Friday, June 28, 2013

my festival/hot weather face & bonnaroo experience

Two weeks ago I flew off down South to Manchester, Tennessee to attend the Bonnaroo Music Festival. I had never heard of this festival until my cousin urged for me and my sister to go with her. I'm always down for an adventure that deals with sun, entertainment, and food so naturally I agreed.


So what did I bring for my makeup? Well I knew ahead of time a few things before we headed off: 1. We were camping in tents 2. Southern heat can be brutal and 3. Running water would be difficult to get to. I initially had plans to wear a bit of eye shadow, mascara, and a little eyeliner smudged in my lash line. After the first sweltering day I ditched eye makeup completely for the rest of the trip and stuck to only the face makeup and balm you see pictured above, mostly for the SPF protection and added coverage of the makeup.

For my base I applied the Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation SPF 42 with my fingers. I bought this right before my trip because I heard great things about its SPF coverage and lasting power during the heat. I plan to continue testing this out during the summer weather so I will do a full review soon, don't fret. For powder I buffed on Maybelline Dream Matte Powder with my Eco Tools Powder Brush as it is cheap and takes away shine sufficiently. I finished off with a swirl of the Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush with my very battered MAC 109 as it worked as a bronzer and blush all at once. I finished off with a quick curl of my lashes with the Shu Uemura Curlers and a swipe of Fresh Sugar Rose Balm for a nice rosy SPF filled tint.

As for the event itself, I took some pictures to share with you all!

OPI Cajun Shrimp + OPI Glitzerland & Sephora Only Gold For Me mani // Cousin & me on the shuttle to the festival.

Food truck area. I didn't try anything!

The popular Spicy Pizza // Clever Dad? graffiti

photo (2)-horz
F21 hat and sunnies that saved my life // Only a glimpse of the crowd

Citrusy brews // Mushroom fountain that also saved our lives

Morning yoga!

Strange paper mâché butt holding men

Bonnaroo arch at night


+ There are a LOT of people that go to this festival. I believe I read there were around 80,000 people per day on the grounds. Be prepared to wait in long lines and not have any space to yourself.
+ The people that attend are very open and nice. There is an unspoken rule of don't steal/be shady and if you have things to share, share it!
+ There is also an unspoken rule of no judging/be a free spirit. I saw a lot of topless girls, people acting bananas, etc
+ Southern heat is no joke. We all rigorously applied sunblock with a high SPF but we still got burned. Luckily my face was well protected with my Shiseido, floppy hat, and sunglasses!
+ The food was mediocre at best. I heard raves about the spicy pizza and the grilled cheese. I only tried the pizza since PIZZA IS MY SOUL and it was just ok. Nothing I would tell you to go rush out and try, if you could.
+ The mushroom fountain was such a relief from the heat. Glad it was there for people to enjoy all day!

All in all I had a good time but I won't be returning. It was too crowded, too hot, and I hate tent camping with no facilities. I saw some great artists, my favorites being Porter Robinson, Paul McCartney, and Pretty Lights. There were other performances I wanted to see like Of Monsters and Men, The Lumineers, and The XX but it was too crowded for me to even see the stage. I'm also disappointed that I fell asleep from sun exhaustion for Jack Johnson! I got to hear him do sound check at least and he sounded amazing.

I recommend this festival if you are a die hard fan of the music (I am not, at least not for this genre), like peaceful and giving people, and don't mind roughing it for the weekend. I got a bit cranky with the "down with mainstream" and "I've heard of this band way before you" attitude towards the end but it was nothing that ruined my entire trip. Just different minds all in the same place.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

the must try: revlon matte lipsticks

Almost two years ago, I started a series on this blog called The Must Try where I talk about star items I think stand out within a brand and would be something I recommend you at least try out. Last time I talked over MAC's paint pots. Today I am going to talk about Revlon's Matte Lipstick line.


Currently there are 9 permanent shades readily available: Stormy Pink, Sky Pink, Smoked Peach, Nude Attitude, Pink Pout, Mauve It Over, Really Red, Fabulous Fig, and Wine Not. I own 6 shades; 2 are discontinued and 4 are part of the permanent line. Here in the USA they are very affordable, ranging around 5-8 dollars depending on where you purchase it. I know this isn't the case in other countries where Revlon can potentially be pricey.


Not all shades are created equal when it comes to pigmentation strength, however, they do all have the same soft matte finish. Because of this, prepping the lips is a must. Any flakes or dryness will be accentuated so soft, flake free lips are needed if you want a smooth finish. This doesn't bother me as I always prep my lips before application of any lipsticks with Nuxe Reve de Miel. I don't find these lipsticks to be excessively drying or uncomfortable. Most of them wear easy on their own but some work best mixed with other products.


Left to right we have Nude Attitude, Pink Pout, Mauve It Over, Strawberry Suede, Really Red, and In the Red. My most used are Nude Attitude due to its layering possibilities and Really Red due to its beauty. Strawberry Suede and In the Red are the newest to my collection.


Nude Attitude is the lightest shade of this line and probably the most popular. It is a very warm nude and has no hints of pink. This shade will NOT suit everyone. I never wear it on its own since it makes my lips disappear into my complexion. I do like using it for blanking out my lip color to add a more colorful gloss on top. Out of all the shades I own this is the least pigmented and goes on the patchiest. It isn't the best option for a nude lipstick since you could essentially get the same effect with some concealer.


Pink Pout is my least reached for shade. I blame this on the fact that it is such a cool toned pink, something I don't find to be the most flattering on my warm skin tone. This is said in the blogging world to be very similar to MAC Snob. I used to really enjoy this color back when I first bought it since I liked how bright and different it was. Now I don't care for its loudness and rarely reach for it. It takes a few swipes to get full pigmentation due to the light color.


Mauve It Over is a very office appropriate color. It is very similar to my natural lip color, only slightly more muted and less rosy. I actually enjoy the strangeness of the color on me. It looks very natural and polished albeit a little boring. No pigmentation problems with this one. I can see this looking very nice on olive and mocha skinned girls.


Strawberry Suede is a shade I talked about already in its own post. It is the brightest and most eye catching color in this line. It also is frustratingly discontinued. Although I prefer more orange-reds compared to pink-reds, this shade is still very beautiful and I understand why it has such a following. If you happen to come across it I definitely recommend it since it is a very unique color that would flatter most complexions.


Really Red is not for the fainthearted. Out of the six colors I own, this has the richest color pay off. It is a true bold red. The lasting power is fantastic. I initially didn't like this color since I never had the courage to wear red lipstick. Since I have experimented and tried different bold hues, this has wiggled its way into my comfort zone.


In the Red is the newest matte lipstick to make its way into my collection. This is another discontinued color that I happened to find at Big Lots for $2. It is not as bright as Really Red but it still is bold. It leans more burgundy/brick colored which is my preferred color family when it comes to red lipsticks as I think it looks striking against dark hair.


Skip out on Nude Attitude and Pink Pout unless you really have a soft spot for the particular color. They aren't the greatest in pigmentation and the colors can be difficult to pull off. Mauve it Over is a more mature shade but can be refreshingly different on certain skintones. Strawberry Suede is discontinued but if you happen to find it, snatch it up since the shade is very unique and eye catching. Where this matte lipstick line really shines is with its reds. Really Red would be a fantastic choice since it is a true classic red with rich pigmentation. In the Red is discontinued but still very beautiful and worth looking for, especially if you prefer darker/brick reds.

Revlon is probably my favorite drugstore brand when it comes to lipsticks. They are affordable, easy to find, and the colors are expertly made. I like the matte line because the finish can really make the color stand out without the distraction of glossiness. I plan to pick up the shades Fabulous Fig and Wine Not eventually as they both seem like promising shades. The other permanent shades don't pique my interest since I don't wear pinks that often and Smoked Peach looks a bit too brown for my taste.


