Pick of the Litter: December 2017

This is how I’m feeling post-holiday:


Anyone else?

And can we just take a second to appreciate the cuteness that is Fallon the corgi?

I didn’t even have that crazy of a holiday season: I went home to visit my family for two days. I visited my mother-in-law for two days. We did Christmas just the three of us after sleeping in. I did not have to tote around several children, just one husband and one corgi. I did not have several parties to attend, just one work gathering. I am hosting New Year’s Eve…for a party of four people, myself included. I feel for those of you who hosted entire extended families, baked so many pies you can’t see straight, went from place to place with children in tow, survived another exhausting charade that is keeping Santa alive, or had nightmares of your children catching you in the act of moving and posing the Elf on the Shelf. I had it pretty easy but I will NOT apologize for the many naps that I took.



 December 2017 Pick of the Litter


Sydney Grace Co. Pressed Powder Highlighters


I adore these highlighters. They’re soft and blendable but give your face the most beautiful shine! They don’t overly enhance texture on your cheeks and they come in shades for all skin tones, even the deepest skin tones that are often, and unfortunately, overlooked by cosmetic companies. I have a weakness for peachy and pinky highlighters and these do not disappoint.


[left to right: Morning Snow, Peach Kisses, Morning Glory, Velvet Gold, PSL Extra Whip, Sun Kissed Peach]


Anastasia of Beverly Hills Subculture + Prism eyeshadow palettes

These palettes were the subject of MUCH discussion and debate, and I feel like I am one of the few people on earth who genuinely enjoy them. If you are at all interested in the beauty community, you probably have seen countless YouTube reviews and read countless posts about the varying opinions on these palettes, ESPECIALLY Subculture. I blame the internet for turning an innocent eyeshadow palette into the biggest controversy of 2017. It’s just…eyeshadow? To be fair, I don’t find them the easiest to work with, and there are definite quirks about them. But when it comes to makeup, I’m of the opinion that if I like the colors enough I will put in the extra effort to make it look good or work on my skin. Maybe it’s because drugstore makeup was all I could afford for a long time and even though drugstore makeup has completely stepped up it’s game, it was not always like that. It took a little prodding and kneading and a little TLC to make those products work, so I really don’t mind having to work a little bit with certain things. And I genuinely reach for these often, especially the shades All Star, Rowdy, New Wave, Axis, and Untamed from Subculture, and Saturn, Lure, Throne, and Dimension from Prism. I DO NOT like the shades Cube or Electric from Subculture. They are truly disappointing and unusable. I have to dig my finger into them to get anything and even then, the payoff isn’t worth it. Who approved these two shades?!




[top to bottom: axis, mercury, all star, adorn, destiny, dawn, cube]


[top to bottom: rowdy, edge, untamed, new wave, fudge, electric, roxy]




[top to bottom: obsidian, sphere, osiris, sphinx, unity, eden, lucid]


[top to bottom: lure, eternal, saturn, throne, pyramid, parallel, dimension]

Kristin Ess hair care line [Dry Finish Working Texture Spray, Working Texture Loose Styling Powder, Instant Lift Thickening Spray]


Full confession: 95% of the reason I tried this line was because of the scent of the products. It. Is. HEAVENLY. The other 2% was because the reviews were positive across the board, and the other 3% is because person behind the line also creates the waves that live on Lauren Conrad’s head. Ummm, sold. I absolutely LOVE the powder for adding a little volume and hold to my roots because my roots tend to be sad and limp. This line is exclusive to Target and is very reasonably priced. I bought the texture spray and the thickening spray in a mini set and the powder is full sized, but I fully anticipate buying the full size products once I run out of the miniatures!


Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask [clear]


This lip mask is $26. I know. I KNOW. That’s crazy. When Jaclyn Hill talked about this lip mask back in the day I was like who does she think she is, spending $26 on a LIP BALM? Fast forward to five years later when I was that person spending $26 on a lip balm. Except, it’s SO MUCH MORE than a lip balm. Even though my face is so oily I could fry an egg on it, somehow none of that natural moisture extends to my lips. I battle dry chapped lips all year round, not just in the winter. I’ve tried every chapstick, balm, gloss, scrub…I even went so far as to apply nipple cream to my lips. Yeah, the kind that nursing moms use. That worked for a few minutes but didn’t have any lasting effects. The Bite lip mask is the only thing that has genuinely healed my parched lips. I have also tried the Smashed color which looks like a scary red in the tube but turns into a pretty wash of color on the lips. You only need a little bit because it’s thick and I also find that sticking the tube in my bra or in between my thunder thighs prior to applying helps the product warm up and spread easier. One tube will last you a good year, if not more. It is truly a staple of mine!


NYX Full Throttle Shadow Sticks


These are great for eyeliner or for laying down a base on the lid to transform or enhance whatever shadow you put on top. Once it’s applied it lasts without smearing or creasing and the colors stay vibrant, even on the bottom waterline. There are several other colors I haven’t tried but these are the colors I tend to gravitate towards, and I often reach for the dark purple stick when my work makeup needs a little pick me up! I smudge the shadow stick onto my upper lashline and it adds just enough to a neutral eyeshadow look.


[top to bottom: Cold Fear, Electric Surface, Femme Fatale, Night Walker]


Garnier Fructis De-Constructed Texture Tease spray


This spray doesn’t smell nearly as good as the Kristin Ess texture spray unless you love the classic “Garnier” scent. I don’t particularly love that smell but I suck it up because this adds a bit of grit and hold to my freshly washed hair without being greasy or dirty feeling. Definitely start small with this product and build up because overuse CAN make your hair feel crusty but if you’re like me and your hair can be limp and lifeless, this adds a bit of life and keeps waves looking beachy.


Wet n Wild Liquid Eyeliner


I’ve been straying away from winged eyeliner because I’ve realized I’m really not that good at it and my eyes are hooded so it doesn’t work as well on my eye shape. But when I do take a stab at it, this is hands down my favorite liner to use! It’s incredibly cheap and easy to find at any drugstore, but it’s better than other high end liners I’ve experimented with. The brush doesn’t get all wonky and misshapen so it gives you crisp lines each time, it dries matte, and it lasts even on my watery eyes!


Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping Palette

This palette is not the most groundbreaking mix of crazy colors but it’s a great palette of matte neutrals that can be used on the eyes, brows and face. The colors are soft and blendable, great for every day looks, and the shades can be used for so many things: setting the undereye highlight, eyeshadow, eyeliner, contour, bronzer, and eyebrows. I bought this palette on sale during a Sephora Weekly Wow and it has been in my daily makeup bag ever since.


[top to bottom: instinct, sand, solstice, onyx, ember, smoke, dunes, stone, journey]


[left to right: terracotta, desert, timber]


ColourPop Aquarius lippie stick and Aquarius lip gloss

If you watch YouTube beauty gurus at all you’ve probably heard of Kathleen Lights. She’s an adorable little wood nymph (not really, she’s human) with giant green eyes and perfect skin. You kind of want to hate her for being so naturally pretty but then you don’t because she’s freaking adorable. She collaborated with Colourpop last year and created the lippie stick in the shade of Aquarius, and to celebrate her birthday in January, Colourpop released more lip products in the shade Aquarius including this gloss! I happen to love the Aquarius Ultra Matte Lip as well but lately I’ve been using this lipstick and gloss combo for work and it gives just enough color without being overly bold. Instead of swiping the lipstick on to be fully opaque, I apply it to the center of my mouth and smudge it outward so that it gives more of a blotted look, and then apply the gloss on top. I also love this gloss on top of a nude lipstick to liven it up!


with love and lashes,

Katie ♥



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