September Favorites: A Lot of Favorite Oldies – & Some Incredible Newbies

I truly cannot believe that it’s October. I’ve been busy! It’s not “going to class” busy, but I have been writing, taking one online class that is about writing creative non-fiction (aka: the way I write on this site!), & just…Realizing Things…

I feel like I Realize Things every month (I mean, thank god I do) but this month was huge for me. I’m slowly starting  to slip into the shell that fits me most. It’s a long scary road ahead, but I think I’ll handle it fine. I have been more at peace with my mind lately; I laugh more easily & things are’t engulfed in dark thoughts. I’m becoming more myself, & for that alone – I will always remember this September in my mind.

This post isn’t really about “me” at all, as you can tell by my title – but I wanted to type it out that I am feeling more comfortable with myself every single day & it’s something I’m proud of & want to share. I never thought I’d be this busy & at peace with myself after having to give up violin in April (read why here). I have been more cheerful, more focused on my own thoughts & trying to trust my intuition; I dance alone in my room; I write, write, & write; I keep my family & dear friends close to my heart & try to love them as best as I can. Needless to say, feeling this way is amazing for me & it’s not something that came to me easily – so, I’m proud of the progress I have made & wanted to share it with all of you!

Now that I have that out of the way, let me promise that I have some amazing things coming up on here, including a few “interviews” with some friends of mine! I also have some upcoming things that are even more amazing with some other orgnizations 🙂 stay tuned is all I will say (for now).

My monthly playlist for September is already up! You can check it out here. For the first time, it includes a poem – by me! It’s the first time I have put my poetry on this blog, so I hope you like it. I have good things planned for the month of October, & I CANNOT contain my excitement for Stranger Things Season 2. AAA! Okay! Let’s talk products (& other little things)

I’ve written about simplifying my skin care routines – both morning & night. I really tried to stick to that this month, & I do think that the difference is noticable! My skin looks glowier & isn’t as congested. I think my face was being overwhelmed with products & was telling me to slow down…I’m glad I listened.

Don’t worry, I won’t be cutting off new products; you’ll still get reviews from me! I’m just using a different (slower, but worth it) method to see how I like a product: that is, make sure the rest of my skin care is consistent while I’m trying out the new product. That way, I can tell if there’s a noticeable difference – good or bad!

So, this September, I cut back my routine to fewer steps; fewer serums. I had to make one big purchase; other than that, however, I stuck to what I knew & loved. My cutting back on buying skin care has been good for my wallet AS WELL AS good for my skin. It’s a win-win.

In my September favorites, I’m returning to some old, much-loved products, as well as a few new ones that are helping me keep my skin calm, hydrated, glowy, & clear. You’ll see a lipstick I just remembered I owned; you’ll see a cream that triples as a moisturizer, leave-on mask, & makeup primer. I’ve categorized them loosely: Of course, we’ll have skin care; I’ll split up makeup favorites into another category; I also have some art pieces, photos, & jewelry i’ve been liking as well (side note: I may do a lookbook in the future; it might be fun! Tell me what you think about that).

You’ll see them all; you’ll see everything! Even better, you’ll be able to read all my thoughts on them starting…now! ENJOY!


My routine is pretty much the same as the simplified ones I’ve built (read my “back to basics” morning routine here; I’ve allowed myself free range on masks, which is fun! Most of my skincare favorites for this month are old & much-loved (though I haven’t talked in detail about all of them on this blog). Only one out of the three masks I loved the most this month is an old favorite. I figured we may as well start with the new stuff, then move from there!


The tremendous trio of my September

Let’s start with the one I was most surprised by: the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. I have an upcoming post that’s a review of some of Boscia’s other products – they were kind enough to send me some things, including this mask! I have some good opinions on the other products, & I won’t say too much about this one – just that I’m shocked at how effective yet gentle it was. Yes – it’s an intense peel-off mask, & you may have to tug a tiny bit, but it really, really works. I use it in the evening; I wake up with glowier, clearer, less congested skin every time I’ve used this mask. I will definitely be repurchasing this with my own money; I’m also recommending it to everyone I see!

Okay – on to our next mask. This is an old favorite; something my own mama put me onto, actually! You all know my love for Origins products – the Drink Up™️ Intensive Overnight Mask is now one of my cult favorite products from the brand. Here, I have a small travel size that came from a bigger kit with two minis (one of this mask; the other the Origins charcoal mask), but I will most definitely be getting full-size (or sneaking dollops of my mama’s) once I’m done with my little tube.

What made me start using this again? Well, I always have redness/sensitivity/dryness under my nose, but it got quite bad this past month for some reason (nothing changed; no colds; nothing!) & I was trying to find overnight masks that would give that are an extra boost of hydration. BAM! This one did the trick in about two days. Sensitivity & dryness are, for the most part, gone. It definitely is intended for dry skin types; even Origins mentions that in the product description. It contains a variety of hydrating oils: avocado & apricot kernel oil do most of the work here. Together, these oils build a moisture reservoir for your skin overnight. You’ll wake up with softer, calmer skin for sure – but it works even in a few minutes. The oils don’t just build a moisture reservoir; they instantly flood your compromised moisture reserves – aka: it’s great for using on super dry spots. It also contains Japanese seaweed as a main ingredient, which repairs the skin’s barrier, preventing future dehydration. The smell is soft but present; I’d describe it as slightly citrusy; tangy fruit for sure. It also is very cooling when first applied – another relief to tired, dehydrated skin cells. Best of all – this mask does not clog my pores, even though it contains oils, & even though it’s meant to be worn overnight! I can only thank Origins (of course) & my mama – for buying the mask before I even knew it existed.

Last mask? Mario Badescu Whitening Mask. I’ve been hearing things about this product for ages; I was a bit scared because it seemed quite intense. The mask itself looks a bit like liquid concrete (see above photo) & has a very thick texture. It also has an odd smell – that’s because of the liquorice as an ingredient.

Will this bleach my skin/lighten my freckles? No! It simply evens out your skin tone, soothing irritation & reparing discolored areas, like scars. To my surprise, it’s actually meant for dry skin.  Kojic acid, liquorice root extract, mulberry extract, & grapeseed extract  and  minimize the look of age spots and even out skin in general, while olive oil & Vitamin E lock in moisture, making your complexion bright & glowy – but still soft. I know a lot of dry-skinned people who struggle to find a brightening mask that isn’t drying. I’d hesitate to call this a “whitening” mask, as I don’t think that it lightens the skin. I think “brightening” is a better way to describe it, but that’s just me. Best of all? You only leave it on for ten minutes maximum – perfect if you’re up in the morning, want to treat your face right, but don’t have much time. Try using it as a spot treatment on uneven areas from time to time; your skin will thank you. I’m happy I finally gave this a go; it’s a great mask that’s quick, not too expensive, & lasts a long time (thanks to the consistency).

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 / Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum

You’ve seen these before in my posts; the fact that I love the Drunk Elephant Framboos Glycolic Night Serum is no secret. I love The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid as well – it’s dirt-cheap (unlike the Drunk Elephant) & works very well overnight to lock in moisture & keep my complexion plump & glowy. The one problem I have with all of The Ordinary’s serums is that they’re a bit tacky; I don’t mind this, however, if I’m using one as a night serum. I find the Drunk Elephant one to be a bit tacky, too – together, they work like a dream.

The Drunk Elephant serum works to gently exfoliate, thanks to the AHA/BHA blend & the glycolic acid. I do try to avoid the area under my nose when applying this serum – I am always dry & sensitive around there, & I don’t want to take too many chances. On my cheeks, forehead, chin, though – that’s a different story. This serum took my skin to the next level; think of it as a very gentle Babyfacial – except you use it every single night.

The Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is another treasure. It’s more lightweight than some of the other serums by The Ordinary; because of this, it’s less tacky than the others – big plus! As most of you may know by this point: hyaluronic acid can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This makes it an amazing hydrating serum for any skin type – it contains no oil – & the added Vitamin B5 in The Ordinary’s formula enhances surface hydration. Basically: this is an amazing, hydrating serum for any & all skin types. It’s dirt-cheap, & it works beautifully.

Why do these two work so well together? Well, I like to think of the Framboos serum as a lighter version of the Sukari Babyfacial (also by Drunk Elephant). It gently exfoliates (chemically, thanks to the glycolic acid & the AHA/BHA blend) & gets rid of texture, keeps skin clear & bright, & just gives me a great glow. The Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 locks in moisture; it gives me an extra layer of hydration without feeling too weighed down, & it ensures that no matter what, I will not have dry skin after applying the DE Framboos – no matter what. A dynamic duo, indeed.

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre 

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre – Jane Birkin’s go-to

Okay. I love Glossier with all my heart – & I loved their Priming Moisturizer for daily wear, until very recently. I noticed a few other people (including YouTubers like Ingrid Nilsen) complaining about the formula. I was confused. I noticed no difference – then I started using my brand-new tube. Suddenly, I got it. Keep in mind: this was Ingrid’s first impression of Priming Moisturizer; she hadn’t bought it previously so hadn’t tried the previous formulation. Here’s what she had to say about the PM in her video “GLOSSIER REVIEW! What’s Worth It + What’s Not”:

“I wanted something that would be a really good daily moisturizer; one that would provide a little bit more hydration. When I started using this, I really loved the consistency of it…but then after a few days of using this regularly, I started to notice that my skin felt kind of and irritated…kind of like how it feels when I use a retinol treatment. I was really confused about how my skin was feeling at first…because when I put the moisturizer on, it felt really hydrating, but not greasy…I looked at the ingredients in this, and sure enough, there is retinol in this.”

Long quote, but it’s still a shortened version of what Ingrid had to say. I love her videos – you should check them out! This was a great review of the brand (in my opinion).

Okay – so I’d been getting questions for a while about Glossier switching their ingredients. I was confused, because mine felt the same – then I got my new tube, felt a bit irritated & red for a few days, watched Ingrid’s video…&…you get it! 2 + 2 = 4.

I didn’t have the same reaction Ingrid did; she mentioned feeling tight & dry. I felt hydrated still, but I felt as though my skin was tingling; it felt a little warmer than usual, too. I didn’t ever get a rash, but I had increased irritation/redness under my nose.

If you’ve been using Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer lately & haven’t had a problem, you’re fine – you probably just aren’t sensitive to retinol; some are more sensitive than others. The ingredient won’t hurt you – just make sure you wear sunscreen (otherwise, it will hurt you). But remember: you should be wearing sunscreen anyway!

I saw that Ingrid mentioned the Embryolisse cream. I asked a few others about it, & after seeing only positive reviews – & hearing that it was Jane Birkin’s go-to moisturizer – I ordered it from the online shop DermStore – you can get many French pharmacy products & other cult favorites on there. It’s quite inexpensive; you get a bit more product than the Glossier Priming Moisturizer, & you pay a little more for this tube than for the Glossier one. It evens out when considering product amount.

This moisturizer is quickly described as “A vitamin and antioxidant-rich moisturizer ideal for dry skin. Well – dry skin, that’s me! On the back of the tube, Embryolisse claims that this cream is a 3-in-1: a moisturizer (of course) a leave-on mask, & a makeup primer. Say no more. I’ve been eyeing leave-on masks since I saw Delilah Parillo use the ridiculously expensive (& luxurious) Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask in her GRWM video with Glossier.

The Sisley one is $162; the Embryolisse is $28 (& that’s the bigger size). I’m not saying they’re similar – I have no idea what the Sisley one feels like on the face – but if you’ve been looking for “leave-on masks,” this is a good inexpensive one to give a go.

“Moisturizer. Make-up primer. Moisturizing mask.”

It’s very similar in consistency to Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer. Yet – it sinks in quicker, easier, & – best of all – doesn’t tingle or burn after application. It’s slightly less…oily…I suppose is the best word…than the Glossier Priming Moisturizer. I feel as though the finishes are slightly different. Somehow, the texture ends up feeling similar yet very different. It sinks in faster than the Glossier one; if you work too slow, the cream will actually sink into the back of your hand, leaving less than you put on the back of your hand (if that’s how you apply your moisturizer). Embryolisse boasts that the cream is quickly absorbed by the skin; I’d agree with that – in the best way possible, it is very absorbant. Hence, the hydrated yet not sticky or greasy finish. It works very nicely as a primer; if I need five minutes to get ready, this is the moisturizer/primer I would slap on before patting a little concealer on & running.

I will definitely be refilling my tube when this one runs out. It’s been the main player for the past month or so for a daytime moisturizer. Plus – Jane Birkin used it. It has to be good, right?

This is a LOT of product – I won’t run out any time soon

Sunday Riley U.F.O / Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich

This is a “hack” that is most certainly not a hack – thousands of people have done this before I have. In fact, I got that tip from many posts on various skin care websites. Oils can be patted into the skin before or after moisturizing, but they can also be mixed into the moisturizer of your choice (just as long as it’s not a water gel cream; I can’t see an oil reacting well to that type of moisturizer).

My newest night moisturizing routine – scoop, cream, & oil are used together every single evening

Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil 

I love a good facial oil! This one was the first that I ever bought – & it is something that I have continued to return to, time after time.

First off – let’s start with some context. I was having some bad skin weeks in January; I asked a friend for help, & she recommended I try the Sunday Riley. When I looked it up on Sephora, I noticed that it contained some salicylic acid – something found very often in acne treatments (like Proactiv). I was nervous after seeing that – I was convinced I’d end up dry & greasy – but the oil itself was so beautiful, I had never tried a face oil, I had Christmas money, & my skin did need a litle extra help at that time. I figured that all of these were good reasons to justify my purchase, so I clenched my teeth, typed in my Sephora gift card number, & waited for the product to arrive.

I was not disappointed. Turns out: this oil is marketed for all skin types. Why? Well, because while the salicylic acid does its clarifying work, milk thistle and cucumber seed oil ensure that you’ll feel soothed & hydrated all day. Chamomile and neroli soothe stressed, blemish-prone skin, but they can also sooth dry/sensitive, too.

This oil has a very pungent smell to it. It’s very herbal, green, & very dark. I like it quite a lot, but I know some people absolutely hate it. If you’re unsure about scented products/are sensitive to heavy scents, I’d definitely recommend going to a Sephora to see what it smells like. Personally – I don’t really care what a product smells like, as long as it works. This one works – I also like the smell, which is a big plus.

Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich 

(Not to be confused with the original Priming Moisturizer I mentioned above with the Embryolisse cream)

Sigh. Will I ever shut up about how much I love this moisturizer? Well, even if I could, I wouldn’t. It’s that good to my skin. Seriously. When Glossier launched this product in January, I jumped on it as fast as possible. I was not surprised. Even on the coldest days, PMR would keep my face feeling plump & hydrated. I can wear it in the day without getting clogged pores, or I can slather on a thick layer all over my face after a rigorous tingling mask. I can use it for any occasion, really.

