#I’mWearing: How I Did This Look

It all started with an Instagram live. I’d just gotten some new makeup & was fooling around with old things, so I decided to go on live & do a look that people wanted to see.

This ended in my friends encouraging (aka: yelling in caps) & teaching me how to actually contour – & giving suggestions that turned out to be one of the most fun looks I’ve done in forever.

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The completed #look

Let’s be clear; we all know my makeup style. That’s extremely light-handed face makeup (cc cream etc), some good highlight, & a pretty lip or eye. I don’t really go all out; I’ve never been into cut creases (they look odd on me) & the whole Instagram-style makeup doesn’t appeal to me – which means that I don’t enjoy contouring my cheekbones & highlighting/setting my undereyes with concealer then powder.

Basically – I don’t like a full face of makeup, & I usually only wear a complete one when I have an important event. Other times, I just feel like it. This was one of those times.

I started my look pretty simple, but once I pulled out the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter in Trophy Wife, everyone got a little bit excited – including me. This ended up in a glitter moustache on my cupid’s bow, super defined cheekbones, delicate, glossy lips, & a simple eye look that just boosted the green – my actual eye color. 

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Is this over the top? Absolutely. It’d look beautifully hilarious in the day time. But – in that moment, I felt like I was about to step on a runway for fashion week. I definitely would wear it for a fancy night out. Or…who knows! Maybe one day I’ll change my mind & wear it in the day time. Who cares what people think, right?

After I posted a few photos of my completed look, I got some people asking what I used on my face. So – with no further ado, here are the products I used to get the finished look. Mini reviews & photos included, of course. Side note: I usually love “photographing” (I use my iPhone) in direct sunlight. Golden hour is my favorite time of the day. Still – I decided to go a bit different this time. This is a very “lux” look, & everything looks shinier & more lux with some flash, surrounded by fluffy fleece. Okay. Let’s do this!

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The full line-up (with some pretty decorations)

Okay, this looks like a lot – but once I start breaking it down, I think you’ll find it quite simple. This doesn’t require a steady hand & it most certainly doesn’t require perfection. My brows are messy in the close-up of my eye. Who cares? It still is a beautiful look. Plus – I secretly love undone brows, anyway.

Primer

I actually didn’t use a primer that day. I was wearing my moisturizer that I’d applied in the morning. That was the Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre ; if you want more information on that product, it’s right here in my September Favorites post. If you don’t have the time or desire, though, here’s a bit of a rundown: it’s very similar to the Glossier Priming Moisturizer (original) but the packaging claims that it’s a leave-on mask, a makeup primer, & a moisturizer. I figured I’d be just fine using this base. I was right!

Face Makeup

I still wanted to keep my face looking natural. My skin was quite clear that day, so I didn’t even really feel like using a CC cream for coverage; that’s when I turned to the CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Air Cushion.

This is one of my favorite face makeup products of all time!!! 1) it has an amazing amount of sun protection 2) it is sheer but buildable; it makes it easy to simultaneously look natural yet have some coverage 3) it is incredibly dewy – not in a sweaty, greasy way; just a from-within glow that looks beautiful. I use it in the shade Light, which is the lightest shade. It looks a lot darker in the “pan” (cushion) than it does on the face; that’s because the pigment of the cushion is fully saturated when in its case.

It comes with a tiny applicator sponge-like contraption, which is cute, fits inside the compact, & relatively easy to use – but I wasn’t getting the exact finish I wanted when I initially used it, so I decided to try my well-trusted foundation brush on the product: that’s the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. It was the first foundation brush I owned, & it is still doing its fair share of work. I make sure to clean it often (obviously) but this is truly one of the sturdiest brushes I’ve ever owned. It’s less than $10, you can find it at any ULTA Beauty (& lots of drugstores, too) & I promise you that it’ll last you for a long time & a good time.

How do I use this brush while applying the Essence Air Cushion? I just open the compact, remove the applicator from the compact, & gently press my brush into the sponge. I buff some into my skin, then repeat until I get the coverage/finish I’m looking for that day. Easy as pie!

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A trusty pair of friends
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Though it looks much darker in the pan, this is closer to what the Essence Air Cushion looks like on the face

Contour

never contour. Ever. I don’t think I’m good at it, & I don’t think it looks good on me. This one time, however, I was convinced. I had one bronzer lying around; it was the Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer in Baked. I decided to go for it, & (with guidance) lightly drew that famous “3 shape” on the sides of my face & on my jawline.

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The highlight is a cream stick, so it melts very nicely into the skin. Milk claims that their “Milk Makeup Milk Melt Technology” is what makes the contour stick so creamy & blendable – but not greasy. That’s their “secret” ingredient; some other main ingredients are mango, peach, & avocado extracts – these are all hydrating & nourishing fruits, so I can see why they were used in a product like this.

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I used my Real Techniques brush – the same one I used for my Essence Air Cushion – to blend everything out. The result? Surprisingly amazing. It amped up the glam just a little – I didn’t even use that much – & made my cheekbones pop, which is perfect for a situation in which you’re trying to make your highlight stand out as much as possible.

Milk Makeup also has a darker Matte Broner shade, called Blaze – described as “a deep bronze.” Although I’m very fair, this contour is definitely buildable. I can see this being used for fair to medium skintones. I’m glad Milk Makeup came out with a second option for deeper skin. The shade Baked will not be an option for everyone, due to the pure nature of contouring , but I can’t say anything about it – I haven’t spotted it in store at Sephora, so I haven’t gotten the chance to even swatch it. I can’t say for sure.

I still won’t contour on the regular, but if I ever feel like doing it for a special occasion, now I know how – & the product I happened to have worked perfectly.

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I did a bit of spot-concealing with the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Light; that was really about it. On to the more exciting parts.

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I’m happy – I promise 

Eyes

I primed my eyelids with Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion – just the original one. I didn’t feel compelled to photograph that because…well, everyone’s seen it, & it doesn’t look particularly interesting. It’s a good primer; the only eye one I’ve been able to use without my eyelids feeling dry/getting patchy eye makeup by the end I finish my look.

After I primed, I went into the palette I knew I would be using – the Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette. This is a really nice palette for everyone to have, in my opinion. There are 12 shadows; 10 are matte, two are shimmer. It’s a great palette to use when you want something simple but multi-demensional. All of the mattes work amazingly well by themselves; they also work with each other very well. The shimmer ones are lovely, but the mattes are what makes this palette so good.

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I started off by lightly dusting some of the lightest shadow, called Charmer, all around my eye area. This set the primer I’d applied & was a precaution to make sure everything would stay smooth & even.

After evening out my eye area, I softly buffed Sweetheart & Rebel onto my lid & blended it up into my crease. I added a bit of dimension by lightly tapping the shimmery shade Firecracker (described as “a bronze copper”) on the lid area, too. I went on my lower lashline with Sweetheart & Rebel as well. Finally, I deepened the look a tiny bit more by blending the dark shades Smoke Show & Activist together, then gently buffing it into the outer corner of my eyelid, dragging it down to give an eyeliner effect on my lower lash line. This was the perfect amount of smoky for me – I already knew that my highlight would be very over-the-top, but I tried my best to make a simple yet smoldering look that would compliment my highlight – not out-shine it.

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Finally, I used one of my newest products: Fenty Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Blonde, described as a “glimmering gold.” If you want some more details on the consistency of the product, check out my Fenty Beauty review here – otherwise, let’s talk about how I used it for this particular look.

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I rubbed some of the stick onto the back of my hand, then gently but firmly pressed it into the top of my eyelids & in the inner corners of my eyes (there was something else under that, but I’ll get to it in a minute). The result? Glimmering, extremely intense eyes that weren’t over the top on the smokinesss – but perfect with the amount of glitter. The Blonde Skinstick was then set aside, & Trophy Wife herself came out to play – also on the eyelids & the inner corners. Best of all: I used it as an under-eye eyeliner. I’ve seen some people using it as a pigment – blending a little of the powder with some face gloss & using it as an eyeliner – but I’m not that talented, so I just ran it under my lower lash line with a tiny, tiny pencil brush.

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Staring at myself (& my beautiful highlight compact)

I finished off with the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara – it’s one I heard a lot of hype for. Some told me it was a dupe for Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara; others swore that it was a dupe for Dior Diorshow Mascara. I was curious when I heard the Diorshow Mascara being mentioned; it’s my holy grail mascara & I wanted to know – would L’Oreal deliver?

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It definitely looks like the Better Than Sex packaging

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My full thoughts you can read here in my September favorites – but my quick review is that it’s good, but not amazing. I still think Diorshow sits way higher – which is good, because it’s a lot more expensive! I’d call this a combination of Diorshow & Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara (which I love). I don’t love this – but I don’t hate it. It looks good, it’s available practically everywhere, & it’s cheap.

