Em Cosmetics First Impressions

The newly transformed Em Cosmetics, a company founded by the OG beauty influencer, Michelle Phan, only offers a mere portion of what it used to. Though the company was founded in 2013, and offered a wide range of products from foundations to eyeshadows and lip balms, Em’s website currently only sells a total of four products. Two liquid eyeliners, a liquid lipstick, and a pencil eyeliner.

Earlier this year Michelle Phan completely renovated the brand, changing its packaging, image, and products. None of the products currently sold on Em’s website are copies of old products from the brand. And, even though this might be an unpopular opinion, I was a pretty big fan of the original Em cosmetics. I really enjoyed some of the eye shadow palettes and concealer when I was first getting into makeup, especially since I idolized Michelle Phan.

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My Highlighter Collection (And Swatches!)

I don’t know about you, but I’m a terribly nosy person. This means that my favorite blog posts and YouTube videos ever generally consist of people showing off their entire makeup collection, from the modestly sized to the gigantic. Now, I considered doing a makeup collection show and tell in one go, but then I realized that it would take hours and hours, and honestly my arm can’t take all of that swatching. In fact, sometimes it still feels like its recovering from my “Colourpop Collection” post.

So, in order to reach a happy medium where I can show off my collection but retain the last remaining shreds of my sanity, I’ve decided to go product by product, starting with my favorite, highlighter.

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Big Summer Haul (Jeffree Star, Colourpop and Ulta)

As we reach the very peak of the summer season, dozens of brands are pushing even more products on consumers in a race to be the big trend of the summer. Plenty of brands are even putting out collections dedicated to the summer months, filled with warm orange colors, shimmering bronzes, and pops of turquoise and teal that seem to be pretty popular now.

As I’d recently racked up quite a few points at Ulta, and from some birthday presents given to me, I was able to buy quite a few new items from Jeffree Star’s Chome Summer collection, Colourpop, and from Ulta (half of which were bought online and the other half bough in store).

So, let’s get started with the haul.

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Colourpop Collection and Brand Review, Part 2

Because my collection was too big to do in one post, I’ve split my Colourpop collection into two, ending with this part dedicated to eyeliners and lip products.

Colourpop first started to gain popularity based mostly on their lip products, so its no surprise that I own quite a few of their ‘Ultra’ lips and lippie stixs. Once again, like in my last post, this is missing a few products that I can’t seem to find anywhere. Which means, I’ll probably have to re-purchase them. Not a huge loss for the price, but it’s a lesson to always be aware of where you put your lipstick.

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Colourpop Collection and Brand Review, Part 1

Colourpop, an online and social media driven brand, was one of the fastest growing names in the virtual makeup world last year, and they don’t seem to be slowing down in 2017. One of my best friends introduced me to the brand in the summer of 2016, after I’d heard a few rumors of their formula being a dupe for the coveted Kylie lip kits (both are, –or at one point were–made in the same factory, Spatz Laboratories in Los Angeles). But when my friend absolutely raved about a matte lipstick she got from the brand, I decided to give it a shot.

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May Favorites 2017

Okay, not to sound like every other person on the planet, but I honestly can’t believe it’s already June. I’m always especially excited for June because its my birthday month (shout out to my fellow Geminis), and generally that means new makeup for me. But, before a birthday haul happens, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my absolute favorite products from May this year. I tried out a surprising amount of new products this month as someone who generally sticks to the same, tried-and-true routine.

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2016 Drugstore Favorites

drugstore-favorites-header

This year in beauty has been a big one. Highlighter and liquid lipsticks reigned supreme in the beauty world and indie brands gained newfound popularity on Instagram and YouTube this year. And this year, probably more than any other before, I’ve tried a lot of makeup products. Some amazing, some not so much. Rather than focus on the bad, I’ve put together a list of my favorite makeup products of 2016, all from the drugstore. Look out for the high end version of this post, but for now let’s stick to products that both myself and my wallet really loved this year.

  1. L’oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation

Maybe more than any other product this year, I’ve been obsessed with this foundation from L’oreal. After the success of the Pro-Matte foundation in the Infallible line last year (which I personally wasn’t a fan of, it was too patchy and drying for me), they launched a dewey version of the long-wear foundation. For me, this product works amazingly. It’s a medium buildable coverage foundation that I find applies best with my Beauty Blender. This is my perfect every-day foundation, it gives just the right amount of glow to my face without making me look sweaty or oily. To me, it is one of the best foundations on the market right now if you want a dewy finish.

