Daytime Smoky Eye with Naked3 Palette

Urban Decay Naked3 Palette Look

While I'm normally one for statement lipstick and cat eye, lately I've been on this whole feminine (a.k.a. neutral pink—hence the Naked3 palette) daytime smoky eye kick. I am using the word "daytime" loosely here: what I really mean is not-super-dark smoky eye. This look can definitely be adjusted to be more dramatic or more subtle, but the fact is: I have fallen back in love with my Naked3 palette. I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you end up trying this look and send me a photo of it!

Have you rediscovered anything within your makeup collection recently?

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Products Used:

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Cream Ivory 
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 10 Light
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in 001 Transparent
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked3 Palette
Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Brush Set (review and photos here)
Real Techniques Starter Kit brushes
Jemma Kidd Define Stay-Put Eyeliner in 08 Mahogany 
(alternatively try Urban Decay eye pencil in Bourbon or NYX Retractable Liner in Bronze)
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Stingray
L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara
The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in 01 Light Matte
Benefit Box Blush in Dandelion
Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in Naked Dolly
NYX Butter Gloss in Vanilla Cream Pie (review and swatches here)

Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Set: Review

Zoeva brushes have been a hit within the beauty blogger community throughout this year (or at least that's when I first heard of them) and I have to say, when I saw the Rose Golden set it was love at first sight. Though I have told everyone I could about them and wishfully sighed every time I saw a review, I couldn't bring myself to buy them: $78 for the set of 8 brushes is not a bad deal AT ALL, but adding the shipping brought the price close to $100 and I just don't like parting with chunks of money like that—I'm more of a "spend a lot in small increments" kind of girl. So imagine my surprise and joy when my dear husband presented me with these beauties as an anniversary gift! Now, there's a guy who pays attention to his lady!

At first I was actually a bit scared to use these because of how gorgeous and soft they are, but then I realized that was just silly. I love the quality: the brushes pick up and blend makeup beautifully, the soft bristles feel amazing, and of course the dark brown and rose gold design is stunning—I kind of feel like a princess using them. The set includes both synthetic and natural hair brushes, and comes in a beautiful chocolate brown pouch with rose gold lettering and zipper to match. What's also great about the Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Set is the fact that you can definitely do a complete face of makeup with it: when I look at brush sets I always find that there is either a brush or two missing, or that there are extra "filler" brushes I really couldn't care less about—with this one I have a use for every single one. I couldn't possibly pick a favorite out of these!

Bottom line is: I am in love! This set is not just worth the price—because of the quality this is actually a bargain. If you are considering investing in these—don't hesitate, you will not regret your purchase. And who can resist the rose gold detailing anyway?!

Have you tried Zoeva brushes? Do you have a favorite?

Five Things Friday: Blue Nail Polish

Left to right: OPI Russian Navy, Butter London Scouse, Topshop Awol, Topshop Celestial, Essie Borrowed & Blue

When I showed you my Top 7 Summer Nail Polishes, I mentioned how obsessed I am with the color blue. Well, things haven't changed much around here—blue has truly been my power color this summer, so for today's Five Things Friday post I thought I would show you my top 5 blue nail polishes. And yes, I do have more than five. Here are my favorites:

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  • OPI Russian Navya dark midnight blue with subtle purple shimmer. This is one of the oldest nail polishes I own and it has been one of my all time favorites for years. It's opaque in two coats and looks really nice, but I feel like the lasting power is pretty average. I end up touching up the tip wear after a few days because with such a dark shade the wear is really obvious.
  • Butter London Scousethis beautiful electric blue is the only truly glittery shade of the bunch and it even reflects a bit of purple at some angles. It's pretty sheer at one coat, so it can be layered on top of other polishes. I like to give it 2-3 coats to see it in its full opaque glory (I'm wearing 3 coats in the photo below). As expected with Butter London, the formula doesn't disappoint.
  • Topshop Awol—one of the most recent additions to my collection, this cobalt blue is probably my most worn nail polish this summer. I am thoroughly impressed with the quality of Topshop polishes too: they stay on really well and are so pigmented, that I can actually get away with one coat if I'm being generous.
  • Topshop Celestial—another beautiful blue from Topshop, but this one lighter. I am not sure how to describe it other than a muted sky blue. Just like Awol, the quality is amazing: it lasts very well and the formula is really opaque. 
  • Essie Borrowed & Blue—the palest blue I own. I've been looking for a perfect pale blue for a while, and this is definitely it: I wanted one that was very light, but no so light that it looked white. Essie's formula can be hit or miss for me, however this shade is definitely a hit: it goes on smoothly, easily opaque in two coats, and the wear does not disappoint (though when it does start wearing off on the tips it's not very visible anyways because the color is so light).

Left to right: OPI Russian Navy, Butter London Scouse, Topshop Awol, Topshop Celestial, Essie Borrowed & Blue

Funny thing, I originally thought I would remove the assortment of blues from my nails after taking the photos, but I actually ended up liking this "ombre" look. It's pretty much an easy version of nail art for me and now I'm getting ideas about doing this with other colors too. I've seen a couple of people here and there do this, so maybe we could start a trend?

Do you have a favorite blue for your nails?

Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo in Palomino/Violet: Review + Swatches

In yesterday's haul video I mentioned this beautiful lipstick duo, but today I just had to show you closeup swatches and tell you what I think about this product. This is my first encounter with Bite Beauty lipsticks (I've only tried their glosses before) and I must say I am very impressed so far. The only negative thing I have to say is that, though I love the 2 in 1 lipstick packaging idea, it's not very product-friendly. Let me explain: these lipsticks are very soft and creamy. In the photo above the are wound up all the way and you can see how skinny they are. You pretty much have to wind them up almost all the way in order to apply them comfortably and that makes them easily breakable/squishable. Now, I am not rough with my lipstick, I don't press on it like crazy, especially when it's not necessary with creamy lipstick like this, but on my second application the violet side started breaking off. As my friend Lindsay said, "they're not structurally sound" (the same thing happened to her duo). I suspect this isn't an issue with full size lipsticks though. What has your experience been?

So basically I will be applying these with a brush most of the time. Which is fine. Other than that, I think the texture and formula of these are fantastic. They are super pigmented, opaque at one swipe, don't bleed into the skin around the lips, and are very creamy and comfortable to wear. While they do transfer (as you can tell by my tea cup), they somehow don't rub off easily and actually stain the lips a lot. I don't know about the more neutral colors, but these two only come off fully with makeup remover. I did need minor touch ups after eating, but other than that both of these shades last about 5 hours on me (to be honest, I rarely last that long without food).

The shade on the left is Palomino—a vivid rose pink, almost a fuchsia. On the right is Violet, which is, well... violet, a bit on a pink side. I really don't know which one of these I like better, as they are both right up my alley and feel moisturizing on my lips. I just with they weren't so fragile. In conclusion: yes to the lipsticks, no to the mini packaging. If you're really sold on the mini idea, be EXTRA careful when you're applying them or use a brush. Otherwise, find a shade that you like and go for full size (which is what I intend to do). 

Have you tried Bite Beauty lipsticks?
What are your favorite shades?

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Where to buy:

I got this duo at Sephora and there is a neutral option available as well.
To check out the full range of Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick shades take a look at them here.

LUSH + Sephora Haul

The closer it gets to my birthday, the more justified I feel to shop. To be fair, most of the things I bought is are repurchases of products I have run out of. Still, I managed to pick up a few extras and that's always exciting. I hope you enjoy this haul! Have you bought anything fun lately?

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Products Mentioned:

LUSH

SEPHORA

The Sunday Post: Summer in the City

Another photo-heavy post alert! As I've mentioned before, I have been really enjoying the weather—this summer in Chicago has been perfect. Some people may say it's "cold", but I will take high 70s / low 80s over 90 degree heat and humidity any day. I love walking around the city and taking photos of our asphalt jungle because, really, I don't think there is a more beautiful city skyline anywhere in the world. So here are some pictures from my recent downtown adventure:

I like starting my walk in the afternoon, when there is still plenty of light, but the sun is starting to turn everything golden. In the top left photo you can see the John Hancock building peaking through and the right one is taken from one of my favorite spots: Michigan Avenue Bridge. The third photo is still on Michigan Avenue, right past the bridge, and people were giving me "you're crazy" looks as I was taking photos in the middle of the road when the "Don't Walk" light was already flashing. As it started getting darker, I headed to Navy Pier for some churros and gorgeous views of the city:

Though you can't see the Sears Tower from here (and it will ALWAYS be Sears Tower, none of that Willis Tower shenanigans), I think the view is beautiful. Combined with the fresh breeze from the lake, it's a perfect place to spend a summer evening. Oh, and here I am spending the evening:

Lastly, I have to throw in this photo of the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel, because I love the colors against the night sky and also because all I could think about was "Capture the Flag". You know what I mean? Go Dauntless!

Top 10 Under $10 Part 2

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As promised, here is the second part of my Top 10 Under $10 drugstore favorites (if you missed part 1, you can check it out here). This time it's everything other than makeup and I think I have a good mix of products here. If you watched the video, you may have noticed I am back to my bedroom background, and to be honest I missed it. The lights are pretty, and I'm sure I will film some videos there too, but I was craving something less plain. And also you guys have mentioned many times that you love my Eiffel Tower lamps, so I thought I should bring them back into the picture. Back to the drugstore favorites, here are the winners:

  • Batiste Dry Shampoo in Wild - I will never stop talking about it. It's the best.
  • Tangle Teezer - one brush to rule them all. Seriously, if you're still using regular brushes, you're most likely doing it wrong.
  • Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge - if you love the BeautyBlender, you need to try this one: it's much cheaper and I think it's actually better.
  • LUSH Lip Scrub in Mint Julips - a delicious way to exfoliate your lips. There are two other flavors, but this one is my favorite at the moment.
  • Nivea Lip Butters in Raspberry Rosé Kiss and Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss - I've talked about the Raspberry one before, but if you love sweet scents you have to check out the vanilla one!
  • LUSH Solid Perfumes in Vanillary, Breath of God, and The Smell of Weather Turning - I think I can call it a mini collection at this point. I have been reaching for these over my other perfumes because they smell amazing and it's so easy to throw one in my purse.
  • LUSH Whoosh Shower Jelly - the most perfect scent for a morning shower! Just don't get carried away playing with the jelly.
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen, SPF 45 - my favorite sunscreen right now: so easy to apply, no greasy hands involved!
  • Shiseido Facial Cottons - so incredibly soft! Yes, there are cheaper cotton squares/rounds/ovals out there, but they are so worth it to me.
  • 100% Pure Jojoba Oil - my miracle oil. Whether it's dry patches, post-breakout pigmentation or scarring—this oil takes care of it.

To see and hear more about all of these products, watch this video!
What are some of your drugstore favorites?