how to look awake at 4:30 in the morning

04 March 2015

bespectacled, beauty, brush free makeup, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge 10 Rose, Corrector,  Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes 02 Lots o' Latte, BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil Whiskey

Spoiler alert: it's all in the makeup.

Long time no post right? I've been doing quite a lot of thinking about the direction I'd like to take this blog. Instead of being mostly beauty with the occasional sprinkling of other content, I want to add some other posts where I just write about other stuff that interests me. I have so many ideas that I want to try out, but starting them is a bit difficult. But, I thought I'd ease myself into writing again after a week or two with talking about makeup.

On the days where I work I'm up at 4:30. I know, it's disgusting. But I've been doing this for almost a year now (wow, time flies!) and I've pretty much gotten used to it. Even on weekends where I can sleep in I normally wake up at 7. On workdays, I always have a little free time to myself before I chose to go into work and I normally do things like grab a coffee, read, write, and use the internet. My free time in the mornings is pretty precious to me so I don't want to spend it all having to apply makeup.

So, in order to shave off a lot of time when slapping makeup onto my face, I stick with the quickest and cheapest way to apply it: my fingers. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is such an amazing base product - I feel like it evens out my skin tone while actually doubling up as a moisturizer. And if you know me a little, you know I love things that have multiple effects, like the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge. I'm much more of a blush girl because I like This thing is pretty pigmented so I try to be careful when I apply this as a blush Since my post where I talk about the unloved products in my stash, I've been making a serious effort to use some of them more often. Now, I always have the Pot Rouge in one of my pockets because 1) it's such a good product and 2) the mirror on the inside is excellent as well. I'm actually thinking of picking up one more. Ah, from going unloved to becoming a favorite again!

I'm never without concealer, I always pop a little of the Bobbi Brown Corrector underneath my eyes to perk my face up. Because while I'm used to waking up so freaking early, my face hasn't really caught up. I feel like highlighting is also another way of faking that you're bright eyed and bushy tailed. I will never shut up about BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight - I just love it so much. I'm seriously considering buying the full size when this eventually runs out (hopefully not for a while), but wow, 1.7 oz is bigger than most foundations. Who even needs that much highlighter?

For eyes, I go kind of simple. On a "I can't be bothered" kind of day, it's smudgy brown eyeliner all the way with the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Whiskey, another product that I simply adore and won't shut up about. Smudgy eyeliner is such a trick because the end result is pretty nice but without the effort - I don't even have to apply eyeliner straight because I'm just going to smudge it out with my fingers. But on fancier days, I like to add some shimmer and color with the Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in Lots O' Latte. The applicator on this is a bit chunky - while the size works well for lips, it's pretty clunky on the eyes. But the key is blending, which this does well. On me it's not the most long-wearing, but again, for the convenience of it, it's totally workable. But I've totally jumped on the eyeshadow stick mini-trend and bought and liked the Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Stick (not pictured here). Definitely more shimmery and a smaller in size, Three Shakes is a really lovely bronze shade. Plus these sticks have a really nice cooling effect which also perks me up!

So, what's your makeup routine like when you're in a rush to get your makeup done? Do you tend to go for easy to apply things or have you perfected the art of using brushes?

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a few things I like #1

17 February 2015

bespectacled, things I like, beauty, style, life, ASOS Tall Polka Dot Culottes, Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, LUSH Honey Trap, ASOS bag, e.l.f. small stipple brush, Make Up For Ever HD Blush,

Can you tell that I like post series?

