My May 2018 Ulta Haul

Last week, I purchased some new makeup from Ulta, and it hasn’t come in yet, but I’m very excited for it. In preparation for it to be here later today, I thought I’d let you guys know what I got, so you can hopefully look forward to some good reviews in the next few weeks. I’m very hopeful about the pieces in this shipment, and I think you guys will enjoy some of them, as well!

  • Dream Fresh BB Cream 8-In-1 Skin Perfector – I recently did a post about why I prefer to use BB cream instead of foundation in the summer, so I decided to try this one out. I like Maybelline’s Baby Skin Primer, so I think their BB cream might work well for me, too.
  • FaceStudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter – I ended up getting the NYX Wonder Stick, and it’s okay, but the highlighter isn’t very shimmery. I know some women like a matter highlighter, but I prefer to glow a little more, so I’m thinking this one may be more my speed.
  • SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color – I actually got two of these, Lover and Poet. One of my best friends has Lover, and it looks really good on her. She’s been telling me for weeks how great these are, so I finally caved and bought a couple. I stayed with safer shades, since I was buying online, but it looked like they had a lot of really neat colors that I’d like to try out.
  • Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation – I’ve heard some good things about this foundation, so I thought I’d check it out. I like my current one, but I could use one with a little more coverage for some occasions, so hopefully this one will check that box. Plus, I needed to spend a little more to get free shipping and my free gift, so what the heck, right?
  • Carli Bybel Deluxe Edition 21 Color Eyeshadow & Highlighter Palette – I’m probably most excited about this. First, it was only $18, and it has a lot of colors that I think I can wear on a daily basis. Plus, it’s just a beautiful palette. I’ve never used any BH Cosmetics stuff,  but it looked like it had some good reviews. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.
  • 4-Piece MAC Gift Set – Because I spent $50 (which is what you need for free shipping, anyways), I got a free 4-piece gift set from MAC. I can’t remember exactly what it featured off the top of my head, and the listing isn’t available anymore, but I know it had a lipstick, a mascara, maybe a primer, and something else. I’ve never tried any MAC products, because they are so expensive, but I’m excited to see if they’re worth the hype.

With a $3.50 off coupon, I got all of this for $55.09, which I personally think is amazing for all of this. I can’t wait to play with it all and let you know how everything is working. What are your favorite pieces from recent beauty hauls?

My Summer 2018 Makeup Wish List

I haven’t made an Ulta run in a while, and I think I’m starting to have withdrawal symptoms. I’ve been looking through their site and figuring out some new things to try out, so I can make my makeup routine even better. I’ve started making a summer makeup wish list to help me decide what to get next time I go, which will hopefully be this week. I thought I’d share this list with y’all in case anyone else was looking for some new makeup, as well, or to see if any of you had tried these things and could tell me what you thought.

  • NYX Professional Makeup Wonder Stick – This product is a contour stick that has both a cream contour and highlighter. I’ve never used a cream or liquid contour, so I’m interested to see how it works for me.
  • Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color – One of my friends raves about this stuff, and I’m dying to try it for myself, but I need to look at some of the shades in person to see which one will work best for me.
  • Limited Edition Morphe x Bretman Babe in Paradise Highlighter Palette – I’ve been looking for a new highlighter, and this palette came up in one of the Ulta emails I got. It looks beautiful, and if my NYX Wonder Stick doesn’t work out, I may definitely look into this. Hopefully it will still be available if I decide I want it.
  • Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream 8-in-1 Skin Perfector – I like to use BB cream instead of foundation in the summer when I can get away with it, and I really like my Maybelline primer, so I feel like I’d like their bb cream, as well.

These are the specific products I’ve been looking at, but I’m also on the lookout for some new eyeshadows, and I’m definitely open to suggestions there. What’s on your summer makeup wish list?

