It’s time for the Spring edition of the Beauty Envy Bag! We want to share our springtime beauty essentials with you by giving you the chance to win a makeup bag filled with products we love.
For those of you who may be new to our blogs, here’s a quick introduction.
Check out the reviews for the featured products in the Spring Beauty Envy Bag:
- Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Harem & Venous (Reviewed by Lakeisha)
- Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Quince (Reviewed by Latoya)
- Kat Von D Shade Shifter Eyeshadow in Devotion (Reviewed by Leticia)
- Dior Vernis Haute Couleur in Lilac Colorvision (Reviewed by Lola)
Extras that are also included in the bag:
- Hourglass High Shine Lipgloss in Child
- NARS Pro Prime Eyeshadow Base
- NARS Illuminator in Copacabana
- MUFE Aqua Eyes in 12L
- China Glaze Nail Apps in Cherry Blossom
- Philosphy Hope Oil-Free spf 30
Here is what you need to know to enter in the Rafflecopter widget below:
- Must leave a blog comment (just one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know your favorite spring beauty product.
- Additional entries for following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Open internationally
- Must be 18 or older
- Giveaway closes on Sunday May, 26 at 11:59 EST
Good luck, everyone!
I’m just sitting here reading my online copy of this month’s Allure via Zinio (thanks Amy!!!!) and there’s a feature on a pair of GAP shorts and how 5 women wear them. Each have a small side bar which notes what lipstick, jewelry, shoes, etc. they would pick as their “favorite things“, which I always find interesting to read. Every time I come across these types of stories, I note how it pulls you in and makes you want to ‘have what they’re having’ so to speak – the psychology of it is kind of amazing, and I always think that if I were being interviewed, even plain old non-celebrity me and my choices would sound kind of intriguing. Takes me back to my Honours Psych thesis days
So, I decided to interview myself, share my favorite things, and see if everyone runs off to buy them.
In seriousness though, we fickle beauty-fiends find ‘favorites’ every month, but it’s the shades and items we wear over and over, standing the test of time, that are a better indicator of a great product, and also hint at our beauty and style personalities!
Favorite Lip Color:
This may not be a fully-formed favorite just yet, but since it’s purchase last month its been in heavy rotation over all other lippies, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. You probably guessed it – it’s BITE Beauty’s High Pigment Pencil in Quince. DAMN, this pencil is fine! Fuchsia is definitely my new jam. Long-wearing, non-drying, bold color that works for all seasons. SOLD.
It may not come as a surprise that my favorite mascara brand is Clinique’s – yes, I work for the brand, but I love the mascaras because of all the different options we have (natural, fluttery, mega-volume, etc.) as well as the fact that they don’t dry up in a month, and for the most part are terribly easy to remove but don’t smudge throughout the day. I’ve always been a huge fan of the High Impact mascara, but more recently I’ve become majorly enamoured with our new High Impact Waterproof mascara, which gives some major oomph to the lashes without being crispy or unnatural-looking like some other waterproof versions I’ve tried. You can be sure I’ll be using this at the wedding next weekend!! Also notable is the Lash Power mascara, which is like a waterproof in that it won’t smudge or budge through heat, sweat, swimming, etc., but removes with warm water. It doesn’t give the same POW! as the waterproof, but it gets to each individual lash due to the teeny tiny brush, and is great for separation.
Favorite Nail Polish:
Ugh, how do I pick just one!? C’est impossible. But I *think* I can pick two. And they would be butter London Snog and Chanel Orange Fizz. I know both are summery tones which could be swaying my opinion this time of year, but I don’t think so. I seriously could wear Snog every day – put me on a desert island with this shade and I’d be happy as a clam (though… the clams on the island probably wouldn’t be that happy as I’d be eating them for survival).
It’s safe to say that I’m still madly in love with Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil – nothing has made more of a difference in my skin than this product! Stupidly, I bought a bottle of Bosica’s Tsubaki Facial Oil during the Sephora sale last month to try something new – I hope it can live up to Tarte’s! My bottle is almost finished so I’ll be trying the Boscia soon, and I’ll be sure to fill you all in on it’s efficacy.
