If I Had To Start All Over…

Thank you to everyone who voted in my Wedding Color Poll last week! I think I need to do polls more often – it was so much fun watching all the votes roll in!

While trying to catch up on reading a few blogs, and I discovered the very fun “Starting Over” tag on A Thunder Heart‘s blog.

The idea is, if you lost everything in your current makeup collection, what 16 makeup items would you purchase to start a new makeup collection?

I knew I had to do this tag!  I really wanted to reflect on some of my truly favorite makeup items along with some highly rated products that I haven’t tried yet, but would absolutely purchase!

I selected only actual makeup items, no tools or skincare items.

So without further ado, here are the 16 makeup items I would purchase if I lost my entire makeup collection:

If I had to start my makeup collection over...

 

1.  MAC Flash Lashes Extreme Black Mascara – Man, I love this mascara!  Length and fullness to the max!  If you haven’t tried this mascara, you really really should!

2.  Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Palette – I do not currently own this eye shadow palette.  But if I was going to purchase a neutral palette, this would be the one!  I love that it has equal amounts of matte and shimmery shades, perfect for any occasion!

3.  Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Sting Ray – These eye liners are awesome in any color, but I require a nice dark black liner that wouldn’t smudge or budge through out the day.

4.  Almay Eye Liner in Black-Brown – My all-time favorite drugstore brand eye liner.  It’s a must have.  I like this dark brown color for something a little softer than black.  And it also does not budge or smudge all day.

5.  Essie Nail Polish in Watermelon – Good gracious, it was so hard to choose nail polish colors!  I love so many!  But Watermelon is a really gorgeous shade of pink that can be worn year-round and of course, Essie is a fantastic brand.

6.  OPI Nail Polish in Don’t Touch My Tutu – I would definitely need a neutral nail polish.  And I’m not always into shades of beige, and shades of grey can get a little too dark, so a beautiful shade of soft white is just the trick!  It’s elegant and perfect year-round.

7.  Bobbi Brown Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Extra Light Tint – I don’t feel like my skin needs full on foundation on the daily.  But when my skin needs to be even’d out, this tinted moisturizer is fantastic!  It has the perfect amount of coverage, it’s lightweight, and doesn’t makes my skin feel extra oily!

8.  Clinique Air Brush Concealer in Neutral Fair – I don’t not currently own this concealer, butI have been coveting it for quite some time now.  Application looks super easy and the results look fantastic!  Coverage and brightening for the win!

9.  Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Sandstorm – I love this super affordable matte powder.  Keeps shine away and adds some extra coverage too.

10.  Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Fearless – A fantastic coral-y pink powder blush.  I love the Amazonian Clay blushes.  They last all day, and the colors are gorgeous.  It took me a long time to determine which color I would purchase and I finally landed on Fearless.

11.  Skinn Cosmetics Color Touch Eye, Cheek & Lip Glow in Teen Tone – Yes, I need a cream blush too!  And this one is my all-time favorite.  The texture is perfect – not super wet, and not sticky, and really lightweight.  Teen Tone is the perfect peachy-pink flush that looks so natural!

12.  Softlips Lip Balm – I couldn’t live without this product.  That is all.

13.  Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Color in Sheer Berry – I’m kind of viewing this as a tinted lip balm.  My lips feel so fantastic while wearing this product, and it gives a beautiful, perfectly pink flush to my lips.  Love it, need it.

14.  Too Faced La Crème Lipstick in Teddy Berry – I really love this creamy, moisturizing lipstick.  It’s a bit newer to my collection, but I have already learned that I can never be without it!  I like Teddy Berry because it’s still rosey, but it’s slightly tawnied, making it a bit more neutral.

15.  NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Baroque –  I love the deep wine color of this lip product.  It’s good stuff.  Moisturizing and slightly shiny, but in a super convenient lip crayon.  So good!

16.  Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Disco Rose – I don’t wear much lip gloss any more, but every now and then, I feel like I need one.  And this is my current favorite lip gloss.  It has great color payoff without being an opaque lacquer and Disco Rose is a fabulous shade of warm pink.

 

So that’s what my makeup collection would like like if I had to start all over!

If you decide to do this tag, please leave a comment with your link so I can see what your 16 makeup picks would be!  :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wedding Color Poll!

I know every woman has thought about her wedding in some capacity or another since she was a young girl.  I certainly have.

