MJ’s Makeup Bag Essentials

I feel like every time I turn around I am purchasing something new to put in my makeup bag, but I am thinking of these products specifically that I take with me to special events or make sure I have with me on vacation.

Some of the brands of products may change depending on what I have at my disposal at the time but for the most part my makeup bag essentials stay pretty constant.

Now I also call this my “wedding bag” makeup, this is my normal routine when it comes to going to a wedding. There may be some variance when it comes to what eyeshadow palette I take because I am an eyeshadow palette hoarder and I have a problem. This is also true with lipstick because lipstick colors really depend on what season it is. Spring is light colors or subdued nudes, summer tends to be brighter colors or more pink nudes, fall tends to be deeper colors and a mix of metallic shades, as does winter but winter also tends to circle back to the more subdued nude shades. This is all for me, this is how my lipstick palette shifts through the seasons.

 

I am going to divide this into two sections; Section 1: Tools and Section 2: Productions.

Let’s dive right in, shall we!

Here is an overall shot of all of the products that are actually in my bag.:

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Section 1:

I don’t actually use many tools if we are honest because I don’t wear all that much makeup, granted when I have to go to an event I do wear a considerable amount of product on my face and I can’t wait to scrape it off at the end of the night.

 

Foundation Brushes: Now I have found recently (since I took this picture) I have been using a silicone beauty blender to put my foundation on. I purchased the applicator at Ulta and it was their brand so it wasn’t that expensive and I am not wasting any product when it comes to applying my foundation. I also tend to favor the paddle brush (I have also heard it called a mermaid brush) when it comes to applying my foundation because I find that it applies more evenly than it does with a flat brush.

 

Concealer Brushes: Again I started this post over a month ago and then I had some more products added to my arsenal, my normal go to for concealer is the ELF concealer brush but I got the Vasanti concealer buffer brush in my April ipsy Glam Bag and I have been using that exclusively since then. I do prefer a round tipped brush when it comes to concealer application because it provides a better blending ability.

 

Eyebrow Brush: Now I have only been filling my eyebrows in for about a two and a half years or so, I was watching a YouTube video and the person said that they didn’t understand why people didn’t fill in their eyebrows and I had never thought about that possibility before so I started to do it. I have gotten considerably better since then. I use the it cosmetics number 12 brush which can be either and eyeliner or eyebrow brush. (I don’t wear eyeliner anymore, I haven’t since I used to wear too much in middle school.) I find that it picks product up well and allows for precise movement through the eyebrow itself while still allowing it to be easily shaped. I have used the brush that comes provided in my eyebrow product and it’s just too small to handle so I prefer having a standard sized brush for application.

 

Cheek Brush: I didn’t really start my foray into cheek products (blush, bronzer, highlighter, etc.) until about a year ago because I prefer looking like I have never seen the sun in my life. Like if I go outside I am going to burst into flames or I will be so blindingly pale that people will have to look away from me for fear of burning out their retina’s. (Y’all can’t see me but I am laughing right now.) I bought this brush because I had purchased Real Techniques brushes in the past and they have never disappointed me. This instapop cheek brush was no different. Highlighter has become a standard in my makeup bag, I also carry blush to special events and since very recently bronzer as well. I like the angle on the brush for going over different contours of the cheek and it provides relatively even coverage where you need it.

 

Eyeshadow Brush: The eyeshadow palette in this post has a brush with it but some of my palettes didn’t come with a brush so I tend to carry an eyeshadow brush for that specific reason. I tend to reach for my Lorac Cosmetics double ended brush, one end has a very fluffy brush and the other a more densely packed smaller more circular brush. I use the fluffier end for most of my eyelid and use the smaller end for under the eye and the inner corner. I really like having a dual ended brush instead of carrying around a number of brushes because my makeup bag is already bulky enough.

 

Section 2:

This will be in order of application rather than just a list like the tools.

Primer: First and foremost, I always start with a primer, I have a red complexion because I have rosacea which is a dermatological condition that makes your skin complexion much more red so I have to wear a green tinted primer. I live in this primer whenever I have to look nice for something. I used Smashbox for years but I found that NYX for me also does the job even if the coverage isn’t as complete.

 

Foundation: Now my foundation rotates to be honest, sometimes I don’t want to spend $40 on foundation but I find that my skin also doesn’t react as adversely with more expensive foundation than it does with more inexpensive brands. I have sensitive skin so I have to be so careful with what I put on it. Currently I use the Urban Decay All-Nighter (Waterproof Longwear Liquid) Foundation in the shade 0.5 (That is the lightest color it comes in and I still think it’s still just a little too dark for my actual skin tone.) It covers really well though and I am in love with it.

 

Concealer: This is the only concealer that I have ever used and that is the Urban Decay Naked Skin (Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer) in the shade Fair Neutral. It provides enough color that I don’t use blush and stuff, which is not a good excuse not to use blush and bronzer because I look a little dead if I go without something on my cheeks. It’s easily blendable and it provides pretty solid coverage for long term wear.

 

Eyebrows: Again, this is the only product I have used on my brows in recent memory, when I first started filling in my eyebrows I used ELF’s eyebrow gel and I switched to Rimmel well over a year ago, pictured in the spread is my new one (which I still haven’t opened) because my other one is down to the pan in some places but I don’t want to throw away the rest of the product. I find that I prefer using the gel to the powder in my eyebrows so I have found that Rimmel’s Brow This Way in medium brown is perfect for my needs and my brow color.

 

Cheeks:

  • Highlighter: This is a staple in my normal routine because it provides just enough color that it does the job I want it to. I use the Urban Decay After Glow palette and I think this is the original After Glow and I almost bought the other palette but decided on this one and I haven’t looked back. Highlighter is a pretty new concept to me even though I have always liked how it looked.

