Mixed Metals New Year’s Eve Nails

For my New Year’s Eve nails this year, I decided to mix some gold and silver to match the dress I’ll be wearing. I also liked the idea of doing something different on every nail. 

I love how they turned out! (Unfortunately my left thumb nail and my right pointer finger both suffered tragedies earlier this week ☹️) 

Nail polishes used:

  • Essie Good As Gold
  • Essie No Place Like Chrome
  • Broadway Nail Art Paint Silver Glitter
  • Formula X Corner Office 
  • B.m.c. Straight Up Black 

I used Winstonia stamping plates w117 and w107, as well as a dotting tool and small nail brush. 

Project Pan-uary

Sometimes the beauty industry can be overrun with the “buy, buy, buy” mindset. We are constantly being bombarded with new products, and being told by brands and influencers that we NEED them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love trying new products and buying beautiful new makeup. But I’m also all for anything that reminds us to be less wasteful, and to appreciate the things we have.

Project Pan is about picking a number of items in your collection that you plan to use up in a certain amount of time. Some people choose not to buy any new products in that time frame, but it’s totally up to you. For January, I am going to focus on my deluxe sample items since I have a lot to use up from beauty boxes and point rewards. I plan to use up 7 items by the end of January, along with the rest of my foil samples, which I’ve also been focusing on lately.

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  • Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – one of my favorites I’ve tried, and I’ve been using it for a couple of months so it’s about time to use it up and move to a new one!
  • Tarte Lights, Cameras, Lashes Mascara – one of my least favorite mascaras, as it doesn’t really add much oomph, so I use it for my bottom lashes. I put it in the project to remind myself to use it.
  • Clinique Pep Start Eye Cream – I love this product! It’s very smooth and hydrating. I have a few eye cream samples I need to work through, and this is the smallest, so I’m going to focus on using it until it’s gone.
  • Bite Lip Crayon in Rhubarb – This is a good product, but not a very exciting color. I’d like to move it out of my collection, which shouldn’t be hard because it’s just a tiny stub left!
  • MUFE Step 1 Primer – I just got this in my Sephora box, but have a lot of primers I need to use. I LOVE this, it is very smoothing and mattifying, so I don’t think it will be hard to use this.
  • MUFE Lipstick in N1 – This lipstick is also a somewhat boring color, and it gives my lips a weird texture, so I’m also planning to quickly use this up.
  • Cover FX Illuminating Primer – I love all the Cover FX primers I have tried. I really like this, and it is definitely illuminating and doesn’t compromise the wear of your makeup. I plan to use this exclusively after I finish the MUFE.

    And these are the foil samples I will use up.
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    What items would you like to focus on using and appreciating in January?

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My favorite bold lipsticks

On a majority of the days that I wear makeup, you can find me sporting a dark or bold lipstick – way more often than I wear light pinks or nudes. I swatched some of my most worn colors and provided a short review of each. For reference, I have light skin with  neutral undertones.

I’ll start with the lipstick I wear most often.