I curled my lashes with my Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler; if I do wear mascara, I’ll always curl my lashes. This one is gentle, doesn’t tug on my lashes, & I don’t worry my lashes will be cut off every time I use it. Obviously, the wand of the curler can be used as any normal one; it can also be used upside down to curl your bottom lashes, which is unique – never used it like that, but again, never say never.

The result? Over-the-top perfection.

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Just checking on the state of my eyes

Finally, I used Glossier Boy Brow in Clear; as you can see, my brows are thick & messy right now. I’m okay with that – don’t get me wrong! But if I were to put Boy Brow in Brown on my brows right now, it would probably look too much; they’re already dark enough. The clear boy brow gives that same fluffy feel that keeps everything in place (yet doesn’t feel crunchy or stiff) & the consistency while applying is the same, too. Can’t recommend this enough for people with thick, dark brows who want just a bit of help with keeping brows in place!

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A better look at the satiny look of the product. It’s true, the bronzer is matte – there’s no glitter or shimmer to be seen – but it’s so creamy that it’s hard to call it matte. It doesn’t slide around, though. Don’t worry

Highlight

The true fun part of this look; the part I enjoyed most!

My highlighting hack is: if you truly want to have a blinding highlight that doesn’t fade, feels creamy yet stays on firmly, you need to first apply a liquid/cream, then a powder highlight. & that is exactly what I did for this look.

I started off with CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Moonlighter Cushion in the shade Gleaming Buff; it’s a gorgeous gold-toned shade that isn’t too dark – but is not too light, either (check out the swatches in my review here). Although it comes in a cushion, it definitely behaves as a liquid or cream highlighter would. This is beautiful by itself; it’s even more beautiful when I want an intense strobing effect. My “secret” (I am 99% sure it’s not a secret) is to first apply a cream or liquid highlight, then layer a powder over. That’s what I did for this look – but we’ll get to the powder in a minute.

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The Essence Moonlighter Cushion looks just like the Essence Air Cushion; it’s just a bit lighter & less chunky in your hand
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I know – it looks like a bronzer in the pan. Don’t worry. Like I mentioned, this is just a super concenterated sponge & the product is sheer! (Swatches)

The Essence Air cushion comes with an applicator just like this one – only bigger – & I don’t use that applicator for that product. Like I showed you above, I dip my brush into the cushion. I have found that these are best applied using the cushion CLĒ includes in the compact. It’s smaller, so you can easily move in a C-shape, from cheekbones to upper temple. You won’t miss any spots, but you won’t mess anything up, either – the applicator just works very well for this!

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This highlight has enough gold in it to flatter the golden look I was going for; that also means that it’ll work very nicely on warmer undertoned complexions. Since the product is so sheer, I think that these could be used on all skin tones. Sheer but buildable, golden but not too golden, hydrating, & elegant.

HERE SHE IS! The famous: Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife.

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I know it’s with the flash on, but trust me: this is just as beautiful in person as it is on camera. Yes – I was worried it would look dirty on me; in my review here you’ll see that’s not the case, & it fits very well with the Moonlighter Cushion; it built upon the highlight “base” that the CLĒ product provided, then finished me off with a glamorous, glittery (yes, it is glittery) highlight. It felt (& looked) amazing. Of course, I also applied this on my inner corners of my eyes, tip of my nose, chin, etc. I used the Glossier Wowder Brush – I really like this brush…even more than the powder! It’s fluffy, it’s sturdy, & no bristles have fallen out since I started using it. I’ve used it for the Glossier Wowder itself (of course) but it works beautifully as a highlight brush – especially for a look like this, where I really spread my highlight up my temple. Perfect.

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Glitter in my hair, too – honestly…good!

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Now – obviously, this isn’t an every day look. I wouldn’t put this much work into a quick outing to the grocery story – I was just having fun & seeing what I could do with Trophy Wife (as well as the other Fenty Beauty products I have). Trust me: it does a lot. I’m not even finished yet!

Lips 

For my lips, I used just a touch of MAC Spice Lip Pencil in Spice, which I’ve had for over a year now. It’s still not run out! That’s why it won’t be pictured – it’s too ugly (& well-loved) to photograph gracefully.

Then, I finished off with the Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer – of course! How could I not?

“Universal lip luminizer” is code for lip gloss – & I’ve been wearing this gloss a lot. I think it’s incredible. It manages to look not only amazing, both in the tube & on the lips – but amazingly different on every single person I’ve seen wearing it.

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In the tube, it fits the description very well: “a shimmering rose nude.” The doe-foot applicator is nicely shaped & holds a lot of product; I only need to swipe once or twice – never needed to dip my wand back in for more. It smells amazing – very fruity, but in a nice way; it’s not “chemical-smelling” & it fades gracefully, too. For those worried about it being scented: don’t be! It fades quickly, I haven’t seen anyone say it’s unpleasant (although if you’re allergic to scents, that’s another story) & the effect you get is well worth whatever you may perceieve the scent to be – I’m lucky, & I like the scent as well as the gloss! Win win.

It’s extremely hydrating, not too glittery – you get enough of sparkle to make your lips pop but not enough to make individual pieces of glitter stand out. It does not claim to have a plumping effect, but I don’t ever overline my lips, & this gloss looked like it was plumping my lips. No sting or burn like a Buxom Lip Cream (for a comparison) – just a pretty enhancement to my natural lips.

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Then, just for fun – because why not! – I went ham on my cupid’s bow; I used my very thin pencil brush to outline the dip of my cupid’s bow, then slightly extended the line down my lip line. The result was a powerful cupid’s bow highlight (obviously) & lended a sort of “editorial” or “high fashion” vibe to the look. I loved it. It felt super fancy! Even though I wasn’t going somewhere, it was a fun thing to do & a good idea to try; I might very well go out like this some time soon.

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The finished look!

&…that’s all, folks! Although it looks very fancy, I didn’t need much to make it happen – I had a dramatic highlight, decided to make that the focal point of my “look” – & yes, I contoured, & I didn’t die. I actually looked kind of okay!

  • Top – Urban Outfitters
  • Earrings – Maria Black Jewelry 
  • Necklace(s) – Ventrone Chronicles 

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Would you like to see me do some other looks? Feel free to pop in your requests – I like going out of my comfort zone from time to time. In the meantime, here’s a gif of me looking like an alien, thanks to Kirakira+

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Shout what you’d like to see next below!

Love,

Sof ❤

Good News, Brits: Glossier Has ARRIVED

By the time you’re reading this, Glossier is – or very, nearly, almost is – shipping to the UK. Congratulations; finally, right?

Glossier has been promising international shipping to customers for quite a while; we saw these promises in action when they did a few pop-ups (Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, & Toronto) – then released this announcement on Into The Gloss, entitled “Glossier Is Launching Internationally.”

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Coco Baudelle (one of the brand’s first “it girls”) going international – with her Glossier package

In this post, Into The Gloss (aka Glossier) said that it would first be launching in Canada (already done!). Then, they said “we’ll be bringing our talents to the UK! This one’s also near and dear to our hearts….We’ll be opening a small office in London in due time. And finally, we’re happy to say that France is getting Glossier, too—in 2018. Those French lessons are really coming in handy. À bientôt!”

What’s next? We don’t really know! All we know for now is that 1) Glossier is indeed available in the UK, starting today. It’s also available for sale (in person) in France, at the shop Collette.

There’s no information on other parts of Europe or Asia yet; same goes for those Down Under. However – Glossier’s moved quite fast this summer. I expect to see many more countries added very soon (that’s just my own personal opinion, not based off any information I was given).

Before Glossier announced their UK site, they hosted a pop-up in London: here’s some peeks below.

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“The Pink Room” – at Glossier’s London pop-up (courtesy Glossier’s Instagram)
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Although there aren’t any photos of the London pop-up setup, this is a photo of the Toronto, Canada pop-up. Setups were similar! (courtesy Glossier’s Instagram)

Okay, this is all very pretty – but Glossier doesn’t have an official showroom in the U.K. (yet). For now, it’s all online.

So – U.K. Glossier babes, what do you want most from Glossier, now that it’s at your very fingertips?

Here are my favorite Glossier products (& shades). Some of it is makeup, some of it is skincare. I think there will be at least one product on here that will appeal to everyone.  I have some fun photographs, too – ones of my own this time – as well as some tips for newbies. Let’s get started, shall we?

DISCLAIMER: I AM A GLOSSIER REP. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT GLOSSIER IS PAYING ME TO GIVE FALSE OPINIONS. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN, & I HAVE ONLY INCLUDED PRODUCTS THAT I TRULY DO USE (& LOVE).

Boy Brow 

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Glossier: “Inspired by moustache wax, Cara Delevingne, and the idea that the best brows are the ones are the brows you were born with.” It had a 10,000 person wait list (that took 4 months to take care of) when it first launched

#BoyBrow – the product that every single person who, when asked which Glossier product they would recommend first, says: “Boy Brow. No question.” I’m with them on that.

