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A(nother) Bunch of ColourPop Stuff

I think this is my last ColourPop update for now. I don’t really know what possessed me to try the blush and highlighters from the range… but here we are. I also picked up a stray eyeshadow and lipstick, which I figured I could just fit on over here instead of making a whole other separate post. I guess I’ll start with the Lippie Stix and the Super Shock Shadow, since they’re both items that I’ve previously tried in a different shade.

Lippie Stix in Tootsi

ColourPop - Tootsi - Swatches

Tootsi is a “cool-toned grey beige (“greige”) in a matte finish” and is pretty similar to one of the the Ultra Matte Lips I bought called Trap. I don’t really know what to say about this—I like the matte lipsticks by ColourPop, though I maintain that they are not “true” mattes. In any case, I’ve been having fun with this shade, true matte or no.

Super Shock Shadow in Central Perk

ColourPop - Central Perk - Swatches

I believe Central Perk was part of their fall collection. It’s a “dirty maroon in a matte finish,” though I think I detect a bit of shimmer in the pot that disappears upon application. I love this shade for a simple, all over the lid look, which is my favorite way to wear eyeshadows with a tinge of red in them.

Melt Cosmetics - Laced
This is Central Perk applied very sheerly all over the lid. It tends to blend away into this sheer wash of color, but with a little bit of elbow grease, it is possible to reach a good, opaque maroon. It’s not my favorite formula, but I do quite like the shade.


ColourPop - Monster, Butterfly Beach, Aphrodisiac - Swatches
Swatched, top to bottom: matte blush in Aphrodisiac, highlighters in Butterfly Beach and Monster

I bought the blush in Aphrodisiac, a soft beige brown with a matte finish. It joins the ranks of my favorite cheek colors: a there but not there type of blush. The product came to me somewhat smooshed: the pan was dislodged from the base, stuck to the cover, which is something that was easily fixed in function, if not aesthetically. Basically, it’s ugly now but usable.

The two highlighters I got were Butterfly Beach (soft peach with highlights of gold and silver) and Monster (light pink with highly opalescent duo chrome finish). They’re alright… but Butterfly Beach emphasizes my pores, and it blends away into oblivion if you’re not careful. They’re pretty nice used on the eyes, too.

Wearing Aphrodisiac and Butterfly Beach

FOTD-Neutrals and Navy-Face3
I mean. It’s either go heavy-handed or deal with overblending, right? I don’t know. I like them, but I also am kind of upset that it’s not as dramatic on my medium skin tone. Right now, I’m ambivalent about Butterfly Beach especially. I do love Aphrodisiac, though. Beautiful natural blush that’s so very easy to use. Wear time is average, by which I mean, I don’t notice significant fading throughout the day. By which I mean after six hours or so.

Wearing Aphrodisiac and Monster

ColourPop Monster
Monster is… well, kind of just that. It’s a monster of a highlighter, with a lovely purple-pink sheen that all too quickly gets lost in a sea of white. In the pan, it’s unassuming, but when the light catches it right, you kind of feel a little electric. This picture is not representative of what it might look like—especially in low light—but I tried very hard (and failed) to capture just what it can do. I went into my bathroom just now, with the lights off and just a stream of afternoon light filtering through a narrow window, and it looked so beautiful and pink. I mean, I know that you might think I’m just talking out of my ass, but until today, until that moment, I wasn’t really sold on Monster. And now, I suppose I’m a little in love with it.

As of right now, I’m trying my best to stay away from ColourPop, if I’m honest. I tend to go overboard with purchasing, given their really attractive price point, and general okay quality of products. It’s a great brand to explore if you’re somewhat new to makeup and can’t really decide just yet what type of colors and tones suit you. It’s a great brand to look to for gifts, too.

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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Give Me Lip: A Melt Cosmetics Lipstick Review

I’d been looking at Melt Cosmetics for a while now, especially after they released their eyeshadow stacks, a very celebrated product that I felt like I currently had no room for, considering my already overgrown makeup collection. Melt Cosmetics’ lipsticks, however, were always some of the favored mattes by true blue makeup fans.

