29. 07. 2013

I called this post July Favorites but really, this is more like “Mid-Summer” Favorites. I’ve been steadily using all or most of these products throughout June and July.

July 2013 Face Favorites

Tarte BB Tinted Primer*- I’ve been using this on and off since getting it earlier this year. It’s a thicker consistency and incredibly pigmented. It wears all day on me and I don’t need to powder when I do. Amazing! A word of warning- the shade I have is called “Light” but it is more like a medium shade in most other lines. I’m about NC35 and it suits me just right.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation*- This foundation isn’t new to me but Hourglass recently released more shades (hooray!) and I have been using new shade Natural on days when my self-tan has slightly faded (Ivory is a nice match when I’m more tanned). It wears all day on me and it really does feel like a liquid to powder. This is by far my most favorite foundation. Oily-skinned gals- this one’s for you!

NARS Cactus Flower- Get your hands on this while you can! NARS is discontinuing their cream blush line. No word as to whether or not they are reformulating (my guess would be that they are). Cactus Flower is the perfect pinky-coral (Watermelon??) with a slight sheen. The sheen looks more intense in the pan and swatch then on the face. It’s drier and not tacky, more cream-to-powder which I think adds to the longevity. Gorgeous!

Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow in Rose Gold- I’ve post about this magical product before and have been reaching for it everyday. It’s not packed with shimmer but somehow adds the most ethereal glow and isn’t at all greasy.

Laura Mercier Ritual- I have been using this almost every single day since buying it months ago. I can’t get enough. It might just be my most favorite bronzer ever! I apply it with a MAC 138 for the perfect mix between contour and sunkissed cheeks. If you can still find it I highly, highly recommend this! Don’t let the shimmer in the pan or swatch fool you- there is no shimmer visible on the face.

July 2013 Face Favorites Swatches

L-R: Tarte BB Tinted Primer Light, Hourglass Immaculate in Nude and Ivory, Laura Mercier Ritual, NARS Cactus Flower, Jemma Kidd Rose Gold

July 2013 Eye Favorites

For eyes I have been going for golds and browns in matching creams and powders- perfect pairing for the hot summer weather. I find that pairing a cream under the powder shadows helps the look wear longer and intensifies the colors. I have done this every day in July- the hottest month for us this year so far!

Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer- My favorite eye primer at the moment. Much better than Urban Decay and cancels out discoloration. It’s drier and less greasy feeling than Urban Decay’s offering. If you had poor luck with that I would definitely give this a try.

Lancome Hypnose Drama- A staple. My favorite mascara of all time. I even convinced mymom’s best friend to buy it on a recent trip to Sephora. 🙂

Tarte SmoulderEyes in Brown*- I have had this for a long time but have been getting a lot more use out of it after discovering it was the perfect base for a bronzey smokey eye. It pairs wonderfully with my next shadow…

NARS Galapagos- Another product I’ve neglected too much. I’ve been wearing Galapagos every day for a few weeks in various forms. It’s great as a liner or buffed in as a shadow and is great layered over the brown from Tarte.

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Sugar Frost- These sticks have received a lot of praise, and for good reason. They are easy to use and wear until you take them off. Perfect on their own or layered.

Smashbox Limitless 15 Hour Cream Shadow Quartz- I met with a Smashbox makeup artist at ULTA one day. I went in for a new sunless tanner and came out with a huge new stock of Smashbox thanks to the beautiful Vanessa. For some reason I have always overlooked this line, but not any more! This shadow is fabulous (and their best selling shade). It wears all day and is perfect for bridal looks.

Urban Decay Easy Baked- This shade was released earlier this year. It’s gorgeous and might be my favorite shadow they have ever released! I use it all the time. It’s the perfect gold-almost tan. Maybe I’d describe it has honey? Either way it’s delicious and has a place in everyone’s collection.