  1. L’oreal Magic Lumi Primer

Okay, so I swear this isn’t a sponsored thing, I just honestly think that L’oreal kills the face game in terms of products. When I want a glowy primer under a foundation (typically a matte foundation) this is my favorite. While I love the Becca backlight primer, I’ve got student loans to pay honestly. To me, this is a great dupe for that primer and gives my face a glow-from-within look underneath any foundation.

  1. Wet-n-Wild Color Icon Blush in Mellow Wine

This blush is amazing, and at $2.99 you can’t beat the price. I tend to like more natural and pale blushes, and this is right up my alley. It’s highly pigmented as well so a little goes a long way. In the fall months I think it’s the perfect way to warm up my cheeks a little bit, and for those like me who tend to be a little wary of blush (thank you mom and dad for the super pink undertones) this blush color on fair skin is the perfect balance of warm and natural.


mellow-wine-swatch

  1. Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Now I know that everyone and their grandmother has been talking about this bronzer on social media, but it really does live up to the hype. After I saw Jaclyn Hill talk about this in a video, I knew I had to buy it. It is a truly incredible product. It blends so easily into the skin, looks  natural and dewy without any glitter or shine and is the perfect color for my pale skin. I will say, unlike a lot of other people apparently, I’m not a fan of the scent. I don’t understand why my bronzer has to smell like sunscreen if it’s not actually going to protect me from the UV rays.

  1. Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Koosh

This year has been amazing for the brand Colourpop. Once they began to be compared to the coveted Kylie Lip Kits, their popularity skyrocketed, and that’s when I fell in love with them. Their prices are incredible and their products aren’t bad for the money. This is one of my newest favorites of the year, and in fact just came out in the 2016 Colourpop Holiday Collection. But, after I bought it and wore it for a week straight, I immediately went online and ordered two backups for when it stops being sold. More than any of their other eyeshadows, this colour is extremely buttery and soft, and is a soft satin sheen without any harsh glitter. To me, Koosh is the perfect natural shade to put all over my lids and I’m obsessed with it.

koosh-swatch

  1. Covergirl TrueNaked Palettes in Nudes and Roses

While I don’t like the Roses palette quite as much as I love my Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, I was pleasantly surprised with Covergirl’s take on the coveted Urban Decay palettes. Usually I don’t like this brand. Their foundations oxidize and go way too orange on me, and I wasn’t a big fan of any of their mascaras, but in eyeshadow, they might be my new drugstore favorite. Especially the Nudes palette, where every shade is blendable and pigmented without too much kick-up or fallout. And if you’re on a budget and want that covered Urban Decay look but can’t afford the hefty $50 price tag, then this is your best bet. My two favorites in the Nudes palette are the satin shades “Champagne” and “Mink.”

covergirl-swatches

  1. Colourpop Sculpting Stix in Dove

I can’t stress to you how much I love this product. This year, I’ve been through not one, not two, but three tubes of this stuff. Because I’m so pale, contouring has always been kind of hard for me. But, when I saw these Colourpop products with decent reviews, I decided to give it a try. Dove is perfect for me because it’s so cool-toned and doesn’t go too orange against my skin. I was nervous at first about blending it in and moving my foundation underneath, but so far that hasn’t been an issue with any of the foundations I use when I use a flat topped kabuki brush to blend in the lines around my face. It also allows for a super precise contour because of how thin the pencil is. Tip, skip the highlighter shades though, they’re patchy and hard to blend.

  1. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Because I throw out mascaras so often, I usually opt for drugstore versions of mascara, and Maybelline has been my go-to brand for mascara for years now. When I saw popular vlogger Zoella rave about the Lash Sensational Mascara, I rushed out to the store to try it for myself, and I like, Zoella, loved it. To me, this fan brush gives my lashes an incredible amount of volume and length. I really enjoy the wet formula because I feel like it holds a curl better than dry mascaras. If you don’t like clumpy mascara this isn’t the formula for you. I personally enjoy the dramatic volume look and don’t mind clumpy lashes if that’s what it takes to achieve that look.

