Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Balms

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Balms | Writing Between Pauses

It's here: the final part of my beauty series on my favorite lipsticks. (To read all the past posts, click here.) 

When I first started planning this series, I knew I wanted to include lip balms. Balm, to me, is a crucial part of wearing lipstick, especially liquid lips: You have to put moisture back in, especially if you're wearing a more drying formula. 

I am somewhat naturally suspicious of most lip balms. Not to throw out a conspiracy theory, but I genuinely believe many popular lip balms actually dry your lips. Standard Chapstick? DRYING. Carmex? Extremely DRYING! Traditional Burt's Bees? Drying. Why? All of these usually contain peppermint oil of some form. Have you ever seen peppermint oil? It's drying; it's a drying agent; it dries out your lips! There is a difference between a sealant and moisturizer; things like Carmex provide a physical seal on your lips, but contain ingredients that further dry out the skin, forcing you to put it on more regularly to feel like your lips have any moisture at all. 

I'm just saying: read ingredients carefully. And if you feel like you need lip balm to have any moisture in your lips, then stop using whatever you're using. I have noticed this in particular with EOS lip balms as well. This is my PSA and the hill I will die on! 

When it comes to these lip balms, these are just my favorites; they are moisturizing without having drying agents to trick me; they smell good; and they feel good. That's my list of criteria! Let's dive in. 

Favorite Lip Balms

1. Burt's Bees Ginger Spice

This is technically a limited edition, Christmas scent... but it's my absolute favorite. (You can see all the flavors of Burt's Bees here, but be warned: check the ingredients for peppermint!) I keep this lip balm in my kitchen to use as I'm cooking or tending to Forrest. Burt's Bees is one of the most used lip balms out there and they've definitely diversified in recent years. This scent is spicy and sweet (without being cloying). Forrest especially enjoys getting some put on! 

2. Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm

I use this lip balm every morning before I put on my make up. I rinse my face and then take my face brush to my lips to lightly exfoliate, then put on a thick layer of Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm. As I do my makeup, it sinks in and I wipe off the excess before putting on lipstick for the day. It smells so good and feels so nice on. It is lightly rosy too, so if I wear it plain, it gives a little bit of color. A little tub is quite expensive ($7!), but it has lasted me well over 18 months. 

3. Ulta Beauty Glossy Balm

I received this Glossy Balm in the Ulta Beauty 12 Days of Calendar (read my review here) and, as I said at the time, finding a similar or comparative product was difficult. And such a bummer because I love this balm. It's one of my favorites for when I'm just as home, working and taking photos, and need to look good... but don't want to go all out. It's a lovely, sheer berry color. The Ulta Beauty Butter Balm Glossy in Poppsy is similar, and Ulta does have an SPF lip balm here. I'm on the hunt for dupes! 

4. Skyn Iceland Berry Lip Fix

Skyn recently rebranded, so the tube no longer looks like the one I have. (I have to say, it's a great rebrand.) Skyn is a vegan, cruelty-free company, which makes me love it even more. This berry lip fix is my go to right before bed; a thick layer after my skincare routine and I'm snuggling up in bed. It feels so good on the lips and doesn't leave a cast (my nemesis), plus it smells really refreshing. I received it in my November Ipsy bag, but plan to repurchase soon! 

5. Preventative Measures 101 After Hours Lip Balm

I received this lip balm in my January Ipsy bag and it's recently become one of my fast favorites. I tend to think of my lip balms by where I store them; this is my "work" lip balm because I keep it right beside my keyboard! I love that it smells of passionfruit (without being too strong) and contains ingredients like jojoba and fruit antioxidants. 

How I'm Handling Late Winter Dryness

How I'm Handling Late Winter Dryness | Writing Between Pauses

The past winter has been a really difficult one for me, skin-wise. While I've gotten a handle on my acne, I've started to get, well, really dry. There is no other way to say it: my skin has been dry. Really cold temperatures combined with nightly fires in our wood stove to heat our house and it's a recipe for dry patches. My scalp has been the absolute worst; nothing works on how dry it is, but alas, that's another story. 

I sleep with a humidifier every night, which definitely helps, but at a certain point, you have to put moisture back in to your skin. If you're struggling with severe dryness at the end of this winter (spring, and rain, and moisture, is coming--I believe it!), here are the 4 things that have drawn me back from the precipice of "I guess I'm just a scaly monster now".  

1. Pacifica Kale Luxe Moisturizer + jojoba oil

I bought this moisturizer in a rush while I was in Idaho for Christmas. I hadn't wanted to pack my bottle of jojoba oil and, at the last minute, I froze when it came to moisturizer. So I didn't pack anything. Bad plan. Very bad plan. Idaho is notoriously dry and it was very, very cold while I was there (it snowed!). Needless to say, I was dry without hours of arriving in Idaho, so Danny and I ran to Target. I settled on this moisturizer and I have to say, it was serendipitous. 

I am a total believer that jojoba is the supreme moisturizer for my skin. But in the morning, before I put on makeup, I don't really want to coat my face in oil. This moisturizer, cut with a dollop of SPF and two or three drops of jojoba oil, feels absolutely perfect. It keeps my skin soft and non-greasy, even with SPF. It smells quite strongly of kale, which at first bothered me, but doesn't now. It just feels so good! I usually get severe dry patches on my cheeks starting in January and February... none so far! Truly a Christmas miracle.  

2. Dove Dry Skin Relief Repairing Balm*

When Dove sent me this Dry Skin Relief Repairing Balm, I wondered how I would work it into my skincare routine. I am a pretty solid supporter of Vaseline Cocoa Butter for my evening lotion (sometimes cut with a scented lotion for additional soothing). However, once I tested this out one night, I was hooked. It's less like a lotion and more like a more solid petroleum jelly. The first time I used it, I coated my feet and ankles (the part of my body I struggle with dry, ashy spots), put on socks, and called it a night. The next morning, my feet felt so soft

I now mix a healthy dollop with a pretty good sized dollop of either cocoa butter or Bath & Body Works aromatherapy lotion. It has helped keep my elbows and knees from getting too dry, and my knuckles from cracking. Danny has pretty bad psoriasis and eczema and he's been using it too, to amazing results. 

3. Dove Advanced Care Deodorant* 

At first, I wondered if I should include deodorant in this post--but it's such a bit part of my life, I had to. I struggle with anxiety sweating, to the point where I am almost always sweating out of one armpit, which is quite embarrassing. As a result, I've used some pretty intense deodorants/antiperspirants throughout the years. I always return to Dove. Why? You might ask. 

Because deodorants dry out the skin around my armpit like crazy. I had been using another brand before Dove sent me this deodorant and had developed pretty large patches of dry, flaky skin on the underside of my arm, as well as onto my chest--basically, anywhere that deodorant residue touched, my skin was sapped of moisture. Within a few days of switching to Dove, those spots had definitely reduced in size and severity. Two weeks later and they're completely gone. So if you, like me, struggle with deodorants and antiperspirants causing bad dryness, Dove is the way to go! 

4. Lush Shower Bars 

I love, love, love hot showers. Unabashedly. I am that person in boiling hot water, wondering why my skin is so dry afterward. However, ever since I started using the Strawberry Fields Forever shower bar from Lush, I feel a little less bad about it. As I said in my review recently, this shower bar is basically soap and oil; I use it on my dryest spots to help keep them from getting dry throughout the day. If you struggle with dry skin, especially on your arms and legs, I highly recommend these bars. As well, I think they'd be perfect for pregnancy and using on stretch marks! 

*Disclosure: as usual, an asterisk (*) next to an item indicates that I received it as a sample, for review, or in PR. In this case, I received these items from PR at Dove, but all opinions remain my own. I genuinely love them! To learn more about my disclosure policy, click here

Spring Color Series: Millennial Pink

Spring Color Series: Millennial Pink | Writing Between Pauses

Millennial pink has been on the radar for at least the last year. I definitely noticed a sharp uptick in people dying their hair a really pretty shade of pastel pink last year. As someone with naturally almost-black hair who, even with professional help can't bleach my hair beyond orange, I was really, really jealous. I also remember reading an article around the beginning of last summer about how millennial pink was "the" color of millennials.