July 2013 Eye Favorites Swatches

L-R: Urban Decay Easy Baked (over Smashbox Primer), Galapagos (over Smashbox Primer), Smashbox Primer, NARS Galapagos, Urban Decay Easy Baked, Smashbox 15 Hour Limitless Quartz, Laura Mercier Sugar Frost, Tarte SmoulderEyes Brown

July 2013 Lip Favorites

For lips I have been favoring glossy lip products that have a creamy or lightweight feel. In the summer I always gravitate towards corals and peaches but lately I’ve been adding pinks and rose tones to the mix.

MAC Pink Pearl Pop- This shiny pink lipstick caught my attention in May. It was sold out at two different stores I went to and after falling in love with how it looked in store I knew I had to order it. This is definitely a hidden gem in MAC’s line! I think it came out last year but it does add a beautiful pop of glossy pink to the lips- swoon!

Too Faced La Creme in I Want Candy- I am pretty sure I saw Michele1218 wearing this in a video somewhat recently. I was already a fan of the line and was happy to add this beautiful rosy pink to my collection.

Dior Addict Extreme in Spring Ball- This is probably my favorite line of lipstick ever! I have 4 shades and definitely need more. Spring Ball was released earlier this year. I think I got the matching gloss first and was convinced I need the lipstick. I was right….I definitely needed it. Creamy, pigmented and glossy these lipsticks are worth every penny!

Pur Lip Gloss Stick in Coraline- An impulse buy at the cash register of ULTA. I needed my purchase to be a higher dollar amount to use my coupon and I saw these and quickly added it to my bag. I’m glad I did. It’s a beautiful coral-orange shade that has great wear time and feels like a balm.

Lancome Gloss in Love Peach Show- I had to get this after LisaLisaD1 raved about it on Youtube. I LOVE the color. I think my boyfriend would choose this as his favorite color in my collection. It’s a peachy-nude color that is face-brightening, but in a subtle way. The only problem is the formula is not my favorite. It’s one of those glosses that starts out creamy and turns kind of tacky as it wears on. I don’t think I will get any more shades in the line based on my experience with this one. The color is just too lovely to pass it up and if anyone knows of a dupe in another line I’d love to hear about it!

Dior Lip Polish (02)- This is by far the best lipgloss I have ever used. It even topped my Clarins Lip Perfectors, which I didn’t think could be done. It adds just a touch of pink glow and the formula is not tacky, sticky or scented. It glides on smoothly, wears well and goes with everything and nothing. Go, buy this RIGHT NOW.

Dior Addict Glosses in Venus and Diablotine- Again, Dior nailed this formula. It’s the best! Venus is perfect shimmering nude to wear layered over anything and looks equally good on it’s own. Diablotine is a nice shimmering coral-red. Perfect for summer and I do really need to get the matching lipstick.

July 2013 Lip Favorites Swatches

L-R: Dior Diablotine, Dior Venus, Dior Lip Polish, Lancome Peach Show, Pur Coraline, Dior Spring Ball, Too Faced I Want Candy, MAC Pink Pearl Pop

Whew. That was longer than I anticipated! That’s what I get for not doing favorites every month! Do you have any recommendations? What have you been loving lately?

I have been noticeably procrastinating on writing this post. My last year’s favorites were done as a series, divided into categories, and was incredibly time consuming. I will be doing a separate post (check for that later this week) of my yearly favorites showing the products I reached for the most in eyes, lips, face and nails. This post, however, focuses solely on 12 products that I not only loved but that were released in 2012, as well as one product failure for this year.

2012 New Favorites 2

Clockwise from left: Guerlain Meteorites Perles D’Azur by Emilio Pucci, Chanel Joues Contraste Brume D’Or , Illamasqua Cream Blusher Zygomatic, Tarte Clean Slate 360 creaseless primer*, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Guerlain Meteorites Perles D’Azur by Emilio Pucci(LE)- I cannot tell you how many times I used these since getting them earlier this year (I believe May?). They became a regular part of my daily routine, adding a touch of glow to my skin without being obvious.

