Sunday, October 4, 2015

September Favorites

It seems that I have a spotty record with writing favorites posts, and I am only slightly shamed to say that it is because I have just been reaching for the same products over this past month.  Starting a new job really means using products that are tried and true, although that didn't totally mean I was only using some older products.  I definitely tried out a few new products that will be seeing some serious love in the upcoming months.

I bought the MAC Warm Neutrals Palette from Nordstrom a few months back and have been using it pretty regularly.  Although it was a pretty pricy palette at $85, it's still a steal for a fully formed MAC palette, which was usually retail for over $160.  I'm planning on doing a full post later on featuring some looks with this palette, but all of the shades are perfectly suited for the type of looks that I like to do.

Although I bought this last year, I haven't used the YSL Babydoll Kiss and Blush in 10 Nude Insolent until these past couple months. It is one of many MLBB lip shades that I have been slapping on when I'm rushing in the morning, but this is particularly useful because I use it as a neutral cream blush, as well.

An impulse buy gone right is the Clinique Sculptionary Contour Blush in Nude.  I will be dedicating a full post to this blush, but just a little preview - this blush is the bomb.  It's the perfect nude glow that isn't too shimmery, and it actually creates a soft contoured look that I've been really loving.

I have officially stepped on the Chanel bandwagon after completely falling in love with the fall collection.  Chanel Alezane was just too pretty for me to pass up, and I knew that it was just the right type of shade that I would use all the the time, justifying the $45 price tag.  

Continuing on the theme of blushes and exciting cheek products, I have been reaching for this Cargo Beach Blush in Miami not so much as a cheek product, but actually as a delicate golden-pink highlight over my blushes.  It has a harder pigment so it ends up being a delicate highlight rather than an all on shimmer, but beautiful, nonetheless!

For lipsticks, I've generally been going back to my standby MLBB shades like Maybelline Touch of Spice, Revlon Honey, etc, but I've also been reaching for this Rival de Loop lipstick a lot.  When I bought it, I wasn't expecting too much out of it, but I've been really enjoying it.  I'm pretty sure it's only sold at one branch of drugstores in Germany (DM), and it was probably less than 2 euros, but the formula and lasting power has been really great.  It's also the perfect subtle red that I'm comfortable wearing to work.

Well, I'm keeping it short and sweet for September, but fear not, because I think I'm officially out of my makeup rut!

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

September 2015 Empties

Hello all! Today I have some empties to show you that have just been piling up in my bathroom.  Now you all know the drill by now, but empties are always my favorite posts because I definitely have a good opinion of the products after I have finished them up.  Plus, there’s always the satisfaction of seeing my stash empty by about .05% before I replace it with about 5 more products….now that’s something I need to work on.
Without blabbering on too much, here’s what I have finished recently:

Read on to see more!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Beat the Heat Makeup

While the August usually signals the beginning of the end of summertime, I can assure you that the heat is still going strong here in DC.  I've compiled a few things that have helped keep my makeup on throughout the day  and they have quickly become some staple products.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Kiko Cosmetics Now Online in the US!

ALERT ALERT: Kiko Cosmetics is available in the United States. And now just in a couple stores on the East Coast, but they are now available ONLINE!  Bonus, a lot of their products are on sale, especially their limited edition collections!

If you have been following my blog for a while now, you know that Kiko has been one of my favorite European cosmetics brands for a few years now, mainly because of their low-mid range prices and excellent quality.  Something about the simple black packaging also really appeals to me, much in the same way that MAC’s or Nars’s packaging appeals to me. Every time I go back to Europe, I basically go crazy trying to stock up on all of my favorite products.  It makes me immensely happy to know that I don’t have to overstuff my suitcase anymore, and that I can buy their products online now.

Since a lot of US readers may not have tried a lot of the Kiko products, I thought I would take the chance to highlight some of my favorite products from the brand.

Keep Reading to find out more details about my top picks from the brand!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Some Current Favorites

I think it’s time for a favorites post.  I’ve acquired a few things that I have really been loving, and bonus – they’re also products that have been working well for me for the summer heat. Interesting, though, I actually didn’t have a real lip product favorite, although that may because I actually have been switching things up a little and not wearing the same 3 products every day.  I think later in the summer I’ll have to devote an entire post to my favorite lip combos of the summer because there are actually quite a few of them!