First off the bat – this stuff is butter-soft, so luxurious in texture, & smells heavenly. It isn’t too floral; it isn’t musky or fruity. A key ingredient in PMR is lavender; one of my favorite scents is lavender. It would make sense I gravitate towards that scent! Anyways: it smells luxurious, feels luxurious, & gives your skin a from-within glow. It’s one of the Glossier products I recommend to anyone – like Super Pure Serum (read my mini review on it here!). In fact, PMR was the first thing to pop into my mind when I was asked as a rep to name my favorite Glossier products. I said it “makes me feel like a queen.” I wasn’t wrong.

The only cream I can compare PMR to is Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cream. They’re not exact by any means; the rose cream is a pale pink, while the Priming Moisturizer Rich is an ivory-shell kind of shade. The end results, however, are very similar – there’s just one downside: the Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Mask is $75.

That’s a lot of money for a cream, & I do spend money on some expensive skin care (like Drunk Elephant or Sunday Riley), but I don’t look at creams much anymore (for nightt-ime, that is). Why?

Priming Moisturizer Rich. That’s all.

A close-up of the products, with a bit of the spoon’s scoop showing itself. I love the color of the oil

So…what’s the deal with these products? What’s that stick in the jar of cream?

First of all – the stick is actually called the Stainless Steel Spoon, sold by NIOD, which is one of the few “brands” DECIEM owns (including The Ordinary).

I’ve spoken about how hygienic spatulas are – they keep bacteria away, & only scoop up enough amount that you need; cream you’ll have to touch regardless. Keeping the fingers away from your jar of moisturizer, however, will benefit me, you…the whole universe.

I used some plastic spatulas to apply my moisturizer initially; this past summer, I saw the Stainless Steel Spoon pop up when I was browsing DECIEM’s site for The Ordinary prroducts. I saw it pop up, I saw it was $2.50, & then I bought it.

Thoughts? Not much to say, except that it’s very pretty & shiny, it does exactly what it’s supposed to do – & it’s environment-friendly! No more throwing out plastic spatulas after they get old. I clean this one with rubbing alcohol, just as I did with plastic – but this one will last.

I use the Stainless Steel Spoon to scoop up the right amount of Priming Moisturizer Rich for my face (about one average-size scoop of the spoon), then I grab my vial of Sunday Riley’s U.F.O. & drop three drops right down into the cream on the back of my hand. I then mix them together; the dark green of the oil makes the cream turn a nice minty-green apple color. The scents of the two products combined is absolutely heavenly, especially at night. I like to think of it as aromatherapy. I apply the green mix to my face, close my jars & screw shut my vials – & there! I am good to go. The oil helps keep my skin balanced & clear, while the moisturizer keeps my skin get softer, dewier, & free of redness (YAY!)  & I think they work perfectly together. It’s a dreamy combination.

Glossier Body Hero Duo 

You know – the huge body-positive ad campaign that’s going around these days. The one that hasn’t been photoshopped or retouched. The one starring (let’s be real here) Paloma Elsesser, one of my favorite faces out in the beauty/fashion world right now. You can read my full review here if you’d like; you can also just keep reading to see why the duo is in my favorites.

Another duo; this time: Body Hero Duo. (SIDE NOTE: special Body Hero sticker only comes with an order of the duo; same goes for the larger pink pouch that comes with it (which I’ve been loving as a quick makeup bag. The more you can fit, the better

In my first impressions review, I mentioned being worried about the Daily Oil Wash running out on me quickly. I was worried because the consistency is extremely thin, which often means you need more amount of product, which means you run out quickly…you get it. I’ve also been using it on my “hair.” The oils are gentle enough but foam up very nicely; I come out of the shower with soft skin, a nose full of orange blossom neroli (the Body Hero scent) & soft peach fuzz on my head, too! I’ve found it to be particularly useful after shaving my head. I get covered in particles of hair; the oil swipes the little ones stuck to my shoulders with no issue, & I can dry off without seeing more of my tiny hair spikes that I didn’t catch the first time around. Daily Oil Wash? So far, you’re doing well. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review of my impressions of Daily Oil Wash – coming soon!

I will say with no hesitation that the Daily Perfecting Cream is my favorite out of the two. It truly does work like a liquid highlight; I’ve applied it while shining a flashlight on my hand or arm, & you can see a subtle glow (not even a shimmer!) that reflects slightly pink. It’s as though Becca’s liquid highlights now have a sister – just for the rest of our bodies.

I’ve been using the Daily Perfecting Cream as a body & a hand cream. It’s really hard to explain how nice the cream feels when it’s sunk into your skin…just know that you won’t feel sticky or greasy; you’ll just walk around feeling as though you just moisturized, but not in a bad way. It also smells like orange blossom neroli, & the scent lingers longer than the scent of the Daily Oil Wash – I’m not complaining. I absolutely adore the scent of this duo; it’s very neutral, yet somehow appealing to everyone that I know has tried it. I truly don’t have anything bad to say about it – & if you don’t want to buy the duo & don’t know which to pick…get the cream. You won’t regret it – I promise!



Yay! Time for some fun. Let’s get right to it. Here’s what I’ve been loving – get ready for some face photos, too!

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb / Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Weirdo 

Two lip products that work amazingly together – & just as well as standalone products, too

I’ll get to the lipstick in a moment – let’s just take a moment to acknowlege that Rihanna came out with one single lip product for the initial launch – a lip product that looks incredible on literally every skin tone. I mean, it’s Fenty Beauty – inclusivity is a must, & I’m here for it.

Gloss Bomb is described as a “universal lip luminizer,” which, judging from the pictures I’ve seen, is completely accurate. The shade is in “Fenty Glow” which is described as “a shimmering rose nude.” Somehow, the gloss is sheer enough to be flattering on everyone; no one looks as though they’re wearing a heavy lip (or one that is waaaayyy too light). Even on my pale skin, my lips look plumper & shinier – enhanced, not modified. It truly does look incredible on everyone I’ve seen wear it.

The Gloss Bomb is also one of the cheaper products on Fenty Beauty’s display. It’s a gloss that wouldn’t take too many hours of work to buy. The shape & design of the gloss makes it a beautiful thing to carry around; plus, the octagonal shape of the chunky little tube makes it easy to find if/when digging around in a bag. The wand is chunky & thick, just like the tube. Don’t worry – it won’t be messy. One swipe with this big wand, a few smaller strokes to ensure full coverage, & you’re good to go. It’s something you can apply without a mirror; it’s something that smells good; it’s something that’s incredibly hydrating; it’s something that looks good on every. Single. Person.

If you’re overwhelmed by the Fenty Beauty launch (that was a lot of product dumped on us!) I recommend you start with this if you don’t know where to begin. I guarantee that you’ll look amazing in it. Trust me!

Fenty Gloss Bomb on the lips!

Now – the lipstick. I’ve liked the Urban Decay Vice lipstick line for quite a while now. I have three shades: two are pinky-nudes, the other is a sheer red (which I adore). In my opinion, the quality of UD lipsticks have surpassed MAC’s – plus, I always try to go with the cruelty-free option…& if on top of that, it feels better than MAC lipsticks anyway – what reason do you have to not pick the Vice lipstick?

