the record player.

IMG_6040

About four-ish years ago, I received one of the best presents I have ever received, from my husband. Brooke Fraser, who is a singer/songwriter/person that I am in love with, came out with an album called Flags. She self-produced, wrote and designed the entire album herself, and collaborated with other artists to create the beauty that is the album. When she made this album, she made a coffee table book, filled with drawings, lyrics, pictures and snippets of her time making the album. She also included a vinyl with four songs on it, a signed copy of the CD, and a documentary of her time making the album. It was one of the first times I ever became so excited about an artist and their music.

I’ve had that vinyl for four years and have never listened to it, mostly because I didn’t have a record player. When we got married, we hung the record on the wall, and it wasn’t until recently that I began to really think about what was on that vinyl. I’ve always wanted a record player, and my husband, knowing this, took me to Hastings and bought me a Crosley Portable Record Player. Mine is turquoise and gorgeous and I am so in love with it!!

My first record player. @tucker_ballinger is the best husband ever!!!! ūüėć

A photo posted by Steffanie Ballinger (@steffanieballinger) on

I’ve been using it everyday, winding down at night with Bach, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Romeo & Juliet’s Ballet, and of course, Brooke’s record. I’m loving how the sounds sort of float through the house, making music sound that much more beautiful. I’m currently making a wish list of vinyls on Amazon, and I am so excited to start perusing the shops for some more records. Although, I am covered if I am in need of a Haunted House record, thanks to my husband.

Let me know in the comments which records are your favorite, or if you recommend any good ones out there. I’d love to know!

Steffanie xo

PS. I promise to be back soon with some product reviews. Keep an eye out!

Empties #6

IMG_5956

IMG_5954

IMG_5955

It’s been a good while since I have done an empties post. I’ve been collecting the old tins and bottles in a Lush bag and since it is close to being full, I thought it was a good time to dump them here. Allons-y!

Lush “Cosmetic Warrior” Fresh Face Mask (Not pictured): This mask worked really well to clear up any blemishes, and just overall keep my face clear. The smell is not for everyone (think GARLIC), and it take a little getting used to the texture, but I loved it. I can’t wait to try more of Lush’s face masks.

Lumene Finland Makeup Remover: This is the best drugstore makeup remover I have found. It works great on waterproof mascara, and it doesn’t dry out your face like some other ones. Really liked this.

The Body Shop Body Butters (Japanese Cherry Blossom and Almond): TBS Body Butters are the best out there. period. I loved the Japanese Cherry Blossom for bedtime, and the Almond for the daytime. Both smell amazing.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil & Tea Tree Skin Clearing Lotion: I finished these quite a while back, but I do remember using the Tea Tree Oil all the time when I was going through a horrible break out season. It reduces pimples in half with just a few drops. I haven’t re-purchased it, but I do remember really liking it. The lotion wasn’t my favorite, and my husband ended up finishing it.

Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion & Acne Facial Cleanser: Mario Badescu makes really good face products, however I think I need something a bit stronger on the cleansing side. This cleanser is a good one but I prefer the La Roche Posay or Beauty Without Cruelty ones for my particular skin type. The toner was fantastic, and I really need to re-purchase it. One of the best sensitive skin, acne fighting products I’ve ever used!

Ed Hardy Life, Love, Luck Perfume: This perfume smells so, so good. It’s a bit Chloe-esque, but much more girly. Similar to the Marc Jacobs perfumes, but a little less floral. I’ve had it forever, and I absolutely love the scent. Definitely would buy again.

Bath and Body Works Sleep Night Time Tea Body Lotion: If you want a body lotion that aids in putting you to sleep, and smells just plain amazing, pick this up. I rationed out the two tiny bottles I had, because I love it so much, but I don’t think they sell it all the time. I have the body wash too, and I use it every night before bed. Very lavender-y.

The Body Shop Wild Rose Hand Cream: The Body Shop makes some great moisturizing products. I didn’t find this lotion to be too greasy, but just light enough to keep my hands moisturized for hours. Smells great too!

Caress Sheer Twilight Body Wash: Caress makes the most amazing smelling body washes for drugstore price. This one smelled like Bath and Body Works Twilight Woods, which I love. It’s sweet and musky, and lovely.

Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner: I did a whole review of this product here. Best body lotion you’ll ever buy. The end.

Lush Hot Toddy Shower Gel: I posted about this previously too. Let’s just say I was super sad when this bottle ran out.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Face Wash: If you have ever used Proactive, and know how clear that keeps your skin, try this. It didn’t work so well for my sister (sorry, Tiff!) but I loved it. It’s very foamy and very cleansing, so your skin feels squeaky clean every time you ¬†wash it.

Head and Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care Shampoo: This one smelled great, but I have moved away from H&S for the moment. They tend to be too heavy for my hair. My new favorite is Suave Rosemary & Mint shampoo (love!).

And the longest empties post ever is done! Hope you enjoyed my product ramblings.

Steffanie xo 

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara: A Review!

IMG_2938Recently, I was given some of the Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara to try out and review on my blog. Now, fiber mascara is a completely new thing to me. My usually mascara hails from the holy aisles of Target, usually the brand Maybelline or Covergirl. But this mascara has been making the waves with beauty lovers around me, so I was super excited to try it out.

IMG_2944

Fiber mascara is so odd but so wonderful and definitely takes some getting used to. But once you do, I promise, it makes it hard to love any other mascara equally. My lashes are always so long and defined and doe-eyed when I wear this. I don’t have long lashes at all so any¬†mascara that adds lots of definition and volume, I quickly become a fan of.

To apply the mascara, you first start with your favorite everyday mascara. For me, I’ve been using a new one from Covergirl. It’s their Full Lash Bloom Mascara. The first thing I love about this mascara is how¬†bright the packaging is. This mascara is great as just a basic, reliable mascara. It’s very similar to Maybelline’s The Rocket Volum’ Express, which I love. After applying a coat (or two) of your regular mascara, you then apply the Transplanting Gel to your lashes. After applying the gel, you apply the fibers, which literally just looks like a bunch of fuzz. But don’t let them alarm you. They work. I usually apply a little at a time of the fibers, because it is easy to go a little overboard. After applying the fibers, you apply more transplanting gel, and voila! beautiful, lengthened, full lashes. I don’t think my pictures do the mascara justice, so just trust me when I say the stuff is pretty magical.

IMG_2930

For this mascara, it runs about $29.00, which is pricey for mascara, but as I’ve said above, it works. I’d recommend this for use for any special occasion, date night, party, or just as a really dramatic everyday mascara. ¬†My good friend Rachelle sells it locally here in the OKC/Moore area, so if you live close by, she would be the one to go to for it. She also has a link for you to buy it online, which is pretty wonderfully convenient. If you buy this mascara, or are interested, please let me know, because I would love for you to experience the magic that this stuff is.

Mascara, for the win!

Steffanie xo

Best of 2014: Books

IMG_5862IMG_5863

The Secret Place by Tana French- I would read anything Tana French writes. Anything. Her mysteries are the only ones that truly envelop me, and I always enjoy reading her books. This one is quite a different setting from all the others, but the story is just as interesting and puzzling as her other books.

Just One Day by Gayle Forman- I am not sure why I haven’t yet picked up the sequel to this, but oh my. It was so good. I finished it in about a day.

FanGirl by Rainbow Rowell- As someone who grew up obsessed with all things Harry Potter and Doctor Who, it’s hard not to love a character who is obsessed with a story. It was my first introduction into the world of fan fiction, but the book was hilarious, sweet, and because I am a twin, made me a little more thankful for mine. Loved this book.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg – Memoirs are my favorite books. Hands down, favorite. I loved this one, because not only did it include delicious, fresh recipes, Molly’s way with details is so great. She makes you long for Paris and chocolat chaud and a good meal. Pretty sure I’ll read this again this year.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver¬†– Why on earth I am just now reading Lauren Oliver’s stuff is beyond me. She’s brilliant. Delirium is a dystopian novel, with a bit of a twist.Imagine a world where love is thought to be a disease, where passion can literally kill you. So it is removed at a certain age, and you live forever “cured.” Classic boy-girl, catastrophic event, cliffhanger at the end sort of a story. I loved it so much, and I’m reading the sequel, Pandemonium, now.

