My Favorite Things | JUNE 2020

After taking a little break from blogging this month, I’m ready to get back at it. This month, there were a few new items that struck my fancy, and I even rediscovered an old favorite in the makeup department. Let’s get started…

B E A U T Y

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I am a fan of warm, sweet, vanilla-based scents no matter the season. I bought this Outremer Vanille Eau de Toilette on an impulse in Anthropologie a few weeks back, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since! Vanille smells like a delicious, toasty marshmallow–but not in an artificial, overly sweet way. The scent also isn’t too heavy; once you spray it, it stays for a couple hours, fades, and then seems to reappear towards the end of the day. I brought the travel size bottle for only $10; the regular size is just $18. You don’t have to spend a fortune for a quality fragrance that smells yummy.

M A K E U P

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Lately, I’ve just been throwing on a quick dusting of bronzer, blush, eyeshadow and mascara for my makeup routine–no foundation or concealer. Even if I’m just around the house, it still makes me feel better to put my face on! I used to be a three or four eyeshadow kind of girl, but lately I have been enjoying wearing the Haus Laboratories Glam Attack Shimmer Powder in Angel Baby alone on my eyes. This iridescent, pink-lilac shade is beyond gorgeous!

The formula is so wearable and easy to use. The shimmer is so finely milled that it doesn’t get in your eyes or fall onto your cheeks. It honestly takes just a few seconds to set, and hardly budges during the day. My eyelids tend to be on the oily side, and this powder doesn’t even crease on its own. I’m impressed! These powders have a wet look to them, which is so unique. I don’t know why I gave Angel Baby the cold shoulder for a while. This shadow is where it’s at.

T O  R E A D

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Image Credit: Chanel Cleeton

If you’re looking for a good beach read (even if you can’t make it to the beach this year) I suggest The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton. I was a big fan of her last two books, but I think this one is my favorite. You empathize with the three main characters, and it keeps you hooked till the last page.

The novel follows three women — each chapter is a different point of view. Helen is a young, expectant mother trying to escape an abusive marriage. Mirta is a newlywed on her honeymoon, unsure about her mysterious husband’s background. Elizabeth is a disgraced socialite desperate to find her veteran brother who is working down in Key West.

The three women start to cross paths pretty early on, which keeps your attention. Each of them endure different hardships while trying to navigate the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane that devastated Key West.  I only wish the novel was longer! Like I said, I was invested in each of the character’s stories. This is a quick read that takes you to a different place for a while.

 

T O  L I S T E N

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If you’re a fan of The Office, you HAVE to check out The Office Ladies Podcast. I watched the series a year ago, and still chuckle about it. Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey discuss each episode scene-by-scene and share stories from their time on the show.  It sounds tedious, but is so entertaining. You can tell that the two are friends in real life. If you’re looking for a lighthearted, fun podcast, don’t miss this one.

T O  D R I N K

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The Good & Gather Ginger Peach Sparkling Water is my new favorite summer drink. I know you might like to make fun of flavored sparkling water, but I promise this one has more of a hint of a hint of flavor. It’s so bubbly and refreshing. The peach flavor is sweet, but not too sweet, and the ginger adds just a little kick. If you can’t have sugary sodas like me, these are a lifesaver. This private brand from Target has so many quality foods, too. My family and I really like their brand of tortilla chips. Pick those up too!

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My Favorite Things | MAY 2020

2020 feels like the longest, shortest year ever. I’ve been enjoying the stillness for the most part, but sometimes I do get a little stir crazy! Nonetheless, here are the items that struck my fancy in the month of May. Hope you get a little joy out of these like I sure have.

T O  C A R R Y

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Image Credit: Zappos

Who said fanny packs are out of style?! Say what you want about them, but I have really been loving this Hershel Supply Co. Fifteen Hip Pack in Ash Rose. It has a single zip that may look small, but this Hip Pack actually holds quite a bit of stuff. It’s a sturdy canvas material, and I love the feminine, dusty rose shade. I just got really tired of dealing with a cross-body bag whenever I went out and about. So a fanny pack is a great solution! Hershel has so many cute, modern designs.

