Posts Tagged Beauty Blog

Wordless Wednesday: Pre-Move Empties!

I know I just posted my summer empties only a short while ago, but as soon as I found out we were moving I got a hussle on to finish up some products that were dragging on too long in my arsenal. The less I have to move  – and the less stuff cluttering up my shiny new space (official move-in day is tomorrow!) – the better! This is a pretty huge empties post actually considering it’s less than 2 months worth of stuff. I’m super-excited to have a more tidy, manageable amount of beauty products going into our new home. I’m already starting off on the right foot!

Anyway, this is supposed to be [mostly] wordless, so let’s get crackin’.

IMG_2713Notable here is the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst (so lovely), the MAX Effects Makeup Remover (awesome!), and the MUN Anarose Toner (have gone on about my love for this in a past empties post too).  

IMG_2716The DevaCurl Set It Free is a fantastic pre-styling hydrator for curly hair (but it’s expensive and doesn’t last too long); I use the NOW vegetable glycerin for mixing with my polish remover to make it gentler on nails; you already know I ADORE the Lina Hanson body oil (I made that baby last!), and the Yes to Carrots Hand & Cuticle Cream was really nice but the lettering on the packaging started to flake off and every time I’d use it it’d get everywhere. Ick.

IMG_2719Ok. There are some good samples here (and some bad)! I liked the Fresh Rose Face Mask a lot (contemplating a full size but we’ll see…), the Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask  was lovely (soothes & purifies), and the Lancome Genifique serum seemed nice. The rest were fine but nothing outstanding; did NOT like the Jurlique Rose Hand Cream (too scented), and the May Lindstrom The Good Stuff body oil (disliked the strong cocoa scent!).

IMG_2704Nothing much to say here. These are both good (though I think I’m going to cool it with fast drying top coats, they often shrink the polish and make chipping more likely).

IMG_2697Mascara palooza! See review on the L’Oreal & Benefit; it Cosmetics Hello Lashes was just WEIRD to me. Maybelline Brow Drama was fine but I wouldn’t repurchase; I finished the Korres Lip Butter and the Clarins Lip Perfector to the last drop (see photo below – that’s hardcore!). I’ve had the UD 24/7 Pencil in Lucky for quite awhile, it’s an awesome shade (since dc’d though) but it’s dried up. And this is the 3RD BLUSH that’s broken on me from Illamasqua (this is the shade Hussy), I won’t buy any more of them, I can’t take it! And they’re not really made in a way that I can pressed them again, so out it goes! I only have 1 shade left from the brand (and I used to have 5 total). The lipstick mini from Hourglass is in a shade called Grace, which is a nude – too light for my skintone. 

Kaboom!! That’s a lot of empties, eh? So I’m thinking my fall empties post will be teeny in comparison. Which isn’t really a bad thing, hopefully that just means I’m using less overall so I’ll have less to show for it. As an aside, after reading Liz’s review I picked up the Marie Kondo book on tidying, so I would hazard a guess that the amount of things I own in general is going to continue to decrease rather than increase. At least, that’s the plan! Again, moving really helps as it forces you to take a good hard look at what you own (as packing less = unpacking less). I wonder what the new *thing* will be once we’ve all decluttered our lives?? ;)


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Finish Five: Fall Edition

So predictable. After all that hauling I did in spring  as evidenced in my purchase posts (see Parts I, II, III, IV, and V), of course I started to feel like I need to do a little purging to balance things out. I’ve been on a slow purge of products for quite a while now, and I set myself back a little by going a bit crazy after Elena was born. Thankfully I got a handle on it fairly quickly before I did too much damage! If you follow me on Instagram, you’d have seen several rounds of decluttering which helped restore the balance – however, there are still products that are ‘weighing me down’ so to speak, but I feel a compulsion to finish these rather than give or throw them away.


I’m going to go into more detail regarding my decluttering/streamlining journey in a future post, but I wanted to get the ball rolling on this new series now (as I actually began the post idea back in the summer, oops). Every season I’m going to choose 5 products to dedicate time to using up – these are products that are either near completion / well on their way to becoming so, or have been in my collection for awhile and are probably coming very close to be being unusable (either from being dried up or well past expiry, etc.).

This month, I’m expanding on a few products I’ve been diligently working at using, as well as adding in a few seasonally appropriate shades that need to get more love before I send them to makeup heaven.


