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may picks

In theory, maybe this post would have been better to share when the Sephora VIB sale was actually happening but why not just wait until the whole thing is over to just stay on brand with not making much sense ever? I got two separate orders because I’m kind of trash and spending money that I don’t have is one of my hobbies. I needed some replenishments of everyday staples to keep me looking fresh and alive as well as new skincare additions to lure a man to fall in love with me. Just kidding. Ain’t nobody got time for that! 

I use the Sephora VIB sale for two things: repurchasing things I know I love and use on a daily–or at the very least a regular–basis because it's something I would end up buying anyways so I might as well get a discount on it, right? I also use it for the arguably more fun reason of trying out new products with slightly less guilt. This time I went into the sale with no list and just basically spent approximately six to seven hours on the Sephora website looking through their entire stock and reading reviews until I narrowed it down to four things that I prayed to god would work out for me so I didn't have to cry about wasting money.

*This post contains affiliate links*

Kiehl's is a tried and true favorite of many people that I know, but my extent of experience with the brand is using up a sample of their Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, which I would highly recommend if you get crusty eyes during the winter time like I do because it is thick and creamy and will banish all dry patches from your under eyes. I haven't had a clay mask in my collection for a while, so the Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque seemed like a logical addition to my collection to fill a gap that has been a huge void for a couple of years now. I like to keep these masks around for those weeks where I feel like I've been especially hard on my skin so I can deep cleanse and detox all of the shit that gathers on my face.

This is a really gentle clay mask. It's not overly thick and doesn't flake off in huge chunks. It's super smooth and comfortable to wear. I'm not particularly worried about the size of my pores, but I'm always worried about excess oils on my skin and dirt clogging my pores because that is a cocktail of garbage that makes me breakout, which is not something that I ever enjoy. It's also infused with oatmeal and aloe, so it's super calming and gentle and not incredibly aggressive and thick. I'm digging it so far, but I'll refrain from making any final statements until I've had time to properly test it!

This Sunday Riley oil has been on my radar for months. I had it on my Christmas list, mostly because it is full of my favorite things in the entire world: ANTIOXIDANTS! Y'all know I'm on the hunt for antioxidants in my skincare because ya bitch doesn't want any of the nasty New York City pollutants getting to her skin and wreaking havoc like it did last year when I moved. As you might know from my 12 Beauty Products On My Radar post, I had a lot of oils that I was looking at, but I was mostly sold on this one for three reasons: (1) antioxidants, (2) I've been curious about it for months, and (3) it came in a miniature size for half the price so I could test it out without dropping $70+ on it. 

This oil keeps your skin nourished and moisturized, which is super important to me. But, it also helps keep your skin looking radiant and luminous and also has some anti-aging properties which I'm starting to slowly work into my routine for some preventative methods!

This shit is bananas. I've seen this Farmacy product come up a lot on Instagram with people raving about it, especially for problematic acne-prone skin. While I'm not actively breaking out, I kind of just fear that my skin will just act out at any given moment so I like to be prepared with products to help nip that shit in the bud. This AHA Resurfacing Night Serum resurfaces, hydrates, and clarifies dull skin. So basically, it does everything it says it's going to do, and more. I'm not one to notice immediate changes in skincare. Honestly, sometimes I can use a whole serum and not be able to pinpoint what it actually did for my skin. However, the day after I used this, I noticed that my skin looked noticeably, like, glowy? I don't even know how to describe it. It's subtle, not like instant disco ball, but it just made my bare skin look so much more elevated. I don't want to be separated from this serum ever again. I didn't apply it one night this weekend because I was a bit drunk and tired when I got home and only could muster up the energy to remove my makeup, cleanse my face, and put on some moisturizer before I passed out. That night was the worst night ever for that reason. Just kidding, but really, I love this stuff probably with my whole heart tbh.

My mask collection has depleted pretty dramatically so I wanted to replenish the collection so I could have my selfcare nights and be able to do something other than just like, wash my face and call it a day. I figured since I seemed to be on a Farmacy kick, I might as well get something else from them! This stood out to me because of the Vitamin C. I haven't been actively trying to fade the remainder of my redness and minor scarring from years of picking my acne, but Vitamin C can help brighten your skin and lessen the appearance of those marks (overtime, obviously, it's not an overnight thing). This mask is fun because it changes colors and since I'm a child, this is fascinating to me apparently. I also really enjoyed the feeling and look this gave my face after. Much like the Honeymoon Glow, my skin's appearance had a subtle difference, but that's all I can really ask for after one use for the first time. I'm excited to keep using and testing it out to see how continued use treats my skin! 

I was afraid that I was going to run out of my original tub of this setting powder from Laura Mercier, so I wanted to make sure I had a backup on hand for that moment so I don't have to go a day without having this magic powder in my life. This Translucent Setting Powder Glow was in My August Favorites in 2018 as well as my overall 2018 Beauty Favorites from last year. I wear this powder every day. I feel empty if I ever choose not to use it in an attempt to conserve it on days I'm not leaving the house besides to run a quick errand in the neighborhood. I'm still 99% sure you're not really meant to use it all over your entire face but like, I really don't care. This powder is the reason I look like a human every day and I will continue to douse my entire face in it.

One time I saw Zoe Sugg talk about how fun and interesting this powder felt so I instantly felt the need to get it. The day I got it, I think I legitimately squealed and literally applied it at my desk and then proceeded to make my male coworker try it as well because it felt so cool. Y'all, this powder legit feels cold. It's a weird experience and I enjoy it thoroughly and will continue to obsess about it, especially with summer coming. I use this specifically under my eyes to set my concealer but would happily set my entire face with it if I wasn't so hopelessly devoted to my Laura Mercier setting powder that makes my skin look like it's glowing both from within and from...without? Outside? Y'all know what I mean.