On a side note, I did a blog post on my collection of this matte lipstick line almost three years ago in THIS old post which has been one of my most popular reads to date. I am slightly horrified by my abysmal photography skills (or lack thereof?) in it but I can't bring myself to get rid of it since I like reflecting on how much progress I have made with time as a blogger. Its nice to have documentation of how much I have learned and grown after all these years. My have my tastes and photography skills changed!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

007 items used up

Time for a little update on the items I have used up. I have decided to do a little change with this series by doing a few items at a time instead of a massive amount all at once. That way I can talk more in depth for each product if need be. Plus reading back on my old posts it just seems overwhelming!


So far this has been my favorite scent that I have tried. The lavender was boring but efficient and the tea tree was too medicinal. This one smelled great. I love this soap and will continue to repurchase. I use it on dry patches of skin and for brush cleaning. It is very clarifying so I wouldn't recommend it for the scalp or for all over the body. I plan to pick one up next time I'm at the store. Either in a new scent that I haven't tried or this one again.

One of my favorite perfumes, although I haven't tried many. I feel uncomfortable giving reviews on perfumes since I think scent is VERY variable and everyone has their own preferences. This surprised me when I first picked it up; I was expecting an explosion of floral (which I am not a huge fan of) but it is distinctly more sweet smelling. I wasn't going to repurchase because I wanted to try something new but my sister already gifted me with another bottle as a surprise. I am not unhappy about this.

This was just ok. I can't tell if it was anything to write home about since the sample was so small and I needed more time to form an opinion on it. It didn't break me out but I did notice that my skin didn't feel as hydrated as it could be. After application I still felt tightness in my skin. I wouldn't pick up the full size.

Another one bites the dust. HG moisturizer. Unscented, light formula, absorbs quickly, hydrates without making me oily or feeling greasy. Also very easy to find in drugstores and pretty affordable for the amount you get. I thought about venturing out and trying something new after finishing this but decided why ruin a good thing? Maybe one day I will break the cycle.

I will never be satisfied with any of the hair care I try. This wasn't anything special. In fact I think it dried my hair out.

Perhaps one of my favorite drugstore mascaras ever. Not for everyone though. It has the annoying quality of being at its best once the tube has been broken in for a few weeks. After that, amazing volume in one coat. Towards the end of its life it starts to get a bit clumpy. You can't have it all. I don't consider this HG because of these pesky reasons but I do enjoy its effect when it is at its best so much that I will continue to buy it.

A nice little collection of things this time, less overwhelming to look at! I have a feeling next round will be more skincare and body care items. Makeup is not looking promising, I haven't been using much of it lately!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

review: boscia clarifying detox mask

A few months back Ulta had 50% off all their Boscia products in store. I am quite the fan of their Make Up Breakup Cleansing Oil and their Blotting Linens (I like the Green Tea ones) so I took advantage of the sale to stock up. While I was there, I perused the shelf for something new to try. After much contemplating I settled on the Clarifying Detox Mask.


The description claims that this mask absorbs impurities and excess oil with Kaolin Clay and Phellodendron Bark while also refining the pores with Lavender and Peppermint. It also contains Willowherb which is said to be an anti-irritant that soothes the skin. See below for the full ingredients list.


This mask squeezes out of the tube as a pale mint cream. The scent is nice, a mixture of clean soap with a little sprig of mint. I smear a nice thin layer over my face and upper neck so that no skin patches through and wait 15-20 minutes for it to harden. While waiting I notice the tingle of this mask is quite intense but not enough to be painful. I actually like the feeling, it makes me believe the mask is doing some sort of chemical magic trick to my skin. If you have very sensitive skin I would definitely patch test first. The tingle might be too overwhelming for your skin.


