Flat lay of makeup and beauty products

rise & sparkle: my morning routine

Every morning, I wake up a regular, groggy human and have just 30 minutes to transform into the fabulous pinup girl you know and love. I’ve been expanding and experimenting with my daily makeup and morning stuff lately, so I thought now would be a great time to share my morning routine and all the products that help me achieve my everyday sparkle. I have a solid mix of drugstore and prestige brands amongst my go-to products, so there’s a little something for everyone.

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two new drugstore faves

I love makeup, and though I definitely have a very soft spot in my heart for the fancy prestige brands, a lady can’t splurge on everything. So I definitely like to experiment with drugstore options! I have two drugstore products I’ve been loving lately, so I thought I’d share.


Am I a real beauty blogger now?

Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner

I’d been fairly loyal to the NYX felt-tip eyeliner, but they started drying up and crapping up on me sooner and sooner. Ain’t nobody got time for patchy eyeliner. I’d heard a lot of Youtube makeup gurus recommending Milani as a favorite drugstore brand, but I’d never tried it before. I picked up the Milani “Eye Tech Extreme” eyeliner because it promised an extreme fine tip point and easy application. I would say it definitely delivered! The pen is very natural and easy to use, and the product itself slides easily onto the skin without the tip dragging. It’s definitely wetter than the NYX product – the first few times, I definitely opened my eyes too soon and got some transfer smudged onto my eyelids. But after giving it a second or two to set, I’m super happy with how my wings have been turning out lately. I’d recommend this one to anyone who’s been struggling with winged eyeliner and wants to up their game; it’s very easy to use and feels very natural.

NYX Matte Lipstick in “Up the Bass”

I’ve been obsessing over grey lipstick lately. Thanks to an Ulta gift card I’ve been hoarding since last Christmas, I picked up a few things in their Cyber Week sale, including two grey-ish lipsticks from NYX. I’m a fan of NYX lip products, especially of the matte lipsticks. Their matte red is one of my go-tos, and it’s hard to beat the price, especially for “fantasy” colors that you might not wear much. I love both of the shades I got, but the one that’s a real winner is “Up the Bass.” It’s a gorgeous, smokey purple grey, very muted and classy. The lipstick applies mostly smoothly; I had to go over a few places to get the opacity I was looking for, but the formula is pretty good. It certainly isn’t as creamy as some high-end lipsticks, but it gets the job done. I love that it’s an unusual color while still being sedate enough to pull into a work wardrobe.

Because this wouldn’t be a proper post without a picture of me, here’s how I wore both of these products for Thanksgiving:


Are there any new products (drugstore or otherwise) that you’ve been loving lately?

review: urban decay junkie vice lipstick palette

Urban Decay has been one of my favorite brands since I first started getting into makeup; after they relaunched their lipsticks as the Vice line, I spent a lot of time poring over swatches, trying to decide which ones to try. It’s a big commitment to buy a prestige lipstick…I get salty enough when a $6 tube from the drug store doesn’t turn out to be the color I hoped! Luckily, UD has our backs – the Vice lipstick palette is a great way to try out different colors without committing to a full tube!


First off, there are two versions of this palette, one exclusive to Sephora and one exclusive to Ulta. Most of the colors are the same in both, but the color I was most intrigued by was definitely Junkie, a deep teal shade, so I had to go with the Sephora option.

The palette comes with a retractable lip brush; I’m not used to applying lip color with a brush, but I found this one really easy to use. The lipsticks are all super creamy and apply very smoothly. It might just be my lack of experience with using a brush, but I did feel like these lipsticks didn’t last as long as I’d like. And having to bring the whole palette with me for touch-ups instead of just a single tube is a deterrent.

I mostly bought this palette because I was interested in the “out there” colors, but the ones that most surprised me were the nudes! I’ve never really been one for nude lipstick, but I actually really liked how they looked on me. Experimenting with the Vice palette has definitely helped me get ideas about which lipsticks I might want to get full tubes of.

Unsurprisingly, my favorite color thus far is Wrath, a metallic red.


I totally get why metallics are “in” this season. They rock!

If you’re a lipstick junkie (pun intended) who wants to play with a bunch of different colors and formulas before committing, I highly recommend the Junkie Vice palette! It’s one of my favorite beauty buys for a long time.

easy everyday pinup makeup for lazy broads

There are three things you should know about me:

  1. I love makeup.
  2. I love spending a lot of time leisurely getting ready, experimenting to create the perfect look.
  3. I really love sleep.

As you might be able to guess, these things have a tendency to conflict when it comes to getting ready for work in the morning. I want to look fab, but I also want to stay in bed until the very last possible minute.

I’ve been asked to do a tutorial on my everyday makeup look, but honestly, this is way too simple for it to even count as a “tutorial” so instead, let’s just call it a get ready with me. So come with me into my not especially well lit bathroom – you can sit on the toilet or the edge of the tub if you like – and watch me do my face.


I start off with BB Cream. I don’t actually have any real allegiance to the one I’ve been using – I’d heard good things about it so I picked it up, but I’m not sure I really think it’s doing anything for me. But it has some SPF so at least that’s something! Dab it on and buff it in with a flat top brush.


Next up: brows! You can read a full review of the ELF brow stuff I use and my process for applying it here. Basically, I apply the cream with an angled brush; I’m just looking to accentuate my natural brows a bit, not do any dramatic reshaping. I use Urban Decay’s Vanity as powder to seal my brows, just for that hint of purple.


Getting ready for a special occasion, I love to play with eyeshadows. Getting ready for work? Slap a neutral color on that lid and go, girl. My go-to is Urban Decay’s DTF.


It’s hard to take pictures of yourself doing eyeliner. I use the NYX Super Skinny felt tip  marker. My basic method is 1) draw the bottom of the wing 2) draw the outline of the rest 3) go back and fill it in. This is from a Cherry Dollface tip and totally changed my eyeliner game! Give it a shot!


I use L’Oreal Miss Manga mascara. I’ve ping-ponged back and forth between high end/designer and drugstore mascaras for years, but for now I’m digging this one. It’s not the best I’ve ever used, but it works.


Apply blush. I use a Cargo blush that I got for free in a swag bag (aww yee) that has a nice blend of different pinks and a touch of gold that I find really flattering to my skintone. Realize you’ve put on way too much blush and blend it out with your fingers.


And voila! Put your glasses on and you’re done! I wear lipstick if I feel a particular outfit needs it or I’m feeling particularly sassy, but I usually skip it for the everyday. That’s pretty much what I do every morning before work…it’s not fancy, but it does the trick.

What’s your everyday makeup routine like?