Tuesday, December 30, 2014

the favorites | late autumn + early winter 2014

Hello, everyone!

It's been a while since I've updated. I've mostly gotten over my bronchitis now—thank God—and am home for Christmas. Finals are over and done with, so now it's time for fairy lights and chocolate. I hope that your holidays have been lovely; mine have been so far.

Who's ready for some autumn and winter favorites?


Like I mentioned in my autumn edit, I've rediscovered my first MAC purchase, the Satin lipstick in Rebel. It doesn't have the most lip-friendly formula, but the color is absolutely lovely, a pink-based plum. In order to save my lips from its drying effects, though, I've relied upon the Bite Beauty Line & Define lip primer. This prolongs the wear time of Rebel and other matte and satin lipsticks—although, curiously, not my NARS Velvet Matte lip pencil—by moisturizing and smoothing the surface of my lips. This option from Bite is pricey, but I recommend the brand heartily.

Thanks to my lovely exchange partner, I've been able to play around with Femme Fatale Cosmetics, an Australian indie company with breathtaking duochromes. My particular favorites thus far have been The Masquerade and Umberhowl. With a bit of primer and some Darling Girl Glitter Glue, the shadows pop and stick around all day.


I purchased the Boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil just a little over a year ago, and it's still going strong. I use about four or five drops all over my face and neck at night. This oil blend moisturizes my face without making it overly greasy, and it hasn't caused me any clogged pores. It's a relatively pricey option, but it's a good one. I have read, though, that Camellia japonica seed oil, for which the Boscia blend is named, is available for roughly two-thirds of the price per ounce on Garden of Wisdom, a site that I have not tried myself but have heard of other skincare enthusiasts' enjoying.


I am extremely picky when it comes to fragrance, but I love my exchange partner's pick from Firebird Apothecary. Pomegranate Basil is fresh but intoxicating. The pomegranate and currant offer a richness that the greenness of the basil complements brilliantly. If you like green, fruity scents that aren't too sweet, definitely check this one out.


As I noted in my autumn edit, my two current favorite polishes represent opposite ends of the color spectrum: the first, Nails Inc. NailKale polish in Westbourne Park Road, is a pinky lavender-gray; the second, Clinique A Different Nail Enamel in Black Honey, is a deep burgundy red. Both polishes have very smooth formulas and reach opacity in two or three coats, respectively. In fact, these are the only two polishes I brought home for Christmas break.


Finally, throughout my bout of bronchitis, I consumed a lot of tea. Upon my return home, I was practically guzzling mugs of Lipton Pure green tea with three spoonfuls each of lemon juice and honey. I like to call this "Ellen's Magical Elixir." The Lipton option is a decent bog-standard green tea, but you can use just about any tea you like for the elixir. I find that it helps soothe my throat, and I just love the feeling that I get while drinking tea.

What have your favorites been this season?