Midnight Gander: Butter London WINK Eye Pencil Collection Review + Swatches

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I have been curious about Butter London's makeup products for a while now, but I have been hesitant to buy anything because I don't see too many reviews about them. However, when I saw the Midnight Gander set, I thought $32 for 6 full size eyeliners was a great deal, so I picked it up. Though it looks like it's sold out everywhere online, other than the Butter London website, all of the WINK Eye Pencil shades are permanent and available separately. I was very excited to get my hands on this set, but I have to say, I'm not as impressed with it as I hoped I would be. The shades are gorgeous, and I will still get plenty of use out of them, but the formula just doesn't measure up to some other great eye pencils on the market.

First of all, let's talk about the shades themselves. I find all of them to be very wearable, even the blue and the purple. The black and the brown have a very classic creme finish, and I love how rich the colors are. The blue and purple are described as shimmers, but aside from a very slight metallic sheen, they don't look all that shimmery. I actually think it's a good thing, because those shades stand out enough on their own. Finally, the gray shade is the only truly shimmery one—you can actually see small shimmer particles in it (click on the photo to take a closer look). As far as formula goes, the black, brown, and blue are very pigmented, soft, and go on incredibly smoothly. The gray feels a bit dryer, just because of the shimmer, but it still goes on nicely. The most disappointing shade is the purple: it is noticeably less pigmented than the others, and it takes a few swipes for the color to be fully opaque and mostly even.

Now, onto my issues with the formula. While these pencils are definitely smudge-proof, they are not waterproof. An eye primer is a must under these, and I definitely can't rely on them staying put on the waterline. Indigo Punk (the purple) actually fades as the time goes by, even from the eyelids. The other shades are much more long-lasting, but still fade eventually. Considering the fact that the full price of these is $18 each, I just don't think their performance justifies the price. A minor complaint of mine also is that you have to sharpen these—I wish they were twist-up, I'm not a fan of sharpening liners.

In the end, I think the Midnight Gander set is worth the price, but I wouldn't spend $18 on one WINK Eye Pencil. I thought I would do a quick ombre liner look with these, and I think they look very nice on—I just wish they were waterproof (or at least more long-lasting). In the photo, I used Earl Grey and Indigo Punk, with a thin line of Union Jack Black right on top of my lashes.

Have you tried the Butter London WINK Eye Pencils? What's your favorite eye liner formula?

What's in My Holiday Makeup Bag

First of all, you may (or may not) have noticed that I've been avoiding daily blogging for the past week. Here's the thing: aside from the fact that I didn't realize how time consuming daily blogging is when you don't like writing "filler" posts, I feel like between Vlogmas, and everyone else posting like crazy, there is a content overload happening. My YouTube feed alone is absolutely insane, and I can't even begin to tell you how behind I am on reading blogs. As a result, I've decided to lessen my contribution to the December madness by taking things down a notch. I still have plenty of content coming up, but it definitely won't go back to being daily—after all, I want to make sure you guys actually have time to read my posts. 

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Now that we got the housekeeping out of the way, let's get back to the topic at hand: holiday makeup. When it comes to the holiday season, I don't normally experiment with makeup much. I definitely reach for the same set of products, and if I'm going out or traveling to see family I pack them with me without any doubts. Today, I wanted to share my current holiday makeup must haves with you. 

First of all, I tend to use heavier base products during winter because I like to make sure my skin looks as close to perfect as possible. I have found that my winning combination for full flawless coverage includes the Laura Mercier Silk Crème FoundationIT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer, and Chanel Les Beiges powder. Not only do I get the finish and coverage I want, but I also don't have to worry about these products melting away from my skin. The powder and concealer come with me everywhere, just in case I need to touch something up, but I am yet to actually do that. I also can't go a (makeup) day without filling in my eyebrows, but in that department I am loyal to my usual favorites: Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil and Clear Brow Gel.

When it comes to eye makeup, I like to keep things simple these days. I've even abandoned pencil/liquid liners—it's all about neutral eyeshadows and a good mascara. For eyeshadows, I'm sticking with the Lorac Pro Palette 2 (check out my review + swatches here) because it has an array of shimmery and matte neutrals. As for mascara, my old friend L'Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara is back in my life. Blush is something I don't experiment with these days either—Buxom True Hue Blush in Tryst is my only cheek must-have.

Now, lipstick is where it gets more complicated—this is an area where I like to have fun. I recently talked about my favorite winter lipsticks here, but if I had to pick just ONE, I would go with the Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in Tannin (who is surprised?) I do tend to apply reds over a lip pencil, and my weapon of choice is always the MAC Lip Pencil in Brick.

