Showing posts with label lip gloss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lip gloss. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn 2014 Lip Love: Lipstick and Glosses

Everybody loves a good roundup, right? This is my autumn lipstick (and lip gloss!) game. (For fun, you can see my winter, spring, and summer ones!)

I'm normally about reds, but this year I'm exploring berries in a berry big way.

(Oh c'mon, like you wouldn't have done it.)

Also, mattes. I'm matte about 'em.

(Forgive me. I can't stop.)

Here we go: the autumn fab five in lipsticks.
Yes, I have the swatching skills of a lazy toddler.
Amorous, MAC Fashion Revival, Maybelline Divine Wine, Armani 609, MAC Living Legend.

MAC Amorous - super awesome dusty plum in a satin finish.

MAC Fashion Revival matte version of Rebel; deep berry.

Maybelline Divine Wine - drugstore gem. Dark red (more cabernet than merlot) with an interesting blue sheen.

Rouge d'Armani 609 - I pull this out when I'm feeling dangerous. It's so sexy. Deepest, glossy brown-red in a gel-esque formula.

MAC Living Legend - More purple and more matte than Rouge d'Armani 609. It is dramatic. I will try to review it soon, but I've had a cold and then my eyeball wasn't cooperating (couldn't wear contacts and vampy lipstick + glasses is interesting).

And now, in lip gloss.
L-R: Shu Uemura CR 30 G, Dior Enchanted Rose (LE holiday 2013), Maybelline Nude Illusion, Dior Etoilée.

For these, I usually stick to the opposite end of the color spectrum - I like lighter, nude lip glosses (although I own some vampies), and I don't object to sparkles, although having some sparkle-free options is also good. Are you amazed to see zero orange ones? Me, too. Just haven't been feeling them lately!

Shu Uemura CR 30 G - I only have a deluxe sample of this that was a GWP, but I would buy a full size (I'm almost done with the little tube). It's stickier than the Dior formula, but I like how comfortable it is; it adheres to lips and creates that cushiony feeling. Plus, this one is so pretty. It's a sheer coral with glitter.

Dior Enchanted Rose - my favorite of the four that I currently have. It's a great nude with gold sparkle. It was LE but I think there are a few in the permanent line that are similar, and the Dior lipgloss formula is my all-time favorite.

Maybelline Nude Illusion - perfect glossy nude with no sparkle or shimmer.

Dior Etoilée - gift from my brother, who checks out my wishlist and knows I like Dior lipgloss, ha. It's clear with cool multi-colored sparkle, so it works well when I don't want any additional color and want to tone down warmth in a look.
I fiddled with the color a bit, but LOOK at that sparkle. Ah, so pretty.

Speaking of Dior glosses, I have to pick up that gold one from this holiday's collection - hopefully the counters have some left when I get to Seattle. I also need to check out the NARS Audacious suckers and maybe also Givenchy.

What autumn-esque lipsticks and glosses have you been reaching for ? 

Monday, September 22, 2014

FOTD: Purple Smoke & Becca Berry Twist Revisited

Becca makes some quality lip glosses, y'all. A little sticky with a crème brûlée scent, but beautifully pigmented. Since I'm trying to be berry purple this year (ha. ha. I couldn't resist), I wanted to do another look featuring Becca Berry Twist, which is a deep aubergine, shimmer-free gloss. And I wanted to do a plum smokey eye, because that was the most popular suggestion in response to this post.

Over a base of Laura Mercier Amethyst, I patted the plum shade in the Shiseido OR316 Floracouture palette all over the lid, blending it out lightly with the mauve shade of Shiseido RD299 Beach Grass. I stuck to plum for cheeks (MAC Stratus, which has become of my favorite blushes) and lips with Becca Berry Twist lip gloss. I guess this is also a plum spin on the monochrome look I did recently. YES. I love it when a single look strikes multiple goals off the list.
Berry Twist can be patchy upon application, but it usually looks okay if you're not taking close-up, full-face shots for a blog like a crazy person. Although, I do wonder what it would be like over something like MAC's Night Moth lip pencil.
Too much? Too purple? Too pale? This post did convince me that I don't need NARS Audacious Liv. So overall, +1, Larie.

Other makeup worn:
Origins Smarty Plants CC (Light/Medium)
Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Translucent Illuminator
MAC Lingering + Brow Finisher
MAC Pro-Longwear Concealer (NW25)
MAC Mineralize Concealer (NC20)
Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner

There's been no shortage of posts around here, lately - I know. I figure I might as well take advantage of it while it lasts; job things have been happening, but happening slowly, so blogging is a good way to keep myself busy. I haven't been buying much, so reviews are slow (unless it's backlogged stuff), but I'm digging through Pinterest looks and have somehow found myself fixated on unseasonable peach lips/cheeks and pastels, of all things. Maybe that'll be a FOTD post, or two. And I was also thinking of writing a fitness post, but I'm a casual gym gal, so it won't be a gung-ho thing.

What do you think of pairing dark lips and smokey eyes? What's your favorite vampy lipstick/lip gloss?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lip Wardrobe: Summer Season

I figured since I did one for winter and spring, I'd keep on keeping on. Here are my favorite lip products right now, perfect for embracing sunshine!
I've linked to reviews or FOTDs featuring these where possible.

Since I dyed my hair back to dark brown (mostly), I can wear violet again, so MAC Narcissus is back. It was limited edition (eep), but I think there are a few similar shades out there now, like Shiseido VI324 Lacquer Rouge and Maybelline Luxe in Lilac Color Elixir. I don't own either of those, but you can see the Shiseido on Wandz here.

The other surprise is Lancôme's Lip Lover in Framboise Étoile; I'm not much for pink, but this juicy fuchsia is beautiful and the formula is really comfortable.
Under artificial light.

Shiseido GD817 Lacquer Rouge is great for layering lightly under gloss; it's what I'm wearing in this post here (under Dior Addict Gloss in Bal d'été).

Maybelline Mandarin Rapture is a Color Elixir; I like the formula a lot and have five, but this juicy orange (with barely there sparkle) is the one I'm wearing the most often this summer.
Same order, different lighting (natural) and no labels.

I like YSL Orange Fougueux because it's matte (even though it's still a bit glossy in this swatch). It's also not as BAM orange as it looks in the bottle.

And MAC Lady Danger. LET US BE LADIES DANGERRRR. 'Nuff said.

What are your go-tos this summer? (Or this winter, for you Southern hemisphere folk.)

Also. We're moving next week (to a different part of WA state), and that means packing up the iMac (i.e., blogging machine) and also the makeup - I'll probably resume posting in August. Enjoy the rest of July! I'll be bouncing around on Twitter (and complaining about the heat - 108 deg F in place of future residence yesterday, ouch!) and Instagram, so don't forget to follow and let me know how you're doing.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

FOTD: You Can Still Drink Red Wine in the Summer

(Because red wine is really purple.)

This isn't really a summery look, but hey, sometimes you still want that cabernet sauvignon in the midst of summer heat (I am always up for a cabernet.).

Berries and mauves aren't my usual color palette, but I was inspired by this photo from NARS. Beautiful, right? So I pulled out the few shades I had in that palette - at least for the eyes and cheeks. I don't have a matte peachy-pink-nude lip product (but now I want one).
I started with a base of Shiseido Sheer and Perfect foundation (shade O20), and did my brows. I also dabbed and blended some liquid illuminator (Sonia Kashuk) on cheekbones, and lightly under the eyes.

On eyes: I applied the Laura Mercier Amethyst Caviar Stick all over the lid and then patted it out with a ring finger. I took my SK No. 205 brush and blended a matte brown (theBalm Sultry from the Nude'Tude palette) over the entire lid. I used SK No. 8 to push a little bit of theBalm Sexy (same palette) into the crease. Then I finished with dark brown liquid liner (Sephora brand) and Clinique High Impact Curling mascara. I also concealed my panda eyes at that point.
Blush was Tarte Stellar* (rosy nude) and a tiny tap of MAC Stratus. Lip choice was Maybelline Intoxicating Spice, which I love. I think the next time I try this eye look, I will pair it with a lighter lip, to see how that goes.

