Hello, 2019!
 

It’s a new year once again and with it comes hope, excitement, reflection, and, of course, resolutions. Almost everyone has already done there obligatory yearly recaps or favorite memories on their Instagram stories and now we’ve moved on to listing goals for the new year.

I’ve had more or less the same resolutions every year since I was in college. Lose weight, eat healthier, learn a new skill, read more books, make new friends, save money, and travel. I start the year determined and end the year pressured to quantify my achievements and compare them to those of my peers.

This year, I’ve decided to make promises to myself that I can keep, promises that are for myself and my growth and not the approval of others.

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  • Read more books - When I was younger, I used to read books as much as I watch Youtube videos. I could sit in my room for hours with my face buried in a book. As I got older, the magic of books seems to have faded for me and I am determined to find it again. My father gifted me with a Kindle this Christmas and I’ve already started reading Becoming by Michelle Obama.

  • Dress more boldly - Last year, I played things very safe when it came to my style. I gained weight and felt detached from my body so I covered myself up in oversized tops, mom jeans, and fluffy jackets. This year, I want to show more skin, wear more fun hats and bright jewelry, wear more comfortable shoes, and experiment with my style.

  • Travel to a new country/city - 2018 was filled with lots of traveling for Joe and I. We flew to Chicago, Hawaii, Seattle, and Las Vegas on little adventures. In 2019, I already have plans to visit the Philippines then hopefully, Disneyworld and many more!

  • Create and follow a proper skincare routine - My current skincare routine includes just 4 main steps: cleanser (when I’m not lazy), toner, moisturizer, and sunscreen. I’ve occasionally added a sheet mask, clay mask, or exfoliating cleanser here and there but it generally stays the same: the bare minimum. This year, I would like to create a skincare routine tailored for my oily skin that can actually address my skin issues.

  • Grow my hair out and keep it healthy - Going blonde was a huge highlight of last year. I had been wanting to go full blonde for years and finally took the plunge. While I love the blonde and how it complements my skin, it has left my hair fried and requires A LOT of work to maintain (monthly touch-ups, toning, treatments, etc.) so I’ve decided to let my roots grow out and get my hair back in fighting form.

  • Practice speaking Spanish - In college, I took several Spanish classes and could read, write, and speak Spanish fairly well. But as they say if you don’t use it, you lose it. I haven’t practiced Spanish in years and I’d love to become more fluent. I’ve already started by order my burritos and tacos in Spanish at the taco truck near work.

  • Pay off my credit cards - I received my first credit card four years ago when I first moved to Chicago. Initially, I was very cautious about using it but eventually, I began to use it and see how useful it was in emergency situations. I now have 3 credit cards and my goals is to pay them off slowly but surely and avoid using them unless absolutely necessary.

  • Drink more water - I’m not entirely sure why but I’ve always struggled to drink the proper amount of water each day. If there is a juice or soda available, I’ll take it over water and I know that needs to change for a number of reasons.

Here’s to being better in 2019!

What are your goals for this year?

My Favorite Beauty Products of 2018
 
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Face/Cheek

Fenty Beauty Foil Freestyle Highlighter in Mimosa Sunrise/Sangria Sunset Duo - I love how versatile this highlighter is! I have used the magenta as blush, the orange as eyeshadow, and a mix of the two for an interesting highlight shade. The colors are rich and buildable with a lovely foil finish. Perfect for the summer!

Revlon Photoready Candid foundation in shade 440 - I found this foundation through one of my favorite makeup artists, Katie Jane Hughes (@katiejanehughes) and it quickly became my favorite one for everyday makeup. It has medium coverage that can be layered and still manages to look like skin. I especially love that the foundation doesn’t need to be set with powder. I have ridiculously oily skin and the foundation lasted a solid 10 hours without any setting powder and a quick spritz of MAC Fix+.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup in 5W1 - This is my “fancy event” foundation. I wore this foundation on my wedding day and besides a little oil blotting on my nose and forehead, it didn’t budge! A little goes a long way and doesn’t need much to set in place. I think this is a must-try foundation for those looking for a full coverage foundation for super oily skin. For special events, I apply setting powder after my primer then this foundation then bake with setting powder and it lasts the whole day.

Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Truffle - This is hands-down my favorite contouring product. It doesn’t pick up or distort my foundation and it blends out nicely without looking muddy or blotchy. Usually I have to set any cream products with a powder but this stays put and gives my skin a dewy sheen.

Sephora Collection Blush in #29 Fascinated - 2018 was the year of the orange blush trend and I was more than happy to hop on the trend train with this blush. It can be built up, blends out beautifully, and adds such a lovely pop of color on the cheeks. I love pairing this blush with a bright red or red-orange lipstick.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam + Haze - This is the perfect blush for the effortless, no-makeup makeup look. A few dots on the apples of my cheeks then blended out with fingers and paired with mascara, highlight, and some tinted lip balm. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

 

Eyes

Huda Beauty Desert Dusk palette - I quietly stalked this palette online and in store for months before finally making my purchase. I absolutely love the color story of the palette! The pressed pearl and duo-chrome shadows are some of my favorites and don’t give me any trouble while the mattes blend flawlessly and don’t get muddy as I layer and add more shades.

Huda Beauty New Nude palette - I received this palette as a Christmas gift from my husband and I’ve been using it every single day since. The colors are beautiful, very wearable for everyday looks, and blend perfectly. I love that the 'nudes’ pull more smokey pink and mauve. It gives my usual neutral brown smokey eyes a more romantic look.

Morphe The Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow palette - I bought this palette on a whim. I was exploring an Ulta near my work while on lunch break and I saw the palette on display. The colors caught my eye and after some swatches and a little coaxing from my husband, I picked it up. This palette is my go-to for my daily neutrals, a pop of blue, and some darker shades for smokey eyes. Highly pigmented, easy blending, buttery texture, and great price!

Lancome Monsieur Big waterproof mascara - This mascara was recommended to me when I walked into Sephora and quite aggressively told the consultant: “I need a mascara that is waterproof, the blackest black, lengthening + volumizing, and does not flake”. And I have to say that after wearing it for a few weeks, it does not disappoint. I have horribly watery, sensitive eyes and anything but absolutely budge-proof mascara will leave me looking like a raccoon. This mascara holds a curl very well, flakes very little throughout the day, lasts through continuous eye drop applications and tears, and makes my lashes look like falsies. 10/10!

Milk Makeup Kush mascara - This would have been my #1 mascara of 2018 if it was waterproof. It lengthens, adds volume, and separates my lashes. If you don’t mind that it isn’t waterproof, this mascara is perfect!

NYX Epic Ink Liner - Perfect $9 dupe for KVD Tattoo Liner. Enough said.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Chocolate - I was nervous to try this brow pomade because it seemed to be the main product used for the infamous chiseled Instagram brows and they always seemed a bit too much for me. I was convinced to give it a try after watching a makeup tutorial where the pomade was applied a small angled brush in hair-like strokes. My review? Best brow product I’ve ever used. It’s so pigmented so the little container will last me ages, it lasts all damn day even with my oily skin, and it is versatile (bushy brows, structured brows, and even freckles!).

 

Lips

Flesh Beauty Swipe Flesh in Swollen + Tremble - I’ve started to enjoy feeling and applying products with my fingers instead of with my usual brushes. Flesh Beauty’s Swipe Flesh lipsticks are my favorites for dabbing on some color. They have a creamy, velvety feel when applied then dry down to a comfortable semi-matte finish. These lipsticks are perfect for experimenting!

Lime Crime Plushies in Sorbet + Marmalade - LC’s Plushies formula is by far my favorite. They dry down to a weightless matte finish that can be layered to deepen color and mixed to create an ombre look or a whole new color. They are also my favorite lippies for the diffused, just kissed look that makes my lips look full and soft.

Beauty Bakerie Matte Lip Whip in Cherry Flambe - This is my favorite red from my collection of red lipsticks. It is a warm-toned fiery red that works beautifully with my tan skin and golden undertones. It applies a bit thick and goopy like gloss but dries down in seconds. I think it is a beautiful summer color and could work on anyone who isn’t afraid of a bold, bright lip!

MAC Powder Kiss lipsticks - The day these lipsticks came out at MAC, I waltzed into the nearest MAC store and bought 5. First off, they have the most buttery, smooth texture that applies like a dream and has a velvety feel. Second, they are perfect for the soft-blur lip trend and has a soft matte finish. Third, while they aren’t the most long lasting, they are a breeze to reapply and have no issues with layering.

Pat McGrath MatteTrance lipstick in Obsessed! - This bright orange red is not for the faint-hearted. One swipe packs a hell of a velvety, pigmented punch and has great lasting power. I love smudging a bit on the middle of my lips and blending it out.

Colourpop Matte Lux Lipsticks - When the first wave of CP Lux lipsticks came out, I was eager to give them a try but I decided to wait until they came out with a matte formula. So when they finally did, I went ahead and bought 4 shades: Money Moves, Paparazzi, OOUUUU!, and Mind Trick. The formula is lightweight and sooooo comfortable! I can’t wait for more nude and red shades to come out!

Flesh Beauty Proud Flesh Liquid Lipstick in Brazen - This is a stunning blue-red lipstick that applies evenly, dries down to a comfortable matte, and feels very light on the lips. It has a odd applicator but for those who are used to applying liquid lipsticks, it’s not a big deal.

MAC Retro Matte lipstick in Ruby Woo - I am about two decades late but I finally tried MAC’s Ruby Woo lipstick and I completely understand why it is one of the top selling lipstick shades ever. The stunning cherry red has intense color pay-off, super matte finish, and adds an instant pop to any look.

 
 

Hair

Clairol Shimmer Lights Blonde & Silver shampoo

Olaplex No. 3

Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo + Conditioner

Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Conditioner

Loreal Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm

OGX Renewing Weightless Healing Dry Oil Spray

Pantene Pro-V Gold Series Leave-On Detangling Milk

Batiste Dry Shampoo

Skincare

Aveeno MaxGlow Infusion Drops

Mario Bedescu Facial Spray (cucumber/rose water)

Neutrogena Hydro Boosting Hydrating Serum

Loreal Hydra Genius Liquid Moisturizer

Garnier SkinActive Pore Purifying 2in1 Cleanser/Mask

Boscia Matcha Magic Super-Antioxidant Mask

Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel

Garnier SkinActive Purifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes

Tony Moly Sheet Masks

 
Neon Museum
 
Las Vegas looks the way you’d imagine heaven must look at night.
— Chuck Palanhiuk
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Dusk
 
Twilight fell: The sky turned to a light, dusky purple littered with tiny silver stars.
— J.K. Rowling
 
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Products used:

NYX Cosmetics Epic Ink liner + Love You So Mochi palette
Fenty Beauty Mimosa Sunrise/Sangria Sunset Killawatt Foil highlighter
Morphe Brushes 35B palette
Milk Makeup Kush mascara
Makeup Revolution concealer
Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Rex
Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle in Single

 
A Romantic Sunday Morning
 
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BASE 

Too Faced Primed & Peachy Cooling Matte Perfecting Primer
Too Faced Peach Perfect Foundation in Mocha
Makeup Revolution Concealer in C12
Makeup Revolution Banana Baking Powder

CHEEKS

ELF Blush Palette in Dark
Colourpop Bronzer in Rodeo Drive
Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun-Dipped Glow Kit 

EYES

Morphe 35B Palette
Huda Beauty Desert Dusk Palette
Lime Crime Venus Palette
ABH Dip Brow Pomade in Chocolate

 LIPS

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble

A Dress Day
 

 

 

 

 

Dress: ASOS Sweetheart Neck Casual Skater Mini Dress with Bow Detail (Code: 7500951)

Shoes: ASOS Latch Pointed Ballet Flats - Leopard (Code: 6712710) 

Earrings: H&M

 

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ASOS has become one of my favorite online shops. It has such striking, unique pieces that are true to size and fit perfectly! I spotted this dress on Instagram on one of my favorite ASOS Insiders, Lotte Williams (@asos_lotte) and I knew I wanted it. It has such a cute cut and fit that initially worried me since I don't usually wear dresses. It seemed like one of those pieces that would only suit dainty, slim figures. But when I zipped it up, I was pleasantly surprised. First off, the cleavage is pretty amazing if I may say so myself. It's also lightweight and a comfortable length. I'm also in love with the balloon sleeves that give the dress a vintage look. 

