innovative retinoid oil that came out in 2015 from skincare goddess Sunday Riley. I did some time with a prescription retinol cream (in one of those gross medicinal toothpaste-like tubes, I’d like to add) in my teens, and that sh*t dried me out like no other. Luna contains a special form of retinol suspended in a bunch of good-for-you oils, so you get your anti-aging, skin repair, and moisture all in one fell swoop.

This stuff is definitely pricey, but I use mine religiously and it’s taken me nearly a year to finish my first bottle. This is actually an empty bottle, but it’s so pretty that I’ve been considering filling it with the tears I want to cry because the oil is all gone. The bottle is a weighty blue glass, and the product is dispensed through a pipette. Not only does it make me feel like a scientist, but the whole package is just pleasing to look at. The only silly issue I have with this is the label – why did they use all sans serif fonts with the exception of the top line? But that’s just me being crazy… 10/10 will be repurchasing for the rest of my life.

The Instagram Obsession – R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste

Y’all. I can’t even tell you how long or how deeply I’ve been obsessed with R+Co products…from a distance. I know it hasn’t been my whole life, but I feel like my life was incomplete before I discovered them via some beauty blog over a year ago and started following them on Instagram and YouTube. Their whole vibe just speaks to me. And then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, they released their Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste.

Dry. Shampoo. Paste.

I’ll tell you right now that I’d given up on paste/pomade/wax/gel products on my short hair – nothing ever really gave my short, fine hair the texture I craved. Sure, dry shampoo will do the job, but I’ve been hooked on Lush’s No Drought over any aerosol option and it’s hard to use that stuff anywhere other than right at the root. The description of R+Co’s offering sounded like a dream come true: a paste that’s easy to work into hair to give it texture and soak up oil.

I lusted over Badlands for months but could never bring myself to buy it online. I didn’t know any salons or boutiques near me that carried it, and I wanted to get it in person. Then, a few months ago one of my friends ordered a tub for herself and generously created a sample jar for me. It was everything and more, and I’d been treasuring the little amount I had until recently, when one of my favorite boutiques in downtown Austin started stocking R+Co’s line. They weren’t even finished setting up the display (literally they were in the process of unpacking the boxes) when I rushed the salesgirl and asked if they had the paste. She didn’t know anything about the brand, but kindly looked through the other boxes and dug one up for me. My credit card was already out of my wallet before she got to the register.

R+Co’s packaging is the exact combination of clean and visually interesting that I love. I deeply appreciate the simple black & white text part of the label, surrounded by some kind of colorful image that relates to the name of the product. Peep their Insta and you’ll see what I mean. I have a feeling that purchases at my newly discovered retail access to R+Co are imminent…

The New Old Thing – YSL Rouge Volupté Shine Oil-in-Stick Lipstick

Yes, it hurts me that I paid this much for a lipstick. And for the second shade I bought because I loved the first one so much.

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine isn’t a new formula, but when I saw their campaign for the most recent shade launch with Cara Delevingne, I couldn’t resist. I’m also a sucker for anything that has a lot of moisturizing oils in it (see Luna above), so it felt like the time was right. Plus I had a Nordstrom gift card, so does it really count as spending a lot? Don’t answer that.

I have one of the YSL Tint-in-Oils, which I love, but I wanted bolder color so I thought the lipstick formula could help me accomplish that. I did get confused because they kept referring to the launch as “Oil-in-Stick,” so I was under the impression that the new shades had a revamped formula. However, on the Sephora and Nordstrom sites, they’ve changed all of the Rouge Volupté Shines to say Oil-in-Stick, so maybe I was duped. Does anyone know?!

Anyway, the lipstick is amazing, and the tube itself is beautiful. It’s got a nice weight to it and feels fancy and luxurious. I particularly love that you can see the lipstick color on the YSL logo part, so you can easily find the shade you’re looking for. I used to baby mine, but now I’m into letting the packaging look like it’s lived a good life. The lid clicks on securely, though, so I’m never concerned about tossing it around in my bag.

