June 27, 2018

June Favorites

Hi guys! It’s been a while since I’ve done a monthly favorites post, so I thought June would be the perfect time to update it! 

Starting off with eye products, the Alamar Reina del Caribe Vol. 1 eyeshadow palette has been my go-to recently. I received it in this month’s Boxycharm and have been using it ever since. I love the warm neutrals, which as you guys know, are right up my alley. But it’s the other colors in this palette that forced me to get out of my own comfort zone. I’ve been able to play around more confidently with more daring colors that I would have never even considered. On days where I’m wearing minimal makeup — hello southeastern summer — i’ll wear Coco Taxi by itself in my crease and blend it out. More daring days or occasions will have me dipping into Varadero and Celia. 

Alamar Reina del Caribe Vol. 1
The other eyeshadow palette that’s been giving me life lately is the Morphe 3502 Second Nature palette. Don’t ask me about my favorite shades, because I wouldn’t be able to tell you. This is the only eyeshadow palette I took with me when we went on our DC trip. It’s pretty large, and definitely not travel sized, but it was perfect for a longer trip. I had every conceivable shade I could need, what more could I have asked for? (A mirror, probably, haha).

Morphe 3502 Second Nature palette 

I almost always have a mascara to talk about in makeup posts, and this month is no different. I got this sample sized Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara and am so in love with it. It has an hourglass shaped wand, much like Loreal’s Lash Paradise and Too Faced’s Better than Sex. I love everything about it— the formula, the application, its performance. Even though this is a sample size, it’s really gone a long way and still has more to give.

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara
I’m always so drawn to lip and eye products, that I sometimes completely neglect complexion products. In the time since I’ve last posted about makeup, I’ve been introduced to a few different products that I’m loving. While I do try and prime my face, the primers I’ve had in the past haven’t done too well on me. For one reason or another, I ultimately stopped using them altogether. Then, I found the Cover FX Blurring Primer. It’s the exact consistency I was looking for and wears really well under my makeup. I don’t have to worry about it changing the color or finish of my foundation.

I've really been loving NYX lately and in keeping with that trend, I purchased their matte finish setting spray after hearing enough people rave about it on YouTube. It’s not a new product, but the setting spray I’d been using is “illuminating” and was overpowering on my face. I was starting to look like the tin man every time I used it. The spray is really gentle coming out of the bottle and covers a wide area in one spritz. I’d wear this while working doubles on some of the busiest days at work, and it held up perfectly.

Cover FX Blurring Primer | NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray

I’ve never been much of a concealer person, but I thought I’d give the Wet n’ Wild Photofocus Concealer a shot. I got it in the shade light ivory to brighten up my under-eye area. I love love love this stuff. I don’t use it every day, especially right now that it’s officially summertime in the south. But when I do, I can count on it to not crease and stay in place all day. Plus, it’s really, really inexpensive. 

Wet n' Wild Photofocus Concealer
Can you tell I really like the NYX HD Finishing Powder in Banana? I’ve gotten a few powder contour & highlight palettes in the past and the banana shade is always the first to hit pan. I have light olive skin and the first two shades are perfect for setting my foundation. I finally went out and just purchased a standalone powder and I haven’t looked back.

NYX HD Finishing Powder
I’ve used (and have fallen in love with) The BrowGal products before and have loved them. So when I received The Insta-tint (in brown hair 02), I was really excited. This quickly made its way to the top of my list. It instantly replaced my Glossier Boy-Brow. While I love the Boy Brow, the formula could get a little too thick, too quickly (at least for me). The insta-tint has a great formula that can be built up in the places that need it, while still looking natural. Its wand applicator is out of this world. It’s fairly thin and longer than I’ve typically seen on brow products, and it has just a little bit of give, so it’s not completely stiff. This makes application effortless and quick. Even on my no-makeup days, I’m probably wearing this on my brows.

Now I’ll mention a few products that never really stand out to me or that even come to mind when gathering my monthly favorites: beauty tools. If I can sometimes neglect completion products, then I completely ignore brushes. I know, I know. But when I find one I like, I never really look for anything else. Then I got these two brushes over the course of a couple of months in Boxycharm subscriptions. The Aesthetica p12 brush is perfect for bronzer, while I use the Luxie 522 tapered highlighter for… highlight. The Aesthetica brush initially threw me off. I didn’t know what to use it for because of its shape and density. (You guys have to keep in mind that I don’t know much about brushes.) Then I saw an unboxing video where they used it as for bronzer and it clicked. I’ve used so many brushes in the past to apply bronzer/contour and have had to adopt certain techniques to get them to work. This one just works. The way it’s supposed to, and without any sort of compromise.The same can be said about the Luxie. 

