Happy Saturday, everybody!
Today I’m bringing you a little roundup of what I’ve been posting on Instagram. Since Instagram is a quick way for me to provide a snapshot of what I’ve been wearing, what products I’ve been liking, and any FOTD’s, a weekly or biweekly roundup on here will allow me to go into more detail and give a little bit more reflection.
I know that Instagram blogging is becoming more of a common trend now, but it’s still hard for me to go into detail in the captions on my posts. Here, I’ll have a chance to tell you what I’m wearing if I posted a FOTD, some more detailed product information, and mini reviews.
Taking selfies and pictures of my makeup is such a challenge. I’m sure all of you know the struggle of taking 40,50, or sometimes 100 shots just to find a couple ones that work. And sometimes, that just doesn’t work out. There are still flyaways flying around, makeup looks a tad more unblended and harsh than it does in real life, and the faces I make sometimes are truly comical.
In this case, this is an older picture where I don’t completely remember what I wore, but it was one of those examples. I decided to post it anyway, because it’s a reminder that we can’t always have perfectly shot, edited, and curated photos. There’s a fine line between blogging and sharing what I love and complete professional editing and shooting, but I really want my personality and little imperfections to show through.
I only remember bits and pieces of what I wore. On my eyes, I was wearing the RMS Cream Eye Polish in Seduce, a beautiful bronze-brown. On my lips, I was trying a sample of the Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Melted Peony. It’s a sheer baby pink shade that I do like, but the formula wasn’t anything special for me.
These are some of my most used lipsticks that I reach for no matter what I’m wearing, what time of year, and things that I can throw on as I’m running out the door (and sometimes literally as I’m walking out the door).
The Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Ex-Girlfriend is a sheer peach-pink-brown shade that just evens out my lip color without giving too much coverage. The formula is also super moisturizing so I like to keep this in my bag.
Some of my favorite lip products ever released are the YSL Glossy Lip Stains, which are really just that. A glossy long-wearing but still watery and light feeling lipgloss that fades into a stain. I have a couple shades of this but #7, a light peachy coral shade, is my favorite, especially in the summer, but really anytime of year. It’s brightening and warms up my face, and I love how long-wearing it is. So many new lip formulas have come out since these came out, but these are still some of my favorites.
The MAC Gem of Roses lipstick is easily my favorite lipstick, ever. And as someone with 200+ lip products, that’s quite an achievement. Sadly, it was only limited edition, and I did not purchase any backups of it, so I am sparingly wearing this, but it is the perfect rosy pink shade that is sheer and moisturizing and so so beautiful. I have found similar colors (Smashbox lipstick in Primrose is a similar shade) but nothing matches the finish as well.
Lastly I have the Bite Multistick in Almond. This is great to carry around because it works great as a cream blush and lipstick. The shade is a rich brownish red that gives me a nice flushed look, and also gives me a bold but still neutral lipstick. They are so pigmented that a little bit goes a long way. I have a few other shades of the multisticks, but this is my favorite shade.
This was from my kick-off blog post on some of my everyday staples, which you can read here.
Rituel de Fille is a brand that I don’t see mentioned a lot, but it is just such a beautifully created brand. If I were let loose and created a brand with my fantasy colors and products (even if I’m not brave enough to wear all of them), this would be it. Slightly dark, mysterious, other-worldly, and seductive. All the products are so unique and innovative, and the looks they create are all so beautiful.
During Black Friday, I bought two of their Rare Light Luminizers, cream highlighters that were tempting and calling to me from the first time I ever found out about the brand. Here, I have the shades Lunaris and Solaris. They are described by Rituel de Fille as such: “These opalescent shades capture the duality of the moon and sun, and the dimensional radiance of night and day.”
And that’s what they evoke for me. Lunaris is a pearl with a blue-toned shift, and Solaris is pearl with a pink opalescent finish. They sound simple, but they are both so multi-dimensional. But what I like best about them is that they are so buildable. Being someone with oily skin, that last trend I was about to get into was giving myself a blinding highlight, which just reminds me of how oily and shiny my skin already gets. These highlighters are actually surprisingly subtle, making them wearable for work (yes, even the blue one), but I can easily build them for a more obvious sheen. But never do they become glittery, blinding, or oily looking. I could gush about these forever, but I’ll restrain myself for now…
This is from my red lipsticks post. You can go see swatches and my thoughts on my top red lipsticks here!
I can’t remember what I wore on my eyes for this look (I really need to start writing this down), but I am wearing the Wet N Wild Mega Last Lipstick in 912C In the Flesh. I bought almost all shades of these lipsticks when they came out, and they are still some of my favorite drugstore matte lipsticks. They are so pigmented and last for hours, even through a meal. They are slightly drying, but I make sure to put on extra lip balm and I’m usually good to go. I’ve sort of forgotten these in the past year or so, but in an effort to rediscover old favorites, I pulled all of them back out again.
Kosas Cosmetics is also a fairly new brand to me, but I love the three lipsticks I have from them. I love that they only have a few lipstick and blush shades rather than a huge range. I could see everything working on me, and I’m not overwhelmed when I visit their website. I want to get more of these and do a proper review, but I have the shades Rosewater, Undone, and Fringe. They all get a lot of love from me, and the magnetic packaging feels really luxe.
