Where the Hell was I: Goal Update

So my OCD and Depression got the better of me in the months of July and August. I’m not going to sugarcoat that in any post. However, I’m getting better now and I’m on medicine that works instead of flying solo.  That being said, I did make a huge amount of progress towards my goals and I want to share that progress. I also want to encourage anyone who has similar issues to seek help or even comment/ send me a message if you want to talk about anything.

Job: I was hired and then consequentially let go from my job because of an injury I received to my hand. I severed two tendons in my pinky and underwent hand surgery. I have the splint off my hand now and I’m going to physical therapy appointments to get my range of motion back. Despite all this, I still have some possibilities lined up for a job after my treatment is through and I actually quite excited about them. Much more excited than I was about my previous employment situation. 🙂 So take that, previous employer (excuse my bitterness, please)!

GREs: I decided once and for all that I want to be a Mental Health Counselor. I scheduled my GREs test date for the 4th of November and I’m studying the Math (and other sections) like hell. This time around I’m in a good place to actively work towards my goals and I’m really getting there. Thankfully a couple of schools won’t need my test scores but I’m still going to do as well as I can.

Cooking: I couldn’t cook with my splint/ brace on but I hope to get back into it (trust me, I tried and cracked a couple of eggs on the counter by mistake). I made rice balls a couple of months ago and I’d like to try making different flavored ones now. And master how in the fuck you’re supposed to use a rice maker.

Transportation: I’m doing rather well on this front. I got a new health insurance that helps me get me to appointments and I have more freedom. I also made friends that help me get places and give me a great sense of peace. I’m very happy to be where I am right now and to get focused on getting my license. Thank goodness for MassHealth.

Volunteering/ Classes: I’m applying to seven schools in the Massachusetts area. I’ve already asked for recommendations and I’m getting a draft of my personal statement done. My aim is to start my MA/ PHD/ or MSW in Fall 2018. I’m really doing this.

I’m also taking a bread making class starting in October. I’m beyond excited for that as well. 🙂 I always wanted to learn how to make homemade bread with my hands. Plus I get to bring my creations home!

Dating: I have some stuff going on on this front. Nothing too much because I’m really taking recovery first. Mostly I’m excited that I’ve been making friends and enjoying life again.

That’s it! What are your goals for the month and how have you been doing? Also, I’ll have quite a few hauls/ review posts coming up soon for both skincare and makeup.

 

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June: New Findings and Favorites

June has been a trying month and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I’m happy (though somewhat nostalgic since it’s the first month since I’ve received my BA) that this month is coming to a close. Here are my favorite things from this month that helped keep me sane.

Recipes:

My go to cookie recipe for whenever I’m in a bad mood (that’s when I bake) is this Soft Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe. The taste of these cookies make me feel like I’ve done something right in my life. I feel like a baking god even though all I do is follow the recipe. If 24 cookies is too much for you, halve the recipe or freeze/ refrigerate some of the dough.

Alternatively, since I’m a vegetarian I eat a lot of alternative protein sources like tofu. This Crispy Tofu Recipe leads to wonderful tasting tofu (I know, that’s an oxymoron for a lot of people) that can be combined with many-a-dish for a satisfying meat free meal. You can even make tacos with these tofu bits.

Clothing:

I’m waiting on a clothing haul I ordered but my current favorite item that I wear everyday is this Floppy Sun Hat from Amazon in the color beige. I’m serious about my sun protection and this hat makes me feel more secure walking around outside after my sunscreen has doubtlessly worn off (because if I’m wearing makeup I find it hard to reapply every two hours as directed).

Beverages:

This one is simple: Polar water. Get it in your favorite flavor from Walmart, grocery stores, etc and rejoice in water that tastes almost like soda but has zero calories. This might be the lazy person’s approach to getting enough water, but it has made my water drinking go up exponentially. My favorite flavors are the limited addition Strawberry Sunrise and Pineapple Grapefruit.

