Wow! Has it really been two months since my last post?! I cannot believe how fast the fall went and that Christmas is already behind us! I’m sorry that I’ve been so absent, although if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ll see more updates from me on a (pretty much) daily basis. To say that I’ve been busy, and really haven’t we all, is an understatement. With work, holiday celebrations, family and just plain LIFE, my “free” time has been pretty well sucked dry. However, as we approach the New Year I wanted to set some new goals for myself. I want to be more active with my blog- the way I used to be when I first started FOUR YEARS ago. Yes, that’s right. We just passed my 4 year blogiversary. I’m feeling like I’ve let you all down because of how absent I’ve been- but rest assured that is going to change. I also started filming YouTube videos again this year. I hope to do even more of that into 2015 as well.

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Let’s get to the good stuff. My favorite products of 2014. I tried to keep this as edited as possible and only include items I used A LOT. As in, for many weeks. Usually in a row. Let’s start with the more boring base products.

2014 Favorites Base

Primer/Powder/Concealer. I did actually finish my MAC Natural Radiance primer and it’s worth noting that I really enjoyed it. It was a recommendation from Karen over at Makeup and Beauty Blog and I can’t thank her enough for turning me on to it. However, as beauty lovers do, I am perpetually looking for the “next best thing.”

Too Faced Hangover Primer.  It’s soothing like skin care but smoothing like a primer, and it smells like coconut :). It feels like a drink for my skin.

Becca Ever Matte Poreless Primer. Since my skin is decidedly combination, I also have areas of my T-zone that need some mattifying. For that I use the Becca Ever Matte Primer. I lightly pat this onto my forehead and around my nose. It does a great job of keeping shine at bay, but it doesn’t keep me completely matte throughout the day.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB. By far the best BB Cream I have tried. I also tested another one from this line, but it broke me out. I’ll stick to this version. It’s lightweight, wears well and evens out my complexion without looking cakey.

MAC Face & Body Foundation. This was by far my most used foundation of the year. It’s easy to build up or wear as a light layer. They have a wide range of shades and it sits so nicely on the skin. My favorite way to apply it is with a beauty blender. :) I have several bottles to mix and match my shade throughout the year.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I resisted trying this for a loooong time. Believe the hype about this product. My tube is almost gone (it lasted me around 3 months). The coverage and consistency is perfect for under the eyes. It doesn’t cake up and it does have a brightening effect. I’ll be repurchasing soon.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder. This is a simple, cost-effective setting powder that I dust over my T-zone pretty much on a daily basis. It doesn’t have a fragrance and it doesn’t look cakey. Did I mention it’s less than $5? ;)

2014 Favorites Face

Face Products.

Clarins Splendours Bronzer. I picked this up in 2013, but it’s remained one of my all-time favorite bronzers for its color, texture and design.

Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer. This is a late-comer but has been on my wishlist for ages. I only got it a few weeks ago, but I haven’t been able to use anything else since. I understand why this came on such a high recommendation. It is the perfect bronzer color and the formula is beyond. It has a nice fragrance to it.

RMS Living Luminizer. Easily my most used highlighter of the year. You can see just how much of a dip I have put into it. It’s natural, slightly subtle and just makes your skin glow. It’s not shimmery or glittery. It’s the most appropriate highlighter for anyone anywhere. Period.

Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight. If you read my initial analysis of Candlelight (and the RMS one) you are probably wondering why it’s being featured here. The answer is simple; it’s all in the application. I finally found the correct brush (Real Techniques small tapered) to apply it. It’s fool proof. Glowy enough to be noticed, but subtle enough to make people wonder just what makes your skin look so healthy. Believe in the magic of this powder, because it does exist.

Guerlain Meteorites Perles d’Etoile. These are easily my favorite Meteorites I own (I have 4 shades in total). I love the gentle luminosity they give my skin, and the gold tin with pinky-red pearls just gives it something a little extra.

Chanel Joues Contraste in Jersey. Otherwise known as the blush I couldn’t put down. I have such a serious love affair with this blush. It reminded me of how much I fell for Chanel’s Rose Ecrin. It’s so wearable, soft and gives the perfect amount of definition to your cheeks without being over the top. Just plain LOVE. I blame Rachel from Makeup Never Sleeps fame for enabling this purchase.

Amazing Cosmetics Blush in Pink Chocolate. Natalie from Flowerbomb31 on YT inspired this blush purchase. I bought it earlier in the year and kind of tucked it away for awhile. I rediscovered it late in the summer and had such a hard time reaching for something else…especially during #30blush (which I meant to do summary post on, but haven’t….yet). It’s a great formula and the color is, as the name implies, a rosy-brown tone that is effortlessly flattering.

2014 Favorites Eyes


Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Cocoa Mirage. This was my very first Tom Ford Quad.  I absolutely love the silky formula and this quad in particular is so versatile and useful to me on a daily basis. I can use it on it’s own, or pair the matte shades with other palettes or singles. I’ve made dents in the pans!

Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Palette. If you buy nothing else from my entire list of favorites, please, do yourself a favor and get this. No, I mean, stop reading, open a new tab and order this palette. It’s stunning. I can’t speak for the permanent range of Charlotte Tilbury shadows but this palette is hands down the best eyeshadow purchase I have made this year. All of the colors are pigmented and blend like a dream on the lid. The shades are dimensional and the formula is reminiscent of a gelee. Except, I experience ZERO fall out with these. I’m in LOVE.

Benefit Gimme Brow. The lazy girls guide to no-time-for-this brow enhancement step 1- Use Benefit Gimme Brow, step 2- See step 1.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. Game changer for winged liner. The best liquid eyeliner I have used to date. Beats out Marc Jacobs, Stila and Lancome. You need to try this.

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks. Pictured above are two of my most used shades, Sugar Frost and Sand Glow. I have tried pretty much every eyeshadow in stick form on the market: Urban Decay, Sephora, Mally, MAC, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, By Terry….the list goes on. The ones I return to again and again for the wear time, color selection and  reflective quality are the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks.

Dior Mono Fusion Shadow in Mirror. This shade is so sparkly and such a dainty gold. It’s really unique to my collection and I can use it layered over other shadows to transform them or wear it on it’s own. It’s not very pigmented, but it gives your lids such a stunning glowing sparkle that it’s beauty just cannot be denied.

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Espresso Ink. This was my first Bobbi Brown liner and I quickly picked up another shade after falling for the formula. It’s the right mixture of dry and pliable. What I mean is it’s not at all goopy or messy. It’s easy to work with, sets quickly and the shade is perfect for everyday wear.

2014 Favorites Lips


Dior Addict Extreme Lipstick. This remains my favorite lipstick formula of all time. It’s comfortable, has a decent wear time and the colors are all gorgeous. I love the shine these leave and how luxurious they feel both in the tube and applied. The shade pictured is Cherie Bow (a long-time wish list item after seeing it on Tiffany from Will Work For Makeup) but I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite shade.

Dior Addict Lipgloss. It’s no surprise then, that Dior also makes my favorite lipgloss formula. Shine, comfort and luxury come together for the best gloss out there (at least for my tastes). If all of my other glosses went away and I only had Dior Addict glosses left, I wouldn’t be mad. ;)

Chanel Glossimer in Seashell. This has sentimental value to me. I bought it on my honeymoon (we got married on the beach earlier this year) and it always takes me back to the beach that day. I hope they never discontinue it! It’s soft and girly and smooth. No stickiness, just shine.

Becca Ultimate Colour Gloss in Pink Lotus. A bright pink coral that is a dream to wear and apply. It’s not too much, but just enough. it took my from spring to summer with ease and I never wanted to put it down.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector. This is not the first time this has been featured in a yearly favorites. I actually think it’s the 3rd time! One of the easiest lipglosses to wear alone or over anything. Any shade will do (I own three and they all function the same) and you will always find one in my handbag.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig. This shade is so perfect. It really is my ideal everyday lipcolor. It’s slightly rose, slightly pink and absolutely face-brightening. The formula is nice and creamy, and not at all drying.

