All Too Familiar.

Just a couple comparisons of products I thought looked dupe-able :)

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil and Sleek Contour Kit in Light

Too Faced (left) and Sleek

In their pans, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil and the contour shade from the Sleek Contour Kit in Light look identical. Swatched, the only difference between the two is that the Sleek contour shade is slightly more orange-toned. Both are matte shades. I'd definitely go as far to say that the two shades could be used interchangeably :)

Clockwise from left:
Milani Luminoso
L'Oreal in Watchful Owl's Blush
Korres in #15 Natural
Sleek in Suede

Left to right:
Milani Luminoso
L'Oreal in Watchful Owl's Blush
Sleek in Suede
Korres #15 Natural

When I first received Sleek Suede blush from my cousin in the UK, I thought it looked quite similar to two other tawny pink blushes I already had: L'Oreal Watchful Owl's Blush from the recent Project Runway collection and Korres #15 Natural, one of my all-time favorite blushes (I kind of just threw Milani Luminoso in there last minute). When swatched however, there isn't a dupe in sight!

Milani Luminoso and L'Oreal Watchful Owl's Blush both have the same type of micro-shimmer, but Luminoso is the most pigmented of the four and also much peachier. Watchful Owl's Blush is similar in color to Korres Natural, except for it's more pink. Sleek Suede is the only matte blush of the bunch, and I'd describe the shade as a burnt coral-brown. Korres Natural is the only blush of the four that has more of a sheen than shimmer, and it's more brown than Suede.

Any dupes you guys have discovered lately?


Raising awareness...one pink lipstick at a time.

I'm sure you guys all know by now that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this post is not meant to lecture you on the details of breast cancer or to pressure you to donate to finding a cure if you don't want to - it's simply meant to raise awareness by sharing my story.

About four years ago, I remember sitting in my apartment studying when I received a call from my mom. My mom and I talk every few days, and every phone call starts off with the usual, "How was your day?", "What did you do today?", "Did you eat lunch yet?" (so basically, the typical mom-checking-up-on-daughter-who's-away-at-college questions) - and this phone call was no different.

Then, I remember her pausing for a short while before asking me, "Are you going anywhere right now?" to which I answered "No....why?" She had just found out she had breast cancer.

I remember not thinking anything for a few moments immediately after she broke the news to me. My mom is a very emotional person, and I think the fact that she sounded so calm and collected on the phone confused me. I broke down in tears while incoherently mumbling questions like, "When?" (When did you find out?), "How?" (How did you find out?), "Do you have to get chemo?", and "What happens now?" As soon as I got off the phone with her, I realized that I couldn't recall any of the answers she gave me to any of my questions because all I could think about was that my mom had cancerConsidering all of the things my mom had gone through and was going through at that point in her life, I couldn't get over how unfair it was that she had to now deal with cancer too.

 When I'm going through tough times, I always try to remind myself that what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger, and to remember to be grateful for what I have (rather than focus on what I don't have) because things could always be worse. I force myself to deal with adversity because I know that I can. But this wasn't happening to me - it was happening to my mom, and there was nothing I could do about it. I felt so helpless it was almost unbearable. My poor mom had given up so much for me and worked her ass off for everything our family had, and all I knew was that my mom certainly did not deserve this. No one does.

My mom had a mastectomy to remove the malignant tumor a few weeks after her diagnosis. She was extremely fortunate in that she didn't have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation, and she has been in remission since 2007. Since her battle with cancer, three of my aunts (two on my mom's side and one on my dad's side) were also diagnosed with breast cancer. They are also now survivors.

As unfortunate and terrifying as it is to have so many women in my immediate family be affected by breast cancer, I consider myself and my family extremely lucky because we're all survivors. But, until a cure (not just treatment) is found, no one's battle with this disease can truly be won.

As a tribute to all who have been affected by breast cancer, I'm posting a FOTD and OOTD using the only color that can truly be appropriate for this occasion - PINK!

