My 101

101: Educated Consumerism

Now that we’re through all the holiday sales that test our resolve, it seems like a great time to talk about educated consumerism and how we can all be a little bit better in the new year. I’ve got some quick beginner “rules,” some background info on the types of brands I like to support and those that I choose not to, and then a more in-depth guide with some resources for choosing the best products for your personal needs. I’m writing this specifically with makeup in mind, but you can definitely apply some of these ideas to shopping in general. Learning to think more critically about the items we purchase and consume is never a bad thing.

First, a few quick tips to get you started on the path of smarter and better purchases:

1. Don’t buy anything limited edition, period. Items produced in a limited run are often not at the same level of quality as the brand’s permanent line, and these products are typically so hyped up that the “must buy ASAP” drive often wins out over logic since you don’t really “have the time” to wait for reviews or even do your own research. As a general statement, I don’t buy limited edition products and I am still alive and well.

2. If you wouldn’t buy it anyway, don’t buy it just because it’s on sale. If a $45 item is on sale, you’re not “saving 20%,” you’re spending $36, so if it wasn’t on your radar to begin with, take a minute to really consider why you want this item.

3. If it’s a “weird” or unconventional color that isn’t really appropriate for your every day life, look for a “dupe” or cheaper alternative. I’ll go a bit more in-depth with this one when we discuss cost per use.

4. Do your research! Obviously not every product will work for every skin type or tone, but even beyond that, our wallets have much louder voices than we often care to think about and where you choose to spend your money speaks volumes. (Don’t believe me? Whole Foods got so big they’re now owned by Amazon. If you keep supporting the things you believe in, they may become more readily available. Your shopping decisions do matter!)

Personally, I choose not to support brands who exploit or appropriate from marginalized groups, use sweat shops, are owned by known and unrepentant racists, or manufacture in China. I also try not to support anything owned by L’Oreal due to their violent and antisemitic past. You don’t necessarily need to have these same values, but figure out what you care about and stick to it.

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My Reviews

Lime Crime: Perlees & Superfoils

A few weeks ago, I put up a full post all about Lime Crime’s Velvetine liquid lipsticks, one of my favorite formulas. That post was so long that I figured I’d split my Brand Highlight into two and share my thoughts on their Perlees and Superfoils separately. If you’re a fan of glitter, glow, and/or metal, these might just be for you.


I ordered these online and when they first arrived my immediate thought was “oh hell I’m never going to wear these.” I am pleased to say I was so very wrong. These metallic bullet-style lipsticks are creamy, comfortable to wear, and look like foiled metal on the lips. They’re not the most long lasting, but survived my sushi and are very easy to reapply so I’m not too bothered by it.

Lime Crime Perlees in Denim & Charmed

Denim – The perfect denim blue to kick off anyone’s “unusual” lipstick shade collection.
Opaque, creamy, it ticks all the boxes for a good bullet lipstick and then it’s metallic blue too.
What more could you want?


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My Collection

Product Highlight: Lime Crime Velvetines

I’m not going to get into any of the drama or controversy surrounding Doe Deere and Lime Crime. It’s been written to death all over the Internet. Today, I’m just here to talk makeup. I tried a few Lime Crime products on a whim a little while back and have been so impressed with the cruelty-free brand (all their products are made in the USA too!) For the sake of brevity, I’ve decided to split my Brand Highlight into two posts, so here’s a little run down of the Velvetines I own along with my thoughts on the formula and shades. A second post is not far behind with reviews of the brand’s Perlees metallic lipsticks and Superfoils eyeshadows.

(I will make one comment in that, if you do choose to support the brand, I recommend using PayPal when you check out and not provide your credit card information directly to the website in order to protect yourself in the event of a highly unlikely, but not impossible, second security breach).


I have amassed quite a few of these over the last year and while I’m not sure it’s my favorite liquid lipstick of all time, it’s definitely in my top three. These go on smooth – more liquid than most other formulas, and they don’t dry down too quickly which means you’ve got some time to adjust as needed. They easily last 8+ hours depending on your eating habits (sometimes a little less depending on my lunch choice). The shades are super pigmented and most are incredibly opaque as well. Some of the darker shades can be a touch patchy, but with the additional work time from the fluid formula, it’s easy to layer and smooth out.

The Neutrals: Marshmallow / Cashmere / Cupid / Gigi / Moonstone / Polly


From left to right: 
 – nude pink
Cashmere – greige 
– petal pink
Gigi – taupe mauve
Moonstone – moonstone grey
Polly – pink mauve

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My Hits & Misses

Tools of the Trade: Best Face & Eye Brushes

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Tools of the trade can often make or break a project, and makeup is no different. You don’t need to splash a lot of cash to get the good stuff, but a few key investments can really help you level up your skillset. If I tried to go through all of the 50+ brushes I own, we’d be here for the next week, so instead I thought I’d just share the key members of my brush family – the workhorses, the luxury buys that were totally worth it, and the guys I reach for just about every day.

As a side note, I have listed (to the best of my ability) whether the brushes are vegan, cruelty-free, natural hair, etc. If you prefer to only shop vegan/cruelty-free, this list from Logical Harmony is a great resource for cruelty-free brands.

Face Brushes

RealTechniques Duo-Fiber Face Brush (Amazon) – I had no idea how to use this when I first picked up the RT Duo-Fiber Collection (the colors were recently changed to align with the rest of the brand’s products), but it has become my absolute favorite brush for working with super pigmented blushes like NARS and Tarte. It’s so soft and pleasant on the skin, and picks up just the right amount of product for the easiest blending. I had such a hard time working with blush before and now it’s quickly become one of my favorite products. RealTechniques brushes are always cruelty-free.


RealTechniques Setting Brush (Amazon) – The multi-tasker! This brush gets used so often that I actually have two of them; setting powder, highlight, contour, all over lid shade, you name it – this brush can do it. Right now its top two uses for me are picking up just the tiniest amount of HD powder to set my under eye concealer and giving me a perfectly blended out natural-looking contour. RealTechniques brushes are always cruelty-free.

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IT Cosmetics #103 Airbrush Blurring Concealer Brush (Ulta, $16.00) – For anyone that just cannot get the hang of the beautyblender, this is hands down the best concealer brush I’ve tried. Specifically, under-eye concealer. It helps blend out product beautifully without disturbing the rest of my makeup or sheering out my foundation too much. With my current foundation, I’ve actually had better luck applying my concealer first and this brush really does give me an airbrush finish that is undetectable under or over my foundation. This brush is made with synthetic fibers.

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