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm in Tulip. This was a new shade for this year and I am SO glad I picked it up. This lip balm is top of the top. It’s so silky and I keep one with me at all times. I have several shades, but this one stands out as a favorite for it’s bright pink color that instantly perks up the complexion.

Lip Per-fekt.* The lovely people at Per-fekt sent this to me months ago and it’s remained a staple in my bag ever since. It has a minty-fresh scent and feels slightly cooling on contact. It’s a grab-n-go formula that applies slightly glossy and with plenty of natural-rosy pigment.

That wraps up my favorite products for this year. And what a year it was! I also have to mention some of my favorite beauty Youtuber’s. I watch videos while I get ready, while I paint my nails, etc. Thanks for making my laugh, enabling me and keeping me so entertained! <3

Andie from TechnoCupcake (We actually got to meet and had a shopping day together Love love love!)

Sam from LipstickLady518 (Her personality is just so infectious! Her taste in makeup is just beyond!)

Tara from Tarababyz (Epic hauls, in-depth reviews and so down-to-earth)

CarrotFlowers (Oddly enough, I don’t know her real name! I love her hauls, humor and taste!)

Sara from Hapagirl8 (This is a more recent discovery but I love her voice, her style and of course, her makeup picks!)

Leslie from LipglossLeslie (Her bubbly personality is charming and I could watch her videos all.the.time).

Michele from Michele1218 (I have watched Michele for 4 years. Her favorites are my favorites and she’s just very classy).


Happy New Year!!!!

Happy first day of fall! The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter; is there anything more comforting than the change of season?

A few days ago I shared my favorite blushes for this time of year. Now I’ve gone through my collection and picked the eyeshadow shades that I gravitate to as the leaves start to change.


Shown (from bottom left): Burberry Chestnut, Burberry Mulberry, Dior Golden Savannah, NARS Galapagos, Chanel Fauve, Paul & Joe 076

You will notice a theme as you look at the products I selected. Warm tones, burgundy, brown and taupe. I really enjoy khaki tones and browns that lean warm/orange. They are effortlessly appropriate for the season. I believe the Dior and Paul & Joe palettes were limited edition but the rest of the shades are readily available. You can never go wrong with Burberry shadows and these two colors paired together or used alone are stunning.


Swatches L-R: Dior Golden Savannah, Paul & Joe palette, NARS Galapagos, Burberry Chestnut, Burberry Mulberry, Chanel Fauve

You can see just how perfect any or all of these shades are!


Shown (clockwise from bottom): MAC Fluidline in Rich Ground, Chanel New Moon, Giorgio Armani #28

One of my all time favorite gel liners is Rich Ground from MAC. It’s a perfect coppery-bronze shade that has a slight red undertone to it. Chanel’s New Moon is not for the faint of heart. It’s extremely glittery and shimmery. It’s a night time shade for me but the effect is gorgeous. Armani’s eyes to kill shadow in #28 is a blend between rose gold and copper. It’s wearable for daytime looks for me.


Swatches L-R: Chanel New Moon, Giorgio Armani #28, MAC Rich Ground

You can see that the Giorgio Armani shade has more pigment and a sheen where New Moon is quite glittery and more sheer. Rich Ground has amazing payoff and a shine to it that just makes my eyes pop.


Shown (clockwise from bottom) MAC Outre, MAC Saddle, MAC Cranberry, MAC Sable

Finding an eyeshadow palette to use throughout the fall can be difficult, especially if you have something very specific in mind. I would recommend putting together some of your shades from MAC or Inglot (or any brand with single shadows) and making something that’s all your own. That’s one of the reasons I love Z palettes. I love having the ability to switch and swap colors as my mood or season dictates. I picked a few colors from my MAC palettes that I reach for this time of year.