M A K E U P

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The past couple of years, I have taken a break from cream blushes because I felt like the ones I tried were too heavy and immediately broke me out. No fun! I love the dewy look of them, so I was determined to find the right formula. Luckily, I found the new Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Petal Poppin’ This shade is so wearable for summer; a classic baby pink that goes with every outfit. The formula IS quite dewy, so you don’t need a lot to make your cheeks pop. It stays put all day and blends nicely too. $20 may seem a little much for a small cream blush, but I think it’s totally worth it. I love Rihanna, and the packaging and formula is really durable and nice. Want to try more shades.

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I have long been a fan of the Maybelline SuperStay Ink Crayons since they hit the market early last year. They have the most perfect creamy formula that stays all day, but doesn’t dry your lips out. You can even line your lips, too. The latest shade I’ve purchased is Trust Your Gut. I would describe it as a sandy, muted mauve. Sounds so different, right? It is definitely a nude, so if you don’t like a matte finish, layer your favorite pink gloss on top for some dimension. I personally like the shade worn on it’s own, though! Pair it with bold blush for a summery look.

T O  R E A D

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A few days ago I wrote about how much I loved The Henna Artist in myBest Books To Read During Quarantine post. It is probably my most favorite book so far that I have read this year. It is a character-driven novel that follows Lakshmi, a young Indian woman who escapes her rocky marriage, determined to build a life for herself. She becomes a renowned Henna Artist, but things get interesting when her 13-year-old sister shows up in her life, who Lakshmi never knew existed. You have to read this book! It is so interesting to see how each character develops and changes by the end. Psst…it’s $5 on Kindle right now.

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Best Books To Read During Quarantine

The past couple months have been so unpredictable. But on the bright side, I have had lot of time to read. As I have said so many times before, I love to read because it’s like traveling to a different place or time–in the comfort of my own home. Today, I thought I’d share FOUR books that I just could not put down. A couple new ones, and a couple of my all-time favorites.

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I finished The Henna Artist about two hours ago. Couldn’t wait to tell you all about it! It tells the story of a young woman in 1950s India, Lakshmi. She escaped a rocky marriage and has worked for years to become a really respectable henna artist. She rubs elbow’s with India’s high society, and opportunities start to open.  Lakshmi seems to be on top of the world, but then her 13-year-old sister shows up, who she didn’t know existed. Suddenly, Lakshmi is responsible for her.

Now serving as Radha’s guardian, Lakshmi tries her best to maintain her henna business but is soon entangled in various dramas that threaten her career. Lakshmi has wanted a nice house and a steady flow of money for so long…but is that what really matters?

I loved this book so much. I know my description of it is vague, but I don’t want to spoil the plot! The characters are so vivid and real. I kept wanting to see what was going to happen to Lakshmi. The characters around her really change her perspective on life.

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The Amazon description of Park Avenue Summer describes it as a 1960s-era The Devil Wears Prada. That’s exactly right. If you’re looking for a breezy summer read that still has depth, I highly recommend checking it out.

Alice Weiss leaves her home in Ohio for New York City in hopes of becoming a photographer. Her late mother’s friend has a prominent job in the city and helps Alice land an interview with Helen Gurley Brown, the new editor of the (failing) Cosmopolitan Magazine. Alice urges Helen to give her a chance, and quickly becomes her assistant.

Helen is tasked with reviving the magazine and is determined to give it a strong, female-centric rebranding. Pretty much everyone in the magazine industry expects Cosmopolitan to fail, but the two women have other ideas!

Park Avenue Summer is part workplace-drama, part coming-of-age story. Once again, each character is so well written, and you’re especially rooting for Helen and Alice to succeed.

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If you have ever asked me what book to read next, chances are I have recommended Come Away With Me.Four years have passed since I read this book, and it still reigns as my all-time favorite read. EVER.

Tegan and Gabe have the perfect marriage, but life gets really tough when they are involved in a car accident, which claims the life of their unborn baby. Tegan is devastated, and blames Gabe for the accident. To help her cope with grief, Gabe urges her to go on a trip around the world with him to heal. Reluctantly, Tegan agrees.

The novel chronicles the healing process, along with flashbacks of Tegan and Gabe’s love story. And the ending, well…you’ll just have to read it! This book is OH SO GOOD. Karma Brown is one of my favorite authors. Her books deserve to be front and center at Target, Barnes and Noble and everywhere else.

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The Alice Network is another novel that remains at the top of my “best books” list. It keeps you hooked till the very last page! Charlie St. Clair is determined to find her cousin Rose after WWII. Meanwhile, she meets a haggard old woman, Eve, who is determined to right some wrongs from her past. She was involved in the female-driven spy ring, The Alice Network.

Dual story lines can be confusing, but this one keeps your blood pumping. It alternates between post-WWII and Eve’s younger days as a spy during WWI. Eve and Charlie embark on a journey together that changes their lives.

Have you been reading anything good lately? I would love to know. Leave it in the comments!

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The Prettiest BERRY Lip Colors

I feel like berry-toned lips are traditionally associated with the fall and winter months, but I actually LOVE wearing this punchy color year round. It’s one of those makeup items that’s “one and done.” Swipe it on, and your face comes to life. So today, I thought I’d share my favorite berry lip colors. Each one has a comfortable formula and is easy to wear.

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Many liquid lipsticks on the market have a reputation of being drying and crusty. But not these from Honest Beauty! I have their Liquid Lipstick shade in Fearless. I would describe it as a warm, deep fuchsia. It definitely makes a statement! Throw on some bronzer and mascara, and you’re ready to go. The formula is very creamy and moisturizing. It does take a while to dry down and set, but it leaves behind a pretty stain. I’d give it about an hour. Kudos to Honest Beauty for making such a comfortable, bold lippie.

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If a lipstick is more your vibe, I highly suggest trying the Mary Kay Gel Semi-Matte Lipstick in Berry Famous. This one is more of a traditional, deep berry red. The best part is, it is not the least bit patchy or drying due to the gel-based formula. It’s also super easy to apply directly from the tube. If you want a more natural look since Berry Famous is a bolder color, try applying it with your finger, a lip brush or small concealer brush. Your teeth will also look super white with this one.

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If you just want to ease in to deep berry lips, I suggest trying one that has a tawniness to it; the Flower Beauty Petal Pout Lip Color in Autumn Rose is one of my FAVORITE colors ever. In the tube, it looks like a typical tawny, nude pink. But when you apply a couple coats, an ochid-berry undertone starts to show through. It’s such a unique color and I get so many complements when I wear it! It has the same gel base texture as the Mary Kay, but is cheaper. The packaging is high-quality and chic. I personally think these are the best lipsticks at the drugstore. You have to try them! They have a smooth, satin finish.

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The Petal Pout Lip Colors may be my favorite drugstore pick, but the new Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipsticks come in a close second! While these have a traditional matte finish, the texture of the bullet is whipped and airy–which means no drag or dryness. The shade Shameless is like a muted purple with a berry undertone. You’d think that Shameless would be super dark and bold, but it is actually wearable and pretty. I need to wear it more often. The packaging is lightweight and shares the same soft-matte finish as the lipsticks. I own two more shades of this line, Wild Thoughts and Getting Serious–love them too.

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From Top: Fearless, Berry Famous, Autumn Rose and Shameless (way prettier in person)

Quick Tip: Before applying any bold color, it’s really important that you clean and exfoliate your lips first. Sounds extra, but this will help the color apply evenly and cleanly. No flakiness!

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My Favorite Things | APRIL 2020

While March drug by at sloth-level speed, I really feel like April came and went. This month I didn’t try a ton of new makeup, but each item in my favorites this month is just a tiny something that I enjoyed. Let’s get started!

M A K E U P

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I used to think that you had to spend a pretty penny for high-quality eyeshadows. But within the last couple years, drugstore brands have REALLY stepped up their game. For example, the elf Bite Size Shadow Quads are amazing quality. They are supposedly a dupe for the expensive Natasha Denona Eyeshadows–I just can’t spend over $100 for one of her palettes! I chose the elf palette in Pumpkin Pie; a combo of bronze and amber toned shadows.

