Month: April 2013

Random Thursday: Holy Grail Cosmetics

I think it’s safe to say that most of us beauty bloggers could probably go on and on about their favorite products. I mean, c’mon: we test and blog about makeup as a living/major hobby/obsession. It’s hard not to get violently attached to certain products!
With that in mind, let’s get into a few of my faves. I tried to keep the list short! Let’s start with…
…my current Holy Grail face products. 

1. NYX Shine Killer primer. Keeps my skin satiny instead of slick for hours on end, but doesn’t clog my pores.
2. Physicians Formula Super BB powder. This stuff is akin to a powder foundation without looking cakey and offers buildable coverage without irritating my sensitive skin or making me break out. I like to use it with a sponge or powder puff instead of the included brush.
3. Wet n Wild Idol Eyes shadow stick in Champagne. It’s meant for use as a shadow or liner (duh!) but I use it to brighten the inner corners of my eyes, highlight my cheek and brow bones, and define my cupid’s bow, making it a true multitasker for about $2. Can’t beat that! When I’m really tired I use it to cover my dark circles before topping with a dusting of powder and some undereye concealer.
4. Physicians Formula Super BB liquid concealer. It can be layered under my eyes without looking like spackle and covers my blemishes without breaking me out. I don’t think I’ve truly yet found the mother of all undereye circle-covering concealers, but this is a pretty good one for now.
5. Wet n Wild ColorIcon bronzer. Not sparkly (when was the last time you saw a sparkly tan?) and very buildable. Won’t clog my pores. Super cheap, too, and the pan is huge, so you know it’s going to last for-ev-er!
6. Flower Beauty creme blush in Peach Blossom. The perfect flattering coral for my skin tone, so I look glowy and not red (I have too much pink in my cheeks as is). 
…my current Holy Grail eye products.

1. Lash curler. This is non-neogtiable, even on days I don’t wear eye makeup! Just curling my lashes opens up my eyes and makes them look larger and so much prettier.
2. Physicians Formula Nude eyeshadow palette. I can create an eye look for any occasion with this palette, from subtle daytime eyes to a hot smoky look, thanks to nine shadows ranging from cream and pale pink to taupe, chocolate and black.
3. Urban Decay 24/7 pencil in Zero/Whiskey. Soooooo creamy and tug-free! I like to use the black on my upper lash line and brown along the lower lash line.
4. Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out mascara. Gives me long, fluttery, clump-free lashes and doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes.

…Holy Grail products for lips.

1. Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection lipstick in Fergie Daily. This is great for creating nude ’60s-style lips without looking, well dead.
2. Urban Decay lipstick in Gash. Sadly discontinued, this is the perfect deep blue-based red.
3. Flower Beauty Kiss Stick High Shine lip color in Coral Floret. I have a lot of trouble with pink lipstick thanks to a mix of what I believe are olive and yellowish undertones in my skin. This bright coral is flattering and pretty for spring.
4. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm in Naked. Free of chemicals, flavors, dye or scents, this is perfect for wearing alone to heal chapped lips or as a moisturizing base before applying lipstick. It’s not slippery and it keeps my lips feeling soft for hours.

…a few random Holy Grail products.

1. Julep Freedom Polymer top coat. It gives nails the hard finish and super shine of a gel manicure without the damage or drying time.
2. Nail Aid Ultra Fast Growth base coat. I refuse to use anything else; this stuff really does make my nails stronger and they are growing faster than ever. Plus, it’s toxin-free and costs less than $5 at Walmart.
3. A big fluffy brush. This is an old one from Jane, which I plan to replace with an Ecotools brush when it wears out. I don’t think there’s a product in my stash, powder or liquid, that I haven’t applied with this type of brush; it’s so versatile and there’s no reason now to keep at least two nice, soft, fluffy ones on hand.
4. Small shadow brush. Sponge applicators are okay sometimes, but I really prefer brushes, and you can buy a whole handful for a buck apiece from ELF, so you’ve always got a clean one within reach for your shadow. You can also use these little brushes to spot apply both liquid and dry foundations when you’re trying to cover a blemish.
5. Angled powder brush. Please buy yourself one for applying blush and bronzer; it makes such a difference, I promise! I use mine with cream and powder products alike.
6. Lash comb/brow groomer. Like the lash curler, this is non-negotiable; groomed brows make you look instantly more polished and the brush is also perfect for blending in brow waxes or powders for a more natural brow look. Plus, the lash comb is a lifesaver if you get a clump.

