Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Makeup Collection and Storage - Spring 2013

Hey guys!

So I finally decided that today was the day to dip my toes in the pool of video making! Storage and collection videos are some of my favorite things to watch on YouTube - they're what got me into the beauty community 3 or 4 years ago - and I wanted to try my hand at it. I am super OCD about organizing, especially when it comes to my beauty products. The rest of my life can be a mess, but it's rare to find anything out of place on my vanity. I will sit and move things around until they feel "right" - I want the things I reach for the most to be easy to access!

Makeup Collection and Storage - Spring 2013

I realized after I made the video that I forgot to talk about where I got my storage stuff! My vanity is the Hemnes Dressing Table from Ikea, and I got it on sale this summer which was awesome. The tray holding my nail polish, as well as the similar trays inside the large drawer are from the office section at Target. The rolling cart is Sterilite, also purchased at Target. The three drawer container with my MAC shadows is also Sterilite, though I can't remember where it was purchased.

If you have a makeup collection video (or blog post!), please leave a link to it in the comments below - I'd love to watch it!!

XOXO Samantha

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March 2013 Favorites

Bleurg. March.

This month has dragged. On. Forever.

This time last year it was warm enough to wear shorts. I realize that 80 in March isn't normal... I'm just saying I could be okay with it. This year it's been miserably cold. Did I mention it's been cold? I am so sick of seeing snow I could practically scream!! Luckily the last two days have been warmer and sunny, so I haven't gone out of my ever-lovin' mind. Yet. I'm just warning you - I don't have too many favorites this month. It's been pretty boring all up in my vanity.

CoverGirl Eye Shadow in Tapestry Taupe
I purchased this in the middle of the month and pretty much have worn it every day since. I just pat it on my lid, sweep a little into my crease with the same brush (see MAC 213 below) and all the work is done for me. All I need is a little highlight, and if I'm feeling fancy a matte brown in my crease with my 222 for some extra definition.

MAC 213
My mom "handed down" this brush to me (she barely used it after owning it for 7 years) and I'm in love. I've always used my 242 to pat color on the lid, but I love this brush as an all-in-one. I can pat color on the lid, but it has enough fluff to it that I can also pull that color up into the crease and blend it out. I've been using this pretty exclusively with Tapestry Taupe this month.

Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Smog
Okay. PSA here. SMOG IS NOW PART OF THE PERMANENT COLLECTION AND AVAILABLE IN FULL SIZE. I got Smog as part of the Smoked set for Christmas, and it's basically the only color I use on a regular basis. It's such a pretty, soft, bronzy-shimmery-brown and unlike any other brown liner I own. I have been using this as a quick alternative to my normal liquid or gel liner when I'm running late for work. It adds a bit of definition and the color's light enough that I don't have to be super careful about application. If it's messy... it's forgiving.

MAC Blush in Well Dressed
This is an old favorite and I found myself reaching for it day after day this month. It's great for when I'm running out the door - I can swirl the brush in it and pop it on the cheek. I never have to worry about clown face or having to blend the color out.

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Valentine/Sweetheart
I may not be able to get myself into full spring mode yet, but I am really loving super bright lips right now. This is so great for the workday. I can apply it in the morning and the color stays for hours - no touch-ups necessary. I love the formula, and I'm hoping to pick up a few more shades soon!

Essie Nail Polish in Bikini so Teeny
I did a whole post raving about the only Essie Polish I've ever liked. I have had this on my nails for the entire second half of the month, so I suppose this has to be a favorite!

Maybelline The Flash Clean Makeup Removing Lotion
This stuff is absolutely lovely. It really dissolves my makeup and leaves my skin soft. I apply this either to dry or damp skin, rub it in (even over my eyes) and then wipe it off with a damp wash cloth. I then cleanse my skin with my Ultrabland cleanser from Lush. It allows me to use much less Ultrabland as I'm not rubbing more and more product on my eyes trying to get rid of my mascara. So it's saving me money in the long run? That's my theory, at least. Ultrabland didn't seem to take off all my face makeup - and I think that this does a better job at makeup removal. I'm not going to say that this gets rid of all my mascara - it doesn't - but it does a decent enough job that all I have to do is run a Q-tip dipped in eye makeup remover along the base of my lashes to clean things up.

So that's it for March. I'm so glad that I've only got one day left in this month - I need spring! I honestly had much more interesting non-beauty favorites this month - would anyone be interested in seeing a post about those?

Who doesn't want to read about chocolate frozen Greek yogurt?

Let me know what some of your favorites were this month down in the comments, and I'll talk to you guys later!
XOXO Samantha 

*REVIEW* New Spring/Summer 2013 Revlon Lip Butters

So after going into at least 7 different stores looking for them, I finally found the new Revlon Lip Butters in Target. Unfortunately they were out of Juicy Papaya, but I wasn't deterred from picking up the other 3 new shades.

