My Highland Honey vs. Peaches

Only a few things caught my eye from MAC's Tartan Tale collection, but the only thing that left with me was My Highland Honey blush. I've been really into orange lately, and after seeing Temptalia's review of this blush, I was sold. I knew it was similar to MAC Peaches blush, but I really wasn't expecting the two to be so dupe-able.

My Highland Honey (left) and Peaches

My Highland Honey (Satin)

Peaches (Sheertone)

My Highland Honey (left) and Peaches

My Highland Honey (top) and Peaches

Peaches is just the slightest bit darker and has a touch of coral while My Highland Honey is a smidgen lighter and more orange. Both have good pigmentation and even though Peaches is a Sheertone formula, it's not sheer at all! Peaches is also a much softer powder than My Highland Honey. They look nearly identical in the pan and swatched on my hand. I can honestly say that if you have one, you definitely do not need the other but obviously, I just couldn't resist ;)

Dear Hilary...

Hey Hilary,
     I'm seriously IN LOVE with your perfume, With Love. One small problem: I'm also kind of embarrassed that 1) I own it, 2) I wear it all the time, and 3) I love it! Why you ask? Because I'm pretty sure your perfume is geared towards 13-17 year olds, a group in which I have not been a part of for quite the while now. 
     You're known for your role as Lizzie in Lizzie McGuire and while I'll admit, yes, I watched and loved your show when I was 13, I've since moved away from shows like that but unfortunately, most people still associate you with Lizzie McGuire. Please do not be offended...it's not you, it's me. I think I just have a problem with fragrances associated with famous people. I love your perfume and will continue to wear it...I'll just always have to hope that no one asks me what it is. Sigh.

With love (hehe), 

Who: Me
What: With Love by Hilary Duff perfume
Where: At a store
When: Yesterday
Why: I needed to get something from the store. Duh!

This is basically what happened...

Nice girl ringing me up says, "Are you wearing perfume? It smells really, really good!"
I say, "Thank you so much!" but I'm thinking, 'Please do not ask me what it is...'
Nice girl ringing me up says, "Ok, well, have a great afternoon!"
I say, "Thank you! You too!" and I'm thinking, 'Phew! Crisis averted!'

Can anyone relate to how I feel? Am I just being a snob?


♥ My Top 5: Bronzers ♥

I've only started becoming a bronzer fiend recently, so my bronzer collection is not as large or diverse as say, my blush collection. However, most of the ones I own, I love but if you have any suggestions for bronzers that I should add to my collection, feel free to leave them in the comments below :)

Clockwise from bottom left:
e.l.f. Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder
Illamasqua Glint & Burnish
NARS Orgasm and Laguna Duo
N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder
Benefit Hoola

e.l.f. Bronzing Powder
This bronzer is a warm, medium brown that is nearly matte as it has the slightest sheen. It is pretty pigmented and applies smoothly to the skin. While I've definitely been underwhelmed by quite a few e.l.f. products in the past, I think that this duo is worth much more than $3.

Illamasqua Burnish
Burnish is golden bronze with a sheen. I like to use this when I'm not looking for too much color but am opting for more of a golden sheen, which is what Burnish gives me. It has good pigmentation and has nice texture, but the color does not make it an everyday bronzer for me.

NARS Laguna
Laguna is a cult classic and for good reason. It's a medium brown with a subtle shimmery sheen. It is flattering on most skin tones, although I've heard of some people complaining that it looks muddy on their skin. I've never experienced that issue, however, and I love Laguna as an everyday bronzer.

N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder
This is a matte light to medium brown with slightly orange undertones. I think it could potentially make you look a bit orange if you apply wayyy too much to your face, but in most cases, I find that the color is light and sheer enough on my medium skin tone that it really never happens. While I think it's a good bronzer for $3, it definitely lacks some pigmentation and the powder is not very soft. However, if you can overlook those two issues then I think this could be a good affordable, everyday bronzer.

Benefit Hoola
Hoola is a matte medium brown that would work on cooler and warmer skin tones. I love that it looks so natural when used as a bronzer because it's matte and the color is so flattering, but I also love that it can double as the perfect contour shade. Hoola also has the softest and smoothest texture out of all 5 bronzers mentioned in this post. You can read more about Hoola here.

