I don’t ski. I’ve never skied. I have no idea what an “apres ski” glow may look like and if my previous athletic endeavors in the sporting arena are any indication – for me, it probably looks like a bloody nose. Regardless, these Becca Apres Ski palettes had me at hello.

With the holidays over but winter in full swing – I thought…”maybe I don’t ski, but I can still pretend, right?” I envisioned the “apres ski” glow as pink, gleaming cheeks with sparkling eyes and rosy lips. And the collection of shimmering rosy neutrals inside Becca’s glossy, snowflake-inspired packaging do not disappoint.

And guys, I’m normally not sold on limited edition makeup collections. I mean, what’s the point? If I fall in love with a product – I’ll never be able to get it again. (Let’s ignore the fact that I have yet to actually finish a makeup product outside of primers/foundations.) But when I saw these little gems were on sale, I decided to take the plunge.

Becca Apres Ski Palettes

Face Palette

Let’s start on the bunny slope and slide into the highlighter palette first (see what I did there?).

I’m a highlighter junkie. After matte lipsticks, it’s probably one of my favorite makeup products to purchase. It may seem excessive to own a highlighter palette, let alone multiple highlighting palettes, but these really are everyday makeup items for me. I have dry skin for 8 months out of the year (my skin turns into an oil slick June – September), so highlighters add a much-needed glow to my otherwise sallow complexion.

This palette contains three shimmering skin perfectors (my favorite highlighters from Becca and probably of all time), two shimmery blushes and one bronzer that is sheer perfection.

The shades are as follows:

– Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Opal, Rose Quartz, NEW Icicle
– Luminous Blush in Blushed Copper
– NEW Mineral Blush in Winter Berry
– Sunlit Bronzer in Bronzed Bondi

Becca Apres Ski Face Palette

Top Row: Rose Quartz, Icicle, Winter Berry

Becca Apres Ski Face Palette

Bottom Row: Blushed Copper, Opal, Bronzed Bondi

The highlighter in “Rose Quartz” is more of a blush than highlighter on me since It’s so pink but I’m not mad about it. It definitely achieves the rosy glow I was envisioning.

Icicle looks like a stark white in the pan, but actually sheers out to a lovely subtle highlight with light blue reflect (unlike the not-so-subtle effect of “Opal”). Although I love it, I’m quite fair and don’t see a white highlighter working on darker skintones. It would be nice if Becca released multiple palettes in the collection for different skin tones.

My unexpected favorite of the palette is actually the bronzer in Bronzed Bondi. I’m SO not a bronzer person but this one is lovely. It’s sheer (like all the shades in the palette) but builds beautifully without going patchy or orange. When I think of a fresh-from-the-slopes look, bronzer doesn’t really come to mind. But this bronzer achieves a really healthy glow that makes me look…dare I say it…rich? Like maybe I’m someone who could afford a fancy ski trip in Aspen? I’ll see you there Lloyd Christmas.

Lloyd Christmas Aspen

The blush in Winter Berry looks scary in the pan but like the rest of Becca’s formulas, goes on sheer and lovely. I don’t see myself wearing this every day, but for that glowy, fireside look – it’s perfect.

Eye Lights Palette

This palette is beyond gorgeous. The formula was inspired by the brand’s famous powder highlighters – so if you’re expecting bold pigment, look elsewhere. These apply like a sheer wash of glowy shimmer and that’s exactly how I use them.

Becca Apres Ski Eyeshadow Palette

Note: there are no matte shades in this palette. If you’re someone who relies on matte shades every day, then you may not be able to create a complete “eye look” with this palette.

I don’t always have time to do a full “eye look” with an inner corner highlight, cut crease, and 10 thousand shades perfectly blended with a Jaclyn Hill-like frenzy.

Jaclyn Hill Smoky Eye

Jaclyn Hill Perfection

Rather, on most days, I do a sheer wash of color, a coat of black mascara and consider myself done. If that’s what you do too, you’ll probably dig this palette.

Becca Apres Ski Palettes

The Gist…

Although I probably wouldn’t touch these in the summer, these palettes are already among my favorites in my collection. The packaging is so beautiful and the sheer, glowy formulas are right up my ally.

