this is Bowie, to Bowie

In memory of the most stardusted of legends.

Weird, but it's what I think of whenever I hear his name. RIP.

currently listening

I have a handful of songs I've been listening to repeatedly over the last few weeks... mostly thanks to Spotify's Discover Weekly feature. If you have Spotify, be sure to check that out. It gives you a new playlist every week based on what you have listened to previously. I have found some really great gems there. (You can find Discover Weekly under Browse). 

On to the music!

Tori Kelly - Hollow

Christina Grimmie - Hold On, We're Going Home (cover)

Daughter - Medicine

Jessie Ware - Say You Love Me

Matthew Koma - Suitcase

Enjoy! xo

top 10 beauty favorites of 2015

Yay, 2016! It's finally here and I am happy to leave 2015 behind. For me, 2016 is going to be about simplifying more and spending less. While I tend to be a minimalist and refuse to hoard tons of products, I do try a lot of new things and sometimes go overboard at Sephora. Here are some my favorites that I discovered in 2015 and will definitely stick with in the future.

Philosophy Purity face wash: This is a super gentle cleanser that is non-drying and has kept my skin calm. After a day of wearing makeup, I double cleanse using the Purity facial cleansing oil first, then the face wash. I wouldn't have bought the oil on its own, but the set was on sale at Sephora and I'm so glad the oil came with it. It really gets all the dirt and makeup off and I don't have to worry about anything being left over. I used to despise the feeling of washing my face and then still seeing makeup on the cottonball when I used a toner afterward! I also use the Purity mask since that came in the set as well-- it's not a mask that dries and hardens, but it leaves my skin super soft and is gentle enough to use every day (though I use it about once a week). All of the Purity products are a win!

Lush Imperialis moisturizer: I became a bit of a Lush addict this year. Some products were great and others are just okay. But this one is a new go-to. I was surprised at how fast it absorbs, which I love! I need that in the morning since I get ready quickly and don't want to wait for it to soak in before applying my makeup. It's not a heavy moisturizer, but it's effective. And a little dab goes a long way-- I've been accustomed to using a lot with other moisturizers, but you don't need much with Imperialis (which is great because it lasts longer). 

Lush The Olive Branch shower gel: I am beyond obsessed with this shower gel. I purchased the travel size after reading a rave review on Kate La Vie. It smells incredible, and I think it could be used by men as well. It smells orangey, tangy and not overly flowery. It has olive oil to keep your skin soft, and it does just that. I couldn't get a good idea of the scent in my mind before I used it, so I recommend picking up the travel size or popping into a Lush store to smell it for yourself. But I can almost guarantee you will love it as much as I do! I just purchased the biggest size and it's going to last me forever.

Victoria's Secret Bombshell mist: I just bought this last week, so it's not really a 2015 purchase-- but I have been searching so long for a fragrance that I truly love instead of settling for one that's just okay. It's harder than it sounds! Two of my close friends have been long-time wearers of Victoria's Secret perfumes and every time I see them they smell amazing, so I don't know why it took me so long. I spent New Year's with one of them and she once again told me she was wearing VS after I commented on how good she smelled, so that sealed the deal for me! I stopped into VS the other day and tested a bunch of them. Bombshell is the winner! It's fruity but grown up, and not overly sweet. Even when I'm just around the house and not wearing it, I pick up the bottle to sniff because I like it so much (is that weird?). The $25 price tag makes it even better.

Rimmel Stay Matte primer: I use this primer in a different way: on my eyes. I do get a little oily in my t-zone, but matte primer all over my face makes me look extremely dry. However, my eyelids get super oily and that always prevents me from being able to wear eyeshadow (even with specific eye primers-- I've tried!). But I decided 2015 was the year I was going to bring some pretty color back to my eyelids, so I picked up this primer and gave it a shot. It works! It's way too matte for my face, but does the trick on my lids. My eyeshadow is a lot more long wearing with this underneath. I am careful when applying because it's not meant for eyes, but so far I haven't had a problem.

Pacifica Coco Pure Makeup Removing Wipes: I was at a friend's house last year and she had these in her beauty stash. I'm always a sucker for coconut, so I picked them up. They are awesome! There are definitely nights when I am lazy and want to take off my makeup without washing my face. The problem is that most wipes don't do a good enough job or leave my face feeling disgusting after, so I need to wash it anyway. These wipes not only get off all the makeup (including mascara!), but my face feels fresh after. They have come in so handy for weekend trips! I no longer pack face wash-- I just throw these in my bag and call it a day. I used them after New Years to take off all my makeup and it worked great, plus they smell like coconut and I love that. I will say that you might want to follow up with a toner if you are taking off heavy makeup, just to make sure you get 100% of it off. I also love using these before bed when I haven't worn any makeup.

Burt's Bees Toner: This is a product that I stopped using in 2015, but I am going back. After I used up my last bottle, I decided to branch out and try a Lush toner. I love Burt's Bees a lot more. I always feel like it cleans well and gets the last bit of my makeup off (back before I switched to Purity!). It doesn't feel harsh and overall, I just like it a lot.

Clinique Superprimer: I have tried a lot of different face primers via Sephora samples, and this one really works for me. At $27, it's not crazy cheap, but a little goes a long way and it lasts longer than expected. I like it because it's not a matte primer, but it does prevent my oily sections from coming through. Makeup wears well on top of it and stays put throughout the day. The only other primer I've found that tops this one is Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, but at $52 for 1 oz, I can't justify the spending. Having used the samples, I will say that Hourglass is top of the line and you should at least try it at some point. If I'm treating myself, I'll get the $18 tiny bottle.

e.l.f. Baked Eyeshadow Palette: e.l.f. products are awesome. They're at Target, they're low cost, and they wear super well. After discovering that the Rimmel primer works wonders on my eyelids, I picked up this e.l.f. palette to try. I tend to stick to everyday neutrals and golds, but I like to have some darker options for a night out. These colors don't disappoint and they last all day (though for me, that is the magic of the primer). After I allow time for my primer to set, I layer these on using my finger. With the Urban Decay palettes getting so much hype, I'm happy to spend way less on eyeshadow that does just as good a job.My best friend just gifted me this e.l.f. palette for Christmas, so I am excited to use that one too.

BeautyBlender: My favorite find of 2015! I have used everything from fingers to brushes to apply my foundation. I got tired of washing brushes and they never quite blended like I wanted them to. I don't like to risk getting bacteria on my face from my hands either. The beauty blender is a great compromise-- it lives up to the hype! It blends my foundation super well and allows me to layer and build easily if I feel I need more coverage. To clean, I use a little Purity face wash, squeeze, and rinse until clear water comes out. And I always dampen before applying, which I suspect is how it blends so well.

And one bonus item because I have to mention it: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. It was the 2015 free birthday gift from Sephora for Beauty Insiders, and it's amazing. This color looks good on anyone (I've let my friends borrow!), and it really lasts, especially when I pair it with this lip primer.Go get yourself one!

If you're in the market for something new in the beauty department this year, give one of the above products a try! They are working for me and I have a good feeling they will work for you too.

[all photos via google]