I hope you enjoyed my selections and got some new ideas for shades to try. I have two more Autumn picks posts left- lips and nails, so watch out for those in the next few days. Let me know some of your favorite eyeshadows for fall; I’m always on the hunt for a gem!

Like any other beauty lover I get a little nosy and wonder what products people like to travel with…you know, those essential pieces that make time away from home easy. Well, at least in terms of makeup application ;)

As I prepare to travel for a few days I thought I’d give you a look inside my travel makeup bag and the items that made the cut for the trip.

Travel Makeup Base

My makeup bag itself is slightly pictured above. It was given to me as part of an entire travel set for toiletries, etc and has my initials monogrammed on the front.  It’s roomy and has pockets for smaller items. I’ve used this exclusively for any travel I’ve done in the last 2 years.


Primers are essential for me, especially when I’m traveling for business and meetings. I need to know my makeup won’t be budging. Right now I’m favoring MAC’s Prep+Prime Natural Radiance for face and for eyes I’ve been loving the Smashbox Photofinish. It’s got a beige tone to it so it cancels out any discoloration and it really helps lock my shadows into place. MAC Face & Body has been my go-to foundation for a few months and is a welcome travel companion. It’s buildable, natural coverage and doesn’t break down on my combination/oily skin. All of my concealing needs will be met with Maybelline’s Eraser for dark circles (the illuminating shade) and MAC’s Pro longwear concealer. To set it all into place I’ll be using MAC’s Studio Careblend Pressed. Notice a theme? Mostly MAC, right? MAC makes amazing base makeup. Although their color line and collections grab most of the attention you shouldn’t overlook some of the amazing face products they offer.

Travel Makeup Blush Bronzer


My favorite bronzer of all time has to tag along for my journey, Laura Mercier Ritual. This needs to be permanent. Yesterday. I’ve also got two highlighting options, the RMS Living Luminizer for a more subtle look and Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal for a bit more oomph. I always like to have a few blush options. This time I’m taking some newbies. Lorac Baked Blush in Exposed (a bright coral/peach) and Dior Mimi Bronze (a natural nude– thanks to gorgeous Andie over at Techno Cupcake for the push to get this beauty). I’m excited about giving these two some testing!

Travel Makeup Eyes


This was the hardest category. For brows I’ve got my trusty Anastasia brow gel and Stila Stay All Day brow in medium. I opted for the original Naked Palette because it’s treated me so well on many travels in the past and I know I can count on it for daytime and nighttime looks that can be as business appropriate or dramatic as the occasion calls. I’ve also brought 3 of my go-to shades of Laura Mercier caviar sticks: Sugar Frost, Sandglow and Cocoa. These provide excellent glow and added drama when used as base shadows. For liner I’m bringing MAC Blacktrack Fluidline, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner in black and tucked inside the Naked Palette I’ve got my number one black liner of all time- Bare Minerals Round the Clock Liner in Midnight (I have three backups I love it *that* much). I will be attending a dressy cocktail party one of the evenings so I’ve brought false lashes and all the gear I need to apply them. I’ve gotten better at this over time, but I definitely could use more practice.

(not pictured is the regular mascara I’m taking- L’oreal Butterfly)

Travel Makeup Lips


I’ve not yet decided what my makeup looks are going to be so I wanted plenty of color options in the lip department. I’ve got a nice balm, Fresh Sugar Rose to keep things smooth. I’ve also brought along two of MAC’s new Huggable lip colors in Touche and Out For Passion (this formula is really nice!) for nude and rosy pink options with Marc Jacobs gloss in Kissability and NARS Gold Digger to top should I feel like taking it up a notch. And of course I couldn’t forget my favorite lip color- coral. I’ve brought two Becca items (thanks to beautiful Jenny from My Funny Valentine for the inspiration on these); their Lip and Cheek tint in Guava and their amazing Ultimate Colour Gloss in Pink Lotus (seriously, this gloss is awesome!). I’ve also added in Givenchy’s newest lipstick Le Rouge in Rose Dressing which is a dainty but slightly intense coral.

That’s it! It all fits in the bag! I’ve also got my favorite brushes tucked away and ready to go. One of the tips I picked up over the years is to pack my travel makeup bag a few days in advance and use only the makeup out of that bag. It will help me decide if there is something I’m missing or need to add.

It’s come again. Yes, the end of another year. I wanted to share my most-reached for and most loved products of 2013. I always seem to run out of time as the holidays approach so I wanted to get this up early.


2013 Favorites Skincare

There are only two items that really wowed me this year. The first being Aura Cacia’s Avocado Skin Care Oil. A miracle worker, really. I use this at night in place of moisturizer and it does amazing things for my skin. I’m on my second tube of it and a little goes a very long way. My first tube lasted over a year! The second thing is the Made From Earth Triple Berry Serum*. I’ve been using this for about 3 months now as my daily moisturizer and I am a total convert. I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve gotten on Instagram about my skin and complexion looking so good. It was adding this that made a true difference. I only have about 1/4th of the bottle left. I’m going to have to get another one ASAP. I have combination/oily skin in the summer months, and I’m a little drier come winter. This is lightweight and doesn’t make my skin look or feel greasy.


2013 Favorites Base Makeup

It was Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog who turned me on to the three MAC products featured above. The Natural Radiance primer is a total win- how did I not hear of this before?! You must try this. I notice a huge difference when I don’t use this in photographs. I had heard about MAC Face & Body for years but never tried it. After Karen’s nudging I gave it a go (I’m shade N2 for reference). There hasn’t been a single foundation I have ever tried that makes me love my face makeup more than this. The coverage is customizable, it never looks cakey and it’s super easy to apply. I layer the Blot powder (in medium) over it for a totally flawless (well, almost) face. I finally tried the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer (Shade SC-3) and I understand why so many people like this. I don’t use it for undereye concealing, but it’s a warrior on spot concealing and redness.


2013 Favorites Bronzer and Highlight

My favorites in this category were easy. For at least 6 months this year Laura Mercier Ritual was the only bronzer I used and the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors were the basically my go-to highlighters. I’m heart broken that Ritual was limited edition, but I hope I will find another bronzer to take it’s place when I do finally run out of it. There was a period of  about a month or two when I didn’t even use blush- I just used Ritual as both. Recently I added the Guerlain Crazy Terracotta bronzer/blush to my daily routine and I’ve enjoyed pairing it with the RMS Living Luminizer for subtle yet fresh look. My initial impression of RMS Living Luminizer was that it might be too subtle, but I’ve come to love the glow it adds.

2013 Favorites Bronzer and Highlight Swatches

Swatches L-R: Guerlain Crazy Terracotta, Laura Mercier Ritual, RMS Living Luminizer, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Moonstone

2013 Favorites Blush

Being a blush fiend you might expect to see more favorites here. Although I loved many blushes this year (and added many beautiful ones to my collection) the three you see above stood out as blushes I used a lot- for long periods of time or blushes that I turned to when I just didn’t know what to wear. All three were new to me this year. Fellow blogger and good friend J of Lil Lady’s Life picked up D&G blush in Caramel for me early on and I wore it incessantly. I picked up the Dior Rosy Glow blush just after getting engaged as I wanted something that would be perfect for bridal looks. It turns out it is and just seems to look good on everyone. Laura Mercier Mocha Spice was my find of the fall and has been my most reached for of late.

2013 Favorites Blush Swatches

Swatches L-R: Dior Rosy Glow, D&G Caramel, Laura Mercier Mocha Spice


Bare Minerals Power Neutrals Palette

There were two palettes that won my heart this year for their quality, pigmentation, ease of use and color selection. The first is Bare Minerals the Power Neutrals. Talk about an easy palette. It’s perfect for day-to-day wear and a great travel companion. The shadows are creamy and smooth and very pigmented.

