Tuesday, April 29, 2014

So long, farewell.

I've decided to close up shop on my blog. I've thoroughly enjoyed talking about my passion and getting to connect with others like me, but I don't have the time, resources or energy to give this my 100% and to me, it doesn't seem fair to string this along. I hope that I'll be able to write again in the future.

Find me on Instagram if you'd still like to chat: laurenhill33

This isn't 'goodbye', it's 'see you later'

Monday, March 31, 2014

March Favorites & Low Buy Time!

We've made it to the end of March folks! And you know what that means right? Spring will be here soon eventually. I'm not getting my hopes up just yet - I've experienced snow in April. And May. Bleh.

But we aren't here to talk weather. We are here to talk about my favorite products of the past month! 

Stila Smudge Sticks (in many, many shades) - Does anyone else do this? You try something from a brand, not like it, and instinctively push aside the whole brand all together. That's what I did with Stila. I am really not a fan of their Lip Glazes and have pretty much ignored the brand ever since. But one day at Sephora my eye was drawn in by the stunning Mint Julep Smudge Stick. It glided on so effortlessly on to my skin, and seriously would not budge. And I knew right then and there these would be great friends with my oily lids. I think I have 6 now. Yeah, I'm hooked.

Sleek Makeup Blush in Rose Gold - Holy heck this blush is beautiful! It took me a while to bite the bullet because of all the comparisons to NARS Orgasm, which never really worked for me. But this... something about the peachy-coral-golden glow it gives is just breathtaking. I've only had this for just over a week, but I wore it every single day and I don't see me stopping anytime soon!

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Chocolate - When my coveted Anastasia Brow Powder Duo finally crumbled into a million pieces I - 1) Cried a little inside and 2) Panicked because I didn't have a backup brow product. I made my way to Sephora, naked brows and all, and got a sample because I was worried about it being too dark. And it technically is, but I am totally digging the darker brows. I'm not even close to finishing the sample, but I've already got the full size waiting in the wings

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Heartbreaker -This was an inspired purchase by blogger Sarah Loves Makeup. When someone declares a product their perfect lip gloss, you know it needs to be checked out! This is a medium pink with a lovely golden shimmer, is semi-opaque and has such a comfy formula to wear. I've worn it a ton this month and I'll continue long into the spring for sure!

Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Mask - This was another inspired purchase, this time from Beauty by Arielle. My skin was so dry and blah this winter, so now that warmer weather is around the corner, I'm trying to get it in tip top shape. This scrubby mask gets rid of the gunk and dullness, polishes my skin and makes it feel super clean and smooth. I highly recommend checking it out!

And starting today, I'm putting myself on a "Low Buy"... because we all know 'no buys' are just way too difficult. I've acquired a lot of stuff recently and I'm in the mood to do some beauty spring cleaning. So here's the scoop:
  • No purchases for the entire month of April, and in May, not till the 29th (my birthday!)
  • There are only two exceptions: I run out of something and don't have an alternative for it or it's a limited edition item that will justifiably be gone before the low buy is over
Not too difficult right? I'm also thinking of doing a blog sale to send some brand new or gently used items to better homes. Would anyone be interested in that? What were some of your favorite products from the month?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Products I've Returned

I almost never return products. I feel so terrible. I get this overwhelming sense that I've disappointed people. And that some other beauty gal might not be able to get their hands on a coveted item because I returned it and it was thrown in the dumpster. *sobs* So when I return something, it's a very carefully thought out process... that, and I just downright did not like the products. So here are the 6 products I've recently returned (OMG I feel bad even typing that!)

LORAC Unzipped Palette - After kinda falling in love with the Lorac Pocket Pro Palette, I decided to get the Unzipped Palette and it just didn't impress me. I felt that the formula wasn't as smooth and buttery as the Pro and the pigmentation seemed to fall short. Also, the colors felt too similar to the Naked 3 for me to justify keeping this as well

Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette - Another let down for me in terms of formula and pigmentation. I had a really difficult time blending most of the shades, things started looking muddy and it just wasn't working the way I wanted it to. I do miss the yummy cocoa scent though!

Clinique Berry Pop Blush -  This is one of those instances that the product worked, too well (I'm looking at you Shiseido cotton) This super creamy powder blush applies so effortlessly, that its easy to go overboard in a nanosecond. No matter how light and feathery I applied it, this blush was just way too intense for me

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow - What? I know, I know. I was singing the praises of Luminous Flush in a recent post. And I still love that one. But Ethereal Glow just would not show up on my skin. I kept building and building and I could get the faintest hint of pink and not much else. I'm just too pale for the blush, apparently!

Tom Ford Spanish Pink Lipstick - When I saw Shari of The Misty Mom talk about this lipstick as her current favorite, I decided to splurge a little and buy my first Tom Ford product. It's so luxe and creamy to apply. This peachy-pink lipstick and I did not hit it off. It seriously pulls peachy-orange on me. Not a cute look. I'll have to find another shade that works better for me!

