Monday, June 12, 2017

2017 Makeup No Buy Update: April/May Temptations


Please overlook my lack of makeup updates as my mind has been preoccupied with hockey (Let's Go Pens! Back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions!). April was a complete and utter disaster in terms of sticking to my no-buy. I expected this to be one of the most challenging months of the year due to the Sephora spring sale along with 50% off through my freelancing. The good news? May was the easiest month so far. I cleared out my collection and gave my little cousin who is in high school a massive bag of perfectly good products that weren't getting the attention it deserved. It felt wonderful to narrow down my stash. I can honestly say that everything I currently have is something that I cherish and will make the effort to put into regular rotation. I still have a huge collection but it is much more pared down. I wouldn't exactly say it's well-edited but it's a fair downsize for a maximalist such as myself.

I am at the place in my collecting years where few products are tempting me. There really isn't much that strikes my fancy. In order for me to be attracted to something, it truly has to be unique or new to the market. Here are a few of the items that recently managed to catch my eye:

Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Treatment Lotion Mist, $22

This is technically a skincare product but with the heat and humidity finally swinging into my area, I'm all for spritzes of hydration. I love a good mist and think this is a nice one for prepping your makeup application. It's especially good for those who have to be up and out the door early.

Dose of Colors Baked Browns Eyeshadow Palette, $32

I don't own anything from this brand (I would be content in never buying another liquid lipstick, something it's known for, ever again) but this palette struck me as very well put together. The colors are definitely my type but therein lies the problem. I probably have several dupes already within my collection. I have yet to buy any eyeshadow palettes in 2017 and it's looking like that trend might make it all the way through the end of the year. I simply do not need anymore eyeshadow...especially warm tones. It's all I have. Drawers of browns, nudes and sepias. Enough is enough.

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer, $15

For the past few seasons, this has been the bronzer that everyone and their next-door neighbor hasn't stopped talking about. Physicians Formula is one of my favorite drugstore brands and I love the few bronzers I already have from them. I'm not sure that this one will be all that different but it has been on my list long enough. I'll probably add it to my collection sometime in the next year or so when I see it on sale. Physicians Formula produces good quality powders but it is rather expensive for the drugstore.

Etude House Glitter Pigment Eyeshadow, $10

I'm not really a glitter eyeshadow type of gal these days but it's nice to have a couple options for victory parades and celebratory things of that nature. You never know when a party or costume might call for a dash of sparkle. The packaging of this one was too cute to miss. It sold out before temptation got the best of me. If I make an order from Etude House before the close of the year and this item is still available, consider it snatched.

Gucci Nude Freesia Sheer Blushing Powder, $49

I adore the Gucci products that I have...extremely good quality and incredibly beautiful packaging. Unfortunately, the blush that I picked out online a few years ago, is way too deep for my complexion. A $50 blush is a commitment. If I can find someone to sell my original blush to, I might justify replacing it with a more neutral shade like this easy-to-wear color from their newest collection.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Honey Glam, $26

The Clarins lip oils are among my favorite products in my entire collection. I have all of the shades with the exception of a couple. I intend to add Honey Glam and Tangerine into my collection before the end of the year.

Items I recently 'shopped from my own stash':


Lancome Belle de Teint Bronzer in 01, $45

I was on the fence about purchasing this beauty but I'm so glad that I did. It's a gorgeous little palette that creates a very natural bronzed glow. The powder trio is very flattering on fair skin and the packaging is a delight to use.

MAC Eyeshadow, $16-$32

My MAC eyeshadows are some of the oldest products in my collection. Powders never go bad if they're kept sealed and in proper storage areas. I began adding MAC single and holiday eyeshadows to my collection long before the notion of palettes grew in popularity. It requires a bit more forethought to pair singles together but the quality of the shadows have definitely held up and stood the test of time.

Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation$28

I've wanted to use the Dior Airflash foundation for years but the lightest color is still a few shades too deep for my fair skin. Dior's version is far more expensive so I was thrilled to see that there was finally an affordable alternative on the market (and with a much wider color range!). Believe it or not, the lightest shade in the launch, the one that I purchased (Cream), might actually be a bit too light for me. That never happens! PS: I also recommend Sephora's mist blush.

NARS Highlighter in Albatross$30

This is one of the first highlighters I ever purchased. It's a bit loud and in your face but it sure is a beauty.

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Setting Powder, $35

I was happy to finish a couple deluxe sample compacts of this. I have dry skin but this is excellent for setting the under eyes or anywhere that might produce a bit of  shine in the heat and humidity. When my samples run out, I will definitely be purchasing the full size. Luckily for my wallet, a little goes a long way.

Now Playing: "Huntress" by Sv√§va

Monday, May 22, 2017

Music Monday: Chromatics

There's a lot to appreciate when it comes to the luscious sounds of Chromatics but what I like the most is what I simply classify as 'vibes'; a severely overused word but aptly concise. The energy that this music exudes is exactly what I look for when I'm lounging around the house or in the mood to kick back and decompress.

Chromatics is an electronic group from Portland. Their latest release is available now and can be purchased here.



