2017 Beauty Favorites + GIVEAWAY!

Hey y’all and welcome to 2018! I love reflecting on the trials, accomplishments, and lessons learned at the end of each year, and it was fun for me to look back on all of the adventures 2017 brought my way. From Taiwan to Korea to Thailand to the USA and back to Okinawa, I covered a lot of ground and made so many memories. I also like to evaluate the products I have in my collection and decide what I should keep, what I should toss, and what I should repurchase. Every year, I write a favorites blog about the standout products of the year before. So without further ado, here are my 10 beauty favorites (plus a bonus shoe fave!) from 2017, and if you make it to the bottom, you’ll have a chance to win one of them! All I ask is that you follow my blog and leave a comment with one of your resolutions or favorite products 😊

Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her Eau de Toilette / Fragrances are very personal, but I loooove this ultra-feminine perfume! It’s floral without being stuffy, sweet without sending middle school flashbacks, and woodsy while maintaining its femininity. I wear this daily and frequently get compliments. Not gonna lie, I just dabbed some on my wrists just to smell it. Mmmm…< a href=”http://tartecosmetics.com/en_US/makeup/face/concealer/shape-tape-contour-concealer/836.html?dwvar_836_color=tan&cgid=makeup-face-concealer#start=1&#8243; target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Light Sand / Let’s be real. This concealer basically broke the internet in 2017. According to Tarte, one of these beautiful babies is sold every 20 seconds. If you haven’t tried Tarte Shape Tape, get on it, because this stuff is amazing. It’s full coverage without being detectable, and you get a significant amount of product (10 ml)–I purchased this in July and am still using it daily in January. No drugstore concealer (even my favorites!) can top this, and it’s 100% worth the splurge.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Papa Don’t Peach Blush / I think the only blush I’ve consistently recommended on my blog is Benefit’s Dallas. I have a little confession to share about that…I’ve barely used it at all since purchasing this blush 🙈. Papa Don’t Peach is still bronzey and natural-looking, but it brightens up your face in a way Dallas can’t. It smells just like Too Faced’s other peach items, and you get 9g of product, so it’ll last a while even with daily use. Plus, I can’t get past the freakin’ adorable packaging!

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil with Argan and Coconut Oils / People with oily skin tend to be afraid of facial oils and oil cleansers, but they’re actually beneficial for all skin types! Some oils can even regulate sebum production 😍 This Burt’s Bees oil cleanser is actually my favorite of the several I’ve tried, which is surprising considering it contains coconut oil, which breaks me out on its own. I use this to remove my makeup before cleansing, and I can’t get over how well it removes my makeup or how soft it leaves my skin. I’ve pretty much ditched makeup wipes for this, AND it hasn’t broken me out!

Sexy Hair Vibrant CC Hair Perfector / After getting highlights sometime mid-year, I felt my hair start to ride the struggle bus. It was stringy, lifeless, and a little straw-like. I picked this up on a whim and OMG. After just one night of using it, my hair was radically different. I became an instant believer. This product makes your hair so soft, and it smells delish!

wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation / So, can we talk about how this foundation is less than $6? 👀 It’s medium-full coverage, so smooth, super lightweight, and DAMN. It just plain makes your face look fabulous. I like it best when applied with a damp sponge, and the coverage is buildable at pretty much all levels. So whether you want a flawless full-coverage face, or a sheer wash of even coverage, this foundation can do it for you. I bought it enough to buy a shade for each level of the fake-tanning cycle. That’s commitment.

Tarte Cosmetics Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara / I’m about to make a bold statement. I think this is my holy grail mascara. Yep, I said it. Why is no one talking about this?! I had never even heard of it until I saw it mentioned in one of Tarte’s Instagram stories. I ordered it at random during a points promotion for platinum members on Ulta.com and my lashes have never been the same. This mascara does everything I wish Too Faced’s Better than Sex mascara did. It gives you tons of length, medium volume, and won’t flake or smear throughout the day. I have excessively watery eyes, and this has never run. I even tested it with actual tears once. Still no running. Do your lashes a favor and buy this. Oh, and supposedly it also nourishes your lashes and stuff 🤷🏼

Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum with Willowherb / If you have textured skin and/or large pores, this serum is a must-have. It doesn’t have the consistency of a serum, it’s more like a gel moisturizer, and it absorbs right into your skin. Origins claims this serum will solve your skin’s quarter life crisis, and I think they’re right. I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the texture of my skin, and I think my pores are slowly starting to look smaller as well. My skin’s usually pretty dull as well, and this gives me a glow without making me shiny or dewy.

