Friday, April 29, 2011

random ootd + a mini Target haul

I had an unexpected extra day off this week, so I decided to use it to run errands like go to the bank and the post office, and get groceries.  Of course, my supermarket of choice is, duh, Target! Needless to say, I spent way more time than necessary to get my groceries, and as usual, managed to pick up a few things that weren't on my list.... I thought I'd share my little haul with you, and also my outfit for the day (which just happened to include a Target dress - again, what else is new??).

DRESS: Target (tank underneath is also Target)
JACKET: INC (Macy's)
BAG: Aldo
NECKLACE: SeaUnicorn (etsy)

Also wearing gold bunny posts from Aldo, which you can't see!

I tried on a few summer dresses for fun - these two were keepers!

The above dress has really cute braided orange and navy straps - too bad I'll probably never wear it like this! I love how it looks with the navy blazer I was wearing that day, though!

You know you like something when you make the "sassy face" in the mirror! haha

Merona cutout flats (on sale for $5.74, down from $22.99!), Garnier Nutrisse hair color, Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Intensive Skin Repair Serum, Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream

The flats were an impulse buy - who can resist cute shoes for $5?! As for the hair color - well, it's time for a touch-up. I normally use L'Oreal, but I wanted to try something different this time.  I wanted to try the HerbaShine range, but they didn't have anything that wasn't straight-up brown or black, so I went for a Nutrisse one instead. We'll see how it goes...

I've been intrigued by the Yes to Blueberries skincare range since I first saw it on store shelves, but when I saw the list of ingredients for this serum, I was totally won over! Aside from Alcohol (halfway down the list), it contains NO ingredients that are known to cause breakouts in my skin. No silicones, no mineral oil, no artificial fragrance ("100% natural fragrance" is the claim)! It is also paraben-free.  I'm really hoping this works for me.  I've always wanted to use a serum, but every one I try seems to break me out!

I was also on the market for a new moisturizer.  I'm still a fan of Origins A Perfect World, but it's too thick/greasy for this hot Florida weather. I wanted something lightweight that smelled non-offensive (I hate that strong sunscreen scent many have). I was surprised to see that this one got rave reviews on makeupalley (I've never really used Garnier skincare before), so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Worst case scenario, it doesn't work, but at least it'd only be $6 down the drain!

Okay, lovelies, it's my bedtime!

Thanks for reading, and see you again soon!

<3 Jess

By the way, the way Blogger is lowering the quality of my pictures is REALLY driving me crazy.  They look fine on my phone and computer, but when I upload them they look terrible unless they're huge! :P Anyone know what I can do about it? 

Monday, April 25, 2011

review: clinique moisture surge tinted moisturizer

Scary makeup-free pics ahead! Just a warning, ladies. ;)

(photo from

I've really wanted to do a review on a foundation I've been loving lately - Clinique's Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer. I have to admit, I first drawn in by the sleek pale pink and silver packaging and the allure of a magazine ad. The foundation is a pretty reasonable $24.50. I also purchased during Clinique's Bonus Time, when they offer amazing freebies with a $21.50 purchase.   I also purchased the Bottom Lash mascara, which is another great product - but that's for another post!

Anyways, I'll cut right to the chase with the photos and review!


Totally bare-faced! (and in pajamas! haha)


With Clinique's Moisture Surge tinted moisturizer (also wearing nder-eye concealer, mascara, and 17 Mirror Shine in Beehive). I tried to take foundation-only pics, but they were too scary! haha I applied the foundation with Sephora's Professionel Platinum foundation Airbrush #55 (my favorite for applying foundation).

and with some blush (MAC Oh So Fair beauty powder)...


As you can see, it gives pretty good, buildable coverage with a semi-matte finish and a non-tacky texture. Most tinted moisturizers I've tried give a much lighter coverage. If you like lighter coverage, this may not be for you, but I love how it covers my redness and acne scars. Also, you can lighten the coverage if you apply with your fingers or a beauty blender-type sponge instead. One of my favorite things about this foundation is that I don't need to set it with powder (I have combination skin), and it lasts VERY well and doesn't separate around my nose and chin after a few hours of running around at work (one problem I have with NARS Sheer Glow).  Of course, if you have really oily skin, you may still want to set with powder.

