A Year’s Worth of Beauty Trash

An old blog post of mine that gets hits pretty consistently is one I wrote about product empties. So, this is going to be just like that but on steroids. When we first moved to Okinawa, I wasn’t familiar with the strict rules on recycling and waste disposal, so I kept saving my empty cans of dry shampoo because I didn’t know what to do with them. (P.S., it turns out they’re recyclable) Eventually, I had filled up the bottom shelf of my toiletry closet with empty products and thought, “I’ll blog about it!” (Actually, I think I defensively made up that I was blogging about it to deflect my husband’s questions about why I was accumulating a small landfill of cosmetics in our side closet, but…)

This was actually really fun for me to go through and reflect on some of the products I actually made it through. Oftentimes I get so excited about trying new products that I forget about the ones I already have!


Rimmel Stay Matte Powder / I’ve probably gone through 7-10 of these powders over the years, and while I no longer use it (I’m currently in love with Cover FX Illuminating Setting Powder), it served me well and kept me matte-r than most powders. I probably won’t repurchase since I’ve found better alternatives, but it’s an affordable and readily available option for oily skin.

it Cosmetics Celebration Illumination Foundation / I used to love this powder foundation (see this post about covering acne), but somewhere along the way my skin decided it no longer wanted to be friends, and thus, I had to break up with it. It’s a great powder for touch ups due to the coverage though, so I still keep a spare in my car.

Benefit Hoola and Dallas / I’ve raved about these powders to y’all in probably 1/3 of all cosmetic blogs I’ve written, but just in case you’ve missed all of those somehow: I love these babies. Hoola is the perfect bronzer for contouring (even for pale princesses!) and Dallas is such a gorgeous bronzey-plum blush. They’re worth the price, imo.beautytrash-5

Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer / I HATED THIS. Okay, hate is a strong word. But I really wasn’t impressed for how much hype it gets. First of all, it’s hella expensive. I don’t mind paying a pretty penny for quality high-end products, but $30 for such a teeny wand of concealer is a little over the top for me. The coverage was just meh and it looked cakey under my eyes. I don’t get the hype 🙅🏼 but I will say the color match was on point!

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer / I’ve raved about this concealer in the past as well, but lately it hasn’t been working for me either. I’m wondering if my skin is changing? This concealer has a whipped consistency and a tendency to make my undereye area look crepe-y, and the shade selection is pretty poor.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser / If you’ve been watching YouTube makeup tutorials since back when they weren’t trendy, you know the crazy level of hype this concealer got. It’s good, but for some reason I’m not jumping to repurchase. beautytrash-6

Alba Botanica AcneDote Deep Pore Wash / This cleanser lasted me almost 8 months, so that alone is impressive, but I don’t think it did much for my acne. It’s pretty drying. Won’t repurchase.

Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self Tan Liquid / I’ve made my love for this product abundantly clear on wisconsinwhimsy. It’s a dark, natural tan that smells delish and doesn’t transfer (just do not get wet for 24 hours or else the color guide will make you look super splotchy). Read more about how I tan at home here, but I’m testing a new tanner (only because my beloved Fake Bake can’t be shipped overseas 😭) so expect an update soon.

Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion + Cleansing Foam / I bought the entire set, but for some reason didn’t finish the third step, which is a treatment lotion. I didn’t get amazing results using these products, and they were pretty drying. Meh. Next.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Setting Spray / This setting spray sucks. The packaging is super cheap (it’s WnW, I know) and the mist is not fine or even, so it’s basically equivalent to spraying yourself in the face with a Super Soaker. And it won’t even lock your makeup in place. Pass.