But wait, is that a nail polish you see? Yup, I bring my nail polish with me, particularly when it's a shade that shows every imperfection. I get really annoyed when my manicure doesn't look perfect, so I actually will randomly touch up the tips of my nails. In this case, I'm wearing Butter London's Nail Lacquer in Knees Up, and I think it's the perfect holiday metallic red!

This is a pretty short list, if you think about it—I only have one of each type of item here, and I'm pretty much set for the holidays. If you want to see me use all of these products in a quick classic holiday look, check out the video below!

What's in your holiday makeup bag?

Anthropologie Mini Haul: Winter Candles

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Welcome to the gorgeous winter candles appreciation post! It's official: I have moved on from Bath & Body Works candles. Ever since they started giving Le Husband and I breathing issues, I just don't want to risk burning any new ones anymore. I have a couple of older ones that don't bother us to finish up, but those only have a burn session or two left in them, so I ventured into Anthropologie to find some new candles for the season. Let me tell you: Anthropologie is a dangerous store to go in to, because there are so many beautiful things to buy! While most of their clothes are too expensive for me, I love their home section, and I find the prices there mostly reasonable, for the quality they offer.

The first candle I picked up was the Good Nature Soy Holiday Candle in Balsam & Cedar. If you're on the hunt for a candle that smells like a holiday tree, look no further: this one is a mix of fir, balsam, and pine. It's very lightly sweetened, just to make the scent a bit more complex. I love the tin design as well—this is one of the cutest candles I've ever seen, and I will definitely be saving the tin to use for something later. And check out these fancy long matches! I couldn't find them online, but they had plenty at the store, with a few design options.

Next, I picked up a larger size of my current favorite—the Voluspa Japonica Candle Tin in Baltic Amber. It has a warm, but spicy scent, with some woodsy notes. I like that it's not too sweet, and definitely not sugary. I am a fan of the large flat tin packaging as well—it looks very pretty when it's burning. This was the perfect fall candle for me this year, but I still can't get enough of it!

Lastly, I couldn't leave without the Lexi Candle Tin in Fireside. It smells EXACTLY like a bonfire, which is scent I love very much. The official description says it has nutmeg, incense and patchouli combined with oakmoss, amber and cedar, but it all blends into the most amazing smoky woodsy fragrance. I love that neither of these is offensively strong or smells artificial. They also take their time to burn down, so I don't have to worry about replacing them anytime soon. 

What's your favorite candle to burn during winter?

My Top Holiday + Winter Lipsticks | 2014-2015

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Wait a minute, 2015?! Yup, since this isn't just a holiday lipstick favorites post, and two out of three of this winter's months are happening next year, it's officially time to include 2015 in the title. Which is crazy. Side note, I already like 2015 better just because I don't like even numbers, and love odd numbers, so there's that. Let's move on to the lipsticks. I picked out seven that I know I will be wearing a ton (because they've either been previous favorites in winter or I'm already wearing them a lot this December). You won't find any neutrals in here, mainly because I rarely wear those, especially during winter, and if I do I just grab whichever one is closer to me. Vibrant shades are just so much more fun!

  1. NYX Butter Gloss in Éclair is the lightest shade I picked, and that by default makes it my designated "neutral". It's a very wearable light pink gloss, and it kind of makes me feel a bit like an ice queen when I wear it.
  2. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Cherish is a bolder, slightly neon pink. I have loved the Revlon Balm Stain formula ever since it came out.
  3. NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita is a vibrant red, and I feel like at this point this lipstick doesn't need an introduction on my blog. You can see my review and swatches here.
  4. Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in Tannin is pretty much my overall favorite lipstick right now. It's a beautiful wine-red, with an amazing formula.
  5. Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Standout is a cool-toned classic red with a matte finish. Despite being matte, this lipstick feels creamy and comfortable to wear.
  6. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Vivid Violet is a purple-toned berry shade. The formula is pigmented and moisturizing—it's one of my oldest winter favorites.
  7. MAC Matte Lipstick in Heroine is a vibrant matte purple that stays on forever. Out of all of the lipsticks this one stains the most, and it's one of the longest lasting lipsticks I own.

L to R: NYX Éclair, Revlon Cherish, NARS Rita, Bite Beauty Tannin, Revlon Standout, Smashbox Vivid Violet, and MAC Heroine

To hear more about the lipsticks and see me apply them, check out the video below!
What are your favorites winter lipsticks?

