April 2013 Non-Beauty Favorites!

I figured this month would be a good one to start a non-beauty favorites type post. Most especially because I've blogged less and been busy with so many other things!

Firstly, these candles. I've seen them around and have wanted them forever but have only just bought them. Richard liked the Santiago Huckleberry which smells fruity but in a soft, sweet, candle type way. I, however, opted for Baltic Amber which smells quite like amber and vanilla; musky but still soft. So good. Their burn time seems pretty high considering we've been burning them every night now for a week and there is still a ton left. So happy with them. Maybe one day I'll graduate to Diptyque.

Homemade lavender spray. Something in me is seriously obsessed with lavender at the moment (I blame a mixture of LUSH and my restorative yoga class). I picked up a little spray bottle and some essential lavender oil and made my own spray. I love spritzing this stuff all over the sheets before bed as it's the perfect scent to fall asleep to. So easy to make and the results are just as good (if not better due to lack of crappy ingredients) than sprays you can get at the store.

I feel like it's kind of weird to be talking about my iPad mini here but lets be real. I've been using my iPad way more than my MacBook this past month which is saying something. The Mini is the perfect size for reading and bringing along with you to wherever you're going. Also, GAMES. I've been playing Hello Kitty Kawaii Town which sounds ridiculous (and is) but it's basically like Hay Day/Farmville Helly Kitty style.
PS Richard and I finally released Kaomoji app for iPad, so check that out!

Lastly? YOGA. I have been doing yoga basically religiously for the past three and a half weeks and I am obsessed. Again. I've been doing at least a class a day minus weekends — rotating between Bikram, Vinyasa, Restorative, and Yin. The fact that my anxiety has gone down a ton + feeling like I'm on top of the world in Standing Bow pose = total bliss. Can't stop, won't stop (ever). This is real love, guys.

What are your April non-beauty favorites?


Favorite LUSH Toners: Tea Tree Water & Eau Roma Water

LUSH Tea Tree Water / $9.95
LUSH Eau Roma Water / $9.95

If there were ever any doubts in your mind about my love affair with LUSH, rid yourself of them! I'm in love and I'm (very obviously) not afraid to show it. With that being said, my duo of toners have been neglected for far too long. I blame the fact that my skin is usually quite calm and sometimes I just forget what a quick spritz of a toner can do.

As I said in my April beauty favorites, my skin has been kind of crazy lately. I needed something to balance it all out and give it a push in the right direction (aka no more spots) and that's when I turned to Tea Tree Water. This toner in particular is chock-full of ingredients with antibacterial properties; tea tree, juniper berry, and grapefruit, just to name a few. I spray this stuff on and either leave it (usually what I do in the morning) or wipe it away with a cotton pad (night/throughout the day if needed). I've found that since using this my blemish issues have completely settled down. No more spots have popped up and the ones I do have, are healing well. I'm not saying that this is a one-stop shop, but it has helped me tremendously to keep the nasties away. Plus, it's alcohol-free and not harsh on the skin at all.

Eau Roma Water, or, omfg I love you and I want to take you everywhere with me please just live in my purse. Seriously though. I am a lavender freak, especially as of late, so this product most definitely has its place in my life. While Tea Tree Water is great for specific use, Eau Roma is the goddess of all daily toners. On a hot summer spring day such as today, what isn't lovelier than spraying a mix of rose water and lavender water all over your much-too-warm mug? Not only is it refreshing, but it helps keep oils at bay while still being extremely lightweight. It's supposed to help with redness but I haven't really noticed much of that (I also haven't been looking). It does however, seem to add just enough moisture to make me look a bit more radiant and fresh than before I used it. I normally just spray this stuff on throughout the day — anytime, really. It's especially nice on warmer days or after yoga — giving the skin just a little boost of happiness.

tldr; I love both of these. Tea Tree is great for angry skin and Eau Roma is the perfect all-day every day toner.  Someone ring the holy grail gong 'cuz we've got two new additions.

Have you tried these? What do you think?


April 2013 Beauty Favorites

So here we are, the end of another month! Doing favorites is a lot of fun for me — not sure why, I just love gathering everything I've been using obsessively and writing about it all.

It's been really hot in the Bay Area as of late and I've been super busy and therefore do not want to wash my hair every single day. When I'm not in the mood for super-model volume and texture from Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray, I reach for this mini bottle of Pssst Dry Shampoo. I still love Batiste but CVS/Walgreens don't carry it and I don't always want to venture out of my way to get it. It smells pretty great and does it's job so in my purse it's been living. I'm loving all of the Wen products (update coming soon) but especially this Sweet Almond Mint Replenishing Treatment Mist. I use it both when I blow-dry and when my hair is already dry but needs a little bit of moisture. It leaves my hair feeling hydrated but not over-staturated or greasy. I'm going through this mini-bottle so fast!

On to the very non-glamourous part of my favorites. Something has seriously messed up my skin (and I think I know what it is); I'm having such a hard time. My very normal skin that is not prone to blemishes or pimples other than during that time of the month is recovering from ~5 very big (and painful) spots. This Benzoyl Peroxide is helping immensely to help rid and clean up the mess that is left but I'm still not even close to being back to normal. We've had Lush's Tea Tree Water toner around for a while but I never really used it until now. With the antibacterial properties of tea tree, grapefruit water and juniper berry, it's helped to calm my skin overall and hopefully it will help prevent any more breakouts. So far so good. PS Cotton pads are a godsend.

Lastly, pretty things. I knew Revlon's Flirt would be a favorite since, well, I'm still wearing it. Such a beautiful color. Lip-wise two things have been on heavy rotation for me: Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie and Dior Addict Lip Glow. Berry Smoothie is a beautiful bright pink, both moisturizing and super easy to wear. The color is opaque but not too much. Dior Addict Lip Glow is basically unlike anything else I own  — it reacts to the color of your lips and leaves you with the perfect pink shade. I just swipe it on and go. No need for a mirror as it's pretty much fool proof.

That just about wraps it up for my April favorites! Anything here you guys have been loving as well? What are your favorites for the month?


The Accessory: Of a Kind / Taylor Bag by Sara Barner

Of a Kind: Taylor Bag by Sara Barner / $180

If you're not familiar with Of a Kind, let me introduce you. Of a Kind is a small online boutique, if you will, showcasing/selling beautiful things in limited quantities. For example, this ridiculously gorgeous handmade leather bag is one (well actually #23) of 50 being made. Once they're sold, that's it. No more chances to buy this beauty again. They sell all sorts of things — bags, jewelry, clothing, etc — made by lovely people from all around. I love the idea of supporting independent artists, crafters, designers, especially when they make things like this.

I spotted the Taylor bag while casually perusing the OAK site, as you do. I'm not really a handbag kind of girl at all, surprisingly. I've had the same Marc by MJ bag for about a year now, only swapping it out with a recent Zara purchase in the last few weeks. That is... until this baby caught my eye (and then landed on my doorstep). There's something about the ever so simplistic design that makes it almost too beautiful in a classic way. Timeless, even. It's the kind of thing you enjoy using and wearing  — maybe because you have an idea of where it's come from. 

Handmade in Portland, OR by the incredible Sara Barner; made with the softest leather with an even softer suede interior, finished off with solid brass hardware and detailing. There's just something about knowing it's one of only fifty being made that makes this little circle bag even better. Something about contributing to an artist that is passionate about their craft. Not to mention the fact that, ugh, it's one of the most beautiful things I currently own. 

Interested? Go snatch it up before it's gone forever. If not? Of a Kind has sooo many things to choose from at all different price points. Go check it out and try not to become obsessed like I have been in recent years. Otherwise, let me know what you think!


Dior Addict Lipstick in Tokyo

Dior Addict Lipstick in Tokyo / $31

There are the lipsticks you can leave behind, and then there are the ones you can't. I told myself I'd only leave the store with two things: Dior Addict Lip Glow and a YSL Glossy Stain. Let's just say the glossy stain was swiftly put back into it's rightful place and replaced with this beauty. No offense, YSL.

