FAVORITES | August 2018

I had been planning to post a favorites in July, but when I couldn’t really muster up enough loved items to warrant a post. It’s the start of September now, and I think I’ve gathered enough items to share with you what I’ve been loving for these last two months.

Ilia Illuminator in Polka Dots & Moonbeams (0.18 oz, $34): This gives the most subtle glow-from-within look. It blends very easily and smoothly, even moreso than my well-loved W3ll People Bio Brightener Stick (0.21 oz, $23.99).

The Leo Oil (1 oz, $46): I’ve written a review already on this, so all I’ll say here is that this is worth every penny.

Alterna CAVIAR CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction (5.1 oz, $41): My best friend got this for me for my birthday this year. She claimed it was hair crack, and I couldn’t understand why, until I used this for myself. It’s amazing. When I put it in my damp hair and let my hair air dry, my hair dries so smoothly that it’s almost like I got a blowout. It’s magic. I tried using this recently before blow-drying my hair, and it’s great that way as well – my hair stays smooth, soft, and far from frizzy until my next hair wash. My only concern with this product is that Alterna is a grey-area brand on the cruelty-free sites I could find it on.

Glossier Cloud Paints (0.33 fl oz, 2 for $30 or 1 for $18) in Storm and Beam: I’ve already written a review on this, but basically, these are some of the best blushes I’ve ever used.

Glossier Stretch Concealer (0.17 oz, $18): There’s also a review on this already, but tl:dr, I love this concealer’s creamy consistency that makes it great for both blemishes and under the eye.

Mount Lai Mini Jade Roller ($20): I definitely fell into the hype of these facial rollers, but I’ve known for a long time that these are really effective for de-puffing the face, and jade has cooling properties as well. My face doesn’t puff up that much in the mornings, but I definitely enjoy using this after applying my skincare because of how cooling the jade feels on my skin. The facial massages I give myself with this roller also helps relieve any tension I have in my face after a long day.

Anthropologie Palm Leaf Dish ($20): My friends got me this for me as part of my birthday present this year. It’s been a great prop in my pictures, and I love that it’s both extremely cute and functional.

Madewell Oversized Hoops ($24): I’ve been eyeing these for a while and finally picked them up in August when I got a $25 off birthday coupon. I’ve already lost count of how many times I’ve worn them, since they go with almost every outfit.

Madewell Bandana ($12.50) in Strawberry Multi: I’ve gotten obsessed with bandanas in the last couple of months and amassed a little collection, but this strawberry one is by far my favorite. I managed to snag it on sale for less than $5, but unfortunately it’s sold out now 😦 I highly recommend Madewell’s bandanas, because all of their bandana prints are extremely cute. They’re also pretty reasonably priced, especially if you can find one on sale (and there almost always is one on sale).

What have you been loving during these last couple of summer months?

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FAVORITES | April 2018

No excuses, but I failed to post last week 😦 I’ll really have to try harder to be more consistent in posting…

Anyways, April favorites! As I hadn’t really posted for most of the last few months, some of these items have been in use for more than just April. Can you believe it’s already May? The year’s gone by so quickly…

This month’s favorites includes beauty items, of course, as well a few fashion items, a movie, and a recipe!