…Holy Grail nail polishes.

Did you really think I’d let you leave without a peek at my polish stash? I tried to cull the list to a dozen of my favorites, with a good mix of neutrals, brights, vampy shades and edgy picks. My favorite brand is Zoya, but as you can see I also love Butter London, Flower Beauty, Julep, Milani, and Wet n Wild. I try to stick to cheaper brands for basic colors–for example, I grab my black and white polishes for nail art from Wet n Wild for a buck apiece. That way I can splurge on more expensive brands for those one-of-a-kind colors that you just don’t find at the drugstore.

1. Julep “Sienna”
2. Flower Beauty “Gorgeous Gerbera”
3. Zoya “Dove”
4. Zoya “Evvie”
5. Wet n Wild “Sunny Side Up”
6. Julep “Lauren”
7. Milani “Bet on Red”
8. Julep “Trina”
9. Zoya “Marley”
10. Flower Beauty “Thistle or That?”
11. Butter London “Wallis”
12. Julep “Sasha”

What are your Holy Grail cosmetics? Any I should try? Leave a comment and let me know!

[CLOSED] GIVEAWAY! Two Gud by Burt’s Bees body butters (open internationally through 4/29)

Now that spring is here, it’s time to moisturize those dry patches on your feet, legs and arms so you can bare all in flirty spring dresses and short shorts. I don’t know about you, but with the change in seasons I’m not feeling the heavy scents of my typical “winter” body butters, so I like to switch to something lighter and more spring-appropriate. Accordingly, I picked out two gud by Burt’s Bees body butters to give away to one lucky reader, in Floral Cherrynova and Orange Petalooza.

This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and will close at 11:59 PM PST on April 29. All you have to do to enter is use the widget below! The comment entry is mandatory but all the others are optional, so complete as many or as few as you like!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

30 Day Shop My Closet Challenge: Day 17

When I need to look a little more polished in the warm months, but I don’t want to wear a skirt (for whatever reason), I wear shorts. Not only are they often more comfortable than a skirt, they have pockets (yay!) and you don’t have to worry about wind gusts.

I hear from lots of people that wearing shorts with heels scares them because they’re worried about looking trashy, but it’s not a hard look to put together if you follow a few key rules:

  • Pick something with a tailored fit in a nice fabric. 
  • Treat your shorts like a miniskirt and avoid showing too much skin up top. Something tailored is always good, so I usually wear a scoop-neck tee and a blazer; but if you’re not wearing long sleeves, make sure your top has a looser cut.
  • Choose structured heels that are classic and stylish, like the closed-toe platform pumps I’m wearing here, or go with really fun and funky shoes, as Beyonce did in this 2009 photo. It’s better to avoid uber-strappy stiletto heels.
  • Finish with nice accessories to make it clear this was a deliberate look. Great earrings and a big cocktail ring are perfect for me!

You know what completes any fashion shoot? A stylish companion. Look at my little man in his tux.

Now it’s your turn to show us how you’re shopping your closet this month! Use the widget below to link up your posts and remember to use the hashtag #30dayclosetshop across your social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to show off your style!

Please follow your cohosts (Mandy and Martha) and visit a couple of other bloggers via the linkup to leave a comment! “I don’t like comments” said no blogger ever! :P

Totally Doable I Have A Life April Nail Art Challenge: Day 16: Match OOTD

Today’s nail was supposed to match the outfit of the day. I initially thought of striped nails, but since I was already doubling up with a striped top and striped clutch, I felt like striped nails would just push the whole thing over the edge into bad matchy-matchy territory. Instead, I opted for a subtle grey polish to match the grey stripes in my shirt. This is Zoya Dove.