Chanel Brume D’Or(LE)- It was hard to decide between this, Notorious and Fleur de Lotus (all three are gorgeous and lovely in their own ways). But I decided on Brume D’Or because it really added a color of blush to my collection that is the perfect neutral when I have a summer tan. I used this a lot last summer and the color it gave was fabulous.

Illamasqua Zygomatic- Along with the powder blush Naked Rose, Illamasqua added to their blush lineup this year with some stellar shades. Zygomatic is a perfect neutral blush that blends into your skin like a dream, and great for those “no make-up” make-up looks.

Tarte Clean Slate 360 Primer*- The best eye primer I have used to date. It’s about 3/4 gone because I have literally not done my eye makeup without it since receiving it. I like that it comes in squeeze tube form vs. a wand (more hygienic) and it really makes a difference in how my makeup applies and how long it lasts (12+ hours).

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush- I’ve been a fan of these brushes created by Youtube Beauty Extraordinaire Sam Chapman of Pixiwoo. They are synthetic and super soft. They don’t shed and they hold up well to use and washing. This brush was a new release this year and was my absolute most used brush of the year. I use it daily for blending tinted moisturizer or foundation and even my concealer.

2012 New Favorites 1

Clockwise from left: Dior Fairy Golds, Laura Mercier Gilded Platinum, Too Faced La Creme Naked Dolly, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Empress, MAC Lipglass Revenge is Sweet, BareMinerals Ready Liner 5am, Urban Decay Mushroom

Dior Fairy Golds Swatches

Dior Fairy Golds(LE)- This was released in Dior’s holiday collection along with Night Golds (another favorite of mine). But between Night Golds and Fairy Golds, I definitely used this one the most. It has a slightly cooler tone to it and is a little more wearable for day-to-day use. The shadows were creamy and pigmented and long-lasting.

2012 New Favorites Swatches

Swatches L-R: BareMinerals 5am, Laura Mercier Gilded Platinum, Urban Decay Mushroom, Chanel Brume D’Or, Illamasqua Zygomatic, MAC Revenge is Sweet, Hourglass Empress, Too Faced Naked Dolly

BareMinerals 5am Ready Liner(LE)- What a gorgeous shade! This was released in their limited edition Night Vision set (which I have yet to review). Let me say I’m absolutely hooked on this formula! This shade was the reason I purchased the set, but I was blown away by the staying power of the liners in general. The black that came with the set is super black and stays on my waterline ALL DAY. Through a workout at the gym, my shower, meetings, errands, traffic…! Might be the best liner formula I have ever tried. Super creamy and easy to apply.

Laura Mercier Gilded Platinum (LE)- A gorgeous platinum shade with high shine and a smooth texture. The pattern? Fabulous.

Urban Decay Mushroom- Urban Decay revamped their eyeshadow formula this year and re-released many shades as singles, and added new ones to their lineup. I had always wanted this shade but it was previously (I think?) only available in their larger palettes. I jumped on this as soon as I saw they had released it as a single and wasn’t disappointed. Incredibly buttery in texture and excellent color payoff, this shadow is worth a look if you don’t already have it!

MAC Lipglass Revenge is Sweet(LE)- I am actually not a huge fan of the lipglass formula in general, however, I have been wanting this particular shade since it was released in the Disney Venomous Villains collection back in 2010 (anyone else miss those days of clever collections?!). I was happy to see it being repromoted in a collection this past November. The formula is actually more tolerable than I remember, not quite as sticky as it once was. The color is sheer, but lovely on the lips adding just a nice kiss of pink.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Empress*- 2012 was the year of the liquid lipstick with several companies coming out with their own variation on the trend. This formula was my favorite. My favorite shade is actually Muse, but I seem to have temporarily misplaced it! The three shades I have all perform the same: long lasting, highly opaque coverage and smooth texture. As with any liquid lipstick/matte lipstick you need to be wary of dry patches on your lips as they will inevitably make those look worse and more obvious.

