All Made Up | The Interview

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Uggh, the dreaded job interview.  Ever the anxiety-inducing experience, I tried to pare my makeup routine down to the bare essentials to lessen at least some of the stress.  I was left with an easy-going, but still professional looking face that (hopefully) made me appear approachable, yet still put together.  Obviously this might not be the makeup for you if you're applying for an artistry job at MAC or someplace similar, but it'll do in a pinch if you're looking to appear professional, and non drama mama-esque.

For a base, I went with my Maybelline Fit Me foundation because it matches my skin-tone well, and I didn't want or need any carrot-faced moments cropping up when meeting with a potential employer for the first time.  I stuck a bit of my Clarins Instant Light Perfecting Touch primer (phewf!) underneath, just to minimize any slippage.  A slap of some Bobbi Brown Peach corrector under the eyes, a stripe of my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Deep down each cheek (blended in, of course!), and that was my face done.

For time's sake, I kept the eyes pretty minimal.  I used shades exclusively from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, and decided to pass on the harsh lines of liquid liner to keep my appearance soft.  I swiped the shade Bootycall across my lid, blended a bit of Tease through my crease, and used my MAC 266 brush to add a subtle hint of Blackout as liner.  A coat of my Clinique High Impact mascara in Black, a bit of MAC's Mystery eyeshadow combed through the brows, and I was nearly there.

The last, and most simple step was the lips.  In keeping with the ever-helpful K.I.S.S. principle, I kept it simple, stupid, and went with my fool-proof and trusty old Korres Lip Butter Glaze in Laurel.  It makes it look like you've done something with your lips, while still keeping them quite au-naturale.  I couldn't forget the nails, so I went with the newest polish in my collection, Revlon's Bare Bones.  And holy hell, what a stunner; I can't stop staring at my fingertips!!

So that's what I wear when I want to look totally calm and full of casualosity (thanks, Gee).  Nothing too brash or in-your-face, because I'm sure I'd find a way to mess that up and wind up scrubbing my eyeliner off with ten minutes to go.  I'd love to hear any of your interview makeup tips if you've got em. that I've got the makeup down, I just need to get the job!

[ P.S. The title of this post is an attempt to bring some form of organization to my blog.  I've done Face of the Day posts in the past, but from now on they will be packaged with the "All Made Up" label, because I like it better :) ]

Also!  A big thank you to all who entered my giveaway which concluded last night at midnight.  I'd like to congratulate Lorraine on her win, and welcome all of my new readers with open-arms!!  Love you all :)

Embracing the January Blues

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Once again, I am late to the party.  February will be here in a matter of hours, and I'm still talking about the dead of winter, but bear with me here.  Seeing as how last week's nail post was so utterly subdued, this week I decided to jump feet first into the world of color.  And what with January being the sad little month that it is, what better color to paint them than blue?

I picked this jazzy little bottle up the other day on a galavant through Brooklyn Heights with my mom and sister.  After moseying about a thrift store for a while, I found a teensy little nail polish section consisting of just two polishes, so I essentially stole OPI's "Blue My Mind" (cheeky) for the extremely fair price of $2 USD.  I'm not sure you can get this in drugstores anymore, but I found an online link here for around nine bucks. 

The brush was about as thick as the bottle (I kid, but it was huge), and I found it rather hard to apply the polish to my beds without also painting the surrounding skin.  Application process aside, the wet paint turned to dry in a matter of minutes, and I only needed two even coats before I could get back to waving my hands about as usual.  To make the deal even sweeter, this polish passed my paper transfer test, so you needn't worry that the pages of your favorite magazine will be sporting stripes of blue, due to some accidental swatting. 

The color is not exactly my cup of tea, but I decided that stepping out of my comfort zone meant I had to go big, so big I went.  Next week, I'll probably be sporting a more subdued greige or nudey polish, but for now, I'm actually starting to enjoy the bright pop at the end of my digits.  Phewf, but after all this excitement, I'm feeling more neutral than usual.  I'm seeing Revlon's Bare Bones in my near future...

