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Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Gifts Under $50 for Her ♥

The holiday shopping season is in full force – seriously, I almost died 4 times driving to the area of the city one of the major malls is located in.

Anyways, I survived the chaos, and I know sometimes its easy to get stuck shopping for someone, so I came up with a quick list of easy (and nearly fool proof) gift options – all under $50!

ArtsyArchitette Holiday Gift Guide

1. For the Book Lover 

If you know she loves books and you can’t afford to buy her a new Kindle, then opt for a couple she doesn’t have yet; and when in doubt cross reference the NY Times, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers lists for some that just her style.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards work too, especially if she already has an e-reader!

Featured Books Above: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and The Millenium (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) Series by Stieg Larsson.

2. A Little Luxury Gloss

MAC has some genius little holiday sets out, with lovely packaging, for the make-up lover. I don’t think I know a make-up lover that would be disappointed!

Featured Set Above:  MAC Guilty Passions Lavish Rose Lip Gloss Set.

3. Pamper your lips

One of the best products I have come across for all day lip love is the Korres Lip Butter. They smell great, feel great, look gorgeous with just great flushes of color, and keep your lips healthy all day.

Sephora offers two sets – perfect for the holidays and a non-lipstick/lip gloss girl!

Featured Sets Above: Korres The Lip Blockbuster Volume II and Lip Butter Collection.

4. Something to keep her warm

It’s December!! Almost every girl I know loves a new pair of cozy socks, or a cute beanie and scarf, and of course – don’t forget the gloves!

Featured Items Above: Scarf and beanie from Banana Republic. Socks and Gloves from Gap.

5. For the body

A little sexy, a little sensual, but oh so amazing! The Victoria’s Secret Love My Body collections of body lotions, creams, sprays and oils. Perfect for a winter bath.

Featured Set Above: Jasmine & Water Lily (in my opinion the best fragrance of all the LMB scents) Lotion, Oil and Body Mist.

6. For the body… again 😉

For the girl that prefers the fresh and clean scent over the sexy and sensual. Soap & Glory body and hand products are some of the best out there and Sephora offers some awesome Soap & Glory sets – complete with travel totes!

Featured Set Above: The Best Things In Life Are Three Set.

7. Great for the home, great for the hostess

If she loves her place to smell lovely and inviting, Bath & Body Works 3-wick candles are great options. They offer some warm and fun scents for winter and they often have 2 for $20 sales – just make sure you smell them in-store. It is always best to avoid online ordering of candles, in  my opinion.

If you’re not sure what scents she prefers – gift card!

Featured Candles Above: Hot Buttered Rum, Spiced Apple Toddy and Frosted Cranberry.

8. Something a bit more personal

As many of you may know, I sell Chloe + Isabel, and we released some gorgeous holiday pieces – one of the most popular being the Pave Inital Disc Charm Necklaces! I have picked up a few myself for me and as gifts – so pretty in person!

Featured Initials Above: Pave Inital Disc Charm Necklaces in Gold-plated “M” and Silver-plated “S” (available in the 12 most popular letters).

9. For the true fashion and art lover

Coffee table books are awesome, but most people don’t buy them for themselves – they tend to be a bit pricey. Fashion and Art books are often beautifully put together and contain some very interesting/exclusive behind-the-scenes type content.

Perfect for fashion and art nerds!

Featured Book Above: Vogue: The Editor’s Eye.

10. Foolproof jewelry

Seriously, C+I’s Petite Rhinestone Open Bangles Sets are some of they most popular pieces selling as gifts for the holidays!

Four flexible rhinestone covered bangles, available in four different sets. I can wait to order mine!

Featured Sets Above: Deep Sea, Starry Night and Cha Cha Cha.

11. Something sweet

Fine chocolate and good wine! Need I say more.

Featured Items Above: Chuao Chocolatier Chunky Honeycomb Bark and Risata Moscato d’Asti.

12. For the TV addict 

Sometimes my life is run by my favorite TV shows schedules and I’m not the only one, so why not give her a season or two of her favorite show! Perfect to hold her over for the winter show hiatuses 😉

Featured Sets Above: The Walking Dead Seasons 1 and 2!!

There you have it Hopefully this inspired a few gifts for you – after doing this I think I’ll be back with a Gift Guide for Him in a few days!


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MAC Pro Lip Palette: Editorial Reds!!

Happy Hump Day!!

Sorry for being out of touch, I had to sort out a few technical issues with my new internet security suite and firewall, but all is good now 😉

So onto the pretty stuff – I had this nifty little MAC lip palette on my “buy me!” list for a month or so now and finally was able to get it last week and I’m not disappointed 🙂

It is the MAC PRO Lip Palette in Editorial Reds. They also have Preferred Pinks, Editorial Oranges, Select Plums and Modern Browns. Oh how I wish I could have them all, but since I couldn’t splurge to that extent, I opted for the Editorial Reds palette.

