I’ve been on a hunt recently for affordable, yet high-performing products at the drug store. Usually, I’ll find a product or two I like, use it for a few weeks, and then revert back to a higher end alternative that I feel does a better job. Not with these guys, though.

Although “lip products” is in the title here I’ll mention the above eyeshadows to start [because decent shadows are, to me, the most difficult to find at the drug store]. They are Maybelline’s Expert Wear Eyeshadows in Nude Glow [top] and The Glo Down [bottom], and holy cow – are they good. Buttery, pigmented, and long-lasting, even without use of primer. I’m crazy about these everyday shades – perfect for the upcoming spring/summer months paired with a slick of black liner.

And for the main attraction here – lots of lipsticks and gloss options that won’t break the bank. If you’re looking for an everyday lipstick that’s comfortable to wear and has great pigmentation, I give you Burt’s Bees Nile Nude, a great nude shade that won’t wash you out, and Milani matte lipstick in Naked, a deeper browny-nude-pink that has a lovely velvety-yet-non-drying texture. If you want more of a balm-lipstick hybrid, absolutely check out Maybelline’s Baby Lips Color Balm Crayons, and Revlon’s HD Gel Lipstick in HD Sand [my personal fave]. If liquid lipstick is more your thing, you’ll love Cover Girl’s latest outlast liquid lipsticks – the formula is gorgeous, it sets in seconds, and stays put. If you’re a gloss girl, Burt’s Bees’ variety is super glossy as well as moisturizing, and this sheer, shimmerless peach makes my lips appear more plump. Rimmel’s Stay Glossy gloss is also a great find – there are a lot of really pretty color options, and the formula is definitely on the long-lasting side. Last but certainly not least, NYX’s lip pencil in sugar glass – aka, the most perfect nude lip liner at the drug store, or, potentially anywhere. I’ve used this to fill in my entire lip in the morning, and the color will still be there at the end of the day. So. Good. You. Guys.

Finally, I had to mention one of my all-time favorite drugstore products, as it has made its way back into my handbag for quick touch-ups: L’Oreal’s True Match concealer. This little guy is really creamy, totally conceals dark circles and any sort of spot, and has incredible lasting power.

What beauty products have you been loving at the drug store?

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I feel like bloggers, YouTubers, etc, have kind of done away with the favorites posts, but – I still love writing them [and reading them], so I shall continue! Not to say I don’t enjoy more of the vlog style videos we’ve been seeing lately; I just really appreciate learning about the products other people rank highly – I am always inspired to try new things, or, perhaps rediscover old ones.

Now, let’s get into the items I couldn’t get enough of this past month. For starters, I’ll admit that I am way late on the Too Faced palette train. I’ve had “Natural Eyes” – the smaller, more compact little guy – for a while, but unfortunately can’t find it [the problems with moving twice within a short span of time]. And, I loved it. After seeing the Chocolate Bar being used all over YouTube, I couldn’t hold out any longer. It lives up to the hype, you guys. All of the shadows are soooo easy to blend, are super pigmented, and I find I experience little to no fall out when applied. Plus, they smell like chocolate [which I guess could be a negative since doing my makeup now makes me hungry. but, nah].

For cheeks, I’ve really gotten back into one of the first makeup brands I ever used: Stila. The OG Convertible Color compacts are incredible, and I am especially loving the shades Lilium, Peony, and Camilia. All really gorgeous neutral pinks that look great on both cheeks and lips. I also love how slim the cases are – perfect for taking with you on the go. Another Stila fave is one of their new highlighters in Kitten – definitely a cult shade. I remember picking up a Kitten eyeshadow in middle school, back when they were contained in a silver cardboard-like packaging. I’ll tap this guy onto the tops of my cheekbones, as well as onto the center of my eyelids for a little extra sheen.

Onto my favorites of the favorites: Ah, lip products. So many to choose from this month, so I obviously had to include 7. SEVEN, PEOPLE. You don’t want to see what the inside of my handbag looks like right now. Or, maybe you do. If you have a serious obsession with lipsticks/balms/glosses/liners. To me, the above are all incredible in their formulation, color, texture. So, I’m just going to list them, otherwise this post would be too long for both you and I to get through.

Dior gloss in Nude – Huda Beauty Lip Liner in Bombshell – Mac lipstick in Kinda Sexy – Kylie gloss in Koko – Givenchy lipstick in Street Rose – Chanel stylo in Conte – NYX lip liner in Sugar Glass

To round out this super long favorites list, we have Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray, an incredible dry shampoo-hairspray hybrid that absorbs oil and gives hair amazing texture; Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes, possibly the most volumizing mascara of life; and Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich, a super plumping, mega hydrating face cream that has kept my skin from drying out this cold winter.

Now, tell me, what have you been loving recently?

 

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Ahhh, I am back after a grueling five weeks of preparing to take the bar exam [again]. Happy to get back into a normal  routine instead of spending 13 hours per day in front of a computer screen, or staring at a book or several hundred flash cards.

As far as makeup goes, I have already gotten myself into somewhat of a slightly different routine, in an effort to streamline things, and make time for other activities [especially with the out-of-character-for-February 60 degree weather we’ve had over the past few days post-bar]. I’ve skipped the eyeliner [WHAT?! I know. Don’t worry, I still have one or two liquid liners in my handbag on standby], layered on the moisturizer, and have been adding tons of extra glow in the form of my favorite cream blush and highlight duo as of late.

With regard to non-makeup items, I’ve gone back to reaching for one of my all-time favorite fragrances in roller ball form – Elizabeth and James’ Nirvana Black. I’ve also discovered Ouai’s Texturizing Hair Spray, a really lovely smelling, light-hold spray that absorbs oil and adds lots of volume and texture. I. Am. Obsessed.

What I love about this look, other than that it takes about 5 minutes to achieve, is that really, anyone can do it. It’s fool-proof. No crazy technical eyeshadow skills needed here – literally scribble on your eyelids with a cream shadow of some sort – current love is Charlotte Tilbury’s Amber Haze – and blend with a finger. Pair that with lots of lashes, a super glowy cheek, and the most perfect nude-lip sheen-y lip, and you’re good to go anywhere from brunch, to work, to date night – really, wherever. If you want to take things to the smokier side for night, just add a little shadow stick to the lower lash line and water line.

And, that’s it! Please let me know your go-to products for a quick, everyday look in the comments below. Here’s the full run-down:

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Welcome to my handbag – aka, the place where I store too many lip products. If you can believe it, the above features a “light” bag day. The mini Alexander Wang bag is small but mighty, and seems to have an endless amount of room inside.

Obviously have the essentials: keys, glasses, writing tools, a Louis Vuitton passport holder that I use as a wallet, and gum. Then there are a couple randos that had made their way in over the last few weeks: photos from a trip to the Newseum, and a black velvet choker (which I believe is from Urban Outfitters).

Now onto the good stuff – the makeup. Majority are lip products, clearly. Few olds favorites and definitely lots of new pretty little things.

What products are you currently carrying around in your bag?

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OK. Kind of a mish-mash of a title, eh? I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a rut as far as blog life goes, and to remedy this I did what any makeup crazed girl would do in a like situation: I dumped the contents of several makeup bags onto my bedroom floor, and sifted through everything for a while. What did I come up with? Well, I certainly rediscovered long-loved products, like Mac’s Patisserie, Charlotte Tilbury’s First Love blush, and Kat Von D’s Lovesick. So I had a few more things to reincorporate into photos and play with. This helped, but didn’t entirely cure me of my creative-less predicament.

Next, I did what I’ve done many a time in the past – scroll through my favorite Instagram accounts and blogs. This always, without fail, helps me to think of new and different ways to style products, new post ideas, and interesting beauty looks. Some of my favorite beauty related accounts are:

  • @brittsully
  • @beautylookbook
  • @tamirajarrel
  • @sereinwu
  • @faithpierce
  • @loveeashlyn
  • @kate.lavie
  • @hellooctoberxo
  • @beautygypsy

I’ve also tried to not force it, if that makes any sense. In other words, if I try to come up with a post and can’t really think of anything read-worthy, I won’t go there. Similarly, if I take a photo and I don’t love it, I won’t post it. I’m open to jotting down ideas that I have on the fly – like at work the other day when I couldn’t stand how chapped my lips were, and began thinking about all of my favorite moisturizing lip products.

Another component of this is just staying positive in general, which can be hard when you have a full schedule – a full time job, a relationship, friends close by and in other states that you want to keep in touch with, etc. And, trust me, if given the choice between going to brunch with my boyfriend/grabbing coffee with a friend, or staying in and taking blog photos – I’m going to want to go out and spend time with people. At the same time, I love this, and so I make time for it. I used to write down things that I was thankful for, or good things that happened that day [faith + ashlyn!], so definitely going to start this up again. Never a better time than in the dead of winter.

Ok, so tell me, what do you do to get inspired, or keep positive?

 

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