Mani Monday: Holiday sparkles!

holiday mani

Remember when I said I didn’t bring any glitter nail polish with me? Apparently I lied. When I dumped out the makeup bag holding all my polishes, I found China Glaze Razzle Me, Dazzle Me.

I immediately threw together a holiday-esque mani. I only brought about seven bottles of polish, and half of them are some variation of gray, so I don’t have a whole lot of combinations to work with. I’ll probably start doing one color manis, and stop posting about them. I never religiously participated in Mani Monday, anyway.

holiday mani 2

But yay, sparkles.

Deborah Lippmann True Blood
Zoya Dove
China Glaze Razzle Me, Dazzle Me

What’s in my vacation makeup bag?

Albert and I are headed to Barcelona right now to visit his family. I find it particularly eye-roll worthy to call it a “vacation,” because I’m not working right now. In fact, I’ve barely left the house for 2 days in a row. Not sure what exactly I need a vacation from.

Anyway, this is somewhat similar to what I packed when I last did a post like this. This time, we’ll be in Barcelona for five days, four nights. We’re only bringing carry on luggage, so I need to keep my makeup bag small. When I’m traveling, I don’t like to get too complicated with my makeup. I love to bring multi-purpose products, to cut down on excess.

vacation makeup dec2015

This is everything! Keep it simple, stupid.

vacation makeup base dec2015

BECCA Boudoir Skin Mineral Powder in Dream
BECCA Dual Coverage Compact Concealer in Tahini

My usual base products. I’m more than half done with the BECCA powder, I hope I can finish it up soon!

vacation makeup color dec2015

Daniel Sandler Watercolour liquid blush in Cherub – I went to TopShop on Oxford Street last week Saturday and met Daniel himself! I picked up a full sized liquid blush in Passion, and he gave me a mini in Cherub. It’s the cutest little bottle, and perfect for traveling!

The Body Shop Shimmer Waves in Bronze 01 – An old standby from work. This is my one-and-done palette for eyes and cheeks. I use the top two waves all over my lids, and depending on how ambitious I’m feeling, the middle two waves in my crease, and/or I go straight to the darkest wave and use it to smudge out my eyeliner. Then I use my kabuki brush and swirl it all over to add some warmth to my cheeks and face.

Also, I forgot to add Urban Decay’s Demolition eyeliner pencil. I’m bringing it, I just forgot it while I was taking photos.

vacation makeup misc dec2015

ecoTools Essential Eye Set – Another on-the-go favorite. I used this for rushed mornings before starting my shift all the time. There’s a good variety of brushes, but they’re weeny and they fold up nice and small when I’m done.

ecoTools retractable kabuki brush – I love this brush. I use it for powder foundation, and bronzer. It’s super soft and it has the perfect density to pick up enough product and buff it in.

Nordstrom retractable lip brush – I’ll use this for concealer.

e.l.f. clear brow and lash mascara – I’m skipping brow color this time. Gasp, shock, I know. My brows are quite dark naturally. Of course, they could do with a bit of filling in here and there, but the only brow product I brought with me is Anastasia’s DipBrow pomade. If I packed that, I’d also have to pack an angled brush, and I don’t have a cover for it, and it won’t fit in this tiny bag, and just forget it. I’ll just run this clear mascara through them to keep them in place and call it a day.

Urban Decay Perversion mascara – This smudges all the time under my eyes. It’s super annoying, but I have yet to buy a new mascara.

So, for me, lots of dual purpose products, and tiny things if possible! How do you pack your makeup bag for vacation? Are you going on a trip soon for the holidays? I personally can’t wait to get out of the house. One of the neighbors plays the same music playlist every single day, and there’s about five to seven different songs on this playlist. There’s one in particular that I hate hearing, and I hear it about four times a day. EVERY DAY. It’s driving me mad.

Sephora Haul: Bite Beauty Lip Lab Trio Mimosa + NARS Blush Exhibit A

sephora bite beauty nars

Before I left Hawaii, this was my last Sephora haul. I decided at last minute that I absolutely needed NARS Exhibit A, and that it was worthy of my 10% off VIB welcome code.

At the register, they had this as their September 250 point perk: Bite Beauty Lip Lab Trio Mimosa. You know I can’t resist red lipsticks, so when the cashier asked if I wanted to redeem any points, I happily threw this in my bag.

Unfortunately, these Bite Beauty sets are no longer available (and October’s one looks DELISH), but these pictures have been sitting in a folder for a couple months, and at this point I’ve given up being up to date and relevant in the beauty blogging world. I’m just going to be over here in my corner, doin’ ma thang.

bite beauty lip lab trio mimosa

It came with a mini Lush Fruit Lip Gloss, and the most adorable weeny lipstick (its official name is Luminous Crème Lipstick), both named Mimosa. There’s also a little compact mirror.

bite beauty lip lab trio mimosa swatch

They both lean a little warm and orange (which I suppose makes sense given their names). The lip gloss was surprisingly pigmented, but I don’t know what I was expecting, looking at the punchiness of the tube. The lipstick is creamy and gorgeous, and applied easily. It has a hint of sheen that keeps it from being totally matte.

nars blush exhibit a packaging

And now the main reason I went into Sephora: NARS Exhibit A.

It’s a well-known blush in the beauty world, famous for looking ridiculous in the pan.

nars blush exhibit a

Look at it. It looks crazy. Who could even wear that without looking like a 5 year drawing on her face with markers?

Don’t let that fool you. It’s a beautiful blush, I promise. You just need a bit of patience and effort to quiet down her apparent screaming.

nars blush exhibit a swatch

Look at the edges, see how they fade nicely and actually look natural?

Still not convinced? Well, after bringing home a haul so color-coordinated like this, I couldn’t resist and wore them all together:

sephora bite beauty 250 pt mimosa fotd

The lipstick and lipgloss pair together to achieve a super juicy-looking pout. However, since the color is so bright, it would drain my face of color without some blush. Cue NARS Exhibit A!

bite beauty sephora 250 pt mimosa fotd 2

I used a huge fluffy blush brush (the Real Techniques one is my favorite for blushes like this), and a light hand. Just a soft tap into the pan, and again on the back of my hand, then blend away. The Real Techniques brush is tapered, so if you apply with the tip of the brush, use the clean sides to help you blend the edges. The result is a very natural, flattering flush of healthy color.

Now that Sephora has sent out their $XX off $50 purchase coupons, is anyone out there about to make a haul? During the VIB sale I was very very good, and I only picked up this rollerball duo by Maison Martin Margiela’s REPLICA. I’ve noticed that I’ve been moving away from makeup and toward perfume. Which is an even more expensive hobby. x_X

Currently Coveting: December 2015

It’s the holiday season! That means shiny new baubles for makeup magpies like myself to get all grabby hands over!

However, nowadays I am committed to buying less things and getting rid of crap I already have but don’t use. I just did an inventory of all the makeup I brought to London, and considering how often I’ve posted looks using said makeup (never), I really brought too much.

Although it seems counterintuitive to write a post about new things I want that I obviously don’t need, I find it actually helps me to see the patterns I fall into. Usually, if I list it down and leave it alone for awhile, I come back later and find that the overwhelming urge to buy whatever it is I thought I couldn’t live without, has disappeared.

  • Zoeva brushes

zoeva brushes

There’s been a lot of buzz over these brushes, and I’ve narrowed it down to these two that I really want: the rose gold cheek brush, and the brow brush. I currently use the MAC 266 for my eyebrows, but it’s not as sharp as I’d like it to be. Of course, I don’t need the blush brush, but LOOK AT IT.

I’ve had these two in my cart on but currently the brow brush is out of stock.

  • Makeup Geek eyeshadows

makeup geek eyeshadow pans

Beauty Bay has also recently started stocking Makeup Geek eyeshadows! I know I’m late to the party on these, but I never wanted to make a big enough order on the Makeup Geek website to justify the (nominal) shipping charge. I’m irrationally stingy.

Since they’re super popular, they’ve been going in and out of stock on Beauty Bay. Early this morning, all systems were go, but it looks like everything (?!) is out of stock now. Another “oh well.” I take it as a mixed blessing, because otherwise I’d be spending money that I don’t have.

Lastly, since the stock pictures of the eyeshadows are rather bland, here are some swatches from Viola of Killer Colours:

makeup geek prom night swatch killer colours

makeup geek barcelona beach swatch killer colours

These are from this post about her Makeup Geek eyeshadows. Do check her blog out, but be warned: I have bought so many things based off swatches and reviews on her site. It doesn’t help that she’s drop dead gorgeous and many products look amazing on her. I, of course, look nothing like her. But whatever. She’s super cool and I totally have a girlcrush on her.

  • Phee’s Makeup Shop Palette + Trio

phees makeup shop palette trio

Another lemming created by Viola. Bundle sets are always a better value, and with 25% off your first order if you sign up for her newsletter, this comes down to £18.75 (about $28.15 USD). Honestly, I would get it without the palette (£11.63, or $17.46), since I have a couple empty Z palettes sitting at home. I only brought one small one with me, though, and it has zero space for more makeup. What to do??

  • Manic Panic Semi-Permanent Hair Color Cream

manic panic hair color cream

Without my dear hairstylist Mel, my red hair is fading slowly into a brassy coppery orange. Not cute. I bought three henna coloring creams from Amazon in Auburn, Copper, and Mahogany. It actually worked pretty well to refresh the color, but now I’m getting a bit bored with red. Since I already have a lightened base and existing color, I was thinking about buying one (or both) of these to achieve a wine reddish purple. I have to use up the henna ones first, though.

By the way, fuchsia is spelled wrong. It’s really bothering me, but that’s what the product is called, so I’m going to let it go. O_o

  • Everlane Modern Zip Backpack

everlane zip backpack

Ha, the stock picture wasn’t against a white background. Whatever!

I was recently quite annoyed with Everlane, as my last order took well over a month to get to Hawaii. I had ordered from them before, and it never took that long. I was afraid it got lost somewhere. Finally, it eventually arrived, but after I had already left for New York. My friend Krystal will be visiting me in a couple weeks, and she’s kind enough to bring it with her for me.

After emailing Everlane and expressing my disbelief at how long the order took, they added $15 credit to my account. I’m still rather wary about ordering from them again, but I do love their products so much. This backpack is currently out of stock anyway, so at least I don’t have to wrestle with that decision for awhile yet.

What’s on your wish list? I also want a Christmas advent calendar, but they’re all a bit expensive, and I really don’t want more random things. I think I just want the joy of opening a little box of something cute and tiny, every day until Christmas. Sigh.