February Favorites

This month was all about beauty for me, and I don’t now how that happened. I racked my brain (surely I wasn’t that unadventurous), but beauty products were the only discoveries from February that knocked off my socks and made me excited enough to share.

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Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream | Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara | Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick | Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo

Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream

Holy. Yum.

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My husband forever cemented in the archives of Twitter my initial reaction:

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And I meant it. And I still mean it. I would still love to devour a big heaping scoopful every time I use it. (I imagine that’s a bad idea. I do not advise consumption.) It’s pistachio, almond, and sweet vanilla, but very mild, and simply makes me happy. While I love the smell, I also love that I can wear whatever fragrance I want on top of it at the start of the day because it doesn’t linger too terribly long (fortunate and unfortunate.)

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It applies like one of the silkiest, smoothest body creams I’ve ever tried without leaving my skin feeling the least bit oily. (Isn’t that the grossest? I don’t want to feel like I could take a running leap at a dry Slip’n’Slide and glide straight to the end after moisturizing my full body. Ick. You won’t with this body buttercream.) The texture is a real dream and lasts all day.

The price point is a little outside of my comfort zone for lotion. Despite the a-dor-able packaging, Soap & Glory is one of those brands I think I had picked up and tested a product or two before, but never bought. I probably passed on the price tag in favor of a drugstore staple. During a routine Sephora lap early this month, I passed the display and remembered one of my favorite bloggers (Kate from over at The Small Things Blog) mentioning it favorably in some capacity toward the end of last year. I couldn’t remember. I tested it in store and it was love at first smell. We’ve lived happily ever after. 

p.s. I have a thing for lotion tubs. I really like them. Maybe because I use a ton and it’s just easier to get in there and scoop it out rather than pump the bottle sixteen times? The tub also gives me the option of throwing the thing in my bag easily for travel or use during the day if I want. Who knows. I’m a freak.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in black

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I thought this product was genius. It’s really just a good smudge and flake free mascara in a tiny tube with a tiny brush designed to distribute product to tiny lashes.

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You might order it or go check it out in store and scream “What is this, mascara for ANTS?!” which was pretty close to my initial reaction, too. (It’s not THAT small. If you aren’t a Zoolander fan you’re probably really confused and lost, and I won’t apologize because that’s your fault for missing out on only about a million laughs.) It’s a small tube, but it isn’t expensive and I imagine it lasting a while for the small amount I use every time.

This isn’t a game changer or a top of the list once it runs out kind of product for me -I’ve found it mostly just fun to have and use. It does a nice job separating tiny bottom lashes and adding definition with a couple coats. When I’m really doing my eyes I add a couple coats for separation and length, and then one more coat of something a little thicker like my Covergirl Lash Blast on top of it.

It’s also nice to have for tinier lashes toward the inner of my top lash line. Who am I fooling? Once I’m 100% used to using it everyday it probably will be at the top of my list when it runs out.

Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Plummy Rose

Let’s take a moment and squeal over this packaging together, okay? Look how stinking adorable and fun and I want all of the shades just for the fun packaging of all of them seriously go look at them.

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OK, now we can move on.

I’ve wanted one (or all) of the lipsticks from this collection for a darn long time, and finally picked this Plummy Rose shade. It’s a mauvey-rose color that I like for its simplicity. It gives color and defines my lips in a “yeah I’m a grown lipstick wearing lady” sort of way without being super trendy. Sometimes I don’t want to look trendy, I just want to feel pretty and polished. You feel me? Those are the days I use this lipstick.

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As you would guess from the name, it’s super creamy and soft -definitely not a drying lip color, and maybe a little sheer. It takes reapplying every few hours to keep up the moisture and color throughout the day (or maybe I just talk a lot or drink too much coffee), but if those sort of lip products annoy you, pass on this one. I haven’t found a “lip butter” lipstick that doesn’t require this, though, and I just really like it anyway.

It also smells really nice, which is just a sweet bonus since you know I’m applying it, like, directly beneath my nose.

Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo in Tea Rose Tickle

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I reached for this blush probably 23 of the 28 days of February. I’ve ended up really liking it even more than I thought I would in the store. (Even after dropping it directly onto the hard wood floor the day I brought it home. I also did that with a brand new carton of eggs today. That’s a different story, but I think it’s a pattern.)

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Despite the battle wound I inflicted upon the little guy, it’s been a great blush. The colors are rich and pigmented enough to show up on my more medium olive skin, and actually have a lot of dimension. It has just enough sheen without being glittery. Few things I hate more than a product with so much sparkle it takes me back to the roller glitter stick days of my childhood. I can’t for the life of me remember what it is, but there is another Sephora Collection brand blush that does this. Beware.

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And that’s the February gang. Have you given any of these a shot before? Any brands or products I should be on the lookout for this month? Comment below or with the little talking bubble near the title!

January Favorites

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When the sparkly ball drops, I can’t resist jumping on the resolution game (goals if you will  -isn’t the trend is to be too cool for the word resolutions these days?) There’s something refreshing about the first page of a new planner for this OCD list-maker that cries out for reflection, self improvement, and lots of lists.

A few of my favorite things this past month reflect a few items on my resolution list, while others are purely “fun.”

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I’ve been swooning hard for months over these adorable recipe boxes and cards, (It was matter of days before this one found a home in my kitchen with a little holiday fun money padding my wallet.) They were the perfect inspiration to start a collection of handwritten recipes for foods I find myself making most frequently. Cooking with an iPhone or iPad is just the worst to mebut I do it all the time because of all the tasty recipes online. My goal was to start a new recipe box for basically all reasons sentimental and practical you can imagine (to someday pass down, to easily “pencil in” tweaks to the terrific recipes I copy, to not touch my valuable screens with messy dough hands or have aforementioned screens resting near splattering grease, etc.)

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This Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner in Black will be at the top of my makeup bag for a long, long time. I’d seen hype across the blogosphere about it, and am kicking myself in the pants for every moment I spent wiping melted black pencil from my eyes. It glides on like a dream and stays put. What else can a girl ask for from her eyeliner pencil? I’ve been using it in my top waterline and balancing the dark black with a charcoal pencil along my bottom lashes for the everyday “I have on makeup and feel nice but I’m not going to the ball” kind of face I’m partial to these days. It’s a nice alternative to have on hand for days I feel a heavier liquid liner is too much. (Pencil sharpener, here.)

Problem: I’m concerned because it was discontinued for awhile -hence me not trying it until now- and when I went to order a backup pencil on Birchbox (I love it that much) the black is already out of stock. These puppies are hot commodities, I tell you. I’ll probably order 2 when they come back. You can order it as a duo set and get a sky blue pencil along with it, but I’m not hip enough to need a sky blue pencil, so I’ll wait.

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If you saw me the second half of January, I was probably wearing these earrings. The Milo Chandelier Earrings in Abalone Shell are the first pair of Kendra’s I’ve actually purchased for myself, and they make me really happy because they have that Kendra sparkle and quality, but I don’t have anything like the chandelier style. Any of the Kendra’s with the Abalone Shell miiight be my favorite.

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To be a little nicer to my hair and encourage softer tresses, I’m trying to break my heat-styling addiction and give dry shampoo a fighting chance (I’m not a fan of drugstore dry shampoos in the least. It could just be my finer hair texture, but the ones I’ve tried make my head one dirty hot mess.) I picked this one by Batiste in the checkout line at an Urban Outfitters on a whim with a word of encouragement from my sister-in-law, and it was my point of purchase winner of the month. There are a variety of scents, but I’m really happy I went with “Sassy and Daring.” (The packaging was leopard. That was literally how I chose this scent over the others.)

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There is something about my skin that loves The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil. You may have caught a review of my favorite mask here, so last month I bought just the straight up tree tea oil in the tiny bottle for a spot treatment. I’ve never found one that works as well for my skin as this little guy. It isn’t one of those miracle-overnight-wonders you hear about from lucky girls who wake up with daisies in their hair completely zit free, but it’s as close as I’ve ever gotten for my pretty blemish-prone skin. If you’ve tried the masks and they work for you, you might have a shot with this, too.

Now that we’ve had about a month to figure them out, how are your resolutions or “goals” going? Would any of these make your “list”?

November Favorites

As a little girl, I used to be really big on the whole concept of “show & tell” time.

a) I’m a talker.
b) I guess other people’s stories have always intrigued me, too.

Thus, my new Favorite Things series. This will be a once-monthly series of new things that wandered into my life in the past month that I loved.  I really enjoy watching and reading other blog’s “favorites” videos and posts (their show time), so I decided to give it a whirl (my tell time).  Sometimes I find the most fun little pretties, bits of makeup, or  delicious treats that I really want to share with you, but don’t want to dedicate an entire post to- so why not lump them all together? (I think my logic there is solid.)

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1. Middle Sister Wine

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(Perfectly fitting, right? It was destiny I be introduced to this wine –middle sisters unite.)  The brand does a really good job not only describing the wines, but adding fun personality to the “sister” behind each variety. Particularly, I’m in love with their Cabernet Sauvignon this month called the “Mischief Maker.” The back of the bottle reads:

Have you ever dated brothers?  Worn leather pants to a wedding?  Paired white wine with red meat?  Then you just might be a mischief maker.  You keep us up after bedtime on a school night.  You change your hair color like most people change their socks.  You make lives more complicated, but less boring.  You’ll be in the stories we tell our grandchildren.  You love trouble.  And we love you.

Too bad I’m totally not that fun sister, but the wine is good. Is it the best wine you’ve ever tasted? Probably not. For cheap $10 wine, it’s delicious without breaking me, and I can find it at Target.

2. Ann Taylor Flats

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You know those flats in your closet that absolutely murder your feet that you keep wearing anyway? They match everything and somehow you have nothing else like them? I have been on a mad hunt to replace some super cheap, cognac flats I wear weekly that totally kill me every time.  Then, these beauties magically fell from the heavens when I least expected it into an Ann Taylor Factory store on a completely impromptu shopping weekend with my sister. Adorable? Comfortable? On sale for $18 from $75? All the checks. My new go-to. Plus a little bow detail? Uh, please. (Sort of similar here, here, and here, but did I mention how hard I’ve been looking for something like these?)

3. bareMinerals Deluxe Limited Edition Jumbo Foundation

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 I wore Bare Minerals through high school and most of college, and then abandoned it (boredom maybe?) I found a perfectly swoon-worthy liquid foundation that I still absolutely love (here) and will likely go back to someday, but I’ve been wanting to find something a little less expensive for my current budget without being cheap (I’ve learned the hard way multiple times my skin does not approve of very cheap foundation for very long). I bought a little bareMinerals 30-day trial sized kit (here), and after a few days thought why did I give this up again? I was totally excited to see this limited edition jumbo foundation (more bang for your buck per ounce), and I adore the limited-edition packaging. A little fun packaging goes a very long way with me.

4. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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I found this list of books floating around social media called “22 Books You Should Read Now Based on Your Childhood Favorites.” I read Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech practically yearly until college; it was/is one of my very favorite childhood novels. Overly excited when I found it on this list, I instantly consulted Amazon and ordered its partner recommendation, One Hundred Years of Solitude (as you can see, the copy I received has seen better days.) Honestly, it took a bit for me to get into this book. I know it’s one of those “classic, beloved, and acclaimed Nobel prize winning works of art everyone must read in life” sort of works, so I pushed through. I’m glad I did. In the same way I felt as a little girl about Walk Two Moons, I have a feeling this book would be different every time I opened it (I’m quite the re-reader.)

5. My Christmas Tree

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Austin and I bought our first Christmas tree the week of Thanksgiving, and to not say it’s probably my favorite thing I bought all year would be a lie. I’m a huge fan of Christmas trees, but didn’t think we would have a great one this year (newlywed probs -I’m sure we aren’t alone here. ) But one killer Michael’s sale later, and I have a lovely tree to add to and grow with for a long time. While it isn’t “perfect” yet, it’s totally perfect and I stare at it constantly. I wish it was socially acceptable to keep up year-round. Christmas trees emit tangible happiness.