Happy New Year everybody! Thank you so much for reading along.
Here’s to an amazing 2015
the best is yet to come!
Coming out of my food coma long enough to say ‘Hi, hope you had amazing holidays’ and announce my ideas for the beginning of the new year, along with some pictures of my Christmas loot.
Next week on Monday, we’ll start Favorites Week, covering everything that I loved in 2014 – from beauty to the most random bits.
The Christmas gifts I received were decidedly of the non-beauty variety, since I usually buy that stuff for myself. My lovely and generous parents gave me a wonderfully snuggly lambskin (which makes for a perfect blog photography background) and added to my vinyl collection by giving me the latest Perfume Genius album Too Bright on top.
Other lovely bits included a cute little china bowl from my cousin, which now holds my favorite nail polishes of the season (Essie Bahama Mama and Skirting the Issue came out on top here) and a beautiful handmade calendar with seasonal recipes from my Secret Santa.
Since 2015 is (thankfully) going to be travel-heavy, the rest of my family decided to stick with monetary gifts, which couldn’t have come at a better time and have already been invested more or less wisely.
As I have mentioned before, I am much more of a bold lip girl than anything else make-up wise. So when the holidays roll around, I am tempted to put on my most festive lipsticks and make a statement. But with holidays come family meals, which – in a worst case scenario – can lead to your bold lipstick being smeared around your face in mere seconds.
Therefore, I tend to go with very matte offerings when doing a statement lip during the festive season. While they need a little more precision during application, they manage to stay put throughout a multi-course meal a lot better than creamier offerings.
I’ve corralled three options for a holiday lip. Unintentionally, they all turned out to be MAC, but since my stash was built during my MAC-crazy early twenties, this comes as no surprise. There are of course a ton of great options by other brands, but here are my three picks:
The Nude – MAC Kinda Sexy
Since my lips do have a lot of pigment naturally, I tend to go for darker nudes and this one is probably the most elegant and sophisticated in my collection. It is a warm-toned nude that makes a statement on the lips without being overbearing, so if you still want to go heavy on the eyes, this is the one to wear.
The Classic Red – MAC Russian Red
A timeless, blue-toned red, this lipstick is my failsafe option whenever I want to go for a classic red pout. It’s a bit darker, so it goes perfectly with the wintery season and the formula sticks around forever.
The Vamp – MAC Diva
Could this lipstick be more aptly named? Diva is a sexy burgundy that really packs a punch. It provides a dark and sultry lip without veering into goth territory and is a more surprising option than a classic red or pink. If you want a more purple-toned option of this lipstick, I highly recommend MAC Rebel, which is another great pick from the brand.
With my lip options all set, I am beyond excited for the holidays – family, friends, and food, here I come!
When going for a bold make-up look, I usually opt for a statement lip instead of a heavy eye. For one, I do have slightly hooded lids, so a perfectly executed blending job loses its effect as soon as I open my eyes. I also have pretty bad dark circles (no matter how much sleep and fresh air I get) and I find that dark, smoky colors tend to accentuate them and make me look even more tired.
But recently, I really have been into a warm, rusty haze on my lids that comes in the form of an oldie (but goodie) – MAC’s Antiqued eyeshadow.
This has been in my collection for years, but hasn’t found much attention until a few weeks ago when – in an attempt of ‘shaking things up’ – I spontaneously decided to do a bold eye for a birthday party.
As I said, Antiqued is a warm reddish copper color that highlights the green tone in my hazel eyes very nicely. Paired with a smoky black liner , tons of mascara, and a good helping of concealer, it looks modern and very appropriate for this colder time of year.
Since my rediscovery, it has become part of my MAC staples quad, which includes three other classic MAC shades – Espresso (perfect for brows), Nylon (great inner corner highlight but useless for anything else), and Pollinator, a limited edition color from 5 (!!!) years ago that I am determined to bust out again in the warmer months for a quick and neutral warm eye.
My newfound love for Antiqued eyeshadow is a perfect example of ‘shopping my stash’ gone right and has inspired me to be a little bit more daring with my make-up from now on. I’m pretty excited!
This little palette has arguably been one of the most coveted and sought after make-up releases of the past two years. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders have created a hype that I, too, couldn’t resist.
The fact that, in the beginning, this palette was strictly limited edition made me want it even more and sent me into a frenzy that even warranted the heftiest price tag and outrageous shipping costs – we’ve all been there, haven’t we?
I am happy to say that in this particular case, the product has lived up to its promise and has become a firm staple in my collection.
The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette comes with three powders that promise a perfecting function akin to that of a professionally lit setting. I wouldn’t go as far as saying they live up to this claim entirely, but the effect they give on the skin is indeed amazingly flattering.
On the far left is Dim Light, a color that comes in the regular line-up of powders. It’s a creamy beige that I personally use as an all over powder to set foundation without mattifying too much. It doesn’t look cakey or powdery at all and provides a soft glow that is very natural.
The middle shade is the limited offering called Incandescent Light. Lighter in color than Dim Light, this makes for an amazing subtle highlight that I use both on the tops of my cheeks and the inner corners of my eyes. Even though I didn’t care for this powder at first, it has slowly but surely become the most used shade in the palette for me since it is never overpowering but looks incredibly soft and flattering when applied.
The shade on the right – Radiant Light – is another regular offering and one that I bust out mostly during the warmer months. Since I am incredibly pale, this color makes for a beautiful bronze glow on my cheeks and works perfectly in combination with a bold lip or eye, as it is very neutral in tone. It does provide a ‘lit form within’-glow to the face and adds a hint of warmth as well. I think this would also make a nice highlight or all over powder for darker skintones, so there really is something for everyone in this palette.
Hourglass has once again wowed me with their high quality products and I am trying to keep myself from ordering a few of their Ambient Lighting Blushes, which looks amazing as well. There might just be a post-Christmas perk in the cards for me…
When it comes to make-up, Chanel is probably as fancy and classic as it gets, so it really was just a matter of time until I talked about one of their products. If you are considering going the beauty route for Christmas, I would highly suggest checking out your local Chanel counter, as it’s very hard to go wrong with their luxe range, regardless of age or make-up preferences.
One of my favorite products from their range is the Les Beiges Powder Compact. It might not be the most exciting purchase to make at Chanel, but I really cannot fault this item.
The color I use is No. 10, the lightest of the range. I generally use it to set my foundation or tinted moisturizer in order to get a more even application of bronzer and blush, and no matter how much of this you put on, it never looks heavy or cakey but manages to provide a natural glow to the skin. It doesn’t have a lot of coverage, but makes for a more long-lasting and even base that doesn’t interfere with the finish of whatever you’ve put on underneath.
The mirrored compact makes it a great handbag staple as well and the included brush isn’t actually half bad. I am glad that Chanel strayed from the usual sponge that comes with other powders because that would have made its way into the trash can a long time ago.
If you are a sucker for subtle and clean scents, I would highly suggest going with Chanel, as every product I have ever bought from them has really wowed me with its fragrance. If you’re sensitive however, I would strongly recommend testing the product out before buying it on order to avoid any reactions.