Immdiately after trying this on in Sephora (or "the mothership" as I sometimes find myself calling it), I literally felt like "how the hell do I not have this in my possession/collection already?!". Then part of me is reminded of Patisserie, though Patisserie is a a bit darker and muted (IRL). This is sheer glossy goodness, literally. Even if it is a little too close in color to my MAC favorite, I don't mind. It's the type of color I find myself falling back on when I'm not exactly sure what to wear. Something I don't have to think about or make a fuss over. It just works.

Dior's lipsticks in general have a lovely consistency. Creamy, glossy, but not annoyingly sticky. They last and don't seem to have an issue when applied to my sometimes-dry lips which is an issue I have with more than one MAC lipstick. I love that it's sheer but still opaque enough to make a difference. Just another one of those my lips but better colors, which I'm totally alright with especially in the warmer months. Tanned skin, beachy hair, coral cheeks, and a teensy hint of color on the lips? Count me in (with this lipstick in hand).

Have you guys tried any Dior lipsticks before? What are your favorite shades?


My Favorite/Most Used Brushes

MAC 239 / MAC 217 / MAC 224 / Real Techniques Expert Face Brush / Real Techniques Setting Brush / Real Techniques Stippling Brush / MAC 109

We've all got the tools we love to use and I'm not sure about you but I love reading about favorite brushes. Why? Well why not? I love finding things that make application a little bit faster and a little bit easier. These are my favorites (and hopefully they're some of yours too)!

Eyes: The MAC 239 is my favorite for packing on color — any color at all. Want a brown smoky eye? Use this to pop the base color all over the lid, and maybe along the bottom lashes as well. Then grab your trusty 217 aka the Mother of All Brushes (IMO) and add some crease color. Go on, add some more and blend that allll out. Not blended quite enough? That's where the 224 comes in. A fluffy one this is, making it perfect for blending evenly and softly. I feel like if you've got these three brushes in your possession, you don't really need many any more. You can create a whole eye look with just these three. Want two instead? Stick with the 239 and the 217, they'll be your best friends. I'm talking BBF4L.

Face: Is it surprising that I haven't included the ever-loved Buffing Brush? I'm gonna be honest, I really don't love that brush at all. The only thing I use it for is Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation and that's about it. When it comes to foundation application I stick with the Expert Face Brush. It perfectly applies YSL Le Teint Touché Éclat and Jouer Matte Moisture tint like a dream (when I'm not using my fingers). Something about the way this brush buffs foundation into the skin makes you look totally flawless.

I'm not at all a concealer girl but when I do use it (effing creepy stealth blemishes), I use the Setting Brush. Dot, swirl, brush. It covers anything I need covered and with minimal effort. It's also super great for setting concealer under the eyes.

The Stippling Brush is my go-to for cream blush. Stippling one of Stila's Convertible Color blushes onto the skin is a breeze with this thing. It picks up just the right amount and leaves you with a natural flush of color.

Lastly, my beloved 109. Probably my favorite brush of all time. I use this for contouring, blush, highlighter, basically anything cheek related. Since it is a contour brush, it fits perfectly under your cheekbones to give you a lovely defined look (which I'm really into). For some reason this lil thang is also amazing with blush; NARS, MAC, whatever you like. I haven't tried it with cream blush so I'm not exactly sure how it'd work, but as far as powder goes, it's the cream of the brush crop.

Aaaaand that pretty much sums up my favorite brushes. I'm pretty sure if I had to live with only these I would be totally okay with that. What are your favorite brushes? I love trying out new ones!


FOTD: Reloving

We're having some ridiculously nice weather here in Northern California as of late. Something about the summer spring sunshine makes me want to whip out the corals and pinks and do cartwheels in the freshly cut grass — well maybe not cartwheels (just yet). But really, I get stupidly tan in summer and the way coral looks on a tanned skin highly appeals to me and my cheeks. So I thought it was time to whip out some things I haven't used in quiiiiite a long time.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is something I've been using a lot lately after forgetting over winter, oops! I love the smooth feeling that it leaves my skin with. The perfect base for foundation, voilaTouché Éclat has grazed my skin once again. I swear I will never get sick of this stuff — I'm actually repurchasing tomorrow because I've officially run out. I really do feel like it will be holy grail for me forever. 

