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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april picks

march picks

bb march picks3.jpg// makeup & skincare //

pacifica coconut essence hydro mist // soooo hydrating and leaves the skin insanely dewy.  like more than tatcha dewy skin mist.  the skin just feels and looks ridiculously healthy.  did i mention it’s $10? plus it’s pacifica, so the ingredients are reliable and pretty darn good.bb march picks5.jpgw3ll people mascara // i mentioned this mascara in my first picks of the year, but at that time i was still using a small sample size.  sometimes i find that full size products differ from their miniature counterparts, but in this case the full size is just as good if not better.  length and volume in a beautifully natural way.

glossier perfecting skin tint in medium // this is always a product i have somewhere and go back to time and again.  even when my skin is at its worst, i love this product.  it evens the skin out just the tiniest touch while looking like glowy nothingness.  i’m using the shade medium since i got the tiniest tan while in california, but i use light or a mix of light and medium in the winter.bb march picks2.jpgmychelle sun shield liquid tint in nude // finally a lightweight, non-white mineral sunscreen.  this shade is a little dark for me now, so it will be perfect over the summer when i get more color.  for now, i love mixing it with my bare minerals complexion rescue in opal if i want more coverage than the glossier skin tint and since my skin is a little sunkissed from california.  they are a perfect mix with a great dewy, hydrated finish.  i think they just realized an untinted version as well.bb march picks1.jpgneutrogena grapefruit body clear // since going off birth control i’ve had some pretty big breakouts on my chest and back.  and the best product for clearing up the body is hands-down this neutrogena body wash.  i’ve been using this since high school and it never fails.  this did have microbeads in it forever and it still has some sort of bead, but i think it’s safer for the environment now…not 100% sure on this.bb march picks4.jpg// etc //

slouching towards bethlehem, joan didion // i am finally delving into joan didion’s works (honestly where have i been?) and am absolutely in love with her.  surprise, surprise!  more to come, but slouching towards bethlehem is a collection of her short stories, most revolving around california during the 60s and 70s.  delicious, truly.bb march picks6.jpglove season 3 // i really enjoyed seasons 1 & 2 of love, but at the same time wasn’t 100% sure.  but when season 3 came around, my love (hehe) for the show really solidified.  they did such an incredible job with the final season – it was truly the perfect wrap up.  and the last episode?  are you kidding?  all the heart eye emojis.

eye buy direct ethereal glasses // my sister told me about eye buy direct, and how affordable and cool their sunglasses are.  i tried to not buy these, but ultimately couldn’t resist.  i originally got polarized lenses but they bothered by eyes, so the company kindly switched the lenses to normal ones, for just the $6 shipping cost (plus a refund for the special lenses).  pretty great customer service and i love knowing these were made especially for me.  mine are the ethereal glasses in champagne with green lenses.bb march picks8.jpgbb march picks7.jpg

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march picks

november picks

oooh november.  what a beautiful month you were.  for as much as i love summer and winter, fall is where i really excel.  i get that fresh start feeling, my mind starts to wander to cozy thoughts, and i feel settled.  this november was particularly special to me; i met a man that really makes me feel, i was home for thanksgiving for the first time in 6 years, and i’ve been stressfully, excitingly busy.  and as far as products go, i feel confident in my routine and how i am presenting myself to the world.  and isn’t that what products and beauty and style are really about?  bb november picks2.jpghaircare // 

i use very few products on my hair, but inevitably every winter i find myself needing something to get my lifeless hair back in action.  i’ve been using the klorane dry shampoo and kristen ess dry finish working texturize spray this month and both are simply enough that even i can use.  i’ve been using the dry shampoo on my hair when it’s damp, just spray at the roots of my hair to give a little lift.  somehow this works like a total charm, without making my hair feel immediately dirty or gritty.

the other hair product i’ve been loving is the kristen ess texture spray.   it’s supposedly a great alternative to the oribe dry texturizing spray, but really i got it because it was one of the only texturizing sprays i could find at target that had good reviews.  i like this because it’s easy to build up to your desired finish; it doesn’t get greasy or dirty too quickly either.  i don’t use these products every day, but i have been surprisingly diligent.bb november picks5.jpgbb november picks4.jpgmakeup // 

i mentioned on instagram that i got a few alima pure items in a recent credo beauty order, and they have been firm favorites this month.  alima pure is the company that makes my powder foundation and i absolutely love the brand.  from their aesthetic to their mission to the fact that each compact is refillable, they are a solid company to support.