Sorbet, Pink Lemonade, Wild Watermelon

I love Revlon's Lip Butters - they have (depending on the shade) the pigmentation of a lipstick without the fuss, they're moisturizing but never goopy or sticky, and I get pretty good wear out of them (especially the brighter colors). This trio brought my total number owned up to 10, which I don't feel bad about at all. (Justification, how I love thee.) This post was a trial in photography and lighting for me. I was bound and determined to get this post done last night - so determined, in fact, that I fell asleep at my laptop in the middle of writing this. Whoops! I took pictures in the evening, but ended up retaking almost all of them the next morning. I'm so glad I waited! I think the pictures turned out much prettier with the natural sunlight.

First, we have Sorbet. I have been loving bright pink lips this "spring." (I use this term loosely as it has barely gotten into the 40s yet this year where I live.) Sorbet is a bright, cool fuchsia pink. The pictures of this on my lips doesn't do it justice. The light is reflecting off of it in the picture and not quite showing how bold the color is. Against my fair skin, it's very bright. 

Next is Pink Lemonade. It's a very light nude pink and I am in LOVE with this. It gives the nude lip look without making you look dead since this has a nice gloss to it. It's a much more wearable look for me than other nude lip products I've tried. 

The final color I picked up was Wild Watermelon. I am ridiculously excited about this shade, so I'm glad I saved the best for last. My favorite lip butter by far is Candy Apple, but sometimes I want to wear a bright, warm red that isn't so orange. Guys... this is it. It's such a pretty pinky red, and I'm so excited to trade in my blue-red and orange-red lipsticks for Wild Watermelon this spring. There's also a sheerness to it that I like for the warmer months - I get nice, bright color without looking like I'm cake-faced. 


Pink Lemonade

Wild Watermelon

I also decided to swatch Sorbet and Wild Watermelon against similar shades in my collection for comparison.

Left: Sweet Tart; Right: Sorbet

These shades are very, very similar. Sweet Tart is just a bit warmer and lighter than Sorbet. I'd also say that Sweet Tart's consistency/finish is a little more creamy while Sorbet's has more "juiciness" and sheerness to it. There were some swatch pictures that I took during photo shoot #1 where I couldn't tell which swatch was which product. The differences show up more on the list, but if you aren't a fervent collector I would recommend picking only one of these. 

Left: Candy Apple; Center: Wild Watermelon; Right: Cherry Tart

As you can tell from the swatches, Wild Watermelon is much pinker and sheerer than Candy Apple. It's also lighter and warmer than Cherry Tart. Like Sorbet, there is a "juiciness" to Wild Watermelon that makes it perfect for warmer weather. 

Extra: Candle-of-the-Night
I had this burning the whole time I was working on this post last night. I'm trying to finish up my small Spiced Apple Toddy candle from B&BW while the weather is still cool. This smells like musky spiced cider, if that makes any sense at all (I'm sure it doesn't). This candle smells very similar to Leaves, a personal favorite (I think I've burned through 7 of them in the last year and a half). The one thing that annoys me about this candle: the wick isn't centered!!! It's super annoying because unless I burn it for several hours, the wax to one side of it won't melt! I'm OCD about burning my candles evenly, so I can only light this one if I know I'm going to be home for a while. You can even see a bit of wax still clinging to the glass on the back of the candle in the picture below... ARRRRGGGHHH!! 

If you've picked up any of the new Lip Butter shades, let me know what you think about them down below! What other lip products are you picking up for spring? I've heard good things about the new Maybelline Color Whispers and Color Vivids Lipsticks. I'm not sure I'd pick up a Color Whisper unless there was a color I HAD to have because I already own so many lip butters (I've heard they have similar consistencies?). However, I own very few "true" lipsticks, and as I've been easing myself into bright and bold lips, I'm thinking I should pick up a Color Vivid or two. Everyone from high school aged beauty vloggers to Temptalia seems to be raving about those, so I don't think I'd hate them. I've also been interested in picking up the CoverGirl Jumbo Gloss Pencils, particularly Watermelon Twist. Let me know if you own any of these and what you think down below!

XOXO Samantha 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I'm Giving In

I finally joined Bloglovin... so follow me there!!!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I haven't finished my coffee yet, so I'm signing off before I start typing some weird combination of French, English, and Klingon.

XOXO Samantha

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dear Essie Nail Polish...

Dear Essie Nail Polish,

I want to like you. Really. I do. I love your color selection, your cute little bottles, how easily available you've become... and yet. Every Essie polish I've tried has been lacking. It usually takes at least 3 coats to get opacity, and even then it's streaky and uneven. I don't get great wear out of the formula, and I'm always disappointed. I pretty much only own colors that are unique to the Essie line or are colors I was in desperate need of when I was in college and 45 minutes away from the nearest OPI vendor. I don't know why I decided to pick it up, but as I was perusing the aisles of Walmart my eyes fell on Bikini So Teeny. I had recently heard several Vloggers mention it, and it is definitely a color I didn't own. I figured it would be yet another Essie polish I'd struggle with because I liked the color so much.

Essie, I was wrong. I was so, so wrong.

This stuff is such a different formulation than every other Essie polish I own. It's thick enough to give coverage in two coats without being streaky, gloppy, goopy, or any other word I can come up with to describe crappy nail polish. When I looked at in the bottle, I assumed it was a light blue cream. But it has the most subtle silver micro-shimmer I've ever seen, which makes the color just that much more beautiful. It just adds this hint of a twinkle to your nails when you move them in the light. It's like they took Cinderella's dress and turned it into a polish. I'm impressed Essie. Really. I didn't think this was possible.

Maybe it's because I've been using Revlon's base coat. Maybe it's because I got a good bottle. Maybe I've just had bad luck in the past. But I feel like I've struck gold with this polish. I rarely paint my nails the same color twice in a row, but last night when I took off my chipping polish I just wanted that pretty blue back on my nails. So on it went again. And that's when I knew I had to share this with you guys.

On a completely unrelated note, I've also discovered this candle:

B&BW 3 Wick Market Peach Candle

I'm normally not one for sweet scents, but this just smells like straight up peach. And peach is delicious. I've seriously burned through almost half of this candle in two days. I feel a tad silly burning such a lovely spring candle when it's freezing outside... but I simply couldn't wait. This is dangerous stuff here.

Let me know what polishes, candles, parkas, space heaters, and snow boots you've been loving for spring. Also let me know what colors (if any) you have success with in the Essie line!

XOXO Samantha

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

*REVIEW* - Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation and Pressed Powder

I've never been one to really jump on a "makeup trend" or grab something the second it comes out unless it's a limited edition color of a product I already love. I don't know what called out to me about the Nearly Naked products, but as every blogger and vlogger I follow seems to have picked them up recently I felt like I was the only girl alive who hadn't tried them. (The fact that I'd had a couple of margaritas at dinner with CDBP immediately before definitely didn't have anything to do with my lowered makeup buying inhibitions. Riiiiight.) I purchased these for about $7.50 each at Walmart. I got the lightest shade in both - Ivory in the foundation and Fair in the powder.  

This is definitely a light to buildable-medium coverage foundation on me. My biggest skin issue is redness and uneven tone, and this evened out my complexion for me. It blends really well into the skin; when you first apply, it sinks in and doesn't feel like it's sitting on top of your face (more on this later). It is slightly more dewy/natural in finish than other foundations I own. This is exactly what I'd hoped for, as I had mentioned that my skin has been getting dryer and my HG foundation and powder combination had been looking just a tad too powdery on me. 

The biggest issue I have with foundation is the wear. It most definitely oxidizes on me by the end of the day. It's such a bummer to look in the mirror at the end of the day and realize my skin suddenly has an orange tint to it. It also leaves my skin feeling oily and shiny as the day goes on. It's funny that it melts right into my skin and doesn't feel like "makeup" at all in the morning, but after 8 hours I'm jonesing to wash my face. Part of this could also be that I am so used to wearing very matte face makeup and anything else "feels" oily to me. Other than the oxidizing and the added oiliness, it stays put. It doesn't wear off or have bare patches by evening, which is nice. I don't have issues with it clinging to dry patches or emphasizing them. Overall I like the foundation, and think it will be nice during the summer when I want light wear and a dewier look. Having a bit more color to my skin may also make the oxidizing less noticeable.

I'm torn on the powder. It's very finely milled and I'm impressed with how little fallout you get in the pan. However, even in the shade fair, it is still a tad too dark for my skin. I sometimes use a smaller, denser brush to pat powder on top of areas I've put concealer, and I can't do that with this powder without leaving an orange-y, too-dark spot on my face. I also find the smell of the powder to be just awful and very strong... which is weird because the foundation has no smell unless you're practically huffing it, and then it's just the faaaaaintest whiff of SPF. It doesn't do much to set my face either; this is definitely a nearly naked product. When using only this, the concealer under my eyes creases before I've even finished my eye makeup (and I have to pat it out and apply my HG Maybelline Dream Matte Powder). The powder might also be why my skin is so oily by the end of the day - it doesn't seem to do much to prevent oil or set my makeup.When using this, I've taken to setting any concealer areas with the Dream Matte Powder and then dusting the Nearly Naked Pressed Powder over my whole face. 

However. This powder makes my skin look lovely right after application. It is smooth and natural looking, without being either shiny (no powder) or overly powdery (Dream Matte Powder). It does what it claims to do - provide a nearly naked look. It softens the appearance of skin just enough without blocking the natural texture. I do wish this would set my makeup better/last longer on me, as it gives my skin a really lovely look for the first few hours. 

Overall, I like both of these products, but I'm not in love with either of them. I think they're good options for normal-to-dry skin that needs light coverage, and I definitely think this would be good for a natural summer face. I would avoid this if you have oily skin, as it made even my normal-to-dry skin seem oily! I want to break up the duo and see how I like the wear of the foundation when used with my Dream Matte Powder and how I like the powder when it's worn over other foundations. 

Has anyone else tried the Nearly Naked duo? How did it hold up on your skin? Did you like the powder or foundation better in another pairing? Let me know down below!

XOXO Samantha

Monday, March 25, 2013

Life, Love, and Other Things


Today has been a doozy of a day, following up a really stressful weekend. The worry and excitement have worn off and I've finally hit the proverbial wall and now I just feel exhausted. I promise I'll be back to the beauty posts tomorrow, but for today I need to ramble.

I mentioned in my Liebster award post that I really love reading - I mean, I really lovelovelove reading. I took a year off after undergrad to work, but I've been applying to masters of library science programs this year. My ideal match is a school that is in Captain Doctor Boyfriend Person's town - and I have been accepted there! I mentioned a few posts ago that I was back in CDBP's town in the middle of the week for grad school related activities, which was, specifically, an interview for a graduate assistant position at my dream school.

Today I received an email that I was being offered the GA position.

When I read the few sentences comprising that email, I almost started crying in my cubical out of sheer excitement and happiness. I basically thought I had flubbed my interview and spent all weekend nervous that I'd wrecked my future. I got super nervous (unusual for me) and basically gibbered like an idiot for 20 minutes in a conference room full of faculty. I was convinced the email was going to be rejecting me; instead they're placing me exactly where I want to be (it involves working directly with a Children's and YA collection) and I am over-the-moon excited. I had so much raw energy today at work that I inevitably had to crash tonight. (At one point today I stepped outside the office and literally jumped up and down outside the building while on the phone with my mom. I looked like a crazy person winning the lottery, according to one co-worker.)

One of the toughest things about this year has been the distance between me and CDBP. It's hard being apart from your best friend for weeks at a time, and it's made even harder since CDBP is in a program notorious for leaving you exactly no free time. I feel incredibly blessed that in just a few short months I'm going to be able to basically live my dream both professionally (my MLS program!) and personally (living just a few minutes from CDBP!). For the first time in a while I am going to go to bed tonight worried about exactly NOTHING.

Tomorrow I'll be back with beauty posts, but tonight is going to be me just being happy :)

XOXO Samantha

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things... Blush

Continuing my series of my favorite things, I decided the next product to tackle was blush.

I think a lot of people are put off by the idea of blush, but I've never seen blush as scary or clown-like. I've gone through periods where my skin is very red and irritated, but to me, blush doesn't emphasize redness or make it look worse (a common fear I've heard in the beauty community as to why girls won't wear blush). I'm very fair - that's no secret. I was definitely the kid who got the "Are you sick? You look white as a ghost!" comments on the daily. As I've gotten more and more into makeup, I find that a pop of color on the cheek really wakes up my skin and face. As my busy schedule has cut back on the complexities of my eye makeup, I've definitely been reaching for blush as a way to mix up my looks. Here're just a few of my tried-and-true favorites -- let's get started!!

Pink Toned Blushes

Bobbi Brown Nectar, MAC Pinch O' Peach, MAC Well Dressed

Swatches: Bobbi Brown Nectar, MAC Pinch O' Peach, MAC Well Dressed

Bobbi Brown Nectar: I've owned this blush for forever, and keep coming back to it. I don't wear it often, but it is certainly one of my favorites. The pigmentation, wear, and texture of this blush is amazing. It's a bright pink coral, and it really adds a pop of color on my fair skin. I generally wear this when I'm keeping the eye makeup minimal and I want my skin to shine.

MAC Pinch O' Peach: This is a similar color to Nectar, but lighter. It has a bit less red and more peach undertones to it. I generally wear this with everyday neutral eyes. It's just such a pretty color - this blush always makes me look really happy and awake and is fairly similar to my natural blush.

MAC Well Dressed: A super light, bright cool pink. This is my go-to blush when I don't know what else to reach for. If you're scared of the "clown face blush" look, this may be a good blush for you to check out. It's hard to overdo it, and it won't leave you looking red or scary looking!!

Neutral Toned Blushes

Clinique Honey Blush, NARS Douceur 

Swatches: Clinique Honey Blush, NARS Douceur 

Clinique Honey Blush: This was the first blush I ever owned, and I wore it just about every day of middle and high school. It's a warm peachy-neutral color. I freckle a lot in the summer, and this shade works beautifully with my freckles. This is another blush that you can apply to the apples of your cheeks without fear of "clown face."

Nars Douceur Blush: This is a great neutral blush for fair skin. Unlike the other blushes I've showcased here, I would NOT recommend wearing this on the apple of the cheek. I tend to start it a bit further back on this and use it to define my cheeks and add just a touch of color. This is the only blush I'll use when I have a super dark or colorful eye look, and I love that it keeps me from looking dead without making me look like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show.

Does anyone else share some of my favorites? Any hidden gems out there? Let me know what some of your favorite blushes are down below!

XOXO Samantha

Liebster Award... Part One???

I was very sweetly nominated for a Liebster Award by DancingWithDragQueens yesterday!

"The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find new blogs that they want to follow."

The rules (as laid out by DancingWithDragQueens):
1. List 11 facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you
3. Ask 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate
4. Choose 11 new bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate
5. Let everyone know they've been picked

So here's the problem: I don't follow all that many bloggers with the requisite "less than 200 viewers," so I'm going to take this as a challenge to find good, less-known bloggers and follow them until I feel like I can actually complete parts 3 & 4. I promise I will do a part 2 in a few weeks nominating bloggers and asking them my questions!

11 Facts About Myself
1. I am a voracious reader. Once I get started, I won't put a book down except to eat. Maybe.
2. I am obsessively organized. Clutter and chaos drives me up the wall!
3. If I'm at home, I'm most likely going to be wearing this super comfy half-zip pullover I "borrowed" (read: stole) from Captain Doctor Boyfriend Person. I have to roll up the sleeves like 4 times to use my hands, but it's SO COMFY.
4. My favorite color is blue.
5. When I was little, I was a huge tomboy and insisted on only being called "Sam" because I thought "Samantha" sounded too girly. Now that I'm older, being called Sam drives me nuts and I like to be called Samantha. The only people that are allowed to call me Sammy without getting dirty looks are my parents (Sammy-Annie!), my best friend (SAMMMMMIIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!), and CDBP (Sammy-Girl). Sam-I-Am is acceptable if you are a man old enough to be a grandfather. (My rules know no logic.)
6. My favorite magazine is Real Simple. I am totally a 40 year old mom at heart.
7. I lovelovelove wine. Unless it's chardonnay - because that's just gross. (Blurrrg, oak.)
8. If given a blank sheet of paper, I will doodle Winnie-the-Pooh styled honey bees (complete with little dashes showing their flight path behind them) all over the place.
9. I brush my teeth every time after I eat or drink something. I cannot stand having my mouth feel "dirty" or bad breath!
10. My Brita water bottle is practically glued to my hand. I drink water all the time!
11. The combo of onion dip and Baked Lays IS MY CRACK.

11 Questions Asked by DancingWithDragQueens
1. When and why did you start blogging? I started this blog back in September after having surgery and being unable to leave my house for several weeks. I didn't keep up with it, but on a whim decided to start up again about a month ago. 

2. What's one thing you've learned about yourself because of blogging? I use too many adverbs. To paraphrase a Stephen King quote, if you're using strong verbs, you don't need adverbs. It's always been a writing weakness of mine. Along those same lines, writing this blog points out how verbose I am, and it's helping me to learn to speak more succinctly.

3. What is one thing that has surprised you about blogging? Honestly, the view-bots. It's so annoying to think you got 50 views in an hour, only to realize that they are all from a spam site. I have to mentally subtract those from my day's (or week's) views and then the number is always so disappointing.

4. If you could only wear one makeup up look the rest of your life, which would it be...eye makeup with bare lips or lipstick with no eye makeup? Definitely eye makeup with bare lips (as long as chapstick or colorless lip balm doesn't count). I have only gotten into lip color and lip products the past 6-8 months. When I was in college I walked everywhere and it DROVE ME NUTS to be outside and have my hair stick to my lips. Now that I'm inside most of the day at work, I can pretty much wear whatever lip product I want and not have that concern.

5. Who is your biggest beauty inspiration? I don't know that I have one! I tend to be inspired by Vloggers I watch the most, but I don't have one person who's beauty look I try to copy.

6. What is your biggest pet peeve about bloggers that you've noticed? Bloggers that believe crazy claims or marketing about a product. So much of the marketing that gets thrown around with a product is BS, and as a person who majored in a biological science it drives me nuts that people believe so much of that crap. Same goes with "natural" products and marketing (all "natural" products are actually chemicals... and a lot of "chemicals" are much better for you than something extracted from a leaf!). Example: Nightshade was used for ages to dilate the pupils and make your eyes look prettier, but it's POISON. See what I mean? A product can be natural and still be good... but being natural doesn't intrinsically make a product awesome for you. (I guess this applies to the beauty community as a whole, but bloggers too!)

7. What age did you start wearing makeup and what was the first makeup item you owned? I started wearing makeup for real in 7th grade, though in 6th grade I would cover myself in glitter (any 90s/early 2000s girl understands this) and think I was the coolest person ever. I did own a ton of makeup before that though, that I was allowed to use for dress up. I had a box in my bathroom with a lot of my mom's castoffs and also samples/freebies that my parents got from work thanks to their awesome retail jobs.

8. What is the best advice you've ever received? When you're feeling anxious, to go to a mental "happy place." Mine is imagining a field full of happy, fluffy bunnies. I'm not kidding, it actually works.

9. What's one beauty rule you always follow? I smile when I am applying blush to the apples of my cheeks. It just makes it so easy to see where to apply!

10. If you could be somebody else for one day, who would it be and why? This is so silly, but probably Allison (Amarixe) from YouTube. In a totally non-stalker way, I love everything about her - her apartment, her style, her hair, her makeup. Even the food she shows is always stuff I'm craving. 

11. What are you most proud of with your blog? 
That I am sticking to it. I thought after my first few posts that the business of work, traveling so often, and just general life stuff would get in the way of blogging. I've found that I can snap a few pictures and then snuggle into bed and type a quick post before falling asleep even on the busiest days. 

I promise a part 2 will happen... I just need a few weeks (or months)!

XOXO Samantha

Thursday, March 21, 2013

*REVIEW* - CoverGirl Eye Shadows

First and foremost, let me apologize for my absence this week. I unexpectedly had to go out of town for grad school prep related activities. The downside was having to drive so far AGAIN after being at Captain Doctor Boyfriend Person's just this past weekend; the upside was getting to see him on a weekday and some exciting grad school opportunities! But enough with the excuses and my crazy life - let's get to the fun part!

So in the less-than-a-week since I purchased it, I have absolutely fallen in love with CG's single eye shadow in Tapestry Taupe. I've worn it on my lid every day, and I'm finally convinced that CG has actually reformulated in the last decade and this is not the powdery crap I used in middle school. So I did exactly what I said I'd do in my haul - I went back out and purchased the single shadow in Champagne and the trio in Shimmering Sands. I haven't had a chance to use them yet, but I'm so excited to use them in a look tomorrow. I can totally see myself going away for a weekend at CDBP's and just tossing the trio in my makeup bag - even simpler than the Naked palette! At $3.15 and $4.50 a pop, I'm really not too worried about not liking these (even though based on the swatches I'm sure I will).

The only thing I'm not wild about with this product is the packaging. Not only is it super light weight and cheap feeling, but I hate the room that is taken up by the incredibly pointless and stupid sponge-tipped applicator. Who actually uses those? Am I the only one annoyed by them?

CoverGirl Shimmering Sands Trio

CoverGirl Eye Shadow in Champagne

If these wear anything like Tapestry Taupe, I'll be thrilled. I have absolutely no creasing with Tapestry Taupe, though I do use UDPP under it. I can't even say that about some of my high end shadows, which makes me even more excited about how cheap these are. The formulation of these shadows is soft and smooth feeling, but with no apparent fall out when I swatched them. I'm hooked!!

Does anyone have any other color recommendations from CoverGirl? What are your favorite drugstore shadow brands? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll talk to you later!

XOXO Samantha

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What's in my Travel Makeup Bag?

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope you all are enjoying the festivities and plenty of green food - I, for one, am simply enjoying being able to see green grass again after a long, snowy winter!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am out of town this weekend at Captain Doctor Boyfriend Person's apartment. With my lack of success taking pictures inside yesterday, I decided to move the show to his balcony today. I love the location of his apartment - it backs up to lots of pretty trees and it feels very private and not like living in an apartment complex at all!

But let's get to the real reason we're here today...

Due to the nature of Captain Doctor Boyfriend Person's grad school program, it's much easier for me to come travel to see him so he can study in his space and he doesn't have to haul 50 lbs of textbooks to my house. So 2 or 3 weekends a month I pack up and head a few hours away to CDBP's apartment. I feel like I've become a professional at packing for a weekend away, and I thought I'd share what I brought this weekend. Before I jump into the exact products I brought, here are my three biggest tips for packing makeup for travel:

1. Keep it simple. You're probably not going to have the best lighting or a vanity to sit at to do your makeup, and if you're traveling you probably have better things to do with your time than spend 30 minutes doing your eye shadow or blending out that hard-to-work with foundation.

2. Pare it down. I look at what outfits I've packed, and then try to pick just a couple of blushes or lip colors to match with them. It's easy to end up with 4 blushes and 10 lip products "just in case", but I promise you that if you make the executive decision before you leave home, you won't miss having to dig through tons of products to find one thing while you're away.

3. Carry it on. If you're traveling on a plane, toss your makeup in your carry on bag, especially powders. It sucks ending up somewhere only to find out that your bag got tossed around and your makeup has shattered. I also don't want a few hundred dollars in product and brushes getting lost, so I always carry it on so I know where it is.

Face Products
MUFE HD Foundation, CG Fresh Complexion Concealer, Maybelline Dream Matte Powder, 
Bobbi Brown Corrector and Creamy Concealer. 

MAC Blushes in Well Dressed and Baby Don't Go

I like to keep my face simple while I'm away. I try to only bring one blush, keeping in mind what lip colors I'm bringing and what outfits I'm going to be wearing. I did bring Baby Don't Go to contour for a date night we went on, but I definitely wouldn't call it necessary. 

Naked Palette, UD 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Smog, MAC Brow Gel in Beguile, UDPP, MAC Brow Pencil in Lingering, Covergirl LashBlast, Stila Kitten, L'Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Liner

I also keep my eyes simple. I always bring a shadow palette so I'm not digging around the bottom of my makeup bag looking for individual pots. I leave gel liner at home, as the brush tends to get black gunk all over everything in my bag. If I need a more defined look, I'll use this fool-proof liquid liner, otherwise I stick to pencils.

Lips & Nails

Gargantuan Green Grap, Revlon Colorstay Top Coat, Cajun Shrimp

Revlon Lip Butter in Cherry Tart, NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Beige

I almost always take advantage of the down time I have during my weekends away and paint my nails. (CDBP does a lot of studying even when I'm here, so I have plenty of time to myself!) I keep my lip colors simple as well - one bold color, and one go-with-everything color. 


Brushes are my travel weakness. I can't stand reaching for a brush and realizing I left it at home. They honestly don't take up much room at the bottom of my makeup bag, so having a bunch doesn't bother me. I won't bore you with the long list of brushes, but if you have any questions feel free to ask me in the comments below!