Aaaand that’s a wrap on another lengthy post! So many feelings here.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll write again soon :)

Inspiration // Catch Up // Mini Haul

4 May

Last weekend, I took a photo that I intended to just post on Instagram and leave it at that, but I ended up with an image that inspired me to start blogging again!

Before we get to my mini haul (and The Photo), I wanted to mention a couple of major life updates since my last blog post…

  1. I moved! After living in the California Bay Area for pretty much my whole life, I’ve embraced a new adventure and am currently living in Austin, TX. How did I get here? I visited for a work trip and fell in love with the city in April 2015, asked my manager about opportunities in our Austin office in May, and officially made the move in September. Absolutely one of the best life decisions I’ve ever made!
  2. I got a new job (at the same company)! I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but I started at my current company as a member of the recruiting team. Through that, I discovered a passion for operations and transferred to our Customer Success Operations team this February. Data, processes, and systems really get me going, so it’s an excellent fit.

Overall, I was satisfied with my life a year ago, but I never imagined that things could get even better :)

And now, the haul!

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Urban Decay’s Revolution lipstick line has been on sale pretty much everywhere recently. I had a hunch it was because UD was cooking up a new lipstick line, and it looks like I was right! Early on in the sale, I went on Sephora.com and ordered After Dark and Bad Blood, which are both matte formulas. After Dark is a lovely berry that combines spring vibes with my preference for vampier lip colors. I’m dying to swatch Bad Blood, but alas, I picked it up to gift to my mother – it’s my life mission to find her the perfect red.

I desperately wanted a nude lipstick in their regular Revolution formula, but after extensive swatch-Googling and much internal debate, I decided that I’d live without it. I’d never found a nude lipstick that I liked before, and the ones that piqued my interest weren’t even available on the Sephora site. HOWEVER, when I paid a visit to my local Sephora on a mission to return something and pick up an exciting new palette (more on that below), I found the shade Liar and fell in lurve. There was only one left, so who was I to argue with fate? This lipstick is b-e-a-utiful in terms of color and formula, and it pairs perfectly with the more adventurous eye looks I’ve been experimenting with lately.

As much as I adore the lipsticks, the real star of this haul is the Benefit Cheekathon palette. Holy. Moly. I started hearing whispers on the interwebs about this palette around the end of 2015, so I resisted picking up any of the tempting blush/contour palettes that came out from Nars, Too Faced, and Benefit over the past few months. Totally worth it. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

  1. It’s a great deal in terms of $$$. The palette is $58 and includes 5 full-sized powders. A standalone powder is $29, so you’re essentially buying 2 and getting 3 free. Plus a brush. In the cutest packaging ever.
  2. I already own and love Dallas. It’s the perfect lazy-girl product because it functions as a blush and bronzer at the same time. TIP: If the bulkiness of Benefit’s Box o’ Powder blushes is as annoying to you as it is to me, Balm Desert from theBalm is extremely similar and comes in much slimmer packaging. I got mine on sale at HauteLook and use it when I travel.
  3. I also own and enjoy Coralista. One of my friends got me this gift set way back when, which included a mini version of Coralista. I haven’t reached for it since I discovered Dallas, but I can definitely see myself getting back into it.
  4. I’ve always wanted to try Hoola and Rockateur, but I never quite wanted them enough to actually buy them. And even though Dandelion never stood out to me, I haven’t owned a classic pink blush in a long time. Basically, all 3 of these colors are unique additions to my collection.
  5. I generally support Benefit as a brand because I think they’ve got a really smart team behind them. They’re also incredibly inclusive – they’ve totally embraced male makeup artists along with the conventional female ones. Need to see it to believe it? MannyMua and PatrickStarr are both featured in the Cheekathon campaign!

I’m just now realizing how long this post is, so I’ll stop my rambling here. Thanks for reading (if you’ve stuck around for this long). Until next time!

New Year | New Me

5 Jan

loljk I’m not really changing.

