Favorite: Beauty Products

Hi friends!

So I have a really fun, fashion-themed sponsored post coming your way at the end of the week (involving leggings and tights, the staples of my winter wardrobe), so as a precursor to that, I thought I would spend a little time this week posting about other girly things that I love. The few times that I’ve posted about makeup in the past, a few of you have requested a post about what my favorite beauty products are. Well, ask and ye shall receive!

Makeup looks

Male readers, feel free to X out of your browsers now. I think you’re done. 😉

Doing makeup

So, as you all know by now, I’m kind of obsessed with putting crap on my face. In the best possible way, of course. And I’ve posted about certain products that I like, as well as my Sephora obsession, but never really broken it down beyond that. To be fair, it’s because I really am not the kind of person who has one everyday, go-to look. I really enjoy playing around with my makeup and having lots of options. But, if I were forced to whittle down my ridiculous makeup collection into the basics, these would be it.

Now, it should be noted that this list is of predominantly higher-end makeup brands, so if you’re shocked at the sticker prices… well, yeah. Believe me, I know. But, they really are amazing! And I do use drugstore brands too (you might even see one below…!) it’s just that, well, these are supposed to be my favorites, right? Right. heh. (Oh, and sidebar: none of the links below contain affiliate links.)




I don’t wear foundation on a daily basis, but when I do, it’s Makeup Forever’s HD Invisible Cover Foundation ($42). I wear color #125. Though I know I’m lucky because I have pretty clear skin naturally, I suffer from a LOT of redness. This stuff really does cover my redness, and gives me a blank canvas to work with. It is fantastically lightweight, and doesn’t get cakey on me, which is a problem I’ve had in the past. It is definitely expensive, but for me, since I don’t wear it daily, one bottle lasts a looooooong time.



I’ve mentioned NARS Blush in Orgasm ($28) on this blog before, and it’s because it’s the miracle blush. I have yet to find a single person that this blush does not look amazing on. It’s a subtle, shimmery, peachy-pink, and it really is just gorgeous. As I mentioned above, my cheeks are naturally very red, so I really only wear blush if I’m wearing foundation. That said, this is the only blush I can ever imagine needing again. I threw out my other ones. True story.



Hands-down, the most-used product in my makeup box… tray… shelf… thing (…) is the Naked Palette from Urban Decay ($50). This single palette has 12 colors, almost all of which are neutral, and all of which look AWESOME. I use it for almost all of my daytime looks, and Creep + Gunmetal (the black and silver on the end) make an awesome nighttime smokey eye. The palette comes with a brush (that I don’t really use, haha) and a mini bottle of Primer Potion, which IMO, is absolutely the best eyeshadow primer out there.

Sin, the second shadow from the left, is an amazing, shimmery pink color, and Buck, 5th from the left, is a matte brown. They look awesome together (Sin on interior half of lid, Buck on outside and in crease). If you didn’t want to fork over the cash for the entire palette, but would like a couple shadows for a great daily look, I’d suggest getting those two colors individually. The individual shadows sell for $18 each.


Confession: I have this eyeliner in six–yes, SIX–different shades. I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it. Yep, Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner ($19) glides on smoothly, stays on forever, and comes in the bessssst colors. I have it in Zero (black), Gunmetal (silver), Covet (green), Flipside (teal), Lust (purple), and Woodstock (pink). It is, quite simply the best, and I will fight you over it.

I will admit, however, that I have also been using UD’s 24/7 liquid liner, and I’m not 100% sold on it. So I’m looking for suggestions for your favorite liquid liner–feel free to pass ’em forward if you use the stuff! I’m especially interested in trying out the marker-style liquid liner, as opposed to the bottle-and-brush kind, which is what UD’s is.



I don’t wear a ton of “real” lipstick, since, like 83% of the day I have something in my mouth (I’m talking about food, you gutter minds!) and it never really lasts long enough to make it worth it. In fact, one of the only times I wear lipstick-lipstick, is when I feel the occasional need to rock the red lip that I love so dearly. My color of choice? Makeup Forever Rouge Artist Intense in #42 ($19). Highly pigmented and pretty long-lasting, when I do the whole fill-in-lips-with-lip-liner-and-use-multiple-coats-thing.


Lip Gloss

Now, gloss on the other hand… gloss, I love. I have a lot of them. And they’re sticky, and they’re shimmery, and Sean hates them. 😀 And my favorite of the bunch is NARS Lip Gloss in Orgasm ($24). This gloss is actually pretty UNsticky, and the shimmer is subtle and beautiful. Along with the Orgasm blush, this is the product I used on each one of Anne’s bridesmaids when I did their makeup for her wedding, lending credence to my theory that this color just looks good on errrrrybody.


I’m kind of funny when it comes to my makeup. I don’t use (or even own!) concealer, but I’ll tout highlighter as a must-have from here to kingdom come. See, highlighter is one of those products that is generally overlooked. Not a ton of people use it, and it does seem a little superfluous on the surface. But to me, there’s nothing that brightens my face more than just a tiny touch of a shimmery sheen here and there. Smashbox’s Halo Highlighting Wand ($32) is my current fave, although I haven’t tried TOO many different brands yet.

I dab it under my eyebrows, along the inner corner of my eye, over the tops of my cheekbones (above my blush-line), and in my cupid’s bow (the little dip at the tip of my upper lip). It lets my face catch the light in really flattering ways, and looks great in photos.


Hokay. So. Had you asked me like, a week ago, what mascara I would recommend, I would have proclaimed from the rooftops Diorshow Blackout ($25), no question. J’adore Dior. It is a thick formula that actually clings to my tiny, weak Asian lashes (seriously, if you catch me at the wrong angle sometimes it doesn’t even look like I HAVE lashes) and is a real, true BLACK, which is what I love. And I still love it, don’t get me wrong.


SOMEBODY just HAD to have dinner with me whilst sporting the most incredible lashes in existence, to the point that I could not stop staring into her eyes during dinner. So, yes, Aileen, I am a total creeper, but thank you for introducing me to this magic.

CoverGirl LashBlast Luxe in Black Platinum ($7.50, I got it at Target) is the bomb-diggity. And yes, I’m bringing that back. It is thick, and amazing, and a third of the price of Diorshow and… it has SPARKLES. Yes, this mascara actually glitters. The bomb. It comes in a range of subtle tints, too, but I went with basic black. And I’m not sure if I’m going back. Stay tuned.

So! There you have it! Whew. Obviously, the basic lesson of this post is that I spent entirely too much money on makeup, so that I could report back to you with my faves. The things I do for you people, I tell ya. 😉

I know I’ve basically asked this question before, but considering the topic of this post, I think it bears repeating: What are your makeup faves?


I have a bit of an obsessive personality. You are probably not shocked to hear this. Still, it bears noting that I am well-aware of my tendency to throw 110% of myself into something… until my interest suddenly drops out, that is. Then, I have absolutely no problem just, y’know, giving up. In fact, aside from sushi, Harry Potter, and my inexplicable love for stationary shopping, this has held true for pretty much everything I’ve ever claimed interest in: every hobby I’ve attempted taking up (scrapbooking, anyone?), every food I’ve been obsessed with (still waiting for the tide to turn on my love for brussels sprouts), and every fad diet I’ve attempted. In fact, my single-minded focus when it comes to my interest du jour often causes me to forgo other aspects of my life.

Most are relatively harmless. For example, I am super obsessed with the Hunger Games right now (as you all should be, as well). In fact, when I first read the books last October, I ended up spending a large chunk of my trip to Canada finishing all three of them instead of going out and doing Canadian things. Was it stupid to choose to read (an AMAZING set of books, but something I could do anytime nonetheless), over spending time back in my high school stomping grounds? Probably. But ultimately it wasn’t anything unforgivable. Another example: the other day I bought not one, not two, but THREE different pieces of Hunger Games-inspired paraphernalia on Etsy. Perhaps not the best use of my money, but like I said, I’m obsessed.

While I may display my ridiculous fangirl-ness rather proudly, however, I am ashamed to admit that other, far more destructive behaviors that have cropped up in the name of past obsessions. Especially when that obsession manifested itself in ways particular to my self-image… like the very one that sparked the entire creation of this blog: my weight. My obsession with my appearance and weight has always had its ups and down, but it was unsurprisingly at its craziest in high school. At times, either because I was actually content with my looks or simply too lazy to do anything about it, things were fine. Business as usual – eating normal amounts of not-super-healthy-but-not-terrible-for-you foods, not thinking about it too much. But as we very well know, all it takes is one comment from a mean teenager, one side-eye from someone skinnier, one spark of self-hatred and all that normalcy crumbles. And suddenly the only thing that matters is losing weight. Not my family, not my friendships, and certainly not my health.

The first step was always to enter crash diet mode. I would mentally yell obscenities at myself, trying to convince myself that I was too fat to deserve food. I would try to sleep all day so I wouldn’t have to eat anything. But between school, and going to the bathroom, and simply getting bored with that, my plan to, uh, not eat would fail, and I would resort to the latest fad diet. Low carb! No carb! No cheese! Only cheese! Cabbage soup! Fish oil! And when the results didn’t come, or didn’t come fast enough, sometimes I went even further than that. Diet pills. Insane “cleanses” based on information gleaned from the internet. And I know that if my 16-year-old self had been able to get her hands on some fen-phen, she would have had no qualms about it, heart murmurs be damned. Eventually, my fervent obsession with dropping 10 lbs in a week would fizzle out. By the time I got to college, cycles of binge eating had worked their way in there as well, which means that my slow ascent to my highest weight of 246 lbs happened purely because of my vain attempts to lose a quick 5 libbies in high school.

Senior year of college

The worst part, as I see it now (with all my almost-24-years of wisdom, haha), is that I wasn’t really even overweight in high school. Because I was younger than everyone else (I skipped a grade when I was young), it took a little longer for my baby fat to redistribute itself. But by the time I got to the end of my sophomore year, I was strong, tall, and probably around 160 lbs. Totally normal, maybe even svelte, considering that’s right around what my goal weight is now. Of course, since I spent grades 9 – 11 in Taiwan, surrounded by my genetically petite classmates who topped out at 5’2″ and 110 lbs, I thought I was a total whale. I was in the 180s by the time I started my senior year, now living in Ottawa, but given how good I felt when I hit 186 back in the fall, I now know how perfectly NORMAL that was.

Senior year of high school

Stupid teenage me.

Last weekend

Anyway, the point of this long, extremely wordy post is to point out that it’s only now that I’m really starting to understand myself. I’m starting to get how my mind works, how my motivation works, and I keep trying to figure out what it is about this time that’s actually sticking. I mean, I know that I’ve been drifting for a while now, and I haven’t made tons of progress over the past year compared to the beginning, but the fact that I’m still here? That I’m still blogging, still trying, still actively thinking about my health? AND still trying to do it all the right way? It is a significant change from how I used to be. I hope it doesn’t sound conceited or anything, but I think it shows growth. And you might say I’m still pretty obsessed with my weight. I mean, I do still blog about it pretty much every day. But it’s a healthier kind of obsession, if there’s such a thing. It’s a slow burn. Not the kind the consumes you and drives you to do desperate (and dangerous) things. The kind that warms you from the inside, because you know that eventually, even if it does take another year to drop as many pounds as you lost in the first 4 months, you’ll get there.