GUYS. GUYS. GUYS. I DID IT. I FIND AN EYELINER TO REPLACE THE HOLY GRAIL KAT VON D TATTOO LINER SO I DON'T HAVE TO GIVE HER MY MONEY ANYMORE. Shoutout to my pal Bex for recommending this to me and saving me the pain and suffering of having to fork over money to Kat Von D (y'all can just Google her to figure out why this pained me, if you don't already know). Anyways, this is a super black brush tip liner that gives me the flexibility and freedom to create ultra-thin lines for less dramatic eyeliner and very precise tips but also works equally as well for more dramatic liner looks. This is waterproof, the perfect formulation where it's not too wet but also isn't dry and impossible to use either. I'm just so excited that there's a new queen in town. Will I probably make a whole post about this revelation? Most likely. Be prepared!

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Did you get anything from the Sephora sale?

When I was a kid, I felt like I never really declared my future career. I think I used to say I wanted to be a nail technician when I was really young, while also simultaneously being a judge as my mom served a short-lived term on the bench (some judicial lingo for you right there) when I was a tiny person with a naturally grown shaggy lob before it was cool. Maybe my mom could correct me on this, but I don't think I ran around saying I wanted to be an astronaut or anything like that. I think I knew my place in this world and wasn't going to kid myself from a young age. Just kidding, please don't squash a child's dreams.

All jokes aside, I think like, maybe I wanted to be a lawyer because there were a bunch of lawyers in my family. Not sure if I ever declared that I wanted to be a musician, but I feel like that dream died as soon as I opened my mouth to sing a tune and slammed my grubby little hands all over the piano we had in our living room during my childhood. I think in some senses, I was a somewhat practical kid. Except, you know, when it came to my crushes on celebrities and assuming that we were all somehow going to be married in some really complicated polyamorous Disney relationship (because that's where all of my childhood crushes stemmed from, I see you, Sprouse twins, Zac Efron, and the loves of my life, the Jonas Brothers).

Maybe I just wasn't a career-oriented kid. I mean, that's like, normal, right? I feel very blessed to have had a fairly normal childhood. I played with dolls through fifth grade (I distinctly remember playing with Bratz dolls in my room with my friend Marissa when a trailer for Hannah Montana came on the TV and both of us declared that it seemed stupid, which was really hilarious coming from two ten-year-old girls playing with fucking Bratz dolls and from someone whose nickname in high school was briefly Frannah Montana)(also sorry for #exposing us, Marissa)(did I misremember this moment? Plz confirm), I had a MySpace page in middle school for a moment but that was pretty short lived. I didn't really feel any pressure as a kid to like, spend endless hours on academics or prepare for my future. My parents let me have a pretty chill childhood full of like, sports and normal kid stuff, which I appreciate.

That was a really long explanation to get to a very, very simple point: I don't think I had any real aspirations growing up.

This really didn't worry me until my senior year of high school when I started to think more seriously about where I wanted to go to college. For some context, I was sixteen when I was visiting colleges and started submitting my college applications and seventeen when I chose my school (Cleveland State University, in case you were curious at all). I was also seventeen when I declared that I was going to go down the journalism track of my major. So, that's a lot of big life decisions I made when I wasn't even a legal adult.

I remember being somewhat worried my senior year, wondering what I was going to do. I felt a bit lost in that sense. I knew what I didn't want to do (which was just about everything to do with the medical field, math, and literature). I got good grades, but I wasn't interested in the slightest in, well, most things academics. I just liked learning, to a degree, and putting pressure on myself to get good grades so I could be "smart." I legitimately liked English and writing and reading, but I didn't want to be an English teacher and at that time, that seemed like the only option for me (remmeber, I was a teenager and shouldn't have been making life decisions).

I found out that my uncle used to write about music for a publication similar to Rolling Stone and immediately decided that was what I was going to do. After all, I liked music and I liked writing and that's all that needed to click in my head as a seventeen-year-old. Mind you, I'd never written about music before that point. I just spent a lot of money buying things on iTunes, concert tickets, and had pretty calloused fingers from trying to learn as many simple songs on the guitar as I could to feel "closer" to the music. Fast forward to college and my first proper journalism class and me deciding that traditional journalism really wasn't for me. I finished out my degree anyways and graduated earlier because I didn't really know what else I wanted to do and I objectively wasn't bad at it, I just wasn't excited about it and wasn't nearly as good or talented as the people in my class who cared. Which like, duh. If you don't care about something, how do you expect yourself to be good at it?

I digress, this led to a very confusing ten months post-grad. Or rather, post-moving back to Niagara Falls from Cleveland. I wanted to be in New York City, that much I knew, but finding a job was a fucking feat. I didn't know what I wanted to apply for. Did I want to work in social media? Would I be able to fake it 'til I made it and somehow manage to do something in editorial? Could I swing PR with no PR experience? What the fuck is influencer marketing? (That's a joke, but I didn't know just how many jobs were open in this field because my program was kind of outdated and I thought there were only a few companies calling the shots behind the scenes).

It's really no joke that I fell into influencer marketing by accident. I cold applied to my current job, like I had to literally hundreds before, and got the offer almost two months later. It was a job in an industry I was interested–and arguably knowledgeable–in and it got me to NYC. What more could I have asked for?

So now we're here, over a year later, and I'm stuck wondering...now what? Where do I go from here? What do I do next?

I'm a 23-year-old living in the city and I feel like I'm left out of some big, ambitious club. It's not that I'm not motivated. In fact, I'd like to think I'm a highly ambitious person. I just don't really know what I want to do next or what I'm striving for right now. I don't have a five-year plan. I don't even have a two-week plan at this point. I get asked in interviews where I see myself or what my dream position would be and...I don't think I have one. That seems like a scary thing to admit, but maybe it's not. I don't have a dream job.

At least not right now.

I work in an industry that is ever-changing. People work for themselves. New media comes around in the blink of an eye and we're all kind of forced to adjust and adapt or sink. I want to swim in this industry, but as a youngin' with not a lot of experience on paper (though I know I'm capable of more than my CV might showcase) I feel as though I'm just struggling.

I'm better about not playing the comparison game very often anymore. I've stopped almost entirely when it comes to appearance and material goods (though I still wish I had Emrata's boobs every time I see a picture of her and I'm not afraid to admit it!). I don't even want to call it jealousy, but every time I see someone around my age (usually a bit older, but occasionally my same age) doing something they call their dream job, I just want to know how they did it and how they knew.

Blogging isn't my dream job. Working in influencer marketing isn't my dream job. Working in social media isn't my dream job. They'd be incredible jobs, and something I'm absolutely interested in, but putting all of the pressure on one career to be my dream job seems...daunting, almost. Am I afraid of commitment? Failure? Do I have no personal goals?

As someone who spends a lot of time on the internet, both for work and personal use, I'm kind of bombarded with the messaging that being a #girlboss or #bossbabe is the highest thing to strive for. In the past, I've most certainly subscribed to this notion and definitely tossed it around like confetti. I think it inadvertently put a lot of pressure on myself to do something big and great with my life when in reality, I just think that's not in the cards. At least for now. I've always been a late bloomer (see: still waiting for my boobs, 10 years after puberty), so maybe my career ambitions will come with age.

For now, I'm pretty content with just existing the way I am. Could deal with a little less credit card debt, but hey, that's a personal problem I got myself into so, I'll cross that bridge when it comes...

Foundation is, debatably, a necessary evil in my life. In high school and honestly, most of college, I felt like I had to wear foundation. It was less of a conscious choice because I enjoyed it and more of a  purposeful effort to his my problematic and, to me, horrifying skin from everyone that came in contact with me. Because of this, I have high expectations for foundations, but also very rarely strayed out of my comfort zone because I didn't want to spend money on something I repurchased every six or so weeks because I went through it so quickly. Because of this, I had only worn about three different foundations until my junior year of college when I finally allowed myself to venture out of my comfort zone and try some higher end foundations.

Still to this day, I rely fairly heavily on foundation, but not because I feel like I have to hide my true self from the world. It's mostly because I love makeup and foundation is exactly what it is called: the foundation to my full makeup look. Since I finally branched out, I figured it was worth ranking all of the foundations I've tried to date (which doesn't seem like a lot to me but in actuality it probably is a fair amount), similar to what I did with my eyeliners (which, by the way, the top liner has been dethroned, which I will do a post about soon).

For some background on my preferences and situation, I just want to give some context to this rating.  My skin is pretty normal with occasional tiny dry patches if I'm using products to combat acne and, obviously, acne-prone. I have a little bit of redness from some faint scarring from a decade of picking at zits and a few small whiteheads from time to time.

Here's what I personally tend to look for in a foundation for my normal, acne-prone skin:
  • Buildable medium to full coverage
  • Dewy to matte finish, preferably demi-matte
  • All day wear (minor touch-ups after a long workday okay)
  • Formula that's easy to apply with a beauty sponge
Now that we have all of that covered, let's dive right into this post, shall we?

1. Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation

Price: ~ $11 for 1.0 oz
Coverage: Full
Finish: Natural
Shade I wear: Ivory, Classic Ivory, or Creamy Natural depending on the time of year
Lasting power: Solid 10+ hours, if properly set
Repurchased: Seriously, too many times to count. 25+ times, at least.
Comments: This might be a shocking number one, but also at the same time, it shouldn't be. This has been my ride-or-die foundation since senior year of high school and I'm not letting it go any time soon. I still wear this foundation with concealer because 3-in-1 is a weird concept, but I've worn this foundation to every single possible life event: high school graduation, college graduation, every single wedding I've been in over the course of the past two years, and just on the regular day to day moments. I wear foundation every day, so I go through it fast because I have a big head and like to have medium to full coverage for my problematic skin. It's nice to have my all time favorite foundation be affordable so I don't break the bank for the literal foundation (duh) of my makeup.
Featured in... "Recent Beauty Empties | Makeup, Skincare, and Haircare," "2018 Beauty Favorites," and "Holiday Makeup Look"

2. Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation

Price: $36 for 1.0 oz
Coverage: Full
Finish: Natural
Shade I wear: 1
Lasting power: Solid 10+ hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: I know, I know, for something that ranked second on my list, I, in theory, should have repurchased. But alas, since moving to the city, I've only repurchased my CoverGirl foundation. I was kindly sent two foundations from my pal Hannah who works at Sephora and got a few Urban Decay foundations from work that have allowed me to test out some new foundations in the meantime without having to spend the extra $25+ for something that isn't my CoverGirl foundation. Don't be fooled though, every time I pass by this foundation in Sephora, I think of our time spent together. This was one of the best shade matches I've been able to find, it wore beautifully during the warm weather, and just had the perfect natural finish that wasn't too matte or too dewy. It was incredibly comfortable to wear and paired really well with my concealers and setting powders. We will be reunited again some day soon when my finances are in order.
Featured In... "Makeup & Skincare Empties," "Five New Additions to My Beauty Collection," and "My April Favorites"

3. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

Price: $49 for 1.0 oz
Coverage: Full
Finish: Matte
Shade I wear: Mont Blanc
Lasting power: Solid 10+ hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: Similar to the Smashbox foundation, I just can't get myself to spend nearly $50 on a foundation at this stage in my life. I loved this when I had it, let me tell you! Another great shade match (my skin is tricky to match) and a really comfortable formula to wear. The one thing that I noticed and I've heard from other sources is that this foundation does tend to break apart around your nose though, even if you conceal. It's not insanely noticeable, but you'll probably notice it. I just try to make sure I apply a little extra concealer and set it extra well when I was wearing this foundation and that helped! Even still, it's in my top five for sure.
Featured In... "Things I'm Loving"

