Shop My Stash – Makeup Edition Jan 2019

Shop My Stash – Makeup Edition Jan 2019

Hello old blog! After a round of tidying up this weekend I decided to write regarding my intention to #shopmystash of forgotten makeup/skincare products. It’s been a popular New Year’s resolution tag on Instagram as folks do their best to go through their belongings and optimize usage. I’m going to see how I can follow along as over the past year I’ve built up some excess inventory.

I noticed the pileup was occurring due to several circumstances: 1. I found something I liked better than what I was using; 2. someone gave me hand-me-downs they no longer cared for (makeup/sample trading); 3. I had doubles I forgot I’d purchased and they were hiding in other bags or boxes. That’s a lot of $$$ laying fallow in drawers, so in the next few months I hope I can make some good headway through these products and use everything up.

I checked through my makeup pile and came up with the following mixed bag of oldies and goodies:

January 2019 Makeup Stash

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  • IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream in Medium
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation in Medium
  • Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer
  • Lorac Pro To Go Eye/Cheek Palette (discontinued?)
  • Tartelette Toasted eye palette
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bahama
  • NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel in clear
  • L’Oreal True Match Concealer in N1-2-3
  • L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Powder in N3

 
*given/gifted/traded; self-purchased

The products listed in blue bolded font were either gifts given or products handed-down-to-me by friends. Of this pile, I’m actively using the Tartelette Toasted eye palette a few times a week (I bring it to work a lot), and it is why I forgot about the Lorac one for a while. Both are very pigmented, blend well, and have a pleasing soft powder texture but the Lorac palette’s bulkier packaging makes it less desirable to carry on the go despite technically having blush and bronzer options as well.

As for the face/base products, I am having a bit of trouble incorporating either the IT Cosmetics CC+ cream or the Tarte foundation as my main coverage product. I’m not a fan of the thicker texture of either and they somehow feel drier on the skin than my usual thinner, runnier Rimmel Matte BB Cream. So far I’ve been using them more like concealer on old acne scars and I also might try a damp makeup sponge to apply the CC+ cream in lighter layers to see if that makes a difference.

The rest of the products are things I will likely buy again, like the clear NYX Control Freak eyebrow gel and the L’Oreal True Match pressed powder (I already have a new one ready to go after my current is out.) I don’t think I will repurchase the concealer as I would prefer to try something else; and I’m also in the same boat with the NARS lip pencil. It’s a nice nude-pinky brown shade on me, but there’s plenty more lip crayon options that are more budget-friendly.

That’s it for now on my progress shopping my own collection. If you’re doing something similar, let me know below! What category or item do you have multiples of?

Uniformly Dressed x Dinner Party Blog: The One-Oh | Skin Care

Uniformly Dressed x Dinner Party Blog: The One-Oh | Skin Care

Sometimes the world is a strange place, and sometimes it gives you opportunities to collaborate with whip-smart, wonderful people you meet in your day. A few weeks ago I had a great collaboration with Dinner Party Blog where I wrote about some of my n00b skincare favorites. Background: I actually met the editor of DPB, Pamela, while trying on clothes in a fitting room 🙂 I’ve been following her online musings off and on and was very pleased to be considered when she asked me to contribute some thoughts for her column.

I’m no expert, but I’ve enjoyed incorporating several new (to me) products into my routine. Check out my post here and let me know what you think.

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via Dinner Party Blog.

Skincare Favorites – June 2018

Hi!

Today’s post is all about skincare and what I’ve been using as of late. Disclaimer: any observation I make below has been solely from my own experience, and I am neither paid to write nor am I sponsored by any company in this post (although I sure wouldn’t mind getting products to try! hah)

Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Essence, $39

The company recently updated both the essence formula and the packaging and bottle label. On the left is the old bottle and formula; on the right is what you’ll now find in stores or online.

Supposed benefits of propolis as an ingredient in daily skin care include: anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties1, sebum and acne control2; and it may also help in healing wounds and with skin cell turnover.3 That’s a lot for one product to deliver, but in my experience so far, using some of this essence in conjunction with more adherence to nightly cleansing and toning has really seemed to brighten my complexion and decrease a lot of recurring chin breakouts. It has also helped in a pinch to calm sunburns, though I still think aloe gel does better because it cools the skin in addition to decreasing redness.

Differences between the old vs. new formula–according to Skinfood, the new formula now contains 63% black bee propolis extract, 10% royal jelly extract, and 10% black honey extract. Quite frankly I can’t tell the difference on me yet, but I will say that the old formula was more runny than the new one, which is a little more viscous.

How to use: I put a few drops around my face and gently rub it into my skin in small circles until it is absorbed. Usually after washing my face before bedtime, or before I put on my makeup in the morning as a lightweight moisturizer.

Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Mask Wash Off, $12

Masking is still a new and confusing area of skincare for me–the most I’ve really done is sheet masks, which are relatively inexpensive and quick to use. When I had shopped at my local Skinfood stores, I got a sample of the Black Sugar Strawberry face mask. It didn’t immediately impress me, but after swatching a few other wash off-style masks at Ulta (also primarily K-beauty brands) I came to appreciate this particular one.

The Black Sugar line is exfoliating and cleansing, and the strawberry smell of this mask IS fairly strong. As you apply the mask and it melts into the skin, the smell may make you hungry! You’ve been warned. I bought a silicone brush/spatula to avoid contaminating the jar as I apply it to my face.

How to use: apply with fingers or a brush on clean, damp skin, avoiding the eye and lip area. Rub gently into skin while washing off to exfoliate and cleanse. At the most I do this once every other week, as it is fairly messy.

 

That’s my mini product update, but if you have any recommendations for masks to try (I’d love to try a peel off one) or your favorite essence or serum, please leave me a note below 🙂


1. Propolis, 4000 years of Beauty via HeyHoney.com2. The Little-Known Ingredient Korean Women Use to Fight Acne via byrdie.com3. Well & Good

2017’s Best Hits

Hi! I thought I’d write some of my thoughts down; it’s been far too long since I’ve engaged in my usual blathering on this blog. 2017 was a hell of a year and I couldn’t have predicted all the things that happened in it. Personally, I experienced a lot of joys, but also appreciated the growing pains of adulthood and responsibility in general. I guess that’s intentionally vague, since I have no desire to turn this into a confessional. Suffice it to say, shopping (read: spending on clothes) hasn’t been a top priority when there’s other real-life s*** going down.

With that being said of COURSE I did end up buying a thing or two (or three) because life is inevitable and I’m still a consumer at the core. Ready for some over-analysis and proselytizing AF?!

2017: why you stop writing, Kristina? and …you bought more gray sweaters?

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1. Sweaters

This came from the fact that I went to Seattle in August wearing the exact same travel outfit as two years prior, except the navy sweater was definitely pilled and faded compared to pictures before. I love those light weight Gap v-neck sweaters to bits, you’ll see me wearing those for about 9 months out of the year except for during SoCal Death Summers when my personal style suffers because you can’t take your own skin off to cool down.

Total sweater acquisitions:
(2) Old Navy – one black, one gray
(1) Everlane – one gray cropped
(3) Target – gray, forest green, pink heather
(1) Banana Republic – thrifted/hand-me-down from my aunt

7 sweaters seems like a lot when you live in a desert, y’all. But does the fact that I wear them to work excuse this rate of consumption?

2. New bottoms

I had a decent first half of the year running and working out until I popped my back on squats and I lost the desire to run. My body’s shape is changing yet again. I also learned that as much as I thought I could emulate trendy influencerzzz on Instagram, I’m better served with mid-rise pants and I need detox teas to fit in high-rise anything.

Total new bottoms:
(4) Gap jeans – 2 real straights, 1 boot cut, 1 thrifted/hand-me-down boot cut that needs hemming (I still don’t know if I’m keeping the boot cuts.)
(1) Target black work pants
(1) Levi’s cut off shorts

3. Surprise buys

I try not to let this become a habit, but throughout the year I did fall prey to a few impulse buys, mostly fueled by travel. The Coach wristlet was a surprise in that I like using it solo as a clutch as well as a mega wallet inside my regular bag.

4. Beauty

2017 was the year of beauty, or at least participating in the giant machine that is women’s skincare and makeup. For someone barely getting their feet wet in the massive abyss of serums and essences and potions oh my, this ended up being a new pie slice in my expense chart. Granted, the Tartelette palette was a very good Christmas gift, but I still managed to acquire:

(1) Byredo EDP (I like Blanche, but I bought a different scent) 100 mL
(2) Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence : I enjoyed the Propolis face mask so I got the essence in a bottle. I put this under my makeup in the daytime and before I go to sleep; takes care of dryness, light weight, feels like doing a sheet mask every day.
(1) Tartelette Toasted eye palette (Christmas present!)

I’ll probably need more of the essence in a few months, but I also have sheet masks and other samples to consume to fill in the gaps.

 

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How did I do? Did I buy too many sweaters? (yes, even if they were on sale.) What areas did you find yourself spending the most on in 2017? Leave me a note below–I do miss writing here!

A New Day – Target Womenswear Picks September 2017

I’m not even going to pretend I’m to the minute with my trends or fashion scoop–heck, I’m barely on the blogosphere these days. But imagine the nice surprise when I found myself running the umpteenth errand of the week at Target to see several new concepts unveiled in the apparel department. I have to hand it to the retail giant, they’ve been improving their offerings every year and this fall I think they’ve hit on something with their womenswear concept called “A New Day.”

Disclaimer: not an ad, no sponsorship (though I wouldn’t mind if I got sent pants! Hi Target Corporate!) just an every day woman shopping for a bargain. etc. etc.

Kristina’s Picks (left-to-right):

1.  Bi-Stretch Twill Skinny Pants in black, $24.99
Don’t get me started on work pants. Oh wait, too late. I’m STILL looking for work pants that have functional pockets that hold, oh I don’t know, pens? a phone? not tiny Tic Tac boxes? These pants unfortunately suffer tiny pocket syndrome, but at $24.99 it’s at that price point where I can live with it–somewhat. It forces me to use a wristlet or purse, which is just not efficient IRL. I am woman and I still want real pockets. I’m wearing a size 4 which is a bit baggy throughout the thigh and knee, but I can’t go down on the waist size. The bi-stretch twill fabric will warm up and eventually bag out by a second day’s full wear, so I’d get two if you prefer dark colors, wash inside out, and air dry to preserve its life for as long as possible. My favorite black pants from Target’s Mossimo brand had deep enough pockets and still works well today except it is horribly faded. These pants are on the short list for when I MUST be in pants, but I’ll wait for it to come down to $20 or less with coupons. WOMEN NEED REAL POCKETS TOO.

2. Ponte Pencil Skirt, $22.99
This is just okay. It’s a skirt. Pocket is deep enough for a phone. It’s a bit long on me (I prefer mine to go at or an inch above the knee.) There is also a pesky silver chunky visible zipper in the back. Good if you need a pencil skirt.

3.  Denim Pleat Front Skirt, $19.99 and Utility Popover Shirt in indigo, $17.99
These ended up being my favorite combo together. I had initially picked the top to try with the pants but it looks better with the denim skirt. Madewell-heads rejoice–you can get the Courier shirt look for less. The Target version is Lyocell though, not chambray.  I am wearing a M in this but can go down to a small for the true fit for my shoulders, but you may loose the relaxed fit if you go your true size.

The skirt is not quite my favorite–I don’t really care for the paper bag/ruffled waist, but if you do this I’d go up a size. The elastic is a bit tight for the small to fit me where I want it, which is slightly below the belly button in this picture.

4. Gingham Popover Shirt, $17.99
Same double pocket construction as the previous popover, but no pocket flaps. Instead the pattern for the pockets is turned for “visual contrast.” A little too distracting for me, to be honest, but the fabric on the shirt is soft and comfortable.

5. Flutter Sleeve Crepe Dress in cherry, $27.99
Go your true size. I’m in a M and it’s definitely too long in the torso, shoulders, and length. I should probably be in a Petite but I don’t see PM or PS options for this dress. It’s poly all throughout, and lined. I thought it would be a good office option until I realized it’s too baggy overall plus polyester. The color is good for the upcoming season and should be flattering for most body types.

6. Anorak Jacket in olive, $44.99
I truly don’t need another olive jacket but this was surprisingly well-made. Not really a fan of roll-tab sleeves but it’s not heinous–in fact, I wear my beloved H&M military jacket with the arms rolled up most of the time now. I really should have unfurled the Target jacket sleeves to see how long they are. There is a thin hood wrapped/tucked into the collar under a zipper. I’m wearing a small, which I probably wouldn’t do if you wanted to wear a substantial sweater under this.

The entire jacket is pretty thin with no lining, and the anorak tail and waist are adjustable via drawstring. I wish it had storage pockets on the inside of the jacket, but at this price you can’t really ask for more. I’m going to go back and see if the blue version can pass for navy. On the site it looks a little too bright of a blue to work in my closet.

Let me know what you think–I’m definitely eyeing those pants and am hoping the jacket goes on sale sometime soon!

Vacation 2017: Palm Springs – La Quinta Resort & Club

Hands down one of the best vacations in a long time, and that’s huge praise considering I usually only get euphoric after San Francisco or Seattle.  The desert area of Palm Springs is typically not the type of destination I gravitate toward, seeing as how it’s terribly hot and to be frank, a bit unfamiliar to me. But this year I’ve been dealing with a lot more stress than I’m used to and the usual eat-run-sightsee-circus I generally put myself through didn’t appeal to me. In the spirit of trying something new I decided to check out the quiet but refreshing La Quinta Resort & Club in the city of La Quinta, California.

Disclaimer: not a sponsored ad/comped stay etc. etc. just a nice discovery that I’d thought I’d share for those of you who might want to travel somewhere neat sometime, etc. (back to the post)

As far as I know there’s no real easy way to get here other than driving in–you may have to fly then drive about 2 hours to come into the Palm Springs area. I’ll spare the locals the boredom of me explaining how to get here. Suffice it to say, a car is needed if you’re a mere mortal like me and protip: load a bunch of water, Gatorade and maybe a snack or two because your road food options are all fast food. I’m not going to knock the McDonald’s stops though–they have $2 vanilla iced coffees and I like McGriddle breakfast sandwiches (oooh, such elevated brekkie.)

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Once a very popular getaway for Hollywood stars, now a destination for golf, tennis, and other outdoor recreation.
La Quinta Resort was established sometime in the early 20s-30s, with the original casitas and other structures well-preserved throughout the ages. Since then the resort has grown to include more facilities that include not only regular rooms but full quad-style units, some with private patios and hot tubs to others with full kitchens and living amenities. By luck the casita I was assigned was part of the original rooms built in 1926. Despite its proximity to the lobby and main restaurants, the open layout of the resort and the lack of high rise structures makes the entire area feel expansive and free.

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Can barely see the casitas but they’re there behind the trees. Each little grouping has about 3-4 rooms together, with a small shaded seating area per room.
I unfortunately can’t tell you how the golf or tennis is because I don’t play either but if you want to be outdoors–you’ll have all the choices in the world. I didn’t see many folks outside for too long because average temperatures were in the 100-110Fs (37C+) during most of the day. But here’s some pictures while I was exploring the grounds:

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Behind this is the Fitness Center which I didn’t get to, but it looked pretty rad. There are also cruiser bikes to rent if you want to ride around the property which I should have done at nightfall. Hopefully I can come back next time to do more. I pretty much spent most of my outdoor time at the Plunge Pool which is the adults 21+ pool:

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It was quiet here all day, but by 4 pm I practically had it all to myself. First come first serve cabana-loungers in the back.
It’s hot and harsh and the sun is a serious force to be reckoned with. My cheeks peeled on the first day just because it was way drier in the desert than the humidity we’ve been having back home. But after the second and third day you get used to it and it’s sort of pleasant to step outside and be enveloped in the encompassing warmth. Remember to drink/replenish fluids, don’t be like me and forget. Heat illness is a serious thing. And don’t even get me started on sun protection. Sunglasses, hat, a shirt, and sunscreen every time I’m at the water. Even on the short walk from the room to breakfast you can go zero to lobster if you don’t cover up.

I am admittedly a n00b at resort vacationing so please excuse my wonder, but I do appreciate that the Hilton/Waldorf-Astoria experience was as advertised. I like to answer the post-visit reviews because it’s a genuine chance to give feedback and appreciation for the staff. There was nothing lacking period, from arrival to the room to the restaurants or grounds and amenities. If you’re needing to get away from it all but want a pleasant, relaxing, efficient stay, here it is.

