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Time Traveling – Revisiting Favorites from July 2015

It’s time to hop in that time machine again and look back at old Favorites! The time frame should come as no surprise – July 2015. 😉 I had a fair number of favorites last year and even an unfavorite. In fact, I also had an entire Random Favorites post as well. We’re not going to go over the random stuff, but the beauty bits are worth revisiting! So, let’s go back in time to long, long ago (sensing my sarcasm here? 😉 ) and Revisit July Favorites 2015!

Fall / Autumn Nail Polish Picks & Nail Swatches 2015 (PIC HEAVY)

It’s official. Today is the first day of Fall!!! What better way to celebrate than with some of my favorite nail polish shades for Autumn? I’m not one to follow trends much, but I do tend to favor different colors during different seasons and these are the shades that grabbed my eye this year! So if you need a bit of Fall nail inspiration, here are a few suggestions for Autumnal nails.

July Favorites & an UNfavorite! Ciate, ColourPop, the Balm, Too Faced, Urban Decay & More!

As always, Summer is just flying by! I feel like it’s been a busy month, but I can’t really think of any significant events that occurred. Regardless, Summer is nearly over…I know, it’s not really but when the back to school ads and sales begin, you know the end is near. So, July was a decent month beauty-wise though I had an issue a week or two ago. We may have the first unfavorite mentioned this month! JApologies for the drought of posts lately. It’s just been rather hectic and time and energy have been scarce. No need to get into life nonsense, let’s just get into the best of the best beauty in July!!!

I’m going to begin with the most spectacular of nail polishes. Special enough that I devoted an entire review to it (you can check it out here). It is the Olivia Palermo for Ciate Polish in Sunday’s.” Since I did review it, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, but it is absolutely the prettiest pinky-nude shade that goes with anything. I love the gel-like formula as well and it is just stunning – in presentation, color and formula. Hands down favorite nail polish…maybe ever!

I’ll also briefly mention my favorite-ist of favorite mascaras – Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara. I’ve reviewed this as well and you can read more here, but I felt like I needed to try something new for a while so I took a break. For that, I deeply apologize Better Than Sex because you are pretty close to the most perfect mascara in the world! JIt is a bit tricky to apply without getting all over your lash line and I don’t like to attempt it on the bottom lashes, but the volume is to die for. It’s ok for length too, but it really shines in the volume department, which is what I’m most after. It definitely brings the drama! I still have a few sample size tubes around so I have yet to buy a full size, but I definitely will the moment I run out of samples! And, not a complaint, but what’s up with so many ways to get another mini tube? May you never run out of or cease making the Better Than Sex Mascara, Too Faced! J
Since I’ve been using a different mascara on my bottom lashes, I’ll mention that as well. It’s only been recently that I’ve started adding mascara back to my lower lashes and the Tarte Gifted Mascara has been spectacular! It’s a great mascara in general – though it’s no Better Than Sex! – but it is excellent for the lower lashes because the wand is relatively thin and it doesn’t smudge or transfer. Again, I have a baby size and I reviewed this many moons ago (see it here), but I’ve been loving it for lower lashes as well as less dramatic mascara days.
Something else that I’ve been using pretty much every day, but never mention is the Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach. Concealer just doesn’t quite cancel out my under eye discoloration as well as I’d like without really caking it on, so this definitely helps. I’m still not sure I love it, but it’s doing the job and it’s a semi-affordable cruelty free option. To be fair, I haven’t really tried many other correctors because I don’t know of many that are still cruelty free. If you need something that helps, the Pixi Corrector is a good option.
For covering up blemishes, redness and any other just undesirable-ness on my face (not my under eyes), I’ve been reaching for the Bare Minerals Multi-Tasking Concealer in Bisque. I’m not usually a huge mineral foundation kinda gal, but I really like using this on top of liquid foundation to just add needed extra coverage. It really does provide coverage and I feel like it also helps set everything in that area since it is a powder product. It’s also pretty quick and easy so I absolutely love the Bare Minerals Bisque lately.
I have an oldie but a goodie for an eye shadow favorite this month. It is Urban Decay’s Roach.” I have always loved this shade. In fact, I think this is the first Urban Decay shadow I ever purchased and possibly the first “high end” shadow I owned. It’s a red-dy bronze that I love just putting all over the lid for a lazy girl’s smoky eye. Mine is still in the older UD packaging with a slightly different formula I believe, but it’s still a fantastic formula. It’s more the color that I love and “Roach” is freakin’ fantastic! J

For a quick and easy blush, I’ve been reaching for Hot Mama from theBalm. Hot Mama is one of those blushes that just kind of works with everything. It’s a subtly shimmery peachy-pink. It is essentially a dupe for NARS’ Orgasm, but I think I like Hot Mama better because I feel like it takes less building, it seems smoother and I don’t notice any glitter, which I sometimes see with Orgasm. Hot Mama is just a great don’t-have-to-think-about-it kind of blush. Lovely!

Depending on my eyes, I was reaching mainly for 2 different lip colors. With the smokier “Roach” eyes, I’ve been tending towards the Christopher Kane for NARS Lip Gloss in “Glow Pink.” Yet again something that I’ve reviewed here. I swear I didn’t intended to have so many links. Proof that I love what I review! J I’ve also been reaching for this gloss with minimal makeup. It’s just a great, comfortable subtle flush of a slightly purple-pink. Other days, I’ve been grabbing for the Lippie Stix in “Brunch” from ColourPop. I love everything about this little tube of amazingness! It’s a satin finish lipstick, but it really looks more like a not-quite-matte. However, it is insanelycomfortable! The color is a gorgeous and wearable orange-y coral. I never thought I would like a color like this on myself, but I adore it! And the Lippie Stix are so freakin’ amazing that I want to own them all!!! It’s been one extreme or the other for my lips in July. J

L to R: Colour Pop Lippie Stix in Brunch & NARS Lipgloss in Glow Pink
Now quickly for my unfavorite. It’s actually a spectacular product that does what it’s supposed to, but it made me break out because of it. It is the Shea Terra Organics Moroccan Lava Rose-Vedic Masque. It’s a mud mask that’s supposed to help pull all of the gunk out of your pores…and it did. My face didn’t much like having all that crap near the surface and it broke out more than it has in quite a while. Fortunately my skin is clearing up now but it was rather unhappy for a week or two there. If you need a good mask for clearing out pores, this is fantastic but for me right now, it just wasn’t a good choice. J
I think that’s going to do it for my July Favorites. It’s been a good time beauty-wise, despite the skin freak out from my poor masking choice. I think I am actually going to post some random favorites next (probably on Friday). I’ve never done that before, but I have enough miscellaneous items for July that it just makes sense. I hope you will come back for it, but I love you even if you skip it. JUntil then, thank you so much for stopping by!

Holiday Nail Polish Favorites – Zoya, Butter London, Deborah Lippmann, KB Shimmer, Mineral Fusion & theBalm

I can’t believe how rapidly the Holidays are approaching here in the US. It’s only a bit over a week until Thanksgiving, which is basically the unofficial start of the festive season! In my Fall Polish Picks (check them out here) I said that I may do another round of picks for the Holiday season and here I am to share my Holiday Nail Polish Favs with you! I am considering the Holidays to begin with American Thanksgiving and ending with New Years. I’ve tried to come up with at least one idea for most of the holidays in that time frame. Not gonna lie, I had trouble with ideas outside of Christmas and New Years, but it’s not for a lack of trying! Basically, anything metallic or sparkly screams Holiday to me, so be prepared for some seriously dazzling shades in the photos ahead! J And please excuse the condition of my nails as well as the rushed and messy polishing – the crazy weather is killing my hands and I was rushing to paint each polish! J

Hmm. Where to begin? I guess I’ll start with a nice neutral white. This isn’t just any boring old white though. It is Gaia from Zoya and Gaia is a not-quite-sheer winter white laced with a beautiful, subtle golden glimmer. It sparkles like the snow, which is why I thought it appropriate for this time of year. I’m not sure how well the camera catches the gorgeous gold lacing, but in person it literally looks like sparkling snow! Stunning! J