It's a pretty fair assessment. Look at the packaging for Kim Kardashian's KKW Beauty line. The packaging for Fenty, too, is a pale, pale pink. We're seeing pale pink--and all it's variations--in packaging, flat lays, everything. Rose, dusty pink, rose gold... they all fall into the millennial pink family and it's hot

To read last week's take on forest green, click here

Inspiration

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Pink Collage
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Pink Pantone

Millennial pink is an almost universally flattering color because it's come in so many shades. Can't pull of baby pink? Try something a little more lavender. Want to go bright? Millennial pink has your back. I mean, look at these Pantone swatches! Prefer a little more coral? It's there too! And this is just a single screenshot of what Pantone considers millennial pink. There are so many options! How isn't this a perfect color for Spring? 

Top 3 Picks

Adidas Gazelle
Jacket
ColourPop

1. adidas Gazelle Shoes

When I was around 12, I wanted nothing more than a pair of Adidas Gazelle shoes with pink stripes. My mom got me white and blue ones instead (shout out, mom). But I'll be honest: these ones really tug my heart strings. Millennial pink!? Suede?! I'm in. I'm there. Paired with rolled up skinny jeans and a plain t-shirt or sweater and you've got the cutest outfit on the block. You're welcome. (And they're only $60! Why do I remember them being more expensive?) 

2. Snap Button Denim Jacket from Forever 21

I've been looking for a denim jacket for ages. They tend to bounce between too fitted and too boxy. This one seems to hit the sweet spot (at least on the model) and, of course, the millennial pink color makes it perfect for dressing your standard late winter outfit for spring. Over dresses and tights? Yes. Layered with a sweater and leggings? Absolutely. 

3. ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter in Parallel

I knew I wanted to include one makeup item here--and let me tell you, millennial pink is way easier than forest green when it comes to makeup! This ColourPop Highlighter is only $8, to start, and the sunset-reminiscent millennial pink color makes it perfect for almost all skin types. (I've seen it used as a blush too and it's absolutely beautiful!) The perfect way to add a pop of pink on even your dreariest days. 

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Glosses

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Glosses

When I was around 12 or 13, I had a lip gloss selection to be envious of. My particular favorite was this one from Bonne Belle; it was in a curvy little container with a long brush, and it was swirled white gloss with darker pink gloss. It smelled like strawberry shortcake. My sister always said it looked really good on me. 

Lip gloss remained my staple lip product through high school and into college. But when lip gloss when out of fashion a few years ago, it went hard. It was no swan dive; it was a cannonball. Suddenly, everyone wanted matte, matte, matte. I would say that started when I had just graduated college, around 2011, but I was still deep in love with traditional lipsticks then. 

I haven't touched a lip gloss since, easily, but since this summer, I've been seeing more glossy looks. It's definitely the influence of 90s fashion; teenagers are putting on mom jeans and baggy sweatshirts, just like my sister and her friends wore in the mid to late-90s, so it's impossible to see the influence. Of course minimal face makeup and lip gloss would follow. 

For my lipstick series, I knew I wanted to include some lip glosses. Even though I love a full color, pigmented lipstick... sometimes, you just want something simple. More and more lately, I've been wearing monochromatic looks with one eyeshadow and one lip color--really simple, but really fresh looking in comparison to other make up. To read about my other favorite lipsticks in this series, click here

Now, let's jump into my favorite glosses. 

Top to Bottom: Ulta Beauty Color Rush Lip Gloss in Olivia; Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick in Eclair; Aveda Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Sunkissed Melon; Sephora Gel Gloss in 04 Perfect Nude.

Top to Bottom: Ulta Beauty Color Rush Lip Gloss in Olivia; Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick in Eclair; Aveda Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Sunkissed Melon; Sephora Gel Gloss in 04 Perfect Nude.

1. Ulta Beauty Color Rush Lip Gloss in Olivia 

Olivia is described, on Ulta's website, as a medium nude blue-pink... which, as convoluted as it sounds, is pretty accurate. This is one of the first glosses I really got "into" a few months ago--and because it's so highly pigmented, it's a nice middle ground between a standard lipstick and a plain gloss. It's a really nice your-lips-but-better color and wears comfortably. But like all glosses, it's not super long lasting. It's available from Ulta for $9.00.