Here’s a quick look I created using the Apres Ski palettes:

Becca Apres Ski Look

Wearing: Icicle Highlighter, Winter Berry Blush, Bronzed Bondi Bronzer. On eyes: Hot Cocoa, Rose Quartz, and Pearl On lips: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Zurich

Have you tried any products from Becca? Have you been skiing? What’s that like? Do you glow? I honestly don’t know. Comment below peeps!

 

 

 

 

 

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You guys already know what this post is gonna be about. It’s a roundup of all of my 2017 Beauty Favorites! I tried a lot of new products last year but also rediscovered some OG faves of yore.

It was pretty easy to think of my most-used products but there were some categories where I just couldn’t think of a favorite and rather than putting a product I use but don’t love, I decided to just leave it blank and hope for better this year.

Skin

Best Skincare Products of 2017

Simple Cleansing Wipes
Simple Cleansing Wipes

Some dermatologists advise against cleansing wipes for being too rough and tugging on skin. This is probably true which is why if I have the time or if I wore really heavy-duty makeup, I’ll use Clinique Take The Day Off Balm. However, I don’t like the tub packing (SO not hygienic) and most days, I just don’t need that kind of greasy man-power to remove my makeup.

For lazy weeknights and my average everyday makeup – I find keeping these Simple Cleansing Wipes on my coffee table or nightstand is just what the Dr. ordered for removing my makeup quickly and easily.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
An OG standard. Most dermatologists recommend this cleanser as a gentle, less drying alternative to the average drugstore foaming cleanser. I rediscovered this baby this year and love using it in the morning or after using a makeup wipe at night.

Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Toner
I never used to subscribe to the idea that you need a toner in your skincare routine. That is, until I met this baby. It’s not going to rid your skin of visible pores (NOTHING CAN, the sooner you accept that, the better). But I DO notice a difference in my overall tone and clarity when using this on a little cotton pad. It’s packed with antioxidants and is a great way to treat your skin’s problem areas (like the t-zone) without drying it out.

Alpha Hydrox AHA
With great power comes great responsibility. This should be used carefully and sparingly. But DAYUMN does it work! Used once a week, this exfoliates and removes dead skin overnight. Like most AHAs it makes your skin glow and improves the appearance of dark spots and acne scars.

Paula’s Choice C 15 Super Booster
Another rediscovery. This serum is watery, sticky, and smells a little funky. But it WORKS. It improves those red marks that pimples leave behind and improves my overall tone. I noticed a difference in my skin after using this every night for a week. It works better than any other Vitamin C serum I’ve tried.

Drunk Elephant B Hydra Gel
There was so much buzz about this brand last year and I can see why. It’s super expensive so this is the only product I bought (maybe 2018 will bring me great fortune and I can afford to try a few more) but it became my holy grail moisturizer for those hot and humid summer months. My skin basically does whatever the weather is doing – so if it’s muggy outside, my skin will feel greasy. This moisturizer hydrates without adding any extra grease. I definitely recommend it for anyone with oily skin.

CeraVe Pm
For the rest of this year, this is my OG standby. I didn’t rediscover it because I never stopped loving it. It doesn’t really have any antioxidants to speak of but it moisturizes simply without breaking me out. And what more can I expect from a moisturizer? This may not be moisturizing enough for those with really dry skin, but this worked great for my normal to dry skin October – June.

What’s Missing?
SPF – I have such a hard time finding SPFs I like. They either make my skin too greasy or shiny, pill up and don’t wear well under makeup, or leave a white cast on my already too pale skin. I’ve settled for using SPF in my makeup and standard Banana Boat for summer days where I know I’ll be in the sun. 

It’s super important to use SPF, especially if you’re using AHAs like I do. If anyone reading this has similar issues with SPF and has any recommendations, please help a girl out. 

Makeup

Best Makeup Products of 2017

Becca First Light Priming Filter
2017 was the year of primers for me. Like toners, I never really saw the point of them before. But this year, I started experimenting with primers and really fell in love with this one. It adds a nice moisturized base plus a little glow that makes a great base for sheer foundation looks. I like the other Becca Primer (Becca Backlight Primer) but that one is a little TOO glowy for everyday.

Maybelline Baby Skin Primer
This is my drugstore pick for primers, especially for those hot summer days when I don’t need ANY help with glow. This silky silicone primer smooths out pores and wrinkles and provides a shine-free base for more matte makeup looks.

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
This has been a best-seller at Sephora in the tinted moisturizer category for years and I agree with the millions of women who love this. It’s really rare to find a foundation/base with sheer coverage and a matte, natural finish. This tinted moisturizer fits that bill for me. It’s my standard go-to year round for me.
NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturizer gets an honorable mention but it can be occasionally too thick and shiny (probably due to the higher sun protection). Most days, I’m choosing between these two tinted moisturizers based on what my skin is doing that day.

NARS Soft Matte Concealer
I’m pretty sure this baby is on everyone’s favorite list this year. Don’t let the “matte” in the product name deter you – this concealer has a satin finish that lasts all day. It’s my favorite under eye concealer of all time.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
What can I say? Nars just kills it in the concealer category. I purchase both concealers in the shade “Vanilla” which is perfect for my neutral to slightly pink, pale complexion. This concealer is my go-to for sides of the nose and any other blemishes or discolorations on my face. I prefer to use this conealer where needed instead of a standard foundation.

MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural in Light
My go-to sheer, every day finishing powder. I use the shade – to add a polished finish without taking away any of my natural glow, great for days when my skin is a little drier.

Kat Von D Lock It Powder in Light 45
The packaging is kickass and the powder inside is a smooth operator. I use it with a compact sponge (like this one from Sephora). If you try to use a stiff powder brush, the surface of the powder inside will sort of crumble. I don’t use this every day, but for any kind of special occasion where you want to look extra polished – big presentations at work, date nights, interviews etc.

Tarte Exposed Highlighter
Okay, so I confess that this is a more recent purchase towards the end of the year but this quickly became a favorite. It competes and compares with the famous Becca Opal powder highlighter for an intense high-beam glow. FYI, Becca Opal is also a fave.

Note, this highlighter comes in 2 other shades which I plan on trying in 2018. Stay tuned!

Glossier Haloscope in Quartz
For a more low-key, natural highlight, you can’t go wrong with Glossier Haloscope in Quartz. The roll-up stick applicator makes application a breeze. You practically don’t even have to rub it in, it’s so sheer and natural. This one wins my pick for a totally goof-proof highlighter.

Maybelline Highlighter in Molten Gold 
This drugstore fave falls somewhere between Quartz and Exposed on the intensity scale and is the perfect shade of neutral gold (without reaching Fenty Trophy Wife status). If you liked MAC Soft & Gentle highlighter back in the day, you’ll probably like this

Tarte Exposed Blush
The perfect shade of neutral, browny pink that goes with seriously ANY makeup look. And the Tarte 24-hour amazonian clay formula lasts all day. What more could you want?

Milani Rose Blush
Another more recent purchase, I’ve already reached for this blush practically every day this month. I love the rose design – so girly and pretty! And the shade is a perfect medium pink true to its name. It’s not as neutral as Tarte Exposed but goes really well with the majority of my cool-toned or neutral makeup looks. The formula from Milani lasts well and applies smoothly.

Kevin Aucoin Contour Powder
I’m not much of a contouring person but I’m taking baby steps. This lighter shade replaced the lightest contour shade in my beloved Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette. I apply it with a NARS Ita brush and spend about 5 minutes blending it into my moon face. I definitely don’t use this every day but if you’re a contour person, this pricey little Kevin Aucoin product is a gold standard in the beauty community.

Anastasia Dip Brow in Chocolate + Anastasia Clear Brow Gel
This combo is my go-to for days when I have a little extra time to get ready. I probably don’t need the extra pigment in Dip Brow, given that my brows are already dark, but I like that I can fill in gaps super fast without a lot of additional pencil strokes. And of course Anastasia Brow Gel holds my unruly caterpillars in place with rock hard hairspray-like hold.

Glossier Boy Brow in Brown (See review here)
For quick, everyday, natural but full brows – you just can’t go wrong with Boy Brow. It’s replaced my previously beloved Benefit Gimme Brow (also a great product).

L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara in Blackest Black
I have fairly dark, full lashes naturally so I prefer mascaras that can lengthen and separate without smudging. This mascara fits the bill. I’ve gone through about 4 tubes this year as I wear it just about every day!