Too Faced La Creme Drenched Lip Creme Naked Dolly- Actually Naked Dolly is a new purchase for me, prompted by Tiffany of Will Work For Makeup. I originally purchased the shade Juicy Melons back when these lipsticks first launched last summer. It was a go-to shade for me well into the fall. I’ve been into nude lipstick lately so when I saw Tiffany feature this I knew I had to pick it up. Creamy, opaque in one swipe and super comfortable wear this has to be the best new lipstick formula released in 2012 for me.

And lastly, the one product fail for me this past year:

MAC vs Sigma F25 Brush

Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush- I cannot tell you how much I dislike this brush. I used it and washed it for months before finally giving up on it. It is supposed to be like the MAC 138 (both pictured above). After realizing I would NOT be able to continue using the F25, I purchased the 138. The reason? It sheds… ALL OVER THE PLACE. In my products, on my face, on my clothes, on my counters. Literally every time I used it 5-10 hairs would fall out. I have no idea how it has any hair left at all. Do yourself a favor and skip the F25. The MAC version is softer, much less shedding (only a few hairs when I first washed) and has a better feel on the face. I wouldn’t even give this brush away, let alone sell it in a blog sale. I wouldn’t want anyone else going through the frustration I experienced with it.

Well, after that rant I think I can end this favorites post. Thanks for sticking with me and I hope you have a wonderful week! Feel free to share your favorite new products of 2012 below!

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

I cannot believe I’m already saying this: Bloomin’ Beauty has turned two!


Aside from inserting the expected pink fireworks (call me corny; I couldn’t resist), I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to each and every one of you. This second year of blogging saw some major changes: my first Youtube video, a major move to a different state and all of the changes that entailed and several weeks at a time of no posts. I know it hasn’t been easy to stick with me when I don’t post or tweet regularly and the fact that I have had to all but abandon commenting other blogs (I usually read posts on my iPhone now- but I assure you- I am still reading) that I love. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate everyone who has supported me; continued to visit my site, link to me, email me, tweet me, etc. It’s truly inspiring and uplifting. As I enter this third year of blogging I wanted to share with you some advice, and some of the favorite posts I have done along the way- including reader favorites, the posts that have gotten the most traffic in the last two years.

First, a few things I have learned. (I’m not an expert at blogging and it’s something I do as a hobby, so keep that in mind. All of this is based on my personal and individual experience)

Now, on to the good stuff. Here are the posts that have received the most traffic since I started my blog on Dec. 9th, 2010. 🙂 (these are in order of highest traffic received to date)

Revlon Lip Butters- totally dig the packaging

Revlon Lip Butters- totally dig the packaging

  1. Revlon Lip Butters: This was a post I did with all of Revlon Lip Butters I had purchased back in November last year. I still enjoy the picture of all of the tubes! It remains my number 1 most viewed post of all time and frequently ranks in my weekly traffic a year later.
  2. Battle of the Blush: Peach/Orange/Coral Edition: Of course I would myself love any post that included that in the title, being the blush fiend that I am. It’s interesting that this ranks higher than a post I did more recently with better swatches and in pan comparisons. Whatever works 🙂
  3. Milani Baked Blushes: I admit I sometimes cringe a little when I view my older posts. Though I think the content is still good, I view it with an ever-critical eye. The swatches in this post are messy and I want to go all Monk and straighten them out. However, the swatches are still fairly clear and obviously popular enough to rank as #3.
  4. MAC Naturally & Iris Apfel Part 2: It doesn’t surprise me at all when MAC makes it in my top posts. It’s a popular brand that’s usually in high demand- especially with comparison swatches.
  5. MAC Tres Cheek Swatches & Comparisons: I was happy to see this post in my top 5. I spent an insane amount of work getting all of the blushes and comparisons swatches done. The high traffic is a symbolic high five for all of the effort.

Now that I have shared my top 5 traffic posts, I’d thought I’d share my personal top 5 favorite posts. Believe me, this wasn’t easy!