Paper Towns by John Green – Can I just say how excited I am for this movie?! I can’t wait to see Nat Wolf play Q. The book was fantastic, and lovely, and confusing, and lovely. I love John’s work. Great book.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler – Hands down, the most hilarious book I read last year. Maybe even the funniest I’ve ever read. I love Amy Poehler.

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – Mr. Ishiguro’s writing holds a certain reverance for me. It’s beautiful. I always struggle to describe his writing, but he is really one of the best out there. I urge you to read this, and Never Let Me Go if you haven’t.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff – The most unique format of writing, being that the book has no quotation marks, but it is a novel. A YA novel at that. It’s such a beautiful story, about loss, and young love, and war, and a world away from normal.

Jesus, my father, the CIA and me by Ian Morgan Cron – Another great memoir. The story of the firecrackers still makes me laugh to this day.

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessy- Sarah Bessy is so hardcore, and I love her. Her writing is so educated and almost poetic, and inspiring. She is also a fellow Whovian, so that makes her even more awesome.

Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick- For anyone who struggles with the negative voices from their childhood, or from the present, read this. Steven is one of my all time favorite pastors and speakers. This book changed a good deal of how I think about my faith, my inner voice, and God’s way of speaking to us.

The Best of 2014: Makeup

DSC05061

DSC05063

Hi all! So I thought it would be fun to do a “Best Of 2014″ series on my blog, covering beauty, books/movies, and maybe a third category, but I am not sure yet. {Suggestions are welcome!} Today I’ll start with the makeup category, by laying out all of my favorite beauty bits from last year! Below, I listed all of my favorite products, the ones either discovered this year or that came out this year and I have been obsessed with. Enjoy!

DSC05071

Best Foundation: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Full Coverage Foundation- Just the best. For people with sensitive skin, or really any skin type, I urge you to try this foundation. Best ever.

Best Drugstore Foundation: Rimmel Match Perfection- I wore this the other day and fell back in love. The best 5 bucks I’ve ever spent on a makeup product.

Best Under-Eye Concealer: Bobbi Brown Corrector- seriously, if you struggle with dark circles, try this. at $25 for a tiny pot, I can honestly say this is the best under-eye product. Very brightening and conceals everything.

Best concealer: Maybelline FitMe Concealer- a creamy, easily blend-able concealer. Does a great job of making skin look flawless.

DSC05073

Best Powder: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light-a great setting powder if you want to ke

Best Blush: NYX Dusty Rose (not pictured, because mine is broken!)- I think I wore this blush like 90% of this year. Such a perfect, year-round blush.

Best Bronzer: Nars Laguna-A cult for a reason. Perfect, matte brown bronzer, adds just the right warmth.

Best Highlighter: The Balm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter- I mean, just look at it, swatch it in store and buy it. It’s the most beautiful champagne highlighter I’ve ever seen/used.

DSC05074

Best Liquid Eyeliner: Maybelline Master Precise Liquid Liner in Black- I don’t even remember purchasing this product, that’s how long I have had it. But it works! I’ve only used this liquid liner all year, and I believe it is one of the best I have ever used.

Best Eye Palette: Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette- This was a more recent discovery, but I can guarantee you, I’ll be using this palette through next December. It has some of the best nudes I’ve ever seen on a eyeshadow palette.

Best Drugstore Eyeshadow: Maybelline Color Tattoo in ‘Creamy Beige’- Creamy, blendable and super long-lasting, this eye shadow is a perfect base for any eye color, or just on it’s own. It makes you look like you’ve done a lot more work in the shading, than you actually have done. Yes.

