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Thanks for sticking with me as I tweak and bumble around on the blog. I've changed the header - again - but finally have enough satisfaction with it to leave it alone for the time being.

In my previous blogging efforts, I often tried to complete monthly favorites posts - and failed miserably. This time around, I'm giving a little more thought to how I want to approach my favorite things. In the meantime, I still love reading all of yours. Why don't you link your blog in the comments below so I can check them out?

I'm glad the January blues have skipped me, mostly. I'm nowhere near as forlorn as I was this time last year, even though the landscape of my life is way different. Thank you so much to everyone who wished me luck regarding the interview I had a couple of weeks ago. I have no news yet - it's taking forever. But, a good friend who works with the company says that's just how they operate. This week will be the third week since my second interview. No news is good news? As I try to rationalize this in my mind, I figure that if they really, really hated me - they would have given me a hard no way earlier than now - right?

But these songs, though (transition, ftw)? I've been listening all month long - some even longer. Well, Pillowtalk by Zayn has only been out for two days - but I've listened to it at least 10 times.


This inspired me to finally listen to Made in the A.M. - the album I purchased the day it was released only because I felt like I should, but never listened to it. OMGILOVEIT. Fangirling now is so much easier than fangirling when I was 14 (and it was still socially acceptable for me to do so). Twitter, Instagram, Wikipedia? I need to know all of One Direction's zodiac signs. Check out my January playlist on Spotify while I look up what Liam's favorite food is.

Have a great week.

I missed my Sunday post. In the third week.

Sometimes it may seem as though my world is standing still, but everything else moves in very rapid motion. My husband and my little brother (not so little actually - he's 17) both started classes recently, which has put me in a seemingly endless cycle of driving to and from our local college campus. This, combined with multiple plumbing issues, cleaning, cooking, and typical housewifely things (I don't know how those of you who are full-time homemakers and moms do this - RESPECT) - I'm pretty much over everything.

So, in effort to keep things light - I found a tag. Of course I wasn't tagged, but I don't care. I found this particular tag on Beauty Reductionista. Also, because I'm feeling very extra at the moment, I've added a bit of commentary to include my favorite items where applicable.

1. Which product do you keep buying more of despite having plenty in your collection?

This one is easy: eyeshadow and blush. Annnd probably lipstick. As I mentioned in my Makeup Inventory I have a weakness for color cosmetics. I don't have as much of a "problem" (that term used very loosely here) with foundation or base products - not even bronzer.

Favorites: Right now I really love the Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Palette - much more than I anticipated. I'm also looking forward to spring, so I can break out my Naked3 Palette. In the near future, I plan on sharing my favorite loose pigments from indie makers, so I'll save those for later - but know I am a HUGE proponent of indie cosmetics as well.

2. What's the one product you can't live without?

Small side story: when I was younger, my grandpa sometimes called me "Rosie" (or Rosy, I don't know - it's not like I ever wrote it down) because my cheeks were naturally so flushed. Even now I still have a bit of that pinky flush to my cheeks, just naturally. It's one of the things I love most about my face. But alas, I'm getting older, and sometimes I have to fake it. So, I can't live without blush.

Favorites: I think MAC blushes will always be number one in my heart. my favorites are Worldly Wealth (LE), Sunbasque, Melba and Cubic. For the flush my grandpa loved so much, I really like theBalm's How 'Bout Them Apples? cream cheek and lip palette - so pigmented, even on dark(er) skin.

3. Favorite makeup brand?

Either MAC Cosmetics or Urban Decay.

Favorites: In addition to the MAC blushes I mentioned earlier, I also really love the Face and Body Foundation. I'm using N7, which is a little dark right now but suits me well in warmer months. Urban Decay makes my favorite eyeshadows (I actually have an order coming in the mail today!), in addition to the Naked palettes, I also love the few singles I have in Half Baked, Gash and (newly added) Toasted.

4. How big is your makeup collection...?

This is an interesting question for a tag. I listed my makeup inventory in very minute detail here; check it out if you're so inclined.

5. ...And how do you store it?

Right now I'm using a three drawer system my husband bought me. It's from Target, and I appreciate that it is not the standard white. Instead, it's a floral aqua print. However, It's not ideal. A goal for this year is to move my entire cosmetic and nail polish collection into an Ikea Alex 9-drawer system and (again, ideally) never outgrow that. Sure, the Alex 9-drawer system is pretty popular at the moment, but I think it's what's going to work best for my space. Or, in a perfect world I'd love to find a vintage library card holder or toolbox a la Hey Claire. However, I'm not in a place where I want to put in a load of effort into finding one.

