Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Makeup Items I Really Enjoyed in 2016

It's time for all the "best/worst of 2016" lists, and here are the makeup items that I really enjoyed in 2016. In looking back over the year, a few things stand out. First of all, I'm saturated with product. That didn't stop me from purchasing new items, but I am slowing down. I want to set some goals for 2017 on using up products I already have and just be a more mindful/conscious consumer. But for now, let's see the products that stood out in a positive way for me in 2016! In no particular order, and links are to full reviews.....

1.  Gwen Stefani Blush Palette by Urban Decay
From the pretty packaging to the shades perfect for us fair skinned girls, this just works for me. On the downside it's limited edition, but on the plus side this was not one of those items that sold out in a nano second. I've hit major pan on Lo-Fi and will probably add it to a 2017 Project Pan.

2. Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balms by bareMinerals
I love glossy lip tints and the bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balms ($16) give me sheer color and moisturized lips, so I'm a fan. Plumberry Passion is the most pigmented and vibrant of the four deluxe samples I've collected, but the sheer watermelon Rose Passion is my favorite.
Plumberry Passion, Nude Passion, Rose Passion, Pink Passion
3. My Parisian Pastels by Lancome ($59)
Another limited edition item, these shimmer cubes can be used as shadow, blush or highlighter and were probably my favorite of the spring items I purchased in 2016. Yes, they were expensive and I know now that The Body Shop has a similar product called Shimmer Cubes ($22 for 4), but I'm still happy with these. Lancome's products are over priced IMO, which is why I always wait for a good GWP to help sweeten the pot.

4. Precious Petals Megaglo Highlighting Powder by Wet 'n Wild ($4)
Wet 'n Wild hit it out of the park this year when it came to drugstore highlighters. Sadly, the two I picked up were both limited edition and hard to come by for most, as there were usually just a few per display. I happened to luck upon Precious Petals before the display was picked over, and I'm quite happy that I did. This is flat out gorgeous!
The formula is great and the color is a somewhat unique (to my collection at least) pink champagne. Here's hoping Wet 'n Wild brings this one back so more people can experience it's goodness.

4. When Pencil Met Gel by Julep ($16)
Julep has a seriously good gel pencil formula. They match up to any I've tried, and I'm an eye pencil junkie, so I've tried a lot. While I like the formula in general, my favorite of the ones I've tried thus far is Gilded Gold Shimmer (middle below). It's stunning.

5. Le Crayon Khol in Black Coffee by Lancome ($26)
Bottom: Blackened Coffee
While by no means new, this is the year that I fell in love with Black Coffee by Lancome. I actually got one of these in 2012 but threw it out when it looked like mold was growing on the tip. I received another this year, and it has become a staple for me. I use it on my water line as well as my upper/lower lash lines, and it's blackened brown color is just lovely. Glad I was able to give it a second try.

6. Megaglo Holly Gold-head Highlighting Gold Bar by Wet 'n Wild ($4)
Holly Gold-head Highlighting Gold Bar was part of Wet 'n Wild's limited edition holiday collection, and again I was lucky enough to happen upon the display at my local Rite Aid before all 4 of them were gone. I guess it's a good thing that Rite Aid is on my way home and I stop there several times a week, at least when it comes to picking up limited edition drugstore highlighters :-)

8. Custom Magnetic Palettes by Tarte ($17)
Mmmm, I have 3 of these limited edition Tarte palettes now. They are the same size (although a different shape) as the large Z palette, but less expensive and sturdier in design. Plus, I love the Gold Digger design that Tarte briefly offered during the holidays. It reminds me of one of my favorite artists, Gustav Klimt.

9. Murumura Butter Bronzer in Light by Physician's Formula ($14.99)
This has been the year of the bronzer for me, in that I've finally found several that work well for me (Lo-Fi by Urban Decay and Light Golden Bronze by Julep are my other go to's). The Butter Bronzer comes in two shades and I have the lighter version. It's warm without going ruddy and I like how natural it looks on the skin.  

10. Bronzer Brush by Julep
Julep also has some good brushes, and their tulip shaped bronzer brush has become a favorite of mine. I like the weighted handle and how soft/fluffy yet precise the brush is. I've had no issues with the brush shedding and it has held up well after multiple washings.

I've got plenty of other items that have achieved holy grail status for me that I've had in past year's favorites, but these were the newer standouts for me. I'd love to hear about your favorites as well!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Countdown to Gorgeous Day 24: Thankful and Christmas Eve FOTD

Hard to believe that Christmas is finally here. In some ways it seems like it will never come when I'm in the midst of work projects/end of semester hoopla, and in others it is here and gone in a flash. The last day of the Countdown to Gorgeous advent calendar by bareMinerals wants me to "Be Good", so I'll give it a shot.
Day 24 brings a rosy brown loose powder eye shadow with a satin finish called Thankful. All of the shadows from this series haven been easy to work with (beyond the messiness of being loose powders), and it reminds me how much I used to love and use loose shadows from bareMinerals in the past. Yes, I managed to spill a fair amount of Thankful into the wicker of my makeup table, but it's nothing that a vacuum cleaner can't handle :-)
Here I'm wearing Thankful up to the crease, with matte shadows Fringe and Silk from the MetalMatte Kat Von D palette as transition shades. I also tried out the Mr. Bing eyeliner from the Kathleen Lights + ColourPop collection for the first time. Still forming impressions on it, but it does work nicely to softly deepen my lash line and meld with Thankful.
On my lips I went with a soft nude look featuring Nude Pop Lip Oil Balm and the Marvelous Moxie gloss in Daredevil.
The dogs and I enjoyed our Christmas eve at my mom's, and today is Christmas dinner. For the last few years we've gone with nontraditional Christmas meals, and this year will be barbeque ribs with all the fixin's. Yum.
The dogs definitely enjoyed Christmas eve, and Lulu has turned into the best present opener of the bunch. However, she tends to want to open everyone's presents.
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Countdown to Gorgeous Days 22 and 23: Lola, the Girl Next Door FOTD

Days 22 (Be Nice) and 23 (Be Family) of the Countdown to Marvelous advent calendar from bareMinerals bring the Marvelous Moxie lip gloss in Girl Next Door and the blush Lola. When I opened Lola I thought "is this a blush or an eyeshadow?"
Well, I imagine you could use it for either, depending on your skin color. Since I'm fair and thought it wouldn't look right on me as a blush, I used it as an eyeshadow. It's quite pretty!
Girl Next Door is a sheer peach with fine gold shimmer. It reminded me of an earlier gloss from the calendar called Crowd Pleaser, so I pulled it to compare.
Crowd Pleaser is definitely more pink, so they are not as similar as I thought.
For this FOTD, I'm wearing Lola up to the crease, with the matte shadows Peachy Keen from Le Metier de Beaute and Fringe from the MetalMatte Kat von D palette as transition shades.
Blush and highlighter are from Makeup Revolution's Golden Sugar 2 Rose Gold palette. The individual pans don't have names, but here is a picture of the vanilla gold highlighter and mauve bronze blush. This is a really nice palette, I need to get around to posting a full review soon.
This blush makes me look tanned, and while I am using the Clarin's Radiance Plus self-tanner on my face and neck, the blush definitely adds that 'day in the sun' vibe. Which considering today is partly sunny and 75 degrees, I could actually have.
I spend Christmas Eve at my mom's house, where the dogs will be wearing their jingle bell collars and opening presents. As soon as I get those collars out they know it's a special day, and I hope yours will be as well :-)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Countdown to Gorgeous Day 21: Be Naughty with Daredevil

Disclaimer: I purchased this.
Day 21 of the Countdown to Gorgeous advent calendar by bareMinerals is telling me to be naughty with Daredevil, a Marvelous Moxie sheer plum shimmer lip gloss.
I've enjoyed trying all of the Marvelous Moxie glosses, as these remind me of my favorite Buxom glosses. They have a similar cooling sensation on the lips and I find the formula to be comfortable and hydrating. These are more sticky than the Buxom glosses, but they also last a good 3-4 hours sans eating, which is pretty impressive.
I'm more of a gloss than lipstick girl so the sheerness of the colors is something I can live with. Plus, I can always use them as a lipstick topper for an added bit of shine and shimmer.
If the forecast is right, we are in for a warm Christmas eve day at 75 degrees. Not complaining, but a bit more balmy than I would like for this time of year. OTOH, it does make taking the dogs for a walk quite pleasant:-)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Countdown to Gorgeous Day 20: Be Sweet and FOTD

Day 20 of the Countdown to Gorgeous advent calendar by bareMinerals brings Vanilla Sugar, a peachy beige shimmer eye shadow. Another well thought out selection considering the "Be Sweet" moniker.
Vanilla Sugar applied nicely and gives a low level shimmer that brightens the eye without looking frosty. Quite work/everyday appropriate.
I paired Vanilla Sugar with the bright green liner Graffiti by Urban Decay. In my crease I used the burnt orange Cleopatra from the Kat von D Ladybird palette.
On my lips I paired a very light coating of the metallic pumpkin lipstick Masquerade and the Marvelous Moxie gloss in Crowd Pleaser. On my nails is Sagrenna the Teenage Witch by Wet 'n Wild, which is a lovely Christmas green. I needed 3 coats to get opaque color, but it is going strong after 4 days of wear.
I'm looking forward to a low key day of wrapping presents and finishing part 1 of season 4 of the Vikings. So, I'll leave you with the haunting lyrics from the opening song of the Vikings, which I've been singing for the past few days. It's a nice counterbalance to all the Christmas carols :-)
If I Had a Heart by Karin Dreijer Andersson
This will never end
Cause I want more
More, give me more
Give me more
This will never end
Cause I want more
More, give me more
Give me more
If I had a heart I could love you
If I had a voice I would sing
After the night when I wake up
I'll see what tomorrow brings
If I had a voice, I would sing
Dangling feet from window frame
Will I ever ever reach the floor?
More, give me more, give me more
Crushed and filled with all I found
Underneath and inside
Just to come around
More, give me more, give me more
If I had a voice, I would sing