  1. Ardell Glamour Lashes in #105

Because I’m terrible when it comes to peer-pressure (seriously, I should’ve paid more attention in elementary school) I slowly began to dive into the world of false lashes this year. While I’m still learning, I’ve found that when I want a false lash, I want a really dramatic one. So far the brand Ardell has been great for me in terms of price and availability. I think for lashes I’d rather get them in store than order them online to be sure I’m going to like what comes my way. These glamour lashes are over the top and extravagant, but I love them for that reason.

  1. Colourpop Brow Pot in Blondie

For me, I’m still getting the hang of filling in my brows, but something that was driving me crazy with most brow pencils I tried was that they ran out so fast. It seemed like I used it for a week before it was gone, and I was spending way too much money replacing my brow products. So, when people began raving about the Anastasia Brow Pomade, I decided to try something like that for myself. Because I’m a full-time college student I decided to try the Colourpop version of a brow pomade because I loved their pencil. I was not disappointed. The product has lasted for so much longer than a pencil and I love the colour. It’s hard to find shades light enough for my hair. Once you get the hang of filling in with a pomade (angled eyeliner/brow brush, I start from the bottom line of my brow and feather the product up ward to create the effect of hair), this product is a great and cost-effective alternative to pencils.

  1. Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

When I first started wearing eyeliner a while ago, this was my favorite product. This year while cleaning out some old products, I decided to give it another whirl because of how much I used to love it. I totally fell in love with this product all over again. For me, when creating dramatic wings, I’ve always found gel eyeliner much easier to work with. I think personally I prefer to use an angled brush rather than a flimsy liquid liner tip. Out of all the gel eyeliners I’ve ever tried, this one is by far the best. It’s extremely pigmented, very dark, long-lasting and the pot doesn’t dry out like a lot of other formulas I’ve tried.

  1. Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Over the Moon

In October when Colourpop announced their opalescent highlighters, I was extremely excited, even if only one of the colours really appealed to me (obviously the pink). Highlighter had been one of my favorite things to lather on this year, and the chance to put on a dual chrome shine made me excited. I will say, in order to really get pigment this highlighter is best worn layered over a different one. In fact, on its own there’s not a ton of color pay-off. But, when worn over another highlight, my personal favorite is Ice Cold by Jeffree Star Cosmetics, the color-shifting formula looks amazing and is a great way to change up your highlight.

over-the-moon-swatch

  1. Colourpop Ultra Satin Liquid Lipsticks

So, to be fair, I really did love Colourpop this year. At first when I tried their lipsticks, I hated the Ultra Matte formula. It dried out my lips and gave me the dreaded “butthole mouth.” When they announced their Satin formula however, I decided to give them another chance because I loved so many other products so much. I was not disappointed. I love the satin formula. I love that it still dries down like a liquid lipstick but it remains so comfortable on the lips. I would say in terms of shine, this formula is actually almost matte. Some of my favorite shades from the range are Baracuda, The Rabbit, Calypso, and Magic Wand. To me, this range is far superior to their Ultra Matte lips.

ultra-satin-swatches

Thanks for reading about my 2016 drugstore favorites and look for my high end version coming soon!

Well $@#!, Swearing and Intelligence

“The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest is just fucking lunatic.” -Stephen Fry

Ever since my very first bus ride to middle school in 2006, I’ve fallen in love with cussing. I remember exactly where I was when I learned the largest plethora of curse words that I had ever heard up until that point. Some of the eighth-grade boys in the back of the bus wanted to show off to us lowly sixth-graders their impressive vocabulary, and started to spout out every swear word in the book. Right then I knew I was a goner. Just something about the way fuck rolled off their tongues made me sure it was the perfect word to describe most of my feelings. And thus, started my long and torrid affair with swear words.

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In The Aftermath

The saddest thing, I believe, about writing this particular piece is that the title of “In The Aftermath” could apply to any number of tragedies today. Orlando. Alton Sterling. Christina Grimme. Paris. Brussels. Dallas. All single-word sentences that contain tragedy inside those words, and sometimes it feels as though I’m living through the same few days or weeks of aftermath after every tragedy. The same tweets are sent and re-tweeted and liked. The news anchors sit at their same desks and spout the same lines over and over again. We obsess over these events in the same fashion, until the next one comes along.

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