Number 5: NARS Mandchourie– This post is solidified in my top 5 because the eye look I created with the duo is one of my all-time favorites.

NARS Mandchourie

NARS Mandchourie

Number 4: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors– The reason this post ranks high for me is again because of the level of time it took for swatches but secondarily because I love looking at so many pretty highlighters in one place!

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Opal Comparisons 2

Number 3: Tango With Tangerine– It was Pantone’s color of the year in 2012 and I loved doing this color palette post.

Tangerine Tango Products

Number 2: The Look for Less– Dupe posts are some of my favorite posts to photograph and write, especially when the dupe is from the drugstore or significantly lower in price.

Chanel Mirifique vs Sephora Glitter Black

Chanel Mirifique vs Sephora Glitter Black

And…. *drumroll* my  Number 1 favorite post of all time….

Burberry Eyeshadow Collection– Comparisons and swatches galore this is probably the most comprehensive post I have done to date. I still enjoy referencing the swatches when I’m trying to remember how close a color is to another. It features most of my favorite brands for eyeshadows, including Rouge Bunny Rouge and of course, Burberry!

Burberry Pale Barley Comparisons

I hope you enjoyed these posts as much as I enjoyed making them!

To make it just a *little* more interesting I thought I’d also share some of my most favorite products of all time. I thought long and hard about what I would be really torn up about not having in my collection. As in, you go to look for something and suddenly it’s disappeared! Here is what I would desperately miss:

Guerlain Parure Up Close

Guerlain’s limited edition Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder (the peacock design!!!) It adds the most ethereal “lit from within” glow to the skin. I admit I got it for the peacock design- incidentally peacocks are my favorite bird and the current wallpaper on my phone 😉

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Instense #19

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Instense #19

My love for these shadows has my collection about 22 shades strong- this one is probably my most favorite shade.

Fav Palette 2011 Chanel

Sadly, also limited edition, the  Ombres Perlees de Chanel palette is one of the best ever created in my opinion. The shimmer and the creamy/buttery texture has never been duplicated in any other palette I have tried.

Tarte Spring 2012 Amazonian Clay Blushes

The entire line of the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes. I believe I own every shade ever made- and that’s not a feat I have accomplished with any other brand or type of blush. My favorite.

Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Gold Palette Shadows

Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Gold Palette Shadows

One of the prettiest packaging designs and amazing color combination palettes ever. 2 years later it’s still a top pick for me.

EL Modern Mercury

Estee Lauder Modern Mercury- I missed out on this elusive highlighter when it initially launched but was able to obtain by swap later on. Amazing and I wish it was permanent.

Burberry Lip Mist in Feather Pink

Burberry Lip Mist in Feather Pink

Burberry is probably my top brand for designer beauty. The packaging and formulas are top notch and the colors are all wearable. The lip mist in Feather Pink is one of my most used lipsticks of all time.

NARS Spring 2012 Haul

NARS Mexican Rose Lip Pencil is probably one of the best bright lippies I own. Long-wearing, comfortable and highly pigmented. The entire Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil range is not to be missed.

Burberry Rosewood Eyeshadow

Burberry Rosewood Eyeshadow

Burberry’s Rosewood eyeshadow is one not to be missed. It was the first shade I owned and spawned a huge addiction for me.

UD 24-7 liner swatches L-R: Whiskey, Bourbon, Corrupt, Stray Dog, Lucky, Baked, Midnight Cowboy, Stash, Mildew, Covet, Electric, Flipside, Binge, Crash, Lust, Ransom, Asphyxia, Rockstar

UD 24-7 liner swatches L-R: Whiskey, Bourbon, Corrupt, Stray Dog, Lucky, Baked, Midnight Cowboy, Stash, Mildew, Covet, Electric, Flipside, Binge, Crash, Lust, Ransom, Asphyxia, Rockstar

My collection has grown since Urban Decay has released more shades, but their 24-7 liner is something I reach for on a weekly, if not daily basis. It lasts the whole day on my lids and they are constantly coming out with unique shades.