Untitled #14

Just trying something new. Some of the products used in this look. No affiliate links or anything like that - just wanted to try a roundup method that didn't include messy products, haha.
Do you have a go-to color palette? How often do you experiment with other tones and shades? 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

GOLD, BABY: Shiseido GD817 Athena Lacquer Rouge

[Purchased by me.]

This is the last one I have (right now, *cough*) - you can see RD311 here, RD319 here, and BR616 here.
Single swipe of GD817. It's so pretty. I love eye shadows this color.

GD817 is the oddest one, because it's a coppery gold. And now I know you're thinking, "But Larie, what would you possibly want with that?"
GD817, worn very sheerly on its own.
Well, I like unique shades. Some perversity drew me toward it for that alone. And also, the idea of playing artist. I think it was created to experiment with - to amplify other shades and to turn them into new shades, as well. I'm not usually one to layer lip products (I'm lazy), but sometimes I want a specific color, and this is one way to achieve it.

Here are a few combinations I've tried:
Under Dior Enchanted Rose lip gloss. This is one of my favorite combinations - great low-key, healthy rosy nude lip. Other face makeup: Origins CC Cream (sample), Armani Sun Fabric Bronzer in 400. Eyes are Laura Mercier Rose Gold, Sugar Frost, and Amethyst Caviar Sticks, plus liner. Please excuse fluffy hair.

I love wearing it under gloss - like Dior Enchanted Rose. Favorite summer combination so far, I think (and it's not even summer!). It's also good under YSL 103 Opium Persan. Or any gloss, really - one that's not too metallic.
Lightly blotted in the center over Shiseido RD319 Pomodoro. Adds a bit of dimension.
It's also, of course, made to wear over the other Shiseido Lacquer Rouges. I like to wear it both over or under BR616, or lightly blotted in the center of lips for a bit of shine and dimension (like above). I can't wait to buy RD607 Nocturne and rock that combination in the fall/holiday seasons.
Over NARS Carthage. (Do I miss my fringe? Ho hum. I'm such a waffle).

Over a matte, bright pink lip? Check. It's transformed! Although I can't wear this shade of pink any more, guys. Look at that clash. *pulls paper bag over head*
For the upper lip, I applied Maybelline Signature  Scarlet first, then dabbed Shiseido GD817 over it and blended with a finger. On the lower lip, I reversed the order - Shiseido GD817 first, lightly applied all over lips, and then Maybelline Signature Scarlet over top. I prefer the second method (lower lip) - the applicator for the Lacquer Rouges lend themselves more to being a bottom layer under fluid glosses. It's less of a problem if you're applying them over mattes.

And last but not least, paired with a brilliant red for that holiday effect. This is with Maybelline Signature Scarlet.

Do I think everyone needs it? No. But if you're prone to experimenting with lip colors and like having a fun shade to change things up, it's hard to beat this one. Since it's not as fluid as a gold gloss, I feel like it's easier to control and use sparingly, which is key (although hey, bronzy gold lips could work on the right person - that person is just not me, haha).

If you have this one, let me know your favorite way to wear it! Even if you don't, what else should I try with it?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Celebrity Advertising Works: Lancome Lip Lover in Framboise Etoile

[Product was purchased by me.]

Especially if that celebrity has Lily Collins's face.
[image source: Sephora]
Lancôme has never been one of my go-to brands, mostly because it reminds me of my mom's insufferably snobby friends, who are all die-hard fans of the brand and thus are all apparently "too good for makeup" because their (very expensively pampered) skin is too beautiful on its own. (You can't make this stuff up, I'm not even kidding.)