Media:

I’m used to reading 200+ books a year but this year got off to a shaky start with numerous health problems, stresses, etc. so I haven’t read a lot at all. However, I started reading again because I was able to find a new combined addition of a series from one of my favorite authors N.K. Jemisin, called The Dreamblood Duology. She’s an awesome sci-fi writer who is really expanding the genre as far as inclusivity, quality, and world-building goes. The last book in her The Broken Earth trilogy, The Stone Sky is coming out in August and I couldn’t be more excited.

As far as TV goes, I recently watched the Handmaid’s Tale and the second season of Sense8. Both were fantastic. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the few TV shows/ movies that I felt added to it’s source material instead of detracting from it and it explored dystopian terror in the way that I feel is highly relevant to America’s current political atmosphere (despite the fact that the book was written in the 80s, though the show was altered to take place in modern times).

Sense8 was just a wonderful, highly dynamic show to watch. The relationships, depiction of people from all different races, walks of life, and sexualities gave me a feeling a hope while I watched it. It was also a sci-fi show, which made it extra enjoyable for me. Thankfully, even though the show got canceled, it’s coming back for a feature length movie.

Beauty:

I haven’t been wearing that many products this month, and definitely not many new ones. My go-tos have been mainly lip products because my lips are so chapped during the summer months.

Fresh’s Lip Treatment SPF in Berry and Jack Black’s SPF Lip Balm have been my two spf lip balms, my choice varying on whether or not I want some tint or a clear balm for underneath makeup. Smith’s Mocha Rose  is my favorite all-round lip balm because it smells so good.

My newest lipstick that I’d been coveting for awhile and finally purchased is Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Dragonfruit because I love the name and the beautiful, summery, magenta/violet color for the warm months.

My favorite eye product in recent memory (that seriously packs a punch) is  Stilla’s Magnificent Metals Liquid Eyeshadow in Diamond Dust. It’s a lovely product that makes my eyes sparkle to the high heavens and I’ve never worn anything that got me more compliments on my eye look (I usually pair it with shadows from The Modern Renaissance Palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills but it can definitely be worn alone). Just make sure you use glitter glue. All of the shades in this line are amazing and I’m looking to purchase Sunset Cove in the near future to create a perfect mermaid eye.

Dries Van Noten par Frederic Malle was a graduation gift and it’s my favorite fragrance of all time. To me it smells like a french bakery. I can’t get enough of it. I keep it on my new vanity in view of my bed so I can stare at the bottle.

I’ve found my favorite Etsy shop called the Tattoorary which makes a whole bunch of beautiful temporary tattoos in various prints/ patterns and designs. My current favorite is this vintage floral design which looks very similar to something I want permanently tattooed on me in the near future. Right now I’m ordering these to figure out where I might want something permanently placed, if I truly like the idea of ink on my body, and simply to have fun.

That about wraps it up. What were your favorite products/ items over the past couple of months?

 

 

Interview, Diploma, and Home Troubles: Goal Update

This is going to be an extremely candid post.

My family and I don’t get along. My struggles with OCD, eating, depression, and anxiety frustrate my family, especially my mother. Until recently, my father didn’t believe in mental health issues and it took several discussions with doctors and several (repeated) second and third opinions/ official diagnoses to get him understand. My mom has her own problems but never has been able to understand why certain things are difficult for me because they aren’t difficult for her. She heavily disputes my need for medication but wonders why things start to go wrong when I’m not on it. Her expressed opinion is that my disorders make her life more difficult, she didn’t do anything to deserve this, and her behavior generally consists of her and my brother repeatedly mocking me. Despite her opinion of me, she has always resented that I moved so far away to go to school because she feels a lot of my problems could’ve been avoided if she were there to ‘watch over me’.

None of this is to say I don’t love them or that I don’t contribute to issues in my family.  I’m definitely not always perfect or right, and things have been extremely tense recently. It’s just to say that my current situation isn’t a healthy environment for me and I should’ve never moved home, despite my parents insistence that things would be different and they would help me get healthy. Only my Father has been making an effort and to be honest, I still resent him for his previous beliefs and accusations about me being weak, making up my mental state, and purposely sabotaging my family. He has since admitted that his previous attitudes were incorrect but has never apologized and frequently says similar things when he is angry at me.