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray / I love this stuff! It’s not super mattifying, but it does keep my makeup in place all day. It’s pretty refreshing, too. And cheap! #bonuspoints

Daiso Japan Puff Sponge Detergent / Step aside, overpriced brush and sponge cleansers, this cost me ¥100 and it works amazingly. I didn’t realize how much old foundation was lurking behind in my beauty blender until I started using this. If you’re not in Japan (or California, which I believe has a Daiso, though I’m not sure this product is sold there) you can find it on Amazon.beautytrash-8

Biosilk Silk Therapy Lite / If you’ve ever used the regular Biosilk Silk Therapy, you know that it feels like applying syrup to your hair. You have to use a teeny, tiny amount or risk looking like you just wrestled in a pool of baby oil. The Lite version was definitely lighter and made my hair feel smooth, but it’s still a heavyweight product that doesn’t really offer long-term results.

Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel / The mascara wand makes this product a deal breaker for me. Only one part of it actually has bristles on it, and I poked myself in the eye with the plastic applicator pretty much every time I used it. It didn’t push my lashes up or make them look like falsies, so skip this one unless mascara-induced blindness is on your bucket list.

Maybelline The Magnum Barbie / This mascara has built-in fibers to make lashes look longer and thicker. It’s also only available in certain Asian countries, so if you’re in the States you’ll have to admire the cute Barbie packaging from afar. It made my lashes look super fab, but unfortunately the fibers would flake off into my eyes throughout the day and really irritate them.

Maybelline The Falsies / I just really love Maybelline mascaras, apparently. This is a classic drugstore staple for long and full lashes, and I always keep a spare tube in my gym bag for on-the-go glam.

Too Faced Better Than Sex / I swore I would never repurchase this mascara, and then I did. 😂 I got it 40% off during a flash sale on Too Faced’s website, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bought it. I did like it better this time around, but my same complaints of flakiness, smudges and crusty lashes still prevailed. I won’t repurchase (and I swear I really mean it this time!)

The struggle of having nonexistent eyebrows is real.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz / I used Soft Brown for years, but I’ve realized Caramel is actually a better color match for me. I love, love, LOVE this brow pencil and will always come back to it.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil / I think this is a pretty good dupe for the ABH Brow Wiz, and as you can see, I’ve repurchased it a zillion times. I actually think there are more empty tubes lurking in my car somewhere. My only complaint is that I go through them quickly, but other than that it’s a faithful option for people who need precise brow help.

Milani EasyBrow Automatic Pencil / Skip this. The pencil is way too soft so it gives a really harsh payoff that looks a little “Crayola-to-the-face-ish.”

K-Palette 1-Day Tattoo Eyeliner / This eyeliner really does last all day, but the tip isn’t precise enough for a clean cat eye and eyeshadow transfers onto it really easily. It’s also only available in Southeast Asia, but if you are interested in trying it, you might be able to find it on Amazon???

Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner / This is the closest I’ve found to a drugstore dupe for Stila Stay All Day liquid liner. It’s precise and very black. I’d definitely buy it again, and I’m actually wondering why I haven’t done so already 🤔

BareMinerals Lasting Line Eyeliner / I like this for the most part, but it does smudge and I also don’t really wear black pencil liner…so I probably won’t repurchase.


L’Oreal Lumi Cushion / So, I have mixed feelings on this. I actually liked it because it made my skin look really fresh and healthy, but there’s also not much product and the cushion sponge it comes with sucks. I applied it with my beauty blender instead because of how terrible the cushion was. It also only has light coverage and definitely doesn’t hold up to the intense (aka 100%) humidity and heat in Okinawa, so it’s not on my list of items to repurchase. It does have a nice shade range though!

Estee Lauder Double Wear / Y’all I drank the Kool Aid and was obsessed with this foundation for a long time. I even wore it on my wedding day. I’ve seen the light though…and I will not be repurchasing. It’s heavy, doesn’t control my oil, and is not pale-skin friendly.

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin / I loooooove the Better Skin concealer, but this foundation doesn’t live up to the same hype. The foundation is hard to color match and oxidizes, so if your skin isn’t naturally orange, I don’t recommend it. It also made me a hot, oily mess. Kind of like a McDonald’s fryer.

Revlon ColorStay / I swore by this foundation in college so I did one of those things where you look back on the past and reminisce on things you thought were great but really weren’t. I thought to myself, “Remember when your face looked super cakey and broken out all the time? Let’s relive that.” And I bought this foundation. And then remembered why I stopped using it.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte / I think this foundation is a good, affordable drugstore foundation. It’s not something I reach for often, but I do usually have a tube of it somewhere in my makeup closet. It has medium coverage is surprisingly paraben-free.


So…we need to talk about something. It’s about how lazy I am with my hair. I have never, and I seriously mean never, taken an interest in hairstyling. If I wouldn’t look like a naked mole rat, I’d probably shave it all off my head. (Props to all the people who rock the hairless look, I envy you) As you can imagine, I have a super strict hair routine. It goes something like: brush every 3 days, shampoo, occasionally condition, messy bun, dry shampoo, repeat. 😬 I used Batiste religiously when I lived in the States, but unfortunately it’s not available here (apparently Japanese people aren’t lazy bums like me) and aerosols can’t be shipped overseas. Recently the PX has gotten more dry shampoo options, but over the past year it was super limited.

Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder / This stuff was life changing when my hair was red/brown. It actually might be the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used, but unfortunately it’s $30 and I can’t justify that kind of investment into a product that will only last a couple of weeks.

got 2b Rockin It Dry Shampoo / If you like chunks of whatever dry shampoo is made of floating in your hair like extra-large flakes of dandruff, buy this. If not, avoid it like the plague.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak / This dry shampoo is just okay. It smells non-offensive and works decently, but I’d say it’s only good for the day after washing and not anymore after that. It only helps with minor shine, so definitely skip it if you want to extend your style further than that.

Dove Dry Shampoo / As you can see, I repurchased this a lot, lol. It smells good and actually works decently, although I still wouldn’t really give it more than four stars. It just happened to be the best product available to me. One day I’ll return to my precious Batiste.

That’s all, folks! This isn’t a complete list of products, since I know I slipped up and threw stuff away every now and then, but I hope you enjoyed being nosy and reading all about my trash. What products are you trashing?




June Favorites

I cannot believe it’s already July! I hope everyone in the States had a wonderful Independence Day weekend. June was a wonderful month for me – I finally started to settle into our new house, we completed the adoption process on our adorable 3-year old Labrador, and I made some amazing new memories with my husband. I’ve been wearing less makeup than ever – but (and I’m sure you’ll be able to tell based on my faves!) only because I have been loving a natural, glowy look with nearly-bare skin, highlighted cheekbones, and soft pink lips.

Clinique Color Surge Eyeshadow in Lucky Penny // $16, discontinued // I’ve owned this shadow for quite a long time – I want to say I purchased it two summers ago, but since I usually reach for one of my palettes, it’s been a little neglected. Recently I’ve been trying to cycle older products into my routine, and I realized how much I love this shadow! It’s an intensely shimmered copper that blends like a dream and has that coveted creamy texture of high end powders. I love it. Sadly, Clinique discontinued it, so unless you want to fork out the big bucks for it on eBay or Amazon, you’ll have to settle for a dupe such as CoverGirl’s Mink.

Lipstick Queen Frog Prince Lipstick // $25, Ulta // I reviewed this a while back (read here) and really liked it, but for some reason it got tossed into the abyss that is my lipstick collection. It’s a buildable lipstick that can go from a tinted balm to a pigmented stain in just a few swipes. I think it’s so fun that it looks green in the tube but shows up rosy pink on the lips! It’s a great lippie to keep in your bag.

Yankee Candle Wax Tarts in Lemon Lavender + Sage & Citrus // $1.99 ea, Yankee Candle // Y’all. I have a Yankee Candle addiction (my husband will confirm this). It’s one of those iconic brands that follows you into adulthood – I still remember my mom burning their candles as a kid. I used to be a huge candle junkie, but here in our new house, we have a lot more space – so I’ve been using my wax warmers more often because, quite frankly it’s a lot more cost effective to melt wax in each room than it is to buy full size candles. These two scents are pretty self explanatory, and they’re perfect spring-to-summer transitional scents.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Radiant Lights // $6, Ulta // This highlighter is really popular in the blog world lately, and I know I’ve written about it before on wisconsinwhimsy. It’s cheap, it’s gorgeous, and you get a good amount of product. I have a handful of high end highlighters, and yet this is the one I reach for almost every day! I would say the pigmentation is middle of the road, but that’s actually a pro for me, since it gives me a little more control over the opacity.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone // deluxe sample, but full size is $41 at Ulta // If you read my last beauty blog about the Best of Becca Blushed Radiance kit, you probably already know why I love this product. It’s perfect for a sheer-to-medium intensity glow, and it feels really lightweight on the skin. Moonstone is a great shade for light skin like mine!

Wet n Wild 1 Step Wondergel in Stay Classy // $4.99, Target // I purchased this at the Exchange with a coupon, so I only paid $2.99 which was a steal! Stay Classy is a cool-toned mauve, and I would definitely say it’s a year-round color. I didn’t bring my UV gel kit with me to Japan, so I’ve been using regular polish on my nails lately. I’m hard on my nails, though, and it’s hard for me to find polish formulas that I actually like! I’ve had this on my nails for 5 days now, and while it doesn’t look like a fresh mani, it does still look pretty good for a home nail job. It hasn’t chipped at all, rather just worn down on the tips of my nails. I’ll definitely repurchase this in other shades!

What were your favorite beauty products this June? Let me know in the comments below!



MOTD | 06/14/2016

It’s been terribly rainy and stormy here, so I’ve had plenty of time to play around with makeup for fun. Today I kept telling myself that I was going to do a natural look, and then I had an oopsie with my eyeliner and ran with it 😬 What are you wearing today?



Details are as follows •

Face | Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 foundation in classic ivory • Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in fairly light neutral • Rimmel Stay Matte powder in translucent

Cheeks | Benefit Hoola bronzer • Nyx Baked Blush in foreplay • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

Brows | Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in dark brown • Nyx Auto Eyebrow Pencil in taupe

Eyes | Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette (I used creme brulee, salted caramel, hazelnut, milk chocolate, & marzipan) • Wet n Wild creme eyeliner in black • Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara

Lips | Clinique Almost Lipstick in black honey

Have a great day!

Product Empties!


Hi Lovelies!

I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks as I had a dear friend from Wisconsin visiting me here in North Carolina! Our departure for Japan has been delayed, so I have a few more weeks to prepare for the emotional chaos that is moving internationally (lol)!

I blog a lot about products as I test them out, but it’s not often that I mention products I’ve actually finished…which is probably because I don’t finish a lot of products. I think I have successfully finished a single tube of chapstick in my lifetime. Things either get lost, forgotten, or purposely ignored. So today, I’m going to share with you the graveyard of products I’ve emptied within the last few weeks! Moving has actually been a great motivator to spring clean and use up old products, especially since we can’t send most of our personal care items with our household goods overseas. Find out which products I loved and which ones I was happy to dump below!


Covergirl Outlast 3-in-1 Stay Fabulous Foundation in 810 // This is the 5th or 6th time that I’ve killed a bottle of this foundation. I love it! It’s matte, long-lasting, and has great coverage. And the pump is a huge plus! I frequently reach for this in favor of my high-end foundations.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation // This is another product I’ve repurchased 4 or 5 times and I use it interchangeably with the foundation above. It’s more of a demi-matte, but it’s still long-lasting with medium-full coverage.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer // If this wasn’t so expensive I’d have stockpiles of it! This is truly my favorite bronzer ever. It’s versatile in that it is great for both bronzing and for contouring. The box o’ powders from Benefit never disappoint, but Hoola is definitely my favorite. If you’re still searching for “the one,” look no further. (Unless “the one” you’re looking for is an actual human being, in which case I suggest you look further)


Arbonne Clear Future Corrective Acne Treatment Pads // This was another one of the products that Arbonne sent to me in a PR kit. These are seriously pricey ($46 for 60 pads!) but I did feel like they definitely reduced some of the acne and redness I was experiencing, especially on my cheeks. Even my husband tried them and got results!

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel // My all. time. favorite. moisturizer. ever! This bottle has lasted me close to a whole year with regular use. It keeps my skin hydrated and healthy without exacerbating any oil or causing breakouts.

Nature’s Bounty Tea Tree Oil // I honestly can’t remember where or when I got this, but I’m assuming I picked it up in the natural section of the grocery store, since I know this brand is sold there. Tea Tree has been a lifesaver for my acne. Diluted, it makes a great toner, and on its own makes for a great spot treatment. This is one oil that I’ll always keep on hand, and I love that Nature’s Bounty offers quality oils at affordable prices. 

Jergen’s Natural Glow Instant Sun Mousse // If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I am an avid self-tanner. Although my tanner of choice is usually Fake Bake Flawless Darker, I picked up this Jergens mousse at the drugstore to try, after not being able to find my usual drugstore fave (L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Mousse). It was okay and I used it all, but I’m not sure the shade was right for my skin tone. 


Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo // If you have hard water or use a lot of hair products, I highly recommend this shampoo! I used it every other time that I shampooed my hair, and found that it was really effective at removing buildup without drying out my hair. It was a great product, but I don’t have hard water anymore and rarely use styling products, so I won’t repurchase.

Redken All Soft Conditioner // I loved this conditioner! It had the ideal consistency – not too thin or thick, and left my hair feeling soft, smooth, and detangled without feeling heavy or greasy. I usually go through conditioner very quickly, but I found that I only needed a small amount of this product to achieve results, so it lasted several months. Definitely try to pick this up during one of Ulta’s BOGO 50% off Redken sales!

What products have you finished up lately? Let me know in the comments below!

| Shelbie

February 2016 Favorites!

Wow – I can’t believe the end of February is already here! This is probably the first favorites blog I’ve had up on time in all of WisconsinWhimsy history, so let’s take a moment to relish that.


For kicks, I thought I would go back and read my favorites post from February of 2015, and it was a fun throwback. I actually still use quite a few of the products I blogged about in that post! This month, I’ve been wearing less makeup and embracing a fresh, clean face. My acne was almost completely gone for a couple of weeks in January, and then came back with a vengeance in the early weeks of February, so I’ve been trying to take extra good care of my skin. I’ve recently started oil cleansing, so I’ll blog about that once I’ve had the opportunity to gather my thoughts on it! Here are my favorites for February of 2016:

Juicy Couture’s Viva La Juicy perfume // $74 for 1.7oz // Sephora / We’ve established that I’m terrible at describing fragrances, so I’ll spare you. I will say that this is my favorite spring perfume, and it’s lightly fruity without making you smell like a middle schooler. The packaging is chunky and gaudy, in true Juicy Couture fashion!

WoodWick Wax Melts in Berry Passion // $5 // Kohl’s / Our apartment here in North Carolina is a 1-bedroom with an open concept, and it really bothers me that kitchen smells spread into other rooms and linger. I picked these wax melts up on a trip to Kohl’s and have been really enjoying the fruity, springy scent! My husband complains that I only ever use woodsy scents (I’m convinced that the smell of cedar soothes the soul), so this was me branching out to appease him.

Dermablend Intense Powder Camo // $32 // Ulta / I picked this up at Ulta a few months ago without knowing anything about it, and I’m so impressed. What I love about powder foundations is that you can buff them in and go – they take me much less time to apply than liquid products. This is a medium-full buildable coverage powder. I have the shade Beige, which is yellow-undertoned and fair, which is nearly impossible for me to find in drugstore foundations! I apply it with a flat buki brush (think Sigma F80 or F87) and buff. It covers all of my acne blemishes, but it’s not great at covering dark circles, so I still use undereye concealer.

Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Beauty // $17 // Sephora / Matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks are all the rage lately, but since I have extremely dry lips and a bad anxious habit of peeling them, I try to avoid matte lip products altogether. Surprisingly, I actually find this lipstick to be a little moisturizing! Beauty is a classic rose shade and is perfect for basic, everyday looks. This is the ideal lipstick for tossing in your bag to have on hand any time you want to polish off your look.

Arbonne Clear Future Intensive Acne Spot Treatment // $30 // ArbonneDisclaimer that I received this product for free from Arbonne for testing. A few months ago, Arbonne generously sent me the entire Clear Future line and a self tanner. I’ve been using the line pretty strictly, and definitely noticed an improvement in my acne. I’ve used many drugstore spot treatments before, most of which were primarily benzoyl peroxide treatments. This one is 2% salicylic acid, and I’ve noticed that it works especially well on my cystic acne bumps.

CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara // $8 // Ulta / I use mascara every day and honestly I hate spending more than $10 on it because I go through it so quickly! Lately, I’ve been using this drugstore find. I have to use two coats in order to get a bold effect, but it isn’t clumpy at all and I love that it doesn’t flake or smear. I think this is a versatile mascara, because one coat gives a very natural look, and two or three coats build up to dramatic, fanned out lashes.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, & Rosewater // $7 for 4oz // Nordstrom / I looove the smell of rose anything, so this facial spray is right up my alley. I tested it several months ago at an Urban Outfitters, and liked it so much that I eventually bought it. I wouldn’t rely on this spray as a makeup setting spray, simply because I haven’t noticed that it extends the wear of my makeup. It does, however, refresh my skin and leave it feeling hydrated and healthy, especially on days that I’m wearing a more full coverage look. The 40z bottle is compact enough to keep in my bag, which is a plus as well.

Do you have any recommendations for things I should try in March? We are moving to Japan in just 27 days (insert panic attack here) so I want to snag any must-haves here in America before we depart!

Happy Friday and Leap Year!

xx Shelbie

What’s In My Travel Bag? (A lot)


Happy Wednesday, beautiful creatures! As you know, I am finally taking a trip to see Alex in TWO FREAKIN’ DAYS! I’m actually checking a bag for once, so I have a little more room to pack things. For reference, I am not including any of the skincare products that I’m taking, because this blog would probably be pages and pages long so I figured I would spare you. This is the bare minimum of things that I’m bringing with me, but I might add a few more lippies in because I’m indecisive! 😊


  • Elf Complexion brush (I use this for setting powder)
  • Elf Studio Stipple brush (I use this for blush)
  • Sigma F80
  • RealTechniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
  • EcoTools Domed Bronzer Brush
  • Random, super old brush from Clinique (I use this for contouring my nose and cheekbones)
  • Elf Studio Flawless Concealer brush (I use this to blend out eyeshadow)
  • Sonia Kashuk No 116 (Crease brush)
  • Elf Studio Small Angled Brush (I use this with ABH Dip Brow)
  • Small jewelry pliers (weird, but I use these to pluck my stray eyebrow hairs)


  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
  • Benefit Hoola Bronzer
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink
  • Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder in 25 Buff Beige
  • L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara in Black
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 20 Sand
  • Elf Matte Lip Color in Rich Red (can’t travel without a red lippie. can’t.)
  • Covergirl Outlast 3-in-1 Foundation in 855 Soft Honey
  • Maybelline Dream Pure BB in Light/Medium
  • Benefit Porefessional
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown
  • Nyx Wonder Pencil in Light
  • Elf Brightening Eyeliner in Coffee
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kajal Eyeliner in Black
  • Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Natural
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Blonde
  • Wet N Wild Megalast Lip Color in Mauve Outta Here
  • Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara in Black
  • Baby Lips Dr. Rescue lip balm in Coral Crave

Soooo, it’s definitely kind of a lot for travel, but let’s be real. I want to be #flawless when I get to see my man after five months. (Even though he’s all, “You look gorgeous” when I’m rocking some 7am rooster tails, dragon breath, and smudged mascara that I was too lazy to remove the night before.) Let me know in the comments below what you keep in your travel bag! Also, safe to say I’m going to spend at least two hours shopping for makeup at the PX, so if you have any suggestions, share them! I’m sincerely considering the Too Faced Boudoir Eyes palette.



14 Beauty Favorites of 2014

2014 has officially come to a close. Amongst all the “baes” and “or nahs,” “Let It Go’s,” (what needs to be let go is that song) and abundance of Netflix binges, I fell in love with some pretty cool products. I handpicked 14 of my personal beauty faves just for you!


1. Clarisonic Mia – I am borderline obsessed with this thing. How does it spin? Why does it spin? Does it actually spin or just vibrate? The world may never know, but what I do know is that it actually makes me want to wash my face at night, and for that I am eternally thankful. My face is softer, smoother, clearer, and feels cleaner after I wash it. ($99 at Sephora)

2. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel – I was cursed blessed with oily/combo skin that always seems to dance the line between Sahara Desert and BP oil spill. This moisturizer has dramatically (actually) helped quench the dry patches on my face without increasing oil production. It’s a little pricey, but will probably last me 8 months to a year. ($26 at Sephora)

3. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge – If you’re like me (and every other sane person in the world), and think that paying $20 for a BeautyBlender SPONGE is outrageous, then you should try this product. I don’t doubt that the BB is a fantastic product, but the RealTechniques sponge has the exact same rating as the BB and has gotten a lot of publicity on YouTube. It flawlessly applies liquid foundation and blends undereye concealer like a dream. It is so soft and bouncy! And it won’t break the bank. 👍 ($6 at Ulta)

4. Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – I had my eyes on this palette for quite a while before my awesome boyfriend gave it to me on my birthday! It has 12 taupe-inspired shades ranging from matte to shimmer, and is my most-used eye product. I use it every day! The brush it comes with kind of sucks, but shadows are soft and pigmented. This one lives up to the hype. ($54 at Sephora)

5. e.l.f. Studio Lip Exfoliator – I bought this on a total whim on Cyber Monday, and it has quickly become an everyday staple of mine. I have chronically dry lips that peel and flake no matter how many layers of chapstick and balm I apply. It smells good, tastes good (it is a sugar-based exfoliator after all), and actually works. It leaves my lips smooth and primed for lipstick! ($3 at elf)

6. BareMinerals Lasting Line Eyeliner – I got this liner in a gift package from my friend Audrey for my birthday. I wasn’t actively seeking out a new eyeliner, but when I finally ran out of this stuff 4 months later, I actually yelled “NOOOO!” It’s creamy and black, retractable, smudgeable, and comes with a built-in sharpener in case the point gets dull. It lasted all day on me and successfully helped me define my eyes without looking like a raccoon or 14-year-old scene kid. And in my book, that is a win. ($16 at Ulta)

7. Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara – I am not the kind of person who spends $20 on mascara. I got this on Black Friday at Ulta for $10, but I would seriously pay the $20 for it again. It contains 0.51 fl oz of product, which is like…miraculous considering my usual standby (L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly) only contains 0.21 fl oz. This mascara is a one coat and done kind of deal. Which is also miraculous. It makes my lashes super black and full, and doesn’t flake. I will say that it occasionally smudges on my lower lashline, and is pretty difficult to wash off, but not so much that it’s obnoxious. ($20 at Ulta)