so during this order i picked up the lip tint in honey and the pressed eye shadow in icon.  the lip tint is the perfect lipstick for me.  it applies and hydrates like a balm, but has the coverage of a lipstick and isn’t too shiney.  the color is my dream slightly peachy nude that i can throw on every single day without feeling over the top.  i’m actually contemplating getting another one to keep in my purse.

the shadow i mentioned in my thanksgiving post, but it is a beautiful, very subtle browny silvery taupe.  i like that it is slightly lighter than my other taupes and gives the lids an almost wet glow.  i’m also considering getting another eye shadow in the shade mirage, a shimmering beige.  highly recommend checking alima pure out!bb november picks1.jpgmy other makeup favorite this month is actually a tool.  do you all remember my saga with the bobbi brown bronzer brush?  basically i bought it during the sephora vib sale last year, and it turned out to be an absolutely shedding mess.  i returned, but it has stayed in my mind because it really is the perfect brush for bronzer.

anyway, i’ve been selling some things on poshmark recently, and randomly figured i would see if anyone was selling a new bobbi brush at a discounted price.  well someone was, so for $15, i reinvested in a brand new brush.  well i don’t know if this was is new or old or i just got a complete dud, but it is insanely soft and doesn’t shed in the least.  i’m so pleased with it and can’t believe my luck.  highly recommend this seller if you are interested!bb november picks3.jpgetc. // 

i won’t deny it’s been a while since i have read for fun, but over thanksgiving break i went through my bookshelf and picked out a handful of dust by evelyn waugh.  i purchased this book quite a while ago during a library book sale (one of my favorite things ever), but never got around to reading it.  it’s the strangest, very british story of a man who’s wife has an affair and decides to leave him, all in a very matter-of-fact way.  i don’t know why but i completely devoured it.  it feels so good to have finished a book that isn’t education related!  waugh is a very famous british author, so i definitely want to read more of his works.

this month i also watched stranger things, ooobviously.  it’s funny, i watched the first season of the show, but stopped halfway through because i really didn’t like it.  but for whatever reason when the second season came out i became fully obsessed.  i actually went back to finish season one while still watching season 2 and feel like a total weirdo, but it’s sooo good.  i would like to formally apologize for not being into it at first.  if you like thrillers that aren’t too scary, you should go for this.bb november picks6.jpg

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november picks

the summer bag edit

it seems like i do “what’s in my bag” posts quite often these days, but they are so fun!  i will never apologize!
bb summer bag edit1.jpgthis canvas and leather bucket bag from teranishi studio is extremely special to me, and one of the most “me” purchases i feel like i’ve made in a long time.  when i saw christine of chrissstttiiine show it in a video and on instagram, i knew it was the bag of my dreams.  it was out of stock for quite a while but i was able to snap it up when it made a brief reappearance last fall.  it’s the perfect every day summer bag – though it does have only a hand/arm strap and not a shoulder strap, i don’t mind it as much as i thought i might.  it carries a ton without feeling too heavy or putting strain on the bag.  i look forward to using this bag for years to come – i know it will only get better with age.bb summer bag edit2.jpgon to the stuff:

baggu small pouch wallet

ray-ban wayfarers

sephora compact mirror

nars mini creamy concealer in vanilla

bite beauty lip gloss in rambutan

kosas lipstick in stardust

burt’s bees grapefruit lip balm

herbacin kamille hand lotion

le pen

the dollhouse by fiona davis

hair things

postcardsbb summer bag edit3.jpgso there you go!  a very typical spread for summertime.  and this is really what i had in there – you can see in that first picture that i just dumped my bag out hehe.

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the summer bag edit

june picks

bb june picks1.jpgproducts //

auric blends desert night perfume oil after visiting the farmer’s market one saturday i was in my local co-op browsing the essential oil section.  i picked up this perfume oil and took a sniff when an older man asked me what i was checking out.  i shared this beautiful scent with him and we got to talking.  he told me about his work as an aromatherapist as well as some stories from his life, and i told him a little bit about me.  it was a beautiful exchange, he gave me some wisdom that i will cherish forever, and i hope i made his day a little brighter as well.  after he left me i knew i had to get this beautiful perfume oil, to remind me of him, of meeting new friends, and of sharing love and light with as many people as we can on this earth.

monk oil #2 recently renamed “dawn.”  i mentioned this beautiful body oil here, but i had to mention it again.  i have been mixing a little in with my body moisturizer – i’m currently using the alba organica ultra emollient and it’s a new staple for me for sure – soaks in quickly and makes my body softer than ever.  i get the benefits of both products in one and the added benefit of not using this oil up to quickly as it is quite pricey.  the scent is calming and brings me back to center.