Despite the coverage, it doesn't feel thick or cakey. It also has a light sunscreen scent which I happen to like. I have sensitive skin, and this foundation has not clogged my pores or irritated my skin. I also really like the packaging - lightweight and compact, perfect to throw in a makeup bag. The price is great, too - $24.50 - almost half the price of my beloved NARS Sheer Glow.


As with other Clinique foundations, I find that this oxidizes a bit. Blending is key, as once I applied with my fingers and when I got in my car I realized I had the dreaded foundation line around my jaw area.  Yuck! Also, the shade range is extremely limited (Clinique's website lists 6 available shades). I use Shade 2, and while I don't think it's a *perfect* match, it's not a bad one. However, I think darker skin tones might have trouble finding a match.  It's described as "sheer coverage," but it's not an Origins Vitazing-type product (which seems to work on most skin tones) - you do need a shade match.


I've been using this foundation pretty much daily the past 2/3 weeks, and I'm really loving it! I think I would definitely repurchase when I run out.  I'm interested to see how well it fares during the unbearable Florida summer months, but so far, so good!  I'd ask for a sample at Sephora (Sephora is great for foundation samples, if you didn't know!) or at your Clinique counter if you're interested in trying.  I just did wrist swatches and got lucky with my pick, but I know that's not a strategy that works for everyone! 

Hope this was helpful!

<3 Jess

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

time for another haul w/swatches! :)

I'm short for time, so I'm just going to jump right in! :)

MAC: Candy Yum Yum lipstick, Mischievious Mint nail polish, Playing Koi lipstick (all from the Quite Cute collection), Lingering brow pencil (repurchase)

Bath & Body Works Slatkin & Co. candles in Cotton Candy and Flower Shop, Fresh Picked Apples hand soap, Harajuku Lovers G of the Sea (love the bottle, hate the scent :P)

Bath & Body Works Slatkin & Co. Wallflowers

Clinique Bottom Lash mascara, Moisture Surge tinted moisturizer (LOVING both!)

Clinique gift with purchase (also included a makeup remover)

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Evasion w/freebies

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Evasion

MAC Candy Yum Yum 

MAC Playing Koi (pardon the lip scrub remnants - oops!)

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Evasion

Candy Yum Yum, Playing Koi, and Evasion

MAC Mischievious Mint nail polish (w/Lia Sophia necklace)

Aldo skull earring set and my sad little Sephora 15% off purchase - Tan Towels and Ole Henriksen Truth to Go wipes (love these!)

I wanted to buy Illamasqua's Tremble blush, but I changed my mind last minute... and now I'm regretting it! It was sooo pretty!

Last of all, thought I'd throw in some food-y purchases from the past weekend, just because. :)

Mochi: taro yogurt w/kiwi, strawberries, waffle cone pieces, and honey

My first macaroons!  (they didn't disappoint) @Whole Foods

I always buy at least two tins of these when I go to Whole Foods - addicted!

...this is what they look like :)

Oops, I forgot an essential - Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part One on DVD, which I grabbed this weekend. I love the HP movies/books. :) Can't wait for part two!

Okay, that's all for now, lovelies. Thanks for reading!

<3 Jess

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

looks from the weekend (fotd, ootd, notd)

It was such a beautiful weekend here. I worked Sunday morning, but afterwards I managed to get a bit of shopping in (I'll share my purchases with you soon, of course, although you may be able to guess a few from this post!). You might notice I'm wearing different outfits in the FOTD pics, but it was the same day - I was just being indecisive!

I'm also making the photos larger than I usually do - for some reason they were looking really grainy otherwise!  Anyways, onto the pics...

FACE: Clinique Moisture Surge tinted moisturizer, MAC Get-Away Bronze blush, YSL Metallic Colorama face highlighter

EYES: MAC Amber Lights e/s, Glamour Check e/s, and Sand & Sun e/s; MAC On the Hunt superslick liner; Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Lucky and El Dorado; UD 24/7 shadow pencil in Sin (inner corners); MAC Lingering brow pencil; Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara; Clinique Bottom Lash mascara

LIPS: MAC Playing Koi lipstick

NAILS: MAC Mischievious Mint 


JEANS: INC (Macy's)

DRESS: Forever21 (wearing Gap tank underneath)
BAG: Old Navy

MAC Candy Yum Yum lipstick - otherwise looking a mess!

