Friday, January 30, 2015

Z Palettes

I posted yesterday about my makeup station redo.  One of the other things I did was to order a new Z Palette, with the intent of depotting some of my makeup that was in larger packaging.  I thought the Z Palette would help to declutter my area a bit by consolidating.  I ordered my Z Palette from Amazon.  This is what came with it.

Along with the actual palette, it also came with metal stickers precut into squares and circles.  This is handy if the eyeshadow or blush you depotted doesn't stick to the palette.  It also came with some pretty handy instructions on how to depot your makeup.  However, the instructions aren't all that clear.  After really struggling with a couple of items, I ended up looking to YouTube for help.  I ended up completely shattering and throwing away two blushes but I didn't love either one and they were only $1 each anyway.  I found this video, this video, and this video to be quite helpful.  I seriously wrangled this Avon quad (shown below) before I was able to get it out.  I did quite a bit of damage to the two matte shades but they are still usable.

My original plan was to have one Z Palette with blushes and one with shadows but now the blush one isn't so full since I broke those two blushes.  I might depot some other blushes to add to it but right now, I needed a break from depotting after the great Avon quad wrestling match.  Below I've listed what I currently have in each of the two Z Palettes I own.

Eyeshadows in Z Palette:
1: matte white (from Wet N Wild Pride palette)
2: shimmer white (from Wet N Wild Pride palette)
3: Wet N Wild single in Envy
4: matte blue (from Wet N Wild Pride palette)
5: Savvy Satin Shadow in Iced Peach
6: Savvy Satin Shadow in Burgundy
7, 8, 9, 10: Avon quad in Blushing Raisins
11: Ulta Eyeshadow Single in Molten
12: Ulta Eyeshadow Single in Amethyst
13: Ulta Eyeshadow Single in Gunmetal
14: Ulta Eyeshadow Single in Truffle
15: Ulta Eyeshadow Single in Calla Lily
16: Ulta Eyeshadow Single in Peacock
17: Ulta Eyeshadow Single in Silk
18: Ulta Eyeshadow Single in Sage
19: Ulta Eyeshadow Single in Sunburst
20: Mark Kay Mineral Eye Color in Amber Blaze
21, 22, 23, 24, 25: the only shades I used from the e.l.f. 32 Everyday Basics Palette

Blushes in Z Palette:
1: Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc Free Mineral Blush in Blushing Glow
2: Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc Free Mineral Blush in Natural Glow
3: Ulta Cheek Color in Afterglow
4: Ulta Cheek Color in Sweet Cheeks
5: Ulta Cheek Color in Sunkissed
6: Ulta Cheek Color in Infatuation

Do you have any tips for depotting makeup?  I found that on the Physician's Formula blushes, all I had to do was squirt a bit of rubbing alcohol along the sides and they popped right out but all the other things gave me a heck of a time!  Is melting the package the easiest way to get hard to depot items out?  I'd love any suggestions!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Makeup Station: Before & After

I mentioned a bunch of times how I gave my makeup station area a makeover.  It's still a work in progress as I use it and assess what is and isn't working for me but here are some before and after photos of the biggest changes I have made so far.

Here you can kind of get the general picture of what I'm working with.  I have a set of craft drawers on the far left and my small makeup desk in the center.

Finally, on the far right is an end table and a bookshelf that house some decorative items and some overflow.  Before I did any rearranging I dusted the entire area, which was just covered in makeup dust and was desperately in need of a cleaning.  Then the real work began!  Let's take a closer look at some of the changes.

First, I reorganized the set of colored drawers.  I donated or threw away a lot of items and also consolidated drawers.  I now have four entire drawers that are completely empty so I've got some room to grow if I want or I could rearrange again later if what I've done isn't work out for me.  I also got rid of the acrylic organizer behind the tissues.  It was actually cracked in four different places and just wasn't the best use of the space.  All the items in it ended up so far away that I had trouble reaching them and therefore they were getting neglected.  The biggest change you see is that I've replaced that organizer with a simple bag that houses the makeup I've selected to use for the week.  I like that it has handles because I can just grab it and take out or put in whatever I need.

This turn table is right in the easiest to access part of my makeup station.  Yet the majority of the stuff that was originally on it was stuff I never used or empty containers.  What was I thinking!  When I redid it, I put all the items I use the most within easy access.  Face and eye brushes I use daily, Q-tips, my skin care items, bobby pins, pencil sharpeners, and my favorite lip products, which are currently tinted lip balms.  I ended up raiding other rooms of my house or other parts of my makeup station for containers and I didn't have to spend a dime!

The biggest changes I made to the right side of my makeup station were just rearranging some things.  I moved the earring stand somewhere else in my room because I never wear those earrings.  I also moved the lamp so it's out of the way but still gives me the extra light I need.  I moved the two storage boxes that I never use and instead put my palettes in view and within reach as well as my perfumes.  I also left space for my tablet to sit on my makeup station so I can watch YouTube videos as I get ready.  It's really convenient when I'm trying to follow a tutorial or just to listen to some music while I get ready.  Also, I have my new clock and new acrylic makeup tote.  That tote (on the desk shelf under my tablet) holds all the items I plan to wear for that day.

Here you can see how much more convenient the new location for my tablet is.  Also, the striped box is what I used to use to hold my weekly makeup items that I would pick out.  I like that my new bag has so much more space so I can pick out more items to try to use.  And it allows me to open my two sets of drawers much more easily now.  The drawers hold the majority of my eyeshadows (anything that isn't a palette).  That bottom pull out door of the desk holds extra items like small makeup bags and extra products like dry shampoo, hairspray, and some bath stuff.

When I'm sitting in my makeup chair, this little end table is to my immediate right.  I have a little CD player and radio for emergencies (tropical storms/hurricanes) on the bottom shelf.  It can run on batteries or be plugged in.  Above it in the drawers, I store my blushes, highlighters, and bronzers.  On top of the drawers (on the spice rack) I used to hold a bunch of bronzing items that I never used and then my skin care items.  I got rid of all the bronzers I don't use (most of them were expired) and moved my larger palettes so they are more easily accessible and easier to see.  And obviously, the moisturizers are now on my turn table.

On the top shelf here, you see I moved the palette rack and also put all the DVDs back downstairs where they belong.  Funny how things migrate in my house!  And those decorative boxes that were just taking up space before on my makeup desk are now a lovely sight instead of a pain in the butt.  On the second shelf, I peeled off all the labels, which were falling off already.  I tossed or moved a bunch of stuff on this shelf because I actually store stuff I use behind the drawers and also behind my makeup sign.  And in the top of the one set of drawers I put some samples that I usually keep for traveling.  My Smashbox Click You're It palette isn't buried anymore!  I moved the basket that used to hold my daily makeup back behind my inner beauty sign and it's holding some nail stamping plates and some boxes.

On this third shelf, the only real changes I made were to move or toss the clutter to the right of my polishes.  Instead, I just left my book box for decoration.  Now I can actually see and enjoy it!

Those are the changes I've made for now!  As I said, I'm still tweaking a few things and trying to find exactly what will work for me.  If you have any suggestions for ways that you store makeup, I would love to hear them!  My main goal was just to get the things I use everyday within reach and to declutter my space.  It's not perfect but it's working a lot better than before.  If there are any items you would like more details on, just leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Haul Week: Amazon

Oh, I love Amazon!  We recently purchased Amazon Prime, using our Bing Rewards that we've been saving up for about the last sixth months.  And Prime was on sale so we only had to spend $3.35 out of pocket.  I made up for the money we saved by buying some fun stuff!

1. Leopard print Z Palette - In my makeup station redo, I decided there were quite a few items I wanted to depot so I could save some space in my makeup storage.  I'll have a post coming up on what I depotted soon.

2. Coastal Scents Revealed Palette and 3. Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette - Back when the original Naked palette first came out, I had tried to find a lower cost alternative but was never happy with any of the palettes I purchased.  However, I heard good things about these palettes from Coastal Scents and while I've only used the first palette a few times, I've been very pleased.  If you are like me and never got on the Urban Decay bandwagon, these might be a great alternative.  I was happy to see that you can order them from Amazon for the same price as on Coastal Scents.

4. e.l.f. Daily Moisture Stick - I had wanted this for my dry skin around my under eye area but my Target didn't carry it and I didn't want to make a full order from  Amazon had this for $5.99, one cent less than elf's website.  However, a lot of times elf products on Amazon are actually more expensive than on their website so you have to be careful.

I also have a couple of items still on the way from Amazon that I ordered for my makeup station 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Haul Week: Target #2

I said it in my Target haul post earlier this week but seriously... I stopped in this day for one thing.  That was the Caboodles Sassy Tapered Tote [exact, in a different pattern].  I was a little disappointed that the only pattern they had was this animal print, but I probably won't even notice it after awhile.  I also needed a new bath puff and liked how big and fluffy the EcoTools EcoNet Recycled Bath Sponge was.  I've never tried this type before but I find the more fluffy puffs seem to lather more for me.  I was looking for something else in the skin care aisle when I saw this CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30.  The daytime moisturizer I currently use is only SPF 15 so I wanted to see if this would work for me.  Since I live in Florida, I can use all the SPF I can get.  On a total whim, I picked up the NYC Big Bold Volume By The Lash Mascara.  I'm hoping it makes my lashes as thick and full as the tube!  For under three dollars, I figured it wasn't a big deal if I didn't like the mascara.  It's a large rubber brush similar to Cover Girl's Lash Blast, which I usually don't like but we'll see.  Then I caved and bought the Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch, since I'm liking the other Baby Lips products so much.  I'm kind of not loving the way this color comes off on my lips though.  Further testing is needed before I'm sure though.  I also picked up a travel size of the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.  Sooo I actually thought this was the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion.  I have the full size of the lotion and while it does feel quite greasy, it's just the best at moisturizing and it's gentle enough to use on your any part of your body, from your feet to your undereye area.  So I actually just emptied the face wash into my big pump bottle (I use the skin cleanser too) and just pumped some lotion into the mini bottle.  Problem solved and no product wasted.  Finally, I picked up a sweater... in the little boys' department.  Because I'm a miniature human.  Seriously though, when I was home over Christmas break I wanted a hooded sweatshirt where the torso and sleeves wouldn't be ridiculously long on me, since I'm only four feet eleven inches tall.  My mom suggested shopping in the little boys' department and now I'm sort of loving checking it out whenever I get a chance.  I was looking for what I'm calling a "sweatshirt sweater": a knit sweater that fits me a little baggier through the torso like a sweatshirt with no frills.  This is going to be perfect for Monday mornings.  And this Cherokee Boys Sweater in Charcoal was on clearance for $10.48.  I think I need to shop in the boys' section more often!

I have one more haul that I'll be posting but I'm not sure when because I'm still waiting for a few items to arrive from  Don't forget to stop back again soon and see my makeup area redo posts!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Haul: CVS extrabucks

CVS lured me in with the draw of some extrabucks.  I had a coupon and wanted to pick up some hair stuff.  I recently got about two inches cut off of my hair and I'm experimenting with some new ways to style it.  And of course, I couldn't resist some makeup items too.

Scunci No Slip Grip Hair Clips - These hold well in my fine hair.  They are a nice alternative to a ponytail.
Nexus Mousse Plus Foam - I just wanted to try a different volumizing product but I swear I can't tell the difference from pricier ones to the cheap ones.  This travel size is a nice way to experiment without the commitment.
John Frieda Frizz Ease 100% Shine Glossing Mist - My hair has been looking dead and dry lately so I picked this up on clearance thinking if it didn't work out, I was only out a couple of bucks.  Turns out my hair looked dry because it was dry, which lead to my two inch chop.  However, I'm kind of loving the length right now.  Not too long and not too short and it takes less time to dry.
NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Creamy Mauve - Two dollar lipstick in a wearable shade?  Yeah, I'll try that!
NYC Big Bold Angel Lash Mascara - After years of faithful use of Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara, I'm sorting of wanting to stray.  This is one of a few inexpensive mascaras I've picked up lately to experiment with.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekly Makeup Bag

Let's take a look at what I've got in my makeup bag to use this week!  I have products for eyes, lips, and face.  Some of these are new items that have been in hauls the past week or will be featured in a haul post later this week.  Some of these are products I've had but haven't used for ages.

Coastal Scents Revealed Palette - This palette is an all neutral shadow palette.  I actually ordered mine on Amazon for under twenty dollars.  I've only used it twice but I'm amazed at how incredibly pigmented the shadows are and I'm also pleased that there are several matte shades as well that are also really smooth and easy to blend.
Nyx Slide On, Glide On, Stay On Eyeliner in Brown Perfection - I've finally found an eyeliner that I like better than this one so I'm trying to use it up.  It won't take long because it's an extremely soft pencil liner and every time I sharpen it, it seems like it shrinks half an inch.  We'll see how long it takes.

e.l.f. Lipstick in Classy - I've had this for ages but never wear it.  I've been on the hunt for a rose lipstick and realized I should shop my stash too.  Who knew I already had a perfect one?
Essence Lipstick in Coralize Me! - This is actually a very wearable coral/peach lip shade, as it's slightly on the shear side.  Another one I haven't worn in ages.
Nyx Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Nude Peach - I thought this would top of Coralize Me nicely and add some shine.
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie - I've been really digging the tinted lip balms lately so I thought I would give this a try again.
NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Creamy Mauve - This is something new and I think it might have been limited edition.  It was labeled on the wrapper as a Satin Matte and it was in a separate display at CVS from the rest of the NYC line.
Nyx Round Lipstick in Tea Rose - This lipstick has been raved about for ages and I've literally been trying to buy it for years but it was always sold out at Ulta or even now at CVS.  I finally found it in stock at my Target and I see why so many people like it!  It's not too different from my natural lip tone but just adds a little life to the face without looking too done up.
Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach Kiss - I'm so hooked on these Baby Lips balms but I think this one was the most disappointing.  I haven't worn it on the lips just yet but when I swatch it, there's barely any color at all.

Bronzers & Highlighters
NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny - This is a perfect contouring shade for me.  I hit pan on it ages ago but it never seems to get used up past that.  I'm going to make an effort to put a dent in it.
Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Bronzer in Light - This is another bronzer that I've hit pan on ages ago.  I use this one all over my face to warm up my complexion.
Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Hula Hula - This is another bronzer I use all over my face.  It has more of a satin finish so I don't love it when I have blemishes but my skin is looking pretty good at the moment.
Hard Candy Blush Crush Baked Blush in Honeymoon - I use this as a highlight.  It's shimmery and adds a nice glow.
e.l.f. Studio Blush in Gotta Glow - Although this is labeled as a blush, it's really a highlight.  It's a golden shimmery powder, very similar to Too Faced Candlelight.  I have both and they give the same effect, though I do find the quality of the elf to be a little more chalky in the pan.  On the face, I can't tell the difference.

Nyx Rouge Cream Blush in Glow - I never used this blush much until I got the e.l.f. small stipple brush.  It applies so much easier now and I love the natural flush it gives.
Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in True Peach - If you couldn't tell, this is a loved blush.  I've hit pan but actually stopped using it because I don't won't to run out of it!  I had to remind myself that I could always get another peach blush but this one is just so flattering and is satin and not shimmery.
Physician's Formula 100% Natural Origin 2-in-1 Bronzer & Blush in Light Bronzer/Pink Rose - I thought this rosey blush would look great with the e.l.f. Classy lipstick I picked out.
Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in Soft Sable - This was one of the first blush shades I ever remember owning, back in early high school or late junior high.  I picked it out for nostalgic purposes this week.
Mary Kay Mineral Cheek Color in Citrus Bloom - This is a super pretty matte coral blush.  So fresh and pretty.

 This seems like a lot of products!  Now that I've reorganized my makeup area and have started watching YouTube beauty videos while I put on my makeup, I'm really enjoying doing it again.  It's something I look forward to now instead of just another chore.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Haul Week: Walmart

This haul is just a couple of things but it's still worth sharing.  First, I needed a new clock for my makeup area.  My old one was cracked on a corner where I had dropped it and it also was not keeping time well.  Like it would lose five to ten minutes a week.  Not good when that's the clock I look at to get ready for work.  I found this Pink LCD Cube Alarm Clock at Walmart [exact] to replace my old one.  It also comes in blue, green, or purple and runs on 2 AA batteries so it's easy to replace if the time starts running slow.  I also picked up this Blistex Lip Vibrance.  It's like a slightly shimmery berry tinted lip balm that was only $2.44 for a two pack.  I had been looking for this everywhere and Walmart was the only place I found it.  Finally I got the Equate Beauty 2-in-1 Daily Facial Cloths, which I needed to stock up on.  These are way cheaper for more product than the Olay kind and they work just as well for me so when I'm at Walmart (which isn't all that often), I try to stock up.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Haul Week: CVS

That's right, it's another tinted lip balm!  LOL.  Seriously I love these.  I find this Maybelline Baby Lips Dr Rescue in Berry Soft to be a little drier than the regular Baby Lips line but I really like the color.  It's like my natural lips stepped up just a bit.  I also picked up Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Flat Iron Perfector.  I needed a heat protectant that was not as heavy as the John Frieda Straight Fixation.  I just find that I'm getting a lot of split ends lately but when I use more product, it weighs down my fine hair and actually makes it look like I haven't even washed it.  I find the spray is easier to apply the amount you want, right where you want it.  And last, I had to pick up this Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Gray.  You might recall that last week I picked up one of the matte satin shades from this line in Bella Taupe.  To be perfectly honest, I just had to have this one because we call my one cat Bella the Gray all the time and it was just too perfect.  I like the shade overall but I really wish it was a true matte/satin.  It definitely has some sparkle to it and I really can't see how they are calling it a matte satin at all.  Yet it's still pretty wearable and the quality of the shadow is great, just not exactly the shade I was expecting.

Again, don't forget to stop back tomorrow for another haul!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Haul Week: Target Trip #1

Welcome to day 2 of haul week!  I tell you, Target is so dangerous.  I go in for two things and come out with a handful.  First, I bought some replacements of two Maybelline items I know I like already: Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara in Glam Black and Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Espresso.  Next I bought two products I actually went to Target to look for: e.l.f. Studio Lip Exfoliator and e.l.f. Studio Flawless Concealer Brush.  And last, I was looking for Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch but I decided on these two shades instead since they were on clearance.  The shades are Maybelline Baby Lips in Melon Mania and Maybelline Baby Lips in Coral Crush.  I guess these were limited edition shades earlier this year.  They were marked at $2.44 but they rang up as only $1.74 each!  Score!  I have several shades now of these Baby Lips tinted lip balms and I see why people are so crazy about them!  They feel great on the lips and give off the perfect amount of color.

It's been a really long time since I bought any lip products and I'm really loving these tinted lip balms right now.  Come back tomorrow to see what other things I hauled!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Haul Week: Marshalls

My week of hauls starts at Marshalls.  I was actually not looking for anything in particular but I figured I'd stroll around the cosmetics section while Brian was busy looking in the shoes.  I found this really neat acrylic makeup caddy [similar] for only $12.99.  Considering these things are usually twenty dollars or more, I knew it was a great deal.  I thought it would be perfect to fit the products I plan to use that day in.  It turned out to be the perfect size and shape.  And I couldn't help picking up a couple of other items that were just a great price.  I got an e.l.f. Studio Lip Balm in Nude [exact] for $2.39, normally $3 and an e.l.f. Studio HD Blush in Diva [exact] for $2.69, normally $3 as well.  And last I picked up a random tinted lip balm that I've never heard of before because it was on clearance for $2.  It's Pacifica Color Quench Natural Moisture Lip Tint in Guava Berry [exact].  I'm really enjoying tinted lip balms right now.  Normally I'm a Carmex only girl because my lips get really dry but I find that tinted lip balms give me a bit of color with lots more moisture than most lipsticks.  And I don't need a mirror to reapply them while I'm teaching... because I definitely don't have time for that during a typical work day.

So that's what I picked up at Marshalls!  Come back tomorrow for another haul!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekly Makeup Bag

Wow, I've been so busy this weekend!  I had a long weekend and I really wanted to be productive.  Last week I realized I've been in a big makeup rut lately.  I haven't really been taking time for myself or even enjoying putting on makeup so I took some time to analyze in my mind why that is and then put together a little action plan of how to get out of that rut and enjoy getting ready for my day again.  One of the things I did was to completely reorganize and clean my makeup area, including purchasing a couple of items to help me accomplish that goal.  I'm really happy with the way everything turned out and I'm going to be working on some posts showing you before and after pictures and giving some ideas, which will probably be going up next week.  This week will be a week of hauls, including some products that are breathing new life into my makeup routine and a couple of inexpensive storage ideas too.  This bag is going to become part of my new routine.  I'll show the bag in more detail later but for now just know that I plan to load it up at the beginning of each week with products to use.  It's just easier for me when my choices are narrowed down a bit and then each night I pick out the items that I will use for the next day.  Here's what's in the bag for this week.

Too Faced Pixie Pin-Ups Palette
Rue Beaté Natural Eye Kit
NYC Big Bold Volume By The Lash Mascara
Maybelline Almond Truffles Trio
Wet N Wild Sweet As Candy Trio

Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick in Fresh Papaya
Maybelline Baby Lips in Pink Punch
Blistex Lip Vibrance
e.l.f. Studio Lip Balm in Nude

e.l.f. Studio Blush in Blushing Rose
NYX Cream Blush in Glow
Physician's Formula Happy Booster Blush in Natural
Wet N Wild Ultimate Minerals Bronzer in Amber Glow (I wear it as a blush)
Hard Candy Baked Blush in Honeymoon (I wear it as a cheek highlight)

I'm really excited for my posts over the next two weeks!  Be sure to stop in and check them out!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On the Menu: Work Lunches

In an effort to eat healthier, I thought I would occasionally post a meal idea or two on the blog.  I know lots of my coworkers and I have been sharing healthy recipes (everyone is on that New Year healthy kick) and I thought this would be a great place to share some too.  I'm starting simple with what I typically pack in my lunches for work.  I've mentioned before that I tend to pack my lunches assembly line style all at once.  On Sunday, I chop and prep fruits and veggies and pack them into Tupperware.  I've gotten it down to about a 45 minute process, which might seem long, but it works for me because by the time I get home from work, I no longer care about healthy and wouldn't normally go to that kind of effort on a weekday.  When I do it on Sunday, they are all ready for the week and all I do is grab my water bottle, ice pack, and Tupperware and toss it all in my lunch bag.

On the menu for lunches this week:
1. carrot coins - I prefer to buy the full carrots and peel and chop them myself.  It's more work but we buy the big bag and it lasts for a few weeks.  And I swear they taste better this way.
2. grapes - Both green and red grapes, although you can't really see the green ones since they are under the red.  They are so easy to just wash and toss in lunches.
3. wrap - I vary what goes in here but it's usually pretty similar to what you see here.  I start with a slather of 1/3 fat veggie cream cheese, a few slices of pepperoni, salad mix or spinach, and sweet peppers.  Sometimes I'll change it up with some peeled carrots or grape tomatoes inside, depending on what looked good in the produce section that day.

