InstaNatural Essential Oils + I’m a DIY-er!

Hello lovelies!

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to the warmth of spring! Or maybe just not all this snow and ice ๐Ÿ™‚ At least it has been impacted and frozen over enough in our backyard that I can take Yoshi out in my slippers without actually getting them snowy/wet, haha! Win.

I recently partnered up with InstaNatural to try out a few of their essential oils! I was really excited when it was decided that the scents would be peppermint and lemon, because those are some of my favorite scents in beauty products that I use.

IMG_2562bInstaNatural

“At present, InstaNatural is a leading online distributor of a collection of nature-inspired beauty and cosmetic products. All of InstaNatural’s products are produced in small batches and packaged in FDA-certified facilities in the USA to ensure freshness and safety for customers. With results-driven products backed by a lifetime satisfaction guarantee, InstaNatural is focused on providing the best collection of beauty products to address a wide variety of skincare needs” (InstaNatural website).

InstaNatural sells its products exclusively online, using their website and Amazon as their sales platforms. In addition, their products are cruelty-free, which is a big yes-yes for me! All of their products are either vegetarian or vegan as well, with the exception of their 100% emu oil. They sell a huge variety of products including retinols, oils, moisturizers, masks, hair treatments, serums, the list goes on.

For the review, we were supposed to get a lavender “sample” (and I use the word sample lightly, as we were sent the full-size products to review which has really helped me to try it in a variety of settings) as well, but there has been a temporary shortage. However, I will say that I loved the lemon and peppermint so much, that I ordered the lavender oil on my own dime when it was back in stock!

My Experience + DIY

I was really excited to try out these essential oils, as ever since I have made the pledge to go cruelty-free, I have been researching DIY beauty products like crazy! I love the idea of researching, obtaining the raw materials, and developing something on your own that you wholeheartedly love and know how it was made ๐Ÿ™‚ Essential oils are one of those ingredients that can be used in almost anything you make: soaps, bath bombs, scrubs, candles, etc.

These oils from InstaNatural are cold-pressed which helps increase the longevity of the scent and its elements. There are no added ingredients or fillers, and the bottle comes with a dropper which is perfect for when recipes call for just a small amount of the oil. Although essential oils are safe to apply directly to the skin and for use in room diffusers, I have used mine exclusively for DIY:

IMG_2622Bath bombs using the lavender essential oil & some blue food coloring (I didn’t have red to make purpe). Recipe here.

IMG_2625Peppermint-cocoa lip balm using a recipe from this book.

IMG_2628Terrific tinted lip gloss (w/ added lemon essential oil) using a recipe from this book.

The scent came through quite nicely into the finished product, and I can’t wait to experiment with these oils in the production of hand scrubs, face scrubs, lotions, soaps, masks, conditioners, the list goes on and on and on!

IMG_2561The only somewhat “problem” I can think of is that the bottle has a difficult time containing the smell. Even with Amazon’s excellent packaging of the sealed bottles taped in bubble wrap, separated by air packs, the smell was pervasive in opening the box. I had them stored in a cabinet in the kitchen, but I could smell them every time I was in the kitchen. Nothing had leaked, it’s just 100% pure extracted oil, and with a little going a long way, it’s easy to see how strong the scent is in the entire bottle. I will trying putting them in ziploc bags to see if that helps, as I don’t know if the objects/ingredients around them will absorb the smell.

Overall, I am confident putting my reputation on the line to support these oils. The bottles go a long way, and at a little under $20/piece, the value is extraordinary! If you consider trying some essential oils, give this brand a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Although this is a sponsored post, powered by Brandbacker, I am excited to try more of their products and share what I learn about them with you!

XO Ali

March Check-In: New Years Resolutions

Hi there!

I know I mentioned to a couple of you that I was planning my very first vlog/haul video, and I was sincere in my promise. It took me several takes, but I finally got enough footage together to edit and put out my very first video! However, editing has been a nightmare. I purchased an outdated video-editing software sometime last year so I wouldn’t have to pay big bucks for the newest version (since I’m just starting to get my feet wet in vlogging). I finally felt like I was getting some work done after hours working on a 20 minute video, and I lost everything. Twice.

bbhaulI was so mad, and decided to try something simple like Windows Movie Maker (laugh if you must!), but it was so much more user-friendly. Until I lost all of my work again. It’s not a saving issue, there’s something corrupt in the files or programs I think…so I apologize for the false promises. Hopefully I can learn more and develop a better one in the not-so-far-since-I’m still-upset-future. Tips are welcome!