I just can’t get over how buttery and silky the textures are! Shadows with a matte finish can commonly apply patchy, but not these! Most of the time I don’t even use a brush to put these on; just my fingertips. They have really dense pigment, yet they blend so easily. The packaging is sleek and sturdy. Would you believe each palette is only $3?! Can’t wait to try more shades.

S K I N C A R E

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I’m a sucker for a high-end lip balm. There is something that feels so luxurious and special about them! Lately the one I’ve been reaching for the most is the Primera Clean Berry Lip MaskIt has the thickest, most moisturizing texture. A little goes a long way. This buttery lip mask really repairs your lips instead of just sitting on top. I used to be a big Laneige Sleeping Mask fan, but the Clean Berry Lip Mask converted me. It’s free of any weird ingredients and smells like strawberry lemonade. It’s worth the tiny splurge!

J E W E L R Y

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This year I’ve really been into the statement earring trend! I hope it never really goes away, because I just think big earrings are a fun little cherry on top to any outfit. I’ve been loving these Under The Sea Mermaid Beaded Earrings from Gilded Garment. It encompasses everything I love: beads, sequins and colorful jewel tones. These earrings are very lightweight and won’t annoy you during the day. So cute!

T O  R E A D

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My favorite kinds of books are the ones that whisk you away to a different place and time for a little while. I think most anyone could use that kind of read right now. I read The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin this month and liked it a lot! It’s such a transportive, lush novel.

The novel follows a young widow, Lily. She travels to Paris to visit her brother after losing her husband. Lily and her brother start rubbing elbows with high-profile people, including Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. Both designers are at the top of their game, but remain rivals. Chanel’s style is classic and refined while Schiaparelli’s is more wacky and eccentric. Lily befriends both of them and gets tangled up in their worlds, from the lavish parties to competitive fashion shows.

The Last Collection is a fairly light read, but it took me a while to finish. Each character in the story is well written and developed. It was neat to see how Lily found her purpose  (and love) again after her husband’s death. I really enjoyed this one!

T O  E A T

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I’m sensitive to sugar, so it can be really hard to find sweet treats that I actually ENJOY. My dad bought me this Lily’s Extra Dark Chocolate Bar and I’ve been obsessed. The texture is dark, smooth and rich. Plus, it’s sweetened just slightly with stevia. Most dark chocolate can taste really bitter and waxy, but not this one. I’m stocking up the next time I go to Whole Foods.

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Four Ways to Elevate Your Makeup Routine

Sometimes, the simplest addition to your makeup routine makes the biggest difference! Today I thought I would share four simple tricks I do to get the most out of my makeup look. Hope you will find these tips helpful.

To Achieve Airbrushed Skin…

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I have been writing about the Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in Be My Highlight for almost four years now. I still love it so much. This natural-looking, finely milled powder makes my skin look absolutely flawless, no matter the makeup look I’m wearing! I highly recommend applying this highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones and then setting with a finishing spray. You don’t have to wear a bold highlighter to make your skin look healthy and radiant; this gives you a lit-from-within look with zero shimmer or glitter. You can even do a light dusting all over your face to use as a finishing powder. This stuff is truly a hidden gem at the drugstore. I’ll never be without it!

Give Lashes A Lift…

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A good volumizing mascara helps me achieve a thick, lush look for even my stumpy lashes. But after a couple of coats, things can start to look a little on the clumpy side. Instead of using a traditional lash comb to smooth out clumps, I complete my lash look with  Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel Mascara. This mascara may look boring, but it works wonders! The spoon-shaped, fine-tooth comb brush eliminates clumps and lifts your lashes. The formula is thin, which is just the right consistency for a top-coat of mascara. It can be worn alone for an everyday lash look, too.

Make Your Lips Pop…

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I used to rarely wear gloss–but the Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumpers have converted me! These glosses are proof that you don’t have to spend a ton of money for a quality, non-sticky gloss. The shade Champagne takes any nude or pink-toned lipstick to the next level when worn as a top coat. I just can’t get over how pretty it is. Champagne is a classic, peachy nude with a soft gold sheen. It doesn’t look frosty at all, and it is so comfortable; slightly minty feeling. I love to wear it on top of lip liner or lipstick. Your lips will look so shiny and healthy!