L’Oreal Feline Mascara in Black 
For special occasions when I want my lashes to have extra oomph, I reach for this little leopard-print tube of goodness. It’s an all-around good mascara for lengthening, volume and separation. The brush is firm which allows good control (I don’t like how wiggly Maybelline’s mascara wands are) and I love the nod to my feline friends.

Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette
Has anyone who tried this palette NOT liked it? The warm, neutral shades are universally flattering and the finishes include matte, satin and shimmers making the palette diverse enough to complete pretty much any eye look. I used this palette off and on since it came out over the summer.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance
Ugh, this palette is just so gorgeous. The blush and burgundy shades are romantic and beyond flattering on my neutral to slightly cool-toned complexion. I’ve dipped into all the shades multiple times but my most-used shades are —, —, and —-.

Becca Ombre Rouge Eyeshadow Palette
This palette got a little bit of buzz when it first came out but I feel like no one really talks about it much. It may not be the most exciting palette ever but I’ve gotten a ton of wear out of it. The formulas inside are super blendable with matte and satin finishes in those warm, reddish neutrals that are so in right now.

L’Oréal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush
This little pot of rose gold shimmer is ideal for days where I’m in a rush and don’t have time to be fussing with eyeshadow brushes or palettes. It’s such a bargain and lasts pretty well on my eyes for about 6-8 hours on even the hottest, sweatiest summer days. I usually apply it with my finger as a wash all over the lid. Because it’s so easy and simple, I actually think this is my most-worn eyeshadow this year.

Bobbi Brown Longwear Cream Shadow Stick in Taupe
Another standby, this neutral medium brown eyeshadow stick serves as both an overall eyeshadow shade as well as an eyeshadow base for neutral bronze looks. It lasts all day, easily 8+ hours and is just the right shade for a natural eye look for my coloring.

Still Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadow in Rose Gold Retro, Smoky Storm, and Kitten
This liquid eyeshadow comes in two finishes – a super glittery sparkle and a more satiny, smooth metallic shimmer. Both formulas are SUPER long-wearing and just beyond dreamy. I’ve worn Kitten more since it’s metallic finish is more wearable for every day but make no mistake – these are special occasion products. I wore Smoky Storm for New Year’s Eve and it was perfect.

Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencils in Whiskey and Bourbon
I love a basic medium brown eyeliner pencil blended out with a thin slanted eyeliner brush. These two replaced my favorites from last year (MAC Costa Riche and Teddy) for lasting noticeably longer on my occasionally greasy eyelids. After a long day at work, these liners are still standing strong on both my bottom waterline and top lid. Whiskey is a medium matte brown while Bourbon has a touch of shimmer. 

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
I don’t always use liquid liner but when I do, I find that I can’t go wrong with Kat Von D’s tattoo liner in Trooper. It’s a matte, deep true black and lasts FOREVER. The thin felt-tip makes it easy to apply – or as easy as you can hope for with liquid liner.

Compared to the Stila all-day waterproof liquid liner, this one lasts equally well. However, my Stila liner’s felt tip started to fray after only owning it for a few months. For that reason, I’d suggest this Kat Von D liner instead. I’ve owned it for almost all of 2017, and the pen is still going strong and the felt tip is as thin and precise as it was when I first bought it.

Lancôme Matte Shakers (See my reviews of this here and here)
With so many lipsticks out there, sometimes I feel like I’ve tried ’em all. That is, until I tried these. The formula is SO unique – sheer yet matte at the same time. These have quickly become some of the most-worn lipsticks in my collection. If you have dry or chapped lips but love a matte lipstick, this may be the one for you.

MAC Lip Pencil in Spice
To be honest, I like all the MAC neutral lip pencils and get wear out of all of them. But when I was looking at my collection for this blog post, I noticed that this pencil was several inches shorter than the others. Clearly it’s the one I’ve used the most. It’s a cool-toned, medium neutrual brown with a touch of pink. It goes with so many of my lipsticks or on its own with some NYX butter gloss.

Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick 
I really experimented with different lipstick formulations in 2017 and finally found a liquid lipstick that I could apply without looking like the Joker. My favorite shades are Lolita and —.