2. Bite Beauty Liquified Lipstick in Eclair

I reviewed this Bite Beauty liquified lipsticks back in August; I liked them then, but they've definitely grown on me since. (You can read my review here.) And Eclair is definitely a fan favorite. Described as a "soft rose," it's definitely the most "me" of all the colors I own from Bite Beauty now. This is definitely a gloss, despite being advertised as a liquid lipstick; it's shiny and definitely not long-wearing, but does leave a nice wash of color behind. They are available, in a ton of pretty colors, from Sephora for $24. As a small warning, these lipsticks do smell strongly of gummy warms. 

3. Aveda Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Sunkissed Melon

I've owned this lip gloss since I got married. That's right: I wore it at my wedding. My makeup artist layered this long-lasting, moisturizing gloss over my lipstick color of choice (a dark, blue-red)... at first, I was unsure, but my lipstick stayed the entire day and looked great. This lipgloss is described as a coral with shine; its definitely "melon-y", giving a faint coral color. Of all the glosses I've chosen, it's definitely the more "traditional" idea of gloss! It smells, however, like peppermint, ginger, and vanilla, which I find so soothing and lovely. These lip glosses are available from the Aveda website for $19.

4. Sephora Gel Gloss in 04 Perfect Nude

I received this lip gloss as a sneaky extra in Sephora on my birthday. The sales associate who rang up my purchases (I had a 20% off family & friends coupon) asked if it was my birthday that day, so she took a huge handful of their samples and put them in my bag. In that selection was this gloss. It has a tiny smidgen of color, but not much; it's definitely great for just doing a glossy lip for the day or layering over a liquid lip color I love, but dries out my lips too much. And at $12 for a full size from Sephora, it's super affordable. 

Beauty Review: Lush Bella Fruta Box

Beauty Review: Lush Bella Fruta Box | Writing Between Pauses

I received the Lush Bella Fruta box for Christmas from my mother-in-law and I was so excited! I'm kind of a newbie to Lush's products, because there has never been one near me. But they are a vegan and cruelty free company, so I absolutely want to support their products. As a note, from what I can tell, the contents of the Bella Fruta box vary between the website and what is offered in store. So the box I received doesn't match the website whatsoever, but does match some other reviews I found online! 

My Bella Fruta box came with: 

  • A Yuzu & Cocoa Bubbleroon
  • The Comforter Bubble Bar
  • The Comforter Shower Gel
  • Strawberry Feels Forever Massage Bar
  • Sympathy For the Skin body lotion
  • Avobath bath bomb

That's a lot for one box, especially when on the website there are only 4 items listed! I loved trying everything out, even though I felt super overwhelmed as to what to try first. I;'ve been working on this review since December, so it's fair to say, I've gotten well acquainted with everything. 

Let's jump in!

Yuzu & cocoa bubbleroon

Yuzu is a Japanese fruit that is kind of like a Satsuma orange: it smells citrusy (I would say closer to lemon) and quite fresh. This bubbleroon also has cocoa in it, to give it a sweet, chocolate smell as well. It is shaped like a macaron with a center of shea butter, to have a moisturizing, luxurious bath with plenty of bubbles. 

I used this my first night home from my trip to Idaho for Christmas. Idaho is notoriously dry and I always struggle to get my skin to rehydrate after a trip. The entire time I was in Idaho, I was slathering lip balm on to try to protect my dry, dry lips; I was chugging water and applying hand cream like a mad woman. And yet, still, my knuckles started getting so dry, they cracked. (You’re probably wondering how I survived 4 years of college in Idaho; long story short, barely.) 

At first, all I could smell was a sort of earthy, lemon scent. I didn’t actually smell much of the cocoa; there is a light, sweet scent to it, separate from the lemon, but it wasn’t over-the-top cocoa scented! It felt very luxurious and moisturizing, although it did turn the water a not exactly flattering shade of yellow. I quite liked how bubbling it got. Afterwards, my skin felt very, very soft and moisturizer. I followed it up with Sympathy for the Skin body lotion. Later, Danny did remark that I smelled a bit like a chocolate orange! 