Overall, the amount of makeup I pack has decreased a TON since I started traveling all the time. It's nice to know exactly what I'm going to need and what I'll actually use, but I definitely wouldn't have learned that without the amount of traveling I do. I know most makeup addicts have trouble paring it down for travel - what products can you not leave home with out, and what are you most likely to over-pack? Or are you the kind of person who barely wears any makeup when you're on vacation? Let me know down below!

XOXO Samantha

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Drugstore Haul

Excuse the lack of cute backgrounds in my pictures.

I'm currently out of town and staying at my boyfriend's apartment, which looks exactly as bachelor-y as you would imagine. The combination of the dreary weather outside and the poor lighting inside doesn't lend itself to fantastic photography, but I'm trying to manage.

I went into Walmart yesterday with a list and a boyfriend who thought this really was "just going to take a minute." He actually picked out a color or two for me and then spent a half hour trying to figure out what foundation shade he'd be. It was sort of hilarious watching Captain Doctor Boyfriend Person struggle between Ivory and Vanilla. I came out with the stuff on my list... and a few more things. I was hoping they'd have the new spring Revlon Lip Butters, which they didn't. That didn't stop me from picking up a few new ones anyways!

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in 110 Ivory, Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder in 010 Fair, Revlon Colorstay Base Coat, Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, Maybelline The Flash Clean Makeup Removing Lotion, Revlon Lip Butters in Sweet Tart and Tutti Frutti, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart/Valentine, Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry, Covergirl Eye Shadow in Tapestry Taupe. 

I decided to pick up the Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation and Pressed Powder after hearing tons of vloggers and bloggers rave about them. My skin has gotten significantly dryer over the past year, and my beloved Maybelline Dream Matte Powder seems to be too matte and powdery on my skin now. I'm hoping this powder works better on my now normal-to-dry skin! I'll definitely be doing a review on these after I've had a few weeks to play around with them!

I also picked up a few more summery lip shades. I got Revlon Lip Butters in Sweet Tart (a bright, warm, hot pink) and Tutti Frutti (a tangerine orange). I also finally picked up a Just Kissable Balm Stain in Sweetheart/Valentine, a beautiful cool hot pink. 

While I was on a lip product binge, I also got another Maybelline Baby Lips in the color Cherry, a sheer cool red. 

Baby Lips in Cherry, Sweetheart/Valentine, Sweet Tart, Tutti Frutti

I have been loving my Revlon Top Coat, and decided to try out the Revlon Colorstay Base Coat as well. I've heard good things, so I'm hoping this helps elongate the wear of my nailpolish! 

I finally caved and decided to try Covergirl Eye Shadow in Tapestry Taupe. When I was middle school, I owned a ton of CG shadows, but the formula was super powdery, chunky, and overall terrible. I have hesitated to try one despite the good things I've heard in the past couple of years (I'm guessing they've reformulated since then), but decided that $3 wasn't a huge investment if I didn't like it. If I like this one, I might go back and pick up Champagne and the Shimmering Sands Trio.

I've used the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover for years, and was almost out so I picked up another one. I got a sample (and a $1 off coupon!) of Maybelline The Flash Clean Makeup Removing Lotion in this month's Lucky and decided to pick up a bottle. I'll probably do a review of this as well!

Has anyone tried the Nearly Naked foundation or powder? Thoughts? I hope you guys are having a great start to your weekends. (I know I am!) I'll probably be posting a "What's in my Travel Makeup Bag?" post tomorrow or Monday, so keep an eye out for that!

XOXO Samantha

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Face of the Day - 3/14/2013

Work makeup!

Definitely not the most exciting thing, nor my favorite, but it is the bread and butter of my makeup applications. This is a fairly typical work look for me if I'm wearing eye shadow - and as I discussed in my February Favorites post, I have been skipping all eye makeup but mascara most days. I'll have all the products I used and my clothing down below! 

Products Used:
MUFE HD Foundation in 110 (applied with a MAC 190 brush)
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque
Bobbi Brown Concealer in Porcelain
Maybelline Dream Matte Powder in Light
MAC Eyebrow Pencil in Lingering & MAC Brow Gel in Beguiling
Stila Kitten
Naked 2 - Tease & Foxy
MAC Mulch
Bobbi Brown Gel Liner in Espresso Ink
MAC Blush in Well Dressed
NARS Lipgloss in Ophelia

I applied a layer of UDPP to my whole lid and brow. I patted Kitten on my lid and inner corner using a MAC 242 brush. I then took just a little bit of Tease on a 222 and applied it to my crease using windshield wiper motions and a light hand. I got a little bit of Mulch on a 217 and applied it to the outer corner of my lid and worked it up into my crease some. I had an important meeting at work today and didn't want a dark crease to be the center of attention here, so I just lightly defined it. I used a dense dome shaped brush from Sonia Kashuk to apply Foxy across my brow bone. I then used a 210 brush to apply a very thin line of the gel liner to my lash line, and then I winged it out very slightly. Nothing super dramatic or even something that someone would notice if they weren't staring fixedly at my eyes. I tend to draw my wings more "out" than "up" - I feel like it serves better to elongate my eyes. I finished things off with a coat of Covergirl's LashBlash mascara on both the top and bottom lashes. I used a 116 brush to apply Well Dressed to the apples of my cheeks, and finished things up with a quick swipe of Ophelia lipgloss. Dress from J. Crew, necklace from David Yurman. Though unseen, I had OPI Do You Lilac It? on my nails and a complementary silver ring with blue and purple jewels. I wore the dress with opaque black tights and a pair of (very, very) old black Tory Burch flats with a glittery black logo.

