Monday, November 18, 2013

little beauties.

I've never written a post like this before and for the life of me I can't figure out why. I'm going to share with you some of my little beauty favorites. Because that's what girls do sometimes. One girl says to the other, "I love that lip gloss/haircut/top/nail polish! Where did you get it?" And then the other girl says, "Thanks! Let me tell you..." and boom! This is how beauty secrets are shared the world over. This is how I discover my favorite products and I think it's high time I share some love here. 

[Fun fact: If you ask a Milwaukee girl where she got her lip gloss/haircut/top/nail polish, she will proudly tell you how much she bought if for, too. We can't help it, but us Milwaukee girls love a bargain. And the only thing better than a bargain is making sure someone knows that you are fabulous AND you don't spend a lot on being fabulous. This has been proven in independent studies conducted by me.] 




So first up are the lips. I try and hide this from people, (namely my husband who really cannot understand the complexity of this issue) but I have a serious lip product addiction. The sampling pictured above are (literally) only a few of the lip products I have floating around in the black hole that is my purse. It feels a little freeing to admit this in a public place. But this is good news for you, because it means I try everything I can report back about the real winners. And take my word on these: 

Vaseline Rosy Lips: I am Chapstick devotee. I have sticks of the blue kind hiding in every nook and cranny I frequent because I hate to be without it. But recently I have discovered that Vaseline does the same thing for my lips when I don't want color, just moisture, but it gives the nicest little shine. I have a little tub in my purse (I'm not joking when I say I have errythang in there. If you need something to put on your little lips, you will be glad you asked me. It's like a Sephora shelf in there.) So I was pumped when I found this Rosy Lips at Target the other day. It is so perfect if you don't like gloss, but you want a little shine and moisture and just the most subtle hint of pink. I imagine this is a super complementary color on every skin tone because it's just so barely-there. Seriously, go get this. 

Benefit Coralista: I really love Benefit products. This gloss in an indulgent buy, but it's so worth it. Okay, girls, when I say "sticky lip gloss" everyone knows what I mean? That tacky, thick gloss that gets stuck in anything that touches it and you can't wear in even the slightest breeze because your hair will be glued to it? Can I get a witness? This is the opposite of that. It's so slick and the color is a sheer coral that layers perfectly over other colors or nothing. I really can't recommend this gloss enough because of the texture. And it comes in a bunch of colors

Bare Minerals Moxie in 'Show Off': On the other end of the spectrum, this gloss is definitely more on the traditional sticky side, but what it lacks in texture it makes up for in color. It's a baby pink that gives me a perfect nude lip to pair with smokier eyes. And the stickyness isn't all bad; as long as I'm not eating or, like I said, standing in a breeze where I'm constantly pulling my hair out of my lip gloss (Seriously, does anyone else have this issue? It might have something to do with the fact that my hair is usually a hot mess, but I mean, really...) it lasts a really long time. 

Clinique Almost Lipstick in 'Shy Honey' and 'Black Honey': Okay, I didn't take the caps off these in the picture because if I did, you would have seen the Black Honey and said, "Whaaat? Is this girl trying to bring back the dark hoochie lip circa late 90's?" And I don't want you to say that because this dark raisin lip color is actually so subtle with only one coat, it gives just the right touch, and I didn't want you to be scared away. Rumor has it (on Pinterest) that this shade really is perfect for every skin tone from pale to deep browns. Plus it has like a million reviews. The Shy Honey color is a baby pink. The whole line of Almost Lipsticks are super buttery smooth like lip balm but have good pigmentation like a lipstick. 


Moving on to the nails. Now I'm not one of those fabulous girls that gets her nails did, but every once in a while I like to pretend like I've got it together and paint my nails. These are my current cold weather faves. 