That is my current living situation, which might help to explain my current lack of enthusiasm for being out of school because despite whatever stress I was experiencing there, I wasn’t alone and I came home to a peaceful environment. Still, despite all this, I’ve made some progress with a few of my goals.

Job: I just came back from an interview I almost didn’t go to. I haven’t been feeling well recently and my parents and I have been fighting nonstop so I wasn’t very hopeful that the interview would amount to anything for me. Still, I went to the interview, was told that I was a good fit for the job, and that I would hear back for sure within the week. While it’s great that the interview didn’t go crappy and that I genuinely liked the manager and the atmosphere of the store, I’m a bit worried. First of all, I need a job really soon/ already needed one, the work while seemingly enjoyable, doesn’t relate to my grad school plans in the slightest, and I don’t know if I’ll get hired. Honestly, there aren’t many opportunities for employment (or otherwise) around where I live and I’m gratified for the opportunity to interview there and would love to be employed, but I’m distressed that all of the other places that have offered me interviews for jobs that relate to my field of study were too far away for me to commute. I really should get over this, but there is little more embarrassing to me personally than when someone asks me what I’m doing now that I’ve graduated and I have to tell them a) I’m looking for employment after recovering him an illness and b) that I’m seeking employment in an area that is not at all related to what I spent four years getting my degree in and it’s not by choice. The looks of pity, verbally expressed disapproval, questions about how well I did in school if I haven’t been able to find a job (actually, I did very well, thank you) are too much for me. I hate that my current situation is most likely going to look like that for the next two years of my life because grad school keeps getting postponed.

GRE and LSATS: I was extremely discouraged this past week since it felt like all my efforts were fruitless and going to amount to nothing so I haven’t been doing any studying at all. I hope to start again today. Testing and writing have always been two things I’ve been good at but it’s been hard to focus.

Cooking: I ran out of most of my food and need to purchase more. When I was feeling really sad, I foolishly lapsed into some disordered behaviors and threw away a package of my food thinking ‘if it’s not here I can’t eat it and gain weight’. Yep, that’s completely my fault. I also made cookies for myself and my family but my mom didn’t want any and tried to throw those out before my dad rescued them.

Transportation: I’m ordered a bike today so I can leave my house more, exercise, and avoid dealing with my family.

Volunteering/ Classes: Same as last week (no progress), but if I can get a job soon, I have hope that I’ll be able to look into something .

Furniture: I now have a bed, box spring, chair, chest of drawers, and vanity that I’ve purchased. I still need to paint my walls so I can’t unpack, but it’s nice to have places to put my things in the future.

Dating: I don’t feel much like leaving my house, talking to any of my old friends, or much less like going on a date. I’ve had a few seat up, but I never end up making the final plans. I don’t imagine I’d have much to talk about with my life being a certifiable mess so I’m just going to stay out of that for a long time. I also don’t look anywhere near my best atm.

That’s about it! Sorry for the depressing update. I hope next week will be better and I’ll feel more encouraged to write a better post. 🙂

 

 

Transportation Troubles: A Goal Update

A week ago I wrote  a post enthusiastically (perhaps a little too enthusiastic given the circumstances) describing my immediate future goals. I’ve decided that every week I’m going to write a post that tracks my goal progress, provided of course, I have any updates. Thankfully, this week I’ve made some progress.

LSAT and GRE prep: Going well. I set up a study program to cover my testing weak points and strengthen my strong points. I’m pretty confident about this test and I plan to take it in the early days of August (giving myself enough time to retake it if need be). I got my LSAT Kaplan book in the mail late on Sunday and I’ve given it a precursory look over. The test doesn’t look anywhere near as difficult as I thought it would be. I need to set up a study plan for this test and get past my Mother’s not so shocking disbelieve in my future.