Rinsing this mask off can be a chore. It really sticks on my face so thorough rinsing is needed. I use just my hands but I would recommend some sort of cloth for an easier/faster removal. After rinsing off, my skin looks very happy. It looks softly flushed and the overall texture of my skin feels plumped out and soft. My skin doesn't feel tight or zapped of moisture whatsoever. The next day I'll notice some of my blemishes look more dried out and on its way towards healing.

I think this mask is great and would recommend it. It makes my skin feel less congested, starts up a nice surge of circulation on my face, and softens my skin while drying up any pesky blemishes I may have. I don't recommend this for sensitive skinned gals since I think the tingle during the waiting period will be bothersome to you. But other than that, I think every other skin type would enjoy this since it isn't drying and it purges the skin pretty well. It is a nice little treat to your skin if you are feeling like your face needs a little detoxing. I highly suggest using a cloth for removal since it sticks pretty well to the skin.

This Boscia mask retails for $25 USD and can be found at Sephora. I don't see it available online at Ulta but perhaps in store it is still available since that is where I bought it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

eating clean: my not so thrilling endeavor

I consider my overall diet pretty well balanced; I eat plenty of vegetables/fruits and like all types of meats & seafood. I don't eat out too often nor do I rely on processed foods. I don't drink soda and I don't care much for desserts or sweets. My biggest concern is that my meals are too large and I am not physically active. I also drink alcohol quite often. So as a challenge I decided to change up my eating habits by "eating clean". Cut out alcohol, carbs, fried foods, and red/fatty meats. I'm still eating cheese but limited amounts.

I know, so trendy and obnoxious of a decision, but I really wanted to push myself to do something I consider REALLY difficult since I am such a huge food enthusiast. I planned to do this for the month of June to see what sort of impact it has on my body. So how have I been doing so far?


For breakfast I'll scramble one egg with onion, tomato, and a handful of spinach. I also cut up half a zucchini into slices and rub some Good Seasons Italian Seasoning and EVOO onto them and grill them. Those seasoning packets are the BEST. I have been using them for salads and rubbed onto vegetables for years and haven't found anything that is nearly as tasty.

For lunch I'll usually do some sort of salad with chicken breast. The body of my salads usually comprise of romaine, spinach, tomato, cucumber, and feta. I have two dressings that I alternate between. One is lemon juice, crushed garlic, with salt and pepper. My personal favorite though is balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a sprinkle of the Good Seasons packet. I could drink balsamic vinegar by itself, so tasty! My favorite brand is pictured above.


I crave fruits pretty often so I like to have a different type on hand each week. I especially love tossing it with nonfat Greek yogurt (I like Fage), silvered almonds, and honey. My favorite is with pineapple but strawberry also tastes good. I find the Greek yogurt makes me feel pretty full even if it is only one dollop. I also like eating unripened mango slices with dried pepper flakes.


I don't mind raw carrots but I don't care for cooked carrots at all. I saw a recipe for roasted balsamic carrots and was intrigued. I tried it out and they tasted a bit like sweet potatoes. I'm not sure if it is something I would make again but it certainly wasn't unpleasant.

While visiting family I went to a gathering and picked out healthier options to eat like Papaya Salad and Chicken Larb (pronounced "lahp"). Both are lean and full of flavor due to the seasonings and herbs mixed in.


Well I am only human, I did slip up and eat a piece of pork and chicken with some purple stick rice. I can't be near purple sticky rice without indulging since I rarely get to have it! That shit is my crack, glutinous and satisfying. I felt bad at first but the surge of carbs actually helped with prolonging my endurance for my jogs.

Overall I have been eating pretty decent. The first week was BRUTAL. My stomach felt empty since I was eating MUCH less than my body has been used to and I wasn't filling it with the normal amount of meat I consume. I had lots of hungry unsatisfying days. The second week and beyond has been much easier. My stomach finally got used to the amount of nutrition I was providing it and now I don't get the hunger pangs. I drink plenty of water and hot tea to help fill up my stomach.