Too Faced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer – DUUUUUUDES, I’ve been working on this one since Elena was born, especially since the end of spring, and I just wanna hit pan already!!! Gah. At least, it’s kind of a great bronzer – maybe just a touch warmer than I’d like (things easily go orange on my skin though), but it gives an amazing bronzed glow to the skin that is truly a glow, not shimmer. It hasn’t been a real hardship wearing this every day, by any means.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (depotted) – When I first bought the UD Book of Shadows III palette way back when, this shade got major love – but after a while I forgot about it (all the new shiny pretty things!), which is a shame because it’s a great subtle taupe shadow on me, and taupes and I don’t always get along. I’ve been wearing this a lot lately and I’m having a renewed love for this pretty, wearable shade!

Clinique Airbrushed Concealer in 03 Medium – I got this in a gratis order ages and ages ago, and I do use this with some frequency, but its like the never-ending product! I like it a lot for minimal makeup days for a quick hit of brightening and concealing under the eye, so I’m not rushing to finish it too badly, but I am keen to try Urban Decay’s Naked concealer and I really need to use a few up before I can justify that purchase. SO…yea, I guess I do kind of want to finish this soon.

MAC Mattene Lipstick in Bing – OMG I feel like I keep throwing this shade out there every fall and talking about how I’m going to WERK IT, and then I don’t and here it is STILL in my makeup collection since I bought it in like…2008, or something? GAH. This year I at least am making the right moves toward using this and bought a dark lipliner to wear with it so that it looks better on me (hopefully). Let me make a grand statement now though that if I don’t wear this at all THIS year, it’s absolutely GOTTA GO.

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in Sandy Gold – I really like to use this cream shadow as a base or even on it’s own, as it’s nicely brightening to the eye area, but I forget to use it a lot…and then unfortunately I started to see that it’s drying up on me! You can see it a bit in the picture below, how it’s pulling away from the sides…ugh. So that means I have to start getting my money’s worth with this, I definitely haven’t used it enough to feel I have yet!


Are there any products you’ve been trying to finish lately?

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Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect [More Makeup]: An Update

Well, things sure have been busy ’round these here parts….but what else is new? Remember when I was pregnant and I kept saying I needed to slow down, but didn’t? Ha. Maybe I should just accept the fact that I’m always going to be busy doing something, it’s just my nature! Right now, it’s been particularly chaotic – we bought a house (finally!) and moved in October 15th. That it was a quick turnaround from putting in our offer to moving in, and it was made even more intense by the fact that we found a renter for my condo (b/c the market is CRAP and the damn place just wasn’t selling!) and she moved in at the end of September! To get everything packed and cleaned in a super-short time frame was stressful enough, and on top of that I had to do this alone, as Ryan had to go back to work, and I had a wee one to look after and amuse on a 24/7 basis. Wowza! I think I managed to pack one box every 3 days lol. Thank goodness my family came over a couple evenings to help me out, otherwise I would have been completed SOL. Ah well, that part is in the past now! Now I just spend my days unpacking a box here and there and trying to get organized, but at least it’s on my own timeline. For now, let’s talk about makeup, shall we?

IMG_4399Move-in day! :)

As regular readers will know, I’ve been on a streamlining/downsizing kick for the better part of the year (with only a semi-minor regression after Elena was born – new mom retail therapy lol). I’ve always used moving as a great excuse to purge and reduce clutter and this time was no exception. I did a major declutter of my closet back in the spring which was a great move as I’ve found it really easy to get dressed every day with less to choose from, as what’s left are all pieces I love. I replaced some old, ratty items with new, better quality clothing and got rid of anything that didn’t suit my current aesthetic or lifestyle. I’m still working on it but it feels SO good when I open my closet door and see a bunch of items that make me happy. This is what I’ve been working toward with my makeup/beauty hoard and I’m making great headway!

It helps when the new closet is like this one! :)

I’ve been bouncing around ideas in my head of how to approach streamlining my makeup & polish collection in a way that feels good to me. At first I was all about getting rid of anything that didn’t ‘bring me joy’ (a la Marie Kondo), which was easy enough – I let go of those shades that I liked in theory but that didn’t work on my skintone or fit my lifestyle (aka ‘downtown’ makeup that I no longer wear b/c…how long has it been since I went out clubbing!?). Then I purged anything that had outlived it’s place in my life – something I used to frequently wear but fell out of love with. Even after those moves however, I still have a fair amount of makeup, enough that everything would never get used in a lifetime.