Alright, lovelies, see you soon - thanks for reading!

<3 Jess

Friday, April 8, 2011

HAUL! ulta, drugstore, the body shop, target, etc.

  • Hard Candy Glow All the Way in Doll Face
  • Elf Face Booster powder w/brush
  • Lime Crime Coquette lipstick (review here)
  • Lancome L'Absolu Nu in Pale Petal
  • Revlon Fashion Night Pout lipstick (the last one they had, score!)
  • Revlon Black with Envy nail polish (I actually grabbed two of these, one will be for a giveaway!)
  • Hard Candy Fox in a Box blush in Smooth Talker
  • Wet 'n Wild Comfort Zone palette
  • Bed Head Superstar sulfate-free shampoo (50% off)
A closer look....

Lancome L'Absolu Nu in Pale Petal, Revlon Fashion Night Pout, Lime Crime Coquette  

swatched in the same order as above pic

I think the consistency and shade of the Lancome's Pale Petal is very similar to that of my favorite lipstick, YSL Rouge Pur Couture #6. Pale Petal is a bit more pink, while the YSL is more peach, and I prefer the packaging and scent/taste of YSL, though Lancome's fades fairly quickly. I think Pale Petal, shade-wise is almost a cross between YSL #6 and MAC Creme Cup, though I didn't realize it until after I did the comparison below, so no photo comparisons, sorry! It also doesn't gather on dry areas or "goop" in the center of lips like so many lipsticks do with time. This is the only lipstick I've tried aside from the YSL that doesn't do that! If you look closely at the Lancome lipstick in the tube, it has a slight shimmer, but I don't find that it translates on lips at all as anything more than shine, which is great because I HATE shimmery lipstick!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture #6 on left, Lancome L'Absolu Nu in Pale Petal on right

YSL on left side on lip, Lancome on right

Hard Candy Glow All the Way in Doll Face - looks scary straight from the tube, but gorgeous when blended!

Hard Candy Smooth Talker (sorry it looks messy from swatching!), Elf Face Booster

Hard Candy Smooth Talker, swatched

  • Hershey's Bliss White Chocolate Eggs (note: the bag is empty!!)
  • The Body Shop 3 for $28 sale: Coconut body scrub, Cocoa Butter body butter, Almond shower gel
  • Boots No7 Radiance Boosting Hot Cloth Cleanser
  • Aussie 3 Minute Miracle conditioner
  • Disney's Tangled on DVD
  • Britney Spears Femme Fatale CD
  • Virgo mug (Target)
I'm really loving my purchases from the past month, not one regret or disappointment! I'm a little disappointed in MYSELF, though, because I've been trying to avoid buying products from brands that I know test on animals, and Aussie and Lancome both do according to PETA's list.  I'm always trying to find a mascara that's better than Lancome Hypnose Drama for this reason, but so far I've been unsuccessful. : / I do think Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle is a great product, though, but isn't it ironic that a company with a kangaroo as a mascot tests on animals? I also really love the Lancome lipstick, too.  It's usually easier than you'd think to buy from companies that don't test on animals, but occasionally I am tempted.  It's definitely a personal decision, though, and I wouldn't think of judging anyone who purchases from companies that do. /endserioustalk ;)

Love you guys and talk to you soon!

<3 Jess

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

march favorites!

Wow, it's been AGES since I've done a favorites post.  I'm just horrible at sticking to a schedule when it comes to my blog - I'm more spontaneous/impulsive, I guess!

  • Urban Decay 24/7 shadow pencils in Sin and Rehab
I am so in love with these! They are multi-purpose, and work well as eyeliner, highlight (Sin, that is), and as eyeshadow as well (when I gave Rehab a test-run it lasted ALL day with no creasing! I'll post a pic at the bottom so you can see for yourself!).  I'm tempted to grab more of these.
  • MAC eyeshadows: Glamour Check and Sand & Sun
Glamour Check is one of my all-time favorite eyeshadows.  I can't remember if it's permanent or not now - I'm pretty sure I got it with a limited collection (something with "Color" in the name, I think - I'm drawing a blank and too lazy to Google it!). It's perfect as a crease color, as it looks good with ANY color you can think of. I also love it on the lid with Black Tied in the crease for a smokey eye look.