Orgasm! Ohhhh la la!!!1!1!!11!! No but seriously I love this color and mine (as you can see) is well loved. I haven't really touched it since summertime last year but I am sooo ready to get back to wearing it. It's such a pretty coral-pink, plus I love a little pop of color right on those apples. Swept MAC's Soft & Gentle on the top of my cheekbones which you can't even see, but it's there! I'm still iffy about powder highlighters after getting the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector, but hey. Every product needs a little lovin' now and again. 

L'Oreal Mascara that has been in heavy rotation for me as of late. Now if only I could get seriously dramatic volume with this crazy length I would have the loveliest lashes in all the land. Swiped MAC Era all over the lids (a new edition to my collection/palette) and I'm obsessed already. Patina in the crease just to add a little somthin' somethin'. Definition. EYES. All that jazz. (I forgot to add in what I used for brows but it's just my normal Anastasia Brow Wiz + Charcoal Brown by MAC)

Cut A Caper. Sound familiar? Every time MAC re-releases this color people go nuts. When they did last year, I went nuts, but for good reason. Do you see that color? Perfect bright coral perfection. This was my summer go-to last year and you bet it'll be my go-to this year. P.S. Please re-release this so I don't have to use it sparingly. xoxo.

That's it for my face of the day. Simple! What do you guys think? What are some things you love but may have forgotten about? 


Revlon Nail Enamel in Flirt

Revlon Nail Enamel in Flirt / $3.99

This sunny California weather is doing weird things to me. Firstly, I've been radiating positivity for the last week (could be the yoga I've been doing, maybe), I've been cleaning a ton, and now I'm donning a blue-toned purple polish. Why is this out of the ordinary? Blue toned anything usually doesn't suit my olive complexion but ahhh, I couldn't leave the store without this one.

It's a nice change from my normal mint green or lilac and it's just bright enough to be cheerful without being obnoxious (though the name kind of is... Flirt, really??). Topped with Seche Vite makes this stuff last for a good 5 days (shout out to my dishwasher for allowing me to have a nice manicure). I'm not the kind of person who likes to change their nail color every few days, so longer lasting power = happy me. I have a feeling that I'll be keeping this color for on for as long as I can stand it. There's something about this polish that I just adore. Not to mention that it was only $3.99 plus tax, win!

Have you guys tried any Revlon polishes? What are your favorite colors?


LUSH Vanilla Dee-Lite

Vanilla Dee-Lite / $27.95

We've all got our favorite lotion or two. In the summertime I'm drawn towards happy smells; coconut and vanilla mostly. Anything reminding me of a tropical getaway where I'm sippin' a cocktail with my toes in the sand. But alas, here I am sitting at my dining table, blogging. At least I smell good.

Vanilla Dee-Lite is my favorite LUSH lotion (after Smitten which is now a Retro product). It's a light yet hydrating lotion — I can't stand heavy products in the warmer months. While I still love it in the autumn and winter, it really stands out to me in summer. I'm blaming it all on the smell (and my ability to become so utterly obsessed with something because of the smell). But really now, cocoa butter, coconut oil, fresh kiwi? Those are all things I'd like to slather on my skin after a shower and before the shorts, tanks, and sandals go on. I'm going to reiterate on how light it is: SERIOUSLY it is so lightweight. I really love how smooth and lovely it makes your skin after applying. Mmm. Soft summery skin, come to me. I'm not sure I could find a lotion I love more than this for S/S but if you're up for it, I'd love some recommendations! ;)

What do you guys think of LUSH's lotions? Do you have a favorite?


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My week in a nutshell. P.S. Bigger photos, yay!

· Precious little Dior lipsticks
· Current nails + OOTD coming soon!
· I love daffodils
· Jasmine milk tea with boba
· Catbird candle + things
· The newest addition: lotus

via my Flickr.


Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick By Kate Moss in 104

 Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick By Kate Moss in 104 / ~$5


I'm not normally one for matte lipsticks but that's the thing I love about the Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks: they're more velvet than matte. They're not very drying and they last for-ev-er. I've been wearing this specific one day and night for the past week or so. There's something about the dusty rose color that I'm loving for springtime. I notice that I'm not rubbing my lips together while wearing this — probably because it doesn't feel heavy. More or less it feels like I'm not even wearing lipstick. So good. I know these aren't new by any means but I've just gotten into them... and now? I really want to get my hands on some more.

What do you guys think about these lipsticks? What are your favorite shades?


WEN by Chaz Dean

WEN Healthy Hair Kit / $39.50

When it comes to my hair, I try to be relatively gentle. Having naturally curly and dry hair means being even more prone to damage. It also means I have to be careful with what I use and how often I use it. I've been watching Anna Lee & Jesse's videos for quite some time now and Anna swears by Wen (she also works at the Chaz Dean studio in LA). Soooo I figured I'd give it a go.

What intrigued me about this stuff (other than the fact that Anna's hair always looks flawless) is it's lack of sulfates and other not-so-great things that might be present in everyday shampoo/conditioners. It's got alcohol in it which isn't great but also not the worst, as well as a ton of plant/fruit oils and extracts. I currently use Pureology and a Honey & Oat conditioner but I sometimes feel like my hair is a bit weighed down. The cleansing conditioner smells incredible and the mint in it makes your scalp tingle (awesome). You just pump, apply, massage, let sit, and rinse. Pretty easy. In the kit, I also got the Replenishing Treatment Mist and the Re Moist Intensive Hair Treatment. I love getting kits because it means I can try out everything vs just buying all full size from the get go and possibly not even like it!

Day one of this stuff and I'm pretty excited to see if there are any long term effects of using it. My hair already feels a bit lighter; a bit like that fresh salon-styled feeling. It'd be pretty badass if this could replace normal shampoo and conditioner for me. We'll see!

Have you guys tried Wen before?

This is going to be more of an ongoing "feature". I'll write a post updating how things are going with this each week, maybe every other week. 


ModelCo Cheek + Lips Tint

* I wasn't sent this product, but I did want to include that I received this in a Glossybox!

Real talk: I've never reviewed just one single product from a beauty box before. I've also never used a cheek tint before. When I received this in my Glossybox, however, I was kind of over-joyed. Just because I'd never really looked into tints and stains, doesn't mean I wasn't interested. To be honest, I think I was a bit intimidated by the whole tint thing. Rubbing liquid color into your face? Yeah, that's a recipe for disaster (for me).


BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone / $41

I can't believe it's taken me this long to review this — I've had it since January or so and have used it almost every day since. It's one of those things that although is a small step, seems to make quite the difference. As of late, powder highlighters just aren't doing it for me (says the one who kind of wants to buy this). For some reason I don't like they way they sit on my skin and I think that's just it; they sit instead of seamlessly blending in. I know, I know. It's probably my application, maybe I'm not buffing enough, maybe it just doesn't suit me.

After seeing this stuff in Sephora, I knew I wanted to get my grubby little paws on it. Shade-wise, I opted for Moonstone, a pale gold which seems to suit my light yet yellow-toned complexion perfectly. I was hoping this would be the kind of highlighter that went with anything. One that wasn't overbearing yet gave me a nice visible glow (duh). Let's just say it does everything I want, just as I want it to.

I tend to use this one of three ways:

· I mix it up with my NARS Pro-prime and apply like a primer. This is perfect for when I want my whole face to be nice and glowy, yay.
· I apply to the tops of my cheekbones, bridge of my nose, and cupids bow (with my fingers) after applying my primer. This is great if you only want to do specific areas and want it to be more subtle.
· Apply it on on top of my foundation, where ever I'd like it to be. This is what I do if I want a bit more glow.

I find that no matter how I apply, it doesn't sit on top of my skin and doesn't make me look greasy either. Just a natural looking sunny day glow. As far as highlighters go, this is easily holy grail for me. It's by far my favorite daytime highlighter. At night I sometimes do prefer to pop on some extra highlighter oomph, but I normally still wear this underneath.

What do you guys think of this highlighter? What are your favs?

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