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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
The first day of Autumn is just around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited. While I enjoy the summer, it’s been quite hot and humid here for about as long as I can tolerate. I prefer the fall with the cool breeze, changing colors and warm soups! I love the weather when you need to throw a sweatshirt on to go for a walk at night.
In celebration of fall I went through my makeup and picked out the shades for eyes, lips, cheeks and nails that I always wear this time of year. I am going to start with my favorite- blushes!
Shown: NARS Madly, Hourglass Mood Exposure and Laura Mercier Mocha Spice
In the fall I tend to go for similar colors for lips and cheeks. Nudes, berries and rosy tones make up the majority of my choices for both categories. I think I reach for nudes more because I tend to amp up my eyes more in the fall. These three shades are all very nude, in my opinion. None of them are completely matte, which I like. Nude shades can be harder to blend into the skin without a satin finish or a bit of sheen. It makes it more skin-like.
Shown: Tarte Blushing Bride, MAC Stark Naked, NARS Mata Hari, NYX Raisin
Not all berry shades have to be intimidating. They can be a berry pink, have a mauve tone, etc. that make them easier to wear. MAC Stark Naked was limited edition (NARS Sin is somewhat close) but the rest are readily available. Mata Hari was a surprise for me when I bought it years ago because I expected it to be a summer color. While it does look great with a tan, Mata Hari is a chameleon. It has just enough mauve/murkiness to it mixed with the right amount of berry pink. It’s a must have for me.
Shown: Illamasqua Sin, NARS Mounia, Becca Raspberry/Opal
While you can certainly use more sheer tones, it’s also fun to throw in some of those really pigmented colors that can imitate the effect of the cold. Illamasqua Sin and NARS Mounia are perfect for the fall. NARS Mounia was discontinued awhile back, but try a shade like NARS Taos or MAC Ambering Rose for a similar effect. Becca’s Beach Tint Shimmer in Raspberry/Opal is also worthy of fall must-have status. It’s the only cream product that made my list- but for good reason. The color gives a nice, refreshing berry tint while the highlighting aspect leaves behind a warm and wearable gold sheen. The two paired together are perfection and the formula is wonderful with excellent staying power.
Swatches from L-R: Illamasqua Sin, NARS Mounia, NARS Mata Hari, Tarte Blushing Bride, MAC Stark Naked, NYX Raisin, Hourglass Mood Exposure, NARS Madly, Laura Mercier Mocha Spice, Becca Raspberry/Opal
Also worth noting are the two highlighters I reach for in the fall season.
Shown: Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous and Guerlain Parure de Nuit
Both of these majestic (yes, it’s that serious) highlighters were sadly limited edition. Try another highlighter from Guerlain, like their meteorites perles. MAC has released a highlighter called Superb that is pretty spot-on for Rose Rendezvous. I have some comparison swatches of similar highlighters done here. If you ever spot one of these in a blog sale definitely snatch it up!
That wraps up my favorite cheek products for the fall. I’ll be doing eyes next!
It’s all-too-often that beauty products get released from various brands that try to
copy err, recreate an already existing shade almost down to the exact detail. For example, MAC’s very famous eyeshadow Club. So many brands have come out with their version of the shade with very few distinctions between themselves and the original. While it’s all fine and good to have alternatives or possibly even a cheaper option, it’s the lack of creativity that sometimes frustrates beauty lovers. Give us something new, innovative, unique!
That’s where NARS hit it out of the park with the newly released single eyeshadow in Malacca.
When I first heard about this shadow I really paid no attention to it (shame on me). I honestly thought it was “just another version of MAC Club…. that I don’t need.” It wasn’t until seeing it in person that I realized just how wrong I was.
MAC’s Club (and the other iterations of it) and I haven’t gotten along too well. The undertones of the shade pull too red on me and make me look tired or sick. Not something I aim to do, so it’s not really a shade I reach for. Many years I have listened to beauty lovers extoll the virtues of MAC Club only to be left on the sidelines because it doesn’t play well with my skin tone. But no longer!
NARS Malacca in formulation is perfection. It is smooth, pigmented and silky to the touch. It blends well in application and I don’t experience any heavy fall out. NARS describes this shade as iridescent peacock. I guess that’s as good a description as any I could muster. Sometimes it’s a cool brown, other times it flashes a teal-green shimmer and others it’s a mid-toned taupe. It is so many things at once that I can hardly contain myself.
The true test, though, would be how it compared to other “similar” shades I already owned:
Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette, Ellis Faas E305, MAC Blue-Brown Pigment, MAC Club, NARS Malacca, Too Faced Label Whore
Swatches L-R: MAC Blue-Brown Pigment, Too Faced Label Whore, Wet n Wild Comfort Zone Palette, MAC Club, NARS Malacca, Ellis Faas E305
As you can see from the swatches above, NARS Malacca is unlike the other colors that came before it. It’s definitely more wearable on my skin tone, and the flashes of teal work so nicely alongside the taupe color it blends into.
You can see me wearing Malacca in my most recent video here.
Malacca is a must have for me. It’s what I have always wanted MAC Club to look like on my skintone! Have you checked this shade out or were you like me in thinking you totally didn’t need it?
Yes, spring is very near! Time to bust out the pinks and corals and of course, the cream blushes!
Here are my picks/thoughts: