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!

 

 

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Gems of the Mac Holiday Collection

Hello everyone and Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Is everyone primed and ready to consume hoards of brown food!? I personally favor stuffing (out of the bird, please) and of course Pumpkin Dumpster, recipe found here.

But before we loosen our belts in favor of that extra slice of pumpkin pie and fake excitement over yet another year of half-priced Black Friday socks, let us pause. Let us give thanks for all that we have – our loved ones, our dear friends and of course…the Mac Holiday Collection.

I picked up a few things this time around and here are my thoughts thus far.

Packaging

True to beauty blogger form, I, like so many, am a huge sucker for packaging. Companies like Benefit, Too Faced, Tarte and many others appeal to us through the use of clever packaging, bright colors, cutesie names and even cuter displays. How many times have you ran out to get the latest eyeshadow palette simply because you thought it was cute, to come home and realize you already owned several, if not all the colors?

This year Mac walked that ever-so-fine line of combining chintzy elements like glitter and craft store pearls with a dash of sophistication to create packaging that is appealing to tweens and 30-year-olds alike.

Ruby Woo Trio

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Outer box

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I have yet to use any of these products but will report back once all are put through rigorous testing.

8 Pan Eyeshadow Palettes

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Did you get anything from the Mac Holiday Collection? If so, let me know!

New Mac Finds

Hello sparkly unicorn babies!

Today I bring you a post which is long overdue. Sister Megan gave me two things from Mac on my wedding day, which I had been eyeing for months! What a little sweetheart that gal is :).

Mac Strobe Liquid Lotion

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If you guys have been devoted ND fans, then you already know – I am all about the dewy face. I steer clear of anything with the word “matte” in the title most always. Give me a sun-kissed, glowy face or give me death I like to say!

This face lotion from Mac provides a beautiful iridescent glow that, when applied under foundation, gives a beautifully natural “lit from within” finish to the skin. I don’t wear this everyday, but on those days where my skin is lookin’ sad and dull – strobe lotion be where it’s at.

Mac Eyeshadow in Nylon

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A cult favorite, this eyeshadow packs a serious punch. In the pan, it looks like nothing crazy – an eggshell-colored shade with a bit of sheen. But when applied to the lid, you get a wonderful highlighted brightness that words cannot describe. I also LOVE to use Nylon as a highlighter on my cheekbones and on the brow bone. Such a perfect shade to provide that pop without any crazy glitter. I love.

What have YOU been loving from Mac?

Battle of the Wedding Makeup

Today I’d like to discuss a subject which makes up about 75% of my wedding anxiety…ME.

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Married, single, straight, gay, we ALL want to look like a million bucks on our wedding day. Any makeup enthusiast will agree that selecting the items I plan to smother all over my mug on the big day is a big ass decision. To some, this may sound ludicrous…”it’s just makeup!”. Others would simply leave it to a professional.

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WHAAA??

I have considered both schools of thought, trying to take the “less is more” approach or maybe even hiring a MUA who will come over and airbrush my face. Two problems: 1.) Less is definitely NOT more, are you kidding me? and 2.) Our wedding is kindof a destination affair and I have ZERO connections to the beauty community in Walla Walla. And. I’m not about to entrust my face to a complete stranger who doesn’t know how to deal with my lazy eyelid and large nose!

I digress.

All of this adds up to the fact that I will be doing my own makeup on my wedding day, which will cause enough anxiety (thank GOD for Xanax). As a result, I will need to be armed and ready. With an arsenal of tried and true, bullet proof products that I can count on. Like the Marines.

Here is my proposed cavalry. *Oh, and please weigh in, in the comments!

FACE 

Primer – Hourglass N° 28 Primer Serum vs. Smashbox Photo Finish

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The Smashbox primer I have tried before. It has that silicone feel on the skin, which I happen to like. I have heard rave reviews on the Hourglass primers and selecting this contender since it is free of SPF.

Foundation – Makeup Forever HD Foundation VS. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation

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The MUFE HD recruit has been selected for it’s blissfully perfect appearance on the skin and the fact that it does not break down. I haven’t tried the Estee Lauder double wear, but it is revered in the beauty community for having crazy coverage and excellent staying power as well.

Setting Powder – Bare Minerals Mineral Veil VS MAC Mineralized Skin finish Natural

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Both I have tried and both, I like. I want to use a product that doesn’t completely mattify, but keeps me shine-free.

Bronzer – Benefit Hoola Bronzer VS MAC Bronzer in Give me Sun

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I have used both of these bronzers. Hoola is great for sculpting and looks great with many skin tones. Give me Sun is just gorgeous and I think looks better with a bit of a tan. I will be in a very tanned state, but obviously still want my contour to look natural.

Blush – BH Cosmetics Glamorous Palette VS Mac Well-Dressed or Peaches

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I have the BH Cosmetics palette and can probably achieve a nice peachy-coral glow with ease. However, although I don’t own a MAC blush, these two shades are strong contenders.

EYES

Eye Shadow – Stila In the Light Palette VS a custom MAC Palette

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I LOVE my Stila palette but am very intrigued at the idea of creating my own “bridal” 4-pan MAC palette. Hmmm…

Lashes – Velour Lashes in Strike a Pose VS. Esqido Lashes in Voila Lash

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I should also mention that (of course) I will be wearing eye primer, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner and mascara. I’m not an idiot.

So what do you think? Do you have any experience with any of these products?

New Mac Lipsticks

YOU GUYS.

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Rarely do I get this excited about makeup.

…okay that was a lie.

BUT SERIOUSLY. I always start wetting my pants when a new collection at Mac comes out. The Archie Girls one. The Riri one. The Christmas stuff was SO gorg. I could go hog wild. And I don’t mean that figuratively. I would actually like to roll around in Mac products. Like a pig.

But I don’t. Because that would be too good to be true  weird. Instead, I sensibly ogle the products, remind myself not to be materialistic and think of the people staying in Sochi.

But when I see a collection like this, I simply have to partake. When I see a collection screaming, “NATALIE!! We are your favorite colors!! LOOK HOW PRETTY WE ARE!!” I simply cannot ignore. I mean, just look a’these shades:

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Stop it, Mac.

Even though I wanted to leave the store with a large shopper filled to the brim, I remained my prudent self. With these two lipsticks (because you see, I cannot say no to lipsticks).

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As you can see, both of the lipsticks (as well as the rest of the colors) are lustre finishes. My favorite Mac lipstick formula is Cremesheen, but whatevs.

First up: Rose Lily

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At first, I thought this was going to be similar to my ALL TIME HOLY GRAIL Viva Glam Gaga 1.

VivaGlam-GagaBut sadly, it is not. The color is quite sheer, which is to be expected with a lustre. The above pictures are making the color look richer than it really is. I find I cannot build it up like I can with the Gaga lipstick (also a lustre). It’s pretty, but maybe  a bit too sheer for me.

Next, Fleur D’Coral

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This shade is just beautiful. It reminds me of Coquette, by Lime Crime (which I am dying for) but I don’t think it’s near as pigmented. Similar to Rose Lily, it goes on pretty sheer but I find this shade a bit easier to build up the color. I think this would be so gorgeous with tanned skin (or in my case fake tanned). It just screams spring and summer to me!

Here they are, side by side:

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Sorry about my orangey lighting but it’s just me and my iPhone.

Have you tried anything new from Mac?

Travel Beauty Bag: Maui Edition

Greetings Lovelies!

Today I thought I would share the contents of my makeup and toiletries bag whilst in Maui. After a million and one trips of bringing a thousand mascaras and 763 eyeshadow palettes, I have learned m’lesson. Like Mowgli, I only need the bare necessities.

So here. They. Are.

