Beauty Favorites of 2017


Happy New Year’s Eve! I thought I’d end 2017 with a post all about my absolute favorite products of the year. This year I probably bought and tried fewer products than I have in several years, but what I did find was really, really amazing! And I also used the heck out of products I already loved. This past year I really focused on having less, but what I do have is my absolute favorite stuff. And I can honestly say that I enjoyed my beauty routine more because I felt less overwhelmed by everything I had to pick from. I plan on continuing that focus in 2018- to only have my absolute favorite things around in my life!

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask– I purchased this in the summer to see if it would help with my constant dry lips. Boy, it was one of my best purchases this year! This stuff is amazing and I don’t think I will EVER be without it. I like that you can use it any time of the day, and even though it is $20, it will last forever. I use it daily, I’m only about a third of the way through it.

Sara Happ Ballet Slip Luxe Gloss– I’ve always preferred lip gloss over wearing lip stick and this gloss immediately won top spot of favorite gloss. EVER. It’s thick and long wearing and ACTUALLY HYDRATES MY LIPS. I also got the Sara Happ scrub, mask, and lip slip balm in a kit for Christmas (you can buy them individually too), and let’s just say you can’t go wrong with any of her products. I’m addicted!!!

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel– When I went on vacation to Hawaii in June, my skin freaked out. I think I had an allergic reaction to something, and it caused HUNDREDS of tiny bumps all over my face. It was awful. Six weeks later, I was still dealing with the issue when I went to Sephora and was given a sample of these pads to try. To my elated surprise, my skin was clear the next day! My skincare gal, Tina, at Sephora told me I needed to be chemically exfoliating to help with the reaction and she was soooo right. I’ve continued to use these a couple times a week and they’ve helped keep my skin clear and I’ve noticed my pores are smaller too. My skin is SUPER sensitive and they don’t irritate my skin or make it peel. These are pricey, but worth it in my book!

Kenra Dry Texture Spray – My love affair with this product has been going on for years, and probably won’t end any time soon. First, it smells amazing! I use it daily, whether in my roots to add volume or to my curls to add messy texture. I don’t even know how many bottles I’ve been through.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Primer– I don’t have the world’s greatest lashes, so I love the idea of a primer to add volume and length. This is the only one I’ve used all year, even though I’ve tried a million different mascaras with it. I love the formula and you can’t beat the price.

Invisibobble– I’ve wanted to try these for ages, but thought it was silly to spend $8 on three hair ties. I finally broke down, and let me tell ya, IT’S WORTH EVERY PENNY! These hair ties all so much texture and dimension to my messy buns versus a regular hair tie. And I’ve used and used and used mine and they’ve help up great.

Make Up For Ever Hydrating Primer– I love to use this primer right before I put on my foundation. I like to mix it with other primers, especially illuminating ones. This primer adds the perfect amount of hydration and sinks in quickly without being heavy and greasy.  And I recommend checking out all their primers, they have one for all kinds of skin types and issues!

Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer– I use an eyeshadow primer every day to help my eye shadow stick and last all day and I’ve loved this one all year. I like that it’s anti-aging, so I’m getting double benefits!  (I just got the mini one and it lasted me over six months.)

Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Shadow Stick in Grey Pearl– I keep my makeup pretty simple most days because I don’t have much time in the morning, and this eyeshadow stick was a life saver! I swipe it all over my eyelid and blend it out with my finger and I’m done! I looked put together with VERY minimal effort.

Bare Minerals Hydrating Mineral Veil– This is hands down my favorite and most used powder this year. It is lightweight and gives my skin a natural finish, which is exactly what I want! (I do still love and recommend the Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Power.)

Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Heather Pink– I picked this up last spring because I loved the color and haven’t stopped using it since! It’s by far my favorite blush. It gives a natural, healthy glow and wears well throughout the day.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Nude Bronze Light– I also picked this up last spring when they released this color (the original colors were to orange for me), and like with the blush, haven’t stopped using it. It gives the most natural bronze glow to my pasty face. Hourglass powders rarely disappoint in my book and this one is definitely a keeper!

BeautyBlender– I saved the best for last! I used a Beauty Blender every single day that I wear makeup! I use the original one to blend in my foundation and then use it with my loose powder to set my makeup. I also use the blush one to blend in my under eye concealer. I’ve tried dupes, and they have never worked as well as the BeautyBlender. It’s hands down my favorite beauty tool of 2017 and of life!

