leaving on a jet plane (or two)

yes that’s right, i’m on the road again!  this time for an actual vacation.  i’m heading out east to spend 2 whole weeks with my family and friends and i couldn’t be more excited.  it’s been a pretty great summer full of new life and new challenges, but man am i ready for a tan, a laugh, and a dip in the ocean.  anyways, you know i love a travel bag post, so here’s what i’m taking with me for a few weeks away…bb travel again1.jpgskincare // 

first aid beauty cleanser // glossier priming moisturizer

hylamide low molecular ha serum // indie lee squalane oil

mad hippie eye cream // weleda skin food

farmacy green screen // suntegrity 5-in-1 in light

aczone acne topical // feeling beautiful mint and lemon mask (in travel pot)bb travel again2.jpgbb travel again4.jpgmakeup //

nars creamy concealer in vanilla // rms living luminizer

hourglass bronzer in diffused bronze light // eminence chai berry illuminator blush

rms eye polish in myth // rms swift shadow in tt-73

jane iredale matte palette // bare minerals mascara

kosas lipstick in stardust // 100 percent pure lipstick in prickly pear

bite beauty lip gloss in rambutan // vaseline rosy lips

mac 239 // mac 217

surratt eyelash curlers // eye spoolie

it cosmetics ball powder brushbb travel again3.jpgbb travel again5.jpgthe extras //

le labo santal 33 perfume

herbivore botanicals sea mist salt spray (hair)

schmidt’s rose and vanilla deoderantbb travel again6.jpg

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leaving on a jet plane (or two)

buyer’s remorse

sometimes thing’s just don’t work out.  in honor of that, i’m sharing some products that just aren’t working for me and that i’m truly sad i spent my dollars on.  interestingly enough, these are all products that took a lot of deliberation to actually buy – so not impulse buys in the least.  bb buyer's remorse1.jpgmarc jacobs coconut primer // i was soooo excited to buy this.  i had gone through 2 samples from sephora, but for some reason since i bought it i’ve had no interest in it. i’m not particularly worried about how long my makeup lasts since i wear such a minimal amount, so maybe that’s why i’m not overly fussed about wearing a primer.  plus my skin is pretty balanced in the spring and summer so i don’t need that extra boost of hydration.  and to be quite honest, i think i prefer the too faced hangover primer that this is comparable to.  whatever the case, i wish i didn’t buy this uber expensive product!  it’s beautiful but…nah.

gressa lip boost in bare // uuuhghghghghgh.  i’m so upset with this product.  i read reviews that the gressa lip boosts are drying but no one said that they are DRY.  like, can barely get this on my finger dry.  the color is gorgeous but i can only get this on if i leave it in my car in the sun for a while, and that just isn’t good.  i’ve tried it over balm and with a brush and all that and it’s just absurdly, weirdly dry.  after looking back at pictures, it looks like for other people this is a softer, almost creamy formula.  what?!  psh.

mac blush in dame // ok similarly to the gressa lip boost, this mac blush is just super weird.  every time i go to use it it has somehow sealed up, so i always have to scrape the top off.  it’s a great blush and color when i can get it to work, but it really is a pain.  again, nah.

nars multiple in hot sand // ANOTHER product that seals up.  why is that?  this just doesn’t impart and color on my skin whatsoever.  some shimmer but that’s it.  and i’ve applied it straight to my skin, with my fingers, etc.  i even cut the top of it off to reveal the product below, which worked for one use and then it sealed again.  since i did that i haven’t applied it straight to my skin, so i can’t imagine why this is not functioning properly.  it’s such a gorgeous product and color and i’m so so sad that it’s a dud.

mac lipstick in creme d’nude // i mentioned a while ago that i got trapped into buying some mac products, and this is the other product i bought that day.  i’ve been looking for a sheer lipstick to somewhat lighten my lips (kind of the way the korres lip butter in jasmine does but in more out-for-the-day-friendly packaging).  i liked this in the mac store, but now when i apply it it just makes my lips look so dry and textured.  it’s not actually the color that bothers me – i just pat on a little – but it makes my lips look gross no matter the prep beforehand.  ugh mac.  why.

tell me, what products give you buyer’s remorse?  don’t leave me alone here…

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buyer’s remorse

backpack beauty

as a student again, i find myself in class, at the library, or at a coffee shop studying and working pretty much every day.  and this requires some supplies, right?bb backpack beauty.jpgthe essentials:

wallet // my 21st birthday present

sunglasses // my sister gave me these, no clue as to details!

keys on a baggu strap

jao natural hand sanitizer

schmidt’s deoderant in rose + vanilla // if you’re looking for a natural deo, try this!  they have it at tj maxx for cheap

eye brow spoolie

sephora mirror // glossier & milk makeup stickers cause i’m 12

mini nars concealer in vanilla

alima pure pressed foundation in macadamia

osmia lip doctor

bite beauty multistick in mascarpone // a soft sunburned look on the cheeks and a hint of color on the lips

pacifica lip tint in vanilla hibiscus // a super hydrating light pink

various hair clips
bb purse products1.jpgwhat are your daily essentials?

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backpack beauty

new from nars: liquid blush

when i saw the new orgasm liquid blush on nars’ instagram, you best believe i immediately bought it.  i have never actually tried nars orgasm, but i know that it’s the perfect peachy pink blush for every person who wears it.  so when i saw this new formula, i was sold.  i love cream blushes and haven’t experienced many liquid ones, but if someone’s going to do it right it’s nars.bb nars orgasm liquid blush1.jpgnow this is a bit shimmery which takes some getting used to, but the formula, pigmentation, and color are all gorgeous.  i also don’t find the shimmer to be as noticeable on the cheeks throughout the day as i expected it to be.  this formula is unique to me because it completely dries on the cheeks, so it doesn’t leave any sheen or dew besides what the shimmer provides.  though i usually like my cream/liquid products to remain dewy, this is a nice feature for oily skinned people and for using this in the summer.  i’m a face sweater, very unfortunately, so it will be nice to know that this will stay put on my face all day even through heat and humidity.

you need just a little dot to get that perfect flush on the cheeks, and i have been using my fingers and then a small stippling blush to blend everything out completely.  the color gives that slightly-sunburned effect, especially when you take a little bit over the bridge of the nose.  i’m sure you could build this up for a more intense look but i’m all about subtle makeup, as you all know by now!  i have only worn this one or two times, but i am absolutely smitten and look forward to wearing this all summer long.  bb nars orgasm liquid blush2.jpg

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new from nars: liquid blush

cool with colourpop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

swatched on my hand they do not move

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

shadows are 2, cheek and lippie are 4 on ewg

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

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

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

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

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cool with colourpop

the concealer search

part of the fun of shopping, for me, is the search.  the search for the best product, the best price, the best shopping experience.  in fact, this is actually a defining characteristic of many millennials, research-backed buying vs impulse buying.  i learned this at a luncheon with refinery 29 while i was interning at elizabeth arden – how the methods of shopping of millennials effect retailers and how those retailers can persuade millennials to purchase in the moment or at least be a part of their research.  ok wooooah tangent, let’s get back to the point of this post.
bb bare minerals concealer review 1.jpgi have been on the hunt for a pot concealer that i could wear as a pseudo-foundation – basically something ultra creamy that i could use to even out my skin but wouldn’t look or feel like i had anything on.  i tried the w3ll people narcissist foundation stick first (obviously not a pot) and while i liked it a lot, the color match wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t exactly what i was looking for.  it’s nice for brightening my face, but i don’t find myself reaching for it on a daily basis.

my next thought was the rms “un” cover-up, which is really the exact product i want, but none of the colors work for me.  i’ve mentioned it a thousand times before, but my skin is very cool-toned, so the yellow-based shades of the “un” cover-up just do not work for me.  glossier’s stretch concealer seems to have a more pink-based range, but to be honest i’m not that drawn to that brand anymore.  i’m sooo tired of seeing all the marketing on every single instagram post that pops up on my feed and i’m just kind of over it, for now at least!  some of their products are still staples for me (milky jelly cleanser, moon mask, and coconut balm dotcom are constants) so yes that concealer looks like it would be pretty perfect, but i’m going to pass on it for now.