1. These are just polish remover pads. I don't really think it matters what brand you get or anything, but I just like to throw it out there that they are super helpful to have when you travel. Because if you're anything like me, if you go on vacation you're like, "I'm gonna paint my nails so people think I'm fashionable and put together!" Then two days into vacay they're chipping and you're like, "Aw man! Now I look like a 7th grader with these chipped up nails!" So these are just nice to have when that mani starts looking rough. I didn't take a picture of it but in between colors I like to use OPI Nail Envy. This stuff is super pricey but it is legit strengthener and I can see and feel a difference in my nails after even using it once. I've been using it for years and my nails are really healthy looking and feeling. 

2. Nicole in 'Kourt is Red-y for a Pedi': Yes it's a Kardashian color (kolor?) but it's a really saturated, gorgeous red. Red is my go to nail color and this is my current fave. Any one got any reds that I should try out though? There is room in my heart for more reds. 

3. Nicole in 'Paparazzi Don't Preach': I'm ashamed to admit I have not one, but two Kardashian nail polishes. They were on sale, okay? Don't throw stones. This is a great pinky nude that is perfect for when I want something subtle, but I don't want to go bare. I also love nudes for my toes and, unless its summer and I'm opting for a bright Barbie pink, this is almost always when I use for my pedi. Just please don't let the Kardashian's know that I helped grow their empire in any way... 

4. and 5. E.L.F in 'Purple Pleaser' and 'Gold Star': I got these in a set of four for $5! (See what I mean about us Milwaukee girls and our bargains?) These are great colors for the holidays and, I'm not sure if it's tired yet, but I still love the 'accent nail' trend and the gold is great for that. I think you can only buy E.L.F. nail polishes in sets and right now at Target they have tons of them for very cheap. 

6. Clinique in 'Black Honey': I got this in a set with the Almost Lipstick and Black Honey lip gloss. This is the prefect deep, dark purple for winter. I adore edgy, dark nails and I think this purple is the right balance of edgy and sophisticated. 

My nail dilemma now is finding the perfect top coat. As you can see, I have a mix of cheap and nicer polishes, and I think both can last a long time with the right top coat. But alas, my search continues. If you have any tips or recommendations, pretty please tell me because these are the things that keep me up nights. (Not really. But I wish I lived the kind of life where top coats kept me awake at night. Maybe that problem happens to the Kardashian clan (klan?). 



Okay, this picture could really be a post of it's own. If you know me in real life, you might know of my deep and consuming love for all things Lush. This is just a sampling of my favorites from my bathroom, but I really could go on and on about this brand and how much I love their stuff. I would love this stuff just for the smells and for how well it works, but the cherry on top is their use of fresh, organic, and vegan ingredients where they can, no preservatives and fillers, and they reduce landfill waste by using no packaging or recycled packaging. But even if you hate Mother Earth and love synthetics in your products, (to each their own) you will love this stuff because it all smells amazing. Okay, so on to the goods. 

Body: Pictured here are two of their body washes. 'Twilight' is only available online now, but has the most intoxicating lavender scent. 'It's Raining Men' is a honey body wash that smells like honey and toffee and the scent lingers for hours. My only complaint about either of these is that there are no body lotions in these scents as well. Seriously, so so good. I have a couple other body washes, but these are my favorites. R even uses a Lush body wash for men that smells minty and clean and oh so handsome. The thing about all their washes is that they are really concentrated and they aren't made with a lot of water, so they're small bottles, but they last a long time. 

Hair: Okay, this really is where I get fanatical about recommending products. I love Lush hair products more than I love lip gloss, and that's serious love. Pictured here are 'Big' and 'Rehab', two shampoos and 'American Cream', a conditioner. Once upon a time I used all different kinds of shampoo and nothing seemed to do good things to my head. Pantene, Garnier, Aveda, Bumble and Bumble; nothing gave me good lather and clean rinse and felt clean after my hair was dry. The worst was Pantene, which gave me a waxy feeling and felt heavy. Then I started using Lush and my world was a better place. I don't know if it's because they have good, real ingredients or if it's just that my hair likes it more, but it is seriously good stuff. I started out using their solid shampoos (of which I can recommend a few if you are curious) but recently discovered 'Rehab' so I've been using that lately. But nothing compares to the lather you get from those solid shampoos. Then 'Big', which is a little pricey but lasts me a good long time, is my in-between shampoo. This shampoo feels like a salt scrub and lathers like crazy. My hair feels so squeaky clean and shiny afterwards. It's a perfect 'every other wash' shampoo if you use a lot of product or just a clarifying wash. I have heard that if you color your hair, the salt and lemon might not be ideal for frequent use. I just got my hair trimmed the other day and the stylist couldn't stop commenting on how healthy my hair was. I think I owe it all to Lush.

Pamper: Lush is famous for it's bath products; bath bombs, bubble bars, soaps, and lots of other fun things like massage bars and foot scrubs. Pictured here is a bath bomb called 'Avobath'. Made with lemongrass and avacados, you just plop it in the tub and it fizzes and dissolves into sweet, soft, scented water to soak in. I've used a bunch of different "flavors" and they are so luxurious. If there's a Lush store near you, it's fun to just go pick out ones that smell good, but the online store has good descriptions as well. The bubble bars are basically the same, only they make bubbles, too. (Aren't you glad I'm here to help decode these things for you?) I know not everyone is a bath person, (I think a comedian once called baths "dirty person soup") but if you are, these are so perfect. The other thing pictured is 'Mint Julips' lip scrub. It's made with sugar and you just rub it all over your lips to slough off dead skin. I mean, a lip gloss fanatic like me has got to have a good lip exfoliator. 

Okay, if you're still reading after all my long winded beauty picks, I've saved a special treat for you as a reward for sticking it through to the end. 


Pictured above is my favorite thing in my whole makeup drawer: E.L.F. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer. Let's start with the basics; if you've never used primer, then go get some. Primer is exactly what is sounds like- it's a base layer to prime your makeup. Foundation primers help smooth out your complexion and keep your foundation put all day. Eye and lip primers do the same thing and can also help keep shadows from creasing and lipsticks from feathering and fading. They are wonderful tools and virtually every makeup line from the cheapest to the most luxe have their version. I used to only use primers when I was doing dramatic makeup for a night out, but I've seen the error of my ways and use an eye primer for every day makeup because it means my eye makeup looks fresh for 12+ hours. (If I'm being honest, I usually have to touch up my eyeliner a bit if I'm going from day to night, but shadows stay put and look good for the long haul.) 

Now, just like Lush, I can probably write a whole post about on E.L.F. makeup because I love love love it and it's ridiculously cheap, but for now I will just introduce you to this little holy grail of eye primers. For only THREE measly little dollars, it does what much more expensive primers do and keeps your shadow fresh and unmoving all day. How do I know? Because I bought this a few years ago and was impressed with it's staying power, but I figured if this little cheapie did so well, then the name brands must be better right? With only one exception it is just as good if not better than several name brands I've sampled. The E.L.F. is definitely my top pick for a cheap, every day primer that you can stock up on. The exception? When I am doing formal makeup for a night out or for low lighting and need more dramatic eyes, I prefer Bare Minerals Prime Time. It's a little more tacky (in a good way) and just holds the deeper shades and the black liner a little better. But for every day? Definitely the E.L.F. hands down. Love this stuff and you really can't beat $3. 

So that's it! My current beauty faves and obsessions. 

What about you? What are the products you can't live without and can't stop recommending? I'd love to try out something new! 


1 comment:

  1. Hey Binky :) I hope your move went well...praying for you as you put down new roots and form a new community. Your comment about searching for the perfect top coat caught my attention - I've had really good luck with Sally Hansen's Diamond Strength top coat. When I've put it over OPI color, it will last a good 7, maybe 10, days without chipping. Also gives it a great shine. Just a suggestion :)

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