MeltCosmeticsLipsticks - Boxes

Around Black Friday, Melt Cosmetics had a 30% off sale, and I snagged a code from someone I followed on Tumblr, who was kind enough to share tips re: application and who also let me know which shades he favored. Luckily, I had picked 3 of his 4 favorites!

MeltCosmeticsLipsticks - Swatches - Laced, Catsuit, Space Cake
Swatched, L-R: Laced, Catsuit, Space Cake


MeltCosmeticsLipsticks - Laced

Laced is part of Melt Cosmetics’ Nood Collection, and is a greige-y type of color. It’s often compared to Lime Crime’s Cashmere, which I love the look of but refuse to buy. After looking at swatches, I don’t think they’re all that similar, but I do think Laced is a beautiful color regardless.

Melt Cosmetics - Laced
Unfortunately, my tube of Laced arrived damaged. Melt Cosmetics has a decent return policy, but seeing as I live overseas, I don’t want to go through all the trouble of sending the defective product back and waiting for it to arrive. I don’t want to spend for that, either, so I guess I’ll be using a lip brush from now on.

Although this is a super matte lipstick, it was quite painless to apply with a lip brush, so that’s a pro, for me. I use a flat lip brush, for reference.


MeltCosmeticsLipsticks - Catsuit
Catsuit is also from their Nood Collection, the darkest of the four lip shades. This is a “smooth dark chocolate” shade and that’s honestly a pretty perfect description. Pigmentation is impeccable, application a little hard just because it’s so pigmented and it’s hard to get clean lines with a lipstick bullet and no lip liner.

Sorry for phone pics! Anyway, it’s such a great statement lip, I’m screaming. I love the tone and richness of it.

Space Cake

MeltCosmeticsLipsticks - Space Cake

Space Cake is a grey, but it pulls really, really blue on me. So, it’s a blue-grey, I suppose. I love it so much. Is there a rule that says it’s not allowed for a lady in her late-ish 20s to love a grey lip? No? Good.

Melt Cosmetics Space Cake
To be honest, I looked into Melt Cosmetics because of Space Cake. I think I’m in a good place right now to try and see if I can truly rock the grey lip. Anyway, this shade is so good. I find it to be a bit smoother in application than the other two, kind of creamier but it also feels thicker and heavier.

MeltCosmeticsLipsticks - 1

Application may feel a bit hard at first since they tug a bit. Apparently, they’re supposed to be “warmed up,” but it’s really no trouble to apply at all.

Melt Cosmetics is cruelty-free. All of the shades I’ve purchased are vegan. I don’t consciously look for vegan cosmetics, but these ones are proof that you can make quality cosmetics without animal testing or animal-derived ingredients. Not all of Melt Cosmetics’ products are vegan, so check before you purchase.

They also have a pretty heavy vanilla-based frosting-y scent to them, which I, a vanilla-scent-hater, surprisingly do not mind all that much.

Although I feel like I’ve chosen pretty unique colors—at least, ones that I don’t have already—there are tons of dupes that are more available to the regular consumer, especially if you’re not really keen on going through the hassle of ordering online. Dupe That, for example, has an extensive list. I do love the Melt Cosmetics line, though—save for the broken bullet—so just know that if you’re looking for a new brand to support and love, I’m a fan.

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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Sulfate-Free Shampoo

I know it’s not the most exciting topic, but I think I’ve spoken about scalp problems before, and to be honest, the only thing that really helped me get rid of them were sulfate-free shampoos. I used to not really pay much attention to hair products, as long as I liked how they smelled, but when I started getting really itchy build-up with worrisome patches of dry, flaky skin, I started to take notice.

My first step was to ditch conditioner, just to eliminate the number of products (and therefore, lessen the build-up) I used in my hair. My hair suffered a little, but my main concern was really to get rid of my scalp issues. My next step was to go more natural and pay attention to ingredients. I chose to eliminate SLS or sodium lauryl sulfate, as it’s a common ingredient that has been known to cause some problems for a lot of people.

As it turns out, seeking out sulfate-free shampoos was the right step for me. Although I still have occasional flakiness, my scalp issues have mostly gone. The flakiness is probably due to me not rinsing properly, hehe. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been using pretty much exclusively for my hair.


Human Nature Natural Shampoo (Moisturizing)

This has a fun citrus scent that instantly makes me feel refreshed. I used to use this when I went to try swimming as exercise a few months ago. It’s a fairly good shampoo that leaves my locks feeling squeaky clean. It’s also locally-made and is 100% natural.

Kracie Himawari Dear Beauté Oil in Shampoo* and Oil in Conditioner*

I received this quite a while ago, but never really talked about it since I don’t really talk much about hair care here. Anyway, it’s probably one of my favorite finds in 2015, especially because of my scalp problems (which began before September 2014 and lasted until around March or April 2015). The shampoo in particular is spectacular; I find that I don’t even really need to use the conditioner because the moisture that the shampoo provides is enough for my hair. And my hair is thick, so it takes a lot for it to feel smooth and silky.

In any case, these are winners for me. 10/10 would buy again! I’m actually kind of terrified of not being able to repurchase these, for one reason or another.

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples. Kracie is available at Beauty Bar branches in the Philippines, or online here.

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Updated Skin Care Routine, December 2015

Okay, I’m about to look like a crazy, and honestly, you don’t need this much shit in your life, probably. I started getting into skin care when I started getting into makeup. My skin wasn’t doing worse necessarily, but I was made more acutely aware of what my skin type was and what it needed. I’ve mainly had pretty good skin for most of my life. I had like a disgusting rash on my cheek in grade 5, but other than that, no acne or very much breakouts except for hormonal ones like when I get my period.

My skin got a little more high maintenance as I grew older, though. I honestly used to just let the water run down my face in the shower (lol), didn’t even use soap or any kind of moisturizer. But I think that wearing makeup and probably the stress of like adult life or whatever took a toll. I can’t really say for sure. All I know is that I want to take care of my skin, and here’s what I’ve been doing so far. I think it’s been working pretty okay?


SkinCareUpdate - Cleanse Tone


To be honest, I’m not really fussy with cleansers and can mostly use whatever’s on hand. I do have favorites (Sibu Seabuckthorn Cleanser, One Love Organics Easy Does It, to name a few) but if they’re not readily available or on hand, I will use whatever’s there. Currently, I use the Human Nature Nourishing Facial Wash in the morning and Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser* at night. If my face is breaking out in too many spots, I filch a bit of my sister’s derma-prescribed anti-acne gel cleanser, but I can’t use it too much because it’s quite drying.


I currently use the Antipodes Ananda Antioxidant-Rich Gentle Toner* and sometimes Glossier Soothing Skin Mist (more for prepping than toning). I like both a lot, though my favorites are usually toners with tea tree extract in it such as LUSH Tea Tree Toner and The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner.

SkinCareUpdate - Moisturize


This is where I like to play, to be honest. I have a ton of moisturizers, though my favorites to use are facial oils. Currently, I use a rotation of Antipodes Divine Face Oil*, Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream* and Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil for the day. At night, I will use any of the oils I just mentioned oils.

If I feel in need of extra moisture, One Love Organics Skin Savior Multi-tasking Wonder Balm, which is a coconut oil-based moisturizer that feels (and smells!) amazing. I leave it on at night for parched skin. For any weirdly/extra dry patches or spots, which I get around my mouth area, I’ll dab a bit of Glossier Balm Dotcom on it.

SkinCareUpdate - Eye Cream

Eye Cream

I currently use One Love Organics x Elizabeth Dehn Vitamin E Eye Balm, though I’ve purchased the Indie Lee Calendula Eye Balm recently, and have been rotating both. I apply only around my orbital bone and it really helps with the fine lines, especially since I have dry skin.

