Friday, July 29, 2016

Another +1 For Ilia Beauty: Lipstick in Ink Pot

[Product was purchased by me. No affiliate links. Products marked * were gwp samples.]

This is Ilia Beauty Ink Pot ($26 at Ilia Beauty), which is described as a "violent, violet hue" in a "creamy, semi-matte finish." It is the lipstick I wore in my recent Esqido lashes post, and I also featured it in my recent informal purple lipstick roundup. I've been really into it lately.
Ilia Beauty Ink Pot, one swipe.
FOTD from my recent Esqido post; lashes are BFF (PR sample).

I would say the description is accurate. It applies as a purple stain at first, but a second swipe will intensify the shade without making it heavy or excessively creamy. There is a slight blue sheen to it (it's sort of visible in the FOTD above), but it's subtle, which keeps it from turning into a retro shade or being dated.

Here it is swatched with other purples I own.
L-R: MAC Living Legend, Ilia Beauty A Fine Romance, Ilia Beauty Ink Pot, Urban Decay Bittersweet*, Joe Fresh Baie Sauvage, Tarte Surfer Girl*.

And here it is, in another FOTD shot below. It's really comfortable to wear, and I love the color! It seems similar to MAC Violetta (I think, but I don't own it, so I can't be sure), with less blue sheen and without shimmer, which I appreciate. I do notice that it can sink a little into lip lines, but otherwise, it's comfortable to wear and stays comfortable, even after reapplication. As far as I can tell, it is also unscented, which I can appreciate.
It pairs perfectly with Ilia Beauty A Fine Romance Multi-stick as blush. I was trying a sample of a Dr. Jart BB cream, which made me both gray and pink...bleh.
So, yes, I'm still kind of in love with Ilia Beauty. This makes me wonder if I need to try another one of their lipsticks, like In My Room, which seems like a great everyday warm pink. I've also been eyeing the Come Undone lip pencil, because it could finally be the nude lipstick for me!

I purchased Ink Pot on Safe and Chic with a 15% sale. Right now until Sunday (7/31), Ilia Beauty is doing 20% off all lipsticks and tinted lip conditioners with code "EVERYDAY" (free ship with $75 US).

For my other Ilia Beauty reviews: Multi-sticks, 99 Red Balloons
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Get That Glow: Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

[Product was purchased by me. No affiliate links.]

I like my Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation Stick a lot, and use it frequently - it's also great for travel, since it doesn't have to go in the liquids bag. But I'm a foundation junkie, and I wanted one with more glow. I was initially apprehensive about the Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation, because a lot of people said that it was too glowy and actually sparkly. But Tracy liked it, and we usually have similar tastes, so I ordered it. My shade is Light, which is described as "light with neutral undertones." Helpful, right?
Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation in Light.

To be honest, these days I often go with just concealer (also Becca - full review of that soon, too) and Hourglass powder, but there are days when I want full coverage + glow. This definitely delivers on glow. It is sparkly, but I don't really care - no one is going to look at my face that closely. Except perhaps S., and I don't think he cares, either. It's certainly not frou frou-vampire sparkly.
A drop like this is enough for my whole face.
Coverage is medium. I like to apply with a Beauty Blender or a duo fiber brush (MAC 139), and also plan on trying the RT Expert Face Brush I just bought (although Becca does say "don't use a sponge." Oh, I am so REBEL). I personally actually like it applied with the Beauty Blender a little better than with the MAC brush - it isn't as heavy. With either method, though, it can catch on dry patches a little bit (usually my chin), but it's comfortable on skin and isn't too heavy. On the flip side, however, it doesn't seem to have as much of a smoothing/blur effect that some other foundations offer. My dry skin texture is emphasized when I wear it, although this is mitigated some with powder, and a good smoothing base (like Tatcha's sunscreen) helps.

Color-wise, like I said before, it's a touch peachy. I wish they offered a light shade with golden undertones - only the darker shades seem to have that option.
Comparison swatches from this post. L-R: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue in 03 Buttercream, Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting, Becca Ultimate Coverage Concealing Crème in Tahini, MAC Pro Longwear NW25 (for under eyes only), MUFE Ultra HD Foundation Stick in Y315.

The bottle is nice enough. Twist up, then dropper. It can be a little messy, and not as sanitary as a pump, but you do get more control this way. A pump would have been good, too, I think.
Left: Becca foundation all over face, with MAC Pro Longwear under eyes, and brows are done. Right: full face finished. Becca Concealer in some spots, and Hourglass Ambient Lighting powder all over face. Lipstick is Joe Fresh Baie Sauvage.

It comes in 9 shades, but hopefully they'll expand the range (and get us some lighter golden tones, and more darker shades, as well). Overall, I think it's a nice foundation, and at $44 for 1 oz, the price is similar to many others these days. I think it's not quite as forgiving on drier skin as one might hope (with a name like "Aqua Luminous"), but it doesn't feel drying or heavy, and the glow is quite nice.

What's the last foundation that you bought? Are you into liquid foundations, or more of a powder/cream/tinted moisturizer person? 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Current Faves: Foundations & Concealers

[All products were purchased by me. No affiliate links.]

I have one liquid foundation, one tinted moisturizer, one foundation stick, one undereye concealer, and one all-over concealer. I'm...a bit of a base makeup junkie.
Above, L-R:

L-R: Bare Minerals 03 Buttercream, Becca Light, Becca Tahini, MAC NW25, MUFE Y315.


I know what you're thinking.

"What kind of patchwork quilt face DO YOU HAVE, LARIE?"

In my defense, foundation is...magic. I bow to its mysteriousness. Seriously, though, I have reasons. Sort of.

Most days, if my skin's all right, I just use both concealers. MAC Pro Longwear is great for under the eyes; it sets, doesn't emphasize lines and creases, and gives great coverage. I have purple circles, so the warmer, peachy NW25 counteracts that without looking ashy (and the Pro Longwear range runs a bit lighter than other MAC lines, as I'm usually NC20). This is too warm for the rest of my face, though.

For that, I use the Becca concealer in Tahini, which I really like. It's creamy, very pigmented, and can cover up redness brilliantly. I use a ring finger, dab it on places that need concealing, and then use a brush or a Beauty Blender to buff it out. This is probably the one with the most golden undertone, and it's a great match for my skintone.

I promise I will review the Becca foundation (drafting that next). It runs a bit pink/peachier than I'd prefer (Light is supposed to have neutral tones, but I wish they had a golden undertone option in the lighter end of the spectrum), but still matches pretty well. It's nice to have a liquid, higher coverage option sometimes. Also, GLOW.
Wearing the Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation, with Hourglass powder on top.

The Bare Minerals gel tinted whatsit is also quite yellow, but it's not full coverage and melds into skin beautifully. I really like it still (besides the ridiculous name), and have about half a tube or less left. It's a little lighter - both in coverage and feel - than the Becca foundation, so it's a nice "middle ground" foundation.

Lastly, the MUFE stick - I still like this, too. It's good for travel and it is easy to apply with a brush or a Beauty Blender. It's good for spot coverage (like a concealer) or all over foundation. I like it best applied with a Beauty Blender. It does look a touch peachy in the swatch, but once blended out, it's a fair match for me.

So, that's it over here. What foundations and concealers do you have on rotation - and which are your favorites? 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Sessions X

I know, I should really rename this place "the Weekend blog," since that's when I have time to post, ha.  But I like having these chatty posts about random things - hopefully you do, too. What are y'all doing today? I'm headed to aerial silks class, to get in a workout on this horribly hot and sweaty day.

Currently...

Loving:

Purple lipstick (ok, and gloss). My recent purchase, Ilia Beauty Ink Pot, really kicked it off for me, and then I dug through my lipstick drawer and pulled out others. Some are sort of reddish purple, some are pink-purple...all are fab.
L-R: MAC Living Legend, Ilia Beauty A Fine Romance, Ilia Beauty Ink Pot, UD Bittersweet (gwp sample), Joe Fresh Baie Sauvage, Tarte Surfer Girl (gwp sample).


