October Favorites

Happy Halloween! 

During October I really didn't venture out of my normal, routine makeup. I started using some new stuff toward the end of the month, but haven't used it enough to include it as a "favorite." So, maybe November will feature some more things. 

But for now, here's what I've loved throughout October! 

Wet n Wild - Ebony Hates Chris
This is my first Wet n Wild fast dry polish and it's my favorite of these favorites! 
If you're looking for a GOOD black polish that applies perfectly opaque in just one coat... this is it! The thing I hate about most black polishes, and polishes in general, is when the brush has so much polish on it when you first apply, and then it starts to run all over the sides of your fingers. This one does not do that. It only applies where you put the brush. Did I mention this is only $1.99... yeah. Get you some of that! 

Essie- Power Clutch
On the the topic of nail polish, I purchased this Essie one at my local TJ Maxx for $3.99. I had actually been wanting Power Clutch, and when I browsed through the beauty section, I came across a whole shelf of Essie polishes. So check out your TJ Maxx or Marshall's for Essie polish.. you might find some!
This is a dark gray polish with a small hint of dark green (depending on the light). This one is also perfectly opaque in just one coat. 

NYX Blush in Pinched
This is an oldie but a goodie. I L.O.V.E this blush and it's been my go-to all month long. Pinched is a peachy pink with some golden shimmer in it. All of NYX's blushes are great. So if you're in an Ulta soon, check them out! 

Maybelline The Falsies (flared) Mascara
 I'm normally a "stay don't, don't stray" kind of girl when it comes to mascara. Most will disappoint me because they don't live up to my L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black. On the recommendation of my friend Erin, I decided to check this one out. And I really do like it! Does it beat my L'oreal mascara? No, but it is definitely a favorite now! What I like about this mascara better than my L'oreal is that I can wear this on my lower lashes too, and it won't smudge. I usually wear a waterproof mascara on my lower lashes when I wear the L'oreal. So if you're looking for a great mascara that doesn't smudge, I definitely recommend this one! 

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bold Gold
It's no secret that I love the color tattoos. Here's a more in-depth review of that. But basically this has been my most-used color for all over my eye lid. I like using it with the Maybelline Olive Martini Quad. The dark brown shade in that quad is the perfect crease color with this color. The combination of the two feels like Fall! 

I'm sorry this was a short favorites! 
I'm working on some new posts for November that include my favorite brushes, how I take care of my brushes, and much more! So, stay tuned. :)

What have you been loving this month? 
Can you believe tomorrow is November?!


happy friday, y'all!

1. Okay how cute is this tray from Target? It's one of the many new additions to my condo. 

2. This is what I don't need to see on my desk on a Monday morning. But the sweet notes from co-workers sure made my day. 

3. My last name is Sharp. See what they did there? ;) 

4. I love Essie polish. I love it even more when I get it for $4 at tj maxx. This is Power Clutch. Lurve. 

5. Learning how to edit videos this week. Adobe. Premiere.Is.Hard. But I really like it! 

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog! 

Have a good weekend everyone!


bite size apple pies

What's this? A post about something other than makeup or skincare? Well, as much as I love those things, I also love food. But then again, who doesn't? I'm not the best terrible at cooking, but I do love to bake. And during Fall, I'm often craving apple pie. I've only ever made one [two years ago at thanksgiving] and it just takes a long time to make. So naturally, I headed over to Pinterest to find a single-serve apple pie to get my fix. [What did we do before Pinterest?]

I found this recipe, and decided to give it a go. It turned out exactly how I had hoped. Almost too good. And it only took about 30 minutes to make [15 mins prep, 15 mins bake.]

1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 pkg. refrigerated pie crust [I used Pillsbury]
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 medium size tarte apples, each cut into 8 slices [I used granny smith]

[Pre-heat oven at 425°]

1. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
2. Unroll the refrigerated pastry onto a round cutting board.
3. Brush pastry with 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture.
4. Cut each pie crust into eight 1-in. strips [about 8 inches long].
 5. Wrap one strip around each apple wedge, placing sugared side of pastry against the apple.
6. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. [I only had foil. Do I as I say, not as I do.]
7. Brush tops with remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining cinnamon/sugar mixture. 
8. Bake at 425° for 13-15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Serve warm.

A few things: 
It's up to you if you want to remove the skins from the apple. I removed the skins, except for the very ends. I think it would taste the same either way. 
Definitely use parchment paper. The foil was an issue when trying to remove the pies from the baking sheet. 
I didn't get the hang of wrapping the apple slices until about half way through. Wrap all the way around the slice, not just the center. 

I recommend trying this out if you like apple pie. It's the perfect party dessert! 
If you can eat just one... props to you!

Let me know if you try this one out! 


october birchbox

For this month's box, members got to choose to opt-in to the special "Goop" box, or get the regular Birchbox. I chose the Goop box because of how great the Teen Vogue box was back in March. 
This "special box"... eh. Probably my least favorite of all my boxes. But, here's a peek...

DDF Brightening Cleanser 
This is the only exciting thing in my box. I have always wanted to try DDF cleansers. DDF is a high-end brand you can find at Sephora. This is a HUGE sample. I should definitely be able to tell how I like this by the time I finish it up. 

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
I do have dark spots from scars so it can't hurt to try this one out. Maybe it will surprise me? 

Miracle Skin Transformer 
The word "miracle" irks me and always turns me off from products. Nonetheless, I will try this out and see how much of a miracle this product is. 

perfekt Beauty Lip Perfection Gel
Not the least bit interested in a "lip perfecter." Sorry, Birchbox! 

Lifestyle Extras
Luna Fiber Bar: Chocolate + Raspberry. Yum!
Mighty Leaf Tea: I don't drink tea, but maybe I should give it a chance!

Don't be discouraged by my Negative Nancy post. Everyone is different! 

Did you opt in for the Goop Box this month? 
What did you get? 


happy friday, y'all!

1. Sundays are for hanging out with your nephew and taking him to get ice cream... and letting him pick out all the toppings he wants. #bestauntaward 

2. I do not wear glitter nail polish unless it's an accent nail... until this week. I spotted a bottle of "Big Money" at my boyfriend's apartment [his roommate's girlfriend's polish]. And I had to have it. I loved it, until it came time to remove it last night. Such.a.pain. 

3. My dad [Mr. Hire-Someone-Else-To-Build-You-A-Mantel] finally gave in to my endless begging and built, with his own hands and tools, this amazing fireplace mantel for my condo. All that was there before was the brick. I think he did an amazing job. Hmmmm, what else can I get him to build for me? 

4. Game night with the girls was a success. We had all the food, sweets, and Halloween decor that a game night party could have. I made some bite size apple pies that turned out amazing, thinking about sharing the recipe on the blog next week! 

5. I pre-ordered the Lauren Conrad Beauty book, my first pre-order experience, and I am SO excited it came in this week! Going to start reading it next week. 

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog! 


favorite bronzers

Now that my summer tan is fading fast, I'm relying on my bronzers to add some color to my pale face and perk it up a little bit. I like using deep bronzers to contour the hollows of my cheeks, and softer shades for all over my face for subtle color. 

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny
This is your basic matte bronzer that I feel could work on any skin tone. I have only ever used this for contouring. I like using this for "day time" looks because it has a more natural finish. It's a very wearable bronzer for everyday. You can find this bronzer for around $2.50 in any drugstore or Target. 

ELF Contouring Bronzing Powder
This is my go-to bronzer when I want a perfectly "Kim K." contoured face.  
If I know I'll be taking more pictures, going to a dark venue, etc. that's when I like using this bronzer. It's a very deep tan color, but still very blendable. I only use this for contouring because it is way too dark on my skin for every day.  The best part about this bronzer is that it's $3.00 AND it comes with a blush.  You can find ELF products at Target or eyeslipsface.com. 

MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Natural in Medium Dark
I really really really like MAC Mineralize Skin Finish. It's the perfect finishing powder that doesn't look "cakey." I wear this every single day to set my foundation. My shade is Medium Dark, but there are 10 shades to choose from which means you can get one that matches your skin tone or one a few shades darker to make it your bronzer and add some subtle color like I do. 
MAC MSF costs $29.00 and is sold at any MAC store and online. 

Tarte Park Ave Princess (matte waterproof)
I feel like there is nothing Tarte can do wrong! This is a matte waterproof bronzer, which is what kind of sets it apart from many other bronzers for me. I don't always need waterpoof during the winter, but it can come in handy during the summer months. This bronzer adds some color  and has a very smooth finish. You can find Tarte online or at Sephora or Ulta. 

Here are some swatches. I apologize for the MAC swatch. It blends in pretty well with my skin so it hardly shows up! You can see the darker shades, especially ELF, are really deep colors compared to the Tarte and MAC options.

What is contouring? 
And, in case you were wondering about what contouring is, it's actually very simple. You should apply bronzer on the hollows of your cheeks, the outline of your forehead, the sides of your nose, and under the chin/neck area. It's all in how the light hits your face "naturally." By contouring, you're making certain parts of your face more defined and making it appear slimmer. Who doesn't love that?

What are your favorite bronzers? 



happy friday, y'all!

1. How am I 24 and just realizing how much I love grilled cheese sandwiches? 
Add Tomato Basil Soup and its the perfect comfort food on a chilly Fall day. 

2. Painted my nails with Essie Chinchilly. Was just in the mood for some gray.

3. Since I was out of thank you notes, I figured wrapping up some cookies and attaching a fresh flower was the next best thing! 

4. Made a quick trip to New Orleans for a meeting. Everyone should ride a street car at least once in their life! 

5. When I go to World Market, I have to buy something since my trips there are few and far between. These wafers were just staring at me, begging for a pantry to call home! 

It's been a long week for me, and I'm looking forward to a much needed dinner and drinks with my girls tonight! Hope everyone has a great weekend! 

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog! 



moisturizing at night

If I was stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three items, one of those would include moisturizer. I cannot live without it. Okay, maybe I could live, but I wouldn't be very happy without it! 

Moisturizing your face at night is SO important. Even if you have oily skin like me. Moisturizer helps your skin to not over-produce oils during your sleep. It also helps prevent wrinkles.... kind of a big deal! My night time skincare routine always includes moisturizer. 

I like the Mary Kay Timewise moisturizer. It's very lightweight and is specifically targeted to prevent aging. It's never too early to start preventing those wrinkles! 

Two other areas I make sure to moisturize are my lips and hands. The Smith's Rosebud Salve is amazing for the lips. It does  have a somewhat strong rose scent. It took me a while to get used to, but now I don't even notice it. It's one of the most moisturizing lip balms I've ever used. For hands, I like the Soap & Glory Hand Food. It's moisturizing and has a nice scent. You can find these at Sephora. 

I keep my lip balm and hand lotion in my night stand for easy access. If you aren't already including moisturizer in your night time skincare routine, I highly recommend it! 

What is your favorite moisturizer? 
Do you use lip balm and hand cream at night, too? 


L'oreal Infallible Eye Shadows

Pressed pigment shadows have never been something I gravitate toward. I've had some pressed glitter shadows that I love, but that's about it. 

When L'oreal came out with these pressed pigments, they were too tempting not to at least try. These are the Infallible Eye Shadows. 

When you open them from the back, there is a plastic shield under the top that keeps the shadow tightly compacted in place. Don't throw that piece away!

The two colors I have are Iced Latte and Perpetual Purple

Iced Latte was calling my name. One, because it references coffee. Two, because the color is gorgeous for either all over the lid or as an inner corner highlight.

I picked up Perpetual Purple because it is the perfect true frosty purple shade, which I don't currently own.

I had high hopes for these shadows, and they did not disappoint. I will let the swatches speak for themselves. It only took one swipe for this much color and pigmentation. Remember to barely tap your brush lightly into the shadow when applying. A little can go a long way with these shadows! 

I have worn each of these a few times and they do last a long time with a primer
Great pigmentation and long lasting. So, if you've also been curious about these, I recommend that you give them a try! 

There are 18 shades in this collection, and there are some matte options. If you aren't crazy about shimmery and frosty shades, there are a few matte shades to choose from. 

These cost around $6.00. I recommend getting them during a Buy One, Get One 50% sale if you're interested in more than one color. Ulta is having a BOGO sale this week! And you can use the $3.50 off a $10 purchase and essentially get one for free!

How do you feel about pressed pigments from the drugstore? 
What colors do you own or would like to own? 


happy friday, y'all!

1. I highly recommend that you go see Pitch Perfect this weekend. It's hilarious and it was filmed on LSU's campus (my alma mater)! Warning: this movie will make you wish you knew how to sing and dance. 

2. Who doesn't look hot pink and leopard print together? 

3. I haven't bought new heels in a long time, so I picked these up from Frock Candy to wear to a wedding tomorrow. 

4. My Sigma Performance Eye Brushes came in yesterday! I have small eyelids which makes putting on eye shadow a somewhat difficult task. I've heard good things about this set, so I'm excited to see how these work for me. 

5.  My dad turned 60 this week; and to celebrate we ate dinner at Portico. Love spending QT with my dad and nephew! 

See more H54F posts on Lauren's blog! 


budget buy: sally hansen pacific blue

The Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail polish line is probably one of the best budget-friendly polish lines... ever
Yep I said it. 

Pacific Blue is completely opaque in just one coat and hasn't chipped four days after applying. 
I am in love with this color! I've had this for a while and it's one of those colors you can wear any time of the year. 

I applied the Revlon ColorStay base coat and the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat. I'm not crazy about the top coat. It's drying up, which causes bubbling on parts of my nails. It's time for a new bottle of my beloved Seche Vite top coat. 

I highly recommend this Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polish. You can find these for $2.59 at any drugstore, Target, Walmart, Ulta, etc. Two other colors I recommend from the line are Mint Sorbet and Coral Reef. 

Do you love this Pacific Blue color?
What's your go-to base and top coats? 


September Favorites

Goodbye, September... Hello, October! 
Here's a look at what I reached for the most last month.

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder
This is the first translucent pressed powder I've owned. I'm glad I spent the whopping $6.00-- this powder is amazing. Dust this over your t-zone after applying liquid foundation and you're good to go and shine-free! 

Prestige Primed & Ready
I've been on the hunt for a dupe for my Smashbox primer. I went to Ulta earlier this month with every intention to buy the Palladio Herbal primer. No such luck. This Prestige primer has the same silicone feel as the Smashbox. I'm not sure I'll re-purchase this, but it has done it's job so far. 

Maybelline EyeStudio Quad in Olive Martini
I've really been loving this eye shadow quad and I've reached for it almost every day. 

Revlon Lip Butters
I don't think I've mentioned this yet on the blog, but these are one of my favorite lip products. 
Lip butters are a little more creamy and moisturizing than a regular lipstick. 
I've been reaching for Berry Smoothie and Strawberry Shortcake. Berry Smoothie is the perfect berry shade for fall. And Strawberry Shortcake is a classic light pink that I love. 
Sally Hansen Pacific Blue
If there's one polish that is perfectly opaque (in one coat) and perfectly applied no matter how terrible you think you are at painting your nails-- It is Sally Hansen Pacific Blue. For $2.50, I can't get over how amazing this formula is. Do your nails a favor and pick up this polish! 

Essie Skirting the Issue
This is just a great "oxblood" color for fall. Not the best formula I've tried from Essie, but I love the color. 

What are some of your most recent favorites? 
Can you believe it's OCTOBER?! 

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