But the one thing I never visualized was the color scheme.  And now that’s I’m actually planning a wedding, it’s the one thing that seems to be plaguing me the most!  I love too many colors!

My wedding date is September 25 – it’s just barely into fall.  Personally, I’m not feeling the deep autumn colors (oranges, reds, mustards, etc) for a September wedding.  But I am loving the transitional colors and I think that’s the direction I’m going.

Guys, I CANNOT seem to make a decision on colors.  And then I thought, hey, I have a blog!  Why not put it to good use?

And so I created a poll!

I want to know which color option is your favorite.  Which one speaks to you?

I can’t guarantee that I’ll actually choose the color that receives the most votes (it’s my prerogative as a bride to change my mind 20 times!), but I am hoping that this poll will help me start choosing a direction, one way or another. :)

So below are my color inspiration photos.  And further down is the poll to submit your answer.  Try not to focus on the style of the dresses or the flowers.  Those will be determined later.  This is just about color.

Thanks for your thoughts, everyone!  :)

 

Navy Blue

navy blue

(Photo credit: 100layercake.com via Pinterest)

 

Raspberry

Raspberry

(Photo credit: stylemepretty.com via Pinterest)

 

Taupe

Taupe

(Photo credit: elizabethannedesigns.com via Pinterest)

 

 Plum

Plum

(Photo credit: Pinterest – source unknown)

 

Two things to keep in mind before casting your vote:

1.  My fiance and his fellas will most likely be wearing dark grey tuxedos/suits.

2.  I have three bridesmaids, and their skin tones vary significantly.

 

Thanks again, guys!  Also, if you have any other color suggestions, please let me know in the comments.  Seriously, I’m all ears!

Happy polling!

 

Lovely Lips: Jouer Hydrating Lipstick Sophia

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I think I mentioned recently that I’m starting to pull away from lip glosses and redirecting my lip love to lipsticks.  I’m really starting to prefer a softer, creamier look on the lips, as opposed to a super shiny wet look.

I’ve been wearing my Jouer Hydrating Lipstick over the past week and I’m absolutely loving it!

How beautiful and elegant is that frosted gold packaging?  I love packaging like this as it really gives you the sense that you’re applying quality makeup.

I have the shade Sophia, which was part of the Perfect Red collection.

Sophia is described as a creamy rose red.  However, I’m not sure that’s a completely accurate description.  I think there is a fairly strong orange undertone.

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Sophia is a really wearable red that isn’t too bold, so if you’ve been toying with the idea of starting to wear red on your lips, this is a great color to start with.

At one point, Birchbox had partnered with Jouer to help women find the perfect red for their skin tones.  They recommended Sophia for ladies with dark hair and a warm complexion.

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I’ve been really loving this lipstick.  The formula is really creamy and moisturizing, but not slippery at all.  It feel pretty lightweight too, so I tend to forget I’m even wearing it!

Even though it’s a moisturizing formula, I still get a fantastic wear time – more than 5 hours!  Also, while it does definitely need to be reapplied after a meal, I was surprised to discover that the color wasn’t completely gone.  Even after using napkins!

The color pigmentation is pretty darn good.  I would say it’s nearly full opacity.

Sophia is such a gorgeous color for Fall.  This little beauty is going to be worn a lot.

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Jouer’s Hydrating Lipsticks retail for $22.00, and they come in several different shades (more than 20!).  The Birchbox shop carries many shades and I think these lipsticks are definitely worthy of some Birchbox points!

Have you tried Jouer’s Hydrating Lipsticks?  What’s your favorite shade?

 

 

Lovely Lips: Tarte Butter Lipstick Plummy Rose

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I’ve been wanting to get my hands on one of the Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipsticks for quite some time now.  And back when they had their 30% off Friends & Family discount, I took the plunge and bought one!

I think we first need to address the packaging.  Could it be any more adorable and unique?  And each shade of these lipsticks has a different color and pattern on the packaging.  Super fun!

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I chose the shade Plummy Rose, which is a “your lips, but better” sort of shade with plum and peach undertones.  I like to wear neutral shades like this when I’m wearing a red shirt or dress as I often find a lot of other lip colors clash a little bit with red clothing.

It found it really surprising that Plummy Rose would be so close to my natural lip color.  So close, in fact, I had to look really hard to determine when exactly the color started to fade!

