October Favorites

Hey y’all I’m back! I hope you’re recovering from Halloween nicely. I had a really awesome time and I’m going to do a post with details about my costume pretty soon. Although I’ve been a little lighter on the posting this month I’ve definitely had a LOT of ideas for upcoming posts and I’m always buying new products and testing them out “for research for the blog” wink wink. Seriously though, sometimes I do sit at my computer with Laneige BB Cushion foundation on the left half of my face only to see how long it lasts and if it stays dewy or becomes even more wet looking with time. The answer is that stuff never dried so if you want the dewiest face in the universe check it out at Target. I also spent a LOT of time reading reviews on one of the best sites out there MakeupAlley to find out what people thought about different products I was thinking about buying and to check out the products on the Best Value list. This website is a phenomenal resource if you’re ever on the fence about purchasing a product or want more information on it. Ok now let’s move on to MY favorites/reviews/recommendations for the month of October!

october favorite products

Before I even get to the beauty products I will let you know that the middle sparkly pumpkin was from Home Goods I believe and the two minis are real pumpkins from Trader Joes. The one on the left is painted gold with a really cool product called Rub and Buff and the right one is just painted white. Both of the stems are coated in gold glitter. My very crafty roommate made these and they looked great.

1. House of Lashes False Lashes in Iconic ($12 or 3 for $30) pictured with the House of Lashes Eyelash Adhesive ($8) – I have already talked about how much I love this lash adhesive back in my February favorites, but for a re-cap it’s latex-free and I think that’s why my eyes no longer water non-stop when I wear falsies. It’s easy to work with and apply with the brush, it dries quickly and invisibly, and it’s strong and long lasting. I bought the Iconic lashes during a Labor Day sale on the HoL website and finally got around to wearing them this past month and I love them! These are very bold, dense synthetic lashes that add nice drama. I’ve already re-used a pair with no issues. The only problem with these lashes is because they are the Premium Luxe line and have a multi-layered design they have to have a thicker band in order to hold all of those lashes together. This means that you pretty much have to wear black eyeliner on your top lid in order to hide the band, but that’s not a huge issue for my because chances are if I want this much drama I’m already rocking a big old wing up top. Here’s me getting pouty with them last weekend:

Me wearing House of Lashes falsies in "Iconic"
Me wearing House of Lashes falsies in “Iconic”

2. ELF Fan Brush (~$1-4 I bought mine on Ebay) – I got this little guy during an Ebay binge where I was trying to “save” by buying more makeup stuff from the same seller to save on shipping and it’s great for applying highlighter. I get some powder highlighter on the brush (i.e. #3 see below) and brush it lightly on the tops of my cheek bones, on my brow bone both below and above my eyebrow, down the bridge of my nose, on my cupid’s bow, and a tiny bit between my eyebrows and on my chin to get a nice allover glow.

3. NARS Highlighter in Devotee (this is the Guy Bourdin One Night Stand L/E Holiday palette from 2013 and it was $65 and is no longer available, you can get it as part of the NARSissist Cheek Kit for $49 at Sephora) I’ve had this palette since last year and this highlighter and the bronzer in Laguna are the 2 I use the most out of it. Devotee is described as a luminous alabaster sheen and I love it all over in all the places mentioned in #2 as well as apply it with my fingers in the inner corners of my eyes to make them pop and seem more awake. I wear it for day or night and I actually wore a TON last night as part of my Vampire costume and it is just very pretty. Here’s a lil swatch:

Swatch of NARS highlighter in Devotee
Swatch of NARS highlighter in Devotee

4. Makeup Forever HD High Definition Powder (mine is a smaller 0.17 oz. size from a value set you can get the 0.3oz for $34 at Sephora) – I’ve had this powder for a long time and I’ll randomly use it here or there, but I picked it up again after reading about Setting Powder vs. Finishing Powder on Makeup by Lilit’s blog and wow I forgot how great this stuff is. It is a finishing powder so I apply it with a large powder brush lightly to my t-zone to control shine, and minimize pores (VERY well) and fine lines. It’s kind of like an airbrushing powder to blur imperfections. You do have to be careful to not use too much though otherwise you might end up with a white cast on your face or it can show up in flash photography.

5. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso ($22 at Sephora) – I’ve been wanting this for a while and picked it up at Ulta recently and I’m so glad I did! This stuff glides on nicely, smells like cake, is extremely opaque, is a wonderful true red shade, stays put even with eating and drinking, and is just awesome. I love how bold lips look, but I usually refuse to commit to them because that also means committing to looking at myself in the mirror at least once an hour to make sure I’m not just left with a red ring around my mouth, but this stuff you can trust. I also have issues where sometimes lipstick doesn’t want to “stick” to the middle of my lips where there’s some moisture and what I do with this is apply the product to those places and keep my mouth open for a few seconds while it dries and that way it won’t just get all over my teeth and be missing from my lips. I also recommend exfoliating before applying any bold lipstick. You can do that by brushing your lips with your toothbrush gently to get rid of any dry skin. Here’s a pic I posted of it on Insty:

Me wearing Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
Me wearing Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso

6. Schwing Black Liquid Eyeliner by the Balm ($17 from theBalm I got mine on HauteLook for $8.50 they have sales on theBalm pretty often) – I wanted this stuff after I saw makeup artist Huda Kattan say it was the mattest and blackest liner (that girl is FANCY too so she knows her stuff). I love how thin and tapered the felt-tip applicator is because I have hooded eyes so I need to make my eyeliner as thin as possible if I want people to be able to see my eyeshadow when they’re looking at me straight on.

