[I’ve Got 5 On It] Basic Beauty Essentials

Beauty Basics

Lately, it’s felt just a bit like we’re on our own deserted islands – because basically, we kind of…are. And let me tell you, with everything going on in the world – my mind has been in overdrive, and I’ve admittedly had my wheels churning for a while. As we all go into overdrive to stock up on the necessities during the crisis, I’ve chosen to turn my attention to something a little more fun. Not that we’re wearing much makeup these days, but I’ve definitely been tossing some on every now and again for semblance of normalcy.

While I’m stuck on my metaphorical desert island until quarantine is over, I’m still going to do my damndest to feel my best; for many, when it comes to makeup, that means going all out – foundation, primer, eyelash curlers, etc, etc. Well, let me tell you that I’m a basic kind of bitch and no, not in that other basic way – when it comes to makeup, I’ve turned into a firm believer that less is more and that you should be accentuating your features, not trying to hide whatever you’ve perceived your flaws to be.

Trust me, I had a phase – and it lasted for over a decade; I was a makeup fanatic, I even had a short-lived career as a beauty blogger – but as time went on, I found that covering my face with powders and liquids galore made me feel a bit more like a high class clown and less like myself. So, I’ve bid a bittersweet farewell to my bold MAC and Makeup Forever eyeshadows and assorted lipsticks that I’m fairly sure I only wore once or twice each – and have accepted a new stock of beauty tools with welcome arms.

While I’m on my desert island, you best believe I’ll be enjoying the following…


Winky Lux Glimmer pH Balm in Unicorn – $16

Hands down one of my most fun impulse buys (thank you targeted Instagram ads), this Winky Lux lip balm looks translucent and sparkly, but instantly merges with your own pH levels to produce a unique hue of glittery pink. It’s sorcery, beautiful, beautiful sorcery.


Benefit Roller Lash Mascara – $23.90

When it comes to mascara, it’s all about the flick of the wrist, and that means the wand. Depending on the style of wand, you could get left with tarantula eyes – for lack of a better term. The Roller Lash from Benefit goes on smooth, doesn’t clump and is water resistant – I call that a mascara hat trick.


Tarte Sex Kitten Eye Liner – $16

I don’t know why it took me until my late twenties to discover liquid eyeliner but believe you me – I’m so much better off for it. It goes on smoothly, you don’t have to consider sharpening it – and depending on the brand, it looks sleek and sexy. So, when I saw the this eyeliner from Tarte – with a cat on it of course – I knew I had to at least try it out. Well, good news for me – it works fantastically and rivals my other favorite — Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner.


Manna Kadar Eye Priming Shadow Stick in Honey: $24.00

This is another case of ‘IPSY Got Me Again’ – years ago, I had a trial version in this lovely shade of priming shadow stick.

Being me, I actually never used it as a primer and instead just used it as eyeshadow. It worked like a charm. Just a tad of sunkissed shimmer and a warm neutral tone – not invasive, but perfectly highlighting.


The Beauty Crop Glow Milk in Love You So Matcha: $19.50

Finally, a little bit of shimmer for your cheeks in my favorite shade – Champagne; or as The Beauty Crop calls it – I Love You So Matcha. A light shimmer that needs very little liquid, the serum goes on smoothly and lasts all day. A great alternative to powder if you’re like me and have found that the powder blushes and bronzers tend to clog your skin.


See anything you’re in love with already? Snag it here!

If you only could have 5 on it, what would be in your beauty bag? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday Trend: All That Sparkles

Trust me when I say this: I have no clue how to be trendy.  If you don’t want to take my word for it, you should talk to my best friend.  We met the first day of Freshman year and have been relatively attached to each other ever since.  It wasn’t one of those “We hung out off and on and then slowly our friendship developed things” – it’s the platonic equivalent of love at first sight. We used to compare notes on poetry and boys; but when it came to fashion, I definitely took a back seat.  Eventually, and somewhat jokingly, she told me “Amanda, if you don’t match…we can’t sit together at lunch.”  She may as well have said “…and on Wednesdays, we wear pink.” but last time I checked I didn’t live in a movie.

Joke or not, what she said definitely nestled itself somewhere deep in my brain because now that I’m older (and somewhat wiser) from my nail polish to the trim on my boots, I match all the damn time.  The downside of trying to fit the trends and be relatively on top of being a 21st century chic chick is in my early 20s, I spent a rather ridiculous amount of time, money and or energy trying to fit the latest “trends”;  trends from the magazines, movies and runway that honestly have little to no place in my closet.

So I took a step back to re-evaluate who wanted to be, and the type of young lady I’d like to evolve into.  Sounds silly, but (a) there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dressing for success – be it career-wise or personal; and (b) it becomes a positive feedback loop!  A while back, I wanted to streamline my growth – I wanted to feel sexier, more mature, more sophisticated – so that’s how I started dressing.   Low and behold, the fashion must have seeped into my pores and into my veins, because while I looked the part I acted the part!  It’s a glorious cycle that I’m glad I discovered.

I think what strikes me is the originality of the items that I love – if I’ve seen it duplicated, I’m already over it before it hits my closet.  But every now and again, I seem to get these genius – and very specific – cravings for fashion and as of late, jewlery.  Sometimes, its for a delicate necklace in a specific metallic shade – and other times I get my mind set on clothing in daring, yet possible, colors.  I used to go shopping often – maybe a little too often – and what I’ve found, especially on Melrose, is that most shops are carbon copies of the others.  But a few, like Essex, have a great turnover for new threads and necklaces.  One of my favorite finds that I mentioned briefly yesterday is the Melrose Trading Post; it’s a great (and incredibly inexpensive) place to check out handcrafted jewelry and vintage duds.  Last, but definitely not least, don’t forget about my favorite treasure chest – your local discount stores!  What’s being another season behind the trends if you don’t even follow them, right?!  So, let’s get down to it – these are a few of my favorite blings.

Faux Sapphire Ring from Shanghai
Leather Wrist Wrap from Melrose Trading Post

ChiChiMe has the best Bangle Sets!

Amethyst Gradient Fox from Shanghai

Eggplant Corduroy Pants from J Brand (on sale at Nordstrom Rack!)

Riding Boots from Target
In love with the metal zipper embellishment; I will wear these to the ground!

Flower Bullet Necklace from Melrose Trading Post

Snaking around my fingers; found at the Melrose Trading Post