So where do I go from here? I’ve considered eliminating even more items, weeding through color stories and keeping only my absolute favourites (check out Liz’s Lipstick Survivor posts for an idea on what I mean), but quite honestly? At this point I really only have shades and products I love. Sure, there are some I love more than others, but for the past couple years, most of the purchases I’ve made have been after much consideration and thought, and I really like these items! It seems wasteful and rash to just eliminate things to achieve some sort of ‘ideal beauty collection’ I have in my mind.


I also don’t want to do a formal ‘no buy’ or restrict myself in some way b/c I’ve tried that too and I know how well I respond to restrictions – by going off the deep-end after a time and buying everything in sight. That’s essentially what happened when Elena arrived, I had been so good for so long and then BAM! I fell off the wagon. Rather than make a strict plan of action, I’m just going to exercise plain old willpower as much and often as I can, but if I feel like buying something or something catches my eye, I’ll get it! I’m pretty good at restraint these days and something that I’ve found particularly effective is rifling through my stash every few days and taking mental stock of what’s there. Then if I’m out and about, I have a much harder time justifying a purchase I clearly don’t “need.”

So here we come to the *good* part (if ‘good’ in your books means making lists, like it is in mine ;)

Tally (pre-declutter [before July 2015] / present):

  1. Primers/Setting Sprays: 6 / 3
  2. Foundations: 6 / 8
  3. Concealers: 7 / 5
  4. Powders: 3 / 3
  5. Bronzers: 5 / 4
  6. Blush: 33 / 18
  7. Highlighters: 6 / 4
  8. Brows: 3 /5
  9. Eyeliner: 22 / 16
  10. Eyeshadow (shades): 72 + 5 palettes (61 shades total) = 133 shades / 72 + 2 palettes (17 shades total) = 89 shades
  11. Lip Liners: 3 / 5
  12. Lip Colors: 56 / 35

As you can see, I’ve done a bit of reducing overall (though – OOPS, I bought MORE lipliners!) and in some cases did a pretty sweet job in bringing those numbers down to a more reasonable level (blush, shadows and lip colors), if I do say so myself. Note that I didn’t include mascaras because I go through them regularly and don’t keep a stock of them around (and right now I only have 1, so that’s kinda boring). Overall I’m pleased with my progress, and just like the pride at seeing a savings account grow, I feel good about seeing these numbers get smaller and smaller and it is a huge incentive to keep up the good work.

So you can probably guess that I’ve held fairly strong with respect to my previous commitments to not incur more of specific categories within my beauty stash. Below I’ve noted my current progress:

1) Base products: I’m really keen to try the Urban Decay Naked Concealer, but I absolutely am holding out until I can get that number down by half first. Despite the fact that I felt like I had A TON of foundation, I was toying with the idea of buying a new one when I was sent the new Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation (liquid & stick). Thankfully, it’s fulfilled my lemming completely and I won’t be in the market for one for quite a while now. I’m currently on a mission to finish up a few that are nearing completion to get that number back down a bit. As for the rest (primers/powders), I’m not really enticed to buy new ones, though I think I might pick up the Becca Backlighting Primer before the wedding next fall, if there isn’t some fabulous new option out by then (likely).


2) Antiperspirants: none bought (but of course, this is the easy one). Had the bright idea to leave one in the car, because I forget to put it on A LOT these days.

3) Nail polish: The number of polishes I own is staying strong at 83 shades. Still more than I’d like, but I can’t seem to let any go – I did in fact get rid of a few more, but then I bought two holiday shades, so… oops. Every few days I go through them again and try and release my death grip on a few more bottles. All I can do is keep trying!

IMG_2739The line on the left are drugstore/shades of which I only own one.

4) Color cosmetics: Bought – Lancome Shine Lover (June), Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Walk of Shame (July), Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Liner in Naked (August), Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (August – I caved!), MAC Pro Longwear Lip Liner in Ms Diva (September), and NARS Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls (September), Burberry Wet & Dry Shadow in Antique Blue (October). As usual, lippies dominated HARD. I don’t feel bad about these purchases though, they all make me happy and will get good use (though guiltily I wear so little makeup lately they haven’t yet!). However, I do want to ease up on the lip-heavy purchasing.


5) I’m adding one other category to the list: BROW PRODZ. I bought a Milani clear brow gel and a Stila brow pen in July/August so now I have way more brow products than I personally need or want (a total of 5, which is about 3 more than I think is necessary). Absolutely must use most of these up before I will be inclined to buy more.

