Pretty Pink Lipsticks

It is finally February! Did January seem to last absolutely forever or is it just me? Regardless, I’m glad to put another winter month behind me as I wait excitedly for the arrival of spring.

When February finally rolls around each year, my mindset gets a little cliché; I can’t seem to get enough pink! It’s probably because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and every space on the internet becomes saturated with pictures of flowers, chocolate, and (yup, you guessed it) the color pink. Since I’m feeling the love this year, I thought I’d share 5 of my favorite pink lipsticks!

  1. Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in “Littlestitious” – This one is a beautiful dusty pink. It’s very muted, which is great if you’re going for a more neutral look. I love the formula of the Colourpop Ultra Satin lip. I find their Ultra Matte a bit drying, but the Satin feels great on the lips. The pigmentation is impeccable, especially with its $6 price tag.
  2. Milani Color Statement Lipstick in “Nude Créme” – I love Milani lipsticks, and this one is no exception. Again, this is a muted pink for a more understated look. I find that this lipstick color goes with almost any eye look I create because of its very neutral color. The application is smooth and the product itself has a pleasant fragrance.
  3. Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon in “Hawaiian Smolder” – Out of the five, this one is my favorite as far as formula and color. It is a true hot pink that is easy to apply and touch up, and it’s a lipstick I like to apply when my eye makeup is very minimal. It takes it awhile to fully dry, but I don’t mind because very matte formulas are a bit too uncomfortably drying for me. The pigmentation is more sheer compared to the other lipsticks I’ve mentioned here, but it’s easy to build up the color. I like to keep this little guy in my purse for some glam on-the-go!
  4. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Milan” – Here we have another true pink. Just like Colourpop, I think NYX has really great pigmentation in their lipsticks. This lipstick is a very pretty vibrant pink which (like Hawaiian Smolder) goes great with a minimal eye look.
  5. bellápierre Kiss Proof Lip Créme in “Antique Pink” – If you like a lipstick that doesn’t budge, this one is a great contender. The formula is transfer-proof, but if you rub your lips together you can feel how sticky it is. Not a huge deal, and you really only feel it if you’re very deliberately rubbing them together. The color is a gorgeous dark pink, it smells delicious, and you’ll be convinced your lips are really that color because this stuff seriously does not come off once it’s fully dried. Perfect for a dinner date night!

Pretty Pink Lipsticks
From left to right: Littlestitious, Nude Créme, Hawaiian Smolder, Milan, Antique Pink

Pink is probably my favorite lipstick color to wear, so I’m glad I have the month of February to give me an excuse to wear it! What’s your favorite lip color to wear? Any date-night favorites? Let me know in the comments!

Pretty Pink Lipsticks

Adesse Ultra Suede Matte Top Coat

Matte nails are so sleek. I’m a sucker for a matte black or a matte pale pink. Having the Adesse New York Ultra Suede Matte Top Coat at my disposal has proved very convenient: I can turn any polish I own into a beautiful matte manicure!

One of my favorite aspects about this top coat is the suede finish. It does resemble leather in the way that it reflects light yet isn’t glossy. It is smooth to the touch, but you do have to be careful with application. The formula is pretty runny; I think I have enough wiped off the brush only to see that it is about to drip right before I press it to my nail. If too much product is applied, the top coat will turn white. When I tried to rub off the white residue, it unfortunately (but expectedly) took my nail polish with it. You also have to be careful to make sure the entire surface area of the nail is covered, or else you’ll end up with shiny edges.

Adesse Ultra Suede Matte Top Coat
Left hand is with the top coat, right hand is without.

Overall, I’m happy with the product and how it mattifies my nail polish. It is an absolutely beautiful finish, pretty easy application, and I can’t wait to try it out on all of my nail colors!

What are your favorite nail products? Let me know in the comments!

VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind Highlighters

I love a good underground makeup brand. Before Boxycharm, I had never heard of VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind, but since subscribing I have received two highlighters from them. Normally, I’m a bit skeptical about trying new brands because I’d rather go with a product I trust, but that’s why I signed up for a subscription box: to try new products from new (or new to me) brands. Luckily, I’ve stumbled upon some gems.

