I've always been slightly self conscious about blush. "I'm pale!" "Will I look like a clown?" "Brushes r hard 2 use, wah." etc etc. Needless to say, it took me long enough to even own more than one powder blush. I ease into things very slowly. I'm that person getting into the pool one step at a time over the course of 20 minutes because I'm trying to get used to the temperature. So powder blush -- first step. But I kinda stumbled on the cheek gelee blushes by chance just because I was curious about the texture. I swatched 'Berry Bliss', the darkest, scariest color of the bunch, just for kicks. Cut to a year later, and it's probably tied with Tarte's 'Exposed' as my # 1 favorite and most used blush. I washed my powder blush brush about a month ago, and it has not been used since. That's how often I use this blush. I think that warrants their own little moment of glory on the blog.
I own three colors in total, Berry Bliss, Honeymoon Honey and Poppy Paradise. In terms of favorites, I would list them in the same order. So why do I love them. Well let's see:
➤ Natural finish.
➤ Lasts all day.
➤ Totally buildable.
➤ Cruelty free.
➤ Hydrating, but not greasy looking.
➤ Will probably never run out, ever.
Like I mentioned, I've owned Berry Bliss for just about a year, and have used it a lot. And as you can see, there's still plenty left. It probably has to do with the fact that I apply it with the e.l.f. stippling brush, and a little goes a very long way. It says to apply with your fingers, but I prefer this much better.
You can find these for $22 at Sephora, but it's also worth it to check out for sales at the Josie Maran website directly, because they'll sometimes have a sale going on and it's free shipping on orders over $25. And lo and behold they're actually offering 20% off your order of $50+ with code JMCFRIEND. I think Pink Escape is next on my list...
Phew, now that the Christmas season has official begun (!!) and the guy's gift guide is out of the way, let's talk about what I want the ladies! No real introduction needed here, we can just get started.
1. I don't know anyone who would turn down the prospect of a nice relaxing bath once and a while, and you can make it more enjoyable with some Rica Bath Teas or Herbivore Botanicals Bath Salts. There are so many different varieties to choose from, so look around to find one that fits the stressed/tired/pamper-loving girl in your life.
2. Winter is a harsh and cruel mistress that takes great pleasure in draining your lips of all the moisture and leaving behind a sad, chapped mess. Not that I'm bitter or anything, but if I were, I would be much appreciative of something like the Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair. Tons of good ingredients, cute packaging, and an aid against the lip-hating weather - a perfect stocking stuffer!
3. I love Kate Spade, this is not a secret. And as someone who owns several KS rings, let me just say that the Kate Spade sailor's knot ring would be a beautiful addition to anyone's collection. It's simple, but it's gold, and it's the kind of piece you can wear with anything.
4. For the interior decorator (wannabes included), look no further than the home section of Leif. All of the cute vases and planters you could possibly want. They also have some beautiful kitchen wares and jewelry to boot!
5. I've yet to meet a Rifle Paper Co print I didn't immediately want. If you know someone like me, why not get them 12 prints in the form of a 2015 Travel the World calendar. Perfect rotating art on the wall!
6. Candles are always a safe bet, and lately I've been loving my Pommes Frites Candle Co. in Teakwood and Tobacco. It such a nice, warm smell, I could burn it all day. There are other scents as well, if that's not her thing. But seriously, give the scent a try if you find it in store.
7. If all else fails, make her laugh. And if you can't make her laugh, get someone else to do it! Amy Poehler recently released Yes Please, and I for one am waiting expectantly for it to land under my tree this year. But if she already has it and likes it, try Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). It is seriously full of the good word and will keep you amused from start to finish.
Yes, it is November. And no, you will not see me decking the halls until after Thanksgiving. That being said, I'm a firm believer that it's never a bad idea to start accumulating gift ideas ASAP. Especially with black friday sneaking up faster than anyone working retail* wants to believe, the official shopping frenzy will be here before we know it. So what better time for me to attempt my first shot at a gift guide for this holiday season. Let's start off with the guys, shall we?