Boy Brow, as most of you know, is like a hair pomade – it fluffs your brows; it keeps them in place – but it doesn’t make them feel stiff or crunchy (like a hairspray might feel). The shades I use are Brown & Clear. I use Brown when I want some extra drama; I use Clear on an everyday basis, especially as my brows are thicker than usual at the moment. The result? Fluffy brows that stay in place the way you want them to – & it takes less than 15 seconds to do.

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Boy Brow in Brown

Generation G Matte Lipstick

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My two favorite fall shades of Generation G

Just yesterday, I was asked by someone which Generation G lipsticks would be suitable for the fall. I thought it’d be perfect to incorporate that question into this post.

Generation G is a lipstick – a sheer lipstick, but a lipstick nonetheless. It applies like a smooth balm, & leaves a sheer, blotted finish (without you actually having to blot it). There are a bunch of shades – & you’ll be able to see swatches of all of them on all skin types on Glossier’s site – but my two favorites for fall are Zip & Jam.

Jam was one of the four original. Two others were added earlier this year; there are now six shades of Generation G lipsticks.

Quick shade rundown, thanks to Glossier’s site: “Zip, Leo, Crush, and Jam, along with the super subtle Cake and Like….give some oomph to lighter lip tones.” Glossier also says that the lipsticks will “appear a bit different on everyone as your natural lip color shows through.” That’s not to say they’re buildable – they are, trust me! Still, I love how different (& how good) all the Generation G shades look on every skin tone.

Why Zip & Jam for fall? Well, because although the lip shades are sheer, they’re also buildable. Zip, a beautiful “poppy red” can be just lightly dotted onto the lips for the slightest hint of color. It can be used over a lip liner for a little extra pigment (& hydration) it can be slathered on as you run to work, school, or your night out. You don’t need a mirror for this red lipstick – that’s a huge plus. Also, the name is cute. Don’t lie to yourself!

Jam, “a deep berry magenta” also looks beautiful on all skin tones. I’ve worn this for casual looks (bare face, nothing but Jam) as well as for performances (with a lip gloss over top). There is something about the effortless finish that the Generation G lipsticks have that give them dimension & beauty – yet require no extra effort. These two are winners – trust me.

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Jam is on “top,” Zip is underneath

Milky Jelly Cleanser 

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If you really want to see me drool over Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser, you can read an in-depth review here. I’ll keep it short, though. Just know: this cleanser is suitable for all skin types. Essentially, it’s a “jellified micellar water” (described by Glossier CEO Emily Weiss) & has a formula based around the poloxamer, the cleansing ingredient used in contact lens solutions. That means that it’s safe to use as an eye makeup remover & that it is extremely, extremely gentle. Throw in some Vitamin B (a powerful, natural moisturizer), comfrey root extract (heals dry, stressed skin), rosewater (gives the product its signature delicate floral scent), & you’ve got a winner. I can’t recommend this enough; neither can my friends. I have friends who use MJC – some have oily skin, some have normal, some have combo, & some have dry – but they all love Milky Jelly. So do I – & I’m betting you will, too.

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Wowder Brush

I have nothing against Wowder – I like it when I use it – but it’s not in my top list of Glossier products I love. That’s nothing against the powder, it’s just my dry skin talking. When I do use it, I prefer to moisturize heavily, then use Wowder as a “blurring” face product. But let’s talk about the Wowder Brush.

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Dense yet soft bristles – the Wowder Brush

I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of this brush. This costs less than a MAC brush, it’s extremely dense, it has a nice angle, & oh boy is it sturdy! There are no signs of loose parts, a bad glue job, & the brush doesn’t shed, either. I also love the hygienic little pouch it comes in.

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Doubles as a pencil case/lip-liner case

Do I use this for Wowder? Sometimes – but I’ve been using it to highlight, too! In fact, that’s the main tool I’ve been using to highlight (if I’m using a powder highlight) ever since I got the brush. I’ve used this on subtle highlights & over-the-top highlights. The angle makes it easy to place the glow just where it needs to be. The silvery-pink color of the brush handle makes it fun to use (it’s just so pretty) & it really does a great job. Wowder isn’t in my “top ten” but the brush most definitely is. If you’re looking for a good-quality synthetic brush that is multi-purpose, this is a good option.

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Haloscope in Quartz 

There are three shades of Haloscope: Moonstone “an opalescent glaze,” Quartz, “a universally flattering, pearlescent highlight,” & Topaz, “a healthy, sun-kissed glow.”

I love all three Haloscope shades, but I decided to actually show photos of Quartz, as it’s literally described as “universally flattering.”

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If you don’t know the scoop on Haloscope, it’s described as a face highlighter (in a cream stick form/formula) that is a dual-delivery formula: “the outer halo is infused with genuine crystal extracts for all-day enlightenment, with a solid oil core of vitamin-rich moisturizers for a hydrated, dewy finish.” Don’t get scared by the word “oil” – this will not break you out (at least, it didn’t break me out). It doesn’t slip & slide, & I know that I’m dry-skinned (maybe it slips on oily skin) but I haven’t had a problem ever. If you’re more on the oily side, try setting it with a powder or just a setting spray.

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A peek at the inner & outer “cores” of Haloscope

This is definitely the highlight shade that I know will work well on all skin tones. Although it has a bit of that champagne/gold in it, it has the pearlescent reflects – meaning that it’ll work on cool & warm undertones. It’s also extremely versatile; use it as an eyeshadow, an inner corner highlight, or tap it on the cheekbones. For a super over-the-top look, apply Haloscope on the high points of your face – then layer a powder highlight over that. The results? Blinding.

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Read more about Haloscope here – or just start shopping.

Mask Duo

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Mega Greens Galaxy Pack mask on the left; Moisturizing Moon Mask on the right

This little mask duo is heaven-sent for people with all skin types. Combo skin? Apply the Moisturizing Moon Mask & the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Mask at the same time – just in different areas. Dry skin? Moon Mask will save your life this winter (I know it did mine). Just want a detox? No matter what your skin type, Mega Greens has your back – & it does some serious work at reducing redness/inflammation.

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Mega Greens Galaxy Pack….
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…..& Moisturizing Moon

So – Glossier says that their masks are “designed to work in harmony to hit the reset button on your skin. One detoxifies, while the other hydrates.” That’s definitely true. But they work just as well on their own, too. The Mask Duo is amazing – but if you know you won’t need one, just pick the one that speaks most to you. It’s hard for me to pick one, since they’ve both helped my skin out in such different ways – but they’re both good. Either way, I think you’ll have made a good choice (if you have to pick one).

Super Pure Serum

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My vial of liquid gold 

There’s a few Glossier skin care products that I treat like Boy Brow. Aka – cannot be without it/skin would look worse without it. Super Pure is one of those holy grails. I love it so much, I did a mini review on it. I love it so much, I tried out The Ordinary’s zinc/niacinamide serum to see if it was a dupe (similar, but definitely not a dupe). I love it so much, I can see a difference in my skin if I’ve gone a few days without applying it.

The Supers Pack is a great option for those new to serums – & it’s a good deal if you know you’re going to use all three – but the one I recommend across the board is Super Pure – always Super Pure. “It gets troubled skin in check and flushes out impurities, including excess sebum that builds up inside pores. The light, water-gel formula quickly absorbs into skin,” Glossier says.

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Almost empty; time for another!

It’s the water-gel formula that makes this serum so special. Not drying, not tingling, not oily – it’s just the perfect consistency for every skin type. No need to worry about clogging your pores; no need to worry about being dried out. This serum will keep you clear. It’ll also keep dryness at bay. I don’t know how many vials of this I’ve been through, but I’ll keep going until the end of time. I’ve said enough. If you want a true, good-quality review, here’s my #MiniReview on Super Pure.

Lip Gloss

Do you badly want one of the #glossierpink pouches, a sticker sheet, & a product…but you’re just not sure what to get? Or: are you on a low budget? I think Lip Gloss has your back here.

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Glossier Lip Gloss was first introduced as a limited-edition holiday collection: the Black Tie Set (read about it here), which included a Haloscope highlight in Moonstone (now also permanent), a #glossierpink nail polish (no longer available), a pretty black ribbon, an eyeliner – called the No. 1 Eyeliner in Graphite (hopefully will make a comeback) &, of course, the Lip Gloss.

Lip Gloss was officially released as a permanent item spring of this year – so it’s here to stay. It’s incredibly hydrating (I use it as an overnight lip mask sometimes), isn’t sticky (okay, every gloss is a little sticky, but as far as lip glosses go, it’s not STICKY), & has a surprisingly long wear time.

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Any more info? Well, it has a doe-foot applicator – just a standard one, like most lip glosses/liquid lipsticks do. You won’t have to worry about it drying out your lips as it wears off, thanks to one of the key ingredients: Vitamin E. That’s what makes it so hydrating.