I have so many outfit ideas for this dress! Since it's the summer, I'm pairing it with patterned flats or gladiator sandals. I can't wait to wear this in the winter or fall with colored tights and boots. What would you pair it with? 

 

 
Striped Down
 
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Get in line

Top: H&M

Jeans: FashionNova Supernatural Jeans

Shoes: Target

 

 
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Summer is the time for backyard barbecues, golden tans, short shorts, picnics, and an influx of bikini photos. While I love the heat and vibrancy that summer brings, I always struggle to dress for it. In the sweltering heat, of course I want to be in a breezy sleeveless top preferably with no bra and comfy shorts but I also struggle with how conscious I am of my arms, chafing on my thighs, finding shorts that fit well, and finding clothing that isn't just stretchy polyester material that sticks to my skin. I haven't quite reached the confidence level that would allow me to happily waltz out of the house with most of my skin exposed but this outfit is a step in the right direction. 

These Fashion Nova jeans are incredible! They have a good amount of stretch and are such a bright blue color. My only issue was how long they were and how little stretch the waist had. The top is an old purchase I made at H&M that I finally pulled out and decided to wear. It's a breathable material that felt like a regular light t-shirt that was cut into a bandeau top. It doesn't have much support at all for the girls but it was cute, comfortable, and covered them up so I'll take it. The shoes were a recent purchase from Target. They are made with a pale pink velvet material and have a bejeweled buckle that makes me think of Marie Antoinette. 

The next step is to venture outside in shorts. Stay tuned! 

 
Fenty Face
 
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Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color

Killwatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Mimosa Sunrise/ Sangria Sunset

MatchStix Trio in 300 Tan

Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 370 

 

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BASE: Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in 370

I really like this foundation! It's a medium-coverage, applies quite nicely, and doesn't feel heavy. I like to apply it with a brush initially then using a damp sponge to press it into the skin and blend in any streaks. 

I have ridiculously oily skin so the matte finish only lasts a couple of hours even when set with a powder. I usually touch up and blot with pressed powder throughout the day. Otherwise, it photographs well, doesn't look cakey, has no noticeable flashback. 

 

CONTOUR: MatchStix Trio in 300 Tan

I love the idea and versatility of these contour sticks but I have a few issues with them. Firstly, I wish their shape wasn't so rounded or at least not so thick. I have a bit of a hard time applying the concealer shade under my eyes. Secondly, it tends to pick up the foundation or product underneath which can be frustrating after spending so much time blending. Lastly, I'm not a huge fan of the finish (a bit tacky) and it disappears quite a bit after blending so I usually layer it with another powder bronzer to up the color and set it. 

 

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EYES + CHEEKS: Killwatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Mimosa Sunrise/ Sangria Sunset

I LOVE this highlighter duo! They are such beautiful colors that look amazing and apply smoothly. It starts out sheer and can be layered for more coverage. I like spritzing my eyeshadow brush with a bit of setting spray then dipping into the color before applying. 

 

LIPS: Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color

There was quite a lot of hype around this liquid lipstick. It's said to be long-wearing, perfectly matte, lightweight, and suitable for all skin tones PLUS every beauty vlogger I follow was raving about it so I had pretty high expectations. Did it live up to them? Most definitely! The color is gorgeous. It's somehow a perfect medium between cool-toned and warm-toned and I can see why it would suit all skin tones. 

I thought applying it would be difficult because of the wonky applicator but it made it easy to apply clean lines and get that perfect cupid's bow.

As for the wear, it wasn't kiss-proof but it put up a good fight against my greasy snacks and an afternoon fruit shake. 


Final thoughts: 

I think Fenty Beauty is a great brand with impressive products and shade range. I definitely have my favorites like the lip paint and the highlight duo and I can't wait to expand my Fenty Beauty collection. 

What are your favorite Fenty Beauty products?