Thursday, April 28, 2016


Growing up in the 90s, it was a given that you'd tie your hair up in a scrunchie if it was long enough. The poofier, the better. I remember there were all sorts of bright colors and frilly lace on them. Watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix sparked my inspiration for this week's Throwback Thursday.

I loved scrunchies and hair ties with cute little baubles on them. I remember my hair was (and still is) too thick and slippery for one scrunchie to hold up in a decent ponytail by itself. I always had to double up on them and they would lose their elasticity not too long after. I would have tie them three times around my ponytail and the fabric would be pulled so tight, the scrunchie effect was gone. At the time, hair ties with rubberized grips hadn't made their way to the mainstream yet. The side ponytail was huge, but I never tried it because I thought it was too "out there" for my taste. I secretly admired the girls who could pull off that look.

If you're feeling nostalgic, apparently Forever 21 is selling them! Although these aren't as poofy and frilly as the ones I recall.
Scrunchie set from © Forever 21
When I went to Tokyo, I noticed there were quite a few girls still sporting scrunchies but they were more grown up incarnations of the 90s ones. Silky fabric in delicate colors like taupe and peach with a little lace detailing on the edges. Paired with the right outfit, it can still look cute. I guess the scrunchie still lives on!

Do you still wear scrunchies? Were you super excited like me when there were hair ties available with rubberized grips? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

TUTORIAL - Prom 2016 Makeup with Urban Decay Naked Palette (and Other Fabulous Things!)

I cannot believe that another prom season is upon us! When I was in high school, I didn't care a lot about dances, let alone proms. I ended up going to my senior prom with some friends. A couple of us went stag but it was no biggie. We were alone together! It was a fun hang with my friends, but I wouldn't consider it life changing.

I did love my dress, though. It was an A-line strappy knee-length dress with gold underneath and a black lace overlay. It had a very vintage vibe.

I did my own makeup for prom. I remember using L'Oreal Bare Naturale Mineral Foundation, gold CoverGirl eyeshadow, tightlined black eyeliner, some kind of blush, and lots of waterproof Revlon mascara. I can't even remember wearing anything on my lips. I was very much ignoring that part of my face when I was in high school. I wouldn't be surprised if I went with a plain lip balm. Now I love lipstick and I get really excited about it. I also used to tightline my eyes everyday and I don't anymore. You grow up and your tastes change. Back then, I already loved playing up my eyelashes and I still do. So some things do stay the same.

My original prom dress resembled the one I'm wearing here.

It occurred to me that there may be some people out there wanting to do their own makeup but don't know what to use. If you have the budget for it, I would highly recommend purchasing one of the Urban Decay Naked palettes. If you pick the right one for you, it can become such a versatile tool to have in your beauty arsenal. You can continue to use a given palette long after prom is over: for graduation, attending lectures, interviews, work, etc. That's the thing I really love about these neutral palettes. You can use them to create really simple and pretty daytime looks, but you can also create gorgeous dramatic ones--all in the same palette! Admittedly, I went a little crazy and bought all three (Side note: I was planning on doing my own makeup for my wedding and I had a really hard time deciding which palette to go with and eventually ended up with all of them!). If you can find the one that suits you the most, that should suffice. Feel free to ask the sales associates at Sephora, Ulta, Macy's, or Nordstrom to help you out if you're feeling overwhelmed with your choices.

If you like my makeup look want to take the DIY approach for your prom/formal event, then read on for my tutorial!

If you're like me and have demilids/monolids and hooded eyes, it's very difficult to find looks that translate well from what we see in magazines and online. To top it all off, my eyes are also uneven! Oh, and don't forget about my stick-straight lashes! A very important tip is to always look straight ahead into the mirror to check your progress every now and then. I cannot tell you how many times I've put so much effort into doing beautiful shading on my eyelids only to have it all disappear when I opened my eyes. It's so frustrating because I love eyeshadows!

I can only tell you what works for me as someone who has demilids and hooded eyes, so you may need to make some adaptations to suit your eye shape.

Whenever you're using a dark or very glittery eyeshadow, hold a bit of tissue right under your eye and rest it on your cheek. This will catch any fallout that occurs and it won't mess up your foundation. Speaking of foundation, use one WITHOUT SPF. The SPF will cause flashback in your photos. There are lots of affordable non-SPF options at drugstores.