1. Somehow, Ryan worked 3 years outdoors, all without the protection of a pair of sunglasses. I feel like squinting just thinking about that. So if you have a guy in your life that loves being outside, looking cool, or taking care of his eyesight, do him a favor and buy him some sunglasses. And in my opinion, you can't go wrong with a pair of Ray Bans -- they're classic!
2. Unless they're sporting an impressive beard, they need to shave. Why not save them the money and get them a subscription to a service like the Dollar Shave Club? Orders range from $1-$9 a month for 4 blades, including shipping! You seriously cannot find blades that cheap at the store for the quality. And the best part is that you can steal their razors, too. We've been surviving just fine off of a $6 subscription for months now, and I will never go back to buying blades at the store. Nevaaaaahh!
3. Since idea #2 is so affordable, why not tack on some other quality shaving materials. The initial pocket price may be more expensive than a typical bottle of shaving cream, but they will also last a lot longer, too. Try something like the starter kit from The Art of Shaving to get their feet wet. Bonus, the starter kit comes in various prices and sizes, so you get get him as much as you want.
4. A new wallet is never a bad idea, especially if the current wallet is falling apart to the point of embarrassment. I like the ones you can find from Fossil, but places like Frank and Oak and J Crew have some great options as well.
5. How do ties cost so much? Really, how? Especially when you can get all the colors/patterns you could possibly imagine from awesome places like The Tie Bar for $15 a pop? And yes, you heard me right, $15. And if he's fully stocked on ties, they also have a good variety of items to keep him looking put together, like socks and belts.
6. If you don't know the shame that comes with luggage that is falling apart and scraping the sidewalks as you hurriedly try to get around New York City, consider yourself lucky. And if you do know that shame, it's time you did something about it. There are a lot of nice weekender bags out there, but I personally love the simplicity of Everlane's weekender bag. Also, they make great affordable t-shirts, but that's unrelated.
7. You can find many a dapper gentleman's accessory on resources on Etsy. I think these collar stays would make a unique gift that you could customize to fit their personality. And hey, look at you, supporting small business!
8. For the man who has everything, what about a place for him to put everything? I got this catchall from Pottery Barn for Ryan a couple of years ago and it still looks in tip top shape sitting on his nightstand. Bonus points to things like this that you can get monogrammed, too. Nothing says "good luck unloading this on ebay" like a monogram!
Anyone have a gift they've gotten for a guy that you've patted yourself on the back for? I'd love to know what it is!
* Bless you all, by the way. I was lucky enough to work retail at LOFT for several black fridays, and the frenzy was entirely manageable. But my first job was at the Disney Store, and boy if you every wanted to see adults cry out "WHERE'S ARIEL?!" at 4AM, then the Disney Store on black friday was the place to be.
I waited very diligently for the Sephora VIB sale to come along, and took advantage to get some new staples. I've only bought 2 HE foundations before this, and those purchases were made a very long time ago. I'm almost out of both, and one has pretty much reached its point of no return. It was definitely time. I was also out of concealer, so I took this opportunity to get my first Nars products. Yes, I have never owned anything from Nars before. I mean, I can't be the only person who doesn't own Orgasm, right? ...Hello? Ahem.
Sable, Rhubarb, Winterberry, Pomegranate
The other two things were "just because" items. I completely missed the boat on Bite's mini lip tin last year, so I made sure to get it this year. And I do not intend for this blog to go into reviews, but I just have to swatch them because I am in love. Worth every penny. And for 20% off of $25, it wasn't that many pennies! But now I'm crossing my fingers that Sable eventually becomes permanent, because it's the nude I've been looking for.
Also got a lot for my money with the Josie Maran argan color collection. Some stuff I use regularly (oil) bundled up with some stuff I've wanted to try (eye color and luminizer)? SOLD. Besides the lip crayons, the coconut water eye color is the other thing I'm looking forward to trying the most.
Did you get anything from the sale? Are you keeping a lookout for Ulta's 20% off sale, too? Personally, I tend to swoop in just in time to secure platinum with Ulta and VIB with Sephora, so these end of the year sales are usually when I shop the most.