Joe Fresh Baie Sauvage. This was a gift from Liz a while back. 
Listening to:

The My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast. After the solemnity of Serial, I needed something light-hearted. My Dad Wrote a Porno is the funniest damned thing I've listened to in a long, long time. The book itself is really just a launching point for the trio (Jamie Morton, James Cooper, and Alice Levine) to provide their charming and hilarious commentary - they just seem like a great bunch of people, and I want to be sitting at that kitchen table giggling with them. NSFW with strong language, sexual content, and adult themes, but if you're ok with that - listen to it. It's made my commute a thousand times better.

Link love
- I love birds - many are so clever - and this is a really cool story about how wild honey guide birds may possibly have trained humans, ha!
- helpful article on minimizing the juiciness of fruit pies
- I could do with more "news" like this: a sweet story about books, social media, people.
- I got starry eyed when I saw this on my feed. MUST MAKE.
- for my fellow Legend of Zelda nerds

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Loves: Beauty & Fashion Edition

[Products marked * were provided by PR. Opinions are my own. No affiliate links.]

I've been sitting on this post for a while, but Monika's post got me motivated. This is my second summer on the extremely hot and humid east coast. I've taken the "live in the moment" tactic to heart concerning seasons, and have sort of embraced it. On the west coast, the weather is much more temperate all year round, and here I find that I have to have the extremes in wardrobe staples in order to be comfortable through the seasons.

Just an excuse to shop. How terrible. 

To be honest, I've been more interested in fashion lately than beauty, which is just as bad for the wallet, ha.
These are some of the summer outfits I've worn.  From top left, clockwise:

  • STS Blue ankle jeans from Nordstrom are a great length for petite ladies (I'm 5'3"), although I don't see any more of this style in stock right now. The shell is from Ann Taylor - it's slightly sheer in the back, but nice and lightweight. 
  • I love Express portofino shirts - sleeveless and slim fit are my favorite. I even have one with limes on it.
  • Maison Jules is a great, petite-friendly brand at Macy's that I discovered on Extra Petite's blog. I have several of their dresses and this A-line skirt is one of my absolute favorites - I love the feminine silhouette how it swishes when I move. This Halogen chambray shirt is also a great staple, although it's too warm for it now.
  • Another Maison Jules dress, purchased during a sale. Similar here.
  • I have two of these LOFT jersey swing dresses (in petite sizing). There's a tie for adding some shape, but it's cute both ways. The hat is the Hinge Slub Knit Panama Hat from Nordstrom.
  • Another Macy's sale find - the coziest, comfiest striped casual dress ever. I travel in it a lot. This was at an AirBnb in Charleston, SC.
Same Hinge Panama Slub Knit hat. And Ray-ban classic aviators, 58 mm, "Silver Copper Flash" (3025 019/Z2).

I love these Ray-bans. I always thought that Aviators would look funny on me, but here I am, jumping on the hipster bandwagon.
Candle is from Target - sea salt and sage.

Yes, I'm still into beauty. I like the Truffle Clarity Clutch (a gift!) as a daily compartment in my work bag - I throw in some lip products, extra contacts, ibuprofen, Boscia peppermint blotting sheets (from the holidays - I don't go through them very quickly) and a facial mist. This travel-sized Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist* is almost empty. I love the herbal smell and the fine spray, and find it really refreshing, but I don't know that I'm really all that picky about facial mists, in general. It does feel like it sinks into skin and perks me up, though - it isn't heavy at all. It's also packed with humectants and alcohol is further down the ingredients list, toward the very end.

The other facial mist I've been liking is the Neal's Yard Remedies White Tea Facial Mist*, which is also deliciously herbal-scented, but also contains alcohol. - that doesn't personally bother me, especially as it's dispensed as a spray. The larger, round, glass bottle makes it a little less convenient for being on-the-go, so I use this one when I'm home on the weekends or in the mornings (rotating with the MAC Fix+ you see there...somehow I've collected a lot of facial sprays, you guys). It's refreshing and disperses an even mist. It's also vegan, which I know will be a big plus for many. I've been introduced to this brand by PR, and I'm quite liking it so far (they make tea, too!).

Lastly, I know I won't shut up about these things, but I really like them, you guys - the Ilia Beauty Multi-sticks. All of Meand Cheek to Cheek* were PR samples, but I purchased A Fine Romance and I Put a Spell On You myself. Reviews to come. I showed A Fine Romance on Instagram. They're easy peasy, and cream products are great in the summer.

What have your summer fashion and beauty discoveries been? Did you shop the Nsale today? I...definitely did. But I purchased zero beauty items! More on that later - I can't wait for those goodies to get here. Have a great weekend, everyone!
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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Sessions IX

Happy Sunday!

This past week has been really heavy, all around the world. I don't know how to express enough sorrow and frustration and sympathy. Just trying to have hope, and strengthen the relationships I have, and do my best to do my part. I don't think we can be judged for taking part in frivolous pastimes, though. We all need reminders of what can be joyful. I hope you have a wonderful week.

Currently...

Eyeing:


Nsale 2016
BOOTS. #Nsale starts this Friday. I wanted the Cole Haan Marina boots, but they are already sold out in my size (early access started last week). These Halogen ones seem like they could be a worthy (and much cheaper!) alternative. For clothing, I usually pick up basics like Zella leggings and capris for aerial (I like Zella because they are thick and fitted but not slick, and ideal for hanging upside down), comfy tees, sweaters, and flannel. For fun items, I love this Leith faux leather skirt, and this Halogen scalloped skirt is also super cute. The BlankNYC faux leather skinny pants are also cute, but I'm worried that they'll be too long. The last, more expensive item is the Guess pink coat - I don't really need another winter coat, but the pastel pink color is so cute. And it comes in petite sizing!

Working on:

One of my goals is to be able to press up into a handstand someday. I'm trying to find a good progression for this - this tutorial seems good, so I'm working on it. I need some yoga blocks. Aerial has helped my core tremendously, but I still feel like my core is my weakest part. I struggle with plow!

Listening to:
[image source]
Various podcasts. Wrapped up season one of the Serial podcast. It takes place locally, which is why I had avoided listening to it, but now S is here and we moved out of the city, so I was ok to start, ha. I love crime stories, and this is such a good one. The case appeal actually just went through, too. I just finished it, and am waiting for S to finish so WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT. Has someone else finished it? CAN WE TALK ABOUT IT??? I started Limetown (this one is fictional) and it was totally engrossing, as well. I tried to get into Missing Maura Murray, but I found the first episode rather condescending and not well edited, so I haven't continued.

Link love:

- If you've wanted to try aerial - here's a good FAQ.
- Shameless self plug: I'm on Snapchat: Pestozesto. 
- Today is National Ice Cream Day. HELL, YES.
- Dog cafe!
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Monday, July 11, 2016

Fab Friends: Esqido Eyelash Glue & BFF Lashes

[Products were sent by PR. Opinions are my own. No affiliate links.]

I'll be honest: I'm still pretty rubbish at putting false lashes on. It's getting slightly easier, only because I know what I did last time that absolutely didn't work. But I wear them so rarely, that I don't invest much effort in really figuring the damned things out. Slowly, but surely, maybe?

I did acquire something that does make the previously finicky glue application so much easierESQIDO eyelash glue. It has a thin brush tip (like most glitter eyeliners) that is really easy to use. I swipe the side of the brush against the band to create a thin layer, wait for a few seconds, then voila! Ready to go. It's latex-free, and at $10.00, definitely worth it. Adhesion is good, dry time is quick, and it's so easy to control vs the glop tip of the glue I've used previously. Seriously: game changer.

I tried the glue with the BFF lashes ($35), which Esqido rates 3/5 for volume. ESQIDO false eyelashes always look beautiful, with great curve and a natural texture (I've tried several: here, and here), and these are no exception. 
BFF Lashes.

The volume on BFF is reasonable, but they have great length. Because they're a sparser lash, I do find that I have to be extra careful to prevent shedding (I lost a few hairs while I was trimming and applying them), but they are light and comfortable to wear. I can see why this one is a fan favorite: they provide just enough oomph and length, but still don't draw too much attention. Still, they provide enough definition that I could skip mascara and eyeliner - in the below FOTD photos, I'm just wearing eyeshadow and the BFF lashes on eyes, and I curled my natural lashes into the BFF hairs so that they fit in.
Wearing Esqido BFF Lash, applied with the Esqido Companion Lash Glue. Foundation is Becca Aqua Luminous, blush is Ilia Beauty Multi-stick in A Fine Romance, and lipstick is Ilia Beauty Ink Pot.


Love the length on these.

I really love the length on these, and that's their best feature. If you're looking for volume or a unique pattern, Esqido has plenty of other options. For flirty, eye-opening length, BFF has you set.

Both products can be purchased at Esqido

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday Sessions VIII

It's that time! How are you all doing? We finally got a weekend to catch up on errands and chores. While I love traveling, I will be happy if I don't have to get on a plane for a good long while.

Short and sweet this week!

Currently...

getting my interior designer on:
By South Cone Furniture.



We've been buying new furniture since we're now renting a house rather than a small apartment, and have more space, and we also wanted to update some of our graduate school odds and ends. This is one of my favorite purchases - a live edge hardwood dining table in gray, with an iron frame. It was made to order in the US, because we try to support local craftsmakers when we can. We just bought chairs, too, and I hope it all comes together! Now I'm shopping for a rug. WHO KNEW THERE WERE SO MANY KINDS OF RUGS, GUYS. I'm thinking something in yellow or orange, to bring some color to the room. We're tackling things slowly, since furniture is $$$, but now I'm looking for some unique prints. I bought a WA state watercolor print from Jessica Durrant during her flash sale, and am looking for some other interesting, classic pieces. Any favorites or recs?

Hoarding:
[image source: Amazon.]

Popsicle recipes. I hate kitchsy kitchen stuff, but S sent me a link to dog popsicles, and the next thing you know, I was buying Tovolo molds on Amazon. I am going to make some for the fluffbobs (with broth and random fruits and veggies), but then I have my heart set on these.

Links I loved:
Casual gratitude is something I'm trying to practice more now. S has been telling me this for ages (not to apologize needlessly), but this story really drove the point home.
- This story about Pokemon Go from NPR is hilarious. Especially the yoga part.
- (Current events warning). An important movement. A good response to this.
- You have to appreciate when responses to tragedy are positive, and hopeful, rather than hateful. Artists are great at this. Here, here.
- And this had me giggling. Especially the ones about raccoons, bats, and pandas.

What's new with you? Have anything fun to share? Let me know!
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Saturday, July 9, 2016

10 Things I Love About Summer

[Products marked * were provided by PR. Opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post and there are no affiliate links.]

And now we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming (ha, joke, "regularly scheduled") for something fun. A LIST!

I never used to like summer, and really, it can still be way too hot and humid here on the east coast of the US, but there are some high points that I'm starting to appreciate. So here are some things I love about summer - or love to do/see/eat more in the summer. Gotta appreciate every season, right?

1. Summer fruit: blueberries, strawberries, peaches, watermelon. WATERMELON. The dogs like watermelon, too. Dennison got some for his birthday. Just look at that face.

2. Long, sunny days. I started loving summer in Seattle, because in the PNW, summer days can be 16 hours long and completely gorgeous. Days aren't quite as long here, but there are still plenty of hours of beautiful sunshine to be enjoyed.

3. Summer dresses. It's SO nice just to put on one lightweight item of clothing. VS the winter or colder months, where you have to put on eighty things just to run the dogs outside. (Side note: WE HAVE A YARD NOW. THE DOGS CAN GO OUT IN THE COLD BY THEMSELVES.) Having less layers also makes packing way easier.
What I packed on our long weekend trip to NYC last month.

4. Peppermint tea. I like Neal's Yard Remedies Organic Summer Tea*, which is a refreshing mint and licorice blend, and I also enjoy Stash's Peppermint. Mint tea is so refreshing! (Why is it so hard to find a perfume analogue?) Since my office has AC, hot tea is still enjoyable. And sometimes you just want some hot tea to wash down your greasy #TrashyTuesday meal.
Yeah...the mug has a caffeine molecule on it (it was a gift) but the tea is caffeine-free.

5. The atmosphere. Everyone seems to be much more relaxed in the summer. People are making vacation plans or going on holiday, the office slows down a little bit, and you can go outside on your lunch break or admire the flowers and the birds.

6. Rosé. My favorite one of all time is Barnard Griffin's Rosé of Sangiovese, which has just the right amount of sweetness and is so good chilled on a hot summer day. I like wine, all wine (ok, not all wine - I have given up on Sauvignon Blancs) but roses get a bad rap for being syrupy sweet or fluffy. Not true. Perfect for summer.

7. Summer reading. Even though I'm not in school or anything like that, the lack of rigid fall TV schedules and the aforementioned "calming down of the office," plus travel time (car, plane), means that I can pick up on my neglected reading list. I got through Sister Sable, which I didn't like, and now I'm reading my first China Mielville, which...you guys, so pretentious. *eyeroll* I like to read fluff in the summer, too, but I haven't found anything quick and enjoyable and available at my library, ha. Also, haven't found a book worthy of purchase. I have no qualms about purchasing books and would like to support the market, but I also don't want to collect items that I will not read again. Books are notorious dust collectors. What have you read lately? Any recommendations?

8. The abbreviated makeup and skincare routine. It's nice not to have to slather on thick creams and body lotions! I need a rich moisturizer in the summer, too, because I have dry skin, but man, it's nice not to have to worry about inflamed, rashy hands or crocodile dry patches everywhere. Of course, that's exchanged for copious amounts of sunscreen, but hey. Can't have everything.

9. Dining al fresco. I love going to casual restaurants in the summer and sitting outside on the patio, preferably with cocktail in hand.

10. Thunderstorms. They can be dangerous, but I grew up with thunderstorms in the evenings and I find the pouring rain to be soothing. Even thunderstorms are relaxing (well, Dennison hates them, but Dennison hates a lot of things. Good ole Oscar the Grouch, that one).


What's on your list? Do you embrace summer, or just hide indoors and wait until fall?
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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Another Multi-tasking Winner: Ilia Beauty Multi-Stick in Cheek to Cheek

[Product was provided by PR for review. All opinions are mine. No affiliate links. Products marked * were also provided for review.]
Polish is Dior Electric Blue.

My best beauty discovery this year has been Ilia Beauty - I liked their lip crayon*, and their Multi-Stick in All of Me* has been a makeup and travel bag staple. Most multi-tasking products are really only successful in one capacity, but Ilia's multistick is a great lipstick and blush (I've yet to try it on my eyes, but I will try to do that soon), and really easy to throw in a weekender bag as the sole lip/cheek item. I've done it.
Left: All of Me. Right: Cheek to Cheek.

All of Me was a "watermelon," and Cheek to Cheek is a warm terracotta red. They are similar, but noticeably different when applied.
And because I'm confusing, left to right: Cheek to Cheek, All of Me.

The texture is the same as All of Me - emollient, but not excessively creamy. It sets on cheeks and retains moisture on lips, remaining comfortable. The finish, again, is not glossy or matte - just a natural satin with some translucency. The color isn't extremely different from All of Me, but we are the beauty community and we are all about nuance, and I can tell the difference. Plus, sometimes you want to wear a coral, and sometimes you want to wear a sienna red. Got ya covered.
Wearing Cheek to Cheek on cheeks and lips.

I like these so much, I bought two more on my own at Safe and Chic when they had an Independence Day sale (A Fine Romance, and I Put a Spell on You). They are $34 each, and can be purchased on Ilia Beauty's site (free shipping at $75), Beauty Habit, or Safe and Chic.