 

  • Blush: So blush is something I wear rarely because I always have red cheeks and I don’t want to emphasis that when I am wearing a full face of makeup. I do use very light colored blush when I do wear it and I normally reach for my Too Faced Love Flush (long lasting 16-hour blush) in the shade Baby Love. It’s not a pigmented and for me that is something amazing because it still has a nice color and provides a rosy tint without being overbearing. Whenever I see overbearing blush all I can think of is a little one who gets into their mother’s makeup and has a grand old time.

 

  • Bronzer: Bronzer is something that I have worn only a few times but I tend to (and it’s not pictured here) to use the Hoola bronzer from benefit. This is a super recent thing for me, if you read my April Beauty Haul then you know that I got it last month and I have been using it ever since. It provides just enough color that I don’t shine in the light with how pale I am.

 

Eyes:

They are going to get their own section because this is where I spend most of my time when I do any makeup application.

  • Eyeshadow Primer: Now I only use eyeshadow primer when I have the need to wear eyeshadow in a long wear fashion but for the most part I use Lorac Cosmetics Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer and I love it. I wore it to a wedding recently and my eyeshadow was on lock from about 1PM to midnight and I was very pleased with it. No smudging, no cracking, no nothing and I was very happy with it.

 

  • Eyeshadow: Now my palette changes depending on the season as well but there is a good chance that the palette I have in my bag is all neutral colors because normally to weddings you don’t want to look too crazy when it comes to makeup. The wedding I went to in late April I wore a Lilly Pulitzer outfit and it’s loud enough that I wanted to do a very understated makeup look and I was very pleased with it overall. The palette pictured is the Urban Decay Smoky palette which is one of my absolute staples when it comes to a look. My Tartist Pro palette is another, if you read my Top 5 Eyeshadow Palette’s post this is not news to you. When you are going to a formal event you don’t want to look like it is just a stop off before you go out to a club so neutral for me is a must when it comes to eyeshadow.

 

  • Mascara: Now When I travel and I don’t check a bag (aka I am driving, not flying) I bring two mascara’s I normally take my Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara and it is my absolute go to when it comes to mascara, I cannot tell you how many times I have reached for other mascara’s and I find myself coming back to this one. I always bring a second tube of mascara with me because it is habit and I tend to gravitate toward my Roller Lash from benefit. I also in recent memory have carried around NYX’s Worth the Hype because it is a much less expensive alternative to some of the other one’s that I have used. Both provide length and volume and they both came with me to the wedding.

 

Lips: Final thing, now like I said above my lipstick color palette changes with the seasons, normally in my bag (depending on the season) is a nude shade that goes with the feel of the season, a full color liquid lip that also goes with the season and normally a metallic shade. Because who doesn’t love a little bit of drama in the makeup bag and also allows some versatility in case you have to attend a second event or something that you didn’t plan in your original look, like going to an after party or club or bar.

What are the essentials in your makeup bag?

-MJ

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April Beauty Haul

This month was kind of sparse on buying any new beauty products just because I have gone a little bit overboard in months past and I don’t need more makeup I just want more makeup. Sometimes self-restraint is good because we can’t always have everything that we want.

Really the only reason that I went into Ulta this month was because I had one of those email blast coupons for a sample of something that I have wanted to try for a while and that was the Hoola bronzer from benefit. Now normally I don’t wear a bronzer because I want to look like a vampire; like I have never seen the sun in my life. Though maybe this summer if I am spending time outside I will want to look a little bronzed over my very porcelain skin tone.

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Now this is my birthday month so I decided to buy myself a gift, last year it was the naked Smoky and Naked 3 palettes, this year it was the Tarte Be a Mermaid & Make Waves palette. If you have read any of my other makeup posts you know that I am a sucker for good packaging and I really like Tarte as a brand. These shades are very highly pigmented and many of them are warm neutrals but there are three pretty crazy colors and they are pretty nice. An almost iridescent or multi-chrome feeling purple called “bubbles” a deep blue called “lagoon” and an iridescent green called “splash”. I am looking forward to using these shades in different looks. I mean the palette looks like a seashell, I have never been one of those girls who want to be a mermaid but I love the idea of using mythical creatures as inspiration for palettes and makeup collections. I also love how tarte’s palette’s smell, they always smell good, I guess that’s the clay they use.

I went into Marshall’s really early in the month and I have been seeing brush cleaning mats all over recently and I thought “I want to try one” so I grabbed on that looks like a cactus and I have used it a few times now, I really like it. It gets my brushes really clean and I don’t have to stand there with my hands under the water so they don’t get all pruned.

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I also bought a few more lipsticks, I have a problem but again all of them were NYX. I accidently bought a duplicate of one of the cosmic metals lip crèmes because I forgot I had one but it’s okay. I got three new for my collection. If you watched or read my ipsy glam bag opening, then you know that I got a NYX lipstick in there as well. Ulta was also running a promotion to get a free matte lip kit when you spent a certain amount in NYX products and if I even look at the brand case I will walk away with things that I do not need.

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  1. I have been seeing this online for like a month or so and that was the NYX powder puff lippie in the color “squad goals”. I have not swatched this yet because I didn’t want to have the powder puff ruined before I actually wanted to use it. The color I am really hoping looks as good as it did on the display.
  2. Last month I saw that they had come out with a Duo chromatic shimmer lip gloss, normally I am not a fan of lip gloss (not since I was in middle/high school) but I really wanted to try this I grabbed a tube in the color “Booming”, it is a pink and white chromatic iridescent shift. It looked very much like something that you would wear to a festival or a rave. It will take a certain look or maybe used as a lip topper for another color just to add some shine.
  3. The next was the Slip Tease full color lip oil in the color “Coy” it’s very pink but I really like it, it actually looks really pretty with the chromatic color I mentioned above. I hadn’t seen this product so I decided that I wanted to try it and see how I felt about it. I normally am not one for lip oil but I am here to give it a try.
  4. Next, I have been seeing this online for like a month or so and that was the NYX powder puff lippie in the color “squad goals”. I have not swatched this yet because I didn’t want to have the powder puff ruined before I actually wanted to use it. The color I am really hoping looks as good as it did on the display.
  5. Finally, in the lipstick department I grabbed a soft metallic lip cream from NYX in the color “Rome”. It is much more of a fall color than I was expecting but I am excited for it. It’s a deep color and it will take a certain look to look amazing and I am looking forward to figuring that look out.

I went into Sephora this month with one goal and that was to buy the daytime SPF companion of my Murad skin perfecting lotion. That I will get into in my April Favorites next week or the week after but I got the skin perfecting lotion in my fitfabfun box and loved it so much I went and purchased the Murad Oil Control Mattifier as well. Already a huge fan of it because I have been spending so much time in the sun.

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Did you buy any new products last month?

-MJ

 

 

What Was in My April ipsy Glam Bag

I am a huge fan of subscription boxes and in this case bags. I always have been, it’s the mystery of what you are going to get that amuses me greatly. I have been trolling around the internet looking for something new to subscribe to because the boxes I currently subscribe to are going to a retail format and away from the online only subscription service. So I decided that I would go more for beauty, lifestyle, and fashion as opposed to the geekier boxes I have gotten in the past.

I also subscribed to fitfabfun but got it about a month after it came out so unboxing it would have been pointless.

I had been seeing ads for ipsy on most if not all of my social media accounts and I had been thinking about it for quite some time so I finally decided to go for it.

I love the style and concern profile quiz that you have to take because it allows you to tell them what you like and what you want in regard to skincare, hair care, and makeup. It allows you to tell them what brands you like or use in your makeup routine and I think that is such a great tool to allow for a higher level of customization.

So MJ what was in your glam bag this month? If you want to watch the video, you can.IMG_7851.jpg

Let’s start with the bag itself it is faux leather, the front is white and printed with butterflies on it in shades of pink, purple, and a little blue, rose gold corners and zipper pull detail, and is an almost dusty lavender on the back side which is continued onto the inside of the bg. I love it, I don’t think I will ever have enough makeup bags but this is great size to just shove in your purse and go.

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  1. Now I had one item that was not in the bag and that was a Vasanti Cosmetic Concealer Buffer Brush. (I had to look on my ipsy dashboard to make sure I knew what it was.) I am always in the market for a good concealer brush, I use and ELF one now and it’s strating to wear on a bit. This brush is soft, the bristles are not packed too tightly and it is a nice shape, I am looking forward to using it.

 

  1. The next item was from a brand that I know very well, I think most if not all of my liquid lipsticks are from this brand; NYX Cosmetics, I got their soft matte lip cream in the color Stockholm. How would I describe this color? It almost looks like Arkansas red clay, it looks like a mix between red and orange with a little bit of brown mixed in. It’s a nice color a good spring to summer transition color. I have a very small size of this color from an advent calendar so I know what it looks like and I already liked it so I was happy to see a familiar brand in this bag.

 

  1. My next item was a single pot loose eyeshadow from Meech and Mia, I have never heard of Meech and Mia so I am excited to try this product out. I have also never used a loose eyeshadow like this, I am used to the pressed shadows that you get in palette form but I am up for the challenge and it is a copper shadow so that is right up my street.

 

  1. Two more items, the first was Trust Fund Beauty’s That Liquid Glo Tho liquid highlighter. I have only recently gotten into the world of highlighter and I have never had a liquid highlighter before. The website describes it as champagne, in my video I think I described it as rose gold. Either way it is a highly pigmented product and a little bit goes a long way to make you actually say, “look at that glow though.” I am looking forward to integrating it into a few makeup looks in the future to see how it looks with a full face on as well.

 

  1. The last item I got was the detoxifying hair mask from Theorie. Again Theorie is not a brand that I have heard of and I have never done a hair mask before but I am again very much looking forward to trying it out and being able to give a solid review of it.

 

Overall I was very pleased with what I received in my first ever glam bag from ipsy, it was full of products that I normally would not buy for myself and because everything is in a trial size it means that I get to try it and if I like it I can go back and buy a full sized product if I choose.

If you subscribe to ipsy, what did you get in your glam bag this month?

-MJ

March Favorites

March was a pain in the butt for me so I didn’t have too many ground breaking favorites but if you would rather watch the video on my YouTube channel you can. This like my February Favorites is a more expanded version than my video. Though this month’s favorites video had a bit of a rambling edge to it (I cut almost 15 minutes from it and it’s still a 22-minute-long video) because I have been so out of it. Though that is a story for another time.

Without further ado, here are my favorites for March.

Frist up, literally rain boots. There is nothing special about them, I will eventually be in the market for some Hunter rain boots but not yet. I got these at one of the local farm stores where I am now living and I have been wearing them every time I have to go up to the build site because it is quite squishy because I moved down here in the middle of monsoon season. (apparently) They have saved all the rest of my shoes to which I am very thankful.

Next, I have had one of those months that has just been difficult and I have been in an extreme funk so I started watching comedy specials on Netflix and they have helped boost my mood considerably, I found Iliza Sleshinger through her joke about Pinterest a few years ago and I finally got around to watching the rest of her specials, I also bought her book because I enjoy her brand of humor. All of my roommates’ senior year of university were obsessed with Gabriel Iglesias and so I ended up watching him as well and his specials also helped me cheer up. It’s the small things, right?

So if you read my March Beauty Haul then you saw that I bought foundation last month and I have been using is so much because it is actually the right shade for my skin tone, it’s been months since I have had a foundation that actually matches my skin tone. For the last several months I have been balancing a foundation that was about a shade and a half too dark with my concealer and after a while that becomes a straight up pain. I love Urban Decay, again it’s their quality and packaging; the perfect storm when it comes to makeup and I love Urban Decay so it was almost only natural that I got their foundation next.

Next, Soap and Glory is clearly one of my favorite skin care brands on the market right now, it has been for quite some time. I feel like I feature them in my favorites every month and I am always excited to see the new stuff that they come out with. I have liked sheet masks for a while now and I wanted to try a peel off mask; the mask is PINK and it’s really fun. I didn’t put on a thick enough layer but I really enjoyed the product and it left my skin fresh and feeling so good. I would highly recommend this product.

Do I really need to tell you all about my love of Sudoku and Crossword Puzzles, I sometimes feel like when I tell people that I play Sudoku and do crossword puzzles they look at me like “you are in your 20’s but you act like you are about 85.” and for the most part that’s true. I enjoy letting my mind gain more knowledge, I enjoy brain teasers. (even though I am AWFUL at them) They keep my brain active and engaged so sometimes to wind down I do Sudoku puzzles and get mad when I can’t figure out one number and then realize that one of my boxes has four 3’s in it and I have to stop look at the book, shake my head, and move on to the next one.

Let me preface this, I am not a vegan, I aspire one day to be one for many reasons; but that hasn’t happened yet. I do however like vegan cooking, I am already non-dairy because my body HATES dairy so I avoid it at all costs if I don’t have my Lactaid with me because otherwise I will be sick all day. I had Vegan Comfort Classics, by Lauren Toyota (Hot for Food) suggested to me by a bunch of people that I follow online and I thought you know what, why not? I haven’t seen many vegan cookbooks that actually have comfort food that I enjoy in them. I looked through it and was drooling the entire time, I am excited to make every dish in this book because I can’t decide what I want to make most. I am super excited to make the dishes and see how they actually are and if I can manage to cook vegan food without failing and having to get takeout. (Wish MJ luck!)

One final thing, I have wanted a record player since at least 2011 and I finally got one! I was excited because it was just one of those things that I have wanted but kept forgetting about whenever someone asked me what I wanted for my birthday or Christmas because I cannot be put on the spot when it comes to gifts and actually come up with a coherent thought. Like Raphie in A Christmas Story when he goes to see Santa to ask for the Red Rider but blanks and says yes to a football instead. That’s about how I feel when someone asks me what I want. I also got the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, Panic! At The Disco’s Pretty Odd and the soundtrack from The Labyrinth, if you roll over to my YouTube channel you can watch my Top 10 Favorite Movies video where that is heavily featured because it is my favorite movie.

This month’s favorites were much different from last month’s favorites specifically because March was a blur for me. I spent a lot of time hanging around a build site and dealing with boys who sometimes forget that I am in fact a lady, a lady who does not really want to hear some of the things that come out of their mouths.

Did you have any favorites in March? Tell me about them!

-MJ

March Beauty Haul

There is a good chance that in any given month I am going to walk into Ulta a couple of times, wander around for ten minutes, and leave with makeup that I hadn’t planned on buying because everything in the store I look at and say, “I need this.” The voice in the back of my head disagrees but there is another, louder voice saying “yea you do!”

This month was no different in that department, I was really looking forward to a few items that I don’t have yet because my store was out of them and I refuse to order makeup online. (I have had things come broken and I am too socially anxious to complain.)

So my first haul happened about the beginning of the first full week of March because I have control issues when I walk into the store. I went in for a fan brush and came out with a fan brush and a few other items.

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The fan brush I bought was a Morphe M310 brush (1), I really like Morphe as a brand. (I have a few palettes as well.) The fan brush is really simple and I want to use it for highlighting, which in the last three months or so I have actually started to do when I do an actual full face of makeup.

Next was something that I actually needed, I have been living with the wrong shade of foundation for quite some time. I love the foundation that I have (Too Faced Born This Way) but it’s difficult to use because the shade is the wrong one for my skin tone. I spent a good 15 minutes looking between three or four different brands and I finally decided on Urban Decay’s All Nighter liquid foundation (2) in shade 0.5. (I am super pale.) I haven’t actually tried it yet but I am hopeful for it to be a much better match for my skin tone. I really like Urban Decay’s foundation products because the only concealer that I use is their concealer and I have loved it since the moment I started using it well over two years ago. I actually just had to replace my tube because I ran out.

In most cases it is the packaging that gets me and for sure Urban Decay always has some great packaging.

The next two things I saw in an email first and then I wanted to try them. Normally I am not a fan of glosses when it comes to lips because they stay sticky, I have been on the matte liquid lipstick train for quite some time now. NYX is normally my favorite brand for lipsticks so I decided to give the Strictly Vinyl lip gloss.

The deep purple is called Night Walker (3) and it actually looks pretty great.

The more mauve shade is called Baby Doll (4) and it also looks pretty great.

The final item I bought was the Lorac Pro 3 Palette (5). I feel like Lorac is a relatively newer brand to my makeup collection, I think the first palette I bought from Lorac was the California Dreaming palette and I love that palette so I have gone back and bought other things from the brand because I loved the quality of that item. I went with this specific palette because the shades are more attuned to my personal style when it comes to what I put on my eyelids. I am looking forward to using this product as well for more everyday looks.

 

Also in March I went into Sephora, which I do not do very often. Don’t get me wrong I love Sephora but it also has more designer makeup that I want but cannot afford so I avoid it and avoid the temptation as well (my wallet thanks me).

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I went in with the intention of purchasing, to try, the Dr. Jart Shake and Shot mask (1) because I had seen a lot of people trying it online and I wanted to see if it was worth the $12 price tag of a one-time use mask. (I’ll let you know) I feel like the reviews of it are already played out but you know what I want to do it anyway. Also the fact that the top is a baby’s face is a little off putting but I still think it is an interesting marketing technique because it makes you think about it and it is a conversation piece.

 

The second thing I purchased was something that I saw on Instagram. (shakes fist at Instagram for making me want things that I don’t need!) The Kristen Leanna and Urban Decay collaboration eyeshadow palette Kaleidoscope Dreams (2). I swatched the shades and I already love all of the shades, again I wanted something that was a bit more daring in my makeup collection and this was definitely a showstopper of a palette. I am absolutely in love with the Leo + Brixton shade because it is iridescent and it’s amazing. I am looking forward to actually using this palette in small quantities for nice pops of color in my eyeshadow looks.

 

Very late in the month I walked into Ulta with the intention of buying some skincare items (and a free sample of a highlighter), they did not have them in the store so I walked around and got myself into some trouble. Ulta is nearing the end of their 21 days of beauty event and those deals suck me straight into the store.

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I purchased the Urban Decay Naked Skin Shapeshifter highlight and contour palette in light/medium (1). It has four powder shades and five crème shades and I am terrible at contour I never got on the heavy contour train but I would like to be able to make myself look like I actually have cheekbones. It was half off so I decided that now was the time to purchase it and experiment with some contouring. Big fan of the two sided mirror in the packaging though.

I also got as a sample a Becca highlighter in the color Opal (2), it’s a beautiful golden color and I am looking forward to an event where I need to wear a highlighter so I can rock this color.

The last thing that I got at Ulta this month was a silicone beauty blender (3), I want to do a comparison of foundation application tools and I have seen this silicone applicator rolling around the internet for a while now so I’m going to give it a try. I will let you know how it goes.

 

Did you buy any new makeup or beauty items this month?

 

-MJ

MJ’s Top 5 Go To Eyeshadow Palettes

I feel like I am always in the market for new eyeshadow palettes because they have a slightly different shade that I don’t already have in my collection of probably 20+ eyeshadow palettes. (I counted, I actually have 27 palettes in my everyday use collection.)

In recent memory I don’t think I have bought a single pan eyeshadow because in many cases those are sometimes harder to find than buying a palette with several different shades. I also find myself trading out older more inexpensive palettes for more expensive higher quality ones as I continue to grow my makeup collection.

There are several things I look for in a palette of eyeshadows, the most important is pigmentation. If the pigmentation isn’t all that great, then I am going to have to apply more product to my eyelids and I don’t want to do that. I also look at packaging, I am a sucker for good packaging; you want me to buy your product put it in some fancy packaging and I am going to be more likely to look at it and then try to find the swatches online before I purchase it. I also look for value and quality; these are both very important; though I feel like quality goes hand in hand with pigmentation but for the most part I am going to shy away from a palette that costs more than $50. Granted, I have bought a few that were over $50 but I have to really think long and hard about those.

These palettes are in no particular order in my top 5 but these are pretty much the 5 palettes that I find myself reaching for on a consistent basis.

Again this is my opinion, no one is telling me to put these eyeshadows in this post, all of it is my thoughts and opinions.

Here is a picture of them all together, each number corresponds with the number of the explanation below:

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  1. Tarte- Tarteist Pro Palette

Why: When I was younger all I wanted was glittery or metallic eyeshadow, as I have grown up I have switched to more matte shades in more natural colors and I have found that my Tartist Pro palette is one of the best for those shades. The pigmentation is great in every color and you know what, the palette itself smells amazing. I love playing with the colors in this palette and it has been one of the staples in my makeup bag ever since I purchased it. I love that it has a full mirror in it as well because that tends to be the palette I grab for when I need a large mirror when doing makeup not in my bathroom. I did drop it recently and took a good chunk out of one of the pigments which I was not happy with myself for. I can see this palette continuing to be a staple for the foreseeable future.

 

  1. Too Faced- Sweet Peach Palette

Why: Too Faced always has great packaging, and also this palette smells like peaches! I love the color names and the pigmentation as well as the variety of colors within the palette itself. I have used my Sweet Peach palette for well over a year now and it has yet to disappoint when it comes to its hold and how nice the colors look throughout the day. I think having a metal case on it has kept me from breaking it a few times because I am clumsy and until recently I didn’t really have an area to put my makeup on in my bathroom which caused some interesting counter arrangement.

 

  1. Urban Decay-Naked Smoky Palette

Why: Okay so I coveted the Naked palettes for years, and I have no shame about it so last year for my birthday I bought the Naked Smoky and the Naked 3 palette’s and I have not looked back. The Smokey palette has been another staple in my makeup bag since it was purchased because it is what I need when I want to attempt the perfect smoky eye (it’s always terrible but I still try). I wore it to a wedding last summer and the hold was amazing for several hours even without an eyeshadow primer on underneath. Urban Decay was one of the first brands that I ever bought as Sephora so I will always have a soft spot for the brand no matter what.

 

  1. Morphe – Fall Into Frost (35F)

Why: When Morphe finally came to Ulta I went to three different stores trying to find this palette because I had been seeing it online for months. I cannot get over how nice of a palette it is. Again like the rest of these palettes the Fall into Frost palette has been an absolute necessity in my makeup bag since last fall. It is for sure one of my favorites to use on a daily basis for just day eyeshadow looks but also is great for more daring looks that you want to experiment with. My only problem with this palette is the lack of a mirror but that con does not even make a dent in all of the pros of having this palette in your collection.

 

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills- Prism Palette

Why: So if you watched or read my February Favorites then you will know what I had to say about this palette. I always want something daring in my makeup collection, I have always played it safe with my makeup since I got out of high school. I used to want to wear only crazy makeup and now that I am an adult I really don’t think that I can do that anymore. This palette though is really a mix of everything I would have wanted back in the day but also everything that I want in a palette now. It is daring but it is also something that stands on its own when it comes to how nice of a palette it is. I have used it a few times recently and I have not been disappointed at all with anything I have tried out of the palette. Still need to find a way to use the color Sphere but I am working on it.

Do you have a favorite or go to palette when it comes to eyeshadow?

-MJ

What Do I Do for Fun?

Recently people have been asking me what I do for fun and in many cases I have stumbled over my words wondering which of my various hobbies would be socially acceptable for the situation. Most people look at me like I am crazy when I say I don’t drink because that seems to be a hobby that most people find acceptable, I come from a family where alcoholism is a very real thing and I don’t want to risk another facet of my already addictive personality becoming activated. Granted, I may have one drink once in a while but I don’t go to bars, I don’t enjoy parties where other people are drunk; I don’t even like drunk Snapchats and text messages.
Like I said, normally I just stare at the person and want to start screaming, “I don’t do anything fun I am not really a fun person to be around!” Because I would rather sit in my office, on my laptop, with my headphones on crafting a world out of thin air or getting so lost in watching YouTube videos that I lose hours on end unintentionally. I like spending time to be with just me, I don’t like big social gatherings, I don’t like crowds, and I do not really like interacting with people that I don’t know or don’t know very well. Yes, I do suffer for social anxiety and I know that; some days it takes me hours to even leave the house and then hours after I get home going over every conversation that I had while I was out and overthinking every moment of human contact I had coming up with things that I could have said differently or responses to questions that I could have had instead of staring blankly trying to think of an answer.

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New Infinity War Trailer Thoughts

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of comic books and the entire Marvel Cinematic universe, not a secret at all. Superheroes have helped me through quite a lot in my life so with the release of the new Infinity War trailer I have had some thoughts and some reactions. If you haven’t seen the new trailer it’s amazing, go watch it.

I was texting a friend earlier and she gave me her reactions first after I sent her the trailer so I responded with mine. I gave her a very brief reaction but I would like to expand on some things.

These are MY opinions and you can disagree with me all you want but these are my thoughts on the new trailer.

My overall first reaction was: AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! But there were no clear thoughts there so here are some clear thoughts.:

  1. I am not prepared to see this movie.
    1. I love all sorts of superheroes and Marvel has come out and said that we will lose a few in this film and I am not ready to let go of any of these characters who have shaped much of my teenage and adult life.
  1. Oh my goodness
    1. The trailer was amazing, I am excited to see the cinematography for it and it looks so good but so scaring. Like I was excited and nervous for it before but now I need a time machine so I can go into the future and see it, right now.
  1. Gamora is such a bada**
    1. Gamora is probably one of my favorite characters in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and her introduction of Thanos just cements how much of a bada** she truly is. I am looking forward to seeing how they develop her character’s relationship with her adoptive father in the film. I hope she throws her shoe at him.
  1. Grape looking motherf**ker (thank you Tumblr for making me only think of him as a grape now)
    1. We are supposed to hate Thanos and let me tell you, I really don’t like him. I am however looking forward to finally seeing a character that we have been exposed to in limited form in his grand role of the big bad guy in Infinity War.
  1. The protection of the remaining Infinity Stones.
    1. Spoiler; both Vision and Dr. Strange harbor an infinity stone (mind and time respectfully) and there was a moment in the trailer between Wanda and Vision that made me very anxious for what is going to happen in the film in regard to how Thanos obtains the Infinity Stones.
  1. Everyone going to Wakanda
    1. I mean there is not much to say about that, it looks like much of the battle will be fought there or so the trailer makes it seem and I am on board with seeing what Wakanda has to offer after what we saw in Black Panther.
  1. Peter Quill & Tony (the sass!)
    1. I am so excited to see some of the interactions between different teams and characters who we haven’t seen interact before. Just that brief moment about a plan between Peter Quill and Tony had me laughing.
  1. What are you doing to Thor grape?
    1. This is what makes me think that Loki isn’t really on Thanos’ side, even though there have been reports of that. Thor (spoilers if you haven’t seen Thor Ragnarok) already lost his eye, his hair, his dad, and his home planet can we just let him live?
  1. Was that Voldemort?
    1. I think in all honest it was something like a Chitari but it looked 100% like Voldemort and I had a moment to laugh at that.
  1. The look in Steve’s eyes (when he’s facing down Thanos)
    1. It was determination and I think a touch of fear and I don’t know if any of us who think Captain America is pretty great will be prepared for what might happen next.
  1. Peter (Parker) & Dr. Strange
    1. “oh we are going with our made up names” and the look on Dr. Strange’s face like, “no that’s my real name” I had a flash back to the scene in Doctor Strange when he and Kaecilius have a similar encounter.
  2. Wait a minute we are missing some characters.
    1. I am still wondering where Hawkeye is and I was surprised not to see Falcon in this trailer as well. There are so many characters in this film but there are a few who just seem to be missing from the trailer footage and I am really wondering why.

Overall I am feeling a sense of dread but also absolute excitement, I can’t wait to see it even though I will be out of town on opening weekend at a wedding so I will have to avoid the ENTIRE internet until I actually get a chance to see it. I would go opening night but I just don’t think that will be able to happen.

Are you excited?

-MJ

5 Things I Have Learned in the First Few Weeks of Being on My Own

Some days you wake up ready to take on the world, you go through them as if nothing and no one can get in your way. You are on a mission, a quest to be your best self and prove to everyone that you are strong and independent and you can do anything. There are also some days where you wake up and just want to roll over and not ever leave your bed. You are helpless, you feel like you can’t do anything and who let you become an adult; like a real adult. Seriously who authorized me being an adult? I think a mistake was made, who do I talk to about that? There are ups and downs for sure and moving and being away from everything that you know can be very overwhelming. (I know; I have had a very overwhelming feeling for about three weeks now) I digress, though I don’t want to; I have learned quite a bit out here in the real world; well in a real enough world for now.

Here are five things that I have learned in my three weeks so far of being an actual real life adult:

  1. Apartments can be terrible.

The building I live in is super nice, like beyond nice; all the amenities that you could ever want, but it has of course it’s downfalls (doesn’t every place?) I love my apartment, it’s amazing I have a balcony, I have a nice 9-foot ceilings, (high ceilings for the win) and a tub that I could fit about three people in but there are still some things that I am adjusting to living in a shared communal type space. (I lived in an apartment in college but this is a very different experience.)

  • My neighbors.
    • Now don’t get me wrong, I knew what I was signing up for when I moved into an apartment. But I didn’t know that I was signing up for walls so thin I could almost see through them. My neighbors on the other side of my office like to blare their TV and have sing-a-long’s late on all sorts of nights. Normally that wouldn’t really bug me because, well, that’s why they invented headphones but there is a limit on how much I can take because I have work I want to get done on my computer and it’s very distracting when you can hear people through the wall. The girl who lives upstairs from me walks around like she is constantly angry; I mean the girl stomps all over her apartment and okay I understand, your floor is your floor but it is also my ceiling and I understand that in turn my floor is also someone else’s ceiling and I don’t want to be a terrible upstairs neighbor so I am tip-toeing around up here trying not to bother him.
  • Parking
    • Now MJ has a designated parking spot, it’s lovely and covered and I love it. There are however, not enough spaces in the parking lot for everyone who lives here, plus guests that come and spend the night or hang out with residences. So people park in parking spots that aren’t theirs or make up their own parking spots because there is nowhere else to park. This creates a difficult objective when I am trying to get my car in and out of my spot because someone is parked very close to my car in a spot that they have created for themselves. This all just seems to be poor planning on the part of the person or people who designed the complex.
  1. I don’t like being alone as much as I thought I did. (Or Solitude is not for everyone.)

If you know me in real life, (I am not as cool as I think I am so you aren’t missing much if you don’t actually know me) then you probably know how much I like to be alone. I am an introvert and I have no problem with being by myself most of the time. I can handle about an hour or two of large scale social interaction before I want to crawl out of my skin and leave, but living by myself 700 miles away from everything I know has been an adjustment. Granted it’s not like I will be permanently alone but for the moment I am and I am realizing that I don’t like the solitude as much as I thought I would. Sometimes you crave human connections and even if that is talking to someone at the check-out in the grocery store or smiling when someone is nice to you it’s still something that every human needs. I have found myself wanting to be in the sunshine more, I want to be outside; maybe not with people but somewhere green and inviting, still quiet, still solitary but also surrounded by things that are living. I got plants because I was going stir crazy, I have even named them because someone told me to talk to my plants and I figured a name would be nice too, if you want to see them you can on my Instagram. I desperately miss my pets, but I cannot feasibly have a dog yet even though I really want one to keep me company, sit on my lap and bark at the neighbor’s dogs; it would be grand.

  1. Get to know the area around you.

I am from a small town in Indiana, I moved to a slightly larger town in Arkansas, if you want to know where Wal-Mart’s headquarters is I could about throw a rock to it. I feel like I am living in the Wal-Mart capital of the world (I probably am) but I have been taking time to venture out and learn my surroundings. Even if that means taking a drive to the grocery store and taking a different way home, getting desperately lost, and having to beg Siri to get me home. That’s one thing that I cannot stress enough moving to a new place; learn your surroundings. If you like certain things see where they are, you like hot yoga find the nearest studio, you like fresh pressed juices find the nearest juice bar, you really like cultural events and museums find some locally. Do yourself a favor and find the things that you like; it will save your sanity in the end. If you like to be around a lot of people find places where you can do that or make friends with your neighbors. (Awkwardly my parents know all of my neighbors, I have met like one and a half of my neighbors.) Acclimate yourself to everything around you because unless you moved for a job or university there is a good chance you are going to be sticking around for a while.

  1. Find a routine that works for you.

When I get anxious I make lists, I organize to the point of disorganization, I get overwhelmed easily and I can make a mountain out of a mole hill rather easily. I spend a lot of my time full of anxiety for various reasons but I have found that I can make a routine that works for me and I don’t drive myself absolutely bonkers. I also write, I would like to publish eventually but I have found that allowing myself to write and to find time to do that helps with everything else around me. Not everyone wakes up at the crack of dawn and goes for a run. (If you do I admire your dedication.) Some people stay up late and play video games or make videos on the internet which I do, you can find that link here . Find something that helps you get out of bed in the morning or keeps your sanity because I can promise everyone who moves they experience that momentary panic of “what do I do now that I am living my life surrounded by boxes?” or my personal favorite, “Where is that thing that I need?” and in my case the answer many times has been, “Oh it’s still at my parent’s house in Indiana, great.” And I have to make another list of things that I still need.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Find things that you enjoy to do. Make yourself learn new things every day, give yourself new experiences whenever you can. Live the life that makes you look back one day and say “Wow, I did that. Look at all of the things that I did.” I don’t want to look back with regret for the what if’s, the why didn’t I’s, the where would I be today’s. I don’t want any of those things to haunt me somewhere down the line. Sometimes things get in the way of your plans, that’s life and sometimes it’s complicated and strange but it always finds a way of working itself out, everything comes out in the wash so to speak. Take time to make yourself happy before trying to make anyone else happy, because if you aren’t happy with your life and your choices than what is the point?

-MJ

February Favorites

I feel like this is one of my favorite series over on my YouTube channel. (Same name as the blog I am just a little lame and I really like to match.) Because it allows me to reflect on what I have been using or really rather enjoying over the last month or so, if you want to see the more condensed version with my face than you can watch the video, here. That being said here are most if not all of the things that I loved in February that were newer to my collection of possessions or things that I just found myself reaching for more than others.

Now what is really sad is I had to go back and watch through my video to make sure that I actually could remember all of the products.

So first up is a painting that I found at Home Goods probably last fall and it has been sitting in a corner covered since then because I was in the process of moving at the time and now that I have moved I still can’t hang it because I don’t want to get fined for putting holes in the wall so it is leaning against the wall in my bedroom while I stare at it.

