FOTD: Espresso

Because we could all use some espresso on a Monday morning, amirite?

I did this look last week, so for once it’s not terribly old. Yay, timeliness.

Pulled out my oft-neglected LORAC Pro Palette for this look. While I love the colors and the even mix of mattes vs. shimmers, I find the shadows to be too powdery. They puff everywhere upon brush pickup, and I have to carefully pat them on to avoid too much fallout. Yes, they blend easily — but they’re also prone to over blending into muddy nothingness.

Still, I really liked the way this look turned out. The halo eyeshadow placement really suits my eye shape.

I also experimented with a ring light I bought for my DSLR. It took a bit of finagling, but it’s pretty easy to set up and start shooting. However, I use a Canon, and for some reason it’s programmed to not fire the external flash (ring light in this case), when the live view option is on.

I always use live view with the monitor turned around so I can see my goofy face before I take a picture. But now, I have to frame up, turn off the live view, then hope for the best. I’ve been taking way more pictures now because of this.

The first picture is with natural light only. This one is with the ring light, turned down low:

It made my skin look yellower, so I fiddled around with the color balance on both photos so they look about the same-ish. It does pick up the eyeshadow color better, though. And in some pictures, my highlight was POPPIN’.

I’ll keep playing around with both the ring light and Photoshop for color correcting. If you have any tips and tricks for me, do tell! I’m currently taking an intro to Photoshop class online and so far I’m really enjoying it!


Pixi Correction Concentrate – Brightening Peach
The Body Shop Moisture foundation – 05
The Body Shop Honey Bronze – Drops of Sun
BECCA Dual Coverage concealer – Tahini
Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish powder
theBalm bronzer – Balm Desert
NARS x Pierre Hardy blush – Boys Don’t Cry
Hard Candy So Baked bronzer – Tiki (as highlight)


Freedom Makeup eyebrow pomade – Ebony


LORAC Pro – Espresso, Taupe, Mauve, Cream, Pewter, Nude
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil – Zero
Soap & Glory Thick & Fast mascara


Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon – Gavi

The ring light works really well for product pictures, though! The only thing is, I have to shoot at an angle so it doesn’t flash back on the cheese board that I use as a background. Haha!

Coffee Sundays, 1.22.17

Serious question: is it the height of vanity to have a blog series named after your own blog? Then again, this is a beauty blog, so maybe that’s a moot point.

ANYHOOT. I haven’t had one of these chatty, rambly, non-cohesive posts for awhile, so I thought I’d just barf up a bunch of words and see what happens. Here we go!

I learned a new laundry trick

I recently tried this method for getting rid of oil stains in my shirt. My stains were way more prominent than the ones she has in her post. Quick backstory: we give my dog fish oil to help with her itchy skin and maintain her soft fur. One day, I happened to squeeze it ALL. OVER. my favorite tank top! The top is from Everlane, and they sadly no longer make that particular style.

I had resigned myself to the fact that it was probably impossible to get the stains out, and so the tank joined the pile of old t-shirts to be used as cleaning rags. When I found this on Pinterest, I decided to give it a try since I had nothing to lose anyway. If you don’t want to click the link, here’s the TL;DR version: Pour hydrogen peroxide over the stains. Add some dish soap, and top with baking soda. Scrub it up into a paste, and let the mixture sit for two hours or so. Then, wash as normal.

I wasn’t expecting much. At most, I hoped that the stains would have faded a bit. After all, the oil stains had set FOR MONTHS already, and had been laundered at least once, if not twice. Imagine my surprise and delight when my tank top came out of the washing machine absolutely spotless!! This method works BRILLIANTLY. I’ve filed this trick up my sleeve for when I need to prove that I am, in fact, a functioning adult.

I am currently on a no-buy

And it’s going surprisingly well!

During the holiday season, I went a little crazy and got swept up in the frenzy of sales and limited edition items. I’ve ended up with so many new products that I’ve barely touched, even now, a month later. This has almost completely killed my desire to buy more, more, more. I don’t even blink when I see the latest releases from brands that I love. I think I’m finally oversaturated, and overwhelmed.

Over the years, I’ve talked a lot about how I want to downsize, shop my stash, project pan, etc. And every year, I move further away from that resolution and instead continue to buy more things I don’t need. I will never be able to finish all of my blushes. Or highlighters. Don’t even get me started on eyeshadows. Basically, I will never truly “want” for anything.

So this year, instead of just a project pan, I’m also going on a series of no-buys. My last makeup purchase was December 28, and it’s been a pretty easy road so far! There were a few temptations in the beginning, but I’ve learned to recognize my shopping patterns.

I emotion-buy: when I’m happy, sad, or even angry. I realized that I kept buying crap hoping that it’d somehow make me feel better, that it’d magically transform me into a projection of what I want to be instead of who I am. Does that make sense? Is that sad? Maybe. But it’s less sad now that I’m aware of it, I guess.

I’ve been unemployed for a year and a half now, entirely through my own decision. As a result, I’m utterly bored and feeling unfulfilled. I’ve channeled those feelings of frustration into shopping and hunting down “the next best thing.” It’s no coincidence that in the past year and a half, I’ve impulse-bought makeup far more than I did in the years prior.

I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s time for a detox.

Since the last few paragraphs totally went off into the deep end, I’d like to introduce you to a new (to me) YouTuber I discovered: Kimberly Clark! Her anti-haul videos are such a breath of fresh air, and exactly the type of rhetoric that I need to hear right now. I understand that her style is not for everyone, but for me it’s been so helpful as I plan my no-buys.

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Red Lips District: Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon Napa Vineyard

burt's bees lip crayon napa vineyard

I bought this Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon Napa Vineyard about one, maybe two years ago. At the time, I was going through my “omg red lips tho” phase, and I even started a sporadic blog post series on them.

However, I am nothing if not inconsistent, and that’s why it took me two years to get around to writing a post on this product. Remember, I bought it specifically “for the blog.” Ugh. But whatever. Onwards!

Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon Napa Vineyard

Burt’s Bees is well-known for their “natural” lip balms. They came out with these “all-natural” lipsticks a couple years ago and since the swatches looked promising, I hunted this one down.

burt's bees lip crayon napa vineyard swatch

Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon Napa Vineyard swatch

Napa Vineyard is a beautiful blue-based red. It’s very pigmented, quite unlike the famed tinted lip balms or lip shimmers. This lip crayon does not mess around. You want a dressed-up, I’m-going-to-an-event-because-I’m-a-grown-up red? This color will definitely fit the bill.

The formula is a bit on the dry side, however. The chubby crayon shape also doesn’t help much to create a sharp line, which I think is a must with such a bright, deep color. You have to go in with a lip brush. Alternatively, you could wear a lip balm underneath and pat this color on to achieve a less saturated stain.

I do like that it’s a twist-up crayon. However, the cap on mine, while cute with its honeycomb pattern, doesn’t stay on very well. In fact, I dropped it once and the cap popped off. The crayon hit the floor on the tip. Gross.

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September and November 2016 empties

The last empties post I wrote was in August. In September, I traveled a lot and it was tough to keep up with and keep track of my trash. Also, apparently I didn’t use anything up in October and December? *shrugs*

Asia trip empties

I took the pictures as I finished them, so I didn’t have to pack empty bits and pieces. Because that would be silly.

Fresh Black Tea Age-Delay Eye Cream – These eye cream foil packets are always so huge. It takes me forever to get through eye cream because I apply a small amount each time. Anyway, I don’t remember how I felt, if anything, about this eye cream.

Bioderma Sébium H20 Micellar Water – This was an adorable sample that Beautylish sent me with my very first order from them. The green one is for those with oily skin. I have normal skin, and on me, all micellar waters perform about the same for me.

Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel – I received two of samples with a purchase at a Holika Holika store in Korea. I like it better than the Nature Republic equivalent that we currently have at home. It was non-sticky and absorbed well. I used it when I got a little too much sun on my shoulders and chest, and it prevented peeling.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser – Err, I don’t remember anything about this. Sorry.

Atelier Cologne Cédrat Envirant – This reminded me of a delicious gin and tonic with a squeeze of fresh lime. Great summer scent. Here’s the Fragrantica page on it, since I’m a total n00b when it comes to scents.

Boots No. 7 Velvet Lash mascara – This was released shortly before I left London in April last year. It was a pretty good mascara, but not my favorite. The formula was too dry for me, and it left my lashes feeling a bit crunchy. I think it’s a fiber formula too, which I’m not a fan of. I wouldn’t repurchase.

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Project Pan 2017

There’s been a marked increase in the number of hits on my Project Pan 2016 post. This makes a lot of sense: It’s January, and a lot of us are feeling the pinch on our wallets from holiday spending. It’s also high time for making New Year’s resolutions. Why not resolve to use what you have, and be more discerning about what you buy?

Last year

Looking back on what I had resolved to use up, it’s easy to feel a bit defeated. Here are all the things I wanted to use up by the end of 2016 (I wrote this post in May):

Makeup/color cosmetics

I’ve managed to use up the BECCA powder, and the Hourglass primer. The NARS blush crumbled out of the pan. I did end up purchasing a Deep Throat/Laguna duo to replace it.

The Benefit Hoola bronzer now has a sizable pan showing, and the Urban Decay eyeliner in Zero is now down to a tiny little nub.

On the other hand, the Make Up For Ever powder seems bottomless. I use it daily to set my makeup. However, it’s such a huge jar, and I use so little of it every time. I doubt I’ll finish it by the end of this year.

Miscellaneous beauty things

I’ve finished The Body Shop’s Aloe body butter. The peppermint leg gel and the Oils of Life facial oil are both nearly done. I gave the cuticle oil to my mom and am currently working on a CND Solar Oil instead. Barely used the Melt Away Cuticle Eliminator and the lip scrub.

This year

The only way to successfully use things up in their entirety is to consistently use them everyday.

I know, that seems like such an obvious statement, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll find it hard to stick to using a small percentage of your large stash, day in and day out. To combat this, I keep other items in rotation to break up the monotony. Also, as a wannabe beauty blogger, I do have to come up with different FOTDs from time to time, if only to prove to myself that I *can* create different looks.

So, here’s what I plan to use up this year!

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