I also have been averaging about 5-6 miles of running per week. It isn't much but I do feel myself getting stronger and creating a higher endurance each time. I incorporate sets of lunges and burpees into my routine as well.

I have lost around 7 pounds so far from these changes. I'll update again at the end of June to reflect on the challenge and voice my thoughts and plans for maintaining. Now I'm off to dream of pizza and burgers...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

recent buys (that were mostly unnecessary)

It has been quite some time since I last did a beauty haul. I've been TRYING to be frugal and use up what I have first which I was doing rather well at (or so I thought). But recently I was put near some discount makeup stores (CCO, Saks Off Fifth) which erased all my self control. I went a little buck wild and picked up some irresistible items.


Let's start with something that I have had on my wishlist for a long time that I spotted on sale for $33.75 USD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Lipstick. I have a soft spot for dark vampy lipstick and this definitely belongs in that category. I can't wait to try it on. I also played around with other shades they had available and wasn't interested in any of the nude shades. If I am going to splurge on a Tom Ford lipstick I want a unique color to justify my purchase. I swiped on Ginger Fawn and immediately was attracted to the warm orange color. I haven't heard much about this shade which piqued my interest even more. Notice that the packaging is the old white version (currently it is a brownish almost black color). I kind of like the white packaging more to be honest. I hope the formula isn't different. According to a few blogs I read it isn't but if any of you know differently I'd love to hear your input.

Staying in the makeup corner, I also spotted a lone Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink ($17 USD) in the old packaging which is becoming scarce to find nowadays. I think it is pretty obvious by now that I have an unhealthy obsession with these dang little pots. I'm positive that if I spot any other colors I don't own in the old packaging (where there is .38 oz of product versus the new .13 oz packaging and they both retailed/retail for $25 USD) I will purchase immediately. If only I could collect them all.

The last thing I picked up from the discount stores is Kiehl's Clarity Activating Toner. I know what you must be thinking. Why oh why did you pick up another toner, Kelly, when you just talked about how you have so many backups waiting to be used? Call me crazy. It's ok, I'll agree with you. But it has fancy ingredients like Peony Extract and Citric Acid! And it promises to diminish persistent discolorations (scarring!) and give me a significantly brighter complexion! Yeah, yeah I know...still crazy. But I don't regret picking it up. It originally retails for $42 USD and this store had it on sale for $18. I may be a sucker, but at least I know a deal when I see one!

Lastly we have the oddly shaped little blue bottle of Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation that I didn't purchase at discount price but rather at a full price of $35 USD at Macy's. This weekend I am going to the Bonnaroo Festival (my first time!) which means I am going to be baking in the sun all weekend. I wanted something that doubled as coverage and major protection for my face. I have heard great things about this tiny little bottle such as it has outstanding lasting power, combats oiliness, and still gives great protection. I'll be sure to dedicate a whole review post to it once I test it out fully.

A check off the wishlist, adding to my collection of favorite cream blushes, a totally unnecessary skincare addition, and popping my Shiseido cherry; I'd say I did a good job. Shopping my stash has been fun and all, but there is nothing quite like the thrill of NEW things. AMIRITE? My how spoiled I feel.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

a chat over concealers

Concealer is a territory that I am definitely not an expert in. I haven't tried that many out because, well I just never used to use them until the past year. It seems a bit silly now when I think back at how I never took advantage of concealers. They cover up pesky spots, add a certain brightness, and can create the appearance of slimmer features. What was I waiting for?


For covering up spots I like a thicker, concentrated formula so I don't have to apply many layers. I most often use my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage palette in the shade SC-3. I mostly use the lighter left side, which is evident by the pan mark. It covers up spots decently when applied with a precise brush such as the Real Techniques Detailer Brush. When I first bought this the consistency surprised me. It is very firm and not very creamy which isn't necessarily a bad thing but it is worth noting.

Another item I cover spots with is DiorSkin Nude concealer in the shade 002. I originally bought this with the full intention to use it under the eyes but this shade wasn't light enough for my likes to use that way. Instead I use it on very red blemishes. It is much creamier in texture and you don't need much for coverage. My favorite application is gently with my fingers. I really like this and recommend it. I would even pick up the lightest shade to try under the eyes. All in good time!

For brightening up my under eye area, I like thinner and creamier textures so I can easily blend it in with my Real Techniques Contour Brush. My first concealer I ever used for this is the DiorSkin Sculpt Lifting Smoothing Concealer in shade 001. I am pretty much done with this, I have been trying to swirl up the last remains inside. It has a wand applicator much like a lipgloss wand. I think the thin formula is fantastic but the coverage could be better.

Revlon PhotoReady Concealer (forgot to picture this!) is a great drugstore option for under the eyes. I use the color 002 light and find it blends in wonderfully and looks great in photos. Another drugstore option that is great is the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer in Brightener. It is thinner than the Revlon option as well as more color correcting since it has a pink tinge to it.

Speaking of color correcting, I also have the Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in shade 1 which is the more orange option. I don't use this often. I was curious about it so I bought it on a whim, sight unseen. Reflecting back I wish I would have picked up shade 2 since pink seems to do a better job under my eyes rather than orange.

Even though I have quite a handful of concealers, I have my eye on some newer additions already. I'm looking at you NARS Creamy Concealer! What are your favorite under eye concealers? I'd love suggestions. I know Bobbi Brown has quite a following with her products but ever since she changed the formula I've been wary...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

foundation mixology

For my base, I don't like anything too matte, full coverage, or hard to blend. I want my skin to look like skin, funnily enough. Although I have acne scarring, my main concern most definitely is not to cover them up completely. It is difficult to cover them up entirely without looking like I'm wearing a thick veil of makeup due to my skin's less than smooth texture.


I don't know what I was thinking when I picked up Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation. I picked up it randomly and on a whim ready to try something different. I do admit that it is a good foundation but as I said in my review of it, it doesn't fit my needs and isn't the best for daily use. By itself it is too matte, has full coverage, and is best reserved for special events. Instead of having it sit around collecting dust or going through the hassle of returning it to the store, I decided to get creative. Why not mix a little moisturizer and, to get really fancy, some Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone?


One pump of foundation, a decent sized blob of Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Body moisturizer, and the smallest dab (really, this Becca stuff can be potent. Anymore and I look a little too dewy) of some cream highlighter makes up my recipe. If you are scratching your head at my choice of moisturizer, let me explain. This was a freebie at a hotel I was staying it. It most definitely is NOT mega rich; it is has nearly the same consistency as my beloved CeraVe moisturizer so I have been using it up this way and it works very well on the face.


Can you tell the difference? When used alone, the Lancome foundation is noticeably matte and makes my face look very made up. When used mixed up in my little concoction, my skin looks like skin. Another perk is that even though I mixed in the Becca and moisturizer, the long wear time of the Lancome foundation isn't deterred by this. Results like this make mixing up foundations addicting! I have tried this with the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer as well and it also makes it look great, although the wear time isn't nearly as good as the Lancome.


I also wanted to mention I am wearing the Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush in this photo. I promised in this post I would show you what it looks like on: natural, sculpting, and healthy looking. As for everything else:

face: Lancome foundation, Laura Mercier secret camouflage on spots, Maybelline brightener concealer under eyes, Maybelline pressed powder, Estee Lauder Sea Star for bronzer and blush

eyes: MAC Quite Natural PP, Giorgio Armani ETK #28, GA ETK waterproof liner, Prestige my blackest lashes

lips: Revlon Life's a Peach gloss

For the lazy or on the go ladies, foundation mixing is probably a hassle. But I've come to realize I don't mind and even downright enjoy making up my own custom mixture. What else can I combine together...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

the backup toners

So I was rummaging through my bathroom closet that houses various skincare, lotions, and soaps waiting patiently to be used and I realized something; I have quite the stock of toners. I blame this on my previous lack of use of toners. I always scoffed at toner thinking it was an unneeded step with no benefits attached. I am now realizing that isn't the case, toners are awesome! They are refreshing, prep the skin, and remove any questionable gunk your cleanser left behind. How could any of that not be beneficial?