ArtsyArchitette MAC Pro Lip Palette Editoral Reds Lipstick

Each palette comes with a $40 price tag, and personally, I feel it is worth the money for what it is.

MAC would be considered a luxury/department brand, with some of the price tags to match, but worth it – if you know which products to go after.

There are many MAC products that I would recommend (and some I would pass on), but MAC lipsticks, with their high quality, staying power and pigment payoff, are ones you should really consider testing out; which is why I think these palettes are a perfect option.

The palette comes with six (6) MAC lipstick shades, 1g each, for a total of 6g of product. A single MAC lipstick, 3g of product, costs $15. So to get each of the included colors alone would cost you $90 and with the palette you get 6 pans of some of their top shades for $40.

Yes, you do get less product, which is the exact reason I chose the Editorial Reds palette, since most of these are not colors I wear every single day, but rather just when I want that bold lip look. I also think this is perfect timing, since I LOVE a bold lip especially during this time of the year.

If you need some convincing that you can wear a bold lip too, or just need a few tips, check out my Beauty 101: Bold Lips post here.

ArtsyArchitette MAC Pro Lip Palette Editoral Reds Lipstick Swatches

Remember a good lip brush is a must with this palette and I suggest avoiding finger application, as these shades do stain due to their strong pigments and staying power.

Quick Shade Overview:

“Dare You” – A brown red cremesheen lipstick that applies slightly sheer, very buildable.

“Lady Danger” – A bright orange-coral red matte lipstick, very pigmented.

“On Hold” – A yellow-pink-based red cremesheen lipstick, slightly sheer and buildable.

“Russian Red” – A true vivid blue-based red matte lipstick, great color on almost everyone.

“MAC Red” – A bright blue-pink-based red satin lipstick, very smooth on the lips.

“Ruby Woo” – A true blue-based red retro matte lipstick, very matte and slightly less vivid that Russian Red.


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In LOVE with a REBEL…

As in MAC “REBEL” SATIN LIPSTICK

I walked up to the MAC counter for a couple specific things and began to have an internal debate on whether to purchase a dark lipstick or not (considering I really didn’t have one in the shade I was thinking of and it is Fall/Autumn – perfect lipstick time). Clearly, you can see which side won, but I tried to hold out and failed!

I partially blame the wonderful MAC girl, who suggested the shade, which I initially swatched on my hand like always and at that point I was like hmmm maybe. Then she practically bounced up and down saying “try it on!” I did and wow – I was sold!!

It’s perfect for Fall/Autumn and Winter and looks aaaaamazing in person. Seriously, if you’re looking for a lipstick on the darker side, do not pass on trying this one on!

Within the one hour of purchasing it, leaving MAC, a little more shopping and heading home, I got complimented and asked what lipstick I had on by 10 people!! Half of those were the Sephora beauty associates – clearly disappointed that they couldn’t get it there in their store!

Ughhh… I look so tired in this picture (because it was taken at like 2AM after a looooong day), but it gives you a look at the lipstick on.

As expected of MAC lipsticks, it is highly pigmented and of superior quality, and as with many highly pigmented lipsticks, this will stain your lips after hours of wearing it.

It is a “satin” lipstick, so it has a slight sheen and does NOT dry out your lips – great for all day wear!

lalalalala… who loves REBEL… I do


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Beauty Confessions – “This Or That” Tag

It’s Friday!! And since I can’t go shopping today 😦 (major bummer) I thought I would tackle this beauty confessions tag from Tianna @StorybookApothecary 🙂

Beauty Confessions Tag Cover

It was fun reading through these by other bloggers (links below!), but grrrr…. this tag is a tough one for me.

1. Blush Or Bronzer? Hmmm… if I had to only choose one, it would be BLUSH. Blush can be extremely versatile and having a bit of a flush to your skin just helps to achieve that healthy look. When applied correctly to specific areas of your face, you can draw out your bone structure and naturals contours without having to turn to a bronzer. Though I do love my bronzers!

2. Lipstick or Lipgloss? LIPSTICK! You can wear it matte, satin, or even glossy. I also love “staining” with lipsticks and you can create a longer lasting illusion of fuller lips with lipstick. I do love lipgloss for certain looks or occasions, but I have strict lipgloss requirements, which are rarely met. I have to say that 98% of the glosses I own are MAC Cremesheen Glass – they are non-sticky, don’t become tacky, smell yummy and have quality pigment.

3. Chapstick or Lip Butter? LIP BUTTERS!! I don’t think I even own a “chapstick” – the closet thing would be my Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer, which comes in a chapstick type packaing, but I would never actually call it a chapstick formula. Lip butters are amazing, come in so many shades and keep your lips soft/smooth for longer.