Bare Minerals Power Neutrals Palette Swatches

Swatches L-R: Get Ahead, Magnate, Payday, Exec, Boardroom, Schmooze, Moneymaker, Boss Lady

Laura Mercier Artist Palette 2

The other palette is the ubiquitous Laura Mercier Artist Palette released this fall. It may be difficult to find but the single versions of these shades are readily available. The palette was a great value and I’ve gotten so much use out of it. Actually, it’s totally replaced my daily use of MAC shadows!

Laura Mercier Artist Palette 2 Swatches

Swatches L-R: Espresso Bean, Truffle, Bamboo, Fresco, Primrose, Vanilla Nuts, Violet Ink, Kir Royale, Plum Smoke, African Violet, Guava, Sparkling Dew

2013 Favorites Eye Pencils

Products in pen form were a staple for me. They get me out the door fast and stay put all day. My poor little Bare Minerals Round the Clock liner is down to a nub (don’t worry, I’ve already purchased another) and it’s easily my most favorite pencil eyeliner to date. This stuff is serious and will.not.move once you put it on. The Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er* works in a similar way. Although it’s liquid liner it has the lasting power of a gel. It’s very black and very easy to use. The Stila Stay All Day brow liquid liner has revolutionized my eyebrow experience. I will never be without this. The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks dominated my world this year. There was scarcely a day I wasn’t using one (or several). Whether as a base or on their own they really work over time. Sugar Frost is my most used and it’s funny that I never seem to hear about it. It’s a perfect eye-brightening champagne shade; a staple for every collection. I think I need Sand Glow and Seashell. Ok, maybe I just need all of them. ;)

2013 Favorites Eye Products Swatches

Swatches L-R: Laura Mercier Twilight, Amethyst, Grey Pearl, Rose Gold, Sugar Frost, Pink Opal, Bare Minerals Midnight, Marc Jacobs Magic Marc’er, Stila Stay All Day brow in medium


2013 Favorites Lip Products

Ahh, the biggest category for me in 2013. My lip choices varied so much this year. I went through distinct phases of liking and wearing exclusively one type of shade. There was the nude lip phase, and corals, then neutral-roses and face-illuminating pinks. Oh, and my continual obsession with lavender/mauve tones. I didn’t really wear red a lot this year as it’s kind of fallen out of favor with me. The only red I really wore was recently and that was the Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer gloss in Lust for Life* and it was more pink and full of golden sparkle. My favorite gloss formulas are Dior Addict, Hourglass, MAC Lustreglass, Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer and Buxom Lip Creams. If you think MAC lipglass is way too sticky, give Lustreglass a try. It’s waaaayyy better. The Dior Lip Polish was easily my most reached for gloss of the year. That stuff is amazing and I hear a new shade is coming out soon. My favorite lipstick formulas were Dior Addict Extreme, Too Faced La Creme, Bite Luminous Creme Lipstick, Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo*, Buxom Full-On Lipstick. I generally prefer lipsticks that aren’t so heavy. I find mattes dry my lips too much and so I gravitate towards glossier formulas.

2013 Favorites Lip Products Swatches

Swatches L-R: MAC Lustreglass in Love Nectar, Buxom White Russian, Hourglass Nude 2, Marc Jacobs Kissability, Too Faced Cinnamon Kiss, Dior Lip Polish, Bite Fig, Hourglass Nectar, Hourglass Muse, Marc Jacobs Heart Shaped, Dior Spring Ball, Buxom Lavender Cosmos, MAC Asian Flower, Buxom Acapulco, Marc Jacobs Lust for Life

Best New Brand

This has to be the Marc Jacobs line. I was hesitant at first but as I’ve tried more things I am continually impressed with the quality. I just purchased one of the larger eyeshadow palettes and two more Lust for Lacquers. The lipgloss formula is so fabulous I had to include it in my favorites because it easily rivals how I feel about my Dior Addict glosses. I have a blush or two on my list that I’m sure you’ll see here soon.

Best Brand Discovery

Hands-down Laura Mercier. I had a few Laura Mercier products as I entered 2013 and I now have a full arsenal! I purchased several caviar sticks, single eyeshadows and base products from the line and I have only been disappointed once. I guess in 2014 I will have to try lipstick and gloss from the line as I don’t think I have tried any yet!

