Fall Beauty Picks

eyeliner and lipstick 2

Almay Liquid Eyeliner in Precise Black // My number one new beauty essential: this liquid eyeliner. I haven’t had liquid eyeliner on hand for a few years, instead preferring pencils that don’t run or fade – but I thought it was time to mix it up, and I read a glowing review of one on Cupcakes and Cashmere, so I grabbed it the next time I was at Target. It’s absolutely fantastic – the felt tip is just the right size, the color is really dark, it’s easy to use, and it doesn’t budge.

NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick in Candy Buttons // Over the summer, I went on a crazy cleaning spree, and realized that almost all of the lipsticks I’d been holding on to were, sadly, past their prime (read: rancid). I’ve been working on rebuilding a more streamlined collection of colors I know I’ll actually wear, and this was my first pick. I’m still getting into the habit of wearing lipstick, but this color is just the right soft pinkish-coral to make that transition easier – plus, it really does have a smooth, butter-soft consistency.

nail polish and mask

OPI Classic Nail Lacquer in Black Onyx // I’m a big fan of dark nail polishes for fall – burgundy, forest green and gray are all in heavy rotation for me. But I just realized a while ago that I was neglecting classic black lacquer, and grabbed one shortly thereafter. It feels so classic, simple and glamorous, but it’s just edgy enough to make a statement.

Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask // One habit I decided to get in the last months of summer was using a face mask once a week. I haven’t done a terrific job sticking to that schedule, but this thick mask always makes my skin feel fresher and softer after using it. It’s the perfect luxurious treat – I’ll sit with it on for 20 minutes and read or listen to music.

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Latest Beauty Favorites

beauty faves

As I mentioned in this post, I’ve been cleaning like crazy lately. My bathroom was not exempt, and I ended up realizing that I thought I had a lot more makeup than I actually did – rather, I had a lot of makeup, but a lot of it was really old and bad. So, not-so-unfortunately, I had to make a trip to Sephora to re-stock – and I decided to splurge a tiny bit and get some higher-quality, longer lasting products. Here’s my take on them:
Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! // This is actually my first legitimate highlighter, and I’m in love. Aside from the beautiful packaging, this highlighter is shimmery without being over-the-top, and the color is a soft champagne. The formula is a creamy stick that turns into a powder and melts into your skin. I’ve found that I like to blend with my fingers, but there’s a small blending sponge on the other end if you prefer.
Benefit Cosmetics Hoola // I actually bought this a while ago, but only started using it recently (because all the other times of the year my skin is way too pasty white). A little goes a long way, and the powder is very fine and blends pretty easily. I use it on my forehead, a little down my nose, and along my cheeks and jawline, for a slightly less ghost-like complexion.
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil // I’d been using Sephora brand eyeliner for a long time, but I only now realize what I’ve been missing out on. It’s a little pricey, but so well worth it – it’s just so easy and un-fussy and smooth to put on. Plus, it’s definitely going to last for a while. I got Smoke, but I can’t wait to try out some more adventurous shades.
Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 // This is officially my favorite foundation. I got a tiny sample bottle in a Clinique bonus offer a while ago, and after using half the tube I became a little distraught and started mixing it with my daily facial moisturizer (half out of curiosity, half out of wanting to make it last as long as possible) – which turned out to be a great idea, because it makes the ideal tinted moisturizer. I’m pretty cheap, but I decided this is something I can no longer live without and got a full size bottle – and its nozzle is perfect for dispensing just a little bit to mix with moisturizer.
I’d love to know what your beauty essentials are! I definitely need some recommendations.

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My Beauty Essentials

my beauty essentials

I did a post with my makeup favorites a while ago, but I figured it was time for an updated one since I’ve streamlined my collection of products since then and found a few new favorites. Here’s a rundown of the products I turn to again and again.


Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15 // I wish I could pinpoint exactly what I like about this foundation, but I just know that it’s my favorite one that I’ve ever used. I mix it with my favorite every day lotion (about 2 parts lotion, 1 part foundation) for the perfect all-over skin-evening wash of pigment and moisture. It feels totally weightless and yet does everything a foundation should.

Fit Me Concealer // After running out of a pretty meh concealer, I turned to the internet and did a quick search for the best drugstore concealer (I don’t have a huge, constant need for concealer, so I didn’t feel the need to buy a pricier one) – and this was the top result. So I picked one up, and it’s just what I was looking for. It covers dark circles as well as they can be covered, and works like a charm on little spots and blemishes.

