December Favorites

Happy 2015 y’all! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday (including those that celebrated Orthodox Christmas last night!) and have enjoyed the new year so far. It’s business as usual for me, and with a new year I’d like to start a new tradition on the blog: sharing my monthly favorites! I know, right, so original, no other blogger has done this before…

December is the perfect month to begin with because I did a lot of product purchasing Black Friday onward, as you saw well in my haul post. I’m still getting through all of those products but that means plenty for me to cover for at least a few months! Without further ado, here are my favorite products from the month of December:

Tartelette Palette: When it doubt for a look, this has been my go-to palette to start if not complete an entire look with. I’ve loved it since I got it. I have no trouble complementing my other palettes with this one, and I love using it in combination as well as all on its own! If you haven’t seen my review yet, click here.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream: It took a while for winter to truly rear its ugly head but eventually it did here in Wisconsin and my skin has been in turmoil ever since. This lotion is my saving grace and I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s a nice, thick cream that dries to a matte finish in relatively little time. I use it during the day underneath my moisturizer with sunscreen, and certainly before bed either on its own or under a thin later of Vaseline when I feel that my skin is particularly dehydrated. I personally get the 16oz tub which will last you forever but it also comes in a 12oz pump version if you’re worried about keeping it sanitary.

IT Brushes for Ulta: Remember how I mentioned that I skipped out on Sigma’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale? These were the reason why. It started simple, with their Airbrush Blending Crease Brush #105, and that’s all it took to get me hooked. In total I now own the You’re Easy On The Eyes Dual-Ended Eye Shadow Brush set, the Live Beauty Fully All Over Powder Brush #211, the Velvet Luxe Soft Focus Sculpting Brush #315, the Velvet Luxe Buffing Foundation Brush #301 and the Velvet Luxe Plush Powder Brush #313. I’m planning on making a separate post about these soon but I just have to say that all these brushes are just so incredibly soft. I mean, the Velvet Luxe part of the line is just divine. I encourage each and every one of you to go to Ulta and just feel these up, I mean it.

theBalm Overshadow in No Money, No Honey. Swatched over bare skin.

theBalm Overshadow in No Money, No Honey: I received this as a “glam” prize on r/RandomActsofMakeup and it really lives up to the hype. It’s a beautiful shimmering gold color that I love using as an inner corner highlight as well as a face highlight. It’s my first product from theBalm and I’m already itching for more!

Swatch of NARS Audacious Lipstick in Audrey.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Audrey: I had to have this color as soon as I saw it because a) it’s named Audrey, like Audrey Hepburn, so duh, and b) the color is gorgeous and unlike any red I had yet in collection. The shade is described as “red currant”, and is a muted red-plum color that I just fell in love with. It was an easy choice for my Christmas lip color pick. I’ll also be doing another post on this one later, along with the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Grace.

As far as food favorites, I gotta give some shoutouts to…

Seroogy’s Chocolates: Straight out of De Pere, WI, these are some of my favorite chocolates, and they hold a special place in my heart because they too are from Wisconsin but also because one of my fundraisers in elementary school was selling their chocolate bars. At the time, my family lived in an apartment building where my parents worked as maintenance managers, and I made serious bank selling these candy bars to all the elderly people in the building. My boyfriend got me a whole box of assorted truffles for Christmas as well as a package of their chocolate dipped potato chips. I just… he knows me so well, you guys. They’re giving my comfort while he’s all the way out in San Francisco for the next couple of months.

Anything packed with protein: I slacked a lot on my diet over the holidays (shocking, I mean who does that?!) but have thankfully kept up with my new weight lifting regimen. At the end of November, I started the program from The New Rules of Lifting for Women and just recently started Stage 2. After having done so much cardio for so long, it is so nice to fall in love with lifting, and I’m slowly seeing results! The biggest thing that’s going to help, along with maintaining a clean diet, is packing my diet with protein. Whey protein, things like Quest bars, chicken and eggs are some of my besties right now, and peanut butter is my one and only, forever and ever. I’m sure I will slowly gather plenty of protein-enriched recipes that will make their way here to the blog. If you have any to share, please do!

What are some of your favorites from the month? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

Until next time, stay well, stay beautiful xx

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My Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale picks

Happy Thanksgiving morning to my US readership, and Happy Holiday Sales Weekend to everyone else! No more where you are, I hope that you have a wonderful day and that you take some time to be grateful for friends, family and others in your life as well as the abundance of things, material and otherwise, in your life. While we excitedly make grabby hands at all the products we wish to buy, we must first remember what we already own and be grateful that we have the means to make these purchases. I must also say that I’m grateful for all of you. My readership may be small yet, but the fact that you guys keep coming back makes this all worthwhile 🙂

I’m not going to list every sale that’s going on mainly because someone else has already done that! For the most comprehensive list of what’s going down this weekend, check out this post on Nouveau Cheap’s blog. G is hard at work keeping that list as updated as possible, and that’s another thing for which to be grateful! And when I say comprehensive, I mean comprehensive. Go check it out!

I’ve already shared the Coastal Scents sale with you which started yesterday, and if you haven’t already checked out the website, get on that! The following are some of my other top choices for sales that you should be aware of and definitely check out over the next few days:

Anastasia Beverly Hills
loooove my Dipbrow. I was fortunate enough that when I started makeup was around the same time as the release of the Dipbrow Pomades. The SA at Sephora recommended it in Blonde to me and I have never looked back. Her brow products are truly my favorites, and starting tomorrow, 11/28, her brow products are all 25% off on the Anastasia website. Also on the Anastasia website starting 12/1 the Contour Kit is 25% off. From what I can tell, that only applies to the original Contour Kit, not the custom ones you can build.

theBalm
From 7am PST 12/1 to 7am PST 12/2, the entire theBalm website will be 50% off. I’m hoping to finally pick up their Mary-Lou Manizer and their Overshadow in No Money, No Honey that I keep seeing everywhere on everyone. I’ve also seen their Meet Matt(e) Nude palette recommended quite often to those looking for a good, affordable all-matte palette. I also just love their packaging!

e.l.f.
One of my favorite inexpensive brands. Valid now through 11/30, they’re having a BOGO 50% off sitewide sale with a free Limited Edition Kabuki Brush and free shipping on orders $35+ using code BLACKFRIDAY on their website. They will also be having a deal on 12/1 using code CYBERMONDAY for 50% off orders $30+ plus free shipping on orders $35+. This means that you order needs to be $30 before the discount to get 50% off but needs to be $35 after discount for free shipping, therefore your best bet is to get at least $70 worth of product to get both deals.

LORAC
This deal is great if you haven’t picked up either of the Pro palettes yet, have one Pro palette and not the other, or want to send these out as gifts. I highly recommend any of these above options because I adore my Pro palette. Starting at 8am PST on 12/1, the original Pro and Pro 2 palette will each be 25% off (down to $31.50 each from $42 each) on the LORAC website. All orders will also receive a free red eyelash curler. LORAC also does every day free shipping, no code required. BONUS! LORAC has two special Black Friday palettes, the Sultry Starlet Shimmer Eyeshadow Palette and the Vintage Vixen Matte Eyeshadow Palette for $12 each in Ulta stores and on the Ulta Website. AND they will have a Cyber Monday palette, the Champagne Dreams Eyeshadow Palette, for $15 on the website. If the Pro palettes are still out of your budget but you want to try out LORAC shadows, I highly recommend snagging one of these little guys.

Sigma
It may finally be time to treat myself to some Sigma brushes and up my brush collection game. Valid 11/27-11/28, Sigma is offering free worldwide shipping on all orders with code BF2014 on their website. Then on 12/1, they’re doing 20% off sitewide with code CM2014 once again on their website. There’s a lot of recommendations out there for plenty of their individual brushes but particularly their Mr. Bunny and Mrs. Bunny Travel Kits if you’re looking for a quality brush set.

Too Faced
Oh, Chocolate Bar Palette, how I love thee, how I want to each thee… Between that and the Melted lipsticks, Too Faced has a good place in my collection. On 11/28, if you buy 1 Better Than Sex mascara, you get one item of your choice 50% off on the Too Faced website. From 11/29 to 12/1, all sale items are 50% off on their website, plus get $10 off of any $60 purchase, $15 off of any $75 purchase and $20 off any $100 purchase. Then on 12/1, get a mystery grab bag for $35 on the Too Faced website. I’m excited to see what ends up in the grab bags!

Urban Decay
UD has a handful of specials up its sleeve starting 11/27 and rounding out on 12/1 on their website that I’m going to bullet point for you now:

  • 11/27 – 12/1: Free shipping on all orders
  • 11/27: 6-Piece Badass Lip Set $90 (Revolution Lipsticks in shades Anarchy, Catfight, F-Bomb, Naked, Native and Turn On)
  • 11/28: Ammo Palette $10, Smoked Palette $20; buy BOTH for $30 and receive a free deluxe sample of Perversion Mascara
  • 11/29: Any 2 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils for $20
  • 11/30: Any 3 eyeshadow singles for $36
  • 12/1: Electric Palette + travel size Black Velvet 24/7 Velvet Eye Pencil for $36

I’m already setting a a reminder for that Cyber Monday deal because I’ve been lusting after that palette for a long, long time. From what I can tell, the deals go live at 10pm PST the night prior (so 1am EST the day of the deal) so take that into account if you’re setting reminders!

Indie companies are also doing their own deals this weekend, and a comprehensive list of those can be found here on the Indiemakeupandmore subreddit.

Remember, this isn’t a comprehensive list, just my own personal picks based on my wishlist or brands I’ve used and loved. There are plenty more out there, including other major brands, superstores, department stores and drug stores, and they all be found at that link I provided to Nouveau Cheap’s blog post.

And don’t forget to use Ebates wherever it applies!!! Seriously, you’ll thank me after the holiday season when you get that cash back.

What holiday deals and steals are you looking to take advantage of over the next couple days? Are there any that you know of that you haven’t seen get enough love yet? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy shopping, my dears! I love forward to spending this holiday season with all of you 🙂 Stay well, stay beautiful! xx

So… Where do we start?

Photo from nyxcosmetics.com

Today I received the email for NYX’s Bakeoff Promotion for their Baked and Butter products. Yes, I thought, this is exactly the sign that I was looking for to finally start my blog!

Just kidding. I had already decided on this blog before even seeing that email.

Regardless, I did take it as the perfect sign for the kind of blog that I’ll be creating here. A quick background about myself: I am a 23-year-old graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Genetics and Spanish currently working in a laboratory in my college town. Other than the mass of bills and loan payments I’ve begun drowning in suddenly had to keep track of, what I’ve discovered about this new transition into post-school life is I have a lot of free time. Like, more than I know what to do with, actually. So I’ve been searching for other activities to occupy my time other than constant Netflix binges (she says as she marathons Archer while writing this). My boyfriend suggested that I finally go about creating all those Pinterest recipes that I have saved and review the cooking/baking experience on a blog.

I contemplated this for a long time. In the meantime, I was introduced to /r/makeupaddiction and it was all downhill from there.. for my wallet. For me, though, I fell in love with the community and makeup in general. I never did much more than mascara and maybe some eyeliner on occasion, but suddenly I found myself yearning to replicate the artistry I saw in front of me. These beauties were incredible and I wanted to be like them. Since beginning to lurk there back in late January/early February, I have amassed quite the collection of cosmetics that sadly sit there most days. I wake up at 5:30am every day to make a 6:30am bus for my job that starts at 7am, and even if I did forsake more sleep and get my butt out of bed right away, I’m a laboratory technician, I don’t have the ideal job for a full face of makeup.

Wanting to actually use these products outside of weekends, I figured the best way would be to create something that would force me to spend more nights out of my week playing around with makeup for a purpose, and a blog seemed like the right answer. But I still liked my boyfriend’s suggestion about creating the food blog, however I didn’t want to have two new blogs plus my personal blog. Then I thought, why not do both in the same place? No matter which medium, I’ll be creating something that I want to showcase, and recipes are just like makeup tutorials, right? Sort of? Pretty close?

And that is how Palates and Palettes was born. (Hehe, get it? Like, the palate of your mouth, and then makeup palettes? I am so witty, you guys)

It’s going to be weird since I’ll be catering (no pun intended) to two different kinds of audiences for the most part. Some of you will be here for makeup, some for cooking. My hope is that it won’t get in the way of your enjoyment of this blog and that perhaps you can appreciate both sides even if you’re partial to one! Heck, maybe I can even create some food-inspired looks based on what I’m cooking. Products like Too Faced’s Chocolate Bar do exist, after all, so food and makeup totally go together!

This is going to be an experiment in many ways, from combining both hobbies into one blog to actually creating food and makeup looks on a regular basis when I’m still quite new to doing both seriously. But I’m a scientist, my whole life is about experiments. And damn it all if I don’t have fun doing it.

So here we go. It’s time to begin the wild ride. I don’t yet know quite what my schedule will look like for posting to this blog, I’ll figure that out as I go online. Both of these hobbies will not only be a time investment but a financial one as well, so it’s inevitable that things may get hindered at points due to money, but as of this moment, I’m in it and I can’t get out.

Until next time!

This post has been brought to you by tea, post-workout grunge, power brows and NYX’s Hunk Butter Lipstick.