Christmas + B-Day Haul!

Yo yo yo!

If you guys have been around for awhile, you know these two dates are one and the FREAKING same. WEll, my birthday falls on Christmas Eve but like BFD, it’s the same day.

This year, people really ponied up and gave me some great things and welp – here they are!

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette

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 YES. I own the Gwen Stefani palette from Urban Decay and lemmejustsay – this palette is amaaaazing. My initial reaction to this palette was that it had WAY too many beigy colors. But upon closer inspection, each one offers something totally different. I have used basically every color in this palette, and so far there is not a dud in the bunch. I LOVE the blue and the pink as well, because both colors make my baby blues POP majorlly.  I now understand that Urban Decay has released the Gwen blush palette….and oh law, it looks GORGEOUS. Must. Resist.

The Balm In the Balm of Your Hand Palette

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Sister Megan got me this palette for Christmas and I am SO glad she did. I wanted this palette because I realized I (horror of horrors) own NOTHING from The Balm. I have wanted to try their blushes, eyeshadows, bronzer and OF COURSE the Mary Lou-minizer for a while now. This palette contains ALL of those items, plus a lip color and a lip and cheek color. I have had a chance to use several of these colors and so far my favorites are ALLLLLL of the shadows, the Hot Mama blush, Mary Louminizer and the cream cheek color. Plus, how cute is this packaging!?

Lush Rosy Christmas Gift Set

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I purchased two of these little suckers during the day after Christmas sale on the Lush website. This box contains a small bottle of Rose Jam shower gel and a small tub of my beloved Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner. Each box was $16.95 and it was buy one get one free, so I got both of these boxes for a helluva deal!

Lush Butterbear Bath Bomb

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These little guys were also buy one get one free, and at $4.95 apiece I couldn’t resist. I reallllly like this bath bomb because it releases a vanilla-infused cocoa butter formula into the water and it leaves my skin feeling baby soft.

Lush Rosie Wrapped Gift Box

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Big thanks to Nan for realizing how much I need Lush in my life! This gift box contains more of my favorite things, Rose Jam Shower Gel and Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner. It also contains a miniature size of the Ultrabalm, which is pretty great. It also contains my beloved Rose Jam Bubbleroon AND Amandopondo Bubble Bar. I am vurrry excited to use this all up and smell like roses!

That pretty much sums it up! What did you all get for Christmas?

Current Favorites

Alright.

I’ve fallen SO far behind in monthly favorites. In fact, the word behind doesn’t really do justice of  how behind I am. I am like infinity behind (because we all know NOTHING tops infinity).

That being said, I feel like my favorites at the mome are a really awesome collection of solid products. The Principal’s List, if you will.

Meekup

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer

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This concealer is separate post-worthy. I know I have sung the praises of many a concealer – but this one is truly the best I’ve found. While it does not have the crazy coverage of a Mac Pro Longwear or a Bye Bye Undereye, what it lacks in coverage it makes up for in ease of application, finish and length of wear. It truly is a radiant concealer, so I only use this under my eyes in the upside down triangle formation. The doe-foot applicator makes it SO much easier than the pump on the Mac concealer or a squeezy tube. All I do is paint it on, blend it out with my finger and set it with a little translucent powder and I am SET. All. Day.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

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I have talked this blush to smithereens but it’s really that good. Everytime I start using other things for a bit, I always come back to Luminoso. And with summer being just around the corner, I know I’ll use it even more. The color is a lovely peach with a subtle highlight (read: do not use if you don’t like a glowy cheek), it is pigmented, long-wearing and the best part: it’s $8.

Shiseido Eyelash Curler

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Alright gals, who still needs to pony up and buy the $20 eyelash curler?! I used the Elf one for years and had resigned to the fact that my eyelashes just sucked. I finally threw it out in a rage after it devastatingly ripped 3-8 eyelashes out one morning. Then I started researching. I was going to order the Shu Uermura one but I didn’t want to wait so I went with the Sephora girl’s recommendation and bought this one. I’ve had it now about a month and I am now a changed woman. Spend money on eyelash curlers people!

NYX High Voltage Lipstick in Pink Lady

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These lipsticks are so pigmented! This shade is gonna look brill with a tan. It’s bright and almost sickeningly peachy-pink. YESSS.

Chanel Camelia Highlighter

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I use this everyday and it is the most perfect highlight ever! The silver is deceiving because it doesn’t come off that way at all. It gives off a warm, pearly glow, kindof similar to the vanilla pigment from Mac.

Body

Lush Pearl Massage Bar

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NO. Bryan does NOT massage with with this so just move that thought right on outta yer head! I got this simply because I am OBSESSED with anything Rose Argan scented from Lush. Basically if I have time, I will rub this puppy all over m’bod after a shower and the smell just lingers and I just KNOW everyone is like “Omg Natalie smells sooo good today!”

Soap & Glory Clean on Me Shower Gel

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So… this body wash is amazing. It smells sooooo good and really unique – I may be getting the Soap & Glory perfume because I love it so much. It is also super moisturizing and lathers up really nicely which means all you need is a tiny bit.

Philosophy Pink Almond Candy Body Scrub

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I really like a nice, gritty scrub before a self tan and this stuff does not disappoint! I like those softer, sugar scrubs from time to time but there’s nothing like a firm scrub to really get all of the dead skin off.

Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

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Again, I have talked this to death. But I figured I should include it because it is and forever will be a favorite.

Skincare

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream

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I picked this up recently as well and have been really enjoying using it before bed. I really should write an update nighttime routine because ALOT has changed but basically, this stuff plays an integral role. It is thick, non-scented and VERY hydrating. Can’t speak to the firming properties, but it feels great!