Job Progress: I sent in more job applications, have another one set to mail, and secured two interviews so far. However, I can’t make it to those interviews because one job is too far away and the other isn’t a good fit. Honestly, I’m a bit discouraged but I hope that I’ll get more interview opportunities soon.

Furniture: I have two solid wood bookcases that were gifted to me and a lamp I purchased at Walmart. I’ve also chosen a light peach shade for my room and I’m painting this weekend. However, I haven’t been able to find a mattress, which is by far the most important piece of furniture I have on my list to secure. I need a damn mattress soon or I’m never going to get a good night’s sleep.

The Transportation issue: Abysmal. I can’t buy a bike until I get a mattress, I have no one to teach me how to drive, and I can’t afford a driving class until I have a job. It doesn’t help that a lot of jobs have ‘driver licensed required’ under the list of job descriptions. A mess.

Cooking: Haven’t been able to find my old recipe books yet, but I’ve had a few tests that tell me my liver is healthy again. I’m able to drink wine again. Nothing seems so bad with a little bit of cheap alcohol and a lack of body pain/ weakness. I’m now an expert on cooking firm tofu too.

Volunteering and Community College Classes: No progress without transportation or a job. However, I am getting my BA diploma delivered soon. It should be here on Friday. Thank you Cornell, for whatever it’s worth.

Extra: Online dating. My Mother really wants me to be dating again (despite having ended  a relationship less than a month ago) and she wants me to shell out a ton of money for a pay site like EHarmony or Match.com because she thinks ‘more quality people pay more money’. I’m not really interested. My experiment with Okcupid has already been enough for me… despite having 350 people ‘interested’ in me, I get a lot of messages about ‘taming monsters’ (don’t ask), how hot or alternatively, how ‘very aesthetically appealing my facial features are’ (a direct quote), messages that made it clear the guy didn’t bother to read my profile, messages crediting Joss Whedon with the creation of feminism (I love Buffy too but it’s definitely not the ‘reason for feminism’), and messages describing how a guy I’ve only said hi to will treat me right. All and all a waste of time.

 

 

Cruelty Free Makeup in Every Category

I went Vegetarian almost two years ago and I decided to go cruelty free with my makeup purchases six months after that. Six months later in the summer of 2016 I decided to purchase non-cruelty free makeup again.  Why? A lot of cruelty free makeup companies aren’t available at the drugstore and many cruelty free makeup companies are owned by companies that test on animals. Additionally, many of the ingredients in cruelty free makeup have been tested on animals and therefore, consist of ingredients that have benefited from the ability to test on animals (a fact which many companies don’t advertise). Some of these ingredients are also  known to be harmful to both humans and animals. It seemed to me to be a on-win-situation. Still, most of the makeup I purchase is cruelty free because despite my cynicism and research, I do believe in an individual’s power to make informed purchasing power and I don’t agree with animal cruelty. However, I’m not here to say what’s right or wrong, even as I’m strongly considering making the decision to go cruelty free again. There are a lot of factors that go into that decision, including wealth, accessibility, safety, and personal beliefs, which mean that I am most definitely not going to sit here and say that cruelty free is the way to go for everyone without considering all factors involved. What I am going to do is offer some well researched options and allow you to make your own decisions based on what you are looking for in makeup. Each category includes affordable options.

SPF: One thing I will always say no matter what is don’t ignore sun protection. Don’t do it.

Elta MD makes great chemical and physical SPFs and is cruelty free

Glossier’s Invisible Shield is  a good chemical SPF that doesn’t break me out, is good for sensitive skin, and is colorless.

CeraVe has as SPF, cruelty free options in a variety of formulas.

Moisturizer:

I exclusively use CeraVe’s night time PM moisturizer or Moisturizing Lotion. They’re fantastic options that haven’t failed me yet.

Primer:

Elf has several good primers that are effective and cheap but my favorite is NYX’s Pore Filler. It’s identical to Benefit’s Porefessional and genuinely works.

Foundation/ Base:

Nar’s Radiant Tinted Moisturizer has SPF 30 and comes in a variety of colors with a beautiful finish.

Wet N Wild’s Photofocus line comes in 20 shades and looks beautiful and subtle on the skin. My favorite traditional foundation I’ve ever tried. Very affordable

Concealer/ Correctors:

Nar’s Radiant Creamy Concealer is quite beautiful for all over the skin and for highlighting

Glossier’s stretch concealer is great for undereyes and dry skin. Limited shade options.

Wet n Wild’s Photofocus Concealer is another great option for undereyes and spot concealing. Once again, very affordable. Only six shade options. For correctors, try Wet n Wild’s Cushion Correctors in yellow, green, peach, or lavender for your specific skin concerns.

Blush:

Wet n Wild makes great, pigmented (sometimes too pigmented in my opinion so be careful), and extremely affordable blushes.

Glossier’s Cloud Paints are seamless and undetectable on the skin. A liquid/ cream formula.

Nyx’s HD blushes are my favorite affordable blushes, my favorite being the shade Pink in Town.

Nar’s powder blushes are the best and most impactful blushes I have ever tried.

Also try Bite Beauty’s Multisticks for some highend, cream to powder, mutlitasking color.

Bronzer:

Any of Physician’s Formula’s bronzers, but especially the Butter Bronzer. It smells like coconut and is a creamy, powder formula. Unfortunately this line comes in extremely limited shade options (for the most part light and medium).

I also enjoy Wet n Wild’s Cafe au Slay cushion bronzer for a darker, more red tone. And their contour palettes which are a dupe for more Marc Jacob’s expensive contour palettes.

Highlight:

Nyx makes great highlights in cream, powder, and liquid formulas. Highly recommended, especially the Duo Chromatic line.

Elf’s baked highlighters are beautiful if you work with them a little. Scrape off the first layer of product and they work like a dream.

Glossier’s Haloscopes are beautiful and faultless when it comes to minimal makeup. They leave a wet/ glossy look on the face.

Wet n Wild’s cushion highlight is a light pinky shade that is a dupe for Benefit’s High Beam.

Try Essence’s Pure Nude Highlight for an affordable, glow-from-within powder highlight.

Powders:

Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Powders in any shade are a great setting/ finishing powder for all skin types and won’t emphasize dry patches.

Physician Formula’s  SPF powders are another great setting and refreshing/ oil-soaking option.

Lipsticks:

Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche Line is highly pigmented, great smelling, and my favorite line of lipsticks ever.

All of NYX’s lipsticks which come in a variety of colors and finishes. My favorite lines are their soft-matte lip creams, matte lipsticks, butter cream lipsticks, and round lipsticks.

Wet n Wild’s Catsuit Liquid Lipsticks are some of my favorite Liquid Lipsticks of all time, especially the shades Missy and Fierce and Berry Recognize.

All of Colourpop’s lipstick formulas. Highly affordable with limitless options. Seriously, try these out.

Lipgloss:

Glossier’s clear lipgloss is fu**ing beautiful and isn’t  goopy. I love it and it lasts as long as a lipgloss can last.

Nyx’s butter and intense butter lipgloss. The original butter lipglosses are very juicy and come in a variety of colors. Great for nude glosses The butter lipgloss formula is thicker and more intense. My favorite shades are Oatmeal Raisin and Toasted Marshmallow.

Lipliner:

I lover both Colourpop’s and  Wet n Wild’s lipliners for less drying finished that stay forever. Nyx’s Slide on Lip Pencils are also a beautiful option (especially the shade Nude Suede Shoes).

Eyeshadows

Nyx and Colourpop make my favorite singles in many different shades and finishes. I also love Urban Decay’s singles for a more expensive option.

Too Faced Eyeshadow palettes (particularly their Natural Eye Palette and Sweet Peach Palette) are my favorites all around. The Natural Eye palette is more cool-toned while the Sweet Peach Palette is warm toned.

Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Modern Renaissance Palette was well worth the money and has incredibly pigmented shadows. The red shades are my favorites.

Wet n Wild’s Color Icon Palettes are a highly pigmented, affordable option. Try Walking on Eggshells for a more natural, but lovely option, to see what I mean.

Eyeliner:

For liquid I love Physician Formula’s 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum for a more shiny finish and Nyx’s Epic Ink Liner for a more matte finish. Both are perfect for a cat eye.

Urban Decay makes my favorite pencil eyeliners for definition. My favorite shade is a brown called Whiskey.

Eyebrow Pencils and Gel:

Glossier’s Boy Brow in Brown is my all time favorite brow product. It plumps the brows, tints them, sets them, and applies in seconds. I wear this along all the time.

For eyebrow pencils, try Nyx’s Micro Brow Pencil (truly a quality, though not always a color dupe, for Anastasia Beverley Hill’s brow pencils). However, my favorite cruelty- free brow pencil for my brows is Elf’s two dollar brow pencil in Neutral Brown. Their eye brow powder/ gel duos are also fantastic and easy to use.

Mascara: 

This is the area in which I have the least experience. All my favorite mascaras aren’t cruelty free. However, I’ve read and heard amazing things about Wet n Wild’s Lash Renegade and Essence’s Princess Lash Mascara. Both are incredibly affordable and I will be purchasing them after my current mascara’s run out.

Setting Spray: Elf’s Makeup Mist and Set and Wet n Wild’s Photofocus setting Spray are great options to refresh and take away the powdery look of makeup. Also NYX’s Dewy Setting Spray to enhance the longevity of makeup.

Brushes/ Sponges: I exclusively use Wet n Wild, Elf, Real Techniques, and EcoTools brushes. All are affordable, as are the Real Techniques Sponges and the EcoTools sponges (my current favorites).

Thank you for reading! What are your favorite cruelty free products? My next step is trying some of Etsy’s affordable, indie, cruelty free makeup brands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Berry Colored Lipsticks

Lipsticks are my favorite makeup product. I love being able to change how my face looks so easily simply by swiping a coat on and running out of the house. As much as I like eye shadow and have been wearing it for longer, it’s harder to master. Wearing lipstick just requires knowing what you like, color wise and finish wise, and then taking a minute or so it put it on. Nothing else. I wear lipstick, tinted moisturizer, concealer (sometimes without the TM), and mascara alone all the time and don’t feel any less put together. The look possibilities are also nearly limitless. Changing the color of your lips, even subtly, brings out different colors in your face and different features. It’s my miracle product.

My favorite shade of lipstick is berry. There’s a photo of me somewhere in a family scrapbook that shows me at 3-4 years old in a green and white daisy dress, with hair down to my waist, and the most beautiful wine color on my lips (most definitely applied by my aunt who was only 10 or 11 at the time). It’s the most flattering shade I’ve ever seen (in my opinion) and I’ve spent a significant amount of time trying to duplicate it. Needless to say, I have more berry lipsticks than I need. Here are my favorites in no particular order (it was too hard to decide):

Affordable:

Maybelline’s Blissful Berry (410) is the first lipstick I purchased with my own money (it wasn’t a reject from my Mother’s makeup collection). My Mom helped me pick it out at the end of my sophomore year of college. It’s a basic cream lipstick that’s a cool tone medium purple color that might pull more of a deeper berry-pink if your lips are darker/ more pigmented. It was the only lipstick I wore for months and I still wear it fairly often now… despite knowing that I should get a replacement. Now I like my berries with a little more red (like almost a wine stain), but I still think that it’s beautiful.

