Faves and Fails: Beach Edition

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you what I was packing for my beach vacation? Well, vacation happened, and it was amazing!! Costa Rica is a beautiful place with beautiful, wonderful people. Highly recommend. I tried some new things on this trip, so I thought I would let you know what worked and what didn’t. Here we go!

Fave: Sephora Collection Rouge Lip Tint

via Sephora.com

You know how when you want to spend the day on the beach or by the pool, and you want to look effortlessly put together without being overly made up? This lip product is the jam!! Ok ok- to be fair my “effortless” involves a hot pink lip, but this water-based formula glides on really beautifully (without drying or bunching), and fades without crumbling or getting patchy. I could put this on in the morning and still have a decent lip after two lunches (vacation!), blobbing in the pool, and plenty of mojitos. My only regret is that the only other lipstick I brought was also hot pink, so I got a little tired of having the same lip all the time, but since pink is my signature it was NBD.

Fail: Sun Bum Clear Zinc Oxide SPF 50

via ulta.com

This product actually works great- it is a physical sunscreen, and it did a great job of protecting my face from burning. My skin, however, HATED it. I broke out in little red bumps after a day or two of using it, and I was so bummed! I kept it on hand for my shoulders and hands, but boo, had to rely on my regular sunscreen for my face, which I guess was fine since I didn’t burn. But still. Boo.


Fave: EcoTools Konjac Facial Sponge

via ecotools.com

What is this what is this what is this?! I grabbed this facial sponge randomly at Target, and honestly, I was kind of scared to use it- it’s super hard and crunchy when it’s dry! But once you saturate it with water, it gets really soft and squishy, and, along with your favorite cleanser, does an amazing job of gently cleaning makeup, dirt, sunscreen, lip tint, and plantain chip residue off your face. Frankly, it just feels really good to use, but never like it’s going to rub you raw. I love love love it!


Fail: E.L.F. Cosmetics Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow

via elfcosmetics.com

I really had high hopes for these guys- they swatch beautifully, and how nice would it be to have a one-swipe product for breezy summer evenings?! It is entirely possible that this is a matter of user error, since the reviews are pretty glowing (unlike my eyelids). I have the shades Rose Gold and Liquid Gold, and have tried them on their own, over primer, and over eye shadow: every time has been a bust. For me, they apply really thin and patchy, and if you try to build it up, the product removes itself. What am I doing wrong?? Can you get them to work? For $4 each I’m not too heartbroken, but look at how pretty they are!! I’m keeping them in my drawer for now, if anything, just to look at.

Random Faves

As promised, my Kleen Kanteen was a champion! It kept ice in full ice form for HOURS despite the blazing 90+ degree heat. My poor husband probably got real tired of me being all “*clanking bottle* honey!! It’s still ice in here!! *clank clank clank*”.

I don’t know why I’ve never done this before, but bringing a mesh laundry bag was a brilliant move. We didn’t have much for drawer space in our room, so I kept my clean clothes in my suitcase on the luggage rack, then tossed my dirty laundry in the mesh bag. When it came time to pack? I just closed that bag up and smooshed it into my suitcase. Perfect!

For media, I watched all 8 hours of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary OJ: Made In America over the course of our flights, and it was excellent! I was a goth art student in the mid 1990s, so while I remember the highlights of the case, I wasn’t really paying too much attention to the trial at the time. I wish I had been- it was riveting. I also read The Girl With All The Gifts, which was really great- I loved the twist on the zombie genre. I bought this book last summer, and it sat on my nightstand, unread. It wasn’t until I took it out of my beach bag that I realized there was a pull quote from Joss Whedon on the cover. Way to pay attention, Jess.

check that lip tint! It’s like 8 hours old here!

One day on our trip, we visited some natural hot springs which included being able to cover yourself in warm volcanic mud, and it was THE BEST. I wish they would have had it for sale- I would have bought gallons!! This mud calmed down my aforementioned broken out face like magic.

My favorite favorite? Having time to just relax. More importantly, giving myself permission to just sit, to not have to plan anything, or be anywhere, or do anything, for days on end. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to turn on my gmail automatic vacation responder and press pause on my life, and that I have an amazing husband who has the same goals for our “hooray we survived winter” break from everything.


Where are you going for spring break? Do you love something I failed, or fail something I loved? What should I read next? Tell me in the comments!

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