Makeup

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  1. Covergirl Eyeshadow Trio in Shimmering Sands – Such a classic. Had it since high-school. The colors are pigmented and look gorgeous together.
  2. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer – My favorite go-to matte bronzer for contouring my face.
  3. Anastasia Eye Brow Pencil in Ash Blonde – Really want to upgrade to the Brow Wiz, but not until I use up this pup.
  4. Coola Tinted Sunscreen in SPF 20 – I really liked this organic sunscreen. In fact, this is the kind of sunblock they offered at the Spa.
  5. Covergirl Ink It Eyeliner in Black – Love this eyeliner. Stays put and is VERY black.
  6. Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette in Light – One of my all-time favorite concealers. I love the setting powder and the multitude of shades was nice to have.
  7. Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation – LOVED this foundation for Hawaii. SPF 25. Oil-free. BRIGHTENING. Perf.
  8. MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle – Holy grail highlight.
  9. Benefit Cha Cha Tint – Sample from Ulta. Loved this on my cheeks and lips. Definitely used a chapstick with SPF though.
  10. MAC Mineralized Skin Finish Natural – Holy grail face powder. Beautiful, natural looking finish.
  11. Too Faced Lashgasm Mascara in Black – New-to-me mascara from Sephora. Just meh. Worked nicely but would not repurchase.
  12. MAC Pro-Long Wear Concealer in NW15 – Holy grail concealer. Does. Not. Crease.
  13. Origins Vitazing Moisturizer – Favorite moisturizer for the summer time. Subtle tint-release and really brightening.
  14. Essence Silky Touch Blush in Sweetheart – This blush really IS silky. I loved this really natural color on my skin.

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Beauty Products

  1. Biotin – Gotta take my pretty pills.
  2. Kenra Volume Hairspray – Such a nostalgic smell for me. Reminds me of getting ready for homecoming in high school. And the formula is nice.
  3. Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Lotion – SUCH a beautiful and delicious smelling lotion. Absolutely obsessed.
  4. Moroccon Oil – Holy grail hair oil. Nothing else will do.
  5. Pssssst! Dry Shampoo – This is just meh. Not as good as Batiste.
  6. Dove Deo – Smells great, but not as good as this one.
  7. Hawaiian Tropic Shimmer Effect Sunblock in SPF 20 – Obsessed with the smell. The shimmer is pretty but I wouldn’t re-purchase this formulation.
  8. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray – Have YET to find a beach spray I’m in love with. This one is ok and added a little oomph to my already salty locks.
  9. Q-Tips – Duh.
  10. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion – No crazy smells and does the job.
  11. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self Tanning Lotion in Deep/Dark – My favorite drugstore self-tanner BY FAR. Just wish it didn’t have the sparkle because it is INTENSE.

Mkay that is all. What do you bring on vacation?

Megan and Ben’s Wedding

Hello Mates!

In an attempt to tackle what could easily be the most wordy, emotional and just plain long post – I have wisely decided to go down another path. The path less traveled. The path that is sprinkled with photos and witty anecdotes, free of mile-long paragraphs and steep pitches of run-on sentences.

How do I plan to do this?

I am channeling my inner minimalist and hoping the random sampling of photos will somehow resemble a post that is worthy of such a spectacular day. Like unwelcome wedding guests, nerves, anxiousness and worry somehow reared their ugly heads. Luckily sheer joy, love and laughter persevered above all.

It wasn’t a perfect day. Seams were ripped, sweat permeated satin and raindrops fell. I don’t know about the bride, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

So, with no further adieu – I give you, my loyal readers…

Megan and Ben’s Wedding – The Top Ten List

1. Decorating!

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2. The rehearsal dinner

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The Johnson Siblings

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Girls and Boys Girls

3. Getting our Nails Did

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4. Getting our Hurrs Did

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Ol’ Crazy Eyes

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POMPADOR

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Ouch!

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5. Getting Ready

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Pluckage

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Tiny Chloe

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6. The Ceremony

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Strutting

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Adorbs

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Double Fisting

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Just look at my face.

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7. Seeing Friends and Family at the Reception

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Bridesmaid Entrance

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8. Cutting a RUG

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9.  DRINKING and CAKE

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Melting my heart.

Melting my heart.

10. Seeing my big sister the happiest ever

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