Best High End Mascara (not pictured because I don’t have it anymore!): Tarte¬†Lights Camera Lashes Mascara- if I were going ¬†to pay for a high-end mascara everytime I ran out, I would choose this one. It lenghthens, volumizes, and gives the best definition.

Best Drugstore Mascara: Maybelline The Rocket Volum’ Express Mascara- I’ve gone through about 5 tubes of this now, and I am still loving it!

DSC05076

DSC05085

Best lip products: {because seriously, who can pick just one?!}

Best Drugstore Formula: Revlon Matte Balm in “Striking” and “Sultry”. These matte balms are my favorite formula for a matte lip look. They’re easy to tote round, come in beautiful shades, and last forever! I don’t find them to be drying, and they are so easy to apply.

Best Lip Gloss: Maybelline Color Elixir in “Caramel Infused”- a perfect neural lip gloss. Love the formula of these, as they are very moisturizing and not sticky.

Best Neutral Lipstick: Maybelline Creamy Mattes in “Touch of Spice”- This is literally almost exactly the same color as the Revlon Matte Balm mentioned above, just slightly more rose-y toned. The formula of this lipstick is so weird and wonderful, being a creamy, moisturizing lipstick, in a matte finish. Best of both worlds in my book, or, er, makeup bag.

Best Red: MAC Retro Matte Ruby Woo- really, this should not surprise anyone. Ruby Woo is making an appearance on almost every makeup site and video, and for good reason. If you want a true matte, not going to budge, last all night lip formula, Ruby Woo is the one for you.

Silence.

DSC05100

From where I sit: me, writing to you all, Romeo begging to go outside (which we did when I finished this post), and the table you see, is where the TV usually is. And yes, I still have Christmas decor up. Cause I am that awesome!

What did people do before TV’s were invented? I mean that in a serious way, less the exasperated, frantic “WHAT DID PEOPLE DO WITHOUT TV’S? OMG I’M GONNA DIE!” sense. The question got me thinking about our lives and how much time we spend sitting on couches or beds and watching hours of TV a day. I am not a huge TV watcher myself, but I found that I liked having the background noise when I was cooking or doing laundry or writing. Currently, our television is broken. It has been for about a week, and happened just about when the New Year began. It will be fixed soon, we think, but it’s going to be at least a week or two until that happens. Without it, at first, I thought it was creepy for the house to be so silent, especially when my husband was gone to work. It’s like something was wrong inside the house. There wasn’t anything wrong other than the fact that silence has become weird to me.

When did that happen? When did silence, a quiet house, and I mean quiet without any sound other than my fingers on the keyboard and my dog chewing on his Nylabone, kind of quiet. The silent kind. Not the background-noise, gentle hum of a show or someone’s voice. When did that become so weird to me? To us? I kept thinking about this over and over, and decided that the TV being broken at the beginning of this year maybe isn’t such a bad thing after all. I remember when I was a kid, I had a TV in my bedroom. A small one, with a VCR built in to it.The thing I remember the most about it was how little I used it. I loved to watch Disney Channel movies at night (8pm on the dot, I was in my room with popcorn!) but I also loved to read so much. Oftentimes, I would turn the thing off and grab a book. For hours, I would be lost at Hogwarts, running with Ramona, being brave, tracking unicorns, and learning to fly. I would be outside, playing in the mud, or playing soccer or pretend tennis with my sister and my neighbor. When I was 7, I would have picked playing “people” with my sister over a TV, any day.

Being without a TV has made me realize that there are other ways to be entertained. It’s called doing something. Playing Uno with my husband, playing with my dog, or reading. Writing, making homemade popcorn, or tea and curling up on the couch just to talk. Exercising, or taking a much needed nap. Creating, doing, being, that is what life is like on this side of the screen. It’s about being around people and connecting and doing work and creating. Grab your kids, your bike, your dog, your best friend or significant other, and go for a walk. Grab a hot coffee, and sit outside for a moment and just breathe. Listen to the birds, the wind, the trees. Grab a book, and immerse your mind in a story.

Tonight, I’m writing some blog posts, taking a long bath, and curling up in bed with a book (The Hobbit!) There will be no noise, except the heater (it’s so cold!!) and the wind blowing outside.There is so much life going on in this world, in this house, and I’d hate for most of mine to spent with silence as an issue. Where TV is a savior to noiselessness. I want to be someone who can live with the silence well, who can be the master of her own mind when it comes to imagination and making use of time.

I’d love your feedback on TV watching, and how you like to spend your time, and maybe how you wish you spent it differently? :)

Love you guys!

Steffanie xo

Begin Again

DSC01054

I’m sitting here on my comfy two-person chair, in my living room. It’s late afternoon, and I have no makeup on. We have garland and fairy lights still up on the TV stand and coffee table, because hey, Christmas just ended. It’s cloudy and cold outside, so the heat is on, and all the lamps are on. It’s cozy, and I’m drinking a green tea, and listening to The 1975. I’ve got these fuzzy, knit bootie slippers on, and I’m thinking. I’m thinking and I’m rewinding through 2014, as I do at the end of every year.

This year, 2014, was such an awesome, stupidly blessed year.¬†And I don’t say that about every year. We had a hard year in 2013, so I was hoping for this year to be quieter, and quite frankly, just not terrible. Anything but terrible was good enough for me.

In 2014, I kissed the beautiful faces of my nieces and nephews every chance I got. I cuddled them and changed their diapers, and spent thirty minutes trying to get one asleep for a nap. I prayed hard for my baby nephew to make it through his surgery, and cried when he did. I stayed up until 2 am to finish an argument with my husband, because I hate going to bed angry. I cooked a lot more,¬†and made Lemon Drizzle cake about sixteen times. I laughed so much, and I cried after finishing more books this year than I ever have. I said goodbye-for-now to a relationship that was very important to me, but also harmful. I wrote a lot of blog posts, drank a lot of coffee, and discovered how much being an adult changes the way you think about money. I went on numerous dates with my husband, and spent a lot more time with my sister. I made an effort to talk to the bag-boys, the baristas, the waiters and waitresses, and the re-headed girl who works at the drugstore I am always at. They’re people too, and I bet they get tired of being ignored. I tried to pay more attention to my day, to the people I met, and I watched a lot of movies. I learned how to wear red lipstick, and started wearing sunscreen everyday. I read even more books. I was a bit more vulnerable with my Lifegroup, which is always a scary and sort of awesome thing to do. I was angry, sad, lonely, and stressed some this year, but I think I handled it better than I have been doing.

I now know the kind of music I like, I know how I feel about some political issues, and I know that I am absolutely in love with the person that my husband is. I know what wine I prefer, and that working out doesn’t have to be a big feat everyday. I apologize more, and I try to be an honest person. I know what clothes I like, and I know where I like to buy them. I eat better, but I still consume pizza and sugar on occasion. I drink more water,¬†and green tea.¬†Also, I love french fries, which I am also convinced will not change.

2014 was a year in which I feel that I maybe understand my life, my God, and love a little bit better. I know that I can be skeptical for absolutely no reason, and that I put too much stock in people’s words. I know God’s love for us a bit better, and I know that I don’t have to work for it. I know that I am loved regardless, which is an amazing and scary thing. I’m not any better at texting back, which I am convinced might not ever change. {Sorry, peeps, I am trying!} I am a bit better at managing my time, and managing it for my marriage and my health. I have a job now, a job that I love. It’s hard work, and I work with the best people in the world. I’ll stay there as long as they keep me. I write in pencil a bit more, and I have learned that flexibility is a good trait to have.

