available skincare

while i used to love ordering skincare online or going to be more niche stores (sephora, beautylish, etc.), i am feeling quite over that at the moment*. ¬†maybe because i’m back to being a broke student and maybe because i’m no longer living in an area where i have access to those stores. ¬†for something like skincare that you go through so quickly, it doesn’t feel efficient to keep ordering online. ¬†whatever the reason, i’m seeing some definite changes in my skincare routine specifically, and i have to say, i’m not mad about it. *with a couple exceptions of course!bb available skincare1.jpgmicellar water: i have gone through 2 big bottles of bioderma as a first cleanse/makeup remover over the past 6 months. ¬†while i love the formula and honestly just the luxury of that product, i no longer want to have to order my makeup remover every time i need to restock. ¬†i got a travel size of the garnier micellar water to compare and honestly i don’t see one bit of difference. ¬†i just purchased the full size which is huge and will last probably the whole summer or more. ¬†garnier micellar water is available at target and other drugstores.

face wash: i just finished both my glossier milky jelly cleanser and the first aid beauty cream cleanser, definitely prefer the latter over the former. ¬†this is my third bottle of mjc but i’m just meh about it. ¬†it’s hard to get and quite expensive and just not as remarkable as it should be. ¬†the fab is a true cream consistency but fully removable with water and gets all of my makeup off, while the mjc doesn’t come close. ¬†i was going to repurchase my old standby cetaphil when i saw the la roche posay tolerane hydrating gentle cleanser at my target and saw extremely solid reviews online. ¬†this is creamy like the fab – really it feels like lotion – but is gentle on the skin and eyes and very hydrating. ¬†i don’t feel that tight-face feeling after using this which i pretty much always get because of my dry skin. ¬†i think this has been helping to clear up my skin along with some other products i’ll mention later (it contains niacinamide like the glossier super pure), so i’m quite impressed thus far. ¬†this was a few dollars more than other drugstore cleansers ($15) but contains 13.5 ounces of product. ¬†it might be harder to find if you don’t have a target or walgreen’s near you, but worth a try if you can find it. ¬†plus it’s a really big size so cost efficient. ¬†they also have a purifying version if you have normal to oily skin!

toner: toner is a new step for me. ¬†usually i will use a facial spray here, but i decided to try out the thayer’s alcohol-free rose witch hazel when i saw a travel size version at target. ¬†witch hazel’s are reportedly great for the skin (the alcohol-free kind!) and help to balance and tone the skin. ¬†my skin feels healthier and more balanced after i use it, so i’m trying to be good about it morning and night. ¬†i’m liking it so far and will pick up the full size. ¬†available at target, drugstores, and health food stores.bb available skincare3.jpgserum: deciem hylamide low molecular ha. ¬†back to a tried and true favorite. ¬†i mentioned here that i finished up my previous ha from purchased from beauty heroes and went back to hylamide when i was done. ¬†it was a great decision and i don’t think i’ll be straying for quite a while. ¬†available at cvs. ¬†the other serum i’ve been using over the past month that is a bit of a cheat is the glossier super pure serum. ¬†when i first got the serums, i was very disappointed. ¬†i didn’t see any results and they felt too watery to be doing anything. ¬†but i’ve recently gone back to the super pure and i can honestly say this is helping the stress acne i’ve been experiencing over the whole month of june. ¬†it’s becoming my secret weapon – i apply it only on the acne on my chin before applying any other skincare.

oil: indie lee squalane. ¬†now this one is a little bit special because it isn’t that readily available. ¬†however, it is carried in some anthropologies and natural beauty stores, so i bet you can find this somewhere near you depending on where you live. ¬†i found a natural beauty store about an hour away from me, so while i won’t be going there often, i will definitely return on my next shopping trip. ¬†i am finishing up my first bottle of this and now have a backup which i am very happy about.

moisturizer:¬†good ol’ cetaphil. ¬†i like this thick version because it is so moisturizing and pulls all of my other products into my skin. ¬†in the summer i use just a little bit, whereas in the winter i pile it on. ¬†i do like their lotion version (versus the cream), but this works better for me. ¬†the less readily available favorites are glossier priming moisturizer and first aid beauty ultra repair cream. ¬†the glossier has been my daytime summer moisturizer of choice this year, it’s light and sinks in almost immediately but keeps my hydrated and glowing all day long. ¬†the first aid beauty is more of my winter lotion, but i have 2 backups that i’ve been making my way through. ¬†i interchange it with the cetaphil – they are pretty much the same but the fab is a little more moussey and lighter, but with the same hydrating results. ¬†because of the texture it is also easier to use a little bit and spread it over my whole face, so i can use this during the summer without looking or feeling too greasy.