Do you have any healthy lunch ideas to share?  I'd love to get some new ideas!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Palette Week

In an attempt to get some more wear out of the makeup I already own, I'll be doing a few fun self-imposed challenges over the next few weeks.  This week I decided to do a palette week.  I have several palettes, which are probably some of my most neglected products.  I just forget they are there because they are out of sight.  Maybe it's time to reorganize how my makeup is stored so things like this are more visible.  A post for another day, perhaps.

The palettes I picked out are:
1. Smashbox Click You're It
2. my Z Palette
3. Nyx Nude on Nude Palette
4. Coastal Scents 78 Eye Shadow & Blush Combo Palette
5. Coastal Scents 88 Metal Mania Palette

I don't necessarily plan on using one palette each day, but maybe mixing and matching.  Two of the palettes have blushes so I could go to a palette for my blush each day.  Also, the Nyx palette has some lip colors I could use.  It might also be nice to mix some of the shimmery colors in the Metal Mania palette with some of the mattes from the 78 palette or the Nyx.  I'm just going to try to have fun with it and see where it goes.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

In a Rut: Rethink Makeup

After watching this video from EmilyNoel83, I've come to the realization lately that I am in quite a makeup rut (life rut?).  For the past few months, I've been working a lot and then traveling and things like looking nice and eating healthy just got put to the back burner.  A new year is always a good time to try to rethink things so I've taken some of Emily's advice to get out of my rut.  One of the ways I plan to start is by rethinking some of my makeup.

I went through my stash and picked out a few items that could help me to fix problems I was having in the skincare and makeup department.

1. elf Studio SPF 45 Sunscreen UVA/UVB Protection - I've had this powder for far too long.  I never use it because it's way too dark and way too orange for me.  However, the current powder that I'm using to set my undereye concealer is way too powdery and is really settling in to fine lines in my currently dry skin.  I find the orange tone in this actually helps to correct my dark under eye circles without being noticeably orange.  I used a small container to depot it, since the original packaging is huge and awkward for what I'm using it for.  I was able to fit all the powder I had left into the small clear and blue container.

2. Cover Girl Aqua CG Smoothers Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 in Fair to Light - As I mentioned yesterday, my skin is so weirdly dry and tight right now.  I normally don't wear cream or powder foundation but I've had this tinted moisturizer kicking around and I figured the extra moisture could only help me right now and it would also provide me with a way to use up a product that was otherwise neglected.

3. Hard Candy Glow All the Way in Doll Face (sample size), 4. Nyx Rouge Cream Blush in Glow, and 5. e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush - I love the shade of this cream blush but I haven't used either the blush or highlighter in ages because I find them a bit difficult to apply and blend out well.  I purchased the small stipple brush at Target and it's the perfect way to apply these products.  And cream products are also nice to use when your skin is dry.

6. Essence of Beauty Crease Brush - I've been really disappointed lately with how muddy and sloppy my eye looks have been.  I've actually been taking the time and effort to wear a darker shade in my crease.  When I looked at this brush, it totally hit me that my crease shade wasn't looking good because the brushes I was using were too big for the shadows I had picked out.  Sometimes with a deeper crease shade, you just need more precision and this little guy is great for that.  It came in a set of two crease brushes and is the larger of the two.

Just these few little ideas have really helped me to be more excited to put on my makeup in the morning.  I even put some music on my tablet so I can listen to some songs while I get ready in the morning.  Music makes everything feel less like a chore.  What do you do to stay out of a rut?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Small Haul

This weekend I stopped by a few stores and picked up just a few new makeup items.  I tried not to go too crazy but I've found that lately my skin has been extremely dry and I needed some products more conducive to that texture.  Living in Florida for the last eight and a half years, I'm really not used to my skin being dry because it's normally so humid here.  It's been quite chilly and dry here lately so I guess that's what's causing it.  I also have a post tomorrow about how I'm rethinking some of the makeup that I have in order to accommodate my current dry skin and also to help get me out of the makeup rut I'm in.  So now that I've justified to myself why I bought these items, here's what I got.

Milani Eyeshadow Primer - My Nyx HD is running low and I wanted to find a good replacement at a fair price.  I did some research and found that this seemed to be a good drugstore alternative.
Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick in Fresh Papaya - I've been wanting a lip color that is not too loud and also very moisturizing, since my lips have been fairly dry too.  I like this but I'm not sure if I love it because there is quite a bit more shimmer than what I thought there would be.  Also, I was totally shocked when it rang up at nearly $10.  I should have checked that price tag first.  Who would have thought a drugstore lipstick would be ten bucks?  Outrageous to this cheap girl.
Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Taupe - This was a total impulse buy, brought on by the fact that I've been hunting for drugstore matte eyeshadows and the display actually defined this as "Satin Matte" finish.  Oh my goodness, I'm in love.  If I can get some decent pictures, I'd like to do a post with some swatches of my favorite neutral matte shadow singles but just know if you like that sort of thing, I think you would love this.  Easy to blend, pigmented, and beautiful.  I kind of want all of the neutral satin mattes in this line now!
Nyx Dark Circle Concealer in Light- My friend bought this when we were at Ulta last week and she said she loves it.  I found it to be very very similar to my Pixi Brightening Peach Correction Concentrate but a tad thinner and more emollient.  I'm really liking it right now because my eye area has been one of the really dry spots on my face lately and it's making fine lines look much more noticeable.  I find this formula a bit more forgiving on dry patches.
Nyx Nude Matte Shadow in Skinny Dip - Nothing nude about these shadows.  This is defined on Nyx's website as a matte violet, which might sound a little outrageous but I find it's really pretty and not too crazy when worn in the crease and blended out.  I wanted a matte that was something a little different and I'm really pleased with this.  This is another line of shadows that I would love to own all the neutral shades.
e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush - I actually bought this to use with a couple of cream based products that I already own.  I wasn't getting any use out of the products because they were too hard to blend but this brush really makes it easy.  It was a good solution for only $3!

So that's it!  I restrained myself a little because there are a few other things I need to research more before I take the plunge.  I've had my eye on some Maybelline Baby Lips products but I'm not sure what shade I want.  I also really thought the Coastal Scents Revealed and Revealed 2 Palettes looked really interesting but I need to watch some more reviews on those first.  And last, I need to find a pressed powder foundation that doesn't leave my skin looking so powdery and cakey when it's this dry.  Any suggestions would be welcome!  Thanks!

Friday, January 9, 2015


It's been awhile since I emptied my container of empties so it seemed the new year was a perfect time to start over.  I think this particular round of stuff is really telling of what products I reuse over and over.

Row 1: Hair Products
Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo x4
So Gorgeous Volumizing Root Mousse x2
John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Fixation

Row 2: Skincare Products
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
Olay Sensitive Skin SPF 15 Moisturizing Lotion
Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion
Bodycology Vanilla Sugar Body Cream
Carmex Soothing Lip Balm, Original x3

Row 3: Makeup Products
Physician's Formula Talc Free Mineral Face Powder in Translucent Light
Maybelline Colossal Volum' Express Mascara in Glam Black
Ulta Finishing Powder
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in Brown

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Current Favorites

I've got some quick current favorites to share with you today.  These are things I've found myself reaching for a lot over Christmas break for quick looks so I could get out the door and spend more time with my family.

1. Hard Candy Duo Baked Eyeshadow in High Maintenance - This is great for a look by itself.  I like to wear it two ways.  #1: wear the dark shade on the lid and blended into the crease and #2: wear the lighter shade all over the lid and put the darker shade on the outer 1/3 of the lid and also in the crease.  They blend easily the dark shade looks really nice with my green eyes.
2. Nyx shadow single in dark brown - This totally matte shade is such a workhorse in the crease for me.  It pretty much looks good with almost any other shade on the lid.
3. Physician's Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Mineral Face Powder in Translucent Light - As you can see, I've hit pan on this.  When I went to repurchase it at Ulta, they were sold out of my shade and the shade one darker.  I am so disappointed.  I picked up a different PF powder to try but I don't like it as much and I'm thinking about ordering this same one online just so I don't have to be without it since I can't seem to find my shade in any stores that carry PF around me.  (It is not discontinued so it's available on Ulta's website, PF's website and also Amazon.)
5. Avon Ideal Flawless Concealer Stick in Fair - I found this concealer to be very comparable to Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer but I actually prefer Avon's formula, which is a little less tacky to me and sticks to powder a bit less.  I'm running low on this and I'm seriously considering ordering some more through a lady at my work who sells Avon.  It's just so much less expensive than Benefit but it's a pain that I can't just buy it at a store.
6. Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in Nude - This is the perfect liner for the waterline to make you look like you got a full night's sleep when you didn't.  It glides on really smoothly, has no shimmer or sparkle and it's waterproof so it stays on pretty well.  This is fairly new to me so I can't guarantee it's awesomeness but so far I'm rather impressed and pleased.
7. Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Espresso - Oh my goodness.  Okay, so this one is also fairly new to me (maybe 3 weeks of use so far) but I am so in love.  I'm always looking for an everyday dark brown eyeliner and this has everything I want.  It's smudgeproof but easy to apply.  It's dark but not black.  It has no shimmer.  And I love that it doesn't come off on my lash curler.  Further use is needed to be sure, but since I bought it I haven't used any other liners.  I'm kind of curious about two other shades in this line, Cinnabar and Pewter.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hand Me Down

While I was back in Pennsylvania over break, I received a bag of a few hand me down items that my step-mother-in-law was going to donate.  A few things were given to me and a few I picked out.  I love hand me downs.  Who doesn't love free stuff?  If it doesn't fit, you can try altering it yourself of paying to have it altered.  Since your start cost was zero dollars, it's no big deal if you mess it up or have to pay a few bucks to make it perfect.  It's also a low risk way to try something new.  Here are the items I ended up with.

