April’s Cruelty Free Beauty Favorites!

Wow! What a month April was! I feel like so much has happened, but I couldn’t even begin to remember what. 😂 It’s been a good makeup month, if for no other reason there was the Sephora VIB Sale as well as a ton of Friends and Family sales…not to mention I am an Ulta Platinum member which gave me a 20% off coupon too! I guess not a great month for makeup lovers’ wallets! 💸 The stuff I’ve acquired is still being tested out (admittedly I have yet to even touch a lot of it!), though there is at least one that’s already a favorite. 😉 So without further ado, let’s get to my Cruelty Free Favorites for the month of April!!!

My Cruelty Free “Travel” Makeup Bag!

If you saw my InstaStories this past week, a) thank you for watching my nonsense! and b) you’ll know that I went on a short road trip with my dad. It was just overnight, but I still over-packed…especially with the makeup. 😉 To be fair, I did use almost everything, but it’s a lot. Since I only took things that I love, I thought I would share the contents of my “travel” makeup bag with you! I’m skipping skin care as that’s a whole post unto itself; we’re just sticking to the makeup here. Like I said, there’s a lot so we best get to it! 😄 (Links to reviews and related posts in pink.)

August Cruelty Free Favorites 2016

Ok. August is over and I don’t know whether to feel slightly excited or rather sad. I love the summer months so much, but then there’s something kind of welcoming about autumn. So I’m torn between not wanting the warm, sunny weather to end – I hate the cold so so much! – and the new and exciting fall colors with enticing new beauty launches. But August is gone, so no use dwelling on that! Instead let’s wander back through my Cruelty Free Beauty Favorites of the month!

Quick Lazy Day Makeup ~ Look Pulled Together with Minimal Effort

We’ve all been there. You wake up late. You’re not going anywhere important. Basically you don’t really feel like going to the trouble of putting on makeup, but you still want to look at least somewhat pulled together. On days like these, I seem to have a very different set of go-to products than my “I feel like making the effort” days. It’s not necessarily fewer products, but rather a lighter look accomplished in less time. I thought I’d share what I use to feel a bit more polished on those days when just brushing your teeth feels like a chore. 😉

June Favorites – Sunday Riley, ColourPop, Essence, BECCA, Face Atelier & More!

Where, oh where has June gone? I’m not really sure what happened to the month, let alone what I actually did with it! J I’m really happy that Summer is here though and I intend to soak up the sunshine before it disappears all too soon. All of that isn’t why we’re here though. It’s to discuss June Favorites!!! J I have quite a few favorites in all different categories, so let’s get into it….

I’m going to start with something I just talked about, which is the Living Proof Prime Style Extender. Check out my review here because I don’t want to repeat myself. The Clif Notes are basically that it keeps my hair feeling and looking cleaner for longer between washings (no dry shampoo required!) and it helps to hold my style. Who could ask for more?! Thanks Living Proof!

Let’s move on to a nail product. After all the horrible warnings about babies with 12 arms and third eyes growing on your forehead, I finally caved and tried the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. I love this stuff. My polish is literally completely dry within minutes. It is nice and shiny too, though I’m not sure it’s that much different than a lot of others these days. It doesn’t smell great and I’m not convinced that my polish lasts any longer than with other top coats, but for dry time alone this is my all-time favorite. I’m not sure I care if I end up with a third eye (btw: the amount of dangerous chemicals that an average person will breathe in through a lifetime are not likely to harm anyone)! J Definitely give Seche Vite a try if you hate waiting for your nails to dry…and do some research before assuming that it’s going to kill you.
Ok. Moving on to skin care. Thanks to the magic wizardry of Sunday Riley for making skin care that actually works. With this kind of price tag, one would hope so! I’m talking about the genuine holy grail, fountain of youth, miracle worker that isLuna Sleeping Night Oil. If you’ve followed this blog for a while, or just seen my face, you’re probably aware that my skin has been a problem child the last few years. I kid you not, after using this once I saw an actual difference. Not only that, both of my parents noticed and mentioned seeing a difference almost immediately. My pores are getting smaller, my skin seems more balanced, it looks more clear – both in terms of breakouts and scarring, but also just generally brighter. The redness is fading faster and the seriously minor wrinkle starting on my forehead is gone! I am willing to sell a kidney to keep this in stock! Seriously, it’s expensive! Like $105 a bottle expensive. Honestly, it’s worth every single penny if you have problematic skin or are concerned about aging. Believe the hype about the Luna Oil from Sunday Riley!
I have a favorite re-discovered foundation as well this month. It is the Ultra Foundationfrom Face Atelier. I’ve been using this on and off for maybe a year and I always wonder why I stop using it. It has good solid medium coverage that is buildable with a natural satin finish. It comes in a ton of shades, plus has a light and a dark mixing shade available to really fine-tune things. I think since using the Luna Oil I’ve loved this foundation even more! It doesn’t emphasize my pores at all and I don’t tend to get shiny throughout the day – both of which are often issues with foundations. Please don’t let me stray from the Face Atelier Ultra Foundationagain! J
Ah, the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal. Why did I wait so long to be convinced of your beauty? Seriously, this highlighter is insanely gorgeous! Sephora and Ulta are finally carrying BECCA products in stores, so I feel like I finally could appreciate the true beauty instead of hearing others go on and on about them like I’m doing right now. J I use this not only as a cheek highlight, but I’ve been using it an awful lot as an eye shadow this month too. In fact I think that may be my favorite use for it! It’s beautiful and shimmery while not detracting from other colors on your face. It’s also just so smooth. Definitely addicted to the BECCA Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector this months.
For some reason this has been the month of ColourPop for me. Something about Summer just screams ColourPop. I find the Super Shock Shadows are so quick and easy, especially when used with your fingers and something about the colors and finishes are just so Summery. My go-to shadow this month has definitely been On the Rocks. It’s such a gorgeous bronzy glimmer pot of gorgeous with a touch of super fine glitter. It barely looks like I’ve used it, but it’s so pigmented that I find the smallest amount is plenty. I love it all over my lid with something a smidge darker in the crease, or with a bit of the above mentioned Opal on the inner half of my lid. It’s so pretty, easy and Summery! If you’re looking for a fantastic, and often neglected shade of ColourPop Shadow, definitely give On the Rocks a look!
Sticking with eyes for a second before returning to ColourPop, I have a new favorite mascara! This shocked the hell outta me actually. It’s the Princess Mascarafrom Essence. It reminds me bit of the Too Faced Better than Sex mascara (reviewed here and still my absolute fav), but the formula is not as dry and consequently a bit more prone to clumping. It has a weird kind of ¾ “S” curve to the wand, but I find it’s pretty easy to use, though the formula can take some adjustments if you’re used to drier formulas as I am. It’s one that’s best applied one coat at a time to avoid the lashes sticking together. I’m not selling it am I? I just takes a bit of patience and it’s beautiful! It’s blacker than black and I don’t find it smudges or transfers, though I keep expecting it to flake. It hasn’t yet, but when removing, it almost feels like it flakes apart in big clumps.  Regardless, it has given me no complaints and for about $5 I would definitely give Essence’s Princess Mascara a go for big bold lashes.
Finally, we have the marvelous ColourPop Lippie Stix. I love these super skinny tubes of ultra-pigmented creamy goodness. There are so many amazing shades to choose from, plus they’re surprisingly comfortable and not to mention incredibly affordable. Plus almost everything is VEGAN!!! These are just another super Summery kind of product to me. I especially love the brighter colors. I have mainly been reaching for some variation on red – Frenchie, Bossy, Julep and Toucan have been my most grabbed in June. You actually don’t get a ton of product in each Lippie Stix, but I’m one to switch my lipstick shade all the time so I’d rather have variety than volume and you actually don’t use them up very quickly. I probably haven’t used up an entire tube of anything since high school (Revlon’s Black Cherry if you’re wondering J). And I certainly haven’t polished off one of the Lippie Stix yet. Cannot recommend the Lippie Stix from ColourPop enough! J
Top to Bottom: Bossy, Frenchie, Julep & Toucan

L to R: Bossy, Frenchie, Julep & Toucan
And that rather long list will do it for June’s Favorites! It’s got a tiny dash of everything thrown in for you this month. I guess that means it’s been a good month. JAs always, I love hearing what other people’s favorites are, so let us know in the comments, or post a link to your post/video and I know at least I will check it out! J I hope everyone is having a wonderful Summer so far and I look forward to seeing you back here soon!!! (I know…so many exclamation points. Will I ever stop? J) Thanks for stopping by!!! (Nope!)

Autumn Nail Lacquer Picks – Neutrals, Oranges & Glitters

I know this is a strange grouping of colors, but with the quantities I have of each, it works! I’m not huge on neutrals that basically disappear on the nails, so there are not any nude polishes here. Most of the colors are on the darker side which I always feel is perfect during the Autumn months. As for Oranges, I found a few that I thought are great because they are slightly muted in tone and I always associate Orange with Fall. And Glitter is always kind of fun…until you have to remove it 🙂 I do not own too many glitters and the ones I do have are rather boring. I tried to pick my most interesting and seasonally appropriate glitters here. And on to the final installment of nail polishes for Autumn!!!

You do what with those?!?!

2 coats of OPI’s Berlin There Done That
in indirect sunlight

OPI “Berlin There Done That” – I guess I would say this color looks a bit like wet cement. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I really like it. I guess it would be considered a mix between grey and beige, or a “greige” if you prefer.

1 coat of OCC’s “Dangerous” in
indirect sunlight

OCC “Dangerous” – This polish is a basic, straight up mid-tone grey. I find greys can be difficult to wear without looking strange with my skin tone, but this one is perfect. It’s not too light or too dark and there are no strange tones in it that make me look zombie-esque (though that wouldn’t stop me from wearing it if I really loved the color!). I should also point out that OCC makes incredible polishes! I do not know how many people are familiar with the brand, but they only make Vegan products and every polish I have tried is incredibly well pigmented (check out my OCC profile here). OCC’s white, “Feathered”, is amazing – not at all streaky and covers perfectly in no more than 2 coats. I would have included that among my neutrals, but white doesn’t really say Autumn to me, though it is great for layering. I would highly recommend you try some OCC polishes if you get the chance! They are available at OCCMakeup.com and select shades are available from Beauty.com. As far as dupes for this color, I would imagine some exist, but I do not know of any first hand.

2 coats of “Wooden Shoe Like to Know?”
in indirect sunlight

OPI “Wooden Shoe Like To Know?” – One of OPI’s notoriously clever names! This shade is beautiful! It is the color of hot chocolate with a subtle golden shimmer. It is really beautiful. It makes me think of a chilly day in a sweater with a mug of hot chocolate. Yes, I think about what I would be doing if I were the nail polish. 🙂 The subtle shimmer gives it a bit of unexpected life that is subtly eye catching. This polish actually makes me feel a bit warmer and cozier!

2 coats of Zoya’s Dovima in bright, but
indirect, sunlight

Zoya “Dovima” – Dovima is esentially just black with a very subtle silver shimmer. What makes it unusual is that it is a matte polish! I know mattes aren’t necessarily the “it” thing right now, but I really don’t care! Something about matte black seems very Fall-appropriate to me, while glossy black seems a bit too harsh and dramatic. I am not sure that Zoya still sells this polish, but virtually every brand now makes a Matte Top Coat these days and that on top of your standard glossy black should make the perfect matte every time!

1 coat of China Glaze’s “Desert Sun” in indirect

China Glaze “Desert Sun” – I wasn’t sure about this polish until I tried it on since Orange can be a very difficult color to wear, but I really like it on the nails! It is a nice, subtle pumpkin orange which is perfect for Autumn. It is one of the few oranges I have found that was not overly bright and screaming Summer at me. It really is about the color of a pumpkin and what could be more Fall-like? 🙂

2 coats of Essence “Gorgeous Bling Bling”
in indirect sunlight

Essence “Gorgeous Bling Bling” – This is more of a deep pumpkin orange with light-reflecting “flakies” that almost have a subtle gold appearance. They are not at all overpowering or distracting which pleasantly surprised me. Kind of like OPI’s “Wooden Shoe Like to Know?” above, the “flakies” are very subtle and give the polish a bit of a lively spark. Yet another polish that seems made for Fall.

1 coat of China Glaze’s “I Herd That” on
middle finger & pinkie & 2 coats of China Glaze’s
“I Herd That” on pointer and ring fingers
in indirect sunlight 

1 coat of China Glaze’s “I Herd That” on
middle finger & pinkie & 2 coats of China Glaze’s
“I Herd That” on pointer and ring fingers
in indirect sunlight 
China Glaze “I Herd That” – This glitter is perfect for Fall and into the Winter Holidays! It can be worn on its own or over another polish as a glittery top coat. In the photos above, 1 coat is on the middle finger and pinkie, while 2 coats were used on the pointer and ring fingers. It is a rather neutral glitter which, I think, makes it feel a bit more grown up. The glitter is very fine and is a mixture of gold, champagne and bronze shades. It applies very easily and covers pretty evenly with 2 coats. All in all, a great Autumnal glitter varnish!

1 coat of China Glaze’s “Glitter Goblin” over
“Bizarre Blurple” with 2 coats of “Glitter Goblin” only
on ring finger in indirect sunlight
1 coat of China Glaze’s “Glitter Goblin” over
“Bizarre Blurple” with 2 coats of “Glitter Goblin” only
on ring finger in indirect sunlight

China Glaze “Glitter Goblin” – This polish consists of very fine orange and iridescent “rainbow” glitters. It could be worn on its own, but I prefer it over another polish and used China Glaze’s “Bizarre Blurple” on all but the ring finger in the photos above. The iridescent glitter catches the light really nicely making it appear to almost glow and, added to the subtle orange glitter, just screams Halloween to me! This glitter can be built up for a more opaque look without too many coats (the ring finger only has 2 coats and the purple fingers used only 1 coat of “Glitter Goblin”), but it also will allow another polish to show through nicely with 1 coat. This glitter is just plain fun!

1 coat of Butter London’s “West End Wonderland”
on fingertips over Zoya’s Dovima in indirect sunlight
1 coat of Butter London’s “West End Wonderland”
on fingertips over Zoya’s Dovima in indirect sunlight
Butter London “West End Wonderland” – This is a very fine gold glitter. It is chocked full of glitter and only 1 coat was used in these photos – it would have made a solid gold nail had I painted the whole nail! It dries with a pretty smooth texture and it even removes relatively easily for a glitter! This is really one of the nicest glitters I have ever worked with. The gold color makes it perfect for holidays and you could not ask for a better formula. If you want a gold glitter, look no further!

There are two more polishes that deserve a mention, but I do not have photos of them on the nails.

The first is Butter London’s “Hen Party”. Described as “a sheer opal,” this is a really interesting shade-altering iridescent top coat. It can be worn alone as well for a nude nail, but I think it creates a really interesting look over other colors. You can turn black into iridescent navy, for instance. “Hen Party” is really beautiful and unique!

China Glaze’s “Luxe and Lush” is also a nice top coat. It is clear with iridescent “flakies”. It was a limited edition polish that was part of the “Hunger Games” Collection so it could be hard to find now, but fear not! Color Club makes a polish that looks identical, and for a lower price, called “Covered in Diamonds”. Definitely a nice sparkly, but not glittery, addition to any nail color.

And there you have my extensive Nail Polish Picks for Fall! I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts and that they haven’t taken too long to load. What is YOUR favorite polish in the Fall? I’d love to know!

In case you missed any of the earlier posts, you can find them below:

Don’t show my thumbs! (Yes, she has thumbs!)

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