the skincare routine

bb nighttime skincare update.jpgthis was originally an instagram post, but i thought it would be better as a quick bonus blog post instead. ¬†so, this is tonight’s skincare routine, as well as what my routine is going to look like for a while thanks to some killer new products (excluding the mask, which is just a once a week treat these days)…

ūüĆŅwash: mix of stark skincare¬†aurora cleansing balm &¬†glossier milky jelly cleanser // i emulsified the balm in my hands and then added a pump of mjc. ¬†these mix beautifully to offer a moisturizing cleanse that is easily rinsed off with warm water.

ūüĆŅmask: milk makeup x urban outfitters urban defense mask // you all know i love this for a quick (3-5 minute) boost.

ūüĆŅspray: evan healy lavender hydrosoul // always!

ūüĆŅserum: previse nutrify 1-6 hyaluronic acid serum // i ordered this through the beauty heroes shop to replace my deciem hylamide low molecular ha serum – this is thinner in viscosity but feels the same on the skin and is a nice, quite basic serum.

ūüĆŅoils: indie lee squalane & stark skincare midnight regenerating // i picked up the indie lee oil this week in california during the anthropologie 20% off sale. ¬†i’ve been researching squalane for a while and was so pumped to actually test this in person. ¬†it’s a lightweight, extremely moisturizing oil that my skin is completely drinking up. ¬†the stark mr is exactly what it says, a nighttime oil that works to repair and nourish the skin. ¬†these work in combination beautifully.

ūüĆŅeyes: living libations all seeing eye cream // i’ve been using this for a few weeks now and am really enjoying it. ¬†i haven’t seen immediate effects, but i also wasn’t expecting to. ¬†very hydrating and i like knowing i have a specific product for my eyes now.

please note: this is a lot of skincare, especially for me. but through some extensive research and trial, this is what my skin needs and wants. as far as the stark skincare items Рi have completely fallen in love with jess via her youtube channel, and her products are just as amazing as she is.  seriously, i have been getting a full on education about green beauty and skincare (and skincare in general) and just love her.

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the skincare routine

talkin’ trash 01

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glossier moisturizing moon mask // i’m so impressed with this mask. ¬†i started using it probably exactly a year ago when i was at the height of my acne and really didn’t get it. ¬†but as my skin got better and drier from the topical creams i started using, this became an instant refresh for my skin (it did burn slightly¬†at the beginning of each application since i was so fragile, but this quickly went away). ¬†now i love using it alone or after a more drying mask – usually the origins charcoal or friedman’s mint and lemon clay masks – as well as a restoring hand mask. ¬†i haven’t gotten around to purchasing a new one but i already miss it so i’m going to get on that. ¬†verdict:¬†will definitely repurchase, visible effects.

evan healy lavendar hydrosoul //¬†can you believe this is my third finished¬†bottle of this stuff? ¬†it is my favorite facial spray¬†ever. ¬†the lavender is ultra soothing and hydrating, and gives my skin the oomph it needs. ¬†i use it as a toner as well as a make up setter and refresher. ¬†at first the scent super freaked me out but i have grown to love it. ¬†this is pretty pricey as far as mists go, but i think it’s worth it. ¬†i have tried a sample of another evan healy hydrosoul – can’t remember which one unfortunately – but there’s just something about the lavender that i can’t get enough of. ¬†i just purchased a new one the other day!¬†verdict:¬†will always repurchase, great ingredients, great effects.¬†

too faced hangover primer // i have mentioned quite a few times (my bad) that i got a travel size of this product at ulta in the fall. ¬†i had never used a primer before, so this was a great entry point for something extremely hydrating and that would make my makeup last longer throughout the day. ¬†this performs beautifully and i love the packaging! ¬†the travel size is a perfect option if you just want to try it or don’t think you will use it very much. ¬†i went through this pretty quick because i’ve taken to adding it over my moisturizer, even if i’m not wearing any makeup that day. anyways, when i realized i was almost done with this and wanted to save the rest for an upcoming trip, i upgraded to the marc jacobs coconut primer, which is basically the too faced with a little more oomph. ¬†the too faced, however, is more travel friendly in terms of packaging and better for the wallet in terms of price. ¬†verdict:¬†might repurchase in the future, high price, good benefits, bad ingredients.

mario badescu facial spray with rosewater and herbs // this is an ok facial spray. ¬†it’s refreshing and soothing to the skin, and the heavy rose scent dissipates quickly. ¬†the packaging is travel and purse-friendly, it comes in multiple sizes, and the price point is great. ¬†is this comparable to the evan healy hydrosoul? ¬†no not really and the ingredients in this really aren’t great. ¬†but this is a good choice if you are traveling or need an inexpensive but reliable and simple spray. ¬†it just strikes me as rather chemical-y. ¬†i am, however, currently trying out the new mario badescu aloe, cucumber, and green tea spray, available only through ulta at the moment, and while again the ingredients aren’t great i like it better than the rose version for sure. ¬†verdict: won’t¬†repurchase, great price point, ok¬†ingredients.

aveda hand relief hand lotion // it really doesn’t take much time for me to completely use up a hand lotion if i’m honest. ¬†i liked this for the majority of the time i was using it, but then i went to use the last few drops the other day and it was just so greasy. ¬†if i’m going to spend this much on hand lotion, i’m going to get the kiehl’s hand salve¬†or the elizabeth arden 8 hour hand lotion which both sink into the hands immediately and take away redness and cracks extremely well. ¬†verdict:¬†won’t repurchase, too greasy, high price point.

weleda sea buckthorn¬†hand lotion // i really like the weleda brand and this hand lotion is no exception. ¬†i learned about this via celina of the celution (this post specifically) and i’m glad i picked it up. ¬†the scent, in my opinion, is incredible. ¬†it has very earthy, natural tones which i personally love, and it brings to mind memories of southern california family vacations. ¬†this product sinks into the hands beautifully and doesn’t feel greasy. ¬†i just picked up the pomegranate regenerating hand lotion to try next! ¬†verdict:¬†will repurchase at some point, great ingredients, great price, great results.

lashfood sample size // i got this 1-month supply size of lashfood lash serum at ulta. ¬†it came with their eyelash/mascara primer as well, but i haven’t been as consistent in using that¬†since i was mostly purchasing for the serum itself. ¬†i was really looking forward to trying this so the sample size was kind of the perfect tester. ¬†i have actually seen some results mostly in thickness of my lashes, but i’m not sure if i really want to spend almost $80 on the full size product. ¬†but i’m glad i tried it out and now i know for the future! ¬†verdict:¬†may repurchase in the future, decent results, high price point.

shea moisture hibiscus&coconut body wash and body butter¬†// ahhh i love these. ¬†i mentioned them here in more depth. ¬†i’m definitely more partial to the body wash than the lotion, which was nice but not necessarily worth a repurchase. ¬†i’m moving back to my fave dr. bronner’s bar soap for the shower, but i will definitely repurchase from the shea moisture line. ¬†plus, these rate pretty ok on ewg, a 2 if i remember correctly. ¬†verdict: will repurchase at some point, often on sale, aromatherapy, pretty good ingredients, fair trade.

pixi hydrating milky mist // another day, another spray. ¬†i tried this pixi spray since it has such amazing reviews and felt ok about it. ¬†the spray is extremely fine which is part of its great reviews, but i actually didn’t like that! ¬†i decanted this in a glass spray bottle and i much preferred it with a little bit of a stronger mist, for whatever reason. ¬†this is nice and i like pixi a lot, but nothing that special in my opinion. ¬†verdict: probably won’t repurchase, good price point, no visible benefits.

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these last three items are not empties per say, but they are going into the trash for various reasons that i will explain below:

benefit hoola bronzer // ah an oldie and a goodie. ¬†i have been wearing hoola bronzer since high school and it was definitely one of my first sephora purchases. ¬†this particular container is older than i care to admit and i have a sizeable dent in the middle. ¬†i’m just over it i guess!! ¬†i’m really trying to not only edit down my makeup but also move into cleaner formulas, and i’m ready to let this guy go. ¬†the w3ll people bio bronzer is such a perfect bronzer for me that i don’t feel like i’m going to reach for anything else for a very long time. ¬†and if i do, it is going to be a lot better for me.

nars laguna bronzer // most of the above is true for laguna as well. ¬†as much as i want to continue using laguna since i’ve already hit the bottom, the bio bronzer has a similar look on me. ¬†and this guy is OLD, like older than hoola i think. ¬†i do have a mini version of laguna that i keep in my purse in case i need it for some reason throughout the day – i will probably keep that around just for emergencies. ¬†or maybe i’ll decant some of my w3ll people bronzer since it is in mineral form. ¬†anyways, bye guy!

phsyician’s formula butter bronzer // i love this bronzer, but i can no longer stand the smell. ¬†it’s so strong and so artificial, and it’s like a constant reminder that i’m putting shitty artificial ingredients all over my face. ¬†gorgeous, but it’s gotta go.

