The wonderful world of Colourpop

I recently traveled to Las Vegas with a friend of friend for said friend’s birthday. While we had certainly met before, I didn’t know her that well, but we bonded over our obsession for all things makeup. (and she’s a reader!! thanks, anna!!)

We were going over our makeup stash and she casually mentioned how great it will be when Colourpop starts being carried at Sephora. Not likely, I said. But then she looks at me–in the serious nature this kind of information requires–and says: no, it’s happening. (and she’s right! November 1st!)

Truth is–I had only tried a few Colourpop items but I had really liked everything I’d checked out. Especially the Lippie Sticks, one even makes my list of favorite reds. Pamela had purchased Jess and I some of their products a few years back including the Kathleenlights Shock Shadow collection. (we were super fans at the time. still fans, just all of us are spending slightly less time following youtubers lately.)

But I hadn’t truly gone down a rabbit hole–although it had been on my mind. Another reader–Anjee I think (thank you, anjee!) had asked what we thought of their products but none of us were that familiar. So I had planned to make an order and give it a review. But it hadn’t happened.

Our Vegas bathroom conversation cemented my resolve–an order must be made.

Lucky for me–and maybe you?–Colourpop was doing a bunch of sales when I logged on, including a buy two, get one free on lip products. Music to my ears.

So I started with testing some new lip options. I was most intrigued by the Ultra Mattes and the Blotted Lip. Plus I had heard that Colourpop was somehow involved with Kylie Cosmetics and you could get similar lip products for waaaay cheaper. (and it’s also true!)

An order was place for an assortment of lip products: Utra Matte Lip, Blotted Lip, Ultra Blotted Lip and Ultra Gloss Lip.

The package came (there would be more) and I was already pretty sold before I even tested a product:

i guess it took a long time to get the order, so i got a free brush!

Here are my first impressions:

my first lip purchase

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Transitioning To Fall…. Kind Of.

Happy first day of autumn!! Ssshhh, never mind that it’s 90 degrees out. Here are some things that I am currently into (or hope to be into!) now that…. nevermind, I haven’t even thought about a sweater or cooking chili in a crock pot or hot apple cider or putting real socks on yet. Here are just some random things!

Later, Bronzer
While I am forever grateful to Lyn for turning me on to the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer (it’s seriously the best!!), once Labor Day came and went, I haven’t picked it up. I didn’t even make a conscious choice about it- it’s like, once I saw yellow school buses back on the street, bronzer time came to a halt. Instead, I’ve been favoring a romantic, mauve-y blush. I really love Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty, which you can get for free as your birthday present this year as a Sephora Beauty Insider! These blushes last forever, so any time you can snag one free or in a discovery set, do it. Anyway, this shade is a perfect soft rose without being too dreary or vampy. Aces.

I absolutely adore Kristen Bell. Did you guys see her singing to a group of nursing home residents and calling bingo when they all got stuck in the same hotel during hurricane Irma?? It was the best. I missed this show last fall when it originally aired, but recently caught up via Netflix, and it is SO GREAT. My husband just watched it too- he also found it laugh out loud funny- and he was all “why are we the only people in the whole world watching this?? It is the best!” I agree. The basic premise is that Eleanor (Kristen Bell) wakes up to learn that she is dead and in the afterlife, but not to worry, she is in “the good place”. She quickly realizes that there has been a clerical error and she doesn’t actually belong there (because she’s kind of a jerk), and hilarity ensues as she tries to fake her way through it. Ted Danson and the other supporting actors are top notch, the laughs are rapid fire, and it is forking hilarious. Why is this an almost fall thing? Because season 2 just started, and it is brilliant!
Back to Matte
Similarly, I have started gravitating back toward matte lips. Why does this happen during the season of dry lips?? No one knows. But it does. I recently picked up a lipstick from the Sephora Matte Rouge Collection in the shade No Superstar, which is a gorgeous rose-nude that flirts with being greige, but not enough to make you look dead. I find the formula to be a little drying, but it’s not terrible, especially if you prep your lips first with a little buff and chapstick. One weird thing though- it smells like grape bubble gum. The scent goes away pretty quickly, but dang, it is WEIRD.
Practical Vans
Lolololol- all Vans are practical! But I needed some legit comfy actual sneakers for work and for walks on these (ahem, soon to be) crisp mornings. I used to be faithful to Nikes for when I have to be on my feet all day, but my last pair (the Flyknit Free) made me angry- sure, they were super soft and light, but they were so flexible that I would just slide around in them. Someone at Vans must have heard my laments, because they came to the rescue and released these super rad Ultrarange sneaks! They weigh nothing (I thought the box was empty), they have the right level of squish with the right amount of structure, and they look like cool skate shoes while being sneaky practical and go with everything. Oh! They are also made out of a really light mesh, which is nice. I think these will be a good vacation pick if there’s going to be a lot of walking.
Pretty soon, I will be in full fall mode- I’m dying for jeans and jackets and boots and spooky nights and crunchy leaves and having scary movies on nonstop. But until then, these things will ease me in while still hanging on to summer, a little bit. Maybe.
What are you transitioning into as the season shifts? Are you watching anything good right now? I bought all of these things with my own money but I did happen to buy those Vans while Dick’s Sporting Goods was having a random $20 off shoes sale so obviously they were meant to be!

Glossier Body Hero: first impressions

photo from


Well, of course my favorite company would come out with brand new products in the middle of my self imposed spending freeze.  And not just any new products – body products!  Taking care of my skin is a bit of a passion for me, which is not limited to just my face.  Since I’m in love with Glossier, naturally I ordered these the day they were released.  The Glossier Body Hero Duo is made up of the Daily Oil Wash, an oil cleanser for body and the Daily Perfecting Cream, a daily body moisturizer.  I’ve only had the chance to use both of these products twice (of course I couldn’t wait til I used my current products up!), and here’s what I think of them so far:

Daily Oil Wash

It smells sooooo good!  It’s a subtle sweet orange blossom scent, that’s really refreshing in the morning.  The consistency is basically the same as the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil, which I love and have written about in a previous post.  I’ve used it directly on my body, the recommended method, which allows the formula to lather up when it mixes with water, and I’ve also used it on my shower loofah, which I think is my preference…. I’m not sure if the benefits to the skin are different using it that way, but it forces me to use way less product –  this is coming from a shower gel over user – I go through shower gels so quickly!

Daily Perfecting Cream

The body cream has the same scent, which again, it’s so good!  And it remains subtle enough that as the day goes on it eventually fades almost completely, which is good as I found it doesn’t over power or clash with any perfume I might decided to wear.  It has light reflecting particles in it, which gives skin an immediate glow, but not in a weird glittery way like the Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum cream, which I could probably write another post about entirely.  The Bum Bum cream is straight up glittery and that annoys me almost as much as its overpowering scent – it’s a good scent, but that’s all I can smell when I wear it….. I could even smell it on my sofa for a few days one time because I sat down too soon after applying it.  Anyway, I digress…. back to the Daily Perfecting Cream.  I would say it’s a medium weight cream that sinks in almost immediately, so getting your skinny jeans on after isn’t a problem.  I’m not sure it’ll be hydrating enough for me going into the colder months, but for now in this transition to fall, it’s good – I wish I had it all summer – it’s probably perfect for the summer months.  My current go to is usually a Body Shop Body Butter, especially in winter.

Both are 8.4 fl. oz. which I feel like is a pretty decent size.  The packaging is super pretty and functional.  And right now you can get them both, as a duo, for $35.00, which is 5 bucks less then if you bought them individually.

And that’s my hot take on the new Glossier body products.  I really like them!  You probably will too, and remember you can get 10% off your purchase with this code!

*As always, purchased with my own money….. that I’m not supposed to be spending on product.



Am I Getting Up?? A Challenge Check-In

Hello friends! Question: are September Resolutions a thing? I feel like they are, but in a secret way. Like, every year, after Labor Day, I think “well, summer play time is over and now I need to lock it down and stop having ice cream for dinner.” You?

Remember about a month ago when I set myself on the path of becoming a morning person? You may be wondering, “hey Jess, how is it going??”

Overall, I am happy to report that it has been trending successful. High five!! Go me!! But alas, I am human, so I have made some… improvements? Changes? Compromises?? Let me explain:

First of all, I have to say that I found I really enjoy getting my workout out of the way first thing in the morning. Even though I might be dragging myself to the gym, potentially with crusty eyes, unbrushed teeth, and amazing morning hair, but I am looking forward to getting my workout in and done for the day. It used to be so stressful to think about where (if??) I could wedge it in to my schedule. Bonus: the gym is delightfully empty this time of day, so I don’t have to fight for a squat rack. Plus, it feels really good to get my body warmed up (the first thing I do at the gym is roll out on a foam roller and crack my back- yay!), knock the rust off, and have the “fitness” box checked off my daily to-do’s. 10/10 would recommend.

That being said, morning, in the broad sense, is still a challenge. My initial goal was to get up at 6:30. For about a week, I totally did it! Then I started rationalizing (when my alarm went off, of course), that I really didn’t need to be up so early, that I could push it back a bit and still have lots of time to get a load of laundry done or whatever. So, I’ve been playing with that to see what feels best. It seems like a 7ish wake up is feeling better, but I would still like shoot for a little earlier, since I was enjoying having lots of time to myself in the morning to catch up on TV shows, read a little, go for a walk, go grocery shopping in a quiet store… mornings are pretty neat.

The weather has also been a bit of a wrench- it cooled off quite a bit for a few weeks, and man, snuggling under the covers with snoozy kittens in the morning is haaaaard to tear yourself away from!!

Another thing I discovered (even though I *knew* it already) is that planning is key. I skipped one Friday morning workout along the way, simply because I hadn’t planned for it. I didn’t have my gym bag packed (Friday is the one day I have to shower/get ready/go to work right away from the gym), didn’t have my workout planned, didn’t have a lunch packed. So now I know that, no, I will not get up 5 minutes earlier to do that in the morning, but if it’s ready to go the night before, I can pull my shit together.

Also, coffee. COFFEE!!! The pre-workout of the gods. I have gotten my night-before coffee prep on point, and it is THE BEST to hear that little “coffee’s ready!” beep, which can usually convince me to roll out of bed. The caffeine usually kicks in right as I’m getting going with my main lifts, which is super helpful. I’ve also been preparing a second cup in a travel mug so that I still have a hot cup of coffee to look forward to relaxing with when I get home. Aces!

Overall, I haven’t been perfect- I’ve given myself a few outs based on the aforementioned un-planning, a wicked migraine, my body just needing a break. But I would say that I have a 90% success rate in this challenge, and I feel pretty proud of myself!


Do you have any September resolutions? What goals are you working on?? Am I actually sleep walking at the gym? Maybe!

First impressions–the Subculture palette–is it really that bad?

I love the Anastasia Beverly Hills eye shadows so much. Not only is Modern Renaissance my must have pick from the past year, I’ve been slowly building a pretty nice collection of ABH single shadows to fill my Tarte magnetic palette.

So like everyone else–I was so excited when Subculture launched.

I posted this photo on our Facebook page–and number of the comments went right to the Subculture palette hiding in the mix–so I know I’m not alone.

And why shouldn’t we be curious?! ABH has a stellar track record on shadows.

One of the main selling points for me is the palette features my new eye shadow color obsession: green.

I have never liked my eye color, swampwater hazel. But over the past year, I’ve found that if I go with a green based smokey eye, I can almost make them pull more green than orangey weird.

In fact, one of the first shadows I picked up for my magnet palette was ABH’s Emerald single shadow. It’s a beauty.  The only downside is it’s a shimmer and I tend to prefer matte shadows.

Subculture features three green based shades: Untamed – Ultra-matte tarnished green, Axis – Ultra-matte blue-green, Destiny – Ultra-matte sage green

Not only green, but matte.

But they are also unusable.

I’ve watched a few YouTube reviews of this palette and they basically all eviscerate it. Is it really that bad?

Yeah. It kind of is.

One of the main critiques is how powdery or soft the shadows are–I’ve seen examples of shadows falling apart in the pan when they put a brush in them.

I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. Mine isn’t quite so bad.

But they are still a mess.

I took this photo this morning. I’ve used it three times since I traveled with it last week and I cleaned it up when I had it at the hotel.

So that’s how much powder kicks up when you use it.

residue from tapping the powder off my brush. and i use a light hand.

And the powder isn’t just messy–it’s hard to control when you try to use it.

I actually really like two of the orange/peach transition colors: Dawn and Roxy. The problem is to apply them, I have to carefully tap my brush in the pan, then tap off the excess powder, then rub off more of the powder on the back of my hand and then actually put it on my eyes.

That’s too many steps. And those are the easiest shades to use.

The green ones DO. NOT. MOVE. I just can’t get them to blend. So even if I set what I think is a decent wash to my lids, when I go in with one of the green shadows to add some dimension in the corner, it’s impossible to blend. So the shadow just sits there and looks like you’ve been punched in the eyes and the bruise is starting to fade.

I should’ve taken a picture of yesterday’s look. I really tried. And it took way more time than I’m willing to spend in the mornings on eye shadow. But it was still a mess.

In fact, it was so bad, I took this picture of myself last night after I washed my face. And there is still green shadow hanging out around my rims. It does not move!

Today, I decided to use the color All Star, a reddish plum color. It was a little better than the greens.

Not as much fall out, and I was able to control it a little better.

I couldn’t get good light for a decent picture, but the point is–at least it’s not all over my face and doesn’t look like I hurt myself.

So there are two main problems for me with this palette:

  1. I bought it for the greens, but I can’t make them work.
  2. I’m not good enough, patient enough or care enough about eye shadow to take the time necessary to put a decent look together.

If I had hours to spend on eye shadow–first of all, I still wouldn’t–but maybe I could get those greens to blend. But I don’t.

My recommendation–as sad as I am to say it–is to pass on this palette.

I’m hoping NYX or some other brand sees all the enthusiasm for these colors and puts together a dupe palette with green matte shadow options.

I’ll be returning my palette to Sephora–along with a number of other people, I’m sure–and dreaming of perfectly formulated green shadow palette while continuing to use Modern Renaissance.

Did you get Subculture? What did you think? Were you able to make this palette work? Do you have a hack that I should try before returning it? I’m all ears!

Per usual–I spent my own money to try this palette. Money it looks like I’ll be getting back.


Diamonds and Pearls (and Kittens)

Most of my junk mail gets pitched without a second thought, but my Ulta mailers always get at least a casual flip through. Earlier this month, I was perusing while waiting for my toast to pop up, and this magical thing caught my eye:

I mean, come on. Kittens! Disco!! Diamonds?!?! I needed to know more. So I hopped on the interwebs and learned that this mask (a pearly-chrome peel-off type) is kind of trying to be a dupe for Glam Glow, I think? Which has always been too expensive for me to even care if it’s worth the hype. This cool cat has a bunch of crazy ingredients in it, like ruby and tourmaline and diamonds and pearls and a bunch of flowers. What do these things do for your skin? Who knows! But the claim is that it will illuminate lackluster skin, smooth it out, and even skin tone. In.

But of course, this cleverly named, highly instagrammable mask listed at a reasonable $23 was sold out. For the second time in a month. *Sad trombone*

Never fear! It came back in stock (and is, currently, available on– I don’t think it’s available in stores yet, but I hear it’s going to be at Urban Outfitters this fall) and by some miracle it happened during a 20% off sale. Woo!

On a recent Friday night after a few cocktails, my husband and I decided a mask was in order. Since this is a peel off mask, I was a little scared- I’ve tried some painful ones (like the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask– ow!!)- so I prepped my hairline and eyebrows with a little Alba Un-Petroleum Jelly, which is the first product YouTube ever convinced me to buy (thanks Kandee Johnson!). My husband, on the other hand, went to town and scrubbed the mask all up in his eyebrows and hairline. Dudes are weird.

The instructions recommend using a silicone spatula or mask brush to apply the mask, and I bet that would work really well! I didn’t have one, so we just used our fingers, which was fine. The mask is like a liquid pearl in the tub, and has a light floral scent, but nothing too offensive. Then, we watched some TV while we waited for it to do it’s thing, and it turned a little more chrome:

We both started feeling a little trapped and frozen-faced, which is always hilarious but then you can’t move your face to laugh about it! So then we were on to the peeling phase, which actually ended up to be pretty fun. Remember when you were a kid and you would put Elmer’s glue on your hands, let it dry, and then peel it off? It’s exactly like that. It was a little spicy around the baby hairs on the edges of my face, but otherwise, not too bad. And yes, my husband still has eyebrows. WHEW.

I have to say, though, my life was completely unchanged after this mask. Aside from it having a cute name and being pretty, I’m not entirely sure what the hype is all about. Maybe I expected too much from it- like, what, it would be a giant Biore strip and clean out every pore on my face? Or leave me sparkly like a Twilight vampire? Maybe I should have listened to Prince instead of watching TV while it dried. Maybe I didn’t use it at the right time. Like, maybe after coming home from a long flight when you feel like a french fry, or maybe during the winter when your skin feels like a snake it will feel like it does something. I will definitely try it again in those instances, but for now, I give it a solid meh, though I’ll also admit that it was the most fun mask I’ve done in a while.


I purchased the I Dew Care Disco Kitten Mask with my own cash money and my own coupon. What masks are the most fun for you??

Your Labor Day Weekend New Music Mix

I refuse to be sad about summer coming to a symbolic end this weekend. Instead–I’m going to crank up these tunes suited for making the transition form one season to the next–and say thanks for a great season–and hello to chapter 3: Autumn!


Whitney, Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can)

Phoenix, Ti Amo

Haim, Little of Your Love

Nicky Jam & Enrique Iglesias, El Perdon


Yo Gotti & Nicki Minaj, Rake it Up

Queens of the Stone Age, The Way You Used to DO

Dua Lipa, New Rules

Vance Joy, Lay It On Me

Lana Del Rey with The Weeknd, Lust for Life

Rhye (Roosevelt Remix), Summer Days


Have a fun, relaxing and safe Labor Day Weekend!! –E&N (Lyn, Pamela and Jess)