My Custom MAC Palette

If you’ve read any of my latest posts featuring any MAC products, then you may know that for awhile, I avoided MAC for a long, long time. Now when I first started getting into makeup, I bought a cult MAC foundation and used it for awhile before deciding it was too heavy on me. I just didn’t like it. I didn’t go back to MAC until a while ago when I purchased my now beloved MSF powder, which is a staple of mine.

From there, I have slowly gotten into their eye shadows, blushes, and lipsticks. I eventually got Z palette for my various blushes and eyes shadows from different brands but then a few weeks ago I bought a 15-pan [empty] MAC palette and have filled it up with what I consider my custom neutral palette!

It’s pretty much all I’ve been using the last few weeks. It’s hard not to reach for it since I’ve decided to change up my makeup every day and have only allowed myself one single palette every day in order to actually use all of my makeup.

But this is about my palette! Let’s get into it and I’ll tell ya a little bit about each shade :-)

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I attempted to put the shades in order from lightest–>darkest, as well as finish. The palette itself is magnetic and so if you buy the shadows that do NOT come in the little case, it already has the magnet, but for the pans that DO come in the pan, they don’t stick, so be careful when using!

Now here are the names!

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In case it’s hard for you to read, here are the names by row…

Row 1 : Orb, Mythology, Amber Lights, Sumptuous Olive, Coppering

Row 2 : Rice Paper, Sable, Antiqued, Twinks, Cranberry

Row 3 : Soft Brown, Saddle, Folie, Dance In The Dark (limited edition from the Novel Romance collection), Sketch

As you can see, I like the slightly satin shadows with a touch of red, brown, and berry. And a random green shade thrown in :-) Works great for my brown eyes and it’s paired lovely so well with Amber Lights, Twinks, and Antiqued.

Now swatches anyone? And FYI, I didn’t use primer under these!

Row 1

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This picture is a bit washed out, so the colors are more vibrant in person. Each one swatches so well and wears fantastically. Mythology has a tiny bit of fallout but not like some of the super glittery shades from Urban Decay. Coppering is also a beautifu vibrant red/orange that I love to pair with Sketch. Sumptuous Olive has a tinge of yellow in it so of course pairs great with Amber Lights. Orb is a good highlight and isn’t so white in person, FYI.

Row 2

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Rice Paper is another good highlight shade. It’s a pretty, subtle color on my skin. Sable and Twinks are wonderful all-over lid shades and pretty much are good neutral shades for anyone. Sable is a bit on the taupe shade, btw. Antiqued is one of those colors you know you like swatched but once applied to your lid and applied with other colors, is a great color. It’s one of my favorites. Cranberry doesn’t get much love from me, but for a more colorful look, I like to pair it with Sketch ad Mythology.

Row 3

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Somehow this row ended up being my basic matte and veluxe pearl shades ;-)

Soft Brown and Saddle are my favorite blending and transition shades. I especially love Saddle. For my olive skin, it’s great. Folie and Sketch are great to pair with the brighter colors in my palette, as they have red/purple undertones. Dance in the Dark and Sketch are my favorites to darken up any look.

So that’s my palette! I feel like my collection is complete (for now) and it makes me happy to look at my palette, knowing it’s made up by me.

What are your favorite MAC shadows? Got any suggestions?? ;-)

xo, Briana

p.s. I’m working on a very exciting post and should be up sometime this week! It’s all about my beauty favorites from this year! I’ll keep you updated!

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.

Our First Christmas Tree

Bub and I have been celebrating Christmas together since 2005. That’s a long time. And this year marks our first Christmas as a married couple. It makes me feel warm and cozy inside.

We went to church today, the first in months for him, as he’s worked every Saturday since the end of May. On our way to lunch afterwards, I took a quick photo of us and promptly put it on my private Instagram account but will go ahead and show ya here.

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He wore the suit pants, tie, and shoes he wore on our wedding day. I wore a dress that really belongs to my sister but I’ve kept for a few years now ;-)

I like being married. Yes, we’ve only been married for just over 5 months now, so we’re certainly not pros or anything at this whole marriage thing. However, we have been together for nearly 10 years now and have practically been living together for over 2. But the fact that we’re married now, well, it’s just a whole different ball game. Not much has changed in our relationship, but at the same time, it has. Even our families treat us differently. I know marriage isn’t for everyone, but I’m most definitely glad he and I have taken this step and this ultimate level of commitment.

Like I’ve mentioned before, we live in a very small space. It being so small, we hardly have any room except for our basic necessities of bed, desk, dressers, standup wardrobe for me, and an entertainment center that also acts as a book shelf and storage area. That’s it. We still have a majority of our wedding presents (unopened) in a neat pile that you hardly notice ;-)

With that being said, we knew we absolutely could not fit a decent Christmas tree in here. But we knew we wanted some sort of a tree. So we went to Home Depot last week and found a cut little thing, some cute mini ornaments, got a 2014 ornament, and threw on a strand of 20 mini lights…

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In’nt it cute? It stands at about a mighty 2 feet and we plan to plant it in his parents field after Christmas. I love our little tree. It may be tiny and may not look like much (especially during the day), but it’s our first tree and I love it.

xo, Briana

I Have A New Strategy. For My Makeup.

As you know, I love makeup. Too much love? Never. Do I have enough makeup for more than one person? Uh, yeah. My husband can back me up on that. Ha. But do I want more? Always.

But I’m not here to brag or say, “ooh, look at everything I have!” I’m here to say that with this obsession of mine, I have a problem and I think many of you fellow makeup lovers can relate to and that is… I never use it up or use one thing enough.

I tend to get in a set way with one thing for a few weeks then move on to the next and so on. With that, I tend to leave quite a few things left untouched, my money going to waste. I’m constantly trying new things but never allowing myself to go back to things I know and love. My beloved Naked palettes go untouched and good mascaras dry up.

So today I came up with a plan and I want to share it with you.

Starting today and from now on, I shall use a different a) eye palette, b) mascara, c) lipstick, and d) foundation every day.

Does this make sense? Basically, I have to use a different item every day.

My makeup ruts lately (things I have been sticking to) include : Using my Nars foundation every day and ignoring my Estee Lauder DW and my CG Stay All Day, both of which I love. I have also been using my MAC eyeshadows constantly, ignoring my new UD Vice 3 palette and of course my other UD palettes, as well as my Lorac and Too Faced palettes. Eyeshadows are the hardest ones for me! I have too many, but all of which I love! I’ve also been stuck on various mascaras while ignoring other perfectly good ones. Getting stuck in a rut can also include how you apply your makeup. Lately I’ve been using a brush rather than my BB blender to apply foundation. It’s a bit faster and also more full coverage.

So today, the first day of my challenge, I used my Estee Lauder DW, my original Naked palette, a nude lipstick, but I stuck to my new favorite Maybelline mascara. Tomorrow I may continue to use the Estee Lauder or perhaps my Covergirl and then use one of my other Naked palettes.

What do you think of this random plan? Do you get in a makeup rut? What do you do to change things up?

Hope you’re all doing well and that your holiday plans are coming along wonderfully! I’m so excited for Christmas this year! I still need to share Hubs’ and my little Christmas tree, plus our adorable stockings. I love them :-)

Until next time…

xo, Briana

It’s Almost Christmas?!

Christmas is in officially 2 weeks and 1 day! And I am nowhere near ready. Haha. Although Bub and I did get our first stockings for our little place. I’ll show them once our place is a bit more festive and ready to see.

One reason we have yet to get ready and actually start shopping is my honey and his twin sister recently just celebrated their 28th birthday! I can’t believe he’s 28 already! It’s hard to imagine because when we started dating, he was 18 and I was 16. Yikes!

We were lucky to go to Disneyland on their birthday as his twin has an annual pass and her boyfriend does as well. We ate dinner at the famous Blue Bayou (which was delicious), did some swing dancing, saw fireworks, and hit up a bunch of the rides.

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The day before their birthday, we actually spent some time at the Disneyland hotel and pool as his family was spending time there. The weather was cloudy but still warm!

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Now that we’re all Disney-ed out and celebrated their birthday’s, I am ready to get this holiday season going!

First things first… at-home manicure!

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This lovely color is OPI in Under The Mistletoe :-) It’s wonderfully sparkly and festive.

Have you all started getting ready for Christmas? I feel like I’m lagging (which I am…)!

xo, Briana

Review : New Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Hello all! Sorry for the lack of posts! As you know, Thanksgiving has come and gone here in the states and it’s now time for Christmas! The last week and beyond have been a bit busy but I’m very excited to bring you a new review here to the blog :-) Let’s get to it!

Maybelline has launched a new mascara, which is always exciting! What makeup junkie doesn’t love mascara? I feel like when it comes to mascara at the drugstore, Maybelline is probably in the top 3 of most loved brands, besides Covergirl and perhaps L’Oreal (for me at least). But I have to be honest when I saw that I’m not a big fan of the Maybelline mascaras, even the infamous Falsies and the Rocket. I felt like they didn’t do much for me. However, I love Covergirl’s Clump Crusher and plenty of the L’Oreal mascaras, my all-time favorite being Voluminous Million lashes. I fell in love with it again recently when I bought a new tube.

But this is about Maybelline and their new Lash Sensational mascara!

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Please excuse my poorly manicured nails. I’m taking a break from gel nails and my natural nails are sad. Ha.

The packaging is identical to the Rocket while the color is a metallic rose finish. Personally, I don’t like the color. It seems… I dunno, cold or something. There’s something about the color I just don’t like. I give it a B+ for packaging.

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The wand is beyond similar (identical??) to L’Oreal Butterfly wand in the way it’s curved and with the difference in length of bristles. But I love the wand! Love me some rubber bristles to separate! The formula itself is pretty wet so it takes some time to dry once applied but it allows for layering as it dries. With this shape, I prefer it over both the original Butterfly and the new Intenza mascara (which I like). This, however, takes the cake.

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Here are my eyeballs without mascara, which have sad and thin lashes.

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And here they are with about 2 coats of mascara! The thing I love about the wand and the way it curves is that it totally flares the lashes for you. I use the smaller, curved in part of the wand and then use the longer, outer bristles to separate at the end. It gives awesome length and volume at the base. You do have to be careful as you add on though because it can tend to clump a tiny bit if you apply too much. I am able to separate the clumps though without ruining the overall effect.

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My whole face because I dislike reading blogs where the person literally shows just the eyeball or just the lips when reviewing a product. I need to see the whole picture (haha)!

My one complaint with this mascara is that because it lengthens so well, it can sometimes rub off onto my eyelid right below my eyebrow, so it leaves little mascara spots by the end of the day. But I haven’t noticed an issue with flaking or coming off on my lower lid or anything. It’s also very easy to remove (I don’t do waterproof formulas). Also, you may notice I don’t apply mascara on my lower lashes. If I do, I’ll look like a hot mess unless it’s a waterproof formula of some sort (usually Clump Crusher) and I only do that for a more dramatic effect, rather than every day.

All in all, I really like this mascara! I think it’s safe to say it’s definitely in my top 3 of drugstore mascaras. I found it at CVS but I’ve heard of some people finding it at Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Have you tried it yet? What are your thoughts on it?

xo, Briana

FTC : This is not a sponsored post.

My First Mac Lipstick (yes, really)

When it comes to Mac, I’ve never been the kind to be all about it and have all the cult products from it. Before, I had only tried their Studio Fix foundation and Pro Longwear Concealer. While I tried them and enjoyed them for awhile, I found them both to be heavy and cakey on me. That was my impression of the line.

I decided to give them another shot and tired their Mineralize Skin Finish powder which I love and use without fail any time I wear makeup. From there, I have dabbled a bit more into their line and have tried (and falled in love with) their eye shadows and blushes. I would look at their lipsticks and just couldn’t seem to find any interest in them, as I’m not a real “lippie” type of person.

However, I’ve been on the hunt for that perfect nude, the kind I can wear with nearly any look.

I think I found it…

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Enter Mac’s Mocha!

It’s a wonderfully warm pinky brown, which happens to go along with the trend of the whole Kyle Jenner thing. And before you think anything about it, I was not trying to mimic the look. It just so happens we have similar coloring and so my “nude” is her nude. Anyway.

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It’s a satin finish but appears slightly matte on my lips. It’s very comfortable on my lips and glides onto my lips very smoothly. Sometimes I wear it with a Milani lip liner in Natural which makes it appear a bit darker but today I didn’t use a lip liner and am wearing it on it’s own.

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I have naturally pigmented lips that are a mauvey (mauvy? mauvie?) brown so any color I put on tends to veer towards that or appears an entirely different color once applied. But this goes on nearly true to color in the tube and I could get away with one swipe across my lips but I go over them twice just to make sure.

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Have I ever told you I don’t particularly care for the shape of my lips? I do appreciate the fact that they are naturally full, but the lower lip is a leetle crooked, in that one side is a bit fuller than the other. That’s why I don’t always do close ups of them. Anyway. That’s all.

So. I am happy to say that I love my first Mac lipstick!

What’s your go-to Mac lipstick?

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.

For The Love of Cute Scrubs Feat. Jaanuu Scrubs

As most of you know, I recently passed my NCLEX exam in July and that makes me a registered nurse. Woo! One perk of being in the medical field is that the uniform consists of scrubs, which also feel like pajamas. Ahh comfort.

For the most part. While they are cozy and comfy, sometimes they’re not flattering i.e. not feminine looking. The tops tend to be boxy and the pants are straight and to the point. Ha.

Enter Jaanuu scrubs!

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While they don’t have many styles, they’re feminine and cute! Not to mention soft and stretchy. I can squat without fear and move my arms freely. Yes, these are things that matter in scrubs and things I tested. No tears here!

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Jaanuu also features an antimicrobial finish that helps minimize the growth of odor causing bacteria and also prevents growth of bacteria and germs that can spread infection.

The scrub top has a zipper on the side so putting it on over your head is a bit easier than traditional tops. The stretch factor also helps. The pants also have a decent amount of pockets, which I personally love.

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They come in a variety of colors, too. I chose the navy blue because it’s a good generic color for nursing, as some facilities require a color depending on the unit.

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Like I said, the styles are flattering. I chose the peplum top versus the dolman (more traditional) top. I also chose the flared pants, but they also have a straight pant which reminds me of skinny jeans. Very cute!

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I showed these to my SIL and MIL who are both nurses and they both loved the feel and look of these. So fellow ladies in the medical field, what do you think of these?

while I have to find a job (that’s another post…ha), I can’t wait because I’ll be sure to purchase more of these :-)

xo, Briana

These scrubs were sent to me courtesy of Jaanuu by Dr. Neela :-)

p.s. Thanks to my hubs for taking the pictures!

The Past 24 Hours

Yesterday was our weekly beach day and here’s what it consisted of…

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Watching my cousin Sean surf. Even on a small day he makes the waves look fun and he always has a good time anyway. We’ve picked up on some phrases thanks to him over the last few years, my favorite being “sketch, I’m down.”

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I got to enjoy the sunshine. I worked out pretty hard the day before and while my entire body was sore, I ran a mile on the beach as I am determined to keep up my workouts and running! And since the water is still warm enough, I was able to swim for a few minutes to cool off after my run.

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Hubs accidentally locked our key in the truck. Luckily, I insisted on leaving the two front windows cracked a little bit to allow air flow and so Bub was able to borrow a hanger from a friendly surfer and eventually pull on the trunk latch to open it. You can see Sean laughing at Bub’s attempts to hit the unlock button, which did not work for whatever reason. But he got the trunk open and retrieved the key!

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Later that afternoon my parents and brother joined us. A few of us pitched in and bought my dad a new surfboard, which he was able to surf for the first time yesterday. In the above photo, my mom is pointing out our dad while my bro watches on. Sunset was something else that evening.

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Sky’s on fire!

It was glorious and makes you happy to know you live this life to see such beauty.

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My dad and bro walking back. I love that it’s out of focus, for whatever reason. It makes it seem like the motion of them walking and the waves moving is really there in the picture.

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And currently, this is my view. We woke up to clouds and cool weather, finally. The sun is coming out right now but there is rain in the forecast for the weekend.

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I’m drinking a chai latte. It’s yummy.

Well, time to go switch the laundry and figure out what to do from here! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a safe Halloween if you participate! Bub is feeling under the weather so we’ll be taking it easy today.

xo, Briana

NARS Lipstick In Scarlet Empress

If you know me, then you might know that dark or bold lips just aren’t my thing. I prefer a neutral lip and sometimes I might venture into a coraly orange but hardly ever a red or vampy lip. Until I found the right one, right? Of course!

Bring in Nars Scarlet Empress, something that was definitely love at first swatch.

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Good ol' iPhone photo. Ahh, clarity!

Good ol’ iPhone photo. Ahh, clarity!

Now I took this grainy picture with my iPhone in the evening when the light is fading but I had to get a picture of the unused lipstick. Look at how smooth, clean, and sharp it is. Ugh, so pretty!

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In the tube, it looks very dark, pretty much the same color as my nail polish. The packaging is the typical soft, matte finish that Nars is known for. It looks so chic to me. Now like I just said, the lipstick itself looks very dark in the tube.

But once you swatch it…

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It’s a very pretty berry color! Being Nars, you can expect it to perform very well. It’s highly pigmented, with a creamy semi-matte finish, and easy to apply. Although it being a dark color, I would recommend a lip liner or using a brush when you get to the outer part of your lip. Once it’s on the lips, it’s very comfortable and lasts a few hours. It fades a little, but not significantly. I would suggest bringing it along of course for a day or night out.

It also has a rather delicious scent that reminds me of fruit loops… Odd, but quite yummy. Not gonna lie…

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Of course you can’t see it, but on my eyes I’m wearing MAC’s Cranberry and Sketch for my shadows, to match the lip a little bit. Meh. Silly eyelids.

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This is a good berry lip for my skin tone in that it helps my teeth look white than they actually are ;-)

I also had fun with my hair and added two braids which I pinned around my head.

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But I couldn’t exactly get a good shot. I feel like an elf with my hair. It’s fun. I think I’ll do this for my birthday, although with messier waves.

While it’s still pretty dang warm here in Southern California, of course, I’m wearing shorts but pretending it’s cool enough outside to wear sweaters and boots. Ha, yeah, okay Briana. But this lip color is helping me feel better about the weather.

What’s your favorite fall lip color? I think this might become one of my go-to’s!

xo, Briana

FTC : This is not a sponsored post.

Beach Time

The last three weeks, hubs and I have been going down to the beach so he can surf for an afternoon. It’s where he is able to recharge and reset. We have various places we like to go to, but one of our most favorite is the Encinitas area. He’s able to surf all afternoon while I take advantage of the especially warm weather we’ve been having while I hangout on the beach. And since I don’t have to worry about tan lines anymore, I’ve taken advantage of all the bikini sales. Haha.

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The only tan lines that I care about are the ones on my face thanks to my sunglasses. I’ve slowly developed tan lines on mah face… Oh well.

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Hubs took an extra day off this week for a friend’s wedding so we were able to spend the evening/night with my brother who lives in the SD area. My brother took us to a lookout point where we could watch this beautiful sunset. The waves were peeling beautifully and the weather was still so nice.

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My favorite silhouette.

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He actually took a candid picture of me without me knowing!

openbackNow, to be honest, I partly wanted to do this post to show this new top. Haha. I love it. It’s so different than anything I’ve worn because it’s so…revealing. And it’s just my back. But I think the back is actually a beautiful feature. From the front it looks like a regular tank top but then you see the back… and oh, hello.

I wore a new (and now favorite) bra with it. It’s the Victoria Secret’s Pink Rose Lace bralette. I own it in black, seen above, and a light blue. So pretty. And soooo comfy. I want all of the colors!

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This was the sunrise the following morning. We left early so Bub could surf with a former coworker he hasn’t seen in months. While they surfed I actually ran a mile or so on the beach, barefooted. My calves are thanking me today, especially when I ran two miles on asphalt. Haha.

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend!

xo, Briana

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.