Third Time’s the Charm

I’m sure you all remember my obsession with the Urban Decay Naked Palettes from a few months ago. Today I’m rounding out my reviews of these delightful shadows by introducing you to Naked3. While previous palettes contained nude and gold tones, this one is all about the rose. It’s got a range of pinkish shades from light and bright matte shadows that are perfect on the crease to deep and dusty plums that are great when smoking things up for a night out on the town. Here’s the rundown:

Strange – pale neutral pink matte
Dust – pale metallic pink glitter
Burnout – light pinky-peach satin
Limit – light dusty rose matte
Buzz – metallic rose glitter
Trick – light metallic pinky-copper shimmer
Nooner – medium pinky-brown matte
Liar – medium metallic mauve shimmer
Factory – pinky-brown satin
Mugshot – metallic pink-taupe shimmer
Darkside – deep taupe-mauve satin
Darkheart – smoky black matte w/rosy red micro-sparkle

My go to look is Strange on the brow bone, Limit on the lid, Trick in the crease, and I’ll add Burnout on the outer corner for special events.

What’s your favorite Naked palette? Click the comment link at the top of this post to drop me a line and let me know!

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Blackberry & Bay

I have long been in love with Jo Malone. I first fell for their packaging, which I came across while doing research for a design project in college. The elegant balance of masculine and feminine found in their cream base tone with black edging and copperplate typography made the designer in me cry out with joy. When it came time to experience their products a few years later, I fell in love again – this time with their fragrances. Their scents were refined and elegant, but also accompanied by a playful abandonment that was irresistible.

jo malone packaging

However, their prices were far too high for me to casually purchase a bottle of their signature Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne that had me so enamored. So, imagine my excitement when the elegantly wrapped bars of soap sitting on the edge of the sales counter caught my eye. At only $20 a pop they were definitely within my spending budget. I left the store with a cream and black gift bag, the Blackberry & Bay Bath Soap, and a smile. When I next showered, I became even more enchanted with the rich lather of the soap and the fresh and verdant scent that reminded me of the bike rides I’d take in California summers as a child. It was quite an experience, and one I highly recommend at that.

jo malone bath bar

Expert Defense

Today’s post is special because it is one of the only times you will ever see me recommend a product I found at Walmart. This is primarily because going into Walmart terrifies me. It wasn’t something I grew up near, and it’s not in the best area of my current city so believe me when I say it is not a regular stop on my shopping list. Yes, Walmart freaks me out.

However, it is the one place where I am able to consistently find my favorite drugstore brand of eye cream. It’s safe to say that L’Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise Eye Defense Cream is the only reason I will venture into Wally World. It works every bit as well as more expensive brands to de-puff and get rid of dark circles and it’s also packed full of anti-aging ingredients specifically designed to for skin that is just starting to age – meaning it’s not going to be harsh and irritating. It’s fragrance free and safe for contact-wearers, and the pale pink gel is really pretty. (It’s right at home next to all my Glossier products.) The best part, in my opinion, is that I can get all these wonderful effects for a mere $12 as opposed to the $75 I’d been shelling out previously. So, for savings as big as these I’ll face my fear of Walmart and make a quick trip. Thankfully I only have to every six months or so since this gel lasts FOREVER.

Celebrate!

What’s the one blush color that’s flattering on all skin tones? Peach! A good peachy blush is an essential in every girl’s makeup bag. I like mine with just a touch of shimmer to keep me looking young and bright. My current go to is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush in Celebrated. It’s the perfect pinky-peach for my skin tone and always helps elevate my look. It’s long wearing and doesn’t fade by the end of the day, meaning it’s perfect for day to day wear. Best of all it’s from Tarte! The brand has managed to do the seemingly impossible and meld cruelty-free, vegan-friendly with professional grade quality. It will take you from the boardroom to the bar without affecting your wallet, your conscience, or your look.

Caudalie

We all know that the French understand natural beauty better than almost any other culture. They value pure ingredients and fresh faces. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the first ones to say that the best makeup is the makeup that you can’t tell you’re wearing. Their beauty culture emphasizes skincare above all else, so it’s no surprise that an iconic French brand, Caudalie, is one of my go-tos when it comes to advanced skin care.

the elixir

Now, I adore my everyday skincare routine and don’t foresee ever changing it, but there are certain times when every women’s skin needs a bit of tlc. That’s when I turn to Caudalie. With powerhouse ingredients, their products never fail to provide major results. My current favorites at the moment include their Premier Cru The Elixir, which smooths, plumps, and brightens has helped erase some of the minuscule lines I’ve noticed forming on my forehead (I realize I’m likely the only one who notices them.) It’s a very rich serum and a drop goes a long way, which is why I only use it once a week as part of my pampering routine. It works exceptionally well when combines with Premier Cru The Cream, which works to amplify the elixir’s effects and brighten your skin. I also like to use it as a hand cream.

premier cru la creme

By far my favorite Caudalie product is their Instant Detox Mask. I use it when I’m feeling down in the dumps because the packaging and fragrance make me smile every time. Plus the mask is super refreshing and leaves my pores tightened, skin detoxed, and imperfections diminished. It’s become my go-to for stressful weeks and is especially decadent when enjoyed in a bubble bath 😉

instant detox mask

Matte Perfection

I love a good matte-skin look, especially for evenings. However, matte foundations can crease, finishing powders can cake, and mattifying primers don’t always do a good job of keeping your makeup in place. That’s why I have developed a love affair with setting sprays. I’ve tried all of them, from Urban Decay to e.l.f. but I finally found a favorite in NYX’s Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray. It keeps me fresh faced, grease free, and fierce all day long. Plus, it’s weightless so all it takes is a few sprays and I’m good to go.

A Sanguine Summer

There’s something about summer that pushes me towards citrus fragrances. They’re fresh, clean, bright, and make me want to smile. That’s why I got over the top excited when I tried Atelier Cologne’s Orange Sanguine Cologne Absolue. It smells like a splash of sunshine. I first sampled this in the Play! by Sephora subscription box, and was instantly hooked.

With Atelier Cologne being dedicated to creating pure perfumes, using only the purest citrus oils in all of its concoctions I knew their take on this zesty fruit would be absolute perfection. With base notes of tonka bean sandalwood, and cedarwood it immediately checked the box in terms of being my kind of scent. But it’s in the top notes of blood orange, bitter orange, and red mandarin that makes this scent really shine through. It’s rounded out by a fantastic blend of geranium, jasmine, and black pepper for a surprisingly light spiciness that’s intensely intriguing without being suffocating. This energizing mix of fragrances combines to create a perfume that reminds me of mimosas at sunny brunches, trips to the beach, and cliffside escapades. You just can’t help but smile.