Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring 2016 Beauty Wishlist

spring wishlist - beauty

What is it about spring that just makes me want to shop? I think it's because, after winter weather, it's nice to embrace the change of temperature, flowers blooming, and celebrate the lengthening of sunlit hours...with new routines and fresh items. At least, that's what I tell myself. HA.

Lately I've been exploring fashion more, to be honest (mostly on Instagram), and going for simpler, streamlined makeup, which is reflected here.

Clockwise from top left:

  • Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Light: I'm having a Becca moment (I just bought the Pistachio color corrector and quite like it - I'll review it soon), and I've been wanting an SPF-free liquid foundation. Tracy said she likes this one, it's gotten great reviews, and seems to be geared toward dry skin, so I think I'm going for it.
  • Becca Ultimate Coverage Concealing Crème in Tahini: need a new concealer. Sticking with the  Becca theme.
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow in Coral: I like a lot of barely-there lip color for work, and sometimes I don't want the sparkles of Dior gloss. 
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush in Blushed Copper: The new line of blushes looks great, and I love bronzy, terracotta shades.
  • Farmacy Rise N' Shine Daily Moisture Lock: Another brand recommendation from the fabulous Tracy. I'm not totally sure this is going to be moisturizing enough - I get nervous when   descriptions say, "lightweight." Has anyone tried this?
  • Cane + Austin Miracle Pad + : I'm usually a weenie when it comes to pads and peels, but I liked a sample of this, so I think I might go in for the full size and use sparingly.
  • Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base: Also says "lightweight," ha. But I'm curious because it says it's a great base for makeup.
  • Beauty Blender Micro.mini: (what's up with the name, guys) I have the pink one for foundation and concealer, but it's a bit too big for undereye concealer (MAC Pro-longwear) and tends to get it on my cheeks. So I want these, just for the undereye (the only place I wear concealer daily).
  • Marc Jacobs The Face III Buffing Foundation Brush: Because it is so big and FLUFFY. And I want to try foundation brushes again.
What's on your list? Got the shopping bug? Or are you doing your spring cleaning, instead?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunday Sessions: VII

[No affiliate links].

I'm meeting Xiao today! We are going to eat all the things.


Notorious RBG. I like reading biographies every now again, if they are well-written and engaging, and this one definitely is. Sometimes the narrative jumps in and out of time irregularly, but for the most part, it works. I'm about halfway through, and I have a lot of admiration for Judge Ginsberg's work, but also for the way she and her husband treated each other as true equals and partners.


Scrotal Recall. The name is cringe-worthy, yes, and also a really bad pun, but the six episodes that make up the first season on Netflix are worth watching. It's funny but also unexpectedly sincere and endearing, with likable characters who have charisma and a solid friendship. Dylan has chlamydia, so he calls up all of his exes to let them know, and each episode is a flashback to each woman. It's been renewed for a second season, and I'm delighted.

To get back on board with more cardio. I go to aerial classes 2-3 times/week, depending on my schedule, and it's a good full body workout - the instructors are great about changing up the conditioning and we're always learning new things. But I think I need more focused cardio, so I've been using the Nike Training Club app again for quick sessions, especially to work legs and abs (aerial is a lot of upper body).

Obsessed with:
Spring/summer shoes

Shoe shopping. At the end of last summer, I got rid of a couple pairs of sandals that were 3-4 years old and had been worn into oblivion. So naturally, as soon as the weather started getting warmer, I was on Nordstrom's sandals page. I ordered and like both the Sam Edelman "Dawson"(worn here) and the Cobb Hill "Ramona," which are comfortable and great for days when I want to wear flats, but I've also got my eye on some heels, as well. And maybe a blush-colored pair of closed toe flats.

Link love:
- Some of these terrifying staircases just boggle the mind.
- Can't find much to criticize here. The most interesting part of the article, to me, was that (they claim), it came as a request from the store workers, who got tired of throwing away good food at the end of the day.
- A friend suggested I listen to The Anatomy of Doubt after I posted about the Jian Ghomeshi case on Facebook. It enraged me, but it was definitely important to listen to. I would suggest this as a follow-up article.
- I actually was looking at Tom Hank's twitter profile the other day was and giggling about this. Apparently I'm not the only one who noticed!
- Ok, this is HYSTERICAL.

Have a great Sunday, and holiday, if you celebrate. Let me know how you're doing! Have any links or news to share? Or an opinion on those SHOES? Hahaha.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Vita Liberata Gives a Pretty Fool-Proof Bronzy Glow

[Product was provided by PR for review. All opinions are my own. No affiliate links.]

Until last year, I never really thought about self-tanners. I'm pale, and okay with that. I can appreciate wanting to change it up sometimes, though, and wanting to slay in a bikini without weird tan lines or blinding folks with my "stuck in a basement apartment all winter" er, "glow."

But Vita Liberata reached out to me and started sending me some products to try, and I have to say, there is now a place in my seasonal beauty routine for self tanners. I've reviewed Vita Liberata's Self Tanning Night Moisture Mask before (with SCIENCE), and was pleased. That was pretty tame, though, compared to the Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Mousse in Medium. This one requires a tanning mitt, which made me bug out at first. I'm not the most precise or coordinated person, and I had visions of being all splotchy and orange after a slapdash application. Thankfully, that was not the case. This is pretty fool-proof (and it's my first experience with an all-over body tanning lotion).
Dreaming of summer.

I usually shower and shave my legs before I start (the instructions say to exfoliate prior to application). You pump the dark brown foam on to your mitt (I purchased one mitt on my own, and was given another one by PR), then apply in large, circular motions. I start from my feet and work my way up, and skip my face. I applied it once on myself, and then had S do it another time, and the results were similar, although he is more thorough than I am. As soon as you apply, you can see the color, so it's easy to see where you may have missed. Protip: Stand in good lighting.

It smells a little of burnt sugar (not unpleasant and very faint), spreads evenly, dries quickly, and doesn't transfer once it dries (I put clothing on immediately afterward and nothing stained). I applied 2-3 times over 2-3 days, showering only with water in between, and I would say it lasted about a week, with gradual, natural fading. The bronzed glow was very much my natural tan shade - not orange at all - and not too deep. It does deepen with reapplication, but if you want it to be very deep, they suggest going with the "Dark" option (I have Medium). So, not quite the 2-3 week mark that it claims, but I didn't do much to prolong it, either. If I wanted it to last, I would probably reapply a light coat every week.

The only problem is that the bottle does tend to leak a tiny bit, near the seal (beneath the cap, though, so it won't leak anywhere else), so be careful when you open it. This is easily remedied by wiping the residue off onto the mitt when you open it, though. A bottle is a bit pricey at $54 (Sephora has mini sizes for $25 to try/travel, as well), but it's not streaky, doesn't smell bad, and leaves a nice, natural bronze tan, and I think it would last a few months (several applications). Even in the winter, it's a great way to boost your mood (helps add definition to pasty areas, ha), so if you're in the market for a self-tanning lotion, this is definitely one to try!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Workday Red: ILIA Beauty Lipstick Crayon in 99 Red Balloons

[Product was provided by PR for review. Opinions are my own. No affiliate links.]
Ilia Lipstick Crayon in 99 Red Balloons, $24 at Ilia.
Ilia Beauty is a brand with an "ethical-sustainable" emphasis that feature products with "at least 85% certified organic bioactive botanicals" (information from their site). I appreciate the nod toward sustainability and eco-friendly options, and that they include full ingredients lists for their products. I don't necessarily believe that organic/"green" products are better (especially because the definitions and even certifications can be loose), but I can agree that transparency, simplification, and the motivation for these brands is something to get behind. And who is going to argue with more fabulous lipstick options?
Wearing Ilia 99 Red Balloons.
This lipstick crayon is a pencil that twists up, which is ultra convenient (no wasteful sharpeners). It goes on smoothly, without tugging, is richly pigmented, and the finish is a subtle, natural satin - there is a sheen, but it's not screaming for attention like a gloss or matte formula. The shade is also similarly an "everyday" red - warmer with a hint of blue to keep it a "true red." It is not what I would wear for a smashing night out, but it is something I would wear to work (and have done - I'm wearing it today, actually). I think there's a place for this kind of finish + color combination. It doesn't bleed, isn't high maintenance, and is basically a workhorse red.

