August Beauty Favorites

Tis that time again! Well, technically, it is past time to talk about what beauty tidbits I loved in August. Most of these were things I have had in my collection for several months but never quite made it into a favorites post. So today these products get their due. Let’s dig in!

August Faves in all their glory.

August Faves in all their glory.

Though it’s not technically a beauty product, this soft, snuggly, lavender blanket has been my favorite random item this month. My grandma bought it for me at Costco as a housewarming present when I couldn’t stop petting the darn thing in the store.


So good I don't want to stop!

So good I don’t want to stop!

The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Hydrating Toner ($13.00)

This is one of the only new items in my favorites this month. I bought this in a Body Shop Vitamin E kit for $20.00 at a TJ Maxx and when I couldn’t find my regular toner in the midst of unpacking I turned to this one. I’m actually upset about the prospect of switching back to my former toner now.  This Hydrating Toner has a light, clean scent that I can’t get enough of. My skin feels refreshed after I use it, and this product truly does hydrate my skin. I also appreciate that there is no bite to this toner but it removes oil and makeup with ease. Would highly recommend this product.




Rimmel Exaggerate Full Lip Colour Lip Liner in Eastend Snob 063 ($5.99)

Normally, I have no use for lip liners, but I stumbled upon this shade and decided to give it a go. The universe steered me right that day because this shade is perfection. For me, Eastend Snob is a my lips but better shade. I can wear it alone for a matte look or under a nude color for longer wear. The formula is smooth and doesn’t tug at my lips. The design of the product is simple but gives you more precision: when you twist the product up it comes up at an angle for an always slanted tip. No other lip liner has ever charmed me the way this Rimmel liner has!


The unsung hero of any beauty lover.

The unsung hero of any beauty lover.

Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat (4.99)

These kinds of products don’t normally get a lot of love in favorites post but I am here to change that today! I used to have a terrible problem with my nails breaking whenever they got to a certain length. My friend, Elyse, suggested using some kind of strengthener and recommended a few from Sally Hansen to me. I have been using this as a base and top coat for months now and my nails seem so much happier. I won’t pretend this product cures all nail ills, but for my needs it has been fabulous. I’ve noticed my nails are less brittle and grow to longer lengths (when I let them) without breaking. And the shine this top coat gives is so glossy. I recently tried returning to my old O.P.I top coat and was terribly disappointed. This base & top coat might just be a holy grail item for me!




O.S.T. Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum ($24.99)

This is the first serum I’ve ever regularly integrated into my skin care routine. Months ago, back in November I believe, a blogger Suomica (she hasn’t been on in a while for personal reasons but I hope she comes back to the blogging community one day), did a post on this product and I was tempted enough to buy it. I got my bottle from a Korean beauty website called, and though it took about seven weeks to get to the States, this serum is worth the wait. I put it on every night before bed and my skin soaks it up. It’s supposedly 20% vitamin c and the website claims that it helps firm up skin, evens skin tone, and combats breakouts. As to the firming part, it’s hard to say, since I’m twenty-four and can’t tell if it’s tightening loose skin or not. I will say that my skin has looked brighter and it helps sooth breakouts. It doesn’t remove blackheads entirely, but I can tell when I haven’t been using this serum at night. Love the little apothecary style bottle and glass stopper too.


Probably my favorite palette of all time. No joke.

Probably my favorite palette of all time. No joke.

My three favorite shades from the palette. Top to bottom: Selfish, Stand-offish, and Seductive

My three favorite shades from the palette. Top to bottom: Selfish, Stand-offish, and Seductive

The Balm’s Nude ‘Tude Palette ($18.00)

If you’re a makeup fan, you’re probably curious about the price I’m citing here. I got my Nude ‘Tude palette on Hautelook for $18 when it’s regularly $36. This one purchase has justified my Hautelook account. These shadows are so velvety and soft I have to stop myself from randomly touching them and wasting product. My favorite shades are Selfish (silvery taupe), Stand-offish (golden pink), and Seductive (light copper). All of these shadows are blendable and have great pigmentation. This has been my go-to travel palette when I went home in July and then went to my friend’s wedding at the beginning of August. And I love the sassy pin-up girl pans! If you’re looking for a neutral palette, I would highly recommend the Nude ‘Tude palette, even at full price it’s still cheaper than Urban Decay’s Naked Palette (don’t get me wrong, I love that one too but sometimes you have to think of your budget first).