Refresh Your Makeup…

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At the beginning of the day, I always set my makeup with a finishing spray. If I ever need a little pick-me-up, I reach for the Rhonda Allison Cucumber Spritz. Using this is much faster than having to reapply your makeup. It brings the colors back to life while smelling ABSOLUTELY DIVINE. This spritz isn’t your one-note cucumber scent; it smells so fresh, a little bit warm and lightly sweet. Plus, the mist is super fine and refreshing. Whether you wear makeup all the time or not, you need this in your daily routine. It will change your life!

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My Favorite Things | March 2020

I hope everyone is doing alright amid this quarantine craziness! I think I have finally become less stir-crazy and have just been enjoying the stillness of everything. But I sure will be happy when life returns to normal. Here are the items that have struck my fancy during March. I hope they will bring you a little happiness like they have done for me…

M A K E U P

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It’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE collecting different blushes. Even the most similar ones have their subtle differences and are worth buying! I have long been a fan of Buxom’s Seychelles Blush. Almay recently came out with a new blush line – I have been loving the Healthy Hue Blush in Nearly Nude.

Like Seychelles, it is primarily bronze- based, but with more of a light pink undertone.  It has just the right amount of sheen that isn’t too shimmery and won’t cling to your pores. Nearly Nude is going to be perfect for the summer months and beyond. If you’re looking for a quality drugstore blush that is equal parts bronze glow and healthy flush, check out Nearly Nude!

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Cleaning up makeup smudges is typically done with a Q-Tip, but Neutrogena has invented a more efficient way to do so, without removing or patching the rest of your eye makeup. The Vitamin E Makeup Remover Eraser Stick isn’t just a gimmick; it actually works pretty well! All you do is liberally rub the solid gel stick on top of your mistake–smudged mascara or eyeliner–and gently blend with your finger. The rest of your eye makeup won’t rub off with the mistake. I do notice that shimmery eyeshadows do lose a bit of luster at times, but I don’t have a problem with touching that up if needed. Nonetheless, this is a neat little tool.

C L O T H I N G

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Image Credit: Gap

Social distancing has allowed us to break out our comfy clothes! I received this Ombre Sweatshirt from Gap for my birthday and have basically been living in it. Mine is a pink color, but regardless this item is a must-have. It’s just so cozy and warm without being too heavy. I love the ripped, distressed hem.

J E W E L R Y

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Huggie Hoops have really been in this season! I love the dainty twist of these Blitz Earrings from The August Sisters, a local Chattanooga jewelry brand started by my aesthetician and her sister. These earrings go with pretty much any outfit and have the prettiest, iridescent shine. Now is more important than ever to support small businesses. The August Sisters has such fun, eclectic pieces. Check them out!

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E N J O Y

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Image Credit: The Rustic House

We all need a little something that keeps us calm during this weird time. For me, it has been the Ginger Root Candle from The Rustic House. I work for TRH, but I would rave about this regardless!

Let me tell you, Ginger Root smells absolutely DIVINE. It has notes of ginger, saffron and lemon. Each of these notes are evenly distributed throughout the candle, producing the most relaxing, serene scent. Spicy and bright, yet soft. It’s not too harsh or earthy. Your house will smell like a spa. My all-time favorite candle now. I could smell it for the rest of my life and not buy another scent. PS – TRH is offering free shipping + 20% off. Go support this amazing small business too! We make great candles 😉

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The Best Your Lips But Better Products | 2020 Edition

Fact: You can never have too many pink lip colors. It is the one shade that is universally flattering on every skin tone! Today, I thought I would share my favorite “Your Lips But Better” products at the moment. Get ready to hit “add to cart” on these simple yet stunning shades!

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Most lip liners look alike packaging-wise, but the formulas are NOT created equal. While I usually head to the drugstore to find a good liner, I can honestly tell you that the Haus Laboratories RIP Lip Liner in Ride is absolutely worth every penny. It looks quite brown in the pencil, but when you apply, it is the perfect natural pink. Not too brown or too bright. The best part about this formula is, it glides on so easily and is non-drying. In fact, I often wear it alone. It stays put for a long time and doesn’t bleed or travel. It is such a well-loved liner in my collection. I plan on re-purchasing!