I don't find it moisturizing, but it's comfortable to wear, and though it contains oils, it isn't heavy. If you wear it over balm (photo below), it will be glossier and tends to slip, so I prefer wearing it on its own.
Over Nuxe balm. The many stages of a pixie!
Bottom line: it's advertised as a "straightforward classic," and I would have to agree. I imagine it being Parisian chic, complementing an everyday classic fashion aesthetic. The formula is good (there aren't enough of these lipsticks that have subtle finishes - not MAC Amplified style heavily opaque and creamy, not sheer or glossy, not starkly matte) and I would say it's worth looking into for a handbag staple.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Nuxe Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm Rêve de Miel

[Product was provided by PR for review. Opinions are my own, and there are no affiliate links.]
NUXE Rêve de Miel, runs $19 for 0.52 oz, available on their website and also at Target.

As lipstick fiends, we know that winter is brutal for lips - depending on the severity of the weather, they can quickly become dry, cracked, and inflamed. Which is painful and unattractive and possibly a kissing deterrent. You know, if you're into that sort of thing.
"You gotta pucker your lips, like this."
[image source]
We're into that sort of thing. *wink wink*
Gotta love them eye bags. And PR packages that contain cookies. 
During the day, I actually prefer gloss for moisture and shine (Dior Dior Dior), but occasionally before bed, I like potted balms for lip repair. This isn't as consistent as an evening ritual, but more on a "as needed" basis. If I'm out in the cold without any sort of lip product on, I tend to get really inflamed, puffy lips for a day or two, so I try to combat it as quickly as possible with a rich balm. NUXE's Rêve de Miel is a cult favorite, so I was excited to try it.

It's a thick potted balm that is lightly citrus scented (from the grapefruit oil), and it melts easily under the warmth of my finger, even in the winter. I didn't have to crack through any top waxy layer so it's easy to use from the get-go. The texture is thicker than Osmia's Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair (and the NUXE balm smells way better), but still manages to sink into lips, rather than sitting on the surface. It's not waxy or grainy or hard to apply, and I also don't really notice a taste, which is nice. It is a bit wetter than I imagined, and needs to be patted in lightly or blotted off if you're going to apply lipstick over it, otherwise it will make everything a bit too slippery and runny and your lip color may bleed or slip off (a matte lipstick is ok, but anything that already has some slip to it won't really work). It does have a matte finish on its own, though, which can be nice if you're just trying to add some moisture and don't want an oil slick shine on your mouth. As a nighttime treatment, it is ace.

The full ingredients list can be found here, but it contains beeswax, honey, and several types of oils, and says at least 78% of the ingredients are natural (which I assume means non-synthetic in origin).

I've never tried anything else from NUXE (although I know their Huile Prodigieuse may be even more famous than this balm), but I like that the brand is readily available at Target and seems to be no-fuss and functional while still retaining that French beauty glamour. The balm is a new winter staple and gets a thumbs up from me!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday Sessions: VI

I can't believe it is March. SPRING IS ALMOST HERE. I have never been so excited for spring. East coast winters are, um, not my favorite.



Irvine Welsh's Transpotting. I kind of have to read it as if I were going to read it out loud...without actually reading it out loud. Does this make sense? It's like...when you count, do you visualize numbers, or do you say numbers in your head? [Seriously, think about it. Apparently there are two types of counters...]

Our travel goals for the year! Feeling kind of bummed right now (living apart from your spouse sucks, guys), so it's helping to give myself something fun to plan. A lot of this is contingent on S and the dogs being able to join me on this coast soon, but it's still fun to daydream. Nothing concrete yet, but I'm hoping we'll at least be able to do the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in October for our anniversary. I'm thinking cozy bed and breakfasts, lots of leisurely strolling...barbecue...bourbon...oh yes. The other places on the list for long weekends or proper vacations are NYC, New Orleans, Nashville. We'll have to see what can actually happen! We're also supposed to travel to Seattle and Charleston for weddings, so that will be nice.

[image source]
Laura Mercier Tea Menthe Citron EdT. Is this coming across the pond, you think??? I love mint tea scents!

Links I loved this week:
- Driving Miss Norma
(a 90-year old woman with cancer is traveling the country with her son and daughter-in-law. Try not to be moved, I dare you.)
- #sharetheload
(A dad watches his daughter and regrets enforcing gender stereotypes in his family).
- I love The Everywhereist - travel and humor.
- The colors used in these paintings just made me smile.

S is going to be here this week for a little bit, so I'm excited. It's always nice to have something to look forward to. Have a great week, everyone!