Yes – as you may have already noticed, it does look slightly pink in the tube (which I love) but it applies crystal-clear. It gives me a transparent shine – yet it has sparkles…but there are no sparkles in it. Glossier describes it better than I can: “cushiony, crystal clear shine, no stickiness, no grittiness, no glitter…a comfortable, glassy finish that won’t disappear after an hour (oooh yeeeah). Shine on, friend.”

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Cute. It’s also the perfect size to throw in your bag – big enough to find, small enough to make it easy to carry. & the bubbles that form in the tube when you take out the applicator remind me of a lava lamp. I call it “the lava lamp of lip glosses.” Truly – shine on!

Cloud Paint Cream Blush

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Scared of blush? Me too – the only one I would ever use (& that was rare) was NARS Orgasm. When Glossier released their Cloud Paint Blushes in the spring, I was really scared. I knew I’d give one a go, because at least one would appeal to me. I picked the pinkest shade: Puff.

Time went on, & I ended up collecting all four. Do you want to know the best part? The colors that look best on me are the ones I would have never expected to look good on me. That is: Haze, a dark fuschia berry shade, similar to Generation G Lipstick in Jam; & Beam, an orangey-coral that ended up selling out because it was so popular (I get why).

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My two favorites (I think Haze will be perfect for fall)

There are a lot of great things about Cloud Paint. First of all – it last forever. You need a tiny dot of pigment (especially if you’re very fair like me) to do the job. Secondly: Cloud Paint is a cream – that means that they move with your face, not on top of your face. This makes your makeup look more natural; more you. Finally: every single shade looks good on all skin tones. There is no “ugly” shade of Cloud Paint for me. Sure – I like two more than the others, but I can’t complain about any of them. Glossier’s also made a Cloud Paint Duo – that’s where you choose your own two colors (& save some money to boot). I find this nice, because Cloud Paints look just as good when used together (blended) rather than by themselves.

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A bit of a throwback – longer hair, but the blush is the same: Cloud Paint in Beam

Some hacks: blend a little Cloud Paint on the bridge of your nose. It’ll give you a flushed, sun-kissed look without the sun damage or sunburn. It’ll also make the blush on your cheeks look more natural. As for swatches – I have one for you, but be sure to check out the mini videos on Glossier’s Cloud Paint page – you’ll see a lot of good tips on how to apply them, as well as how they look on different skin tones.

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Hand swatches of Cloud Paint. From bottom to top: Haze, Dusk, Beam, Puff

I never thought I’d say it, but I own an orangey-coral blush – & it looks good on me! Leave it to Glossier to convert me.

Body Hero Duo

I don’t have a lot to say about this, except that 1) I use the Daily Oil Wash as a shampoo, too 2) The Daily Perfecting Cream is like a highlight, except for your body. It smells amazing. I want it in a candle form. Stay tuned for my opinion on how long it lasts after a month has gone by (we’re almost there) but as of right now, I’m going with: it’s worth it, you’ll smell amazing, & you’ll have glowy collarbones, legs, & shoulders – plus, you’ll get a cute, cheeky sticker. The duo really is a shower upgrade, but if you have to get one, get the cream – read why right here.

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A pretty pair

Priming Moisturizer Rich

I saved one of my favorite products of all time for last. Priming Moisturizer Rich is one of the most exciting Glossier products to me – that’s because it is perfect – & I mean perfect – for dry, sensitive skin.

The “sister” of the original Priming Moisturizer was released in January 2017. I immediately bought it, & I have not stopped using it since I started. Okay…I have – just a couple times. Every time I’ve stopped, I’ve seen my skin dry out; I’ve had it feel more sensitive, & the ever-hated redness/sensitivity around my nose area gets worse. I switch back to PMR (as I affectionately call it) & boom – problem solved. My skin only gets better with PMR.

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This cream is rich in ceramides & fatty acids – “fatty acids” doesn’t sound very glamorous (& doesn’t even sound that great for your skin) but trust me: they help protect your skin’s moisture barrier, allowing hydration to stick around for longer periods of time. This is not a water cream – but it won’t clog your pores. It contains “Five Key Fatty Acids” – this all comes from kukui oil. It provides palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids which help lock in moisture. It contains a (secret?) “Anti-Redness Complex” which…reduces redness, yes, & also soothes the skin. It contains an oxygenating agent, too, which improves your skin tone & texture. Just like the original, it’s okay to wear under makeup – it won’t slide off!

Murumuru butter is a hard, dense butter that Glossier combined with shea butter; it’s this combination that puts the “Rich” in Priming Moisturizer Rich. Somehow, it still doesn’t feel heavy or greasy or oily…can you tell I’m in love with this yet?

My favorite thing of all: lavender oil is a main ingredient. Lavender is an anti-oxidant known for its healing properties; it’s also one of my favorite scents of all time, especially before bed. The lavender oil is what gives PMR its signature scent: herbal, but not spicy; a little floral, but not too fresh. The cream’s scent very much reminds me of an essential oil you’d rub onto those special points on your face & body. It’s an extremely calming scent; perfect for bedtime. On the other hand, it’s an amazing product to wear during the day, too – at least, it is for dry skin. I use this as a night cream only during the summer; as it starts getting colder, PMR will be my day & night cream. I can’t say enough good things about this cream, so I’ll stop after I say four things about it: “Intense Hydration. Redness Reducing. Nourishing. Oxygenating.”

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If that doesn’t speak to those with dry, sensitive skin – I don’t know what will. Just trust me. It’s that good – just as good (better) than more expensive creams out there. It’s one of my top four products as a rep, & when I said Priming Moisturizer Rich makes me feel like a queen, I meant it. Another golden product worth its weight.

Well – that’s about all I’ve got! Congratulations, Brits – you’re part of the Glossier family now. I hope this gives you some guidance on what to grab first. Tell me what you got or are planning to get in the comments below!

Oh – I almost forgot. Balm Dotcom is amazing. It’s amazing in every flavor, but especially in Rose, Birthday Cake (doubles as a highlight) & Cherry. Make sure you pick up a few of those. You can never have too much lip balm, right?

Love,

Sof ❤

Deals (make sure to convert over to your currency):

  • Boy Brow + Haloscope Duo = $30 – Haloscope Highlighter in the shade of your choice, Boy Brow in the shade of your choice, free shipping, & save $8. Lasts until this Friday (October 6)
  • Cloud Paint Duo = $30 – two cloud paints of your choice, save $6, & free shipping. Permanent deal!
  • Body Hero Duo = $35 – Daily Oil Wash, Daily Perfecting Cream, “BODY HERO” sticker, & X-tra large #glossierpink pouch. Save $5, & free shipping. Permanent deal!
  • Wowder Duo = $35 – Wowder + Wowder Brush (including the pouch). Save $7, free shipping. Permanent deal!
  • Mask Duo = $40 – Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Mask + Moisturizing Moon Mask. Save $4, free shipping. Permanent deal!
  • Balm Dotcom Trio = $30 – three Balm Dotcoms in the shades/flavors of your choice (yes, you can pick three of the same one!). Save $6, free shipping. Permanent deal!
  • The Super Pack = $65 – the trio of the Glossier Super Serums. Super Glow, Super Pure, Super Bounce. Save $19, free shipping. Permanent deal! Just make sure you’ll be using all of them! It’s a good deal if you use them all. Otherwise, just get the one you think will be best (I personally vote Super Pure, then Super Glow)
  • Glossier Phase 1 Set = $40 – includes Milky Jelly Cleanser, Priming Moisturizer, & the Balm Dotcom flavor/shade of your choice. Save $10, free shipping. Permanent deal!
  • Glossier Phase 2 Set = $40 – includes Stretch Concealer in the shade of your choice, Boy Brow in the shade of your choice, & Generation G in the shade of your choice. Save $12, free shipping. Permanent deal!

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!

Skincare 

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!

 

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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).

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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 

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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.

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“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?

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Makeup

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 

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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

CLĒ Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder(s)

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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!

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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.

 

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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 

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

NEVER HIT SKIP: The Albums That Are Too Good To Skip Through…Yes, Even That One Song.

It’s diary time! I wasn’t sure what to write about for a while; I have, however, recently made a playlist of some of my favorite albums: albums that I cannot bear to hit “skip” on. Do I not like singles? Or just one song? No, of course I do! But – liking a whole album in its entirety is a special thing, I think. I’m a big fan of albums that I can listen to from bottom to top, backwards & forwards, through & through & through. To me, it’s the ultimate sign that I will never stop listening to ___ album; that I’ll associate it with important events or people. These albums, in their entirety, provide a rush of emotion & color.