Spring Cleaning 101

I’ve spent most of the morning so far today working on cleaning out my house. A little spring cleaning, if you will, even though it snowed here all day yesterday. I tend to be a little bit of a hoarder, but most of it comes from laziness, rather than having any actual attachment to the stuff. Because of this, I thought it might help some of you who are like me to hear my approach on how I get started when I finally work up the nerve to attack the clutter.

  1. Start wherever you feel comfortable. Decluttering your house can seem really overwhelming, so feel free to start wherever you want. Today, I started by cleaning out my makeup drawer and just throwing away anything I hadn’t used in the last 6 months or more. There were some things I didn’t even know I had! I was tempted to keep some of those, but realized I had lived this long without it, so I probably didn’t need it. Plus, who knew if it was even good any more.
  2. Make piles to help you stay organized. When I started cleaning out my closet, I made a pile that I was going to take to Plato’s closet (stuff that was in good shape that I thought they might buy), a pile for Good Will, and a pile to trash. Then, I put those piles into marked garbage bags, so I could take them to their respective destinations.
  3. Clean immediately after decluttering. I know it can be tempting after you’ve decluttered to take a break for the rest of the day. However, your floors and counters will never be clearer than right after you declutter, so that is the perfect time to clean them, as well.
  4. Stay hydrated. Decluttering your home is no small task, so make sure you don’t undertake it without taking care of your body, too. Take short breaks to grab water every now and then and just to sit down for a minute.

I hope everyone’s spring cleaning journeys are going well and that these tips helped you out a little! What is your favorite spring cleaning tip?

Professional Makeup

I’m very excited, because I recently got offered a new job, and today is my first day. With that, I wanted to talk a little today about what makeup is appropriate for a professional setting. While it does depend some on the kind of work you do and your office setting, the type of makeup that is acceptable is generally consistent.

When it comes to lip colors, I like to stay with nudes and neutrals or mauves. Red is sometimes acceptable depending on your field, but I would usually stay away from anything too dark or too bright. I like a good gloss, because it’s easy to apply throughout the day, it keeps my lips from drying out, and they usually aren’t terribly bright. Mattes are also a great option, especially if you can find one that lasts all day. One of my friends has had really good results with Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink, and I will definitely be checking some of their colors out soon.

For eyeshadow, again you probably want to stay with lighter colors or something more neutral. I would keep away from anything that is going to be too bright or distracting, because you want people to pay attention to your work and what you have to say, rather than your makeup. I would also recommend choosing something matte or that has a slight shimmer, rather than anything that’s glittery. I like to use ULTA’s colored eyeshadow primers, because they last quite a while and offer a good pigment without being overwhelming. I have a peach gold and a rose gold that both look good, have a slight shimmer, and really bring out the blue in my eyes, which I’m always a fan of.

When you’re in the office, you may not get much opportunity to touch up your makeup, so you’ll want to find ways to make it last. I recommend finding a good primer that works for your skin type and using a setting powder when you’re done. These two things will help keep your makeup in place, so you won’t have to worry about any touchups. I have several primers that I really like. BECCA Backlight Priming Filter is great, albeit a little expensive, as is Benefit’s Porefessional. For drugstore primers, I like NYX #NoFilter Blurring Primer and Maybelline’s Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser. For setting powder, I just use ULTA’s mineral setting powder.

Overall, keep it on the simple side, and you should definitely be safe. What are your favorite makeup tips for professional settings?

Ipsy vs Birchbox

Both Ipsy and Birchbox seem to have gained a lot of traction over the past couple of years, but is one better than the other? Let me start by saying that I have not tried Ipsy, but I have done Birchbox and have several friends who have done both. For those who don’t know, Ipsy and Birchbox are subscription services that for around $10/month, they send monthly packages of 5 sample-sized beauty products. It could be makeup, hair care, skincare, or really anything in between. I even got a little packet of almond butter as a bonus once. Birchbox sends their samples in cute little paper boxes, and with Ipsy, you get adorable makeup bags.