My products list:
Revlon ColorStay Whipped Foundation 200 Sand Beige (Long-wearing & looks great in photos. I used this when I did my own makeup for my engagement photos and Chinese wedding banquet.)
Stila Stay All Day Concealer 05 Hue
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked Palette
CoverGirl LashBlast 24hr Mascara Black (I think this may soon be discontinued)
Milani Anti-feathering Lipliner Pencil
Jordana Modern Matte Lipstick Matte It Girl (Available in-store at Walgreens and Kmart)
Essence Silky Touch Blush Babydoll
Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights
e.l.f. Makeup Brushes

Once you have curled your eyelashes and applied eyeshadow primer, apply the shade Naked all over your lid stopping just at the socket. You can see here I'm not fully monolid nor am I double-lid.

Use a black eyeliner pencil to line your upper lid as close to your lash line as possible. Stop right when you're able to see the top edge of the black eyeliner with your eyes open. Extend the line just past the length of your upper lash line for a slight wing. My wings point a little downward due to my hooded eyes. Otherwise, the hoods cause a break in the continuity of the wing.

You don't need to be 100% perfect with this step. This eyeliner is acting as part of a base and it will create more depth in the look.

Take a dense C-brush or small flat eyeshadow brush and pat the shade Creep right over the black eyeliner. Gently blend the eyeliner and Creep together to bring the dark shade up a little higher on your eyelid. Just enough so that the dark eyeshadow can show up while your eyes are open.

I love this trick especially for hooded eyelids that tend to get oily. It's like a symbiotic relationship: the eyeliner acts as a base for the eyeshadow, and the eyeshadow sets the eyeliner and minimizes creasing. Win-win!

Take a small blending brush and apply Buck right at the outer edge of Creep and carefully blend. This will smooth out the harsh black edge. For the inner portion of the eye, apply a bit of Half Baked for more dimension.

Take a little bit of Darkhorse and apply it right over where Buck and Creep meet. Again, this is for added dimension.

Finally, use Virgin as a brown bone highlight and make sure it's blended well with Buck.

Take a step back and see how all the colors are working together. Is everything blended smoothly? If you have small eyelids like I do, use caution when blending because doing it too widely can cause everything to look muddy. I found myself using smaller brushes to accomplish this.

Use a small slanted brush and use Creep to line the outer 2/3 of your lower lash line. If Creep looks too dark and harsh, you can substitute it for Hustle instead.

Unlike my former high school self, I didn't tightline here. It actually gives the illusion of smaller eyes and that's the opposite of what I'm trying to accomplish!

Use Virgin again with a small brush or applicator and highlight the inner corner of your eye. I like to bring the shade about 1/3 of the way on my lower lid to meet the darker shade.

Apply generous coats of waterproof mascara. Nothing else can help build volume and hold a curl for straight lashes more than waterproof mascara. The best kind allows you to build up your volume while holding the curl and not allowing your lashes to droop. Also, you're going to want your mascara to be waterproof if you're going to be dancing and having fun with your friends. This would not be a good time for raccoon eyes, speaking from someone who is very experienced with smudgy mascara!

Since this is a neutral eyelook, you can keep your lipcolor very tame or bold. Either way, find a lip color formula that's low-maintenance. If you're planning on taking photos, that's one less thing to worry about!

For this look, I used Jordana Modern Matte lipstick in Matte It Girl. Since matte lipsticks are not as emollient as their creme counterparts, they have a bit more staying power. If I was on auto-pilot, I would've slapped on a classic red lipstick because of my curled hair. I wanted this look to be "modern vintage" and it's Springtime, so why not?

After applying Stila Stay All Day Concealer in Hue for my undereye circles and set with some translucent powder, it's time for the final touches! I used my new favorite Essence Silky Touch Blush in Babydoll on the apples of my cheeks. Then I lightly swept Smashbox Baked Fusion Softlights across the tops of my cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. Start off with a little bit and you can always build it up since you don't want to look too shiny.

Apply a few spritzes of makeup setting spray and you're good to go! This will keep your makeup from inevitably melting and smearing across your face if you're going to be working up a sweat on the dance floor! I like to use Make Up Forever Mist & Fix.

Here's the final look (again)!

I hope this tutorial was helpful for someone out there. It was a bit of a process to take all the steps down but it was fun! The hardest part was probably dealing with lighting and getting decent shots of my own eye. Constructive criticism is welcome!

Do you have prom or any formal events coming up? Are you going to be doing your own makeup? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, April 25, 2016

MANI MONDAY - Glitter Gradient Nails

Happy Mani Monday! Today I used one of my favorite shades for this gradient manicure: China Glaze For Audrey.

