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 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 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…

bb disappointing products.jpg

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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it’s not you, it’s me

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

summer work essentials

IMG_4175.jpgmy trick to surviving work as easily as possible is to have everything you need for every situation. ¬†there are few things worse than getting to work in the morning and realizing you don’t have a hair clip or a bottle of water – knowing that it’s hours before you can leave for lunch, if you can at all. ¬†so here are my work essentials, especially for summer:

because you’ll get sweaty // clean&clear oil absorbing sheets, bare minerals ready foundation, mac travel powder brush, evan healy lavender hydrosoul

because your nail polish is guaranteed to chip // nail polish remover pads, first aid beauty hand lotion

because you’ll always want to put your hair up // hair clips (i love the butterfly kind since they are hold your hair¬†tighter than regular ones) and hair twisties (i love these scrunchie ones)

because you’ll probably get drinks after work // mini nars laguna bronzer, tony moly lip stain¬†(in red), perfume sample (mine is of my usual byredo gypsy water)

because you’ll get tired of ac // madewell denim jacket¬†(in ellery wash)

because your phone will die and your commute will be boring // phone charger (drugstore), apple headphones

because you’ll get tired of vending machine water bottles // s’well 17 oz (but i would recommend getting the larger size since this one doesn’t last me long enough)

because you’ll need to write things down // moleskine agenda, iron curtain press notebook, delfonics pen, lepens

other staples that are not pictured // lactaid pills, advil, purell, bandaids, sunglasses

>> my image, please credit if taking.

summer work essentials

may picks

IMG_4048 (1).jpgIMG_4044.jpgIMG_4046 (1).jpgIMG_4072 (1).jpgmalie organics plumeria candle // this candle is too delicious for words. ¬†it doesn’t even need to be lit to get a whiff of softly fragrant plumeria flowers (the flowers of leis). ¬†it smells like the real thing, is fresh and clean, and isn’t overwhelming at all. ¬†it also works well with my pf candle co gardenia&coconut candle.

first aid beauty ultra repair cream // a really great mousse-y hand lotion. ¬†i’m always on the search for the best hand lotion and this is definitely up there with my favorites. ¬†plus it’s unscented.

nars pure radiant tinted moisturizer in terre neuve // i’m not a foundation person, but i want a little bit of evening out since i’m still healing from my acne. ¬†this offers just a little bit of coverage as well as spf. ¬†i mix this with a little dot of the perricone md no bronzer and it just gives it a little bit of warmth (this shade is my match but i feel like it makes me look very pale). ¬†it’s a great mix. ¬†i don’t look or feel like i have anything on, but my skin looks a little bit more perfected.

bare minerals original foundation in fairly medium // the first expensive makeup product i ever used and that i always come back to.  great for setting makeup, making me less shiny, and adding a little bit of extra coverage.  plus it also has spf and a great color range.

bare minerals brush¬†// i’ve had this for quite some time but keep forgetting to mention it! ¬†my favorite all around powder and bronzer brush. ¬†its big without being too big, and ridiculously soft. ¬†it applies and blends¬†perfectly.

to the ocean bracelet // i haven’t taken this off the whole month. ¬†it’s bright¬†but barely there and come on, how can you beat the message. ¬†it’s a mermaid essential.

yoga // may has been a great month for me and yoga. ¬†i’ve really committed to going regularly and i am already feeling the benefits both on the mat and off.

karma yama leggings // i got these on sale on yogaoutlet and i wear them to almost every yoga class. ¬†they are high waisted, a great fit, and don’t ride up or fall down. ¬†definitely an investment but i’m really glad i splurged. ¬†plus¬†they aren’t pilling which i’ve heard is an issue people have with lululemon.

birkenstock gizeh birkoflor // i absolutely love my birkenstock arizona’s, but for a long time i couldn’t get the gizeh’s out of my head. ¬†i purchased them earlier this spring and have worn them almost every day this month now that it’s sandal weather. ¬†i love them just as much as my others and am glad that i have two styles of birkenstocks to switch between. ¬†i chose the birkoflor because it looks like leather but is not as rough on my feet, plus it’s cheaper.

light wash levi’s 501s // these are a classic for a reason. ¬†they fit so perfectly, make my butt look nice and perky, and just make me feel good. ¬†i like that they are fitted at the top but not at the bottom, and i feel like the straight leg is such a nice alternative to a skinny jean, but not quite a boot cut (cause i’m no longer into those)

swell water bottle // i get dehydrated very, very easily and always realize that i need water when it’s way too late. ¬†i’ve solved this issue by carrying my water bottle around with me absolutely everywhere. ¬†plus this one keeps the water cold for a full day! ¬†again, this was a bit of splurge, but it was definitely a good purchase. ¬†i have the medium size, 17 oz.

whew, that was a long one! ¬†as you can see, may was a pretty good month, both product wise and experience wise. ¬†there were some tough times this month, but i’m learning every day how to let things roll off my back, stay true to myself, and remain happy. ¬†i will always be a work in progress, but i’m ok with that.

// images are mine, please credit if taking.

may picks