Rapid Lash

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A full post may also be required for a full-on review on this stuff. I started using it about a month ago and I can confirm that yes, it does make a difference. My lashes are definitely longer (not sure about fuller) and I just really like them. I would like to review a couple more of these types of products (except Latisse) and report back. I have also been putting organic Castor oil on my lashes lately…so there’s that as well.

Bioderma Micellar Cleansing Water

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SUCH a beauty blogger right now you guys! Yes, I have Bioderma and yes, I like it. It is by NO means a holy grail product and I hear that Simple came out with a micellar water that is basically a dupe for Bioderma, costs $7 AND is available everywhere. So who knows, maybe I’ll make the switch but for now, I love Bioderma for removing every last stitch of makeup!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

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THE BEST makeup setting spray I have used. Granted, I do not like a matte (or anywhere near it) finish but it really keeps my face lookin’ pretty great all day. It is a little spendy so I suggest you plan a trip to France and hoard 19 bottles. Also, the smell is a bit weird for some people but just say to yourself “spa” and you’ll fall in love.

Hair

Lush’s Jason and the Argan Oil Shampoo Bar

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This shampoo bar was recently added to the collection at Lush and I got it the DAY it came out. I bought it because, you guessed it – it smells like Rose Argan. Contrary to what I thought would happen, this baby lathers up like a dream! I still have to use the tea tree on my annoying itchy scalp but when I don’t do that, I am using this. End of story.

What have YOU been loving lately??

 

November Favorites

Sooo…let’s pretend to ignore the fact that it’s been awhile since my last Favorites post ok? OK.

Bath & Body

Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

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It’s a very scary thing to realize how reliant I am on certain products. Take for example my beloved Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner from Lush. In the winter, my skin may as well be made of cardboard and every lotion I try just doesn’t cut it. The body conditioners from Lush are miracle workers. I smooth it all over in the shower, let it sit for a few seconds, rinse it off and then pat (not rub) myself dry. I feel like it’s locking the moisture in from the shower and the scent? I’ll put it this way – I have emailed and tweeted the company multiple times to re-release the Ro’s Argan perfume. A petition might be in order.

Cake Batter Chapstick

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It smells like cake and it feels great on the lips. What more could you possibly ask for in a lip balm?

Makeup

Dior Star Foundation

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I must preface this by backing up a few weeks ago. You see, I have been out of foundation for quite some time now. And rather than barrel into Sephora and select a random bottle from the gaggle of choices, I decided to be a bit more methodical. So, I have been slowly accumulating samples of high-end foundations to put through the ringer and of course blog my thoughts on each. But you guys -I may have struck gold not even a quarter of the way through my stash. I’m talking about Dior Star Foundation, and yes, I’m in love. You MUST apply with a Beauty Blender and the result is nearly perfect. It is slightly dewy, blurring and brightening and it applies smoothly and evenly leaving my skin looking like a literal movie star (the concept behind the name).

L’Oreal Carbon Black Liquid Eyeliner

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This eyeliner has to have earned holy grail status by now. It is truly a workhorse, providing a very pigmented black and super simple application. It’s also like  8 bucks so yeah, git it.

Mac Pressed Pigment in Warming Heart

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I have recently re-discovered this little gem from a Mac collection that was sitting all alone on my vanity and I have fallen back in love. The timing couldn’t be more perfect being the holidays. The holiday season means that I can finally bust out all my overly shimmery and glittery shades not suitable to other times of the year. This Mac pressed pigment is perfection because the glitter is so fine and when used in conjuction with a primer and a little Fixed +, ohh law. It is sooooo beautiful.

Hair

Nature’s Gate Aloe Vera Shampoo

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Guys, I have gone sulfate free and I may never look back. This shampoo not only smells great and leaves my hair feeling clean and healthy, but it is $9. Additionally, I feel like my hair has been growing much faster and I’ve been losing way less.

*A DUD*

Rusk Freezing Spray

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This Freezing Spray by Rusk is just the pits. I got last summer in the Allure Beauty Box and I had high hopes for it. It claimes to be completely weather-resistant and let me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. I have tried it on multiple occasions where I curled my hair, finishing with the hairspray, and left to run an errand. I would look into the mirror not 30 minutes later and it would be frizzy, dull and devoid of ANY curl. I am better off using no hairspray at all.

Misc.

My Merin Bag

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Surprisingly I have never mentioned this bag in any of my favorites but I honestly use this almost every day. The company is out of Seattle and was started by a woman who wanted a tote bag that could do it all. The interior of the bag is lined with waterproof pockets of various sizes, making it a cinch to organize all your stuff. The thick, yet pliable canvas fabric is beautiful, making it a chic alternative to those plastic-y and obnoxious cheaper tote bags. The bottom of the bag is also made of waterproof fabric, which means it is perfect for the beach, the pool or ANYONE living in the Pacific Northwest. I have an older design and I could not live a day without it.

Sparkly Nina Flats

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I MEAN. Of course these pups made my favorites. They are MAJESTY.

And lastly…Our Christmas Tree/Décor!!

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You may remember our scant, poorly Christmas tree last year, appropriately named Nadine. Well this year, we made the tough decision to go artificial. Maybe it’s our small(er) front room, maybe we missed seeing actual branches, but whatever it was, running into Target and picking this little lady up for a mere $30 seemed all too perfect. Her name is Fanny, btw.

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I’ve also thrown around some miscellaneous décor this year, in the form of a new blanket(Martha Stewart Collection from Macy’s), new pillow (Marshalls) and little Christmas wall décor (Target). I couldn’t be happier! Merrrrry Christmas!