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-In-1 Custom Nude Palette / Hi, my name is Shelbie and I’m a snooze alarm addict. So, basically, a stoplight-styled messy bun, exta-shot latte, and 10-minute face are my workweek staples. I need versatile products I can take on the go, and it’s always a bonus if they’re inexpensive. Thataylaa has raved about this palette for forever, but I only purchased it a few months ago. The palette is made up of 12 shimmery shades, ranging from ivory to pale pink to copper to bronze. I frequently use the four top-left shades swirled together as a higlight on my cheekbones, nose, and browbones, with one of the light pink shades on my lids and the darkest shade in my crease. It’s also stunning all swirled together and topped over your blush. If you like shimmer, I’m confident this can be a short-on-time staple for you, too!

Toms Women’s Majorca Cutout Sandal, Taupe Suede / This is my bonus fave. And you’re probably eye-rolling at the fact that I’m recommending a pair of TOMS heels, but stay with me. These are my daily go-to work shoes. I can dress them up with ankle-length trousers or dress them down with jeans, and they are SO. DAMN. COMFORTABLE. Seriously. I walk about 2 miles a day on my lunch at work, and I can comfortably walk that in these shoes without any pain or blistering. I don’t even think I can do that in my running shoes, tbh. The heel is high enough to enhance your legs, but low enough to prevent you from eating pavement. They are well worth the investment and I’ve already purchased a backup pair. (BTW they’re as low as $45 on Amazon right now and retail for $130!)

Because I love these products so much, I want to share one of them with you! Enter my Amazon Giveaway to win a Vibrant Sexy Hair CC Hair Perfector here . Don’t forget to subscribe to wisconsinwhimsy and comment your resolution or favorite product below!

Happy new year! xo, Shelbie | By the way, I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website, although all opinions stated here are my own. Your purchase helps support my little space on the internet, and I’m grateful for it.


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?



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!

Fri-YAY: Japanese Beauty Products

It’s a beautiful (and hot!) Friday here in Japan. I’ve been struggling over the last few weeks with what to blog about – it seems like I have so much to share and yet writer’s block has been haunting me. So I figured for now I’ll spare you all of the details of our journey (although we did make it to Japan safely almost exactly 4 weeks ago and have been settling into our new home) and instead jump into a fun Friday series of fun things I’ve been able to see, try, or experience!

Alex and I took a trip to the Aeon Mall in American Village and I got to see Japanese beauty counters for the first time. I was surprised to see high end beauty products sold right next to what would normally be sold at a drugstore in America. I was also surprised to see that brands such as Revlon and Maybelline were much more expensive than in the States. I picked out two products to test, Makeup Revolution’s Blushing Hearts triple baked blusher in Candy Queen of Hearts, and Maybelline’s The Magnum Barbie Mascara.

I was drawn to the blush because it looked like an awesome dupe for Too Faced’s Sweethearts blush, which carries a $30 price tag. The MUR dupe was ¥1300, roughly $11.80 with today’s exchange rate. Definitely more affordable! It’s a beautifully pigmented blush with a satin sheen. The Candy Queen of Hearts shade looks like it’s an almost identical dupe for the shade Candy in the Too Faced counterpart. I’ve been using this blush almost daily for a week now with no complaints – it’s gorgeous!

I was drawn to the mascara, because, well…Barbie. The packaging is cute and I was intrigued by the fact that I hadn’t seen anything like it in the States. I have absolutely no idea what any of the packaging says, so I tried to read as many English-translated blogs as I could to figure out what the claims were! I was able to gather that it is waterproof and meant to give doll-like lashes. It had a curved brush and lash fibers to extend the length of your lashes! One of the first things I noticed about this mascara was the smell. I can’t describe it, but it’s strong. I compared the scent to my Maybelline The Falsies Black Drama mascara, and they smell the same, although the Barbie one is definitely stronger. The brush is pretty similar to the Falsies brush in the US, and I think it has a relatively wet formula. I haven’t taken many photos wearing this mascara, but you can see below in my Snapchat update that it definitely gives doll-like lashes even with one coat. 

