What's in my bag.

I personally love seeing people's bags and what they keep inside them, and I only just realized a few days ago that I've never actually done one of these posts myself! That had to be changed asap ;)

My rose gold bag is from Target, and it was only $25! I got it about 2 weeks ago, so you might still have a chance of snatching it up if you're interested. My boyfriend knows that I love Hello Kitty and I have a weird obsession with mustaches, so he surprised me with a Hello Kitty wearing a mustache wallet for my birthday back in August :) I know he got it online, but I'm not sure of the actual website...sorry.

I'm not much for carrying makeup in my handbag, so the only two makeup-type of products I have in my bag are a Philosophy lipgloss in Marshmallows for Toasting (smells exactly like it sounds....like smokey marshmallow), which I got for free at Ulta when I purchased a Philosophy gift set, and a Too Faced lipstick in Naked Dolly, a lippie featured on my blog not long ago, although this one often changes depending on what lipstick I'm wearing that day. I typically also have a clear lip balm (it was the mini original Fresh one that I got for my birthday from Sephora) that I keep in my bag in case my boyfriend loses his chapstick (happens often), but it fell out of my bag the other night when I was watching a show in Vegas, and I had no chance of finding it under all those theater seats :( RIP.

I also have two pens in case I need to write or sign anything, hand sanitizer, the most unglamorous hand cream ever (but a must-have for my dry, cracked skin in the winter), some chewing gum, my earphones for listening to music on my iPhone when I'm at the airport or on the plane, a canvas zebra bag for feminine products, and of course, my iPhone 5!

A close-up of my bag!

What are some essentials you keep in your bag?

The Perfect Everyday Blush: NARS Luster.

For my two and a half week trip home to California for the holidays, I brought with me only three blushes: Burberry Tangerine, NARS Sin and NARS Luster. As a devoted blush lover, you know all three of these blushes really had to stand out in my collection and be exceptionally amazing for them to make the cut. Since I already have posts devoted to the first two blushes, I thought it was only fair Luster got a post too :)

Luster is a gorgeous, warm golden peach shade with golden shimmer, and it's one of those blushes that you really have to try on your cheeks in order to really be able to appreciate how effortlessly beautiful and versatile it is. I had swatched it so many times at Sephora and never thought twice about it, but after taking the plunge and buying it after seeing how gorgeous it looked on others, I completely fell in love with the way it looked on my cheeks. 

Considering how much love it gets in the beauty community, I truly think this is one of those blushes that will suite most, but especially those with light to medium skin tones. The shimmer in it is subtle and glowy, and I don't find that it accentuates pores or looks glittery at all. I especially love Luster paired with a bronze eye (my go-to lately)  or a bright red or berry lip, because I just find it incredibly complementary in both scenarios. It's just a gorgeous everyday blush, which is why I chose to bring it along with me on my trip.

I really wanted to show how it looked on my cheeks, but it was really bright outside, so this happened...

I tried.

What's your favorite NARS blush?


Drugstore Gems from Revlon and Rimmel.

The crรจme finish from Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick line just gets me every time. It's moisturizing, pigmented, and ridiculously smooth. Though I've been on the hunt specifically for the perfect wintery fig lip shade, I couldn't resist when I saw Teak Rose, a rich terracotta rose, if there is even such a thing as terracotta rose. It's the perfect winter pink.

The lipgloss is from Revlon's Colorburst line, and the shade is appropriately called All That Glitters. It's a gloss that is essentially a clear base that is loaded with so much multi-colored glitter that it ends up looking like a shimmery grey with the slightest green undertone in the tube. Granted, green doesn't sound like the most flattering lip shade ever, but rest assured, on the lips as a lipstick topper, all you see is the gorgeous glittery finish. If disco ball lips is your thing, you need this gloss :)

As you can see from the swatches, Teak Rose is quite pigmented and dark, so I like to dab it on my lips for more subtle color and top it off with just a bit of All That Glitters for daytime. If I was going out at night, I might consider adding more of the gloss to really make my lips sparkle :) It's the perfect lipstick topper and a must-have gloss for the holiday season!

Another drugstore gem I've been obsessed with is Rimmel Natural Bronzer in 025 Sun Glow. I've had this bronzer for quite a while now, and I can't recommend it enough. It's definitely my favorite drugstore bronzer ever!

Sun Glow is a shimmery, medium bronzer with a slightly orange/reddish undertone. I find that the shimmer leaves more of a natural sheen on the skin rather than an actual shimmery effect, and I love the slightly reddish undertone because I think it mimics the natural color of sunkissed skin better than a cool-toned bronzer can. I like using it with either my MAC 187 or my Real Techniques Multitasking Brush, and I find the bronzer really buildable, easy to blend, and natural looking.

Heavily swatched (left) and blended in.

Here, I have Sun Glow dusted across my cheekbones, on my temples, and around my jawline. I don't have any blush on in this picture because I wanted you to be able to see how the bronzer looks on its own. Quite natural, no?

What drugstore gems are you currently using?


Covergirl Sheerly Nudes.

I was perusing the aisles at the drugstore the other night, and the Covergirl Eye Enhancers Quad in Sheerly Nudes caught my eye, which is odd because it literally looks like the most basic and boring eye palette ever. However, I've been quite into nude, everyday eye makeup lately and relying on slightly dramatic winged liner instead to spice everything up.

When swatched over unprimed skin, I find that all four shades are quite powdery, and the three lightest shades are also a bit chunky. None are intensely pigmented. However, applying it to my lids over UDPP seems to fix the powdery issue, and surprisingly, I don't actually experience any fallout. As far as pigmentation is concerned, all 4 shades have decent pigmentation when used over UDPP. The three lightest shades are quite pale anyway, so those with medium or darker skin tones may have a hard time getting them to show up.

Not that you can really tell, but I have the third shade on my lid, the second shade in my crease, the first shade in the outer v/crease, and the fourth shade on my browbone.

Overall, I actually really like the subtle nude, taupey eye makeup paired with winged liner. I feel that the two complement each other perfectly, and the slight shimmer in the eyeshadows keeps it from looking too boring. 

Are they the best shadows ever? No, but for just under $5, it's a palette I wouldn't mind traveling with or chucking in my handbag for whatever reason because it's not a huge loss if something happens to it. 

What do you guys think? Versatile nude palette or just painfully boring?

7-Day Lipstick Challenge, Take 2: Orange.

The final lipstick shade left in my 7-Day Lipstick Challenge is orange! I panicked at first when I thought I didn't actually have any true orange lipsticks left since I either sold or gave away the 2 or 3 I previously owned, but low and behold, I found the lone orange lipstick in my collection: Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheers Lipstick in 300, apparently also called Acid Tangerine, according to their website.

The Rouge d'Armani Sheers formula is sheer, slightly buildable, and moisturizing. Acid Tangerine is a bright and juicy orange. The swatch above shows the color built up quite a bit. Due to its sheer and balm-like formula, it doesn't last long on the lips either, but it's still a fun lipstick to wear for a subtle pop of color :)

7-Day Lipstick Challenge: Completed!

I hope you guys enjoyed this series of posts! If any of you end up doing it too, let me know - I'd love to see! :)


The Liquid Liner Rundown.

I have a confession to make: I used to be so afraid of liquid liner that I would draw winged eyeliner with a eyeliner pencil.....one that may or may not have often been dull as well. *cringe*

At one point, I moved on to gel/cream liners and while those are okay, I often find that I'm too lazy to use a separate brush (because let's not forget: using a brush means cleaning a brush!) and it often takes me a little while to load up just the right amount of product on to my brush. It's a science, really...one that I haven't quite mastered yet. Anyway, shortly after that, during a time when I wasn't completely satisfied with my winged liner routine, I bought MAC Superslick Liquid Eye Liner on a whim while I was at MAC, and the rest is history!

Since then, I've acquired two more liquid liners: Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner and Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum.
L to R:
MAC Superslick Liquid Eye Liner in On the Hunt
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum in Ultra Black

Top to bottom: MAC, Eyeko, Physician's Formula

The MAC liner has a sponge tip that is shaped into a precise point. It's flexible without being flimsy, so it's easy to have control over your eyeliner application. It's has an ever so slightly shiny finish, which I actually quite like because I feel it makes the black look inky and more dramatic.

The Eyeko liner has a felt tip applicator, much like a marker, that is thicker than the other two. Though it is definitely possible to draw thin lines with it despite the thicker tip, it may be a bit more difficult because you have to draw using the tip rather than being able to lay it down on its side and drag it across the lash line.

The Physician's Formula liner has an actual brush tip, with bristles and all. It's is the flimsiest applicator of the three due to being made of long brush hairs, but I definitely don't think it's so flimsy that it's difficult to apply at all. It also has the skinniest tip of the three, which allows for more precise lines. I actually like this applicator the best because I feel that I have the most control with it.

MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliner in On the Hunt

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black

Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner and Serum in Ultra Black

Keep in mind, the lighting in each of the 3 photos is slightly different and may be the cause for any color variations between the liners. In reality, all 3 are jet black, with the MAC liner possibly appearing a bit more black simply due to its finish. 

All 3 have similar lasting powers on me: all day. I don't have especially watery eyes, but a little bit of teariness here and there is definitely not enough to remove any of the liner. I've worn it in a little bit of rain, and that is also not enough to remove any of the liner. Of course, if you soak your eye with water and rub, or alternatively, find yourself in a sob-fest type of state, some of it will come off. Besides that, none of the liners fade or smear at all on me, and they last 100% until I remove my makeup at night.

If I had to choose one, I think I'd have to choose the Physician's Formula liner just because I love the applicator so much! I've had it for the least amount of time out of the three, so I can't comment on how quickly the liner dries out, but I'll keep you guys updated if it ends up being ridiculously fast. Since the formulas are all very similar, I think it's really a matter of price point and applicator tip preference. The MAC retails for $18.50, the Eyeko retails for $15 (available at Sephora), and the Physician's Formula retails for ~$11.

Are you a liquid liner fan? If so, what is your favorite liquid liner?

Disclaimer: The Eyeko liner was sent to me free of charge for review purposes only. I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I getting paid for reviewing it on my blog. The opinions expressed in this post are honest and based solely on my own experience with the product.

7-Day Lipstick Challenge, Take 2: Nude.

My nude lipstick pick is one that I don't think I've discussed much on my blog before, if at all. It's about time it got some blog time, though, because the color is so beautiful and flattering, and the formula is stellar. My nude lipstick choice is Too Faced Lip Creme Lipstick in Naked Dolly.

Naked Dolly is a nude pink actually, and I think the strong pink tones in it make it much more wearable on me than a true nude. I was introduced to the Too Faced Lip Creme line many months ago by my friend Jess, and although this is my only lipstick from that line, I've swatched most of the other shades before too, and I can definitely vouch for the amazing formula. It's pigmented and moisturizing and just sooo creamy. As a result, it doesn't have awesome staying power, but it's not terrible either. I predict that those who suffer from dry lips would really enjoy this line for its moisturizing properties. It also smells like lemon cookies to me, which is a big plus in my book :)

Countdown until anticipated completion of challenge: 1 day.

My Favorite Kind of Tangerine.

Burberry has to be one of my favorite high-end makeup brands ever, although, as many of you may already know, I also quite like Dior. I've only tried Burberry's eyeshadows and blushes, but my god, they are phenomenal.

My first and only Burberry blush is the much hyped about Tangerine, and seeing as how I bought it several months ago and it made the cut as being one out of only three blushes I brought with me to California for the holidays, it's about time it received some spotlight here on the good ol' bloggy blog.

Tangerine is a matte, warm, mid-toned peachy pink. I hate describing blushes as "peachy pink" because those two words together make up what I believe may be the most overused blush describing phrase in the history of blush.........describing (???). However, in this case, "peachy pink" seems to be the most fitting description that comes to mind. 

It has a gorgeous, silky smooth texture that is soft without being powdery. It has excellent pigmentation while still maintaining blendability. When I wear it, I just feel as though it melts into my skin and enhances my complexion without looking like an intentional blush shade, if you know what I mean. It's a fantastic everyday blush for light to medium skin tones.

Though a shade like Tangerine doesn't seem the most unique, upon closer inspection, I realized that I don't actually own any dupes for it. 
Clockwise from left:
Tarte Exposed
NARS Luster
Burberry Tangerine
Korres #15 Natural

L to R: Exposed, Luster, Tangerine, Natural

In comparison to a few of my other natural, everyday type of blushes:
Exposed is a matte, mauvey brown/nude (a bit darker and quite a bit pinker than Tangerine)
Luster is a golden peach with gold shimmer (lacks pink tones and has shimmer)
Tangerine is a matte, warm, mid-toned peachy pink
Natural is a pinky/peachy beige with a soft sheen (less pink and more brown, and has a sheen)

Though a $42 blush may not be the most affordable option for many people, if you are looking for a worthy splurge item, or perhaps looking to add an item onto your Christmas wishlist, I would highly recommend checking out the Burberry blush line. Like Tangerine, most of their shades are not the most unique shades on the market, but they are the types of shades you'll find yourself using again and again and again, and to me, that makes the $42 price tag much more justifiable :)

Have you tried any Burberry blushes? If so, which shade is your favorite?


7-Day Lipstick Challenge, Take 2: Coral.

I really wanted to have a good mix of both high-end and drugstore brand lipsticks this week, so for my coral pick, I decided against a few of my other coral favorites like Chanel Genial and MAC Costa Chic and went with Covergirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Fairytale

Fairytale is a bright, pinky coral. That's it, really! I hate that I keep having to repeat the same thing over and over again, but again, Fairytale looks pinker in my crappy photos than it does in real life. It has excellent pigmentation and lasting power...so good, in fact, that it leaves a heavy stain on my lips every time I wear it, which could be a good or a bad thing, depending on your personal preferences.

Countdown until anticipated completion of challenge: 2 days.


7-Day Lipstick Challenge, Take 2: Purple.

Out of the seven shades in this challenge, purple is definitely the one I'm most fearful of. I kept thinking back to how atrocious MAC Blooming Lovely looked on me when I did this challenge the first time. However, since that challenge, I've acquired a different purple lipstick, one that I feel is quite a bit more wearable too - I chose Revlon Lipstick in Berry Haute

Berry Haute is a purpley mauve, and much like the rest of Revlon's Super Lustrous line, it also is incredibly pigmented, buttery smooth, and moisturizing on the lips. It looks a bit pinker in my face photo than it actually looks in real life due to my lighting, but the first photo is a fairly good representation of its true color, and it applies pretty much the exact same color as it looks in the bullet.

Countdown until anticipated completion of challenge: 3 days.


7-Day Lipstick Challenge, Take 2: Wine.

Today's wine/burgundy/maroon/vampy lipstick is Wet 'n' Wild Lipstick in 918D Cherry Bomb. Easily one of the most affordable lipsticks in my collection, Cherry Bomb definitely packs a strong punch and is a cheap and cheerful must-have, especially if you've been interested in dabbling in the vampy lip trend for winter but hesitated on spending so much money on a lipstick you might not use that much.

Cherry Bomb is a rich, deep maroon that is a part of Wet 'n' Wild's Megalast line, so as expected based on the formula and the shade, it has great staying power. I find that it can be quite difficult to apply straight from the tube because of the large, circular lipstick bullet shape and because it tends to drag across the lips due to its drier texture. Using a lip brush may allow for more ease with application and yield a more precise end result, although I haven't used one today.

Countdown until anticipated completion of challenge: 4 days.

Too Faced Glamour to Go: Spun Sugar Edition.

My most recent purchase was a spur of the moment, I-definitely-don't-need-it-but-I'm-definitely-going-to-buy-it-anyways kind of purchase, because I don't have enough of those, right? ;)

The Too Face Glamour to Go Palette: Spun Sugar Edition retails for $22 (I got mine at Ulta), and what appealed to me most were 1)the eyeshadows and 2)the size. I saw Temptalia's review of this palette not long ago, and I immediately fell in love with the shade on the far right on the top row for some reason. What can I say? I love my taupes :D And the size thing is kind of silly, actually. It seemed like the perfect purse-sized palette, which seems fantastic except for the very small, yet important, detail that I don't carry any makeup in my purse besides lip products. Regardless, it's also a great sized palette for travel, especially if you tend to travel light with a small makeup bag.

Top row - All four shades are metallic, with shades 1 and 3 being a bit chunky and shades 2 and 4 being smooth.

Bottom row - Shades 1 and 3 are smooth metallics, while shades 2 and 4 have more of a matte base with a bit of tiny glitter laced through.

Top row of shadows are swatched on the left; bottom row swatched on the right.

In terms of pigmentation, the only shades I had issues with were the 1st and 3rd shades (1st and 3rd in swatch photo and in the top row) and the last shade (last in swatch photo; far right in bottom row). Shades 1 and 3 were not very pigmented and seemed a bit chunky when swatched , but both apply smoothly. The last shade lacks a bit of pigmentation, as do many of the black-based eyeshadows on the market. It just doesn't swatch or apply as richly as it appears in the pan.

In a pull-out compartment, there is a pale gold highlighter, a seemingly shimmery pale gold lipgloss, and a slightly orange-toned bronzer with gold shimmer. Honestly, these were not the star products for me, nor were they meant to be, as I said earlier that I bought the palette mainly for the shadows. The highlighter is nice, nothing to really write home about, the lipgloss applies practically clear so it's useless in my book, and I actually quite like the bronzer, but I just wish it was a bit easier to blend.

It's tiny - about hand size! Perfect for glamour on the go indeed. The packaging is pretty tacky, but hey, you can't win them all, now can you?

Overall, this palette is definitely not a must-have. I have it now, so I'm going to use it, but if you have a lot of palettes/eyeshadows already, I wouldn't recommend it. And if the eyeshadows don't interest you at all, I'd definitely skip the palette altogether as I feel there are much, much better highlighters and bronzers out there.

This palette served its purpose at the time as a quick pick-me-up......but that's about it. Back to my LORAC PRO Palette! :)

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