I am rationalizing my hoarding of these toners to be that they all have different aims for the skin (think I can get away with that?) Neostrata Toning Solution Level 1 is meant for acne prone skin. I was pleased to see that glycolic acid was listed as one of the top three ingredients and therefore making it have a higher quantity of the acid in the formula. Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner also has the exfoliating acid in its formula but it is the last item on the ingredients list making me believe the content isn't very high. But the ingredients list is super short (only four! Deionized Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Grapefruit Extract, Glycolic Acid) so that makes me feel hip using a pretty much all natural item. Its claim is to add more radiance to the skin. Yes please! And lastly we have Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner which seems a bit more old school. There is a little story of its beginnings on the back of the label which I thought was nice for them to share. I heard great things about this from Julie and Kar Yi who both have reported they enjoyed it and have repurchased it. It is suppose to soothe and soften skin.

I think I'll crack open the Neostrata toner first. The bottle seems so dinky next to its brothers, don't you think? I bought the Neostrata toner at Shoppers in Canada. I can't seem to find it anywhere online though. The Mario Badescu toner can be found at Nordstrom for $18 USD. The Thayers Toner I bought at a vitamin store near me for about $10 USD but it is also available at and its on sale there (unluckily for me!) These aren't affiliate links btw, just trying to help you out if you were interested so feel free to click away.

Monday, June 3, 2013

coral craze

What is it about the color coral that makes it so appealing? Is it because it has the ability to lean fiery orange or punchy pink? That it can brighten the face and add a certain youthfulness? I'm not quite sure. I haven't pondered too long about it, I get too distracted by its beauty. What coral items can I dig out of my drawers?


I already went over MAC Vegas Volt, NARS Turks & Caicos, and Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouges in Cabo Coral and Calypso Coral in THIS post. Summery favorites. I finally have switched up my blush routine and set aside those pot rouges. More on what replaced them later!


NARS Gilda is a blush shade I don't reach for often. I don't know why! I think it is because it easily gets lost in the sea of NARS blushes I have tucked away. Regardless, it is a more muted coral shade. If you love coral blushes but don't want anything too bright, this would be a good pick.


On the other end of the spectrum, we have Rock & Republic All Nighter blush which is far more in your face and intense. It definitely can be worn sheerer which is my preferred method. It seems very orange in the pan but on my skin it ends up looking pinker than what would be expected. MAC Hipness blush comes somewhat inbetween; not quite intense yet not quite soft. It definitely is a pinker coral.

When it comes to gloss, coral is definitely my favorite shade to wear. It looks natural yet still injects a little subtle color. My favorite would have to be Estee Lauder Impulsive Coral because the shade is very effortless. Revlon Coral Reef is also a beauty but can require a little more work. I usually pair this with a nude lipstick to tone down the intensity.


And now the star of the show (see what I did there?) that inspired this post to begin with. I have been obsessed with this little gem that is the Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush. Part bronzer, part blush, very much convenient and very frustratingly limited edition from a few years ago. I can't stop wearing this, the color is wonderfully flattering with its subtle sheen and sculpting bronzy coral shade. It isn't too glowy that it makes my oily skin type look too shiny and the texture is finely milled and easy to buff into the skin. It has the perfect balance. If you ever spot this at a CCO or blog sale, I highly recommend you snatch it up. I will do a FOTD post soon wearing this so you can see it in action.



Ahh coral. How I love you so. So much I just can't seem to stop collecting every texture, brand, and shade I come across. Self control be damned.