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  1. Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask (2.25 oz, $48): Let’s just say this deserves all the hype it’s getting. Stay tuned for a more detailed review.
  2. Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Weenie (0.074 oz, $5): I’ve been a longtime fan of the Colourpop Super Shock Shadows and of Kathleenlights, who created this shade as part of a collaboration with Colourpop. I had purchased this beautiful rose gold ultra-metallic shade right when it was released, but hadn’t used it until recently. It is as beautiful as it sounds. I actually use it as an everyday shade, applied with my fingers as a wash of color and shine on my lids, as the rose gold is rather subtle on my skin tone. However, I can definitely see myself using this shadow wet for a more dramatic look.
  3. Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black ($18 for full size): I got a deluxe sample of this mascara in one of those Sephora Favorites boxes, but just started using this in April after my previous mascara had dried up. I never expected much from this mascara, but I was so impressed from the very first time I used it. It’s definitely more of a natural look mascara, but it does an amazing job of lengthening my lashes. I never really purchase full size mascaras, but if I ever do, this one is definitely on my list.
  4. No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation in Warm Beige (1 oz, $15.99): From first application, I knew I was going to love this foundation. It was so easy to blend with a beauty sponge and looked like my skin but better. The formula definitely leaves your skin subtly glowy as promised, and I appreciate the SPF 15 as well. The relatively inexpensive price doesn’t hurt either.
  5. Botanics All Bright Foaming Face Wash (5 oz, $5.99): I’ve previously mentioned this in my post about Botanics, but didn’t get around to using it until a couple of months ago. Since I’ve started using it, it’s become a daily cleanser of mine. I started using it every morning, but now I prefer to use it at night. Despite being a foaming face wash, it doesn’t strip my skin at all, and my face still feels refreshed and clean afterwards. It’s also really affordable and easily found at Target, which only makes it more awesome.
  6. Glossier Body Hero Oil Wash (8.4 fl oz, $18 or save $5 with the Body Hero Duo): This body wash is amazing. I’ve never really used an oil wash before, and I loved how this one started as an oil, but lathers up as it interacts with water. My skin always feel moisturized but clean after using this, and it smells amazing. I also use it to shave. It’s more than I’d usually pay for a body wash, but I definitely plan on repurchasing in the future. I haven’t used the companion Daily Perfecting Cream yet, but plan on writing a review of the two together when I do.
  7. Face Brush ($1.50 at Daiso): To those of you who don’t know what Daiso is, it’s like the cooler Japanese cousin of the Dollar Store. Everything there is $1.50 unless marked otherwise, so it’s easy to get sucked into picking up things you didn’t intend to get when you set foot in the store. This face brush was one of those things. It looked like a tiny, manual version of the Foreo brush so I decided to give it a try. I love using this with the Botanics cleanser, and using this combo always makes my face feel extra clean and even slightly exfoliated without being abrasive at all. As a bonus, my dog loves when I brush her head with this, and it leaves her fur extra soft as well (yes, I clean the brush between using it for my face and for her face).
  8. Madewell Canvas Somerset Backpack in Acorn ($78): I’ve been wanting a cute but practical bag for a while, and I purchased this as soon as I had a discount code for Madewell. I wasn’t disappointed – the acorn color is beautiful, and it’s so nice to have my hands free, especially when I’m going on local hikes with my dog and my boyfriend on the weekend that don’t require a serious backpack. It’s also nice for just running out the door.
  9. Madewell Wrap Top in Star Scatter in Spicy Saffron (originally $69.50, now $29.99): I have been on a journey to incorporate more color into my wardrobe, and this top was just calling out my name. I’ve been loving shades of yellow in particular lately, hence the choice of this pattern and color. When I received the top, I loved it so much that I got another one Albury Stripe (originally $69.50, now $52.50). This wrap top is appropriate for work, but I can definitely see myself wearing it paired with shorts as well. For someone like me with a small frame but large bust, this is an amazingly flattering top that doesn’t also make you feel like you’re showing too much cleavage.
  10. A Quiet Place: I had been waiting to watch this since I saw the first trailer, and it did not disappoint. I won’t say much so as not to spoil anything, but if you’re into horror and/or thriller films, definitely give this one a watch.
  11. Mochi Muffins: These have been appearing at cafes everywhere in San Francisco and East Bay, and for good reason. They’re delicious. So I figured rather than spend up to $4 every time I want one, why not make my own? I found this recipe by the Tea Squirrel and adapted to my own tastes, replacing milk with coconut beverage (aka coconut milk in a carton), and omitted the sesame seeds and matcha. It was still delicious, though I may make more changes to adapt it more to my taste.

What were your favorites this past month?

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BEST OF 2017 | BEAUTY

As it is nearing the end of the year, I thought that a roundup of my beauty favorites of the year was in order. There are a couple of products that I’ve only started using in the last couple of months, but I already know that they will be lasting favorites, so they are in this list as well!