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I love England, it is very much on my bucket list of places to go in my life time, I would actually really like to live there, but that is beyond the point. This print was one of those things that I didn’t know that I needed until I saw it, I am a huge fan of all artwork but I find myself drawn to pen or ink drawings quite frequently because they are normally in a monochrome and they are simple but very elegant when hung on a wall for the world to see. Every artist approaches art a different way, for example when I paint I listen to music and normally my song choices influence what my painting looks like, and most of mine are very abstract and pretty much just for my viewing because they are not very good. Back to the painting though, it is nice and simple but still is recognizable and makes me quite happy when I look at it because it reminds me of a place that I have wanted to visit since I was little. (True story, I am still kicking myself for not studying abroad during my undergrad.)

My beauty favorites tend to flocculate from month to month because I will go and spend too much money on makeup that I only wear for videos. (I should make my face look nice more often but I think that I am self-sabotaging enough that I think everyone around me will judge me for wearing a full face of makeup and I also think I would draw attention to myself and I for sure do not want to do that.)

The first beauty item that I loved during February was one that actually came out in February, I think, don’t quote me on that. That product was NYX Cosmetics Worth the Hype mascara and let me tell you, it is for sure worth the hype.

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Normally, because I have sensitive eyes (and skin, and emotions, and feelings) I can’t use certain kinds of mascara for a long wear day. I love my expensive mascara’s believe me I do but I found myself really wanting to try this product because kept seeing it on Instagram (I wholeheartedly blame that website for how much money I spend at Ulta) so I decided to go and buy it actually right before I packed my bags and moved mid-month. I cannot say enough about it, one coat and that is all you really need for a day look, two coats and boom your eyelashes are into the next county; I love it, it adds volume and even as it dries it doesn’t flake off as much as other mascara’s that I have used in the past. I can definitely say that it will be a repeat purchase when I get around to needing a new tube of mascara. Great for everyday wear and from my (limited) experience it does have good long wear sustainability.

Next beauty item, so this is the first ever Anastasia Beverly Hills product I have ever owned, even though I have been drooling over the brand for years. The Prism eyeshadow palette, I am a hoarder of eyeshadow palette’s because they all have slightly different shades and even though I have something similar I do not have that shade and I need it.

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The colors in this palette however were not close to many of the other shades that I had and I think that is why I am always circling back to look at the Anastasia palettes, they have very unique shades that you normally don’t see in most eyeshadow palette’s. In this one specifically there is an almost acid green and I looked at it for a solid three minutes before I purchased the palette and tried to figure out how I would integrate it into a look. (I still have not managed that, but I will. I think it requires a special event or occasion and I don’t have any of those right now.)

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I wanted something daring in my makeup bag and this palette has very much provided that for me. The shades are lovely, the pigments are great, and it was something that I found myself reaching for so much during February, maybe it is all the jewel tones and I just wanted to liven up the very bleak weather that was around me.

The final beauty item is by a brand that I have been absolutely in love with for a few years now, Soap and Glory. I actually found out about them from a British YouTuber that I watch and have watched for quite some time but it was a favorite of hers and at the time they had started to carry the limited original collection at Ulta (yes, I spend a lot of time there, don’t judge me) so I went and I bought the shower gel, body lotion, and travel sizes as well because you can never have enough travel or trial sized products.

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The scent was something that was so fresh and refreshing that I found myself actually using lotion and moisturizing, my skin was very happy with me for that. I always have one of their lotions in my backpack because I don’t want my hands to feel dry and then people ask me what the brand is and I tell them. (I have gotten so many people hooked to it I’m not even mad.) The brand as a whole is some of my favorite skincare, hands down, and the lotion is just one part of my everyday routine so why wouldn’t it be a favorite?

 

Three more things, I find myself normally shying away from food items in favorites videos for personal reasons but I find that sometimes I just want to scream from the rooftops when I have a food product that I love.

The first isn’t really food though, it is tea. I have so much tea, I have a three tiered cart in my kitchen full of tea, I have a sloth tea infuser, I have infuser mugs, and a fancy infuser steeper thing and so much tea (bagged and loose leaf) I never need to buy more but I always will because tea is important.

In case you don’t believe me:

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My best friend’s older sister introduced her to David’s Tea and in turn introduced me as well and I am a huge fan of loose leaf teas so of course I bought tea there, I have bought several teas’ there and I have never had one that I didn’t like. I even went so far last year as to have the tea advent calendar and that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Their Honey Black tea is some of my favorite tea, it smells like honey so how could you be mad at it?

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I find myself, when I am feeling just overwhelmed by everything reaching for tea and in February I reached over and over again to make the honey black tea because there is just something about it that I find intensely comforting. If you live in Canada, I am jealous of you because you have David’s Tea without having to order it but I will suffer through the shipping process if that means that I can get my favorite teas no matter where I am.

So this is the actual food item, I am one of those people who will see something that looks good on the internet and I want to try it, well digestive wheat biscuits are for sure one of those things. I could get them up north at a few different stores because I lived pretty close to a rather large city and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get them down here, well guess what; I can. I like McVitie’s biscuits, probably because that is the only ones that I have ever had but they are great with tea or for just a slightly sweet snack. I feel like I don’t have much to say beyond the fact that I rather enjoy them and I was happy to be able to find them here.

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Last thing, so many words, so much repeating myself, seriously the video is much more concise (I promise) but kudos to you if you have made it this far.

My last favorite of February was Marvel Studios Black Panther, I am a huge superhero fan and I am much more of a Marvel fan than DC even though I grew up on DC cartoons (Sorry DC). Black Panther was one of those movies that just sticks with you, you think about it and you want to see it again, you want to talk to people about it, you want to see the influences that it will have or is already having on our culture. It’s important, for so many reasons and it quickly cracked the top three of my favorite Marvel Studios movies because it is a story that has implications for people all over the world and it shows that no matter who you are or where you are from you can be whatever you want and be strong. It is a movie that I loved and I think that Marvel one ups themselves every time they release a movie and I am excited for Infinity War one because it’s Infinity War and two because I am going to get to see most of my favorite superheroes all in one place.

 

-MJ