a Sunday post: what I’m loving right now

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 some of what I’m loving right now:

saturday mornings. The best of the best. The weekend has just started. Monday is still the day after tomorrow. Simply awesome.

scented candles. I’m a constant candle burner. Daytime, nighttime, it doesn’t matter. If I’m home, a candle’s burning. James thinks I’m nuts and routinely blows them out when I’m not looking. When I asked him why once, he said, “The room smells of the candle already, so I thought it had done its job.” He doesn’t seem to understand that I want the scent to be sustained, but it’s quite cute actually how he diligently puts the candles out. Smoky the Bear would be proud. I burned diptyque’s verveine all through the summer, but now I’m onto baies, with its lovely black currant scent with a hint of rose. It’s the non-floral girl’s floral.

cute matchboxes. Whenever we eat out for dinner, I always make it a point to grab some of the restaurant’s matchboxes on the way out.  I’ve built up a little stash that I keep in an ikat bowl on our coffee table. They’re always useful (see: scented candles), but they’re also nice little mementos of good times. When I went to visit my sister in college last weekend, we stopped by her campus bookstore, and they had these matchboxes by quotable cards. I’ve long been a fan of the cards themselves, so seeing some of their lovely quotes in neat typography on a matchbox was something I got really excited about. I picked “everything has beauty” because the colors seemed spot on for fall. What’s nice, too, is that when the included matches run out, I can just refill the box with standard matches you can get anywhere, but they’ll be in a prettier box. It’s the little things.

liquid lip balm. An ULTA store just opened up two blocks from our apartment last week, and I’ve already visited four times. The cashiers know my name. I don’t know if I should be proud or ashamed about that…but on visit 3, I picked up a tube of Almay’s color + care liquid lip balm in just plum good. I’d been wanting a berry tinted lip gloss and had been eyeing one from Revlon, but that day at ULTA, Almay was 40% off, so I thought I’d see what they had to offer. I hadn’t bought anything from Almay in a long while, but I saw the liquid lip balms and this specific color and was intrigued. Online reviews of the product were split, but for the sale price of $3.59, I decided to give it a try anyway. And…I’m obsessed. Some of the less enthusiastic reviews about the product said they didn’t see a need for it: if they wanted lip balm, they could use lip balm; if they wanted gloss, they could use gloss; there was no need for a hybrid. I was skeptical about the whole hybrid thing as well initially, but if you’re like me where you apply lip balm all the time under everything, then you’ll see where this product fits. It’s more moisturizing than lip gloss but has more sheen than regular lip balm. It’s definitely not to the same level of “glossiness” as a regular gloss, but I kind of like that. I think of it as a prettier cherry chapstick that comes in a range of shades. Other reviews also talked about it not being as pigmented on the lips as in the bottle, which is true, but I’ve always been more of a sheer-loving gal myself, so that wasn’t a deal-breaker for me either. I loved it so much that I made another visit to ULTA to pick up another one, this time in an apple a day, a cheery, soft, sheer red. p.s. I also love the packaging – silver matte top, shorter tube length, and a doe-foot applicator.

softer mascara. I love the glamour of full-on lashes, but for the every day, there’s something quite nice about soft lashes that are lengthened but not so full of volume or dramatic. When I’m going for the latter, I reach for Maybelline Full ‘N Soft mascara. It’s become my office makeup bag wand of choice. It’s the perfect mascara for when you want natural, defined lashes for a work or day appropriate look.

earthy-toned eyeshadows. I wholeheartedly welcome the season for deep, defined eyes, and I can’t wait to start delving back into my stash of brown, green, and taupe shades. My go-to is either the NARS And God Created the Woman palette or NARS duo eyeshadow in cordura, but on a late night run to Walgreens this week, I picked up the Wet n Wild palette in Comfort Zone.  After playing around with it, I’ve decided it’s the best drugstore eyeshadow I’ve tried thus far. The texture is silky, and the colors are impressively pigmented. Totally worth the $5.49 I forked over for it.

illuminated skin. I’m already starting to lose my golden undertones as my skin tone slowly but surely lightens up as we head to winter. I only change about 2 or 3 shades, but the kicker for me is the loss of warmth in tone. I’ve realized that to counter that, I need to add a little bit of artificial warmth. Enter the liquid illuminator. I saw a positive review of NYX’s liquid illuminator and had been wanting to try it out, so I finally picked it up on sale in gleam at yes, you guessed it, that newly opened ULTA. I like that it gives you some depth and illumination without middle-school shine. I’m of the thought that highlighters/illuminators should be used strategically and sparingly, and this does the job just carrying the light to my upper cheekbones and just under the brow bone.

smoothing serum. I’m not much of a hair-product junkie – I’m very much the toss and go kind of girl. Smoothing serum, though, has been in my arsenal for years now, ever since the first time I cut my hair short 6 years ago and my hairdresser used Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum on me. In addition to smelling insanely good, it does a great job of making my hair sleek and shiny. Just one pump spread in my palm and then lightly fingered through my ends and I’m done. A great hair-product that smells great, works well, and applies in a second? No wonder I keep buying the stuff. I have a full-size one in our bathroom and a travel one for my purse or whenever I’m flying.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

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