Urban Decay's Naked Skin Beauty Balm

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

While I've not wanted to admit it to myself for some time, I've realized just now that I am well and truly addicted to buying makeup (shocker).  It seems I can't go a week without dipping into my paycheck to bring home a new lipstick or eyeshadow or blush to pad my plump and ever-growing collection.  This past week's addition was a new offering from Urban Decay's Naked range, and was also my virgin venture into the world of Beauty Balms (or BB creams).  From the jump, UD makes some pretty hefty promises straight off the packaging itself, although whether or not they deliver is up to interpretation.

UD's newest skin offering made its way into my basket last week when I was having a bit of a browse around Sephora.  I had been stalking new bases for weeks, but couldn't decide if I wanted the fuller coverage of a foundation, or to jump feet first into the world of tinted moisturizers.  Always being a bit more of a foundation girl myself (NARS Sheerglow was my first ever high end makeup purchase), I wasn't quite sure where to start when on the hunt for a tinted moisturizer, but after literally swatching all over what seemed like my entire face, I decided I wanted to try more of a sheer coverage.  As I was milling about the Urban Decay counter, a saleswoman read the sign I apparently have hanging from my neck that says "Tell me something's new, and I'll probably buy it", because she immediately rushed towards me, exclaiming about the new UD "Flushed" blush and bronzer palette.  After oogling the palette for a bit too long, and realizing that a song and dance probably wouldn't fly as a form of payment, I shot over to checkout, Beauty Balm in hand, before I could find something else to buy that I didn't need.

In terms of the the Beauty Balm's performance, UD makes several strong promises; minimized pores, fewer wrinkles, and instantly reduced redness.  Sounds like a beauty maven's jackpot, no?  All sort of fit under UD's borderline gimmicky category of "Optical Blurring".  The "DNA Repair" bit comes in the form of firmer skin after 8 weeks of use.  Obviously I cannot comment on that bit, as I've only been testing it for about a week or so now, but after applying with fingers, a smattering of different brushes, and with and without a primer, I've determined that it's best buffed in (I used the love of my life, my Real Techniques expert face brush) on top of my Clarin's Instant Smooth primer for optimal pore reduction.  After application, my skin was definitely more even looking, and had a bit of the slight air-brushed look to it.

In the end, however, I couldn't reconcile the good with the bad.  I found my naturally flushed cheeks making an appearance after only a few hours of wear (causing me to conceal and powder like a madwoman), and by the end of the day, it looked as if I was wearing absolutely no makeup at all. And while I realize that was probably the point of having "Naked Skin", it just left my face looking a bit too naked for my taste, and I'll be taking it back to swap in for something with a bit more heft. Another bone I have to pick is with the color selection.  There is but one to choose from, and I honestly feel that my paler-skinned and darker-skinned friends alike were forgotten with this launch. And finally, I think that for the heavy price of $34, you should at least get more than that in mL of product!  I have just read that you can also use UD's Naked Skin as a base for your foundation, but I just love my Clarin's primer too much to want to switch it out for something else.  Now if you'll excuse my little (lol) rant, I'm going to go rub my wallet and wish for a new foundation!

A Day Off | The Met, Condensed

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Before you start fretting that you've accidentally started following a lifestyle blog, yes this is still a beauty blog!  Today I thought I'd get a bit more personal and show you what makes me tick, through a day's worth of photographs.  Art has been an integral part of my life since I was young, and it's safe to say that my sister and I were raised to appreciate the finer things in life.  So I spent my last day off this week getting lost with my sister and a few friends inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Being the snap-happy new shutterbug that I am, I took about a bajillion pictures, but I've sifted through and culled my favorites into this post.  (One is NSFW).

If you've never had the privilege to visit the Met (as it is so affectionately called), I hope you enjoy this tiny little scratch at the surface of the abundant art-lover's paradise that's housed within.  I discover a new collection each time I visit, which is at least once a year.  If you've ever been to the Met, I'd love to know what some of your favorite exhibits are (because I know I haven't even seen the half of them!).

It's nice to have a bit of a beauty break, but tomorrow I'll be back with my regularly scheduled programming!

Beauty in a Pinch

It may not be a popular topic of conversation, but it's happened to us all.  It's Friday night, you're in the shower getting ready to go out, hair freshly washed, skin properly sudsy, and all that's left is a much needed close encounter between your legs and a razor.  Too bad you just realized that you're completely out of shaving cream thanks to a forgetful brain (or a forgetful roommate), and you're definitely not about to shave dry.  Personal experience teaches you early on that the resultant itching and scratching just ain't worth it, so you have to grab for something else.

For years, I had been substituting with shampoo or body wash when the cream went MIA, but I often wound up with dry, irritated skin that always needed more lotion than the situation warranted.  Last week, I ran out of shaving cream yet again, because I've never quite learned the art of stocking up, and I was probably complaining about it, because that's when my sister chimed in with a game-changer.  "Why don't you just use conditioner?"  It had been a while since I'd heard such genius.  Cue the lights and confetti (honestly, I'm still finding bits of the stuff in my hair).

I may very well be the last one to this party, but in a pinch, conditioner does a pretty decent job of keeping your stems moisturized, and the lizard-legs at bay (not to mention it smells eons better than any shaving cream ever will).  So decent, in fact, that I think I'll "forget" to  pick up some more shaving cream for a little while longer, and invest in a litre of my favorite conditioner instead!

Fifty Huge Thank Yous + A MAC Giveaway! [NOW CLOSED]

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pardon me while I break out the cheese for a minute, but I just have to say that I am so pleasantly surprised to have garnered 50+ readers over the course of the last few months.  I can remember sitting down to write up my very first blog post, and running off, beaming, to show it to my mom in its draft stage, never once thinking that people would eventually start reading my blog posts without me forcing it on them!

To say I'm happy with you all would be an understatement.  I absolutely love the back and forth beauty convos that occur in the comments, as they're what I created this blog for in the first place. You are all so positive and supportive, and this blog would be a completely different place it weren't for its beautiful readership.  I never thought I would get to 5, let alone 50 readers (plus my lovely bloglovin' friends!), so thank you a million times over for continuing to support my little bloggy.  It means more than I can properly say!

OK, now the cheese is back on the shelf, and the sap has been (temporarily) put away, let's get down to the fun stuff!  I thought, what better way to appreciate you girls than to give away two of the most popular items from one of the world's most well-known beauty brands?  I can't wait to send the winning prize package out, so get yourself entered for a chance at a MAC lipstick and eyeshadow of your choice from the permanent line!

Please leave me a comment below telling me which colors you'd be most interested in, and make sure you're following via GFC by hitting that little blue button over on the sidebar that says "Join this site".   I'll also need your email address so that I can contact you if you win.  Fulfill any of the other extras to up your chances.  Ooooh, I can't even type, I'm so excited!

Just make sure you're following via GFC, then simply fill out the Rafflecopter gadgety gizmo below with a comment and an email address, and you'll be set!  This giveaway is open internationally and the winner will be chosen on January 31st, so get entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Video: Beauty Products I've Repurchased

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Being a product junkie is all well and good, and while monthly favorites videos continue to be my bread and butter, I have decided to venture out slightly and talk about those beauty products that I could not live without over the years.  In my latest video/chat type of deal, I bring you the products I've repurchased!

It's been almost a month since my last upload, and although editing has now become the bane of my existence, I am back, and in HD no less!  I am loving this beauty blogger business, and although youtube scares the crap out of me, I couldn't be more excited.

Select to watch on Youtube for a list of all the products mentioned etc...  I'm currently planning my monthly favorites, and it should be pretty good this month!  Thanks for reading, and happy watching!

The Tropical Trend | Origins Never a Dull Moment

Never a Dull Moment (left), as compared to Ren's Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal mask.

If you've kept tabs on the popular skincare leanings over the past few months, you'll have noticed Ren's name pop up quite a bit.  Featuring in nearly every beauty bloggers' year-end favorites video, the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal mask made quite a splash on many a face last year.  With such tropical ingredients as pineapple, lemon and papaya fruit extracts featured in its formula, and promises of a brighter, tighter complexion, it's no wonder the famously-natural skincare brand made beauty headlines.  But despite all the buzz, there was just one hitch in the REN bandwagon: a 50mL bottle of the stuff set you back a hefty $55USD.  Yikes!

Never one to shy away from a good product-hunt, I got to work straight away tracking down comparable products at prices that weren't as steep.  Enter Origins, a skincare brand with a nearly identical mission to Ren's, with Never a Dull Moment.

Not really a mask, yet not exactly an exfoliator either, this so-called "face polisher" sets out to conquer a laundry list of skin concerns.  Right from the jump, Orgins professes a more youthful, radiant complexion, nipping dull skin firmly in the bud.  Funnily enough, this yummy-smelling scrub (shall we say?) also features tropical fruits on the ingredients list, the most prominent being mango, apricot, and - ta-da - papaya fruit extracts.  Tropical fruit extracts are apparently very effective in treating the skin topically, and are most effective at leaving the skin supple by eating away at dead surface cells, a very specific task that Never a Dull Moment claims to do (and does!).

Simply rub this, er, scrub into damp, freshly cleansed skin as you would normally, and you'll notice it has a similar texture to Ren's offering.  It floats around on the thicker end of the scale, but still feels sort of like spreading jelly onto your face, with a few small seeds mixed in for good measure.  How long you leave this paste on your face is up to you.  I've noticed some definite skin benefits after wiping off with a washcloth almost straight away, but the serious exfoliation comes in when you let the fruit extracts alone to do their thing.  Leave the stuff on for an extra two minutes, as a sort of mini-mask, and you'll come away with some seriously soft skin that will be thanking you almost immediately.  It may not leave your skin as hydrated as the Ren mask does, but a quick slick of moisturizer, and your face will be none the wiser.

Not forgetting that it also smells like gorgeous tropical fruits, Origins delivers one final benefit.  Weighing in at just under half the price of Ren's Glycol Lactic (and with more than double the amount of product to boot) Origin's Never a Dull Moment is the easy winner in my eyes for supple skin that seriously glows. What do you think, are you faithful to Ren, or would you give NaDM a shot?  I've had my hands on a small sample of the Ren mask myself, and while I did enjoy the experience of using it the few times as a whole, I just don't think I'll ever fork over the cash and indulge when I've got something so similar in my stocks at home, and for the considerably lighter price tag of $27.  Hmm, that's weird?  I think I just heard my wallet breathe a sigh of relief!

Golden Eye | Face of the Day

Monday, January 21, 2013

Today was one of those days where I found myself with a little extra time to primp and preen (bless these early starts), and not wanting to squander an opportunity to have a little play around with my makeup, I tried something new.

For a start, I had to break out my staple winter foundation, Clinique's Superbalanced foundation in 05 Vanilla, and topped it with tons of MAC's MSF Natural in Medium Deep as both my contour and blush color.  I also dabbed some of Benefit's Moonbeam onto my cheekbones and cupid's bow, for a touch of the shine.  And in three easy steps, my base was done.

For the super golden eye colors, I covered my lid with MAC's Woodwinked, and filled in the outer-V with another shadow by MAC called Bronze.  I used my ol' reliable Maybelline Line Stiletto to outline my upper lid as usual, but decided to get a bit fancy with the lowers.  I whipped out my Smashbox Cream Liner palette, and patted the Blue Amethyst color (bottom row, second from left) into my waterline.  If you asked me why blue, I don't think I could tell you, really.  I finished up the eye area with my standard trio: Clinique High Impact mascara on the lashes, a bit of MAC's Mystery through the brows, and a few pats of my HG Bobbi Brown corrector in Peach under the eyes.

The lips I kept quite simple, as I had probably been a bit too adventurous with my eyes.  I lined with MAC's Stripdown, and glossed over with a mini of Urban Decay's Lip Junkie in Naked.

Who knows, maybe this isn't worth replicating again.  Either way, I'm stuck with this makeup now as I'm off to work in a matter of minutes.  Probably should have thought of that before I went and tried a completely new look!  Oops.

The Nearly Nude Nail | Essie Sugar Daddy

Sunday, January 20, 2013

As the weather gets colder, the nail trend tends to follow suit, and everyone is abuzz about their new (or old) favorite winter nail colors, usually a plum or a dark purple.  However, never having been blessed with long and elegant nails myself, and definitely not wanting to highlight that fact, I've always stuck to lighter colors.  This winter, I haven't gone much darker than a greige (I know, so daring), but this past week my nails have been sporting a more nude, flesh-toned polish. Enter Essie's Sugar Daddy.

Sugar Daddy (a sheer-ish baby pink with peachy undertones) actually came into my life by mistake, but I'm only positive it was meant to be because it remains one of my favorite nail polishes in my collection.  I snapped it up on one of my many late night drugstore runs back in college (that's Uni, for those of you across the pond-ers ;) ), thinking it was Essie's famous Ballet Slippers, because as usual, my mind went blank when I entered, and I could not for the life of me remember the name of the polish I originally wanted.  I never did get my hands on Ballet Slippers, but long story short, Essie's Sugar Daddy found a happy home in my collection that night, and the rest was history.

In terms of lasting quality, I can usually go a few days sans topcoat before it starts to chip, but keep in mind I'm a very clumsy person, and have a tendency to throw my arms about.  It's also a very light color, so it takes me at least two coats to get a solid color payoff, although I usually end up doing about three or four.  And although I tend to break this color out in the winter, Sugar Daddy also looks really great on the nails when I've got my summer tan, so I could also see this going over really well on girls with well-tanned and olive skins.  This goes better with my winter skin when applied more sheerly, but I applied it quite thickly (four coats, the drying process was rather tedious!) for the sake of this swatch, and I think it looks quite nice!

In terms of versatility, I just bet this would make a great base color for a french manicure due to its color and high shine, but seeing as I've never been one for fancy-dancy nails, I've always worn this polish alone.  Hmm, it might be time for me to look into one of those nifty nail pens for at-home frenchies...

To end on a surprising note (or not), Sugar Daddy is actually the only Essie polish in my collection (save your gasps!).  I've never really been a huge fan of nail polish, save that one year where I made it my mission to buy at least one bottle every time I went to the drugstore, but I'd love to start building up my collection again.  Any Essie polishes I just have to try?

Cheap Thrills: Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipsticks

Friday, January 18, 2013

In the world of beauty, there really is nothing like a bargain, and I'm rarely one to say no.  Any time I can scrimp and save, I will, in a vain attempt to keep my wallet and my budget on speaking terms. However whilst traipsing through the aisles at my local CVS recently, trying desperately to remember the list of things I initially went in for, I stumbled upon a deal that seemed almost too good to be true.  But true it was, and I found myself snatching up two tubes of the blogger-favorite Rimmel Lasting Finish matte lipsticks by Kate Moss, for the price of one and a half.  It took me no time at all to forget exactly what I actually needed from the drugstore, and to instead begin fretting about which of the five different colors offered would go best with my skin tone.  I ended up selecting the shades 104 (UK shade 101, I believe), a hearty dusty lilac, and 109 (UK shade 110), a whimsically light, yet wearable, pinky-orange, with no luck locating the elusive fan-favorite, shade 107.

To say I was pleasantly surprised by these lipsticks would be an understatement.  The color payoff is quite strong and opaque, and the creamy formula is almost on par with most matte MAC lipsticks.  To top it all off, they wear extremely well.  During my day-test, I stashed the tubes in my bag, thinking I'd have to reapply after an hour or so of wear.  Much to my surprise I went a whole four hours before even starting to contemplate reapplication, which is apparently to do with their ruby powder-enriched formula.  Never mind pleasantly surprised, I was flat out shocked!  

I had heard plenty of beauty bloggers profess their love for these magical mattes, but never one to believe the hype, I had to try it for myself.  Plus, being the little MAC fangirl that I am, I'd never really given much consideration to drugstore lip product offerings. Well, consider me converted!  I can almost feel these incredibly wearable and hydrating lipsticks creeping their way into my everyday makeup routine.  

After focusing on all of the positive points, the only downside that I could even imagine is that the scent in the tubes may be a bit much for some people.  Never one to turn down flowers, I personally don't mind it, but the lipsticks do have quite a strong floral smell to them.

I picked mine up for a nice $5 USD each, bringing my grand total to an almost too reasonable $7.50 with the sales offer.  Have any of you got your hands on these yet?  I'm planning to get mine on the rest of the line by the end of the day tomorrow (oops)!

A Favorite Base: Clinique Even Better Foundation

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Clinique has been a staple in my house well before I even started wearing makeup.  I remember rifling through my mother's makeup stash in my pre-school years and coming up holding a few lipsticks in the classic silver-ribbed packaging.  From then on, the makeup bag got harder and harder to locate, but I've looked upon Clinique with fond memories ever since.

It wasn't until the age when I started slathering my face with foundation that I even gave the brand a second thought.  I had just run out of my NARS Sheer Glow (a beautiful foundation that I was completely enabled into buying all thanks to Tanya!), and was looking for a nice, medium coverage foundation that was light enough to wear everyday.  Enter Clinique Even Better.  It took a bit of time for me to find my color match, but I'm notorious for laboriously comparing swatches in different lights all over the store until I finally settle on my choice.  I ended up going with Golden Neutral, and it turned out to be a great choice.  It adds a bit of tan to my face in the winter, and doesn't go ashy on my summer skin.  While it's definitely not a full coverage foundation, I love it because it lets my freckles peek through, while still covering up my trouble spots.  I find it looks best with a primer underneath (I'm really starting to fall in love with my Clarin's Instant Smooth), but it is pictured above without, just for the sake of a true swatch.  Even Better is aimed at evening out skin tone, and while that isn't my main concern, I find the finish rather amazing, being that it is quite natural looking yet still provides a good coverage.  And it doesn't hurt that it only sets you back about $27 USD!

I also love that it comes with a sort of nozzle tip, as it's much less messy to squeeze onto the back of the hand than, say, a pump-less NARS Sheer Glow.  It lasts through my 8-hour work days, but does tend to get a bit shiny without a proper powdering.  As far as application itself, I haven't used any brush besides my Real Techniques Expert Face brush since it came into my life last April.  I tried using regular foundation brushes before with this foundation, but in my opinion it looks much better buffed in than it does sitting on top of the skin.

Clinique's Even Better foundation remains one of my favorite base products that I've ever used, however after squeezing the last dregs out of it to shoot these photos, and contemplating my next base purchase, I've been feeling like trying something new.  In fact, I've barely scratched the surface in the world of tinted moisturizers.  Dare I ask for *crumples up budget* recommendations??

Books on my Nightstand in 2012

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Reading is one of those simple pleasures that just seems to fall by the wayside as I get older and responsibilities mount.  Not that being busy is a terribly great excuse to stop reading, but it's really the only one I've got.  I did, however, manage to squeeze quite a few more books than usual into my spare moments last year, and I wanted to mention the three that left the longest impression with me.  (P.S. Can you spot the puppy?) ;)

The Thirteenth Tale was definitely my beach read, although after having finished it I came to realize it was probably much too heavy for that category.  It is quite possibly one of the most well-spun stories I've ever had the pleasure to sink my teeth into, and I actually got kind of depressed at the end when I learned that Diane Setterfield hadn't written any novels before or since.  This book is the epitome of a page-turner, and kept me hooked from the jump with intriguing promises of insane characters with twisted histories, and a broken main character who kept the story moving by telling one of the most interesting stories I've ever read.  To put it plainly, this book is one of those that make you sad when it's over because you can never read it again for the first time.

Later on in the year, I decided to relive my childhood by going back to a series that I had first picked up at the probably too-young age of 11.  Brighton-born Louise Rennison is, I'm quite sure, the funniest author I've ever read.  It takes a lot for a book to make me actually LOL, but I had to be sure and not read this one in public for fear that the laughing fits it caused might make people uneasy.  Love is a Many Trousered Thing is the 8th book in a ten part series penned in diary style by the lovably goofy protagonist, Georgia.  Probably the funniest thing about the books that I learned only recently, is that almost all of the happenings were real events that took place in Rennison's actual life.  The best bit: she didn't even bother to change any names (except of course Louise became Georgia)!

My final favorite from last year is also part of a series, referred to as the Dublin Murder Squad books.  The Likeness is the second book of four (soon to be five) written by Irish author Tana French, and is a real page-turner (are you seeing a pattern here?).  In typical crime-novel style, there's a murder, and an investigation that ensues.  This novel centers around a detective from book one (which is not necessary to read in order to understand what goes down in the following books) who goes deep undercover to solve the murder of a woman who seems to have just appeared in Ireland one day with no trace of a personal history.  Very mysterious indeed.  All in all, this was a very interesting read and definitely kept me hooked throughout, but French has a tendency to pay far too much attention to the story, and then leaving you unsatisfied with the way things wrap up.  I've been slowly reading the rest of her series, but quite honestly there are more satisfying reads out there.  It should be said, however, that French is an amazing storyteller, and I find her strong point to be her dialogue.

Well there you have it, the most interesting reads that passed through my hands and found a home on my nightstand in 2012.  One of my resolutions was to read more books this year, so if anybody has any recommendationsmystery or otherwise—please don't be shy in letting me know, as I'm just dying to get my paws on another page-turner!

You can see what else I'm reading on my Goodreads profile here!

The Drugstore Repurchases

Monday, January 14, 2013

As some of you may know, it's more often than not that I can be found prattling on about a new beauty discovery here on my little blog.  While the new-fangled and fresh-off-the-truck products have a tendency to win me over with their newness, it's those that I've held on to and repurchased over the years that are making the cut into today's post.

When I read Anna's (whose blog I read every morning over breakfast) post about her high end repurchases, I knew I wanted to talk about something similar here on my own blog, but to focus instead on the more affordable side of things.  It's all well and good to blabber on and on about a shiny new purchase (as witnessed by the empty echoes inside my wallet at the moment), but it's those products that have delivered time and again and that have become mainstays in my collection that I think deserve equal, if not more attention.

I may have neglected to mention these little gems up until now, but that in no way reflects upon their quality.  John Frieda's Frizz Ease Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray (phew!) has been a permanent staple in my hair care routine for a good four years now.  I cannot go a hair washing without spritzing some of this magic in a bottle onto my curls as a final styling product.  I find it moisturizes my curls, making them bouncy and frizz free, and leaves them silky soft and without that horrid stiff, crunchy feeling (last time I checked, ramen-noodle hair was so 1999).  I've probably bought about twelve of these little bottles ever since I came upon it back in 2009, and unless something even better comes along, I don't see why I won't buy another twelve in the next four years to come!  The price varies depending upon where you buy, but usually sits right around the 7-dollar mark.  I always have a back-up on hand, and tend to stock up when it's on a 2 for 1 offer (which is quite a lot!).

In terms of my Maybelline Line Stiletto liquid liner (you may have heard me wax poetic about this if you've seen some of my youtube videos), I have tried to go without, but nothing has quite lived up to the Maybelline standard.  I was introduced to this back in 2009 by my then roommate, and current best friend, and I immediately took it and ran with it.  It applies very smoothly, and definitely takes the hassle out of applying liquid liner.  Even after all of this time, I am still somewhat of a noob when it comes to eyeliner, and only ever happen to make it look presentable if I get lucky, but because I can get my fingers down so close to the applicator (which makes drawing straight lines exponentially easier for me), I tend to get lucky more often than not.  The only downside of it is that as it ages, the formula gets a bit flakier, and may not wear as long on the eye.  Luckily for me, this little liner is easily located in most drugstores, so replenishing my stocks has never been an issue.

Do you have any drugstore (or high end) mainstays in your collection?  I'd love to hear any of your suggestions and what you repurchase time and again.  I'm prepared to start rearranging my budget...

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