6. How many items do you have in your handbag at the moment?

Truthfully - probably just a couple of lip balms. I'm unemployed, people. No one to impress at the grocery store.

Favorites: I don't think my favorites are all that exciting, here. In these really cold months I have to use a medicated balm to heal my lips that are perpetually cracked from December to March. I lean towards either plain ol' Carmex or Blistex - the lotion-y stuff in the white tube. Magic.

7. If you could raid another blogger's stash, who would it be?

Easily either Hey Claire, Vivianna Does Makeup, or Lily Pebbles. They all have a minimal cosmetic aesthetic (poetry) that I'm a fan of.

8. How long does your usual makeup routine take and how many products do you use?

Flat out - when I'm getting ready in the morning (when I'm working) I cannot be bothered with any beauty routine over 15 minutes. If I'm rushing, not even 15 minutes. At minimun, I need to conceal my dark circles and/or spot conceal, light tinted moisturizer, brows, and a tinted lip balm like Revlon Lip Butter or L'Oreal LeBalm.

9. Have you ever bought makeup knowing you wouldn't use it? 

No, never. Though this has of course happened, I believe this is moreso because of the size of my collection - I just didn't rotate through the products as I should have. Since decluttering and purging however, I'm getting a lot more use out of the things I have left.

10. Tag a few other makeup addicts to do this tag.

Um, no? I mean, come on - I hate this business of tagging. If you want to answer these questions for your own blog, do it! I don't have many blogger friends yet, anyway (applications open, though). So instead, I'll end with the quintessential tag line (ha, pun intended):

I tag all of you!

    As the trend of positivity makes it way around the Internets, it seems as though actutally being sad or upset is undesirable, or worse yet - uncommon. Haven't you heard it?

    "Choose happiness!"

    No. Sometimes when I am sad, I just want to be - sad. In the midst of one of these bouts of blue, I ran into BookTuber ReadbyZoe. She mentioned in her favorite books of 2015 Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. As she summarized the plot (free of spoilers, though admittedly there aren't much to be had), tears began to well in her eyes.


    I thumbed through my Kindle and found this forgotten gem hiding in my Young Adult folder. I immediately began reading, and couldn't stop.

    Amazon  // Barnes and Noble

    Hannah Baker is dead. One day she was in school - and the next, she wasn't. Whispers began about seeing an ambulance leaving her house the night before her disappearance. Soon, everyone knows that Hannah as committed suicide, overdosing on pills.

    Hannah wants to set the record straight. Before she dies, she records thirteen audio letters to those she believes have contributed to her death. The reader listens to the tapes with Clay Jensen who finds the box of tapes on his doorstep at the beginning of this story, passed to him from a previous reason for Hannah's suicide. Her instructions are clear - listen to the tapes, then pass them to the next person in this morbid chain.

    Clay walks the streets listening to the tapes, loosely following a map Hannah has made to several key locations of her story. Hannah had a "reputation -" you know the kind. Clay, and everyone else in school has heard a version of it. As he listens to the tapes he discovers what Hannah says is the truth, and is left to process the meaning.


    Hannah's story begins with her having her first kiss with a boy who ends up spreading a rumor that he felt her up "under the bra" (which is apparently a thing). It ends with her witnessing a rape. Whoa. She mentions a "snowball effect," how one small occurance gradually can build into something too large to handle - and considering the start and end of her story, this is definitely true.

    I read a lot of Young Adult books, and I'm not ashamed of that. Some of my very favorite books are of this genre. However, Thirteen Reasons Why reads like the YA novels that I generally steer away from. Hannah could be likened to any one of us at that time in high school: emotional, reactive, and maybe even a little annoying. However, I think that's what makes her story resonate with so many people.

    Hannah is a different protagonist - dare I say, she may be the definition of the anti-heroine. When I think of main female characters in my favorite books in or around this genre - Hermione from the Harry Potter series, Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, or even my beloved Weetzie Bat from the Weetzie Bat series - my thoughts are filled with their stories of resilience and perserverence though adversity. Hannah's story is over before it begins - for the reader. We start the book knowing she's already dead. When you really think about it - there's no happy ending. Hannah doesn't have the opportunity to triumph.

    So, what's the point? 

    I'm still figuring that out.

    | ALL IN ALL

    I enjoyed the book, though I was at times critical of the progression of the story and development of Hannah. At times I thought she was mean and emotional - and she was. Clay has the same thoughts as he listens through the tapes.

    It was interesting to read a novel where I didn't love the main character. I don't come across them often, but find them to be much more thought provoking. Essentially - isn't that the point? I read this in one afternoon partially because it is an easy read, and partially because I just plain wanted to know where Hannah's story was going.

    As I mentioned - this may not be beach reading for many of us. But, for a snowy afternoon, it helped me through a case of the blues because it made me think. For that, I am thankful.

    It's Sunday, it's cold, and I've been worrying.

    My interview was on Thursday, and it was one of the more difficult interviews I've had in a long while. Admittedly, I've become somewhat over confident with my fancy graduate degree and articulate nature. The VP of Human Resources was a no nonsense man, and was impossible for me to read. Now, I wait - and worry. Though, a few things have kept me on the brink of sanity:

    1| Currently I'm reading two novels; The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks and Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Weiner.I know - I find humor in polarity. Though I've made a commitment to seek books outside of my comfort zone, Brooks is admittedly not an author I would reach for. My husband asked me to read it, the first installment of his favorite series, now adapted into a television show airing on MTV. Though it's not nearly as mind-numbing as I anticipated, Weiner is a welcome break from the sometimes bleak plot. She's stereotypically feminine and delightfully predictable.

    2| Have you ever heard of gastro-tourisum? Basically vacationing strictly to eat - my kind of holiday. I wonder what the equivalent of that is, but for beauty? If (and only if) this position pans out, I'd love to travel and find all the hidden Asian beauty supply stores and local drugstores. Right now I'm considering Seattle, San Diego, Portland, or Montreal. I think every worrier is an inherent planner - planning gives me peace.

    3|  I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos on minimalist makeup collections. Does anyone else feel as though minimalism is sort of ... a fad? It seems very trendy, and I wonder if it will be a long standing thing. I practice minimalism by buying better quality to essentially buy less items less frequently - and that's not really "minimalism," that's common sense. Right?

    4| Lastly I finished watching the episodes of Flesh and Bone I had in my DVR. Whoa. Unfortunately there won't be a second season, not that I think my heart could take it. It's very cerebral - which may be an understatement. It's not  a family show, but worth watching.

    Enjoy your Sunday - and do me a favor? Actually, two: send me all your good vibes, and take a big, giant deep breath just for me? You're the best.

    The interview I mentioned in on Sunday is scheduled for tomorrow and I am so nervous! Of course I would become significantly more nervous the day before - I'm meeting with the VP of Human Resources and some other incredibly powerful figure in the upper echelon of leadership.

    I think my nerves are muddling my brain. I wanted to write about David Bowie today - as a black woman married to a white man, he and Iman have been my #relationshipgoalz for a very long time. But, the words just won't come.

    Another day.

    Today I'm sharing (with some reluctance) my makeup inventory. Some areas need work - a lot. To preface, I want to be clear that I love makeup - it's my hobby. How do I afford it? I don't go out. I have friends, but no social life. While other people are at the bar, I'm browsing at Sephora. We all have our vices.

    My goal for this year isn't necessarily to pare down these numbers (though, that is true for some areas which I will discuss), instead, it's to curate a collection of items that I love, and even more importantly, work for me. If you're a frequent lurker of the MakeupRehab subreddit - this is for you.

    FACE |

    Powder blushes: 25
    Cream blushes: 11
    Blush palettes: 1
    Total: 37

    I love color cosmetics - blushes, eyeshadow and lipstick. This number does not surprise me. Earlier this month I did a gigantic purge and declutter and got rid of a lot of items. Those went to the ecstatic 16-year-old daughter of a friend. The items that are left are ones I really love, and use, so these numbers are fine by me.

    For the upcoming year I'd like to pan the blush palette (theBalm's How 'Bout Them Apples). YouTuber PeachyKeen mentioned her goal of not having more than one cream product per category at a time, and that's what I'm striving for also.