mask:¬†i’m very picky when it comes to detox masks. ¬†because i’m dry but acne-prone, i never want anything too harsh, but effective enough to make a difference. ¬†my go to for years as been the feeling beautiful lemon and mint mask, but i no longer live near ulta and can’t seem to find that one anymore. ¬†i tried the yes to tomatoes clear skin detoxifying charcoal mud mask and i LOVE it! ¬†it’s very similar to the origins charcoal mask which i love but recently used up. ¬†this is a salicylic mud mask that tightens and clears the skin, but doesn’t feel as tight as the origins. ¬†i see better results with this mask than any of the high end clarifying masks i’ve used!¬†bb available skincare2.jpgwhile i don’t always love my insatiable need for new things, i think that it is slowly showing me what products i actually like and want to keep buying. ¬†lucky for me, in the case of skincare at least, my picks are relatively affordable and easy to find. ¬†though i do get sad about all the money i have spent on selfcare in the past, i like this new direction i am going and i think it will continue for a long time to come.

. . . 

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available skincare

cool with colourpop

spoiler alert: i was a naughty blogger and played with all of these before taking any pictures, so they already look well-loved!bb colourpop intro.jpgafter a year of wanting to, i’ve finally gotten some colourpop items into my life! ¬†if you don’t know, colourpop is a los angeles-based, american-made cosmetics company that boasts an incredible product range at even more incredible prices. ¬†all single products are $8 or below, with most hitting the $5-6 mark. ¬†the quality of the product at that price point is what sets colourpop apart from any other company in the cosmetics industry. ¬†they are only available online at colourpop.com, but domestic shipping is extremely fast and free over $30.

i don’t really have a good reason for never trying colourpop, besides being unsure where to start. ¬†over the last couple months i’ve been creating a little colourpop wishlist, so when i saw they were offering free shipping on every purchase last week, i knew it was time to begin!bb colourpop 2.jpgso here’s what i got:

3 super shock shadows in glow, bill, and mixed tape //

ok, you all know how much i love cream products, especially cream eye shadows. ¬†the colourpop super shock shadows are this unique cream powder formula with “bouncy-like texture.” ¬†let me just tell you, these feel soooo cool! ¬†the description is completely accurate, along with great pigmentation and staying power. ¬†and they feel so light on the lid, even lighter than some powder shadows. ¬†these are so creamy and delicious and absolutely do not crease on my hooded and slightly oily eyes.¬† if you are a fellow cream eye shadow fan, you need these in your life, i promise.

glow is described as a¬†matte creamy vanilla shade that is perfectly neutral (meaning in the middle of warm and cool) – basically the perfect brightener or base color – similar to the gressa eye tint in neve which i have mentioned before. ¬†i actually like this better than the gressa, which sucks for me because that was so expensive! ¬†it’s part of the kathleen lights collection. ¬†it’s showing up quite yellow in pictures, but is very neutral and not warm at all.

bill is a stuuuuunning dusty pinky purple and the description on the site is amazing: “meet bill, a light dusty matte mauve – he likes long walks on the beach and romantic candlelit dinners.” ¬†it’s a gorgeous shade for all over the lid, super simple, grungy, and neutral, but chic. ¬†sam (samathome518) 100% persuaded me to buy this and i am so pleased i did. ¬†i recently wore this with rms eye polish in myth layered on top and it was stunning!

mixed tape is perhaps my favorite of the three – a grey taupe with a hint of silver sheen. ¬†basically the kind of taupe i’m always on the hunt for. ¬†it’s cool toned and the hint of silver really makes my brown eyes pop. as you might have guessed from the name, it’s part of the 90s collection.bb colourpop 3.jpg1 matte lippie stix in bossy //

next to the super shock shadows, the lippie stix are another of colourpop’s hero items. ¬†they come in a range of formulas and colors, and for $5 they are pretty hard to resist. ¬†you know i love a matte lip pencil, so need i say more? ¬†i finally decided on the color bossy, because it looked like a spot-on dupe for my beloved nars velvet matte pencil in dragon girl – the perfect blue-based red with a hint of pinkiness. ¬†as i’ve mentioned, nars pencils still contain parabens, so i’ve been looking for solid replacements. ¬†and bossy is p.e.r.f.e.c.t. ¬†the color is absolutely identical, with maybe a hint more pigmentation. ¬†the formulation of the lippie doesn’t have the same powderiness as the nars have, but truly to the naked eye they are exactly the same. ¬†i am so excited to have found a better version of one of my favorite products, and that i won’t have to have serious anxiety every time i put it on.bb colourpop 5.jpgsuper shock cheek in aphrodisiac //

described as their sculpting shade – this is a cool-toned brown with a hint of pink. ¬†i actually bought this not to be a bronzer (i don’t contour) but as a blush. ¬†i’ve been really wanting to find a blush that is a similar color to glossier’s dusk cloud paint (i’m lusting over it but trying not to buy, i mentioned my current feelings about glossier here) and i think this is going to do the trick! ¬†it can be applied very sheer with a stippling brush, so it looks like that brownish but neutral blush that i wanted, and not like i have dark brown on my cheeks. ¬†i think this will make a great bronzer as well, so i’m really excited to continue playing!bb colourpop 4.jpgbb colourpop 1.jpgsome quick notes to finish up:

swatched on my hand they do not move

good ingredients, cruelty-free, most are vegan (they have a list on the site of the items that are not)

shadows are 2, cheek and lippie are 4 on ewg

lippie stix: formula contains vitamin e, mango, avocado, and shea butter for comfort and moisture.  none of our lippie formulas contain any nasty ingredients like parabens or sulfates.

super shock: our famous long-wearing creme powder formula with a unique bouncy-like texture. ¬†it’s super creamy, insanely pigmented, and has one swipe intensity with zero fallout.

super shock cheek: this long wearing creme powder cheek formula is the bff of our famous super shock shadows; it shares the same unique texture that is extremely buildable and blends smoothly to leave the cheeks looking healthy.

all in all it’s a really cool company with a great business model that i am excited to support! ¬†and it’s so fun to get really great, different products at LESS than drugstore prices. ¬†they have a solid range of items, so if you are looking for a bold eye shadow or what have you but don’t want to spend a fortune on something pretty trendy, colourpop is absolutely the way to go (i may have just ordered a crazy peachy pink eye shadow that i am weirdly excited about…and some other things too!).

. . . 

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cool with colourpop

december picks //

picture my dad singing “these are a few of my favorite things…” in the background, as he was¬†doing while i was taking my photos ¬†ūüėČIMG_0090.jpg
shu uemera eyelash curlers
ok i finally caved and jumped on the bandwagon,¬†and man i am never turning back. ¬†i thought my tarte curlers were good, but now i’m realizing that they didn’t curl that much and they definitely pinched. ¬†these make my eyelashes look not only curled but voluminous, and they stay curled all day, with mascara or without (and i use regular mascara, not waterproof). ¬†it’s no surprise these are the best of the best.

sarah chloe monogram necklace something i’ve had for a long time but am really loving this month. ¬†i love the length and the chunkier pendant – it’s a little bit different from my usual dainty chains.

real techniques complexion sponge i had a beauty blender for a while, but when it got a little too grubby, i decided to pick up this less expensive version instead of another $20 splurge. ¬†and it’s amazing!! ¬†in my opinion it’s way better than the original, as it has more points and flat edges for tough to reach areas (nose, under eyes).

go-to face hero i have been reading about this for months on the file¬†and have done some pretty thorough research on its benefits. ¬†i¬†finished my mario badescu rose hips oil, but in the end i didn’t feel that it was hydrating or oily enough (which i know is actually one of its main selling points) especially with winter in full swing. ¬†i was going to get the pai rosehip bioregenerate oil, but i decided to get the go-to instead as it has such rave reviews. ¬†it includes so many wonderful oils, including rosehip, almond, jojoba, and many many more. ¬†once converted from australian to american dollars, the price point is great (roughly $34 american plus¬†$18 shipping) and the international shipping was really fast. ¬†i am so glad i decided to get this, it has done wonders for my skin and i noticed the effects over night, no exaggeration.

l’oreal brow stylist plumper in medium to dark – i originally typed that as “brow plumber.” ¬†anyways! ¬†i have pretty ok brows, and truth be told i can’t be bothered to do anything over the top with them. ¬†but they do get pretty unruly and messy throughout the day so i have been looking for a really subtle brow gel to keep them in place but not look “done.” ¬†the glossier boy brow is ok, but it’s so thick and pomade-y that it was just too much for low-key me. ¬†i heard about the l’oreal brow gel somewhere, so i picked it up when i saw it at duane reade and i love it! ¬†it’s exactly what i was looking for. ¬†it is tinted, so it offers a little bit of color while looking totally natural and not too gel-y. ¬†i wipe most of the product off before applying, so that helps, but really this is a great product and doesn’t make me feel like my eyebrows are cemented to my face.

nars radiant tinted moisturizer in terre neuve – this has been my go-to base this month. ¬†for one thing, it’s my perfect winter shade, and the coverage is perfect. ¬†it evens out the redness that i have going on and doesn’t cling to my dry patches, but looks totally natural and nonexistent. ¬†i don’t typically wear a “base” every day, but i have felt it necessary this month and have been happy to have this guy around. ¬†if you’re looking for a good tinted moisturizer, i highly recommend the nars one. ¬†though i can’t seem to find a good summer shade, this one matches my pale, pink winter skin like a dream.

bioderma sensibio¬†this is a repeat from november, but i feel the need to mention it again! ¬†i got a small bottle of this while in london in november and have used up the whole thing in the past 2 months! ¬†it has been really nice to have an actual makeup remover for my whole face, and i love using this as a first step before my cleanser. ¬†it gets rid of my mascara (not waterproof) in just a few swipes and gets rid of the leftover bronzer, tinted moisturizer, and layers of grime that have made home of my face during the day. ¬†also, it’s now available a couple places online like beautylish and violet grey, so it’s finally available to us americans!

violette_fr Рi have seen violette featured a ton on violet grey, but i had no idea that she had a youtube channel!  violette is an amazing parisian makeup artist, and her channel shows you how to achieve that perfectly french look.  i love how short and simple her videos are, and how she focuses on one feature, be it eyes, lips, etc.  her looks are simple and beautiful and i am addicted!

a christmas carol by charles dickens for whatever reason, i really wanted to read this dickens classic this month. ¬†i was in search of a cozy read – whatever that means – and this fit the bill perfectly. ¬†though i know the story by heart, i have never¬†read it first hand. ¬†it is such a beautiful and timeless story, and even if you think you know it all i recommend taking the time to read it. ¬†it’s quite short – i finished it in a day or two – but i thoroughly enjoyed it and was reminded of it’s great lessons on life, appreciation, and kindness.

drawing/sketching – i’ve always been a doodling, but this month i enjoyed my drawings a little bit more than usual. ¬†i drew winter guides for my sisters’ christmas presents, and i loved drawing the products and items that i love in my real life and want them to love too. ¬†you know what’s better than a new glossier product? ¬†drawing a really cute picture of one!IMG_0085.jpgIMG_0089.jpg

. . .

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december picks //

mfam: natural-looking lashes

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 7.20.40 PM.png

have you missed my makeup for a minimalist series?  me too!

tarte lash curlers¬†// i bought these at sephora last year because they had an offer on them (they still do – click the link), but didn’t really see the point of them so put them away. ¬†a few days ago, for whatever reason, i decided to bring them back out and i am loving them! ¬†i finally see the point of curling your lashes – my lashes look longer and thicker, my eyes are more open, and it’s an easy extra step in my routine. ¬†i think the difference this time around is that i’m using mascara, whereas before i was trying to use them without mascara and then my eyelashes just looked unnatural.

covergirl lashblast volume mascara in black/brown // i’ve mentioned before my struggles to find a mascara i love. ¬†i have been enjoying the pacifica stellar gaze mascara for quite some time, but instead of ordering a new tube i figured i would just go to the drugstore. ¬†i loved the covergirl lashblast length mascara, but have never really tried anything else in the line. ¬†this really is a great mascara! ¬†it’s a bit thickening but not too gloopy – it’s really very natural looking, especially in black/brown which is a very subtle shade. ¬†i like the longer plastic bristles and it’s very easy to apply. ¬†i used to always use plastic wand mascaras, recently switching over to fiber wands for a more natural look, but i’m definitely going back to the other side.

>> my image, please credit if taking.

mfam: natural-looking lashes

i bought a lot of things that i really didn’t need // new york edition

and actually some things that i did need!IMG_4089.jpgIMG_4083.jpgIMG_4086.jpg

bare minerals pressed foundation in fairly medium //

nars radiant creamy concealer in vanilla //

tata harper lip & cheek tint in very charming //

milani baked blush in luminoso //

zara midi dress //

zara military shirt in forest green //

mango double layer midi dress // couldn’t find online, sorry!

madewell diamond shaped earrings //

rose gold horseshoe bracelet // from a street market in soho

// my images, please credit if taking.

i bought a lot of things that i really didn’t need // new york edition

saying goodbye to a drugstore favorite

IMG_2648.JPGonce upon a time a few weeks ago, i naively went to walgreen’s to get my favorite mascara, the covergirl lash exact length mascara (i’ve mentioned it a bunch of times on the site). ¬†i headed to the covergirl aisle. ¬†i saw the colorful tubes. ¬†there was no yellow one. ¬†there was no lash exact length.

i got back in my car. ¬†i drove to cvs. ¬†i repeated the above. ¬†i drove to another walgreen’s. ¬†alas. ¬†it’s gone.

i got home and did some research.  it has in fact been discontinued and is, quite literally, gone.  so i did 2 things.  first, i did the reasonable (read: unreasonable) thing of ordering a couple backups on amazon.  then, because i knew that someday these precious backups would tragically run out, i tried to find a dupe, drugstore or otherwise.

turns out, there are very few mascaras that have a similar brush to the lash blast length. ¬†like just the one that you will read about shortly. ¬†i searched lengthening mascaras, tinting mascaras, best mascaras, but found nothing of interest. ¬†then, i decided to look at all the mascaras that sephora has to offer in hopes of spotting something similar, and i did! ¬†the winner hails from dolce&gabanna – which really is a bummer cause that means it is price-aaaaay – and is¬†essentially the same mascara. ¬†do you know how lucky you guys are that i did so much research and solved this problem for all of you? ¬†you’re welcome.

but seriously, my new d&g mascara is pretty rad.  i decided that because this one is more readily available (albeit only online), i would continue with the d&g and save my covergirls for the really special moments when nothing else will do.  it seems weird to have to buy a high end dupe for a drugstore product, but no complaints as long as i have some form of my most favorite mascara.

the end.

saying goodbye to a drugstore favorite

makeup for a minimalist: drugstore favorites

IMG_2960maybelline fit me concealer: i have the shade 15 fair and it is pretty spot on similar with nars radiant creamy concealer in vanilla. ¬†i love this concealer as more summery option to the heavier, drier nars concealer. ¬†it’s very similar in coverage but the formula is creamier and more liquid-y. ¬†it is helpful to set this though, which i don’t have to do with the nars.

revlon matte balm:¬†i have the color sultry and i am dying to get more of these. ¬†this is a beautiful dusty rose neutral shade with the perfect hint of brown.¬†¬†these are super creamy but with a matte finish and not drying at all. ¬†they don’t have a ton of color options but it is a nice range that isn’t too boring.

l’oreal color riche nail polish: in after hours and tangerine crush. ¬†i love these polishes! ¬†the brush is wide and curved at the bottom so it fits the nail perfectly. ¬†the formula’s are amazing and they have some great color options. ¬†i only have these two shades but am definitely looking to add more to my stash.

nyx butter gloss: i have the shades creme brulee eclair (both pictured here). ¬†these glosses are nicely pigmented and super smooth and buttery (oohhh shocker). ¬†i love the small packaging and the scent of these glosses. ¬†plus they aren’t sticky glossy. ¬†that’s always a good thing.

nyx mega shine lip gloss: i have the shades beige and some other one that the name wore off of (not pictured) –¬†it’s a light peachy pink. ¬†these glosses are probably less pigmented than the butter glosses, but to me they are all basically the same. ¬†if i’m going to wear gloss, you bet it’s a nyx gloss.

no7 stay perfect shade and define cream shadow sticks: pictured here in cool mink, but i also own coffee bean (warm brown), velvet truffle (a cool toned brown), and deep purple (a shimmering navy). ¬†i use the darker shades for smudgy eyeliner looks and cool mink all over the lid. these are great dupes for the laura mercier caviar shadow sticks which are the only other cream eyeshadow sticks i’ve used, but i heard they are also a good dupe for the¬†by terry ombre blackstars.

l’oreal telescopic mascara: ¬†i’m terrible at saying whether things are dupes or not, but i think this is a pretty good dupe for my beloved bare minerals flawless definition mascara. ¬†it creates great definition but very naturally, which is just how i like my lashes to be look. ¬†if you like natural lashes but a little bit enhanced, i would definitely check this mascara out. ¬†just make sure you wipe off some of the product on the bristles – sometimes i find you can get too much and that’s never a good look.

+my image, please credit if taking.

makeup for a minimalist: drugstore favorites