I’m going into 2015 so thankful for who my God is, for the ways in which we have been blessed this year. I’m going into it hopeful, with a list of books I want to read, and with gratitude. Because this year was awesome and beautiful and so, so good. New Year’s is “do-over” day, as some people call it. It’s the chance to start the year off right, different, better. I choose to think of my New Year’s this year as it is. Another day, in which I will begin again. I will turn on my Keurig, make some coffee, play with my dog, kiss my husband, and spend the day probably reading something. I’ll make dinner, and watch something on TV and go to bed. I may do some yoga. And then I’ll begin again. My days will look different from each other; I may (hopefully) take a trip in 2015, and I’ll write some more. I will have bad days, and great days, and ones in between. I’ll keep falling in love with God, and my husband, and with books. Hopefully I’ll continue to fall in love with people, and learn to love them better through their flaws. I’ll hopefully be a little wiser, and write more essays.

Do me favor, and do New Year’s differently this year. Grab a glass of wine or a cup of tea, a piece of paper or a notebook, or your computer. Grab your friends, make a circle, pass around some pens. Write ‘Begin Again’. And do it. Don’t make resolutions, don’t beat yourself up over your imperfections or for eating one too many donuts. Be honest, be kind, and love who you are, and those around you. Try, do, and begin again. You’ll never have another 2015. Do it well.

Happy New Year’s, lovelies!

Steffanie xo

Cozy Winter Clothes + Accessories

This weekend, I took  advantage of our recent snowy, winter-y day, camera in hand, husband in tow, to show you some of my most favorite winter wardrobe staples. Some of them were Christmas gifts, so you may be able to find almost everything I have on still on the websites. Right. To the snow, we go!

What I’m wearing:

+ ASOS Coat (details below)

+ H&M Oversized Striped Top 

+ Topshop Leigh Jeans

+ Franco Sarto Riding Boots

+ New Look Leather Look Cardigan (details below)

+ ASOS Oversized Scarf in Check (details below)

+ Beanie from Forever 21 Men (borrowed from my lovely husband) 

IMG_5708

IMG_5706

IMG_5704

IMG_5707

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

One of my big wardrobe wishes for this year was for a new coat. I’d had my GUESS peacoat since I was in high school, wearing the crap out of that thing every winter. It was time to retire it, I think. So this year, taking advantage of the ASOS sales, my husband bought me the ASOS Duffle Coat with Clean Detail Faux Fur Hood. It’s the exact thing I was looking for; heavy, warm and cozy, with a massive faux fur hood. I chose black , but they also have a beautiful cream color. The front buttons all the way up to the neck, so if you forego a scarf, you’ll still keep your neck warm. It also has toggle fastening on the front, as an added detail. I love this coat so much. It’s roomy, fits perfectly, and keeps me super warm. PS. (This coat is on sale for $65 right now, marked down from $161, on asos.com. Super bargain!)

Another gift I received from my husband for Christmas was the New Look Leather Look Cardigan, which has become my most favorite cardigan I own. It’s cozy but with interesting detail. The sleeves have leather patches, and the front has a couple zippers, that aren’t there for any other reason than simple to look cool. It’s long, so it covers your bum, which is always a good thing. I’ve worn this cardigan almost everyday this month, and so many people have been asking me where I got it from. Good news: this is on sale right now on ASOS as well!

The last item I’ll discuss in detail was a gift from my sister and brother-in-law. My sister and I are huge lovers of Asos, H&M, and Topshop, and this year I asked for a scarf from ASOS, one that I had seen Fleur, from FleurDeForce wear like a million times. It’s a huge, massive, blanket scarf, in a check print. It’s a cream based scarf, with grey, burgundy, and blue running through it. And I am not kidding when I say this thing is massive. It’s kind of like carrying a small blanket around with me, but a cozy, wearable one. It’s the greatest thing, and I am glad it’s so cold, because it means I can use it all the time! Unfortunately, almost every one of these scarves is sold out online.