I have tons of other much loved beauty products, but these are my favorite of the year. What have been your favorite beauty products of the past year? I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year and a beautiful 2018!!!


Also, would anyone like to see a post on my favorite non-beauty items of the year? Let me know!

Two lip products you need for winter!


Me rocking the Sara Happ lip gloss in The Ballet Slip!

I’ve struggled with dry, peeling lips for forever.  I’ve tried so many different lip balms (both expensive and inexpensive) and none of them really worked for me.  Then one day this summer, I was looking at the Sephora website and came across this sleeping lip mask from Laneige.  I thought it was a good deal for as much product that I got for $20, so I ordered it and anxiously waited for the UPS man to bring it to my door.  It has a subtle bubblegum/candy scent and is nice and thick and feels good when I apply it.  I started applying every night at bedtime and even a couple times during the day, and within a couple weeks, I noticed a huge difference in my lips!  My lips were soft and hydrated when I woke up!

Then a few weeks later, I ordered this lip gloss from Sara Happ.  I’d been wanting to try her products for a while, so I thought I’d start with a lip gloss.  The first time I wore it, I wasn’t 100% sure about it because it was pretty thick and hard to work with.  After a few days, it got easier to work with and I started to notice how long wearing it is, but most importantly, it left my lips feeling super hydrated! Sara Happy does have different colors to choose from, and I also like her Lip Slip gloss.  This girl knows her stuff when it comes to lips!

I can honestly say that I’ve used these two products pretty much daily since I got them, and they’ve changed my lips!  I know I will never be without these products!  (and I may have put a Sara Happ gift set on my Christmas list!)

If you try these, let me know how you like them!


Lauren’s Loves: October 2016

Hey everyone! I can’t believe October is over and November is here! It’s been a while since I’ve written a favorites post, so I’ve rounded up some REALLY good things!


Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – October was basically the month of “I really don’t feel like washing my hair.” Of course I did wash my hair routinely, but I just wasn’t into taking the time to wash and style my hair. Thank goodness one of my college classmates and blog readers told me about this dry shampoo. I’ve been testing it out a while and have really liked it, but this month confirmed my love for it. It soaks up the oil and makes my hair feel nice and clean without leaving any weird textures or residue. This is definitely a staple in my hair care routine now!


MAC 224 brush– I have been wanting this eyeshadow blending brush for a long time, and I finally broke down and added to my brush stash this past month. I am so glad that I did! This brush is perfect for blending eyeshadow into my crease and for any additional blending to my makeup look. I love how it is nice and fluffy, but I still can control where I’m placing eyeshadow.


Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue and Hydrating Mineral Veil– The Complexion Rescue has been a daily staple for me for quite a while now, but I thought I would try the Hydrating Mineral Veil to set it for a more natural and glowy look. And let me tell you, I LOVE these two together! Now, if you have oily skin, you probably won’t like these products. But if you have normal to dry skin and don’t need a ton of coverage, then definitely give these two a shot!


Tarte Lip Facial– I’m all about a good lip scrub, so I was interested in try this scrub from Tarte when it came out a few months ago. I’ve never used a scrub in a stick form, and I really like this one! I just rub it back and forth on my lips in a circular motion and then wipe away the product with a damp wash cloth. It has a nice peppermint flavor and has been so handy to throw in my toiletry bag when I travel. This would make a great stocking stuffer for pretty much anyone, including yourself!!


This month I’ve used two blushes that I’ve been absolutely loving. The first is one is the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 hour blush in Exposed. I used to have this blush and loved it, but it got old, so I tossed it. It doesn’t look like much in the pan or even when you swatch it, but if you want a matte, natural blush that will go with any makeup look, this is the blush for you. I also have been loving Charlotte Tilbury’s Chic to Cheek Swish and Pop Blusher in Love Glow. This is a beautiful glowy pink with a little bit of a sheen. I think this blush is also perfect with just about any makeup look and the formula is amazing!


YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in No 44 and Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner in Pillow Talk– My favorite lip combo of the month is hands down these two! Honestly, if you could only pick one of my favorites to buy, try the lip liner! It is the most perfect natural pink and the formula isn’t too dry but isn’t too creamy. I’m debating if I need a backup! I like to line and fill in my lips with the liner, and then top it off with the lipstick. I love YSL lipsticks. This formula is hydrating and more on the sheer side, and I love the nude pink color. I will say the lipstick isn’t the longest wearing, but that doesn’t bother me.


Kendra Scott Alex Lux earrings in Ivory Pearl – A few weeks ago Kendra Scott launched a bridal line at her store, and let me tell you, some of the pieces are GORGEOUS! I’ve been wanting a pair of Alex earrings for a while, and when I saw you could make a pair on the Color Bar with rhinestones in them, I was sold. I chose to make a silver pair with the ivory pearl stone. I wore them to my brother’s wedding and couple times since then, and I love them! They help make a simple outfit feel more dressed up.


Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley – I’ve been following Emily Ley on Instagram for a couple years. She’s a mother of three and owns her own business. Her posts are honest and encouraging, so when she released a book earlier this month, it was a no brainer to hop on Amazon and have it delivered into my grubby little book loving hands. Moms. Women. You need this book. I needed this book. I’m a perfectionist and sometimes I can be too hard on myself when dinner ends up being turkey sandwiches, the house is a wreck, and I have laundry everywhere (both clean and dirty), and I have yet to shower that day. In her book, Emily writes the message that it’s okay if things aren’t perfect. It’s about prioritizing your life to make room for what matters most: your people. She also gives great tips on organizing your life so you can make the most of your time with your people. I’m still working my way through it, but in a world of Pinterest and Instagram perfection, this is what I need to hear: It’s ok not to be perfect, just find joy in the mess of everyday life.

And that’s it for my October favorites! What products are you loving lately?




My “Go To” Beauty Products

Hey everyone! There’s been a tag video going around YouTube about your “Ride or Die” products. Basically, what are your all-time favorite, “can’t live without” beauty products. I wanted to do my own version on the blog today!  You’ve probably heard me talk about them already, but these are products that I love, know that they will always work for me, and would be content using forever!


PrimerMakeup Forever Hydrating Primer. I’ve tried many different primers over the years, but this one is definitely my favorite. It hydrates and plumps my skin to get it ready for foundation, but is not the slightest bit greasy. Most days I use this as my moisturizer!

Foundation – I’m pretty picky about foundation, but the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel wins in this category. I’ve been using this consistently for over a year and a half. I like how it provides light coverage and adds a healthy glow to my skin. I just started my fourth tube of this!

ConcealerMakeup Forever HD concealer. I’ve been using this since it came out earlier this year and love it. I didn’t think anything could replace my love for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, but this one has. I provides the perfect amount of coverage and isn’t cakey or heavy.

Corrector – This wasn’t in the actual tag videos, but I cannot live without my Bobbi Brown Corrector to hide my dark circles. I use this everyday!

Setting Powder – Hands down my favorite powder is the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. This powder is perfect at setting my makeup without being cakey or powdery.

Undereye Setting Powder – Since I use concealer under my eyes every day, I like to set it with a powder and the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening powder wins the prize for my favorite under eye setting powder. It doesn’t settle in fine lines and wrinkles. I went through an entire one of these, told myself not to buy another one so I could use up some other stuff. That lasted maybe three months.


Brows – I’ve tried all the different types of brow products out there and the one I always go back to is the Anastasia Brow Wiz. I like how the tip of the pencil is small, so it’s easy to mimic actual brow hairs. And I love that the color caramel is a perfect match for me.

Eyeshadow – Choosing this one was easy. I could use the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 all day, erry day and never get tired of it. (As you can tell, mine is well loved.)  I love the cool tones and how I can create a simple or smokey eye with just the colors in it.

Eyeliner – This one was hard. I would have to say that I’d have to go with Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Desperation. I love the taupey gray and it goes perfectly with the Urban Decay eyeshadow palette and I love how it applies and wears. Now, if I were allowed to have two eyeliners, then the other one I’d chose is the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper.

Mascara – I can’t say I have a favorite mascara for my top lashes, I generally switch it up, but I always use the Cover Girl Clumper Crusher in Waterproof for my bottom lashes. Most mascaras smudge on my bottom lash line, but this one never does. And the small brush makes it easy to apply to those tiny little bottom lashes.


Bronzer – This one was hard to choose! I dug through my bronzers and hemmed and hawed over them for a while and then finally chose the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. Are y’all tired of hearing about this bronzer yet? I would definitely miss this if I didn’t have it around!

Highlight – This was another though one, but I decided on the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Highlight in 01. This one adds the perfect subtle glow and is the one I know will always look good, no matter what makeup look I’m going for.