Bite Matte Creme Lip Crayon – Aubergine
This is a beautiful berry shade that I love for winter. It is a matte shade, but does have a bit of shine to it. It is extremely long lasting and I never find myself having to reapply, even after eating. Last year I wore it all night for New Year’s Eve and it stayed great! It can be drying (like most lipsticks) after a long day, but is not uncomfortable to wear.
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And a pretty good dupe that I unintentionally bought is Colourpop Matte Lippie Stix – LBB. They have close to the same finish, but I would say LBB is a little bit shinier and just a tad deeper. LBB is just as long lasting as the Bite formula, and also somewhat drying but comfortable.
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Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint – Yaassss
While I personally find some of their shade names silly, as soon as I put this on my lips I fell in love. The color is a perfect lavender, and while unconventional, is still very wearable. I do like the formula, but it isn’t a typical “matte liquid lipstick” it doesn’t fully dry down into a transfer proof lip, and isn’t as long lasting as you would expect. It does need to be reapplied, but isn’t drying. It is far from my favorite formula, but the color is unique in my collection.
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Colourpop Matte Lippie Stix – Grind
Another favorite purple, this one being a bit darker. The formula is about the same as LBB – a little drying, but long lasting and comfortable.
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Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick – Liquorice
I got this lipstick as a 100 point reward at Sephora. It’s a dark, vampy red. The formula is very creamy and not at all patchy, which I sometimes I have trouble with in colors this dark. These are made to be moisturizing and I would say I don’t think it’s necessarily moisturizing (not like lip balm or anything), but I don’t find them to be drying or uncomfortable in anyway. My only downside would be there is some transfer, but the color still stays on the lips and they are pretty long lasting (though not as much as their matte formula).
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Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip – Panda and Lyin’ King 
This formula was mentioned in my favorites of 2016 list, and once again I will say I love these lipsticks! They are extremely long lasting, pigmented, and comfortable on the lips. While they have a satin finish, they do dry down to a point where there is no transfer. Two of my favorite colors are Panda, a purple toned berry shade, and Lyin’ King, a deep pink.
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Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – Echo 
This is my only blue lipstick and initially took some courage to wear. It is long lasting and transfer proof, while not being as drying as other lipsticks I have tried. I have heard the complaint that they are too drying, but I am personally pretty used to the feeling and they don’t bother me. Some of the darker colors can be patchy, and I did have to apply 2 coats to get the full and even coverage.
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These are all lipsticks that I love both the formula and color, and would highly recommend to purchase. If you have any recommendations for bold lipsticks, I would love to hear them! Lipstick is probably my favorite makeup item and my collection is always growing.

 

 

 

 

My Christmas Eve Makeup

I did a simple look with bright red lips for my holiday look today.

  • Make Up For Ever Step 1 primer
  • Maybelline Fit Me Dewy and Smooth foundation
  • Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum concealer
  • City Colour HD powder
  • Urban Decay Gwen Stefani blush palette (Hush)
  • Mary Lou Manizer highlighter
  • UD Primer Potion (original)
  • ABH Modern Renaissance palette
  • Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara
  • Sephora Creme Lip Stain (01 Always Red)

My favorite Beauty Youtubers

When I started out in makeup, I often turned to YouTube to teach me how to use products and learn techniques. There are some youtubers that I still watch religiously, and turn to for reviews before heading out to buy something. Here are some of my favorites, and why I love them.

Tati/GlamLifeGuru
Tati has a special place in my heart because she was the first beauty guru I started watching on a regular basis. She puts out new content Monday – Friday, and does an extremely good job keeping up with new products. I mostly go to her for reviews, and thorough product tests (from drugstore to luxury), but she also does some “get ready with me” videos and usually joins in the fun trends such as “my boyfriend does my voiceover”.

BeautyWithEmilyFox
This is someone I go to for reviews and recommendations. One of my favorite things she does is side by side lipstick comparisons, wearing 2 lipsticks of the same color at the same time, and checking in throughout the day with which one is wearing better. On top of her great videos, she has such a sweet personality. She is French Canadian, so a lot of people say her accent takes some getting used to, but she is definitely worth a watch!

JKissaMakeup
JKissa is so creative and so skilled with eyeshadow. I love looking to her for specific tutorials, as well as general techniques that she uses to create her looks. She doesn’t wear foundation, so she is also great for people that want to make face makeup work without foundation.

KathleenLights
She is one of the most well known beauty gurus out there, so most people that are into beauty have heard of her. She has a great personality, and is someone I love listening to, even if she isn’t talking about makeup. Her makeup is very every day wearable for the average person, and her tutorials are easy to follow, and can be used even if you don’t have the same products. She showcases a ton of different products in her videos, and gives lots of reviews. My criticism of her is that she’s TOO nice and doesn’t really emphasize the cons of products- which if I’m spending my money on something, I want to know everything.