This is just about the same price as a MAC lipstick & I think the packaging is prettier! (but that’s just me)

I wear the shade Weirdo all the time. It’s a cream finish; that means it’s hydrating but doesn’t fade too quickly. It also has a bit of sheen to it – it’s not a glossy lipstick by any means, but I enjoy the slight sheen. It’s described as a “pale baby pink” – & I know I’m pale, but looking at that lipstick, it just doesn’t seem quite a baby pink to me. When swatched or worn on the lips, it comes off more of a rosy coral for me – it’s not over the top, though. Definitely it’s something I pull out when I’m stumped on what to do with my lips when I have a dramatic eye look going on; it’s also good to smudge some of this on in a hurry & look hecticly polished because of it.

The lipstick formula contains a lot of hydrating ingredients, like aloe vera, jojoba, avocado, and babassu oils, as well as Vitamin E. Vitamin C is there, too; UD says it “delivers a hint of antioxidants.” Not sure what that means, but I am sure that the three Vice lipsticks I’ve tried have all been incredibly hydrating. No chapped lips, no need to prep before application – it’s all good to go, right there in the tube. Don’t worry about it being patchy during the day, either; the lipsticks fade out with elegance & grace. No ugly spots at the end of the day! Best of all, the shape of the lipstick bullet makes it extremely easy to apply in public without a mirror.

As you can see, both of my lip choices for this month were things that don’t need a mirror. I love that effortless look, & both of these products (one quite old, the other brand new) help me achieve that.

This is a look I get asked how to do quite often. I have the product breakdown here – but to stay on topic, Urban Decay Weirdo is on my lips!


Fenty Beauty Portable Highlighter Brush 140 / Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Blonde

A side view: the brush is white (with a reflective purple glimmer); the Shimmer Skinstick is the matte beige color 
Glimmer in effect!

Of course I had to put these together as some of my favorites. The little brush was made for the highlight stick – no, seriously: they were made to go together. That’s why they’re magnetic (I can’t stop sticking & unsticking them together). The brush is small, & I was scared it’d be flimsy. Not so! Both of these products are very solidly made; they fit comfortably in your hand without feeling too heavy; at the same time, they’re able to have some weight to them. They don’t feel cheap.

I’ve been using the highlight brush with the highlight skin stick, of course – I’ve also been using it with other highlights, cream or powder; I will say that the brush works best with cream stick products. That makes sense, since it was built to work for the Shimmer Skinsticks.

Even at an angle, these buddies like to stick together

Blonde is described as “a glimmering gold.” I like to call it the cream sister of the Fenty Beauty Trophy Wife Killawatt highlight. It’s less glittery & more dewy; it does shine a “pure” gold, though. I was scared that this wouldn’t work on me, but it’s beautiful. They’re very buildable; Fenty Beauty describes the formula as a cream-to-powder that’s “weightless, blendable, & LIVES to be layered.”

I was a bit nervous that “cream to powder” would be too dry on my skin, therefore causing patchiness if I tried to apply it in layers – not to worry! It goes on smooth the first layer; it goes on even smoother a second time around. It’s not drying; in fact, I’d say the main effect of this product (though the shade Blonde does contain some little sparkles & a bit of shimer/glitter) is dewiness. It gives my cheekbone a golden glow that (for once) doesn’t make my cool-toned skin look muddy. I’ve been smudging it all over my eyelids, too – & since Rihanna made it clear that the Match Stix are safe for eyes, lips, or anywhere else on the face, I’ll be experimenting with Blonde. Maybe it’ll be an inner corner highlight one day; maybe it’ll be on top of my lipstick the following day. We’ll see. With these (very versatile) highlighting sticks, the world is my oyster.

A pretty side view. These are just very pretty to photograph…okay?

CLĒ Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder(s)

Two out of the three newest additions to CLĒ Cosmetics’ collection of lip colors: these come from the Fall 2017 Collection (Desert Rose on the left, Plum Medium on the right)

I’ve talked a good amount on here about my love for CLĒ Cosmetics’ products. Whether it’s a skin care product or a makeup product, all of CLĒ’s collection is gentle on the skin & suitable for all skin types. All their face makeup (Essence Air Cushion & CCC Cream) contains high levels of SPF, which is great. Best of all: the people behind the brand are infinitely sweet.

I was extremely excited for their Fall Collection to launch – mainly because of the Essence Moonlighter Cushion highlights (we’ll get to that in a minute) – but also because of the three new shades of their lip powders.

I know – lip powder. You’d think it’d be drying – but I swear it’s not. “Melting” is a great word to put in there. The lip products arrive in litle lipstick-like tubes; inside the tubes is a wand (like a lip gloss one) & the powder itself. It looks like a matte powder pigment, but the moment you swipe a little bit across your lips with the wand, it melts (thanks body heat!) & creates a buildable stain that looks almost like a liquid lip – just without the dryness & without the stress of reapplying every 3 hours.

The two new shades I have are Plum Medium, a gorgeous, muted, eggplant color; I also have Desert Rose, which I love for daytime. It’s a dusty deep brick/rust that doesn’t show up super red or super brown; I love how muted both of the shades are – yet the color scheme is perfect for fall. CLĒ won me over yet again! CLĒ has a third shade of lip powder for their fall collection, too. It’s called Blushing Peach, a beautiful cool-toned peach shade that works so beautifully on the eyes – just check out this photo on CLĒ’s Instagram, featuring Blushing Peach as an “eyeshadow” – how cool is that!

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 1.14.19 PM.png

clecosmetics🍑 @katybaileyx wears Melting Lip Powder ‘Blushing Peach’ on eyes, lips and cheeks + Essence Moon Lighter ‘Apricot Tinge’ 💫 #clecosmetics

These powders are multipurpose & are safe for the lips, eyes, or face! They’re also waterproof, smudge-proof, & long-lasting. Those are some big claims – but they’re true. Once the powder sets down into the skin (of the lips, cheeks, eyes, etc.) it stays put.If I want to use one as a blush, I like to put a bit of lip balm on the back of my hand, then blend in a tiny amount of lip powder. That creates a paste that’s easier to blend into my skin than the powder alone. The balm gradually fades (just put a tiny amount on your hand – otherwise, it’ll slip & slide around your face), leaving a barely-there cheek tint. If you like versatile & interesting products, these powders are definitely for you. There’s lots of things I love about the CLĒ Melting Lip Powders; probably the biggest one is that it provided me with a hydrating lip product that looked just the right amount of matte. That’s all thanks to the Vitamin E (known for its hydrating effect on the lips) – & CLĒ’s genius, too. I’ve been starting to do bold fall lips & these have both been put to use. Stay tuned for more looks – they’ll come, don’t worry! I’ll probably challenge myself & do a full face of CLĒ products soon; they have enough to build a full face around just their products! Congratulations on the beautiful colors, CLĒ babies!  I can’t wait until it’s time to wear very thick sweaters. These fall shades will be perfect for every gloomy (or sunny) autumn day.

Eye makeup

I haven’t been reaching for many multi-dimensional eye looks lately. I’ve been preferring one shade blended all over the lid, crease, & lower lash line – maybe with a bit of highlight dabbed on the center of the lid. Mascara (sometimes) & then run! Here are the three eye products I’ve been using the most this month. One’s an oldie – the other two were purchased (or recieved) this month.


Two eyeshadows, one mascara – all three incredibly affordable.

Let’s be clear – I’m always reaching for my Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette. All the shades are matte except for two. It contains the perfect balance of warm mattes & cool mattes, as well as a few neutrals. Usually, I’ll end up “embelleshing” an eye look with one or two shadows from that palette. It’s just one I use consistently, since I like every single one of the shadows. Still – I’ve talked about that palette more than once (probably 5 or 6 times, actually), so I’ll focus on the three products I haven’t talked about.

