My Life

What’s in My Makeup Bag: Weekend Edition

Usually when it comes to travel, I do not mess around with my makeup. I bring anything and everything I want to make sure all my bases are covered, especially when it’s a long trip or weddings are involved (more often than you can imagine these past few years). This time however, we were just off for a weekend in Seattle to hang out with Nick’s brother so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to share a much more reasonable “weekend edition” of what’s in my makeup bag.

Photo Apr 20, 3 22 56 PM

For most “categories” of makeup, you should be able to get by with just one product. For me, that includes:

  • Face Primer – Just one here, the super moisturizing Too Faced Hangover RX to help prep skin and keep my makeup looking better, longer.
  • Eye Primer – My Holy Grail go-to, MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, I love that it provides some coverage for any redness and veins on my eyelids (if you’re more warm-toned, the Soft Ochre shade is also really popular).
  • Foundation – I opted for the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua this time, my “special occasion foundation”. It leaves a nice, natural finish on the skin and the bottle is plastic, so it’s perfect for travel. I use the shade BR12.
  • Concealer – I’ve been favoring my MAC Pro Longwear a lot lately, but the Mineralize Concealer is in a plastic tube (and has a brush applicator) so that’s what came along. I use the shade NW15.
  • Setting Powder – The usual, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light. It’s so finely milled that it doesn’t add any texture to my skin, and it doesn’t add any coverage either, just a sheer and light powder to prevent my makeup from creasing.
  • Contour – I don’t use it much, but it’s good to have on hand. Sometimes you just need to add a bit of dimension back to the face. I love the Sephora Collection Contour powder in Tranquil.
  • Mascara – Benefit’s They’re Real! Definitely in my top three all-time favorite mascaras, and the mini tube is perfect for travel. It’s volumizing, lengthening, and defining – an all-in-one that gets it all right.
  • Brow Product – Currently enjoying the ColourPop brow pencil in Dope TaupeIt’s small, affordable, easy to use, and has a built-in spoolie on the other end. (This “group” did get an extra in the form of brow gel – the packaging is so tiny that I brought along both Benefit’s Gimme Brow and a deluxe sample of the Anastasia Beverly Hills clear brow gel. I used them all.)
  • Setting Spray – MAC Fix+ always and forever, it helps meld all the products together so my skin looks natural, not cakey.

Photo Apr 20, 3 23 36 PM

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My Hits & Misses

2015: The Shitlist

I realize I’m a bit late on the “posts about 2015” thing, but I really wanted to take some time to think about the products before publicly berating them. I made a post not too long about my hits and shits of the summer, but I’ve had a few flops since then and figured I’d share my thoughts.

If you’re on the fence about a product or trying to talk yourself out of buying it, here are my top disappointing products for 2015. Conversely, if one of your all-time holy grail products has made this list, please do not be offended. Everyone has a different skin tone and type, as well as varying personal preferences! Just because a product didn’t work for me does not automatically make it a bad product overall and it’s not meant to be a personal insult to you if you do enjoy or even love any of the products mentioned below.


Tarte PAP bronzerTarte Park Avenue Princess Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer ($30.00) – Okay so there isn’t actually anything wrong with this product, the issue is really with how people use it and advertise it. This is a nice, slightly more neutral-toned, lighter brown matte bronzer from a brand that makes my absolute favorite blush formula. My problem with this product is not with the product itself, but with what people are saying about it and the reasoning behind my purchase. This is NOT the best bronzer for cool toned pale skin, and it is absolutely 100% not the best contour for cool toned pale skin. Bronzer and contour are not the same thing, should not be promoted as such, and this is not a product meant for contouring. I currently run at about NW13 in MAC, so anybody still on the fair side but darker than me will likely find success with this product as a bronzer. However, if you try to contour with this, you’re gonna have a bad time – it left me looking rather dirty and muddy as opposed to warm and sun-kissed. Return!

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My Routine

Stripped Down Skincare Routine

I have written and rewritten this post so many times while testing out new products for my skincare regimen. The truth of the matter is, the simplest solution is usually the right one, and after several breakouts and skincare mishaps, I’ve decided to strip it down to the bare essentials that were working for me all along. Every time I try to mess with the program or add something new to my routine, all hell breaks loose, so here’s the full breakdown of my skincare basics, supplemental products, and weekly treatments.

First you should know that, in addition to some hormonal/cystic acne, I have normal-to-dry skin, but also very  dehydrated skin – which means my skin can actually overproduce oil to compensate so even my dry spots look oily at times. I have yet to figure out if this means I have dehydrated, dry skin everywhere all the time or if something else is at play, but treating it that way seems to be working so that’s what I’m going to keep doing for now. (Please note that it is possible to have dehydrated skin regardless of your skin type).

After testing dozens of products, those listed below are what seem to work best for me. These may not be the best options for you, some may not work for you at all, but if any of the skincare issues I deal with sound familiar to you then these products may be worth trying.

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My 101

Product Highlight: Facial Oils

Facial oils! No not like the kind you battle with mattifying powders or blotting papers, but the kind you put on your face on purpose! Oil as a part of my skincare routine may have been my best discovery of 2015, and I just can’t get enough. Argan, passion fruit, marula, almond… you name it – they all serve a purpose (and feel so nice).

I use oils for my face, my hair, even my nails to help hydrate, smooth, and repair. If this all sounds like a complete mystery to you, just keep reading for a full breakdown on oils as skincare and a few of my favorite products.

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My Life

Makeup is Cool: A Cheesy Story

This is super cheesy and I didn’t really feel like I could share it with anyone directly, so it’s going here… I guess that’s what blogs are for. It’s about makeup.

Growing up, I was never particularly skinny or fat or pretty or ugly, I got picked on a lot for… I don’t really know. Being too average in the looks department I guess. I certainly wasn’t one of “those girls”. You know what I mean, flawless in the sixth grade with tan legs and perfect skin and eventually perfect makeup too, seemingly without a care in the world. I spent my whole life being jealous of girls like that, be it in magazines or in the hallways, in my yearbooks and in movies. I was never going to look like one of them – effortlessly flawless, clear skin glowing with confidence, and definitely looking like they have their shit together. That just isn’t me. Or at least, it wasn’t.

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