SkinCareUpdate - Makeup Remover Sunscreen

Makeup Remover

I’m not too fussy about this, as long as it removes makeup. I don’t like creams or oils that you have to wipe off, but other than that, I’m pretty un-fussy. I also like using a bi-phase remover like this one by Laneige.


Also not too fussy about this, as long as it doesn’t make me look shiny midday. These are two of the ones I like using: Sunkiller Perfect Water Essence* (yes, that is truly what it’s called) and Bioré Aqua Rich Whitening Essence*, the latter of which I keep in my to-go bag.


SkinCareUpdate - Scrub Masks


I use the One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub + Masque which uses pineapple enzymes to exfoliate dead skin instead of microbeads or ground-up apricot shells. It’s pretty amazing. Whenever I remember (which is not very often), I also try to use a Clarisonic with whatever cleanser I have on-hand.


I primarily use the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque, which is amazing and very refreshing to use. I sometimes (not often) use the Glory Boon Facial in a Jar (French Pink Clay), but it tends to be a messy affair, so I rarely do it.

I forgot to take a photo, but when I feel the need to do a moisture mask, I use the Too Cool For School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack* or sheet masks. My favorites are by Dermal and Beauty Buffet.


SkinCareUpdate - Blemish Control


For blemishes, I used to use a derma-prescribed cream (again for my sister), tea tree oil from The Body Shop, MyChoice Anti Acne Whitening Facial Cream* but none of them really worked that well for especially big blemishes. I ordered the Indie Lee Blemish Lotion recently though, and honestly, I haven’t had anything that’s worked as well as that one.

When I’m out and can’t sport a face of drying acne mixture, I use some acne patches, too. I got a bunch from a BNT News quite a while back, which are my favorite— Leaders AC-Free Spot Patch—but the Nexcare ones you can buy from Mercury Drug are good, too. The film’s just thicker and so more obvious than my discreet ones from Leaders. I wish I could grab a pack or five here, alas. Only in Korea. Or eBay.

SkinCareUpdate - Extras


A category for serums and such. I know serums are kind of a weird, somewhat strange category, but I really like the ones I have. My favorites are the Antipodes Worship Superfruit Antioxidant Serum* which I apply before my moisturizers if my skin is feeling particularly bad, One Love Organics Morning Glory Brightening Serum, and the Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum.


I used to use retinol a lot more often than I do now. It might have been too harsh on my skin (so I’ve stopped), but when it wasn’t fucking my face up, it gave me really good results. I kind of really want to go back on retinol, but I think I might switch it up and every other other day (two days in between applications) as opposed to every other day. Anyway, I use the La Roche Posay Redermic R and the La Roche Posay Redermic R for Eyes.

SkinCareUpdate - All

And that’s it for my excessive skin care routine. Honestly, when I feel too lazy, I’m just “Remove Makeup-Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize,” but usually when I’m in the middle of it, I end up doing the whole shebang because I feel like I’ve already started it—might as well follow through!

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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FOTD: Vela

I wore this look to a book launch and an exhibit, and I thought it was a good time to play around with makeup, aka Not an Office Look. I based it on this because I really wanted to wear a dark lip. Funnily enough, it led to a fun eye look, too. It’s not as ~fashion~ as the picture I based it off, but I think it’s quite nice!


I haven’t been wearing a lot of blush lately. For this look, I just used a general combination of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant Light, Dim Light, Incandescent Light and Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium for contour.


For the eye look, I mainly ran Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear through my crease, and sandwiched Oslo Cosmetics Vela patted in the center of my lid with Rouge Bunny Rouge Bejewelled Skylark. I ran a bit of Cocoa Bear on the lower lash line, too, and lined my upper lash line with a liquid liner.


My (shoddily reapplied) lip color is ColourPop Matte Lippie Stix in Paramour.