Vendome Paris Beaute Pearl Eye Shade in Espresso

I received this product in the September box that Glossybox sent to me (a box of a variety of full size & travel-size beauty/skin care products, similar to companies like Ipsy). The eyeshadow is from the company Vendome Paris – a brand I’d never heard of. From what I can tell from Vendome’s website, the company is mainly focused on making eyeshadow singles as well as blushes – all with magnetic bottoms that can fit into an artist’s palette – or in the customizable palettes Vendome also sells on their site. The eyeshadow I got retailed for $26. It’s a very big eyeshadow; I’d say it’s just about the size of a dollar coin, maybe a bit bigger.

Not much is said about the color itself (which I would call a warm brown, shimmery; the color of iced coffee with some milk in it) on the site. The Pearle Eyeshadow, however, is described as “a wonderfully fine textured shadow with a lightly pearled brilliance,” with technology that “allows for a soft luminosity that is both modern and polished.” I’d agree with this. I get an incredible three-dimensional look from using one single eyeshadow. The many times I’ve worn this shadow (& this shadow alone) thi past month, I’ve been asked almost every time I’m out with it on about what is on my eyes.

I can’t predict if I’ll repurchase, simply because it’ll take me so long to get through this big one. All I know is that I’ve been loving it – & so has everyone & their mother who’s seen me in it.

L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara 

I started hearing about this product at the end of July. Some swore that it was a dupe for the Diorshow Mascara (my favorite mascara); others said it was more like Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara. Either way, everyone seemed to love it – strange, because I think the Better Than Sex Mascara & Diorshow Mascara are incredibly different (I don’t like the Better Than Sex). Still, I got curious by the time September hit, & when I had a spare $10, I picked it up at my local grocery. Convienient.

Conclusion? Smells nice, feels good on the lashes – but definitely not a dupe for Dior’s. I could see it being a dupe for Lancôme’s Monsieur Big Mascara – maybe if Monsieur Big & Better Than Sex had a baby, this is what that mascara would be. It’s not bad by any means; I’d even go so far as to say that it is good. It’s just not as good as the Diorshow – which made me sad, because I was excited by the concept of paying less for the same product. It’s okay, though – this is a good mascara, I haven’t stopped using it, I don’t plan on stopping using it, & when I run out, I may very well buy a new tube. At my local grocery store.

Colourpop Super Shock Eyeshadow in Arrow 

Ah, Colourpop. I remember late 2015, when it suddenly became possible to buy $5 eyeshadows…online! That were good!!! I had a Colourpop craze in summer 2016, & I still have & love a lot of their products – mostly their eyeshadows (my favorites are the super glittery or pigmented ones, like Bubbly or Coconut). This shade, Arrow, was released in the Valentine’s Day 2017 collection, & I thought it was limited edition. I thought wrong! When I checked today, Arrow was still up on the site.

It’s a great eyeshadow – sheer, but buildable. It has a lot of different color shifts. In some lights (like in the photo above), it looks like a copper penny. In other lights, it looks red. In others, pink. Colourpop descibes it as “a vibrant red topped with pink & copper glitter” – hence the red shift.

I love this color for fall. It looks beautiful tapped all over the lid; it looks beautiful as an inner corner highlight or cupid’s bow highlight; it also looks good used as an eyelid topper. It’s very versatile, it contains all the right “fall colors” & it’s only $5. 10/10.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife / CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Moonlighter Cushion in Apricot Tinge 

Fenty Beauty Trophy Wife on the left; CLĒ Cosmetics Apricot Tinge on the right. Don’t worry – Trophy Wife is about 100X more glittery than it looks here (as it should be). The CLĒ highlight does not look this dark on your cheeks. It is sheer & very, very shiny (as it should be)

Trophy Wife is probably going to be ending up The Beauty Product of 2017. It was one of the first things we were given a sneak peek at on Fenty Beauty’s Instagram page; Rihanna wore it to the official Fenty Beauty Launch party; every YouTuber I can think of has reviewed (& screamed over) this highlight; there are looks upon looks on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube…

As of right now, Trophy Wife is sold out on Sephora’s site, but is still available (as I write this) on the Fenty Beauty site. Trophy Wife was available in my Sephora store when I went a few days ago, & I have no doubt that other stores have them, too. Sephora has a huge sign next to the Fenty display: “AVAILABLE ONLINE & IN ALL SEPHORA STORES.” Of course, you can’t always keep up with the demand – & Trophy Wife was definitely the most talked about, both online & in-store (from what I could hear). Still, the big sign next to the Fenty display has me believing that Sephora is committed to keeping the product in stock both in all stores & online.

So – that being said, yes, you can still buy Trophy Wife right now – & restocks will be coming soon, too. You can check out my full thoughts on Trophy Wife in my Fenty Beauty review, but just know this: Yes, it is that glittery. Yes, it looks that beautiful. Yes, it’s over the top, but I’ll still wear it in the daytime when I want to – because I can. Yes, somehow Rihanna created a solid gold highlight that looks good on my pale skin (like the Shimmer Skinstick in Blonde) & I do not know how she did it, but I’m in love with it. 

Check out these few photos here – I’ll have full look details on this one out very soon! In all of the photos, I’m wearing Trophy Wife on my cheekbones, high points of my forehead, cupid’s bow, chin, lower lash line, inner corners, & tip of the nose. So basically: everywhere.


Earrings are Maria Black Jewelry; necklaces are Ventrone Chronicles

As for Apricot Tinge by CLĒ Cosmetics? Well, if you’ve read my review on it (it’s here if you’re interested) you’d already know: it’s the perfect pinky-white reflective highlight that I need to look incredibly glowy in all the right places. It’s super hydrating; although it sinks into the sink very fast, leaving a smooth – not sticky – finish, I’ve also used it as a “cream” highlight, then layered a powder over it. The results? Blinding – blindingly beautiful.

Like I predicted, Apricot Tinge is the perfect shade for my skin tone. However, it contains enough undertones & is sheer enough that someone with a very different skin tone could love it just as much as I. However CLĒ put this one together, I thank them with both hands – everyone knows how much I love highlights!

For a more in-depth look at the Essence Moonlighter Cushions, the way they apply & feel, the way they wear, & some more detailed ingredients information, click here for my review!

Apricot Tinge (CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Moonlighter Cushion) layered with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit shades Starburst/Pearl (sadly this particular kit is no longer available)

Well – that’s all I have, if we’re talking about skin care & makeup! I think that this month I was a bit more “makeup-focused” – that’s because I spent a lot of time (maybe more than I should have) thinking about Fenty Beauty…because it really is…so…good….anyways, I thought I’d share what jewelry I’ve been loving lately, too, because I’ve been wearing these quite often.

I love gold jewelry; I have an olive leaf necklace & earrings made of white gold, but that is the only “silver” jewelry I currently own (& love – let me be clear…I LOVE that necklace & those earrings!).

I think gold is very fun to play with in terms of jewelry; it can compliment a cool or warm-toned look, gold earrings can look either very delicate or extremely chunky. They can be embellished; they can stay simple. Crystal studs with gold backs, or golden hoops. Both can complete a simple look while making everything fall into place; that’s how I’ve been feeling about the photos of the earrings below. They’re the ones I’ve been wearing most over the past month. The pearl hoops are by Ventrone Chronicles; the other two pairs of hoops are by Maria Black Jewelry (thank you for sending me such lovely ones!!). I love the Ventrone Chronicles Grand Perla Ring Hoops, because they look almost exactly like something my mother has that is jewelry made in Croatia – a lot of jewelry there is made with “sea gems.” I like to pair these earrings with my coral bracelet from Croatia (!!!) & think back to the several (extraordinarily) happy summers I’ve spent there. I’m a big fan of Ventrone Chronicles’ jewelry anyways – this was just another big love for me.