I have been impressed with both highlighters from VINTAGE. The first one I received is the single square highlighter, and the shade is called “Rose Gold.” This one is somewhat of a discreet highlight; it is a bit matte, but the gold flakes give just the right amount of illumination. Since the undertones are gold instead of silver/white, it is a warmer glow. The pink allows it to blend in with your blush, so the glow looks very natural.

The second VINTAGE product I received from my subscription is a highlighter duo in the shades “Rose Quartz” and “Chocolate Diamond.” I was a little worried that “Chocolate Diamond” would be too dark and too bronze for my pasty skin, but a very light application actually looks really good! This formula is very soft, almost silk-like to the touch. The duo has a much brighter shine than the “Rose Gold,” so they are great whenever it’s time for a little drama.

VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind Highlighters
From left to right: Rose Quartz, Chocolate Diamond, Rose Gold

Obviously, I applied a few layers to my finger swatches in order to see the colors more clearly; I wouldn’t dare apply anything this thick on my face! The colors are very pigmented and you can definitely see shine after the first application. A little goes a long way! All three shades are lovely, and I believe they could compliment a variety of skin colors.

VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind Highlighters

As a side note, the packaging on these is great as well: no-fuss sleek white boxes with large mirrors on the inside…so much yes.

Overall, I’m very impressed with these VINTAGE highlighters. I think they are absolutely stunning and quality products. On the con side, they are a bit pricey. “Rose Gold” is $32 and the duo is $35. I do think you get what you pay for, however, because the highlighters are decently sized and the product quality is above par. Plus, I love how these highlighters have a more golden tone; it’s different and pretty.

Have you tried any “new-to-you” products lately? Let me know what you’ve been loving in the comments!

January 2017 Boxycharm Unboxing

I never thought I would be a fan of subscription boxes. Frankly, I used to think they were pretty useless (a lot of them I still do). That was until I stumbled upon Boxycharm. Boxycharm is a makeup subscription box that ships to residents of the US and Canada for $21 a month. This little black makeup box’s main appeal is that it contains 4-5 full size products. Yep, you read that right: FULL SIZE. Almost always the amount of the box adds up to be over $100, so you get some bang for your buck. Most of the brands I’ve never heard of (and they actually turn out to be quite decent), but ever so often they throw in a well-known brand as well.

This marks my third month of receiving a Boxycharm box. I love the idea of getting surprised every month, and they always have a variety of products to offer. For example, this month I received a highlighter duo, a fan brush to go with said highlighter duo, a cheek stain, a nail polish mattifier, and a hand lotion. In the three months I’ve gotten Boxycharm, I’ve only been disappointed by one product.

Every “Charmer” (how they refer to their subscribers) receives a different variation of the month’s box. While two or three of the items will be things everyone gets, the rest is left up to chance. I find this aspect rather fun!

Now, enough chit chat. Let’s get into what I got this month!

  1. Anderson Lilley Manhattan Beach Hand Cream ($24) – This lovely number is the beach in a bottle. It almost smells a bit like a fragrant sunscreen, but it is simply just a hand lotion. At $24, it’s already over the price of the box. The application feels nice and it’s not greasy. It is a much needed addition to my night routine! Smelling the beach in the midst of yucky winter weather is a plus, too.
  2. Crown Soft Fan Brush ($12.99) – Before this box, I didn’t have a fan brush in my collection. I usually use a medium sized fluffy brush to apply my highlighter, but now I can use this instead! The bristles are very soft and lightweight. It may be just a simple fan brush, but it gets the job done.
  3. Vintage Highlighter Double ($35) – I had never heard of this brand before prior to subscribing to Boxycharm. I received a highlighter from them back in November, and now they’ve sent us a duo. All of them are different, of course, and I am so impressed with how bright of a highlight they create! Seriously, these things will make you shine. They each have gold undertones, which I find is a nice change from the white undertones of a typical highlighter.
  4. PÜR Cosmetics Chateau Cheek Stain in “Prosecco” ($26) – Cheek stains are a completely new concept to me. Obviously I knew they existed, but I never tried one for myself. This was such a pleasant surprise! The product almost looks like a giant Chapstick with a brush on the other end. It looks obnoxiously bright, but once applied it blends into your skin very nicely. I love the color of this as well. The brush does shed, however. I noticed several tiny hairs on my cheeks, but it wasn’t much to just swipe them away with my fingers. I’m very excited to keep using this one!
  5. Adesse Ultra Suede Matte Top Coat ($18) – This little guy is magic in a bottle. It mattifies any shiny nail polish with a suede finish (so a hint of sheen, but no gloss!) It works almost instantly as well; it dried very fast. The description says “May apply every day to maintain the matte suede effect,” so I’m guessing that means it wears off (I didn’t keep my nail polish on long enough to test it out, unfortunately).  This is probably my favorite item that I got this month because it just doubled my nail polish collection. Thanks Boxycharm!