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The application of the products is super smooth, and the formula is SO moisturizing.  At some point in the future, I should do a post on my favorite moisturizing lipsticks – and this lipstick would certainly be on that list.

Pigmentation is pretty decent.  I would call it moderate color coverage.

Sadly, though, this is not a long lasting lip product.  I got a maximum of 3 hours of wear time, and it definitely will not survive a meal.

The formula provides a soft sheen on the lips, but certainly nothing too shiny.

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Overall, I definitely like this lipstick a lot, and I think I’d like to try a couple other colors.  The Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipsticks retail for $16.00.  Not a horrible price compared to some other brands, but there is definitely a good bit of money to be saved if you can wait for a promo code.

Have you tried these Butter lipsticks?  Which shade is your favorite?  I have my eye on Pink Peony next….

 

Birchbox September 2014 Review

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Birchbox is now the only monthly beauty box that I still subscribe to.  I do still have a Julep Maven and Beauty Army subscription, however, I skip them both so often, I view them as “occasional purchases”.

I’ve been enjoying the new sample selection that’s was rolled out about two months ago or so.  It allows Birchbox subscribers to select one of the samples that they’ll receive in their box.  You don’t have to do it, but it’s for me, I like knowing I had control over one of my samples.

This month I received one of the fancy-schmancy anniversary edition boxes!  It’s it cute?  I’ll definitely be saving this box.

** Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription box that sends you “high end beauty, grooming and lifestyle samples” that have been customized for you through your beauty profile. You can easily earn loyalty points which can then be used as $$ toward your purchase of full-sized products. The cost of a Birchbox subscription is $10/month. **

Goodies received:

 

Avène Cleanance Soap-Free Gel Cleanser

I really like this facial cleanser!  It’s very gentle on my skin, but still leaves my face feeling nice and clean without making my skin feel dry or tight.

It does have a soft lather, which I like.  I was worried that it wouldn’t lather since it’s a gel formula, but that was not the case.

If it weren’t so expensive ($20 for 200 ml), I would probably purchase this product.

 

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

I feel like I say this every time I receive a Caudalie product – I don’t think Caudalie is the right brand of skin care products for me.  It doesn’t seem to get along with my skin.

The purpose of this serum is to lighten discoloration and spots, and even out your skin tone.  However, it’s also difficult to gauge its effectiveness in just a few short days of use.

Even though this serum is very lightweight, it made my skin feel tacky after I applied it.  The tacky feeling eventually went away, leaving an oily feeling behind.

Again, it really sucks, but Caudalie is just not my brand.

 

TEMPTU S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer

birchbox5

So before I start, let me just say that I have no idea what “S/B” means.  It’s a mystery.

Anyway, I really like this liquid highlighter!  Using a tiny dot of product, I’m able to add a subtle, but very beautiful glow to my cheekbones.

I use my fingers to apply and blend, but you could certainly use a brush if that’s your preference.

Also, even though it’s a liquid product, I had no problem blending it over my face powder.

 

Juliet Has A Gun – Anyway Perfume

I know I’ve said this a lot, but I’m really picky about perfumes.

The notes in this perfume are musk, woods, and citrus, specifically ambergris, sweet neroli, jasmine, and fresh lime.

This fragrance isn’t bad, as in, I don’t find it super offensive to my olfactory senses.  However, it is slightly too musky for my preferences.  I was hoping the citrusy lime scent would come through a bit more, but musk can be pretty overpowering.

However, it’s far from the worst perfume I’ve ever smelled.

Unfortunately I got a wonky perfume spritzer.  So instead of spraying a mist of perfume, it’s more like a squirt gun.  :/

 

Davines OI Shampoo/Conditioner/Oil

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Birchbox is a little silly when it comes to sending Davines samples.  Why would you send me a giant tub of conditioner, but a tiny barely-a-single-use foil packet of shampoo?  The last time I received Davines samples was the opposite – I had a giant shampoo sample, but a single-use conditioner sample.  Oh, Birchbox….

Anyway, I’ve found that Davines shampoos aren’t really game changers.  They’re nice, but nothing special.  And it has a fairly strong herby scent.

The conditioner, on the other hand, is what’s up!  It’s awesome stuff.  Thick, creamy, hydrating – all that good stuff!  My hair feels great after using this conditioner!