But Tracy said these were good, so I stopped to take a look while I was in Sephora, spritzing all the smells (holy cow, Alien is one scary beast - killer jasmine plants ftw) and wringing my hands over the price tags on Shiseido skincare. My eye was immediately drawn to Framboise Étoile for reasons unknown to me (fuchsia? Raspberries!), and then I realized that it was the shade on the advert plastered so helpfully on the rack. I.e., the one Lily Collins was rocking. OK FINE.
Framboise Etoile on bare lips. It is shiny. Gives off a reflection like you see in cartoons or comics.
It has the faintest scent that I can't detect once I put it on my lips, and it's initially lightweight, though it hugs the surface of lips. It gets tackier with wear, but it's not uncomfortable. Reminds me of Shiseido's Lacquer Rouges, although those are a teensy bit tackier (reapplying usually remedies this). The nice thing is that with reasonable reapplication (~2 hours, more often if eating/drinking), lips aren't left dry or flaking at the end of the day.
I need to go back to my Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye cream for PM. EYE BAGS BEGONE.
I don't have a Dior Fluid doohickey, so I can't tell you how those compare. (I stopped to look at the Dior counter in a Macy's, but fled after an overly aggressive SA wanted to put me down for credit cards and mailing lists and shook my hand even after I said I was just looking. Seriously. What.) The Maybelline Lip Elixirs are also comparable (though they are slightly stickier and not as vinyl-shiny). These are $23, which surprised me for some reason.

I like the formula but haven't fallen in love with any other shades (and I am completely done buying lip products for the next millennia). If you are looking to try one of the new liquid-gloss-balm-lipstick-shiny-things, though, this one ranks up there!

Other makeup worn:
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Peach
MAC Strut Brow Pencil
NARS Smudge-proof Eye Shadow Base
Shiseido RD299 (middle shade), VI308 (middle shade) trios
Sephora Long-Lasting Liquid Liner in Glitter Brown (old formula)
Senna Cosmetics Clarity
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous*

*was a gift from a friend

Friday, March 21, 2014

Two More for A Colorful Spring: Maybelline Mandarin Rapture and Breathtaking Apricot

[Purchased by me.]

I already reviewed the first three that I purchased, here. I liked them a lot, but naively, I thought that would be the end of it for now. Nope. Sale at local drugstore = two more added to my collection.

I bought Mandarin Rapture and Breathtaking Apricot for their springy springiness. Juicy, jelly shades in bright and refreshing orange and sparkly pink - who could say no? (Clearly, not I.)
Sparkles! But they don't really show up when worn.

The scent (faintly powdery sweet) and formula are the same as the first three - thick but not really sticky or tacky. Comfortable to wear, and perhaps even moisturizing. I think they are a great alternative to more expensive glosses (nothing competes with Dior, but these have a much more varied color range and a greater mix of jelly, sparkly and shimmery shades) and are a great way to get a variety of shiny lip shades. I have to recommend them.
Wearing Mandarin Rapture.

Mandarin Rapture is a jelly orange.
Wearing Breathtaking Apricot. And yes, the eye makeup is different in this picture. I have to say that the pink is brighter in person - almost neon.

Breathtaking Apricot is, confusingly, bright, cool pink with sparkle, rather than orange or peach. The color in the tube is quite apparent, so I was well aware that it was pink, but it's just an odd name choice. It's a bit too cool for me to wear easy-breezy-slapdash like, so I have to be more careful, but it's still a great spring shade.

I think budget-friendly lip shades are the perfect pick-me-up (and after this long winter, I definitely needed something bright and cheerful), and it's pretty easy to have some drugstore goodies "fall into your basket" while you're out shopping for cotton balls and envelopes, or whatever. This is a great line to explore! Pick 'em up when they're on sale.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring Things II: Lip Wardrobe

[Products purchased by me, except *, which was a Sephora BI perk.]

I don't know what it is about this winter, but even though we didn't experience that "polar vortex" thing in our corner of the PNW, I've felt like this season has been worse than usual. I generally get a bit Eeyore by March, because six months of wind, rain, and no sun is a bit much and this is typically the "last straw" month.