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While I don’t use eyeliner as much as I used to, my eyeliner of choice has always been a black liquid liner. With that it mind,  I finally got around to trying the well-loved Tattoo Liner in Trooper (0.19 oz, $20) from Kat Von D. It definitely did not disappoint – the brush tip, my favorite type of liner tip, made it so easy for me to wing out my liner, the black is extremely pigmented, and the formula is so long-lasting. At $20, I don’t find it to be that pricey either, considering that I’ve had mine for a while and it hasn’t dried out yet.

Origins’ SPF 40 Energy Boosting  Tinted Moisturizer (1.7 fl oz, $38) is actually a surprise favorite. While I was very excited for this release, which I have previously reviewed, I had heard mixed reviews and kept my expectations low while I tried this out. I ended up enjoying it very much, but at the time of my review, I wasn’t sure if I would repurchase this. I have since come to love this product and have already purchased a backup. It is truly a tinted moisturizer, with minimal pigment, but it is very moisturizing and has no sunscreen scent at all.

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Glossier’s Generation G (0.07 oz, $18) lipstick in Zip has become my go-to lipstick for when I want a laid-back look that still looks like I tried. In the tube, the bright red can be intimidating, but the sheer formula allows for it to be the perfect everyday red, at least for me 🙂 Full review on this soon.

I have talked about Julep’s Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil (0.85 fl oz, $36) more than once on this blog, but it’s been a while since I did, and I have only grown to love this oil more and more. I use this both morning and night, two drops mixed into my moisturizer, and have already repurchased another bottle. I’ve tried a couple of other facial oils containing rosehip, but this one is by far my favorite so far.

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After just a couple of uses, the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (1.69 fl oz, $80) is already a favorite. The product really lives up to the Babyfacial part of its name, leaving me with baby-like skin the morning after I use it. It’s a high acid concentration product, recommended for use weekly.  Stay tuned for a full review of this product!

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The Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (2.3 oz, $25) has been in my monthly favorites before, for good reason – easy to use, moisturizing, and relatively affordable. I have since purchased the Lip Sleeping Mask (0.7 oz, $20) as well and will update you guys after I’ve used it a few times.

When I initially saw all the hype about Glossier’s new perfume, Glossier You (1.7 fl oz, $60), I wasn’t that interested – I’ve never been much of a fragrance user, and figured this one wouldn’t be much different. But then, the hype got to me, so I tried a sample of it that I received with my Glossier haul. It was love at first spray – subtle, but heavy on the base notes, so that your own unique scent becomes the first ingredient. When my boyfriend said that I smelled good without realizing that I had on any perfume, that was when I knew I had to get my hands on the full-sized bottle. I love this perfume so much that it’s inspired me to challenge myself to wearing perfume every day.

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This year was also the year of The Ordinary, the brilliant skincare brand that somehow kept its prices extremely affordable. To be honest, out of everything that I’ve tried so far from the brand, I haven’t been blown away by anything, but I wanted to give this brand a shout out because I have enjoyed most of them that I’ve tried, including this Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (240 ml, $8.70). I will also be purchasing more of their products to try, as the affordable prices make it easier to do so, and I am almost sure I will discover something that I will love.

 

What were your beauty favorites of the year?

 

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FAVORITES | September 2017

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Another month has come and gone, and that means another favorites! This month, I share with you three beauty favorites, four fashion favorites, a movie favorite, and a TV show favorite.

  1. e.l.f. Pore Refining Face Brush and Mask Tool ($5): This tool has made masking so much easier. Honestly, I get lazy and reluctant about applying masks because if it’s a rinse-off mask, the application gets pretty messy. This fixes that problem, and so I’ve gotten better about masking regularly. I don’t care much for the pore refining brush and don’t ever see myself using it, but this product is so affordable that only having one usable side isn’t a big deal to me.
  2. YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara in Black ($32): Honestly, this isn’t anything groundbreaking for me. But I’ve had a streak of really mediocre mascaras in the last year, and this one grew on me because it actually lengthens my lashes and does hold a curl for a while. I got a deluxe size of this as part of one of those Sephora mascara sampler packs, so I didn’t know the price. Knowing it now and unable to find any information on how much product you get for $32, I’m not too keen on purchasing a full size of this.
  3. Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Blaze (0.074 oz, $5): I’ve actually had this for a while, but didn’t really bust it out until recently. This shadow, a coco bronze sprinkled with multi-dimensional glitter, is part of the Where The Light Is quad (4 shadows, $18) from Colourpop’s collaboration with KathleenLights. I’ve never been disappointed with Colourpop shadows, and I’m glad I finally put this shade to use. The bronze color keeps it very wearable for day-to-day, and the glitter adds a little extra something that keeps this from being a typical bronze. My favorite look with this shadow is a standard warm crease shade, Blaze all over the lids, applied with finger tips, and a darker matte brown smoked out in the outer edges of the eye. With whatever product I have left on my fingers, I smudge Blaze through my lower lash line.

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    This swatch doesn’t do the shadow any justice, but you can see that it’s very pigmented!
  4. Men’s Tees at Marshalls ($7.99 each): Last month, I was obsessed with digging through the men’s section of Marshalls for graphic-tee treasures. I had two favorites, both of which I’ve already worn every opportunity I get: (1) a Pulp Fiction tee, and (2) a plain white tee with a little french bulldog patch on the top left corner.
  5. Abercrombie & Fitch Lace-Trim Cami ($28): Since this was first released, I’ve kept it on my radar so I could buy it at first discount. I bought two, one in black and one in olive, for $16.80 each. They’re great as layering pieces, and I can see myself wearing these in so many different outfits. The straps are also adjustable, and the lace is so very pretty. The only concern would probably be that they’re pretty sheer, so lighter colors could be see-through.
  6. Abercrombie & Fitch Cropped Wide-Leg Pants in Black ($58): First of all, I want to say very proudly that I got these for a steal at $17.40 with a couple of discounts, and I love them already after wearing them only once. I actually wore these with the previous item, the lace-trim cami in olive, and my mules that I featured in last month’s favorites, for a laid-back yet still put together look.
  7. C9 French Terry Jogger in Light Grey ($22.99): I had never been planning to purchase these, but at the beginning of September, I traveled to Upstate New York extremely unprepared for the chillier weather. For some reason, I saw that the weather would be in the high 50s to low 60s and interpreted that as sundress-and-shorts weather. Not really sure what I was thinking, but as soon as I saw these at the local Target I grabbed them without even trying them on first. Despite being an impulsive purchase, I have enjoyed wearing these, even after coming back from my trip. They’re extremely soft and not too baggy. For a quality pair of sweats, these are at a pretty good price point. I only wish they had my size in the darker grey, since that would’ve been my color preference.
  8. Little Evil (out on Netflix): This is branded as a horror comedy, and is something of a parody of The Omen, but really, there wasn’t much horror in it besides the premise itself. Adam Scott (from Parks and Rec) plays Gary Bloom, who marries the woman of his dreams, but his stepson may be the Antichrist. Adam Scott is great in this role, but the supporting cast, specifically the group of stepdads from Gary’s support group, really make the movie. Watching this inspired me to watch the director Eli Craig’s previous movie, Dale and Tucker vs. Evil, which was also hilarious, and I’m excited to see more horror comedies from him.
  9. The Strain, season 4 (on FX): The Strain is a horror drama about vampires that are created through a virus, and a ragtag group of protagonists that come together to fight these strigoi, as vampires are known in the show. It isn’t the most well-written show out there, and I still don’t understand the showrunners’ obsession with the possible redemption of one possibly evil, psychopathic character (if you watch this show, you know who I’m talking about), but I’ve always found the world of The Strain and most of its characters worth watching. I had been slightly disappointed with season three, but the fourth and final season did not disappoint, and I really liked how the show explored the effects of a complete strigoi takeover of society. I was also satisfied with the ending to the series, as it was very fitting of the show and its characters.

What are some of your favorites this month?

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FAVORITES | August 2017

In the blink of an eye, it’s already September, and we’re heading into Labor Day weekend and the end of summer. With that in mind, I thought it’d be nice to start a favorites series before summer comes to a complete end.

These posts will primarily be on beauty favorites, but if I have any fashion or other lifestyle favorites, I will include those as well. For this month, I have a fashion love that isn’t included in the post image – continue reading to see what it is! 🙂

  1. LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask (2.3 oz, $25): My friend recommended this to me, and I am so glad I picked it up. It’s lightweight, fast-absorbing, and very easy to use. I usually put this on in place of my nighttime moisturizer, and when I do, I wake up the next morning with soft, dewy skin. It’s also pretty good value for the price – you get a hefty jar of it, and the packaging neither looks nor feels cheap. There’s also a spatula that you can use to scoop out the product.
  2. Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition Face Palette Pretty Cheeky (0.38 oz, $19.99 – currently $16.98): As soon as I saw KathleenLights recommend this on Youtube, I went ahead and purchased it. Despite being a drugstore product, the quality of the packaging is good, and the design on the compact is very cute. The formulas for the bronzer, blush, and highlighter are all amazing – if you swatch any of them with your finger, you’ll find that they’re almost creamy in texture. They’re also super pigmented, so make sure you go in with a light hand, especially if you’re more fair-skinned, since these colors are definitely more targeted for medium skin tones. There is quite a bit of fall out when you dip your brush in, but that’s not too much of an issue for me because they apply so nicely to my face.
  3. Kevin Aucoin The Eyelash Curler ($21): My previous eyelash curler from Trish McEvoy was great, but it was old and no longer curling my lashes. I decided I wanted to try a new one, and this one had decent reviews on Sephora. It definitely didn’t disappoint – it curls my lashes nicely and fits the shape of my eye well.
  4. Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum ($58 for 1.7 fl oz, or $77 for 2.5 fl oz): I have a whole review of this here. I love how this makes my skin feel and plan to purchase a full-size version when I have used up more of my current skincare inventory.
  5. Glossier Milk Jelly Cleanser (6 fl oz, $18): I’ve had this for a while and had been using it solely as a makeup remover. It did the job, but I never particularly enjoyed using it. Recently, I decided to try using it as a face wash instead, and I love using it as a face wash so much more than I ever did using it as a makeup remover. I use it as a morning cleanser now, and it leaves my skin clean and refreshed without stripping it of moisture. Unfortunately, I’m almost near the end of my bottle, so I won’t be getting back to it for a while.
  6. Glossier Priming Moisturizer (1.7 fl oz, $22): I bought this a while ago when Glossier was first getting big, and I have to say I didn’t think it was anything extraordinary as a primer, which was how I used it. In hindsight, it’s probably because my skin is normal/combination/oily, so additional moisture isn’t really what I need in a primer. In a recent effort to finish products before they expire, I started using this as a moisturizer in the morning, and it’s amazing. It gives just the right amount of moisture and dewiness to my face. With the rediscovery and newfound love for this and the Milk Jelly Cleanser, I’m excited to get my hands on more Glossier products.
  7. The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel (25.3 fl oz, $20): I love The Body Shop’s shower gels, and they’re pretty affordable since there are sales so often. I got this particular one when Amazon had a deal on these for around $11, but The Body Shop often has “buy x amount, get x amount free” deals where you can get them for even less. I had to give a shout out to the Pink Grapefruit in this post because this scent is stronger than any of the other scents I’ve used, so every time I shower, my whole bathroom smells nice and fresh.
  8. The Gemma Mule in Leather in English Saddle ($98): I love these. I purchased them last month as a birthday present to myself when Madewell offered me $25 off my purchase. I hate wearing socks, so I’ve been trying to find a good pair of work shoes that don’t require socks. These are extremely comfortable, and I can walk a long time in them. The leather started off a bit stiffer and rubbed at certain parts of my foot the wrong way, but as I wear them more that’s become less of an issue.

What were your favorites this past month? Let me know in the comments section below!

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