Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Current loves

A couple of conversations with friends have had me thinking about how I haven't written a blog post in awhile, and all the Valentine's Day marketing has me wanting to share about things I love, so I thought I'd start by writing something easy: new-to-me beauty products that I've been using and loving in the past couple of months. Just in case you, like me, like trying new things, maybe you'll take a shot at one of my recommendations. Hopefully you're NOT like me in the using shopping for beauty as therapy, because this past year my therapy trips have increased to the discomfort of my wallet. I will say I have gotten a lot better about shopping sales and hunting for coupon codes, and using Ebates to get some $$ back to invest on more shopping. :)

I am trying to stick with products I haven't written about before, since for the most part, a lot of my favorites haven't changed all that much. I highly encourage you to check out any one of these if they sound like something up your alley.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pucker up

A buddy came up to me a couple of weeks ago and said, "I hear you're the one to talk to about liquid lipsticks" and I guess in some circles, I am. I've tried A LOT of liquid lipsticks over the years, because I really like the fact that they set, making them pretty transfer-resistant (so in theory you could make out with someone and not leave them covered in your lipstick) and you don't have to worry about reapplying every couple of hours, or every time you take a sip of water. So because I wasn't prepared to sit her down and go over the finer points of all liquid lipsticks at the time, I wrote this instead.

I will say that although I have tried tons of different lipstick formulas, there are many I have not tried. Believe it or not, I do refuse to spend over a certain amount of money on a lipstick, and I hate being forced to buy products in kits. So everything below are products that can be found in stores or online, sold individually.

The issue with liquid lipsticks in general is that the longer lasting they are, the more they tend to dry out your lips, so that is something to keep in mind. I would definitely recommend exfoliating your lips regularly when using liquid lipsticks, because they cling and tend to highlight any cracks or flakes. I've tried to make note of which formulas I personally find to be the most drying. Below are my thoughts - my recommendations are in bold.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Lotions and potions

My skin is in better shape now than I think it's ever been. I've had super oily blemish-prone skin for most of my life, and in the past year or so it's been clearer and more balanced than it's been since I hit puberty. I thank/blame this on finally getting a beauty routine that works for me, heavily influenced by the skincare blogs I started reading a few years ago, followed by some trial and error. Increasing my water intake and cutting all soda/pop I think helped as well.

A couple of friends noticed the improvement in my skin and asked me to share what I'm using, so here goes. I do know it's kind of excessive, but it works for me, and as I've mentioned before, skincare and makeup are one of my favorite pastimes. I would highly recommend a routine of cleanse/acid toner/essence/serum/moisturizer using products targeted to your skin needs. What works for me won't necessarily work for everyone, and I've tried to make note of things that may not work well if you have dry or sensitive skin.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Current beauty favs

Despite telling myself I was going to hold back from beauty shopping this year, I've still managed to get my hands on some new (to me) things, and have been so impressed I feel the need to talk about them, because most are from brands I don't think that my friends who read this blog know much about, and/or they are new(ish) products you haven't tried. Also I haven't written a post in FOREVER so this is long overdue. So the following is a list of some of my current beauty favs, some old, some new, most I believe from brands that don't test on animals.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

You do you

I haven't posted in a long while, not because I haven't had anything to write about, but because I haven't taken the time to organize my thoughts, take pictures, and research links in order to write something that I find to be cohesive and generally not embarrassing. Also this year the political circus has been particularly crazy and divisive and I don't want to throw my hat in that ring here. But I've been bothered by something other than politics and the general state of the world lately that I feel the need to be a little ranty about, and a thought dump is something I can do relatively easily.

I love makeup - I think that's been well established here. I love reading about makeup, watching makeup tutorial videos, and trying new products. Sitting in down to do my makeup is literally one of my happy places - it helps ground me and prepare for the day ahead. I love pretty much anything that can be found in a beauty supply store, and am always down to help anyone go beauty shopping. Getting complimented on my nail polish will literally make my day.

All that said, I know that a lot of people do not share this love with me. They find makeup to be a waste of time and/or money, and applying makeup stressful instead of joyful. I get it - we don't all share the same loves. But what I HATE is when these people tell me that my love of makeup is silly.

There are few things that rile me up quite as much as people who throw out insults disguised as compliments then don't own their shadiness. You know, the "you look nice, it must have taken you forever to get ready" kind of comments. I honestly don't care if it took you 5 minutes or 5 hours to do your hair, all I'm going to say is that you look good. And if I'm not a fan of your look, I'm just keeping my mouth shut.

Why do people who don't wear makeup feel the need to criticize people who do? You know the "you would look prettier without makeup" or "I don't know why you spend so much time on that stuff" babble. Why is that OK? I don't criticize anyone for not wearing makeup, nor would I pressure someone to wear it either. You do you I say.

I don't think I need makeup to make me feel pretty or as a mask to hide the real me. I enjoy the artistry, colors, textures and the rituals...the pretty/shininess of it all. If I'm being honest yes, I do want to hide my undereye circles so that I don't look sleep deprived all the time, but it's not a crutch or something to hide my insecurities. You might not feel the same way, maybe the thought of putting on makeup just makes you break out in hives, but why feel the need to cut me down because I do? Why do some women feel the need to be mean girls well past middle age? Why do men assume that women wear makeup to try to entice them?