primal pit paste i used up my meow meow tweet baking soda-free deodorant and picked this up at the grocery store to replace it.  i think i like this better, probably because of the baking soda which thankfully doesn’t seem to irritate my skin.  nice deodorant, probably not groundbreaking but i like it a lot.  it is easier to rub in than the mmt and doesn’t ball up as some deodorants seem to.  i am still layering it with the ursa major one for extra sweaty days (which are plentiful here in indiana).

mac patentpolish lip pencil in revved up i will admit that i got suckered into buying this, but i am so glad that i did!  i’ve been liking how peaches look on me – usually i’m a light pink lip girl – and the formula is very similar to the clinique intense chubby sticks.  it has the right amount of gloss and sheer color to look simple and not overdone, but it makes me feel a little more put together than usual.

first aid beauty ultra repair intensive lip balm my love affair with fab continues!  i picked this up because i read it is similar to the nuxe reve de miel, a previous favorite that doesn’t have the ingredient list i like to see, and they are pretty much identical.  this has that same somewhat gritty texture that exfoliates and moisturizes the lips at the same time.  it is slightly more solid than the nuxe, but the results are spot on.  it lasts all night and i can still feel it in the morning, which tells me it is really doing it’s job.  if you are looking for a heavy-duty lip product, i recommend checking this out.

garnier micellar water and thayer’s alcohol-free rose witch hazel i have a post coming all about these so i won’t go in depth, but they have been hardcore favorites all month long.

ray ban wayfarers i have had these sunglasses for probably 7 years, wearing them on and off.  this summer they have been the only sunglasses i have liked to wear.  they are sturdy and perfectly molded to my face – highly recommend getting your sunglasses adjusted if you can, it makes all the difference.  i can throw them in my bag or in my car without worrying too much.  plus they have small bite marks from when my dog was a puppy so that makes me happy as well.bb june picks3.jpgentertainment //

the office – i have never enjoyed the office.  it makes me sad, to be honest.  but after watching a few episodes with a friend, i got completely sucked in.  i finally see the humor behind it and that it is very sweet, not sad (for the most part).  and obviously i am in full support of jim and pam, just to clear that up.

a new book – i haven’t been reading as much lately as i was the first half of the year, but i just started reading a new book that i can’t not mention.  i got jd salinger: the last interview while in new york and only just had the time to start reading, but i already love it.  salinger is such an enigmatic but iconic figure in american literature and it is so interesting to finally learn about him, but it also makes me feel sad that he was essentially chased and stalked most of his life.

blogs – the opal gray is yet another beauty blog, but there’s something about it that’s extra special.  i believe i found the author on instagram and started reading her blog from there, but honestly i can’t quite remember.  her photography is gorgeous and i really appreciate her product reviews.  now if she would only post more often!  another blog i have added to my daily reading list is free & native.  this one is a different from my usual beauty and fashion blogs, but one that i am needing right now.  free & native is the blog of herbalist and manifestation advisor lacy phillips, and she shares her techniques for more wholesome, free, and intentional living, as well as the people, places, and things inspiring her.

highlights of the month //

moving into my own apartment

starting classes

meeting new people and making new friends

collaboration post with kim and makeupbb june picks2.jpg

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june picks

may picks

bb may picks1.jpgproducts ~~

first aid beauty ultra repair cream // since first trying this over the summer, i seem to always have a tube lying around.  it’s a great moisturizer for dry skin – face, hands, or body – and though i originally tried it as a hand moisturizer, it is intended for the face.  i think it’s a little too heavy for people with combination or oily skin, but this has been my face lotion of choice for the winter and spring.  a great staple and pretty inexpensive.  i’m considering picking up their regular facial moisturizer for summer, so if anyone has any experience with it, let me know!

first aid beauty slow glow gradual self-tanning moisturizer // i am sooo not a fake tanning kind of person.  i admit i dabbled a little during high school – the occasional spray tan or tanning bed for dances (i could kill my younger self) and jergen’s natural glow – but in the last 6-7 years?  absolutely not.  i get pretty good color during the summer with plenty of sunscreen, but during the rest of the year i accept my paleness.  but with the cold weather and constant rain that chicago has been experiencing the past 2 months, i was forced to help out my poor winter skin.  i picked this up at ulta towards the end of april because i love first aid beauty and have been using it one or two nights in a row every two weeks or so or whenever i remember, and it works a charm!  it adds the healthiest glow to my skin without looking fake or over the top.  it doesn’t apply as streakily as other products with careful application and i only find it smells like sunless tanner the tiniest bit – i admit i kind of love it!  you can apply this to your face but i stop before my neck and just add a little extra bronzer the next day.

sheet masks // mentioned here, i’ve been really enjoying using different sheet masks this month.  they kind of freak me out so it took some getting used to, but the effects are kind of ridiculous.  i don’t always see immediate effects from masks that i use, but with these i do.  i tried both of the saturday skin ones, but am much more impressed with the ones i can find at ulta.  leaders is the brand i have been using the most.  they are quite expensive because they are one-use only, but worth it i think!

rimmel santa rose blush // mentioned here, i picked this blush up while at heathrow airport in february.  i think i had heard estee lalonde talk about it at some point, but i can’t honestly remember why i was drawn to it.  it’s a gorgeous light peachy pink with a fine shimmer running through.  it perks up the face nicely but doesn’t look like blush.  hard to explain but it is stunning.  i love it for days when i’m wearing no other makeup.  like i said it is a british product, but you can order it through feel unique if you are interested!

sephora vib purchases // you probably read my round up here – but i am absolutely loving all the products i got during the sephora vib sale.  what are the chances of loving every single thing?!  from the cleanser to the moisturizer, i feel like my skin is better than i ever.  i was considering returning the tata harper illuminating moisturizer because of the insanely high price, but it is such a stunning product i couldn’t let it go.  great purchases all around – i’m pretty proud of myself.

beautycounter citrus mimosa hand cream // a friend gave this to me because she didn’t like it.  i put it aside for almost a year, and then for whatever reason i put it on my nightstand at the end of april.  it’s incredible!  one of the best hand creams i’ve tried.  truth be told i don’t love the scent, though it dissipates pretty quickly.  unfortunately it is the only scent offered and this is a pretty pricey hand cream ($17), so i’m not sure if i will get around to repurchasing it, but i do love it in the meantime. bb may picks3.jpgmusic, movies, youtube, books ~~

harry styles album // harry is absolutely my dream man, so i knew i was going to love his first solo album. but honestly i am even more taken with it than i expected.  the depth and artistry behind each track is palpable, especially in contrast to what his former band mates are releasing. very eagles, very rock-n-roll. it’s a stunning album all around.

jamestown revival // what took me so long to listen to jamestown revival?  i am a huge folk music fan, so these guys are right up my alley.  they remind me a lot of my favorite gregory alan isakov, but with more upbeat tracks.  my spotify is a very happy place right now!

karima mckimmie // i watched a few of karima’s videos years ago, but never gave her my full attention.  so you might guess that lately, she’s been getting my full attention!  her videos are amazing and her videos are emblematic of the reason i fell in love with youtube beauty videos.  all makeup, none of the changes that other of my favorites seem to be going through.

lauren pence // another youtube fave!  i found her while searching for more eco product-using youtubers.  honestly she sometimes bugs me a little bit – she’s an actress so can get pretty theatrical – but i love her content and her reviews are impeccable.

m train by patti smith // you might remember that i first read m train last summer and loved it.  i decided to give it another go – i much prefer to reread favorite books than search for new ones – and i think i might love it even more this time around.  i feel like i am inside of patti smith’s soul and i feel every single thought she records.  i highly recommend m train, as well as patti’s other works.

desert solitaire by edward abbey // a good friend of mine is a huge edward abbey fan, so i thought i would pick up desert solitaire after hearing such rave reviews.  abbey might not be to everyone’s taste – he is a bit of a john muir type – but right up my alley.  it is incredible to read his experiences in the west when it was still that cowboy land but changing to the tourist attraction we know it to be today.  his words shake me to my core and i wish i could go back to the 60s to help him stop the destruction of our wonderful national parks.

lovesong // i stumbled upon this movie while perusing the newly added section on netflix.  i’m not really sure why i was drawn to it, but i was, and it was the first new movie i’ve watched all the way through in a long time.  it was full of sorrow, but so beautiful and strangely comforting.  it felt like a short story – you don’t have all the details but you don’t need to.  riley keough was so quiet yet so captivating – i felt like i could feel her soul.  i didn’t know that she is lisa marie presley’s daughter and elvis and priscilla’s granddaughter, but now that i know it makes perfect sense as she is practically identical to her mother and grandmother (pre-plastic surgery of course).  it’s a sad film to be sure, but it was beautiful.  oh and i’ve had a crush on ryan eggold since his 90210 days, so there’s that too.lovesong-movie-trailer-images-pics-stills-riley-keough-jena-malone-4.pngand the most important favorite…

baby margot! // my beautiful niece entered the world on may 14, mother’s day!  i was there about 12 hours later to meet this little babe and fell in love.  what is it about babies?  i am so thrilled for my sister and brother-in-law.  and for me!  i’m an aunt!  i can’t wait to watch margot grow and learn and become the incredible little lady that i know she will be.bb may picks2.jpg. . . 

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may picks