september picks

bb sept picks1.jpgi’ve made some great strides in my skincare and makeup routines, thanks to a couple new products and some fresh application techniques.bb sept picks7.jpgas far as skincare goes, the avene thermal water has made a huge difference in the skin issues i was having due to my soft apartment water.¬† i spray this on my face after washing it or being in the shower, and wipe off the excess with a cotton pad.¬† it calms my skin and has been preventing the bumps i was experiencing all over my chin.

i’ve also added the jordan samuel hydrate serum and pai rosehip bioregenerate oil¬†to my skincare regime.¬† the jordan samuel replaced another empty hylamide low molecular ha, and while they are similar, the jordan samuel is far superior for less than $10 more.¬† i think it’s the inclusion of aloe that is making such a difference for me.¬† i’ve been using the pai regenerate oil at night in place of my favorite indie lee squalane because i needed a little more hydration with the changing of the seasons.¬† i’m still using the indie lee in the morning, of course!¬† for yet another hit of hydration, i’ve been using my staple¬†first aid beauty ultra repair cream before spritzing my pai oil with a bit of heritage¬†rosewater and glycerin spray.¬† this not only helps the skin drink up the oil it is mixed with more efficiently, but it adds moisture in and of itself.¬† i also spray a bit in with my lotion.¬† if you learn anything from this post: spray your waters/toners/hydrosols in with your oils and moisturizers.bb sept picks4.jpgbb sept picks6.jpgthe most epic skincare find for me this month was the frank body glow mask.¬† i saw it online at ulta and tried to resist but ended up ordering it a few days later.¬† it is somehow hydrating but rejuvenating and makes you glow immediately.¬† i keep mine in the fridge for added soothing properties and honestly it’s the best luxe experience ever.¬† plus it smells like cream cheese frosting.¬† frank body is the brand that does those coffee body scrubs, but their skincare range seems pretty epic as well, if this mask is anything to go by.¬† they are an all natural brand with a good price tag.

as far as makeup goes, i’ve been keeping it simple and glowy, as per usual.¬† i started teaching this month which is resulting in 5:00 am wake up calls, so makeup isn’t really something i want to think about.¬† for base, a mixture of glossier perfecting skin tint in light and ilia sheer vivid tinted moisturizer in t2¬†belle marre is all i need for a little bit of coverage and a lot of light.¬† i work this in all over the face with the bobbi brown full coverage face brush, which is very inappropriately named and also the first high end makeup brush i ever bought about 3 years ago.¬† popping a peachy pink blush on my cheeks gives me the life that i need at that time of the morning.¬† my favorites have been the rms lip2cheek in vogue rose, ilia multistick in tenderly (perfect for a sunkissed effect, i find this to be more peachy than it looks online), and clinique cheek pop in melon pop, which turned out to be the sheer peachy blush i’ve been searching for all summer.¬† for eyes i pop on a teeny bit of glossier coconut balm dotcom, curl my lashes, and wiggle mac extended play only at the roots for slight definition.¬† the same balm goes on my lips and i am out the door…with a gallon and a half of coffee mind you.bb sept picks2.jpgbb sept picks3.jpgas for my other picks of the month, i’ve been all about simplicity as of late.¬† i found the most perfect going out/packing light bag on sale at urban outfitters for $19 at the beginning of the month.¬† i can’t for the life of me understand why it was so cheap or on sale because it is gorgeous and looks very expensive.¬† love the pop of blue on the inside.¬† on the rest of my body i’ve been rocking my favorite simple gold chains.¬† that little bullet kinda thing and u-shape fit perfectly together, while the monogram chain sits lower on the chest.¬† separate or all together, these are forever faves.¬† i’ve had the monogram for years but the other two were late summer purchases from my favorite local boutique.¬† this beautiful pink candle was another random urban purchase; it is as delicious as it is aesthetically pleasing.¬† it’s slightly fruity and floral but grounded by rich wood scents – aka the perfect warm, but not overwhelming house scent.bb sept picks9.jpgbb sept picks8.jpgtell me, what were your picks for this month?¬† i always love to know.
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september picks

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

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 Рhighly 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 Рi 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

some new & old favorites

new month, new apartment, new chapter in life…and some current favorite products, of course. ¬†it’s funny how moving and “starting over” makes you reconsider all the things you own and love. ¬†it sounds strange but i feel that my products, my routines, my things keep me grounded during craziness. ¬†i place great importance in feeling safe in my environment, and my belongings certainly aid me in that.bb old and new1.jpgbb old and new2.jpgold favorites

glossier priming moisturizer // i have been using this for¬†years now – but pretty on and off. ¬†i used it pretty religiously during the first part of this winter, and then put it down for whatever reason. ¬†today i got the urge to bring it back out. ¬†it’s a lovely summer moisturizer/extra moisture layer as it’s quite thing and light and sinks it almost immediately. ¬†i can’t speak to it’s makeup extending abilities, but i love it when i need an extra hit of glow.

rms eye polish myth // quite honestly this is my favorite eye shadow ever.  living in a cold climate, i love when summer comes around and all my cream products soften that perfect amount and pigmentation becomes even better.  in the winter this shadow is more sheer, but in the summer it has full-on taupey goodness.

hylamide hyaluronic acid // i finished my previse nutrify¬†hyaluronic acid serum and immediately repurchased the hylamide ha. ¬†for whatever reason this performs so much better on my skin and i really reap the benefits of the ingredients. ¬†the previse was nice but too expensive for what it is. ¬†i wish this product didn’t have phenoxyethanol, but it still rates a 1 on ewg and i love the results. ¬†the cvs i went to had this little baby one on sale for $3 so you KNOW i bought it as well!

new favorites //

cocokind collective macabeet tinted moisture stick // i got this a few weeks ago when shopping at the new chicago free people store with my dear friend. ¬†we both grabbed this and i can’t not share it with all of you! ¬†for $9, you get a 100% natural sheer berry glow for lips and cheeks. ¬†it’s healthy skin in a tube, quite honestly!

monk oil #2 // i have been wanting to try monk oil for months now and decided to finally bite the bullet a few weeks ago. ¬†i only just started using it after i moved, but i know it will be a staple that i always have around. ¬†i got the small bottle of the #2 oil which contains more rose from what i can tell. ¬†it’s an earthy but somewhat floral – but not floral like old lady, more like fresh flowers – oil that can be used all over the body and/or for aromatherapy purposes. ¬†i love the smell but it is definitely¬†hippie – my mom hated it haha! ¬†i highly recommend this and i look forward to trying the original oil¬†as well. ¬†short version: monk oil is a “city skin potion” that helps ground you and protect you from the craziness of city life.

first aid beauty cleanser // when picking up a backup of my fab ultra repair cream, i decided to try the cleanser as well. ¬†though i usually oil cleanse, i like to have a regular cleanser on hand as well to use as a double cleanse or when i don’t feel like using oil. ¬†i’m almost done with another bottle of glossier milky jelly, so this was my replacement. ¬†it feels closer to a lotion than a cleanser, but it cleanses beautiful and removes all traces of makeup. ¬†my skin feels hydrated and healthy after – and in the summer i love to pare back my routine and get back to basics.

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some new & old favorites

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

it’s not you, it’s me

ok, maybe it’s you. ¬†i’m talking disappointing products people! ¬†please note, most of these products i either returned, gave to my sisters, or begrudgingly used up. ¬†so i don’t have pictures of most of them because they are looong gone. ¬†and these are things that i have mainly disliked over the past year or so, cause who can remember anything before that?! ¬†now let’s get to it…

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bobbi brown bronzer brush // you might remember i splurged on this brush during the november sephora sale. ¬†despite the mostly poor reviews, i thought i would try it out for myself and…yeah it sucks. ¬†i have never had a brush, higher end or drugstore, that shed as much as this. ¬†and not like one hair per use that is totally reasonable. ¬†by the time i returned this 1 month after purchasing i don’t even know how it had any hairs left. ¬†i’m¬†using the real techniques multitask brush for bronzer and blush right now and it is exactly what i was looking for.

glossier supers //¬†i am soooo disappointed about these, especially considering the rave reviews everyone is giving them. ¬†but to be honest, they just didn’t do anything for me. ¬†i got the whole set right when they came out, but did a lot of research as to when and how to use them. ¬†my sister tried the super bounce as well and we just didn’t see any effects, positive or negative. ¬†so yeah, these were meh. ¬†i used them all halfway and left them at them at my parent’s house. ¬†i have since done more research especially on hyaluronic acid serums, and i think i have found some better options as well as why these didn’t quite work for me. ¬†i discussed this a bit in my january picks, but basically most ha serums contain ha molecules that are just too big for your skin to absorb. ¬†i feel this way about all three of these serums – they sit on the skin rather than absorbing into it, so the affects are completely washed away when you cleanse your face.

first aid beauty ultra repair hydrating serum // this is another purchase i made during the sephora sale. ¬†i did finish this up for the most part, but frankly i didn’t see any benefits. ¬†kind of the same issues i had with glossier super bounce. ¬†just meh!

la roche-posay anthelios mineral sunscreen spf 50 //¬†this is a more recent purchase and i don’t have the receipt so i’m not really sure what i’ll do with this. ¬†i have been doing a ton of research on what sunscreens will work for my skin for every day use, and this was a very highly rated one by many including paula’s choice. ¬†however it really didn’t work for me. ¬†the texture is quite grainy no matter how much i shake it up and it doesn’t seem to sit well on my skin. ¬†i decided that i wanted something with more moisturizing properties so i picked up another highly rated susncreen, the kiss my face 3-in-1 for sensitive skin. ¬†this is a partially mineral sunscreen and is great for sensitive skin (duh). ¬†i have used the kiss my face face and neck sunscreen and really liked that, so i knew this would be a pretty solid choice. ¬†i am loving it thus far – it doesn’t clog my skin or sit heavily and adds a lot of moisture to my face. ¬†i am, however, going to keep the la roche-posay around for travel purposes.

bourjois cc cream // i am so sad about this. ¬†i got this while in london because i have had it only wishlist for years, thank you estee lalonde! ¬†it is a great color match for me and everything, but it just feels drying on my skin. ¬†it says that it’s a hydrating formula, but it doesn’t sit well on me the way my nars tinted moisturizer or glossier skin tints do. ¬†i’m going to keep trying to make this work, but i think if you have oilier skin this will be much better for you! ¬†(update: i have since given this to a friend.)

nars concealer stick in vanilla // i got this a few months ago to keep in my purse instead of another mini creamy concealer. ¬†the shade match was perfect but i just couldn’t get along with this guy. ¬†maybe i’m just used to the cement-like properties of the creamy concealer? ¬†this one just slipped around and didn’t really cover much of anything for too long. ¬†i returned this to sephora.

rms lip and skin balm in vanilla¬†// ok let me start off by saying this smells disgusting. ¬†the cocoa and the vanilla scent. ¬†i figured i could look past that so i bought it anyway, but yeah no. ¬†i thought this would be a good petroleum-free alternative to glossier balm dotcom and vaseline but i just can’t get it to work for me. ¬†you have to warm up the product so much, more than other rms products, and it doesn’t hydrate at all. ¬†so between the scent and the fact that it doesn’t do much of anything, i’m not sure what to do with this thing. ¬†PLUS it contains a lot less product than any other rms product, even though it’s in the same size pot and ridiculously expensive. ¬†it looks like i’m already halfway done with it when i’ve used it very minimally. ¬†sadly this is the first rms product i haven’t loved. ¬†i am actually really mad at myself for spending almost $40 on this.

nars sheer glow in mont blanc // i’ve had this for a long time and i just can’t make it work. ¬†i bought this a year ago when i was really really struggling with my acne and redness. ¬†i loved how it covered my redness and returned my face to more normal territory, but it was heavy and cakey and just looked like i had a lot of makeup on. ¬†i haven’t even bothered to use it until the last month or two (and just to try to use it up), but whenever i put it on it still feels too makeup-y. ¬†even with an oil and primer underneath and applied extremely lightly with my fingers, it cakes up and clings to dry patches. ¬†so many people love this, but it’s too much for me i guess!

tarte amazonian clay blush in exposed // don’t you just hate when a super cult product doesn’t work for you? ¬†that’s exactly how i feel about exposed. ¬†i have extremely fair skin and i couldn’t even get this to show up on my skin. ¬†i just swatched it on my hand next to my favorite nars impassioned and the tarte blush in paaarty¬†from this year’s sephora birthday set, and both of those perform so much better than exposed. ¬†i like the peachier neutral tones of the tarte paaarty¬†and the cool pink of nars impassioned, and exposed just doesn’t compare to these. ¬†i’m actually wondering if i got a dud, but after the first one i purchased was totally smashed and this one lacking any pigmentation, tarte exposed is being returned to sephora asap. ¬†plus, i’m really not that much of a blush girl, so i¬†really didn’t need this anyway! (ps tarte paaarty is now available as a full size product, so if you don’t shop at sephora/don’t have a birthday coming up but are interested, there you go!)

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sephora vib sale & other recent buys

while i didn’t need any darn thing in the makeup category, i couldn’t resist making a sneaky order with the sephora vib sale (20% off)! ¬†it’s too tempting. ¬†buuuuut i will¬†say i think i was pretty reserved and only got things that i have been wanting for a while, and did thorough research on for a long time – minus the blush i got. ¬†when i was home a few weeks ago i also stopped into ulta (my happy place) and picked up two items that, again, i’ve been wanting to try for a long time.

ugh.  someone take my wallet away.

sephora //¬†img_4366img_4368nars x sarah moon blush in isadora // this was a very random purchase for me. ¬†it’s a pretty crazy color for my minimalist approach to makeup, but i couldn’t resist when i saw that it was available at sephora. ¬†it’s actually beautiful!! ¬†it’s such a natural flush of color with a hint of shimmer, and the plummy tones really work well with my cool toned, fair skin. ¬†win!

first aid beauty ultra repair hydrating serum // with the changing of the seasons, my skin has gone back to it’s pretty dry self and i miss the summer sheen/glow/grease that i usually have a layer of. ¬†i have been reading up on serums and can’t seem to find anything that fits my skincare needs, until this! ¬†it has hyaluronic acid and anti-aging peptides, as well as other repairing ingredients like oatmeal and aloe leaf (these ingredients are standard in first aid beauty’s ultra repair products). ¬†i’ve used it a few times at night only, and maybe it’s a placebo effect but i think i’m seeing some nice hydrating benefits and it works nicely with my mario badescu rosehip oil. ¬†again, i’ll let you know how this performs over time!

bobbi brown bronzer brush¬†// i have wanted this brush absolutely forever. ¬†it’s such a high price point that i made myself swear i would only buy it if i could find it on sale. ¬†sooooo! ¬†i am apparently always on the hunt for the perfect bronzer/powder brush and i keep purchasing them but am never satisfied (or i like them for a little while and then change my mind). ¬†would you guys like a brush review? ¬†anyways, i love this brush and i think that it’s exactly what i’ve been searching for. ¬†it’s not as densely packed as others (i’m looking at you bare minerals blender brush) so it applies the perfect amount of bronzer and blends it out so naturally. ¬†i know the reviews on this aren’t the best, and while it does shed a little bit, i’m putting that on the fact that it’s new and hasn’t been washed yet (oops). ¬†we’ll see!

ulta //¬†IMG_4370.jpgtoo faced better than sex mascara // i have resisted purchasing this for so long. ¬†it just looks so scary if i’m honest! ¬†but i thought i would splurge on it since the sale was happening. ¬†i’m sooo glad that i did! ¬†when applied the way i apply mascara, it actually appears pretty subtle and natural, but with the amazing volume that i have been missing in my more natural looking mascaras. ¬†i haven’t experienced too much flaking or smudging as some people mention in reviews, only at the very very end of the day when i’m about to take my makeup off anyways.

too faced hangover primer travel size // i’ve been wanting to try this primer for a while but didn’t want to commit to buying the whole tube. ¬†when i saw this travel size version at ulta i knew it was exactly what i was waiting for! ¬†and now i’m wondering why i didn’t buy the whole thing. ¬†i’ve used this every day since purchasing it and i can’t tell you how amazing it is. ¬†i wear very little makeup, so i never really noticed if it has faded or not during the day, but this stuff makes my makeup last from morning to night and now i can see the difference. ¬†my blush, my bronzer is all staying put and i look as fresh as i did when i woke up in the morning. ¬†it adds that little bit of extra glow and moisture to my skin that i’m dreaming of. ¬†plus it doesn’t have silicone in it, so that’s a big plus from me as it doesn’t feel like it’s clogging my pores or filling my skin.

did you do any purchases during the sale? ¬†let me know so i don’t feel so bad!

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sephora vib sale & other recent buys