happy friday y'all!

1. My week was off to a rough start thanks to a night out with my old roomie and bff Kayla. 
Sunday was so rough that the most movement I did was bed to couch, then back to bed. 

2. It was time for the seasonal closet cleaning this week. The things I realize haven't been worn more than once is crazy. Like this bling bling NYE dress from circa 2009. Sexy ain't it? 

3. No Doubt is back. And I'm loving it... in a creepy obsessive way. I watched their E! special, their two appearances on Ellen, and broke out the Tragic Kingdom CD. Please tell me I'm not the only super-fan! 

4. The sun is setting earlier and earlier around here. Luckily I caught this one right before our walk around the lake. 

5. Is anyone else deathly afraid of haircuts? I've been seeing my stylist for 7 years, but I'm so attached to my hair it's ridiculous. Luckily, Meg can always read my mind and knows what I want without me having a clue.

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog! 

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!  


lip stains: tarte vs. revlon

I'm not much of a lip stain girl. The bold lip stains that I have tried made me look like Edward Cullen just took a bite of Bella for dinner. Point is- after cringing at myself in the mirror after two different attempts of trying lip stains, I've kinda given up on this product. 
Some things just weren't made for everyone, right?

My personal preference are lip balms, tinted lip balms, and lipstick.  Only problem is, I often always forget to re-apply throughout the day, thus just looking plain jane. Then I started becoming really interested in these crayon-shaped "lip balm stains" popping up everywhere that claim to be a moisturizing lip stain offering a glossy finish, increased moisture, and long-lasting color. First by Clinique and Tarte, and now Revlon. 

The Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Stains have been around for a while. They claim to provide hours of moisture and lasting color on your lips and they "naturally increase the skin's water content for a 'plumped up' appearance." Ingredients include Jojoba oil, Vitamins C and E, and Peppermint oil. And as with any Tarte product, they are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, and sulfate. 
Tarte LipSurgence retails for $24.00 and there are seven shades to choose from. 

This year, Revlon released the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, an obvious attempt at putting a similar product to out-do the Tarte version for a third of the cost.
These can cost $7.00 - $9.00 and they come in twelve shades. 

What is really great about both products is the packaging. 
Both have a retractable crayon, so a sharpener is not needed.

[L to R: Tarte Amused, Revlon Sweetheart, Revlon Cherish]

How They Apply
Tarte Amused is a darker coral/red that applies more sheer than you would expect. The label says "natural lip stain" so the fact that it applies more sheer makes sense. This glides on so smoothly. It really feels moisturizing and has a strong mint scent.

The Revlon stains apply more true to color. I find that the Sweetheart applies very opaque and Cherish is a little more sheer, but both are "what you see is what you get." These also have a strong minty scent. They apply a little less smooth than the one by Tarte. 

[Tarte Amused, Revlon Sweetheart, Revlon Cherish]

Which one lasts longer and is a truly a stain?
I find that the Revlon outlasts the Tarte. 

So which is worth the purchase?
It depends on your preference. 
If you prefer a more "natural" lip stain, with very moisturizing ingredients, and have a little more money to spend, I would go with Tarte. 
If you are looking for a long-lasting "stain" with a wide range of colors to choose from and don't want to spend that much, go with Revlon. 

They are both great! For me, it comes down to price. I would have to choose Revlon! 

Do you own these? 
Which do you think you prefer? 
Have you ever tried the Clinique version (chubby sticks)? 
I'm curious! 


theBalm Nude 'Tude Palette Review

If there is one staple makeup product to have, a neutral eye palette is what I would recommend. A good neutral palette should be able to give you a full look with just the shadows in the palette. 

What I look for in a neutral palette include: shimmery white or bright pink shade for highlighting, light pinks, shimmery gold, matte or semi-frosty taupe, and a matte black shade. 
This Nude 'Tude palette by theBalm palette offers just that.... and more great options! 

Don't get me wrong, I love my Urban Decay Naked palettes, but those can run you about $50 each. And this palette is not a "dupe" by any means, but it offers some similar everyday neutral shades that are just as great of quality as the UD palettes. There's also some great dark shades that can easily be used for any smokey eye if you prefer a more dramatic look.