This means I'm embracing bright, sunny shades wholeheartedly, even though it's not quite spring yet (and some of these are more typical of summer, perhaps). To go with my spring scents, here are my recent lip loves.
L-R, one swipe each: Shu Uemura Sweet Devil Rouge, Clinique Mightiest Maraschino, YSL 103 Opium Persan, Dior Enchanted Rose, Maybelline Nude Illusion, Breathtaking Apricot, Mandarin Rapture

We've got pink, orange, almost-red, and my new favorite nude.
  • Maybelline Lip Elixirs in Mandarin Rapture, Breathtaking Apricot, and Nude Illusion. I picked up Nude Illusion in round one, and recently bought the other two during a drugstore sale. Full review soon, but the formula is still good, and they're juicy, vibrant shades that work well with a fresh face.
  • YSL Gloss Volupté in 103 Opium Persan. Orange all the things!
  • Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Mightiest Maraschino*. The fuchsia leanings of this shade make it fresh and spring-like; it's a nice spin on the classic red, and I still quite like it.
  • Shu Uemura Sweet Devil Rouge. Another balm-like, jelly, easy-to-wear shade. Still in love. That is all.
  • Dior Addict Gloss in Enchanted Rose. An LE shade from the Holiday 2013 collection; it's a glittery peachy-pink-nude that I have whole-heartedly embraced. Moisturizing, sparkly, and encased in that beautiful Dior tube...yep. Keeps the Eeyore blues away.
Look at the sparkle! (Dior Enchanted Rose).
What are your top lip product picks this spring?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Color Craze: Soft Orange

[Products marked * were gifts from awesome people.]

I think I might have a problem.
I like orange things, you see.
Chanel June* (LE, no longer available) was a gift from the super awesome Tracy. Dior Blossom is currently out now (spring 2014, LE), and Spring Ball* was from last year - this bottle was a gift from my brother. It's the peachiest of the three.

I have a lot of them. I prefer "orange" products that don't have too much pink in them (because then they're "peach," and that's a whole different ball game, kiddos).
Fyrinnae Rapunzel Has Extensions eye shadow, Dior Bal d'été gloss, YSL Gloss Volupte 103 Opium Persan.

Okay, some of them might be peach-ier, when you compare them all. But I love them all the same. And they still tend orange. I find that these shades are pretty flattering on my particular brand of Martian skin...
L-R: Dior Délice, Shu Uemura Bright Orange*, Shu Uemura OB Dream Orange*, Dior Bal d'été Addict Gloss, YSL Gloss Volupte 103 Opium Persan, Shu Uemura Orange Quartz, MAC Honey Jasmine, MAC Fresh Honey, Shu Uemura Duocolor Cheek Fresh Apricot*, Fyrinnae Rapunzel Had Extensions, Shiseido RD299 middle shade.

Dior Délice is slightly darker than Shu Uemura's OB Dream Orange, but the former is still available (though I would have to say that I wear the latter more often). Shu Uemura Bright Orange looks coral, but it shows up a bit more red-orange on lips. Dior Bal d'éte is pearly and slightly more yellow than YSL 103 Opium Persan; the latter is glittery and redder. 

Shu Uemura Orange Quartz is a cream-mousse-something-soft-and-squishy blush from the Bijoux Spring 2014 collection; it's limited edition (I'll try to review it soon) and a beautiful, soft apricot with a sheen. MAC Honey Jasmine is a satin powder blush that is pinker than Fresh Honey (LE mineralize formula). Neither is still available (eep!), and neither is Shu Uemura Duocolor Fresh Apricot (the most yellow of the bunch). I wonder why orange shades are only limited releases and special editions? I LIKE THEM. MORE, PLEASE.
Close up of the above photo, from MAC Honey Jasmine onward.

Fyrinnae Rapunzel Had Extensions is really similar to the middle shade of the Shiseido RD299 Beach Grass trio; the pressed Shiseido shadow is overall easier to use, though, and it's a touch more peach, less frosty gold.
Same photo again, but just the left side: Dior Délice, Shu Uemura Bright Orange*, Shu Uemura OB Dream OrangeDior Bal d'étéYSL Gloss Volupte 103 Opium Persan, Shu Uemura Orange Quartz.

Yeah, I could probably stop now. I do want an orange, orange, orange eye shadow, though. Any suggestions? 

