Review: Lipstick Queen Sheer Tint & “Colour Transforming” Lipsticks (+ Threading!)

In previous iterations of my blog I have raved about Lipstick Queen lipsticks so I hope you don’t mind that I do it again (mostly).

I recently obtained from Ulta these two lipsticks: Hello Sailor and Frog Prince.

FullSizeRenderThe weird thing about these lipsticks is that the bullet color does not match the color they turn on your lips. In a process that has something to do with pH balance, they change color on your lips. They’re also extremely nourishing, the base of the lipstick is Vitamin E which is really hydrating and comfortable on the lips.

So first of all I want to talk about Hello Sailor. And that’s because, well, I hate it. I mean, hate might be a strong word? I don’t know. But these aren’t exactly cheap and this particular product does nothing. The description says: “Turn the blackberry lip trend on its head with this ultra-modern, navy blue sheer lipstick. In a nod to the nautical, Hello Sailor tints lips in a cool, berry tone with a hint of deep sapphire.”

I just don’t agree. Let’s take a look. I tried to get the same/similar light but the weather is weird today and basically it’s different shades of overcast at all times. Sorry!

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Navy blue bullet?! So promising!

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Hello Sailor: Before & After

So okay maybe there’s the tiniest weeniest bit of different maybe. But these lip colors are $25 each, man. As the amazing KathleenLights would say, “thasespensive”. As hell. So yeah this $25 lip balm gets a big ol’ NOPE from me.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have very pigmented lips already and it’s totally possible that someone with less pigment on their lips may find that this shows up more for them.

Next I thought I’d mention trusty old Medieval. I’ve talked about this before. I love it. It does not only what it says on the tin (so to speak), but what it says on the bullet. It’s a lovely, natural red flush. Description from the site: “Medieval is the red that flatters all complexions. Impossible to detect as anything other than a sensual melancholic hue.” Yep! Accurate. Let’s take a look.

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Yep, I have worn this a lot D:

FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender_1A lovely natural red flush, as described. Hooray!

A winner for me and will definitely be repurchasing in the near future when this runs out. Must.. conserve.. product….

And now we come to, IMO, the star of the show. Let’s have a little talk about Frog Prince, shall we? For one thing, it’s green. I mean what the hell?! What is that about? Perhaps the site will provide some answers: “Get heads turning with Frog Prince, a remarkable emerald green lipstick that transforms into magical rosebud upon contact with the lips. Don’t be fooled by the deep green hue of this semi-sheer lipstick – the green reacts with the warmth of your lips turning them an intense, fairy tale rose. No two pairs of lips will look the same as it adapts according to your pH and natural coloring, appearing entirely different yet beautifully flattering on everyone.”

What!? But it’s bright green! I don’t believe you, Poppy King. I JUST DON’T. Let’s see, shall we?

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*narrows eyes suspiciously, looks for hidden cameras*

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Before and After. SO DELIGHTFUL OMG!

THIS IS SORCERY. I’m a witch now. Just so you know. Please don’t burn me. But yeah look at this?! I love it so much, I’m so impressed, this is a super cool product.

Just like Medieval it’s nourishing and moisturizing, and it’s the kind of lip color that’s great for those on the go, because you can smear it on without using a mirror. I mean, not too liberally but if you go a bit outside the lines it a) doesn’t matter really and b) is super easy to fix if you want to, the color won’t smudge around like a lipstick normally would.

These babies are US$25 each from Ulta and for someone who hates to have to always think about their lipstick, hoping it’s still sitting right and not bleeding or smearing or on their teeth, they are PERFECT. A great investment. I wear these a lot when I am giving my lips a break from more serious lipsticks, but still want to have some colour. In America you can grab them from Ulta, and in Australia from Kit Cosmetics stores or online from Mecca. Note: Aussies, sorry, only Medieval is available in Australia right now (for AU$27) so you might have to put in an order with me or wait patiently to see if Frog Prince comes out over there soon. I imagine it will. Poppy is an Aussie after all.

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Other things I played with today!

I also wanted to mention that I gave the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW! foundation a go today, the nice Ulta lady gave me some samples when I was in Keene last. You can see from the photos, it’s a nice match (I mixed two together) and the coverage is medium. It’s a satin finish so not super matte but not dewy either. It’s quite nice. I probably won’t buy it, because I still think the Kat von D Tattoo Foundation is going to be my next purchase. I like to think that I want to wear more sheer bases but it might be lip service to what I think I “should” do, you know? Because as you can see I have some breakouts at the moment (related to taking a Biotin supplement to make my hair grow (it is working)) and it’s not doing a fantastic job of covering them up. I did use some concealer as well, but I didn’t want to cake too much product on and you know what? Some spots just won’t be covered. That’s life.

My hair looks like utter garbage but that’s kind of on purpose. I know I need to wash and blow dry my hair after being a the farm yesterday but it was too late when we got home and now it’s too cold and I never promised you guys I would look flawless erryday in errypost. In fact, I refuse to look flawless basically ever. It’s not realistic and it’s not why I’m here. Realtalk.

OH ALSO I got my eyebrows threaded! What do you guys think? I absolutely love it! They are a smidgy bit thin I think, not bushiness-wise but the actual distance between the top of the brow and the bottom if that makes sense. But it’s possible that I’m imagining it and even if I’m not, I still love how neat they look without being really sharp and severe. She also did my top lip which will save me using that smelly cream stuff ugh! ~ladymoustache problems~

Here’s another pic if you got this far. I let the Frog Prince sit a bit longer and it got even better I AM IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!okay I’ll stop

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I know today should be May Favorites but the end of the month just really snuck up on me! I will get it done as soon as possible. LOVE YOUSE! ❤

Thanks for reading!

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Brand Review: Baroque Cosmetics (Vegan, Cruelty Free Indie Eyeshadows & Blush)

I know I’ve been talking about doing this review for ages but to be honest there’s been two things holding me back. One – I have so many of these eyeshadows that it felt overwhelming and two – it kinda felt like I always had a package on the way so I told myself I’d do it after that one arrived. And that happened forever. But I’ve decided to stop procrastinating! Let’s get on with it. NB: I’ll have some instagram pics of me wearing these at the bottom as well as swatches so keep on scrollin’.

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My collection! <3_<3

I first came across Baroque Cosmetics when the owner and creator, Andi, asked for some opinions on a huge forum I’m a part of, in the makeup thread. When she finally announced the first collection, I jumped at the chance to support a brand that I felt “connected to” already. Did I mention they’re all vegan and cruelty free?

The way BC works is that it is released in “collections”, which are often based on fandoms or movies/games of the fairly nerdy ilk plus some historical literature type situations. FULL DISCLOSURE! I actually am not into games and I haven’t seen any of these movies, they’re of the very artsy anime style (Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away etc) and it’s just not something I’ve ever been into. But hey, I love Les Miserables right? So the first collection, French Revolution, was exciting to me!

Here’s the thing though. You do NOT have to be in any way nerdy or get ANY of the references to freakin’ LOVE these products and admire the care, craftsmanship and sheer originality and creativity of these beautiful products. My love of the brand in spite of a lack of knowledge of the background to the collections is a prime example of this!

BC eyeshadows cover the spectrum from bare, nude, gorgeous neutral shades to ELECTRIC, FULL ON, TAKE NO PRISONERS bold shades in greens, blues and even reds. There is absolutely something for everyone here.

One of the most exciting and awesome things about these eyeshadows is the price. They’re incredibly good value! You can buy these shadows in their original powder form ($6 for full size, $3.50 for dainty size or $1.50 for a sample which comes in a little baggie) or you can order them pressed and Andi hand-presses them for you. You can also order any of them (except National Razor) pressed into a palette of four ($30 for 4 hand-pressed shadows and a palette? Come ON! Bargain!) or order single pressed pans for $8 each. The pressing process is actually quite complex so the extra $2 is well deserved IMO!

Another cool thing Andi does is she has “House Baroque” which is a kind of “colour of the month” thing – it means you don’t have to wait for new collections to come out before slaking your new-shade thirst. Aw yeah!

Disclaimer: I haven’t got any of the blushes apart from one that was made just for me (more on that later) because I am scared of blush. I’m not good at it and it is terrifying okay. OKAY? Okay.

Let’s get on with what I know you guys really want to see – the swatches. I ummed and ahhed over how to present these, whether I’d do it by collection or whatever but I decided against that particular path because I haven’t bought them based on the collections, I’ve just bought what I like. I’ve divided them up roughly into shade groups and I’ll label the collections underneath. So let’s get started.

Golds / Coppers / Neutrals: The Light Ones

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Masquerade – House Baroque #5 ||| Dragon Bones – Sovngarde ||| Hikari – Friends in My Heart ||| Good Doggy – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden

Ok so, Andi is GREAT at describing her own colours. I kind of feel like me doing that is moot because her descriptions are amazing and mine are bad. But I’ll give it a go. All these colours are in the neutral range, the lighter end of the neutrals I would say. Good Doggy surprised me SO MUCH. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s this fabulous coppery shade that’s not too red, just a perfect coppery bronze I love it. Dragon Bones and Masquerade are perfect inner corner highlight shades or even browbone highlight shades. Hikari is an amazing neutral everyday shade that’s fantastic for just throwing on when you’re in a hurry. You can’t mess this one up and it suits everyone THE END.

Golds / Coppers / Neutrals: The Slightly Less Light Ones

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Versailles – French Revolution ||| Accolade – Cafe Baroque Exclusive* ||| Compass Rose – House Baroque #9 ||| Boiler Room – Always With Me ||| Walking On Air – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Pumpkin Queen – House Baroque #2

Versailles. Dupe Alert! Ok, have you guys ever seen the MAC Pigment in Old Gold and lusted after it? Well do yourself a favour and pick this one up instead. It’s like Old Gold but FINER. The colour is an exact match though pretty much. I did pick up Old Gold in the mini-pot recently which is how I know this. They’re both a gorgeous antiqued gold but the MAC one is obviously much more expensive. Accolade is a lovely light copper but was exclusive to the Cafe Baroque peeps (Andi’s FB group for CB fans! It’s great!) sorry! Compass Rose is one of my newest and most exciting purchases. LOOK AT IT. The perfect rose gold. Rose gold is hot right now and this little number is perfect. Boiler Room was kinda surprising to me. It’s a lot more brown than it looks. Andi described it as ‘blackened bronze’ which is accurate. Walking On Air is a true peachy coral, fantastic for a pop of colour! Pumpkin Queen is an orangey, bricky red.

Greys and Blues

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Ex-Adventurer – Sovngarde ||| National Razor – French Revolution ||| Sun King – French Revolution ||| Peeping Bug – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Swansea – Always Together*

Ex-Adventurer is a new one for me, and you know what, I love it. It totally reminds me of aluminium foil, in the coolest possible way. It’s a true steely grey. National Razor is a surprisingly neutral grey with flecks of red (a lot of these shades have glitter reflects! So cool). Sun King is a blue with flecks of gold, this one needs a bit of building, as does Peeping Bug which is a very interesting deep purple. Swansea… well… this is part 1 of the INCREDIBLE Christmas present my amazing husband got me last year. He emailed Andi to team up and make me some custom products based on our wedding colours – hence this one is a beautiful deep navy with a red reflect. The blush is coming!

Greens and Greeny-Blues

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Secret Garden – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Child Who Swallowed a Star – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Aurora – Sovngarde ||| Star Lake – A Heart’s a Heavy Burden ||| Wherever You Go – Always Together*

Umm so do I just have the whole AHaHB collection? Lol. Secret Garden is a leafy green (duh), Child Who Swallowed a Star is a deep blue/green, AURORA … oh man.. probably my #1 favourite shade of all (see later in post) is like.. I don’t know.. it’s the most beautiful teal colour, in fact Andi describes it as a “blackened teal”. I just love it. Star Lake is a PERFECT pop of colour for the inner corner with something darker on the rest of the lid and Wherever You Go is part 2 of the Always Together collection that Ray and Andi designed for me, it’s the blush shade.

And there you have it! That’s my collection.

A few more points about this brand…

Do yourself a favour – check out the website. Andi’s photography is amazing. As an example, look how appealing these pressed shadows are:

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Photo from Baroque Cosmetics – click to visit the site!

Don’t you just want to buy them all!? The website is clean, simple and easy to navigate. It’s set up by collection, you can buy the whole collection/s in sample or full sizes.

Postage to Australia is around USD6.50 (AUD8.30) and within the USA is about $2.50, how cheap is that! To Australia I remember it taking about 2-3 weeks, USA is your usual domestic ground shipping time of 5ish days.

The customer service is amazing. Example: when I moved, I packed all my eyeshadows in a box and when I got to New Hampshire, some of the BC eyeshadows had leaked and there was powder throughout the box. I had a long discussion with Andi and we troubleshooted some issues together. She apologised profusely which was 100% unnecessary – these things happen. Not a lot of product was lost (each full size jar contains 5g and the dainty jars include 3g, by the way) so it didn’t bother me. If you are the kind of person who does a lot of travelling (and as such has a lot of vibration in your eyeshadows’ lives) you might want to stick some washi tape or plain stickytape on the side of your shadow containers just to make sure.

The new containers with the matte black lids are much better than the previous ones. All of the loose shadows come in these little jars with a sifter which is a really handy way to not get too much shadow.

My top five shadows are Aurora (hands DOWN my favourite), Good Doggy (so wearable!), Swansea, Compass Rose and Versailles. This was hard! They’re all so good!

I thought I’d ask Andi if she would do a little mini interview for the blog and she agreed – what a superstar! Here it is:

Freedom & Vanity: First of all, how would you describe Baroque Cosmetics, briefly?

Andi: “Baroque is an indie and vegan/cruelty free makeup company that features chromatic themes applied to cosmetics.”

F&V: What made you want to start your own makeup line?

A: “I’ve always really loved makeup but I would become frustrated at how brands interpreted ideas or fandoms and translated that into colors. So once I was out of college I found myself with free time and started doing research and testing and in June of 2014 I opened Baroque!”

F&V: What is unique about your products? What separates you from other indie brands?

A: “My products are unique because when I start working on a collection I do my best to make each shade match its inspiration material while still retaining a cohesive feel when compared to the rest of that collection. I pride myself on my chromatic themeing, or how I can manage to make a set of colors embody the theme.”

F&V: What are your top three favourite shades?

A: “Hikari for its versatility. It’s a pale shimmery gold that pairs well with a huge variety of shades.

House Baroque #8 ‘Be Wherever You Are’ for the song it was named after. The song is about making sure you stop and just enjoy where you are in life. It’s something I try to do more since I have a tendency to try and plan for everything in the future.

Walking on Air for the color and for the song. It’s a warm shimmery coral that works really well on my skintone. The song was one I listened to a lot when I was younger and going through some hard times. So for me, its like a calming reminder that everything will be ok.”

F&V: Being an indie brand and as such without access to the perks of large distribution brands, what do you think is your greatest challenge?

A: “My greatest challenge right now is space. I’m at that sweet spot where I have a fair amount of orders to ship out but not quite enough to finance a larger office or warehouse. I currently work in the closed off basement of my home, and it’s fine for the moment but I can see it easily becoming an issue in half a year.”

F&V: If I were someone totally new to the brand, what would you suggest for me? Say I wanted to buy four eyeshadows and a blush. Should I get pressed or loose?

A: “If all you’ve ever used is pressed eyeshadows I suggest going for a pressed palette to sort of ease yourself into the world of indies. Shade wise I find that Death of Marat, Good Doggy, Dragon Bones and The Republic form a very flattering neutral look that works on a wide variety of skintones. For blushes it’s more dependent on your skintone but for warm/neutral leaning warm Mucha Ado About Nothing is a great match. If your skin is cool/neutral leaning cool, Such Galle or Sonrel Not Sonrel might be your best pick!”

Some fabulous advice here!

To end things, I thought I’d share some photos from my instagram where I’m wearing these products. Descriptions below photos.