Not to mention, any packaging by theBalm is super cute! 


Sassy is a frosty white.
Stubborn is a pale shimmering pink.
Selfish is a metallic taupe.

Sophisticated is a shimmery bronzed taupe.

Sexy is matte mahogany/burgundy.

 Serious is a true matte black.

All of these shades above are very pigmented.

Snobby is a light yellow-gold.

Stand-Offish is a metallic pinky-champagne.

Sultry is a matte medium brown.

Seductive soft shimmery bronze.

Silly is a rich brown with gold shimmer.

Sleek is a dark matte brown.

Do you own this palette?
What are you favorite shades?


Happy Friday, Y'all!

Another work week down. Happy Friday, y'all! 

1. New ottoman from Overstock came in. Other than wall art and bedding, my bedroom is almost complete. 
Now on to bigger projects-- like (re)painting the living room and constructing a fireplace mantel. Halp!

2. Dropped Ben off at the airport. He's in St. Louis for two weeks on a work trip. 
Miss him a lot, but can't wait to see him next Friday! 

3. Shoutout to an avid Pastels and Mascara reader and one of my dearest friends, Danielle! She got a new job and I couldn't be happier for her! I love it when good things happen to good people. I love her to death. Hey Dani!

4. Got to squeeze in two walks around the LSU lakes this week with the roomie. The weather here has been so fall, and I'm loving it. 

5. What would a post be without including some new beauty goodies? You'll notice two things from my Fall Wish List. You've already seen my review on the Maybelline quad, so look for upcoming posts about the nail polish and mascara.

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog!

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september birchbox

My September Birchbox just arrived yesterday. Probably the latest I've ever received one. However, a little surprised at how many things came in this month's box.

Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel
I'm pretty picky about the face washes I use. But this seems like it would work well with my Clarisonic. It's also a nice size sample that I'll be able to use to see if I really like it or not. 

Dr. Jart BB Cream
I still haven't tried the BB cream that I received in July. I'm trying to finish my Smashbox one. But, now that I have two more to try, might do a review comparing all three. I've heard good things about the Dr. Jart, so definitely excited about this one.

Color Club Polish in "Put a Pin in It"
I took a sneak peak at what was coming this month, and knew that everyone was getting a Color Club nail polish. Birchbox and Color Club created an "exclusive collection" with four shades. The only shade I was wanting from the four is the one I got-- woohoo! And it's a metallic rose gold shade. We'll see how it compares to Orly Rage.

LA Fresh Instant Body Soother
Not crazy about these. You're supposed to use these on your neck and shoulders when feeling stressed. Who knows, I might get a wild hair bored and try it out. 

The Brush Guard (Set of 4)
These are kinda cool. Supposed to use these on your brushes when putting them in your makeup bag to keep the dirt and excess makeup from spreading. Should be nice for traveling.

Twistband Emijay Hair Tie
I like emijays, and I like that I've never had to buy a pack since I've received a few from Birchbox.

Birchbox also included a "fall lookbook" mini magazine full of makeup tips and looks. 

There is also a $25 gift card coupon to Madewell. I have really been curious about this store so I may check it out! 

Interested in Birchbox? Sign up here!
What did you get this month?


budget beauty buy: maybelline olive martini

Today's budget beauty buy is the new Olive Martini quad from Maybelline's Fall 2012 collection. There are very few drugstore eye shadows that impress me. I tend to stick to my Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2 palettes on a regular basis. But every now and then, a drugstore eye shadow will stick out to me. And if I start seeing the same one pop up with good reviews from other bloggers, the hype gets to me, and I buy it. 
Hey, if you love something, don't set it free. 

You may recall that I mentioned this Maybelline quad in my Fall wishlist. I kept seeing it next to all the displays with the new fall Color Tattoos. After reading some great reviews, I didn't set it free.  

What I like off the bat is the packaging. It's very sleek and sturdy, which makes it travel friendly. There is one frosty nude shade, a light frosty silver, a shimmery green/brown, and a deep reddish-brown. As you can see, each shade has some shimmer in it. 


All four colors swatched very easily. Each shade is very pigmented and easily blendable. 