Biggest Fails

I didn’t have too many fails this year but there are a few that stand out. The Marc Jacobs mascara was not my cup of tea and the new Laura Mercier powder foundation failed to perform to her normally very high standards. I once again tried to like YSL lipstick and purchased a rouge volupte shine which I promptly returned after discovering it (like all other YSL lipsticks) dried my lips worse than winter in Chicago. I was totally unimpressed with a Clinique blush I purchased (the shade was Aglow) after it looked beautiful on my arm and had to be packed on to show up on my face. It went back.

2013 was a year of changes. My first full year in Chicago, getting engaged, losing my dad… it had definite highs and devastating lows. I look forward to what 2014 will bring and all of the beauty adventures I will have along the way. Look for my next favorites installment where I talk about my random favorites, favorite bloggers/vloggers and more. :) What were some of your stand out products of 2013? Did you have any memorable beauty moments this year?

*items marked ‘*’ were provided by PR for review purposes only*

There is always that one awkward post wherein the beauty lover succumbs to the change of season and writes the first post geared towards the one coming up in lieu of enjoying the one at hand. And so we find ourselves talking about my top choices for lip color this fall. I won’t be adding nudes in this post because I’ll be featuring some of my favorites in a separate post.

*-denotes sample

Fall Lip Colors 2013

There is only one matte formula in the bunch as mattes are probably my least favorite formula. They tend to be drying and I’ve had trouble with mattes making every line in my lip magnified and pronounced. Not pleasant. However, the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick is the exception to the rule (as almost every Hourglass product is). The rest are either glossy or semi-glossy in finish.

I recently picked up two items from the Dior counter- Ensorcelante and New York. I have this terrible habit (or OCD tendency) to buy Dior lip products in pairs only. Is that odd? I have to buy a lipstick and a gloss to match. I think it’s because I love Dior lip products that much that I know if I love a gloss or lipstick in a particular shade I know I will end up wanting a matching one to make the set. I didn’t care for the fall lipstick Dior released to go along with Ensorcelante- it was far more dark and vampy than I’d use to pair with the gloss. I even tried them on together and decided it was not for me. I set out to swatch other shades and New York was the perfect match. It’s plummy and nude and has a gorgeous shimmer. How have I not heard of this shade before?! It pays to play at the counter I guess!

I didn’t realize before setting down to swatch how close MAC Craving, Plumful and Too Faced Cinnamon Kiss are. There are nuances, of course, but they are very similar. I love the Too Faced La Creme formula and would easily get every shade they make.

Fall Lip Colors Swatches 2013

Swatches L-R: MAC Rebel, Maybelline Color Whisper A Plum Prospect, MAC Craving, MAC Plumful, Too Faced Cinnamon Kiss, Dior Addict New York, NARS Strawberry Fields, NARS Bougainville, Dior Ensorcelante, Hourglass Empress*

I really enjoy the Maybelline Color Whisper formula. I prefer it to Revlon’s Lip Butters (though I only own two of the former and many more of the latter). A Plum Prospect is coming up a little bit brighter in the photo than it is in real life. A very lovely color, though.

NARS glosses are among my most favorite formula. These two are particularly creamy and pigmented and in shades that were made for cool Autumn days.

MAC Rebel is in a class by itself. It’s reputation precedes it, no doubt. It’s bright, in your face and so so pretty.

And for good measure, I posted these FOTDs to my Instagram wearing the new Dior products I picked up:

FOTD Wearing Dior New York

Wearing Dior New York

FOTD Wearing Dior Ensorcelante

Wearing Dior New York and Dior Ensorcelante

FOTD Wearing Dior Ensorcelante 2

Wearing Dior Ensorcelante (different lighting)

Are you ready for the fall makeup collections? I know that this summer has been quite hot and I’m enjoying the cooler reprieve we have had lately. I don’t know that I’m quite ready to let go of summer completely, though!

*items marked with a ‘*’ were provided by PR for review purposes only*