Sand & Sun came out with the To the Beach collection last year, and I think it's hugely underrated! It's a bit chalky, but I think it's amazing as a brow "highlight" shade - there's no shimmer (I prefer that, actually), but it just adds depth to any eye look, in my opinion. And it blends beautifully. I wish more people loved it!
  • YSL Metallic Colorama face highlighter
I got this as a Christmas gift, and it's been veeeery well-loved every since.  I tend to rotate this and Dior's Amber Diamond as my go-to highlight choices.  I love how this adds a rose-gold type shimmer that's very natural looking. And the packaging, as with all YSL packaging, is just gorgeous!
  • Origins VitaZing
When I first started using this, I wanted to love it, but thought it was breaking me out (and the novel-length list of ingredients scared me!) so I shelved it for a while.  I later came to learn the culprit was actually Philosophy's Microdelivery Peel pads - I'd never broken out from a Philosophy product, so I never even suspected it, but when I saw AHA in the ingredients, I knew that was it.  So I've rediscovered my Vitazing, and I'm so glad! It's just as amazing as everyone says - it gives skin a dewy, sunkissed glow with light coverage. I'll definitely repurchase this when it runs out. Anyone tried their new Plantscription serum? That's next on my list of Origins products I'm dying to try!
  • Stila Convertible Color in Gerbera
This was an unplanned purchase from Sephora this past month, and I love it! A few years ago one of my favorite things was the convertible color in Fuchsia, which I used as both blush and lip tint. It was a tragic day when the compact lid broke in my handbag and fuchsia-fied everything inside.  Yuck! But I never repurchased, and I'd forgotten all about it.  When I swatched Gerbera, it was love at first sight.  It's gorgeous on both lips and cheeks, a pale peachy pink that's right up my alley.  I love using this with Origins Vitazing and some mascara for not-in-the-mood-for-makeup days.
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture #6 Rose Bergamese
My all-time fave.  I wouldn't think of leaving it out!
  • NARS Nepal eyeshadow
Such a beautiful neutral.  Had to grab it after seeing Liparazzi rock it, and I'm so glad I did - love it!
  • Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (shade 3)
Another product that's worth the hype.  Soft, non-sticky, but glossy with just the slightest hint of color. And they taste amazing!
  • Tokidoki Bellina blush in Siberia
I can't rave about this enough. For those of you who want to love NARS Orgasm but don't, try this! I love that you can use each shade individually or blend them together (my preference). The other shade in the range, Skate Girl, is gorgeous as well.

That's all for this month! But before I go, here's a glimpse at the Urban Decay shadow pencils at work, as promised:
Urban Decay 24/7 shadow pencil in Rehab on lid, Sin in inner corner - this is after 8 hours of wear - I'm impressed!

Thanks for reading. Love you guys!

<3 Jess

Monday, April 4, 2011

yay for spring! FOTD & OOTD

The weather is so beautiful today that nothing get me in a bad mood! I also feel like I'm having a pretty fab hair day, and that always helps, right? haha Anyways, thought I'd share the look I did today, focusing on bright cheeks with a combo I love to rock in the spring/summer. :) Also, Origins Vitazing is seriously amazing. <3

FACE: Origins Vitazing, Elf Face Booster mineral powder, Illamasqua Rude cream blush, NARS Goldmember cream blush

EYES: UDPP in Sin, The Body Shop #13 e/s, Tarina Tarantino Electric Butterfly e/s, MAC Glamour Check e/s, MAC Sand & Sun e/s, MAC On the Hunt superslick liner, Urban Decay 24/7 liner pencil in Sin (inner corners), UD 24/7 liner in Lucky and El Dorado, MAC Lingering brow pencil, Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara

LIPS: Illamasqua Rude cream blush topped with a little 17 Mirror Shine Beehive lipstick

And the outfit...

Dress & lightweight cardigan (crochet in back!): Target
Bag: Forever21

I also broke out my Fresh Pray eau de parfum, which smells kind of musky and masculine - I like balancing super-girly looks with a scent with a little bite sometimes! :)  Hope you're all having a great day!

Thanks for reading!

<3 Jess