I tend to be a scent jumper (are you seeing a trend here? Hello, fickle!) so I’ve never repurchased a bottle, but there was one fragrance that really stood out to me in the past that I actually finished and of which I get tempted to re-buy – namely, Burberry The Beat. It’s categorized as a woody floral which doesn’t sound like my taste, but damn it if I didn’t love that scent – it was so fresh and alluring at the same time. I went through that bottle within a year, which is unheard of for me. It has middle notes of Iris, which seems to be a recurring theme in a lot of fragrances I’ve sampled and enjoyed (Prada Infusion d’Iris; Lancome La Vie Est Belle), as well as top notes of Mandarin and base notes of Cedarwood, both of which are also found in Prada’s scent. I’ve considered buying Infusion d’Iris many times but never could commit, surprise surprise.
Ok, shoes are kind of the bane of my existence, as I have a bunion on my right foot that makes buying them incredibly tricky, so I make sure to always buy quality. In the past few months I’ve had tremendous success in two pairs – black platform pumps from Rockport, and a pair of nude almond-toe pumps from Banana Republic. SO. EFFING. COMFORTABLE. YOU GUYS. It’s crazy. The BR ones are no longer available, but the Rockport ones are still around (though not in the lizard skin finish anymore) so I’d grab ‘em fast if you’re interested! Now all I need is a fun pair in a color and I’m set
So apparently this has been a list of my two favorite things in each category lol – and I’m going to get even crazier here and show you 5 of my fave jewelry pieces, because they are equally loved by me on the regular.
LOVE my Michael Kors rose-gold watch, obviously (which I bought due to this Lent challenge), and I picked up a pair of Stella & Dot rose gold earrings to complement the watch last year and love ‘em too.
I wear the gold large-link bracelet from Banana Republic quite a bit, and it’s actually shifted me into wearing gold a lot more now. This gold ring from Aldo gets a lot of love – its tough to wear rings a lot when you always wear crazy-colored polishes, but this manages to hold it’s own. Lastly, this awesome funky giraffe bracelet my Mom bought me from Aldo ages and ages and ages ago is one of the few real statement pieces in my collection, and though initially I thought it was bizarre, I quickly became to love it.
Just for the heck of it (because I’m clearly out of control now), here’s two more well-loved pieces: my Tiffany key I got a few Christmases ago – I totally cried when I opened it, best gift ever! – and an eclectic owl necklace that I sort of inherited from my great-grandmother. Can you imagine her wearing something like this? And it just goes to show you how everything comes around and is new again eventually
And there you have it – all my fave things, are you feeling like you want to go buy it all now since I’m clearly SOOOO fabulous!? *crickets* …Yea, I didn’t think so, lol. But, since I didn’t do a favorites post for the end of 2012, I figure this is still original content on the blog, and a good way to get to know a bit more about me – which is sort of the real point of blogs, right? Hope you enjoyed!
What are some of your favorite things?
I almost gave up. For months I tried and tried to make it work, without success. But this past weekend, my friends, I finally managed to wear my nemesis down and make her bend to my will. I AM VICTORIOUS!!
…I’m talking about the illustrious MAC lipstick shade, Morange, of course! No world domination yet!
Who hasn’t heard of Morange before? The ‘Loudmouth Orange‘ shade with an amplified creme finish is nearly if not as popular as MAC’s other iconic classic, Russian Red. While orange isn’t your standard classic color, nevertheless somehow this has become a well-known staple for the runway and real-life beautistas alike. I managed to snag it for my very own in a swap several months ago, and I have since spent several agonizing months trying to make it work without running screaming in terror from the mirror. Ladies, this shade has SERIOUS attitude.
In swatches, it doesn’t look that daunting to me. It’s bright, yes, but surely no more so than my new fave Quince. However, getting it to look at once eye-catching yet without it taking over my whole face was a major beauty challenge – probably one of the most difficult to date.
Perhaps I should have known how challenging this shade would be, given how retina-searing it is, but I have several other shades in my stash that come very close to this (albeit at a significantly decrease saturation):
Through this months-long experiment is how I’ve confirmed that I do not have a warm skintone, as I’ve always generally thought, but rather a more neutral tone with a slightly cool leaning. To say it plainly – orange just ain’t my shade. While more recent trends have leaned toward wearing colors that clash against your natural skintone, and for the most part I love this effect – I have to admit, though I’d love to say I embrace that kind of boldness, but I’m just not there yet.
However. I am nothing if not persistent, and after trying various different application techniques and various makeup looks, I finally figured out the mystery of Morange. It all comes down to: a light touch and A HECK OF A LOT OF BRONZER.