Zoya FeiFei Swatch

Zoya FeiFei polish surprised me. It’s sparkle factor cannot be denied, and it’s color-changing properties are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a polish. My other top polish pick was Butter London All Hail the Queen, but for some reason I don’t have a picture of a swatch…I must never have featured it individually! For shame. The formula and color are pure perfection.

I could go on and on….I have so many favorites but I think I need to stop here. I want to say thank you again to everyone who has made the last two years of blogging something I have enjoyed immensely, and hope to have many more of in the future. Look out for a giveaway in the next week, as well as my 2012 favorites! Cheers!


28. 10. 2012

In my last post I said I was planning a recent favorites entry and here we are. I wanted to share some of the products that have really been staples for me over the past two (or more) months. During the move and my early visits to Chicago before the transition I was relegated to using makeup out of a makeup bag so I learned to pick my choices wisely. Natural and versatile are two words I would choose to describe the items I ended up falling in love with all over again, and some for the first time.


I stuck with products that would work with anything and were versatile enough to change up my eyes & lips when I wanted to.

Estee Lauder Modern Mercury- For powder highlight this has been my go-to. I’m sad that this was limited edition because it’s absolutely fabulous and works great as a brightening eyeshadow as well

Benefit Watt’s Up- When I wasn’t using Modern Mercury I was using this. I think it’s the only one I’ve been using for the last two weeks for sure. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it until now. I have Becca Moonstone shimmering skin perfector on the way so I’m interested to see how the two compare.

NARS Madly- This was the blush I used for most of August and early September. It’s one of my all time favorites in general, but probably my most used from NARS.

Chanel Rose Ecrin- This was my first Chanel blush and I keep going back to it. It gives the perfect rosy/nude flush to cheeks. If I could suggest any Chanel blush of the ones I have tried/own it would be this one. Darker skin tones may have a harder time pulling it off though, because it is a bit lighter.

Mark Pro Bronze- This is the only bronzer I have used (I may have used others a mere handful of times) since May. It is barely showing a dent and I use it every day. The next bronzer on my list is from Edward Bess, but I haven’t taken the plunge and ordered it just yet because I love this one so much. I would like to see Daydream in person (or if you have tried it, what your thoughts are).

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller- I started using this again recently after switching from my Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (I use a combo if light and medium to get my perfect shade match) just to freshen up my routine a bit. I like this a lot for under the eyes and I believe this is my second or third rollerball.

Swatches L-R: Mark Pro Bronze, NARS Madly, Chanel Rose Ecrin, Estee Lauder Modern Mercury, Benefit Watt’s Up


For lips I stuck with neutrals for the most part. I spent a lot of time in meetings so I needed things that looked polished and professional and didn’t really distract anyone.

Buxom White Russian- I saw this on Michele1218’s Youtube Channel awhile back and I think I purchased it sometime in July. I think it’s a great nude gloss and the formula is really enjoyable. It does have that minty tingle, but it’s not overpowering. I am sensitive about products with the “tingle factor” in them because they usually irritate my lips but the Buxom product don’t.

NARS Greek Holiday- For going out this gloss is one of my favorites. I wear it alone of layered over a lipstick. It has the most gorgeous sparkle to it (though not at all gritty) and the NARS lipgloss formula ranks in my top favorites for sure.

NARS Lip Pencil Sex Machine- This is a great neutral color. It adds just enough pop to the lips without being overly noticeable or showy. I use it when I want to brighten my face a little bit but don’t want anything loud. The lasting power is great and of all the shades I own I think I use this one the most.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Rose*- This has to be my favorite liquid lipstick to date. They are incredibly creamy and pigmented. You only need a small amount and the lasting power is almost unbelievable. This color is a nice rosy neutral. I also have Empress which is a deep berry shade perfect for fall. I have my eye on Canvas and Muse next. Go figure that I’d pick the coral. 😉

Dior Addict Extreme Incognito- I fell in love with the Addict Extreme formula when I purchased Saint Tropez much earlier this year (May?) and knew I wanted a shade that could carry me into the fall. I chose a nude because I wanted something I could just pull out of my bag and apply without a mirror. This did the trick. I love it!