YSL Rose Perfecto
My go-to rose shade in a comfortable, smooth matte finish worthy of its luxury price tag.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Bond Girl
This lipstick has a gorgeous, long-wearing, comfortable matte formula. The Bond Girl shade has come in handy for any daytime neutral look or serves as a slightly understated lip with bolder eye looks for evening.

L’Oreal Blake’s Red
My favorite drugstore red. It’s so cool-toned that it ALMOST verges on hot pink but not quite. It’s a bright red that makes your teeth look whiter and your skin brighter. What more could you want?

NARS Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red
Another more recent purchase, this was my go-to red over the Holidays. It’s neutral to slightly cool-toned and added such a nice pop to my fair winter skin.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Charlotte
For a moisturizing, matte, vampy, berry/brick red – you can’t go wrong with Charlotte. On the color spectrum of berry to red, this color falls flatly in the middle with a satin finish that turns matte with one blot. It’s a great option for anyone who wants a darker lip without going too purple.

Glossier Lip Gloss (Full review here)
I’m not much of a gloss person but even I can admit that this lip gloss is having a major moment right now. 2018 may very well be the year of lip gloss. I don’t use this gloss every day but find myself reaching for it before going to the gym (I don’t know why, I just do) and to top off the Glossier Generation G lipsticks. I like the formula and appreciate the high-shine finish.

What’s Missing?

Foundation – I tried quite a few foundations in 2017 but returned almost as many as I tried. I’m really not a full-coverage person and I have fairly sensitive skin that makes any foundation with cyclopentasiloxane out of the question. (If you get cystic acne from wearing foundation, you may have an allergy to this ingredient too).

Honorable mention goes to L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation but I had trouble finding a shade match since the drugstore doesn’t let you try them on.

Bronzer – Admittedly, I’m really not much of a bronzer person. I really embrace my paleness and make it part of my signature “look.” However, there are times I want to add a little bronzer to warm up my face and when I do – I’m kind of just winging it.

I’ve tried Nars Laguna, Benefit Hoola, and countless others. They’re alright, I guess. But no matter what bronzer I use, I run the risk of being too heavy-handed and looking a little dirty. I’ve been thinking of trying the Benefit Hoola Lite but just haven’t bit the bullet yet. Is $29 worth it for a product I only use once in a while? If I do give it a try, I’ll review it here on the blog for my other pale-skinned readers out there.

Hair

Best Hair Products of 2017

Tresseme reverse shampoo + conditioner
I have really fine hair that can easily be weighed down by heavy conditioners. I’ve gone through two batches of this duo which is really saying something since the bottles are huge. You start with the conditioner, which I leave on while I shave my legs, wash my face etc. Then you follow it up with the shampoo. I find that this combo cleanses and conditions my hair without drying it out or weighing it down. It’s a perfect balance.

Tresseme, if you discontinue this, I WILL FIND YOU.

Tresseme heat protector
This is definitely an OG fave. It adds a layer of protection between your hair and the straightening iron, without adding any unnecessary grease to my fine locks. As with most heat protectors – you kind of don’t’ know whether it’s worked or not until you’re due for your next trim. Regardless, I appreciate the mild scent and lightweight, watery texture.

Tresseme Refresh Dry Shampoo
Tresseme just killed it this year for me. I go through dry shampoo like some people go through toothpaste. I wash my hair every other day so I rely on dry shampoo to keep my fine, flat hair looking fresh. Because I use it so much and go through it so quickly, I can’t afford to be spending a lot on it. This one beats out other drugstore dry shampoos like Batiste for its ability to refresh my do without adding that annoying white chalky powder.

Drybar Triple Sec
I use this texturizing spray as a blast of super-powered root volumizer after I’m done blow drying my hair. Every time I wear it, my boyfriend says my hair smells amazing (probably because it smells like cake).

Ouai Texturizing Hairspray
I’ve stopped using traditional hairspray to hold my freshly curled hair in place and started relying on this texturizing spray. I love the minty scent and lightweight, flexible hold. It never makes my hair feel stiff or sticky even when I use a little too much.

Ouai Wave Spray
I jumped on the bandwagon with this product, even though I haven’t had great luck with wave sprays in the past. They usually make my hair crunchy or sticky or worse, leave me with a wet/greasy look. This spray is totally different – it’s just a little moisturizing with just enough hold to emphasize natural or iron-created waves. I use it after air drying or curling my naturally slightly wavy hair.

PHEW! That was a doozy. Kudos to you if you read the whole thing. What are your favorites from 2017? What products do you hope to try in 2018?

I plan to try more of the Stila Glitter & Glow eyeshadows, the two other shades of the Tarte Amazonian Clay highlighters, and to find my HG foundation and sun protection. I’m also dying to try Fenty Beauty, including their Mattemoiselle lipsticks (of course), stick and powder highlighters, and their medium-coverage foundation.

Here’s to a beautiful 2018!

I first spotted these NYX In Your Element Eyeshadow Palettes at the NYX store in Tysons Corner, VA. It was my first time at a NYX store and I wasn’t expecting to buy anything, (I normally get my NYX fix at Ulta). I didn’t realize until I was in there that a NYX store has SO MUCH MORE than your typical Ulta or drugstore does.

Case in point – these beauties.

NYX In Your Element Eyeshadow Palettes

NYX In Your Element Eyeshadow Palettes

I knew I had to have them from the second I saw them. My reasons are as follows:

  1. I’m into astrology.

    I was born on September 23rd and am technically a Libra (an air sign) while also on the cusp of Virgo (an earth sign). I find that these two signs combined, fit my personality to a tee. I’m practical, responsible, and analytical like a Virgo – yet talkative, sociable, and indecisive like a Libra. But I digress…NYX says that these palettes are inspired by the earth’s elements. The four astrological elements are – Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. NYX also offers “Metal” (an all-shimmer palette) and “Wind.”You can read more about astrological elements and what yours is here. Coincidentally, Earth (Virgo) and Air (Libra) were the two palettes I was most drawn to for shades and packaging.

  2. THE PACKAGING.

    These are not your typical budget-brand eyeshadow palettes. The packaging feels sturdy and heavy – with glossy plastics and gorgeous patterns. On the inside is a full-width mirror – not that I ever apply an eyeshadow look in a compact mirror but ya’ never know. It’s nice to have just in case. I’d also wager that these eyeshadow palettes are resistant to cracking as I dropped the air palette as soon as I opened it and was so relieved to see all the eyeshadows fully intact post-fall.

  3. Color Payoff

    I swatched these babies in the store and could tell the quality was well-above their price point. Now, I’m not one of those people who equates high-pigment with high-quality. For my everyday, “normal person,” (non-working makeup artist) needs, I find that blendability is just as important as pigment. While these shadows have great pigment, they aren’t as blendable or buttery as, say, Anastasia Modern Rennesance. But they’re definitely more blendable than your average drugstore shadow and are definitely comparable to a MAC eyeshadow.
    NYX In Your Element AirNYX In Your Element Earth

  4. Price!

    These palettes were originally priced at $30 which seems steep for NYX, a typically budget cosmetics brand. However, I bought them on sale for $15 and as of the publishing of this post – they are STILL in stock and on sale on the NYX website. I think they’d be worth their price at $30 but I wouldn’t consider them a bargain at that price. For $15, they’re an absolute steal.

Summary

Overall, I don’t think these NYX In Your Element eyeshadow palettes will be ones I reach for every day because, to me, they just feel special. Even the neutral tones in the Earth palette are pretty bold and unique in their own way.

Regardless, I love the concept of these palettes and the quality is great for the price. I’m considering picking up the “Wind” palette while they’re half off – although how often am I ever REALLY going to wear those shades of aqua? More Pinterest research is required…

Which of these NYX In Your Element eyeshadow palettes would you want to try? Would you pick based on your astrological element? Let me know in the comments below!

NYX In Your Element Eyeshadow Palettes

Wearing the NYX Air Palette

For those of you who have seen my last post on the Lancome Matte Shakers, you know how obsessed I am. The formula is so unique – it applies like a sheer fluid but dries down to a matte wash of color.

As the name implies, you have to shake these to get real color payoff. The pointed sponge-tip applicator makes them easier to apply than your average liquid lipstick, (even easier than my beloved Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick).

My only gripe is that I don’t think the shade names or descriptions on the Sephora and Ulta websites are very accurate. It’s not a valid complaint about the product itself but if you’re shopping online, it makes picking out the right shade kind of tricky.

Regardless, I took a gamble  and purchased the best-selling “Beige Vintage” and the less popular, “Plum Plum Girl.”

Lancome Matte Shakers in Plum Plum Girl and Beige Vintage

Beige Vintage

Lancome Matte Shaker in Beige Vintage

I can see why this shade is so beloved. Again, this is not even remotely “beige” but rather a very neutral, flattering medium rose.

For me, this is like Tarte Exposed Blush – not alike in its shade, but in its usability. Tarte Exposed is my go-to blush for just about any makeup look. It goes with every kind of lipstick shade and every kind of eyeshadow look.

Similarly, this shade of lipstick works well with smoky eyes of any shade, and blushes in peach or pink undertones. However, my favorite way to wear this color is with a neutral, shimmery eye and glowy pink flush on the cheeks.

Either way, I think I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this shade as we move into the spring/summer months. (#Arewethereyet?)

Plum Plum Girl
Lancome Matte Shaker in Plum Plum Girl

Freshly applied…

Lancome Matte Shaker in "Plum Plum Girl"

Dries down matte!

I own a lot of berry-toned lipsticks. This one is different – slightly cooler in undertone, yet a true purple in shade. Unlike some of the other shades, I think “plum” accurately describes the color of this lipstick.

Now let’s be honest, if you don’t like cool-toned lipsticks, you WON’T like this lip color. But if you’re like me and love the 90s grunge look with its greyed-out nudes, you may like this lipstick. It’s as if those cool nudes married a dark, vampy lip and gave birth to “Plum Plum Girl.”

If you’d like to see my review of the other shades, click here.

Other Makeup Worn In These Pictures:

NYX In Your Element Eyeshadow Palette – Earth (Row 2, gold and peach shades)
L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation in “Natural Buff”
Becca Apres Ski Highlighter Palette – Shade 1
L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara in Blackest Black

Have any of you tried the Lancome Matte Shakers? What are your favorite shades? Let me know in the comments!

Is it weird that I sort of love grocery shopping? My mom thinks it’s a form of “nesting” but I sincerely enjoy making lists and stocking my pantry and fridge with items I love. This time of year, it’s all about getting back on track with health and fitness. I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track my calories over the last year and have learned a few tricks in the process. The following low-calorie grocery list is my go-to for filling my kitchen with low-calorie noms.

  1. Guacamole
    Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Guacamole
    (or Homemade Greek Yogurt Guacamole – recipe here)

    Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Guacamole
    I go through about 2 cups of guacamole a week. No kidding. For guacamole grilled cheeses (like this one from Closet Cooking), chicken tacos, or avocado (guacamole) on toast – this greek yogurt and guacamole mix is so satisfying yet remarkably healthy at just 30 calories per 2 tablespoons.

  2. Reduced Fat Shredded Cheese

    If you’re anything like me, you know you can’t commit to any New Year’s Resolution that doesn’t involve cheese. I’ve tried the fat-free cheddah and while it works in a pinch, it’s not quite cheese. Reduced Fat or 2% shredded cheese is the way to go – on tacos, sloppy janes (turkey sloppy joes), quesadillas or chili. The one pictured rings in at just 40 calories an ounce.

  3. Old Thyme 647 Bread

    Old Thyme 647 Bread

    For the aforementioned grilled cheese and guacamole on toast – you’ll need a low-calorie bread. If you can’t find this one (40 calories a slice), the Pepperidge Farm Light Style Bread is a good alternative at just 45 calories a slice.

  4. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast

    An absolute classic. This protein is the basis for most of my low-calorie meals – BBQ Chicken Sliders, Salsa Chicken Tacos, and Sriracha Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

  5. Old El Paso Taco Shells

    Old El Paso Taco Shells
    Did I mention tacos? Okay yes, I’ve already mentioned them 3 times but tacos are a GREAT way to lose weight and still eat a satisfying meal. These taco shells are 3 for 150 calories – a VERY low-cal alternative to flour tortillas or bread.