4. Too Faced Born This Way

Price: $39 for 1.0 oz
Coverage: Full
Finish: Radiant, demi-matte
Shade I wear: Pearl
Lasting power: Solid 10+ hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: Can I just copy and paste these comments from the Smashbox and NARS foundations? In reality, I like these three foundations basically the same so ranking them really doesn't mean anything. If I could repurchase all three tomorrow, I would, no doubt. I really loved the packaging on this one especially. It was super sturdy and easy to dispense the product from. I loved the finish this foundation gave me and really enjoyed my time using it.
Featured In... "Foundation First Impressions: Too Faced Born This Way & Tarte Amazonian Clay"

5. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Price: $46 for 0.25 oz
Coverage: Full
Finish: Natural, matte
Shade I wear: I have Vanilla right now, but I'd likely be Porcelain
Lasting power: Solid 10+ hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: So, this is the only stick foundation that I've ever used and I really enjoy it. I broke my rule of only applying foundation with a beauty sponge to use a dense buffing brush (the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, to be exact) to apply this foundation. This shade is like, mostly my shade but is also just like, half a shade too dark for me but it's chill. It's really comfortable to wear, which surprised me a lot. I thought it'd be super heavy and that I'd feel it, but the "feeling" goes away after like, two minutes of having it on your face. It's pretty easy to blend out and layers nicely under concealers. I also like that it's not a massive foundation stick either so it's easy to navigate around your face and make more precise strokes wherever you need to place it.
Featured In... "Three New Foundations In My Collection | Hourglass, Urban Decay, and Becca"

6. Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation

Price: $40 for 1.0 oz
Coverage: Full
Finish: Natural
Shade I wear: I have 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0
Lasting power: Solid 10+ hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: So this is a foundation I've heard mixed things about but overall have a pretty good experience with! Sometimes I notice if I haven't prepped my skin properly or just was in bad environmental conditions (humidity, namely) then this can break about around the mouth and chin area a bit, but it's not an every day or really even a regular occurrence for me personally. If you have textured skin or fine lines, this probably isn't the best foundation for you, as it will definitely accentuate those and settle into places you don't want it. However, compared to the Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation, which I only sampled, I prefer this one. I felt that the Naked Skin, ironically, was too heavy for my skin and felt like I was wearing a ton of makeup. To each their own though! I would recommend checking out the Sephora, Ulta, and Influenster reviews before purchasing if this foundation piques your interest at all!
Featured In... "Three New Foundations In My Collection | Hourglass, Urban Decay, and Becca"

7. Becca Ultimate Coverage 24 Hour Foundation

Price: $44 for 1.01 oz
Coverage: Full
Finish: Natural
Shade I wear: Porcelain
Lasting power: 8-10 hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: So, I neither hate nor love this foundation. There's really nothing wrong with it. The finish is beautiful, it's super comfortable to wear, and the coverage and lasting power is pretty decent. There's just something about the blending process that I don't love. It could be my particular shade or the way I'm applying it, I'm not quite sure, but it always takes me double the time to blending this foundation in than the rest that I use (aside from the lightest shade of the Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation). I also find that this occasionally breaks apart around my mouth, chin, and nose depending on the day, which is something I like to try to avoid. However, I'd definitely be interested in trying this out in a different shade and with the new packaging as well.
Featured In... "Three New Foundations In My Collection | Hourglass, Urban Decay, and Becca"

8. Origins Stay Tuned Balancing Foundation

Price: $27 for 1.0 oz
Coverage: Medium
Finish: Natural
Shade I wear: Fair
Lasting power: 7 to 8 hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: I wore this foundation in high school when I was on my Origins kick. I struggled with my skin since middle school and before I finally went to see a dermatologist, I think I was just so upset and had exhausted all of my drugstore options that my mom drove me to the local mall and treated me to way too many Origins products, likely because she felt bad for me because if I know my dramatic self, I was probably pathetic. We got a bunch of skincare products, but she also let me get a foundation, concealer, and maybe powder? Regardless, this foundation was great for that period of my life. It was great for sensitive hormonal teenage skin and wasn't too heavy. I would probably not repurchase today. The lasting power wasn't really that great because it was a more lightweight and low coverage dewy foundation. The shade range is also incredibly disappointing. I'm obviously towards the lighter end of the spectrum, but I prefer to wear and recommend lines that can cater to a wider audience and consumer base.
Featured In... "Origins Haul" - This post is not at all informative and is from literally ages ago, I just forgot how long this blog has existed. Please read if you'd like a good laugh!

9. Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Effect™ Makeup

Price: ~ $16 for 1.0 oz
Coverage: Medium to full
Finish: Natural
Shade I wear: Ivory or Vanilla
Lasting power: 8 hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: I'm pretty sure I bought this specifically to wear to prom because I was like "PhotoReady? I'm sure as hell going to be in photos!" because that's how my thought process worked back then. This was a pretty average foundation for me. Wasn't bad, wasn't my favorite. But if I'm getting anything from the drugstore, it's always going to be the CoverGirl 3-in-1.

10. Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation 

Price: ~ $6 for 1.0 oz
Coverage: Light to medium
Finish: Matte
Shade I wear: Soft Ivory
Lasting power: 4 to 5 hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: I loved the color match of this foundation, I loved how it applied, but it just did not wear well on me at all. It continuously broke apart on my skin no matter what I did to prep it or how I set it. I was super bummed out because I saw Tati (GlamLifeGuru) recommending it, but it just did not work out for my skin. I also hated that it had no pump and had an awkward scraper attached to the bottom of the lid.
Featured In... "Testing Four New Drugstore Makeup Products"

11. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation

Price: $39 for 1.7 oz
Coverage: Full as hell
Finish: Matte
Shade I wear: Fairly Light Beige
Lasting power: Forever, probably. Just kidding. 12+ hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No + didn't finish (gave away to family)
Comments: This foundation was, as the kids would say, not it, chief. It was so thick and impossible to blend and felt like I was wearing a silicone mask around. I know people who love and swear by this foundation so if you love full coverage af foundations and don't mind the feeling of wearing makeup, this is probably the #1 foundation for you.
Featured In... "Foundation First Impressions: Too Faced Born This Way & Tarte Amazonian Clay"

12. L'Oreal True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Foundation

Price: ~ $13
Coverage: Light
Finish: Natural, dewy
Shade I wear: Porcelain Ivory
Lasting power: 3 hours, if properly set
Repurchased: No
Comments: Look, maybe this foundation works for someone, but that someone was not me. I knew it was light coverage going into it, but that wasn't my issue with it. This foundation ceased to exist on my face after a few hours. I've never seen something disappear and break down so quickly before. I loved the finish this gave for, you know, the first hour of wear. It was, as it says, luminous and gave me a lovely healthy glow. It got to the point where I'd just use a half pump or pump of this with my other foundations to add a tiny bit of luminosity so it didn't go entirely to waste. Even if you like light coverage foundations, I'd probably recommend looking elsewhere to save yourself the trouble of having it disappear only a few hours into the day.
Featured In... "Testing Five New Products from Caudalie, CoverGirl, and L'Oreal" and "TGIF | Weekly Favorites" (don't be fooled, it was not a favorite)

And not that I ever post on YouTube anymore, but if you're interested, I have a video featuring five or so of these foundations. For all my verbal learners or listeners out there who might not have wanted to read all of this but still made it to the bottom, here's a video for you. Or if you just want more details about some, you've come to the right place.

I put a dent in my credit card shopping Sephora's VIB sale last week, so in theory, the last thing I should be thinking about right now is more beauty products. However, I'm an absolute monster and had a lot of things left on my list to check out at Sephora. Sadly, I would've maxed my credit card out if I had gotten anything on this list in addition to everything else I purchased, so I decided to play it safe and maybe not overload myself on expensive beauty products and dig myself into financial turmoil by just being a materialistic dumbass.

Just because my temporary buying ban was lifted to take advantage of a sale doesn't mean that I'm committing to a life of spending money like a madwoman again like I used to during that six month period after I graduated college and moved out of my college apartment. Oh, those were the good days of paying $525 for rent...

Regardless, there's a lot of products that I still have on my radar because they just sound so damn good. I figured instead of just privately keeping my eye on them, I'd share, just in case anyone was curious? I don't know, I just really wanted this list to be used somewhere, somehow. Maybe this will manifest all of these products into my life. Who knows!

Stranger things have happened.

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil

What it does: This oil is a blend of antioxidants and vitamin E to make your skin supple, and youthful. As the name says, it's meant to be nourishing and make your skin feel hydrated and look dewy.

Price: $53 for 1.6 oz/50 mL

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here. Fresh highlights three key ingredients. It contains Seaberry Oil (duh), which is an antioxidant rich in moisturizing omegas 3,6,7, and 9 and protects the skin from aging free radicals (I see you, pollution). It also contains Cranberry Seed Oil which maintains the elasticity and smoothness in your skin and Camellia Seed Oil which retains moisture and promotes smooth and supple skin.

Why I want it: Ya bitch loves herself some antioxidants. One of the main causes in a lot of my acne when I first moved to New York was the nasty pollutants in the air and antioxidants were my main way of tackling those zits that popped up on my cheeks (hormonal acne was another story). I love my skin to be nice and moisturized at all times because I find that it just makes me look less dull and dead when I'm not wearing makeup and just makes my makeup look ten times better when I am.

Why I'm passing for now: I just bought a different face oil that is somewhat similar that I wanted to try more than this one. I'm going to keep this on my Sephora list for when I start running low on the one that I'm going to start testing out and compare and contrast which suited me better.

What it does: The name really says it all. It's an oil that detoxes your skin overnight to flush out pollutants and toxins. This includes damage from pollution, sun exposure, stress, and even lack of sleep. It purifies your pores and nourishes your skin so it's hydrated when you wake up and supports natural cell renewal and collagen production so you look like your most bouncy and glowing self.

Price: $50 for 1 oz/30 mL

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here. Caudalie highlights Grape Seed Oil (typical for this brand) which regenerates and moisturizes, Organic Essential Oils of Carrot, Lavender, and White Sandalwood to detoxify, and Sweet Almond Oil, Rosemary Extract, and Neroli Essential Oil to fight fatigue.

Why I want it: Let's circle back to the fact that pollution really fucked with my skin when I first moved here. I also just love Caudalie and every product I've tried thus far from their various lines have been great and made a visible difference, aside from the original Vinosource moisturizer (it worked, it just didn't work any differently than other things I had tried and in my collection). I'm also just trying to get more into face oils in general after really loving the Lapis Oil from Herbivore that I'm tempted to purchase on a daily basis.

Why I'm passing for now: Again, I already ordered a face oil that is en route to my apartment as we speak so I'm holding off for now. There's a chance I might try this one before the Fresh one, but we'll see how my bank account is doing after these Jonas Brothers tickets go on sale.

What it does: It's a primer that also has anti-aging properties to create a soft-glow focus on your skin. It gives your complexion a bit of pick me up to make your skin look dewy and blur away fine lines with light diffusers. Plus, it adds luminosity to your skin for a flawless looking complexion.

Price: $55 for 1.35 oz/40 mL

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here. Charlotte Tilbury highlights BioNymph Peptide Complex which has anti-aging properties and supports natural collagen production and Hyaluronic Acid, Wild Pansy, Rosehip, and Camellia to seal in moisture and renew dry, dull skin.

Why I want it: I want to be a glowy bitch! It's really as simple as that. I want to look like I'm glowing within at all times and look like the absolute goddess that I am. I kid, I kid.

Why I'm passing for now: I'm doing an okay job at making myself look like a dewy, glowing goddess without this for the time being so for budget reasons, I'm just going to pass even if I know this would likely just take my literal Glow Up to the next level.

What it does: This is a mask that's meant to hydrate and brighten your skin overnight with antioxidants (whoop, there it is) berries and vitamin C. So basically, you should look into this if you're trying to hydrate your skin, target dullness, and even out your skin tone so your skin looks brighter and more radiant.

Price: $48 for 2 oz/59 mL

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here. Youth to the People highlights Maqui, an antioxidant-dense fruit that defends the skin against oxidative stress. It also contains Vitamin C (THD Ascorbate), a non-irritating and potent ingredient that firms and brightens to look of your skin and Squalene, which mimics your skin's natural oils to increase hydration without clogging your pores.

Why I want it: I'm a huge sucker for overnight masks, especially ones that keep your skin nourished and hydrated. I use them more often during the winter months, but your skin needs love and attention all year round when it comes to hydration!

Why I'm passing for now: I have another overnight mask from Fountain of Truth that I'm currently working through and an overnight moisturizing treatment from TULA that I need to finish first before I go ahead and get something else to do the same job, even if they all do have very different ingredients.

What it does: Clearly I'm on a face oil kick...this one is a lightweight oil that hydrates, soothes, revitalizes, and protects your skin. It has anti-inflammatory and nourishing properties due to its fatty acids, vitamins, and, you know it, antioxidants. It can also protect your skin against fine lines, dark spots, dryness, and aging effects of inflammation.

Price: $30 for 1 oz/30 mL

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here. Go To highlights Buriti Oil, a hydrating and moisturizing oil with anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness, roughness, and irritation. It also contains Almond Oil, which is gentle and softens and nourishes all skin types. Jojoba Oil, a supporter of elasticity and vitality in the skin, and Macadamia Oil, a protectant against dry, damaged, and mature skin, also make appearances in this oil.

Why I want it: I just clearly really want my skin to be as nourished as humanly possible. Isn't that what everyone wants, though? I've also just heard really great things about this brand and in terms of the rest of the normal skincare prices at Sephora, this one is pretty low to midrange when you compare it to the usual prices from, say, Fresh, Tatcha, Drunk Elephant, etc.

Why I'm passing for now: So many face oils, so little time. I do want to try more from this range though, so maybe when I have more bandwidth and money to try new products with. I'm definitely prioritizing skincare over makeup nowadays, so the more the merrier I guess?

What it does: Alright, yes, it's about time we have something that's not some sort of hydrating oil or face mask. This mask rebalances, detoxifies, and fine, hydrates the skin to keep you look healthy, alive, and youthful. So if you want your skin to look radiant and clarified, here you go!

Price: $38 for 1.7 oz/50 mL

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here. Algenist highlights Patented Alguronic Acid which has been clinically demonstrated to provide anti-aging and anti-wrinkle benefits. It also contains Algae Prebiotic to help re-establish the balance of your skin's natural ecosystem (?) and Bentonite Clay to draw out toxins and impurities to refine your pores and deep clean your skin.

Why I want it: I haven't had a good clay mask in my life in, well, a very long time I guess. Even if my skin isn't nearly as terrible as it used to be when these masks were probably more necessary, I like having them on hand for the end of a long week or when I know I've been unintentionally hard on my skin.

Why I'm passing for now: I genuinely almost ordered this along with another clay mask I'm trying out, but I decided to pass and get this when the other one runs out so I'm not overwhelming my collection while draining my bank account.

What it does: In theory, I should skip this section, but I'm going to humor myself and leave it in. This is a four-step eyeshadow quad that won't crease on you for all-day wear with pigmented shades that are going to keep your eye makeup looking fresh.

Price: $53 for 0.18 oz

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here

Why I want it: Because Charlotte has done so many freaking gorgeous looks on her YouTube channel with this and it supposedly suits everybody.

Why I'm passing for now: I need another neutral eyeshadow in my life like I need a bullet in my head. The temptation is beyond strong, but I'm resisting until I can prove to myself that I deserve another four neutral shadows in my life.

What it does: This product keeps your hair from being a disgusting, oily mess. Kidding. That's not in their words. In reality, it's a two-in-one style extender that cleanses and adds volume to your hair. It absorbs oil and sweat to dry cleanse your hair.

Price: $28 for 2 oz/56 g

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here.

Why I want it: I cannot live my normal day to day life without dry shampoo. It's just impossible. I'm especially interested in loose powders because I find that it's a lot more effective for when I sleep with dry shampoo in my hair overnight, which is my pro-tip to extend your style between washes. Sleep in your dry shampoo, top-off, and brush through the next morning to ensure the oil stays far away on day three or four (or longer, I don't judge).

Why I'm passing for now: I have two other loose dry shampoos to go through so I figured I'd finish those before I overwhelm my collection with new ones.

What it does: This detox helps remove the build-up of products and pollution that gather on your scalp to deliver nutrients to the hair follicles. It also stimulates and balances the scalp so it's nice and moisturized and nourished.

Price: $42 for 3.4 oz/100 mL

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here. Act + Acre highlights Moringa Oil to deliver important minerals, amino acids, and vitamins to your hair follicles to strengthen the hair shaft, Baobab Oil (anyone else thinking of The Little Prince?) to supply necessary nutrients to your hair follicles to make your hair strands less brittle, Amaranth Oil to leave your hair looking naturally shiny and contains antioxidants to combat free-radical damage, and Basil Leaf to help reduce excessive dryness of the scalp and remove impurities and dead cells with its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Why I want it: I noticed the other week just how back my product build-up was by day three of my style. Some days are worse than others, but I think I need a good detox for those times that shampoo just might not be cutting it.

Why I'm passing for now: Purely for budget reasons. When I have a little bit of spare cash, I think this is next on my list.

What it does: I mean, pretty self-explanatory, but this is an ultra-fine setting powder that is supposed to blur imperfections and visibly reduce shine. It supposedly doesn't get cakey or sit in your fine lines.

Price: $45 for 0.28 oz

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here

Why I want it: I've just heard too many good things about it to continue to push it off to the side, even though this post is all about products I've been pushing off to the side but am keeping my eye on.

Why I'm passing for now: I just have other powders I need to be using and really enjoy using for the time being.