Blush – Blush is my weakness in the makeup realm and is definitely the item that I have the most of, so you’d think it would be hard to choose just one blush. Nope. This was easy. The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Dollface is hands down my favorite blush ever. It wakens up my face, is long wearing, and always looks good on me.


Lipgloss – Since I’m more of a lipgloss kind of gal, this one was hard to choose since there are three brands that I really really love. But at the end of the day, I know that I will always be happy with the Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in White Russian. It is the perfect nude with a tad of pink, which is right up my alley.

Lipstick – I don’t wear lipstick, but when I do, I wear fancy pants lipstick. (Insert a meme with the Dos Equis dude…) If I had to choose only one lipstick to use for the rest of my life, it would be the YSL Rouge Volupte in 01 Nude Beige. This lipstick is pinky nude perfection, and I love the way it wears and its watermelon scent. I’ve recently repurchased this, which is something I rarely end up doing with lipsticks. I could get rid of all of the rest of my lipstick and just have this one and be completely satisfied.

Perfume – I don’t have a ton of perfume because I’m pretty picky (and sensitive to scents) when it comes to perfume. I tend to rotate through about four scents, but hands down my favorite is Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture. I received a sample of this a few years ago in a Sephora order, sprayed it on, fell in love, and walked straight out of the house to the perfume counter and bought a full sized bottle. I’m on my second bottle of this and my love for it has yet to waiver.


Beauty Brushes/Tools – There are only two beauty tools I can’t live without. And if you’ve been makeup shopping with me, you probably are saying, “It’s the BeautyBlender and MAC 217 eyeshadow brush.” And you’re right!


And that’s it! What are your “Ride or Die” products? I want to know!!!



Lauren’s Loves – May

Hey everyone!  I wanted to share some products I really loved during May (and still do)!

Makeup Forever eyeshadow in I526 – I originally purchased this eyeshadow over a year ago to test out the new eyeshadows by Makeup Forever. It’s a gorgeous iridescent pearl beige. I use this color pretty much daily as my all over lid color. It brightens up my eye, the formula super pigmented and buttery, and wears really well. I think that this would also be a gorgeous cheek highlight. Right after I hit pan on my original one in May, I dropped it on my bathroom floor and broke it. I love this eyeshadow so much that I didn’t hesitate on immediately ordering a new one!


Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer – I picked this up in May because I heard YouTuber Mallory Ervin raving about it! First off, it smells like coconut suntan lotion (others have described it smelling like pina colada). I don’t know about you, but nothing gets me in the mood for summer like bronzing my face with a bronzer that actually smells like summer! This bronzer adds a natural glow to your skin without being shimmery. I like to use this first to add some warmth to my face, then do a light contour with Benefit Hoola. I have the shade Light and it is perfect for us fair skinned girls. It does come in one other shade that is darker called Bronzer. I also like that it isn’t orange, which is an issue I have with a lot of bronzers. Oopma Loompa is not a cute look on me. I would say the only down side is that I find this isn’t the longest wearing bronzer, but that’s ok with me!

IMG_3139 IMG_3140

Kat Von D Tattoo liner in Trooper – If there is one area of makeup that I completely stink at, it is using liquid liner, especially if I am trying to create a winged liner look. A couple years ago, I got a sample of this eyeliner and thought I’d try it, and it has made eyeliner so much easier for me! Instead of a felt tip, which I always had trouble with others starting to shed fibers, this one has a brush tip. I’ve never had an issue with any bristles separating and messing up my already hot mess of a wing. This liner comes in two colors, Trooper (black) and Mad Max Brown (the perfect chocolate brown). It is easy to work with, stays in place all day, and isn’t hard to remove at the end of the day. The one I currently have is a deluxe sample I got with my Sephora points, the actual one is bigger!


IMG_3158 IMG_3167 Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Baby– This is also a deluxe sample that I got with my Sephora points. One of my all-time favorite lip glosses is Azalea from this same line, so I thought I would try another color. I love this gloss because it adds a nice peachy nude glossy tint to my lips and looks to pretty and natural. It has a vanilla flavor, is not the slightest bit sticky, and the shimmer in it is very subtle. I just can’t get enough of this gloss!