  6. Sriracha

    I know the rest of the country may have gotten sick of this trendy chile sauce but I’m still in love. I like it in my slow cooker chicken, on eggs, avocado toast and even on popcorn. I mean, have you TRIED sriracha on popcorn? Get on that. Seriously.

  7. Cholula Hot Sauce

    Cholula Hot Sauce
    This is my go-to, standard hot sauce of choice. It’s zero calories and beats out most of the taco sauces I’ve tried in taste.

  8. Shishito Peppers

    Blistered Shishito Peppers
    I first discovered these at my favorite tapas restaurant here in Northern Virginia (Barcelona – TRY IT!) They may be hard to find at some grocery stores but I’ve been able to find them at both Trader Joe’s and Wegmans. At just 15 calories per 7 peppers, these make a delicious salty appetizer or side to any meal.

    I sautee them with a little olive oil and kosher salt (it sticks better than sea salt). Sometimes I’ll throw in some charred cherry or grape tomatoes to mix it up.

  9. Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

    There are a few specific brands I buy, but the ones from your local farmers market are best. These are a standard go-to for me for avocado on toast, omelets, sauteed with shishito peppers, or in a variety of curries or stir-frys.

  10. Bananas

    I’m gonna be honest. Most weekdays, I don’t have time for a full-on breakfast. Bananas are a great way to start your day and are easy to take on-the-go. Plus, they’re all-natural unlike most of the breakfast bars you’ll find in the cereal aisle. Averaging just 100 calories per nanner, these are a great addition to any breakfast.

  11. Calafia Farms Almond Milk

    Califia Farms Almond Milk
    At this point, you’ve probably already heard that dairy causes acne. Given that I can’t sacrifice my cheese, I decided to seek alternatives for my daily coffee. My vegan sisters recommended this brand of almond milk and it does the trick. Plus, it’s great for smoothies and even for homemade hot cocoa (almond milk + chocolate chips). It’s sold at most grocery stores in my area and only 18 calories per 1/2 cup. I find I only need about a tablespoon for my coffee.

  12. Frozen blueberries/strawberries/mixed berries

    I love a good smoothie or yogurt bowl but unfortunately, buying fresh berries every week is really wasteful. There’s no way I can go through them all before they go bad so I go the frozen route. I love these mixed with almond milk for a tasty smoothie or with greek yogurt topped with sliced almonds, banana, and honey for a powerhouse breakfast.

  13. Chobani or Fage non-fat greek yogurt

    Chobani Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
    Some people don’t like plain greek yogurt but I personally love it. It’s not too different from sour cream and can be mixed into a lot of recipes. It’s chock full of probiotics and only 60 calories per 1/2 cup. I like to mix it with avocado for a lower calorie spread, with frozen berries and bananas for a smoothie bowl, or sriracha for a zesty sauce on rice bowls (got that idea from Cava).

  14. Baby carrots + garlic hummus

    This is another great recommendation from my sister, Beth. It’s healthy, salty and low-calorie at just 4 calories per carrot and 50 calories per serving of hummus.

  15. Baked Tostitos Scoops + Fresh Salsa

    Baked Tostitos Scoops
    When the carrots and hummus just don’t cut it, I need to satisfy my chip cravings. These baked scoops are some of the lowest-calorie (yet still satisfying) chips I’ve found. At 120 calories per 16 chips, they’re still not great. But I’ve found that just putting a handful in a bowl with a side of salsa is enough to satisfy my savory cravings at snack time. And really…there’s worse snacks out there.

I wanted to refrain from putting too many sweets on here but if you have a Trader Joe’s near you – these little gems are perfect to satisfy your mid-afternoon candy cravings.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Almonds

I used to keep these at my desk at work. Although almonds aren’t a low-calorie food, they’re quite filling. Snack on 5-10 of these babies for just under 100 calories. Overall, they’re a great way to satisfy your sweet cravings without going overboard.

That’s it folks – 15 items/ pairings for your weekly grocery list. I’m not trying to pretend I’m a nutritionist or that these things are all amazing for you – but if you’re trying to cut calories in 2018, this may be a good way to start. These are literally my go-to items that I’ve bought over and over again.

What are your favorite healthy or low-calorie items to pick up at the store?