EmilyNoel83
She is so great! She is an average woman who everyone can relate to, and she works so hard to make helpful and informative videos. She is also a very well known guru. Detailed reviews are a huge strongpoint of her channel, and if I’m contemplating buying something, she’s someone I would look to for info. She’s currently doing her annual “Emily Awards” so it’s a great time to subscribe and check out her top 10 products in each category.

KimberlyClark
Kimberly Clark is a drag queen who not only talks about makeup, but also does a lot of informative and thoughtful videos on current events and social issues. She is most well known for her “Anti-Haul” videos, which instead of showing off what she bought, she talks about what she’s NOT going to buy. It’s a great reminder that the makeup industry is constantly throwing new products at us, and we don’t need to buy all of them! Her voice is often in my head “I DON’T need it, and I’m NOT gonna buy it!” She has a few series, one being “Listen Up” in which she talks about different issues and gives her viewpoint. Another one she does is “What Happened to Your Face” where she looks at her makeup after a long night, and describes what she’s wearing and how it held up, which is very helpful! She also does reviews, nail tutorials, and other miscellaneous fun videos. I always look forward to new videos from her, and always love hearing what she has to say! She has a fairly subscriber base, and is a great person to check out.

Who are your favorite Youtube beauty gurus?

 

Sephora Play December Unboxing

About this subscription: 
Play! by Sephora is a monthly subscription that costs $10 and comes with a bag of 5 deluxe sample items that are makeup, skincare, or haircare, and one fragrance sample. It also comes with a “Play Pass” which you can take into the store and receive 50 bonus points on your purchase.

When the boxes first came out, there was no variations between boxes – every subscriber got the same thing. Now the  boxes are becoming somewhat customized; at least one item you get is based on your answers to a survey. The box I got this month was box 244.

The box:

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The products:
I received

  •  Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
  • Drybar Bay Breeze Hydrating Shot
  • Bobbi Brown Smoky Eye Mascara
  • Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer
  • Sephora Cream Lip Stain (01 Always Red)
  • Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon

My first impressions:

MUFE Step 1 Primer – This definitely smoothed out my skin and gave my foundation a smooth application. I usually use a translucent powder after my foundation, but it didn’t feel necessary – my makeup felt smooth and set. I will definitely continue to use this.

UD All Nighter – I have heard great things about this, but never used it. My first impression was the mister seemed to let out almost too much product, but after it dried my skin felt soft and nice, and I couldn’t feel it on my face at all, which is a big plus.

Bobbi Brown Smoky Eye Mascara- I really like to play up my lashes, so I was initially disappointed because the wand has short bristles and isn’t anything special. However, after putting on even 1 coat I was really impressed. It added a lot of length and volume. I can definitely get on board with this!

Sephora Creme Lip Stain – this is a matte liquid lipstick that claims to be moisturizing. It does have some transfer at first, but dries down completely and is quite comfortable on the lips. It definitely isn’t as drying as other formulas I’ve tried. As for the color, I normally hate really bright colors because I think warm, dark colors look best on me, but I actually liked it quite a bit and it is growing on me the more I see it on myself! (It clashes with my sweater though!)

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I did not try the Drybar product because you are supposed to use the entire bottle at one time, and use it after shampooing.

Overall, this was a great box, and I will definitely be using all 5 products. I also loved that they switched up the bag, which is normally white, to black with gold lettering. At first look, this is one of my favorite boxes I have received.

My favorite beauty products of 2016

As the year is drawing to a close, I wanted to post about my tried and true products that I discovered or used during 2016. Most of these products were released before 2016, but were either new to me this year, or were products I used consistently from January to December.