First, let me say, they do send a good mix of really good brands (Benefit, Oribe, etc) and brands I’ve never heard of to help me find some things I’ve really loved. However, I always felt with Birchbox like I was getting less actual makeup than I really wanted and more skincare and hair care. There was a place on their website to update what I wanted more of, but I’m not sure it really made a difference. For me, I have a skincare routine I like, but I just wanted to try new types of makeup. I think this was my main problem with the service. Now, I have tons of skincare products that are just tucked away in my closet, which may be great one day, but for now, it’s kind of a nuisance. I don’t say this to say I haven’t gotten some amazing makeup from Birchbox. I really have. I got a Benefit Porefessional primer that I’m in love with, some ColourPop eyeshadows that looked great, and even a Cynthia Rowland silver eyeliner that I wasn’t sure about, but ended up loving. Friends of mine that have used both say they definitely prefer Birchbox and recommend it if you don’t care about the bag.

Clutter is another problem I had with them. I ended up keeping most of the boxes I got, because I felt like they’d make good gift boxes. They have the approximately 3 times I’ve used them, but I still have around 30 boxes just hanging out in my closet. Plus, they almost all still have samples in them. I tend to let clutter accumulate, so these were probably not great things for me to take part in, but if you are a hoarder as well, I recommend Ipsy simply because makeup bags are much easier to store. However, they did help me discover a lot of things that I really like, so I’d say it was worth it overall for me.

Have you tried Birchbox or Ipsy? Both? What was your experience? Did you like the service? I hope if you’re on the fence that this was at least slightly helpful in making your decision easier. Let me know!

Academy of Colour Eyeshadow Palette – Bronze

If you’re looking for an eyeshadow palette that has several neutral or metallic shades, this is a good one. I bought this Academy of Colour palette around New Years, and used it for a lot of my night out looks. I think I paid around $12 for it, which is well worth it for the number of uses I’ve gotten out of it so far. I really like gold eyeshadow, so this palette was a must-have for me.

When using this palette, I usually start with Cave (top left) as a base and brush it all over my eye lid up to my brow. Then, depending on how bold I want my look to be, I either use Sunset (middle right) or Goddess (bottom left). Goddess is a little more dramatic, so I usually save that for bars and such. Truffle (middle left) is also good for going bold. When I use Sunset, I like to top it with Champagne (top middle) to give it a pinkish hue and some extra shimmer.

Overall, I’m very glad this palette caught my eye and I picked it up. If you like metallic eyeshadow, definitely check it out. I bought mine from Kohls, but I’m not sure if anywhere else carries it.

How to Keep Yourself From Looking Sick and Tired, Even When You Are

I think I may have gotten a stomach bug from one of my nephews on this trip, and I spend a good portion of my flight home refusing offered food, sipping ginger ale, and trying to keep things down. I’m still not feeling great today, but I have work to do, so I’m trying to find ways to at least look like I’m feeling better, even if I’m not.

  1. Get dressed like you normally would. I know when you feel terrible, it can be super tempting to throw on sweatpants or leggings and a big tee or sweatshirt, but don’t. Pair leggings with a cute top and boots or wear a light swing dress with comfortable tights. You’ll be close to just as comfortable, and you’ll look so put together, no one will know the difference.
  2. Do your hair and makeup. Just because you feel like your body betrayed you, that doesn’t mean you should let it down as well. The phrase “look good, feel good” isn’t just empty words; it actually can help you feel better, even if it’s just a placebo effect. Also, you’re likely dehydrated, so putting on moisturizer is even more important when you’re sick.
  3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Even though you may not feel hungry or thirsty, it’s important to drink lots of fluids. I did manage to keep some orange juice down yesterday, and I feel like it helped me tremendously. If you are worried about throwing up, take small sips. This way, you won’t assault your stomach all at once, but you can still get some fluids to your body.

These things may not heal you, but they can at least help you start feeling better and get back to your normal self. Hopefully, flu season isn’t affecting any of you, but if it does, I hope you get back to normal quickly! What are your best tips for not looking sick even when you are?