Some other contributing factors? Well, I have synesthesia, though it’s not crazy powerful. I can’t see colors in front of my eyes when I hear a single note, but I associate colors & textures with certain songs, pieces, or albums. If I hear a song, piece, or album & immediately start strongly associating it with various colors, moods, textures, color scales, etc., I know that I’ve found an album that speaks very strongly to me. Same goes with crying, believe it or not – oftentimes, I think one of the best signs that an album is a good one is that it prompts emotion. I’m all about music being an emotional outlet, & I listen to all types. They all provide me with relief, joy, happiness, melancholy…anything that I am feeling, I can find some music that helps me put a soundtrack to my life, no matter how happy or sad it is in that moment.

I listen to all types of music – a lot of classical, really. Makes sense, given my music background, but if I shared a top ten list of classical albums that I like & told you why, you’d be still reading, 12 hours later. It would take forever, & that’s what I use my musicology classes for. However – if you’re interested in getting some classical recs, don’t be afraid to hit me up on my socials! (Instagram, Twitter

Here I present: The Top Ten Albums I Can’t Hit Skip On (& Why) ***in no particular order. Also: here’s my Spotify. Feel free to follow me, check out my playlists, or do both! Or…do none. ALSO: I’ll be putting a few personal photos after each mini review of each album. Some will be photos of me listening to ____ album while doing something; some will be photos of things I associate with ___ album. Enjoy!!!!!!!

Some Nights – fun. 

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I was quite young when this album came out. I remember being at Interlochen Arts Academy Summer Music Camp as a violin student & going to “mixers” (you know the deal) & hearing the song “We Are Young (ft. Janelle Monae.” That’s when I first started associating it with positive events in my life. I continued on to hear the whole album. When I left Interlochen, heartbroken, (as one is after summer camp) the sadder songs served as emotional outlets. The fast-paced ones let me go on long bike rides. It was one of the first pop albums I listened to through & through – & I cried more than once. Okay, maybe I still do…but remember: tears while listening to or playing music are okay!

My favorites? Well…”We Are Young” of course. I adore the “Some Nights – Intro,” & how it seamlessly melds into Some Nights, the song itself. There’s an incredible amount of emotion bottled up in both those songs – both extraordinary opposites when it comes to style, but lyrically, almost identical. “Out On The Town – Bonus Track” is another favorite. One of those melancholy breakup songs you can cry to.

As a whole, this album incorporates a lot of different instruments & sounds, as well as featuring other artists. It works as an album, & all the songs work by themselves, too. It’s emotional, exposed, & I fondly think back to my 15 year old self when I turn it up loud once & a while.

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15-year-old Sofia was a strange bird.

808s & Heartbreak – Kanye West 

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Obsessed with everything surrounding 808s & Heartbreak – did you know that the cover art was designed by Virgil Abloh (designer, DJ, & founder of fashion label Off-White), Willo Perron (a disciplinary director & designer)  & drawn by pop artist Kaws? The album also heavily features the Roland-TR 808 drum machine – hence the inclusion of “808s.” What Kanye didn’t know until he’d already figured out the album’s name, however, was that Hawaii’s area code is 808 – & the Avex Recording Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii is where Kanye recorded the majority of this album.

Everyone fights me on this – but I truly do think that 808s is Kanye’s best album. Again – lots of raw, pent-up emotion. Kanye, for the first time, actually sang…but used auto-tune. This provides a somewhat distant, robotic effect while contrasting with the emotional lyrics & melancholy background music. It’s eerie in the best way possible. My favorites are…all of them, really. “Say You Will” & “Paranoid” are almost complete opposites, but I love the lyrics & drive behind both of them. My favorite, of course, is “RoboCop” – I don’t know what it is about this song, but it speaks to me. It’s very colorful – lots of neon lights, blue lights, disco balls…that kind of a mood. “Pinocchio Story (Freestyle Live)” is also a great one: it truly is a live performance; there are cracks & dips in Kanye’s voice, & screaming fans sometimes make the lyrics hard to hear. Some are annoyed by it. I, however, love it. It reminds me of the sensation of performing; what it’s like to perform at your most raw in front of huge crowds. It’s an adrenaline rush, & it’s bitter-sweet.

I hadn’t heard this album until around November of last year (2016). I was going through a rough emotional time & there were a lot of lonesome listening sessions with this album in my ears. It brings back a lot of bitter memories, with a tang of sweetness. It’s funny how sometimes, frightening & overwhelming things can happen to you…but they turn into an elaborate memory, reflecting feelings, smells, foods, & so many more things that you thought of or consumed or felt at that time. So: I’ll say it once, & I will say it twice – I’ll say it 100 times if I must. 808s & Heartbreak is Kanye West’s greatest album.

Pure Heroine – Lorde 

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Okay. My obession with Lorde started when I heard her first song on the radio, late sophomore year of high school. That song, of course, was “Royals” – I looked up the music vidoe & was struck by this tiny, intense, curly-haired girl with a stare that could kill. The super minimalistic visuals of the video intrigued me, too. Lorde was mysterious, & so was her album – Pure Heroine is a teenager’s album, filled with an assurance, a sense of command, confidence, & times of freedom – & frustration. Her lyrics are rich. There is so much to dive in when looking at Pure Heroine. I dove in, alright. People started telling me I looked like Lorde: greeny-blue eyes, fair skiny, bushy, long hair…I embraced it & started putting on purple lipstick (the cheapest one I could find; a dark violet Revlon lipstick from my grocery shop’s cosmetic aisle), fluffing up my hair by letting it air-dry, wearing black, & developing a resting bitch face. I owe it to Lorde for people telling me I seem scary – I also owe her for helping me win my music school auditions. Songs like “Bravado,” “Tennis Court,” & “Swingin Party” helped me remember that I was worth something – they also allowed me to let my stress & emotions wash through me, rather than consume me. It was the soundtrack on airplanes, car rides – everywhere I went. I had finally found someone who was a “pop star” that I could identify with. She was human, she was odd, she danced weird. She didn’t care – & people loved her for that. Lorde was one of the best musical discoveries of my teenage years – no two ways about it.

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Yup – I dressed as Lorde for Halloween when I was 16. My proudest high school accomplishment? Winning “best celebrity lookalike” & being compared to Lorde. An exciting Moment In History.

Harry Styles – Harry Styles

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Need I say more? I am what they’d call “a Harrie” – meaning, Harry Styles was my favorite One Direction member. I followed 1D’s every move when they were touring & recording – when I got sick, I asked to meet them through Make A Wish…& when I (most luckily) got the chance to do so, I ran straight to Harry. I have a tattoo on me that he drew for me. His fashion is something that truly inspires & encourages me to develop my own style. His kindness & love for the LGBT community is something I hold close to my heart, too.

As you might be able to tell: I’m a big fan, yes. Yes – of course I went to see Dunkirk! (It was good just as a film, too. Don’t worry) Of course I bought his album. Of course I’ll be seeing him on tour next year! 

But, seriously. I was extraordinarily excited for Harry’s solo album. I wanted to hear more of his individual vocals & lyricism – & oh boy, did I get both! Some of the album sounds like classic British pop or rock. Others, like “Carolina” (which is about me, by the way…I’m Townes), are a bit of a tongue-in-cheek country song; “Woman” is an odd yet satisfying experience. Nothing can beat that quack noise in the background (but really, it’s a lovely song). I especially feel close to “From The Dining Table.” The lyrics are simple, but it feels like Harry is very up close to the mic – I almost get ASMR tingles when I listen to the song with the volume up. The subtle harmonies that actually do reach a climax contribute both to the delicacy & the power the song has. As for “Kiwi,” well…need I say it? HAVING YOUR BABY!!! NONE OF YOUR BUSINES-

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Taken while listening to “Two Ghosts.”
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Taken while playing “Woman” – look! I have hair!
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On my IG: taken while listening to “From The Dining Table”

Depression Cherry – Beach House 

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Now…who doesn’t love some Beach House? Yes, some of their songs kind of do sound the same after a while (with some excellent exceptions), but the focus on background music playing just as large (if not larger) a role as the vocalists is extremely striking. Definitely a great album to listen to when crying. The lyrics can be hard to hear at times; the music can really get that loud & sometimes words are slurred for effect. If you really want the real deal, look up the lyrics before bed, then turn off your lights & have some melancholy me time.

This sounds like I’m bashing the album – I swear I’m not! Each of these songs is special to me. Another great album I was listening to through my tough time in November. “Space Song” is on every aesthetic Instgram video ever, but that doesn’t make it not good – I’m still not annoyed! I would say that my two favorites are “Levitation” & “10:37.” In “Levitation,” strings give texture & urgency to the line, while the gentle vocals allow the listener to lay back. The lyrcis are beautiful, but can be hard to hear, like I said. In “10:37,” the gentle but steady drum beat(s) provide comfort & safety; the vocals contribute to it. It’s a warm, gentle song – a beautiful experience.

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Back at home for Christmas break was my prime time for Depression Cherry… 
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….& even before I left, the dark days & oddly glowing sunsets of winter, coupled with my blue mood…made Depression Cherry a soundtrack of my life at that moment in time.

