april picks

as far as makeup and skincare go, not much has changed from last month.  the pacifica coconut essence spray is still a strong favorite.  i’ve been adding it more to my skincare routine as well, and it truly gives my skin so much juice.  i’m way over half way through my bottle and it’s been sold out at my ulta, so i’m a little panicked.  i need to stock up.

all of the items i bought during the sephora vib sale and my sneaky marc jacobs order are firm favorites and i am so pleased with them all.  i ended up returning the marc jacobs lipstick, but the coconut bronzer, milk makeup kush mascara, and rms champagne rose luminizer are all epically amazing (these are the products i got that i had never tried before).  if you are considering the kush mascara especially, CHECK IT OUT.  it is somehow insanely but naturally volumizing, lengthening, defining, softening, hydrating, amplifying, etc etc.  truly the perfect mascara and it’s fun to have something different from my w3ll people mascara that is uber natural looking.bb april picks1.jpg

though i was enjoying the paula’s choice 2% bha, i ultimately decided to start using my acne creams again, which are aczone and differin.  my skin has passed the painful drying stage, so i’m hoping to start seeing results soon.

because of my current skin state, i’ve just been using a ton of moisturizer and concealer, with my concealer of choice being the bare minerals bare pro concealer.  i’ve been using this for a couple months now but have not mentioned it until now (i don’t think).  this is an insanely high coverage yet hydrating and not drying concealer.  i use it on blemishes, but because of the consistency it would work absolutely anywhere.  i started with the shade 01 which fits my pale winter skin perfectly, and i also got the shade 04 to mix it with/use for summer.  04 is actually lighter than 03, so just a heads up if you are considering either of those shades.  all in all another wonderful product from bare minerals – truly one of my favorite and most relied on brands.  and of course i always have the nars radiant creamy concealer in vanilla on hand and if i’m in a rush.

after concealer i’ll pop on some bronzer (always) and blush (sometimes).  i’m still loving my hourglass diffused light bronzer which i’ve been using for over a year now, with no end in sight, but the marc jacobs coconut bronzer has taken its place as of late.  as for blush it depends on the day, but the it cosmetics bye bye pores blush in naturally pretty (another one i’ve been using for months but don’t think i’ve mentioned) is a reliable, every day, don’t have to think about it shade.bb april picks2.jpgsome products that i haven’t mentioned yet on the blog and have been loving for quite a while now are the & other stories items i bought while in california.  the biggest love is the chubby lip pencil in cone marshmallow, which i had wanted to order on line for months before seeing it in the store on sale!  i love it so much i ordered a backup to because the shade comes and goes online.  it’s a lovely peachy nude and i’ve been wearing it more often than not even though i’m not a day to day lipstick lover.  i also purchased the lip and cheek tint in dimple peach, which i think i mentioned as being a more cream-to-power dupe for rms vogue rose.

and the last thing i got is the nacre ecru eye shadow quad which is soooooo amazing and my first thought was that it looked a bit like the tom ford nude dip.  these shades are so me and i love them all as a light wash over the lid.  the shades are shiny instead of sparkly which is always what i look for.  this is probably the only eye shadow thing i will bring when i move to arizona later this summer (more on that soon).  i’ve been in & other stories a couple of times before in new york especially, but this is the first time i purchased anything from their makeup line.  the prices are great and the products are fun, so i recommend checking their website or going in store if you can!  i can’t wait until i can get there again; they have a ton more products in store.

oh!  and essie bikini so teeny has been living on my nails. bb april picks3.jpg

it was a funny month as i was back in classes but only a few times a week.  it’s been nice because i am able to focus on other things, mainly working out, getting my apartment in order before i move, reading, writing, etc.  my traveler’s notebook is still a constant companion, of course, and i’ve added another notebook and a little clear folder to the mix for extra organization.

in terms of books, i have a school favorite and a real life favorite.  i had to read the teacher wars by dana goldstein for school, but it was incredible and i read the whole thing in 2 days.  if you are an educator or just interested in education in america, this is a must read.  the education system in this country is not perfect, but this gives a beautiful overview of our history and really gets you thinking about where we are going and where we have been.  exceptionally crafted.bb april picks4.jpgfor personal reading, i absolutely gobbled up big magic by elizabeth gilbert.  this book has been on my radar for years, but i finally decided to pick it up a couple weeks ago.  i do consider myself a creative person, and consider the field of teaching to be a creative one that is tied to so much else, so i found big magic incredibly inspiring.  my hobbies are also creative ones, i.e. this blog and writing, and big magic felt like a handbook for cherishing your creative passions.  i am never going to make my life’s work out of one of these hobbies, but i do them for me, and that is more than enough.  i would really like tor read eat pray love now because i love her voice so very much.