I have to say thank you to my wonderful camera-man, which is my husband, for braving the cold in his shorts to run out and snap some pics for me. After our picture taking session, we ran inside, grabbed some hot coffee, and curled up on the couch.

I’d love to hear about what you received for Christmas, and what your favorite shops are for winter wear.

Hope you guys had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Steffanie xo

Products Worth The Hype #3

DSC05022

DSC05023

Another one is here, folks! Products Worth The Hype #3. In this post, we will discuss a bronzer, a highlighter, and a beautiful lipstick.

DSC05025

First up, NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder. I know, I know, everyone and their mom knows about this bronzer. It’s a classic. It’s a brown bronzer, not orange or red, just middle of the road brown. Now, I do have to say that I thought this would be a bit darker than it is, but it works out to be a pretty medium bronzer for my skin. It has a slight shimmer to it, and the color gives a beautiful warmth to the skin. It can also be used for contour for the face as well, and I find it works pretty well for that.

Another, famous face product is¬†theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter.¬†(Mine is broken, so I apologize.) I know I’ve spoken about this before, because it is amazing, and if you want a highlighter that actually does what it says (like highlighting your face) go for this one. It’s a beautiful, champagne, sheeny powder that hits fantastically on the high points of the face. Highlighter to me, is one of my must have products for every makeup look.

DSC05026

MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo.¬†is perhaps the most full on red lipstick I own. And it is also the most perfect red I own. This is one that requires a lip balm, possibly a lip scrub also before application. It is that matte. I also recommend a lip liner, MAC Lip Pencil in Cherry, to make the lips look as clean as possible. For anyone looking for a really red, matte product that seriously won’t budge, go for this.

And that completes #3 of PWTH. Let me know if you have given these a go!

Steffanie xo

Products Worth The Hype #2

DSC05014

DSC05017

DSC05018

In this second installment of Products Worth The Hype, I’ll share with you three products I believe deserve the hype and raves that they receive. For this post, I chose base products, a concealer, a powder, and a foundation.

+ Concealer- Bobbi Brown Corrector in Bisque 

I ¬†love Bobbi Brown makeup. I used it for my wedding, and love almost all of her beautiful products. The blushes are amazing, the foundation is good but it tends to break me out quite a bit. But I think her concealers are a stand out product for me. Especially the corrector. It’s a tiny little concealer, specifically made to cover dark under eye circles.I don’t have particularly bad under eye circles, but my under eye area is definitely lacking in luster and is a bit darker than the rest of my face. Just a little dab of this under each eye and they become noticeably brighter, smoother, and less-tired looking. I usually apply a bit of my favorite concealer (like the Maybelline Fit Me concealer) over the top of it and my under eyes are good to go.

+ Foundation- Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation in Medium Sand 

When I went to repurchase this foundation, the girl in Sephora came over and said “best foundation you’ll ever purchase.” And I honestly agree with her. This foundation has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. It’s my everyday, I-need-something-that-works-right-now, go-to foundation. It’s perfect for anyone who has acne-prone or sensitive skin. It’s quite a full coverage foundation, but the texture of it is so light and almost a whipped formula. It’s not heavy or cakey, and really makes the skin look so healthy, glow-y and dewey. ¬†Tarte makes amazing natural makeup, and this foundation is no exception.

+ Powder- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light 

You can’t go on any blog or watch any beauty video without hearing this product (or the Ambient Lighting Blushes) mentioned at some point. And now I know why. These Ambient Lighting Powders are gorgeous. They’re light, translucent powders, mixed with a beautiful glimmer/highlighter. It’s just adds the slightest pick me up to a regular powder, lightly dusting the skin with a bit more radiance. Light, fine, and just beautiful! Using this always makes me feel like I’m using a luxurious little product. I chose Dim Light, which is a neutral peach/beige shade and a perfect compliment to my skin tone.

So there you are, a few products that I believe really are worth the hype. Keep checking back for the next PWTH post where I’ll run through a lipstick, a bronzer, and a highlighter.

Steffanie xo