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Entrance to Morgan’s in the desert–named after Walter H. Morgan, the original builder of the resort in the 20s.

Penultimate dinner at Morgan’s. American steak and seafood house featuring CA wines and fresh ingredients.


On the left: a mix of Spanish influences in the architecture and decor of the grounds. Right: Lilly Pulitzer offerings in one of the several boutiques on-site.

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One of the larger conference halls/meeting rooms, and the Santa Rosa mountains in view on the top left.

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From the main entrance and shopping area (sunny area), through a passageway to the original casitas.
It was great to really slow down, decompress, rest (naps anyone??) and enjoy a mid-year break. I haven’t been writing as much for quite a few reasons–I’m trying to save money and so I’ve been acquiring less overall, but it now enables me to do things like this. And after I got back from the Philippines last year I’ve been mentally challenging myself to want less so I can divert funds to experiences I can share with others, like food, travel or music.

When the fun money fund is restored, I should like to come back.

Everyday Face – June 2017 edition

Everyday Face – June 2017 edition

I had a post idea bubble up this morning as I was doing my makeup so I thought, let’s run with this inspiration and fire up the good ol’ blog! So here I am with a mid-year update; let’s get down to business, ne? Prepare thineself for the copious selfies–thou hast been warned.

The Glow-Up
I started writing/posting in 2013, and I wore nothing / pressed powder only:

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December 2013. I miss this crazy long hair. I was living out my Zooey Deschanel/MPDG dreams with the bangs and specs.

In 2014 I lost twenty pounds, grew more hair (that remained tangled, lol), and made a little routine called the “Five Minute Face” that began with my brows. It felt pretty good, and I enjoyed doing my eyebrows so I kept it up.

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No mascara, just brows and bb cream and powder.

2015 events brought the introduction of eyeliner and lipcolor, to varying success:

2016– muscle memory and control is a little better. Started looking for a nude lip color and bought a few new brushes to add to the makeup bag.

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Brow game solid by 2016.

2017’s Everyday Face no longer takes a mere five minutes, because I’ve since expanded my skill set. Here’s what I use on a regular basis (some steps optional):

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From left to right:

    1. Lorac Pro to Go Eye/Cheek Palette
    2. NARS Radiance Enhancing Light Optimizing Primer
    3. Rimmel Matte BB Cream 9-in-1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup in Medium
    4. Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara in 001 Black
    5. Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Pencil in 005 Nude
    6. L’Oreal Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner in Black
    7. Rimmel Brow this Way Brow Gel in Clear
    8. L’Oreal True Match Pressed Powder in N3 – Natural Buff
    9. Nyx Blush in PB01 Mocha
    10. Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Setting Spray

In general:

    • Moisturizer with SPF (not photographed), NARS primer on eyes, BB cream, pressed powder.
    • Brow routine which is filling in sparse areas with a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow close to my hair color; Rimmel brow gel to set.
    • Eyes. I create my own version of a “cut crease” or what I think looks like a cut crease, but is really just a smudge of something, with the Lorac palette. Or if I’m in a rush and only can do one color, I use single MAC pots in a non-descript brown just to have some color on the eyelids. Optional: I’ll tightline the lower waterline with nude pencil for work, smudge the gold/bronze color if I’m in the mood. Same with mascara or eyeliner. If I’m wearing all of the above, I consider that my “fleekest” for the day. Not really. It still looks pretty restrained.
    • Blush because why not. Concealer if I really need it, but I tend to forget/eliminate this step.
    • Setting spray when done.

I like what I’ve been doing so far:

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Not photographed, on lips: NARS Matte Lip Pencil in Bansar

Hair’s all poofy.

This definitely takes a little longer than five minutes–I’d say about twenty, because I’m a lot more picky about my eyebrows and the eyeshadows when I do this. I’ve had days where I overfilled the brows and looked pretty silly or was sloppy on blending the shadow. But overall I really like where I am right now with the routine and while I am not quite yet a glazed donut perhaps 2018 might be my year! Maybe contouring will be passe by the time I get to it?