First, let’s talk about the Becca Ombre Nudes Palette.  Like the rest of the beauty community, I completely fell for matte shadows this year.  I just can’t get enough of them, and this palette is probably everything I could ever want in a basic all matte palette.  It has everything from a lid, transition, to crease shade, AND the shades are cool enough for me to use as contour or brow powders.  This texture of this palette is also out of this world smooth and pigmented.  They’re not too powdery or hard, but are smooth and easy to blend out.  I already have my eye on the new version of this palette coming out in the fall, which has slightly warmer shades. Anyone else?

Another palette I’ve been loving is my custom made Inglot trio, especially the matte contour shade and  the shimmery shade in the middle.  I walked into the Inglot store a couple months ago and asked for 3 things: a transition/blending shade, a shimmery lid shade, and a cool brown that could double as a brow powder (are you seeing a trend in the type of things I’ve been buying lately?), and the lady in the store was so great at picking out the perfect shades for me.

After finishing my beloved Physician Formula Eye Booster Liquid Eyeliner, I set out to find another replacement just to see if anything else can compare, and I stumbled upon the Essence Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.  It has a felt tip instead of a brush tip, but it still offers plenty of control and I am still able to get a fine line with my eyeliner.  It holds up great in the summer heat, and I’ve noticed that it is indeed, waterproof.  I think I may prefer the ultra-fine line I get with the Physician’s Formula liner, but this is still a great alternative!

Next, I finally got around to trying the Kat Von D Autograph Liner, which I believe has been discontinued.  I bought this last year, actually, but I think you could easily find a similar shade in the Urban Decay 24/7 liners.  It’s a tan/taupe shade with some micro shimmer that I use on my lower lashline to define my eyes instead of using a black or dark brown liner.  It adds just a hint of definition without making my eye makeup look too heavy.

For blush, I’ve been having a major love affair with coral and golden-tan shades…so typical of me for the summer.  The blushes I’ve been reaching for in particular are the NYX Mosaic Blush in Coral and the Kiko Soft Touch Blush in #100.  The NYX blush is the perfect balance of coral-tan, and it is SO pigmented, while the Kiko blush has become a staple in my stash for being a glowy tan-peach shade that complements a bright lip perfectly.

Although this is old news by now, I’ve been re-loving my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette, and I’ve been particularly loving Radiant Light as a subtle highlighter over my blush.  With the humidity, my face is looking shiny enough as it is, so I’ve been staying away from my more shimmery highlighters, but Radiant Light has been a great subtle alternative to all my more obvious highlighters.

As for base products, the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector has been an absolute life-saver for keeping my makeup matte. I kid you not, this is the first primer that has actually been effective at keeping my makeup intact and somewhat matte throughout the day.  This product has quite a learning curve to it (take a TINY amount, rub between your fingers, and PAT, not rub, onto your face), but once I mastered it, my makeup started lasting much longer.

And finally, my all-star product of the past few months has been the It Cosmetics Bye-Bye Undereye Corrector.  I bought it as a less pricy alternative to my Bobbi Brown Corrector, and I love the thinner formula of this product, making it slightly easier to blend on my face.  It has worked perfectly, until now, when I’m at probably the tannest point of the year.  The medium shade works best when I’m a true NC35, but the thinner consistency is much easier to work with than the BB Corrector sometimes!

Well, there you go. A very delayed favorites post and warm-up into blogging again.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Getting rid of some things is the best way to make room for new things, right?  To kick off getting back into blogging, I'm going for a real fresh start to get rid of some things I haven't been using.

UPDATE 9/6/2015: I added some new items and some bundles, so enjoy!

  • I am steffstarrr on Makeupalley, and while I have never swapped, I have been a member since 2008.
  • Shipping from US to US only
  • I take payment via Paypal or Venmo.  Payment must be received within 24 hours of confirmation and invoice.  If you request an invoice, you will also have to pay the % fee.
  • Since prices are already quite low, I would prefer not to lower them, but I will provide a discount if you buy multiple items!
  • Because a lot of these are drugstore items, no minimum purchase required.
  • Shipping is $3 and $0.25 for each additional item.  I will most likely ship the day after payment.
  • Makeup will be sanitized, if applicable.
  • First come, first served
  • No returns/refunds
  • You may see reused packaging - I will use what I have on hand, if possible!
To purchase:
  • Email me at with a reference to "Blog Sale" in the subject
  • List your name, item(s), price, and Paypal email address
  • If you are paying with Venmo, also include your Venmo username and Venmo phone number so that I can charge you that way!
Some of these items are unopened, so please look up swatches if you are interested in the shade!

Happy shopping!


Essence Gel Eyeliner - Midnight in Paris (BN) - $3

MAC Pro Pan in Amber Lights, 80% remaining: $8 
(I can ship this in a MAC cardboard sleeve, but it is not the original sleeve for this particular shade)
MAC Eyeshadow in Divine Decadence, used about 5x: $10
$15 for both

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Cocoa (mini), BN, $6

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eyeshadow Pencil in Delinquent - BN but has small nick as shown, $5

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Zero (mini), sharpened once, $5

BOTH Urban Decay products for $8

L'oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in 998 Sultry Smoke, used 2-3x, $4

NYC Individual Eyes Eyeshadow Kit in Dark Shadows, each color swatched, never used on eyes, $2


L'oreal HIP Jelly Balm in Plush, BNIP, $3

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Fruit Punch, Used 2-3x,has a small nick in the bullet, $3

Rimmel Long Last Lipstick in Pink Blush, used 5-6x, $3


Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in 045 Cotton Candy, used 5-6x, $4
Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in 090 Strawberry Shortcake, used 3-4x, $4
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Pink Pop, BNIP, $4
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef, BNIP, $4
Revlon ColorStay Lipstick in Smooth Nude, BNIP, $3
Take all for $15

Sephora Rouge Lipstick in R35 Couger (limited edition), used 1x, $6

Sephora Glossy Gloss in Precious Pink, Used 2-3x, $2
Stila Lipglaze in Seashell, BN, $4
Take all for $10


ELF Blush in Tickled Pink, used 2-3x, $2

Jane Blushing Cheeks Blush (OLD FORMULA) in 04 Blushing Earth Sheer (x2), and Blushing Orchid Shimmer
both BRAND NEW, one on the left  has the plastic protective seal, and the others have no protective seal: $4 each

Physician's Formula Powder Palette Multi-Colored Pressed Powder in Healthy Glow, swatched 1-2x, $4

Vincent Longo Water Canvas Blush in Savannah Fresh, usage as shown, about 90% remaining: $20


Sally Hanson Nail Polish in 370 Commander in Chic, used 3-4x, $3

And now for some bundles....

Drugstore Bundle #1, $28 shipped

Drugstore Bundle #2,$20 shipped
Thanks for looking, everyone! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hello, friends

Well, hello there. It’s been awhile, and I am alive and well.

Things have been a little crazy lately, and by lately, I really mean for the past seven months.

I was so busy that it wasn’t just blogging that fell under the radar.  It was everything related to blogging – cooking, and researching/blogging makeup, although part of that not buying was also due to my no-buy.  The only thing I managed to keep up with...barely…is my fitness and maintaining a relatively healthy diet.

But the good thing is, now my schedule is finally calming down for a few weeks at least (hopefully longer), so I can do some fun things again, like breaking my no-buy and actually cooking again.  I think for the past seven months, everything that I have cooked has been as unoriginal as possible, with me just throwing together the recipes that I knew worked and could take with me on the go.

I’ve tried keeping my Instagram somewhat updated, although I can see a few weeks where I went completely off the radar.  Honestly I just kind of forget to update my life, which annoys me more because I like recording the positive moments, my happiest moments, and I forget to do that sometimes.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m more about enjoying the moment than being constantly attached to my phone and camera, but there have been so many times when I go back through old pictures and fondly remember the smallest details of an event, or a trip, that I had completely forgotten about.  However, now that I have a little more time on my hands, I can hopefully change that around.

So here’s to a new start, even though it’s a few months late.