Hope you all enjoyed my beauty favorites for August!


$20 and Under: My Top 5 Spring Beauty Buys

My Top 5 Beauty Buys for Spring 2014

My Top 5 Beauty Buys for Spring 2014

Little known fact about me: I’m a makeup addict. More specifically, I’m a drugstore makeup addict. Not that the big name brands aren’t fabulous (big fan on Clinique) but when you’re a student, rewarding yourself with some lipstick or nail polish that’s less than $10 is much more justifiable. When I was working on my B.A. in Ohio, I used small makeup purchases as rewards for good grades. Whatever motivates you, I suppose.

So instead of being secretive about my makeup habit, I’ve decided to share what my favorite beauty buys are for spring. I won’t pretend to be some kind of expert on application or trend predicting, but this is what has drawn me in this season.

1. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup 

My skin is super sensitive and rather pale, so finding a foundation that is gentle enough but that also matches my skin tone can be tricky. Most foundations clog up my pores, but Neutrogena is always a safe bet for me. The healthy skin line has antioxidants and 20 spf, plus it blends well. When I take my makeup off at night, my skin feels soft and clean. I use the shade classic ivory, and it retails for $12.49.

2. L’Oreal’s Extraordinaire by Colour Riche 

When I was at this year’s Sundance, they had a L’Oreal vending machine that gave you a free lip gloss every time you tweeted about the product. That was some kind of wonderful. I tweeted a lot. I came home from that trip with about seven shades of this stuff, and they’re all amazing. The gloss is silken and very pigmented, which translates to a stain when the gloss gradually wears off. The swatch below is of the color Blushing Harmony 103 and retails for $9.99.

3. Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner

It’s a mouthful of a title for one little liner, but I adore this product. Personally, I prefer cream based liners over pencils or liquids. They tend to apply smooth and are more subtle. A liquid or pencil is a bold statement on the eye and I prefer for my actual eye shadow to be the statement piece. I have three on these particular eyeliners, but for spring I think the nude shade will be more on trend. Apply it on your waterline to have the same effect as a white liner–wider, whiter looking eyes. The nude color is also great for a natural look. I also swatched the silver and deep blue liners so you could see the nude color better. Each eyeliner retails for $4.49.

Product swatches for Neutrogena, L'Oreal, and Rimmel.

Product swatches for Neutrogena, L’Oreal, and Rimmel.

4. Wet N Wild Color Icon Bronzer

I’ve always been intimidated by bronzer. My past adventures with the stuff have yielded an Oompa Loompa look that is just not cute on anyone. But I took a chance with this Wet N Wild brand in Reserve Your Cabana, and I’m glad I gave it a shot. This powder bronzer is well suited for fairer skin and leaves nothing but a healthy glow behind.  It comes in two other colors (Ticket to Brazil and Bikini Contest), so all skin tones can get their glow on before summer begins. Sorry I don’t have a swatch for this, but it’s rather subtle. Retails for $3.99.

5. Julep Nail Color

Julep is a fun website/product for those that love nail color. You can become a Julep Maven and get a customized box of nail color or product for $20 a month, but what is great about this system is that you don’t have to fully commit to buying every box. If the colors of the month don’t move you, you can pass on the box and save your money. My favorite find lately has been the creme finish Libby, which is a delightful teal shade. It’s a vibrant shade that will still go perfectly with your Easter dress. Fun tidbit: Julep names all of its nail polishes after women. Retail is $14.00 or $11.20 for a Maven.

So those are my favorite beauty buys for under $20 each. The Julep nail color is the only one you won’t find in a drugstore, but I couldn’t resist adding it. If my favorites are anything to go off of, I think glowing natural tones with pops of vibrant color is going to be “in” for spring.

What do you think will be “in” for spring at your beauty counter?