    Highlighers: 8
    Total: 8

    Eight highlighters seems like way too many. Right? I like having a highlighter from every major color family - gold/bronze, pink, and champagne/beige. Though a few come to mind that will never leave my side: Becca Opal and Champagne Pop, or my Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Starlight, I could honestly part with most of the rest of these. Besides, how often does anyone hit pan on a powder highlighter?

    Contour: 2
    Total: 2

    No problems here. The two lone products are MAC Shadester Sculpting Pro Powder and NYX Powder Blush (which is currently on sale for $2.50 USD) in Taupe - which I should really get rid of - it does nothing for me! Shadester however - holy grail.

    Bronzers: 4
    Total: 4

    I actually like to use Shadester to contour and bronze simultaneously. Besides theBalm Desert Bronzer, I should perhaps be a bit more honest with myself when destashing.

    Foundation: 4
    Total: 4

    As I've been interviewing, I've collected more foundations to polish my interview look. On an every day basis I typically skip foundation all together, and instead opt for concealer and a little powder. My grandmother blessed me with pretty decent skin, so as long as I don't skip the Clarisonic, I'm a-ok.

    As for many of us - especially women of color - I have to mix foundations to attain the perfect shade. Right now I'm mixing MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation in N7 with L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation in Caramel Beige. the MAC F+B is too dark, and the L'Oreal is too yellow - better together.

    Concealer: 4
    Total: 4

    I'd like to go down to two concealers - one for under the eyes, and one for the face. For the under eye area I've been using everyone's favorite Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser in Honey (which is really hard to find in my area, but is fortunately readily available online). For face, I have been using the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Tan-Deep. The color match is so perfect - but I hate this formula. it is so thick, and I don't find it to be really creamy at all. I'm not for forcing myself to use a product I hate, so I plan on passing this along later in the year to perhaps replace it with the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer.

    Setting powders: 2
    Total: 2

    Again, I'm satisfied with this number. I use the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder in Shade 2 for under my eyes, and the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Dark Tan. I'm happy with both of these and am not looking for anything else.

    Face Primer: 1
    Total: 1

    Barely even one. I have Benefit's The Porefessional and I just don't like it. I bought it to wear to an interview for my previous job and I hate the silicone-y feel of it. Typical case of being sold by an MUA at Ulta. I've had it for a long time - almost 2 years - and it has served me. I have no qualms about swapping it out for something I like better. Currently I'm looking at the Glossier Priming Moisturizer or the Too Faced The Hangover Replenishing Face Primer. I'm creeping precariously close to 30 - I need less oil control and more hydration.

    LIPS | 

    Liquid lipsticks: 9
    Lip liners: 14
    Lip crayons: 9
    Lip balms: 22
    Lipsticks: 51
    Lip gloss: 35 (including 9 deluxe size)
    Total: 140

    Erm. I need to work on this. As much as I love lipstick and lip products - I have to get these numbers down. Though I have recently combed through my collection and gotten rid of things that were unloved, I haven't compared my items against others in my collection for duplicate shades. I plan on doing this before my next scheduled inventory in June, so I'm excited to see some measured progress, here.

    And to note - I've counted lip balms as all balm products, including tinted balms. It doesn't really make it any better, but I really needed to say that for my own sake.

    EYES |

    Eyeshadow primers: 1
    Cream eyeshadows: 14
    Single eyeshadows: 30
    Eyeshadow quints: 1
    Eyeshadow quads: 2
    Eyeshadow palettes (over 5 shadows): 10
    Loose indie-maker pigments: 61 (!!)
    Total: 119

    I love eyeshadow (obviously), but my amount of pigments is astronomical. Many of these are from subscription boxes from Glamour Doll Eyes and Notoriously Morbid, and are in smaller sample sizes (about 85% are sample sized). I've cancelled my subscriptions, and have stuck to a no-buy for pigments, but I love the ones I have and just need to work them into my routine. One GDE sample jar can last about 15-20 uses, so I'm good on these for a while - possibly forever. I've already destashed all the pigments I'm willing to part with, and have the perfect storage (that fits exactly 61 pigments), so I'm not concerned with reducing these numbers by any means other than using them to completion.

    I used to hate palettes - I have no idea why,  but this would most likely explain the large amount of single eyeshadows I have. This is a selection that also just needs to be curated - I have a feeling I will be saying goodbye to many of these in June during my next inventory. The amount of palettes I have I'm completely comfortable with. I use and love all of them, and each were well-researched purchases. I have my eye to buy at least three more palettes (Kat Von D Serpentina, Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly and Too Faced Sweet Peaches) this year. If a purchase is well researched, does not put me into debt, and is something I will use and love - I will buy it with no guilt. As should you!

