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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Go Deep: 20th Anniversary of The Phoenix Lights

Those who know me well understand that I have a fascination with all things paranormal or unexplained. The story of the Phoenix lights is particularly interesting to me. On this, the 20th anniversary of the mass UFO sighting, I share with you a well-executed documentary that has always stuck with me.

Now Playing: "Senior Living" by R√∂yksopp

Monday, March 6, 2017

2017 Makeup No Buy Update: February Temptations

February Temptations

 So, February was a bit of a disaster for my no-buy. I had a feeling it would be one of the most challenging months of the year for me. My birthday was on the 1st, I still had gift cards leftover from Christmas, I always treat myself to something on Valentine's Day, tax returns, new releases, the list goes on... Lots of good excuses. Some valid reasons.

 I was proud of my flawless track record in January and that has inspired me to continue on in March. For Lent, I'm attempting to not shop for anything. I've already slipped once but you'll see in the product descriptions below for my February temptations why that might be.

Dior Addict Lip Glow in Berry, $33

I have this lippie in a couple other shades. I reach for the lighter color most often. I thought this berry (which in actuality is closer to a bright pink) would be a nice addition to my collection. It's on the list but I might hold off on this one all together.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, $54

I have been a major proponent of the Smashbox Primer Water but lately, I've noticed that my blush and highlighter doesn't seem to last very long. I heard so many good things about this primer which doubles as a lip and eye base. I got a sample and was really impressed with the results. The price tag is very steep though. I might put this on my list for the upcoming Sephora VIB sale.

Lancome Rose Blush Highlighter

I was going to pass on this highlighter but the unique packaging and limited edition hype won me over. I ended up using a gift card on it and acquired it while Lancome was in gift (securing a new Aplum blush which was missing out of my collection). The packaging is pretty but it barely fits in my drawer. I haven't reached for it. I see that these HTF beauties are going for quite a pretty penny on ebay. I might have to part with this and do the flip. Spoiler Alert: I may have cheated on my Lenten no-shop to get the Estee Lauder Heatwave Highlighter. I might flip this as well or keep it in place of the Lancome flower concoction.

Chanel Camelia de Chanel Illuminating Powder Highlighter, $70

Another highlighter that grabbed my attention was this limited edition release from Chanel. I have been collecting Chanel highlighters for about 10 years now. The past few seasons didn't include one which was very disappointing. When I saw the red packaging and the golden sheen, I knew I had to procure this into my collection.

Wet N Wild Cushion Highlighter, $6

I love anything with a cushion formulation inside cutesy packaging. This adorable little release from Wet N Wild was very tempting. I passed on it during a Walgreens sale but it was just so adorable!

Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss, $30

The last thing I need is lip gloss but the new Chanel lip gloss formula piqued my interest. I'm glad I held off from ordering any before seeing them in person because I'm not a fan of the new packaging, formula, or color range. I have a ton of Glossimers but never reach for them for similar reasons. Chanel does lipstick incredibly well but they just can't seem to master how to top them off.

Too Faced Peach Oil Lip Gloss in Papa Don't Peach, $19

I had no desire to jump into the peach craze from Too Faced. Enough is enough. But then I smelled this lip gloss. The color and formula is smooth. I love anything with an oil so this is definitely on my list for a future sale.

Clarins 4-Color All-In-One Liner Pen, $30

I have enough liners for 15 women so for me to be tempted by one it has to be really good. At first I thought this clicky pen was just a gimmick but it has a solid construction and decent formula for 4 very wearable shades (black, brown and cobalt blue eyeliner along with a creamy nude lipliner). The packaging reminds me of the pens I loved so dearly when I was in elementary school. I'm a nostalgic type of person who has an affinity for pens and makeup. I also happen to love Clarins so it's no surprise that I caved and bought this during gift.

Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation, $28

The Dior Airflash foundation is a cult favorite for a reason. I got my sister hooked. It's a very unique product that until recently was not duped. I've always wanted to use it but it's very expensive and the lightest color is still a few shades too deep for me (the pains of being fair-skinned). This alternative from Sephora Collection is a fraction of the price and the color range is far superior. As for the formula, it seems to have potential. I might give it a try in the future. I tend to go for light cushions and BB creams but my skin has been acting up lately and it might be beneficial to have a fuller coverage option in my arsenal.

Etude House Wonder Park Candy Highlighter, $12

I love my Etude House goodies. My best friend is traveling to Korea later this year and you better believe I'm sending her with a list of places she has to go to shop. K-beauty is all the rage and for good reason. This product is more of a color correcting finishing powder than a highlighter. The Etude House spring collection is so charming. I can appreciate anything with a holographic theme park motif as I have so many wonderful memories from growing up with summers spent at Kennywood Park.

Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum, $10

Speaking of Etude House, I have noticed that their lash serum isn't as effective on brows as it is on my lashes. I've been wanting to experiment with a few other affordable alternatives. This one jumped out at me on Pinterest. It's on the drugstore watch list.

Milani Retouch & Erase Lite Lift Concealer, $9

In keeping with the drug store, Milani has been one of my favorites for years. There have been several new releases from Milani (the lip scrub, balm, primers, setting sprays, highlighters) that have tempted me this month! I've stayed strong and didn't cave on any of them but they're definitely taking up residency in the back of my mind.

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


Too Faced The Little Black Book of Bronzers

I'm a major book lover so of course when this product was released I snatched it right up. It's very slim but takes up a lot of square footage in my bronzer drawer. I don't always reach for it but I've recently made the effort. I love the lighter shades that are harder to find from other brands. Too Faced knows how to brew a good bronzer. I definitely recommend all of their singles.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Alloy, $22

I don't reach for liquid eyeliner very often despite having the full range from Stila. I'm trying to use them more often before they wither away. I wore this particular charcoal shade when I went to see the new 50 Shades sequel. You know you're a junkie when you match your makeup to the movie you're going to see.

MAC Fix +, $24

It took me a long time to finally grasp the best way to use this product. Many people think that it's a setting spray but it's actually for finishing. The difference? It won't prolong the wear of your makeup but it will dilute any powder or cakiness that may have occurred in the 'face beating' process.

Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color

When these were released a number of years ago, I instantly fell in love with their formula. I was sad to see them discontinued but promptly bought backups and the remaining colors when they went on major clearance. I don't buy backups of products pretty much ever but I do have a few from this range. I think Urban Decay made a major mistake by tossing these from their lineup. Some of my favorite lippies ever made! I'm definitely trying to get as much use out of them as possible.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze, $7

I have quite a few of these in my collection but I don't reach for them very often anymore because my ColourPop, Dior, Lancome and Chanel bouncy cream shadows have taken their place. They've dried up a bit but a drop of Inglot Duraline brought them right back to life. If you have a cream shadow, liner or primer that has solidified, I can't recommend this product highly enough. One drop is all you need to magically transform a tough substance into a good-as-new creamy consistency. Bad to the Bronze has always been my favorite shade from the bunch. It was fun to reintroduce it back into the rotation.

Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Pink Punch, $4

I've been trying to switch up my lip balms and use as many as possible this winter. I forgot that the Baby Lips aren't just cute but they have some decent coloring. I have several but enjoy this pink shade the most. Very moisturizing.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Surreal Light Palette, $80

This was a pricier item and I want to make sure that I'm not just admiring its gorgeous packaging but actually using it. Hourglass has the best powders in the business. Worth every penny. I love that this palette is essentially a one-stop-shop for the face. If I needed to, I could use this and not have to reach for anything else. Finishing powder, blushes, bronzer, and highlighter all in one convenient, elegant design.

Forever 21 Macaroon Lip Balm

These precious little lippies have been popular for some time. I absolutely love their sweet colors and darling packaging and picked up quite a few from Forever 21 several years ago. I've been trying to get as much use out of them as I can. When the product is gone, they make for charming little pill cases or can be repurposed for other products.

Now Playing: "Feel It Still" by Portugal. The Man
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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!