Top Row:
1. pink puffy vest - This guy is a little too big under the arms so I might try to take it in but I've never tried sewing fabric like that.  I'm a little nervous but again, no biggie if it doesn't work out.
2. light blue 100% cashmere sweater - That's right, a one hundred percent cashmere sweater!  I would never buy something so indulgent for myself so I'm pretty excited about this.  It's not a perfect fit (a little big in the shoulders and the sleeves are a little long) but ummm... it's free cashmere.  I'm definitely going to be wearing this.
3. red and white striped sweatshirt & 4. coordinating white sweatpants (with pockets!) - This actually fits me very well, as the sweatsuit is petite size.  I need to take up the length of the pants but that's an easy fix and then I'll have some free new loungewear!

Bottom Row:
1. red faux shearling lined puffy vest with detachable hood - Okay, not lying here... I love this.  But it's really big on me.  I'm really hoping it wouldn't be too hard to take it in at the sides so it would fit me but I think that's just a dream that may never come true.  *Sniff sniff.*
2. vintage Christmas sweater - This baby could go for tons online, LOL.  That's right, fuzzy reindeer and snowflakes, Christmas trees, tiny yellow pom poms.  This sweater will be reserved in a drawer just in case I should be invited to any ugly Christmas sweater parties in the future.  Did I mention it's incredibly itchy too?
3. pink turtleneck sweater - My husband described the color of this as "cotton candy barf".  Haha!  Not sure about this one but I haven't had a chance to wash it and try it on yet.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Shop, Don't Buy

Saturday a friend and I went out for some shopping and much needed girl time.  We were walking around in Ulta and I was strongly trying to resist the urge to buy all the things.  There were so many new and fun items just calling to me.  Then when I got home I spent the evening watching makeup videos on YouTube.  Bad idea when you're trying to save money!  So I decided that instead of buying a bunch of new stuff I don't need, I would shop through my stash of stuff I already own.  Turns out there's a lot of great stuff being neglected.  Here's what I picked out to use.

Row 1: bronzers/highlights
revlon color stay mineral finishing powder in brighten
nyc  smooth skin bronzing face powder in sunny
physician's formula healthy wear bronzer in fair

Row 2: blushes
hard candy blush crush baked blush in living doll (trial size)
elf studio blush in pink passion
maybelline  mineral power naturally luminous blush in original rose
physician's formula  organic wear blush and bronzer duo in light bronzer/soft ginger
nyc blush able creme stick in plaza pink

Row 3: eye shadows
black radiance eye appeal shadow collection in downtown browns
wet n wild ultimate expressions eye shadow palette in paradise cove
almay intense I - color powder  shadow in trio for greens

Row 4-5: lip products
rimmel lasting finish lipstick in airy fairy
revlon just bitten kissable balm stain in honey
nyc extreme lip glider lip gloss in carnegie melon

Monday, January 5, 2015

Joy in the Simple Things

This post is a little late for the new year, but I needed a few days to recoup and relax after my travels so better late than never.  I'm not not usually the kind of person who does the whole new years resolution deal.  I've tried it in the past and I never stick with it.  And I'm not really into that whole "new year, new me" thing either because I'm honestly pretty happy with the person that I am.  But it never hurts to reflect on life (especially when you have some time off from work) and how you're living it.  The conclusion I came to is simply that I want to do exactly what this graphic says.

Find joy in the simple things.

I find that a lot of times society seems to be pressuring us to lead these photo-ready, Instagram-worthy lives of partying and hanging out and going out and doing things and to be honest, I feel more like a Hobbit than a Barbie.  I just want to stay home and enjoy the simple moments.  In my opinion, Tolkien totally had it right.  "It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life."  So while every now and then it's fun to have an adventure worth writing about, most of the time I just want to stay home and drink a cup of coffee and snuggle my cats while Brian and I watch a movie.  And there's nothing wrong with that if those moments bring me joy.  So this year my only resolution is to remind myself that it's okay to find joy in the simple things.

And if beautiful graphics like the one above are also your thing, check out LostBumblebee.  This is not a sponsored post nor does she even know I exist but I just love her graphics.  They make great backgrounds for your computer, tablet or phone... and pretty things are one of the simple things that bring me joy.  :-D