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation in #53
Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette
Dior Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer in 002 Beige
Maybelline Dream Matte Powder in Sand
MAC Blushcreme in Ladyblush
Benefit Bella Bamba

MUFE Aqua Cream in #16
17 All About Nude Summer Palette (pink and brown eyeshadows)
MAC Pigment in Melon
MAC e/s in Phloof!
MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy
Prestige My Blackest Lashes Mascara

NYX l/s in Fig

Top: Old Navy
Hot Pink Cords: Gap
Leopard Flats: Banana Republic

I hope my post wasn't too sad for any of you, because it's really not meant to be a sob or pity story for me or my family. Breast cancer has affected me in more ways than one, and I just want you to know that if it has affected you as well, you are not alone. Of course it was extremely difficult for my family at the time, but what matters to me is that my mom is in great health now...what still kills me, though, is knowing that so many people continue to suffer, and many will lose their fight with this disease. If my story gives you even an ounce of hope or makes you feel curious enough to simply click on the link below to read more about finding a cure for breast cancer, then I'm happy. Thanks for reading :)

To learn more about breast cancer, the research, how to donate, find support or share your story, go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


The Deal of the Century.

I was browsing the aisles of Ulta yesterday when I noticed this gem. I then continued to complete several, awkward (as only I would do) double-takes before confirming that yes, this was really happening.

Based on that price tag, without even knowing what the product being offered was, my instinct still would've been, "Yes, please!" I mean, a $120 value for only $29?! 

Tarte Lip Service Limited Edition LipSurgence Collection

Granted, I'm already drowning in a sea of lip products at home and weird, jumbo lip gloss/pencil thingys are the last thing I need, but this, my friends, was a gift from the makeup gods. It would've been rude not to take advantage of this gift, and I am anything but a disrespectful makeup worshipper.  *cue several other, equally embarrassingly useless excuses*

Tarte LipSurgences are these jumbo lip pencils that are somewhat of a lip balm/lip gloss/lip stick hybrid that come in 3 different formulas in the permanent range: natural lip luster (shimmery and glossy), natural lip tint (sheer and glossy), and matte lip tint (matte). This set comes with three natural lip lusters and two of the natural lip tints (so no mattes), all of which are limited edition shades as far as I'm aware.

The shades are (all shades are in the same order throughout the entire post):
Glitzy (luster)
Perky (tint)
Flashy (luster)
Swank (tint)
Dazzled (luster)

L to R:

Glitzy: rosy brown with gold shimmer

Perky: warm-toned bubblegum pink

Flashy: hot pink with pale pink shimmer

Swank: cherry red

Dazzled: sheer, coral-red with gold shimmer

Keep in mind, I have fairly pigmented lips so sheerer lip products like these tend to not look as vibrant on my lips as they do in swatches. All five would definitely appear more vibrant and true to the colors in the swatch on less pigmented lips than mine, but if you're after a super pigmented and long-lasting formula, these may not be for you. In addition, the formula feels quite moisturizing and all of them have a non-overwhelming peppermint scent. They also twist up from the base like a lipstick, rather than having to be sharpened like a real pencil. 

While I have hesitated in the past to spend the $24 for one LipSurgence, $29 for five products that are perfect, everyday, on-the-go lip products is a fantastic deal in my book, not to mention amazing stocking stuffers ;)

What are you waiting for?!


Falling into the rotation.

Sometimes I feel like once summer is gone, it's time to put away the bronzers (although I won't!), coral lipsticks, hot pink lipglosses, and bright colored eyeliners for something more season-appropriate. Right now, I'm starting to get more into wearing simple washes of warm, slightly smokey colors on my lids, deeper, berry blushes on my cheeks, and more vampy colors on my lips.

These are a few of the products that will start to be used more routinely now that fall is finally here :)

Clockwise from bottom right:
NARS Blush in Mounia
MAC MSF in Petticoat
Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Illusoire (swatched here)
Sephora Jumbo Liner in Taupe (swatched here)
Jouer Creme Eyeshadow in Cashmere (swatched here)
MAC Lipstick in Media
MAC Lipstick in Rebel
NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow in Pug (swatched here)

L to R:
MAC Petticoat
NARS Mounia
NARS Dolce Vita
MAC Rebel
MAC Media

Although I used to use it daily when I first got it, I prefer to use Petticoat more at night time now, due to it's high shimmer factor. Mounia is gorgeous, as depicted by the swatch, but needs to be used with a very light and careful hand.

Dolce Vita is not a vampy or deep shade by any stretch of the imagination, but I threw it in here because I feel like it's the perfect variation on the classic nude lip for fall (and I suspect winter as well). It adds more warmth and color to my lips than the traditional nude (I'm wearing it here), which I like since my face (and lips) tend to lack some pigmentation when I'm cold. I already know Rebel will get used quite a bit, while I'm still trying to muster up some courage to wear Media out sometime :) Wish me luck!

What kind of shades/looks will you be wearing this fall?

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