The Comforter bubble bar

The Comforter bubble bar is scented with black currant and bergamot oil; it turns the water bright pink and creates tons and tons of bubbles. It is quite a large bar and I didn’t think to cut or break it in half (or even into fourths) until afterwards! I used the entire thing, so it turned my bath bright, bright pink and there was absolutely tons of bubbles! My mistake, really. I do wish it was smaller (and cheaper) so that you got more bang for your buck. 

The scent was pretty light and struck me as quite like blackberry, as opposed to black currant (although now that I think about it, I suspect they are very similar). It was very, very relaxing and made my skin feel very soft and supple afterwards. 

The Comforter shower gel

The body cream has the same scent as the Comforter bubble bar: that is, a berry-like scent with a sweet undercurrent of vanilla to smooth it out. I quite like this shower gel, but do find it a bit thin and slightly sparkly, which isn’t always a great day look! But I do feel like it leaves my skin quite clean, but without feeling stripped. It contains almond oil, which explains how it feels so moisturizing. 

Strawberry Feels Forever massage bar

Of all the products, this has been the one I've used the most, for the longest, and really enjoyed. It smells very lightly of strawberries; I keep it in a little jar in my shower and use it on my elbows, ankles, tops of my feet, and hands every shower. It basically dissolves body oil over you as you use it, which is quite nice, but not something I need every single day. I do appreciate that it forms a barrier for the parts of my skin that I struggle with. Also, I just love the lightly fruity smell. 

Sympathy For the Skin body lotion

I didn’t realize it, but this body lotion is actually banana and vanilla scented (and includes both). When I use it, I primarily smell vanilla, but did notice an additional smell that I didn’t love. It’s the banana! I’m not a huge banana fan, but I do quite like this body lotion. I love dipping into the little tub and using it! It contains shea butter and almond oil, both of which are relatively heavy moisturizers, but it absorbs very, very quickly. I don’t get left with that greasy feeling after putting it on in the morning! 

Avobath Bath bomb

This bath bomb was HUGE! I scared Danny by trying to cut it in half in our kitchen, but then I ended up using the entire thing anyway. It made the bathwater a really lovely, mermaid green color (very on trend). It smelled slightly of lemongrass, but not super strongly; I almost wanted it to have a stronger smell, because otherwise it just smelled a bit like baking soda. I did enjoy it though and it left my skin very, very soft. 

Spring Color Series: Forest Green

Spring Color Series: Forest Green

When I first set out to take on this Spring color series, I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to do it. I knew I wanted to include not just style, but beauty items; and I knew I wanted it to be more than some kind of wish list post (which I love, but aren't the most original). I had a hard time really pinning down what I wanted this post to look like, but after a lot of hard work... I got there. (And it should be said: I'm writing this Tuesday evening. Since November, my posts have been scheduled 1-2 weeks in advance, so I've really been spending time thinking on this one!  

Color Series: Forest Green Inspiration

Forest green, to me, is a neutral. As a color, it can vary from the darkest shades to the lighter, olive tones, but it always recalls a deep, dark forest. It's a natural color and one that it almost universally flattering. Green has always been one of my favorite colors. Forest green pairs well with gray, pink, white and cream, black, and coral. 

Inspiration

When it came to finding inspiration, I picked anything that really inspired me to incorporate forest green into my style for the upcoming season. You know I love woodsy chic anything, so the forest green enamel mugs are right up my alley.

I'm looking to add forest green curtains to my living room to go with my lavender-gray wall, so decor pieces have been inspiring me lately. In terms of fashion for spring, forest green is a great color for cable knit sweaters; for those of us who have late summers, we're still wearing sweaters into April and May, and they pair well with skinny jeans and ankle boots. I think it's safe to say the world has been obsessed with palm print in the last few  years & it's probably not going away; I'm on the hunt, personally, for a palm print scarf that doesn't break the bank. 

(Click each photo for their source!) 

Top 5 Picks

Too Faced
Body Shop
ModCloth
Fenty
H&M

Now, what 5 items are perfect for adding to your spring wardrobe or makeup collection to add some forest green? Let's talk. 