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Once again I am bragging on another Flower Beauty Product. Just last week I picked up the Petal Pout Lip Color in Spiced Petal and can’t get enough. The formula is the smoothest, gel-cream texture. It reminds me of the Marc Jacobs lipsticks. Spiced Petal is a neutral pinky-nude. If you’ve always wanted to try a nude lipstick, I recommend Spiced Petal. It’s not too beige, so it won’t wash you out. Plus, it is sooo comfortable and hydrating. The packaging is durable and chic too. Will definitely be trying other shades in this range.

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If you do want to venture into the beige color family, I recommend the L’Oreal Colour Riche Shine Lipstick in Glossy Fawn. This tawny nude is flattering; the formula is so lightweight that it allows your natural lip color to peak through. As advertised, the finish is very glossy and smooth. Absolutely no stickiness. It doesn’t have long staying power, so pair it with your favorite liner if you need it to last a while.

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The Haus Laboratories Le Riot Lip Gloss in Blaze is one of my favorite glosses ever! If you’re looking for an everyday pink–not nude–try this one! It is a warmer pink with a hint of a purple undertone. This formula doesn’t shy away from shine either with its patent leather-like texture. If you’re NOT a fan of tackiness, this gloss may not be for you. With that being said, Blaze does have more staying power than a typical moisturizing gloss. The doe-foot applicator allows just the right amount of product, and the packaging is pretty and has a nice weight to it. I love it!

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Ride, Spiced Petal, Glossy Fawn and Blaze 

What is your favorite everyday, your lips but better product? I would love to know!

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Three Palettes You NEED In Your Life

Last year, I took a bit of a break from buying palettes because I had so many in my collection. I used to not really be into palettes, then I started to really enjoy them. Each one I owned had such a unique color story. Palettes are also convenient to travel with because they are a one-stop shop for an eye look.

Anyway, I recently purchased three that I have already gotten substantial use out of. If you love glitter, shimmer, or a pearly  sheen on your eyes, look no further…

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If you are a fan of pinky, warm-toned shadows, you absolutely HAVE to check out the Bye Bye Birdie Palette from ColourPopIt’s stunning. Each shade is so richly pigmented; I can hardly believe it only cost me $18. My favorite shades are Nesting, a matte pinky-peach; Aerial, a creamy light pink with golden sheen; and Emuse Me, a pink and purple glitter with flecks of green. Sounds like a weird combination, but it works! You don’t even have to apply glitter glue for Emuse Me to stay in place.

You can do a soft look with this palette, or have fun with all the glitter and shimmer. There are a nice balance of mattes, shimmers and glitters. Feel free to use brushes or even your fingertips to apply.

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Much like the above ColourPop Palette, the Flower Beauty Jungle Lights Shadow Palette might as well be sold in a high-end makeup store. I cannot believe the pigmentation and quality of these creamy, shimmery shadows. Each one has such a foiled, shiny finish, yet looks so flattering and yes, almost natural.

Once you blend them out with your finger, they melt into your lid and have the prettiest finely-milled shimmer. Your eyes will have a subtle sparkle, without looking like a tacky disco ball! To ensure the creamy shadows lock in place and stay all day, I prep my eyes with a primer or concealer, and then set with a neutral powder eyeshadow before applying these pigmented, foiled shades.

My favorite shades are Amazon; a yellow-gold bronze; Paradise, a champagne-white gold and Wild, a soft lilac with a pink undertone. The texture of these are so buttery and smooth, with no grit. Once again, no need to use glitter glue to apply.

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The Flower Beauty Pyramids Cheek Color in Rose Glow is so innovative and nifty; I have used each shade in this little palette on my eyes, cheeks and cheekbones. Even though it is in powder form, each pyramid is so creamy and blends nicely into the skin. I will say the hot pink shade may be a little to glowy to use alone as a blush, but it is so pretty as a blush topper for dimension. I love to use the dark purple pyramids on my eyes, and the light, pearly pink section as highlighter.

If you are an avid traveler, this palette is so easy to throw in your bag and go.  I can’t believe it is as affordable as it is. It definitely rivals the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick. Flower Beauty is quickly becoming one of my favorite affordable brands.

