FIF: A Trio of Milani Products

Today’s First Impression Friday is on three of Milani’s newest products:


Milani Fierce Foil Eyeshine in 03 Florence
This went on looking really pretty–so pretty that I was willing to overlook the weird sticky formula.  I was ready to fall in love with this and sing its praises from the rooftops, until I noticed the glitter bomb of fallout down to my cheeks. (Can I even call this fallout?  More like grease-out thanks to its “ground-breaking gloss technology.”)

Milani Powder Blush in 01 Romantic Rose
This blush is really pigmented, if a bit powdery.  I love this shade, kind of a pinky nude.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick in 61 Matte Naked
I love the idea od this mauvey nude shade, but it gave me straight up corpse lips. Like if I were playing a dead teenage hooker on SVU (which would be kind of amazing.)  That said, the formula is beautiful.  I def need to try a couple of the other, more normal shades in this line.  Matte Naked might work for you if you’re very fair and into the whole 90’s grunge revival thing.


Can you see that crazy oily glitter explosion?

Have you tried any of these products?  What do you think of them, or Milani Cosmetics in general?


FIF and FOTN: Marsala Madness

Today’s First Impression Friday and FOTD will document my first shot at incorporating the new 2015 Pantone color of the year into my beauty arsenal. When Marsala was revealed as the COTY, I was initially unimpressed, thinking it was just a watered down version of oxblood, but now I might be in love this warm red.

Anyway, today I decided to try out Pur Minerals Soul Mattes palette and NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil in Burgundy.  This pinky-marsala look would be great for Valentine’s Day, although I plan on incorporating Urban Decay Coax.


Please ignore the creepy side angle; I’m strategically hiding a blemish on the opposite side of my nose.


Soul Mattes
This palette contains eight matte shadows ranging from pinks to marsala(s) to neutrals, with cheeky shade names such as Alter Ego (my favorite.)  This is the first Pur Minerals product I’ve ever tried, and the quality of the shadows is excellent.

NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil in Burgundy
I’d actually never tried a single NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil before today, which may be surprising considering I have a dozen or so of their Jumbo Eye Pencils.  Burgundy is a rich, opaque, true Marsala shade that would be beautiful on a multitude of skintones.

What do you think of this look?
How do you feel about the color marsala?


Giveaway Roundup

Beauty guru and all around cool girl Leighannsays is giving away a cute makeup bag filled with goodies from Makeup Geek, Coastal Scents and more in her Best Things Giveaway here.

General Assembly is giving away a trip to NYC (and the opportunity to boost your network, upgrade your career prospects, and get an inside look at New York City’s tech hub) here.



P.S.I know I’ve been super inactive lately, but I have a lot going on with the beginning of the semester.  I promise to post at least once this weekend.

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

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 is actually sold 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?


Autumn-Winter ’14 Loves and One Let Down


Ulta Twisted Volume  Mascara
The wand sports a dial numbered 1-4 which can be twisted according to desired voluminousness.  (I generally keep mine at 3.)

Milani Shadow Eyez 12 Hr Wear Eyeshadow in 03 Champagne Toast
I’ve been loving this chubby pencil blended into the center of the lid with a bit of lengthening mascara for a really pared down daytime look.

NYC Cheek Glow Powder Blush in 651 Riverside Rose
This sheer but buildable tawny shade, which has been touted as a dupe of Benefit Dallas, lives somewhere between blush and bronzer.  Whether just a dab on apples or swept upward under cheekbones, Riverside Rose provides a beautifully warm “no makeup” cheek color.

NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu
Butter Glosses smell like cupcakes and last reasonably well by lipgloss standards. I have several shades, but Tiramisu is my favorite (so far.) It’s the ideal nude gloss, sheer enough to work with a variety of lip colors and, I imagine, skin tones.

Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Caramel Latte candle
I like sweet, foodie scents all the time but especially during the cooler months. This smells more like a frappuccino than actual pumpkin, so I’m still loving it into December.

The Vampire Diaries
This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned TVD On L&L, but season 6 is on Netflix and oh my damn.  I couldn’t even handle that ending.

American Horror Story: Coven
I couldn’t really get into any of the other seasons, but I blew through Coven on Netflix and am craving more.  I’m obsessed with Emma Roberts as the ultimate betchy witch (wetch?) Madison Montgomery and sweet but dangerous Kyle, the ultimate fixer upper.  Also, can we please talk about Angela Basset’s skin/general gorgeousness?IMG_3194


Let Down

Milani Eye Tech Perfection Liquid Liner
I had high hopes for this eyeliner, which is one of those ergonomically curved ones that supposedly makes application easy for beginners. The awkward curved shape resulted in just as messy a line as standard pen liners, if not more so. I guess I need to accept that I’m just not cut out for liquid eyeliner.

What do you think of my loves and let Down?
What have you been loving lately?
(Please answer in comments or link to your favorites post.)


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.