Bare Baby
Bare Baby
Bare Baby
Bare Baby

Treat Lip Balm – I ordered this lip balm a few months ago and have fallen in love with it! I have the flavor Marshmallow Cream, but they have a few others to choose from. I love this lip balm because it only has SIX ingredients in it, the first being coconut oil and all the ingredients are organic. I’m not particularly picky if something is organic or not, but I really like that it has simple, but good ingredients. I like to put this on before bedtime, but lately I’ve been keeping it in my purse because my lips have been dry and this really seems to be helping. Oh, and this tube of lip balm is HUGE! I think it’s around three times bigger than your average lip balm tube, so this should last forever!


And that’s it for the things I’ve been loving this month! What are some of your faves?


Lauren’s Loves

Hello!! Since my blog is new, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to post about first, I figured I would write about something that everyone loves to talk about with their friends; our favorite things. Here are a few things that I’ve been loving lately!

-Buxom lip glosses-

These glosses are an old favorite that I’ve discovered. My favorites are the Full-On Lip Creams in White Russian (pink nude), Pink Champagne (light pink), and Pink Lady (electric pink). If you do not like thick glosses, these may not be for you. I love them because they have a nice vanilla/cupcake scent, are plumping, and tend to stay on longer for me than most other glosses. Some plumping lip products can dry lips out, but I haven’t had any issues with these. I prefer the lip creams because they have a nice tint to them and no glitter, which I’m not a huge fan of in a few of Buxom’s Full-On Lip Polishes because some of the more glittery formulas tend to leave glitter stuck to your lips when the rest of the gloss has worn off.

Note: I have discovered that the Pink Champagne shade is limited edition, so I’m so sorry if you aren’t able to find it! I’ll always try to have things on here that you can find!


Top to Bottom: White Russian, Pink Lady, Pink Champagne
Top to Bottom: White Russian, Pink Lady, Pink Champagne
-Soap and Glory Flake Away Scrub & Clean On Me Clarifying Shower Gel-

A couple years ago, I used the Hand Food hand cream from Soap and Glory and loved it. Around the holidays last year, I noticed Ulta started carrying Soap and Glory, so I picked up a few things from their line. First off, I love the scent. It has notes of rose, vanilla, and musk, and I like that I can still smell it on my skin after I get out of the shower. The scrub has helped keep my skin exfoliated and soft during the dry winter months. The shower gel has a nice and rich lather to it. I use it to shave my legs and it doesn’t leave my skin dry. And I’m a sucker for any kind of cute packing, and Soap and Glory has some of the cutest. And if you watch the Ulta ads, you can get Soap and Glory buy one, get on half off!


-Too Faced Mascara and Tarte primer-

My natural eyelashes aren’t too exciting. They’re blonde (aka invisible), and don’t have a ton of length and volume. I love to create dark, voluminous eye lashes, but false eyelashes aren’t really my thing, and I’m currently not interested in putting the time and money into lash extensions, so I thought I would venture into trying eyelash primers. After doing some research on Sephora, I decided to try the Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer with my Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. These two are a match made in heaven. First, I curl my lashes and apply a coat or two of the primer and let it dry a couple minutes, which helps hold the curl in place. Then I apply the mascara, which is a nice fluffy, voluminous formula. Even if you aren’t interested in trying a primer, I would definitely give the mascara a go. Too Faced just released a waterproof version as well!


-Alex and Ani bracelets-

Almost six years ago, I was wandering through a boutique and found the cutest bangle bracelets by Alex and Ani. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but wanted to give them a shot, so I purchased two of them. Long story short, I’m still rocking those bracelets, and my love for the brand has only grown over the years. They have a variety of charms and styles and are routinely releasing new ones. I now own almost a dozen of them in gold and silver. I love to wear several of them at a time and for whatever nerdy reason, I like the little jingle they make. They are durable and have held up well to my daily abuse to them. They can be a little pricey, depending on the specific bracelet, so my favorite place to stock up on them is Nordstrom Rack, where they’re usually half off!


-Sigma Soft Angled Contour and the Benefit Hoola bronzer-

Now that we are getting into warmer months, I like to add a little deeper bronzer to my makeup routine. My go to bronzer is usually the Too Face Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer, but I recently pulled out the Benefit Hoola bronzer from my stash. I’m sure glad I did! It’s a nice matte bronzer that isn’t too warm/orange. It’s easy to blend into the skin and it doesn’t look overdone, even with my fair skin tone. I love to apply it with my Sigma F23 Soft Angled Contour brush. This brush blends the bronzer into my cheekbones, around my face, and the sides of my nose so easily. This brush is definitely a staple in my makeup brush collection!


What are some things you’re loving lately? I’d love to know!