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color Plum Rose- I had first seen Plum Rose what seems like forever ago on Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog here. I fell in love with the shade but we were headed into spring at the time so I didn’t give it much more thought as I knew it would be a great fall color. This past summer I started looking at a new plum or berry shade of lipstick that was a little less bold and a little more neutral and came back to this. It was out of stock for several weeks on the Bobbi Brown website, but once I got the email notification that it was available again I pounced. I love the shade and the formula wears comfortably.

Blistex Medicated Balm- An old favorite. Tried and true, I always have several of these in my bag and around the house. It heals my lips and keeps them moisturized better then anything else I have ever tried.

Swatches L-R: Dior Incognito, Bobbi Brown Plum Rose, NARS Sex Machine, NARS Greek Holiday, Buxom White Russian, Hourglass Rose


I will start with mascara. I have been having lots of fun trying new types and brands of mascara lately. I have gotten some really nice sample mascaras: Diorshow New Look, Lancome Hypnose Star, Chantecaille Faux Cils. All three are lovely and I’m still deciding if I will purchase full sizes. I still have a full size of my all time favorite Lancome Hypnose Drama waiting in the wings, so we’ll see. I also tried the Marykay lash love waterproof mascara* and lash primer* and was thoroughly impressed. I have used the waterproof mascara the most the last two months. I discovered that sometimes when I thought my eyeliner was smudging it was really my mascara. I used to be against waterproof mascara unless you knew you were going to get wet or going to cry because they are such a pain to remove. It still is more difficult then regular mascara but I definitely prefer the staying power.

Again, with eyes I stuck to more neutral colors with little pops of bling and black.

Noir Eyeliner in Forever Noir- I have almost exclusively worn black eyeliner for the past several weeks. I have been testing different application methods and a few different formulas and found a favorite in the Noir eyeliner that was included in a Birchbox a few months ago. It is quite black and stays put all day. Most black liners I have tried smudge after 6-8 hours. This goes strong until I remove it.

Urban Decay 24-7 liners in LSD, Mushroom and Midnight Cowboy- I love the UD 24-7 liner formula. I picked up the Ocho Loco set a few weeks ago with LSD and Mushroom being the two shades I wanted most. It is a good deal if you like the formula so I recommend checking it out. Midnight Cowboy was from the set they released last year and it’s a nice eye-brightening shimmery beige.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill in shades 9 and 26- I have long sung the praises of these shadows and they will always be in my top favorites for formula and shade range. 9 is a peachy-champagne and 26 is a light brown/gold. They last all day even with a primer and just brighten the eyes like no other.

Sephora 12 Hour Pencil in Beige- This is a great all-over lid color when you just want to swipe and go. I use it frequently during the work week.

Tarte EmphasEyes Clay Shadow Stick- This doesn’t have a shade name but it’s a nice bronzey-brown that doesn’t turn orange on me. It lasts all day and is easy to blend.

Dior Earth Reflection Quint- Dior makes one of my favorite eyeshadow formulas. Not all of the Dior quints are equal in terms of formula and color payoff. I have been disappointed by some in the past, but that’s not true here. Earth Reflection gets a lot of use from me because it’s easy to create something lighter or darker and the shadows are incredibly buttery and iridescent. I have some more of the quints to show you soon (Fairy Golds, Night Golds and Golden Savannah) so be on the look out for those.

Swatches L-R: Earth Reflection Quint, Giorgio Armani 26, Giorgio Armani 9, Tarte EmphasEyes, Sephora Begie, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy, Mushroom, LSD, Noir Forever Noir

That’s all I have for now. I forgot to include nails in here but if I think back I really wore Chanel Delight, Butter London All Hail the Queen and Zoya FeiFei the most.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek in my makeup bag. What have you been using lately? Any rediscovered loves or new finds I should know about? Dish!