Products used:

— Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint (Medium)
— Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur (Medium)
— Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette
— K-Palette 24H Real Lasting Eyebrow Pencil (103)*
— Urban Decay Primer Potion
— Rouge Bunny Rouge Long-Lasting Eye Shadow (Bejewelled Skylark)
— Makeup Geek Matte Eyeshadow (Cocoa Bear)
— Oslo Cosmetics (Vela)
— K-Palette liquid liner (black)*
— Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder (Medium)
— ColourPop Lippie Stix (Paramour)

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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Coming Out of the Woodwork (plus, a giveaway)

Before I discovered rings and lapel pins, my main accessories of choice were necklaces and some kind of wristwatch. I love how watches look, especially if they’re either a touch masculine or somewhat minimal. I’ve mainly been wearing a simple watch with a white face, tortoiseshell frame and leather strap from AÃRK Collective for the past few months, but I received a cute watch from JORD a few months ago.

JORD creates unique wood watches, with sustainability, efficiency, and experiential living in mind. Their website is pretty cool, too, where they share a lot of information about their watches, in case you’d like to get into the nitty gritty of the types of wood, movements, and glass they use to craft their watches.

JORD Wood Watch - Ely Natural Green 2

I currently have the JORD Ely in Green Sandalwood and Maple* which was named after a bunch of historic brick buildings in St. Louis called the Ely Walker Warehouse. I love the sort of patina-toned stain on my wood watch, although of course it’s not a stain, but a natural coloring.

JORD Ely Watch - Wrist

It’s extremely easy to wear and pair up with most things. A great feature of the watch is also its scratch-resistant mineral glass, which allows you to see the face clearly, and the fact that it’s splash proof. It’s got a deployment buckle with push buttons, as well as a date window for easy reference.

I love that it’s not too heavy, which is what I was expecting from a watch made of wood, but it’s got a nice heft to it, too.

Honestly, it’s a beautiful watch that’s fun, but not over-the-top or too casual. I think my only qualm is the date dial (it’s a bit hard to set up/change the date) and the silver accents, but that’s only a personal preference. My AARK Collective watch is still my favorite, but the JORD Ely is a great alternate watch to switch things up.

Thanks to JORD, I’m also giving away a $120 JORD E-Gift Certificate! They offer free shipping anywhere in the world. Enter here:
JORD Wood Watches Giveaway

This contest is open to anyone who lives anywhere in the world (JORD ships free!), so you should try your luck and enter! JORD has a huge variety of watches available online. I myself have my eye on a few: Ely in Dark Sandalwood, Frankie in Ebony and Gold, and Fieldcrest in Dark Sandalwood.

JORDWatches-Fieldcrest, Frankie, Ely

And these are just a few models to choose from! Don’t forget to enter here. Contest ends in 9 days!

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples. This post contains tracking links.

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My Newest Concealer Trick

This is such a simple thing that I don’t even know if it warrants a whole post, but let me indulge. Because it works really well. I’m not a full coverage foundation person. I don’t even know if I’m a medium coverage foundation person most days. I’ve been really liking spreading a thin layer of foundation or, more often, reverting to my Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint—a product notorious for “pointless” coverage. After using up my much-loved NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, I decided to dig through my stash and attempt at using up the concealers I do have instead of repurchasing. I’ve been using the Ellis Faas Concealer* which is another favorite formula, but I came across the Le Métier de Beauté Peau Vierge Correcteur, which I’ve inexplicably stashed away after a love affair with the NARS RCC.

So, this concealer is amazing and pigmented, but it doesn’t go on as well as the NARS RCC, which has great pigmentation and enough slip to it that it doesn’t look cake-y, ever. I’ve never managed to perfect the hydrate-undereye-then-apply-concealer technique, so the next best thing was something I picked up from watching a video by chrissstttiiine.

I apply a bit of the concealer to the back of my hand add a drop or two of the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint then go to town. I use it on blemishes, too. I mean, you can still see them, but like I said, I don’t mind a bit of imperfections peeking through.


Then I just set everything with a light powder and call it a day. Anyway, I’m super excited about this because it renders most of my too-thick concealers, well… usable!

* Items marked with an asterisk are PR Samples.

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