FALL Makeup Kit | 2017

Hi friends!

Today I thought I’d do a quick blog post about my favorite fall makeup. What I like most about the following products is that they aren’t too over-the-top-glam. You can create multiple looks, whether you are wearing this makeup day-to-day or to a holiday party.  Let’s get started!

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I have to say that the Maybelline City Mini Palette in Rooftop Bronzes is one of the best items EVER at the drugstore. I’ve said many times that drugstore eyeshadows normally don’t do anything for me; they are usually too powdery with not enough pigment. However, Rooftop Bronzes is a game-changer!

As you can see, this palette is stocked with golden, bronze and champagne shades. Each shadow is so smooth and buttery–even the ones with shimmer! No need to worry about patchiness; these glide on like a dream and stay all day (with the help of a little primer). Fallout is minimal, if any at all–yes, the shimmers don’t make a mess!

You can easily create a natural or smokey look with Rooftop Bronzes. It may be a small palette, but the quality is legit. I will have to check out the other palettes in this line!

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If you have dry or combination skin, a dewy foundation is a must for the colder months–the harsh weather can pull the radiance from your face. The L’Oreal Infalliable Pro-Glow Foundation is one of my go-to products during fall and winter!

This foundation infuses my face with the perfect amount of glow without looking too shiny. I do set my face with powder after I apply this foundation though; it keeps the unwanted shine at bay!

I also love that it comes in a mess-free squeeze tube that is ideal for travel. The formula is light and breathable, while still being buildable. It doesn’t break me out–and I have acne-prone skin.

I have just purchased my third tube of this stuff. It is definitely a staple in my collection and a great option for drugstore foundation!

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I just mentioned the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed in my last blog post, but I LOVE it so much…I’m just going to talk about it again!

I know it doesn’t look like much in the pan, but Exposed is SO gorgeous on your cheeks. It gives you the perfect pink flush without being too bold, rosy or red. It looks like your natural flush, but slightly better…know what I mean?

I know $29 seems like a little much to spend on a pink blush, but I assure you that it is worth it! Exposed is fool-proof and it goes with practically every makeup look. Dramatic, everyday, red lips, nude lips, whatever!

Seriously, invest in this blush. You won’t regret it—I promise.

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Lastly, we have ColourPop Matte X Lippie Stix in Daydream. I ordered this a couple months ago knowing that it would be perfect for fall! The packaging markets this lipstick as being a dark, nude pink. But in person, I would describe Daydream as a tawny rose shade with a brown undertone.

My favorite thing about Daydream is the incredible formula. This lip color is highly pigmented,; yet it applies with ease, like butter! Most of the time, bold lipsticks tend to drag and dry out the lips. But not this one.

Daydream is unique because it’s appropriate for fall, but it’s not “scary bold.” If you’re curious about trying a darker lip color, I suggest Daydream. It’s not too vampy or brown-toned; the perfect in-between shade!

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Hope you all enjoyed this post! Selecting the right fall makeup can be tricky, because you don’t want to go too overboard with bold lips or eyes. These products just help you ease into the trends. 🙂

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Understated but (REALLY) pretty makeup

I’m all for sporting a bold lip or eye look—especially in the fall! But we all have those days where we wanna go for a more natural look. So today, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite understated but pretty beauty items I’ve stumbled across in recent months. Let’s get started!

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For the last few weeks, Fenty Beauty has been all the rage at Sephora. Rihanna released a vast foundation line, glitzy highlighters and this lip gloss–the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer. In the tube, this item looks like any standard gloss; caramel-toned with shimmer.

At first, I wasn’t really impressed by this gloss when I was browsing online. I honestly thought I’d be able to find something like it at the drugstore. However, a lot of YouTubers gave it a thumbs-up, so I decided to try it for myself.

This is probably my most favorite lip gloss I own! Although it looks glitzy in the tube, this lip luminizer glazes your lips with a subtle rose gold sheen. It’s not shimmery or glittery. The scent is divine; it smells like a cross between peaches and bubblegum. The doe-foot applicator is large and applies a generous amount of product to your lips; the packaging is ultra stylish.

Perhaps my favorite part of this lip gloss is the formula! While most lip glosses just sit on your lips, this one genuinely nourishes and hydrates.  Staying power isn’t great, but reapplication is a breeze. It makes your lips feel healthy and juicy! I really hope Rihanna comes out with more shades in the future. This is an awesome gloss–worth every bit of extra money.

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I’ve been enjoying wearing a Cat-Eye lately, but sometimes I don’t have time to be so meticulous and careful with my eyeliner. On those days, I slick on a brown crayon liner–this Mary Kay Eyeliner in MK Deep Brown. 

I LOVE this stuff! The formula is perfect. It doesn’t drag or pull on your lids, and it doesn’t crumble or smudge. This liner stays all day and is a cinch to apply. If applying eyeliner isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry; MK Deep Brown is fool-proof. The packaging is small and compact; ideal for travel! And you don’t even have to worry about a sharpener; simply twist to dispense more product.

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Wet ‘N’ Wild is known for their buttery, ultra-affordable eyeshadows. I had my eye on The Naked Truth Eyeshadow Palette for a long time; it took me forever to find it! Ultimately, I found it at the grocery store for $5. I later found out that it is still available on their website.

Talk about a hidden gem! This palette is awesome. A smokey eye is one of the most classic but intimidating looks to create. The Naked Truth makes it so easy to achieve! Each shadow has a buttery texture, but they are still powdery and easy to blend.

This palette doesn’t contain a black, so there is no way a smokey eye could look too severe. The ashy brown “Eyelid” shade is my favorite. It has a hint of silver in it. So pretty!

Whether you’re a smokey eye beginner or just looking for a steal, The Naked Truth is worth checking out.

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I have saved the BEST for last! Once again, YouTubers convinced me to purchase the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed. (Then again, they are responsible for about 80% of my beauty purchases anyway, so…)

Exposed may look “meh” and uninteresting in the pan, but it is simply STUNNING dusted on the apples of your cheeks. It’s not too bright, peachy or rosy. Exposed is basically your natural flush with an air-light sheen finish.

I’ve had Exposed for a couple weeks and have worn it nearly EVERY day. Whether you are wearing a natural look or something more bold, Exposed pairs well with ANY look. Trust me! $29 may seem a little much for a nude, soft pink blush, but I assure you–it IS worth EVERY penny.

Sorry for all the capitalized words; I just feel really passionate about Exposed!

Staying power is awesome and you get a ton of product. Packaging is nice and sturdy. Exposed will be a staple in my collection for years to come. Can’t believe it took me so long to discover it!

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Hope you all enjoyed reading this post! I love stumbling upon naturally pretty makeup. You can wear it year-round. 🙂

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My Favorite Things | October 2017

Hi everyone! It’s been a little while since my last blog post. The last couple weeks have been busy. So today I thought I would talk about the items that struck my fancy in October. We have a lot of ground to over, so let’s get right to it!

F A S H I O N

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American Eagle

Embroidery has made a huge comeback in fashion. Remember when Ed Hardy was big like a decade ago with his tattoo-style embroidered designs? I couldn’t really get into the trend back then, but I sure am glad floral embroidery has come back into fashion.

I have already purchased several pieces that feature floral embroidery–including this top from American Eagle! The soft fabric is so comfortable and breathable. I also love the bell-shaped sleeves and the “criss cross” neck detail. The embroidered shoulders are both edgy and classic.

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American Eagle

Velvet is another trend that is coming back in a MAJOR way! In dresses, tops, leggings…even jewelry! This material is incredibly soft and plush, which is perfect for this chilly weather. I’m loving my crushed velvet leggings…they just add some glamour to any outfit, while being super comfortable too!

S K I N C A R E

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I used Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser in high school. My skin has had some breakouts lately, so I decided to revisit this cleanser once more. I have really been enjoying it!

The formula is thin and clear. When you work it into a lather, you feel a refreshing, cooling sensation. It’s really energizing! This cleanser has been keeping my face from being too oily; although, I’ve still been dealing with small breakouts–my skin is just having a “moment.” This cleanser helps them heal. I do recommend applying a light moisturizer after use; because it fights acne, my face does get a tad dry.

That being said, I still recommend this affordable and effective cleanser.

B E A U T Y

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I know, I know–I’m really late to the Batiste Dry Shampoo party! This is another effective, affordable product. I first purchased Batiste in the Original scent. It was clean and fresh; a tad lemony. I was so pleased with the results that I repurchased it in the Tropical scent.

Tropical is a coconut-y, beachy scent. Not too heavy or cloying! I will say that Batiste does have a heavy white cast, so make sure you spray around 12 inches away from your hair. Still, it is effective in refreshing my hair. Plus, the can is so cute!

If you would like to browse a wide selection of dry shampoos to find your ideal formula, Reviews.com has such a thorough list!

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I am a HUGE fan of the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer, so I was SUPER excited when they came out with Butter Highlighters! I was transfixed when I saw them online; I knew I had to buy!

I purchased the shade Rose Gold. Obviously, it is a bronze, rose gold color. It has a heavy sheen to it, but it’s not the least bit chunky or glittery. The formula is incredibly creamy and buttery; almost a little oily. It reminds me of the ColourPop SuperShock Shadows and Highlighters, but even more buttery.

Rose Gold is almost like a blush and highlighter hybrid; just use it on the tops of cheekbones and brow bones. It has a light, tropical scent but doesn’t break me out. PF has really knocked it out of the park with these highlighters. Can’t wait to try more!

A  G O O D  R E A D

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You know me–I’m a sucker for a good historical fiction novel. This month I read The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor. It did not disappoint!

Letter begins in Austria at the start of World War II. Kristoff is a young orphan boy seeking an apprenticeship with a well-known stamp designer. Luckilly, Kristoff lands the spot and starts cultivating his craft; he doesn’t catch on easily at first. As time passes, Kristoff falls for his boss’s daughter, Elena, who wants to resist the Germans.

Meanwhile, the story shifts to the 1980s. Kate is in the midst of a divorce, desperate to find her footing. Her father has developed Alzheimer’s, prompting him to move into an assisted living facility.

Kate happens upon his vast stamp collection and wants to get it appraised. The appraiser, Benjamin, finds a rare and mysterious Edelweiss stamp. Long story short, both Kate and Benjamin become interested in finding out about the stamp, which launches them into an adventure.

The Lost Letter alternates between the 1930s and the 1980s. Does Kristoff decide to join forces with Elena and become part of the Resistance? How does a mere stamp tie both stories together? Stamps may seem like a bland subject, but I was absorbed throughout the whole novel. I definitely recommend this one!

M U S I C

Fall 2017 has been ON FIRE with album releases. Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion, Shania Twain, Niall Horan and Kelsea Ballerini have already or are set to release new music. The music lover in me has been rejoicing!

Thomas Rhett’s new album Life Changes has been one of my favorites the past couple months. What I like about TR is none of his songs sound the exact same; they each have their own little vibe and story. Yet, Life Changes is still cohesive!

My favorites are Craving You, Sixteen, Life Changes and When You Look Like That. But let’s be honest–the whole album is a clear winner. You can tell TR put so much effort in this album; it’s fun while still being personal and heartfelt.

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Ever since I heard Slow Hands this summer, I’ve been stoked for Niall Horan’s solo release, Flicker. It is filled with laid back, John Meyer-esque jams.

I have to say my all-time favorite song on the album is Seeing Blind featuring Maren Morris. If you have been following my blog for the past year or so, you know that I absolutely LOOOVE her! Niall and Maren’s voices blend together seamlessly!

I also love Paper Houses, Too Much To Ask and Flicker. I just think Niall is so talented (and a cutie pie!)

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That was quite a long post! If you have read this far, thanks so much for sticking with me. What items have caught your eye this month? Let me know!!

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Makeup I’ve Been LOVING // Fall 2017

Today I thought I would do a post on makeup I’ve really been LOVING this season. I’m always on the hunt for my next favorite mascara, highlighter, etc. and these next items have caught my attention. Let’s take a look!

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I’ve come across some super good mascaras in my day. But let’s face it, I can never be faithful to just one! Over the past couple weeks I saw a couple YouTubers use the new Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. Naturally, I rushed to Ulta to get my own tube.

Don’t let the plain packaging fool you; this volumizing mascara is NO JOKE! The creamy, jet-black formula coats your lashes evenly. With just two coats, my flimsy, short lashes are transformed into a lush fringe. The wand is dense, but not in an annoying way. The bristles are soft, too.

This mascara lasts all day without flaking or weighing my lashes down. With that being said, it also washes off easily with makeup remover. Obviously, Monsieur Big costs more than drugstore mascara, but I truly think it is worth the extra money. If you’re looking for a good mascara for LOTS of volume, I suggest giving this one a shot.

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I have always been a fan of Nars lipsticks, so I was intrigued to try their new PowerMatte Lip Pigment in Save The Queen. This isn’t your typical liquid lipstick!

I would describe Save The Queen as a mauvey-pink shade with a slight purple undertone. It is the perfect pink for fall. The formula is light and fluid. It glides onto my lips so evenly! My favorite part about this product is the applicator. It is very fine and stiff, not spongy like typical applicators. The product doesn’t smudge everywhere on my lips; I’m able to get a precise, crisp line.

Save The Queen has nice staying power but DOES transfer as you eat a meal. With that being said, it is quite easy and fast to reapply, which is different for a liquid lipstick. The formula is comfortable and weightless. I suggest exfoliating your lips beforehand just to ensure the pigment doesn’t settle in lines!

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A classic Cat Eye is one of my favorite looks to wear. For the longest, I had a hard time finding a liquid eyeliner that I truly loved. Most formulas weren’t SUPER black, and faded throughout the day.

Luckily I stumbled upon the bareMinerals Lash Domination Ink Liner a few weeks ago and haven’t looked back. Friends, if you want a perfect Cat Eye, you NEED this liner! Trust me, it is worth the extra money.

The formula is intensely black and creamy. The salesperson that sold me this liner said it has a matte finish, but it is so opaque that it is a bit glossy at the same time. The secret to this liner is the ultra-fine felt tip. This makes achieving the Cat Eye a cinch!

It dries down fairly quickly, but I am still able to correct mistakes if needed. Just make sure you shake this liner before use so you get the full effect of the black pigment.

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Lastly, I have a drugstore pick. The Flower Beauty Shimmer & Strobe Highlighting Palette. Whoa. These highlighters are the REAL DEAL. If you’re looking for a BLINDING highlight that’s (super) affordable, look no further!

This palette comes with three shades: beige, light pink and gold. Although these are pressed powders, they are VERY creamy. They are heavy on the shimmer but still apply evenly. Just make sure to blend well and set with a setting spray to allow it to lay nicely on the skin.

Unfortunately ,this palette took a tumble just after I bought it, so the beige highlighter has a small crack. Still, this product is a win! I love to put it on the tops of my cheekbones and in my inner corners. Talk about an instant eight hours of sleep. 🙂

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Hope you all enjoyed reading this post! What makeup have YOU been loving lately? Let me know!

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My Favorite HIGHLIGHTERS | Part One

Confession: I’ve never met a highlighter that I didn’t like.

It’s true!

To me, a good highlight is just the cherry on top to any makeup look. Whether I want a flashy, Jaclyn Hill-esque glow or a subtle sheen, I have a highlighter for it. They just give your complexion an extra shot of radiance.

So today, I thought I’d share (part one) of my favorite highlighters! Let’s get started…

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Let’s begin with the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Prismatic Amethyst. I was captivated by this powder highlighter as soon as I saw it in Sephora this past spring. I would describe it as a pinky-lilac color. The consistency is perfect; not too sheer or too bold–you don’t look like you’re wearing a purple highlighter. It almost has a holographic look to it while still being wearable. I also like to use it as an eyeshadow topper. Prismatic Amethyst is so gorgeous and non-chunky.

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Looking for a super affordable way to amp up your glow game? Head to the drugstore to pick up the Maybelline MasterChrome Metallic Highlighter in Molten Gold. Holy moly, this highlight isn’t for the faint of heart! I would describe Molten Gold as a champagne-gold shade. As expected, the cream-to-powder formula has a metallic, shiny finish. With that being said, it is still quite wearable. Just keep in mind that a little goes a LOOOONG way! Also, make sure that you blend WELL with a synthetic bristle brush. Otherwise, your highlight may look a little chunky. I’m so glad that Maybelline came out with such a daring yet pretty product. No need to break the bank!

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Just days ago I mentioned how much I love the Wet ‘N’ Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals. This peachy-beige powder has a pink shift to it. Precious Petals is also a nice “in between” highlight; not subtle but not over-the-top flashy. A happy medium! No need to worry about being patchy, either. For a mere $5, this is a fabulous drugstore highlight. Highly recommend!

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If you’re looking for a less fussy glow, I suggest trying the Elf Baked Highlighter in Blush Gems. It is a classic beige shade with a tiny bit of sheen. When you first purchase this item, you’ll notice that the top layer is bone-dry and unusable. Simply scrape the top layer off gently, and you’re good to go. Once again, Blush Gems is a superb highlighter from the drugstore for next to nothing. Go get it!

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I feel like no highlighter collection is truly complete without the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop. This past holiday season I finally jumped on the bandwagon, and I’m so glad I did. As the name suggests, Champagne Pop is a Champagne shade with a gold undertone. It is nicely pigmented and doesn’t glitter or look chunky on your cheekbones. Instead, it gives them a glowing sheen. The formula is basically perfect. It just gives your complexion the perfect glow without being over the top–unless you want to apply a couple layers. A little goes a long way, which means you get a lot of bang for your buck. I’ve had this for nearly a year and have yet to hit pan. Champagne Pop is bound to become a classic. It’s so stunning, I love it!

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Rounding out part one of my collection, we have the Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in Be My Highlight.
This is the quintessential “no highlight” highlighter. Without the least bit of shimmer or glitter, this powder gives your cheekbones a healthy, subtle sheen. It is truly appropriate for everyday wear; I’ve even used it as an all-over setting powder. It looks a little boring in the pan, but it’s definitely worth a try. BMH is super cheap while still being high-quality. This powder does not disappoint, no matter which way you use it!

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Hope you all enjoyed reading this post! Wearing highlighter just puts extra pep in my step–how about you? What is YOUR favorite highlighter? Let me know!

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My Favorite Things | September 2017

Happy Sunday! It’s time for another Favorite Things post. As always, here are the items that caught my eye in September. Let’s get started!

F A S H I O N

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Fall is upon us, which means it’s time to break out our cozy cardigans and jackets. It’s not freezing cold yet, so I don’t have to bundle up too much! I REALLY have been enjoying this American Eagle Embroidered Denim Shirt Jacket. It runs very large, so definitely size down if you decide to buy. The fit is relaxed and cozy. It’s not too thick or too thin, and the distressed areas are subtle. You can wear it as a shirt, but I like to wear it as a jacket. The rose just adds some extra flair to this classic piece. It’s not sewed or glued on, so it’s nice quality! Denim NEVER goes out of style; this can be a staple in your wardrobe for many years!

B E A U T Y

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I am usually a fan of thick, fat lashes, but lately I’ve been wanting to go for a more fluttery look. I have always heard good things about the L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara, so I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did!

I’m gonna say that I think this mascara is truly one of the BEST at the drugstore. If you’re craving long, clump-free lashes, look no further! The wand is thin and rubbery with flexible bristles. They really hug your lashes and distribute the perfect amount of product! It only takes about two coats to get the full effect. The formula lasts all day and doesn’t make your lashes feel crunchy. It lengthens so well while still looking natural.

I’ve seen this product for years at the drugstore but never thought to pick it up. Now, I won’t be without it! At $10, it truly is a steal.

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The Wet ‘N’ Wild section at the drugstore is truly a goldmine. This product is no exception! Even though I’ve been using the MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals for a few days, it’s already a favorite in my collection.

Precious Petals is a nice “in-between” highlighter. It’s not completely subtle, but it’s not exploding with shimmer. I would describe it as a peachy champagne color with a light pink shift. SO gorgeous! The formula is not too powdery or creamy, so blending is easy.

This baby costs around $5. You can put it on the top of your cheekbones, your brow bone…anywhere you need an extra bit of glow. Can’t wait to try other shades!

T O  W A T C H

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I’ve been a fan of Lady Gaga since her debut in 2008. Her songs are super catchy while still being unique, and it was always entertaining to see the bizarre outfits she could somehow pull off. Nearly ten years into her career, a new Gaga is emerging.

The Gaga: Five Foot Two documentary on Netflix gives viewers a candid, raw look at the pop star. It covers the past year or so of her career: recording the Joanne album, promoting it, shooting American Horror Story and preparation of her now legendary SuperBowl Half-Time Show.

Amid her incredibly hectic schedule, Gaga battles health issues and a breakup. Five Foot Two examines what it’s really like for Gaga living in the spotlight. It’s not all private jets and glam squads like people expect. You see Gaga for who she really is: Stefani Germanotta. a shy but immensely talented and caring woman who faces challenges just like normal people. As cliche as that stereotype is, this documentary is truly compelling.

Five Foot Two gave me a new appreciation for Lady Gaga. I highly recommend!

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Hope you all enjoyed reading this post!

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Makeup I Didn’t Like…AT FIRST

Today I thought I’d post a little something different. Have you ever bought makeup that you didn’t like at first, but then gave it another chance or two and changed your mind? Well, I have! Here are some beauty items that weren’t my favorite initially, but eventually grew on me. Let’s get started!

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When Wet ‘N’ Wild came out with their PhotoFocus Foundation earlier this year, it was all the rage! YouTubers praised this thrifty foundation nonstop. So of course, I had to try it for myself.

When I first dispensed it on my face using the spatula applicator, I was taken aback by the cloying, paint-like scent. Not very pleasant! The consistency wasn’t too heavy or too sheer, so that was a positive. When I blended it in with my RealTechniques sponge, I wasn’t thrilled about how the foundation was blending into my skin. It just looked powdery and uneven.