What it does: This is a velvety primer that smoothes and makes your makeup last longer, but also keeps the makeup out of your skin so it doesn't clog your pores and cause breakouts. It diminishes the look of pores, fine line, and imperfections so your skin is the perfect canvas for your makeup. It adds a protective layer as a barrier between your skin and makeup and visibly reduces the appearance of wrinkles and dullness.

Price: $52 for 0.7 oz/20 g and $22 for 0.24 oz/7 g

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here. Tatcha highlights thin layers of silk, which consists of Fibroin, Sericin, and Silk Powder, to keep your skin smooth and glowing all day. It also contains Anti-pollution Natural Actives to fight environmental stressors and support the skin's barrier function and Hadasei-3 to reveal soft, youthful-looking skin.

Why I want it: I dunno, I've just heard enough good things about it that I feel compelled to hop on the Tatcha bandwagon, even if I cannot afford the Tatcha bandwagon.

Why I'm passing for now: I'm still not 100% sure where I stand with primers, which is ironic coming from somebody who is very obsessed with makeup and all of its various steps.

What it does: This is a makeup removes cleanser that basically melts all traces of your makeup from your skin and leaves it feeling smooth and hydrated.

Price: $34 for 3.2 oz/90 mL and $22 for 1.7 oz/50 mL

Ingredients: Read the full list of ingredients here. Farmacy highlights Echinacea GreenEnvy™ to promote an evenly-toned complexion, Sunflower Oil and Ginger Root Oil to gently cleanse and nourish your skin so it's glowy, Extract of the Moringa Tree to purify and refresh your skin and remove impurities caused by pollution, and Papaya Extract to naturally exfoliate and renew the look of your skin.

Why I want it: Removing my makeup is a huge feat, especially considering the amount I layer on my face on the day to day basis. I've heard great things about this and am starting to get more into cleansing balms and oils over traditional makeup removing techniques.

Why I'm passing for now: I have two different makeup removing cleansers right now and two different liquid makeup removers that I need to work through first before I add a fifth one into my collection.

What beauty products are on your radar right now?

It's pretty typical of me to hold onto things for years and years in hope of me figuring out the best way to wear them. I tend to hoard clothes for those "just in case" moments that are far and few between in the age of, well, me basically wearing a variation of the same five neutral outfits because me being caught dead in color is a true rarity, one that I've brought to life in today's post.

I don't really celebrate Easter, but this was my best attempt at putting together an Easter ensemble. I feel like I was doing great with the skirt and the sweater, but then I feared that it was too cold to go without some kind of outerwear so I was presented only two choices: this leather jacket or my absolutely trashed distressed and oversized denim jacket that I nicked from my mom who nicked it from my dad god knows how long ago. In fear of being cold (edit: it probably wasn't that cold in the sun, but I needed it for the shady parts of the walk), I took my chances with the leather jacket and hoped the juxtaposition of the various shades of pink and ruffles with the more masculine and edgy leather jacket would work. 

If I'm being honest, I definitely think it worked. It's been a while since I have put an outfit together that actually made me feel excited about getting dressed. I've been struggling with my style a bit lately, probably due to the fact that I'm trying not to shop as much since I've moved to the city. This is difficult considering my two jobs in Cleveland involved me working at boutiques, one of them being a luxury consignment shop where I had first dibs on some really dope and discounted second-hand designer pieces that kept my wardrobe fresh without breaking the bank or putting a bigger dent into my environmental footprint.

Adjusting to life after working in retail has been rough for my fashion sense, especially when you add in the whole like, budget thing where I have to keep my spending to a minimum to ensure I can, you know, pay for rent and groceries so I have a roof over my head and food to nourish myself with. Because, contrary to what Carrie Bradshaw, I won't buy Vogue instead of dinner because it does not feed me more than a big ole bowl of pasta will. Sorry not sorry!

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The funny thing about this outfit is that I almost got rid of two of the staple pieces here. The leather jacket was in my "to donate or sell" pile for almost a year while I tried to figure out what to do with it. I actually should probably make sure that it's not currently on my Poshmark page because it's definitely not going anywhere anymore. I bought it my senior year of college right before my 21st birthday so that I had something I could wear out to the bars because I owned absolutely nothing appropriate to go out on the town because I was a dweeb who liked tulle skirts and otherwise "man repeller" esque clothing pieces that screamed "fashion bitch" more than "HEY BOYS LOOK AT ME."

I hated this jacket. I hated the tight feeling and I just wasn't into it. I think I might have worn it out once or twice to the bars and then maybe once or twice again just to wear in photos for the blog. After that, I just lugged it around from move to move, wondering if I was ever going to wear it again.

I took it out on a whim a few weeks ago because one of my outfits required a jacket and nothing else in my closet suited. And thus began my process of re-falling in love, or rather, falling in love for the first time with this jacket I grabbed in a stressful whirlwind trip to Zara after a long day of work right before my roommate's and I had plans to go out that night (not sure if we actually did, but at least I had the jacket just in case).

The sweater was something I ended up getting for free at the consignment store because it had the tiniest little microscopic stain on it which made it unsellable and the owner of it didn't want it back. Womp womp for her, big win for me. Except I don't wear color, especially hot pink, and I tend to avoid things that are tight and form-fitting as I like my body to be a mystery. Just kidding. I just don't like the feeling of tight things, even if they technically fit, but that's another story for another time. 

I find that the best way to pull yourself out of your style rut, even if just for a day, is to just throw some stuff together and hope for the best. My favorite outfits tend to be the ones I send to my mom and ask her if they look stupid. I usually don't wait for her response because as soon as I hit send I decide that it's fun and if I'm questioning it, it's just because it's out of my comfort zone. Anything goes in New York, anyways, so really, who cares at the end of the day?

If I learned anything about myself just from this outfit, it's this: (1) sometimes holding onto things pays off, but girl, clean out your fucking closet; (2) you can wear color when it's color-blocked and pair with all neutral accessories so you don't pass out from stepping so far away from your neutrals; (3) wear that leather jacket more, you look like a bad-ass.