Posie Tint // I’ve discovered that I really like non-powder blushes. I don’t use blush that often, usually just because I forget, but I’m starting to use it a little more frequently. This one goes on really smooth, and the color and packaging make it a total winner. It’s also really easy to build color – but on that note, it’s also really easy to go overboard. And I’ve learned the hard way that you have to apply it to your finger first, then rub it over your cheeks – it doesn’t lend itself to blending, and you don’t want weird, super-pigmented splotches on your face. Even so, if you can apply it well, this one’s a winner.

Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner // This has been my go-to eyeliner for years. It comes in a ton of colors, and the small size and price tag means it’s not a huge commitment. It goes on really easily and is perfect for smudging, making it ideal to create a variety of looks. My favorites are Midnight Black, Kaki Green, Gri Gri and (for spring) Lagoon.

Lash Sensational // So I tend to switch up mascaras a lot – probably because I have abnormally long eyelashes to start with (not to brag…) so they all kind of do the same thing for me. But I have to say, this one is a total winner. Just one coat makes my lashes unbelievably long and thick, so much so that I’ve gotten compliments on them. And doesn’t everyone want that? (Yes.) You should have this.

Sugar Lip Treatment // I read about this years ago and immediately knew that I needed it. And now I kind of hate myself for giving in and buying it, because I think it’s ridiculously expensive but I love love love it and will continue to buy it. It smells awesome, feels awesome, and it works. Plus the tube feels kind of glamorous. I swear by this stuff.

Cheek Stain // My other go-to blush. This stuff is definitely easier to blend than Posie Tint, and still lets you build color. I use True Love, which is a gorgeous, natural reddish-pink, and it smells so good.


Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam // This is a recent addition to my beauty routine, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite products. Besides smelling like an island vacation, it makes my hair everything I’ve ever wanted it to be: super soft, unbelievably shiny, lightweight but voluminous. It’s pretty much the only hair product I’ll ever need.

Frizz Ease Straight Fixation Styling Crème // So, my hair isn’t actually frizzy – I stole this from my sister a long time ago and the bottle magically doesn’t ever seem to run out (watch, it’ll be empty next time I go to use it). It’s basically just leave-in conditioner, and it keeps my hair from going crazy when I let it air dry.


Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub // This is my favorite face scrub. I’m not too particular about following a strict face routine, but I use this two or three times a week and it leaves my skin extra soft. Plus, I just love knowing that it’s gentle and made from a lot of natural ingredients.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion // I really love this stuff – it keeps my skin clear and even, feels refreshing, takes off makeup, and, unlike other toners I’ve tried, it doesn’t sting. Plus, it’s pink. Who wouldn’t love that?

Oil-Free Moisture // This has been my go-to moisture for years. It’s lightweight, absorbs quickly, and works year round (for me, at least – I don’t have dry skin). Plus, it’s great to mix with makeup, like I said above.

Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion + // I don’t have a strict skincare regimen, but I try to use this ultra-thick lotion once a week or so, especially in the winter to make sure my skin doesn’t get dry. It’s rich and keeps my skin feeling healthy.

Argan Oil Light // So everyone has heard the hype about argan oil, and I think it’s pretty great. This light version works equally as well on skin as it does in hair. It’s kind of just a nice all-purpose beauty staple to have.

Yes to Cucumbers Facial Wipes // I can be hugely lazy when it comes to taking off makeup. If it’s late and I’m tired, I’ll opt to go to sleep and forgo washing my face, even when I know I should. But these wipes have saved me. They smell fresh and clean, wipe off makeup easily, and leave my skin feeling firm and refreshed.

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Winter Beauty Essentials

winter beauty

I don’t change my beauty routine very often, usually opting to mix it up seasonally with different perfumes, nail polishes and lip colors. Here are a few of my tried-and-true favorites when it comes to winter beauty.

Tokyo Milk Perfume // I’ve been a fan of this company for a while now – maybe it’s just because I have such great memories associated with the scent I have from them. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be selling their wonderful little sets of layerable perfumes online (although I just saw a bunch in a store the other day), but this one sounds beautiful – a lot like one I have from them; sweet but still musky. Plus, that picture on the bottle makes it feel like you’ll magically become a part of the 19th century French aristocracy when you wear it. And that’s kind of my dream.