I've decided to get rid of doing straight up product based monthly favorites. I feel like I can be really wishy-washy with my favorites: I'll like it one month but forget about it the next and honestly I feel like I end up choosing the newer items instead of talking about products that are my actual favorites. Instead I have something a bit different planned for the end of the month, so I hope you'll stay tuned. (Woah, where did the month go? We're already more than halfway through!) But I do like to talk about the things that I do like so I figured I'll do a regularly occurring series on it! So here are a few things that I've been liking lately:

LUSH Honey Trap & this mini Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. I keep several lipsticks in my bag (three at the moment), but hardly any lip balms. I decided to remedy that with this random one from LUSH. I really like the texture of it and it does keep my lips feeling nice long after it's sunk into my lips. On the subject of random skincare products, I've also been carrying around this mini Clinique moisturizer. I thought it was interesting that you can supposedly put this on top of your makeup, which, yeah, I mean you could. But it totally wipes away the product. But I like how travel friendly it is and it beats me carrying around some of my other moisturizers. I wish other brands got on board with the trial sized products, I'd like to know if something will work for my skin before I drop money on it. But $8 for this is a little steep.

Highlighters, especially the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight in Opal. I didn't "get" highlighters until my skin became more and more matte as the season wore on. And now it's slowly something that I'm really liking the look of on my skin. I definitely like highlighters that give more of a glow than a sparkle and the Becca Skin Perfector Spotlights are definitely on point with that.

This combo of cream blush + e.l.f. small stipple brush, my favorite cream blushes being the Make Up For Ever HD Blushes. When I'm in a hurry I'll apply cream blushes with my fingers but if I have a bit more time to buff it in the small stipple brush really gives a more even application so you don't accidentally look like you're sporting a rash on your face - which has probably happened to me at some point.

diptyque Baies candle - sure I'm burning money, but at least it smells good. I just honestly wanted to see what the fuss was about. Will I ever repurchase? I hope not!

ASOS Tall Spot Print Culotte. I'm a big fan of the culotte: they're stylish while still being functional; not so much a fan of the name though since culotte is also underwear in French. Names aside, I do plan on owning like two more culottes because they're just so damn practical. I'm nowhere near being classified as "tall" but the advantage of the ordering from the tall line is that they're longer than your average piece. While I'll always be a advocate for the mini, that isn't the best attire to wear in an office, you know?

This thermos that my brother sent me - Stumptown Coffee Klean Kanteen. There is something magical about this thing because I swear this keeps my coffee hot for like two hours, hours. I'm a slow drinker - I'll take sips from my coffee for hours but sipping on cold coffee really loses it's appeal day by day. But this thing is magic, I swear. Plus it's a gift from my brother, which is pretty nice as well.

And lastly, I've a got a new bag: ASOS V Bar Satchel Bag. A smaller bag = fewer items, right? It's kind of been working for me which is exactly what I need because I have a bad habit of carrying things "just in case". It carries my most essential items (notebook, wallet, lipsticks, etc) while still being compact. Plus it's cute, which is always a bonus.

What have you guys been liking lately?

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the unloved

12 February 2015

bespectacled, beauty, the unloved, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge 10 Rose, NARS Eyeshadow Duo Brousse, Satin Lip Pencil Hyde Park, Becca Beach Tint Watermelon

While my bloglovin feed is slowly filling up with Valentines day related posts and things that people love, I've been thinking a lot about the products that I just don't love as much as I should. I've been rifling around my stash lately, throwing out things way past their expiration date and doing a lot of swatching for no reason other than to confirm with myself that, yes, that is a really pretty color. In the dark corners of the basket where most of my makeup calls home I've rediscovered some products that have gone a bit unloved lately.

I like novelty and add to my collection pretty regularly. I obviously develop favorites and for the things that truly don't work for me I've been better about returning or exchanging them. But still I end up with a few products that, while they're nice, I just don't get enough use out of them. The NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Brousse is a really pretty duo. The formulas of the shadows aren't bad - they're totally workable and blendable - and they're my very first high-end eyeshadow purchase so there's a bit of sentiment attached to it as well. But in all honesty, the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows are just better so I just don't reach for this as often anymore.

It is a good idea to have a good rummage through your stuff because you'll remember that 'oh yeah, this was actually pretty good'. And as far as lip and cheek duo products go the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Rose and the BECCA Beach Tint in Watermelon would rank pretty high on my list (which I seriously need to update). I've upgraded these two from the stash to my makeup bag in an effort to use them again. And honestly the mirror on the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge is big enough that I'll probably just keep it in my jacket pocket for touch ups anyway.

The NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Hyde Park is really pretty. While it's not as comfortable as my favorite moisturizing lipsticks are, the satin lip pencils are nice, opaque, and lasts a decent amount of time. I just don't use it because I don't own a freaking sharpener for it and I'm way too lazy to buy one. Why couldn't it pull a Bobbi Brown Art Stick & come with a sharpener? So this kind of sits in my stash, used occasionally, but I don't wear it as often as I should because I just can't be bothered with buying a sharpener for it. It's stupid really.

But for whatever reason, as my makeup collection keeps on growing, some products just fall through the cracks and end up collecting dust in the back. Have you done a rummage through your collection? Did you find some products that just have gone a bit unloved or have you found anything that you're like to start using again?

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lately #14

09 February 2015

bespectacled, life, lately,

1. It's definitely been a while! I have this problem where I manage to get all the way to uploading photos for the blog but when it comes to writing everything and putting things out there I kind of choke. It's like I'm 11 again uploading my first fanfiction onto, oh god, what if everyone hated it? I'm trying to be a bit better about that because I can't possibly be that bad, but I always am a little hesitant about clicking that "publish" button. But hey, I have another post scheduled for Thursday if you're worried I'll just vanish into the void again.

2. I took my first personal day off in months, and it was glorious - I spent it doing absolutely nothing. I did some writing, I read a little (I'm reading Children of the Night by Dan Simmons - good read so far; but let's be real I read like two 50 chapter fanfictions this weekend and it was awesome), I made chocolate chip cookies and indulged in some Haagen-Dazs. And oh my god, I've found my new favorite flavor. Sorry Swiss Almond, you've officially been dethroned by Mint Chip.

bespectacled, life, lately, new in, Everlane Grey Marled Sweatshirt, Madewell Ignition Skirt, Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes Lots O' Latte, Make Up For Ever HD Blush 310

3. Some nice things came in the mail as well! I signed up for early access of the Everlane Marled Sweatshirts and they arrived in the mail Saturday. I really like the texture of these and I adore gray sweaters (maybe a little too much, they're slowly taking over my wardrobe) - I imagine I'm going to get a ton of use out of this. I also got the short-sleeved version as well! I also got the Ignition Skirt from Madewell, because, obviously I needed another black bottom. I'm really starting to love Everlane - I also bought one of their new striped sweaters as well!

4. Beauty wise I picked up another shade of the MUFE HD Blush, this one is 310. Cream eyeshadows are having a bit of a moment with me as well because I picked up the Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Lots O' Latte. I find that cream products just agree a bit better with my skin. But honestly, I've picked up a few more things as well, which I'm expecting sometime this week. What can I say, I'm weak and prone to wanting to try out shiny new things. I've learned that returning things are okay too so I'm not suddenly accumulating a huge mass of stuff, but I still want to keep things to a minimum. I don't even want to know how many lipsticks I own.

bespectacled, life, lately

5. And lastly, we have a new puppy! Well, she's my sister's and I'm still a little against it because we already have other pets, but things are okay so far. My mom named her Kimchi, and it just kind of stuck around. We have this thing with naming our female pets food apparently because that's part of Cake (the cat) sleeping next to her!

I'm still catching up on all of those unread posts clogging up my bloglovin feed (last time I checked it was 1000+, oops!), s I'd like to know how you guys have been doing and what you guys have been up to. Have you taken a bit of a break recently? Any new purchases? Again, I know my blogging has been a little inconsistent but I really am trying harder to change that. Thanks again for reading everyone.