    Eyeliner pencils: 5
    Liquid eyeliner: 1
    Gel eyeliner: 1
    Mascara: 2
    Total: 8

    Damn you, Ipsy! Four of these 5 pencils are from Ipsy. All black, of course. I only ever use pencils to tightlining, so I'm just focusing on using these. Once gone, I'll go back to Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Perversion, which is my favorite for tightlining. This is precisely why I cancelled my Ipsy subscription.

    Eyebrow pencils: 2
    Eyebrow pomade: 1
    Eyebrow gel: 1
    Total: 4

    All of these items get frequent and regular use, so no issues, here. Though, once my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz is gone, I'll probably never repurchase. Instead, I'd like to try the NYX Micro Brow Pencil, which is less than half the cost and has amazing reviews. The second pencil I'm using is from Ofra Cosmetics and was, yet again - from an Ipsy bag. It's a great color, but does not sharpen well because it's so soft. I'm enjoying using it at the moment, but am content with only three brow products. Specifically, the three that I own (I'm using the L'Oreal Brow Plumper Mascara,  and Anastasia Beverly Hills  Dipbrow Pomade if you're curious).

    Still with me? Congratulations! Though I wanted to share my inventory with all of you, it also serves as a challenge to take  a detailed inventory of your own collection. It definitely puts into perspective how long it takes to use products, and how much money is spent on products that are used, and ones that are given or thrown away.

    For support, look to the women at /r/MakeupRehab. They have given me so much advice and perspective (you can find me there as /u/jenniferashley312). I'm not on a specified buying ban or low-buy, but my desire to buy has lessened because I have an understanding of what I already have.

    Just something to think about. See you Sunday - after the interview!

    How was your week? Currently unemployed, mine are eerily similar. Luckily, I haven't fallen into a rut of forgetting the day of the week, and for that I am grateful. Next week, I have a second interview with a great  Forbes 100 company. Wish me luck?

    Though I've been patiently awaiting Tempalia's best of 2015 review, I'm pretty sick of most of the "best of" posts already (even though they make my paltry attempts look pretty sad). It seems as though we're being innundated with declutters, "anti-hauls", purges and plans for the year. As I've mentioned before, I don't really do resolutions, but did find inspiration to declutter my cosmetic collection. If I calculated the cost of everything I either threw or gave away - I'd probably sob.

    In equally depressing news, have you seen Making a Murderer? Of course you have. Spoilers aside, my heart aches for Brendan Dassey. It's evident there is something amiss in the handling of his case. A Cup of Jo published this post giving a little more insight to the documentary that took an unfathomable ten years to make. I guess I won't hold my breath for season two...

    To satiate me, the Serial podcast returned after a week off for the holidays. This is such a different case from last season's Adnan Sayed. Though I'd forgotten his name, the story of Bowe Bergdahl's captivity came flooding back to memory as I listed to the first episode. Sarah Koenig wrote a great blog post outlining the case. Especially helpful if you haven't begun listening to the podcast yet, give it a read.

    I read a lot of blogs. In fact, if you leave a comment below with your blog name, there's a 110% chance I'll follow you on Bloglovin. I love all blogs - big ones, small ones, ones that swing to the get it.

    Have a great Sunday.

    Welcome back! If you missed Sunday's post listing my "other" favorites of the year, check it out here. Today - it's strictly fun stuff.

    My financial situation for most of the year was not dire - but it was...different. I left an exceedingly difficult (mentally, physically and emotionally) position very shortly before my grandmother died in April.

    Whoa - that brought the mood down. Sorry. What I mean to say is that I had less money, so I really thought through my purchases. Less impulse buys, more planned, researched purchases. These are true favorites, and they've really been fun to use and play with throughout the year:

    | EYES

    I bought the Morphe Brushes Jaclyn Hill Favorites palette during the initial release in January. It was my first beauty purchase of the year. I surprisingly had minimal issues purchasing it, I'm convinced it must have been some void in the space-time continuum that made it so easy. I do not currently own - nor plan to own - any other Morphe palettes or eyeshadow products because this palette really feels hand-curated. It's the best of  the brand's offerings and I'm so pleased to own it. One downfall - it is pretty large and unwieldy. I probably wouldn't travel with this one, despite it having practically every shade I could need for a short period away from home.

    My dear husband purchased for me the Lorac Mega Pro 2 eyeshadow palette, and I treasure it. Though it hasn't satiated any need to purchase more eyeshadow (never!), I am confident I can recreate most looks with it. Though by and large not as popular as its predecessor, the evasive Mega Pro 1 - it still proved not to be a palette to sleep on for 2015 for its versatility and never-fail excellent Lorac quality.

    Also of mention are Laura Mercier Antique Gold single eyeshadow (discontinued), Bobbi Brown Camel single eyeshadow (which I will be reviewing in depth shortly), and Chanel Fauve single eyeshadow (which will also be making an appearance in 2016). These were all classic additions to my collection, and will get significant use.

    | FACE

    The Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Brightening Powder in Starlight is so beautiful, and perhaps my favorite purchase of the year. I feel as though it completed my highlighter collection, offering a ethereal (or..celestial?) pinky opalescent glow. My favorite way to wear this is layered over a cream highlighter (applied directly underneath for intense sheen, or under foundation for a more subtle effect) like Benefit Cosmetics Girl Meets Pearl or High Beam. Initially, I was intimidated by the pinky tones because I have a deeper complexion (I promise a photo for my Welcome banner is coming soon), but I was so surprisingly charmed by the hint of warmth this has, it is not at all frosty or white. What I'm not so charmed by is the price - $44 USD for only .11 ounces. Ouch. Compared to Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfectors at $38 USD for .28 ounces, it's almost highway robbery! I've never even hit pan on a highlighter let alone finished one - but that is of little consolation, here.

    Speaking of Becca and her amazing SSPs, of course I bought Champagne Pop. Of course I did. I even considered indulging in the limited edition Champagne Glow palette, but with the inclusion of a shade I already owned and one I absolutely couldn't use (Pearl) - I passed. If I could cover my entire face with Champagne Pop I fear it still wouldn't be enough. I love using it on my cheeks, temples, chin, nose and as a lid shade. The the peach tones in this highlighter make it ideal for a range of skin tones - I've seen YouTube gurus Jackie Aina and Lily Pebbles both wear it beautifully.

    I should mention that in 2015 I finally purchased Benefit Dallas, after lemming for it for literally years. I remember reading about Dallas in a Cosmopolitan magazine when I was around 20 - but just never took the leap. Finally it is mine and I love it's dirty rosy brownness. I also purchased TheBalm Desert bronzer and am ready to give up all of my bronzers for it. Well, almost. For those who prefer a more a bronzer with red tones (as I do sometimes in the summer, because it looks naturally sunkissed) this is great. However, sometimes I like a more orange (gasp!) bronzer just looks hella tan.

    | LIPS

    Some things just don't change, and in 2015 I still loved nudes and rosy brown shades. However, I also fell harder for the ever popular 90s lip trends, and sought out dark, dirty browns for the perfect Kylie pout. My favorite brown shade of the year was Urban Decay's aptly named Matte Revolution Lipstick in 1993.

    It was certainly the year for liquid lipsticks, with new offerings from Jeffree Star, Anastasia of Beverly Hills, and Stila, among others. I finally got my hands on Lolita by Kat Von D, and I understand the hype. I'm not quite sure what version of the color I have (as there have been several), but I love it. My interest is piqued to try the lipstick version of this shade when I don't want crazy long lasting wear.

    | OTHER

    Last year I purchased two MiniMint palettes and I really love both of them - it's hard to believe that they are handcrafted. I also own a Z-Palette (and have planned to purchase another in 2016), and while I do not believe MiniMint palettes are as sturdy as a Z-Palette, they are certainly a close second. Whatever MiniMint lacks in durability, they make up for in design. Jenny of MiniMint uses colorful patterned paper to create each unique design - no two palettes are alike! To top it off, she treats each palette to make it water-resistant. I actually took all of my Makeup Geek and MAC eyeshadows out of the MAC palette it was in, and rehoused them inside MiniMint's 6x4 travel palette. Much more preferable - the palette can fit exactly 15 MAC/MUG eyeshadow pans snugly - and without extra magnetization.

    Regarding beauty, 2015 was a great year. The 90s made a resounding resurgence (to my delight!), and lip liner is back in full force. For this year, I am anxiously awaiting some special releases from Too Faced and Kat Von D, but have my eyes open for new and unique items to bring home.

    Thanks for sticking around - it's going to be a fun year.
    Ideally, I would have included with this post a beaming flat lay of all my favorite things, drenched in a glowy white light.

    Instead, I'm jumping right in, because - if I wait for everything to be perfect, nothing will ever happen. (It's my mantra for 2016).

    Hello. I should have started there. I'm Jennifer. My friends call me Jen (never "Jenny") and you can, too. This is my part of the Internet - I write here. I hope you like it. Speaking of things to like (transition FTW), what better way to learn about me and this space, than to read about what I loved most in 2015?

    Later, I'll talk about what the year was like - it was monumental and overall very difficult. Small things help, and these were the little things that made the year slightly more bearable:

    | BOOKS

     In 2015 I made no resolutions at all - I don't ever, really. Because of my lack of resolutions, I feel completely neutral about the lack of books I read last year. I began a lot, but only finished a few (you'll soon realize this is a recurring theme, here). However, I broke outside of my normal genre of Young Adult fantasy fiction, and found a real gem in Night Film by Marisha Pessl. It's dark, scary and full of suspense. A great October read, and I hope to pick it up again soon to re-read it for all of the subtle plot tricks Pessl sprinkles in that I'm positive I missed the first time.

    Secondly (and lastly, I'm afraid) I began the Weetzie Bat series by reading the first two very short novels Weetzie Bat and Witch Baby by Francesca Lia Block, conveniently included in this anthology. It was a great summer read, I loved following Weetzie Bat, My Secret Agent Lover Man, and company through the creative punk scene of Los Angeles. I think what I loved most about these stories is that I was given the opportunity to grow with Weetzie, through high school where she just doesn't have a place, through her first real relationship, motherhood and beyond. This is so much more than a "coming of age" tale. I'm excited to finish the anthology and move to Block's most recent Weetzie Bat story.

    | MUSIC

    This year I discovered Halsey, and practically loved every second. Initially, I found her through a Broods Pandora Radio station, but only discovered Broods through Troye Sivan. Phew! Though, I do enjoy being taken on a musical journey of discovery like that occasionally. Of course, I've had Badlands on repeat, as well as Blue Neighbourhood. I thoroughly enjoyed Tryxe last year, and Sivan's first LP did not disappoint. Other standouts of the year include Urban Flora by Alina Baraz and Galimatias, Another Eternity by Purity Ring, Black Bear by Andrew Belle and TwelveFour by The Paper Kites. I thought I was finished, but I absolutely have to mention Ryan Adams' 1989 complete cover album. It was exponentially better than the original, in my opinion - and much better fit my tastes.

    However, my musical tastes are pretty varied (the exception being country music, #sorrynotsorry), so I should mention a few individual songs I really enjoyed:


    As this has become significantly longer than I anticipated, I'll finish up this first part with my television favorites of the year. My husband and I do not watch a great deal of television. I assure you there's no "holier than thou" reason - we're not spending that time reading encyclopedias. Instead of channel surfing, we just watch TV programs we really like via Chromecast or Roku - and there are a few.

    Downton Abbey ended a six-season run with one of the best, tear-inducing series finales of all time. I stream the show from the UK, so I won't include any spoilers for my American readers. However, I was very pleased with the ending. It almost made up for the fact that there will be no more episodes. Almost.

    I finally watched House of Cards after months of being prodded by a good friend. I can't believe I slept on this show for so long! The first two seasons are especially good, with the third not being terrible, but just not up to par with its predecessors. Kevin Spacey is an incredible and versatile actor - and dare I say - sexy? (shudder) in this role. Another amazing Netflix offering is Aziz Ansari's Master of None. He really captures the plight of the late 20-somethings.

    Black Jesus is a hilarious, and entirely too short, scripted show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Aaron McGruder has delivered again, but I hope this doesn't go the way of The Boondocks with inconsistent airing and long hiatuses. Open your mind and give it a try, if you haven't already.

    If you've hung in thus far - congratulations, and thank you. I don't anticipate being this long winded for the duration of our time together, but I've been away for so long and I have so much to say! Next, I'll share a great deal of beauty items that I discovered and loved last year. Come back?