IMG_2744Oops, I just realized the Maybelline Brow Drama was in my pre-move empties post, but yet I still have it…probably should toss that now!

Phew! That was a long post. I wish I could just dictate what I want to say to someone and they could do all the other blog work for me – I have so many things I want to write about but so little time to actually write it / take and edit photos / etc. I honestly don’t know how some bloggers with young children do it. I guess most of them have their baby daddy’s around to watch the little one(s) so the momma can do other things. I don’t have that luxury very often, unfortunately :(

Anyway, I hope that even just the act of getting a post out will serve as an incentive to do more posting, I really miss it and I have so much to say on the top of beauty lately! If you follow me on Instagram I try to get a lot of those thoughts out there as they’re a quick snapshot of what’s going on in my beauty life – if you don’t follow me, you should, as I’m much more active there these days!

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From the draft pile: A query for all the Beauty Obsessed out there

[This is one in a series of posts I wrote years ago and never published for some reason. They still feel relevant to me so I thought I’d let them see the light of day, finally!]

If ever asked why I started blogging about beauty, my response is that it gave me an awesome outlet for my obsession and allowed me to connect with others who feel the same.  Being a curious person about the inner workings of people’s minds, I turned that question outward: why are YOU here? If you’re a blog reader, what brings you back again and again (to any blog, not just mine), seeking and absorbing more and more knowledge about the newest products, the best techniques, and the most-loved beauty items out there at our disposal?  Why do you love beauty??  What is it about beauty products that make you swoon?  If you write a blog, what got you started?  What pushed you to stop being an observer and start taking an active part in the blogging community?

blogging-communityImage courtesy –

I’m often trying to understand why it is that I can spend $50 [EDIT: this was the value I used back in 2012…seems low now, which is SCARY] $100+ on cosmetics without batting an eye, and yet rarely seem to (or want to) plunk down the same amount on a (necessary) pair of shoes.  I’m not sure I’ll ever truly figure that out, but I do know that there is something so fun, so artistic, and transformative about makeup that I absolutely adore.  I suppose if I were fashion-minded, I could say the same about clothing.  However, since I don’t have the same skill with fashion as I do with makeup, I can get why I would lean toward something of which I have an innate understanding of versus something that seems to always elude me.  So OK, my eye just works with the face and all it’s nuances – shape, tone, features – versus the body, with its curves and angles.  Got it.  I guess I just love the way you can add a touch of color, and shading, and light to the face and it can look so beautiful and entrancing – and it’s generally the first thing people notice about one another.  Ahh…honestly, I can’t seem to put my love into words, but you know what I mean!!

IMG_1634Doing a friend’s makeup for the wedding we were in a couple years ago.

Now, as for deciding to blog.  Honestly, I truly can’t recall what spurred me on to start writing instead of just reading, it seems so long ago [EDIT: And it was! I started blogging in July 2009, if you can believe it!!].  I guess I just had this strong desire to start talking to someone about all these awesome products I was buying, and since I don’t have many friends (if any) who share this consuming passion, I thought perhaps I’d be more successful sharing my thoughts on the world wide web.  Even though my current community is fairly modest, I’ve found some astoundingly wonderful people who ‘get it’ and who have given me such comfort – instead of driving my friends crazy with my beauty antics (1 hour shopping trip to Sephora, anyone?), I have fellow readers and bloggers to whom I can relay all my excitement to without fear of being over the top.  And this, beyond anything else, will keep me blogging away, rambling on about the newest NARS launch or best new skincare ingredient, because I can share freely without judgement, and also see through others eyes what’s out there, broadening my beauty scope.  Which is trouble, of course, but also very wonderful at the same time :)

So now, please, I’d love to hear your own stories!!  What entices you about the beauty world, and if you blog, why do you continue to do it?



Giveaway time with Mont Bleu design glassware!

Well, what a happy coincidence.

Mont Bleu glass nail files

Mont Bleu – creators of the FABULOUS glass nail files I reviewed several years ago (which are still the only files I use) – has kindly offered Beauty Obsessed readers a chance to win some of their beautiful files (with Swarovski elements!), and here I am with exactly 2000 email subscribers to the blog. It couldn’t be more perfect!

Mont Bleu glass nail files

I mean, how GORGEOUS are these files!? #nailfilingsuddenlymadeglamorous

Mont Bleu glass nail files Mont Bleu glass nail files

So let’s get to the giveaway details!

HOW TO ENTER: Leave me a comment telling me ANYTHING about your manicure habits – how often you file and/or paint your nails, what color of polish do you like most, if you coordinate your manicure to your pedicure, what tricks you use to get a flawless manicure, whatever…the world is your oyster!

Follow me via email or on social media and earn 1 extra entry into the draw for each medium (Instagram / Twitter / Facebook). Be sure to provide your handle for each in your comment so I know to whom to link the entry!

Winner will be chosen at random. Contest is open internationally, and will close on August 1st at 11:59pm ADT (which happens to be a civic holiday for most of us in Canada – here in Nova Scotia it’s Natal Day :)). I will announce the winner August 2nd here on the blog as well as via Instagram / Twitter / Facebook. If the prize is not claimed within 72 hours I will draw another name as random (and so on and so forth).

Good luck to all who enter!

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Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 (or more makeup)

I was inspired by Liz’s post on the type of products she no longer uses, to do a sort of spin-off post in which I detail the products I won’t be buying for awhile – not because I no longer have use for them, but because I really want to try and use up what I’ve got. I’m still aiming for that lofty goal in which my collection is modest enough that I can purchase new items guilt-free, because owning less will inevitably enable me to use up what I have more regularly. Probably an impossibility, but I want to at least put more effort into enjoying what I already have instead of being madly in love for about 3 days, then promptly moving on to lust after the next hot new item. END THE CONSUMERISM CYCLE, dammit.

So, having given you my usual long-winded explanation as to why I do what I do, let’s get to the good stuff. A LIST (of products that are on a purchasing hiatus):

1) Base products (includes primers/concealers/tinted moisturizers/foundations/powders)

IMG_1406All 5 of my concealers, my liquid foundations/tinted moisturizers, and a few of my primers (the rest plus my powders are in my makeup drawer).

I have enough of all of these things; not an overly excessive amount (IMO), but enough that adding any more will just probably mean that some of them will go bad before I finish them all. I don’t usually go crazy over these kinds of items anyway (all but one of my primers and most of my foundations are PR samples or gratis items) except for concealers…still trying to find the holy grail of under eye concealers, but I need to give it a rest for now, as I currently have 5 on rotation, and for me that’s too much. I’ve also been on a mini powder kick, and I have 2 loose and 1 pressed, so I feel I am set for quite a while.

2) Antiperspirant

IMG_1407Clearly I have no allegiance to one brand…

Would you be disgusted to know that I’ve been using the same antiperspirant since Elena was in the NICU? Sooo that’s like…5 months? And haven’t had to replace it yet (eeks!)? I swear I use it {most days} but it seems to be lasting forever. I thought it was near the end so I bought a new one to replace it – twice – and then I discovered I already had ANOTHER backup waiting in the wings already. Plus another oldie that’s been kicking around for ages that I stopped using for whatever reason. So now I have 5 kicking around, which is making me feel far too much like my mother (who used to have hoards of them all around the house; I think she bought a new one every time she went to the drugstore – always finding a new scent or brand that she liked). So yea. I think I’m set for a while.

3) Nail polish

IMG_1422My ‘snazzy’ nail polish, displayed on my bedroom dresser.

IMG_1415The rest of my nail polish collection, housed in a shoebox in Ryan’s closet (there’s no room in mine! lol).

I have been doggedly riffling through my nail polish collection weekly in an effort to pare it down to a more manageable level; to me, if I can’t wear every shade I own more than once a year, then there is a problem. I’m hovering just slightly above 80 shades, and I’d like to cull it down more still to about 75 (in an ideal world, I’d have no more than 50, but there are too many shades I like to reach that goal). So, to keep things in check, I’m adhering strictly to a one in, one out policy. Though I love polish, I find this fairly easy to do, as I feel like I have every shade imaginable anyway. The hardest part is receiving shades for review – I’ve been getting most of the OPI collections lately, and I have to be really ruthless about which ones I keep. I give the ones I don’t absolutely love away shortly after I’ve done my swatches and post so I can’t change my mind, and that’s been working pretty well.

4) Color cosmetics

IMG_1409These are all the color cosmetics in my collection now (save for a Z palette with about 20 eyeshadows in it) – streamlined down to just one drawer, not bad eh?

Ok, this one is going to be a toughie, and I know if I get too serious in limiting myself it’ll only end in disaster (remember this?), so I am giving myself permission to buy color cosmetics that are Limited Edition – but only once a month. Additional exceptions (aren’t there always?): a) I am allowing myself to buy one non-LE item per month as well, b) the Sephora VIB sale is free game (if there is anything left at Sephora, after all the craziness – and also, in keeping with my previous guidelines which dictate that I only pick up one of each type of product), and c) all bets are off during our trip to Cali at the end of December.

After that last rule, it’s clear that basically nothing about my collection will change. LOL!


My name is Latoya and I’m a makeup-aholic.

Are you on any sort of no- or low-buy? How do you justify your purchasing habits (or do you even bother)?



Wordless Wednesday: Spring empties

…it IS Wednesday, right?? My days blend all together lately…

ANYWAY, whatever day it is, this post is going to be short on words – just couple snapshots of my empties so far in 2015. If you have q’s about a specific product, ask in the comments!


IMG_0678All empty except for the Shiseido sunscreen, which has expired.

Hair & Body Care

IMG_0679Some of these aren’t empties but old, old product that should have been tossed a LONG time ago!


IMG_0684I always order loads of samples when I buy online (most e-tailers offer them).


IMG_0681Hooray for finishing 2 lippies! (and turfing an unloved one).

What do your empties look like right now?




Final Empties from 2014

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I’ve been thinking about my empties posts lately. I know some people are less than enamoured with these kinds of posts, while others absolutely adore them. Personally, I don’t have much interest in empties posts except to see just how much stuff people are using up – I use the evidence as motivation to continue diligently using my beauty products, rather than buying them just for hoarding’s sake. I’m most impressed by makeup empties, and as such, I feel pretty badass when I myself have used up a handful of makeup products, so of course I still need a medium for which to show it off at times.

Therefore, moving forward my empties posts will be wordless wonders – express posts mainly to show what I’ve used up / tossed every few months. If there are questions about a particular product, please – ask away! I’ll answer in the comments. Otherwise, consider these posts a reprieve from my usual chattiness :)

The first half of the photos are empties that were tossed back in the summer…yea, I’m MAJORLY delinquent in posting these, but as I said, empties posts aren’t really all that exciting, so I never got around to it. There wasn’t that much to showcase anyway – see for yourself (also, pre-emptive apologies for the dusty-looking photos and wonky lighting!):

IMG_3120Body and hair care

IMG_3122Facial skincare

IMG_3124Handful of samples

IMG_3125Makeup empties. KABLOW!! Almost all full-size products :)

Since that time, I’ve been storing up products and my empties bag was getting close to overflowing. Not only do I find empties posts kind of boring to read/write, but good grief taking PHOTOS of used-up products is AWFUL. However, these shots I took today of the next batch of empties was considerably more enjoyable, because last week I bought new camera :D :D :D I wanted a DSLR that could take fabulous photos once the baby arrives (and it doesn’t hurt that it’ll improve my shots on the blog, too :)), and Best Buy had a great Boxing Week deal on so I purchased the newest Canon Rebel, the T5. Now I just need to get my lighting set up down and I’ll be cookin’ with gas, as my family would say ;)  I took most of these shots outside in the snow, because it just seemed like the perfect backdrop, and I’m having fun figuring out how it works and what it can do!

IMG_0153Yüli empties…I am definitely purchasing a large size of the Cocoon Elixir (a facial mist)! So lovely.

IMG_0161Other skincare empties. On my second jar of the F.A.B. Facial Radiance Pads :)

IMG_0159Hair and body care empties. 

IMG_0169Deluxe samples…I really liked the Indie Lee ones (a cleanser and facial oil), and the amala serum (though it’s like, $300 for the full size…uh, NO), but I HATED the GlamGlow mask. Full of weird seaweed-y bits or something and thus was a major pain to apply. PASS, PASS, PASS. 

IMG_0171Random samples of hair & skin care, and foundations/concealers. Nothing to write home about except the Eminence Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum – that was quite nice and I’m thinking of buying the full-size when I’m in the market for an eye treatment (I have like, a billion samples to get through first). 

IMG_0167…and BOOM! More makeup empties!! There’s a ton of mascara empties – as I mentioned in my 2014 makeup purchases post, I went through a slew of different kinds this year, mostly all disappointing – but there are two full-size foundations and two full-size blush. Oh YEA, baby! The MAC blush is one I’d dropped a couple years ago and was really left with only scraps left, to be fair – the other is a Milani blush/bronzer duo I’ve had for 5 years which I figured should be tossed now. Also, see how I finished the Burberry illuminator?? Not too shabby, methinks!