All of us have things we love that we probably spend too much time/money doing because we enjoy them. Maybe for you it's crafting. Or playing fantasy sports. Or buying shoes. Maybe it's writing fan fiction. Maybe it's building model replicas. I think it's OK if others don't understand your fervor for a particular activity - if we all loved the same things, the world would be very boring. But why belittle someone for their passions? Why is whatever you love to spend your time doing more valid than anyone else's? There is so much ugliness in the world, why not just let people enjoy things they see beauty in?

Look, I know I'm guilty of tuning out when someone goes into a monologue about the cultural impact of Star Trek v. Star Wars, and I definitely roll my eyes when people start talking about NFC stats, but I don't belittle them because of their interests. My love of makeup is no less frivolous than your obsession with men chasing around a ball professionally, or your need to decorate a room a certain way. So how about you do you and let me be, and maybe those small things can just add some much needed sparkle to everyone's lives.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Beauty Favorites

My beauty addiction is a problem, but as a result of it I do act as a guinea pig for friends when it comes to trying new makeup products. I test it so you don't have to waste your money! I thought I'd compile a list of the products I tried and loved this year - some new releases, some just new to me. So if you're looking for something new to sample as you start off 2016, here is a list of things I think are worth dropping your hard-earned cash on.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Some 2015 reads

Although earlier this year I spent quite a bit of a time going down a literary wormhole that I'm not all that proud of, I have read a few other books I've enjoyed this year that I'm less embarrassed to name, and I thought I'd write a bit about of them. If like me you're always looking for a new good read, and you have liked some of my previous recommendations, perhaps you'll find something to add to your list. As per usual, my list leans heavily toward YA. My favorites are in bold.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. This is the first Rainbow Rowell book I've read where I didn't feel like the characters were part of my extended group of friends. Which is not saying I didn't enjoy it, just that it is quite different from anything else I've read by her. She's kind of written fanfiction of her own work - taking characters from the clearly Harry Potter-inspired fantasy series in her book Fangirl, and giving them their own story. It was a fast, fun read, but I wasn't inspired to start my own Tumblr blog on it or anything.
  • Me Before You and it's follow-up After You by JoJo Moyes. These were a "let me read the book before the movie comes out so I can act all holier-than-thou about how the movie didn't get things right" kind of read. The short plot summary, cash strapped girl from small town forms an unlikely bond with wealthy paralyzed man she's taking care of, might make it sound a little Nicholas Sparks-esque, but trust that they are A LOT less eye-roll inducing. I did enjoy both - despite the soap opera-esque story lines. 
  • The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes. Since I enjoyed Me Before You, I kept going down the JoJo path. (Just writing that made me think of the singer JoJo, and this song popped into my head.) It was a good path to go down - I enjoyed this one even more than the other two thanks to the history elements.
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Sweet yet grounded YA book, full of characters that felt real, with relatable issues. Really enjoyed this one.
  • How to Be Bad by Lauren Myracle, E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski - I have to be honest, I completely forgot the plot of this book about a week after reading it. I picked it up because I so loved E. Lockhart's We Were Liars last year, but obviously this one did not stay with me in the same way. I didn't hate it, it was fine, but didn't find it gripping or memorable. 
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen. This is YA I loved. I mean, I've mentioned in the past my weakness for a good coming of age tale, and about finding one's place in the world, and this delivered on all fronts. Teared up. Related. Added other books by the author to my "to read" list. I give this one all the stars. 
  • You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart. I've been a big fan of Mamrie Hart's YouTube series, so I had good feeling about this one, and it did not disappoint. Raunchy. Hilarious. The book I have most recommended to people not in my family this year. I quite literally laughed out loud reading it. And it has some great cocktail recipes to boot. :)
  • An Untamed State by Roxane Gay. Ms Gay not only wrote some of my favorite online reviews/recaps of Magic Mike XXL and the Outlander TV show, she also wrote one of my favorite books this year, which is thoroughly different in tone than her hilarious recaps. This book is fantastic, if incredibly hard to read. Very violent and emotionally draining, but so well written and kind of beautiful. This one has stayed with me all year.
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore. YA fantasy that's actually NOT set in a post-apocalyptic world,   with a strong female lead, intrigue, adventure, and some romance. Really enjoyed this one.
  • The Paper Magician series by Charlie N. Holmberg. I was so charmed by the magical fantasy of the first book, I promptly followed with The Glass Magician and The Master Magician, and read all three in about a week. YA coming of age with magic and romance. Didn't enjoy the two follow-up books quite as much as the first one, but still liked the series overall. 
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer. Cute book, reminded me of Austenland, but for the Outlander fanatic. Although predictable, still a fun read. Helped me get through the many long months of waiting for new episodes of the TV series. 
I feel like my list this year is quite a bit shorter than it has been in the past - probably because of all the trashy novels I've read that I would rather not name check, because most were pretty forgettable. There are many other books I bought or was gifted that I haven't gotten around to reading yet, (Mindy Kaling's Why Not Me?, Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Felicia Day's You're Never Weird on the Internet) but I'm hoping 2016 will be a better read year.