Essie Stylenomics // This nail polish almost looks black from a distance, but it’s not, and that’s why I love it. It’s an ultra dark green that undoubtedly goes with anything and everything you’ll wear this season (um, like winter white?! Swoon.)

Clinique Almost Lipstick // This is my go-to lipstick. Put on one layer for a rich berry stain, a little more for a darker burgundy lip. It’s so thin and creamy you’ll forget you’re even wearing it. Plus, the tube is thin, glamorous and it’ll last you quite a while.

Benefit Hoola // So, I can’t fairly say that this is the best bronzer out there, because it’s the only one I have. But it’s definitely good. It blends pretty easily and makes you look all naturally glowy. And isn’t that all that anyone wants?

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My 10 Favorite Beauty Products


I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, but I never really felt qualified. But, in the past year or so, I’ve been buying more beauty products, experimenting, researching, and coming up with a few that I really love. It may change and evolve over time, but right now, here’s what made the cut:

Josie Maran Argan Oil Light: I bought the light version for one reason or another, and I seriously love it. It absorbs pretty quickly and makes my skin feel really good…I don’t know how else to describe it. I’m sure you’ve heard all the hype about argan oil (and face oils in general), and I totally get it. (Also, TBD says to put it on after your regular moisturizer to lock in moisture – I really feel like it makes a difference.)

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture: This has been my go-to for years. Right now I’m alternating this with Clinique, and that may end up winning me over, but I really do like this one. Clean, light, quick-absorbing, no residue, and it gets the job done.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer: I think this was one of the first significant higher-end (read: non-drugstore) products I bought. I was hearing a lot of hype about it, but the price scared me. What if I don’t like it? What if it doesn’t do anything? And then I bought it, used it, and totally understood why women are willing to pay a lot for beauty products: they work, and they make a difference. I’ve never tried another primer but I don’t see why I’d ever have to – this one smooths out my skin so well, and everything else just glides on over it.

Clinique Clarifying Lotion: A recent purchase, and I’m really liking it. It’s essentially a toner, and I like it a lot better than my previous one (it felt really harsh, which I assumed was how it was supposed to feel). It’s gentle and makes my skin feel clean and smooth…for my nighttime routine, I stick to a swipe of this, moisturizer, then argan oil.

L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara: I have pretty long eyelashes to begin with, so I’ve never been extremely attached to any one mascara – I always felt like I was getting the same results with each one. I first read about this one in Lucky right after it came out, and Jean Godfrey-June gave it such a rave review that I figured I’d give it a try. And it’s easily one of the best mascaras I’ve ever used. I love the brush, the formula, and the fact that it doesn’t flake off (as a contact wearer, I’m constantly struggling with little clumps of dried mascara that attach themselves to my lenses, so this is a big one for me).

Sephora Collection Nano Eyeliner: As someone who wears eyeliner religiously, I have pretty strong opinions about which ones I like and which ones I don’t. Though I always like to try new ones, this small pencil from Sephora is one I turn to time after time. It’s cheap and comes in a ton of colors, so I don’t feel bad experimenting with electric blue or emerald green (and the short stick means very little commitment). But if I’m looking for something classic, I stick to Midnight Black and Gri Gri.

Benefit Posietint: I usually don’t wear blush. I feel as though I’ll put on too much and look feverish, plus I have the tendency to blush a lot anyway. But I got this cheek stain in a sample pack a while back and it’s currently the only blush I use. It melts into your skin and provides a sheer, light pink wash of color – and, as a bonus, it doubles as a lip stain.

Essie Nail Polish: Nail polish is a given, and my go-to is Essie. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite shade, but the two colors I always reach for are Mint Candy Apple and Tart Deco.

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm: This is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favorite lip balm. I’m not even sure what makes it so good, besides the fact that it really moisturizes. The tube feels glamorous, the balm isn’t sticky or heavy, and it smells faintly citrusy. Now that I’ve used up my first tube, I’m tempted by the tinted versions…

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb: Given that perfume is so expensive, I normally like to buy rollerballs of scents I want to try (they’re pretty cheap and easy to throw in a purse). I have three perfumes I stick to – Daisy Eau So Fresh and Live Colorfully for day, Angel for night and special occasions – but when I first smelled Flowerbomb, I was hooked. If the name isn’t intriguing enough, it smells delicate and flowery as much as it does rich from the patchouli (and, at least on me, I get a hint of vanilla).

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