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new at the drugstore

19 January 2015

new in at the drugstore, beauty, skincare, bespectacled, Burt's Bees Refining Cleanser, L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Gloss 511 Tantalizing Tangerine, Smokissime Powder Eyeliner Pen 703 Taupe, Physician's Formula Super BB All-in-1 Cheek & Lip Beauty Balm

I have to admit that I haven't been keeping up with new releases at the drugstore lately. I'm more likely to buy my skincare and beauty needs in places like Sephora or inside department stores than the aisles of Walmart. But on a quick peruse through Rite Aide during a trip to pick up ice cream (the perks of being an adult: buying ice cream whenever you want) I decided to pick up some things to try out.

My LUSH Let the Good Times Roll cleanser is currently on it's last legs and I was hoping that the new Burt's Bees Refining Cleanser would be a good change. NOPE.

I don't know why I keep giving Burt's Bees skincare a second and a third chance - nothing I've tried outside of their lip balms has really wowed me and more often than not it's way to heavily fragranced and irritates my skin. Case in point this cleanser. It doesn't smell bad, it's just way too much for me personally. I've used this exactly once and I decided never again. After washing it off my skin felt heavy and gross and the little exfoliant pieces in this cleanser felt jagged and unpleasant when I rubbed it into my skin. Needless to say this will be returned once I find the receipt.

But, not everything was god awful. I found two gems which I really have liked. The L'Oreal Infallible Smokissime Powder Eyeliner in 703 Taupe and the L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Gloss in 511 Tantalizing Tangerine are really nice products. The Powder Eyeliner pen is an interesting product - it really doesn't feel like a powder, it feels more like a creamy product on a spongy applicator, but I do surprisingly like it. I'm all about smudgy eyeliner and this does that extremely well. And it doubles as eyeshadow well too. This taupe shade is really pretty and the sponge applicator is easy to apply and it doesn't immediately set so you have some time to blend it out. Longevity is there too, which is nice. So if you're into smudgy or smoky eyeliner and shadow I'd recommend you try this out.

The Infallible Pro Matte Gloss is also a nice product. Matte liquid lipsticks are definitely having a moment right now and this new release from L'Oreal is a nice one to pick up. I have no idea why they'd call this a "gloss" because this is straight up matte, but hey, it's different from the other matte lip creams out there. The texture reminds me of a slightly more emollient NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream and it has a slight fruity smell/taste which isn't overpowering or unpleasant. Tantalizing Tangerine is a bit out of season at the moment but I really enjoy a good orange lipstick. I haven't really tested out the longevity because hello, bright orange isn't the most office appropriate lip color but of what I've tried it lasts reasonably well, a really good pick to consider next time you're at the drugstore.

And lastly something that I'm kind of the fence about; because that's a good way to end a post, right? I'm a sucker for a good two-in-one kind of product and the Physician's Formula Super BB All-in-1 Cheek & Lip Beauty Balm definitely caught my eye. But it's definitely one of those two in ones that work better as one thing than the other. This is definitely a powdery formula so it isn't the most pleasant feeling on the lips. It clings to every little dry patch and line on your lips and just doesn't look quite right. I find that it works a lot better as a blush and even then it isn't that special as one other than the fact that it has SPF 20 in it. It's workable but I don't know if it's one that I'll be using too often.

So, I'm wondering, are you guys like me and have been moving away from drugstore products? I mean I'll still try them out but they're not my number one pick honestly. Have you guys spotted anything new in your drugstore? Or have you tried any of these products out?

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in rotation #6

12 January 2015

in rotation, bespectacled, beauty, Ardency Inn Americana Custom Coverage Concentrate, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush, Bobbi Brown Corrector, Real Techniques, Bobbi Brown Art Stick, Chanel Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Quad, Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense 18 Intense Black Honey

Lately I've managed to really streamline my routine and I'm able to get polished and ready fairly quickly. Which is extremely nice because I have very little free time to be sitting around to buffing in my makeup. I'm still testing things out so the majority of my routine has included new products but I really have been enjoying everything so far. For a base I start off with a pump of my AM moisturizer the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra with a half a pump of the Ardency Inn American Custom Coverage Concentrate. I feel like this is a great way to use up all those extra moisturizers that I have lying around and I really enjoy that I can control how much coverage I can get - half a pump with my moisturizer has a little more coverage a than a tinted mositurizer and any excess I'm able to blend under my eyes as concealer. If I need a little bit more brightening under my eyes I opt for the Bobbi Brown Correcter.