Tthese pairs of earrings for making my shaved head look even cooler – because now hat my hair is gone, you can see my ears. Turns out: my ears are a little pointy, like an elf’s! (I never knew that until I got my hair so short) & my ears look a little odd but very cool with circular (preferably small & light – my ears can’t take a lot of weight) hoops on. I like the look. It’s cool but it’s relaxed; it’s classic but hip. Basically – how I’m trying to be this fall. How I’m always trying to be.


Tell me about your September favorites in the comments here (or don’t, & risk hurting my feelings). I’d love to hear your thoughts on my monthly playlist, too.

Love (& happy autumn!),

Sof ❤

Want some Drunk Elephant but don’t have quite enough $$$? Here’s 20% off!

I’d love if you’d help support me & buy Glossier products (if you want them!) with my link. Again – much, much appreciation.

Fenty Beauty Review: What I Bought & What I Thought!

It’s Fenty Beauty Season, everyone! All other brands step aside!

(But seriously: all other brands step aside. We all see the five new darker shades you coincidentally released this week)

Anyway, like I said, happy Fenty Beauty season! Rihanna officially launched her line on September 8th midnight PST on her own site, Sephora got in on it too, of course.

We got some little hints at what the brand would be all about, thanks to @fentybeauty on Instgram. First we got a release date. Then we got a video.

So – let’s be honest here – Rihanna put more diversity in a 60-second intro video to her brand than the rest of the makeup brands put together did since 2017 started. Right off the bat, it’s obvious: this brand is for everyone. That, to me, is clear. We start off by seeing Duckie Thot, who’s known for her smooth complexion & very deep skin tone. We see Halima Aden in hijab – okay!!! We see Paloma Elsesser, one of the Pat McGrath muses (& also part of Glossier’s Body Hero campaign – & an advocate for plus-size beauty), we see Slick Woods, whose “don’t give a fuck” attitude has made her one of the most present models on the runway at the moment (she also walks for Fenty X Puma). We spot the redheaded girl from Rihanna’s Paper Magazine photoshoot! There’s fair skin, monolids, super dark skin, larger body types, medium skin, bald heads (!), deep skin.This campaign is definitely about diversity, that’s for sure. It’s also quite clear within the 60-second time frame that these products are multi-purpose, easy to use – even when on the go – & many of them can be worn on many different skin tones. Amazing. Amazing!!!

This video was followed up with a few sneak peeks – some some photographs, some videos. If the photo/video featured a product, it would be was captioned with the shade/product name, & the date it would drop (September 8). Some of the other videos featured the Fenty Girls (Slick Woods & Camila Costa for these particular ones) saying the product names, which I thought was really cute. We also got a release time!




Okay, okay, enough – I am sure you watched the products slowly reveal themselves just as closely as I did. But…in case you didn’t, we got the actual details the night of the launch, when Fenty Beauty officially announced the launch with a photoset titled “FAMILY.” That was followed by a little Instagram-style slideshow, featuring each product.


What were the products? What were the prices?

I was a bit surprised, to be honest. All the face stuff was great – & I love a highlight, so you know I was excited – but I had expected a bold lipstick or two, maybe a strong liner, a highlight, & most definitely a mascara…right?

Wrong! No lipstick, mascara, or liner to be seen – yet. I am sure Fenty Beauty has lots coming in the near future. For now, though, there’s no “actual” eye products – & there’s only one lip gloss.

That’s okay, though – in terms of reviews (on YouTube, on Instagram, & on bigger beauty sites like Temptalia), Fenty Beauty was five-star from the beginning.

Why? It’s because someone finally seemed to realize what a “universal” shade was – & that yes, we really do need 40 foundation shades to cover the broad range of what we call “beauty.”

This brand definitely had a lot more product options for darker-skinned women, which is great – we all know that the beauty industry is whitewashed. It is almost impossible for very dark-skinned women to find foundations that suit their skin type & skin tone! At this point, it’s become obvious: it’s not that difficult to create a few more shades to appeal to a larger demographic. Even more obvious? You make more money when you have a better shade range.

Fenty Beauty’s 40 shades have set a new standard, in my opinion. Now that one brand has shown that it is possible to create shades for deep-dark skin, others have one less excuse to make. I hope more brands start expanding their shade range. Oh – & Fenty Beauty isn’t done yet. They said they have even more foundation shades coming.

Looking at pricing – it’s surprisingly reasonble, for a brand with a celebrity’s name behind it. Kylie’s whole lip thing & Kim’s Contour Kits cost way more – no ifs or buts about it. Sure, a $34 foundation isn’t cheap – but let’s be honest, there are about a million foundations that are well into the $50 range. Again, coming from a celebrity, I was pleasantly surprised by the price tags.

Okay, so: what did I buy? Why did I choose it? & what made me choose not to buy some of the things?

First off, I wouldn’t be able to afford the full line – & I likely wouldn’t use all of it. I started taking notes as soon as the product names/descriptions went up. I knew I wouldn’t get foundation – I am not a foundation lover & do not wear enough of it to justify buying it – even if it was my perfect shade (& I am pretty sure Rih has my back with one of the three lightest shades). Same goes for contour. It’s just not my style. I’m more about lips, eyes (soft eyes) & definitely highlight. Definitely.

I decided I’d go for a Killawatt highlight, a Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick, the brush that went with the stick, & the gloss. & no, I didn’t get it all at once – it took me a few days to collect the funds to buy the product, so it all rolled in gradually.

Before I start reviewing what I got & why, let me say one last thing: the brand has been incredible (so far) in terms of keeping things in stock. The brand launched with HUGE success – but shades are still in stock, whether it’s on the Fenty site or on (or in!) Sephora. I read that Fenty Beauty worked hard to have a good stockpile before launch, & I don’t know if they particularly planned that – but it’s definitely been working. Like I said, it’s not like people aren’t buying it – people are flocking to buy it.

Like I said – “face stuff” aka: powder, foundation, or contour – isn’t part of my daily routine. I have dry skin, so powder is almost always a no for me (with the exception of Glossier’s Wowder). I never have & probably never will need blotting papers. Foundation is something I can’t justify buying, & I laugh even when I even imagine myself contouring. It looks beautiful on other people, but it has never been my personal thing. Again, like I said – I decided to stick to highlights, a brush, & a lip gloss. Those are all things I wear consistently, & I know I will get use out of the things I bought.

Okay, enough talk. Time for photos, & actual thoughts on the products I purchased! Let’s go!

I mentioned that the products rolled onto my door step gradually; the first two things that arrived were the Shimmer Skinstick & the Gloss Bomb.

Babies in the sun
Quick, easy product descriptions on the back outside packaging

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in “Blonde”


The Shimmer Skinstick is described as a “magnetized makeup stick in a long-wear, light-as-air shimmer formula to highlight, blush, enhance, and bronze in 10 colorful shades that let you play.” Although it’s primarily marketed as a highlight, they’re friendly on any area of your face – definitely can be used as eyeshadows; today, I saw a video of someone using one as a lip topper. There’s a clear emphasis on Fenty Beauty products being multi-purpose, which I like!


It was super, super hard for me to pick just one. They were all unique & beautiful. I knew I wanted to play some risks so I tried to steer clear of the cooler, whiter shades. There’s some crazier ones: Ridiic (“golden papaya) & Unicorn (“platinum lilac”) are both good examples. I haven’t seen many looks or swatches of either of these products; I assume it’s because they’re such a bold color. I ended up with Blonde, “a glimmering gold.” I’d call it the cream sister of Trophy Wife – just less actual glitter. The actual stick of product is very thick; you can hold it in your hand, but the thickness of the stick means you’re still getting a lot of product. Not only that, but they’re very pigmented. I get a solid pigment with one swipe; that blends out to a natural highlight. They’re buildable, so more swipes means more glow.

This is just one swipe of Blonde – super pigmented, but it blends out like a dream. You don’t have to tell me – I already know my arm is hairy. Trust me 

I was pleasantly surprised how good this looked on my fair skin, even in a casual way. I hadn’t really expected it to look good for everyday use, but I wore it during the daytime & it looked absolutely appropriate! I even got some compliments. I layered a small dab of Becca’s Liquid Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone; then applied Blonde to my cheekbones, chin, cupid’s bow, bridge of the nose, & inner corners. I used my usual setting spray – NYX Dewy Setting Spray – & it lasted all day, & wore very well – I couldn’t spot any patchiness when it was time to take off my makeup.

This is easy to hold, easy to apply, & even easier to travel with – thanks to the magnets. A big yes on the magnet idea! All of the sticks/portable brushes are magnatized, so they all magnetically snap together.Great for travel, great for putting in your bag for touch-ups. Although I didn’t originally plan on getting the Portable Highlight Brush, I saw the sturdy, small, portable Skinstick & knew that the brush would be the perfect duo. I was right!

The lettering has a holographic shift in the light!

Overall, I like how practical & easy it is to hold the stick; I like how the product blends out (works well with fingers; works even better with the little brush); I like how long they last & how well they wear. I will definitely be collecting a few more of these. Confetti – I have my eye on you!

Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer


There’s not much to say about this except that it’s a great gloss! It’s a universal shade; called Fenty Glow, described as a “shimmering rose nude.” All of the models (as well as Rihanna, of course) were wearing this in the advertisements & at the launch. They all look beautiful in it, in different ways. Universal is a good word to describe this shade!

It’s not clear; there’s definitely pigment in the tube, as you can see. The wand dispenses a generous amount; if you’re cautious with the amount of gloss you put on your lips, I’d warn you to apply it with a light hand. You can always add more!

Gloss Bomb shares the beehive-shaped packaging with the portable brushes & skin sticks

The scent is really nice; the site calls it “vanilla peach” but I can’t detect any vanilla. It just smells like a very pleasant fruity gloss to me! It (the scent, not the gloss) doesn’t last too long, & the scent isn’t annoyingly fake, like a lot of scented lip products are. I’d say the gloss looks about the same for around two hours; maybe a little less. You’ll have to reapply more often than you would a lipstick – but again, this is a gloss, & it’s not marketed as long-wearing.


If you want something from the Fenty collection but aren’t really into contouring or highlighing, I’d tell you to go for this. You won’t not like it – there isn’t anything to “not like.” It’s just a nice gloss! I do find it extra hydrating. I like it! I also think that it’ll go well with any eye makeup look I might do, so it’s probably a good thing to take on a vacation or a short trip. No matter what the rest of your face is doing, this is a nice, neutral shade that will ground your look.

In the little “What Else You Need To Know” box on Sephora’s site, it reads:

“Rihanna was obsessed with creating the perfect gloss that makes you want to put it on over and over again. ‘I made it because I wanted the girls to get kissed more.’—Rihanna, Brand Founder.”

I’m here for it!

Blonde on the cheekbones, nose, chin, inner corners, & browbone – Fenty Gloss Bomb on the lips

My other two items arrived a few days later: the portable highlight brush & the Killawatt Highlight – Trophy Wife, the highlight of my dreams.

Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife


Trophy Wife – you know, the one that everyone & their mother has been talking about. I remember seeing this shade in the launch video – on eyelids, cheekbones, cupid’s bows…even on the shoulders, it seemed. I also remember feeling sad, because: every single gold highlight I have ever tried (ex: Becca Champagne Pop) looks muddy/too dark on my fair skin. It was one of the first products I saw & one of the first products I associated with Fenty Beauty – so, I sighed & lamented over it as I waited for the products to launch.


Then, photos started coming in from the launch event. I saw a LOT of different women wearing Trophy Wife in MANY ways – all different skin tones, all different clothing & makeup styles, all hair colors/styles/textures. They all truly looked beautiful in it – I was shocked, because even girls with fairer skin looked amazing. Trophy Wife looked different on everyone, but it looked good on everyone – that’s what we call universal! I decided to take a risk & go for it.

Top two are @soniachew & @alissa.ashley; bottom is Fenty Girl Camila Costa. All are wearing Trophy Wife!

The queen herself, at the Fenty Beauty launch – also wearing Trophy Wife

When I opened it, Trophy Wife was everything (& more) than I’d expected. It was definitely bold & glittery enough to be an eyeshadow; I could tell that straight off. I wasn’t sure how it’d look on me as a highlight, but I already had it in my hands – it was worth a try.

Trophy Wife – in the flesh

I didn’t have the larger highlighting brush, & the portable one was more for cream products, so I used a fluffy highlighting brush – I don’t know which, but I’m 99% sure it’s from BH Cosmetics (the label wore off). The photo above is me with no other makeup on – no eyes, face, or lips…just Trophy Wife! This was after one swirl with my brush. I tapped off a little excess, but there wasn’t much fallout.


This blends very smoothly. I was expecting it to look rougher, since I didn’t even have a primer on – nope! It was glittery; there are actual particles of very visible glitter in the highlight, so if you’re not there for that, Trophy Wife definitely isn’t for you (at least, not for the cheeks). I only tried it out at home so far, but I kept it on for the whole day, & it faded pretty well, considering that I’d been wearing nothing else. I had some scattered glitter on my face by the end of the day, but it wasn’t excessive, & it washed away easily. I don’t think it’d be an issue if I were actually wearing other things on my face.

Let’s talk packaging for a minute – I love it! It’s an octagon, which mimics the design of the sticks – it’s like a one-dimensional version of the stick’s design. It looks like an eggshell white at first glance; it has this incredible holographic shift when it catches the light. Necessary? No. Welcome? Absolutely. It has an amazing mirror in the compact, too. Once again, easy to travel with, if necessary. Forgot to do your highlight? Forgot your mirror? No problem; now, you only need one compact.

You thought…
…& you thought wrong! A close-up at the holographic shimmer the packaging has when it catches some light
Headshot of Trophy Wife 

I see great things coming for me & Trophy Wife! It’s bold enough that you notice I’m wearing gold on my cheekbones; it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t look dirty or clownish. Overall, I’m super happy with how it turned out for me – this is a very fun highlight that I’ll be able to wear when I’m feeling like I should amp it up a little. I could amp it up a lot, & I’d look like a disco ball! I think there’s a time & place for that, too. Again – shocked that a gold highlight looks good on me (did I mention…that gold…doesn’t…look…good..on me?) but this one does. I’d best describe it as a deeper version of NARS Albatross; a little more glitter, definitely more gold, but infinitely wearable. I’m in love.

Quick candid: love in my eyes; I already adore it

(This is enhanced & just for fun – refer to above photos for actual color & finish! I just like to make everything sparkly)

Portable Highlighter Brush 140


Is this an absolutely necessary thing to get? No, I don’t think so – but I really like it. A large highlighting brush by Morphe is around $15 – but its worse quality. Same goes for BH Cosmetics. This brush is smaller, yes…but it’s also sturdier, easier to carry around (thank you, retractable brush & brush cap!) & perfect for using with a Shimmer Skinstick.

Fenty Beauty says that the “slanted, soft synthetic brush hairs trace the angles of your face, expertly made to diffuse Match Stix Shimmer Skinsticks with speed and precision.” That’s a little dramatic, but essentially, it’s true. It’s a really nice brush, & since it was designed for using with the Shimmer Skinsticks, my Blonde Skinstick & the brush click together perfectly. They don’t separate unless you pull them apart – just like…you guess it….a magnet!


I tried using it with a powder highlight – & it worked beautifully with the powder, too.

The bristles are a pale pink & are very soft. This isn’t exactly a “fluffy brush” but it’s not a stippling brush, either. It’s very much its own thing, & it does a good job at doing what it’s supposed to do: it highlights, & it travels easily. The packaging is the same as the Killawatt packaging: eggshell on first glance, holographic shift when you turn it towards the light.

Gently push down on the silver part, & the brush retracts – just like that!
“Angled precision” & all that good stuff!

Next project: applying first Blonde, then Trophy Wife, both with the Portable Highlighter Brush.

Thoughts after having these products for a few days?

I like them a lot. I even would say I love them. The highlight shades I chose were extremely fun to play with; I can’t wait to keep figuring out new things to do with them! I think the sky’s the limit.

Do I want anything else from Fenty Beauty?

Honestly, I’d probably buy all the Shimmer Skinsticks if I could – same goes for the Killawatt Highlighters. I especially have my eye on Confetti for the Skinstick – it’s a beautiful, holographic, opalescent lavender color that has a lot of duochrome to it. It’s something that you might think of when looking at the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit – that alien-ish, outerspace-ish (neither of those are words) kind of highlight. As for the Killawatt, the Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal Duo look great for fair skin & I think they’d be beautiful as natural highlights for my fair skin, judging from the swatches. I also love Metal Moon – it’s the other single (along with Trophy Wife) in the Killawatt collection – the rest are duos. I also love Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule; I think they’d be a nice glowy blush on me – or a great eyeshadow. Usually, if it’s a highlighting product, I’ll buy it. Say “highlight” & I’m sold. True (& sad) story.

Okay, but seriously: Will I buy any of the other Fenty Beauty products? If so, why?

Well, I’m not going to go for the blotting papers, the mattifying powder, or the contouring sticks. I definitely wouldn’t buy the beauty sponge – but that’s because I just hate using beauty sponges. I already have a loyal foundation brush that works perfectly well for blending out whatever face makeup I choose to have, so I don’t think I’d buy that, either.

I could see myself buying the Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Primer – in her review of the line, Jackie Aina called it a “smoothing, blurring” primer, & said that if the Too Faced Hangover Primer & Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer(yes, the crazy-expensive one) had a baby, the Fenty primer would be the result. I got a sample of the Hourglass primer when it was a Sephora points reward & did not like it at all  I don’t consider it “dry skin-friendly,” but if it were to be combined with a hydrating primer like the Too Faced one, I could see it being an appealing primer. I tend to go for hydrating, illuminating primers, but I’m not adverse to a little blur. For myself – I’d try some of the Fenty primer out in store before I’d purchase it, simply because I already have a lot of primers that I’m already happy with. However, if it works like I hope it would, it would be like a real-life Snapchat face filter – a little blurring, but friendly for dry skin. That’s something I would buy into – so we’ll see! As for the Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation, I may get it at some point – just because I am curious to see how the lightest shade wears on me. One of the reasons I don’t wear a full face of foundation (ever) is because it doesn’t look that great on my skin. No matter what foundation I use, & what brush I use to blend, it’ll always end up looking a little off. I hate that, & I searched high & low for good foundations. I couldn’t ever find one; I ended up switching to CC Creams (& I’m not complaining). I’ve heard from some people that the foundation does cling to dry spots, & as someone with dry skin, that’s a flag right there.

Rihanna’s skin products make sense, though – Fenty Beauty said that the face products help one achieve “the perfect #FentyFace” which is 1) Mattify 2) Highlight 3) Blot. Now, since I have dry skin, mattifying & blotting just aren’t part of my makeup routine – ever. I’m always worried about going too matte – it ruins the way my face feels for the rest of the day.

Since the #FentyFace involves blotting & mattifying, I’m going to stay away from the foundation until I make a friend with dry skin buy it first (watch me, I’ll do it). Seriously, though – I just want a little more time to look over different skin types & reviews according to each skin type. The way my complexion looks is super important to me – both Rihanna & I seem to be in that club. It also seems that Rihanna’s skin type is very different from mine; her way to a perfect complexion isn’t necessarily mine.

What #FentyFace looks like (on Rihanna, not the rest of the plebeins)

I’m curious about the Portable Touchup Brush 130 & the Match Stix Matte Skinstick in the shade Linen; I feel like it would be a nice way to touch up or spot conceal on the go. Linen is the lightest shade, but it doesn’t look as light as the lightest foundation shade – again, I would go to the store to swatch the product before buying it. The concept is nice; I like using Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint in Light on a daily basis. Then, I’ll put some kind of heavier coverage product in the center of my face – could be a concealer, a CC Cream, or a foundation (“essence”) cushion – & blend outwards to prevent a line on my jawbone. I could see the Skinstick being useful for that kind of thing, but it would have to be creamy to work – so, yet again, let me say that I’d have to go to the store to see it before deciding whether or not it’s worth it.

I have other highlighting brushes, but the Cheek-Hugging Highlight Brush 120 looks very cool & very effective. I like the chiseled shape & the long handle; it seems perfect for when you’re trying to achieve a truly blinding highlight – I love doing that in the fall & winter, especially around the holidays. I’m not going to hop out & buy it immediately, but I do have an eye on it.

What would I buy next? Honestly, probably another Shimmer Skinstick or a Killawatt Highlighter. I love my highlights – & Rihanna really delivered on both of the highlight-type products. Plus, like I mentioned – they’re all versatile. If one ends up looking odd on my cheekbones, it’ll still look amazing on the eyes.

Overall, I think this was the launch of the year, mainly because of the huge shade range that released right away – many brands wait a while before releasing darker shades (which is stupid & unfair) – & also the incredible amount of diversity in the campaign. Oh! Let’s not forget about how all the highlights work in one way or another on all skin tones! & how they can be used on the face, lips, or eyelids! Or all three at once. You decide.

I think that’s a great way to sum up what I’ve seen of Fenty Beauty so far: you decide. There are enough shade options, there are different styles of products (ex. sponge vs. brush) there are mini tips & tutorials, but at the end of the day, it’s freehand – go crazy! Makeup should be fun, & Fenty Beauty just made it a lot more fun, for a lot more people – because they’re very appealing to a very wide demographic. Brands like Fenty Beauty are, in my opinion, the brands of the future. Other companies need to step it up, because this is only the first launch, & we all know Rihanna likes to come back better than ever.

Let’s start placing bets on how long it’ll take me to place another order for another highlight I don’t really need – except that I do, because it’s Rihanna, & I have to.


Sof ❤

Have you tried any Fenty Beauty? If so, what have you got! What are your thoughts? Is there anything you’ve tried that you think I’d like? Let me know! & don’t forget – you can only play the ANTI album while applying Rihanna’s products.