The biggest resolution I’m making this year is to be bolder with my makeup. I have a lot of goodies hiding in my beauty drawer that I tell myself I’m saving for “special occasions.” While there are a handful of things that I truly want to save for big events (precious primer samples, mostly), I own plenty of things that I could probably pull off on any ol’ casual day. Whether it’s a bold lippie, a colorful eyeshadow, or a pair of flirty falsies, I’m challenging myself to don them on the (almost) daily in 2015. Who’s with me??

My Hair Story, Part 2: The Transformation

28 Oct

In my last post (refresh your memory here, since it’s been about a decade since I last wrote), I talked about how I mentally got to where I am today. tl;dr: My short hair makes me feel like my best self, and I care more about that than the opinions of others with regards to my appearance.

This is pretty much going to be an abbreviated version of my Instagram feed (i.e. minus the food, makeup, and…well yeah I guess that’s all I ever post). Let’s get started!

 You saw this in my last post. Move-in day of my freshman year, in all of my near-Bieber glory.

 I’ve fast-forwarded through much of the awkward pixie grow-out phase. Thankfully, a lot of the particularly weird bits were covered up by a *really* attractive baseball cap/hairnet combo that was part of a summer job uniform. This pic is from my junior year, and it was the first time I experimented with color. Behold my ill-executed attempt at a blue Kool-Aid (yes, literally Kool-Aid) dye job.

My long hair and I had some good times. I even invested in a curling iron and featured it in some overly-filtered Instagram photos :)

The big before & after! Halfway through junior year, I got tired of the long hair and wanted to go short again, so I eased myself into it with this asymmetrical cut. If you’re wondering, the inspiration pictures I brought to the salon were of Frankie Sandford. I took this haircut to Paris with me and felt très chic!

 When I returned from Paris, I was over the asymmetry. My inspiration this time around was Ginnifer Goodwin, queen of the pixie.

 I failed at photographing this phase very well, but around the beginning of senior year, I felt really, really inspired by Miley’s shaved style. I got a similar cut, and had my hair professionally colored for the first time (on top).

 I got highlights for winter break of my senior year and did a little #12daysofhair. Basically, I attempted 12 different hairstyles in 12 days and recorded them on Instagram. This one was inspired by Tessanne Chin because she’s so cool and involved about half a can of hairspray!

 Spring of my senior year, I went even lighter and buzzier. The original caption I put on this photo was “shorter better faster blonder” ;)

 My first post-bleach photo. I couldn’t even wait to get home and snapped this photo at the bus stop!

Aaaand this is more or less what I look like now! Well, I’m actually a little closer to platinum these days, but I haven’t had a chance to get a decent photo of it yet.

Thanks for reading! Let’s talk again soon :)

My Hair Story, Part 1: The Philosophy

15 Sep

I love my hair and I’m not afraid to say it. Since I got my first bob in middle school, it’s been my ultimate favorite way to change up my look. I’ve had it long (for me) and I’ve had it in a ton of short styles. I wanted to write about my hair not just to show you a bunch of photos of myself, but because I also hope this inspires someone to be a little more fearless. I’ve got a lot to say, so I’m splitting things into two installments.

First, I want to tell you how I got here, mentally. When people ask me why I have short hair, this is the little piece of my past I share:

In high school, I went through phases of having short hair and growing it back out. I’ve gone from lengths past my shoulder to poorly-executed Bieber cuts. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

When I got to college, I had hair that looked like this:

A few months into my freshman year, one of my male friends told me that guys would like me more if I had longer hair. I like to think that I’ve always been a proud member of the Short Hair, Don’t Care club, but I let his comment get to me. I had nearly always had a boyfriend in high school, but college was a different ballgame. I was single and thought this might be the key to getting myself a college boyfriend. So I grew my hair out.

I semi-jokingly tell people that guys did seem to pay more attention to me once the back of my head didn’t look so much like a dude’s. “Statistically,” I say, “more boys danced with me at frat parties when I had longer hair. It was exponential.” That’s a little bit of exaggeration, but also a little bit of truth. In the end, my hair never got me a boyfriend.

I’ll admit that I loved my long hair, but I still held a candle for my pixie days. Halfway through my junior year and about 1.5 years into rocking my longer locks, I decided to go short again. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. (Side note: I was living across the hall from the same guy who told me I should grow my hair out when I went for the cut. He didn’t want to talk to me for 2 days after.)

The moral of the story is that I finally recognized that I feel more like myself when I have short hair. Where long hair or a great pair of jeans or giving a solid presentation at work may make other women feel powerful, my short hair makes me feel like I run the world. I’ve got a positive feedback loop going: my short hair gives me confidence, and my confidence makes my short hair look even better. I do still have my moments of weakness when it comes to wanting to fit in, but whatever’s going on on top of my head is one thing that I’ve fully conquered.

And that guy friend of mine? He’s promoted me to president of the Short Hair, Don’t Care club. I’ll take that as a compliment.

Stay tuned for part 2, where I’ll reconstruct the history of my hair through my Instagram #tbt posts and selfies!

Life in the Working World: My 15-Minute Face

1 Sep

Since I’ve started at my first grown-up job, my everyday makeup routine has evolved to be extra-efficient (because sleep) while still allowing me to highlight my favorite parts of my face (because I like to be cute). All those videos and articles out there about the “5-Minute Face” are cool in theory, but too stressful for me in real life. Putting on my makeup in the morning is one of my favorite things – right up there with pizza and ice cream – so I don’t like to rush. Read on to find out exactly what I like to do!

My skin has been okay lately so I haven’t been feeling a full-coverage foundation routine. Instead, I make a roughly 60-40 mix of foundation and moisturizer, with the heavier weight to the foundation. If I need some extra coverage, I’ll either go back over and add some more foundation full-on to spot conceal or use the Maybelline Fit Me concealer.

I then go in with my new obsession: cream blush. Why did I not jump on this bandwagon sooner?? Actually, I do know why. I was scared but now I’ve conquered my fears and am stronger than the yesterdays of powder blush. I’ve started my new blush love affair with the NYX Rouge Cream blushes. So far I have the shades Glow and Natural and will probably have picked up Tickled by the time I post this. I pretty much just pick some of the product up on my middle finger, grin, and pat it smack dab in the middle of the apple of my cheek. I then blend it out using three fingers in a patting motion, since I find that rubbing somehow moves product to places I don’t want it.

Then I apply my Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder for my T-zone and add a light swipe over my cheeks to set the blush. I use the same brush for whatever bronzer I’m using for the day to do some lightweight contouring in the typical “3” shape. Contouring is something that I actually really enjoy, but I’m not tryna go too HAM on it when I’m putting my work face on.

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Then it’s time for brows! As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been filling them in and shaping them with my NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder and MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set. Even though I’ve gone partially blonde, I keep my brows dark to match my natural hair color.

At this point, I get real excited about the home stretch AKA doing my eye makeup. This is the part of my routine that changes the most and where I like to have the most fun. If I have more than 5 minutes, I’ll whip out my Urban Decay Naked palette and feel like a real beauty blogger. Lately, I’ve been more into just throwing on some smudgy eyeliner. I always line my upper waterline with my Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in Black Velvet, which I got in an ipsy bag a few months ago. Then, I might use that to line my entire upper lash line and go back over to smudge it out a bit with my $1 e.l.f. smudge brush and the shade Creep from the Naked palette. My other recent go-to has been using the Maybelline Master Kajal in Purple Dusk to create a wing that starts from the middle of my upper lash line. I have brown eyes and apparently purple is supposed to make them look extra-magical.

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My lash inspiration is Kylie Jenner because hers are so full and separated and surely fake. To get a similar effect without fussing around with fake lashes, I make a mascara cocktail. After curling my lashes, I apply one coat of the Revlon Lash Potion mascara in Blackest Black Waterproof. I know waterproof mascara is a pain to remove, but I’d rather take the extra time and have curled lashes all day errday. As soon as I finish mascara-ing my second eye, I put a coat of the CoverGirl Lash Blast Clump Crusher in Very Black Water Resistant on my first eye (…and then the other). Because I’m srs about mascara longevity. I find that this combo makes my lashes look super fierce.

To finish off, I may or may not add a lip product. I drink a lot of coffee, tea, and water as soon as I get to work, so I get pretty lazy about this step knowing that 75% of my work will likely rub off within my first 5 minutes at the office. At a minimum, I throw some flavor of Nivea lip balm on and run out the door. I have an ipsy bag full of at least 8 different lip colors that lives in my work bag though, so sometimes I do get a lil’ fancy with it.

And that’s my finished face, ready to take on the world!

What’s your go-to face? Do you use products with absurdly long names too?

Recent $plurges

25 Aug

Though I’m pretty much obsessed with cosmetics, I don’t actually own a ton of products. Since creating beauty content isn’t my job-job, I tend to only buy things that I know I’ll definitely use rather than purchasing for the purpose of reviewing what’s new and hot on the market. I also primarily go for drugstore picks over the higher-end things because there’s a ton of solid lower-budget stuff out there if you know where to look. However, I will invest if it’s a product that I’ve heard lots of good things about from my trusted sources and if I know I’ll use it every day. Here are the few products I’ve invested in this past month:

iPhone 5 photography...

iPhone 5 photography…

MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set – Brown Ebony

To be honest, I used to be pretty down on MAC products. I spent years judging the book by its cover (AKA their artists, ads, and posters) and wrote the whole brand off as “stage makeup.” However, after watching enough YouTube videos, I’ve decided that MAC isn’t so scary after all. Thanks to my favorite gurus, I now have a growing wishlist of products from this brand to try out.

Since my Benefit Gimme Brow finally dried up and became very sad, I decided that my first MAC investment would be this brow gel. I actually picked up a $1 clear brow gel from e.l.f. a few days before, but it was a gloopy mess. I like my brow gels tinted and applied with a tiny brush, and I wanted to try something a smidge cheaper than the Gimme Brow.

I’ve been using this for a few weeks now in conjunction with the NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Dark Brown (Side note: I think my fave Maybelline brow pencil has been discontinued?! I can’t find it in any of the stores around me! *panics*). The gel definitely holds up to its waterproof name and keeps my brows nice and tamed. It’s a little trickier to apply than the Benefit stuff because the formula is a little more “wet” and requires a lighter hand, but overall I’m into it!

Bonus: Beautylish published a really interesting story on the history of MAC – Check it out!

TARTE Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation – Medium Sand

Tarte had a fabulous sale a few weeks ago that I couldn’t help but take advantage of (shout-out to my coworker for Jen for bringing this to my attention!). I was already fully mentally prepared to buy this product at full price at Sephora, so this sale couldn’t have come at a better time! You all know that I’m a huge fan of  the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous foundation, so it was kind of a big deal for me to branch out.

Unfortunately, I played it a bit too safe with the shade selection and ended up with something that is more winter-Melissa and less summer-bronzed-goddess-Melissa. I tend to have the opposite problem and think that I’m more tan than I actually am, and Tarte actually does an excellent job of describing their shades and undertones. The shade mismatch is too distracting and I don’t want to change the consistency/performance by mixing in other products, so I’ll hold off on doing a full review on this for a few more months.

Sadness + #nomakeup #nofilter realness

Sadness + #nomakeup #nofilter realness

BUMBLE & BUMBLE Prêt-à-Powder

Everyone vlogger and her mom talks about this stuff and I so wanted to love it. I recently went blonde (I swear, I will get a post about my hair up before 2015) and was in the market for a new dry shampoo. I’ve always used the aerosol kind, so this loose powder looked like a fun adventure. Unfortunately, this didn’t do enough for my short locks and I had to take it back to Sephora. I’m still searching for the perfect dry shampoo, and for now I’ve returned to the drugstore offerings. Le sigh.

 

Have you recently splurged on any beauty products? Was it worth it? Let me know and I’ll talk to you again soon!