Do you have a favorite affordable palette? I would love to know!

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In Case You Missed It..My Spring + Summer Makeup Preview

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My Favorite Things | FEBRUARY 2020

Let’s not waste any time…today I’m sharing my February 2020 Favorites! There’s a good mix of TV, music, skin care and beauty items this month. Hope you enjoy…

S K I N  C A R E

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Whether you’re a makeup wearer or not, you need this item right here! The Cucumber Spritz from Rhonda Allison will absolutely CHANGE. YOUR. LIFE. Most facial mists on the market are filled with drying ingredients and artificial fragrances (and I admit that I still use a setting spray to set my makeup) but this spray is on a whole new level. It smells like HEAVEN.

So fresh, a little warm, a little sweet–but not in an annoying way. The mist is so fine that it feels like pure refreshment when it lands on your skin. If you’re in need of some extra moisture or just want a little pick-me-up, you have to buy this spray! It honestly brings me joy.

M A K E U P

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I’ve tried quite a few lip glosses throughout the years, and the Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Glosses remain at the top of my list. Even though it is a drugstore product, the formula and packaging really does feel expensive. The other day, I picked up the shade Champagne.

At first glance, it looks like a standard peachy-pink gloss, but when you hold it up to the light, you can see the soft golden sheen. It is one of the prettiest lip gloss shades I own because it complements any rose or pink color worn underneath. This gloss even looks good with terra cotta! Best of all, it’s not frosty. Pair it with your favorite lipstick or liner; the formula is non-sticky and slightly minty. I also love the oversized wand. No matter which shade you pick in this gloss range, it is a win-win.

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I used to think you had to pay a high-end price for a smooth, matte black liquid liner. But the Maybelline Hyper Easy Brush Tip Liner has proven me wrong! Finally, a drugstore formula that doesn’t budge and is truly opaque.

One of the most unique things about this liner is the packaging; the felt tip is housed in a geometric tube that is easy to hold, which makes it perfect for drawing a wing. Make sure you give it a good shake before you apply so the pigment is nice and dark. I was a little afraid about the waterproof formula, but it does come off easily with micellar water. No scrubbing necessary!

T O  R E A D

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Jane The Virgin is one of my favorite TV shows; I so enjoyed watching it when it was airing. If you remember, Jane is an aspiring author, and her favorite just so happens to be Isabel Allende, who even appears in an episode. I saw A Long Petal of the Sea reviewed in People and in my Kindle advertisements and decided to give it a read.

If you’re looking for a quick read, this novel may not be for you. But if you are looking for something to get lost in, by all means, go pick this one up! It tells the story of a young couple who escape war-torn Spain for Chile during the Spanish Civil War. But there’s a twist: Victor, a successful young doctor, decides to marry his deceased brother’s wife so they can immigrate to Chile together with her newborn son.

This novel spans some 60 years, but kept me engaged the entire time. Though Victor and Roser hope to find a better life in Chile, they are met with even more political unrest. Petal explores how they grew and changed throughout the years. It is rich in character development, and Allende describes the scenery so vividly it’s like you are right there with the characters.

 T O  L I S T E N

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I’ll be honest–I have jumped on the Sam Smith train only within the past six months. I know, I’m so late to the party. But I have really grown to love him and his music. His voice is one of the most angelic sounds I have ever heard. So smooth and full of emotion! I’ve loved listening to his album The Thrill Of It All, and am also a huge fan of his new song, To Die For. His lyrics are so honest; you can really feel what he is going through. I really hope he goes on tour because I WILL get tickets!

T O  W A T C H

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I watched Schitt’s Creek just before Christmas and into January. It is BEYOND me why I have just now written about it! If you need a good chuckle in your life, you need to watch this show. It’s about a rich family who lose all their money due to a bad business deal, so they move to a small town called Schitt’s Creek–which they bought as a joke years back.

The first couple episodes are sort of tough to get through because each character is over-the-top and annoying. But listen–stay with it! Over time, they shed their snobby egos and turn into likable people. I promise. Schitt’s Creek is so funny and heartwarming. Eww, David!

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