and perhaps the most exciting favorite of the month is isle of dogs.  ooh how i love me some wes anderson.  i even got this book for christmas a few years back!  when this movie began i wasn’t quite sure where it was going but it came together beautifully and i might even go see it again.  if you like wes or dogs or stop motion, you need to see this.

kodachrome was a movie i happened upon on netflix, without realizing it had just been released a few days earlier.  i was of course drawn to it by the name mostly, and also because i really like elizabeth olsen.  it was such a sweet film and left me in tears of love.  not groundbreaking or particularly iconic, but lovely all the same.  sometimes those are my favorite kind.

and because there is always a new youtube favorite around here – i am absolutely obsessed with manny mua.  he is truly hysterical but intelligent and witty and a pleasure to watch.  i love that he focuses purely on makeup videos and is always insanely entertaining.  he won’t be to everyone’s taste, but i absolutely love how over-the-top and true to himself he is.

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the student teaching essentials

i’ve mentioned here and there that i am now student teaching full time…and that requires a lot of supplies, let me tell you.  aside from all the actual classroom essentials, which include the catcher in the rye, my notebook, and my school laptop, i like to have a whole set of items and products that i may need.  it sounds like a lot and it sounds extreme, but i find i feel so much more confident when i feel prepared and like i have all the supplies i could ever possibly need.  

has anyone ever read the children’s book, chrysanthemum?  well chrysanthemum is a little mouse that is teased at school because of her name.  to combat this, she fills her favorite jacket with all her most prized possessions to give her extra confidence.  and this is EXACTLY what i do too.bb student tch1.jpg makeup items //

bare minerals perfecting veil powder with elf retractable brush // i always carry this bare minerals powder (discontinued) that my sister gave me with my handy dandy elf brush.  i will also occasionally throw in my mineral fusion pressed powder as well, if i feel like i need a little more coverage throughout the day.  i don’t always use a powder, but i have found that something about the school environment/air/lights make me feel a lot oilier than usual.bb student tch5.jpgspot concealer // i keep my sephora concealer in 03 meringue in my bag ALWAYS.  you just never know, ok!  i’ll occasionally pop my nars creamy concealer in there too if i really need it.

mini tweezerman tweezers // you truly never know when you will need tweezers.  a stray nose hair, a makeup brush hair that won’t get off your face, a splinter…you feel me.

maybelline brow brush // i aaaalways need a little brow brush up.

clarins instant light lip comfort oil in honey // this is the lip product that has been on my lips for the past 2 months straight.  it looks like a gloss but feels like a balm and honey is the perfect, almost-clear shade.  it makes me feel put together but also hydrates the lips beautifully.  i transfer this from pocket to pocket and purse to purse, but right now it’s living at school with me.bb student tch4.jpgkorres lip butter in jasmine // another balm that gives me more oomph than just a balm does.  i love the light nudey pink shade of this and it’s one of my all time favorite lip products.  you know i love a lip product that lightens the lips just a teensy bit.  i just wish it wasn’t in a pot because i only use it right after i’ve washed my hands.

sephora coconut lip balm // my mom and i both looove this balm!  it smells amazing and feels amazing.  need i say more?  great simple balm that i always have around somewhere.

super old sephora mirror compact // for when i don’t feel like whipping out my powder.

daily essentials // bb student tch3.jpghand sanitizer // currently using bronner’s.  i don’t know how anyone can work in a school, or really anywhere, without a good hand sanitizer.  life essential, people.  i also carry wet ones hand wipes with me for more serious situations! 

hand lotion // my lotion of choice is a travel size gold bond.  99 cents at target.  yes.  it can also double as a face cream if necessary as it’s not exclusively a hand cream. 

hair clips and twisties // duuuuhhhhh!

mouthwash // DUH!  as a teacher i am super aware of my coffee breath.  mouthwash is an absolute non-negotiable.

the extras that i don’t really use but like to have //

tide to go, lint brush, bandaids, lactaid, imodium, tissues // every single one of these products shows you who i really am.  don’t believe what instagram shows you.  i am a grandma.bb student tch2.jpgso i know this sounds like an absolute load of products, but all my essentials fit into a glossier pink pouch and my makeup items fit into a very small mac travel bag.  i leave everything in my backpack/school bag so i don’t have to think about anything until i need it!

am i missing anything?  what products do you keep with you on a daily basis?