Blonde – Frank Ocean

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The album that made me want to die my hair this color (I’m only kidding a tiny, tiny bit)

Well – of course! I was first sucked into the Frank Ocean hype when “Super Rich Kids” was everywhere – but it’s been years, & we’d all been clamoring for the next album. It even became a meme. The wait was worth it, though: all of these songs boast a variety of styles & effects. In “Nikes,” for example, Frank’s voice is sped up. It heavily contrasts with “Futura Free,” in which Frank sings in his natural voice about how lucky he has been – but also about how hard he has worked, & how he & his family deserve what he’s gotten thanks to the talent he possesses. “Be Yourself,” a track simply consisting of a recorded voicemail message from someone’s mother, calling her child at a university. The mother is telling her child not to “do that cocaine” or marijuana, & warns the child about “weedheads” & the danger of alcohol. Of course – substance abuse is always going to be a “thing” for parents talking to their children…& yes, you should be careful with what you put in your body. In this context, however, the 1:29 track is simply a humorous interlude to some more intense tracks.

Overall, Blonde was worth the wait – truly! It combines angst with humor; rapid sequences of lyrics along with one or two words repeated for a single track. There’s something for everyone in this album – & all of it is for me.

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September 2016 – last year, basically. I even played Blonde in my elevator.

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ANTI – Rihanna 

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Oooh. Yes.

I’ll admit – it took me a full year to really get into ANTI. I didn’t understand the flow of the tracks at first…still, I kept coming back to it. In the end, Rih did not disappoint – when does she ever? Famous features like SZA & Drake pique the interest of other fan bases – & yes, the songs with those two are great. In fact, it’s how I found out about SZA. Songs like “Desperado,” “Needed Me,” “Pose,” & “Sex With Me” are some real anthems of empowerment; of the beauty of independence; of the marvel of self love. Meanwhile, tracks like “Love On The Brain” are for the tenderest of moments; it feels much older than it actually is. Then – what better song to listen to than “Kiss It Better” with your crush, just to give you that extra boost of confidence….? Try it.

It’s a good album. I’m very sorry it took me that long to appreciate. But now, I appreciate it with all my heart. That counts, right?

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The real hours of ANTI – adequately expressed in this sign in a restaurant.

Yeezus – Kanye West 

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I only knew about Kanye West from the Katy Perry song more than a few years back: “E.T.” Oh – I knew about & liked “Mercy,” but he only had a few verses in it; it was more of a collaboration type of deal.

I heard about the Yeezus album on – believe it or not – NPR. Yup! Fresh Air (an NPR show) didn’t interview Kanye, but they did play one song: “Bound 2.” That was the first song that I truly ever heard Kanye as a solo artist, not a collaborator. I was intrigued by the mixing of retro tracks with new verses by Kanye himself. I loved the cover art. I was…taken aback by the music video Kanye made with Kim Kardashian (I was still young…okay?). But most of all, I was intrigued. That’s when I really started getting into listening to beats of songs. Yeezus flows exquisitely well, in my opinion. There are some intense – almost horrifically intense – songs like “On Sight,” or “Black Skinhead.” There are others like “Hold My Liquor” – this song combines some of the melancholy heard on 808s with a heavy, sometimes screeching beat, along with aggressive yet emotionally expressive lyrics. I was intrigued at how “Bound 2” seemed to be a goodbye to the world; a hello to his wife (wait, were they married then?) & the children they would soon be having. I like to think of it as a great depiction of how meeting someone you truly end up loving makes you feel – normal things are beautiful. “Red cups on the lawn,” not telling your mom, speaking about infidelity as well as loyalty. It depicts a faulty yet loving relationship, in my opinion – sure, told from the standpoint of a man, but nevertheless, Kanye’s right – sometimes you don’t remember the day you first met; that’s okay. It’s also okay to write a song about it being okay.

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The days of Yeezus – especially “Bound 2” were in the Adirondack mountains, summer of 2015.

Mind of Mine – Zayn Malik 

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Zayn Malik has not been…the most politically correct these past few years, let us say. He was the rogue – left One Direction, broke all our hearts, & went out & got cozy with Gigi Hadid, reinvented the importance of Twitter celebrity feuds – & released an album that knocked me speechless.

No, I’m not a fan of all Zayn has said & done. But his album is objectively good – “Pillowtalk” was a great single – both visually & musically appealing. His track organization was meticulous; each song flows into the next – literally. Each song ends with the beginning of the next song. Like I’ve already said – I have a weakness for that kind of album style. Each & every song from the album is pleasant to listen to, but all together they are a journey.

“Pillowtalk” will always be iconic for me…but “dRuNk” (thank you, quirky type style), “INTERMISSION: fLoWer,” “BLUE,” “BRIGHT,” & “SHE DON’T LOVE ME” all touch me in different ways. It’s a good album to listen to when you’re in your feelings. Zayn’s been flying quite low since he dropped his album & did a promo tour…who knows what he’s up to? I certainly don’t – but I do know that Mind of Mine is an excellent album with a great flow.

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At arcades, blasting Mind of Mine.

Melodrama – Lorde 

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Okayyyyy. Another album I waited for as eagerly as I did Frank Ocean’s. No…that’s a lie. I waited even more eagerly for this one. Like I said – Lorde is someone I really identified with – I still do. I wondered if she would be able to capture the sensation of late teens & early adulthood. That was the night before she released “Green Light” as her first single. The next morning, I woke up feeling like I should go dance on top of a car, or a roof…a strange bathroom. It was different, it was new, but it was undoubtedly Lorde. It speaks volumes when an artist’s sound changes subtly yet powerfully. There was no major “rebranding” here – no new lifestyle, no drastic changes. Lorde – or Ella – grew up. She cut her hair, she didn’t wear purple lipstick as much. She went through a big breakup. She vomited outside house parties. She was living & dying – every night. I could identify with that – big time. Melodrama was this year’s summer album, & it’s an album I’ll associate with this specific time for the rest of my life.

As for favorites? When people ask me, I have no idea what to say. They’re all uniquely appealing, & at the end, it depends on what I feel like that day. Sometimes, “Hard Feelings/Loveless” is all my soul needs. Other days, I need to cry to “Liability.” Some days, I want to dance on a rock in the middle of a creek to “Green Light” – & yes, I did that the other day…all by myself. It’s what she would do, isn’t it?

Lorde gave me some real material here – coming-of-age, romanticizing normalities, being more open & vulnurable with those around you. Making closer friends, not trying to increase the volume of friends. Realizing that loneliness can be beautiful, & sometimes a walk (or dance) down your beach/sidewalk/street/nearby mountains all by yourself is exactly what you need.

Lorde cut her hair – so did I. We both experienced crushing life events over the past few years. So did all of you. Lorde’s writing is now infinitely approachable – who doesn’t feel like a liability at least once in a while? What college student can’t relate to “Perfect Places” even in a small way? Why wouldn’t you want to feel dangerous & beautiful by turning up “Sober?” Don’t forget about Supercut – it’s raw, it’s real, it is infinitely emotional.

I was lucky enough to have the money to buy tickets to see Lorde – or should I say…one ticket? That’s right! I’m going by myself, I’m sitting in the nosebleeds, & I wil dance my heart out. It has long been a dream to attend a Lorde concert; I was sad I didn’t have my shit together to do it last time she came around. This time, however, will be better. More songs…more to talk about. I can’t wait. & I love Melodrama. Did I say I love Melodrama?

That’s it for the diary – for now! Let me know via social – or the comments! – what kinds of personal entries you’d enjoy seeing. I love being inspired by you, & I love feedback! Also: tell me your top 10 “never hit skip” albums – or just one album. I’m always looking for new ones.

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5:30 a.m…..
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…9:30 p.m.
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A “Supercut”

Love,

Sof ❤

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, FentyBeauty.com. 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!

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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.

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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.

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Quick, easy product descriptions on the back outside packaging

Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in “Blonde”

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Success

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.

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

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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

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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!

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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.

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Gently push down on the silver part, & the brush retracts – just like that!
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“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.

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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.

Love,

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. 

Two Lip Luxuries For Your Summer Pleasure (Plus One That Won’t Break The Bank)

It’s officially summer, & I’m ready for my high-cut, low-back one piece swimsuits (that probably will only make it outside once or twice) going on walks in the late evening because it’s still light & warm out, & running around in the grass barefoot.

I love spending my days either outside, or inside with my windows open. Fresh warm air makes me feel cleaner & fresher-& I love that!

This clean, fresh feeling makes me want to stick to white T-shirts, breezy printed dresses, & a no-pants policy when I’m hanging out in my house.

It also makes me want to focus more on face mask-ing & less on face makeup-ing.