I set this item aside for a month or more, convinced that I didn’t like it at all. But one day, I purchased a more dense makeup sponge from Sephora and gave this foundation another shot. After dampening the sponge and squeezing out ALL the water, it applied much more smoothly and didn’t look powdery. Score!

Also, I have found that it also applies nicely with a densely-packed foundation brush. This also allows higher coverage! The paint scent obviously still exists, but it dissipates. The coverage is medium. I just have to make sure that I don’t apply TOO MUCH to my face or I’ll break out.

Bottom line: I think this foundation is suitable for all skin types. It has a nice natural finish; not too matte or radiant. You just can’t beat the price!

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The Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow is another hyped-up product of the year. Who doesn’t love to add some glitter to their eye look every now and then?

I purchased the shade Kitten Karma; a classic beige shade. I figured I could pair it with a lot of different looks! This eyeshadow is obviously straight glitter with a light, creamy consistency. When I first applied, I simply used standard eyeshadow primer. By the time I finished my look, I had glitter all over my cheeks. OH NO!!!

I have a couple of suggestions to help this glitter eyeshadow stay in place:

PILE ON the glitter glue. Don’t be scared! I use one from NYX that comes in a small, travel-friendly tube. The texture is not annoyingly sticky –but smooth. I simply apply it to a base eyeshadow before putting on the glitter. A generous amount helps everything stay in place. I use a synthetic eyeshadow brush to pat everything down.

Wipe off the excess glitter. Before I apply the glitter, I wipe the sponge-tip applicator off on the sides. This will protect from fallout. It’s also important to not over-apply!

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When I first applied the It Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Hydrating Color Awakening Lip Treatment, I honestly thought it was just a basic lip balm. I didn’t really notice a color change to my lips.

Honestly, the intensity of the pink color just depends on the day. Some days it’s very subtle, while others it’s more pronounced on my lips. Nonetheless, this balm is really hydrating and nourishing. It’s not the least bit greasy or heavy.

If you’re looking for a cushiony balm that gives you a natural wash of color, look no further. 🙂

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I have been a huge fan of the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water for the longest time, so I decided to give the Waterproof version a go. The cute travel-size version had me sold!

I was expecting the waterproof version to be just as refreshing as the original. But to be honest, it felt much more greasy! My face didn’t feel refreshed, so I put this product aside for a while.

One night, I was trying to remove a long-lasting liquid lipstick. My makeup wipe couldn’t budge the formula, so I decided to reach for my Waterproof Micellar Water. Let me tell ya, it took the stubborn liquid lipstick RIGHT OFF without effort! I was really surprised.

If you wear waterproof mascara or any stubborn, long-wearing makeup, I suggest using this product to remove it. The emollient, greasy (in a good way) formula is so effective. No more tugging at your face!

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I hope you all enjoyed reading this post! We never buy makeup with the intention of not liking it. But sometimes if you give it a second (or third) chance, you may end up changing your mind and loving it. 🙂

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Here’s what I’ve been reading | September 2017

Happy first day of fall, everyone! Today I thought I’d share my thoughts on three books that I’ve read lately.

All three books are completely different from each other, so hopefully I can help you pick your next read–whether you are craving historical fiction, mystery or a love story. Let’s get started!

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Last fall, Fiona Davis released her debut novel, The DollhouseThe story intrigued me from the first to last page, so naturally I couldn’t wait to read The Address, Davis’s followup effort.

Like Dollhouse, The Address centers around another famous New York landmark, The Dakota. The story begins in 1884. Sara Smythe, a young woman who works in a posh London hotel, saves a small child from imminent harm. Upon saving the little girl, Sara meets her father, sought-after architect Theo Camden. Theo is so overwhelmed with gratitude for Sara that he offers her a position at The Dakota, a cutting-edge, soon-to-be-open apartment building in New York City that he is helping design. Reluctantly but gratefully, Sara takes the job and moves to America.

Fast forward to 1985: Bailey Camden is fresh out of rehab, desperate for a clean start. Her boss won’t re-hire her, so money is tight. Luckily, Bailey’s close friend Melinda offers to let her redesign her apartment, located in The Dakota.

Throughout the novel, Sara and Bailey’s stories start to mirror each other’s, even though they are a century apart. Bailey is eager to find her footing after rehab, while Sara is adjusting to a new life in America.