Now the hair oil, I had my doubts about.  I don’t care for hair oils.  They’re just not for me.  However, this stuff is AMAZING!  It’s slightly thicker in texture compared to most oils, which was interesting.  I raked it through the length of my hair, concentrating especially on the ends.  Because my hair is fine, hair oils using making my hair look and feel oily and stringy.  But not this stuff, my hair felt soft and looked shiny and it did feel weighed down at all.  I would absolutely purchase this hair oil!

 

Overall, I was pleased with this Birchbox, though it may not have been my most favorite box ever.

Did you get anything awesome in your Birchbox this month?

 

Oh, and in other news, I will be getting married exactly one year from today!  9/25/2015!  <3

Smashbox Comparison Review: Be Legendary Lip Gloss vs. Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer

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I’m really becoming quite a fan of Smashbox cosmetics.  They have a mascara that I really like as well as a primer that I adore.  And now I’ve found not one, but TWO lip products that I’m really enjoying!

I had already purchased the Be Legendary Lip Gloss a little while back, but then while browsing through Ulta I noticed the Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer as well.  I had to see how it compared.

 

Swatches:

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In the lip gloss, I have the shade Disco Rose, which is a gorgeous rich pink shade.  I love it.  I will wear it year round.  In the long-wear lip lacquer, I have the shade Currant.  My camera had a hard time capturing this color as my photos do not do it justice.  It’s a deep wine with a subtle hint of fuchsia.

You can probably see in the swatch photo that the lip gloss has a bit more sheerness than the lip lacquer.  But you can also see that both products have great shine, but the lip gloss has just a little bit more.

And despite the fact that the lip lacquer looks like it comes in a smaller tube, both products contain 6 ml of product.

 

Be Legendary Lip Gloss - $20.00

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Man, I love this lip gloss!  I’ve actually been getting away from lip gloss a little bit lately and enjoying more creamy lipsticks/lip crayons.  However, I can’t keep myself away from this gloss!

Disco Rose is a universally flattering shade.  It doesn’t lean too cool or too warm.  It’s a perfectly neutral rosy shade for lips.

The applicator is a paddle-style sponge nearly identical to the Revlon Colorburst lip glosses.  This Smashbox lip gloss glides on so easily and so smooth, and leaves a very satisfying color pay off.  As you can plainly see in the photos, it has a beautiful shine.

The product has a sweet/vanilla-y scent, but it’s not overwhelming.  The packaging isn’t my favorite (a rectangular tube with a line line of visible product), but it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen either.

There is absolutely NO stickiness or tackiness from that product at all.  It feels moisturizing as you apply it, so no need to apply lip balm first.  And I get a solid four hours of wear time, however it won’t make it through a meal.  It’s also fairly lightweight for a gloss.  There is no heavy feeling on the lips.

If you’re looking for a seriously fabulous gloss, look no further than the Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss!

 

Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer - $24.00

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As I previously mentioned, my photos do not do this gorgeous color justice.  Currant is a deep wine color with a hint of fuchsia.  It’s actually quite vibrant, and slightly more blue-toned than my photo shows.

I like the more compact packaging of this product better than the lip gloss.  The applicator is similar to the lip gloss, however the paddle-shaped sponge has a indent on either side making a slight hourglass shape.  The purpose of that?  I have no idea.  Also, this product does have have as much of a sweet scent as the lip gloss.

Application is super easy with full color payoff in just one swipe.  No need to dip the applicator back in for additional product.  The lip lacquer is definitely a more full coverage kind of lip product compared to the gloss (not that the gloss isn’t pigmented as well, but you know what I mean).

While this product does have a nice shine once applied, it’s slightly more velvety, and it feels more lightweight than your average lip gloss.  And slightly creamy too.  Not sticky, and not tacky.

The shiny creamy finish lasts about 3-4 hours.  Then the shine fades away leaving a deep and vibrant stain, which is nearly matte.  However, it’s not at all drying.  My lips still feel very comfortable.  Again, even after it becomes a stain, there’s absolutely no tacky feeling.

After about 6 hours of wear, the color on my lips is still very vibrant, but I usually start to feel the need for a touch of lip balm just for a blast of moisture.  A quick swipe of the lip balm stick and I’m good to go (and my tube of lip balm doesn’t have pink stains all over it – it stays clean).