I've worn this a couple times using the frosty silver/blue on the lid, the green/brown in the crease, the reddish-brown in the outer corner (lightly). Then used the nude as a highlight on my browbone and in my inner corner to brighten. 

This is only the second Maybelline eye shadow quad I've ever purchased, and so far I have loved both. It's nice to see drugstore brands stepping up their eye shadow game! 

This quad retails for around $8.00 and can be found in any drugstore, Target, etc. 

Have you tried this new quad from Maybelline? 
What are your favorite drugstore eye shadows? 


Happy Friday!

I'll spare you the Rebecca Black lyric I was about put on repeat in your head and just say... 
Happy Friday, everyone! 

1. First success girls game night! My six closest girl friends and I played a round of Monopoly, sipped some wine, and ate delicious appetizers and desserts. I could get used to this!

2. Who doesn't love a cactus cornbread? Enjoyed another girls night with dinner at Coyote Blues. Amazing tortilla soup and more girl talk.

3. Such a love-hate relationship with Adobe. I upgraded to the CS6 Master Collection, and my lord there were some hurdles. Not enough memory. Then, it was installed in German. I don't speak German. Fail. But, all problems now solved and I'm a happy Adobe customer again. 

4. Wine and bubble bath. Sometimes that's all you need to clear your head before a long work week.

5. I killed a fake plant. Who does that? Thought I was going to graduate to live plants soon, but clearly I'm not ready for that yet. 

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog! 

Any exciting weekend plans? 


Revlon ColorStay Foundations

Allow me to get on my Revlon ColorStay Foundation soap box. 
One of my favorite "long lasting" makeup lines from the drugstore is Revlon Colorstay. I haven't tried a product from them that I haven't liked. There are similar lines by other brands such as Covergirl Outlast and Maybelline SuperStay, but I think Revlon does it best. I will share my thoughts on more products from the line, but I want to start with foundations. 

What I love about the liquid ColorStay foundation: the color and skin type selections. There's a wide range of colors to choose from based on your skin type. You can choose from Normal/Dry and Combo/Oily; then choose warm or cool tone; then your exact color from there. You're bound to find one that matches. It is a little bit of a thicker consistency, which what I think helps it to cover everything and last all day. 

This foundation will last you all day, and longer. I like applying with my Sigma Sigmax foundation brush and setting with MAC Mineralized Skin Finish. 

My only downfall about this foundation is that it does dry fast when applying. My suggestion is to work in sections. I start with cheeks, then forehead, then nose/chin and blend it all together. You kind of have to work fast. If you do this, you can avoid any streaks. 

I've used the liquid foundation every day for over two years... until.... 

It was going to take a lot for something to de-throne my Revlon liquid foundation, and of course, it had to be another from the line to do it. Revlon released this over the summer. I was very skeptical about this "whipped" thing at first. I've tried mousse-like foundations before, and found them to be very flaky and not give enough coverage. I was also worried it would leave me "shiny." I was wrong, wrong, wrong. 

This foundation does exactly what I need to do. It is lightweight, gives excellent coverage, long-lasting, and does not leave me shiny. I use my Sigma Sigmax foundation brush to apply it and set it lightly with MAC Mineralized Skin Finish. Like I've said before, I have oily skin and this really does keep me shine-free for 8+ hours. In the photo above you can see it leaves a pretty natural finish. 

Now that I've raved about how well it works. I do have a big problem with the packaging. It looks nice, but that's about where it stops for me. This is in a glass jar, which makes it very heavy. Not at all convenient for traveling. And, the fact that you have to use your fingers to get the product out makes the germaphobe in me freak out just a little. However, the way around this is to use a tiny plastic spatula stick or sanitize your hands thoroughly before dipping in (as you should before any makeup application.) 
Can't you just put your foundation in a pump, Revlon... pretty please? 

Also, there is not a wide range of colors like the liquid. I think there is 12 total. You kind of just have to take a stab at it in the store. I have Natural Beige and Medium Beige and they both match well. I bought the Medium for the summer time, when I was a little darker. Natural is just a shade lighter and matches my skin now for the fall/winter seasons. 

