Luminoso

Milani Luminoso in PanMilani Luminoso, $8

This is a legacy post that I’ve given a facelift. I still love this under $10 drugstore blush – and even though I have a fancy NARS blush and I own highlighters now, this still holds its own in my collection.

There are so many stunningly beautiful prestige and luxury blushes out there.

That said, don’t let yourself get caught up and sneer at drugstore blush because some of them are wonderful. My favorite so far, to my surprise, is a $3 e.l.f. Studio offering. Modest price, modest (but functional, sturdy, and sleek) packaging – but pretty color that is perfect for every day and/or work. But this article isn’t about that, it’s about Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso.

It’s April. My No-Buy is over. Another blush finally joined the ranks.

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2016 Favorites

I’m sticking to last year’s annual favorites format because it worked well.

2016 Favorites - Garnier & Simple Micellar Water

Garnier Micellar Water, $7; Simple Micellar Water, $8

If I had to pick a single type of product to name as a favorite in 2016, I’d have to say micellar water is it. I like both of these and purchase whichever is a better value at the time. I’ve totally given up makeup wipes in favor of using this with cotton pads or a reusable makeup removing cloth.

Pantene Pro-V Stylers Mousse, $6

This mousse is my, “daily driver.” Out of the (average) 135 days per year I blow-dry my hair, this product is in my hair at least 95 of them. (The remaining ~40 is either hyper-lazy, product-free, or calls for the big guns.) It is accessible, inexpensive, and reliable – and it works well on my hair.

Gimme Brow

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PSA: NARS at Ulta

Just before the holidays, we got to see NARS at Ulta. Initially, they had only four shades of blush, the Multiple, and Laguna bronzer. Since then, they have expanded to a range of sixteen products, several of which have multiple shades. Unfortunately, they’re all online-only at this time; I’m uncertain about plans to move them to stores. I can only assume such a move would depend on the brand’s performance at the mixed-range retailer.

NARS at UltaNARS at Ulta

I picked up a blush before the year ended, but I’m delighted to see they’re carrying my favorite eye pencil and the ever-popular Radiant Creamy Concealer (not the full color range, yet, but I imagine they’ll get there). NARS fans will be happy to see a NARSissist palette, Sheer glow, and the Audacious lipsticks stocked, among other things.

My NARS experience is limited to the aforementioned concealer, eye pencil, the foundation I wore for my wedding, and now a blush. They don’t carry the foundation in question because it has been discontinued, but the other products, so far, are absolutely worth the hype – which isn’t something I often get to say.

Are you excited to see NARS at Ulta? The online-only range is only expanding! Or did you prefer the slightly more exclusive nature it had before? Accessibility is good as far as I’m concerned.

 

December 2016 Favorites

Isn’t it funny how much faster time seems to pass as we age? Not to start the year off on a dark note, but I’m pretty sure I just wrote my December 2015 Favorites. Wildly, this is my fourth December Favorites post (2013, 2014). I ended up trying and becoming rapidly obsessed with a lot of new stuff, so this was pretty difficult! Unfortunately, my nice tidy graphic was eaten by a grue, so I’ll be sharing in-line images in my December 2016 Favorites.

December 2016 Favorites - Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner, $20

The same Sephora in JcPenney set that the NARS pencil I am now obsessed with came in had this. I’ve really wanted to try one of the Heavy Metal Glitter liners forever, but I couldn’t justify $20 on one. Being unable to try it and being unable to wear it to work caused it to rank low on my wish list. (The set was only $30, so it was a solid value.) I wore it a lot during December; between the holidays and a staycation I was like, “Why not glitter?” It’s really easy to apply, it stays on well, and damn it’s pretty. I want all of them.

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NARS Blush, $30

I bought my first NARS blush ($30) while taking advantage of an Ulta Platinum discount. I didn’t go with their bestseller, Orgasm – and instead went with an equally-shadily-named one, Deep Throat. I’m satisfied with my drugstore blush (from elf and Milani), and I like my two Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes… One use of this stuff, though, and it is no wonder why NARS slays the blush market. It’s gorgeous, and I’m glad it is in my life.

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Esarora Brush Cleansing Mat, $12

When I wrote about the Real Techniques Brush Palette, I mentioned that I wouldn’t shell out for a Sigma mat. And that rings true, I wouldn’t and won’t. But I would spend $10 on this Esarora one on Amazon (Regularly $13, I picked it up on Lightning Deal a while ago). I like it a hell of a lot more than the Real Techniques one – it’s a lot easier to use, and definitely nowhere near as awkward. It also comes with a small circular one for travel.

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Dearfoams Sweater Slipper Boots, $32

In my area, winter weather started well before the solstice. Costco had a great deal on these Dearfoams slippers ($13!) so I grabbed a pair and love them – they’re warm and comfortable, and unlike other slippers, they don’t feel like they’re going to fall off your feet as you walk around the house. Amazon still has them for about $32. These are not intended for outdoor wear.

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Woodwick Yuletide Wreath, $10

I came across this candle while running an errand for my mom at Hallmark. It’s interesting – I don’t normally go for the pine-y, balsam fir-esque scents, but this one snared me. I was already stocked up on North Pole by Yankee, but I after smelling this I required it in my life. It just smells like Christmas, and in a year where I was feeling uncharacteristically un-Christmas-y, I wanted that. Provided they don’t get discontinued, Yuletide Wreath ($10) will be a staple in my holiday candlescaping shenanigans.

OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress, $8

Even though I’ve been more into neutrals lately I am still a lover of red nail polish. I’ve been wearing I’m Not Really a Waitress for ten years now (I just typed that and feel uncomfortable) and it hasn’t gotten old yet. I’ve  I own the GelColor version ($20) (which isn’t quite the same as the original but I still <3 it) and I got a pedicure with the regular stuff the week before Christmas. I bought mine from Amazon, but it doesn’t appear to be stocked there now.

RIP KvD Painted Love in Adora

Lipstick, by its very nature, does not have a generous shelf-life. I went to use Adora around December 16 and found that it was no longer good. Oh well – I’ll just have to buy it in the Studded Kiss formula. I hope it is still as good!

What did you love in December?

Recent Repurchases – Fall/Winter 2016

Us beauty bloggers talk a LOT about new things we’ve tried, or NEW(ish in my case!) favorites, but I think we collectively do a poor job of talking about what we loved enough to repurchase. I might really enjoy a product for a few months, but by the time I get to the end of the bottle or hit pan, things may have changed.

Here’s are my recent repurchases as of last week.

 

Recent Repuchases - Million Dollar Tan Cabana TanMillion Dollar Tan Cabana Tan

Some of my hunt for a more cost-effective sunless tanner has been chronicled. I’m not unhappy with Million Dollar Tan in the slightest, but accessibility and cost are key items that factor in my buying choices. St Tropez is more accessible didn’t blow my mind. Vita Liberata is more accessible, but also more costly. Many drugstore options are hit-or-miss. On Thanksgiving, Million Dollar Tan featured a 40% off discount – so I snagged the already-discounted 2-pack of Cabana Tan for only $30 TOTAL with the 40% code and free shipping. Normally $32 EACH (I’ve never paid full price, but still) this is a solid deal. With my usage, it takes me forever to get through the product, so it will be about two years before I need to replenish.

For those who would prefer to order through a retailer, Nordstrom carries it now too.

 

2016 Holiday Gift Guide - Big Sexy Hair Volumizing SetBig Sexy Hair Root Pump

I’m utterly helpless when it comes to hair, but I’ve figured out how to be presentable for work. One of the consequences of insisting on having long hair is that long locks tend to weigh down roots, so I need help in that department. I’ve bought a few travel-sized bottles of Big Sexy Hair Root Pump before, too gun-shy to shell out for the a full-sized can. This gift set from JcPenney (fluctuates between $22-25) finally got me to bite the bullet with some promo code and rewards cash for ultra-cheap.

Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki

Sigma F80

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