Palette A Week: Colourpop Element of Surprise

I mentioned on my instagram that this year I want to focus more on actively using the products that I have rather than coveting every new release. One way I am trying to encourage this habit is by doing a “Palette a Week” challenge. Every week (or, you know, as I get around to it) I’m going to choose a different palette in my collection to focus on. I decided to kick off this challenge with the Colourpop Element of Surprise palette. I found the color combination compelling and it was a fun way to get started.  My only rule is that I need to create five separate looks with my Palette-a-Week palette before moving on.


Colourpop Element of Surprise – Swatches

Feels: A sparkling white-pink shadow. I hate how impossible to see it is in these swatches because I was so happy with Feels as an inner corner highlight.

Late Night: Classic warm copper metallic shadow. It’s rich and buttery and beautiful, but not a unique shade and it’s easy to replicate.

Silk Street: A matte dark berry shade, which Colourpop labels as a purple-fuchsia. It was one of the more dry shadows in the palette, but I still enjoyed using it in my outer corner and as an under-eye liner.

Rayon: Colourpop calls this “metallic dark coral”. This shade is much more interesting than it looks swatched. Here, it essentially looks like Late Night (imo), but in person there are blue-green sparkles that catch the light and show up well on the eye.

Go With the Flow: This is a creamy peach shadow that was a little powdery but applies well with little/no fallout. She’s smooth & silky. I wish Colourpop would offer Go With the Flow as a single because it’s so functional.

Subdue: A pretty lavender shadow with icy blue sparkles. Subdue is a little sheer when applied dry, but it’s really stunning if you apply with a damp brush or use some type of glitter primer.

Opulent: This bright, satin fuchsia is the visual standout of the palette. Thankfully, it’s every bit as pigmented and easy to work with as I hoped it’d be!

Labyrinth: This is a muted, dusty (the shade, not the texture), victorian rose matte pink shade. I adore it.  It’s beautifully pigmented & blends out effortlessly.

Blank Canvas: Less purple and more deep red than than Silk Street, Blank Canvas is a smooth, blendable maroon. It’s a workable dupe for the popular “Love Letter” shadow from Anastasia.

Sea Stars: love Sea Stars – I actually already owned a single of it before purchasing this palette. I feel like it’s a much more yellow-toned brown (almost a mustard) than it looks in any of its online listings.

Details: This is the one shadow in the palette that I don’t care for and I don’t imagine it getting much use. For me, the darkest shades are typically the ones I never touch. There is a pink sparkle added to the matte chocolate brown base, but as you can tell from my swatch the sparkle doesn’t translate well to your skin.

Peace of Mind: A pearly metallic red-burgundy. Peace of Mind is creamy and full-coverage and is a perfect darker non-matte shadow to round out the palette.

Final Thoughts?

I am consistently impressed with Colourpop’s ability to create quality products for such a low cost. I appreciate that their products aren’t good “for the price”, they’re just good. The Colourpop Element of Surprise has only one semi-dud shadow and is otherwise gorgeous, different from the slew of other warm-toned palettes on the market, and is easy to use. There are enough neutral shades to stay reserved and enough fun pops of color to keep things interesting.

I think this would be a great addition to anyone’s collection. It’s a budget buy that’s excellent quality and functional for both day & night looks.

Here’s hoping that all of my weekly Palette a Week attempts will turn out so well! 😉


Best in Beauty 2017

Long time, no see! Before the year wraps up – and isn’t it absolutely wild that it’s wrapping up ?? – I wanted to share some of my favorite beauty products of the year! They won’t necessarily be new releases, but rather what I enjoyed using the most throughout the year.


  • Daytime Moisturizer: Glossier Priming Moisturizer. Unless I am using the Glossier Skin Tint, I still wear a primer with this product, but as far as lightweight morning moisturizers go, the Glossier Priming Moisturizer is perfect for my sensitive skin! I’ve been meaning to pick up the rich variation for my dry winter skin, but so far the original version is working well enough for me.
  • Nighttime Moisturizer: Korres Wild Rose Advanced Sleeping Facial. I love this overnight cream, which is soothing and smells of (you guessed it) roses. It’s not a miracle in a jar, but it does make me wake up each morning with healthy, glowing skin, and I can always tell a difference when I don’t use it.
  • General Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. There is now a face-specific version of the Ultra Repair Cream, but for ages I took the product’s description of “head-to-toe moisture” to mean I could use it on my face too, and it always worked beautifully. This is a no frills, super moisturizing, unscented lotion that never broke out my sensitive skin & worked just as well on my face as my elbows.
  • Eye Cream: Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. I fully acknowledge that the concept of using a specific moisturizer for your eyes is hokey, and that the moisturizer I use on the the rest of my face works just as well on my delicate under-eye area, but I really enjoy the Origins GinZing. My eyes definitely look better after using and though I personally don’t believe there’s a real long-term effect, it makes my makeup go on much more smoothly and puffs out any potential fine lines.
  • Facial Cleanser: Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser. I’ve used this bad boy up to its very last drops! A face wash is a face wash, kind of – until you try to use something else for a week and realize that maybe, even though you’re in your late 20’s, you still desperately need some “blemish clearing” help. I don’t know how great it is at makeup removal on its own, as I always double cleanse when I have a full face on. It does have a natural, earthy sort of smell that I enjoyed but which I could see bothering some people.
  • Budget Cleanser: Garnier Naturals Soothing Milk Cleanser. I received this product months ago, for free in exchange for a review, and because I am a total spoiled brat I was super unexcited due to it being a drugstore product. It’s not that I have a particular problem with drugstore items, but I care a lot about the ~aesthetic~ of my top shelf & therefore tend toward glass bottles, minimal packaging, etc. HOWEVER, I ended up really loving this little baby! I use it like I would an oil cleanser or micellar water (rub it into dry skin then wipe off with cotton pads and follow with my standard face wash) and I loved the results. It’s pink, lightly scented of roses, and wasn’t remotely irritating to my whiny, sensitive skin.
  • Toner: Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner . Speaking of my top shelf aesthetic, this toner from Indie Lee fits the bill perfectly. The beautiful packaging isn’t the only reason it made this list, though, I promise. I have no idea what a CoQ-10 enzyme is, but I do know that this toner is alcohol-free so it doesn’t dry my skin out, and it has cucumber, aloe, and hyaluronic acid to make it cooling, calming, and brightening (as opposed to the drugstore acne-fighting toners I grew up using). This is one of my top discoveries of 2017.
  • Face Mask: Fresh Rose Face Mask. I used a lot of wonderful masks this year, but the Fresh Rose mask is one of my favorites simply because it’s a delight to use. It only sits on the skin for five minutes before being rinsed, it never dries down, it’s gentle enough to be used daily, it’s refreshing as can be and it has sweet little rose petals in it. Unlike a clay mask, it isn’t abrasive at all and leaves your skin feeling plump and healthy.
  • Facial Spray: Mario Badescu Facial Spray. If we hang out at all in real life, I’m 100% sure you’ve heard me talk about this dang spray. I keep one at work and in my car and in my handbag and in my bedroom. I realize now that I have a consistent rose water trend, and this one is no different. Again, I appreciate the fact that it’s refreshing, soothing, and safe for sensitive skin. Last but not least, it’s totally affordable.
  • Facial Oil: Julep Boost Your Radiance Facial Oil. Julep carries my favorite of all the facial oils. I apply it on top of my nightly moisturizer if I need an extra boost of hydration & to lock everything in. While I generally recommend incorporating rosehip seed oil into your routine no matter what, the Julep Boost Your Radiance Oil takes your standard rosehip seed oil and adds shea butter, vitamin E, and bergamot oil for an extra glow-y, hydrating boost.
  • Serum: The Ordinary Buffet Serum. It’s hard to choose a “best of” serum when there are so many varieties for so many different skin concerns, but the Ordinary as a brand is well-worth including on this list due to their no-frills and completely affordable line of products. Yes, you’ll need to do your own research about which products you need and in what order you should use them in a daily routine, but it’s so nice to purchase high-quality skincare at an affordable price & still have it look really nice (ie. glass bottles, minimal packaging, the usual). “Buffet” is one of the more expensive serums on The Ordinary’s site at just under $15. It’s an anti-aging serum that I use morning and night – at night, I’ll often mix it with The Ordinary’s 10% Lactic Acid (which is the main ingredient in Sunday Riley Good Genes) for some added chemical exfoliation.
  • Sunscreen: Julep No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel. Sunscreen is hard and personal and, as with all skincare, your mileage may vary. However, I love Julep’s gel-based, rosehip oil-infused sunscreen. It feels more like a lightweight moisturizer than a sunscreen and never leaves your skin with a white cast, nor does it break me out. The only downside is that it now makes any other sunscreen feel horribly heavy!



  • Primer: Becca First Light Priming Filter. Lovely, lightweight, and doesn’t clog my pores. I’ve really enjoyed using the First Light primer this year, but would like to try the more popular Backlight Priming Filter for 2018 so I can compare the two.
  • Foundation: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream. This is another holy grail item for me, which I’ve evangelized to all my friends. Yes, it’s a CC Cream and not a foundation, but I rarely (if ever) wear anything heavier, and it has quite a bit more coverage than you’d expect from a CC Cream. I anticipate sticking with this for 2018, but if I branch out it would be to try the Illumination variation of the same product – lord knows I love to glow.
  • Concealer: Tarte Double Duty Shape Tape Contour Concealer. This concealer does not mess around. A little goes a long way and it’s fairly heavy duty – I avoid wearing it unless I’m fully made up, or I blend it out with a damp blending sponge. It is a pretty amazing miracle concealer, though, hiding redness & imperfections & dark spots better than any concealer I’ve ever used.
  • Budget Concealer: Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer. Basic, lightweight, and doesn’t crease. The only drugstore concealer I’d recommend at this point! If I’m doing a lighter makeup day/no makeup look, this is the concealer I reach for.
  • Blush: Glossier Cloud Paint. These! Are! The! Best! I wasn’t sure I would like a cream blush, but the Glossier Cloud Paints are gorgeous. A little dab on your finger goes a long way, and they blend out seamlessly on your cheeks. I have Dusk and use it as a warm peachy nude blush, and I cannot wait to add the other three to my collection. I have some beautiful blushes from Tarte, Julep, Cargo, Makeup Geek, and the Balm, and I still feel like I’d toss them all for the sake of the four Cloud Paints.
  • Highlighter: Laura Geller Diamond Dust Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator. Listen – I am a highlighter girl. Like Ash, I’ve gotta catch ’em all. This was a hard category for me, and it is in no way an insult to my Anastasia (Moonchild was so heavily used this year!) or Becca (Prismatic Amethyst and Lilac Geode are my babies) or even the drugstore highlighters (Wet’n’Wild’s Precious Petals truly knocked it out of the park). However, I’d say the Laura Geller Diamond Dust was a standout product for me this year. It’s a gorgeous white gelato swirl in the pan, but on the skin it has a vivid, hot pink shift without being glitter. It’s absolutely stunning (though certainly not subtle) and I recommend it to anyone.
  • Contour: Pumpkin & Poppy Oak Bark Contour Powder. I want to do an initial shout out to this post from Valery Brennan for helping me even believe there could be a contour powder that would suit my fair, cool-toned (MAC NW15) skin without turning me orange. She recommends some great products in that post – however, after using the Sephora Collection Blush in “Tranquil” (discontinued) for the earlier part of the year, I learned about the Oak Bark contour powder from some random makeupaddiction reddit post. I purchased it and, frankly, my mind was blown. It’s cool and soft and is a contour that genuinely looks like a shadow being cast across your face. If you’re like me and felt like you’d never be able to contour, please check this powder out – even though it’s from an independent little etsy shop. Trust me.
  • Finishing Powder: Hourglass Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder. All of the Ambient Lighting Powders are gorgeous, I just happen to use Ethereal Light. I recommend them all. They add a subtle lit-from-within glow, they feel luxe, and I love them.
  • Budget Powder: Wet N’ Wild Reserve Your Cabana Color Icon Bronzer. If you can’t afford/don’t want to afford Hourglass, this baby is beyond words. It says bronzer – don’t let that fool you. “Reserve Your Cabana” is a perfect, subtle glow finishing powder for fair-skinned girls, though since it works so beautifully as an all over face powder, I assume that darker shades could work similarly for darker skin tones.
  • Setting Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. It’s just the best. I tried quite a few setting sprays this year, and All Nighter truly does what it says it’ll do – it makes your makeup last a long ass time. While I think Mac Fix+ is the best for applying foil eyeshadows, Urban Decay’s are the best for actually setting your face and making it last.


  • Mascara: It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara. Mascara preferences are so personal, but this was the big winner for me this year. It was lengthening and never, ever smudged under my eyes.
  • Budget Mascara: Essence Cosmetics I Love Extreme Volume Waterproof Mascara. I never believed I could be so happy with a $4 mascara, but if you are searching for a waterproof mascara next summer, look for this big blue tube at Ulta. It makes my lashes look great and is a chore to remove.
  • Brow Product: Glossier Boy Brow. I mean, at this point who hasn’t heard of Glossier Boy Brow. I use Black because I like a bold brow. I love that it’s quick and easy to apply while adding fullness to my brows and taming the little weirdos that want to go the wrong way.
  • Budget Brow Product: Nyx Tinted Brow Mascara. At half the cost & double the size of Glossier Boy Brow, Nyx is definitely the better value. It doesn’t add quite as much fullness, but it does tint & tame and has a (slightly) wider shade range.
  • Eyeshadow Palette: Colourpop Yes, Please! . Essentially released as a dupe for the Natasha Denona Sunset Palette, Yes Please really changed the game when it came to expectations for budget eyeshadows. The shadows are pigmented and buttery and cohesive and on a personal level, they were my first foray into the warm shadow trend. You can create a completely neutral look with this palette if you so choose, but the yellow and red pops are killer. It’s on sale right now for $12.80.
  • Eyeshadow Single: Fyrinnae Cosmetics Rapunzel Had Extensions. This single is STUNNING. It’s a pale pink shadow with a golden shift that I apply over a sticky base like Too Faced Glitter Glue or Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. The closest mainstream shadow I can think of that could dupe this would be Urban Decay Fireball, but it still doesn’t have the downright ethereal effect that Rapunzel does. Rapunzel doesn’t photograph or swatch well due to it’s color shifting nature, but believe me when I say it’s absolutely beautiful.
  • Eyeliner: Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon Eyeliner. I ended up buying cobalt and teal shades this year, in spite of the $25 price tag for a freakin’ eyeliner. However, I’d been searching desperately for some bold shades that could last in my lower waterline for an entire day and these came highly recommended. Unfortunately, they’re well worth the price tag and I’d happily buy the whole shade range if my budget allowed. I wasted so much money on blue eyeliners trying to dupe this one, so just take my word for it – Out of the Blue is the best true blue eyeliner on the market. Nothing else will stay in my waterline without fading or smudging.
  • Eyeshadow Pencil: Sephora Collection Colorful Shadow & Liner in “Taupe”. This little guy is another no-makeup-makeup go-to! I use it as a chubby eyeliner for some neutral brightening.
  • Misc. Eye Product: Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy. Pixie Epoxy was a game changer for me, but I’m not sure what to classify it as. I apply it over a primer and under whatever shimmer/metallic/duochrome/color-shifting (just never under a matte) eyeshadow I want to really pop, and the shadows always come out looking absolutely beautiful and 100 times better than they do without the epoxy. I don’t know what it is, I don’t know why it works, but I do believe that everyone needs it.


  • Lip Gloss: Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb . I keep this in my bag every single day. It’s neutral and shimmery and works just as well on it’s own or on top of other lipsticks. Warning to those who have scent sensitivities – there’s a distinct vanilla scent, which I love, but I know it can be #controversial.
  • Lip Balm: Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith’s Rosebud Salve. In spite of seeing this balm lauded for literally years, I didn’t try it until this Fall. What a fool I have been. Though it’s in a tin, which annoys me, I don’t care because it is so incredible moisturizing. I don’t know what to say about it other than I’ve run the gamut with lip balms, from $3 gas station varieties to $60 French balms in glass jars, and this is the best.
  • Liquid Lip: Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain. If you haven’t tried the Sephora brand lip creams, I highly recommend you go for it. I have tried a plethora of matte liquid lipsticks, and they consistently dry out my lips regardless of how many layers of balm I try to apply. Sephora’s Cream Lip Stains dry down to a matte finish but feel smooth and creamy the entire time. I currently own White Iris, Strawberry Kissed, African Violet, Cherry Blossom, and Chai Latte, and I recommend each and every one of them.
  • High-end Bullet Lip: Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipstick. I purchased two shades of the Pat McGrath LuxeTrance lipsticks during a Sephora Rouge sale after I’d had them on my wishlist since their release. I chose Beautiful Creature and Madame Greige because if I’m dropping almost $40 on a lipstick, I wanted them to be shades I could wear daily. These lipsticks are undoubtedly a splurge purchase but they do feel wonderful on my lips – they don’t need lip liner to stay put, they’re opaque in one swipe, and they stay put well. When they start to fade, they fade evenly. These aren’t MUST BUYs because I understand how pricey they are, but if you’re in the market for a high-end lipstick, Pat McGrath makes some wonderful ones.
  • Mid-range Bullet Lip: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick. Urban Decay currently has ninety-seven shades of Vice Lipstick on their website, so they truly have something for everyone. If Pat McGrath is out of range, the Vice Lipsticks are SO GOOD. The packaging is appealing and the quality of most shades is excellent – creamy, long-lasting, and non-drying. I have Backtalk, Rock Steady (my current favorite red, from Gwen Stefani’s collab), Firebird, Amulet, and Crash.
  • Best All Around: Colourpop Ultra Satin Liquid Lip, Ultra Glossy Liquid Lip, Ultra Metallic Lip, Lippie Stix. Y’all! Yes, I hate Colourpop’s Ultra Mattes, but everything else they put out is typically wonderful, affordable (most liquid lips and Lippie Stix are currently on sale for around $4 right now), and equal-or-better-than most higher end lip products. I won’t list everything I own because I currently have 22 Colourpop lipsticks/glosses/etc, and that’s after multiple destashings. If you are wanting to experiment with color, Colourpop is an affordable way to do it – Kat von D has some beautiful liquid lips, but if you only wear a metallic royal blue once a year, why spend $20+ on it? A few of my personal favorites are Lumiere, Marshmallow, and Bee’s Knees.


  • Applicator: BeautyBlender. Are you sick of hearing about beautyblenders? Well, me too. I’ll just say that I love the effect that the damp sponge gives my foundation, especially during the dry winter season. This is #controversial, but I typically apply foundation with my fingers (like a moisturizer) and then buff out the edges/blend with the beautyblender.
  • Drugstore Applicator: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. A perfectly fine dupe for the beautyblender if you don’t feel like dropping $20 on a dumb sponge.
  • Nail Polish: Julep Polish in “Kay”. This is far and away my favorite nail polish of the year. I’ve been working through my nail polishes since May 2016 (not allowing myself to reuse a polish until I’ve gone through all of mine … and I still haven’t finished going through them …) and Kay was such a joy that I’m going to use it as my constant staple once I’m using my polishes like a normal person again. It looks like a standard neutral shimmer online, but in person it’s absolutely color-changing – sometimes taupe, sometimes lavender, sometimes silver, sometimes gold. I got my mom one for Christmas since she loved it on me so much. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen a dupe like it, so I may be stuck with the Julep version for life.
  • Perfume: Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia, Maison Margiela ‘REPLICA’ Beach Walk, Glossier You . Perfume is so personal that it’s hard to really recommend any. I wear perfume based on the seasons – English Pear in the spring and Beach Walk in the summer. For a year-round, neutral recommendation, Glossier You is excellent. My only petty qualm with it is that it has a pink frosted bottle (which I like) with a bright red lid (which I hate).
  • Clip-in Hair Extensions: Luxy Hair. I researched clip-ins extensively last January when I decided to dye my hair dark. I’d been experiencing a lot of breakage (even though I was going to a salon) and I wanted something to add volume and length to my hair. If I had to have a “natural” hair color, I at least wanted to have full, flowing princess hair. I have had my Luxy extensions in Dark Brown for nearly a year now. I only wear them a few times a month, so I can’t pretend to know how they’d hold up with consistent use, but I feel that I’ve gotten my money’s worth. Any time I wear them I get tons of compliments and though I certainly don’t need them (who does?) they boost my confidence every time I wear them.
  • Silly Purchase That I Love & Will Continue To Repurchase: Shiseido Facial Cotton. Please believe me when I say that I know I could be buying $2 cotton rounds from a drugstore. There’s something about this plush cotton squares that I just adore – they’re fluffy and never tear apart when I’m removing eye makeup or applying toner or removing nail polish. They’re frivolous & I get that, but they genuinely make me happy.

October Catch-up with Current Spooky Beauty Favorites

Spoiler Alert: They aren’t very spooky. 

When I took the photos for this post, I intended it to be completely focused on the beauty & skincare products. However, the Nyx palette was the summer birthday gift from Ulta and I pressed one of the shadows in the quad myself, so I realized there was absolutely no point in recommending beauty products that would be inaccessible to anyone who wanted to try them. So while I’ll recommend some products from the pictures, I’ve decided to redirect to an overall October post. After all, I can’t imagine anything more fitting than writing a blog post about October when it’s already 3 weeks into the month~

Seasonal Fall Autumnal Angled Beauty Flatlay
October is easily my favorite month of the year. Here in the Southeast it finally starts to cool down, the leaves change, we have our annual family camping trip in the Smokies, and it all around starts to feel like Fall. My mom has always gone hard when it comes to the holidays, so our family home this time of year is covered in decorations – most cozy, some creepy. My sisters and I marathon through seasonal movies; this year we’ve covered Scream 2, Corpse Bride, Hell House LLC, and Happy Death Day, to name a few.
This is the first year that I have been living in a space that I’ve been motivated to decorate myself, so I have my big jack-o-lantern set out and orange string lights around the front porch. My boyfriend’s dad grew a pumpkin patch this year, so I’ve had a surplus of the darling things in all different colors – the three pumpkins in this picture all came from his patch! I’ve been burning my pumpkiny-appley-cinnamony candles and slipping on my fuzzy socks (since I’m avoiding turning on the heat this early, even if it does dip into the 40s overnight) and everything just feels cheerful.
Seasonal Fall Autumnal Angled Beauty Flatlay

A couple of the beauty products that I’ve pulled out for the season (that you can still purchase) are the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask and the Fresh Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm. The PTR Pumpkin Mask smells like a dang pumpkin pie. I was almost teary-eyed when I tried it for the first time over the summer because it brought me that much joy, but I made myself put it away until the smell was appropriate for the season (because, yes, I’m a weirdo and care about these things). You can also try it in a mini size as part of a PTR mask sampler kit. It has been wonderful for my sensitive skin, but since I only allow myself to use it in the Fall, I will probably never purchase the full-size! For the lip balm – listen, I know. I’ve fussed and fussed about beauty products being packaged in jars, but lately I’ve realized it feels obnoxiously luxe to put lip balm on with a lip brush. It absolutely makes me feel like a brat in the best way. I’ve always loved (and highly recommend) and of the Fresh Sugar lip products, but this one is my current favorite because it’s not tinted and has the faintest sweet, warm, vanilla caramel scent.

Another fun buy at this time of year are various indie beauty companies’ seasonal perfumes! I’m partial to Fyrinnae because they create some of the most gorgeous eyeshadows on the planet, but there are plenty of indie options. Fyrinnae offers sample sizes, which are perfect for me (for eyeshadows and perfumes alike). This year I’ve tried Ghost Story, Snoqualmie Lodge, and Gilded Leaves – Gilded Leaves is my favorite of the three!

Swatches of Colourpop Ultra Metallic Lip in "DM", Nyx Wicked Lippie in "Risque", and Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in "Black Truffle"

And finally, though no one needs an excuse to wear a funky lipstick in my humble opinion, there’s no better time than Halloween-season to step outside of your comfort zone! These three shades are all incredible: There’s Colourpop Ultra Metallic Liquid Lip in “DM”, which I’ve infuriatingly just discovered is discontinued (but check out Nyx Wicked Lippie in “Wrath” for an extremely close orange-based metallic copper dupe), Nyx Wicked Lippie in “Risque”, a deep, metallic green, and Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in “Black Truffle”, a blackened violet shade with a satin finish.

I feel like I’m finally coming out of hibernation right as nature is going into it. I wish it could be Autumn forever.

Boxycharm September 2017

Boxycharm September 2017 Unboxing

My subscription boxes have become slim these days – I’m only subscribed to four, currently, which may be a lot for some people, but not for where I was at this point last year! My only monthly box is Boxycharm, which is a $21 per month beauty box that sends out 5 or 6 full-sized products which could be makeup, tools like brushes, sponges, or lash curlers, skincare, and hair care (but it is always predominantly makeup). It’s surprising that I’ve dwindled down to only Boxycharm as my beauty subscription because ever since I started really getting into subscription boxes in May 2015, Boxycharm had always rubbed me the wrong way. People raved about it, but they seemed to send out junk I could find in the TJ Maxx makeup bins. However, I think Boxy has been improving tremendously over the past few months, and they released brand spoilers for the rest of the year (including Becca, Dr. Brandt, Mac, Tarte, etc.) that assures me that they have really stepped up their game in the world of beauty boxes.

As a small personal aside, please forgive my photos for this post; I’m still figuring out my new camera and my new house and determining where workable light will be where, so photos should improve soon!

Studio Makeup Loose Blush and Mac Eyebrow Pencil in Spiked, a Rich Brunette Shade, from Boxycharm September 2017

Briogeo Don't Despair Repair Deep Condition hair mask, colourpop ultra satin liquid lip color in "mess around", and bareminerals face perfection foundation brush from Boxycharm September 2017
Swatches of StudioMakeup Loose Blush, Colourpop Ultra Satin Mess Around, and Mac Eyebrow Pencil in Spiked from Boxycharm September 2017

The September 2017 box included:

  • Studio Makeup Luminous Loose Blush (RV $17) | There is no loose blush on the Studio Makeup site right now, so I’m linking to a pressed blush in a similar shade. Though I am not a fan of loose powders, I do like the matte peachy shade of this blush and it’s a unique add to me collection, so I’m happy to have it. 
  • MAC Eyebrow Pencil in “Spiked” (RV $18) | The other shade offered this month was “Lingering”, which is a soft taupe shade. While I have never learned how to use an eyebrow pencil, I think it’s great that a full sized Mac product was included.
  • Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask (RV $18) | I’ve received a truly exceptional amount of Briogeo thanks to subscription boxes. While I’ve bought some of their products on my own (I think their blow dry cream is exceptional), I’ve never needed to restock on the conditioning mask. I typically use this like standard conditioner due to how dry and damaged my hair is.
  • Colourpop Ultra Satin Liquid Lip in “Mess Around” (RV $6) | There were 5 or 6 different shades of the Colourpop Ultra Satins this month, and I love the one I received! The Colourpop site describes it as a midtone greige and Temptalia describes it as a neutral taupe, but on me (as you can see in the swatch above) it reads like a chocolate brown. It’s a great shade for Fall and the Colourpop Ultra Satins are one of my absolute favorite liquid lip formulas. 
  • BareMinerals Perfecting Face Brush (RV $28) | I love getting makeup brushes in boxes, mostly because 1) I’m lazy and hate washing my brushes and 2) I don’t want to drop around $30 a brush because 3) due to point 1, I prefer to own tons of brushes. I haven’t tried this guy yet because I typically apply foundation with my fingers & a beautyblender, but I own quite a few BareMinerals brushes and have always liked them. 
  • PUR Cosmetics Soiree Diaries Eyeshadow Palette (RV $34) | The star of the box, in my opinion! Look at that pretty marble packaging! The rose gold accents! Check out the swatches below. I think this is a great neutral palette – the bottom row is absolutely gorgeous and metallic and the mattes are buttery and not patchy at all. I only wish there was more of a difference between Private Party & Mogul and Snazzy & Epic, which seem too similar to be used to create unique eye looks. 
Pur Minerals Soiree Diaries Palette from Boxycharm September 2017

Inside Pur Minerals Soiree Diaries Palette from Boxycharm September 2017

Inside Pur Minerals Soiree Diaries Palette from Boxycharm September 2017

Top row swatches Pur Minerals Soiree Diaries Palette from Boxycharm September 2017

Middle row swatches Pur Minerals Soiree Diaries Palette from Boxycharm September 2017

Bottom row swatches Pur Minerals Soiree Diaries Palette from Boxycharm September 2017

As I have mentioned before, Boxycharm is really stepping up its game and is well worth the $21 a month. If you’re curious, check out the August Boxycharm featuring Tarte and some of my favorite fluffy makeup brushes.

Budget Beauty Buy | 40 Coastal Scents Shadow Pots

coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette white silver bermuda sand ashen brownstone ice ballet antique lilac perfect plum ash grey brandeis blue tanzanite gypsy blue elven midnight
I realized recently that I’ve turned into a snob when it comes to … well, most things, but especially makeup and skincare. Even if there was an affordable dupe, I would tend toward the most expensive version simply because of how it would look on my vanity or the assumption that cheaper = lower quality, always. Since that realization I’ve been making deliberate efforts to try a wide variety of brands. 
I’m never going to be the girl with a minimalist makeup collection – I like too many different finishes and colors and I love having the option to wear bizarre colors if I so choose. That said, I don’t need to spend $50+ on an eyeshadow palette full of yellows & oranges if I only wear those shades a few times a year, ya feel me? I’ve done that way too often this year, so when Coastal Scents was having a big sale over the 4th of July weekend, I decided to take advantage of some brights (and neutrals) in order to really give some budget shadows a chance. 
Coastal Scents Shadow Pots are typically $1.95 a pop, but they often run half-off sales – I’d recommend waiting until one of these sales so you can load up on $0.99 shadows. Coastal Scents has over 350 shadow pots to choose from, so I tried to take my time and do my research. I chose these shades based on a variety of things: if they were recommended by name through makeup artists I trust, if they were highly reviewed on the Coastal Scents website, and if I could find swatches of them in a blog post. The latter factor is partially what’s inspiring me to write this – I could find lots of blog posts with swatches, but not for every shade I wanted to try.
I put together a cool-toned palette and a warms & brights palette using Coastal Scent’s 12-pan and 28-pan shadow palettes (which are $6 and $10, respectively). There is an option for a solid black palette, but I prefer clear tops, though they get smudged and dirty, so that I can easily see which shadows are where. The palettes are magnetized, too, so it’s easy to pop pans in and out with minimal effort. 
Click through for a look at swatches of all 40 shades! 

coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 labeled white silver bermuda sand ashen brownstone ice ballet antique lilac perfect plum ash grey brandeis blue tanzanite gypsy blue elven midnight
I’ll start with my smaller, 12-pan cool toned palette, though it clearly isn’t perfectly cool. I do want to mention that I have not played with every shadow for actual eye looks yet, so they could end up performing better with primer or could end up having a lot of unexpected fallout, etc., but as far as swatching goes I was pretty impressed. 
As usual, I have to mention my disappointment with brands using “gypsy” as a marketing tool when they probably meant “bohemian” in the first place … which would’ve been alliterative and everything! 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 white silver bermuda sand ashen brownstone ice ballet antique lilac perfect plum ash grey brandeis blue tanzanite gypsy blue elven midnight swatches swatch swatched
Finger swatches on bare skin (a.k.a. no primer)
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 white silver bermuda sand ashen brownstone ice ballet antique lilac swatches swatch swatched
+ White Silver | Described as “a shimmering white hue with silver sparks” with sheer application and a shimmer finish. Though it is too shimmery for a browbone shade, I have really loved it so far as an inner corner highlight. 
+ Bermuda Sand | Described as “a smooth, brown-taupe hue with a satin finish” with semi-opaque application and a satin finish. I’ve tried using it as a base eyeshadow, but it’s a little too dark and pigmented for that. Bermuda Sand is probably my favorite of the mattes (thus far) and I think it’ll be a great crease shade.
+ Ashen | Described as “a light greyish-taupe hue with a satiny finish” with semi-opaque application and a satin finish. Semi-opaque or even sheer is definitely right, but I still think it’s pretty and works as a nice, sheer wash of color on more no-makeup days. It blended easily and could be built up through finger application vs. the fluffy brush I used to apply it all over. 
+ Brownstone | Described as “a matte shade with a medium brown hue” with opaque application and a matte finish. This is … my least favorite shadow, I believe. I haven’t used it in a look yet, but I’m unimpressed by the patchiness of the swatch. 
+ Ice Ballet | Described as “a frosty, pastel purple with a shimmer finish” with semi-opaque application and a shimmer finish. Though the website describes it as such,  I was still expecting a white/silver eyeshadow with more of a lavender duochrome flip. Imagine my surprise at receiving a true lavender shimmer! It was soft and pigmented during swatching. 
+ Antique Lilac | Described as “a classic twist to pale violet with an opaque, matte finish” with … obviously … opaque application and a matte finish. This shade is really pretty, but I had to work to build up that swatch. If they had described the application as sheer or maybe even semi-opaque, I wouldn’t be disappointed, but opaque? That’s a real stretch. I’m going to keep working with it, since I don’t have anything like it in my collection, but just know going into this shade that it’s much more sheer than advertised. 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 perfect plum ash grey brandeis blue tanzanite gypsy blue elven midnight swatch swatched swatches
+ Perfect Plum | Described as a “satiny, purple shade” with opaque application and a satin finish. Purples seem to be a challenge for most companies, from low end to high end, so I’m happy with the opacity of this one. It applied better with a wet brush (I use Mac Fix+ spray to wet my brushes) and was very pretty, but a little too easy to sheer out. 
+ Ash Grey | Described as a “neutral, monochrome hue with an opaque, matte finish”. I’ll let you guess the intended application and finish. I like how this swatches, but haven’t had a chance to give it a fair try yet. I forgot to add a crease shade last night so I tried to layer this into the crease over Perfect Plum and ended up making a bit of a muddy mess. Swatch-wise, though, I feel that this is one of the better mattes. 
+ Brandeis Blue | Described as “a cobalt blue shade with a dazzling purple iridescence” with a shimmer finish and opaque application. I’m really happy with how brilliant this shade is! It’s another that’s better when I pat it on with my fingers, as the brush can blend out a bit of the pigment. I didn’t notice any purple iridescence in the pan or on my eye, but that’s fine with me as I like this cerulean blue shade as-is. 
+ Tanzanite | Described as a “velvety, deep blue shade” with a satin finish and opaque application. This is another shade that I expected to be different than it is, though who knows why – it’s a navy satin. Though it’s described as “velvety, deep blue” (which, I mean, navy is) I was expecting something a little more special. I found this shadow to be a little difficult to work with – workable, but not worth the effort for me when I have better navy shadows in my collection. 
+ Gypsy Blue | Described as “a beautiful haze of light blue with subtle undertones of grey and gold” with satin finish and opaque application. This was really pretty as a inner corner highlight in combination with Brandeis Blue on the lid and Tanzanite on the outer corner. It’s very similar to Niagara & I don’t know what anyone would need both – of the two, I prefer Niagara. 
+ Elven Midnight | Described as a “gleaming gunmetal hue” with a shimmer finish and opaque application. So far I really like this shadow! It’s darker than I’d normally choose, but the silvery shimmer finish keeps it interesting. It also leans a little purple, which I like. 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette
And now for my warm/bright palette! After swatching I’ve realized there are a few shadows I’d like to switch around (for example, Ashen might be better in this palette and Mai Tai might be better in the cool palette, while I could switch Niagara and Gypsy Blue around without ever knowing the difference). 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette labels labeled
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette swatch swatched swatches
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette caramel ice aluminum taupe niagara victorian pear mai tai mauve frost canyon coral swatch swatched swatches
+ Caramel Ice | Described as “a frosted, pale caramel hue with a shimmer finish” and semi-opaque application. So far, it’s been a nice brow highlight & inner corner shade. I think it’s interesting to see what Coastal Scents considers to be opaque & semi-opaque, though, as I feel that Caramel Ice is a highly pigmented, nice shimmer shadow. 
+ Aluminum Taupe | Described as “a dark metallic silver hue with a shimmery finish” and semi-opaque application. This is a gorgeous shade, though I certainly wouldn’t describe it as “dark metallic”, or silver, or, again, as semi-opaque. It’s pale enough to be a pretty inner corner shade and, to my eye, seems to function as a shimmery Bermuda Sand. 
+ Niagara | Described as “a wash of bluish-green with a shimmery finish” and opaque application. To me, Niagara functions the way I expected Gypsy blue to, and it comes across as a pale blue-gold duochrome. Right now I’m wearing it on my inner corner and under my eye as a liner, and I’m really loving it in combination with 18 Karat Gold on my lid and Kodiak on my outer corner – the combo pulls out the greeny-gold of Niagara while still adding the brightness of a pastel blue. 
+ Victorian Pear | Described as “a creamy off-white hue with a slight green tint” and a satin finish with sheer application. It is sheer and pretty, more of a dusty rose than an “off-white”. In the pan I could see light green sparkles, but they didn’t translate in the swatch or on the eye. I’m not sure how to use it yet, but I think it’s pretty and I want to incorporate it. 
+ Mai Tai | Described as “an indulging mauve hue with a silver shimmer” (lol… indulging…) with a shimmer finish and semi-opaque application. I love this shadow so much more than I thought I would when I placed the order. It’s almost a silvery dusty pastel purple and I don’t have anything else like it. I’m in love. 
+ Mauve Frost | Described as “an icy pink hue with an ultra shimmer finish” and opaque application. Icy pink is right, much more so than “mauve”. This looks bright in the swatch, and it can be, but it also works in the inner corner as a highlight if you use a light hand. I’m really liking it. 
+ Canyon Coral | Described as “a deep bronze-coral hue” with a satin finish and semi-opaque application. Pretty, pigmented, and on-trend, but another shimmer that’s more opaque than semi-opaque. 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette antique maroon oatmeal tan oktoberfest burnished wine earth rose paprika tyrian purple swatch swatches swatched
+ Antique Maroon | Described as “a rustic, brownish-red hue with a satiny finish” and opaque application. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks super wearable. 
+ Oatmeal Tan | Described as “a light tan hue with a matte finish” and semi-opaque application. Oatmeal Tan & Oktoberfest were the most widely recommended shades from Coastal Scent’s entire line of shadow pots. Initially … I was disappointed. It took some effort to build up and the swatch wasn’t great. However, when using it on my eye, I actually loved it. It was easy to build up and blend out and wasn’t patchy. A great neutral shade.
+ Oktoberfest | Described as a “burnished” (you keep using that word… I do not think it means what you think it means) “orange-brown hue with a matte finish” and opaque application. My opinion on this is the same as for Oatmeal Tan! 
+ Burnished Wine | Described as “a rich, burgundy-brown hue with a shimmer finish” and semi-opaque application.This is super shimmery with almost a foil finish, particularly when applied with Mac Fix + spray. 
+ Earth Rose | Described as “a dusty red hue with a satin finish” and semi-opaque application. LOVE this shade way more than anticipated. I haven’t worn it yet but I wonder if it could be a crease shade, even with the satin finish. 
+ Paprika | Described as “a rich, orange-red hue with a smooth, matte finish” and semi-opaque application. This was another highly recommended shade that disappointed me during swatching, but again I have actually really liked it in the crease for pink-toned eye looks. 
+ Tyrian Purple | Described as “a deep, reddish purple hue with a silver shimmer finish” and semi-opaque application. This one is more subdued than I expected – I thought it would be the brightest of any of the purple shades, but I like it. Haven’t tried it on the eye yet so we’ll have to see how it works. 
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette swatches swatch swatched
coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette swatch swatches swatched balsam amazonian ice 18 karat gold atomic apricot copper pot panama rose amethyst
+ Balsam | Described as “a deep, golden-green hue with a shimmery finish” and opaque application. I wouldn’t say this is a deep golden green, but rather a true green shimmer. I wore it with Atomic Apricot and really loved the tropical combo. 
+ Amazonian Ice | Described as “a bright green hue with ultra shimmer finish” and opaque application. I was genuinely shocked by how incredibly pigmented this shadow is! Since it’s so pastel I expected it to sheer out to a sheer green glitter, but it’s creamy and incredible. 
+ 18 Karat Gold | Described as “a glistening gold hue” with shimmer finish and semi-opaque application. Another super pigmented shade I tried today in combination with Niagara in my inner corner and Kodiak on the outer corner.
+ Atomic Apricot | Described as “an explosion of peachy-orange” with shimmer finish and opaque application. I didn’t expect to like this pale orange shade as much as I do, but I think it’s really pretty and fun. 
+ Copper Pot | Described as a “luxurious, shimmering gold” with opaque application. Another universally highly-rated shade. Mine came with a little bit broken out of the corner, and that bit breaks a little more and more every time it’s used, but it hasn’t caused too much of a problem. Just know that this shadow is especially soft and fragile. 
+ Panama Rose | Described as “a shimmering, violet hue with a pink under glow” with a shimmer finish and semi-opaque application. I’ve tried this shade (honestly, thinking it was Tyrian Purple, whoops) and I thought it was beautiful on the lid with Mauve Frost as the inner highlight and Raisin Berry on the outer corner. It lasted all day with no creasing or fading! I use a primer, but this is still a good quality shadow compared to any of my high-end shadows. 
+ Amethyst | Described as a “gemstone purple hue” with shimmer finish and opaque application. I expected a royal purple shimmer when I ordered this color, so I’m a little disappointed with how warm and fuchsia it looks. However, the pigmentation is great. Just not what I’d hoped it would be! 

coastal scents shadow pots hot pots 2017 palette swatch swatches swatched cherry moss amaretto raisin berry cherry chocolate kodiak dark golden olive timeless taupe
+ Cherry Moss | Described as “a reddish-brown hue with green iridescent shimmer” with opaque application. I wouldn’t describe it as opaque, as it swatches rather sheer, but it is a unique shade in my collection that has an almost-duochrome flip from peachy to green-gold, depending on how the light hits it. Definitely worth playing with! 
+ Amaretto | Described as “a luxurious reddish-brown hue with a shimmer finish” and opaque application. Amaretto is a super pretty shadow. In person, it almost looks like a dusty rose shimmer (maybe a little more brown than that). It feels buttery to the touch and I’m a fan. 
+ Raisin Berry | Described as “a stunning maroon” with shimmer finish and opaque application. So far I’ve used Raisin Berry as an outer corner/bottom lid liner shade on a pinky-purpley eye look, and I really like it. Pigmented and blendable. 
+ Cherry Chocolate | Described as “a rich reddish-brown hue” with a shimmer finish and opaque application. Meh. I’m not super impressed with Cherry Chocolate – it feels more stiff & dry in the pan than the other shimmer-finish shadows, and swatches patchily because of it. It seems to be a matte dark brown shadow with pink shimmer sparkles, creating the “cherry chocolate” effect. 
+ Kodiak | Described as “a shimmering golden brown hue” with opaque application. Kodiak looks olive in this image, but in real life I think it’s a much more functional, creamy deep brown shade than Cherry Chocolate, but with golden shimmer rather than pink. 
+ Dark Golden Olive | Described as “a shimmering deep green hue with iridescent gold sparks” and opaque application. It is exactly as described – buttery, pigmented, and true olive green with golden shimmer. 
+ Timeless Taupe | Described as “an antique brownish-grey hue with a matte finish” and semi-opaque application. Mattes seem to be Coastal Scents weaker shadows, in my opinion. but Timeless Taupe isn’t too bad. Describing it as semi-opaque is fair, and it can be built up to opaque with little effort. It’s a nice matte crease shades to round out all of the shimmer shadows! 
Since I started writing this post (it’s taken me weeks to finish up – my lack of motivation is truly astounding) Coastal Scents has already had another half-off shadow pot sale, so I’d definitely keep an eye out! At $0.99 per shadow, these are absolutely worth it. Some shades are obviously stronger than others, but the fact that some of them perform just as well as my Anastasia, Marc Jacobs, or Kat Von D shadows goes to show the extreme mark-up on makeup products. If you’re looking to try out funky new colors that you aren’t sure you’ll incorporate into a normal makeup routine, I’d say Coastal Scents is the way to go rather than dishing out ~$50 on something like Urban Decay Electric or colorful Kat Von D singles. I’m a fan! 

May 2017 Ipsy Glambag Review

At long last (well, a little over a year, to be more precise), I think my love affair with Ipsy is coming to an end. Nothing has changed about the service and I still think it can be a fun way to treat yourself every month, but my makeup collection is expansive. I have reached the point where it is rare for me to receive something I don’t already own in a similar shade and finish. This month even contained two items I very specifically wanted and was very specifically excited to try, but … not because I need  it. I was just curious about the formula! While for many people that is the point of beauty subscriptions, I have a humongous backlog of samples that I am never going to use up. I will definitely still be receiving a June bag, but I am actually considering cancelling for July … at least for a little while! 

Urban Decay Afterglow Powder Highlighter in “Sin” | RV $9.57. This was one of the products I was most excited to try this month, but also a product that made me realize how little I actually need to continue trying your typical champagne highlight. In the photo below, it’s the third swatch from the top – it’s shimmery and pigmented and really lovely, but it’s simply not a product I need now or anytime soon. The sample alone would likely take me a year to finish.
It Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara | RV $$13.60. This was the second product I was excited to try! The It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara gets consistently great reviews and I look forward to sampling it, but yet again … when will that be? I’m currently working through a mascara stash and have ten I’d like to use up before starting on this one. 
JellyPongPong Supercharged Super Intense Eyeshadow Duo in “Electric” | RV $22.95, Full-size. I have been on an overwhelmingly huge eyeshadow kick lately, so I was glad to be receiving this duo. In the photo below, the shades are the top two swatches on bare skin. They don’t look too impressive, but I’ll be trying them over primer before writing them off. The compact they came in is charming, but I do think $22.95 is quite an inflated price. If I’d been able to choose, I would have picked the teal and bronze variation of this duo for a little more contrast. 
Cailyn Cosmetics Pure Lust Extreme Matte Tint + Velvet in “Practicable” | RV $19, Full-size. You may recall my previous experience with a Cailyn Cosmetics Extreme Matte Tint, as conveyed in my Lip Hoarder Part Three post which was basically that it’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad matte lipstick. “Practicable” was better. Described as a “cinnamon nude”, the shade was much more flattering and the application was a breeze. As you’re applying, it feels like it’s going to be a perfect matte lip paint … but then it dries, and it isn’t. Though better than my first experience, Cailyn’s Matte Lip Tints still dry your lips out so badly they pucker, which is universally unflattering. It’s also impossible to remove – I tried my face wash, a lip scrub, a cleansing oil, and a scrubbing brush, and my lips are still tinted. Shade – beautiful. Product – stay far away. 
Adesse New York Gel Polish in “Surfer Girl” | RV $18, Full-size. I love nail polish (obviously, I have a Julep subscription) and I like this shade and the fact that it’s a gel-like finish. My only qualm with receiving this polish is that just last month I received a nail polish in almost the exact same shade from Ipsy. It’s not a big deal and I prefer the Adesse polish to the Defy & Inspire polish, but I’d prefer to diversify my collection. 

Total Paid: $10
Total Retail Value: $83.12

That value is wild for a $10 subscription bag, but again, I think some of the values were inflated, particularly on the JellyPongPong shadow duo. I also think $18 is an awful lot to spend on a single polish, but it’s not unheard of – the gorgeous Smith & Cult polishes are also $18 a pop. Regardless, this bag was well worth $10, but it’s just not meeting a need anymore. I’m at a point where I would rather spend more to have exactly what I want than $10 to have a variety of new items to try. I’m sure it’s a pendulum, but for now I plan to pause my Ipsy subscription. 
To try Ipsy yourself, sign up here for a monthly beauty bag! 

Lip Hoarder Part 4

Lip Hoarder Part Four with Nyx RealHer Too Faced Stila Burt's Bees bareMinerals NARS Urban Decay and Colourpop
It has been so exceptionally difficult to motivate myself to do a damn thing that isn’t work lately, including keeping up with posts I’d like to share (obviously). My Lip Hoarder challenge has been going relatively well, though May has been a month full of being too lazy or busy to apply any makeup whatsoever, so progress is happening slowly. I have whittled my way down (after this point) to a myriad of shades that are a little vampy or out-there, so wearing new shades has started to become a challenge in and of itself. However, I don’t want to give up yet, and it’s interesting to see which shades I miss the most – like a weird orangey-coral from Nyx that I would never expect to be the lipstick I long to wear. You’ll notice in round four that I tended toward Spring-y shades with a dash of alternative colors thrown in intermittently. 
Lipstick Swatches Stila Burt's Bees Nyx Kat Von D Colourpop RealHer Urban Decay
1. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Patina” – I like the Stila Stay All Day formula, but I think this is too close to Nyx’s “Soft Spoken” for me to need it in my collection, and I actually prefer the Nyx formula. 
2. Burt’s Bees Lipstick in “Blush Basin” – While this isn’t a particularly flattering shade on me (and I have already destashed it because of that), I am impressed with the cute honeycomb packaging and the moisturizing formula of the Burt’s Bees lipstick. I’d try it again in a cooler nude or dusty pink shade. 
3. Nyx Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in “Stone Fox” – This project has made me realize that super duper dark, vampy shades are just not too pretty on my fair skin, but I do think this is a good product. I much prefer “Stone Fox” to number 13 on this list, “Oh Put it On”. It’s a rich charcoal gray that dries matte and doesn’t pull away from your inner lip line. 
4. Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in “Lovecraft” – I like “Lovecraft” and want to try more KVD Studded Kiss lipsticks after trying this one, but it’s a little too close in shade to number 7 on this list, UD “Backtalk”, and I’m afraid I prefer “Backtalk”, so I’ll be passing this little guy along. 
5, Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lip in “Kink” – For a long time, I was anti lip gloss. It gave me too many high school flashbacks. Lately, however, I’ve been particularly enjoying the highly-pigmented Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lips, and “Kink” is no different. It’s a cool-toned fuchsia with sparkle and I hate that it was limited edition, as it’s one of my more fun shades to wear. Not that I’ll ever use up an entire lip product in this lifetime, but I’d like for others to have the opportunity to try it!  
6. RealHer Plumping Gloss in “I Am A Rockstar” – Though I absolutely hate number 11 on this list, RealHer’s “I Am Gorgeous”, I do like this lip gloss as a solid neutral gloss. It’s nonsticky, but I want to do an immediate side by side of this with Trust Fund Beauty’s lip gloss to see which basic neutral gloss is more worth keeping. 
7. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in “Backtalk” – Backtalk is the first lipstick I’ve ever bought for myself that cost over $10! I’ve been gifted others or received them in subscription boxes, but Backtalk was my first experience with trying a sample of something and immediately rushing to Sephora to hand over $17 for the full-sized lipstick. It’s my favorite pinky nude that I own, and looks even more flattering now that I’ve dyed my hair dark. 
Lipstick Swatches with Nyx Nars bareMinerals RealHer Trust Fund Beauty Nyx and Too Faced
  1. Nyx Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in “Industrial Paradise” – I’ve noticed that pastels are really, really difficult for most companies to pull off, so I was surprised by how well baby blue “Industrial Paradise” worked. It applied smoothly and was completely opaque, though it did wear off since I wore it to grab tacos and margaritas with a friend. It’s not a color I’ll be able to wear often, but I’m pleased with it.
    9. NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in “Gold Digger” – I feel totally neutral about this. I guess for the price of a full sized tube, I’m disappointed. It adds a sheen, I guess, but it’s not enough to wear alone and I’m just not impressed like I am with the Colourpop glosses.
    10. bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balm in “Pink Passion” – I’ve written before that I’m fond of the bareMinerals Pop of Passion balms, and this one is no exception. I like the bright pink shade. I think they’d be a good replacement for something like the Glossier Generation G Sheer Lipsticks. They aren’t matte, but they have decent color payoff for a sheer and they are made to be moisturizing/soothing to your lips!
    11. RealHer Matte Liquid Lipstick in “I Am Gorgeous” – I have no idea what the wear on this product is like because I ripped it off my lips within 30 seconds of applying. First, it’s too pale and gives me early 00’s Tara Reid fashion vibes. Secondly, it’s thin but way too easy to apply way too much. It’s one of those few products that I will probably just throw away because I wouldn’t want to curse anyone else with it.
    12. Trust Fund Beauty Lipstick in “Try to be Nice” – I am really fond of this lipstick. I like Trust Fund Beauty as a brand – their products aren’t incredible, but they’re nice and different and I like supporting smaller companies, especially when they’re cruelty-free. I love that this lipstick is a creamy lilac shade but that it wears down to a soft pink. The wear makes it easy to pull off in more conservative situations while still wearing a slightly alternative color. It seems that this shade has been discontinued, which I hate, so I plan to keep and enjoy this tube while it lasts.
    13. Nyx Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in “Oh, Put It On” – Hate, hate, hate, loathe entirely. I am a huge advocate for the Nyx Liquid Suede Lipsticks and think, in general, they’re the best bang for your buck when it comes to matte liquid lip products. This deep, blackened violet is a complete bust, though. It’s impossible to apply – even the matching lip liner was patchy, and the lipstick immediately pulls away from your inner lip line and began flaking off before I could even leave the house. I don’t know why this one shade is so terribly useless, but it is, and I’ll probably just throw it away.
    14. Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in “Chihuahua” – Something I like: The applicator! It was different but effective and I liked how smoothly the lipstick applied. Something I dislike: The shade was a little too brown and warm for me, so I passed this baby on to my mom, for whom Glossier Skin Tint in “Dark” is too pale. Riddle me that.