Anyhow, I’m here today to check in on some New Years resolutions I set early in January. What good is a resolution if you don’t periodically monitor it to see how you’re doing?!

Resolution #1: Run my first marathon.

IMG_9581Well there’s not much I can do to complete this resolution until my race arrives in September! However, once marathon training starts in May, I should be averaging 25-30 miles per week to start out. In order to make a smoother transition (and not to wuss out), I signed up for a half-marathon in early May! This means my training will start NOW! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve already got in a couple good 3-4 milers in the past few weeks, and I’m feeling pretty optimistic about getting back into shape.

Resolution #2: Be a better person.

This one is harder to “check in” on. I am definitely more conscious of the words that come out of my mouth, but I still have a lot of room to improve.

Resolution #3: Be responsible.

I am happy toย report that I have been doing pretty well in this category ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been really good about just leaving my phone in my purse while driving, just to keep the temptation out of reach. I did thoughtlessly respond once or twice before realizing what I was doing, but I find I feel much more relaxed and free-minded when my electronic device is stowed away.

Resolution #4: Give back.

This is kind of something I’m doing for myself and not really something I want to share completely. I will mention that I have signed up to volunteer at a local animal rescue and had my orientation on Saturday ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t put into words how happy and blessed it made me feel walking around feeling like I can make an impact on these animals’ lives, maybe even help them to learn to trust people again.

Can you imagine? Some of the work they need done is just to go in and pet the dogs and cats to get/keep them socialized. Best. Job. EVARRRR!

Ryan and I are also looking for a second dog, so it’s going to be dangerous being around so many cuties #crazydoglady

On another note, I have failed my no-new-spending for the first quarter of 2015… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I was good for the entire month of January and what I thought was an innocent purchase of a limited Memebox spiraled into something else altogether. Surprisingly, I haven’t bought almost any clothes-items at all…haven’t even had the urge. I got 2 new pair of work pants from NY&Co. to replace some old, unwearable ones I got rid of recently, but that’s it! I did, however, make a couple purchases from Birchbox, Elf, and a couple of discretionary purchases here and there, including the aforementioned Memebox. I guess it’s not horrible, but it definitely feels like a fail. I haven’t decided if/how I want to continue this planned shopping hiatus.

IMG_2595Which brings me to another point: I have made the decision to go cruelty-free moving forward in regards to cosmetics and body care! I am thinking I’ll dedicate an entire post sometime this month about my reasons and how I plan on applying this in my life (hint: I’m not throwing everything out, but I will be strictly cruelty-free moving forward). I am also learning to DIY my own body-care (so far) and hopefully makeup too. How cool would that be??

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, even if it’s just to say hi! ๐Ÿ™‚ As always, thanks for reading!

XO Ali

Favorite 2014 K-pop Songs: #8-1

8. 4MINUTE – Whatcha Doin’ Today

whatchadointodayThis upbeat jam always puts me in the mood to dance, which can be a problem depending on where I am at at the moment (the car is usually a frequent location…). I love 4MINUTE! They always have great singles that are fun to dance to, and this is no exception ๐Ÿ™‚

7. Hyuna – Red

hyunaredHyuna is also a member of 4minute, the group who’s “Whatcha Doin’ Today” came in 8th place. Hyuna is probably one of the more globally-recognizable faces of k-pop after she guest starred in Psy’s Gangnam Style back in 2012 (2:11 on) and eventually in her own version, “Oppa is Just My Style.” However, these are not the songs she is known for in Korea. She’s arguably one of the best female solo artists in the market, being able to rap, dance, and sing very well. Her singles always do very well, and Red is no exception. This is by far my favorite single of hers to date, because she’s got to that point in her career where she is allowed to express more freedom in her songs.

6. KARA – Mamma Mia

mammamiaI’m a little surprised about how much I fell in love with this song, seeing as how KARA was a group that I only recently started to gauge interest in. It might be do in part to them losing two of their five original members in early 2014 due to career changes, and how they held a reality competition to find a new member to fill in their group. This is practically unheard of in South Korea. If new members are picked, it is a very private process, and once the decision is final, not much information is given until the new member’s debut. There were seven girls vying for public sway to get into the already internationally-successful group, but ultimately, Young Ji stole most everyone’s hearts:

youngjiThe six-part series culminated in Young Ji “winning” a spot on KARA. I watched about four of the episodes, which is why I felt so invested in her debut for this song. In a short amount of time, she had to learn all of KARA’s previous dances, redistribute previous members lines, and was literally thrown into the spotlight. The song itself is very good, reminding me a little of an 80’s/90’s workout song, and I really enjoy the accompanying dance. Party, party, party, mamma mia!

5. 2NE1 – Come Back Home

comebackhomeOne of the most popular girl groups in the world, 2NE1 (pronounced “twenty-one” or “to anyone”) killed it this year with their album, Crush. You may have unintentionally heard a clip of their song I am the Best in a recent Microsoft television ad. Long before the ad, IATB has been one of the 10 most watched K-pop videos in history. In addition, CL is working with producers in the U.S. to launch her U.S. debut. CL has already released a song with G Dragon, Diplo, and Skrillex, but no matter how much I like her, the song is really awful. Wait till her debut comes out. She’s got an incredible voice and is one of the best Asian rappers out there. Between all of the members, they speak a variety of languages, which has really helped to fuel their growth and to make tour stops more personal.

Anyways. Come Back Home is probably my favorite music video of the year, with a futuristic dystopia-type setting. If you don’t watch any other videos, watch this one. It’s really good and the lines are all pretty spread out so you can hear each member’s voice.

4. T-ara – Sugar Free

sugarfreeT-ara does it again with their club-pumping hit, Sugar Free. Despite sounding like a song about diet soda, it’s actually about a relationship that has turned sour, with the guy lacking sweetness. I know I’ve said this about a lot of groups already, but every. single. single. they put out is so good. They’ve got that EDM vibe that is very popular in the U.S. and Europe…the kind of music that it doesn’t matter if you understand what they’re saying or not, but you have to get up and dance when you hear it. The music video is really hard on the eyes, however, with its incessant strobe lights. It’s a shame, because they really should have highlighted the dancing more. This is one where I’ll say you can skip the video, or watch a live performance, because you may just get a headache from watching the flashing lights.

3. AOA – Like a Cat

likeacatIt really pains me to number these top 4 in any specific order, because they are so, so close in my book. I really should just give them a four-way tie for first place, but I gave the final rankings based on listen counts, how many dance moves I can mimic without really intentionally learning (haha), and how powerful the feels are. AOA is probably the group that grew on me the most this year, as I never really cared for their songs until I heard their first single of 2014 called “Miniskirt.” I realized how talented these girls all are! When “Like a Cat” came out, I was blown away with how catchy it was! The dance moves aren’t overly provocative either, which is a nice change from some of their company’s usual choreography. I can’t stop listening to it and you shouldn’t either!

2. f(x) – Red Light

redlightNever has one eye of makeup looked so good. You all probably already know my affinity for this group from my post back in October, but here they are again, for good measure ๐Ÿ™‚ I almost forgot about this song since it came out over the summer. I listened to it for so long, I took a break from it to hear all the other singles that have been out. After another listen though, it’s definitely at the top. The second girl from the left, Sulli, ended up taking a hiatus from the public within a month of their “Red Light” promotions, which caused the company to end the entire group’s promotions, despite successfully performing as a quartet multiple times. This made me so angry, because they are my second-favorite group in all of k-pop and were finally getting the recognition they deserve. I hope their next comeback is just as successful, if not more. F(x) fighting!

Side note: Krystal of F(x) (right) is the younger sister of [former] Girl’s Generation member Jessica (left)

1whisper1. TaeTiSeo (TTS) – Whisper

TTS made their first comeback in 2014 after a 2.5 year hiatus. They are a sub-unit of Girls’ Generation, and comprise 3 of the best singers of the group. Whisper is a pretty song where the focus is not on the dance, nor is there an accompanying music video. It plays on the strengths of each of the member’s voices and is not even their single they released (which is Holler, in case you are interested. It’s really good too!). Instead, it’s a soulful song that even Billboard Music describes as a “sensual, synthy R&B jam.” They even had their own 7 episode series called “The TaeTiSeo” that aired with OnStyle Korea! Both Girls’ Generation and their sub-unit are my favorite group in all of k-pop. Win!

Others worth mentioning:

SISTAR – Touch My Body – The perfect summer-ending song.

Bestie – Thank U Very Much – A fun song to dance with your “besties” to.

Dalshabet – BBB (Big Baby Baby) – An 80’s electro-pop sound with understated tones and a strong choral beat.

AOA – Miniskirt – While I don’t care for the music video, the song is great!

CL – MTBD – The K-pop female rap song I have been waiting for…

EXID – Up and Down – Finally, some recognition for the amazing group! The only song to ever go through promotions twice in the k-pop industry.

Rainbow Blaxx – Cha Cha – The first song of Rainbow’s sub-unit, Rainbow Blaxx.

Girl’s Day – Darling – Another fun summer song.

Ladies Code – Kiss Kiss – the last song that Ladies Code put out, less than a month before a horribly tragic car accident took the lives of best friends and members, Eun B and RiSe (2nd and 3rd from the left below), in September. May they rest in peace. They were taken too soon ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

ladiescodeWhat were your favorite songs of 2014 (k-pop or not)?!

XO Ali

Shen Yun

“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.

A Shen Yun performance features the worldโ€™s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdropsโ€”together creating one spectacular performance.”

I was fortunate enough to attend a performance of Shen Yun downtown last night with my best friend, Cassie! Despite wanting to go last year, this was our first time seeing this composition of Chinese classical dance. I only wish we would have been able to take some photos of the performance!

shenyun1The show was split up into 11 dances in the first half, and 10 dances in the second half, all of which were introduced by the two MC’s of the night–once in English and once in Chinese. Every detail was meticulously prepared for. The costumes were the most stunning I have ever seen in a production, with bright colors, hair adornments, and long, silky sleeves. I counted more than 8 female group outfit changes in the first half alone!

shenyun2The orchestra is made up of a combination of Western (percussion, woodwinds, brass, and string instruments) and Eastern (erhu and pipa) sounds. The production itself originates from New York, where many, if not all, of the dancers attended Fei Tian Academy of Arts. Although the show would be strictly forbidden in China (especially due to its portrayal of Falun Gong), it is well-renowned in countries all over the world.

shenyun4An interactive video backdrop allowed the stories to transcend past the stage. There were three steps leading up to the background where dancers would frequently “jump” onto the screen and be seen floating away, or drawing up a historical/legendary story.

shenyun3Some of my favorite parts included:

  • When they lifted the curtain at the beginning of the first and second half, the floor was covered in that thick, vapory-smoke. The dancers seemingly grew out of the floor and their dresses spun the smoke up and away! It really was quite magical.
  • The Chopstick Dance
  • Learning about the different legends and historical stories of Ancient Chinese Civilizations
  • The soloist’s erhu stage

Overall, I would highly encourage you to see this show if it comes your way. The tickets are a bit steep (it was $57 for some of the highest-up seats), but I promise you, it is worth it. In addition, the show changes every year, so you can see it every year with new content!

Click here to be taken to Shen Yun’s website for additional information.

XO Ali

All pictures are the property of Shen Yun. I have shared them for informational and inspirational purposes, as the audience is unable to take any forms of photography.

Favorite 2014 K-pop Songs: #15-9

Where is January going?! …Not that I’m complaining since it’s the busiest month of the year for me, but the 18th? Whew! I have mentioned before, maybe not to a great extent, that I am a huge fan of K-pop … Continue reading

New Years Resolutions Pt.2: 2015

It’s about to get real. (aka…long post warning) It’s that time of year: everyone’s making resolutions, and I absolutely love it. I don’t understand why some people get so annoyed over New Years resolutions. I think it’s absolutely great when … Continue reading

New Years Resolutions Pt. 1: 2014 in Review

Happy 2015 everyone! I hope you enjoyed a safe and happy New Years doing whatever makes your heart happy โค

2014 was quite a busy year! I wrapped up my no-new-clothes for a year challenge, my best friend got married, I picked up an expensive makeup addiction (ha), I got a puppy, and I’ve been to New Orleans, Montreal, and Cancun!

I only had one resolution in 2014, and that was to do one race per month in hopes that it would keep me out and active! I am happy to report that I finished my last race yesterday evening ๐Ÿ™‚ This is the first time I can remember definitively setting and keeping a resolution all year long. I completed seven 5ks, two 10ks, a costume 1-miler, a half-marathon, and my first ever triathlon!!

12months-2bHow did your 2014 resolutions work out?

I can’t wait to see everyone’s 2015 resolutions!

XO Ali

Michelle Phan Book Review

Are you a beauty blogger? A fashion blogger? A vlogger? Then KEEP reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

Right before my vacation to Cancun, I was shopping at Target when I noticed the beautiful face of Michelle Phan staring back amid the vast book section. Curious, I picked it up and read a bit, (it’s not your average chapter book), put it back, and went home. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I decided it would make a fun read on vacation, not to mention providing some new inspiration and perspective on my blog! I ordered it from Amazon, and with my Prime membership, it arrived in 2 days!

I have to be honest, I knew next to nothing about Michelle when I first got the book, let alone that she is the FOUNDER of Ipsy! (Something almost all of you are familiar with/subscribe to). As a 27 year old, she boasts an incredible resume:

  • 7 million subscribers on YouTube
  • Her videos have been viewed over 1 billion times
  • Founder of Ipsy
  • Started her own cosmetics company “em”

The first 2 “chapters” (I use the word chapters loosely, as it’s such a guide/advice/tutorial-type book) cover her background. You wouldn’t know by looking at her that she grew up with almost nothing. It was really inspiring to hear her journey, and to read about her dedication and perseverance landing her where she is today. I’ll save the rest of her back story for you to discover ๐Ÿ™‚

If you get a chance, go check out her YouTube channel. She’s just so darn sweet and likeable!

The videos that really brought her to initial fame were her transformation videos. Some of her looks include Angelina Jolie, Sailor Moon, Lady Gaga, Daenerys (Game of Thrones), and (zombie) Barbie!

Even thought she’s amazing at transforming into different characters, some of my favorite videos are her anybody-can-do makeovers. Her instructions are simple and practical, and she doesn’t go out of her way to suggest you buy or use a particular product, which I found very refreshing. Instead, she encourages you to work with what you have.

This is still one of my FAVORITE looks:

The other sections cover a wide variety of topics including makeup tutorials, resume building, career advice, etiquette, and creativity. There’s even a section dedicated to fashion/style! If you go to Amazon’s page, you can peak “Inside the Book.”

This is a great read. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times: she is SO inspiring! It makes me want to channel all my creativity and efforts into something beautiful I can share with others. If you are interested in getting a copy of her book, please enter my giveaway to win! It’s open until Saturday evening at 11:59 P.M.

Michelle-Phan-Book-CoverDomestic (U.S.) entries onlyโ€“I will be sending the book straight to your home via Amazon.com

Once the winner is announced, you have 2ย days to respond to my email (you must leave a valid email address for me to contact you), otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

And in the words of Mish: Good luck!

XOXO Ali

Weekending + Holiday Beauty Wantlist

Happy Monday! Let’s start off this week with a positive attitude, mmk? ๐Ÿ™‚

I may have an important paper due tomorrow, but it won’t get me down! I have a lot of fun things I’m looking forward to this week: Friendsgiving, dinner at a new restaurant downtown, a 5k, and going out with some of my lovely co-workers on Friday night! In addition, I had the most heart-warming, feel-good weekend just doing things I love ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_0485-Ryan and I went for a short wine-tasting and then picked up our very first Christmas tree together on Saturday! We got a pretty good deal–$99 for a pre-lit 6.5 ft tree. I cried for a couple of seconds because I’m a sappy-face for it being our first Christmas under the same roof ๐Ÿ™‚ This is Yoshi’s first Christmas too, and I have plenty more things like stockings and lights to pick up before this girl can call her decorating done!

-Slow-cooking: I went to the grocery on Friday night and got enough ingredients to make three different recipes in my slow cooker for the week. First up: barley-spiked winter casserole. It’s got carroway seeds, carrots, parsnips, and a lot of celery root in it. Add a can of tomatoes, veggie broth, mix in some barley, and top with parsley and you’ve got a bowl of yum perfect for a cold winter’s night! We ate the whole crockpot serving (5.5 qts) in 24 hours!

-Baking: I whipped up some gingersnaps, snickerdoodles (yet to bake), and chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I won’t go into details about how it was my ugliest looking batch of chocolate chip cookies to date, but at least they tasted good!

-SNOW! We woke up to about 6 inches of snow this morning. It was simply beautiful. The sun hadn’t come up yet, but the snow was so bright it let off this brilliant blue hue to our backyard! Fall is my favorite season, snow or no snow. And there’s absolutely no reason to complain about it snowing “already,” its the middle of November! (3 weeks till vacay…)

A Holiday Beauty Wantlist

Holiday Beauty WishlistYves Saint Laurent Touch ร‰clat in Luminous Radiance or Luminous Ivory ($41) – this is definitely a luxury item I don’t need, but I’ve been eyeballing it for a year. Can I really justify $41 for it? Probably not. I’m not sure which color would look better on me. Luminous Radiance would be better suited for me since its for fair to light complexions with pink undertones (bingo), but both swatches look like variations of my skintone.

Fresh Lotus Eye Gel ($48) – if there was such a thing as a love affair with beauty products, I’d be married to “Fresh” brand. I haven’t tried a single one of their products I haven’t loved. I ordered the Dare to Bare Sugar Lip Ritual set last week, but my Sephora order is currently in their backlog due to an overwhelming response to their 20% off sale. Out of all the flaws and features of my face, I am most self-conscious about my eyes. I am plagued with baggy eyes and fine lines, and as I get closer to 30, I am much more aware of wrinkle-formation. This gel promises to alleviate “puffiness, dark circles, and signs of fatigue.” Sign me up!

Dior Addict Lip Glow ($33) – this is a “nice to have,” not “need to have.” Mostly, I’m just curious about all the hype surrounding this cult-favorite. Some swear by it, others claim its not worth the hype. I’m too much of a germaphobe to test it out in store, especially when…

tester-lipsticksEnough said.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Blonde ($23) – now here is a cult-favorite worth the hype! This company makes the most beautiful brow-products for every hair color and skin tone! I just can’t justify spending $23 on colors I probably have in my eyeshadow collection! Haha

Pixi Ultimate Beauty Kit – 2nd Edition ($34) – after regularly using the Plum Quartz mineral palette I bought on my birthday (it’s a staple in my daily makeup bag!), I have faith that the rest of the eyeshadows are just as good of quality! I like the mix of cool tones and warm tones, and am curious as to the effectiveness of the blushes and highlighters! I also love that Pixi’s brand is so accessible as they carry it in most (all?) Targets!

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Grandest Grape ($17) – a perfect cranberry color to add to my fall lippies collection! My best and I swatch the chubby sticks every time we go into Sephora. Maybe one of these days I’ll pick this up and actually buy it! It’s also a full-size part of this Holiday Gift Set which only retails for $22 more than the lip balm itself!

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($26) – this product has been lingering in my Sephora basket since it came out last winter, but it’s just always one I parted with to narrow down my collection. I have terribly dry lips and I will try almost anything to find a good treatment and moisturizer for them in the winter-time! The complaints about the packaging breaking easily has been enough to keep me at bay, but some day this will be in my lip drawer.

Pixi Glow Tonic ($29) – this glow tonic is at the top of my list, and the next time I am in Target, I will probably pick up a bottle (if its in stock). It isn’t cheap, but this keeps popping up on my instagram feed, and maybe it’s the name, but I. need. it. Ginseng and aloe? Nothing like a little extra glow to add to your winter complexion ๐Ÿ™‚

NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette ($65) – this is second to top on my wish list. I can’t see myself ever shelling out $65 on blushes for myself, but I am seriously mesmerized by this palette. I love NARS because they are so brazen with their product names. A single 0.16 oz NARS blush retails for $30, so this set with 3-0.15 oz blushes (Sex Fantasy, Deep Throat, and Final Cut), a 0.15 oz highlighting blush powder (Miss Liberty), and 0.35 oz bronzer (Laguna) is an amazing deal! Any friends out there reading this? This is what I want, ha ๐Ÿ™‚ Their lip pencil collection is a pretty good deal, but I’ve got a million and one lippies I still need to go through!

Sonia Kashuk Holiday Limited Edition All That Jazz 10 Piece Brush Set ($34.99) – is that a mouthful or what? But seriously, these brushes are gorgeous. I have more than enough eye brushes, but what I don’t have are many brushes for the face. My current face brush collection includes: an all-over powder brush & a contouring blush brush. That’s it! This set has plenty of contouring pieces and the gold and black frame with white bristles just scream luxury!

I haven’t forgotten about my 30 day challenge, just haven’t got around to shooting yet. Look for some updates soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s on your holiday wishlist?! Comment below and let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

XO Ali