Best of 2014: A Year in Review

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 is wrapping up, and what a year it has been. It started out pretty horrible for me but turned around and became the happiest, most fulfilling year of my life! Funny how personal growth can come from awful things, no? As this year draws to a conclusion, it also marks five years of blogging for me, which I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Unforgettable Oriole

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rouge Bunny Rouge was on HauteLook (affil link) a couple months back and I was absolutely thrilled to pieces because I had some account credit that was about to expire. I spent a good amount of time perusing swatches of the legendary eyeshadows of which I had been assured were legendary in formulation. It was this set of swatches that convinced me not to overlook the paler shades and I ended up picking up Unforgettable Oriole.

Perfume Diary: Tom Ford Oud Wood Eau de Parfum

Monday, December 29, 2014

I have not written a fragrance review in quite some time, mainly because I've been preoccupied for the same scent for the last few months. My friend Trisha gave me a small decant of Tom Ford Oud Wood, from the Private Blend collection and I'm enjoying each wear more and more.

Unwinding with TATCHA Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I'm making amends to my face right now.

The hustle and bustle of the holidays, has regretfully made me neglect my skin. Somewhere between creating the perfect presents for family, the cooking and the baking, I forgot to supplement my skin with much needed moisture. My nostrils were a bit chapped; there were quite a few little dry patches and boy, it was uncomfortable.

Book Review: Homemade Nail Polish by Allison Rose Spiekermann

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Monday!

I have something a little different for you guys today. Allison of the indie brand Nail Pattern Boldness has written a book entirely about polish and I finally got my mitts on a copy. A book entirely about polish and sparkly things? Now there's a page turner. Homemade Nail Polish: Create Unique Colors and Designs for Stunning Nails is just under a hundred pages chock full of polish related information and ideas.

Mundane Monday, Vol. XXII: My Secondhand Dog is Pretty Great

Monday, December 15, 2014
I can't believe I didn't post about this sooner. 

Two months ago, we adopted this fantastic dog from a local rescue. Her name is Vesper! She's a 2-3 year old German Shepard. 


Sunday, December 14, 2014
This look started out as a cat eye. Unfortunately, the eyeliner on one eye looked thicker than the other, and by the time I evened it out, both eyes had a thick swoosh going on. At that point, I decided that I might as well top it with eye shadow because it had just clearly gone beyond the boundaries of a simple cat eye. The feature shadow of this look is Femme Fatale Cosmetics Flare, a medium red shadow with golden iridescence.

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Duo in Granite
Eyes: Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer, Inglot Gel Liner #77, Illamasqua Daemon shadow, Lancome Hypnose mascara, false lashes

By the way, I'm on my yearly indie shadow bender.


Nails of the Day: A Vision of Red Prints

 So because I help international friends make purchases through Sephora, I ended up hitting Rouge again. Yep, despite my best intentions to shop elsewhere. For renewing Rouge status for another year, there was a free Sephora Formula X polish in an "exclusive" color. It's called X(Heart)Rouge.

That color is red. Red creme. Opaque, leaning a bit warm.

How exciting.

I used it to stamp over Chrome Girl Nails Between The Sheets, a white creme. Used Winstonia W111, W113 as well as my new plate from eBay. They're basically knockoff of large scene Moyou plates, but for under $2, I can deal with it.

I phoned it in on the clean up job, guys.

Have a great weekend!

Inglot Pearl 606

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

 My purchase of Laura Mercier Fire Glow from the Summer 2013 Collection spiraled into a deep appreciation of coppery/metallic orange colors that has lasted even until now. I recently saw a good friend of mine wearing this shade and I kinda had to immediately have it myself. Inglot Pearl 606 is a very sparkly/metallic copper.

Review: Toppik Hair Building Fibers Starter Kit

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Over the last couple months, I noticed that I was losing quite a bit of my hair. For me, it wasn't a copious amount of daily shedding (like the kind that happens fairly often postpartum as hormones level out) but my hairline started to recede and I started developing those pockets of visible scalp near the temples that you would associate with male pattern baldness. While I'm glad that it's not very visible in pictures, it was definitely something I (and husband) noticed in person. Though I do not base my self worth on my appearance, the seemingly rapid loss of hair was nevertheless distressing. After moping about it for a bit, I looked into Toppik Hair Fibers.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide On Eye Pencil in Black Velvet + Matte Black Smokey Eye Pictorial

Monday, December 8, 2014
This review is going to be short and simple, mainly because I already reviewed another Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Pencil a few weeks ago. I made a short sort of pictorial to go with it, because in this instance, I happened to use Black Velvet as not just eyeliner but as the base to this matte black smokey eye.

I tried Black Velvet, which seems to be much better compared to Plushie (review here). It is creamier and applies without as much skipping, with impressive pigmentation. However, it still flakes off a little bit during application, as you can see in the following pictorial.

Glossybox Limited Edition - The Ultimate Holiday Gift

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! 

American friends, I hope you had a most spectacular Thanksgiving weekend. I was fortunate enough to spend a long weekend with my in-laws and hand more than my fill of turkey. Today, I'd like to show you the limited edition Glossybox Ultimate Holiday Gift box. 

The special packaging is very festive! It really felt like a fantastic gift that arrived early when I opened the box. 

Review: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Good afternoon!

I was recently able to try Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation (thanks to Xiao!) and figured I'd blog about it before it became one of those things that I intend to do but never actually post about. You know, the reviews that stay in my draft folder for years and never see the light of day. Now, I have the stock image of this foundation because I have the older bottle with a different numbering system (back before they went with the whole bright red styling of the current packaging). 

Sales & Deals - November

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Good afternoon!

With the approaching Cyber Monday deals to be had, I thought I'd post about a couple really good deals, some happening now and some to mark on your calender.

As of this morning, Rouge Bunny Rouge is on Hautelook! I'm excited, I had some credit so I ordered my first two RBR shadows, Unforgettable Oriole and Abyssinian Catbird.  Bellyhead had me wanting all of them though.

Sephora has a couple L'Artisan sets right now. One is a sampler of vials (pictured above) that I purchased to get a great sense of the individual scents and L'Artisan as a brand. The other is a set of four mini spray bottles; Caligna, La Chasse Aux Papillons, Mure Musc Extreme, and Timuktu

Tatcha will be having a Friends & Family event from Black Friday until Monday. Use FF2014 to get 20% off the website. The best part is that they have all these Holiday Gift Sets right now that would make great presents. To yourself.

I'll update this post later with more deals!

Post contains affiliate links. 

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bachelorette

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
 I love the little seasonal bag full of GWP products that Sephora offers every year around this time. To be honest, I didn't try any of the products from last year's bag until a few months ago, so I figured that this time around I'd get the ball rolling early. The set included a deluxe mini Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bachelorette and I'm quite taken with it.

R29 + Rescue Beauty Lounge

Monday, November 10, 2014


Today I'm very happy to be unveiling the newest collection of Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes; a collaboration between Ji Baek and Refinery29. I think Ji says it best:

Introducing our first ever collaboration outside of the ReBeL community bubble. We paired up with the ever-clever, witty folks behind my daily obsession –Refinery29. I like to think I’ve earned a doctorate on making people’s dream colors come true. My dissertation was the past two The Bloggers’ collections as well as The Fan Collection . I even had a slightly mean-girlish thought: For real, I mean, what do you non-lacquer heads know (except maybe the beauty department) about nail polish? I thought I was going to sail away with this collaboration. But of course, I should’ve known, that dark shadow “karma” took a huge bite out of my *ss because I jinxed myself with my smugness and judgments. The moment our union commenced, the seven Refinery29 teams submitted their dream color inspirational boards. My head spun! I’ve never mixed so many colors IN MY LIFE! 

Inglot AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Good afternoon!

Over the weekend, I picked up my first Inglot AMC Pure Pigment Eye Shadow. At $14 per pot (2 grams), this actually makes them more expensive than MAC Pigments (at $21 for 4.5 grams) but as I have yet to finish even one sample of a MAC Pigment, I didn't mind splitting this shade with a friend.

I picked #35, a chunky cool gold in a base that looks pastel purple or dusty indigo depending on the angle. Hardcore nail polish collectors - remember Sally Hansen Opulent Cloud? Or Orly Oui? This is like a chunky eye shadow version of those polishes.

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Pencil in Plushie

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
 Good afternoon!

Recently Sephora offered a neat little GWP with a code for a deluxe Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide On Pencil in Plushie and I quite happy to get one along with my Bite set. I've heard nice things about 24/7s, but my experience with them has been mediocre. The thing that I looked forward to the most was that the Velvet finish meant a matte formula, and I just about love everything more when matte.

KBShimmer Winter Collection

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Good morning!

I've been working on swatches of the newest KBShimmer Winter Collection all last week and over the weekend, trying to capture how utterly glittery some of the shades are. Today, I have eight colors from that collection to show you and there's a brand new kind of glitter in one of them that is particularly interesting.

Best Bite Remix Set - Review & Swatches

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I've been fighting some dreadful nausea all week so this is the first day in a while I've been upright without feeling queasy. Luckily for me, this little indulgence arrived today - the Best Bite Remix set. Can you believe it's been six months since I bought any makeup? I didn't intentionally start a no-buy, but I just went with it. When I saw this set on Sephora I thought, "treat yo self", a la Tom & Donna.

Barielle Me Couture Collection - Fall 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Good afternoon!

Today I have swatches of the Fall 2014 Barielle collection called Me Couture. It contains five cremes and one near creme, which is to say it contains very fine shimmer but applies like a creme. The shades are what I call a classic fall palette, rich yet deep.

 On my outer fingers I have two coats of Vintage Gown (a rust colored silk with a hint of hot pink shimmer) and on the inner fingers I have Berry Posh (fuchsia creme), also two coats.

 On the outer fingers I have two coats of Taupe Notch (a purple tinged greige) and on the inner fingers, two coats of Boho Chic (hunter green creme).

The last two shades are Soho At Night, of which I applied two coats on the outer fingers (dull grape creme) and two coats of an inky indigo creme called Moda Bleu. It looked opaque in person, but as you can see on camera Moda Bleu might have needed just one more coat.

The formulas were all around really great. Smooth, glossy and most were really opaque in just two coats. The purple-y shades of the bunch (Moda Bleu and Soho At Night) were a touch... watery, almost? Just slightly different from your typical creme application.

Hands down my favorite shades are Moda Bleu and Boho Chic, these are colors I can't get enough of lately. Each shade retails for $8 directly from the Barielle website. I'd recommend signing up for the newsletter though, as they frequently have great promotions.

Which of these six is your favorite color out of this collection?

Products featured were press samples. For additional information, please refer to my Disclosure Policy. 

KBShimmer Fall 2014 Shades

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Good evening!

I'm a bit behind on swatches and fall collections, since I've been trying to incorporate more nail art and less straight up swatches. I hope you'll forgive me but truly, a lot of fun is taken away from polish when you become a straight up swatch monster so adding a bit of nail art here and there really makes the difference for me! Today's post contains five shades from the fall KBShimmer collection.

A Tale of Infatuation: Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Good evening!

This post is not so much a review as it is a love story. A few weeks ago I talked about the Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit (review here) and how after a mere few weeks I was head-over-heels, irrevocably, deeply in love with those products. They changed my skin so completely that I can't imagine using anything else now. I was also sent the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum and I feel like I've used it long enough that I have no excuse not to write a thorough review.

Sneak Peek: Glossybox - October

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Good afternoon!

Today I have a sneak preview of the October edition of Glossybox.

A full sized Tarte LipSurgence Power Pigment and a mini LE Vince Camuto Amore Eau de Parfum comes in every single box. You'll receive one of two shades for the Tarte Power Pigment; Flush or Awakening.

Perfume Diary: Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Eau de Parfum

Friday, October 3, 2014

Good afternoon!

Earlier this year, Sephora offered Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black as a deluxe 100-point reward and I was very happy to add it to an order. I had sampled it previously along with Nirvana White and while I felt that this perfume lacked complexity, it wasn't a bad scent to wear.

Triangular Manicure

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I just wanted to pop in a quick picture of my current manicure before I go and take it off.  I started with a base of American Apparel Cotton and used KBShimmer Vinyl Nail Decals (Thick & Thin Lines) over it to create various triangles. I used American Apparel Peacock, KBShimmer Eclipse and Nature Republic BK006 Burnt Grey.

This is a possible color scheme that I was considering for one of the spare bedrooms. Now that I've seen these colors together though... I think I'll switch out the black for a glitzy, warm gold.

Have a great rest of the week!

Magenta/Blue Duochrome Eyes

Monday, September 29, 2014
 Good afternoon!

I've really been loving unusual duochrome looks lately. I mean, brown with a green/blue flash is rather commonplace (think about how many brands have such a shaodw; MAC, Too Faced, Kat von D, Urban Decay, etc) but I've seen some beautiful looks with magenta/blue and orange/golden green.

While rummaging through my makeup (currently half is still living on the main floor) I was thrilled to discover that I already owned such a color! Enter Femme Fatale Cosmetics Dispersion. A matte sort of brick red color with icy blue interference.

DIFFERENT dimension Fall Heavy Metals and Spooky Spooky Collections

Friday, September 26, 2014

Good afternoon!

In a few hours, the latest collections from DIFFERENT dimension will be available and I'm really excited because you know me and fall collections. Missi knocked it out of the park with last year's fall and Halloween shades I think that this year is no different!

First, the Heavy Metals Collection. Steampunk inspired, this collection features six holographic shades that are almost chrome like in appearance as well as two glitter toppers that look like they are loaded with precious metals.