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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april picks