This or That Thursday: Benefit Watt’s Up vs. Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity

I originally considered calling this series Thurs-dupe but decided that was a bit too corny.

Anyway, today’s battle is between Benefit Watt’s Up and Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick in the shade Sparkling Sands (which is also available in more of a cool toned pinky shade.)

Both products are creamy twist up highlighter sticks that impart a golden sheen onto skin.  Watt’s Up may be just a hint warmer, but the two are practically identical once blended.

A full size Watt’s Up costs $30 for .33 oz of product, while Chic Luminosity is $10.99 for .37 oz.

It’s also worth mentioning that although Benefit markets itself as cruelty-free , it actually sells in China which means the company funds animal testing.

The verdict: Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Highlighter Stick in Sparkling Sands is a cruelty-free dupe for Benefit Watt’s Up for roughly 1/3 the price for slightly more product.

Have you tried either of these products?
What’s your opinion on Sonia Kashuk cosmetics?


Summer ’14 Loves & Let Downs

I haven’t been too adventurous with my beauty routine recently (mostly because Florida is a million degrees), but I thought I’d go ahead and share the few new things I have been loving as of late.


Origins Smarty Plants CC Cream
My skin has been in freaking turmoil since winter, so I’d been piling on foundations and concealers to try to cover up the problem, which of course only made things worse.  But now that the right combination of products (Epiduo and Cetaphil) has my skin back under control, I’ve fallen back in love with Origins CC Cream, which really just evens out most of my redness without feeling heavy or clogging my pores.

Wet n Wild Balm Stain in Rico Mauve
I’ve never been the kind of person who can commit to having a go to lip color, but I think this has inadvertently become my go to lip color.  The tone is actually quite similar to my natural lip color, although slightly darker and pinker. It might appear either bolder or more nude depending on your skintone, and I’ve been wearing it with anything from a naked face to a smokey eye.

Milani Power Lip Lasting Gloss Stain
If you read L&L with any regularity, you know how I feel about multi tasking products.  This is like a liquid lipstick/gloss/stain all rolled into one.  My mom and I are both obsessed with the shade Mango Tango, but I’m on the lookout for pretty much the entire line.  (My CVS has yet to restock most of the shades.)

e.l.f. Essential Lengthening & Defining Mascara
I wouldn’t reccomend this unless you already have pretty decent eyelashes, but I find it really just paints my lashes black (after I inevitably get eyeshadow all over them) and gives a bit of definition and subtle length that’s perfect for school or running errands. Plus it layers really well under other mascaras if you’re going out straight after class or whatever

Ray Ban RB 4175
These modified clubmasters are oversized enough to feel trendy, without looking like you’re TTH.  They’re also magically flattering on everyone. (I first saw them on a tall, blonde family friend.)

COACH Saffiano Mini Satchel
My parents gave me this perfect little crossbody as my major birthday present.  It’s deceptively roomy enough to fit all my essentials without being obnoxious.

Pearl’s Peril
I’ve wasted countless hours playing this hidden objects game on my iPad. It’s essentially I Spy with a cheesy murder mystery plot.

This show is so intense, y’all.  Former White House correspondent and crisis management firm leader Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is always solving other people’s problems but can’t seem to fix her own, which include an ongoing affair with the President.  And then that “full lipped bastard” Scott Foley shows up to further complicate things. *swoon*

As a fan of the book trilogy, I had very high hopes for this movie, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.  Theo James was every bit as sexy as I’d imagined Four, and my girl Shailene Woodley embodied Tris perfectly.

I’ve been eating this chocolate flavored spread on pretzel rods like a crackhead.  But it’s got hazelnuts in it, so it’s healthy, right?




Let Downs:

L’Oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner
I was enthusiastic to get behind L’Oreal’s effort to dip their toes into the cruelty free pond, but this cleansing conditioner left my curls limp and my scalp itchy.  I ended up having to repurchase Macadamia Flawless after all.  (Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.)

24: Live Another Day
I was borderline fanatical about the original series, so I was pretty pumped on Jack Bauer’s return…until I watched it.  Between goth Chloe and JB on the run from Benjamin Bratt, I couldn’t stomach more than two and a half ridiculous episodes.

What do you think of my summer loves and let downs?
What products have you been loving?  (Feel free to link your favorites post below.)


P.S. Bonus points to anyone who caught the Scrubs reference.

*This post contains links to my Luvocracy, which rewards me for purchases made via my recommendations.

Smoky Eye Saturday: Wearable Smokey Eye How To

I’ve received a ton of questions/comments regarding my go to smokey eye.  I’ve been meaning to post a pictorial on this classic look for a while now, although, to be perfectly honest, it’s a lot easier than you might imagine.

Some people prefer to smoke out dark shadow from the lash line, but I find that wearing a dark shadow so close to the eyes can make them appear smaller and sleepy.  A smoky crease, on the other hand, creates a dramatic look without closing off the eyes.

Real make up artists tend to use a ton of different shadows for a smoky eye, but you really only need three: a mid tone lid color, a deeper crease color and a lighter highlight shade.  Any of these can be matte or shimmery, but I suggest steering away from shimmer everywhere.  I highly recommend this Wet ‘n Wild trio for beginners and anyone who likes the simplicity of having an entire eye look mapped out in one product.  (I often find myself kind of overwhelmed by all the options in a larger palette and end up reaching for trios/quads more often than not.)

1. Use clean fingers to blend tinted moisturizer (or base of choice) all over face, and prime eyes from lash line to just under brows.

2. Pack lid color all over eyelid.IMG_3435

3. Pat crease color into outer crease and blend inward, stopping above pupil.IMG_3437

4. Sweep highlight shade onto brow bone (under eyebrows) and blend downward into crease color; also pat onto tear duct.


5. Spot conceal if/where needed, then apply powder using a large fluffy brush.

6. (Now would be the time for eyeliner, although I generally can’t be bothered.)  Sweep on tons of mascara.

7. Apply lip color, then sweep a shimmery blush from apples of cheeks upward along cheekbones.

Products Used:
Origins A Perfect World Tinted Moisturizer; Wet n Wild ColorIcon eyeshadow trio in Silent Treatment; *Sheer Cover Duo Concealer in Medium/Tan; NYX Mineral Set It & Don’t Fret It Matte Finishing Powder in Light/Medium; Ulta mascara; Milani Baked Powder Blush in Luminoso; Wet n Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Pinky Promise

What do you think of this look?

How do you feel about the format of this post?
Would you be interested in seeing pictorials of other makeup looks?

Please let me know in the comment section.


*Product marked with an asterisk was providedfor review in an Influenster VoxBox.  All other items were purchased by me.

First Impression Friday: Too Faced Candy Bar Palette


The Candy Bar Palette is a teeny little pop out palette housed inside an iPhone 5 case.  The palette contains eleven eyeshadows, a bronzer and a blush.

The shadows look beautiful in the pan, but the look I tried to create (using the bronzy-brown shades) lacked pigmentation and was difficult to blend.  Perhaps they’ll perform better over something like a NYX Jumbo Pencil.

The bronzer was too light for my skintone, and the blush pan is so small I didn’t even bother trying to fit a brush in it.


If you’re curious to try this palette out for yourself, it’s currently on sale for $15.

Do you have this palette?
What do you think of Too Faced Cosmetics?


Leighannsays Summer Beauty Giveaway

Gorg beauty guru Leighannsays is giving away an adorbs neon travel beauty bag full of summer appropriate beauty goodies here.Image


For every one of you who enters, I get two extra entries, which is pretty rad (like I really need any more makeup!)

Good luck.<br>XOXO, T