What color do you gravitate toward and collect? 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Maybelline Color Elixirs: Budget-Friendly Beauties

Maybelline Color Elixirs in Nude Illusion,  Intoxicating Spice, Signature Scarlet. The packaging is simple but hefty - I quite like these tubes, a lot.
 I was looking for lip glosses that were juicy and non-shimmery, so when had a Maybelline sale (20%), I picked up three of them. I'll save you the suspense: I like them.
I'm not sure why this one has such a wonky applicator. The other two have flat applicators. 
Swatches, L-R: Nude Illusion, Intoxicating Spice, Signature Scarlet
I think they're really pretty - they give lips a juicy wash of color - and they feel pretty good; they're kind of cushion-y. They remind me of Becca lipglosses or MAC Cremesheens, and I like both of those formulas. It's scented - some kind of vaguely sweet floral scent - that doesn't offend me and that gradually fades away. I actually originally wanted to buy Becca Fallen Angel and Autumn Punch, and I think Nude Illusion and Intoxicating Spice make up for these, respectively. They're not dupes (and I obviously don't own the Becca lipglosses), but they squashed that lemming - I got three Color Elixirs for less than a single Becca gloss. Not bad, right?

On lips:
Signature Scarlet. Gorgeous, sheer red.
Dennison is not impressed. Whatever, I am.
They are glosses, not liquid lipsticks. I don't find them drying. They get tackier with wear, but if you reapply every couple of hours or so (you'll need to, at least with the lighter shades - Signature Scarlet does stain, even though the gloss wears off), you can avoid much of the tacky feeling.
Nude Illusion. 
I love this nude! It's great with a smokey eye or more intense eye look. Perfection.
Intoxicating Spice.
If you prefer a rosier lip - this is a good one. Ugh, the color is so pretty. Excuse my eye bags and what not. I live dangerously. (HA.)
Overall, I like these a lot, and the prices are great, especially if you can pick them up on sale (I think I paid roughly $6.49 each?). There are a lot of other shades, too, which is nice to see. There are some shimmery/glittery ones, though, so I'd look up some swatches first to be sure about what you're buying. Thumbs up from Larie!

Have you tried these? 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lips: Winter Wardrobe

The winter color palette is often dreamy frosted metallics, or stark, intense colors. It makes for a wide array of seasonal lip shades, but the cold weather usually has me reaching for the most moisturizing products on a daily basis. Don't get me wrong - I love my vamps - but these are the products I'm wearing the most this winter.

Dior Addict Glosses in Bal d'été and Étoilée: Enough said about these, I think - I find them moisturizing, with no offensive scent or taste. The colors are pretty. I like 'em. I wore Bal d'été in the second look of this post. Will try to have swatches of Étoilée later.

Natio Paw Paw Lip Balm*: a gift from the lovely Vita. It's an Australian brand that we can't get here, but the tube is generously sized. I do dislike the tube opening - it's not an applicator, just an opening like any old hand cream - because I have to use my finger to apply. Still, it's a thick, fluid balm that isn't bad for winter.

Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair: This is hard to dig out of the pot, in all honesty. It has a hard texture that does soften up once it warms up on lips; I also have to use my fingers here and that's not my preference. However, it is a good lip repair product. On freezing mornings when it's dark out and I have to run the McFlufferson outside, I have to smooth some of this on my lips before I go outside. It's also a nice bedtime treatment - my lips are soft and still have remnants of product in the morning (which isn't as gross as it sounds, haha).

Osmia Organics Lip Luster: This is the old version, reviewed here. The new version is lanolin-free and I really want to try one. Comes in more colors now, too. Good for days when I don't want to be all gloss-glammed up, but still want a hint of color and moisture.

Shu Uemura lipstick in Dream Orange*: A gift from Tracy! And ugh, guys, why didn't anyone tell me that Shu lipsticks were so good? Lightweight, non-drying (even a touch moisturizing!) and so, so pretty. Glossy and on the sheer side, this is a pretty, pretty creamsicle orange-peach.

Epic Blend Unflavored lip balm: Another spectacular Tracy gift. Because my preference is for unflavored, unscented lip products, always. And I wasn't convinced about something that looks like chapstick, but guys, I'm converted. This is THE TUBE of lip balm to have at all times. Smooth it on in the AM before lipstick (it's not super shiny, which is nice), wear alone, wear always. I'm converted. And thank you, for the love of puppies, for making unscented-unflavored. I love.