Left to right:
e.l.f. Bronzing Powder
Illamasqua Burnish
NARS Laguna 
N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder
Benefit Hoola

What are you favorite bronzers and which ones should I try next?


Eyeshadow Bases Galore!

I was looking at my makeup collection the other day and realized how many products I have to use as eyeshadow bases, and it's a lot! I occasionally use Urban Decay Primer Potion too (which is not included in this post because I forgot), but lately I've been favoring a few other products more.

MAC Paint Pots
Clockwise from top:
Coral Crepe (LE): deep red-coral
Soft Ochre: yellow beige
Bare Study: pale champagne

I like to use Soft Ochre for matte, natural looks and Bare Study for shimmery, natural looks. For dramatic smokey eyes or colorful looks, I prefer to use colored or white bases instead.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils
Top to bottom:
Black Bean: black
Milk: white
Cottage Cheese: pearl

Milk is great for almost any eyeshadow look because the white base really allows colors to pop. Black Bean can be used as a base for darker looks but must be smoothed over the whole lid since the soft and creamy texture doesn't allow much precision when applying it (For example, it's difficult to only apply it to the outer v).

MAC Greasepaint Sticks
Top to bottom:
Greengrease (LE): deep, shimmery mossy green
Zinc Zone (LE): shimmery charcoal grey
Dirty (LE): shimmery brown-taupe

All 3 of these are amazing bases for smokey eyes! Their tackier texture really allows shadows to adhere to them and last all day. Dirty is my favorite and I use it all the time. When I had issues with my NARS Pleasures of Paris shadows lasting on me, these Greasepaint Sticks were the only bases that worked!

Clockwise from top left:
MUFE Aqua Cream #16 Pink Beige: frosty pink-champagne
Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in R.S.V.P. (sample size): champange
NYX Eyeshadow Base in Skin Tone: golden beige

I actually don't really care for Pink Beige as a base because it makes my eyeshadows appear too frosty and they still crease on me. I prefer using it on its own instead. I've tried R.S.V.P. as a base plenty of times, and each time I find that my eyeshadow still creases so I don't think I'd ever even consider purchasing the full-sized version. NYX Skin Tone is similar in texture to a MAC Paint Pot, and the color is a bit darker than Soft Ochre. It's a decent base for the price but the Paint Pots are definitely better.


Left to right:
MAC PP in Bare Study
MAC PP in Coral Crepe
MAC PP in Soft Ochre
NYX JEP in Cottage Cheese
NYX JEP in Milk
NYX JEP in Black Bean
MAC GPS in Greengrease
MAC GPS in Zinc Zone
MAC GPS in Dirty
MUFE AC in #16 Pink Beige
Benefit CCS/L in R.S.V.P.
NYX EB in Skin Tone

Overall, I think my favorite eyeshadow bases are MAC Paint Pots. They help my eyeshadow last all day without fading or creasing, and that's saying a lot with my oily skin! I think everyone needs Bare Study and either Soft Ochre (warmer skin tones) or Painterly (cooler skin tones) in their collection.

What are your favorite eyeshadow bases?


I ♥ Benefit Hoola

I had been lusting over Benefit Hoola for quite some time now and was super excited when I was able to pick up a brand new one from a blog sale for a bit cheaper than I would've paid at Sephora.

Hoola has been described by many a makeup fanatic as the perfect matte bronzer, and I would have to agree. The powder is soft and finely milled, and the color is so natural and flattering that it also doubles as the perfect contour shade.

Here I am without blush, bronzer, or contour:

Here I am after getting some help from Hoola (still blush-less though):

                                  Without Hoola                                 With Hoola
(Not sure why my camera decided to change the lighting :/ )

I know that the photos don't quite capture how dramatic the difference is but in real life, a quick sweep of Hoola as a contour followed by a simple dusting of it on the cheeks and forehead as a bronzer brings much needed life back into my face. 

Since Hoola is a matte bronzer, you don't need to worry about shimmer-overload when you use it all over your face like you do with some other bronzers. In case you're wondering, I've been applying it with my Sigma F50 brush (MAC 187 dupe), and as long as you simply concentrate on not using too much in order to avoid making your skin look muddy, I think that Hoola will be a flattering bronzer on most skin-tones.

What is your favorite matte bronzer?


When It Is Okay To Be Matchy Matchy.

Today's post will be a bit different than usual as today is a very special day. I don't normally talk too much about my own personal views on anything other than makeup and occasionally fashion on my blog, and today hopefully won't be too much different. I'm not here to shove my beliefs in anyone's face or to judge you if you disagree with me. All I want to do is raise awareness on a subject that is very important to me.

As many of you may or may not know, today is LGBT Spirit Day. It's not an event, rally, or protest. It's simply a day where we can all unite by wearing purple to honor and remember the LGBT youth who have recently chosen to end their lives as a result of bullying and to show our support for the many who continue to suffer from bullying each and every day simply for being "different." 

Regardless of your views on homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgenderism, I hope that we can all agree that bullying is wrong and never warranted, and something must change before more lives are lost. If you support this cause, I urge you to take a stance and put on your prettiest, frilliest purple little get-up...even if it is just to walk around the house in :)

You can read more about Spirit Day here.


Skincare Routine

I've never made the traditional "Skincare Routine" post because well, I don't really have very good skin, in my opinion. But after it was requested for me to post about it, I figured that if someone can benefit from the products that work for me, then it would be worthwhile.

My skin is combination/oily with the occasional dry patches, acne-prone, and non-sensitive. Please keep in mind that products that work for me may or may not work for you :)

Facial Cleansing
Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Fresh
St.Ives Apricot Scrub Blemish & Blackhead Control

My facial cleansing routine is beyond simple as I really only use 2 products.

Every night after I've removed my makeup with whatever makeup wipe I'm using at the moment, I'll finish up by washing my face with the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. I NEVER go to bed with any makeup on! And I won't bore you with details on how to use it since it comes with instructions, but I will say that I've never used a cleanser that has cleaned my skin so well before (and I've tried a lot of different cleansers!). Shu Uemura's line of Cleansing Oils consists of several different formulations for different skin-types, and I use the one for normal to oily skin-types.

The Cleansing Oil is a makeup remover and cleanser in one and while it does an excellent job at both, I still prefer to remove my makeup beforehand to ensure that the cleanser reaches down to my pores. If I've run out of makeup wipes I will simply wash my face twice with the Cleansing Oil, once to remove my makeup, and a second time to clean my skin. I also use this in the mornings on days when I'm not exfoliating with a scrub.

A lot of cleansers geared towards oily or acne-prone skin can be very drying and make your freshly cleansed skin feel like it's just had the moisture completely sucked out of it. Not with the Cleansing Oil. The oil breaks down oils on your face like no other, rinses away clean while still somehow managing to leave your skin feeling comfortable and moisturized and not the least bit tight or dry. Genius!

In addition the the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, I exfoliate my face with the St.Ives Apricot Scub Blemish & Blackhead Control every other morning. I am a huge fan of LUSH's Ocean Salt exfoliating scrub but after finishing up my little pot a few weeks ago, I decided to find a cheaper alternative and go back to my old favorite from St.Ives. There are 4 different formulations for different skin-types but again, I use this one as it's geared towards acne-prone skin. I like for my exfoliators to be a bit more on the abrasive side as opposed to a gentle scrub because I find that my skin reacts better to stronger exfoliators. This one is exactly the kind of exfoliator my skin needs, and I'm so happy I've rediscovered it. You can also read about 3 great exfoliators at 3 different price points here.

Daytime Facial Care
Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer
Sonia Kashuk Tinted Moisturizer

I use the Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer on most days, and I apply it about 5-10 minutes before I apply my foundation to allow it time to sink into my skin.

If I am not planning on wearing foundation then I will skip my usual moisturizer and just apply the Sonia Kashuk Tinted Moisturizer to moisturize my skin and add a bit of coverage. I really like that this one has SPF 15 because that makes it perfect for going outside during the daytime.

Nighttime Facial Care
Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream

When my skin is feeling especially dry, usually during the winter, I will smooth Bio-Oil all over my face before I go to bed. I'm not sure exactly how it works but when I wake up my skin feels moisturized and soft but does not look or feel oily at all! (If I go to bed with nothing on my face, I will wake up with and oily T-zone.) I originally bought this to see if it could fade the acne scars I have on my face but I have trouble using it often enough (twice daily) to see any visible differences.

When my skin is behaving normally and not exceptionally dry, I will apply a dollop of this Olay Regenerist Night Recovery anti-aging cream around my eyes and on my forehead. I'm only 23 and don't have any wrinkles yet, but I'd also like to keep it that way. I tend to raise my eyebrows a lot which causes my huge forehead to bunch up, so I apply anti-aging cream onto it at night in order to prevent any wrinkles in the making :)

And my last nighttime face product that is not photographed, simply because I forgot, is Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment. I only use this when I have blemishes, obviously, and it's one of the better spot treatments I've come across. I do find that it helps to reduce the size and development of my blemishes in about 1-3 days and typically does not make the area around my blemishes dry and flakey like other spot treatments do.

Body Care
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub in Coconut Lime

I use regular body wash or soap on most days (right now it's LUSH Honey I Washed the Kids), but I will exfoliate with the Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub about twice a week. I've talked about this one before in this post, and I still love it. It smells great, is affordable, and gets the job done. My skin feels ridiculously smooth and soft post-exfoliation.

Johnson's 24 Hour Body Lotion
Burt's Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion

These are two of my favorite body lotions because they both absorb really quickly into the skin and keep my skin feeling moisturized all day. Lately I've been favoring the Burt's Bees one simply due to the fact that I am in love with the smell :)

I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions :)


Orange Crush.

It's no surprise that the color orange makes a comeback every year around this time. It's a color synonymous with leaves changing colors, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. What excites me the most, however, is the recent glorification of orange beauty products!

MAC Cream Color Base in Virgin Isle and MAC Cremeblend Blush in Optimistic Orange

Virgin Isle was happily purchased by me yesterday after receiving a MAC gift card I had won in Ariel's giveaway :) It's a bright, orange-coral that can be used on cheeks and lips, although I much prefer it used on the cheeks.

Optimistic Orange is one of MAC's limited edition Cremeblend Blushes, and it's a true, vibrant orange. It is less tacky and much more blendable than MAC Blushcremes from what I've gathered from only having swatched the Blushcremes in-store. Once blended out, it becomes much more wearable than you would think, creating more of a pinky orange flush on my complexion.

(Please ignore the goosebumps...It's been really cold lately for California standards!)
(Blushes blended out)
L to R:
MUFE HD Microfinish Blush in 12 First Kiss
MAC CCB in Virgin Isle
MAC Cremeblend Blush in Optimistic Orange

Here I've swatched both MAC blushes next to a sample I have of an orange MUFE blush. (The MUFE blush is not shown in photos because I only have it in a sample container.) When blended out, MUFE First Kiss is an orange with slightly brown undertones, MAC Virgin Isle is a bright orange-coral, and MAC Optimistic Orange is an orange with pinky undertones.

MAC Lipglass in Silly Girl and MAC Lipstick in Vegas Volt

Silly Girl is a sheer orange with silver shimmer. Very wearable for those who may be too afraid to really go all out and smear orange makeup on their faces :)

Vegas Volt is a bright orangey coral. I wish I had Illamasqua Perilous lipstick because it would've been perfect for this post! However, as luck may have it, the lovely Nicola has swatched it on her blog today so do go take a look. All I can say is, great minds think alike ;)

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Polish in Sunrise, Sunset

Sunrise, Sunset is a gorgeous bright orange with yellow and green duochrome that is beautiful in real life but unfortunately, difficult to capture in photos.

L to R:
MUFE HD Microfinish Blush in 12 First Kiss
MAC CCB in Virgin Isle
MAC Cremeblend Blush in Optimistic Orange
MAC Lipstick in Vegas Volt
MAC Lipglass in Silly Girl

What is your take on orange beauty products?



This is a look I did today using some stuff Lily sent me from the UK:

Bare Escentuals bareMinerals foundation in Medium Beige
Diorskin Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer in Beige 002
MAC Studio Finish SPF35 concealer in NC30
MAC MSF Natural in Medium Plus
NARS Laguna bronzer
Sephora blush in Rose Rebelle
MAC MSF in Perfect Topping

MAC Paintpot in Bare Study
MUA e/s in #11 (lid)
MUA e/s in #13 (crease, upper and lower lashline)
MUA e/s in #1 (eyebrow bone)
Barry M Dazzle Dust #29 (inner corner)
Milani Liquif'Eye pencil in Black
Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara in Blackest Black

MAC l/s Blankety
Barry M l/g in #2 Toffee

To see swatches of everything I got, click here.

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