Despite how beautiful it makes my lashes look, I have a few complaints. First of all, this mascara is beyond waterproof. In fact I think it might actually be bulletproof. After using makeup wipes, eye makeup remover, and cleanser, I still had residue on my lashes. It took so much scrubbing that it irritated my eyes. My next complaint is that if I don’t seal the final coat with another mascara, the fibers flake off into my eyes. That’s no bueno! Overall, I still think it makes my lashes look fabulous and I’ll definitely use it for special occasions! It was ¥1400 yen, so again, it was more expensive than I had anticipated. Maybelline The Falsies mascara in the States runs for about $6-7. 

Overall, I’m generally pleased with both of these goodies and it was so fun getting to explore new products! I hope to experiment with some skin care products next, so if anyone knows of some great products available in Japan, please let me know in the comments! 

Have a happy weekend!


Weekend Look: Smoky Eyes

If you follow me on my personal Instagram, you probably saw this post last weekend. It was my sister’s 24th birthday on Sunday, so we celebrated Saturday night and went apple picking on Sunday morning before the Packer game. It was a ton of fun! My everyday eye look is pretty neutral – I tend to get the most use out of my Chocolate Bar and Naked 2 palettes, and I barely even have brush marks in most of the darker shades. I have hooded eyes, so when my eyes are open, you can’t see much of my eyelid. I’ve always thought that smoky eye looks made my eyes look smaller, so it’s rare that I smoke out a deep brown or charcoal shadow on my eyes. Also, smoky eyes toe the line between sultry and bar-fight, making them even harder to pull off.

For some reason, I was feeling ambitious and came up with this look! It was pretty simple and can easily be substituted with other shadows of similar shades. If you’re interested in knowing the details of the look, continue reading below!


ABH Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde, $18 at Sephora


Urban Decay Naked 3, $54 at Sephora

Blackheart + Factory on the lid

Blackheart under lower lash line

Darkside in the crease

Too Faced Chocolate Bar, $49 at Sephora

Salted Caramel in the upper crease

Marzipan above Salted Caramel + the inner corner

Black Forest Truffle on the outer corner

Stila Stay All Day waterproof liquid liner, $22 at Sephora

Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara, $32 at Sephora


IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer in Light, $24 at Ulta

IT Cosmetics Celebration Illumination Foundation in Medium, $35 at Ulta

Benefit Hoola, $28 at Sephora

Benefit Dallas, $28 at Sephora

Tarte Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder in Champagne, available in several palettes & kits, notably Park Ave Princess Countour Palette v2, $34 at Tarte


MAC Satin Lipstick in Rebel, $17 at MAC


NuMe 19mm Classic Wand, $139 at NuMe

What’s your favorite smoky eye palette? Have you tried the new Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette? Let me know in the comments below!

April 2015 Favorites ☼

It’s beginning to look like spring here! We finally got up into the 50s and low 60s this week, so I’ve been able to ditch my wool socks and parka in favor of my Birkenstocks and spring jacket.

April has been a fun month for me, beauty wise. I got a box full of fun goodies from my good friend Jordan in North Carolina (thanks boo!):


I have to play with the Urban Decay Electric Palette and Stila Lip Glazes more, and will make a separate post reviewing these products, but one of them actually made it to my April faves!

1. Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Melted Candy ($21 at Too Faced) – This is a bright, punchy fuchsia that’s perfect for spring! I’ve been wanting to try one of these lippies for a long time, but $21 is a little steep for me, so I was planning on splurging for my birthday. I’m really thankful that Jordan gifted me one so that I could try it sooner! The formula is super creamy and smooth – absolutely no tugging. It has a sponge-tip applicator, which I didn’t think I would like since sponge-tips are not the most precise applicators, but I actually really like it with this product and I think the applicator is what facilitates such a smooth and even application. I would recommend using a lip liner with this product to prevent bleeding, but the first time I used it, I used it sans liner and had minimal issues. This is an extremely long-wearing lip color because it stains your lips. I actually used my Clarisonic on my lips to scrub off the remaining color at the end of the night! It doesn’t really ever “set” on your lips, so the creamy product itself will smear or rub off, despite the stain staying behind. That could be a disadvantage to some, but I didn’t really mind. A way around that is to blot immediately after applying, which would also give you a more matte finish; the finish is satin/glossy when first applied and demi-matte after about an hour. Will I repurchase? Yes! I plan on splurging on Jelly Donut and Fig sometime this year.

2. OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo ($8 at Ulta, cheaper at Walmart) – I usually spend around $4 on shampoo. I’m willing to spend more on a nice conditioner, but I’ve never found any benefit to spending $15 on shampoo versus 79 cent Alberto V05. My favorite staple shampoo is the Pantene Aqua Light shampoo (seriously love that stuff!), but I recently ran out and was not able to find it at my local Walmart, and picked this up instead. I’ve seen OGX products all over at Ulta, and heard good things, but never felt like shelling out almost ten bucks just for shampoo. I love the scent of this shampoo – it smells lightly of coconut, but faintly of creamy vanilla as well. The scent of the shampoo does not stay in my hair; the smell of my conditioner either overpowers it, or it just doesn’t stick. It lathers pretty well (bad for your hair? yes, but I’ve tried no ‘poo and I just can’t) and leaves my hair feeling clean and soft without feeling stripped down. I use it in combo with the Pantene Nature Fusion Conditioner w/avocado oil (all-time favorite drugstore conditioner – the stuff gets 5 star reviews for a reason) and my hair is soft, full, and silky. I don’t have frizz or split ends, so I can’t comment on this shampoo’s effect on those, but I will probably repurchase this!

3. Bath & Body Works Morocco Orchid & Pink Amber body spray (Discontinued, but available on eBay) – This is 100% not my typical fragrance, and I rarely set foot inside B&BW. In fact, I bought this at the semi-annual sale for 75% off, and it was the first time I’d been inside a B&BW in probably 5 years. It’s not a long-lasting scent at all – I get maybe 2 or 3 hours out of it. I actually kind of like that, because I can spritz it on in between my classes during the day and easily switch my fragrance up for nighttime if I want. Some have described this scent as fruity, but on me it’s pretty much all sandalwood, amber, and vanilla. I like it and get compliments on it when I wear it. Will I repurchase? It’s discontinued, but even if it weren’t I probably wouldn’t repurchase it. The bottle will last me forever, and I’m not a big body spray or B&BW kind of person.

4. NuMe Classic 19mm Curling Wand in Pink ($139 at NuMe) – I actually purchased this wand in December, and I got it for $20 with shipping (can you say steal?) This website is constantly having sales and deals, so I would recommend waiting to buy with a code. This wand arrived in some sleek, pretty packaging on my doorstep 4 days after I bought it. It comes with a heat-protecting glove, which I don’t use because I think it makes it hard to pick out sections of my hair while wearing it. It does not have a temperature-control, which some may find as a turn off. There is an on/off switch, and that’s it. It heats up to 410 degrees within a minute or two, and is perfect for creating waves and curls. My favorite thing about this wand is that my curls don’t fall out. I have naturally straight hair, so my hair tends to straighten out within a few hours when using other curling irons or wands. With this particular wand, my hair stays curled even the next day. Love!

5. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat ($10 at CVS) – I’ve heard terrible things about using this top coat in combo with the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes, but fantastic things about the top coat with other polishes. I currently have this top coat on top of OPI Do You Lilac It? and after 3 days have noticed NO signs of chipping or wear on any of my nails! I’m pretty hard on my nails, and I type all day, so usually polish lasts 1-2 days on me, even with top coats like Essie Good to Go and Seche Vite. I just took off acrylic nails and my natural nails are very thin, so I’m really impressed with how this top coat hardened on my nails. Highly recommend!