This month’s total adds up to be $114. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing what I receive in future boxes. It’s like Christmas every month when I see it in my mailbox! If you’d like to see me test out the products in real time, take a peek at my latest YouTube video:

Do you subscribe to Boxycharm? What did you get in your box? Anything you absolutely loved? Anything you absolutely hated? Let me know in the comments!

Lately I’ve been having the itch to read more. Now that I have been out of college for almost two years and required reading and various projects aren’t looming over me constantly, I want to spend some of my usual TV-time with a book instead. Along with trying to read more, I also wanted to start a book series on my blog so that I can a) stay motivated to read, b) look back on all of the books I’ve read that year, and c) share my thoughts with fellow readers who are looking for something to add to their “to-read” lists!

To kick off this “Cover to Cover” book series, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso.

The first I heard of the book was when Sophia sat for a Q&A at a marketing conference I attended in 2015. I was immediately struck by her personality. Of course she looked absolutely amazing and fashionable, but she also looked rather uncomfortable at first. Whoa, she is actually human! was the first thought that ran through my head. It was a such a relief to hear her speak after all of the robotic and rehearsed marketing talks I had to sit through that day. She spoke about how she awkwardly stands in the corner at big parties, her dogs, how she started her company, and her favorite vintage piece that she ever sold. She was funny and relatable. Naturally after this I was dying to read her book. Luckily the hubz got it for me as a Christmas gift last month!

#GIRLBOSS is not your typical “rags to riches” story. It’s true, Sophia has truly achieved the textbook definition of the “American Dream.” Not the outdated white picket fence, two kids, and dog kind, but the more modern version: the owning a multi-million dollar business before the age of 30 kind. Her story for how she got to that point, however, is entirely unconventional. For example, the first thing she ever sold online was something she stole.

What I love most about the book is that Sophia is genuinely giving advice. Even if you never plan on starting your own business, she gives very helpful tips about financial planning, honing your creativity, and even interviewing for a job. She points out qualities about herself that made her successful, but she also critiques herself. There are times when she reflects on her past and admits there were things she did that she isn’t proud of, but that they helped shape her into the person she is today.

One of my favorite passages from the book is when she talks about luck:

“I hate the concept of luck, especially when people try to apply it to me. Yes, it’s true: Hundreds of thousands of businesses fail. Mine succeeded. Was that all just because I ‘got lucky’? I don’t really think so.

What I hate about luck is that it implies being devoid of responsibility. It implies that you can do nothing and then step into success as easily as stepping into a pile of dog poop on the sidewalk. It implies that success is something given to a knighted and often undeserving few. Luck tells us that we don’t control our own fate, and that our path to success or failure is written by someone, or something, entirely outside ourselves. Luck lets us believe that whatever happens, whether good or bad, it’s not to our credit or our fault. That is why I don’t buy luck.”

– Sophia Amoruso, #GIRLBOSS

If you’re looking for something to light your fire, this book is a great place to start. It’s an easy read and it comes from an authentic place: she truly wants to inspire girls to be successful, and that is evident with the amount and variety of advice she has to give. I personally loved when she talked about finances; we could all use a little help in that department!

Have you read #GIRLBOSS? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!