I think I need to start thinking more out of the box when it comes to everything in my closet. In reality, I have more than enough pieces, footwear, and accessories to spice things up instead of falling into my daily trap of neutrals and Levi's and the same white t-shirt. I already wear the same makeup look every day (you'll have to pry my winged eyeliner out of my cold, dead hands ), I might as well try to make something about myself look different on a day to day basis so I'm not looking like a clone of myself continuously. 

Sweater: Equipment (similar, neutrals in stock)
Skirt: Zara (similar, printed)
Jacket: Zara (similar)
Sneakers: Steve Madden via Saks Off Fifth (similar)
Purse: Rebecca Minkoff (exact)
Sunglasses: Miu Miu via Saks Off Fifth (updated version)

As I do with most things in my life (namely men), I got bored of my usual monthly favorites posts. Or rather, just the title "April Favorites" because really, who is that going to entice? That's about as bland as my food before I learned what spices were as an uncultured swine who couldn't see beyond dousing everything in garlic. But alas, I do enjoy sharing things from the previous month that, as this title would seem to show, I loved. I just wanted to jazz up the title and will continue to test them out as I see fit just to keep my brain active, I guess, but as per usual, these are just some things from April that I really enjoyed. 

Some favorites, one might refer to them as ;)

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Please insert Louis Tomlinson and Bebe Rexha's "Back to You" right here because I keep on coming back to this bronzer-slash-blush duo. I have this in two shades, Light Warm, which is more coral, and Light Cool, which is more pink. The difference is tiny, but I still like to coordinate it with the makeup look I'm wearing because, I dunno, coordination means a lot to little ole me. It's the perfect blend of bronzer and blush and really just warms up your face when you really need it, like I do every single day of the year besides like, three weeks during the summer when the sun somehow penetrates my makeup and SPF layers.

Sometimes I use this on its own as blush for those makeup days when I just want to keep it natural looking, but I've also been known to use it to blend my blush with my contour in lieu of using a normal bronzer if I'm especially devoid of color that day and really need a little extra push in that department. The price tag is a little significant on these though, so if you need an alternative, just use the Wet N Wild Icon Bronzer and call it day with a little bit of extra blush for good measure. If you're feeling spendy though, these are fun to have in your collection.

These. Things. Do. Not. BUDGE. Once these liquid lipsticks are on your lips, you're going to have to apply pressure and scrub. These apply like a smooth cream (with the light shades, there's minor tugging while you try to make it fully opaque) with a matte finish and dry down to an almost matte texture. They're the tiniest bit tacky but not enough to make them uncomfortable to wear. You forget about it after about an hour anyway and by then you're just so stoked that they haven't worn off at all that you can forgive any of the flaws in its texture.

The pointed tip on the doe-foot application makes it easy to adjust to the curve of your cupid's bow and follow the outline of your lips to ensure that you don't get any outside of the lines and all over your upper lip and chin. The smell is faintly sweet but not overwhelmingly strong. It takes a bit longer to dry than other liquid lipsticks, but I recommend just keeping your lips slightly parted and fanning your face gently for about fifteen seconds to stop any lipstick transfer between your upper and lower lips that might disrupt the overall smoothness of the finish.

There was a hot second where I was using my Lorac eyeshadow primer and before that, being lazy and just using my concealer because once upon a time, I used to do my face makeup before my eye makeup. I've since switched doing that and crawled right back to my Painterly Paintpot from MAC, the holy grail of eyeshadow primers for many. The pot packaging is kind of annoying but it's just so good that I don't mind. In reality, I use a synthetic eyeshadow brush to grab the product and place it on my lids and then use my ring fingers to blend it all out. It's a great base for shadows and truly, they do not budge. I was a bad girl and slept with my makeup on and this not only kept my shadow and liner on so well that I, uh, may not have taken it off the next morning and just touched up my wing and crease just the slightest. I'VE #EXPOSED MYSELF BUT WHATEVER! It's a testament to the staying power!

This book had me in tears. TEARS I TELL YOU! This was kind of a slow start for me, but it's also regular fiction which isn't usually my first choice but I'm slowly trying to read more of so I don't stay in my YA and books of essays by celebrities bubble. My pal Naureen copped me an ARC of this and I think I finished it across maybe five or six sittings over the course of a couple of weeks. It tells a back and forth story of college sweethearts who fell apart and try to fall back together again while reliving their previous traumas to work things out. I don't know how to describe books without spoiling them, so maybe the GoodReads section would be a better place to head if you're on the fence about picking it up. The main character, Annika, is socially anxious and sometimes seems to never say the right thing, which makes her an interesting character to follow as she goes through the normal strokes of life with more difficulty than Jonathan, her former love who kind of had it all for a while (emphasis on the kind of). I dunno guys, I just really enjoyed this book and think I'm falling back into regular fiction and reading again. All good things!

This book is getting kind of mixed reviews but I'm going to try to put my complicated feelings about it into words. I really enjoyed this book. The plot was addicting, even if it took me about fifty or sixty pages to really get into it. I shouldn't admit this, but there was a day I was reading it at work a little past my lunch break because I was so hooked that I genuinely couldn't stop reading until I had to forcibly remove the book from my hands. It was definitely angsty, moody, and a little more artsy than I'm used to reading. I also had to get past the fact that the dialogue was written without quotation marks which really irked me, hence the slow start for me. In the end, it was easy to get past as the unfolding of the plot and the drama was enough for my "I hate drama wink wink" self. 

However, the characters are like, awful people. I compared this to me watching Gossip Girl for the first and last time. The difference is I actually liked this book and also the plots are obviously not similar at all. In both Conversations With Friends and Gossip Girl, everyone is just kind of awful? And very flawed? I couldn't get past this in Gossip Girl, but watching–or rather reading–everything unfolding in the book was just enough drama and people doing shitty things to each other that I was HOOKED. So, beware, you might not love the characters or think they're the pinnacle of greatness in the world, but Sally Rooney is a damn good writer and I'm stoked to read her other book!