To be more clear, I always like to keep it simple-but I especially love keeping it simple in the summer. My goal? As little face makeup as possible (ideally none, if my skin is looking good!) a dewy highlight, a swipe of #boybrow, a pop of glitter on my lids, &….lipsticks.

Lipsticks are my favorite part of summer makeup because they glam up everything…yet don’t add 50 more steps to your routine. Best part of a summer party? Throwing on a dress, combing out my brows, & quickly swiping on a lipstick before I walk in. I don’t have to worry about lip liner or a perfectly shaped pout-imperfection makes my summer look even better. Just the right amount of dishevelment makes you look effortlessly beautiful (& in my case I truly try to keep the level of effort at a minimum-I swear I’m not faking!)

In the summer, I think it’s worth my while to spend a little more on a lipstick, since I won’t be thinking about full-coverage foundation…liner…lashes…

In reality, I don’t really like any of those things at any time of the year. If you do, that’s fine!! But this is me telling you that it’s worth your while to spend a little extra time choosing a summer lipstick, & maybe a little extra money. If you pick the right one (or ones), it’ll serve you well throughout the season, & perhaps beyond.

So, without further ado, here are two luxurious lipsticks-& my favorite lip gloss that, if you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money, will be an amazing, glamorous, yet inexpensive addition to your beauty table.

Tom Ford Ultra Rich Lip Color in 02: “Temptation Waits” 

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Okay…admittedly, I didn’t buy this myself. I’ve purchased one other Tom Ford lipstick in the past (from the Lips & Boys collection-shade “Malik”) but one of my followers (oh so kindly!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!) emailed me a Sephora gift card so that I could give this one a try. When it arrived, I squealed. Not only did the white & gold outside packaging look like the perfect summer accessory (forget handbags; just carry this lipstick!) the color in the tube was the perfect shade. It’s a dark shade on me; could be called a nude for deeper skin tones-but the way that Tom Ford lipsticks are formulated, you can just lightly swipe the bullet over your lips for a defined yet sheer look. Like all Tom Ford’s lipsticks, it smells slightly of vanilla; enough to be pleasant, but not too strong to overwhelm any fragrance you might be wearing. As you can see in the last photo, it has a slight amount of shimmer to it, which provides a plumping, yet ethereal effect. It’s perfect.

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“Temptation Waits” out in the sun. Easy application (no mirror needed) that gives you a blurry, effortless effect. 

Dior Addict Lipstick in 561: “Wonderful”

I’m unapologetically in love with all of the Dior makeup products I’ve purchased. The Diorshow mascara made me actually like mascara, the Lip Glow Balm, Scrub, & Pomade goes everywhere with me, & their plumping gloss is another winner. Plus…the packaging. I sometimes am too weak & buy a product just because I love the packaging, but Dior has beautiful packaging & beautiful products. No buyer’s remorse for any Dior product I’ve ever purchased, ever. However-I’d never tried any of their lipsticks, & after seeing a few featured on several of my favorite Instagram stories to watch (Glossier, Into the Gloss, Man Repeller-all the greats!) I decided to make one of them my summer friends. I chose “Wonderful” because it looked like a great sheer, shimmery finish-& a pinky coral for the lips is never a bad choice in my book, especially in the summer. This one didn’t let me down. First of all…the holographic/rainbow/silver packaging is beautiful, making it not only a lipstick but also an accessory, & Dior’s signature silver knob on the end of the product makes it easy to find in your purse, pocket, or backpack. Unlike the Lip Glow collection, this lipstick doesn’t have that minty-floral scent-I really can’t detect any scent at all. This didn’t make me sad, though-the ridiculously beautiful finish & silky-smooth application more than made up for a lack of scent (& for some, lack of scent might even be a bonus). This has just the right amount of shimmer (maybe even a little glitter!) to it, & lasts a long time, slowly sinking into your lips to become more of a stain as the day goes on. Feels like a balm, looks like a lipstick. 10/10, & I’m restraining myself from running right back to grab at least two more.

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Silver-holographic packaging…
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…Containing a beautiful rosy coral (stamped with “CD”).

And now for the product that has been in my bag & on my lips (& sometimes even my eyelids) all spring. It’ll stay in my bag, & on my lips-this time, though, I’ll be making it even better by layering it over top these two lovely lipsticks.

Glossier Lip Gloss

Everyone was in an uproar when Glossier made their Clear Lip Gloss (a limited edition Holiday 2016 product) part of their permanent makeup collection. And for good reason: this lip gloss smells like heaven (just the right amount of vanilla), isn’t sticky, contains Vitamin E (making it so moisturizing that it can be used as an overnight lip mask-which I’ve also done), & best of all, it looks like a lava lamp in the packaging-full of bubbles, & that #glossierpink shade (which ends up looking transparent on the lips).

I love this gloss because 1) it has no stickiness to it whatsoever 2) it is completely clear, making it an amazing addition to whatever lipstick or liner I’m wearing that day, & 3) it is $14-instead of my other favorite lip gloss, the YSL Tint-in-Oil, which is $32.

Basically, it’s a great way to amp up your summer look. Wear a tinted balm or a sheer lipstick during the day, & if you have no time to do some serious retouching before an outdoor party, just slip this gloss in your bag at the beginning of the day. Apply in the bathroom, in your car’s rearview mirror, or just slap it on-because it won’t let you down. Ever.

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The lava lamp of glosses.
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Infinitely instagrammable (Try taking a slo-mo video. You’ll be hypnotized).

I haven’t gotten pictures from the paparazzi of me wearing Glossier’s lip gloss over Tom Ford “Temptation Awaits,” but I have managed to score a few of me wearing Dior “Wonderful” with Glossier gloss. Enjoy:

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Shiny, shiny.
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Just a light layer of Dior “Wonderful” underneath my Glossier shine.

I hope that gives you some inspiration for some summer beauty #looks that are both comfortable yet infinitely flattering! Tag me on IG with your summer beauty looks, if you wish-I’d love to see them!

Shop with me at Glossier if you’d like to get your hands on some gloss!

(Sadly, I’m a small speck of a human, not Bella or Gigi Hadid, so I don’t have discounts for Dior or Tom Ford. But thank you to the lovely, lovely human being who sent me the Tom Ford lipstick. You are too kind!)

Love,

Sof ❤

P.S. My face makeup in both pictures is Dr. Jart Tiger Grass Color Correcting Cream; highlight is Marc Jacobs Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator, mascara is Diorshow, eyeshadow is…I don’t remember! Something sparkly. Probably from Colourpop. Brows? No filter, just Glossier (Boy Brow). Both tops I’m wearing are from Urban Outfitters; my necklace & earrings are the Tiffany & Co. Paloma Picasso olive leaf collection (my parents’ graduation gift to me, & my most prized jewelry). “How did you get your hair to go back in a bun & make it look so sleek when it’s so short?” A scrunchie. Bobby pins (at least 500). & Biossance 100% Squalene Oil. & more bobby pins. & a few prayers. 

 

“We Know You’re a Rep…What Do You REALLY Like?? Are You Fake About Glossier?”

As you know, I’m a rep for Glossier! That means that when you shop with me, you’re not only getting products that you (hopefully) like, you’re also helping me out! I get a percentage of the sales…which helps me buy different products to review for all of you, get some Starbucks (you probably know my order) &, yes, gives me the opportunity to have a job! I’m chronically ill, & my current physical condition makes it pretty much impossible for me to work retail, food service, or any other job that requires standing, shifts, etc. So this is a wonderful opportunity for me to earn money, for something about which I’m so passionate: skin care, & healthy skin!

But since I’m a rep for Glossier, that means that I might be pushing you guys to buy things that I might not even like…just because I get paid for it. That’s a totally reasonable suspicion. All the YouTube scandals about beauty gurus talking about products that are bad quality because they have affiliate codes have raised suspicion among customers.

HOWEVER. I knew all of this coming into the Glossier Rep Program. I’d been using Glossier for about a year (with my own money) by the time I was accepted into the program in April. I already knew what I liked, & what I didn’t like. & I have shared that on social media before! I am very careful to tell you guys what I love, & what I think you could pass on (depending on your skin type).

Also, since everyone’s skin is different, that means that the same product (Glossier or otherwise) might work completely differently on someone else’s skin. For example, I have friends who rave about Glossier’s Face Mist. They can’t get enough of it. I prefer my Mario Badescu facial spray! I have friends who hate Super Pure Serum…Super Pure is my absolute favorite Glossier serum! I’ve seen beauty bloggers say Glossier’s sunscreen made them red & irritated when that wasn’t the case for me.

My point? Everyone has different opinions about the same product! That’s because everyone’s skin is different. I never post about the Glossier products I don’t like…because I don’t like the way they work for me! At the same time, I’ll see someone else post about the product I don’t like, raving about it. Do I think they’re being “fake?” Honestly, no. I try to see the best in everyone, & it’s very possible that that person truly does like that product…because, again – everyone’s skin is different.