I applied my OPI Glitter Off Peel-able Base Coat, then I used two coats of For Audrey. I followed up with a coat of Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat so I can quickly apply the subsequent coats of color. Then I topped off the tips with China Glaze Champagne Kisses and Sephora X Mind Blowing. I applied one final coat of Seche Vite to smooth out the glitter.

China Glaze For Audrey is the perfect robin's egg blue and the color is just timeless, just like Audrey Hepburn herself! This color is supposed to be a match for a Tiffany's gift box! The formula is perfect and covers very well in two coats.

CG Champagne Kisses is a soft champagne gold microglitter polish. The glitter is very dense so you can get smooth and even coverage.
Sephora X Mind Blowing is a neon yellow shade with micro, medium, and large hex glitter. I found this one at TJ Maxx recently for $0.70! It has a nice distribution of glitter so you don't have to fish for each piece.

I thought I'd do something a little more glitzy since prom season is here. I usually think of these types of nail looks for the holiday season but the color scheme here just scream Spring!

Have you tried any of these shades before? Do you like the look of gradient nails? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, April 22, 2016

LIPSTICKS - What a Steal! CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipsticks for $2.50!

Happy Friday, dear readers!!!

Have you ever tried CoverGirl's Lip Perfection lipsticks? I know that CoverGirl revamped this line and now they're called Colorlicious instead. They both have the same type of square tube packaging but many of the shades got discontinued and only a few from the Lip Perfection line advanced to the Colorlicious line. All of the shades in the Lip Perfection line had pewter caps. Now the Colorlicious line has colored caps corresponding to the lipstick shade family. You can view the new ones at

L to R: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipsticks in 205 Smolder, 260 Heavenly, 305 Hot, 308 Ravish, 310 Smitten, 324 Tantalize, 355 Tempt, 360 Euphoria

Why am I posting about a bunch of discontinued lipsticks? Because I think they're amazing quality, really pigmented, and affordable! If you happen to live near a Big Lots, (at least in my area in SoCal) they often have the CG Lip Perfection lipsticks on sale for $2.50 and sealed! Even better if you can score them on a weekend when they're offering 20% off everything. Definitely check out your local store! I built my own CG Lip Perfection stash solely from buying them from Big Lots. I'm pretty confident these will still be around since I was able to purchase them during different times of the year. Now, I can't guarantee they'll be available by the time you read this, but it's worth a shot, right?

L to R: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipsticks in 205 Smolder, 260 Heavenly, 305 Hot, 308 Ravish

L to R: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipsticks in 310 Smitten, 324 Tantalize, 355 Tempt, 360 Euphoria
I really love the bottoms of these lipsticks. The color is pretty close to the shade of the bullet. You also don't have to worry about a sticker wearing off. It just looks cool! I like to have these all lined up nice and neat. It's easy to do since the bases are square.

For those of you who have never heard of Big Lots, it's is primarily a discount store. All of their merchandise is new and sealed. You can often times find other drugstore makeup brands here, but my favorite products that I've picked up from there has to be these CG lipsticks.

L to R: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipsticks in 205 Smolder, 260 Heavenly, 305 Hot, 308 Ravish, 310 Smitten, 324 Tantalize, 355 Tempt, 360 Euphoria

I know a lot of people, including myself, love budget-friendly options. This is a low-risk way for you to try out a color that's more "out there" without committing to a big sticker price. Personally, I bought bolder colors, but there were definitely "safer" color options in the selection that I saw. Buying these lipsticks from Big Lots is also a cost-effecient way to build up your lipstick collection. Frankly, if I'm not attached to a particular high-end collection for any reason, I'm fine with settling with a drugstore option that's more affordable.

I would like to share my collection with you dear readers. Let me show you how amazing the color-payoff is. I've swatched them on my arm and my lips.

L to R: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipsticks in 205 Smolder, 260 Heavenly, 305 Hot, 308 Ravish, 310 Smitten, 324 Tantalize, 355 Tempt, 360 Euphoria

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 205 Smolder

Smolder is a warm and spicy nude shade veering on terra cotta but not as orange. This was the very first Lip Perfection lipstick that I acquired. I really like it as it goes with many different makeup looks.
CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 205 Smolder
It's a great year-round shade. If I didn't have so many other lipsticks, I'd be happy just carrying this one in my purse!

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 260 Heavenly

Heavenly has got to be in my top favorite lipsticks ever. It's a warm pink with a hint of brown in it, so it works really well with my skin tone. This was the first lighter pink lipstick that didn't make me look ill.
CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 260 Heavenly
Everytime I put this on, the color just perks up my face and it's a nice change from the spicy shades that are my other go-tos. I realized that I was going through this tube pretty fast so I managed to nab another one at my last Big Lots trip.

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 305 Hot

Hot is very true to its name! It looks like it glows on me and it's a definite blue-based red. I hear this is the shade that Taylor Swift has in her stash. Who knows if she really wore it more than once because I bet she has tons of red lipsticks! Anyway, it was just an anecdote I read online before! I looked up some pictures of her supposedly wearing this and on her, it looks more muted. The power of different skin tones, I'm telling you!
CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 305 Hot
On me, it's a very bright cherry red--almost like neon orange mixed with a lot of red. It's so intense! I would likely save this for special occasions. I've notice that these kinds of shades make me look a lot more tan. I have a few nail polishes that do that, too. That's my oliveness showing through!

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 308 Ravish

Ravish is a very pretty medium berry shade with a bit of pink. I can see myself reaching for this a lot if I can overlook Heavenly!

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 308 Ravish
I love these kinds of shades because they're a fun alternative to muted reds.

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 310 Smitten

Smitten is a cool-toned plum shade. I was a little hesitant to pick this one up because it looked so blue-based in the tube. I knew that berry shades worked well with me, but this was the first time I'd try one that had a lot more blue in it and that was cooler.
CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 310 Smitten
I thought for a mere $2, it wouldn't hurt to experiment with something a little bit further outside my comfort zone. I wore it a few times and I liked it more and more. It would make a great shade for Wintertime, especially.

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 324 Tantalize

Tantalize is a pink orchid shade that leans cool. It's not so light that it makes me look ill. I really like this shade for Springtime.
CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 324 Tantalize

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 355 Tempt

Tempt is a neutral raspberry red. I find this shade to be very flattering and is more wearable for everyday than Hot since it's more subdued.
CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 355 Tempt
I think this would look more purple and berry toned on someone with lighter skin tone than me. It's really lovely!

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 360 Euphoria

I bought Euphoria at the same time as Smitten. I actually thought Euphoria was going to be my super daring color because it looked so dark in the tube. Turns out on me, it's a very nice and rich bordeaux color. It's funny, I thought this would look super vampy on me. It actually looks like a very wearable berry tone for the holiday season.
CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick 360 Euphoria 
I'm learning that my oliveness turns intense berry tones into very wearable and casual shades for me. I find that so fascinating.

I really like all the shades I picked up. My favorite of the bunch has to be Heavenly. It was the first pink lipstick that didn't make me look ill. Euphoria surprised me the most. From what I could tell online, it seemed like a really bold shade. Once I tried it on, it just kind of goes with my complexion. Funny how these things work! Smitten was the one that turned out to be my most "daring" color.

I highly recommend that you visit your local Big Lots and see if there are any of these lipsticks available. The pigmentation is wonderful and the wear-time is pretty solid. It's not a long-wearing lipstick so it doesn't make any outrageous claims. I'd say it lasts about 3-4 hours before you'd need to reapply and of course, it would depend on how often you're eating/drinking.

I'm curious to know if there will be any more of these available next time I visit Big Lots. I've passed on a few lighter pink white-based shades that I was certain would not look good on me. I'm sure they'd look lovely on other people, though. I heard that Spellbound is a dupe for MAC Girl About Town.

Have you tried any of the CG Lip Perfection/Colorlicious lipsticks before? Do you live near a Big Lots? Let me know if you found any treasures in the comments below!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY - What Was Your First Higher-End Palette?

My first eyeshadow palette was the Urban Decay Pulp Fiction palette. I had purchased it for $16 from Nordstrom Rack. I had seen them on display a few times at the store but never bothered to pick it up. I wasn't a die hard Pulp Fiction fan nor did I love seemingly "boring" shades. Most of my eyeshadows were from the drugstore and I had a few UD eyeshadow singles but I wasn't very interested in acquiring more higher end makeup for myself...yet!

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Palette
I hadn't been bitten by the neutral eye makeup bug yet, so aside from the cool-looking packaging, I wasn't all that interested in the shades in this palette. Out of curiosity, I looked up some swatches of the palette when I got home and lots of beauty bloggers had raved about the pigmentation and blendability of it. I decided on a whim that I'd pick it up the next time I saw it.

