2017 Wrap Up – So Long, Farewell

When I was regularly using my bullet journal (I have since returned to my ultimate favorite, the Passion Planner), I would end each month with a page of my “Currentlies” – what had I been reading and listening to and eating and watching, where had I visited and what was I hoping to do next, etc. In 2018, I’d like to get back into that routine, but for now I’m going to try to look back on my year in a similar way.

2017 was a mess. There was a lot of good, but there was a lot of bad – globally, nationally, and personally. I lost loved ones – to death, to addiction, to a simple drifting apart. I allowed mental illness (and the ultimate stabilization of it) to dig myself into a hole I’ll be spending 2018 climbing back out of.

Nonetheless, some wonderful things also happened in 2017. As my sister, Emily, sarcastically reminded me just last night: “It’s almost as if things aren’t always black & white.” (Eh, it’s paraphrased.) In spite of intellectually arguing that almost everything is gray, I tend to stomp my feet when I can’t pigeon hole something into a one-dimensional category. Here’s to attempting to leave that in 2017, I guess.

2017 Highlights
+ Started the year off at Disney World with my family
+ I got to see a lot of plays! My grandmother (my Mimi!) instilled a love for theater in me at a long age, and it was nice to get to experience so many in 2017.
+ I saw The Decemberists & Kesha in concert! It was a light year for me for music compared to plays, but those were two great ones I’m glad I didn’t miss – both at the Ryman.
+ I had a pretty good year professionally. I learned a lot, I grew a lot, and I had a great team around me.
+ I became a semi-responsible adult and finally scheduled doctor’s appointments here in Nashville & got medicated for my ~~debilitating~~ anxiety.
+ I moved into a beautiful place in East Nashville that has a backyard for my giant pup and my little sister moved right across the street.
+ James & I went to Quebec! We stayed in Montreal and took a day trip to Quebec City. One of my major goals for 2017 was to take a trip outside of the U.S. I’m so glad I was able to fulfill it, and really affordably, too.

2017’s “Currentlies”
+ Thanks to Moviepass (which I cannot recommend enough) I was able to see quite a few movies in theaters, but my favorite was probably Lady Bird, and the one I’m looking forward to most is The Shape of Water.
+ I watched a pretty ungodly amount of netflix this year. The two shows I enjoyed binge-ing most were Shameless and Sense8. I also finished Dark last night, and it was extremely engaging and different and ended on a terrible cliff-hanger!!
+ Though I unfortunately let James use my Spotify account for most of the year, and therefore don’t have an accurate end-of-year playlist, I am 100% sure that my most listened to artist were Lana del Rey’s Lust for Life, Lorde’s Melodrama, and Troye Sivan’s Blue Neighborhood.
+ I actually read this year! I was a voracious reader throughout my childhood and then I went to college and suddenly stopped. I suppose I had so much obligatory reading that I stopped taking joy in reading recreationally. I only finished 8 books this year, but it’s a start. My favorites were Call Me By Your Name, Behind Her Eyes, and The Widow.

2018 Goals
Moving forward, I do have some year-long goals for 2018. I want to be more consistent with my skincare routine. I want to tremendously limit my makeup purchases, horrifically having hit both Sephora Rouge and Ulta Platinum this year; I intend to not purchase anything new unless I have used up something from the same category in my current collection. I want to be mindful of my eating – I won’t say I’m going to become a full-on vegetarian overnight, but I want to deliberately make choices that don’t contribute to factory farming. I will only purchase cruelty-free beauty & bath products this year and hopefully forevermore! More technically, I want to learn how to use manual mode on my camera. I also want to practice my French or German every single day. As I mentioned previously, I want to read 12 books this year – I’ve already started on a couple!

I was more than ready for a new year. I know it’s arbitrary, just a day like any other day, but I appreciate the feeling of renewal that each New Year’s Day brings. Happy 2018!

xo

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.

Skincare

  • 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!

Makeup

Face

  • 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.

Eyes

  • 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

  • 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.

Miscellaneous

  • 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.

Pumpkin Paradise

Why, oh why, can I not motivate myself to sit still and write a blog post? Je ne sais pas. I need to get up my October Boxycharm post, my Fall FabFitFun post – heck, I haven’t even posted about my trip to montreal that was in August. I cannot seem to sit still anymore, and any time I do I feel like I’m wasting time. It’s hard to sit back and take a minute to myself these days – days are so short and getting even shorter. 
Just before Halloween, I went with my little sister Emily and her roommate, K8, to Cheekwood. I’ve lived in Nashville for close to a decade now, but I’ve never visited the estate, so what better time to visit than during their Harvest, when everything is covered in pumpkins and chrysanthemum blooms?
cheekwood harvest
The gardens were so charming. It was crowded because it was a Sunday afternoon, but I can only imagine how peaceful it would be to come out here with a blanket and a book some weekday. It also helped to settle into feeling like it’s really Fall, though it was still warm enough to break a sweat – it’s hard not to feel autumnal when you’re surrounded by a million pumpkins.
Now I have to come back to see their holiday lights, which BY THE WAY they were already constructing before Halloween had even rolled around. I’m still over here with jack-o-lanterns on my front porch a week into November … I’m sorry, but if it’s 75 and sunny outside, it’s just not Christmastime.
dragon's breath at cheekwood estate and gardens
FYI, I’m wearing my Luxy clip-in hair extensions here. Could you tell? They’re awesome and I’ve had my pair for almost a year now with absolutely no change to their quality (wearing them infrequently). I get the 160 gram classic set in Chocolate Brown, though my next purchase will probably be the Off Black shade now that I’ve gone a little darker and cooler with my hair.
My hair is long, but I’ve always wanted thick, luxurious princess hair. I mean, maybe if I hadn’t spent the past few years bleaching my hair to hell and back it would still be as thick as it once was, but the fact of the matter is that it’s not! Clip in extensions are my lazy girl dream come true – I mess with it if I feel like it, and I don’t if I don’t.
How cute are K8’s mustardy-cognac converse? They’re the first pair I’ve lusted after since I was in 11th grade.
But back to the main point of this post, I hope y’all had a happy Halloween and that you went outside and took advantage of it. I had … drumroll please … ONE TRICK OR TREATER!!! One, but hey, it gave me more time to watch Trick’r’Treat and end the night with a cocktail at Urban Cowboy Public House.
pumpkins at cheekwood estate & gardens

xo

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.