That's a wrap. What lip products have you been reaching for over and over this winter? Let me know. This seems like a lot. But I could always use more.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wrapping up the Year: Favorites, Lightbulb Moments, and More

I wasn't going to write a post for the end of the year, because I didn't really think anyone wanted me to get all reflecty and shit.

But then I decided, too bad. Ha!

The post is a mish-mash of things; I'll showcase category favorites, brands I love, revelations throughout the year, and some beauty (and personal) goals and resolutions for the new year. And there will be some reflecty shit. (For a greater, much more eloquently themed post, read the wrap-up at NST).

First, I'd like to say thank you to all of my blogger friends and readers. This is only fun because you guys make it fun, so many happy returns to all of you.

Now, beauty!

Favorites first. I did some exploring of brands and products this year, but at the same time, I stuck to items that I knew I loved. For example: for lip gloss and nail polish, Dior is king. This isn't to say that I won't buy other brands (although I have sworn off drugstore polish - formulas are never consistent and nothing lasts on my nails, so that's over and done with), but since I've used up a Dior gloss in the past, I think it's safe to say that I actually get great use out of these, and I refuse to feel guilty.
L-R: Paradise, Bed of Roses, Bal d'été, Étoilée.
L-R: Lucky, Spring Ball, Exquis, Silver Lake, Shadow, St. Tropez, Galaxie, Electric Blue (not shown is Tuxedo).

Other brand favorites include Shiseido for eyes (their eyeshadows are exquisite and never look over the top; find reviews of YE406 here, BE231 here)
The BE231 trio and the Color Bar palette. Review on that soon, perhaps - it's still available in some places.

I also like Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks for eyes - they make great bases, and I haven't bought a primer since I picked one of these up. (My review for Sandglow is here).
These mini caviar sticks came in a little set; unfortunately, I think the set has sold out at most retailers, although you might be able to find one in stock at an actual physical store. The set has Sugar Frost, Pink Opal, Amethyst, and Rose Gold. I believe all of these shades are permanent.

It's also been a year of cream/liquid blushes and pretty neutrals.
Guerlain Sun Shimmer in Sunny Pink (about 2/3 full now, actually!), Illamasqua Zygomatic cream blusher, and Dior Capri
Neutrals for a natural face. Illamasqua Zygomatic, Shiseido BE231, Dior Garçonne, MAC Whisper of Gilt.

And I also explored perfume; I returned to scents that I initially wrote off (like Prada Candy and Infusion d'Iris), discovered that I like Prada scents quite a bit, and also just got braver, all around. I tried perfumes that I would have ignored in the past due to their list of notes. I didn't like them all, but at least I tried them. I think I'm getting better at identifying fragrances that I will like, as well.
Prada Infusion d'Iris and Candy.

Speaking of being braver, I finally went ahead and dyed my hair for the first time - and dyed it red. I have always wanted to be a redhead, and you know, I quite like it.
Gone red.

Other lightbulb moments include: tubing mascara and the realization that what I've wanted all along was a curling mascara rather than a volumizing one, Solstice Scents Burnishing Glacé, facial masks, learning how to really multi-task products, and a new-to-me way to wear eye liner.
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara is a tubing mascara - other High Impact versions aren't.

Finally, some goals and personal thoughts. 2013 was a pretty fantastic year, actually. S. and I completed our respective doctorates in chemistry, I started a new job (which, while temporary, is still pretty cool), we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, I attended my best friend's wedding, we moved, and many more fabulous things. I'm excited to see what the new year will bring.

And I'm also trying to better myself. Personal goals:
1. Try to stay positive and be less critical, and above all, think before I speak.
2. Learn to take it easy and go with the flow, sometimes. I can't control everything in life.
3. But there are some things I can manage, and I can't be afraid to take action.

And then there are all the usual things: stay on the fitness ball, try new fun activities and foods and hobbies, don't get caught up in ALL THE THINGS, explore my city, and make plans for the future - fun plans that include travel.

Well. For a post that I didn't intend to write, this has turned out to be quite the extensive monologue. Thanks for reading, and have a happy new year! Feel free to share your favorite things or future goals with me, as well!