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december & january picks

i didn’t do a december picks in 2017 in favor of my 2017 discoveries post, but there were a lot of products that i got into at the end of the year.  so december and january picks it is!  as everyone else in the world has been saying, january was a ridiculously long and grey month, so i’m looking forward to february and just 28 days.  happy happy, my dear bohemians!

skincare & haircare //

cetaphil moisturizing cream // my winter standby.  it hydrates my skin so intensely and gives me a nice glow.  it’s simple, but extremely effective and reliable.bb decjan picks6.jpgmad hippie cleansing cream // i love mad hippie and this cleanser is no exception.  i purchased this at whole foods while home for christmas and have been using it ever since.  it’s very hydrating but still cleansing, which can be a difficult balance for cleansing creams or more lotion-based cleansers.  if you have dry skin and are looking for an eco cleanser, i think you’ll enjoy this!

jordan samuel hydrate 4 oz. // you all know i love this serum, but i had to mention the new 4 oz size.  i am so pleased that jordan released this super size product.  it’s pricey but actually results in a great amount of savings.  and 1 oz for serum is just too easy to get through.  bb decjan picks5.jpgr&co cactus shampoo // this seems to be my winter hair product of choice.  i have long toted this as giving me my “summer” hair in the winter, and i still stand by that description.  texturizing and thickening, but doesn’t leave the hair sticky or clumpy.  i’m on my second bottle since my original purchase last winter!

makeup //bb decjan picks2.jpgnars radiant creamy concealer in vanilla // while i was loving the sephora full coverage concealer for half of december and half of january, i’m back to my nars creamy.  i don’t know why but this is just my favorite concealer of all time.  i usually stray when i feel like the color is oxidizing on me, but it must depend on what i wear underneath because it’s not doing that right now.  it’s just perfect for blemishes and lasts all day.  i’m sorry i leave you sometimes, my sweet.

bare minerals complexion rescue gel tint in opal // i tried this a really long time ago and hated it, but i wanted to try it out again.  and i love it!  the shade opal is perfect for my winter skin and it gives me the perfect boost of hydration and glow while the tint remains remaining sheer and perfecting on the skin.  i highly recommend this for all “tinted moisturizer is still too much” people like myself.

charlotte tilbury filmstar bronze and glow // this was my birthday splurge and i am so pleased i finally took the plunge.  the bronzer is absolutely perfect in that it’s light enough for my winter skin but can be built up when i have more color.  it sinks into the skin for an undetectable finish.  the highlighter definitely gets less use as i’m not a big highlighter person, but i have been wearing it as an eyeshadow for a bit of something.  i knew going into this purchase that i wouldn’t use the highlighter as much, so it really has been perfect for me.

w3ll people mascara // i know it seems like i’m always on the hunt for my next mascara, and i really am.  i had a sample size of this mascara so when i felt like a change from my maybelline volume blast, i knew this is where i would go.  and i must say i’m extremely impressed.  eco mascaras seem to be a tough category to perfect, but this mascara remains natural looking while lengthening and volumizing the lashes.  not a ton of volume, but really the perfect amount for me.  i’ve even gotten compliments on my lashes while wearing this!  when my sample size runs out i do think i will purchase the full size, which is saying something.bb decjan picks3.jpg  mineral fusion pressed powder in cool 1 // i know i’ve mentioned this somewhere else, but i purchased this after my alima pure pressed foundation smashed to smitherines.  and i love it!  it’s quite pricey but easy to find on sale if you do a little digging.  the powder itself is extremely finely milled so it never looks powdery on the skin at all.  it sets my concealer and t-zone without ever taking away my glow.  highly recommend if you are looking for a clean powder with lighter coverage. bb decjan picks4.jpg clarins instant light lip comfort oil in honey // this is the lip product that has been on my lips for the past 2 months straight.  it looks like a gloss but feels like a balm.  it makes me feel put together while still hydrating and treating my lips.  expensive for sure, but i love it!  the shade honey is essentially clear, but sort of warms up the lips if that makes sense.  the shades are all sheer tints, but they do have some reds and pinks if you are wanting a little bit of color.

shows, coffee, & extras //

lovesick // a great, easy to watch netflix/british series.  i am sooo sad that i’ve watched all the episodes and am not so patiently waiting for another season to be released.  lovesick is super funny and cute, but with a little touch of seriousness and reality.  check it out!

rita // another netflix show that i just happened upon.  rita is danish, but i never mind using subtitles.  this show is quite different from anything else i watch in that it is about a school and all the issues the teachers deal with.  sounds boring but i absolutely adore it.  more serious than lovesick, but not in a bad way at all.bb decjan picks1.jpg devotion by patti smith // my sister got me this book for christmas and it’s actually SIGNED BY PATTI.  i almost died, as i’m sure you can imagine.  i’ve actually already read it twice, the first time within two days of receiving it.  it’s quite different from her other works in that it is separated into three parts: the first about her creation of the story, the second being the story itself, and the third being why she writes.  it’s a beautiful gem and if you love patti you need to read it.  asap.

swell x target coffee thermos // the best thermos i’ve been able to find!  i bring coffee with me to school every day and i found my other thermos was cooling down within a few hours.  this keeps my coffee hot and delicious and, most importantly, is very easy to clean.  they have a ton of colors at target and it’s very reasonably priced compared to swell’s other products and just other coffee thermos that have good reviews.  a necessity, if you ask me!