Thin and thick line swatches comparing 3 different eyeliners
Thin and thick line swatches comparing 3 different eyeliners

Ok I realize I need to work on my swatches haha. The NYX Studio Liquid Liner is my other favorite and it performs pretty similarly and is only $4.50 at Ulta. The only real difference is the NYX one isn’t as fine/tapered so it can come out a little more glob-ey and it doesn’t dry as quickly. Still a great option though. The Felt Tip Liner is a duel and has a really nice fine tip, but is definitely not as black and opaque as the other two. I actually tried to use it the other night and thought it had dried out so I was surprised when it was working today. Here’s the three tips next to eachother:

Comparing theBalm Schwing black liquid eyeliner, NYX Studio Liquid Liner, and NYX TwoTimer Felt Tip liner
Comparing theBalm Schwing black liquid eyeliner, NYX Studio Liquid Liner, and NYX TwoTimer Felt Tip liner

7. Tretinoin Gel 0.01% (with my insurance this was $10 it is available by prescription only). I really love how Blushing in Hollywood reconnects me to friends who I don’t get to see or talk to that often when they come to me with questions about beauty stuff it is one of my favorite parts of having this blog. I was talking to one of those friends about skin care regimens and it was around the time that I was realizing that mine was not very solid and I really should do something about that. She reminded me that I really needed to get back on Retin-A daily and the makeup artist from the Nordstrom Fall Beauty Event had brought up Retin-A as well as a critical part of a young lady’s regimen starting in her 20s. Retin-A is a vitamin A derivative used to treat acne and also helps with fine wrinkles. I had used it previously, but gave up on it when it was just making my face peel relentlessly and I couldn’t cover it up with makeup so it was driving me crazy. I brought it up at my dermatologist appointment this month by asking him “aren’t we all supposed to be using it?” and he said yes and gave me some tips on minimizing peeling. So far I’ve had no peeling and my skin hasn’t broken out too badly which is awesome. It takes up to 8-12 weeks to see effects so I’m not expecting any huge changes right now. I think I will make a separate post all about this at some point.

Arcona Oily Skin Starter Kit
Arcona Oily Skin Starter Kit

8. Arcona Toner Tea Cleansing Bar ($35 at Nordstrom or it’s $87 for the Arcona ‘Basic Five’ Travel Kit for Oily Skin) At that Nordstrom Fall Beauty Event before they started the makeup they had us try out some skin care products and my MUA sent me to Arcona specifically because I’m a blogger and he wanted me to talk about them. I had the nice little mini facial and it felt good and then they gave me a little bag of samples of the ‘Basic Five’ which I didn’t get around to trying until a few weeks ago. This brand started in LA and is all about organic ingredients that actually are good for your skin, don’t have harmful ingredients, and use science-based, performance oriented formulations (yassss science). Anecdotal evidence is when your friends or blogs tell you stuff is good, but if you’re going to spend some serious doll hairs ($$) and time on something as important as your skin you want products that are scientifically proven to work, otherwise what is the point?? The rep told me that the company doesn’t really do advertising they just expanded through people trying their free samples and seeing a difference in their skin and then through word of mouth. This cleanser has a nice smell, is very mild and doesn’t irritate my skin or dry it out as much as my Dove soap does, and leaves my skin feeling very nice and soothed. I can’t tell if it made me less oily because I’ve been experimenting with different sunscreens.

9. Arcona Cranberry Gommage Exfoliate ($44 at Nordstrom) – Again nice scent, great exfoliator and leaves your skin smooth and healthier looking. I would definitely recommend checking out Arcona at Nordstrom and getting a ‘basic five’ sample kit to try yourself because who doesn’t want a great skin care regimen that’s natural and works?

Other October Highlights:

1. Austin City Limits with my girl friends was amazing. I want to do a post all about what to pack, what to wear, and some tips for this and other festivals.

My friends and I at Austin City Limits 2014
My friends and I at Austin City Limits 2014

2. Going to my first big-time LA Fashion show– post coming soon 🙂

Sue Wong Style Fashion Week LA 2014
Sue Wong Style Fashion Week LA 2014

3. My Halloween costume and my BFF’s annual Halloween party – I loved my makeup, costume, revived blowout, retractable fangs and being something creepy for once! I’m a vampire this was pre-fangs and blood.

IMG_3687

Even More Favorites:

1. Books– I’m most of the way through both of these and loving them:

Lena Dunham - Not That Kind of Girl
Lena Dunham – Not That Kind of Girl
Judy Greer - I Don't Know What You Know Me From
Judy Greer – I Don’t Know What You Know Me From

2. New Blog Find – Money Can Buy Lipstick– Great aesthetic and content! Very inspiring!

3. Beauty Inspiration – Rita Ora – I love her hair and makeup in this pic, can you tell? 😉

Rita Ora
Rita Ora

4. Drink – Homemade Starbucks Iced Green Tea Lemonade – It only takes 5 minutes to make a big pitcher of this, it tastes great and very close to the one you get at Starbucks, it saves me money by giving me a quick caffeine fix in the AM without the Starbucks trip and it’s less calories.

Tazo Iced Green Tea
Tazo Iced Green Tea

minute maid light lemonade

I hope you all had a great month too! What were you loving in October?

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