This was from my makeup bag when I went home to visit my parents from Chinese New Year. My last blog post was a long round up of what I included that you can read here.
There are some days (okay fine, most days) that I get completely distracted by my makeup corner and start swatching and swatching until my arms are entirely covered by makeup. This was an image from when I was compiling my favorite red lipsticks for my blog post. As you can see, I have quite a few reds, and I don’t think this even captures all of them. I can’t even begin to recall what all the shades are, but it’s days like this that I love that I created a blog. My boyfriend can attest that I can spend hours organizing and swatching and experimenting with makeup, and I’m sure he’s also happy that I have somewhere to talk about it now.
Here are some of my recent skincare, some that I took with me on my trip, and some that I’ve been using for awhile. I’m a makeup hoarder, but I’m also a mini-product hoarder. Mini makeup products, mini skincare products, you name it. But as much as I can just endlessly buy makeup, I tend to be much more restrained with skincare. I like to stick with a routine rather than trying new products everyday, so I don’t like to keep many cleansers/serums/moisturizers open at one time. I usually only have one or two of each, but I get around to trying different products through mini sizes. I’m planning a long blog post on this, but the short of it is I keep only mini products in my gym bag to save space, so I go through them pretty quickly, and I keep my favorite full sizes in my medicine cabinet at home.
The Evan Healy Wild Carrot Organic Eye Balm came with the Whole Foods Beauty Bag that they do every year – a bag filled with some natural skincare and beauty products for an insanely discounted price. I was a little hesitant about the stick version of an eye cream, but I’ve found that it is a great multipurpose balm for when my skin is feeling dry and wind chapped. This really helped my skin during some really cold and windy days here on the East Coast, and I would slather it on under my eyes and all over my face morning and night to keep my face more moisturized.
Some Origins products: the Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash is a nice gentle cleanser that isn’t drying or stripping. It’s a basic cleanser that I mainly keep in my gym bag since it cleans away the sweat on my face. It’s not my favorite cleanser since I prefer more gel formulas rather than frothing or foaming formulas, but it does the job. However, GinZing eye cream is one of my favorite eye creams and I hoard samples to travel with. It’s slightly brightening, and light while still moisturizing. On the really cold days, I like to layer something heavier with it, but this is one of my favorite daily eye creams. I’m really not a huge mask person, but the Charcoal Clear Improvement Masks is one of the few masks that I enjoy using and is really effective at keeping my skin clear. I actually just finished this size this week, which I rarely do with a mask.
Next is the First Aid Beauty lip balm which I’ve curiously lost the cap to, but this stays by my nightstand and I use it every night before bed. It’s thick and moisturizing, which is all I really want in a lip balm.
Another overnight item is the Julep Beauty Overnight Facial Mask. It’s new to me from a gift with purchase from Ulta, but I like leave-on masks to keep my skin moisturized overnight. This definitely does the job of keeping my face moisturized and radiant, so I have been enjoying this a lot.
The Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner is a new toner to me that I’m using for gently exfoliating my skin. I am prone to blackheads and clogged pores, and this has helped keep my skin clearer. I may consider buying a full-size version of this, but I have a backlog of toners to try out.
And finally, the Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream is new to me, but I really like the texture and feel of it on my skin. I’ve heard so many good things about this, and am glad I snagged a little size of it. While it feels nice, I’m not sure it’s life-changing enough to buy a full-size version of, but I’ll keep trying it.
Here’s another FOTD that was so hard to capture, even though I liked the overall look. On my eyes, I’m wearing the Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eyeshadow in Young Adonis. I wore the cream shadow as a base, then MAC Patina on top. On the center of my lids, I used the glitter shade from the duo for some more luminosity.
On my cheeks, I’m wearing the now discontinued Becca Cheek Souffle in Watermelon/Moonstone as a base. I have a few shades of these and they are so blendable and long-lasting. I was disappointed to find out that they’ve been discontinued because I felt that they were one of Becca’s best products. On top of that, I’m wearing one of my HG bluhes, MAC Fleur Power. It was one of my first blush shades ever, and I still love wearing it. It’s a pink-coral shade that I don’t normally gravitate to for blush, but it’s so brightening and reminds me of summer, which the warm week we had (80 degrees in DC, after snowing last weekend!) definitely also reminded me of.
On my lips, I’m wearing the older Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Sheer Ladyflower. I love sheer fuchsia pink shades, and how glossy and light they look despite being a brighter color. Unfortunately, this shade did not make it into their new Vice line, but I’m sure they have a similar shade in there!
I’m becoming a big of a fragrance hoarder, as well (someone please help my wallet), and one of my favorite scents recently is the Urban Outfitters exclusive The Matcha perfume. I rarely shop at Urban Outfitters anymore – even though it was my go-to store in high school…lol – but I kept hearing how great – and affordable – their perfumes were. I went in when they had a sale a few months ago, and sniffed all of them. The Matcha was immediately my favorite, a light tea scent that is both clean and slightly mysterious without being musky or heavy. It was only $18, and it has surprisingly good lasting power. It doesn’t last all day, but I can still get hints of it throughout the work day. I’ve been gravitating towards heavier scents this year like Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose, Burberry Body, and TokyoMilk Dark Bulletproof, so this is a refreshing change.
I’m on a quest to use up some of my fragrance samples, so I’ll keep a few in an empty Dyptyque candle holder, and use them when I feel like trying something different.
Pictured are also my daily rings, from a range of different Etsy shops. As I’ve mentioned, I only wear silver accessories because I don’t like how gold looks on my skin, and I am very minimalistic with my jewelry. I wear the same necklace every day, the same two or three pairs of silver studs (usually from & Other Stories), and the same rings every day. I prefer dainty and minimal jewelry, with very small and subtle details. It is surprisingly difficult to find dainty and decent quality silver jewelry at a reasonable price, so I usually turn to Etsy, but & Other Stories also has a great selection of silver jewelry and earrings that I always buy.
This is my most recent makeup of the day, where I was inspired to do what I call moody soft neutrals to match the rainy and foggy days we’ve been having here. I’ve had the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette for awhile now, but don’t find myself reaching for it too often, but I really should. The shades are all so easily blendable and easy to work with, and I can create a subtle neutral look, and then deepen it to make it more dramatic if I want to.
For cheeks, I’ve been wearing the Noto Botanics Multi-Benne Tints, which I found while trolling Instagram last year. I love the philosophy behind this brand, where all the products are all-purpose, natural, and super minimal. The shade Ono Ono is a dark peach shade, which I prefer to wear on my cheeks, but it certainly works on my lips, as well. To set that, I’m wearing another favorite, Nars Douceur. It’s a barely there nude blush that gives me just a big of shape and definition without seeming like I’m wearing a lot of blush. As always, I’m wearing the Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer, which as you can see, I’m finally almost finished with. It really is a great bronzer that is not too warm.
My lip of the day was the Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Liar, a light nude-mauve shade. It’s almost borderline too light, but it somehow works on me and gives me that soft neutral look I’m looking for. I don’t have too many of the Vice Lipsticks, but they are such a great formula, and I’m really resisting getting more of these.
Finally, today I posted my morning skincare routine, which features most of the skincare products that I’m using at the moment. My favorite cleanser is the Murad Clarifying Cleanser. I have oily and acne-prone skin, so I like to use a cleanser with salicylic acid to prevent any breakouts. I love the gel feeling of this cleanser and how it cleanses my skin without drying it out. It’s also quite affordable for how large this cleanser is. I’ve had it for almost a year, and I use it whenever I shower at home instead of the gym – around 4-5x a week, so it’s pretty impressive how much I have left.
After cleansing, I am trying the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. My favorite toner used to be the Clinique Clarifying Toner, but now that I’m using more AHAs, my skin has been breaking out much less frequently, so I don’t really need the toner most days. I had been using that toner for a good 5 years without straying, so now I’m really trying to try out different types of toners to see what works best for my skin. I do find that the FAB pads are good for subtle exfoliation, but I’ll have to keep trying to see how my skin reacts with it long-term.
Next, I always put on the Clarins Total V Contouring Serum. I was so so skeptical of this when I first saw it, but I tried a sample of it, and was so shocked by the results. I am very prone to puffiness and bloating in my face, and this serum was designed to reduce the puffiness. I’m not exactly sure what in this serum, but I notice a visible difference after using this for a few days. It’s pricey at $81/bottle, but I try to stock up during sales, and Clarins always has good GWP’s. This is my second bottle that I’m almost finished with, and I just bought a new one to replace it.
My Vitamic C serum is next. I can definitely say that adding Vitamin C has been a life saver for my skin. I know some people have mixed experiences with it, but ever since adding it into my routine, my skin has become much more radiant, clear, and smooth. In the summer, it also somehow keeps me more matte, which I wasn’t expecting. The first one I tried was from Drunk Elephant, but I wanted to try something a little bit more affordable, especially since the DE one has such a short shelf-life. I was directed to the CSI Vitamin C + 12% Youth Serum, which runs for about $14-$16 from Vitacost, and I’ve been so happy with it. I apply 4-5 drops to my face every morning, and my skin has really been loving it.
My eye cream is the Origins EyeZing eye cream, as usual. And my face moisturizer today is the Philosophy Hope in a Jar moisturizer. This is another sample that I’m trying out this week, and I don’t know how I feel about it yet. It’s thick and moisturizing, but not too oily, but I’m not feeling too strongly about it yet.
And that’s it for this month so far! I think I’m definitely going to try to do this every week or two weeks, since these posts can get very long and unwieldy. I hope this was helpful and interesting as I go into more detail about what I post on Instagram! Everyone prefers different mediums, and I love both blogging and the visual aspect of Instagram, so I like to keep working on both.
If you have any more questions, let me know below. What are some things you’ve been loving this week?
Thanks for reading, as always! I finally put my blog on Bloglovin, so follow me on there now if that’s what you use!