Luxie 522 Tapered Highlighting Brush

Aesthetica P12 brush

Still in love with my Becca highlighter in Prosecco Pop 

Bullet lipsticks took a backseat for a while when the liquid lipstick craze began. I admit that I fell into the trend, but my lips were suffering. I missed the ease of application and the forgiveness bullet lipsticks provide. I am happy to announce that my love of matte lips and non-drying formulas has made it onto my vanity. Here are some of the ones I’m most excited about. 

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Creme Lipstick in Cathedral here, Vampira here, and Mötorhead here

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipsticks in Cliffhanger Matte here and Bad Mood here

Lorac Alter Ego lipsticks in MUA and Nudist (No longer available)

And finally, I thought I’d throw in some of my favorite non-makeup related products. The first is the Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen with SPF 55. I’m always really scared to try out sunscreens because I’ve had a few of them break me out and/or never set— rendering makeup application impossible. This one sets to a soft primer-like finish, and wears incredibly under makeup. And actually, if I do wear makeup over this, I don’t even bother with my primer. I know this isn’t cruelty free, but I was in a pinch and couldn’t find any CF sunscreens I was happy with.

And now for my favorite hair discovery of the year. This is the Trader Joe’s She Butter & Coconut Oil hair mask. This mask works extremely well with my hair, and the results are evident. But what really makes this stand out is that the application time is only 3-5 minutes. I’ve had masks that require 10, 15, or 25 minutes in your hair. That leaves me looking for ways kill time. But 3-5 minutes it totally doable. And the results are something I haven’t seen since using the Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment, which sits pretty at $43. This Trader Joe’s hair mask? Around $5, available in stores.

I hope you guys enjoyed this month’s favorites. I know that most of these products were nothing new, but they’re what I’ve been loving at the moment. What products have you guys been into lately? Also, if you know of any good cruelty-free sunscreens, let me know!

June 5, 2018

tuesday template [june 5th]

I've been focusing on simplicity and practicality lately. After adjusting ourselves back into our day-to-day lives, I really didn’t have any energy leftover for much else. I’ve been going sans makeup since we got back, so I’ve been putting extra emphasis on my skincare. Late last year I went out and purchased several things from The Ordinary after giving in to the hype. I loved them, but left them untouched when I began testing other products. After sitting on my beauty shelf for some time, I’ve finally picked them up again and am more in love than ever. I’m actually about to place an order for their 100% plant-derived squalane and their caffeine solution 5% + EGCG. Other things I’ve been dipping my toes into lately are new nail polish colors. I love a good red, but I’m trying to branch out a little more. OPI’s Tiramisu for Two and I Am what I Amethyst quickly caught my eye, as did Essie’s Gel Couture in Style Stunner. I know Style Stunner is basically a bright red (it's technically classified as a coral), but I can't resist!

The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

I Am What I Amethyst here // Style Stunner here  // Tiramisu for Two here

I’ve been gone from my last job for over a week now and it’s been quite an adjustment. The first couple of days didn’t feel like anything special, it felt like I had a couple of days off, like I do every week. But as the week went on, it slowly started sinking in. For a while, it felt like I was gonna get in trouble for not showing up for several days straight. In all seriousness, I can tell a definite improvement in my overall mood. I'm loving the fact that we can see family and friends like we weren't able to before because while everyone else was enjoying their weekend, we were working all day.

We get to take actual walks in the park!

He's getting the hang of the DSLR and liking it!

Because I've had so much time off, I've been organizing and cleaning the apartment to make it look like we've actually settled in. I've recommitted myself to the gym, and it's been going pretty great these last two weeks. I've had a rollercoaster relationship with my gym attendance. I'll go really consistently and begin seeing results, and then something will happen that will get me to stop. I have a good feeling about this time, though! Andrew's Nana was kind enough to grab me some vanilla Premier Protein on one of their Costco trips and I'm mixing it with matcha powder for perfect green tea latte goodness. It's a nice change from the chocolate flavors I typically use.

I finally had the time to dig up my favorite summer bags including this  Avery Crossbody from Rebecca Minkoff. The pattern almost scared me away, because I'm so used to solid colors. But I'm really excited to use it!

Currently reading:

This one's taken me quite a bit longer than normal to finish, but it's set in a restaurant and you can understand why I've been so slow to finish.

It's pretty odd being at home most of the time, and I'm still trying to get over the guilt I feel about so many things. But I'm slowly letting myself relax and take a deep breath that I haven't been able to take in a long, long time. Next up: finally finishing school. And I finally have the time to figure out how exactly I'll make that happen. 

I know I haven't been consistent about this series that I really wanna make work, but it's been a bumpy couple of weeks since my first template went up while on vacation. I promise I'm gonna try really hard to make this a weekly, or at least bi-weekly thing!

Thank you guys so much for reading, and be sure to check back for more soon!

June 2, 2018

thrift store finds: may 2018

May was a pretty great month all around, but especially for thrifting. We went on our vacation where their local thrift stores were more hit than miss. But I also struck gold at my local thrift stores— which is where my biggest hauls came from. I know it probably seems that with the amount of time I spend talking about thrifting, I’d have a pretty large wardrobe, but it’s quite the opposite. I’ve talked before about how I’ve donated much of my clothing that wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I can be a huge hoarder if given the chance, so I’m really aware of how much I own and wear. And keep in mind that thrifting isn’t all about the clothing. I find a lot of housewares at thrift stores— from vintage mugs, to decor, and furniture. Many times I’ll call a particular trip successful and not have a single article of clothing with me. It’s only been recently that I’ve begun purposing my trips for building up my wardrobe.

Even though we’re now in June, I can’t stay away from transition pieces and straight up winter gear. I sort of let myself get away with it in the summer because I moved here without a single piece for autumn or winter. Save for a once-used winter coat, I was completely unprepared for temperatures under 75 degrees (aka, a Texas winter). I hope this serves as justification as to why I have long sleeves in a May thrift finds post. I didn’t get all winter and fall gear though. I did manage to find things for summer that are (gasp!) colorful and not warm neutrals!

No idea what my face is doing, but I really like the photo anyway? LOL

The thing I’m most excited for this month is denim. I have one pair of jeans that I wear regularly. I was getting really down about the fact that I basically just change my top every time we go out. I really don’t have a good reason for not having more than one pair of jeans, but I’m over the moon about the fact that I didn’t find just one, but FOUR new pairs. Three of which are mom jeans, which I’m not embarrassed at all to admit that I’ve been really into lately.  I also found this really neat pair of PANTS in a color that I’ve never before been comfortable enough to wear. 

My go-to trend of the moment are button-down shirts that are tied at the waist, can you tell? I know the tops are all over the place in terms of season and style. I was looking for things I could wear in the upcoming warm weather, but you can’t really decide what you’ll find when you go thrift shopping. You just have to roll with what you get (hence I was pretty successful with long sleeved clothing-- most which wasn't even photographed because it's way too hot out to even pretend to be comfy in it). Aside from the long sleeves, I’ve been finding some pretty cool tops that I can totally see in an Urban Outfitters or Brandy Melville store.

My favorite thing about this shirt are how all the different yellow tones mix together.

Even though I’ve been thrifting for years now, I never considered shoes from the thrift store as a viable option. It wasn’t until I started watching some of my favorite YouTubers finding shoes while thrifting that the realization hit. I got these brown boots a week before leaving for DC and while there, discovered that they’re waterproof. In most of the later photos in those posts, you’ll see I wore them for the last few days of our trip (click here for part 1 of our trip and here for part 2). I also found these mules that are from the Naturalizer (so you know they’re suuuuper comfy). Funny story: I’d actually found a pair of the mules right next to the brown leather boots, but they were a size too small so I left them behind. Two days ago I went to different thrift store and lo and behold, there they were. Those exact mules in great condition and in my size!

If you recognize this as a photo from our DC trip, you're absolutely right.

If you’re new to thrifting, I’d recommend starting with leather goods like belts and bags. It’s really common to find these items in great condition (leather usually wears really well), and it trains your eye to catch things that appeal to you while looking at a sea of other things. 
Because I was so focused on my wardrobe this month (and out of state for a week), I didn’t get too much for the apartment. Of the misc. items I did get, a compartmentalized wicker organizer was the biggest winner. Our coffee table is perpetually messy and even Andrew exclaimed at how much we needed it. No more digging around the couch to find a lost remote! Other things included this old time-y picture frame and more woodland creature decor.  I’m a sucker for anything critter related.

I hope you guys enjoyed my May thrift finds as much as I am! Thank you guys so much for reading, and stay tuned for more! ❤️