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

Even though I know many people do their favorites posts around now, I couldn’t help adding myself to that group. I don’t usually do a favorites every month because frankly my routine doesn’t change that often. Wearing something 2-3 times in a month isn’t enough to warrant mentioning it. However, if I wear something a dozen times it’s probably safe to say I was really  into it. So, that’s wear this post comes in (intentional grammatical misspelling for horrible pun purposes).

It was kind of a month of rediscovering old favorites.

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush– I got this a year ago. It’s such a smooth powder, very finely milled and it’s one of those blush/bronzers in one that were so big last spring/summer. It’s been great because when it saves time in the morning just using one product

NARS Oasis Gloss- One of my most favorite glosses ever. I got it last fall and it’s been my go-to gloss ever since. I feel like it looks nice when I wear it alone, but I can also top ANY lipstick or lipliner with it if I want some extra shine. Not sticky at all!

Fresh Sugar Rose- I got this in a 500 point perk sometime last year. I never touched it until I think January. I believe all the hype I heard about these lip treatments now. I prefer to my Jack Black balm by far.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #9- The perfect lid color by itself or as a base. Doesn’t budge all day (I don’t use primer with it) and it is so eye brightening.

Urban Decay 24-7 liner Demolition- This was a new shade to the Urban Decay line and I picked it up in January. I love the staying power on this and it’s the perfect color of brown that I was looking for. It’s creamy and smooth.

MAC Embrace Me lipliner- I believe I got this at the end of January or early February. It’s been my staple color this month. You can wear it sheer or heavy for a highly pigmented lip (I wore it in this FOTD here). I have also been preferring lipliners to lipsticks. I pair them with a light balm or a gloss. Longer lasting color than most lipsticks I own.

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia- If I used highlighter at all it was this. When I am short on time highlighter is usually something I skip. The Estee Lauder blush I showed above is kind of glowy in and of itself so most days I didn’t need it.

MAC Everyday Palette- I first showed this palette in my 2011 year end favorites, and you can see swatches of all the shades here. Again, I was short on time so many days this month and I tend to reach for something that doesn’t involve a lot of thought. I used Moleskin and Charcoal Brown everyday for brows (second row left and middle shades), and Moleskin just about everyday for blending.

Swatches L-R: Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, Giorgio Armani #9, NARS Oasis, Estee Lauder Sea Star, Urban Decay Demolition, MAC Embrace Me

Most of the month I wore coral or nude polish.

Laura Mercier Cabana- Part of the newest collection. It’s a lovely shade and smooth formula. Very glossy looking. It might be the color I have chosen to wear for vacation 😉

Essie Topless & Barefoot- Although this was the nude I wore most this month, I have found a new favorite shade like I much more prefer over this one. More on that soon.

OPI Guy Meets Gal-veston- This was from OPIs collection last summer I believe. It’s what they call a ‘sorbet’ but that’s just their fancy way of saying ‘jelly’ polish. It’s shiny/squishy looking and the color is bright coral, perfect for spring and summer. I still have this on my nails right now.

L-R: Laura Mercier Cabana, Essie Topless & Barefoot, OPI Guy Meets Gal-veston

I also had a few favorite posts I wanted to share with you that I have come across recently:

J. from Lil Lady’s Life always has the most amazing pictures of her daily life in NYC (among all the beauty and skincare) and this post was no exception.

I always admire the FOTD posts that Jenny from My Funny Valentine does. She is so gorgeous! This post made me want to rush out and buy a new NARS lipgloss!

When the always amazing Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog posted about the new Estee Lauder Mad Men collection it made me feel secure in my decision to pre-order the collection (arrives tomorrow, eeek!)

What were your favorites this month? Anything that you really clung to or were you all over the place? Speaking of clung to, I think I found a new favorite hair oil (no, not Orofluido). I am still testing it, but expect a comparison to my favorite-cling-for-dear-life hair oil Moroccan Oil soon. 🙂