Base done, I usually go straight for eyeshadow and liner. I like the Chanel Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Quad in Tisse Rivoli quite a lot and is a bit of a departure from my normal preference of mattes. All of the shades in the quad are a little shimmery and have some glitter in it but I don't experience too much fall out from. For a quick look I usually blend the top left shade all over the eye and deepen up the corners with the bottom right shade for some definition. On days where I'm not wearing eyeshadow I will always have liner on and the Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense in Black Honey has been really lovely. Black Honey is a deep brown with some red undertones and I do really like it, it's a departure from my usual straight up brown pencils but it's a good departure.

My blush pick lately has been the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush. I don't know if it's the novelty of the product that has me reaching for it but it's quickly becoming one of my favorites. I really like the shade Luminous Flush, it adds a nice hint of color to my cheeks. I'll report back on my feelings for this later on in the month but it's definitely here to stay in my routine. And lastly, lips. I honestly switch up my lipstick everyday but in an effort to use up more of my older products I've been rotating the Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Cassis. Cassis is a deep red brown, which is a bit intense on a regular basis, so I usually end up sheering it out with my finger.

So that has been my routine lately, a bit boring with mostly new products but I am also trying to use up the older products in my collection too. Novelty has been such a big factor in what I choose to wear - I'll usually end up reaching for the newest things first and then nothing ever really ends up getting used all the way. But hopefully as I continue to add some of the older stuff to my makeup I'll be able to make a dent into some of these! Anyway, what has been in your makeup rotation lately? Any new stuff or any older stuff that you go back for?

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new in: post-Christmas shopping

06 January 2015

new in, haul, beauty, style, non-beauty, Everlane Square Zip Wallet, Zara plaid dress, Ardency Inn Americana Custom Coverage Concentrate, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Luminous Flush, Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multieffect Quadra Eyeshadow Tisse Rivoli, Moleskine planner

Like most people, I did some shopping after Christmas, because who could resist all of those sales? Before we get onto beauty, let's talk about the other items I've picked up first. I was only really tempted in one sale, Zara. I picked up this plaid shirt dress (no longer available online), which I've really enjoyed. Despite how impractical dresses can be in the winter, they're just so much easier to just throw on and get ready - I don't even have to get naked all of the way. Plus, this works with my wardrobe really well and I can picture myself wearing this into spring as well.

After coveting their basics and products for so long, I've finally purchased a few things from Everlane! I picked up two basic sweaters before this purchase and I was surprised last month when I got an email saying that I had a $20 credit as Everlane's thank you. So I put it towards this gorgeous wallet, the Everlane Square Zip Wallet (only available in white now). It's such an "adult" gift really - a wallet. But the one I was using before was this old thrifted one that was on it's last legs. I adore this wallet funny enough, it's compact and functional, and I really dig deep burgundies like this. And lastly for my non-beauty purchases: this Moleskine 2015 Planner. I'm very much a pen and paper planner kind of person, but I always forget about them halfway through the year, I'm hoping to use this quite a lot and just organize myself a bit better.

new in, haul, beauty, Ardency Inn American Custom Coverage Concentrate, Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multieffect Quadra Eyeshadow, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Luminous Flush

I'm actually really excited about my beauty purchases so far this month because I've ended up really liking everything so far! First is the Ardency Inn Americana Custom Coverage Concentrate. The premise of this product is all about being able to control how much or little coverage you want. You mix a bit of this with a water based moisturizer, mix, and apply. Depending on the coverage you want you can apply more or less of the concentrate and honestly a little goes a long way. I've been adding the tiniest bit, maybe a quarter of a pump, with my moisturizer and apply like a tinted moisturizer. After I've applied what I want on my face I go in and use the left over mix as a concealer under my eyes. It's a really interesting product and I'm still testing it, but it looks promising so far. I have the shade Medium Golden, which is a good match for me.

I've also delved into higher end beauty as well: I don't know why I was coveting the Chanel Les 4 Ombres Multieffect Quadra Eyeshadow in 226 Tisse Rivoli but I caved and picked it up and oh my god is it nice. Pigmentation, lasting power, neutrals? It's really lovely. And then, I realized I've become one of those people - a hoarder of neutral eyeshadow palettes. I'll stick to these smaller palettes for now at least. But man, my first Chanel beauty purchase and it turned out to be good 'un. And of course I had to pick up something else in a category I've started to really get into: blush. And why not go with something obvious like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush. Did I need this? No. But like the Chanel quad, I saw it on somewhere and suddenly I had to have it. While I don't think it's as revolutionary as some people have made it out to be, I honestly think it's a nice blush and will probably end up using this exclusively this month.

So, what about you guy? Did you take advantage of any after Christmas sales? I'd love to know what you've picked up recently!

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top 10 of 2014

01 January 2015

top beauty products of 2014, beauty, skincare, Roses de Chloe, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette, Clinique Chubby Stick, Makeup Forever HD Blush, YSL Kiss & Blush, MAC See Sheer Lipstick, Dior Diorskin Nude Concealer, Lip Glow, LUSH Ultrabland

Happy new year! I personally love the beginning of every month because 1) my work load is much lighter and I have more free time to work on other things and 2) it feels like a fresh start to things! So I'm a big fan of letting go of 2014 and welcoming 2015 with open arms. But first, let's look back at my top 10 products (in no particular order) from last year!

1. Roses de Chloe EDT: This is my very first perfume purchase and an absolutely lovely scent. I like things that are a bit lighter and fresh smelling, not at all overpowering, and this is right up my alley.
2. LUSH Ultrabland: This has really changed the way I look at removing makeup and skincare in general, you can read a full review here. I've definitely fallen in love with LUSH skincare - I own three products now!
3. Clinique Chubby Stick: My most worn lipstick of all time, this is such an easy to wear formula. Am actually planning to pick up more in the future!
4. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: I hate the phrase "holy grail" for describing your favorite makeup products but this is my holy grail tinted moisturizer.
5. YSL Kiss & Blush: My current top favorite lip & cheek product - it works well in both fronts!
6. Dior Lip Glow: I'm all about the easy-to-wear kind of products and this is absolutely perfect. I can rave on and on about the powers that are the Dior Lip Glow, but I'm sure you've already heard from me already.
7. Urban Decay Naked Basics: Like a good pair of jeans or a cozy sweater, this eyeshadow palette will always have a place in my collection. If I only had one eyeshadow palette it would most likely be this one.
8. MAC See Sheer: My second most used lipstick! This and the Clinique Chubby Stick really changed my mind about lipsticks and started my obsession!
9. Make Up For Ever HD Blush: I adore cream blushes, but it's hard to find one that actually sticks around on the cheeks. The MUFE HD blushes work like a dream with excellent staying power - I'd definitely like to add one or two more to my repertoire.
10. Diorskin Nude Concealer: I keep buying concealers and I keep going back to this one. As a constant sufferer of dry skin, not all concealers can look flattering on the under eye area. This really does the trick for me on those days where my skin has given up on me!

Resolutions wise I'd like to try and stick to purchasing only five or fewer beauty products every month and try and resurrect the monthly five plan I had started a few months back. And I want to try and use up the products I already have. Whenever anything new comes out I'm usually all over it, but some of my old favorites end up getting chucked in the back and it's really such a shame! But anyway, I hope you guys had an excellent New Years and I hope to see you guys more in 2015!

So, what were some of your top products in 2015? Do you have any beauty resolutions

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