Make-up Faves 2015


Sorry that I’ve been away! I changed jobs (loving the new job), prepped for the holidays, had lovely family visit from out of town and more–all good stuff that pushed blogging to the back burner. But I am back.  I’m starting with make-up that I’ve used a lot this year. Some green, and some not. As I’ve always said, this space is greenish! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the holiday season!

Mascara: This year, I returned to Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara. This is the ONLY mascara that doesn’t smudge on me. It stays put so well that I can wear it on lower lashes. I don’t even try that with others. It very black and provides great volume and length in just 1-2 coats. It can be clumpy, so you have to clean off the wand a bit before you start.

Concealer: Onomie’s A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment and Bright Concealing Elixir were staples this year. Read my review of this under-eye circle brightening and concealing duo here. I also succumbed to the internet buzz about Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless complete Coverage Concealer. I bought it during the VIB sale and, well, wow. It’s a high-coverage, lasting product that truly is weightless. It doesn’t crease and lasts all day. The internet was right about this one.

Eyeliner: I am still loving the Youngblood Dual Highlighter Pencil for brightening tired peepers. I should probably get a new one soon. Read my review here. I also love the soft, pigmented, smudge-able, and long-lasting Sephora Collection Contour Eye Liner. I have it in brown and use it a ton.

Base: This year, I made the biggest dents in bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream (reviewed here);  Nars Sheer Glow. (I’ve never reviewed it, but it’s the best foundation I’ve ever used. It’s not perfect, but pretty damn close as far as department store offerings go.) In terms of green bases, it’s Gressa Minimalist Corrective Foundation all the way. See my post about it here.

Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder is perfect, you hear? Perfect. I especially love the yellow-tinged Diffused Light for finishing my makeup and setting concealer. You only need a touch on a fluffy soft brush.

Lips: I made the biggest dents in Ilia Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady (reviewed here); Jane Iredale Lip Pencil (liner) in Peach (I use this with lip colors ranging from nude to watermelon); and the newest addition is Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig (a peachy-nude-rose that is a tad bright, but in a very good way).

Tools: I own a fancy Japanese blush brush and I never use it. Instead, I go for the EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush. (Read about my most-reached for brushes here.) I also love the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, though this year I got a few of their Miracle Complexion Sponges and I love them. If you wanted to (specially when traveling) you could use this one tool for base, concealer, cream highlighter, and finishing powder. They work as well as a Beauty Blender for one-third of the price. Love.


Empties: Fall Edition


Note: I started this post earlier in the week. I wasn’t going to finish it or post it today as  my thoughts are so focused on the tragedy that has taken place in Paris. This stuff just couldn’t be less important. But sometimes a distraction helps. If you’re looking for some fluff to take your mind off things, please read on.

Well folks, I have been saving my garbage (recyclables, really) for you again. Here’s a look at the latest empties and whether they get a thumbs up, thumbs up plus repurchased, or a thumbs down. If you’re using any of these OR have recommendations for products that do the same thing, but better, please comment below! Here we go!

Jason Foaming Shower Oil Here’s the thing, this oil isn’t oily. It’s a shower gel. If you have dry skin and don’t care about “clean” products, I recommend you try Eucerin’s Calming Dry Skin Body Wash. This is an oil that emulsifies to a low foaming lather. It’s really hydrating and gentle. I was looking for a green alternative when I bought the Jason, but it was a miss. As I said, not an oil, and thus not particularly hydrating. I also think the packaging would be improved with a pump. Too much comes out so it gets used up very quickly. Thumbs down.

Yarok Feed Your Moisture Shampoo I love Yarok Shampoos. They are organic and the scents are ah-mazing! I started with the Feed Your Volume  (like this one a lot too)  but switched to Feed Your Moisture. It suited my hair better, especially now that it’s getting cooler and I am blow drying more. Thumbs up. Though I haven’t repurchased because I am going to try Andalou Naturals shampoo. I have been so impressed with their skincare, that I figured I should give other products in their range a try. More on that soon.

First Aid Beauty Racial Radiance Pads If you’re a regular visitor here, then you know I love these. Read my review here. Thumbs up plus repurchased. I picked up two more jars during the Sephora VIB sale.

Ilia Beauty Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady. This one isn’t totally done, but close enough that I need to reorder. I keep this in my purse and use it as I would a lip balm. The color is sheer enough that I can apply without a mirror. The formula is hydrating and comfortable. Read my post on it here. Thumbs up plus repurchase, for sure!

Pratima Neem Rose Facial Sunscreen Another frequent flyer on the list. Read my thoughts on it here. Thumbs up plus repurchased (already had a backup of this one).

Sunday Riley Luna Oil I recently got around to reviewing this retintol-in-oil oil. See here. It’s a thumbs up plus repurchased.

People’s Pharmacy MOM Deodorant I still love this stuff. Reviewed here. Thumbs up plus repurchased (in fact, I have one and a backup).

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum I bought this as a possible replacement for Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. It isn’t  dupe (Drunk Elephant’s C Serum is a dupe though). I do really like it though. It has a light, gel texture that I love and it brightens and tightens–I think it’s especially good when skin is breaking out. Thumbs up plus repurchased.

Acure Facial Cleansing Creme This is a good first or second cleanse. It’s not a cream, rather a foaming cleanser that I don’t use it every day because it’s a bit strong. I think it has some key things in common with Sunday Riley, which I wrote about here. I am torn on how to rate this, since I bought it thinking it was a cream cleanser. Check out my post if you are looking for something foaming and deeply cleansing.



Onomie A.C.E. Iluminating Eye Treatment and Bright Concealing Elixir


I was browsing though my Instagram feed and saw that it has been 13 weeks since I purchased the Onomie Eye Essentials Duo! I hadn’t realized so much time had passed, in part because concealer doesn’t seem close to running out. Anyway, time for a review!

I was in a real concealer rut when I purchased Onomie’s A.C.E. Illuminating Eye Treatment (boasting 10% Vitamin C for serious brightening) and Bright Concealing Elixir (packed with antioxidants and caffeine for depuffing). I thought my circles were showing through every concealer I tried. I put away my fave green concealer (Studio 78 Paris) and went back to department store concealer (Clarins) in the hopes of more coverage. I still wasn’t happy with how it looked. The worst part? I developed bumps under my eyes, which I believe were caused by using a product with such a heavy texture. Around that time, an article about Onomie got my attention. They have created a makeup/skincare hybrid with these two products, the company’s first offerings, which address what women most want to fix. I figured it couldn’t hurt to treat while covering up,  so I decided to order a try at home kit. (Onomie has a really affordable way to try the products. For just $4 you get 3 shades plus the corresponding illuminator. Check it out here.)

I intended to use Onomie every day for 8 weeks. Turns out, 8 weeks came and went! So how did it work for me? I have noticed some improvement in my dark circles! It is important to note that I had somewhat modest expectations on this front because my circles are hereditary. I am most impressed by the improvement of the texture of the skin under my eyes. The bumpy texture has improved and my fine lines are a bit softer. Between these 3 improvements, I am less crazy about covering my circles, which is good. I don’t layer on a ton of product and if they aren’t totally invisible, that is ok because the skin looks brighter and smoother. Some additional thoughts:

  • The A.C.E. Illuminating Treatment is great. I love the pump packaging (and wish the concealer was in a pump instead of a tube). Onomie recommends tapping the illuminating treatment in a “C” shape around the outer part of the eye. I do that, but I also use it on the inner part of the eye–sort of like a primer for the concealer. This stuff blends beautifully. It comes in a pink pearl shade and a bronze shade.
  • The concealer is thin and pretty pigmented. It is easy to work with–it blends easily with fingers or a brush and doesn’t crease (unless you really over apply). You can layer it too. I find it’s best to let the first layer set for a minute before adding more. I don’t think it needs setting, but I do set it and plays well with powder. (I set with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light.)
  • I like the yellow undertone in the lighter half of the concealer shade range. It’s so brightening, but it may post a problem for cool and neutral toned people.
  • The illuminating treatment costs $32 and the concealer costs $26. You can buy the duo for $58. This seemed weird to me. I think there should be a price break for buying both at the same time.
  • I still can’t find the ingredients list on the site. You can find the lists on the packaging on my Instagram here and here.

I’ll close with this: I think Onomie deserved their Allure Best of Beauty Award for their concealer. I highly recommend trying it for yourself. They make it affordable and easy to try, so why not go for it?