Recent Skin Care Staples

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Here's the thing about my skin care routine: I'm never 100% happy with it. I have had quite a few requests to share my skin care routine, and to be honest, I've been planning to do one since May (no, really). I keep putting it off because I always feel like I'm so close to getting it perfect, but it hasn't happened yet: seasons change, and so do the products I use. I still plan to eventually do a full skin care routine video, but in the meantime I thought I would at least share small updates about what's going on in that department. I have added a few new products to my routine lately they have been working out great.

First of all, let me quickly tell you about my skin. For the most part, it's pretty average. I don't like saying "normal", because I don't think there is such a thing as "normal" skin. What is that, exactly? Even skin with no problems? That's SO not normal. My skin has average issues: it's not too sensitive, but I can certainly make it angry if I don't properly care for it. It can get oily in the t-zone, but during the colder months my cheeks and the area around my mouth can get pretty dry. I also have occasional breakouts. You know, the usual, but nothing extreme.

The Acure Brightening Facial Scrub is officially my new favorite exfoliator now. It makes my skin feel incredibly soft and smooth, and it never irritates me.  I was a little weirded out by the dark green color and grainy texture at first (along with the strong herbal scent), but I actually like it now. I would love to try more Acure products, since I have been looking add more natural products to my skin care routine.

For my eye cream, I went back to using Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Eye Cream. After trying to branch out, I just couldn't find anything that worked for me quite as well as this one. It has Aloe Vera, Witch Hazel (something my skin loves), Jojoba Seed and Avocado oils. What I love most about this eye cream is that it's hydrating without feeling heavy or too thick, and doesn't make concealer application a nightmare.

Lastly, the Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C Night Cream was a very fortunate impulse buy. I have to admit, I'm usually a skin care snob and don't trust drugstore brands, but I was desperate. After running out of my moisturizer, and looking at countless products and reviews, I just couldn't find anything that really caught my eye. So I took a risk, Finnish skin care sounded like a good idea. I'm actually loving it! It absorbs into my skin really well and does the job moisturizing it. It also seems to have a calming effect on my breakouts somehow. I'm impressed!

Have you added anything new to your skin care routine recently?

Nails of the Day: Butter London Diamond Geezer

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Now that it's winter, it's time for me to bring out my metallic nail polishes. I don't know what it is about the cold, but gold and silver are definitely my most worn nail polish shades during the winter months. Today, I wanted to share my favorite silver shade with you: Diamond Geezer from Butter London. I've talked about it in a few posts already (including my previous one) , but surprisingly, I've never dedicated one specifically to this nail polish. I thought it was about time I fixed that.

As you can see, Diamond Geezer is a very shiny metallic silver. I am wearing two coats in the photo above, which is plenty to get the nail polish to be fully opaque. The formula is lighter that I would expect from Butter London, but not really thinner as far as quality goes—I actually really like how light it feels. There aren't any issues with visible brush strokes either: I wasn't being very careful with application, but you can still barely see them—the nail polish goes on very smoothly. Because of how dense the shimmer is, Diamond Geezer is perfect for nail art as well, and it won't show signs of wear as easily as a creme finish would either. If you're looking for a good silver nail polish, I would definitely recommend this one.

Do you like wearing metallic shades on your nails during winter?

Baby, It's Cold Outside | Winter 2014 Tag

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First of all, I hope you guys have been enjoying this daily blogging thing I'm doing. Let me know if there is anything specific you would like to see on here! For today's post I wanted to do a winter tag because it's my second favorite season, despite the occasional bitter cold. My lovely friend Lindsay and I were trying to find a tag we liked, but ended up putting a bunch of questions together ourselves and creating our own tag (check Lindsay's answers to these questions here). We also came up with a holiday tag, but that's something that will happen at the end of the month. I would love to see all of you do this, so if you do, please let me know in a comment and I will check our your post or video. I am also tagging some specific people below. I hope you enjoy the video!

People I'm tagging:

Baby, It's Cold Outside Tag Questions:

1. Favorite thing about winter?
2. Favorite winter accessory?
3. Most worn sweater?
4. Must-have winter lip product?
5. Favorite winter nail polish?
6. Favorite winter candle scent?
7. What are your top 3 winter essentials?
8. What is winter like where you live?
9. Do you participate in any winter outdoor activities and which ones?
10. How do you stay cozy and warm in the winter?

Stuff Mentioned:

American Eagle Side Zip Turtleneck Sweater in Grey
Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in Tannin
Butter London Nil Lacquer in Diamond Geezer
Julep Nail Color in Zelda
Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Marshmallow Fireside
Nivea Lip Butter in Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss
The Body Shop Almond Body Butter
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream