things I like #2

13 April 2015

bespectacled, things I like, beauty, style, life, L'Oreal La Palette Nude 2, Zara, Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm, Dior Addict Lipstick 353 Blush, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner

1. The first thing on my list of things that I like isn't actually pictured here because I only have a digital copy, but it's been the game Bloodborne. It's kind of hard to describe the Souls games (of which this is a part of) other than that they're challenging. There are hundreds of ways to die and the game does not give you too many hints, it's definitely unlike other games out there. I also really like the aesthetic of Bloodborne - it's sort of gothic and steam punk with lots of horror elements. Haven't quite finished it, I'm fighting a boss called The One Reborn, but I've really enjoyed it so far!

2. Another non-beauty like and it's the podcast Radiolab. And oh my god, why haven't I listened to this before? As someone who loves to learn new thigns, Radiolab definitely introduces a wide variety of topics with different takes on them. I honestly learn something new every podcast and I really love it.

3. I didn't think pinky toned neutral eyeshadows were going to be something I liked, but the L'Oreal La Palette Nude 2 exceeds expectations. The only thing that annoys me is that it's definitely a bulky palette, which is annoying because from what I've seen from UK bloggers, it seems much sleeker. Otherwise, I think the quality of the shadows are pretty good and it's been fun experimenting! Other beauty things include: Dior Addict Lipstick in 353 Blush, the Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm and the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel-Eyeliner.

4. Unfortunately sold out, this Zara Chambray Button Up with Orange Polk Dots has been seriously worn a lot lately. The shirt is light weight so it's perfect for the season and I think it can work in the office and outside it depending on what else you wear with it. I don't like having clothes that are straight up "just for work", so I think something like this that can go from business to casual depending on your bottoms is perfect.

What are some of the things that you've been liking lately?

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on my reading list

09 April 2015

the reading list, bespectacled, life

I have to admit, being out of school has really affected my reading habits. Before, I would inhale whatever book I could get my hands on, whether it was for the joy of reading or as a means of procrastinating from school work, I had bookmarks in tons of books. But now, being a few years out of school, I find myself really struggling to sit down and just read a book. My bookshelves are filled with partially read and some unopened novels, which keeps growing bigger and bigger without me actually making too much progress into finishing any of them.

Don't get me wrong, I love to read and I do read everyday (I mean fanfiction totally counts, right?) but sometimes I feel like I don't have the time to just read a damn book.

And of course, like most people of the 21st century, I turned to Google to help me with my problems.

After following several links I found exactly what I was looking for in Ryan Holiday's aptly-named article on "How to Read More", and it was like a light bulb went off in my head. In it, Holiday I think the idea that we can solve our problems through reading is extremely poetic and a lovely one (after all, reading and writing are not new phenomenon: we have thousands of years of knowledge right at our fingertips, and whose to say that the answer to our problems aren't hidden somewhere in some book?) But the biggest thing I gleaned from this article was that getting yourself to read more is more of mental shift than an actual shift in your time. In actuality, I have more time than I think I do. I always give myself free time before I go into work and while that's normally spent on my phone, why couldn't I just change my priority from my phone over to my long list of to-reads?

For me, reading books weren't really high on my list of priorities. But for some reason, checking the same five websites, Instagram, and Twitter were? But I think that shift in attitude was all I needed to get me back into reading (and honestly, blogging) again.

Now I find myself just giving myself that time to read again. I don't know what problems a book about a police officer turned wizard-apprentice, a book on Henrietta Lacks and her famous cells, a book on physics, and a book about the history of the human body, can help me solve, but I am really looking forward to figuring it out.

So, what's on your reading list? Do you find yourself having trouble making time to read? What are some of your favorite genres?

1. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
3. The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene
4. The Universe Within by Neil Shubin

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quarterly favorites

06 April 2015

quarterly favorites, NARS Radiant Compact Foundation, Target Up&Up Blush Brush, Make Up For Ever HD Blush 310, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Luminous Flush, Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Color Healthy Lips, Becca Ultimate Coverage Concealing Creme Honeycomb, Lush Celestial Moisturizer, The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream, Everlane The Crew Sweatshirt Grey Marled

I know, I know, it's been a entire month since my last post. Honestly I have no good excuses, but I think I'll save you guys the trouble and just jump into the products that I've really enjoyed using over the last three months. I think I like the quarterly favorites system a bit better - these are all products that are solid favorites and not ones that I'll like now and then ditch for a new one. First off is a new base product. Having perpetually dry skin (even during the warmer months) means my skin looks pretty matte for the most part, so I enjoy products that make my skin look a little glowy. And I think the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation does just that. I apply with the Real Techniques sponge and it gives a nice sheer coverage but with a subtle radiance to the skin. It's not one of the more popular NARS foundation picks, but I totally dig this.

Blush wise I have two picks, both of which are oldies but goodies - the Make Up For Ever HD Blush in 310 and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush. I actually haven't bought a new blush in forever and I think these will probably carry on into spring and summer as well. Although I'm definitely eying the new shades in the Clinique Pop Blush line. For application I've been mostly using this Target Up & Up Blush brush. For such an inexpensive brush the quality of it is pretty nice. While I like the Real Techniques offering, it's obnoxiously big and a little annoying to carry around.

Believe me, I'm a little surprised that I've only picked one lipstick to include in my favorites, but I do think it's a good one. The Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Colour in Healthy Lips is a sheer rosy shade that's very comfortable and is a little hydrating on the lips. It's not the most exciting or ground breaking lipstick in the world, but it's definitely a no-fuss kind of shade. Plus it works in the office too - just a nice all a rounder. I forgot to include the Korres Wild Rose Lip Butter, but that is also a favorite from these last few months. Can you tell that I'm totally into rosy shades?

Concealer wise, this Becca Ultimate Coverage Concealing Creme is new, which I picked up in early February. A little bit goes a long way with this product and even though I've been using it almost everyday I wear makeup, I've barely put a dent in it. It's creamy and opaque and doesn't really settle too much in the fine lines under my eyes. And the staying power is definitely nothing to laugh at, I think it wears really well throughout the day and by the time I go to remove it I think there's still a decent amount holding on. While I find creamy concealers like this to be a little drying especially over more liquid concealers, as long as I prep the under eye area well I think it works for me. Another Becca pick that I really enjoy!

My skin is always dry, but in the winter (I mean, if you can call 60 degree Fahrenheit highs, "winter") it's a little bit more annoying to deal with because of all the flakes and just feeling generally uncomfortable. This is true for both my face and hands, so LUSH Celestial and the The Body Shop Almond Hand & Hail Cream have been real life savers. With things warming up however, I find the thick and slow to sink in quality of Celestial to be a bit much even though I really liked it in the winter time. Definitely a great moisturizer if you don't mind the texture. I'm not really a shopper of The Body Shop but this hand cream is a blogger favorite and I really wanted to try it out. I'm actually glad I did because it's a really nice formula and the smell is nice. I'm an avid hand washer and am always in the need of a little more moisture throughout the day.

And lastly, are you surprised to see a gray top featured here? I swear gray colored tops make up the bulk of my wardrobe. But I think the Everlane Crew Sweatshirt in Gray Marled is a special one because I think the quality is excellent. The fabric is nice and soft and is the perfect thickness, which makes it a good piece for transitioning between hot and cold weather. And I can picture myself wearing this year round really and I hope they'll expand their color range as well!

I know I'm bad at updating, but I actually have some posts scheduled! This blog isn't dead, but I am trying to figure out how to blog and work while still making time for my other hobbies as well. Thank you to everyone who has stuck around, I hope I'll be able to keep up with the posting. Anyway, what are your some of favorite products? Do you like monthly or quarterly favorites better?

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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 fanfiction.net, 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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