While redesigning Melinda’s apartment, Bailey finds out that Sara and Theo had a fling that ultimately led to murder. Sara was accused of killing Theo in a fit of rage. As Bailey begins to investigate the case, she is determined to uncover the truth about Sara, and even discovers facts about her own family.

The Address encompasses a variety of elements—historical fiction, murder mystery, romance and even self-discovery. Like I said, this novel had me hooked from the first page! I highly recommend this one.

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In The Light We Lost, Lucy and Gabe are college students who meet on one of America’s darkest days, September 11th, 2001. Amid all of the tragic events, they strike up a relationship.

Although their actual relationship is short-lived, Lucy and Gabe remain friends through the years, their paths intersecting from time to time. Gabe is immersed in his work as a travel photographer, and Lucy finds success as a children’s TV show producer.

As the book progresses, you begin to see the impact they have on each other, even years down the road. Although Lucy and Gabe are on different paths, are they still meant to be?

Jill Santopolo reminds me a lot of my favorite author, Karma Brown. She tells this love story in such a unique way. Although the chapters are brief and snapshot-like, emotion radiates from the pages. You really get invested in Gabe and Lucy’s relationship. Plus, every love story has to have a good twist, right?

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Just a couple days ago, I finished The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. I am always looking for a juicy murder mystery, so I was eager to start this one.

This novel centers around four women: Isa, Thea, Kate and Fatima. They meet as teenagers at boarding school. The four girls become close and create The Lying Game, which is as sketchy as it sounds: Try to get away with telling as many lies to as many people as possible. If that doesn’t foreshadow trouble, I don’t know what does.

Some fifteen or so years later, this cruel game comes back to haunt them. Kate notifies her friends that a body has been found after disappearing years ago, and they have something to do with it.

Alright, here’s the deal with this novel. It had SO MUCH going for it. I was rapidly turning the pages, awaiting the truth to finally surface. But in the end, The Lying Game fell completely flat for me.

First of all, the four main characters weren’t developed enough. They were just super paranoid the entire time, especially Isa. I would have liked it if there was a little more backstory on each of them. What drove them to want to lie, over and over? How did they develop such a tight bond?

Also, there were a lot of filler, unnecessary scenes the story. The suspense was sporadic. Something really suspenseful would happen, and then it would suddenly end, not really concluding. I honestly felt like The Lying Game could have been so great, but all the details didn’t correlate well with the ending–which turned out to be so, so random.

I hope this review makes sense. I really wanted to like this book, but I just didn’t. If you’re looking for a good murder mystery, read The Good Girl by Mary Kubica.

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I hope you all enjoyed reading this post. I am a HUGE reader, always looking for my next favorite book. What have you been reading lately? Let me know!

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Essence Cosmetics: Ulta’s Hidden Gem

Nestled among the big-name brands in Ulta is a small, end-of-aisle panel stocked with Essence Cosmetics. Due to the low prices–most items range no more than six dollars–you may be tempted to look past this display…but I encourage you not to.

Why?

Because Essence Cosmetics has some of the finest, high-quality makeup the drugstore has to offer. Today, I thought I’d share with y’all my favorites from this brand!

F A C E

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Let’s start with the Satin Touch Blush in Satin Love. I believe these blushes are newer to the Essence collection. Drugstore blushes tend to do nothing for me; they are usually too powdery and not pigmented. Let me tell you, Satin Love is a completely different story!

This tawny-pink blush is absolutely fool-proof. It has just enough pigment, and won’t leave you with clown cheeks. The smooth formula feels creamy to the touch, yet it is a powder without being ashy. It applies seamlessly. If you’re looking for a non-fussy blush for everyday wear, look no further. With a $2.99 price tag, you have nothing to lose.

I have mentioned the Pure Nude Highlighter in Be My Highlight numerous times on my blog. It is truly one of my go-to’s in my entire makeup collection. So here I go again! If highlighters tend to scare you, simply choose one with ZERO shimmer, like Be My Highlight.

This powder may look “meh” in the pan, but I assure you it looks SO PRETTY at the tops of cheekbones. It just gives you that natural glow, without being flashy. Be My Highlight’s smooth, baked formula is ultra-flattering, giving your complexion a glowy, healthy sheen. You can even use it as an all-over setting powder.

E Y E S

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I’m always eager to try any mascara that claims to give the “false lashes” look. So naturally, I picked up The False Lashes Mascara. However, after giving it a few tries, I wasn’t entirely impressed.

The wand is unique with a thin, cone-like shape. The formula is rather basic and creamy. Although it did define my lashes well, I didn’t really see a tremendous amount of length or volume. My natural lashes are on the stumpy side, anyway.

The False Lashes Mascara isn’t a complete dud! I like to layer it over a volumizing mascara. It combs and separates my plumped-up lashes. For that reason, I’d consider buying again. If you DO have long lashes, you might me more impressed by this mascara.

I wasn’t expecting to be impressed by the I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base. However, this $3.50 primer definitely proved me wrong! Not only does it keep my shadow from creasing, but it covers minor imperfections with its peachy color. The formula is creamy and blends nicely.

I will continue to purchase this one instead of splurging on a high-end brand. Who doesn’t like to save money where they can?!

L I P S

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To me, Essence’s lipsticks are some of the most affordable and quality of the drugstore. The Nude LongLasting Lipstick in Cool Nude 05 is a soft, mauve-y nude shade. The formula is very thin and buttery, like a balm. I don’t agree with the “long lasting” claim, but the wearable formula makes it easy to apply. I don’t even have to use a mirror! Cool Nude is a universally-flattering shade.

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Purple Power / Cool Nude 05

Lastly,  we have the Matt Matt Matt Lipstick in Purple Power. Don’t let the name fool you, this lipstick isn’t a stark, purple shade. Rather, it is a pretty orchid with a pink undertone. As the name suggests, the formula is very matte BUT it does not drag on my lips. It is truly amazing; I don’t have to prep with balm before applying. Plus, the packaging is sturdy. You would think this lipstick belongs in a department store, yet it costs four dollars. Can’t go wrong!

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Hope you all enjoyed this post! Essence is such a high-quality drugstore makeup brand that deserves more love. What is your favorite product from Essence Cosmetics?

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Mini ColourPop FALL Haul!

A couple weeks ago,  I made a small purchase from ColourPop–an online, affordable makeup brand. Fall is my absolute FAVORITE season for makeup. There’s nothing more elegant than flushed cheeks, bold lips and warm eyeshadows.

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In fact, my purchase reflects those three loves. Here are my thoughts on the few items I selected…

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Honest to goodness, I’ve waited a couple months to get my hands on the Yes, Please! Eyeshadow Palette ever since KathleenLights raved about it on her YouTube Channel. It’s received so much hype that it was sold out and finally restocked a couple weeks ago.

Needless to say, it was worth the wait! Y’all, these shadows are going to look so gorgeous in the fall. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the UD Naked Heat Palette, I strongly suggest giving this one a shot. As you can see, it is filled with warm-toned shadows. It covers all the bases of a good fall palette. Oranges, reds, browns, neutrals and even a fun pop of yellow. My favorite shade of the entire palette is Butter Cake, the shimmery gold on the second row. It’s so pigmented and sparkly without having major fallout.

The Yes, Please! Palette is cute and compact, making it ideal for travel. I only wish there was a lighter, more pinky rose gold in this set. That being said, this is a great value for the price. Each shadow is high-quality and a cinch to blend!

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Up next, we have this SuperShock Cheek Blush in Between The Sheets. It looks a tad dark in the pan (and in person), but actually BTS swatches as a light, dusty rose shade. Super wearable! I kid you not, it is impossible to over-apply. I’m so glad I purchased this on a whim. Between The Sheets contains no shimmer or glitter, it is just a nice and natural rosy flush. Universally flattering.

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Of all the ColourPop lip formulas, the Matte X Lippie Stix are my absolute favorite. The formula reminds me of a solidified version of a liquid lipstick. No matter the shade, the Matte X lippies glide on with incredible ease while being highly pigmented. I’m amazed every time!

On the website, Daydream appeared to be a mauvey pink shade. It looked quite different when I swatched and tried it on. Instead, I would describe Daydream as a warm rose shade with a slight brown undertone. It’s not quite a red lipstick, but it’s not brown either. It’s the perfect in-between. I have been loving it!

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Here’s a picture of me wearing Daydream–featuring a cute llama 🙂 

Since Daydream is highly pigmented, I recommend prepping your lips before application. If not, the bold color will accentuate dryness and lines. Exfoliation rids your lips of any dry patches and balm will keep them from looking parched. If you don’t have time to do those extra steps, simply apply a gloss on top. Nars’ SuperVixen Gloss adds a super fun gold dimension to Daydream!

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Daydream / Between The Sheets

Those are my thoughts on my latest ColourPop Haul. These items make me super pumped for fall! What is your favorite item from ColourPop? Let me know!

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