L’oreal Zoe’s Red is my favorite affordable lipstick. Unfortunately, I think its been discontinued, which sucks but that won’t keep more from checking stores and trying to find it before they all disappear. This shade is a more satin-matte (not completely matte but not quite satin either) deeper, but still cooler tone, red-berry. It’s labeled a red, and might appear more red on deeper skin tones, but on me it’s somewhere between a red and a berry, resembling the color of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignon on my lips. It makes me really happy and I wear it and it’s one of my favorite colors to wear to an event or with only mascara. The wear time is great for a more traditional lipstick. I find that I don’t have to reapply during the day because the color takes awhile to wear and it wears evenly if my lips aren’t chapped.

Wet n Wild’s Berry Recognize is another more purple-medium-berry shade in one of my favorite liquid lipstick lines. It has more red in it than blissful berry and is matte, but I don’t find it drying at all and I love the intensity and smoothness of the pigmentation. I wear this quite often. It stays for forever, but on my lips, does transfer (to be fair absolutely everything, from the driest of the dry formulas transfers on me). However, it transfers way less than anything else I own.

NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague is described as a ‘matte merlot’ on NYX’s website, which implies that it’s more red and wine colored than I find it to be on my lips. On me, it’s more of a medium berry pink with one layer, and a bit darker of a berry with another layer. That doesn’t mean I don’t love this color or this line of products. I own nine of the soft matte lip creams in total and find this shade in particular to be one of the best formulated out of what I’ve purchased. I love it so much I brought it with me when I went to Prague (I know, I’m cheesy) and I’m wearing it right now.  I think this color is the most universally flattering on my list.

Honor Mention: NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen is the most perfect Berry-Plum color. I love this color/sahde more than anything I have on this list. Unfortunately, the formula is streaky for me. Maybe it’s just the one I purchased, but I don’t wear it very often despite loving the color when I can get it to apply properly. All of the other colors I own from this line apply smoothly and aren’t nearly as drying as this one. Still, if you can get this shade to work, it’s beautiful.

 

High End:

Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick in Salon RD 305 is my most used lipstick because it’s super old and one of the colors my Mom gave me from a sample kit quite a few years ago. Let’s just say I wore this to a Winter Formal in High School and it’s one of the few lipsticks I liked at the time (I hate how lipstick looked on me until around the time I turned 19). It’s described as a deep berry but it’s really more of a medium berry red in a satin-creme formula. I adore this shade (if you can’t tell by how long I’ve kept it) and I’m terrified of it running out.

Urban Decay’s Venom is described as a bright-plum  in a cream finish and it’s exactly that. More of medium color because of it’s brightness, but it’s deeper in tone than most of the colors on this list. I bought it on my 20th birthday before Urban Decay discontinued it’s Revolution Line but kept this shade as a part of it’s Vice line. It’s the first high end lipstick that I purchased and I wear it mostly on special occasions (it’s my favorite Christmas shade) or when I’, feeling particularly dark. I usually don’t wear this alone without eye makeup because I love how it looks with other cool-toned colors, but it’s extremely stunning.

Sephora’s Truth or Dare is a satin finish berry-wine. It’s not quite drugstore price at $12.50 but it’s definitely not anywhere near the most expensive on this list. It’s a beautiful color with an impressive formula that isn’t drying, provides the perfect amount of shine without being glossy, and wears for hours. I don’t have anything negative to say about this color because it’s extremely flattering, wearable, and relatively inexpensive. I wear it quite often.

Bite Beauty’s Beetroot is a bold reddish berry that’s a new favorite of mine. Bite makes my favorite lipstick formula ever. The whole line smells fantastic (but subtle), wears for hours (I didn’t need to apply Beetroot at all), is creamy, non-streaky, and comes in the most beautiful and richly saturated shades. This color is a bit more vampy than some of the other colors on the list, which makes it perfect for me and one of my favorites.

Extra Special Mentions (my two favorites):

These are both beautiful, high end lipstick that were discontinued. I didn’t think it was fair to put them with the rest of the lipsticks because they’ve been out of stores for years. Unfortunately, they’re also my two favorites.

Bite Beauty’s Kir Royale is part of their discontinued Luminous Creme line and  is described by the brand as a bold berry/ wine. It comes across as that on my lips. On people with deeper skin tones, it appears to come off pinker and lighter. I don’t know if that’s because the one I have was a part of a limited edition holiday duo set (it’s a mini size that came with a lipgloss with the same name), but nevertheless it’s still a berry and it’s gorgeous. I wear this far more than I should considering that I’ll never be able to get a hold of it again but I can’t bring myself to stop. It looks great on it’s own and with brown and gold eyeshadows especially. I wore it on my 21st birthday, to countless parties, to class, etc, and I’m never tired of how creamy the formula is, of the smell,  graceful wear, or  it’s opacity. I’m also extremely fond of lipsticks named after alcoholic beverages. This is another shade (like Prague) that I think is pretty universally flattering.

Buxom’s Menance is my favorite lipstick. It’s a berry-wine-red creme lipstick with an extremely light amount of shimmer (I didn’t notice the shimmer until I looked at other reviews with close-up pictures). I wore this on my first important date and to other meaningful social events until I decided I had to save it so I could find a duplicate. On me (with my light skin and light mauvy-pink lips), it’s fairly deep, but not quite super dark. It’s a bold choice that I pretty much always wore with other makeup unless I was going for a more editorial-goth look (and honestly sometimes I am). This is the lipstick I want to be buried in, provided I die soon or find one in the future that closely resembles it. I’m also saving it to bring to the Bite Beauty Lab in New York City to see if I can have an exact copy of it made. This is the closet shade to the one I was wearing in that picture of me as a little girl and it will be a long time until I part with it.

Thank you for reading! What are your favorite berry lipsticks and what shade of lipstick do you like the best?

Note: Wet n Wild, NYX, Urban Decay, Bite Beauty, and Buxom are cruelty free and do not test on animals. However, Buxom, NYX, Urban Decay, and Buxom are  owned by parent copies that are not cruelty free and do test on animals.

 

Goals, goals, goals

Figuring out to do with my life post-graduation, post-breakup, pre-employment, and in the midst of an illness and eating disorder recovery has been difficult, especially when I’m banned from exercise and my energy is zapped. Still, I’ve made a list of a few goals that I hope will get me feeling more positive and less like sitting on the couch drinking my favorite cheap red wine blend (still, shoutout to Trader Joe’s for cheap, yet affordable alcohol). So in no particular order (with the exception of #1):

  1. Get a job. I’m used to having something to do and I’m not doing great staying idle. I also need money and not in the I-need-spending-money sort of way, but in the I-desperately-need-money-to-live way.Hence stalking online job advertisement websites, tweaking my resumes, writing cover letters, and applying to every place that has a help wanted sign. Somewhere has to come through, right?
  2. Start studying for both the GREs and the LSATs. I don’t know exactly what career I want to go into, but I know my future will include grad school and helping people. For the past few years I’ve been leaning strongly towards a career in public/ mental health or a career as a lawyer focused on prosecuting sexual assault cases. Taking the these tests is a good place to start.
  3. Buy a bike. That’s it. I need an easier, cost effective way to get around the small town/ city I’ll be living in. I also look forward to using it to exercise (once I’m pretty much all better).
  4. Furnish and paint my new room. I have no furniture (not even a mattress) to speak of  so I need to need get some basic furniture at thrift stores, garage sales, and cheap retailers so I don’t end up in a sleeping on the floor for an extended period of time.
  5. Learn to drive. I never needed to know how to drive before because I lived in a city and then a college town so I took the bus everywhere. Also, I’m terrified of cars. Now I have to find a way to get past that.
  6. Go through vegetarian recipe books to learn how to make meals I can cook. I’ve been a vegetarian for a year and a half and I’ve done a terrible job of it. I need more protein and iron in my diet or I won’t be getting better anytime soon.
  7. Volunteer. No justification or reason needed.
  8. Take a community college class. I already miss being in school. As soon as I can afford to, I like to take a class in one of the many subjects I was interested in, but never had the time to explore in school.

Thanks for reading! What are your goals at the moment?