FullSizeRenderLid colour – Swansea ||| inner corner – Star Lake ||| cheeks – Wherever You Go

FullSizeRender_1Superbowl Makeup! Inner corner – Child Who Swallowed A Star ||| lower lashline – Wherever You Go [on top of MAC – Cherry lipliner]  ||| lid – L’Oreal 24 Hour Infallible in All Night Blue]

FullSizeRender_2Lid – Boiler Room

FullSizeRender_3Soft & neutral – Good Doggy is TRUTH.

FullSizeRender_4Inner / centre of lid – Masquerade ||| outer corner – Aurora

FullSizeRenderLid colour – Aurora ||| inner corner – Star Lake

FullSizeRender_1Lid colour – Pumpkin Queen ||| inner corner – Good Doggy

I feel like this post could go on forever about how much I love this brand but it’s long enough already so I’m gonna end it here. If anyone has questions or would like to see other shades being worn please let me know, I’d be happy to help!

I’ll be doing another blog post on Sunday/Monday, it’s going to be a wrap-up of some new things I’ve been learning about (that everyone else has always known probably). Hooray!

Thanks for reading. Go forth and purchase!

Life Stuff: What I’ve Been Up to Lately

I feel like I’ve morphed from the stage of needing to title these posts under “Moving to the USA” to just being a part of my life now. I’m settling in I guess!

Life has been SUPER BUSY lately, sorry for the radio silence, I’m sure you’ve all been incredibly upset and devastated without my rambling posts!

Today I just thought I’d do a bit of a combo post. Things I’ve been doing, eating, buying and wearing will all be talked about here, but I will try not to ramble too much!

We moved into our TINY (~300 square footage) apartment in Rutland, Vermont. It is actually great. The big drawback of it is that it does not have a guest room, or any appreciable room for a guest at all. So anytime people come to visit, we will need to find them other accommodation. This is really the only thing that makes this apartment not a long-term solution. The rooms (all 2 of them) are large, the kitchen has a large fridge and a good oven. The bathroom is tiny and the shower cubicle is … prison-like, but that’s okay. I wish we had a bath but what can you do. So furniture shopping at IKEA in Boston happened! We bought a bed (Brimnes in black with storage) and bed linen, a dressing table (Malm), a set of Alex drawers and some other small bits and pieces like a mirror and shoe rack. My parents-in-law so kindly donated us a little kitchen table and some chairs, and bought us a set of drawers and a hanging clothes rack. That’s really the max we could fit into the apartment before it got too crowded. A lot of you (who are my IRL friends) have already seen the vanity setup but here it is in all its amazing and beautiful glory:

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Alex 5 drawer in the foreground, Malm dressing table. 

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Drawer contents! Wheeeeee I have a (fabulous) problem.

If anyone would like to see more of our apartment or furniture let me know. It’s not that exciting to anyone apart from us; we have been doing the living with parents thing for quite a long time now (for me, 5 years, for Ray, since he moved to Australia which was March 2014) so it’s just so awesome to have our own space! Moving on…

One of the things that has been keeping me very busy is that I got a job. It’s with Planned Parenthood as a Health Care Associate which is mostly an admin/clerical position but also has some clinical work which I’m EXTREMELY excited about. That will come with time and as I master the front desk work which is my first area of focus. I love PP as an organization and I’m really excited to be a part of it.

Part of starting my job involved going to Burlington, “the city” in Vermont, for four days of training. First of all, what a beautiful city! It’s stunning especially in spring, though all of Vermont is just so beautiful and alive at the moment. We ate some good food – I re-discovered the amazingness of American bagels (last time I had one was in NYC with my friend Chris). I mean, look at this divine creation:

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Lox & cream cheese on an “everything” bagel. Just stop.

We also went to a really cool old-school diner called Al’s French Frys for burgers, fries and shakes. I had incredible, unbelievable pho which really scratched an itch that had been bothering me since I arrived. It was.. a revelation. Usually I never finish huge bowls of soup but this time I scarfed it all and wished I had more! We went to Buffalo Wild Wings which was a pretty cool experience but all the wings we ordered were a smidge too spicy for me! I’m such a pansy.

Anyway, while I was at training and since I’ve been working, I’ve really been trying to get my neutral, natural makeup on point. I’ve been posting a lot on my Instagram about it and getting some good feedback so here’s some examples:

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Different light but you get the point.

I’ve been using and enjoying the Maybelline Infallible Pro-Matte foundation, it’s VERY good for a drugstore foundation. It’s obviously very matte so if you like something a bit glowy you will want to either skip it completely or add some glow back in, perhaps with something like one of the Hourglass Ambient Light powders.

Here are some less neutral looks I’ve been rocking as well. I haven’t been going crazy on eye makeup lately really, it just hasn’t suited the outings we’ve been on really! But I’ve been wearing a bold lip a lot, as usual.

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The pic on the top right is at Al’s French Frys – that decor! I LOV IT

I did some shopping in Burlington too, probably more than I should have, my poor husband was pouring sweat for most of the time. Bless him. So here are some haul pics from MAC and Sephora:

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Some of these products have been rocking my world. I regret holding out on buying the Primed and Poreless primer by Too Faced for so long because honestly it is phenomenal, I’ve never used a primer that worked so well. I am going to do a comparison between it and the Make Up For Ever primer that I got in a Sephora order in a future post, they’re meant to do a similar thing. I went to MAC and asked them for a bit of a bronzer tutorial and the lady who served me had gorgeous pale skin and she really was picking up what I was putting down – that a lot of bronzers seem orange on me or muddy. She said what I should do is pick a cool toned powder foundation and use that to warm up my face. She chose the MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Natural powder in “Medium/Deep” for me and hoooly crap, I just loved the effect SO MUCH. I also found that they’re doing mini products at their counters now so I grabbed a much coveted product, the pigment in Old Gold, in a mini version. Their pigments last forever so the larger jar has always seemed so pointless to me. I also got the 239 brush because I have a lot of blending brushes and not enough flat/dense application/shader brushes. It’s meant to be one of the best so I am looking forward to giving that one a red hot go. As you can see I also grabbed Charlotte in the NARS Audacious lipstick range, I actually wouldn’t have swatched this on my hand but for my husband pointing it out and saying “what about that one?” – a dangerous tactic for him I feel! I swatched it and was really impressed, it was more of a berry, dark red than the purple I thought it’d be so naturally I bought it. I’m wearing it, and the bronzer, in the third pic of the last set of selfies. NOICE.

When I got home, I had an order from Sephora waiting for me. I recently got bumped up to VIB level so I got some little sampley type things and, excitingly, a new Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 10 – Mandarin Muse. This is a very orange red which I am SO INTO so I’m keen as heck to try that!

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I’m also very excited about trying the Besame brightening vanilla powder, I’ve heard such good things from quite a few of the makeup gurus on YouTube that I religiously follow plus the packaging is ADORBS. Check it!

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You guys know how I feel about packaging!

So the last thing I want to mention is that I got a fabulous package from one of my favorite indie makeup brands, Baroque Cosmetics. Andi, brand / product creator, sent me a couple of samples (because she rocks and also because I guessed the name of a shade in the pressing process that she posted on Instagram!) as well as the products that I wanted so that was super exciting and I can’t wait to try them – I have a lot of the brighter and more bold colors from her range/s so I got some of the staple neutrals.

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I love rose golds at the moment so Compass Rose (on its side) is SUPER exciting in particular. I think I will wear it to work tomorrow.

This brings me to my next point, and that is that I feel like I have a pretty significant collection of Baroque Cosmetics eyeshadows now so I’m going to do a mega-review on them. I have been wanting to do this for AGES but each time I feel like I was waiting on an order, so I have held off. I’m gonna do it though. I have opinions.

I’m also going to do a bit of a post about foundations. I’m a little nervous about this because I haven’t tried heaps and heaps of them but I do have a fair collection now, I have 8 so I will do a bit of a post about them and talk through the pros and cons of each one.

If there’s anything else you guys would love me to do a post about, please let me know, I love hearing your amazing suggestions!

Here are some random pics to finish off with. Spring in Vermont is beautiful as HECK!

IMG_7176 IMG_7175We’re so cute it makes me sick.

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My “0.58 year anniversary” present from Ray – that man knows what I like!

Until next time – which I promise won’t be too far away!

Love+++

F&V