For those neutral lovers out there, or for a nice subtle Thanksgiving shade, I have another choice from Zoya. It is called Rue. I’m not a huge neutral lover, but this shade is a lovely pale tan with just a smidge of rose. It’s just a touch deeper than my skin tone so it shows up, but doesn’t scream “look at my nails!” Very pretty and kind of the perfect neutral for my skin tone.
Sticking with the brownish / Thanksgiving themed hues, we have theBalm’s Root Beer Gloat. I always find browns seem like such boring, ugly colors in the bottle, but on the nails I find that they are usually quite flattering. Root Beer Gloat is no exception. It’s kind of a subtle metallic deep reddish-brown. I find it difficult to consider brown a “pretty” color, but this is definitely a pretty brown!
Moving right along to shades that are perfect for any festive occasion – metallics!!! It probably wouldn’t be the Holiday season without gold. To fit the bill when it comes to a nail polish, I’ve chosen Nefertiti from Deborah Lippmann. It is what seems to me to be a very yellow gold, but it’s not too brassy nor too antiqued. It’s almost a white gold and it has to be one of the nicest gold metallic formulas I’ve come across! No streaks, no brush strokes, not too foiled, and not too glittery. Unfortunately, I believe this is only available in a mini bottle from a set of 2 on HSN. The good news about that is that the other mini bottle contains Raspberry Beret, which is a gorgeous raspberry fleck polish that would look great this time of year as well! J Definitely worth hunting down Nefertiti as it is probably my favorite gold ever!
A pale rose gold metallic from Butter London is up next! It is called Champers and is a very subtle rose-y gold neutral that is still a bit metallic. Again, it’s not too foiled and in-your-face and it applies like a dream! It’s the kind of metallic that works on pretty much any skin tone without being too stark or blinding. Gorgeous stuff!
Last of the metallics and really the only shade that is kind of a traditional Chanukah themed hue is another Zoya polish. This one is called Trixie and it is a straight up silver. As with my other picks, it’s not too foiled but definitely still has a metallic finish. It is very cool-toned and can therefore be rather harsh against the skin, but it’s still strikingly beautiful and very festive! J
Moving on to the Christmas-y shades. I’m going to start with a deep forest green. It is from Mineral Fusion and it is called Mossy Bank. Not much to say about this one really. It’s a nice deep green with a very subtle almost metallic sheen. Great for Christmas – it’s green while avoiding being too “in-your-face.” Perfect really! J

Another beautiful green that is actually rather similar to Mossy Bank in all but one way is Veruschka from Zoya. Veruschka is another deep green, but it looks quite different from Mossy Bank because it has a matte finish! It really makes a huge difference in the appearance. I couldn’t choose between the two, so they both made the cut! J I also really like the matte effect for the Holidays as something a bit different.
Ah, reds. You can’t have a Holiday roundup of nail polish without about a dozen reds! I don’t have a dozen…anymore…but there are a few! The first is from Deborah Lippmann and it is a lovely deep red with a subtle metallic finish. It is called Through the Fire. It’s not so deep that it’s an oxblood or a burgundy, but it’s definitely not a traditional Christmas red either. It’s just a beautiful polish and is easy to paint evenly in just one coat, even with my poor painting skills! J

For one that is a traditional Christmas red, I went with another Butter London polish. It is the shade Knees Up and it is a beautiful standard Christmas-y red with a subtle metallic finish. I’m suddenly noticing a pattern with the “subtle metallic” bit. J This polish just screams Christmas to me. It’s really gorgeous and is a red that is dying to be noticed! J
Last of the reds and transitioning into the glitters, we have yet another polish from Butter London. Let’s face it. Butter London does glitters like no other! J This time I’ve chosen the color Chancer and it is a long-time favorite! I absolutely adore this polish! It is such a gorgeous red base filled with beautiful red sparkling glitter. The photos definitely do not do it justice. It’s like having a beautiful Christmas bauble on your nails. So striking and another polish that is sure to be noticed…in a good way of course! J This polish, though it is a glitter, is completely even and opaque in two coats, not to mention it removes without too much trouble! It is definitely not a “topper” kind of polish, but a beautifully sparkly number that is just Christmas in a bottle. This is by far one of my all-time favorites! J

Moving on to a glitter that is suspended in a clear base, but is so chocked full of micro-glitter that it appears completely opaque in two or three coats. It is another one from Butter London in the shade West End Wonderland. This is another one of my all-time favs! It is the most beautiful gold glitter that just sparkles and shines and works for any festive occasion. The glitter is so fine that it lies quite flat to the nail, avoiding much trouble with chipping. I tend to add a top coat, but you really don’t have to. This has been one of my staples for years and I highly, highly recommend it!

If you’re more interested in a gold topper type of glitter, this one’s for you! J It is from Zoya and it is called Maria Luisa. It has the most beautiful gold flecks suspended in a clear base. The spacing of the flakes is just perfect as well. Not too much, not too sparse. It’s just gorgeous and would look beautiful over virtually any other nail polish. I think this would be particularly stunning as an accent nail over a red polish – perhaps Through the Fire or Knees Up (However here it is over Zoya’s Raven). J
Another fantastic topper that would definitely steal the show on New Year’s Eve is from KB Shimmer. It is called Ice Queen and it a spectacular mixture of holographic micro-glitters and larger multi-sized hexagonal glitters. This polish really sparkles and has a definite party feel to it. It would work over virtually any other colored polish and actually could work nicely on it’s own as well. This is another all-time favorite polish around the holidays! It’s one of those polishes that keeps you staring at your own nails. It’s really pretty! J
Last but not least, we have another polish from KB Shimmer. This one is called Band Geek and has multi-sized hexagonal glitters in bronze, gold and silver. They are all suspended in a semi-transparent black base that can either be built up to be opaque (about three coats), or layered over another black polish for a more intense black contrast (as shown in the picture). This is another polish staple for New Year’s Eve and it is absolutely stunning! Love, love, love Band Geek! J
And that’s going to do it! About time, I know. J I hope this helps give you some nail inspiration this Holiday season! Again, I apologize for the lack of non-Christmas shades. I really did try to find some shades, but the polishes I have in the traditional colors for other holidays just didn’t look quite right. Most just seemed kind of drab and not very festive. That’s probably a good thing given that I could only narrow this down to 15! J I hope you’ve enjoyed these polish picks regardless of what holidays you may celebrate this time of year! Let me know what some of your favorite nail polishes are for the holidays. I’d love to know because clearly I’m a giant nail polish junkie!!! J Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all enjoy this holiday season more than any other!!!

June Favorites – Bite, The Body Shop, the Balm, Jouer, NARS & Organix

It feels like Summer is flying by (I know it only officially just started, but to me June means Summer). Since June has somehow past, it’s time for another Monthly Favorites! I feel like June has been kind of a weird month, though I don’t really know why. Most of my favorites have remained the same, but I do have a few new things to share this month, so let’s get into it, shall we? J

Probably my most used item this month would have to be the Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lip Gloss Set. I’m not usually a huge lip gloss person, but I’ve really been enjoying these lip glosses! I actually looked at it right after it came out, but wasn’t sure since I’m not big on the gloss, but eventually I caved and picked it up. There are 12 different shades and they are all beautiful, plus the formula is pretty amazing! I think my favorite shade has been “Six” because it’s just a nice neutral, while not being too neutral or pale of a gloss. If you see this set in a Sephora (it has disappeared from the website so I think it’s gone online), definitely grab it! J

For lips, I’ve also been loving The Body Shop’s Colour Crush Lip Shine in “Fuchsia Flirt”. I have been a huge fan of the Colour Crush Lipsticks for a while now, so I wanted to give the Lip Shine version a go. They are basically semi-sheer super bright colors that are so, so comfortable! I don’t notice a ton of shine with these, but this (and it’s the only shade I’ve tried so far) is a wonderful lip color, especially for Summer. It gives that popsicle stain kind of effect and I’ve grabbed for this lipstick countless times this month. Definitely a fav!

Moving on to blush, I also have two favorites this month. The first one is from theBalm and it’s their Hot Mama Blush. It’s a gorgeous peachy-pink with a golden sheen. I’ve heard it’s a dupe for NARS’ Orgasm, but I haven’t compared the two to verify that. I really love the formula as well as the color. It’s not at all chalky or powdery, and it’s quite pigmented. It gives the cheeks just a gorgeous, healthy flush with a slight sheen that looks natural and not over the top. Absolutely beautiful! J

My other blush favorite I wore mostly at the beginning of the month. It’s a Powder Blush from Jouer and it’s in the shade “Blossom.” It’s just a beautiful, soft pinky-peach shade that also looks nice and healthy on the cheeks. It’s a very soft color and it kind of makes me think of watercolors for some reason.

To hide my always dark under eyes, I’ve been addicted to my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I swear this stuff would cover a third arm and still look natural! J It blends so wonderfully and doesn’t crease, while still looking like skin. It’s absolutely fantastic. I’m not sure how I get through some months without using it, but I do seem to forget about it from time to time.

I’m not usually too fussy over body washes, but this month I discovered the Organix Nourishing Coconut Milk Hibiscus Body Washand it smells amazing! It reminds me of the beach (not that I ever go to the beach) with just the best coconut scent I think I’ve ever smelled. It’s also sulfate-free so it doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils as much as most other body washes do so my skin never feels tight or dry after I use it. In case you’re a perfume lover, don’t worry, the marvelous coconut scent doesn’t linger – though I often which it did! J And if the marvelous scent and non-drying formula aren’t enough to convince you, it’s totally affordable from most drug stores as well! J

I think that about does it for my favorites this month. I haven’t really been trying a whole lot of new products this past month, but I have tons on my list that I’d like to test out! JWhat have been some of your favorites in June? Anything that I should definitely check out? Let me know and we can all share our beauty addiction together. JThanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a fantastic July!!!

January Favorites – Physician’s Formula, theBalm, e.l.f., Earth Science, REN, Andalou Naturals, Michael Todd & 100% Pure

January was both unbearably long, but yet it flew by really fast. That doesn’t make much sense, but that’s how my January felt! JSo now I’m back with all of my January favorites! This month has been subscription box free, but filled with mainly favorites posts. I need to learn how to spice things up a bit! JBut enough about my weird blogging habits; let’s get to the favorites!

I’ve been rather obsessed with Physician’s Formula this month. I’m not really sure why, other than it’s a cruelty-free drugstore brand that has new products available. Anyway, I tried their new Super CC+ Cream and was very pleasantly surprised! It has a pretty good medium buildable coverage, it blends nicely, it doesn’t have a shiny finish and it even seems to keep my oil at bay! It’s a really nice product, and it’s about the only “foundation” I’ve used in January.
For blush, I’ve been grabbing one that’s been in my drawer for quite a while, but I’ve never used it for some unknown reason. It is Down Boy from theBalm and I really love it! JI think I have all of theBalm’s original blushes (I bought them on HauteLook when they were half price). For some reason this one has just been ignored, but it’s a beautiful perfect slightly dusty pink. It makes the prettiest soft pink flush and it’s just natural, easy and it works with almost everything. It may just be my favorite blush from theBalm! J
Finally for makeup, I’ve been grabbing for the same Tinted Lip Balm SPF 15 in Rose from e.l.f. almost every day! JI guess it’s been a boring makeup month, but it made it easy to determine my favorites! J I really like the Rose shade of this lip balm because it actually shows up on my lips without being too dark. It just looks like my lips are a shade deeper than they really are. It’s also comfortable and not a half bad lip balm! J Again, it’s easy and pretty without needing to think about it. I think that’s been a theme this January.
Moving on to hair, I found the Super Concentrated Deep Conditioning Hair Masque Olive & Avocado from Earth Science that I am absolutely in love with! It makes my hair feel really soft, silky and more manageable without weighing it down. I don’t really need a detangler after using this (well, if I’m using my Tangle Teezer), which is hugefor my hair! It also smells really good! I have used it in addition to a conditioner, as well as my sole conditioner, and it works beautifully both ways! I don’t know if my hair is actually in better condition from this Mask, but it certainly looks and feels better! J
For skincare, I’ve loved alternating a combination of the REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Maskand the Andalou Naturals Kombucha Enzyme Exfoliating Peel. They’re very similar masks, but I like alternating between the two. Aside from the wonderful soft and smooth texture these give my skin, I’ve had fewer breakouts, whiteheads and just nasty congestion in my skin! I cannot guarantee that this is solely because of the masks since my dermatologist is finally switching things too, but I feel like using one of these masks every few days has really improved my skin texture, reduced flakiness and greatly improved the frequency of breakouts! J I feel like I’m finally on the path to clearer skin!
Keeping with clearing up my skin, I’ve been using the Michael Todd True Organics Clear Bi-Light. This is an LED treatment device used for acne and anti-aging that has an interchangeable blue or red head which I’ve been using every night. I don’t have all the details in front of me, but basically the blue LED head is supposed to help kill bacteria, while the red LED head helps reduce inflammation and discoloration, and has anti-aging benefits. I’ve been using this for a number of months now, and I feel I can safely say that it has helped prevent and lessen the severity and frequency of breakouts. My skin is not perfect, but it’s definitely much improved after introducing the Clear Bi-Light from Michael Todd!
This month I also started using a new hand cream from 100% Pure. It’s their Honey Almond Hand Buttercream and I am addicted to it! JIt smells delicious, but even better, it works without being even a hint greasy! It’s nice and thick, but it blends seamlessly into the skin and makes everything nice and hydrated without the sticky, slippery feel of many creams. It only comes in a 2oz tube, which is great for throwing in your purse, but I feel like I’m going to use it all too quickly…and at $8 it seems a bit pricey. Still, if it only lasts two months, the 100% Pure Hand Buttercream has been a real hand saver…especially this winter with the crazy weather we’ve had and I will gladly repurchase it when necessary! J
So there you have my favorites from the month of January. It was a good mix of new and old and I have found some new things that I really, really enjoy! As I write this, it’s snowing buckets yet again and I’m completely and totally over it! I’m glad to be just a touch closer to Spring with February…not that it’s much better in February, but it’s one month closer to sunshine and warmth. I hope you all are staying warm wherever you are, and I hope you’ve had wonderful luck finding new products this past month too!!! JIf you have, let me know what you’ve discovered because, in case you can’t guess, I’m always looking for something new! J


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