Recently #23: Planning 2017

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As January comes to a close, I am staying determined to make 2017 a productive and creative and plain fun year. To stay on top of everything, I am once again relying on a paper and pen planning system (in addition to a very overworked iCal) to keep everything in check.

After a few years of being faithful to the Moleskine planners and their Star Wars collecting in particular (which, to my knowledge, has sadly been discontinued), I choose a desk planner from Rifle Paper Co.

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While it came a bit larger than I expected, I love having an overview of my week and everything in it on my desk and have been very happy planning away and keeping it nice and neat. I had considered trying out a bullet journal for this year and even though I have incorporated a few aspects of it into my note-keeping, I just couldn’t pass up this beautiful planner for now.

I am looking forward to this year so much and I hope you are too! 2017, here we go!

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ColourPop Haul: Eyes

Here we go again, it’s the rest of my ColourPop loot from late last year.  While I certainly didn’t need any more lip products, the same goes for eyeshadows as well.

Still, the sparkly, creamy shades in the ColourPop range lured my in and I had to treat myself. This time, I opted for a nifty little set instead of single eyeshadows and the color range is absolutely perfect.

I choose the Where the Light Is set of four shadows curated by Youtuber Kathleenlights. A collection of warm shades from creamy mattes to straight up sparkle, this is right up my alley and makes for a versatile quad that creates a lot of looks.

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First up, the mattes. They are creamy and soft and therefore best applied with fingers or a flat brush. Cornelious is a warm, almost orange toned brown that makes for a beautiful nude eye that pairs nicely with warm bronzes but looks amazing and polished on its own.

Glow is a soft matte cream color that looks amazing in the inner corner, especially when you don’t want extra glitter or shimmer. It’s not flat or chalky but applies evenly with fingers.

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The eponymous Kathleenlights is a gorgeous, complex copper bronze that packs a punch and adds a soft sparkle to the eye. This looks great paired with Cornelious as a blending color and makes for a great two-stop warm smokey eye.

Finally, Blaze is a straight up sparkly olive brown that is so unique, at least in my collection. It is slightly darkened, so it is smoky as much as it is sparkly and creates instant drama on the eye. The formula is as soft as the others, but this is a special occasions-shade for sure.

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And that’s it. I am very happy with my recent picks from ColourPop and as you can see, I couldn’t hold out on trying them out before photographing. If you can get your hands on the brand, or if they offer international shipping again soon, be sure to pick up a few goodies and give them a go.

Surratt Relevee Lash Curler

Lash curlers most definitely divide the beauty community into two camps: either they are a must have or totally neglectable.

I personally love to use them and think they make a huge difference in how awake and bright my eyes appear. That being said, I was never sure if there is that much of a difference between the curlers you can pick up at the drugstore and the ones sold by high end brands.

That is, until I tried the Surratt Relevee Lash Curler. I had heard about them on Anna’s blog The Anna Edit and picked them up on a particularly spendy day, because they are a bit of a splurge.

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However, I haven’t regretted getting them one bit, as they are the most comfortable and effective lash curlers I have ever owned.

For one, they open up nice and wide, so the grab all my lashes easily and at once. Before, I always had the problem of not being able to catch the lashes at the outer corner of my eye, and with these, it is no issue at all.

The silicone pads are super soft as well, eliminating any pinching or pulling. I don’t know about you, but when I take any sort of apparatus near my eyes, I want to be sure it is as safe as possible and the Relevee curlers have been the ones I have been most comfortable with.

The curl itself is natural but noticeable without any weird kinks or droopy lashes. Plus, the actual tool itself looks absolutely gorgeous in all matte black, but really, this shouldn’t be a point (even though it totally is…).

So, a splurge for sure, but a great one. I am tempted by the whole Surratt Beauty line to be fair, but I feel that this was the best possible jumping off point.

3ina Lip Primer

You know that feeling when you browse on Asos, not really looking for anything in particular, and you stumble across things you never thought you needed but somehow have to have? That’s exactly how I ended up purchasing the 3ina Lip Primer.

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I had never heard of the brand before, but the sleek design and confusion about how to pronounce the name (‘Mina’, FIY) intrigued me to no end.

It promises to create a base layer on the lips that provides longevity and smoothness, but can also be used as a mattifying topcoat to take away the shine from any lip color.

The product itself is a thin, slightly tacky soft pink gel that applies easily and smoothly onto the lips. It leaves the tiniest white cast, but since you would be applying lipstick over it anyway, this isn’t much of a problem. As it remains a bit sticky, lipstick adheres beautifully to it and stays on nicely. I haven’t had any pilling or balling up of the product, only a smooth lip that stays hydrated and soft.

Now, I haven’t tried it as a topcoat since my lips have been crazy dry this winter, but I will try it out as soon as possible. When I do, I think I will use it with a lip brush though, because fingers could be incredibly messy, especially with bolder colors.

 

Bookshelf #14

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One resolution (if you could even call it that…) for this new year has been to read more for fun. I love books, but with the weight of researching and writing a dissertation on my shoulders, I often feel guilty about reading anything outside that very specific realm.

This year, however, I will make an effort to read the novels and essays that have been sitting on my nightstand forever and take time out of the day to do something nice and engaging that is not connected to additional screen time.

One idea that I found extremely inspiring and feasible came from one of my favorite blogs, A Cup of Jo. Joanna talks about creating an ‘articles club’ where, just like in a book club, you regularly discuss articles with a group of friends. I love this idea!

Books are great, but articles can be prepared ad hoc and related more closely to distinct areas of life or political/cultural/economic world events. You could also relate this idea to short stories or longer essays, whatever strikes your fancy.

So I am thinking about starting a club like this IRL, to make reading more into a social event, but also to keep myself accountable in my efforts to read more.

What do you think?

ColourPop Haul: Lips

Back around Thanksgiving, ColourPop offered a one-off deal on free international shipping, and seeing as I unfortunately don’t have a North American address anymore, I jumped at the opportunity and hauled a few goodies.

A couple of items were birthday presents, so I don’t have them to show anymore, but I ordered enough stuff for myself to comprise a two part haul (the second part is coming up later this month). First up: lips.

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Since I’ve read mixed reviews on their Ultra Matte liquid lipstick, I decided to stick with the tried and tested Lippie Stix formula and order two more shades – Bossy and Contempo.

Bossy is right up my alley, a neutral tomato red that is bright without being too garish. The formula is matte but not uncomfortable and easy to apply. Still, I would suggest neatening up the edges with a lip brush since the bullet is slim but not overly precise.

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The second shade, Contempo, is a strange one. A beautiful darkened mauve in the tube, this comes up a bit too cool-toned and grey on my skin tone. Maybe it is just because I am not used to seeing this sort of color on myself, but it looked a little off. I am trying to work with it nonetheless and will keep you updated if I find a combination that works for me.

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The formula, however, is gorgeous as well. Opaque in one swipe, this too deposits a matte lip color that isn’t too drying or flaky. If you can get your hands on these little lipsticks, be sure to pick up a few shades.

PS: For any other Europeans out there, I had to pay customs fees in the end. It wasn’t a significant amount, but I had to go pick up the package at the customs office, so keep that in my if they offer the free worldwide shipping deal again.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil

Dupe Alert! As you guys know, if there’s something I like to try out, it’s a brow pencil. High up on the list have been the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil and the Anastasia Brow Wiz. The latter has gained a cult following for a reason, but the price (and quality of the pencil casing) have kept me from repurchasing it all the time.

Enter the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash, a perfect dupe at about a third of the price.

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Both the pencil itself and the little spoolie are exactly like the Brow Wiz and deliver the same natural and soft result. To be honest, I wouldn’t be able to keep the two apart in a blind test.

The twist up pencil is neither too soft nor too hard and leaves the brows with hair-like strokes that look believable and not at all blocky. The color, Ash, is a perfect match for my cool-toned medium-brown brow hairs and keeps them from looking to harsh.

Funnily enough, the tiny brush has been my favorite part of the Brow Wiz and when it broke off, I was over the pencil too. I am happy that the Micro Brow Pencil comes with a similar brush and has seemed to keep up better than the original.

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So if you’re a fan of the Brow Wiz too but are looking to soften the blow on your wallet, here you go. Get yourself to a NYX counter and rejoice!