And so, my final roundup of empties from 2014. I can now start fresh, woohoo! I feel lighter already. My goals for 2015 are to see more lippie empties (so I can achieve part of my resolutions) and maybe even a blush or an eyeshadow. The latter is a TALL order, but I’ll see what I can do!

Did you make any significant headway in finishing products this year? Do makeup empties make you as happy as they do for me? What are your thoughts on empties posts overall?

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I’m Resolute: My goals for 2015

So.  Resolutions.  I got ’em.  Somehow I missed sharing them with you the past couple years (or at least I’m just stunned and can’t find the posts – it’s possible), but this year I’m on the ball and excited to share them with you!

There seems to be two camps when it comes to resolutions – those who do them religiously, and those who never do.  I totally get the school of thought that one just strives to improve themselves throughout the year and hence has no need to set goals specifically after the New Year.  However, when you are someone who loves lists as much as I do, any excuse to make a new one is always welcome! :)  I am always working toward the best version of myself, but I also love the idea of starting fresh, so these factors are why every year I look forward to laying down my goals as a way to start the year off on the best foot.  This year, as an extra incentive to stay on track, I plan on writing an update post each month to share with you my progress (or any setbacks).

IMG_0179My fab new notebook in my fave shade :)

And so.  Witness my top resolutions for 2015!!

1. Streamline and reduce makeup collection.

But of course this is a goal. As per my cosmetics tally noted on ‘My Beauty Stash’ page, I am above my comfort level in several areas of my makeup and nail polish collections.  The ‘max’ quota numbers are somewhat arbitrary, but I wanted to choose within each category an ideal number of products to which I can aim toward and feel at ease with what I own, instead of stressed out that I’ll never use it all (which will still undoubtably happen, but I can dream!).  In some cases, I just felt like a larger number of products in a category seemed just plain silly (how many foundations do you really NEED?); in other areas, I felt like I would never make good use out of the shades I DO love if I have more than I can reasonably wear regularly (i.e. lipsticks/lipgloss/nail polish).  In truth, I just really want to feel excited and guilt-free about buying a new pretty now and again!

IMG_0181Just a small portion of my current collection – my current rotation :)

You’ll notice below I didn’t give a goal number for eyeshadow……..dudes, I have like a billion, and I’m never gonna use ’em all up ever in life, so there’s no point setting an impossible standard! Mainly I just want to ensure that the shades I’m keeping are getting used, so that’s my true goal there. Blush is a similar conundrum – if I ever finished one I think I would call myself the ULTIMATE BLUSH CHAMPION – but I think 30 is a reasonable number (in makeup fiend terms, anyway) and I still have a couple spots left!!  Also, I hope to continuously weed them out as I determine shades or formulas not well-suited to my skin tone / type.  To make way for new ones.  OF COURSE.

And so, here are my goals in the makeup reduction effort:

– Primers: 3 + 1 sample, 1 eye primer / Goal: 2 + 1 eye primer
– Concealers: 5 / Goal: 2
– Foundation: 4 + 1 travel size / Goal: 2
– Highlighters: 3 + 1 deluxe sample / Goal: 2
– Bronzers: 3 + 1 deluxe sample / Goal: 2
– Mascara: 4 / Goal: 2
– Eyeliner: 24 / Goal: 15
– Lip Color: 51 / Goal: 30
– Nail Polish: 103 / Goal: 75

I’ve actually made considerable headway with most of these categories since last year…the tough ones are going to be eyeliners, lippies and nail polish. Erm…wish me luck??

2. Spend more time enjoying things I own and less time seeking out newer, ‘better’ things.

I think we all come up against this challenge one time or another, especially as beauty bloggers. I’ve been improving with this over the past year, but sometimes I still get caught up in the trap of needing something new just because it’s NEW, and not because I need to have it. It’s like our attention spans keep getting shorter and shorter…and it can get quite ridiculous, really. My biggest saving grace is that I hate clutter and I get anxious with too much STUFF kicking around, so I purge relatively often. But I still own items that I felt like I just HAD to have, but yet I haven’t even used all that much, and that’s a damn shame. This year, I vow to give things I acquire a fair shake before rushing off to buy something else that catches my eye.

3. On that note…spend less time thinking and more time doing.

Oh man, I’m really bad for this. And not in the way you might think – I don’t get too wrapped up in thinking about doing something but never getting around to doing it; moreso, I just spend a lot of time thinking, period. That’s all well and good, but sometimes I need to get out of my own head (it can betray me sometimes), and just enjoy a moment, or let things go and stop analyzing every damn thing. This is the reason I did my degree in Psychology – I love to understand how people’s brain’s work, and why we do what we do…I want to understand so that I can continuously open my mind, refrain from judgement and be as accepting of people as possible. Probably I do this too because I want that behaviour and thought process to be reciprocated to me; everyone wants to be understood, I think on some level. But DANG if I don’t do it a bit too much, is what I’m sayin’ lol. So, this year, I’m going to try and be accepting without overthinking it too much…it’s like thought OCD, I keep thinking the same things over and over and it’s just kind of silly at times {now maybe ya’ll can see why I ramble so damn much all the time lol}.

4. Take at least 30 minutes a day to do something good for my body.

Since I’ve still got around 3 months left of the pregnancy, and I don’t know what things will be like once the baby comes, I don’t want to give myself a seriously structured fitness and health regime (I don’t really do that, anyway – I’m too into moderation for that) – but I do always like striving to be my healthiest self. I wanted to get out for a walk every single day since becoming pregnant, but that hasn’t happened and I don’t want to set myself up for failure – sometimes I’m honestly just too busy/tired/whatever to get it done. But I DO have 30 minutes every day to do SOMETHING good for myself – be it a walk, taking the time to make a healthy meal, or sitting down and writing in my journal for 30 minutes. So I’m committing to that and I know I will stick to it. There’s just no room for excuses!

IMG_0176Two books I received at Christmas….my family knows me well.

5. Relax with uncertainty. 

This is something else I struggle with a lot. It’s funny, because in many ways I’m very cavalier and unconcerned with the future – I haven’t been reading countless books on how to raise a child (in fact, I haven’t read any), and my general outlook on life is that things usually work out for the best, so why worry? My issues with uncertainty aren’t situational, but rather interpersonal – I’m always wondering if I’m doing the ‘best’ thing in my relationships (romantic, friendly and familial) and worrying that if they aren’t perfect, they’ll fail. I’m always thinking about how we can improve, how we can relate better and be better to one another. This all sounds well and good, but it tends to leave little room for error – any perceived failures on my part or the person involved and I start to question our relationship and it’s tenacity. You start to see the problem now…it’s like I want to control every interaction so that it only involves positivity – differences in opinion, disagreements, and conflicting behaviours leave me feeling unsure about the relationship as a whole. An unrealistic view, yes, but a hard habit to break. This year, I am determined to relax in my relationships and see any difficulties (within reason) as an opportunity for growth. I’ve only recently come to this realization, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge, but one that I think will benefit me significantly.

And that, my friends, is my resolution list for 2015! I feel quite good about it, and like these goals are both challenging yet achievable. I always love a fresh start, so I’m keen to get cracking!

Have you made any goals/resolutions for the New Year? Can you relate to any of mine?

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Beauty Envy Bag Giveaway Spring 2014: Radiant Orchid Edition!


Hey dolls! The ladies behind the Beauty Envy Bag Giveaway have come together to share some our favorite Radiant Orchid products with one lucky person. I’m sure you all didn’t think we just wanted to show them off last week in our first themed post! In case you are a new reader, here is a quick look at the bloggers behind the giveaway.


Lola is a Midwest blogger with a passion for polish, science, and music. She is the blogger behind Burb Beauty.


Lakeisha is a nail polish blogger living in Georgia. She is obsessed with polish, fashion, and merging the two together. She is the blogger behind Refined and Polished.


Leticia is a beauty blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She is a dog lover, sci fi nerd, handbag collector, and makeup junkie. She is the blogger behind Cosmetics Aficionado.


Latoya is a beauty blogger from the East Coast of Canada. While she loves all things girly, she also has a serious geeky side. She is the blogger behind Beauty Obsessed.

So what is going into that gorgeous makeup bag? Read on! (Links to each blogger’s reviews included)

So how do you enter? Here’s the lowdown:

  • You must leave a blog comment (just on one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know whether you’ve tried any Radiant Orchid products this year. If so, tell us about them.
  • Score additionally entries by following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
  • Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only (sorry, this is due to issues with overseas mail and nail polish).
  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Giveaway closes Saturday, April 5th at 12:00a EST.
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond to our email or a new winner will be chosen.
  • Giveaway is not sponsored by anyone.
  • Note: We are not responsible for items lost, damaged, or stolen in transit. If the prize is lost, we will not be sending a replacement, nor will we provide money for the value of the prize. We are not responsible for any customs fees you may incur.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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