It is absolutely imperative to warm up your face when wearing Morange, if you don’t already have that kind of skintone to begin with – though I have read that shades like these look great on more olive-toned skin. I found when I bronzed the shit outta my skin and added a touch to my eye area, it managed to pull it together much more seamlessless. In addition, instead of going for a full-on opaque pout, which is normally how I wear a bold, bright lippie, I applied one thin coat and blended for a more muted look. It’s not necessarily my preference, but in order to get the POW! from the orange without blinding people, its just the way it’s got to be.
The result of this mega-effort I think is well worth the hassle. It was a beautiful sunny, warm spring day here Sunday, and the orange lip looked so season-appropriate and fun! Morange overall is a nice lipstick, and goes on smoothly, if a bit thicker, and doesn’t dry out my lips. I’m super-stoked to have figured this conundrum out and to incorporate this happy, summery shade into my repertoire this year!
What recent beauty challenge have you faced? How did you handle it?
How’s that for a title, huh? Yea dudes, I know…let me just say: I have about 3 seconds unaccounted for this month and absolutely no extra brain power for much else other than what’s already on my agenda, so please grant me a pass for the month of May OK? I’ll still be posting – I’ve bought far too many awesome things not to share ‘em with you! – but its going to be sporadic and my writing will likely be shoddy…you’ve been warned.
Apparently with the little free time I have I’m making sure I’m maximizing it as much as I can, as I’ve already purchased two of the five items I wanted to get this month, ha. I’m still going to show you the list so you can also see what’s in store upcoming on the blog! Here we go:
1. NARS for Pierre Hardy High Voltage Blush in Boy’s Don’t Cry ($48CAD) – this ‘pink grapefruit’ shade taunted me from the moment I saw the promo ads. I almost had a moment on the weekend where I was just gonna throw reason into the wind and buy it off the NARS website, shipping and all, as I believed it was the only place that was selling it. I resisted and decided that I could do without it – then, lo and behold, when I was at Sephora yesterday just to buy a damn sharpener, there it was. OBVIOUSLY I bought it in about 7 seconds and ran away from the store with glee. Since then I’ve shown it to pretty much everyone I know. I’m too eager to wait till I have a moment to take adequate pictures of it, so I snapped a couple crap ones and I’m wearing it tomorrow, so sorry. I CANNOT WAIT PEOPLE.
2. Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 06 Rosewood Shimmer ($20CAD) – I’ve had a lemming for the creamy, smooth, lovely lip perfectors for about a year now, and recently they came out with a few new shades. This one looks like it might just be the best MLBB I could ask for (also, see evidence of that fact here!). I also absolutely ADORE the smell. This will be mine, and soon!
3. Chanel Le Vernis in Azure ($27CAD) – When I initially heard about Chanel’s colorful summer collection, I was quite excited as it’s normally more austere aesthetic doesn’t always jazz me and my more deeper pigmented skin. However, once I saw what was released, I was a bit ‘meh’ and only happened to check it out in person on a whim when I was at Mills late last week. None of it hooked me – I found the pencils to look terrible on my skintone, and paying through the nose for a colored mascara I’ll rarely wear doesn’t sound like a good use of my money AT ALL – but I really wanted to go home with something, so I picked up Azure. I don’t own many metallic polishes, let alone a metallic teal, and I was nervous this would come back to kick me in the ass, but turns out, Azure is AWESOME. Somehow this eye-catching shade is really sophisticated and elegant despite being an ‘unusual’ color. Also, it wore exceptionally well – due to my crazy-busy schedule, I’ve actually worn it for 5 days straight (this is unheard of for the gal that changes her polish every 3 days), and it’s only got minor chipping and mainly on my dominant hand. LOVE IT.
4. NARS Larger Than Life Eye Liner in Barrow Street ($28CAD) – While being swayed by the siren call of Boy’s Don’t Cry, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the summer collection had come out in full at NARS finally. I have had the gorgeous mint green liner on my radar for a while, and was tempted to get it as well – but resisted because, well…I was already spending $48 on a blush, whaddya want from me!? However, it appears not to be limited edition (hopefully) so I may go back at a later date and pick this up. So fun for the waterline!