Foundation/Base:

Smashbox BB Water
I always lean toward sheer or light coverage foundations, as I don’t have a need for heavy coverage, but do like to wear a base to make my blush and highlight stand out. However, a trend I have found with light coverage and dewy foundations, is they are not as long lasting. I sampled this foundation near the beginning of the year, and remember getting home and still clearly being able to see my blush on my cheeks and my skin looking great. I was so used to everything fading during the day that I stopped noticing it, until trying a new base. I do generally wear primer and setting spray or powder, but even without it, this tends to last all day.

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Blush:

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in the shade Mood Exposure 
I actually purchased this in 2015, but have not stopped wearing it since. It is the perfect natural looking blush that blends so flawlessly into the skin. This was SO pricey for me at the time, and I only purchased it because it was my birthday and I was getting a makeover at Sephora. When I saw it on my cheeks I immediately told the associate I wanted to buy it. After all the use I have gotten from it, I will repurchase in a heartbeat when I’m out.

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Highlighter:
I’m a girl that loves to glow, so I have 2 in this category.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed in the shade Opal 
I have a mini of this that I purchased in a set that also came with the liquid version. This has a pink-y tone to it, and makes me feel so glowy and beautiful.

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The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer
This one is a more white toned highlighter so I use this when I want to really shine. There is a ton of product in this pan, even after using it several times a week for over a year – it would take YEARS to use this up.

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Lips: 
I don’t go a day without wearing lipstick, so I have quite a few favorites.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in the shade Cruella
This came in a set for the Sephora birthday gift of 2015, and it’s my perfect red. I’m not a huge fan of bright tones on myself, so while I love red lipstick, I prefer a warm toned, dark shade of red. I loved this so much that I traded some of my beauty box samples for 2 more, so I won’t run out.

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Colourpop Ultra Satin Lips
As a teacher, my biggest priority in a lipstick is something I won’t have to reapply during the day, simply because I don’t have time. That usually happens to be something in a matte finish, which works, but also starts to leave my lips pretty dry. I am a huge fan of the brand Colourpop (the only downside being you can only buy online), and highly recommend their Lippie Stix in a matte finish, and their Lippie Pencils (lipliners), which are all very long lasting and come in a wide variety of colors. My favorite product, however, is the ultra satin lips. They apply like a regular liquid lipstick, but have a satin finish. They do have some transfer when first applied, but don’t make the color disappear from your lips, and eventually dry down. They are a lot more comfortable than a matte liquid lipstick, which makes them great for winter.

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Bite Matte Creme Lip Crayon in the shade Aubergine 
I purchased this last year on New Year’s Eve and have just about used the entire tube. It’s a great bold berry shade, and I like the crayon style for application. I also strangely love that it smells like lemon.

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And swatches of all of them:
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Eyeshadow:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette 
This is a fairly new palette that sold out when it was released, so while I just purchased it in early November, it’s already a favorite that I haven’t put down. It made me fall in love with warm red and orange eyeshadow looks, as well as gave me an appreciation for mattes. It’s versatile -you can go soft and romantic pink, intense and deep red, or neutral. The quality of the shadows is fantastic in both pigment and blendability. The only worry I have about this palette is that the shadows are quite soft, and I have seen people pan the shades pretty quickly.
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Mascara:
Too Faced Better Than Sex
This is the best mascara I have found that gives me the most length, as well as the most volume – not just one or the other. I really like the brush and the formula, and I like that it isn’t hard to remove.

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Nails:
Essie Good as Gold
This is a great opaque but not chunky glittery gold, which also works amazingly for stamping! I’m not a huge fan of Essie’s brush, but this polish is the perfect consistency to make it work.
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Skincare:

Pond’s Dry Skin Cream 
I have extremely dry, dehydrated skin and I use this every night before bed. It makes my skin feel soft and hydrated, and is super affordable!
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And here is a look I put together using most of the products. I’m wearing Colourpop Frick n’ Frack on my lips, and Urban Decay Perversion mascara on my lashes.

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What were your favorite products this year?