4. Matte or Sparkle Eyeshadow? Gahhhh… this is a tough one, but first off I dislike the word “sparkle” that sounds cheap. They both have their place, matte are more versatile and you can create more polished and sophisticated looks with matte shadows, plus they are great for crease and liner work. “Sparkle” shadows are great for highlighting, fun looks and brightening the eye area up, and can be more forgiving on youthful skin, BUT the level of “sparkle” can create a mess and can draw attention to fine lines and wrinkles. So I guess, if forced to choose between the two, it would be matte.

5. Gel, Liquid, Cream or Pencil Liner? This is impossible to really answer! Gel, cream and pencil are tied for me. Liquid is great, especially for those not as skilled with liner, but once you have the hang of a liner brush and a quality gel/cream liner, the possibilities are endless! So liquid liner, I do like it, great for a quick look or a quick fix, and easy to use. Gel and cream liners are awesome, but you have use a quality gel/cream pot and store it properly – and yes, it might take a bit of practice to get it right, but they can be used in so many ways and I love them!! Pencil liners are classic and as long as you have a quality pencil, you really can’t go wrong with a pencil. They are quick and easy to use, but if you are looking for a long-lasting look (and you don’t have a long-lasting pencil) – topping with an eye shadow is best!

6. Foundation or Concealer? Foundation can be wonderful, especially for long-busy days and certain occasions, but I would have to go with concealer!! My skin is fairly clear, with the only odd spot here and there, and I often use only concealer to cover the under eye area, slight redness around the nose and brighten the center of my face (center of forehead, nose, chin). Concealer is great because you can add a lighter concealer in the places you want to highlight, like the tops of the cheekbones and brow bone, creating a natural highlight and illusion of contour without adding your bronzer. After setting my concealer and finishing up the rest of my make-up, I realize I don’t actually need foundation, and my skin has a very natural look/feel since I did use any foundation at all.

7. Liquid or Powder Foundation? I like both, but I lean towards liquid nowadays (if I wear it at all, usually I opt for concealer and tinted moisturizer, or concealer only). I used to use bareMinerals for 2 years, a couple years ago when my skin was a bit more oily, but my skin had normalized and stopped reacting as well to the bareMinerals, so I moved onto liquids. You can also get gorgeous finishes with liquids!

8. Neutral or Statement Eye? This question is mean! I can’t choose. I LOVE both! Same goes for lips!!

9. Pressed or Loose Shadows? I dislike this question… they both have their uses, but pressed are a bit easier to use and less of a mess. While loose shadows can be very vibrant and fun to use wet!

10. Waterproof or Non-Waterproof? Non-waterproof! I only buy a waterproof mascara if I have a specific need for it, then I use it and it sits there until I have to throw it away – being mostly a waste of money. Eyelashes are very delicate and waterproof is just a no go for me, I already wear mascara practically everyday, so the added resistance and need for a waterproof remover is no fun for me. Side note: I do use the Clinique Bottom Lash mascara, which is water-resistant.

11. Brushes, Sponges or Fingers? I am a brush fiend! I have dozens for every application possible! Sponges are rare for me, with the only few times I really use them is when applying other peoples make-up. I only have one that I use often enough, or well kind of two now, my MAC Pro Performance Sponge and the beautyblender (comparison review coming soon)! Fingers are easy and quick, great for warming up products and working them into the skin when needed.

12. Powder, Cream or Liquid Highlighters? LOVE them all! They all have their purpose, occasion and weather. Tip: I tend to add a bit of liquid/gel highlighter (Favorites: Benefit High Beam, Sun Beam or Moon Beam) into foundation for a little glow.

♥ Spill your beauty secrets! (Additional Q for you by D (Sweetjellybean.com)♥

Can’t Live Without Skincare Product?

This one is kind of easy for me. I only have a few skin care products and I stick to a strict rountine, so I would say my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate!! Love it, won’t go a night without it – and it is a bit pricey at $70 a bottle, but the bottle lasts me a good 9 months – so worth it!!

Favorite Makeup Blusher?

Too many to choose! From MAC, to NARS, to Tarte and Maybelline… powder and creams…. I love a lot of them.

Take-it-with-me-always beauty product?

I’m going to cheat here and name a few… MAC Fix +, Laura Mericer Tinter Moisturizer Oil Free, Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer and Korres Lip Butter!

Bonus Question from Tianna @StorybookApothecary!

What Is One Beauty Item You’re Willing To Splurge On Even Though It’s Expensive?

I will probably have to agree with Tianna here and say my Clarisonic, as I think its the only thing I would consider a splurge that I use daily/regularly. I justify most of my beauty purchases very well hehehe…

There you have it! I know, I didn’t exactly follow the rules, but for a beauty junkie this was hard!

Checkout the tag chain and send a little love to these ladies:

Beauty Confessions – “This Or That” Tag

Something Fun: This or That, Beauty Tag – You’re It!

TAG: THIS OR THAT

This was fun to do, albeit a little frustrating, but overall so much fun! Oh, and of course, I TAG ALL OF YOU!!!!