6. L’Oreal Lineur Intense Liquid Eyeliner ($9 at Ulta) – This eyeliner actually has a felt tip, despite what the description on Ulta says. This stuff is sooo black, and does not smear on my lids. I wish I could combine the blackness and ease of application of this liner with the preciseness of the Jordana Cat Eye liquid liner. I will still probably repurchase this, though! The applicator tip is long so it’s easy to lay flat across your lid for a fluid line.

7. Philosophy Christmas Cookie shower gel ($17 at Macy’s, currently unavailable) – It’s April, and I already miss Christmastime. I love everything about getting together with family, watching Elf 35 times, celebrating Christmas, and making sugar cookies! I bought this 3-in-1 shower gel in November, and have just been storing it with my backup shower products in my bathroom. Recently, I’ve started using it again. I love the smell. Full disclosure, sometimes I just stand in the shower and smell it, because it really does smell like 100 yummy Christmas cookies in a bottle. I do sometimes use this on my hair as shampoo, but I mostly use it as body wash. I have not had the opportunity to use it for a bubble bath yet. A little goes a long way, and I find it lathers best on a loofah. The bottle will easily last me several months, and I will definitely repurchase this and other Philosophy shower gels in the future!


8. Okay, this one isn’t actually a beauty favorite. But it’s the International Delight Iced Coffee in Light Mocha ($3-ish at Target) – I love iced coffee, but it gets expensive at McDonald’s, and living with roommates means I have limited freezer space for coffee cubes (to keep my coffee from getting watery) and it takes too much time and effort to regularly brew large batches of coffee and then store it in my fridge to cool down. So, I stumbled upon this premade iced coffee at Target, and decided to try it out. It’s got 90cals/cup & 14g sugar, so it’s not nearly as bad as Starbucks (80 cals without creamer, but has 20g sugar) or McDonald’s (a small has 140 cals & 22g sugar). I still love black coffee, so I don’t drink it every day, but at the price I purchased it at, it comes out to 38 cents/cup, and that’s pretty awesome. It has artificial sweeteners, so one day I might actually stop being lazy make my own iced coffee at home, but for right now, this will work. I will definitely repurchase this!

That concludes my April favorites, everyone! Let me know your favorites in the comments below – I’d like to try them out and see if they make the cut for my May favorites 🙂



Too Faced Chocolate Bar



Happy Tuesday everyone! It’s cloudy and mid-60s here in North Carolina and I’m anxiously waiting for Alex to come home!

Last night I picked up the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette at the PX ($42 at the PX, $49 at Ulta). I’d been wanting it for a while, but was iffy about purchasing it, since I already own the Naked 2 palette ($54 at Ulta with 12 cool-toned neutral shades) and about a million other neutral eyeshadows, but once I saw it in person, I couldn’t resist! There are 16 shades in the palette, including mattes (6) and shimmers (10). There’s a pretty wide variety of shades, including some purple, wine, champagne, and various shades of brown. Definitely more variety than my Naked 2. It’s also chocolate scented, just like the Chocolate Soleil bronzer ($30 at Ulta). The only way I can describe the scent is decadent – if it was edible, I would eat it. The shadows are super pigmented and soft (more so than my Naked 2), and I didn’t get any fallout.

I only have two complaints about this palette –

  1. The shadow names are not actually on the palette, they’re printed on a plastic insert that I will inevitably lose.
  2. There is no slot to hold a makeup brush. This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but I usually keep my Sonia Kashuk 116 brush in my Naked 2 palette for ease of access, and it’s a slight inconvenience that I can’t do the same with this palette.

For my eye look today (I couldn’t get a good photo, sorry!) I’m wearing Marzipan on the lid, Champagne Truffle on the inner corner, White Chocolate on the brow bone, Salted Caramel as a transition shade, and Amaretto & Black Forest Truffle in the crease and outer corner.

For the rest of my face, I’m wearing ABH brow wiz in soft brown in my brows as usual, Urban Decay Big Fatty mascara, Clinique soft-pressed powder blusher in New Clover, Benefit Hoola bronzer, the highlighter in Lancome Blush Subtil duo in Pink Chic, and then two new products I also picked up at the PX and will review later – L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte foundation in 104 and L’Oreal Collection Privee lipstick in Julianne’s Nude.

 For shade comparison, here’s Urban Decay Naked 2 vs Too Faced Chocolate Bar: