beauty

Best Affordable Lipstick – Almay Lip Vibes

I am a huge fan of lipstick. While I’ve been diligent about mask-wearing during the pandemic, I have really missed wearing lipstick, and I’m looking forward to being able to wear it more often again. Recently, I was at Walgreens and noticed a sale on Almay Lip Vibes. I loved the cute cardboard tubes with vibrant colors inside and out and decided to give them a try!

I bought two shades with different finishes. First off is Be Strong, a beautiful neutral mauve with a cream finish. The second is Treat Yourself, a true red with a matte finish. When not on sale, these retail for $8 a piece. While the finish was different, the experience with both shades was largely the same: they go on so easily and are both opaque from the first swipe. I was impressed by how even the color was and how easy the application was, especially for a red drugstore lipstick. Both shades felt pretty creamy, although the matte finish was noticeably less shiny than the other one. Still, while most matte lipsticks feel a bit drying, this one did not! That’s a huge plus in my book.

When it comes to lasting power, this is a good product. It will last for hours if you don’t eat or drink much. You’ll definitely need to reapply after a meal, but at least eating doesn’t make the lipstick move much or get messy. I would absolutely recommend these to anyone who wants an affordable lipstick! I’m thrilled with the shades I got too – I love a bold red lip that stays put without mess or drying out the lips and the mauve is both super pretty and neutral enough to go with pretty much any look. I plan to buy every shade in this collection that isn’t brownish or autumnal (since my skin tone is quite cool and would look washed out by those shades).

Have you tried these yet or do you have a go-to affordable lip product? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

XO Tiffany

Fashion, Personal

On Personal Style and Being Too Much

Buckle up, my friends – it’s story time! I wanted to use today’s post to touch on a topic that’s important to me (and most people): personal style! No matter if you love everything that sparkles or prefer an array of neutral shades, the most important thing about fashion is remaining authentic to who you are.

My story begins in junior high and high school when I attended a private school with a strict dress code. I was just entering the world of fashion, religiously pouring over each month’s issue of Vogue, so I found our strict uniform of blue polos and plaid skirts to be repressive. It wasn’t that I longed to be different. It’s just that I already knew I was different and wanted to embrace that. I wanted to wear things that reflected how I felt inside – and baby, that meant couture! That’s right, I was the weirdo who paired a classic school uniform with high heels, a floor-length black fur coat, and enough costume jewelry to make it appear that I was already on my third divorce.

You’re probably wondering how people responded to my sense of style. In truth, I don’t remember much because I was so busy daydreaming about what it would be like to work for Vogue and live in New York City and attend galas every night.

Now that I’m nearing age 30, a lot has changed and a lot hasn’t. I’m not Anna Wintour’s protege, but I am a freelance writer who still loves beauty and fashion. My sense of style is still dramatic, but perhaps it’s been tamed just a bit. The sparkles haven’t dulled; they’re just used more sparingly. I think the biggest difference is that I’m now more aware of other people and their opinions. I’ve noticed that I’m frequently accused of being, “too much,” in a lot of ways: too loud, too large, too sparkly, too accessorized, too talkative, too direct, too colorful, too shallow, too serious, too materialistic.

Case in point – do you see the beautifully large white bag in the picture of this post? I love this purse! I bought it on Amazon because it reminded me of a classic Hermes Birkin bag, and I know I’ll never be able to afford even a used Birkin on Poshmark. I couldn’t wait to show it off! I bought it in white because I loved how it would stand out (even though, I am very clumsy and often don’t buy white things since I’m prone to instantly spilling coffee on them – but the red wouldn’t go with as many outfits, so I picked the white!) I was casually seeing a guy at the time, and he had already accused me of being “too much.” I wasn’t relaxed enough; it was weird that I was always so put together; it was a red flag that I seemed so materialistic. Anyway, I truly didn’t think he’d have a strong opinion about the purse, but then I was told that it was nearing a line of being so ostentatious that he’d be embarrassed being seen with me. Needless to say, I picked the bag over the boy right away.

I guess I say all of this in case someone reading this has also felt their style or personality was, “too much.” I see you – and I like you! The world needs your flair for the dramatic, your bold opinions, your sky-high stilettos, the way you light up the room when you walk in. Let’s never apologize for embracing who we truly are.

Thanks for reading!

XO Tiffany

beauty

Scents for All Seasons

I’ve decided it’s time to return to my roots. No, I don’t mean I’m going to stop dying my hair. Rather, I want to return to beauty and fashion blogging. Instead of setting up a separate space for these reviews, I’m going to just incorporate this part of myself here on my website. So, in addition to more book and movie reviews, stay tuned for reviews about products I want to recommend. First up, I want to share my perfume collection with you.

Just like each season of the year evokes a different scent, so do we tend to gravitate towards different scents for each season of our lives. I’ve come a long way since my high school days of drenching myself in Lucky You, that ubiquitous pink bottle found in every drug store. Yet, I still tend to pick floral scents. I select my perfume each morning based on how I’m feeling that day or how I want to feel for the rest of the day. Because of this, I don’t tend to box my scents in and only wear warm scents in autumn and cool scents in spring. Here are my top 5 favorite scents right now:

Chanel – CoCo Mademoiselle

Scent Type: warm floral with orange, patchouli, and Turkish rose

Don’t be fooled by the orange and patchouli, this scent is neither citrusy or matronly. As my all-time favorite scent, I wear CoCo Mademoiselle when I want to feel feminine and a tad seductive. The warm floral scent almost smells like a French garden mixed with caramel. It evokes sophistication and elegance and always makes me feel grounded and confident.

Yves Saint Laurent – Black Opium

Scent Type: warm and sweet with black coffee, white flowers, and vanilla

Black opium is both warm and spicy. It’s a great evening scent when you’re out on the town. The spice smells sultry while the sweetness balances out the scent with a dash of youthful playfulness.

Dior – Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet

Scent Type: fruity floral with Damascus rose, peony, and white musk

I love this floral twist on the original Miss Dior. It’s a great, light scent that always makes me think of spring and summer. I wear it when I want to feel fun and flirty.

Gucci – Guilty

Scent Type: warm floral with mandora and pink pepper

This was my first “adult” fragrant which I purchased as an undergrad. It made me feel strong, powerful, and ready to face the world of exams, job interviews, and giving expert presentations. It still has a special place in my heart and I wear it on days when things are serious and I need a boost of confidence.

Dolce & Gabbana – The Only One

Scent Type: warm and sweet with citrus, violet, and coffee

This is the latest perfume I’ve been trying after receiving a sample coffret. I love how balanced it is with being a bit spicy, a bit sweet, and a bit floral. It’s a very feminine fragrance, but I don’t yet have a go-to reason to pick this one other than enjoying the scent.

So, now you know all about my fragrance collection! What about you? Do you have a scent that evokes something special each time you grab it? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading!

XO Tiffany

beauty

Halloween Lipstick Looks

Halloween is so close! I’m thrilled for tomorrow, especially since I have two costumes (one for work and one for my party). I think that Halloween is the perfect time to experiment with makeup even if you’re not donning a costume this year, so I wanted to share two classic lipstick looks that are perfect for this time of year.

I think that red lipstick knows no season and is classic all year round, but if it’s something you’ve always been too scared to try then this is the perfect time to take the plunge. The one I’m wearing in the picture above is both affordable and super easy to apply – Almay Lip Vibes in Treat Yourself (available at Ulta for just $7.99). I love that it wears evenly, applies smoothly and opaquely, and doesn’t dry out my lips.

 

Of course, if you’re feeling extra bold this Halloween, why not rock a black lip? In the picture above I’m wearing Wet n Wild MegaLast Catsuit Matte Lipstick in So Noir Cool (available from Ulta for $4.99). I haven’t worn this one for a significant amount of time yet because I’ve been saving it for Halloween, but I’ve tried to apply it a few times. While it’s trickier to apply evenly (which is often the case for cheaper lipsticks), I appreciate that it really doesn’t seem to budge once it’s dry. Anyway, hopefully it lasts through my whole work day tomorrow!

Are you dressing up for Halloween tomorrow? What will you be wearing? Be sure to let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading,

Tiffany

beauty

The Scents of Autumn

Happy Autumn! The weather is finally seasonally appropriate here in Cincinnati – crisp air, colorful leaves, and Halloween decorations creeping up everywhere! As the seasons have been transitioning, I’ve been thinking about my own changes. This has been a great year for personal growth (even though there’s a lot I still need to work through). I know I haven’t blogged much this year, but I’ve just been focusing on other things: friends, family, fitness, poetry, and discovering other things that bring me happiness. However, I am missing blogging about books, movies, and beauty/fashion. While I did delete my dedicated beauty/fashion blog when it began to feel too all-consuming, I’d like to start incorporating some of those interests here in this blog.

For my first post, I’ve been thinking about the scents of autumn. While I gravitate toward light floral scents during spring and summer, I definitely crave something warmer as the weather cools. These are my top three scents for autumn:

 

1. Amber Romance by Victoria’s Secret

amber romance

Manufacturer’s Description: “Gourmand. Deep Amber. Sugar Kisses. Chasing sunsets.”

Okay, well Victoria’s Secret definitely should have a better description for this one. It is definitely a sweet amber scent, although “gourmand” makes it sound like it smells more like a dessert than it does. While I’m not typically a fan of sugary scents, this one is warm enough that the sweetness is balanced out by the amber. It’s a great, inexpensive everyday scent that evokes autumn evenings.

 

2. Guilty by Gucci

gucci guilty

Manufacturer’s Description: “Created for a contemporary libertine, Gucci Guilty for Her is defined by a signature Fougère accord of Geranium usually found in men’s scents. Intimate and magical lilac flower is laced with amber to radiate warmth and grace at the fragrance’s heart.”

First we had an overly simplistic description, and now we have an overly flowery one. However, I like that it suggests a hint of masculine energy. While not really a typical unisex scent, there is something less feminine about this scent that I’m drawn to. When I need to feel like a strong, powerful go-getter, I grab this perfume. It always gives me the professional boost I need. Like the first fragrance, one if its main notes is amber, although this one is accompanied by geranium, pepper, and patchouli. It has a hint of musk which lends it maturity but it is not overpowering or matronly.

 

3. Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurent 

ysl black opium

Manufacturer’s Description: “Black Opium Eau de Parfum is the seductively intoxicating feminine fragrance from Yves Saint Laurent. The opening notes of adrenaline-rich coffee and the sweet sensuality of vanilla recline into the softness of white flowers for a modern, young, addictive fragrance. YSL Black Opium perfume is a gourmand women’s fragrance. The seductive perfumes of black coffee and white flowers make this a sensuous perfume with an edge.”

This is a great description of this scent. The blend of coffee and vanilla mixed with a gentle floral hint makes this a great fragrance that seems quite sensual. It’s not a sugary scent because the vanilla is quite warm already, but it does have a nice sweetness to its fragrance.

 

Well, those are my three scents for this season. I’ve found myself grabbing for one of these every single day. Do you find that your fragrance preferences change seasonally? What scent are you gravitating towards right now? Feel free to let me know in the comments section!

Thanks for reading!

-Tiffany

Personal

Best of the Sephora Sale!

Today, I’m going to post something different! While I mostly use this blog for reviews and writing updates, I also want to start sharing some more personal, lifestyle things. At one point, I had lots of blogs for lots of different topics, but I’d rather just have this one be a more complete portrait of me and my various interests, so expect some more posts like this in the future too! Recently, Sephora held their semi-annual sale, and I wanted to share some of the BEST purchases I made during the sale!

Related image

Herbivore Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask – This is an amazing face mask for acne, especially the pesky hormonal kind. My skin always looks clearer the day after I use this mask.

FRESH Lotus Youth Preserve Moisturizer – I adore this product because it really hydrates my skin without breaking me out or making me look kind of oily. I swear it even makes my pores look smaller.

Pretty Vulgar Bury them With a Smile Lipstick in shade If Kisses Could Kill – I’ve spent so much time looking for a dark wine-colored lipstick that doesn’t have brown undertones and which doesn’t look like I’m celebrating Halloween too early. This one is perfect!

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation – This is an amazing medium-coverage foundation that blends so well. It evens out my skin and covers all minor flaws without being too obvious. I love that it also keeps me from looking oily and stays all day!

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment – This is my new go-to tinted moisturizer. It moisturizes well, reduces redness, and provides a nice light coverage. I adore this for minimal makeup days!

Did you get anything in the sale or do you have a product you want to share? Feel free to let me know in the comment section!

Thanks for reading,

Tiffany