Laura Mercier Creme de Pistache Perfume - My husband loves Pistachio, and the internet is buzzing with how delicious this smells, so I totally bought it online without ever smelling it (when will I learn my lesson?) To me this smelled like vanilla flavored vodka and burning wood. I didn't get the sweet, creamy, nutty notes everyone else described. When I returned it, I sniffed the body cream and it was like they were two different scents! Maybe I got a bad bottle, but I'm too put off to try again at this point

What have you returned recently? Do you put yourself through a guilt trip too?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

I have a secret to confess. I bought the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette when it first came out. I hadn't tried the powders yet and I figured it was a good way to dive in. And I returned it within a few days because I wasn't impressed. Like, at all.

Not to be defeated, I figured it must have been the colors that weren't working with my skin tone, so I bought a full-size Ethereal Light. I like it. But I don't looooove it. I know the point of these isn't to be super obvious, but I was expecting more I suppose.

However, that didn't stop me from having my jaw drop when I saw the press images for the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes! These are being touted as "a groundbreaking hybrid that combines the customized lighting effects of Ambient Lighting Powder with a spectrum of breathtakingly modern hues for seamless, soft-focus, and multidimensional color." I dig it. I could maybe do without spending $35 on a blush, but it's all in the name of research, right?

When Sephora announced a VIB preview sale online, I decided to pick one up and give it a shot with no high hopes. I purchased Luminous Flush, a champagne rose which is supposed to evoke a candlelit glimmer. And guess what. I looooove it! It's a warm toned rosy-pink that applied effortlessly and seriously looks like a natural flush, no makeup here folks! I applied it lightly since I'm fair, but I can easily see this being built up to add more punch on darker skin tones. It does lean pretty warm, so keep that in mind if you've got a ultra cool toned complexion.

I know everyone wants to know if the hype is worth it. Yes, it is - just give in and get one (or more!) when they officially launch in stores February 21st. I know I am!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pinterest Made Me Buy It

Similarly to the "YouTube Made Me Buy It" videos floating around, I thought I should share some of the goods that Pinterest inspired me to get. Pinterest is a dangerous place when you're bored and in the mood to shop...

Ben Nye Final Seal - If it's good enough to set the makeup of Disney Princesses, who are outside all day in the FL/CA sun and hugged by little girls all day, then it's good enough for me! It definitely prolongs the wear of my makeup, although it smells like you're spraying minty mouth wash on your face. It's not a brand that's very easily accessible, so I probably will look for something else once I'm finished with my small bottle

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll - It's probably for the best that I ran out of this a long time ago. The will power to not eat it was taking a toll on me. This scrubby facial cleanser has corn meal and cinnamon, leaving behind polish, moisturized skin. And you'll smell like caramel popcorn! I need to pick up some more ASAP. And I promise not to eat it.

Revlon Raspberry Bite - When I saw the always lovely Julia of Gal Meets Glam rocking this shade, I instantly hunted it down. It's such a pretty pop against light skin and I think it's bright enough for Spring/Summer and vamp enough for Fall/Winter. Affordable and versatile - that's a winner in my book!

Alright, time to confess - what has Pinterest made YOU buy?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Five Way Friday

A lot of similar "Friday" tags are floating around in the blogosphere, and I decided it was time to partake in my own version! There will be five "things" to fill in each week, and I encourage you all to let me know you're weekly five as well. Some might stay the same week to week, others might rotate in and out and others will be completely random - should be fun :)

{1} Favorite product of the week: Burberry Midnight Brown eyeshadow - hello gorgeous!

{2} Least favorite product of the week: YSL Gloss Volupte. Once again I feel underwhelmed by YSL lip products. The color is nothing spectacular, the scent reminds me of medicine I took as a kid and tastes really synthetic. Meh. 

{3} Newest item on my wishlist: After watching essiebutton's brand focus video on Tarte, I need about 5 more blushes to add to my collection

{4} Best moment of the week: I booked my hotel room at the Trapp Family Lodge (yes, that Trapp family) in Stowe, VT where one of my best friends will be getting married in August!

{5} Random thought of the week: I am so ready for winter to be over, my skin is so dry - literally my elbows hurt they are so parched!

Let me know your five! Hope you've had a great week (so far)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sometimes I keep a little Lorac Pro in my pocket

I'm pretty much convinced that I'm the only person on the planet that doesn't own the highly coveted Lorac Pro Palette. The swatches look amazing, but for some reason I just can't pull the purchasing trigger. I think sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed by palettes - trying to show love to all the colors, figuring out what to pair together - it can be exhausting!

So when I saw this little gem, I knew I had to scoop it up. Introducing the Lorac Pocket Pro! This trio pulls three of the most loved shades from the full size Pro (Nude, Pewter and Espresso) and fits them into a convenient travel friendly, non-overwhelming mini palette. Nude and Pewter are both shimmer shades and Espresso is matte.

The formulas on these shadows are just as amazing as every one says - they are silky smooth and apply like a dream. When swatching, Espresso wasn't as impressive (matte shadow problems!) as the other two shades, but on the eye I had no issues. I like that I can make a wearable and dramatic looks all from these shades. In March I'm going to a sales meeting in California where I'll be in meetings during the day and at an awards dinner one night, and this might be the only shadows I bring with me - it's really that versatile!

If you don't have the Pro Palette yet or want to try out the Lorac formula without making a full commitment, try the $15 Pocket Pro and you won't be disappointed!