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glowy skin: cause summer ain’t over just yet

glowy summer skin.jpgprep // after doing your morning skincare, which these days involves a few drops of hyaluronic acid mixed with one drop of various face oils for me, apply your sunscreen.  give it a few minutes to soak in and go back in with a spritz of hydrating toner like the evan healy lavender hydrosoul (shocker) and an illuminating primer that will give you both hydration and radiance.  i chose the tata harper illuminating moisturizer, but anything with a touch of radiance will do.

base // follow with a sheer and glowing base, like the l’oreal lumi cushion foundation.  this is not really a “foundation” in my opinion, but is a step up from something like the glossier perfecting skin tint.  it evens out the skin tone while letting the natural skin show through and gives the complexion a beautiful glow.  add concealer where needed, opting for something equally hydrating, like the sephora bright future gel serum concealer.  this is my favorite for summer because of the exceptional shade range and price point, AND they finally changed the dumb applicator!  it now has a really nice slanted doe foot.  a cream blush and highlighter, like the rms lip2cheek in vogue rose and living luminizer, on the cheeks and cheekbones respectively will add to the glow and overall health of the look.  i usually use peachier blushes because they are natural and subtle looking, but whatever works for you!  this limited edition rms shade (i highly recommend grabbing it before it’s gone) gives the perfect sunkissed effect.

eyes & lips // this look is really more about the complexion, so opt for something simple on the eyes and lips.  i usually slap on a little elizabeth arden 8 hour cream on the lips and use whatever is left on my finger to pat onto the eye lids.  follow with a light layer of black mascara, mostly on the roots of the lashes, for some oomph and maybe another spritz of hydrating mist.

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leaving on a jet plane (or two)

yes that’s right, i’m on the road again!  this time for an actual vacation.  i’m heading out east to spend 2 whole weeks with my family and friends and i couldn’t be more excited.  it’s been a pretty great summer full of new life and new challenges, but man am i ready for a tan, a laugh, and a dip in the ocean.  anyways, you know i love a travel bag post, so here’s what i’m taking with me for a few weeks away…bb travel again1.jpgskincare // 

first aid beauty cleanser // glossier priming moisturizer

hylamide low molecular ha serum // indie lee squalane oil

mad hippie eye cream // weleda skin food

farmacy green screen // suntegrity 5-in-1 in light

aczone acne topical // feeling beautiful mint and lemon mask (in travel pot)bb travel again2.jpgbb travel again4.jpgmakeup //

nars creamy concealer in vanilla // rms living luminizer

hourglass bronzer in diffused bronze light // eminence chai berry illuminator blush

rms eye polish in myth // rms swift shadow in tt-73

jane iredale matte palette // bare minerals mascara

kosas lipstick in stardust // 100 percent pure lipstick in prickly pear

bite beauty lip gloss in rambutan // vaseline rosy lips

mac 239 // mac 217

surratt eyelash curlers // eye spoolie

it cosmetics ball powder brushbb travel again3.jpgbb travel again5.jpgthe extras //

le labo santal 33 perfume

herbivore botanicals sea mist salt spray (hair)

schmidt’s rose and vanilla deoderantbb travel again6.jpg

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a favorite blogger & a favorite product

today’s post is extra special because it is in collaboration with kim and makeup, one of my favorite bloggers.  she is seriously talented when it comes to makeup and her looks are always different, creative, and beautifully executed.  i have so much respect for her and her work, and i highly recommend you check her out!bb kim and makeup1.jpgso you all know of my love for bare minerals, from their powders to their cosmetics.  bare minerals is a reliable brand that features high quality products with pretty good ingredients, so if i need something, they are usually the first brand i turn to.  lately i’ve been loving their correcting concealer, but i wanted to focus on my absolute favorite bare minerals product today: their flawless definition mascara.

flawless definition is the first high end mascara i ever bought and remained my only mascara throughout high school and college.  when i got into makeup i left it behind to try other things, but over the past few months we have gotten back together and are stronger than ever.bb kim and makeup2.jpgi personally prefer plastic wand mascaras and flawless definition boasts this super grippy but small plastic wand.  it grabs onto all the lashes without clumping or adding too much product, and can look very natural or very amped up depending on application.  i usually go for a natural look – shocker – but i love the versatility in this mascara if i’m going out or want to do something more special.  this is the only mascara that i ever put on and just go oohh yeah there’s a reason this is my favorite.  it is also hypoallergenic and great for sensitive eyes, which is the reason i purchased this in the first place way back when.  they also have a brown version which i really want to try, but from what i can tell it is only available through the bare minerals website.bb kim and makeup3.jpgso that’s that!  a quick review on one of my all time favorite products.  be sure to check out kim’s corresponding post about her favorite bare minerals product!  and give her a follow, i promise you will be inspired.

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from day to dinner

bb day to dinner3.jpgi thought i would do a quick post on how i take my makeup from day to night.  as you’ll see, i’m veeeeery simple especially with my daytime makeup, but i still like to make it a little fun for nighttime! bb day to dinner1.jpgdaytime face // 

on this particular day, i was finally over a pretty bad acne breakout, so i was really digging my bare skin.  i put on the bare minerals correcting concealer over my remaining hyper pigmentation and a swipe of rimmel santa rose blush on my cheeks.  i got this blush while in europe this winter, but you can find it online at feel unique!  it’s the prettiest sheer pinky peach with a slight glow.  perfect for a blush-phobe like me.  i used my trusty elf blush brush to apply. bb day to dinner2.jpgdinner face // 

for my dinner face, i started with a bit more concealer and blush, really just to touch up what had faded during the day.  for a little shimmer i pulled out my favorite pacifica mystical supernatural palette.  these shadows are so soft and pigmented, i would compare them very closely to lorac shadows.  the shades in this palette are stunning – and can you believe i use them all?!  for this night i blended the two lightest shades all over the lid and slightly into the crease, but not too high up, with a mac 217.  i also smudged that peachy-bronzey shade on my lower lash line using the bobbi brown smudge brush.  i curled my lashes with the surratt curlers but decided to forgo mascara since this was a pretty lightly toned look.  i dabbed a touch of kosas stardust on lips and called it a night! bb day to dinner4.jpgbb day to dinner selfie.JPGi apologize for this very awkward selfie.  what can you do?!

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april picks

oh april, you were a hell of a month.  here’s to longer days, brighter skies, and sunnier dispositions!bb april picks1.jpgproducts & brands //

too faced chocolate soleil matte bronzer // so you may or may not remember that i recently got rid of a bunch of my bronzers, including benefit hoola in favor of my w3ll people bio bronzer.  i think i even said it was the only bronzer i ever needed, so obviously i jinxed myself.  anyways, soon after that, i found myself missing hoola in the worst way.  the color, the formula, the ease…all things that the bio bronzer just doesn’t have, though i still love it, don’t get me wrong!  i knew i didn’t want to go back to hoola because of the shit ingredients it contains (all the parabens, like really?!), so i went to ulta one day in search of a dupe.  actually the first one i swatched next to hoola was the too faced chocolate soleil matte bronzer and it is spot on!  seriously, they are identical.  you would think the milk chocolate shade would be better for my fair skin, but i find that i can handle medium toned bronzers (with a light hand) because the tones are usually a touch more cool or red.  oh and the too faced, while not completely clean by any means, has far better ingredients and i don’t feel afraid to put it on my face.  the pigmentation is insane and i know it’s going to last me a very long time, plus the packaging is lightyears better than that stupid benefit box.

bare minerals // bare minerals is a brand that has always been quite special to me.  i’ve mentioned it many times, but it was the first makeup that i really ever wore, and have continued to do so for the past 8 years.  i mentioned my discovery of their concealer here, but i recently went back to an old favorite – the flawless definition mascara.  this is the first high end mascara that i ever bought, and i wore it all throughout high school and college.  i strayed as i started to get more and more into makeup, but having struggled to find a good mascara over the last couple years, i finally decided to go back to this.  it is truly the best.  it lengthens and volumizes, making my lashes look super defined and perky.  it’s also hypoallergenic and ingredient-conscious, so it ticks even more boxes for me.  i’m soooo happy to have this back in my life and kicking myself for wasting time, money, and energy looking for something better.  bb april picks3.jpgtarget bronzer brush // i have been on the hunt for a kabuki-style bronzer brush for a weirdly long time.  i just haven’t been loving my usual bronzer brushes – i rotate between the sephora large powder brush, the real techniques powder brush, and the mac 187 – but also didn’t want one of those super insanely dense bronzer brushes that feel like they are moving your face skin.  and then the other day i was at target doing some shopping for my new apartment (!!!!!!!!!!!), and i walked by this long-handled kabuki bronzer brush.  it was love at first sight, both because of the handle and because i could tell it was dense but not too dense.  and it’s the perfect brush.  bronzer or blush, this applies the perfect amount and blends out the powder seamlessly, while requiring a very small amount of product.  it’s the perfect density and extremely soft, plus no shedding as of yet.  i love using the side of it for more precise application and then the full brush head for gently blending out.  i do think there’s a bit of a learning curve because of the tightly packed bristles, even though it’s not too dense you still want to be rather gentle if that makes sense.  if you’re in a similar predicament, i definitely recommend this guy, all for $7.99.bb april picks5.jpgmarc jacobs brow wow eyebrow pencil in medium brown // i am the laziest when it comes to my eyebrows.  i buy products with big ideas about fixing these babies up, but i just can’t be bothered and i don’t ever want to look like my eyebrows are “done.”  i will say that i have pretty full brows, but i have some patches that i would like to be a little more full.  sam of samathome518 was gushing over the marc jacobs eyebrow pencil a few months back, so i promptly went to sephora to test it out.  i love this because the color is the perfect ashy brown, no red in sight, and it is not overly pigmented in a good way, so that my brows never look obviously filled in or have brush strokes or anything like that.  i’m really pleased with it and i actually find myself reaching for it most days, which is a real testament to its subtleties!  i do a couple strokes in the front and i’m good to go.

colourpop // i won’t go into much detail here because you will most likely have read this post, but i have been loving my colourpop goodies this month.  i definitely got more basics than anything, but their products are unique and fun and so ridiculously affordable.  such a fun way to get some things you wouldn’t normally splurge on for less than a drugstore eyeshadow or blush.  on that note, why is drugstore makeup so insanely expensive these days?  i find it truly shocking.bb april picks6.jpgcleansing with cleansing oil // i have recently gotten into using oil cleanser to wash my face and i am never going back.  i had a sample size of the little barn apothecary blue yarrow and geranium cleansing oil and have been making my way through it over the month.  my skin did go through a purging process, mostly little bumps around my chin, but nothing too bad or noteworthy (this is normal for the switch over to oil cleansing).  my skin feels more moisturized and supple and i think this is dry skin people’s secret weapon!  i don’t think i will repurchase this particular oil cleanser, but it has been a nice entry product.  i picked up the biossance squalane and antioxidant cleansing oil during the sephora vib sale so i will keep you posted on how that goes.

desert essence whitening plus mouthwash with tea tree oil // for as much as i am on this natural product journey, i will be honest in that i don’t see myself switching my toothpaste anytime soon.  it has kept me in good shape my whole life, so i don’t want to mess with that!  but i have struggled with a good whitening product over the years.  i don’t know if i have sensitive teeth necessarily, but i find things like white strips to be too harsh (and honestly they kind of scare me).  i have enjoyed the colgate whitening mouthwash for a few years, but that too leaves me feeling sensitive.  mercedes of l’amour et la musique has spoken about the desert essence whitening mouthwash over the years, so i thought i would check it out.  and actually this has been a favorite over the past few months, because i just started my second container!  it’s so gentle, fresh, and refreshing, and i actually look forward to using it.  my smile is brighter, my teeth feel cleaner, and my mind is at ease.bb april picks4.jpgnails inc nailkale base coat // i mentioned this in my nail polish roundup, but i had yet to try it at that point.  i’ve since used it 3 times and i can honestly say it’s so much better than opi nail envy.  i’m wearing it alone right now for a bit of shine but it’s also a perfect base coat under nail polish.  my nails feel extremely strong and my nail polish is lasting pretty well.

people //

katie jane hughes // where have i been when it comes to kjh?  her instagram, her youtube videos, her work – she is an incredible makeup artist that is fully responsible for the glossy eye trend.   tamira jarrel mentioned her in her most recent video, and i immediately hopped on instagram and then sat scrolling through her looks for an hour.  she’s just so cool and her looks are funky and refreshing, but also wearable in some way.  highly recommend checking her out for some fresh, unique inspiration.katiejanehughes instagram.pngjenn rogers // i’ve been following jenn on youtube for a while now, and she is such a breath of fresh air in the craziness that is the youtube community.  i love her morning chats – in which she sits down, gets ready for her day, and shares things going on or interesting or thought-provoking – but this month it was her 10 for 10 challenge that got me hooked.  pretty self explanatory, she chose 10 items to create 10 outfits for 10 days, but i loved hearing her thoughts behind the pieces and what she realized about them throughout the challenge.  a nice push to do some spring cleaning, as well.

etc. // 

shetland // i’m always on the hunt for a new show.  people recommend them to me all the time, but i usually am not interested in whatever mainstream sagas are popular – pretty little liars excluded.  i found shetland while perusing netflix, it’s a bbc murder mystery so basically i don’t need to say anything more, do i?  but in all honesty it’s a fabulous show – the perfect balance of creepy and gripping, with a little humor thrown in at the perfect moments.  the seasons are short, but they vary greatly in story lines and even the way the episodes are set up.  most of the stories are drawn out over 2 episodes, with the last season being 6 episodes of the same storyline.  plus shetland reminds me so much of my beloved nantucket, both the good and the bad to be honest.  i watched all the episodes in a matter of days but i’m definitely going to look out for the fourth season and rewatch the ones on netflix.  creature of habit, ok?

apartment shopping // i’ve mentioned my news here and there, but at the beginning of june i will officially begin graduate school to get my teaching degree.  and, very excitingly, i’m going to have my own place fiiiiinally.  it’s this lovely little nest with white walls and lots of light, so you can imagine how thrilled i am.  mom and i have been making a ton of target, world market, and homegoods trips picking up all the necessities, plus some furniture shopping here and there.  my dad got me a sofa in this amazing army green (favorite color) and i am over the moon excited.  it’s so fun to actually put all my ideas to work, and to imagine what my very own little home is going to look like.  you will be seeing many a photo, prepare yourselves.  pictured above are a soap/trinket dish and toothbrush holder from world market.  bb april picks2.jpg