8. Maybelline ColorSensational Lipstick in Blush Beige – For the majority of my makeup-wearing life, I have avoided nude lipstick on the principle that I don’t want to look like my lips disappeared into my face. I can’t stand the look of pale, concealer-toned lips. Why are your lips flesh toned? Are you a vampire? I bought this on sale at Target, and I’ve actually come to love it. It’s sort of an apricot-beige tone, creamy, and doesn’t camouflage my lips. For someone with fair skin like me, this is an ideal nude that goes perfectly with a smoky eye or just an everyday lip. ($7.50 at Ulta)

9. Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow Pomade in Blonde – There is a saying that goes, “Don’t let anyone with bad eyebrows tell you sh*t about life.” I firmly believe that. Get your eyebrows right and then we can talk 👌 This is definitely more expensive than my long-loved e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit (which is $3), but I can’t go on enough about how pigmented and creamy this product is. Once it sets, it won’t smudge or wipe off, and the pot will easily last me an entire year or longer. I highly recommend going into an Ulta or Sephora and having an artist match your brows with a shade – I could have worn blonde, taupe, or soft brown. I went with blonde, and even with my light brown hair, it’s still pigmented enough. BROW POWER ($18 at Sephora)

10. Sigma F8 Flat-top Kabuki – This brush deserves every little bit of hype it gets. I tend to only purchase high-end beauty products when I’ve tested them and heard overwhelmingly good reviews about them. So, although I was content with my elf and RealTechniques brushes, I decided to splurge on this brush. (I purchased it from Amazon for $19 through an authorized retailer, but I have heard that it’s safest to order directly from Sigma) It is SO soft and beautifully blends in liquid AND! powder foundation with no brush streaks. I was able to get full coverage with less product compared to my RealTechniques expert face brush. It feels like you’re applying foundation with a non-ticklish feather. It is that soft. ($24 at Sigma)

11. MAC Satin Lipstick in Rebel – This lipstick makes me feel cool. I feel like I could intimidate people with this lipstick on. Maybe even rob a bank. It’s a rich plum color and ultra-popular this fall and winter. It’s creamy, non-drying, and lasts all day. In fact, it stains my lips for about two days. But I love it so much that I don’t care. Having purple lips is cool. ($16 at MAC)

12. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – Maybe you’ve read my previous rant about Maybelline Fit Me foundation. Maybe you haven’t. All you need to know is that the foundation is the absolute worst 💀🔪 and the concealer is awesome. It’s creamy, smooth, amazing for undereye concealing, and medium-coverage for spot-concealing. ($7 at Ulta)

13. Neutrogena Shine Control Primer – As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I have oily skin. The kind of oily skin that breaks up your makeup halfway through the day and keeps people wondering, “Am I supposed to be able to see my reflection in her face?” First of all, the answer is no. Second of all, this primer keeps my shine at bay for at least 4 extra hours than if I don’t use it. It’s a little pricey to me since I’m not super into primers, but it’s lasted me around 6 months with regular use. And if that means 4 extra hours of not having people mistake my face for Exxon-Valdez, then I’m willing to pay for it. ($14 at Ulta)

14. MAC Mineralize Blush in Gentle – I am a huge sucker for berry blushes. I don’t know why, and I’m almost certain that most fair skinned people like myself shouldn’t be wearing it on a regular basis, but I’m kind of a rebel and do it anyway. I was looking for a blush to coordinate with MAC Rebel lipstick, which I originally purchased to wear to my boyfriend’s Marine Corps Ball. (Is coordinating blush and lipstick a thing? No?) I watched what felt like, and probably was, ten billion YouTube videos before I pulled the trigger on this blush. I love it! It’s pigmented, but not so much that you have to be careful when applying it. It has a sheen, but not so much that it’s frosty on your cheek. If you want to look like a gorgeous sugar plum fairy, buy this blush. ($27 at Nordstrom)

🎉🎉🎉 That is my official list of favorite products of 2014! Comment and let me know what your 2014 favorites were!