At this time, I was still pretty dense when it came to skin undertones, so I was very pleasantly surprised when these colors looked so harmonious on my face. I read some more about the palette and learned that it leaned warm, thanks to this post by Christine at Temptalia. It was a nice pairing with my light neutral-warm-yellow-olive skin. Up to this point, I was all about colorful eyeshadows but it's hard to find shades in the drugstore that didn't clash with my skin tone when I could finally get them to show up. 

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Palette
The real game-changer for me is the shade Tyranny. In the pan, it wasn't the most gorgeous shade I had ever seen so I had very low expectations for it. Because it's such a warm shade of brown, it actually perked up my face. I later on realized that a lot of brown shades I owned were emphasizing my undereye circles and were clashing with my coloring and made me look dull. That's no good!

I thought that the little dual-ended brush was so cute and I love the bold red wand. It's actually very useful since the bristles are densely packed and makes this palette very travel-friendly. The flap is magnetic but it isn't the most secure thing in the world. I'm usually very careful with my makeup anyway so I wasn't worried about being rough with it.

Urban Decay Pulp Fiction Palette. Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Righteous, Tyranny, Vengeance, Furious/Anger.
This little gem of a palette changed my perception of neutrals. It wasn't that neutrals aren't beautiful, it was because I wasn't choosing the right colors for my own face! This palette is perfect to tie into an office-appropriate look. It's compact enough to throw into your purse. And if you're going out after work, you can add a little more of Furious to your lash line for a more dramatic nighttime look. I actually wish I picked this up sooner!

What was your first higher-end eyeshadow palette? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Beauty Staples for Long-Haul Flights

How many of you dear readers have long-haul flights in the upcoming months? Here are some of my tips for an in-flight beauty routine that I hope you can find helpful.  I have flown my fair share of 12-14 hour flights, so hopefully I can help someone out there!

My Beauty Picks for a Long-Haul Flight
I like to keep things very simple during a long flight. More than anything, I like to emphasize on hydrating your skin. That cabin air is so drying and you need to create a barrier against it from your skin, especially on your face, because it can get really uncomfortable over the course of your long flight. Drinking several cups of water throughout the flight will also help your skin stay plump. Make sure you take enough stretch breaks, too!

On any other day, I love doing makeup but I really like to be low-maintenance for long flights. I don't bother at all with foundations, eye makeup, and I barely bother with lip colors.

L to R: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+, Eos Lip Balm, Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion w/ Aloe, Mini Vial of Victoria's Secret Heavenly EDP, Bath & Body Works Pocketbac in Fresh Balsam, Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Smitten
Before I leave the house for the airport, I make sure I wash my face, apply toner, and moisturize. In all likelihood, I'm not going to be washing my face at the airport or on the plane. We all know we only have a finite amount of space for our liquids for carry-on bags. You need to be smart about what's worth taking and what isn't. As a former over-packer, I've pared things down into the following to include in my 1-quart bag:
  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
  • Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask
  • Eos Lip Balm
  • Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion w/ Aloe
  • Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain
  • Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel
  • Mini perfume vial
A related item that is not a liquid that you can include in your carry-on bag are makeup remover wipes. They won't count against your liquids quota! You can pack a few sheets in another Ziploc bag if you need to freshen up on the plane. I have a new favorite thanks to G. at Nouveau Cheap. They're Epielle Cleansing Tissues. They come in a variety of lightly scented and unscented options and they're super affordable!

Epielle Green Tea Cleansing Tissues
You can pick them up at your local Big Lots store. This is a pack of 30 sheets for $1 or 80 cents if you can time it out with their 20% off sale. If you don't live near a Big Lots, Clean & Clear has some that received great reviews and can be purchased here.

I've included links above each description if you'd like to purchase the rest of these items for yourself.

I apply this before I leave the house and will reapply after my first bathroom break on the plane. It's very light and unscented. I've been using this lotion ever since middle school. The one I have here is a revamped version for very dry to dry combination skin. On a typical long-haul flight, I apply this 2-3 times all over my face and do little touch ups on spots that need a little extra help like around my nose.

I apply this after a few hours on the plane around the time when I start to get tired. It may or may not mean I'll fall asleep, but that's just when I do it. As the name implies, it's thicker than the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+. I feel like this does a great job at locking in moisture and that's great if I do happen to fall asleep. I usually don't sleep for more than two hours at at time on planes.

I apply this as needed. I happen to be using Eos lip balm spheres at the moment. It's definitely cute but it performs just like a regular lip balm.

I would only apply this if I was going to meet somebody for a meal when I landed. It's a low-maintenance lip product that gives my face an extra boost of color after being on a plane for 10+ hours. I love this in the shade Honey. I also don't have to worry much about reapplying since it leaves a nice stain after eating and drinking. I'd probably be too jetlagged to notice anyway! I've raved about this lippie in my previous MLBB post.

I always carry hand sanitizer with me so a plane is no exception. You never know when you need to sanitize quickly for a meal or after touching something many other people have touched. I personally prefer Bath & Body Works' because of their lovely scents. Purell is another good option if you have a sensitive nose.

Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion with Aloe
Your hands are bound to get dry on a long flight. This Gold Bond lotion is a new favorite and really does help my dry skin. It was featured in my March Favorites post. It has a very light and pleasant aloe/chamomile scent.

Mini Perfume Vial

For this, you don't even have to go as large as a roller ball or purse spray. I'm sure most people have a little vial of perfume they received as a sample at some point. If not, Nordstrom and Sephora give out samples. If you don't have one already, make a mental note to pick one up next time you're at the mall :) It's a good idea to carry one with you so you can spritz yourself with it when you get off the plane to distract from the cabin smell.

My Flight Beauty Staples in a 1-qt Ziploc Bag
I get my travel-sized Clinique items whenever they're running a free gift with purchase promotion at Macy's/Nordstrom/Bloomingdales. If you want to wait a bit and get a free 7-piece GWP, Nordstrom has their Clinique promo starting May 17-June 5, 2016. Clinique Bonus Time is a fantastic resource to find out when there will be another Clinique GWP will be available. (Don't forget to sign up for Ebates for extra cash back savings! I have my referral link on the right side of this page.)

I hope my tips can be of some help to even just a couple of you dear readers. Perhaps it's a side-effect of getting older, but I'm not self-conscious about showing my bare face. I just want what's easiest! While I normally really do enjoy applying makeup, international travel is just a no-go for me! Plus, I know everyone is not looking their best when they get off the plane, so I can't worry too much about it. Not to mention, everyone is jetlagged, trying to get their luggage, and trying to get through customs and leave!

Where are you off to this year? Do you follow a simple beauty routine like I do or does yours involve a few more steps? Let me know in the comments below!


I'm so excited to be able to do an empties post for you all. It's rare for me to use up more than one product at a time so I jumped at the opportunity to write this when I had three!

L to R: Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash w/ Shea Butter, Bath & Body Works Endless Weekend Gentle Foaming Hand Soap, Trader Joe's Face & Body SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash w/ Shea Butter 

I picked up the Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash at Target a couple of months ago when the very dry, very itchy spot on my shin wasn't going away. I looked up reviews online and it seemed to be a hit. The formula includes one whole jar of moisturizer so it seemed promising. Used in conjunction with my Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion with Aloe, my troubled skin seemed to improve a lot. My arms were also starting to feel more supple after each use. I sometimes forget how dry the climate in LA really is.
Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash w/ Shea Butter Description
It has a light shea butter scent which I found very pleasant. I don't think this would irritate most people's noses. The body wash produces a nice frothy lather and the generous 23.6 oz in this bottle lasts a good amount of time.

Bath & Body Works Endless Weekend Gentle Foaming Hand Soap

I've been using Bath & Body Works' products for many years. I really enjoy using their gentle foaming hand soaps. Because I was dealing with dry skin, I designated my foaming hand soaps for the bathroom and the deep cleansing ones for the kitchen. I like to stock up on these when there's a nice promo in stores that you can combine with a coupon.

Bath & Body Works Endless Weekend Gentle Foaming Hand Soap
You can always get a nice lather with these hand soaps and the variety of scents is wonderful. This time, I tried it out in Endless Weekend.

Endless Weekend Gentle Foaming Hand Soap Description
I really enjoyed this scent although it smells a little different than the Ultra Shea Body Cream. The hand soap smells more aquatic and doesn't have the coconut note that the body cream does, which I enjoyed in the latter. Endless Weekend as a whole is a nice way to include a coconut scent in your daily routine without it being too overpowering, just not in the hand soap!

Trader Joe's Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion

I'm picky about the sunscreens I use. Before read the reviews online and purchased Trader Joe's Face & Body Sunscreen, I thought all sunscreens were hard to blend into skin and that was just something I had to deal with.
Trader Joe's Face & Body Sunscreen
I love how this blends in like a regular lotion and it has SPF 30 in it. Even better, you can use it on your face and it's non-comedogenic, too! I did notice a while later that parts of my face were feeling drier than normal, like around my nose. I looked up this issue online and someone said that it could be due to sunscreen. I started applying a little bit of Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ and it seems to have helped with the flakiness.

Description on Back of Trader Joe's Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion

The skin on our faces is naturally thinner and more sensitive than the rest of our bodies. It's just that some of us are more sensitive than others. I still think this is a great sunscreen. It can only be purchased in stores at Trader Joe's and it's priced at $5.99.

Have you used any products in my April Empties? Care to share yours from this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

LIPSTICKS - Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters

PSA: Rite-Aid is currently having 75% off their Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters making them $1.99 and even better if you have a coupon! I highly suggest you dear readers go check out your local Rite Aid to see if there are any left if you've been wanting to try them!

L to R: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters in Fig Jam, Candy Apple, Berry Smoothie, Sorbet, Lollipop.

Just wanted to get that out there before moving further :) Don't these look stunning all lined up together?

These are sheer, moisturizing lipsticks, perfect for the makeup novice since you can build up the color. They will never be too in-your-face and is a great way to experiment with different colors for the first time. Depending on how pigmented your lips are naturally, the shades will vary wildly from different people. Your natural lip shade will peek through due to the sheerness of these Lip Butters. The actual intensity of the color is much lower than what you see in the bullet.

I bought my first Lip Butter in the shade Berry Smoothie a good while ago. On me, there was nothing really special about it. It was a nice shade to wear in professional settings, it was moisturizing, and the packaging was cute.

Windows at the top of each cap showing the shade.
L to R: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters in Fig Jam, Candy Apple, Berry Smoothie, Sorbet, Lollipop.

Later on, Revlon started discontinuing some shades in this line, so I was able to pick up Fig Jam at Big Lots for under $2. I hear this is a favorite among my fellow olive-toned beauties.

Then last week, I saw that Rite Aid was putting all of the remaining permanent shades on clearance for 75% off. With a mere $1.99 price tag, I had to get three more: Candy Apple, Sorbet, & Lollipop. I also happened to have $1 off coupons with me, so even better!

L to R: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters in Fig Jam, Candy Apple, Berry Smoothie, Sorbet, Lollipop

I'm not sure if the entire line of Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters is slated to be discontinued by the end of the year. I still see the entire line marked at regular price at CVS, Target, Walgreens, and the usual online outlets. It could just be Rite Aid as a whole getting new shipments. I wonder if anyone can verify this?

Labels at the bottom.
L to R: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters in Fig Jam, Candy Apple, Berry Smoothie, Sorbet, Lollipop

I've swatched the shades in my collection on my arm and my lips. I've also linked to where they are available at the top of each shade.

L to R (two swipes): Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters in Fig Jam, Candy Apple, Berry Smoothie, Sorbet, Lollipop

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 030 Fig Jam (Discontinued)

I think of this as the most conventional color of the bunch. It's a bit of a cinnamon color on my lips. It looks very natural on me like a dark nude. It gives a polished look and it's one step up from wearing a plain lip balm.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 030 Fig Jam (Discontinued)
This shade is great if for those days when you feel like you want to wear something on your lips but can't decide on what color. I know I sometimes don't feel like doing the whole nine yards when it comes to getting ready for the day. I would reach for a shade like Fig Jam to make myself look a little more polished. These are the types of shades I was drawn to when I first started wearing lipstick.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 035 Candy Apple

Now we're getting into a little more colorful territory. On me, this is a nice orangey red that makes my face look more vibrant. I think it compliments my rosy blush very well.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 035 Candy Apple
I think this would be a lovely option for anyone who wants to start wearing red lipstick but can't commit to the fire-engine red just yet.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 050 Berry Smoothie
Ah, my first Lip Butter. Berry Smoothie is definitely a MLBB shade for me, even more than Fig Jam. My lips are naturally pink so this shade just adds a teeny tiny bit of a berry tone to them. Berry Smoothie doesn't make me look as pale as Fig Jam did.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 050 Berry Smoothie
This wears like a tinted lip balm on me.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 053 Sorbet

Sorbet is very similar to Berry Smoothie except it leans more pink. But definitely a wearable one. I love this color for Spring.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 053 Sorbet

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 075 Lollipop
Lollipop is the most vivid of the bunch. It's a fuchsia orchid shade with a tiny bit of blue iridescent shimmer in it. It's not at all garish on me. This one is veering into "real lipstick" territory as it is quite pigmented.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter 075 Lollipop
I think this would be more suitable for anyone who loves fuchsia lips but want a more hydrating option than conventional lipsticks.

As the name states, the formula is quite buttery and smooth. The bolder shades leave a light stain but nothing too outrageous. Due to the moisturizing aspect, it can wear off quicker than a conventional lipstick. It doesn't really bother me since I expect to reapply non-longwearing lipsticks a couple times throughout the day. Aside from Fig Jam, the rest of the shades had some shimmer in them but nothing that was annoying and chunky.

I LOVE THE PACKAGING! I usually don't give product packaging much thought unless it's really impractical or otherworldly all-kinds-of-lovely. The quilted cap is so adorable and I love how each one is color-coordinated with the shade inside. I like the window at the top of the cap but I could wouldn't mind if it wasn't there since I would first use the cap color as a reference.

Some beauty bloggers complained that the base of the product wasn't wide enough to grip. It doesn't really bother me, but I'll just have to be a little more careful with it than with most lipsticks.

Taking into account the buttery consistency of these, I would have to say my favorite is my OG Berry Smoothie. It's a matter of personal preference, but if I would want to be wearing a more natural shade if I already know it'll wear off pretty easily. For bolder colors, I them in the form of regular creme finishes or even matte finishes to prolong the wear.

Of my newer additions, I'd have to say that Lollipop is the star. I love how beautifully vibrant the color is, but I would have to keep a closer eye on it if I were to wear it out for an entire day. I anticipate that it will not wear off as subtly as shades like Fig Jam and Berry Smoothie.

Is It Worth Your While?: 
If you're on a lipstick kick like I am, then definitely check these out! These would make wonderful transition products for anyone who wants to go from wearing only lip balm to lipstick. These would also be excellent options for anyone who thinks regular lipsticks are overly drying. These will also be great if you just love variety in your collection, like me!

Do you own any of the Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters? What is your favorite shade? Let me know in the comments below!

Other Products Used for Today's Look:
  • FACE
    • Maybelline Fit Me 120 Classic Ivory
    • Stila Stay All Day Concealer 05 Hue 
    • Essence Silky Touch Blush Babydoll
  • EYES
    • Jordana Best Lash Extreme Mascara 301 Black
    • Jordana Fabuliner Black
    • Urban Decay Primer Potion
    • Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons: Totally Fetch, Almond Truffle, Dark Truffle, Divinity

ULTA HAUL - Got Gwen?

It's hard to resist a great deal, especially when it's for such pretty pretty things! Urban Decay's Gwen Stefani lipsticks were recently on sale at $12 (orig. $18). I was going to settle for getting the shade Firebird, since it's the most unique-looking, through since they have free shipping for beauty products. A couple nights later, a kind stranger on Reddit MUA shared a 20% off code for that they weren't using...which led to the haul I'm about to show you! I had to seize the moment and quickly added the five available shades of the Gwen lipsticks: 714, Firebird, Rock Steady, Spiderweb, and Wonderland. I had a little bit left to spend to get the free shipping at $50+ so I threw in the Essence Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner for $2.99. I use liquid eyeliners often for my go-to eye looks. Since I spent over $35 on UD, I was able to get a deluxe sample of Primer Potion and a gorgeous duochrome eyeshadow called Fireball. There was also a promo code still working for Laura Gellar Spackle, so I was able to nab that, too!
My Ulta Haul!
My box of beauty goodies arrived today! Ulta included two sets of samples of Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Laura Gellar Spackle.

Before I went on RedditMUA, I had my Sephora Beauty Insider coupon for 10% off. I couldn't really justify spending $12 for each tube of lipstick even with 10% off and I'd have to spend $50+ for free shipping, which was why I originally settled for only getting Firebird through I guess this was meant to be! I can't wait to pair these lippies with my Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette! Even though the shades other than Firebird were not super unique, I still think they looked gorgeous online. I adore classic shades so I'm still really pleased with the selection!

As of the time of this post, Ulta still has the shades 714 and Spiderweb for $12 available here.

Top to Bottom, Left to Right - Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Lipsticks: Spiderweb, Wonderland, 714, Firebird, Rock Steady
I haven't taken up close shots of the lipstick bullets yet, but I will very soon! I just wanted to share my haul since I'm so excited :) Isn't the packaging gorgeous? UD and Gwen Stefani really did a great job with this collaboration. Being a child of the 90s, I grew up listening to No Doubt. Gwen Stefani is such a musically talented and creative style icon and I love how she got to share bits and pieces of her style with the rest of us. This collection is rather comprehensive so there's at least one product for everyone.

Do you have any favorites from the UDxGwen collection? Did you pick up any new faves from Ulta recently? Let me know in the comments below!