So, that's my only beef with the whipped foundation. I just love how well it works for my skin, which is how I get past my issues with the packaging. I've been reaching for the whipped foundation every single day. 

Revlon ColorStay Liquid retails for $11.99.
Revlon ColorStay Whipped Creme Foundation retails for $13.99. 

Have you tried either of these foundations? 
What are your "holy grail" foundations? 


budget beauty buy: maybelline babylips

Any chapstick addicts here? I’m not starting any chapstickers anonymous groups or anything, but I can support your habit a little more. I don’t know about you, but even if I am wearing lipstick for the day, I first have to apply some form of "moisturization" (yep made that one up). My lips are constantly dry, cracked, and full of fine lines; thanks to good ole Accutane from a couple of years ago.

I love a good lip balm and they are crucial to keeping my lips moisturized throughout the day. Sometimes I just want a little color, too. And it’s a bonus when a beauty product can do two things in one. That’s where Maybelline Babylips come in. Maybelline released these some time last year. They are said to have “lip renew formula and 8 hour hydration for visibly renewed lips in 4 weeks.”

I can’t vouch for the “8 hour hydration.” The color will fade off throughout the day after eating, drinking, talk, etc. But, what I love about these are the initial hydrating feel, the super pigmented and glossy color, and the fact that you can still see color a few hours after application. You might be able to get away with only re-applying twice throughout the day.

This is the color Pink Punch. First application leaves a nice glossy pink finish. And it is a buildable color. You can leave it a light pink, or build it up to a bolder bright pink. It also smells amazing, has a nice strawberry/fruit scent. I keep this in my purse at all times; it's perfect for on-the-go color and hydration.
These retail for $3.99 and you can buy them wherever Maybelline is sold. 
These come in six shades—Quenched (clear), Peppermint (clear), Cherry Me (dark red), Grape Vine (burgundy), Pink Punch (above), and Peach Kiss (nude). 
I own Pink Punch and Peach Kiss and I love them both! 

I’m going to try posting once every couple weeks about a great budget-friendly beauty product.  If your budget only allows you to buy from the drugstore, this topic is for you! 
Stay tuned for more!

What’s your favorite budget beauty product?


it's friday!

1. Finally (it's been months) fixed my watch! And added some new rose gold arm candy from Derng.  

2. I had some fun picking up new Fall & Halloween decor. I didn't know I liked glitter pumpkins until just a few days ago. 

3. Finally got my hands on a dupe for Chanel's Peridot polish. This one is Rare and Radiant by China Glaze from the Bohemian collection. It looks exactly like the Chanel version. Hard to photograph though since it looks three-four different colors, depending on the lighting. Opaque in just one coat for me!

4. Definitely broke out the Leaves candle this week. Bath & Body Works is candle heaven-- and Leaves is the best of the best. And I'm loving this year's new packaging. 

5. All this fall stuff, and I spent my labor day out by the pool. That's Louisiana for ya.
Daiquiris + Burgers on the grill + pool day = the essentials for a successful labor day. 

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog! 

Did you see my fall shopping list from yesterday? 
Have a good one everyone! 


gotta have it: fall wishlist

bordeaux jeans// top// bracelets//scarf//loafers//polish//pumps// mustard jeans // maybelline quad {only in stores}

Whether it feels like it or not, fall is here! In my opinion, the best part about fall (other than football) is the fashion! Living in Louisiana, it's nice to get a break from summer heat—which seems to be the only season we have here. Here are a few of my “gotta have it” pieces for fall.

Bordeaux Skinnies
 The colored jean trend is transitioning nicely into fall. And Bordeaux seems to be the color of the season. Much like mint green was for spring/summer. Bordeaux, I think, is just a fancy name for burgundy/maroon/wine color. I like it, and I want it!

Peplum Top 
Peplum adds such a feminine touch to any bottom. I would love to add this basic peplum top to my closet.

Oh rose gold, you get me every season. These two gorgeous bracelets are from Bauble Bar. And both are wait-listed for the time being.  AKA—I’m stalking them every day until they are available.

Essie Trophy Wife
Essie’s Trophy Wife was a pretty popular color when it came out last year. I resisted, but
now I've realized I have no color even remotely similar to it, so it’s a must-have.

Striped Scarf
I went a little crazy at H&M a few weeks ago, purchasing every basic colored quarter-length top I could get my hands on. Grey, white, black, brown-- you name it. What better to go with basics than a bold striped infinity scarf?

Studded Loafers
I’m all about wearing flats, but I’m getting a little bored with the basic ballet flats. Time to jazz it up with some studded loafers. I’m lusting over these!

Nude Pumps
My Jessica Simpson nude pumps have seen better days. I just need to stop delaying the inevitable and buy a new pair before I’m forced to go barefoot at the next wedding I have to attend.

Mustard Skinnies 
 I really hate mustard. Like, they accidentally-put-it-on-my-sandwhich-but-im-scraping-every-bit-off-anyways sort of hate. Even the word sounds gross. But something about the mustard colored jeans is really getting my attention. I want!

Maybelline Olive Martini Quad 
Probably the most talked about drugstore eye shadow quad I’ve been hearing about is this new one by Maybelline from their Scene on the Runway collection. It’s called Olive Martini. It isn’t just the name that makes me want it. I’ve seen swatches all over the blogosphere and it seems to be worth the hype.

What’s on your fall shopping list?
What are you craving for fall? Other than a hot apple pie with a caramel latte...


august 2012 favorites

Another month down, another favorites post.
This month I re-discovered some old favorites and fell in love with some recent finds.
Here are my standout products for August 2012...

The Simple brand is new to the US this year, but has been very popular in the UK for quite some time. I’ve been looking for a daytime moisturizer that is very light since I have oily skin. I use just a little bit daily, and I think my skin has loved it. No breakouts so far!

An oldie but a goodie. I’m a loyal fan of Aveda products, but have been keeping this buried in the back. Started re-using it and I am now on a mission to finish this. I spray my roots with this when my hair is wet, put it in a pony while I do my makeup, and then blow dry. Instant volume and it smells amazing.

Nail polish

You can read my recent blog post here about why I love this polish.
Great polish for the fall!

Urban Outfitters - After Hours
I bought this glitter polish because it reminded me of OPI Teenage Dream from the Katy Perry collection. Except this one looked like it had finer glitter that would be easy to work with. Loved the way this applied and it stayed on for over a week as an accent nail.
Makes me want to try more UO polishes.

Such a classic. When I bought After Hours by UO, I had no clue what I would try pairing it with first. As soon as I saw this one in my drawer, it was a no-brainer.
I feel like these two polishes were made for each other.
To see how I wore Lady Like and After Hours together—here is my Instagram photo.


Bought these brushes recently at Ulta. I like using the buffing brush for contouring with bronzer; and the shader brush is perfect for applying eye shadow. I have a hard time finding the perfect eye shadow brushes because my eyes are small, and most shader brushes are too big for me. This one is perfect.

My trusty Revlon eyelash curler finally got kicked to the curb. I needed to upgrade to something that was gentler and had better grip. This one by Tarte does not disappoint. And it came with a sample size of my favorite Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara. That may have swayed my decision just a little bit.


Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bold Gold and Bad to the Bronze
Don’t want to beat a dead horse since I just blogged about these. But holy moly—these are seriously amazing. Bad to the Bronze has been with me since these first came out, but of course I had to pull it out after buying some new colors. I’ve been wearing Bold Gold literally every day. I went tailgating in 100 degree weather, went to the LSU football game, and went out afterward with friends-- and this did not budge at all by the end of the night. I highly recommend that you check these out if you haven’t already!

Wet n Wild does a lot of things right that many people still don’t know about. Nail polish, eyeshadow-- and definitely blush. Their blushes are SO pigmented and they last all day. This one is a gorgeous pink with a slight golden shimmer.
These retail for $2.99—a freaking steal.

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm
Got this as the Sephora birthday gift. Good thing it was free because I would not spend $22 on a lip balm. But this is so moisturizing and I can totally see why the price tag is so high. It feels like butter on your lips and it is one of the best lip balms I have ever used.

Have you been reaching for any of these same products?
What else have you been loving lately?
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