Last on the list is not a specific product, but a color that I WANT and am not sure where to find. Check out Hannah Simone in a fabulous cool pink lipstick that needs to be in my life:
This kind of shade can be challenging for me as it can’t run too greyish or else it looks horrendous on my skintone. I even would be OK if it went slightly more violet to make it a bit bolder – I thought I found it in MAC’s Show Orchid but now I’m not so sure. Anyone have any suggestions!?!
So, as you can see, I’m making great progress with my wishlist already, which is promising because what generally happens is I make a list and then buy things that aren’t on it LOL. I’m trying to stick to only making purchases that are on the damn list, because why else am I making them then? Certainly not because I’m bored with nothing to do! *tries to hide under the bed from everyone *
What’s on your wishlist this month?
Anyone who has gone a long while without internet (who wasn’t jumping out of planes, getting tattoos, and throwing themselves off bridges) knows how much its ridiculously missed, and how sad it is to see how attached they are to instant gratification. My new roommate moved in Sunday and as such, we upgraded from basic internet only to the full meal deal – that means FiberOp, Cable, AND a landline (whoa, dudes). However, the geniuses at BellAliant jumped the gun and fooled up my internet early, and I have been web-free since Friday :S Thankfully, after getting everything installed today it seems I am rejoining the electronically-informed populace…AMEN TO THAT.
Along with my inter-connection woes, I’ve also been SUUUUUPER busy with events and prep for my friend’s wedding in a couple weeks. The bachelorette party was last Saturday (at which I got far too boozy…oops) and coordinating that plus the new roomie was quite the feat. I haven’t even had time to buy new makeup, ya’ll! Which is probably a good thing, because I went WAY overboard in April as it is.
As tends to happen this time of year, several of my purchases had a recurring focus: the smells of summer. Though I’ve mostly turned my back on scented products due to my eczema, once the sun comes out and the heat goes up, all (well, MANY) bets are off, as all I wanna sniff and smell like is summertime. My general go-to is usually coconut – as a gourmand scent lover, it totally captures my foodie-loving heart, and reminds me of the way Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen *used* to smell (anyone else noticed it’s changed over the years? Not a fan). Every year I stock up on beachy-themed products; namely, conditioner, perfume, candles, and sometimes even hand cream if I’m feeling daring. This year has been no exception.
First I picked up a few candles from B&BW, and the one I’ve got stuck in my bathroom is Coconut Leaves. This is an awesome rendition as it’s not too cloying as coconut -scented products can be, and I love that this mini candle still has great throw without even being lit. Perfect for smaller spaces like the bathroom.
When I stocked up on my Aether Pumpkin Butter’s from Haus of Gloi, I also picked up a few of their seasonal scents – the Komodo Pumpkin Butter (mangosteen, Tahitian vanilla bean, dragon’s blood resin, faded tropical blooms), Lassi Sugar Exfoliant (fresh mango cream, orange blossom water, black ginger, green tea, lime juice), and Selkie Soft Bubbling Scrub (evocatively described as ‘the break of waves, gurgling sea foam, kelp, rain-tinged air, sand smoothed driftwood, and wild sage). Sadly, Komodo is not at all what I hoped, the the tropical blooms being far too floral and sort of ‘old lady’* for my taste. However, Lassi is all sorts of lime-y deliciousness and smells just like sweet tarts, and Selkie makes me feel like I’m at a spa in the Caribbean. If I could have bought large sizes of these (they were out of stock) I would have – SO. YUMMY.
*A thought – as sweet, fruity fragrances are the trend now, are they going to be considered old lady scents when we are in fact, old ladies?? Hmmm…
Next, I nabbed an Organix body wash in Coconut Milk Hibiscus which smells a lot like the B&BW candle – it’s pseudo-coconut to be sure, but again it’s so too sweet and smells really delicious in the shower. Definitely envokes Calgon-take-me-away type feeling for sure. Additionally, it’s not too drying and fragrance is far down the list of ingredients – so far, so good.
Finally, last week while at Sephora I started sniffing a few scents, as it’s been SO long since I’ve bought one (and after *finally* finishing ‘The Perfume Lover,’ I’m kind of obsessed with fragrance now!!), and I stumbled upong BCBG’s Max Azria eau de parfum (released in 2011). It’s a tasty mix of wild strawberry, black cherry, and ‘French Kir Royale cocktail’ (black currant liqueur & white wine), which develops into jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, and violet, and is grounded by iris root, musk, and sandalwood. No coconut here, but it still totally pulled me in and made me think of berry picking and the easy times of summer. Unfortunately, I find the longevity of the fragrance weak, not more than an hour or so – though this might not be a bad thing once the temperatures start to rise. The sillage is is also soft, which again probably isn’t a bad thing in this case. So, while I love the scent, I am disappointed to some degree. At least I only purchased a rollerball (which could be the issue, too), so it’s entirely likely I’ll be finished the scent by the end of summer – just the way I like it
Though we’ve had some sunny days, and even a few warm ones, its still feeling like early spring for the most part here on the East Coast, so getting that little extra sunshine boost from these products goes a long way to nudging summer to my doorstep!
What’s your fave summer scent? And also – I MISSED YOU GUYS!!
Though beauty and beauty-related thoughts permeate most of my waking hours (perhaps sad, but true), I DO have other interests, you guys. I’ve decided to start doing posts here and there on another hobby of mine, which still has an element of beauty to some degree – classic movies. Aside from the blurred, romantic quality I find in many old ‘moving pictures’, I love the dichotomy of the simple yet somehow nuanced storylines, in which not everything is revealed plainly or spelled out for you (as can be in current films) and every movement is subtle but still filled with meaning. The leading ladies are both glamourous and vulnerable, astute yet naive, and I often find myself wishing I had grown up in the 40′s or 50′s (incidentally, my favorite Christmas songs are from greats like Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, or Billie Holiday), feeling I would be well-suited for the time.
I am somewhat of a pop culture aficionado, and I like to understand references to phrases, events, music, etc. that link back to an old film, novel, or just plain hollywood gossip. I think this is was the catalyst for my hobby, yet the pleasure I got from watching these old movies has made it so much more than that. Slowly but surely, I’m scratching titles off my list and gaining more and more appreciation for the art form that is classic film. I try to dedicate my Sunday nights to old movie watching, and it’s come to be a ritual I look forward to.
Typically, my taste in past films has revolved around drama and romance, such as Some Like It Hot (1958) (which is truly when I understood just why Marilyn Munroe captivated us so), the super-long-and-totally-worth-it Gone With the Wind (1939) (my first experience with earlier film – and how gorgeous is Vivian Leigh!!?), and the eternal classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). However, lately I’ve been intrigued by old horror and suspense, and recently watched The Birds (1963) (which surprised me how much I enjoyed it – though I should know better, it being a Hitchcock film – and had me on the edge of my seat) and Rosemary’s Baby (1967) (thru which I just kind of scratched my head; Roman Polanski has got one very strange mind).
A couple weeks ago, I decided to come back to the softer side of things and watched To Have and Have Not (1944), with Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. It was the first time I’d watched her in film, and I confess – I’m totally smitten. Though she was totally a man-eater in the movie, she also had this innocent quality about her – likely due to the fact that she was only 20 yrs old in the film – that made her both appealing and approachable.
The reason I chose this film was due to the fact that it was where Humphrey and Lauren first met and subsequently married one year later, and I had to see the connection in action (much like my children/grandchildren will want to see the movie where Brad and Angelina got together…weird!). I found their chemistry quite plain on-screen, though respectful – he was 25 years her senior, after all! But you could see there was a genuine affection between them that was so sweet to watch.
It’s no surprise that Bogart fell for her – she was a total fox! Her allure was palpable, with the smouldering eyes and a sultry voice with fantastic inflection. That’s another thing I love about old movies – the beauty was so classic and gorgeous that it’s still relevant, even today. I actually can’t imagine when it WON’T be appropriate – how can you go wrong with richly pigmented lips and lush, full lashes?
What’s even crazier, is that Bacall, now 88 yrs old, still has that sultry, smokey gaze, and oozes grace – no amount of makeup can make that happen at that age, you either got it or you don’t! I’d sure love to learn that trick…
To Have and Have Not was a fairly straightforward movie that was easy to watch and follow (which isn’t always the case with old films) and kept me engaged in the storyline – though I will say the ending was somewhat abrupt. However, another positive from watching these movies is that I can enjoy the best qualities of the time, while being reminded of how far we’ve come in film and develop a new appreciation for what’s being offered today. Though I will say – few leading men and ladies can compare to the previous masters – their class and poise renders them eternally timeless.
Are you into old films? Any favorites?