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the concealer search

part of the fun of shopping, for me, is the search.  the search for the best product, the best price, the best shopping experience.  in fact, this is actually a defining characteristic of many millennials, research-backed buying vs impulse buying.  i learned this at a luncheon with refinery 29 while i was interning at elizabeth arden – how the methods of shopping of millennials effect retailers and how those retailers can persuade millennials to purchase in the moment or at least be a part of their research.  ok wooooah tangent, let’s get back to the point of this post.
bb bare minerals concealer review 1.jpgi have been on the hunt for a pot concealer that i could wear as a pseudo-foundation – basically something ultra creamy that i could use to even out my skin but wouldn’t look or feel like i had anything on.  i tried the w3ll people narcissist foundation stick first (obviously not a pot) and while i liked it a lot, the color match wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t exactly what i was looking for.  it’s nice for brightening my face, but i don’t find myself reaching for it on a daily basis.

my next thought was the rms “un” cover-up, which is really the exact product i want, but none of the colors work for me.  i’ve mentioned it a thousand times before, but my skin is very cool-toned, so the yellow-based shades of the “un” cover-up just do not work for me.  glossier’s stretch concealer seems to have a more pink-based range, but to be honest i’m not that drawn to that brand anymore.  i’m sooo tired of seeing all the marketing on every single instagram post that pops up on my feed and i’m just kind of over it, for now at least!  some of their products are still staples for me (milky jelly cleanser, moon mask, and coconut balm dotcom are constants) so yes that concealer looks like it would be pretty perfect, but i’m going to pass on it for now.

then, very excitingly, nars came out with their new soft matte concealers.  in pot form!  pot form of my favorite concealer! – so i thought.  but yes, as the name would suggest, these are more on the matte side.  i tested them out at sephora and they are truly beautiful and creamy, while finishing to a matte or at least satin-matte formula.  i just don’t think they would work on my drier skin and the coverage seems higher than what i’m looking for.

and finally, i remembered my old faithful – bare minerals.  i actually owned the bare minerals correcting concealer quite a few years ago now, but i never really knew what to do with it so i got rid of it.  i don’t typically wear concealer under my eyes and i wasn’t yet using any products like that on my face, so it went by the way side.  but while browsing ulta the other day, this little pot of magic came back to me.  bb bare minerals concealer review 2.jpgthis concealer is perfect for what i have been looking for.  it’s creamy, glowy, and stays put all day.  it can be sheered out for just a hint of coverage where needed, but is also perfect for spot concealing blemishes with a small brush.  the color – light 1 of course – is the ideal mix of cool and warm tones, so it works to brighten while also matching my skin perfectly (it’s described as a light neutral cool).  and truthfully, this does not budge.  i find my nars radiant creamy concealer shifts around throughout the day, but i napped in the bare minerals and it still didn’t reveal the huge pimple i have on my chin.  it doesn’t crease on my eyelids, nor under my eyes.  i don’t wear undereye concealer, but it’s nice to know that i can with this and it will look totally natural and not like some kim k triangle shit.  also, it will be really easy for me to get another shade to match my tan in the summer because the shades are divided between warm and cool tones (though i get tan, i’m still cool-toned) – something that has always been difficult for me.

and since i’m sure you were wondering, this little baby has some pretty great ingredients.  it scores a 2 on ewg, contains spf 20, and is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, gmo’s, and triclosan. i do wish it didn’t contain phenoxyethanol, but that is not a huge problem for me at the moment.  i also got the full coverage concealer brush which was one of the only brushes i ever owned throughout high school and most of college, and it really is a good one.  i used to use it in my bare minerals powder to cover up, but it’s a great match for the correcting concealer as well.  you can use the tip of it to pinpoint conceal, and use the rest for blending.bb bare minerals concealer review 4.jpgbb bare minerals concealer review 3.jpgmaybe it’s nostalgia, but i honestly love bare minerals and their products.  they are always beautiful, effective, and great quality.  some of my favorites are the original foundation, the flawless definition mascara (the only mascara i wore through high school and college – i’m dying to get a fresh tube since i haven’t used it in a couple years), and the lip glosses (they are discontinuing the marvelous moxie line but i have plans to get a couple of the gen nude buttercream glosses – they are stunning!).  what’s your tried and true favorite brand?