What is your typical work or school makeup? Do you wear more or less than me? Let me know down below! 
XOXO Samantha

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things... Shadow Highlights

I have a ton of makeup. Yes, I know there are people on the internet with collections 10 or 20 times larger than mine, but I have yet to meet someone in real life who has more makeup than me. Thanks to an undying obsession, I've amassed more products than I know what to do with. What better way to let you guys know what products I come back to time and time again than to share a few of my favorite things in different product categories? 

Just a few of my favorite things!

While it's easy to do blog posts of hauls or monthly favorites, some of my favorite posts to read are ones that share a blogger's favorite products of ALL TIME for a category. I think it's a great place to find products that maybe aren't "trendy" or talked about constantly. While I do have some favorites in this installment that you've probably heard of - *cough cough* Stila Kitten *cough cough* - I also have some products I use consistently that I've never heard a blogger talk about because it isn't new or exciting. 

Top: Champagne, Iced Latte, Kitten; Bottom: Mylar, Shroom, Phloof!

And that's what I want to do here, after all: share my all-time favorites and talk about products that don't get as much love on the internet. Another thing real quick -- I haven't quite figured out the swatching thing yet. I'm apologizing right now for any lack of quality in the photos. I don't know what it is, but I can't seem to get the lighting right. If you have any suggestions for how I can improve swatch photos, please share! Now let's get a move on! 

From left to right: Stila Kitten, L'Oreal Infallible Iced Latte, 
Bobbi Brown Champagne, MAC Phloof, Shroom, Mylar

From top to bottom: Mylar, Shroom, Phloof

MAC Mylar: Sometimes a shadow isn't all about what you see, but about what you don't see. It is just a hint lighter than my natural skin tone and lacks sparkle or shine (but does have a natural looking sheen), which makes it perfect to sweep across my brow and to use to blend out and clean up the edges of my eye makeup. This shade may be too light for those with even slightly darker or tanner skin, but I think owning a shade like this that matches your skintone should be an important part of everyone's makeup kit.
Uses: Brow Bone; Blending, softening, and cleaning up edges of makeup

MAC Shroom: My go-to highlight shade for the brow bone. It's just a nice shimmery color, but won't create "disco ball eyes." I've been through a couple of these - in fact, I believe it's the only MAC shadow I've been through multiples of!
Uses: Brow Bone

MAC Phloof!: A pretty light shimmery pink. I use Phloof! when I want my eyes to look really awake. I think it works beautifully with browns and is a nice change from the champagne/skin-toned highlighters. It didn't show up as pink in the close-up photo, but the first photo is truer to color and finish.
Uses: Brow Bone, Inner Corner

Top to Bottom: the edge of Champagne (forgive me!), Iced Latte, Kitten

Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Champagne: Where a lot of my other favorite highlights pull pinks and peaches, this is a light yellow-gold. I am a nitwit and somehow missed taking a full-on close up picture of this shadow, but you can see half of the swatch in the photo. (PS - This shadow is fantastic patted over Maybelline's Bold Gold or Gold Rush 24 Hr Tattoo Shadow - keeps it from sliding or fading and amplifies the gold for a simple summer look! Aaaand, it may be what is on my eyes right now!)
Uses: Brow Bone, Lid, Inner Corner

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Iced Latte: A light pinky-champagne color with a super high sheen and a near-metallic finish. As others have said, this is much more like a pressed pigment than a traditional eyeshadow. I only use this as an inner corner highlight - I think it would be overkill anywhere on my brow bone. I'll also use it on my lid if I want to draw a lot of light and shine to the center of my eye.
Uses: Inner Corner

Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten: There's a reason this is so many people's HG highlight color. I could gush all day about the (flawless) color, pigmentation, and formulation, but I'll spare you. I prefer to use it on the inner corners of my eyes for similar reasons as Iced Latte - it has a super high sheen and sparkle that draws light, but would definitely cause "disco ball eye" on me if I wasn't careful while applying to the brow. I'd imagine that those with darker skin than me (so basically everyone) could use this as a brow highlight if applied with a less-dense brush.
Uses: Inner Corner, Lid

As much as I have ingrained favorites, I am always up for trying some new products. What suggestions do you have for shadow highlights? What are your favorites, cause I'm dying to know! (No seriously... I am that nosy person going through bathrooms at parties because I HAVE to know what products people use. I love this stuff. It's a problem.) Please, leave me suggestions for products to try! I'll leave you guys with another one of my favorite things... this little guy!

EEK! How cute is he??? 
(Drawer pulls from Anthropologie

XOXO Samantha