So, without further ado, here are my all-time favorite Glossier products (some skin care, some makeup) that I will unashamedly blast my love for. Because they’re affordable, they’re pretty, & they work for me. Have a different opinion? That’s absolutely fine! We’re all different, & not everything works for everyone. But here’s the things that I love – & I hope that you’ll give them a try, & love them too. (Side note: Glossier’s GTeam is very responsive, helpful, & will always let you return a product you don’t like. Once, I mistakenly ordered two Balm Dotcoms & asked for a refund for one so I could return it. They just told me to keep the extra, & refunded me anyway. Say what you like about Glossier…but that’s good customer service.)

Milky Jelly Cleanser 

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My introduction to “Skin Is In.” This is probably…scratch that. I don’t even know how many bottles I’ve used, actually. 
The product that started it all for me. Milky Jelly was my first introduction to a non-foaming cleanser. I was super skeptical – aren’t cleansers supposed to foam to get dirt off? – but I changed my tune about a week later, when I saw softer, clearer, more moisturized skin. No more feeling tight, & a whole lot less blemishes – probably because the cleanser I’d been using before was too dry, causing micro abrasions – which, as you know, are an invitation for bacteria to set up camp on your face. It smells floral, but isn’t stuffy, & the velvety texture is addictive. It removes makeup, including mascara (as long as it isn’t waterproof) & can be used on wet & dry skin. It lasts a good while, even if you use it twice a day (like I usually do). I use two pumps in the morning, two pumps in the evening, & it lasts me 1.5-2 months (I always have backups, though. Because I’m paranoid). I wish they had a travel size, because it’s too big to take with me on flights…but I just use a little container & pump some in. Infinite love for this tubby little bottle.

Boy Brow

Even Glossier haters can’t say sh*t about this one…boy brow was truly a game changer, was in every single fashion magazine when it came out, had a waitlist at one point because Glossier couldn’t keep it in stock, & continues to be their number one best-seller. When I first purchased boy brow, (my second Glossier purchase) I got it in brown. Now, they added another shade – clear – which I also love. I use clear when I just want to keep my brows in place with no added color, & brown when I really want my caterpillars to stand out. This goes on my face even if I’m wearing nothing else.

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#BoyBrow. No matter what.
Super Pure Serum

Part of the trio that makes up “The Supers” Super Pure has been my favorite since The Supers became available in September 2016. It’s perfect for my dry, sensitive skin – although it keeps my skin clear & reduces blemishes that I might have, its gel-like texture is soothing enough to reduce redness & doesn’t dry out my skin whatsoever. If you have dry but acne-prone skin, this serum is a great, great choice.

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Almost out of this bottle! I have a backup.
Mask Duo

I purchased these pretty early on in my Glossier “adventures.” They looked really appealing, & I liked the concept of using both at once: multi-masking, as I learned in one of Glossier’s “Get Ready With Me” videos on YouTube. Both of these masks have served me well. The Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Mask is a detoxing mask, made of clay, described as “a juice cleanse for your face.” It soaks up impurities, reduces redness, but isn’t too drying. Even if it is, though, the Moisturizing Moon Mask is the perfect follow-up. It also reduces redness, soothes skin, & can even be used as an overnight mask for extra moisture. It makes me look super dewy, & I love the smell – it’s like fresh yogurt, in the best possible way. The cute galactic doodles on the packaging also make them a pretty addition to your top shelf collection.

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Galaxy, moon, & planet doodles on the Mask Duo packaging.

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Descriptions, & the amount you get – 3 fl oz. for each mask.

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A closer look at the texture. Mega Greens is a soft clay; Moon is a yogurt-like texture (& smells like it, too).
Priming Moisturizer Rich

I squealed when Glossier released this moisturizer in January 2017. I live in the Midwest, where we have cold, dry, harsh winters. My dry skin does not take kindly to it, & I’m hard-pressed to find a moisturizer that keeps me from being painfully dry, red, & flaky during the winter. I found it with PMR. On my favs list on my rep page, I cannot get enough of PMR, especially during the winter. It feels like a super expensive, luxury cream, but only rings in at $35 – a good deal when no other cream except a $65 sample from Sephora does the job. This lasts a long time – I just ran out of my first jar (which was purchased in January) & am now on my second. I used it as a day & night cream during the dry winter, but now use a lighter moisturizer for the day as it’s hot & the air has more moisture. I still use it as my night cream, though – the smell is super fresh & soothing, I feel baby soft every time I apply it, & it reduces my redness I get around my nose. I bow down to PMR.

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Luxury packaging, luxury feel – but only $35. I’ll take it. 
Cloud Paint in Beam

I hate blush. I truly hate it. With my super-fair skin, I feel like it never looks good – just clownish. The only blush I owned before Glossier released their Cloud Paint blushes in early spring was NARS Orgasm – mostly because of the name, I’ll admit it. It was pretty…but I was just so scared of putting on too much, & “looking a clown.” I usually would use it as an eyeshadow, & sometimes, hands shaking, would dare to slightly tap it onto the apples of my cheeks. Thankfully, NARS Orgasm is sheer, & shimmery, so it could always pass as a pink-y highlight if I made a few missteps.

Cloud Paint, however, changed my blush game. When they first came out, I ordered Puff, thinking that the rosey pink would suit my pink undertones best. When it came, I tried it on, &, yes! It was lovely. But I ended up getting all four, & when I put on Beam, I knew it was the one for me. Fun fact: my second favorite is Haze…both are the shades I got last, thinking I would like the least. Glossier got me once again.

This blush is the perfect summer shade – something that even I can’t mess up. It’s super sheer, but also very buildable; you can put on as much or as little as suits you. I like tapping a little bit onto the apples of my cheeks, blending into my highlight, & then – my favorite trick – put some on the bridge of my nose, & blend that out as well. It makes me look like I’ve been in the sun for a bit, minus the sun-damage & sweat.

I never thought I’d say I like an orange-y peachy coral shade for a blush. & yet, here I am, singing the praises of Cloud Paint in Beam. There’s a reason this sold out before all the other Cloud Paints: it looks good on everyone. Even me, your local Snow White.

Lip Gloss

Every holiday season, Glossier comes out with a limited edition “holiday set.” This past year, that was the Black Tie Set, featuring Phoebe Tonkin, & including a #glossierpink nail polish, a Haloscope highlight in a limited shade Moonstone (now permanently available), an eyeliner, a black ribbon (hence “Black Tie”) &, yes, the Clear Lip Gloss.

There was a whole clamor to get the set, which cost $50, which I just didn’t have at the time, so I wistfully sighed over the lip gloss & highlight, & watched them disappear (nail polish, I miss you too).

Luckily, both are now available! I was excited when Moonstone became part of the permanent Haloscope shades, along with Quartz & Topaz, but I was especially excited when Glossier started hinting that their lip gloss might be making a return.

I was tired of the matte lip trend, tired of liquid lipsticks, & super tired of having to scrape paint off my lips whenever I did decide to go along with the current trend – so now that lip gloss was a thing, I jumped on the bus, & so did my dry lips. Besides…the packaging is gorgeous.

It’s simple, but…gorgeous. I like to call it the lava lamp of lip glosses. It’s clear (with a slight pink tint, but appears clear on the lips), oh-so-glossy, not sticky, not sparkly, & so moisturizing that I sometimes wear it as a lip mask at night. This isn’t an oily gloss that leaves lips parched. This stays for hours, fades gracefully (since it’s clear), & never, ever dries out my lips. I’m in love with it. I’m never going to be without it, ever again.

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The signature “G,” a minimalistic packaging, a pink tint to the bottle, & those oh-so-satisfying bubbles. 

And there you have it. Those are my favorite Glossier products I’ve tried, ever. But also the haloscopes. &….the skin tint…maybe the stretch concealer?? But I promised you my absolute favorites. & these are it. For now. Maybe they’ll change, as Glossier continues to expand, & release more products that will steal my heart. But I doubt any product will replace Boy Brow, & although I’ve found other facial cleansers & serums that I like…you will always find these on my top shelf. & you’ll always find a Boy Brow on my makeup table (& one in my bag). Same goes for the lip gloss. & I use those masks at least once a week! (If you don’t believe me, follow me on Instagram, & watch my stories.)

But seriously…I know that there’s a lot of skepticism out there about Glossier reps, & whether we truly love the products we rave about. I can’t speak for all of us! But speaking for myself, I only share the Glossier products with you that I truly love, & that have truly worked for me. I’m not going to write a hate article about the products I don’t like as much, because other people love them! Everyone’s skin is different, & everyone has a different goal. That’s fine; great, even! But these are my personal favorites at the time that I type this, & I have no shame in sharing them with every single one of you.

That being said…shop with me at Glossier! Try out some of these products that I love…or, if all of these make you wrinkle your nose, try something else. We’re all different! & that’s a beautiful thing.

Love,

Sof ❤