Wednesday, 1 July 2015

June Favorites

Another month, another favorites list.  During the month of June I finally received all of the products that I ordered over the past few months (an epic haul featured on my instagram here, made possible by my mother who brought them to me!) I'm still working on photographing everything, so most of the products are still untouched. But during June I did crack into a few of the products, some of which I quickly fell in love with. And I rediscovered a few stellar products that have been in my collection for years. So, without further ado, here are my monthly favorites!

Diptyque Philosykos Eau de Toilette: After having my eye on Philosykos for years (thanks to bloggers like ViviannaDoesMakeup and Lily Pebbles), I finally pulled the trigger on this thanks to an incentivizing 20% off at BeautyBar. My only regret is that I didn't pick up Philosykos sooner. It is absolutely lush. It is fresh, but warm at the same time and I cannot stop spritzing myself with it. I'm slightly afraid I'll go through the bottle too quickly, but it would be an easy repurchase for me if I do. Available at BeautyBar for $90.

Dior Glossy Lipliner in 463 Candy Rose: I only have a sample size of this lipliner, which I picked up from IzzysBeautyShoppe after hearing LisaLisaD1 rave about it. Dior no longer makes the glossy lipliners, unfortunately, but the shade 463 Bois de Rose in Dior's regular lipliner line appears to be a shade match. It's a mid-toned warm pink—nothing terribly unique, but what I love it for is to provide a base for the next product...

L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm in Nourishing Nude: The Colour Riche Balms from L'Oreal don't seem to get a lot of love in the beauty world, but I love the glossy finish that they give the lips. My biggest gripe is that they have basically zero lasting power. That problem is easily solved by wearing them over a lip liner. The shade Nourishing Nude is a warm beigy nude color that looks great paired over virtually any lip liner. On top of Dior's Candy Rose, it becomes a pinkier nude. The lipliner helps the Colour Riche Balm last longer, while the Balm makes the lipliner feel much more comfortable and moisturized on the lips. It's a win-win!

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream in Medium: Despite the fact that many people love a host of products by IT Cosmetics, as a brand it doesn't really appeal to me. Something about the aesthetic of it comes across a bit cheap or tacky to me. I also despise pretty much anything marketed as a BB or CC cream. Despite that, however, in late May I decided to try a sachet sample of the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream in Medium. I was sure that it would be far too dark on me, but I was very pleasantly surprised that it was a good shade match for me (perhaps it would be too dark in the dead of winter, but with a bit of summer color, it's a great match). It is pretty high coverage and it gives a pretty flawless finish to the skin. Because it has excellent SPF (50+ broad spectrum protection), I've been wearing it a lot recently as I've been out in the sun more than normal! The shade range is super limited (fair, light, medium, tan, and rich) but if you can find a match, I would really recommend trying it out. Available at Beautylish for $38.

Monika Strigel Really Mermaid iphone 6 case: After almost 5 years with my trusty iphone 4, I decided to upgrade to an iphone 6, which was an excellent excuse to buy a new case. I love the glittery mermaid fish scale-ness about this one. It's not the sturdiest case out there, but it's gorgeous! I bought it from Casetify for $39.95 (if you use the code *HN3HUF, you can get $10 off + free shipping on any purchase from Casetify, just FYI).

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette + Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyeshadow in Angelic Cockatiels: This has been my absolute go-to eyeshadow combo for months now. The formulation of Rouge Bunny Rouge's eyeshadows is unparalleled--they are so buttery, and Angelic Cockatiels is the most stunning shimmery pale gold I've ever seen. I apply this to my lid with a blend of Salted Caramel + Milk Chocolate in the crease. It's professional enough that I feel comfortable wearing this combo to work and it really brings out blue eyes. I couldn't imagine my collection without either one of these products. The Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette is available at Ulta for $49 and you can grab Rouge Bunny Rouge Angelic Cockatiels at Beauty Habit for $25.

Erin Condren 12-Month LifePlanner: Even though I've always been an avid list-maker, I've never been a big planner person. But I recently started seeing a lot of videos pop up on YouTube about the Erin Condren planner in particular (and all of the stickers & accessories available for the EC planner). Given that I have little willpower to resist such things, I ordered my first planner at a substantial discount (50%) as it was well into April by the time I ordered it. I am now obsessed with using my planner to track everything from my workouts, my water intake, my holidays, dinners with friends, to my makeup brush washing schedule, etc. Even if my life is a hot mess, this planner gives me a (possibly false) sense of organization! It's also sturdy enough to handle being chucked into my much-too-full work bag everyday! 18-month versions of the LifePlanner (through the end of 2016) are available at *ErinCondren starting at $55.

What are your June Favorites? You know the drill, leave them below or link me to yours! I'd love to have a look at them. And please head to BloglovinInstagram, and Twitter to follow me!

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows

A few posts ago (here, to be precise) I noted that I was late to the Colourpop party. Well, I am even later to the Makeup Geek party, which is a real pity! For the past few years I had heard bloggers and YouTubers rave about Makeup Geek shadows, but I was able to resist until I saw Jaclyn Hill's Antique Bronze Smokey Eye tutorial. The irony is that I think she only used one Makeup Geek shadow in this look (Peach Smoothie), but it was enough to make me place an order.

Like 98% of my shadow purchases, I stuck to neutral shades for this order—but I did mix up the finishes a bit, getting some mattes and some shimmers. I limited myself to ordering 9 shadows, so that they would fit perfectly into a small Z palette ('cause I'm persnickety like that).

I've worn at least one shade almost every day since I got these (Peach Smoothie, Unexpected, Latte, or some combination of them make fantastic crease colors). They are pigmented and incredibly blendable. I'm sorry I waited so long to try them out! I know many people suspect that YouTubers, in particular, only give these good reviews because they have received the products for free or are affiliates. Neither of those apply to me (I paid for these with my own money), but I still think they are great quality and would encourage anyone on the fence to give them a try.

The shades I got are:
  • Homecoming (medium brown with gold shimmer)
  • Peach Smoothie (light peach beige)
  • Barcelona Beach (medium sand)
  • Shimma Shimma (metallic champange)
  • Latte (medium brown)
  • Prom Night (shimmery pale greyish purple)
  • Cupcake (medium pink)
  • Unexpected (pale pink brown)
  • Cocoa Bear (very warm reddish brown)
Each Makeup Geek shadow costs $5.99 (and are totally worth it) through What are your favorite shades? Let me know below!

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Friday, 12 June 2015

Wayne Goss Brushes in 04 + 18

Wayne Goss Brush 18 and Brush 4
Confession: despite being a die hard beauty junkie, I've never really been into brushes. I have a few popular must haves (like the MAC 217 and Sigma F80), but for the most part the world of brushes has left me feeling confused and overwhelmed. And I've always suspected that those who rave about super high end brushes must be suffering from a touch of 'the Emperor's New Clothes' syndrome.

But a few months back, I woke up with an undeniable urge to invest in brushes. Much like I have realized that good skincare is worth the investment (and allows you to use the more fun makeup products you have to fuller effect), I realized that brushes may indeed make all the difference. So I started to do just a tiny bit of research.

I knew that I did not really want to add to the number of synthetic brushes I own (I'm pretty satisfied with the Real Techniques and other brands that I have). But, given my fairly recent switch to cruelty free, I also did not feel comfortable buying standard natural brushes. And I did not want to spend an arm and leg on new brushes, nor did I particularly want to dive into the overwhelming brush abyss that is Hakuhodo/Chikuhodo.

Enter Wayne Goss Brushes. I had heard lots of raves about his line of brushes since they launched back in 2014, but given my brush apathy, I had never really explored the line until now. They are certified cruelty free (although I confess that I'm not 100% sure of what that entails) and they are sold on Beautylish, which easily has the best customer service and quickest shipping of any online retailer. For my first order, I was quite restrained and only picked up two eye brushes: 04 (a small/medium-ish crease brush that the website says is perfect for hooded eyes, which it is!) and 18 (a flat shader brush that works well for applying color to the lid).

Brush 18, the flat shader brush, is a good brush for applying color, but while it is very nice, I don't find it to be dramatically different from other flat shader brushes I own. Brush 4, the medium crease brush, on the other hand, is far superior to any other crease brush I own. It is exceptionally soft and silky, and using it feels like a little bunny is gently caressing your eyelid. I'm not even kidding about that—it's literally what I think of each and every time I use this brush. The bristles are the perfect density—soft enough to blend out colors perfectly, yet not overly floppy. Since I got this brush, all my other crease brushes (ahem, I'm talking about you MAC 217) have been relegated to my brush drawer.

Top: Brush 4; Bottom: Brush 18
I truly have been so happy with these brushes—and their price point (Brush 18 is $26 and Brush 4 is $28)—that last night I submitted another Beautylish order and grabbed Brush 14, which I'm planning on using for highlighters. I appreciate the fact that the Wayne Goss Collection is more edited than other lines. As I become more familiar with what types of higher end brushes I will need and actually use, it helps to not have hundreds of brushes to choose from!

Do you have any Wayne Goss brushes? What are your favorite brushes to use? Let me know in the comments!

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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

New In: Skincare!

Aside from the occasional 'favorite masks' post, I seldom write about skincare. I attribute this to a variety of factors: my own lack of knowledge, the huge variability in what constitutes good skincare from person to person, and the fact that I have never really had what I would consider good skin.  My skin wasn't the absolute worst as a teen, but it was far from great. And as my 20s marched on and I inched closer and closer to 30, I thought I was doomed to suffer from breakouts and the occasional cystic spot for eternity.

Fortunately, however, over the past 1.5 years or so I have discovered some absolutely stellar products and (with a lot of help from Caroline Hirons's blog) a good routine that keeps my skin pretty clear. I'm still working on refining the texture of my skin, which is exceptionally clog-prone, and now I'm also segueing into increasing amounts of anti-aging/age prevention skincare.

At some point I will try to do a more comprehensive post on my skincare, but for now I would say that the two main things that have made a significant difference for me are 1) oil cleansing and 2) using acids like it is my job! If a product contains AHAs or BHAs, basically I want it to be on my face. I have incredibly un-sensitive skin, so I'm able to tolerate harsher treatments than many. I also need to help my skin exfoliate itself so that it doesn't get all clogged. Thus, many of my all time favorite products contain great chemical exfoliants, including these two, which are fairly new-ish to my collection.

I used up at least 3 samples of the Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment prior to purchasing the full bottle (at $105 per bottle, I recommend waiting for a sale at Sephora, Dermstore, or other retailers before you buy as it will save you a good amount of money). Good Genes contains lactic acid, which both plumps AND renews the skin (essentially an anti-aging/exfoliation 2-for-1). Some people find that this tingles on the skin, but I really have only ever noticed a tingle once or twice, on days when my skin was particularly delicate.

After cleansing and toning my face in the morning, this is the first thing I slap on. I really think that this product has made the biggest single difference in smoothing out my skin and diminishing any rough texture or bumps that I normally get, especially on my chin and forehead. I don't think I could be without this product ever again. As an aside: I have the Sunday Riley Luna on its way and I literally cannot contain my excitement at trying it out. I hope it is as lovely as everyone says!

I ordered the REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate more or less on a whim. I generally love REN products, and appreciate that they are both Cruelty Free and avoid using synthetic ingredients and additives. The Resurfacing AHA Concentrate also uses lactic acid to exfoliate and also claims to reduce pore size and minimize fine lines. So far I have only used this a handful of times as part of my evening routine (under a serum like the Sarah Chapman Overnight Facial), so I can't say whether it has lived up to all of its claims yet. But I have noticed that my skin looks glowy and fresh in the morning when I've worn this, so I have no complaints thus far. The REN Resurfacing AHA Concentrate seems to be a good night time complement to Good Genes, and at $45 it is much less expensive. Available at Sephora, Dermstore, and

Let me know below if you've tried these products or if there are any other skincare products that you would recommend! I'm always on the hunt.

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