I get somewhere between 7-8 of wear with this lip lacquer.  It depends of how heavy a meal I eat.  Just drinking a beverage won’t really move this lip product, but a heavier meal will take it off a little faster.

If you’re looking for a strong lacquer/stain product, I recommend checking this one out!

 

So there you have it.  A full comparison of the Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss and Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer.

If I had to choose which one I would continue to purchase, it would probably be the lip gloss only because the lip lacquers tend to come in bolder shades that I’m not always super comfortable wearing.

Which one of these two lip products do you think you would choose?

 

 

Wedding Update #1

My poor, poor blog!  It’s been so ignored lately!  I got only one post out last week – for shame!

However, there were some big wedding advances that happened over the weekend and I wanted to share it here on the blog.

As I’ve promised before, this blog will not become a wedding blog and these wedding updates won’t be very frequent.  However, when something fun and exciting happens, I want to share it, and it’s possible other brides-to-be may find it helpful.

 

So anyway, over the weekend, we made our final decision on a venue, so we signed the contracts and put down the required deposit!  And of course, that means we set the date!  We’re getting married on Sept 25, 2015 – it’s a Friday!

**A note to all the brides who are looking to save some serious moolah on their wedding festivities – there is literally thousands of dollars you can save by choosing to not get married on Saturday.  Seriously.  Look into it.

We’re really excited about our venue.  It’s a really beautiful country club about 20 minutes north of where I currently live.  I never thought I’d get married at a country club, but this place is really elegant without being stuffy.  I think we’re going to have one heck of a party!

Weather permitting, our ceremony will be outside on a beautiful open brick patio right by the lake.  There is really no shade cover at all, so we may need to provide some fun sunglasses for our guests!

 

Now that we’ve settled on the venue, I’m hoping I’ll have more time to focus on my blog again.  Not that I don’t have a bunch of stuff to do, but I feel like things are likely going to fall into place a little more easily.

In my opinion, there are three things that have to happen in order to lay a good foundation for planning your wedding:

1. Determine your budget.  Literally NO decisions can be made if you don’t know how much money you can realistically spend.

2.  Make a guest list.  Or several guest lists.  I made 4.  I made a list with 100 guests, 75 guests, 50 guests, and 25 guests.  Color code it, designated people to A List, B List, and even C & D Lists.  Tweaks can always be made.

3.  Select your venue.  Knowing your budget and knowing how many guests you want to have will make this process much easier as you can eliminate the ones that are out of your price range, or places that don’t meet your needs for your anticipated number of guests.  I have approximately 55 guests.  I, surprisingly, had to eliminate a few venues because they had a 100 guest minimum.  Alternatively, if you’re having a big wedding with 200+ guests, there may be venues that you’ll have to eliminate because they can only accommodate 150 guests max.  And beyond that, of course, think about the setting you want.  Do you want a beach wedding?  A mountain wedding?  An urban city wedding?  Indoor or outdoor ceremony?

I think these three steps are essential in order to make any further decisions regarding your wedding.  So if anyone else out there is just starting to plan a wedding, this is a good place to start.  :)

 

The other big thing that happened over the weekend was that I tried on wedding dresses for the first time ever!

I was really nervous about it.  For those who may not know, I’m a plus-sized girl.  About a size 20/22.  And I’m really short (5 ‘1).  So I was really fretting about what kind of experience I would have.  Would I leave in tears because nothing looked good and nothing would even come close to zipping up?  Would they be rude to me because I’m not a “typical” skinny bride?

For these reasons, I decided to make an appointment at David’s Bridal.  I think they’ve come a long way in terms of understanding that brides come in all shapes and sizes.

And let me tell you, I had a FABULOUS time trying on dresses!  Everything zipped up, and most of the dresses I tried on were actually flattering!

I do want to drop a good bit of weight before my wedding, but it feels good to know that even if I don’t lose a single pound in the next year, there are dresses out there that will allow me to hold my head high and feel good about myself on my wedding day.

My consultant was very nice and really made me feel like a priority.

I don’t think I found THE dress, but I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience.

So, if you are a plus-sized bride and/or are just feeling really nervous about your first time trying on wedding dresses, I really recommend starting with David’s Bridal.  It’ll truly ease your fears.

 

Anyway, that’s all the big updates I have for now!

I do have some actually beauty blog posts planned for this week, so buckle-up!  I’m back!  :)