Well it happened. I honestly didn’t mean for it to. It wasn’t even on my radar. But it was my birthday and I had a coupon and it was so pretty. Enough with the excuses – meet vice.
The latest in giant tins of gorgeous from Urban Decay holds 20 brand new shades. I was immediately drawn to the column of reds and burgundies in the palette. The swatches proved them to be exactly what you’d expect from Urban Decay – soft, almost creamy with an insane level of blendability.
The nude matte shades in the range are slightly different to the more colorful palettes. The have a smooth texture and shades that lean toward the warm side. If you have a medium to dark skin, you might be pleased to actually find a shade that works as a non-shimmery highlight. For the paler among us, there is a light pink shade (Truth) that will work in a pinch.
The taupes and golds in the collection are a lovely mix of shimmers and mattes. Perfect for any everyday look you might imagine.
To round everything out are a few classic pops of color. Vanity, Dragon, Heroine and Freeze are pretty straight forward, but will give the perfect “little bit extra” when you’re looking to brighten things up just a bit. I also think these will make gorgeous smokey eyes during the holiday season.
Overall, I was much more impressed with the Vice Palette than I had anticipated because of the variety and quality of shadows. One adjustment to the palette I most appreciated was the inclusion of some really great matte shades. I was also fairly happy that there were no really gritty or glittery shades, as those tend to give the least payoff and are often uncomfortable to wear. As a side note, I really like the little pouch that came with the palette!
I have an ongoing infatuation with serums and oils. Hair oils, body oils, face oils – I love ‘em all. There is something so comforting about applying an oil to your skin. As we approach summer it would seem it’s time for the oily skinned of us to put them away, but I’ve found myself reaching for them just as often. There is nothing like an oil or serum that instantly hydrates and gives skin that soft, nourished look and feel.
One of my favorites from winter that has carried over into spring and summer is the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil from The Body Shop. This oil can be applied as light or heavy handed as you like. The scent is a soft, slightly powdery fragrance but it’s not at all overpowering. Just one tiny drop, warmed between your palms is enough to press into your face for immediate results.
If you are looking for an affordable, easy-to-use serum, this may be the perfect choice.
There is something so interesting to me about fashion that separates people into vehement camps. Not that I like division, conversely (see what I did there?), I think it’s amazing that otherwise sensible human beings can get so divisive over FOOTWEAR. It’s just fashion, people.
Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite pairs of shoes for spring…these are the ones I’ve gone back to over and over since the days have warmed. The funny thing with each of these styles is that people have either gone nuts over them (in a really good way) or have practically shunned me with their gagging noises and glaring side-eye. Either way, here are my current footwear faves for spring!
The Birkenstocks (I got mine on Poshmark) have been in the back of my mind for some time now, but I finally took the plunge. Funnily enough, the “fake” white asos Birkis (#4) are infinitely more comfortable than the real deal (#2) – plus they have really cute gold studs on the sides. I love the 90s feel of the black New Look sandal with white heels(#1; on sale right now at asos!). The python slip on sneaker (#3; similar here) is both snazzy and comfy all at the same time.
What articles of clothing do you have that people love to hate?
These new Extraordinaire lip colors from L’Oreal Color Riche are absolutely magical. And this is coming from a girl who isn’t overly fond of lipgloss. The texture on these is by far one of my favorite glossy formulas. Not to mention that the color options are absolutely stunning. Magic in a little gold tube, I tell ya.
As far as formula goes, the I would compare them to the YSL Rouge Pur Couture liquid lipsticks. They’re one part lipstick one part gloss but they manage to be more moisturizing than sticky. My favrorite part of the L’Oreal Extraordinaire lipsticks is the way they wear. They have a slight staining quality that keeps you from getting the infamous “ring around the mouth” and I’ve not had any problems with them bleeding into lip lines. They also leave plenty of moisture on the lips like a balm long after the color has worn off.
I would have a hard time choosing just one favorite from the five that I have. Ruby Opera is a deep cherry red that is perfect for an evening look. Orange Tempo is my favorite for a mod daytime look. Rose Symphony and Molto Mauve are the go-to colors for tossing in my handbag everyday and Nude Ballet is a gorgeous nude to wear with a dark smokey eye.
I had absolutely no intentions of purchasing this latest Electric palette from Urban Decay. And then I walked into Ulta and there it was, all bright and innocent, just sitting there looking like a 1990’s rockstar. So, of course I couldn’t leave it there all alone.
As much as I thought I wouldn’t get much use out of this ultra neon palette, I have to say, I’ve found myself reaching for it multiple times a week since I found it. It is perfect to use along with your neutrals to add a little color or you could go full on Jem and the Holograms if you’d like. I personally love mixing a little of the shadow with water or my elf seal and lock and use it as a liquid liner. I’ve even popped a little over lip balm as a lip color! Needless to say, it’s come into play much more that I anticipated.
If you are looking for a high quality colorful palette, I would definitely recommend the Urban Decay Electric Palette. The only shade that was a bit disappointing was Revolt…it has quite a bit of fallout and very little pigmentation. The good thing about that, though, is that it’s perfect for pressing a little over one of the other shadows to get a more high-impact glam look.
P.S. I posted a few photos on Instagram if you’re interested in how I’ve been using the Electric Palette!
Eyebrows were by far the most intimidating part of my routine when I first began learning how to do makeup. For years, I left my poor overplucked brows alone for fear of looking like Groucho Marx. For a person with light eyes, this often left me looking washed out or sad and tired. About 6 years ago, I discovered the magic that is filling in those brows. That said, I had yet to find a magical product that helped me both add color AND control those pesky little hairs that refuse to lay flat.
I have tried Anastasia products in the past and to be honest, wasn’t really successful with them. My main issue was finding a shade that matched my (then bright auburn) hair. Now that I have an “unnatural” hair color, I thought I would revisit the coveted brand and try out their latest iteration of brow taming – Dipbrow.
The formula of Dipbrow is somewhat like a cream eyeshadow with a touch more gel-like finish. I purchased the color Chocolate, but they have since added quite a few shades to the range, which is great. Since using this little pot of goodness, I have discovered a whole new level of control over my brows. The little hairs that once only pointed in an unflattering downward direction are now nicely coerced into a more horizontal direction. I also get my preferred retro shape in a much easier process with fewer gaps to fill in with a pencil or powder.
Overall, if your looking for a fast and easy way to create a strong brow that stays in place, I would HIGHLY recommend Dipbrow. If subtle is more your approach, make sure you purchase a light enough shade and use very little product – or opt for a brow powder instead. For me, this has saved minutes of frustration per day – and extra minutes mean more time for coffee!
I have been on a huge Tarte kick lately. Something about their packaging along with great quality product has me obsessing in a very real way. As much as I fought buying another lip product, I couldn’t resist the new Lip Surgence crayons.
After quite the search, I settled on the shade Tipsy, which is a warm muted melon. It has a soft brightness to it that just reminds me of Spring. Although these are labeled “Power Pigments” I wouldn’t consider this formula opaque or comparable to a lipstick. It still has quite a bit of sheerness to it but the color manages to show up nicely on lips. The formula is a bit tacky to me – like a lipstick but without the full color. It has a nice minty scent and is easy to use, though, which makes this a great everyday lip product for warmer days.
This is an action that does not come easily to my first-born, perfectionist, afraid to fail self. I have a habit of taking even the easiest of things and making them 10 times more complicated than they need to be. Generally, the over-complication of my life starts with hours of mental angst over a task, a conversation, a grocery list – you name it. I’ve perfected the art of throwing myself into a full-on tizzy (see: perfectionist tendencies).
The only problem with all of this detail loving, OCD living? I fail at it. Every. Single. Time. There is absolutely not a chance in you-know-where that I’ll be able to live up to this ridiculous standard I have set for myself. And I’m learning that that’s okay.
After years of setting myself up for failure (at least in my own eyes), I’ve realized a few things:
1. No one is going to think less of me if I don’t pull out all the bells and whistles. In fact, I’ve found just the opposite can happen. If I take time to just BE in the moment – not worrying about how I look, if that party decoration is placed just right, or whether I’m going to say something stupid – these are the times when I make the deepest connections with people and enjoy life the most. People can smell a fake a mile away; they can tell when we’re putting on our “everything is awesome” face. People also respond in the most amazing ways when we are present and genuine. And they’ll laugh right along with me if, heaven forbid, I burn the cookies or get lipstick on my teeth.
2. The times when I am trying my hardest to FORCE success are the times I am the biggest failure. Even if it looks like a success on the outside, forcing your way through life leads to insurmountable guilt and shame if things don’t turn out just the way you planned. I have heaped so much condemnation on myself in the past because my expectations of what I should be/do/think are completely unrealistic. I’m not talking about setting goals or dreaming dreams. I’m talking about expecting things from yourself that are based on lies. Thoughts like, “If I don’t accomplish this by the time I’m 35 then it’s over,” or “I’m afraid that if I tried that then this (bad thing) would happen and everyone would see what a failure I am.” I am (slowly) learning that I have to give myself some grace even when I feel I’ve failed. I’m still a good person with good intentions and if I just let myself relax I can handle life with more ease and peace than if I force myself to be perfect.
3. I cannot and will not be able to control every aspect of a situation. Ever. I am a card-carrying control freak. I swear one of my hobbies is thinking through a situation or task and planning my response to every possible outcome. This is incredibly tiring and (surprise surprise) has never won me any sort of award. In fact, it can actually keep me from doing the important things because I need to be certain everything is going to go off without a hitch. I overthink an outcome until I’m worn out by even the prospect of a potentially good relationship/opportunity/idea. Do you know what good my control-freakishness has done me? It has made me a tired, cranky, not-so-fun-to-be-around mess. It has forced me to focus on tasks rather than the people I love. It has kept me up at night with fear and worry that I’m forgetting something. Here is what I’ve learned, though: tomorrow takes care of itself. It always arrives – right on time – whether I’ve worried about it sufficiently or not. And you know what? So far, I’ve managed to survive every tomorrow I’ve come up against.
So, I’m learning to let go. I’m learning to calm myself. I’m learning that being busy isn’t as important as just being. I’m learning that it’s okay to not get everything on my to-do list accomplished. I’m learning to just focus on what’s important and let life take care of itself. I’m learning that the more I stop struggling and lean into surrender the more I’m capable of actually doing. I’m learning…I’m not there. And that’s okay.
I love using cream eyeshadows as a base for powder shadows. I know it’s an extra step, but if you really want to get the best wear and most color payoff from your treasured eyeshadow palettes, it really is best to give it something to stick to. Thankfully, you don’t have to buy an expensive cream base or primer these days.
As far as cream eyeshadows, Maybelline Color Tattoo remains my favorite. It has a fairly blendable consistency but still sets for a long lasting finish. My latest favorite is the color Inked in Pink, which is PERFECT to layer under the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. It brings out all the lovely rosiness and gives the colors extra lasting power – it’s like a little dream team!
When it comes to Beauty Balms, BB Creams and the like, I’ve found I am always down for giving them a try. I’m not sure what the draw is – maybe that they come in a tube and seem somewhat effortless. What I’ve discovered is that all BB creams are NOT created equally. They range from gorgeous to acceptable to downright grease in disguise.
When I discovered the NYX Beauty Balm, of course I had to try it. I know I’ve said it about other bbs on the market but, man, this stuff is GOOD. Maybe even the best out of the dozens I’ve tried. The texture is incredibly smooth – it glides on like a dream. It adds the perfect amount of moisture to the skin, but isn’t overly greasy. It also gives one of the fullest coverages that I’ve seen in a BB cream while still looking totally natural. I’m also a big fan of the color, which leans neutral as opposed to the pinker tones I’ve found in most Western BB creams.
For me, this is the perfect everyday skin perfecter. It is also my secret weapon in layering foundations to create a natural but still full-on coverage. In fact, I have worn this almost everyday since purchasing it at the first of the year and am now worried about running out of it. This will DEFINITELY be a repurchase (and I rarely make that kind of commitment).