then, very excitingly, nars came out with their new soft matte concealers.  in pot form!  pot form of my favorite concealer! – so i thought.  but yes, as the name would suggest, these are more on the matte side.  i tested them out at sephora and they are truly beautiful and creamy, while finishing to a matte or at least satin-matte formula.  i just don’t think they would work on my drier skin and the coverage seems higher than what i’m looking for.

and finally, i remembered my old faithful – bare minerals.  i actually owned the bare minerals correcting concealer quite a few years ago now, but i never really knew what to do with it so i got rid of it.  i don’t typically wear concealer under my eyes and i wasn’t yet using any products like that on my face, so it went by the way side.  but while browsing ulta the other day, this little pot of magic came back to me.  bb bare minerals concealer review 2.jpgthis concealer is perfect for what i have been looking for.  it’s creamy, glowy, and stays put all day.  it can be sheered out for just a hint of coverage where needed, but is also perfect for spot concealing blemishes with a small brush.  the color – light 1 of course – is the ideal mix of cool and warm tones, so it works to brighten while also matching my skin perfectly (it’s described as a light neutral cool).  and truthfully, this does not budge.  i find my nars radiant creamy concealer shifts around throughout the day, but i napped in the bare minerals and it still didn’t reveal the huge pimple i have on my chin.  it doesn’t crease on my eyelids, nor under my eyes.  i don’t wear undereye concealer, but it’s nice to know that i can with this and it will look totally natural and not like some kim k triangle shit.  also, it will be really easy for me to get another shade to match my tan in the summer because the shades are divided between warm and cool tones (though i get tan, i’m still cool-toned) – something that has always been difficult for me.

and since i’m sure you were wondering, this little baby has some pretty great ingredients.  it scores a 2 on ewg, contains spf 20, and is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, gmo’s, and triclosan. i do wish it didn’t contain phenoxyethanol, but that is not a huge problem for me at the moment.  i also got the full coverage concealer brush which was one of the only brushes i ever owned throughout high school and most of college, and it really is a good one.  i used to use it in my bare minerals powder to cover up, but it’s a great match for the correcting concealer as well.  you can use the tip of it to pinpoint conceal, and use the rest for blending.bb bare minerals concealer review 4.jpgbb bare minerals concealer review 3.jpgmaybe it’s nostalgia, but i honestly love bare minerals and their products.  they are always beautiful, effective, and great quality.  some of my favorites are the original foundation, the flawless definition mascara (the only mascara i wore through high school and college – i’m dying to get a fresh tube since i haven’t used it in a couple years), and the lip glosses (they are discontinuing the marvelous moxie line but i have plans to get a couple of the gen nude buttercream glosses – they are stunning!).  what’s your tried and true favorite brand?

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the concealer search

makeup for a minimalist: this or that?

as i’ve slowly worked to transform my makeup bag from chemical-ridden to chemical-free, it’s been a fun challenge to find natural versions of my favorite items.  and truthfully, it hasn’t been that hard to do!  it really is amazing how many eco dupes there are for so-called conventional cosmetics.

below are the natural product replacements i’ve found for some of my favorite makeup items.  i won’t be getting rid of all of these dupes as i detail below, but some of them just have to go.bb eco dupes taupe eyeshadow.jpgburberry pale barley eye shadow (top) vs rms swift shadow tt-73 (bottom) // pale barley is probably one of the most hyped up eyeshadows in the beauty world.  it is a sheer taupe with a hint of shimmer that is perfect for every day wear.  the formula is beautiful, but truthfully i’ve always been disappointed in the lack of pigmentation.  i much prefer the rms shadow, which is a hair darker than pale barley and still sheer, but in a better way if that makes sense.  it is smooth, buildable, and long lasting and i’ve been wearing it every day since purchasing. bb eco dupes brown matte.jpgurban decay naked eye shadow (bottom) and mac wedge eye shadow (middle) vs jane iredale cappuccino eye shadow (top) // i’ve waxed lyrical about all of these shadows before and they basically are all the same.  i always have naked hanging around as it’s just that good, and i purchased wedge as a potential replacement when i smashed my previous cappuccino to smitherines.  i would say that naked is slightly warmer and more yellow, while wedge and cappuccino are equally cool and slightly stone colored. the price of jane iredale single shadows is $22 which really is expensive, especially compared to the $6 price of mac replacement shadows, but i know it’s worth it.  this palette is especially great (also a potential dupe for the urban decay naked basics palette?), even though the price was steep (~ $50).  it’s worth it to me to spend money on more natural options, so cappuccino is the winner here for sure.bb eco dupes cream eyeshadow.jpgmac painterly paint pot (top) vs gressa neve eye tint (bottom) // now these shadows are clearly not the same, but i find the effect to be nearly identical.  i love painterly, really it’s my favorite mac eye shadow, and the fact that it neutralizes and brightens my lids in one swipe of creamy goodness.  the gressa shadow works in a similar way for me because of my super fair skin, but i think on darker skin types it might appear too white.  i am going to keep painterly around, but i like that neve offers a similar, if brighter, effect.  plus the gressa eye tint formula is stunning – there is so much pigmentation in one tap of the product, and it’s a cream to powder that stays put all day with no creasing in sight.bb eco dupes cream blush.jpgclinique chubby stick for cheeks in ample apple (top) vs tata harper lip&cheek in very charming (bottom) // different application, almost identical colors.  i am a huge fan of cream blush, and these two are no exceptions.  i love the application of the chubby sticks, it really is so easy, but i like the formula of the tata harper offering slightly better.  it’s more hydrating while the clinique is slightly more sticky.bb eco dupes pink lips.jpgbobbi brown lip color in sandwash pink (top) vs bite beauty amuse bouche in meringue (bottom) // these are both little samples i got from sephora, but i think i can speak for the full sizes as well.  not only are these colors quite similar, but the formulas are as well.  both are creamy and hydrating, and offer a long lasting finish.  meringue is just a hint peachier, while sandwash pink has a touch more brown/plum.  bite fig is also similar, while erring on the pinker side of the spectrum.bb eco dupes brown lips.jpgnars velvet matte lip pencil in bahama (top) vs bite matte lip pencil in glace (bottom) // oh nars, why do your matte pencils have to be so gorgeous, but formulated with parabens?!?!?!  fortunately, these two colors are virtually identical.  they are both a gorgeous pinky brown, with fantastic staying power.  bite is slightly more hydrating, which is definitely a bonus.  goodbye nars, i love you.  (plus i got the bite stick as a 100 point perk at sephora, so it was free.  winner!)bb eco dupes red lips.jpgnars velvet matte lip pencil in dragon girl (top) vs mahalo red my lips (bottom) // dragon girl is my all time favorite nars pencil.  it’s a stunning pinky red that looks amazing patted into the lips.  fortunately mahalo’s offering has an identical color tone with that same blotted-in effect.  mahalo is a creamier finish but lasting power is, again, amazing and i like that it is slightly more sheer at first, meaning i waste less product compared to the nars, which i basically completely remove for a lighter look. bb eco dupes powder.jpgbare minerals original foundation in fairly medium (left) vs rms un-powder in 0-1 (right) // now i only have a sample size of the rms powder, but it’s too obvious of a dupe not to share.  i’m a big fan of mineral foundations, and both of these are no exception, with the bare minerals being my first introduction to the category.  now this is not to say that the bare minerals has super problematic ingredients, because it really doesn’t.  plus it has the perk of sun protection.  but for the purists, the rms is a great alternative.  this shade is slightly more yellow, but there is a much smaller color range than bare minerals.  i love these equally and will be keeping them both in my makeup bag.

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makeup for a minimalist: this or that?