finally, a not-quite-but-close-to-being-empty:

hylamide low molecular ha serum // i am actually shocked/impressed that i am almost finished with this already. ¬†but i am pretty heavy handed and use this morning and night. ¬†i have only tried the¬†glossier super bounce so i don’t have a lot of reference for hyaluronic acid serums, but this is absolutely great in my opinion! ¬†it sinks in fast and doesn’t leave a sticky residue, plus i really do feel like i’ve seen positive effects from this. ¬†i am looking into more eco hyaluronic acid serums, so depending on what i find and the price points i’m seeing, i may or may not return to this. ¬†but i have to say, i looked up all the ingredients on ewg and almost all of them are pretty good, except for the inclusion of phenoxyethanol which is a preservative that is often used as an alternative to parabens. ¬†it’s not good, but it’s also not as bad as parabens. ¬†this ingredient is included in a lot of those products that say they don’t have parabens that are also not completely eco – glossier and milk makeup for example – but it worries me more in this because it is literally sinking into the deeper layers of my skin. ¬†you know? ¬†so basically i am going to look for something better, but won’t be terribly worried if i go back to this.¬†¬†verdict: may repurchase in the future, great price point, great product,¬†pretty good ingredients.

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talkin’ trash 01

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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it’s not you, it’s me

january picks

long-winded this month – my apologies!

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beauty 

shea moisture coconut & hibiscus range // ¬†i’m really not loyal to any body wash – really¬†they’re all pretty much the same in my opinion. ¬†but somehow this one has become a strong favorite and this is actually the third bottle that i have purchased in a row. ¬†that’s unprecedented! ¬†the smell of this is soooooooo tropical and uplifting and the product itself doesn’t make me feel dry or squeaky the way regular soap does. ¬†i’m not sure about the firming and toning properties – pretty sure only exercise can do that! – but it doesn’t hurt to try. ¬†when i picked up this last bottle there was a buy one get one half off¬†promotion happening at my walgreen’s so i picked up the matching body butter as well. ¬†same amazing smell and it’s really nice and thick, but soaks in immediately. ¬†i put it on after i’ve toweled off but while my skin is still relatively damp and warm. ¬†loving this range! ¬†overall i really like this brand – it’s natural, organic, fair trade, cruelty-free, and sustainably produced. ¬†i have a lip balm from them (mentioned here) and just picked up a shampoo and conditioner set, which i’m sure will be in next month’s picks.

glossier coconut balm dotcom // i loved this over the summer and i’m loving it again. ¬†the scent is incredibly uplifting and it’s just a really nice product. ¬†i like to really pile it up on my lips at night and then in the morning they are totally hydrated and plump. ¬†i prefer this to the original – even though coconut isn’t actually an ingredient i feel like the texture is more coconut-y and more hydrating.

hylamide low-molecular ha serum // i’ve been wanting to get into serums for a while, but didn’t really know where to start. ¬†when the glossier supers arrived, i was so excited and picked up all 3 almost immediately. ¬†i thought it would be a great intro into the serum world, but i was left really disappointed. ¬†i’ve read so many good reviews about the supers, but didn’t see any benefits from any of them. ¬†so after more research, i knew that i really wanted to get a hyaluronic acid serum, and found this one from hylamide. ¬†basically, the hyaluronic acid that is found in our bodies and that is in many skincare items contains molecules that are too large for our skin to absorb. ¬†so the serum or lotion or whatever simply sits on top of our skin, so all the benefits disappear when we wash our faces. ¬†the ha serum from hylamide contains 5 different variations of hyaluronic acid that contain smaller molecules, so our skin is able to absorb these and really get the benefits that that hyaluronic acid provides. ¬†i have definitely seen a moisture difference in my skin after a few weeks of twice daily use, and i look forward to seeing the longer term benefits that this serum promotes. ¬†oh and wait! ¬†i forgot to mention this serum is only $20 and is available at most drugstores. ¬†for a serum, that is a total steal. ¬†deciem, the company that produces hylamide products, is a pretty cool skincare brand that also produces the ordinaries serums, which you might have seen floating around instagram. ¬†those sit at an even lower price point and sound pretty appealing as well.

pacifica nail polish in desert princess // pacifica is quickly becoming one of my favorite brands. ¬†i was on the hunt for a mauvey pink nail polish that wasn’t too grandma-ish and stumbled upon this shade while at whole foods one day. ¬†it’s exactly what i was looking for and shows up nicely on my fair, cool-toned skin. ¬†i like that¬†it feels like a neutral shade, as opposed to a bright pink which honestly i don’t like. ¬†the formula is great and the applicator is even better. ¬†plus that name! ¬†who could resist!

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entertainment

selected writings, truman capote //¬†i found this at south congress books in austin and it took me a split second to decide to buy it. ¬†it’s a first edition from 1962 and contains a ton of stories that i haven’t read and don’t have in my collection. ¬†capote is one of my favorite authors and this is something i will cherish all my life.

a gentleman in moscow, amor towles // talk about favorite authors Рamor towles is absolute amazing!  i read rules of civility first, and then my mom actually forced me to read a gentleman in moscow.  the dialogue is witty, the characters are robust, the environment is palpable, and the plot is unlike anything on the market these days.  i will say it goes on a little longer than necessary, but overall i highly recommend.

leather bookmark // going along with my book favorites this month has been the gorgeous green leather bookmark my sister got me for my birthday. ¬†i don’t own any other bookmarks and i feel so fancy having such a beautiful one! ¬†it’s great especially for my vintage books in which i don’t want to fold down the pages. ¬†it also serves a beautiful reminder of my amazing trip to austin. ¬†thanks lyssie ūüôā

american housewife // my sister introduced me to this show and i have since watched very single episode (basically in one day). ¬†this show couldn’t be funnier or cuter. ¬†it’s a breath of fresh air, so carefree, and so wholesome. ¬†it’s still in the first season so it won’t take you too long to get up to date! ¬†go watch!

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etc. 

madewell succulent earrings & other dangly earrings // ok i had no idea these were called the succulent earrings until i just looked online to get a link for you all (i bought them in store)!!! ¬†could there be anything more perfect for me?! ¬†my sister bought the blue pair for me probably 6 years ago and i am just now feeling like i can wear something so big daily – it’s pretty fun actually.

paring back // my parents are moving out of my childhood home (don’t even get me started…) and as a result we have been going through every single thing we own before the move. ¬†it’s been fun, sad, and extremely cathartic to go through all of my belongings and get rid of those that don’t benefit me anymore. ¬†clothes, books, paraphernalia from grade school…not to sound like marie kondo (i think the fact that she has made so much money off telling people to get rid of things that don’t make them¬†happy – hello duh – is total lunacy…don’t get me started on that either!), but it feels pretty great to not be weighed down by things that¬†i just don’t want in my life anymore.

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january picks

winter lips: how to prevent them from falling off your face

4 of my winter best friends for preventing and treating chapped, sore lips…
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korres lip butter in jasmine // this is a recent purchase but i already bought another one to keep in my purse. ¬†the korres lip butters are a cult item because they are such nice lip balms, but also the colors are so beautiful. ¬†jasmine looks quite peachy in the pot, but leaves a milky pink sheen on the lips. ¬†i like it when my lips look a little lighter than they usually do, so this is perfect. ¬†it’s lip balm, but it makes me feel like i have a little bit of something on my lips.

shea moisture coconut & shea butter lip balm // i picked this up at target because it was right by the checkout and looked really cute – full disclosure. ¬†and i actually love it because it is a balm but shows up quite glossy on the lips. ¬†it lasts for a long time and imparts a nice amount of moisture. ¬†and yes, it’s really cute!

nuxe reve de miel // i’ve had this one since last winter and am still making my way to the bottom of the pot! ¬†this is a love-it-or-hate-it item for a lot of people, but i’m on the love side. ¬†i like that it exfoliates while adding a sort of hydration mask to your lips. ¬†it shows up matte so i wear this during the day or at night, but mostly at night since i like to really layer it up. ¬†after my trip to london my lips were intolerably chapped and no amount of blistex could save them. ¬†unsurprisingly this helped over night, and i think it is because it both exfoliated and healed, and so that just reiterated my love and faith in this product.

glossier coconut balm dotcom // i got the coconut version of the cult balm dotcom last spring and enjoyed it, but it has really become a staple¬†over the past 2-3 months. ¬†like the nuxe, i really slap this on at night and let it soak in, but i like to apply it lightly during the day as well. ¬†i do feel that¬†the coconut is more moisturizing than the original and it has a little bit of a meltier consistency, like coconut oil does. ¬†i’m pretty sure these qualities¬†are¬†in my head as there aren’t any actual coconut ingredients in the formula, but it really does feel different!

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winter lips: how to prevent them from falling off your face

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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my images, please credit if taking.

december picks //