Into the Black (Neil Young Cover)

I'm on Fire (Bruce Springsteen Cover)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Music Monday: Bonobo

I don't recall the first time I ever heard Bonobo's music but it's one of those instances when you're just grateful that it happened. Perhaps the aha moment came after watching the sweeping music video for Break Apart (featuring one of my favorite artists, Rhye). I was also blown away and officially hooked while watching Bonobo's live stream from Coachella.

Bonobo is Simon Green, a British musician, producer and DJ who is now based in Los Angeles. He has that ethereal ability to teleport your soul to another dimension. His latest album, Migration, was released earlier this year and can be purchased here.

Break Apart ft. Rhye

Second Sun

Surface ft. Nicole Miglis

No Reason ft. Nick Murphy

Thursday, April 6, 2017

2017 Makeup No Buy Update: March Temptations

March Temptations

March was a so-so month in terms of my willpower. I slipped a few times when sale prices were too good to pass up. Overall, I did fairly well. I know April will be a challenge with a few more major sales and Easter bonuses set to kick off but I'm taking it one day at a time.

Jouer Long-Wear Lip Topper in Skinny Dip, $16

I've seen this cult-favorite product for ages on Pinterest and finally decided to try it out when I saw it on Forever 21's website. It's an interesting formula and satisfied my curiosity.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Illuminating Powder Highlighter in Heat Wave, $45

When this product originally launched a few years back, it was all the rage. I remember purchasing it and actually returning it (something I rarely, if ever, do with cosmetics). But the packaging this time around was too much to resist. I also snagged it during bonus time.

Guerlain Summer 2017 Terracotta Sun Trio Bronzer (Limited Edition), $56

I've been wanting to add a Guerlain bronzer to my collection for eons. I saw this new one advertised on Chic Profile. It looks like a wonderful blend for lighter complexions.

Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip in Honey Bare, $28

I am a huge fan of the original art stick and was curious to try this formula. The color wasn't exactly what I had hoped but I am interested in playing around with the full range of colors in person later this month.

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow, $24

I think I might order one of these for the upcoming Sephora VIB sale. It looks like an impressive sparkle formula that is perfect for adding a touch of pizzazz to an evening eye look.

Too Faced Highlighter in You Light Up My Life, $30

If it's a heart-shaped product and from Too Faced, I can't help myself. I adore the blushes that are in similar packaging and knew as soon as this product was released that one would make its way into my highlighter drawer. It's not the best formula in the world but that Polly Pocket style packaging makes me happy.

Items I 'shopped from my own stash' this month:


Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $23

I've gone through more tubes of this than I can count. I'd rather not spend money on higher-end mascaras because of its limited shelf-life, but this mascara is worth every penny.

Viseart Eyeshadow Palette in 01 Neutral Matte, $80

If I could only keep one eyeshadow palette, this would be it. Throw in a few ColourPop singles to add shine to the lids and I would be satisfied. It's pricey so I try to get as much use out of it as I can. The superior quality is definitely noticeable.

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, $24

I've been a major fan of highlighters since I started to wear makeup in the late 90s...long before it became the trend it is today. While I have grown to prefer a subtle highlight, this cult favorite packs a pretty good punch. I always receive compliments when I wear it. A flattering shade for those with fair-light complexions.

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyebrow Pencils (Medium Brown), $4

Despite having an array of high-end brow products, this drug store cheap thrill has been a staple in my collection for decades. It performs just as well as my luxury products. The Medium Brown shade is ideal for red or auburn hair. Only a few dollars and easy to find. You can't beat this classic.

Lancome Miracle Cushion Foundation, $47

I hate the feeling of heavy makeup. I love cushions because they have the weight of tinted moisturizer but the coverage of a light foundation. This has been the best color match (010) and formula I have tried. I have gone through a couple compacts which speaks volumes. As much as I love makeup, I don't wear it every day. You simply do not get a lot of product from all. And what little liquid you do get is heavily absorbed by the sponges. When you factor in the price per ounce, that makes this one of the most expensive foundations on the market. What a sin! If you're able to find this on sale, stock up (I got mine last summer for 50% off).

Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Illuminating Powder (in Nude), $52

I've been wanting to try this in the Porcelain shade as a finishing powder but I have enough that I really love from brands like Hourglass, YSL and Guerlain. Instead, I have been enjoying the Nude shade to add warmth after foundation. I consider it a magical combination of ultra light bronzer, highlighter, contour, and finishing powder all in one radiant finish.

Now Playing: "Can't Sleep" by Above & Beyond

Monday, March 20, 2017

Music Monday: Nick Hakim

Nick Hakim is a Brooklyn-based musician originally from Washington, DC. He is currently on tour and his debut full-length album Green Twins is due out in May. 

The Green Twins (Live in London)

Bet She Looks Like You
The Light

My photo
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm living life in beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I hold a journalism degree from West Virginia University. I have worked in television news, fashion marketing, PR, and cosmetic sales. My love for writing and sharing with the world my various passions is strong. One of my many ambitions is to be published and continue creating in the fields of digital and print media, literature and film. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going to concerts, reading, following Pittsburgh sports and traveling as often as possible. Some of my favorite things include beauty, style, architecture, books, tarot and astrology, thrifting and my shih-tzu, Ireland. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!