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makeup for a minimalist: this or that?

as i’ve slowly worked to transform my makeup bag from chemical-ridden to chemical-free, it’s been a fun challenge to find natural versions of my favorite items.  and truthfully, it hasn’t been that hard to do!  it really is amazing how many eco dupes there are for so-called conventional cosmetics.

below are the natural product replacements i’ve found for some of my favorite makeup items.  i won’t be getting rid of all of these dupes as i detail below, but some of them just have to go.bb eco dupes taupe eyeshadow.jpgburberry pale barley eye shadow (top) vs rms swift shadow tt-73 (bottom) // pale barley is probably one of the most hyped up eyeshadows in the beauty world.  it is a sheer taupe with a hint of shimmer that is perfect for every day wear.  the formula is beautiful, but truthfully i’ve always been disappointed in the lack of pigmentation.  i much prefer the rms shadow, which is a hair darker than pale barley and still sheer, but in a better way if that makes sense.  it is smooth, buildable, and long lasting and i’ve been wearing it every day since purchasing. bb eco dupes brown matte.jpgurban decay naked eye shadow (bottom) and mac wedge eye shadow (middle) vs jane iredale cappuccino eye shadow (top) // i’ve waxed lyrical about all of these shadows before and they basically are all the same.  i always have naked hanging around as it’s just that good, and i purchased wedge as a potential replacement when i smashed my previous cappuccino to smitherines.  i would say that naked is slightly warmer and more yellow, while wedge and cappuccino are equally cool and slightly stone colored. the price of jane iredale single shadows is $22 which really is expensive, especially compared to the $6 price of mac replacement shadows, but i know it’s worth it.  this palette is especially great (also a potential dupe for the urban decay naked basics palette?), even though the price was steep (~ $50).  it’s worth it to me to spend money on more natural options, so cappuccino is the winner here for sure.bb eco dupes cream eyeshadow.jpgmac painterly paint pot (top) vs gressa neve eye tint (bottom) // now these shadows are clearly not the same, but i find the effect to be nearly identical.  i love painterly, really it’s my favorite mac eye shadow, and the fact that it neutralizes and brightens my lids in one swipe of creamy goodness.  the gressa shadow works in a similar way for me because of my super fair skin, but i think on darker skin types it might appear too white.  i am going to keep painterly around, but i like that neve offers a similar, if brighter, effect.  plus the gressa eye tint formula is stunning – there is so much pigmentation in one tap of the product, and it’s a cream to powder that stays put all day with no creasing in sight.bb eco dupes cream blush.jpgclinique chubby stick for cheeks in ample apple (top) vs tata harper lip&cheek in very charming (bottom) // different application, almost identical colors.  i am a huge fan of cream blush, and these two are no exceptions.  i love the application of the chubby sticks, it really is so easy, but i like the formula of the tata harper offering slightly better.  it’s more hydrating while the clinique is slightly more sticky.bb eco dupes pink lips.jpgbobbi brown lip color in sandwash pink (top) vs bite beauty amuse bouche in meringue (bottom) // these are both little samples i got from sephora, but i think i can speak for the full sizes as well.  not only are these colors quite similar, but the formulas are as well.  both are creamy and hydrating, and offer a long lasting finish.  meringue is just a hint peachier, while sandwash pink has a touch more brown/plum.  bite fig is also similar, while erring on the pinker side of the spectrum.bb eco dupes brown lips.jpgnars velvet matte lip pencil in bahama (top) vs bite matte lip pencil in glace (bottom) // oh nars, why do your matte pencils have to be so gorgeous, but formulated with parabens?!?!?!  fortunately, these two colors are virtually identical.  they are both a gorgeous pinky brown, with fantastic staying power.  bite is slightly more hydrating, which is definitely a bonus.  goodbye nars, i love you.  (plus i got the bite stick as a 100 point perk at sephora, so it was free.  winner!)bb eco dupes red lips.jpgnars velvet matte lip pencil in dragon girl (top) vs mahalo red my lips (bottom) // dragon girl is my all time favorite nars pencil.  it’s a stunning pinky red that looks amazing patted into the lips.  fortunately mahalo’s offering has an identical color tone with that same blotted-in effect.  mahalo is a creamier finish but lasting power is, again, amazing and i like that it is slightly more sheer at first, meaning i waste less product compared to the nars, which i basically completely remove for a lighter look. bb eco dupes powder.jpgbare minerals original foundation in fairly medium (left) vs rms un-powder in 0-1 (right) // now i only have a sample size of the rms powder, but it’s too obvious of a dupe not to share.  i’m a big fan of mineral foundations, and both of these are no exception, with the bare minerals being my first introduction to the category.  now this is not to say that the bare minerals has super problematic ingredients, because it really doesn’t.  plus it has the perk of sun protection.  but for the purists, the rms is a great alternative.  this shade is slightly more yellow, but there is a much smaller color range than bare minerals.  i love these equally and will be keeping them both in my makeup bag.

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please note: my images are edited, so colors may not be true to real life.  artsy, ya know?!  my images, please credit if taking.

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