1. Too Faced Chocolate Gold Palette

Controversially, I love Too Faced palettes; I know some don't love their eye shadow formulation, but I find it's easiest for me to use. This palette is particularly attractive to me--and that pop of forest green in the corner is making me think of ways to save up money for this palette! This palette also contains other complimentary colors, and a super bright pink for the days you aren't feeling so green. On my Spring Color Series Pinterest board, I pinned some ways to wear forest green eyeshadow. 

2. Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Midnight Wasabi

It's a green lipstick. You heard me: a green lipstick. Midnight Wasabi from Fenty is really causing waves and for good reason: it looks good on nearly everybody. It's a grey-toned green, almost olive, but still forest-y. And it's really pretty on. If you want to be adventurous with green with spring, Midnight Wasabi is where it's at. 

3. ModCloth's With Only a Wink Dress

It's been a long time since I genuinely wanted a dress from ModCloth so bad it hurt--but this dress is definitely giving me fashion-blogging-circa-2012 vibes. The lattice panel across the shoulders. The high waist with a bow. The floaty skirt. And in a toned down forest green, it's perfect for any special occasion (like a spring wedding!) and with a sweater & tights, you can wear it to work too. Once summer is here, a light cardigan on top and your favorite wedges make it a great weekend dress. Listen, I just planned this dress for every season; it's clearly the best. 

4. A Classic Fine Knit Sweater from H&M

I wear sweaters almost constantly. I rarely leave the house without a cardigan and my go-to outfit is jeans, ankle boots, and a sweater. So obviously, this sweater from H&M had to make the list; it's a classic shape with no surprises. Have you ever spotted a cute, lightweight sweater in a department store, walked over to it, and discovered it has some random cut out on the back, or some weird design on it? Yeah, that's the worst. That's why I like this sweater: it's the perfect, low-key sweater that you can wear casual on the weekends (jeans & ankle boots, natch) and style up for work (add a blazer & a pencil skirt). Plus, it's just under $20. That's a score! 

5. The Body Shop's Fuji Green Tea Exfoliating Scrub

You deserve a treat. A forest green treat. A green tea treat. I love the Body Shop & I recently found out they are officially cruelty-free again (a.k.a., no longer owned by a parent company that tests on animals). That means we can all enjoy their products guilt free. Like this Fuji Green Tea exfoliating scrub: forest green and smelling delicious, it gives you a much needed pick-me-up. Plus, we're all going to be wearing sleeveless tops soon (believe it and it'll be true, right?), which means we need to make sure our skin is looking snatched. 


Have something of the forest green variety to add? Let me know on Twitter & don't forget to check out my Spring Color Series board on Pinterest, where I've pinned all my inspiration, favorite items, and more! 

Beauty Series: My Favorite Berry Lipsticks

Beauty Series: My Favorite Berry Lipsticks | Writing Between Pauses

Welcome to part 3 of my beauty series, all about my favorite lipsticks. You can read my past posts from this beauty series by clicking here

Berry lipsticks are one of my favorite families of lipstick! I own many of them (not as many as pink lipsticks though). There are many different monikers for this shade of lipstick: berry, plum, deep pink, burgundy, etc. But berry is really the best all-encompassing term! 

My mom always tells me that berry lipsticks look best on me; it just goes along with my coloring, really. I have very dark hair, hazel eyes, and freckles. I am, as it goes, an "autumn"--a season where everyone tends to want to start wearing darker, vampy colors. 

Narrowing down my collection of berry lipsticks was actually not a challenge. (The real challenge, if I'm being honest, was swatching these without ending up with a big, purple stain on and around my lips! I suffered for these photos, just so you know.) I knew immediately the four I wanted to choose! I'm so excited to share these with you, so let's get started. 

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Budapest

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Budapest

Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Berry Recognize

Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Berry Recognize

1. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Budapest

As I said in my nude lipstick post, the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is a controversial formula: some people hate it, I happen to love it. And Budapest is one of my favorite shades of all time. Of all the shades I've chosen for this post, it's a little on the lighter side and a little more mauve toned (that is, a purple-gray undertone). It's such a nice, soft berry, perfect for wearing during the day. 

2. Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Berry Recognize

This is the first Liquid Catsuit color I ever bought... and it's one of my favorites. It's a darker color than Budapest, but also has more of a deep, purple note (very much like blackberry juice) rather than being pink-ish. Like all Liquid Catsuits, this lipstick is incredibly long-lasting and wears really comfortably. I will say: it does stain a little bit when I wash it off. But for only $4.99, it's a total steal. 

Ulta Beauty Matte Lip Cream in Stirring

Ulta Beauty Matte Lip Cream in Stirring

Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Video Vixen

Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Video Vixen

3. Ulta Beauty Matte Lip Cream in Stirring

This is definitely my wildcard pick of these. If you haven't noticed, I've ordered these lipsticks from lightest to darkest. If Berry Recognize is a step up from Budapest, then Stirring is a step up from Berry Recognize. It's darker and deeper, almost a wine color. It's really pretty. I love Ulta's Matte Lip Creams, because they're so affordable; but like many berry shades, this color is a little streaky. (In general, if you're going to encounter a streaky lipstick, it's going to be berry toned; purples are notoriously hard to make pigmented.) That all being said, I still absolutely love this lipstick. It feels super comfortable throughout the day and doesn't feel overly drying. 

4. Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Video Vixen

Video Vixen is a deep, dark berry color. It is exactly what its name sounds like: deep, devious, and super feminine. I saw others in my beauty Facebook groups wearing this shade and I absolutely needed it. If you want a vampy, deep lip color, this really is a perfect one. I love it a lot, even if I only save it for special occasions. The first time I put it on, Danny told me I looked like an extra in a goth music video (this is not an insult, both Danny & I love goth music), and that has been my impression of this lipstick ever since. 

My Top 3 Valentine's Day Beauty Must-Haves

My Top 3 Valentine's Day Beauty Must-Haves | Writing Between Pauses

Surprise! It's a bonus weekend post. 

I don't do this very often, usually only during challenge months, but I recently got an email from the Beauty Crop** announcing a special Valentine's Day sale starting today through the 4th! Everything on their website will be 30% off. Yes, everything. 

All the lipsticks I've recommended. All their brush sets. Everything. 

I wanted to share 3 of my favorite products from the Beauty Crop that will be perfect for Valentine's Day! Whether you're heading out with your honey or just want to treat yourself, these 3 pieces will be perfect: affordable, high-quality, and, most importantly, cruelty-free. 

Glow Milk | Writing Between Pauses
Fineapple Brush Set | Writing Between Pauses
GRLPWR in Piedaho | Writing between Pauses

1. Glow Milk Liquid Highlighter** 

The Beauty Crop's liquid highlighters (Glow Milk & Lighting Crew) are genuinely 2 of my favorite beauty products of all time because they are both dupes for the Cover FX droppers that everyone mixes into their foundation. (Ok, not everyone...) I love using both, but especially for Valentine's Day, the Glow Milk Liquid Highlighter is such a good option. Made from all-natural ingredients and in a beautiful, pale pink color, it's so much fun to use because of the cute packaging. Please just imagine how cute it will look in Instagram photos! It's regularly $19.50, but at 30% off, it will be less than $14! 

2. Fineapple Makeup Brush Set**

When people ask me what item they should definitely invest in when it comes to beauty, I always say brushes; a good brush set that you love will stay with you for years! I love this one from the Beauty Crop because it comes with such a nice case and the brushes are so cute. A stand out set of brushes that you love is something that you will revel in using every day--and these ones make me so happy! This set is normally $49, but with 30% off, it will be only $34.30! For 8 brushes and a case, that's an absolute steal. 

3. GRLPWR Liquid Lipstick in Piedaho**

I love the GRLPWR Liquid Lipstick formula; it's soft and comfortable, while still being super matte and full coverage. The color Piedaho is a deep, rich, burgundy; it's so pretty, especially for Valentine's Day. Whether you're vamping it up solo or heading out for dinner, it's the perfect color to wear with your favorite outfit (whether that's a dress or pajamas at home is up to you). Normally, Piedaho is $14.95, but with 30% off, it will be about $10.50! You can get 2 for that price! 

Whether you're looking for a little treat for yourself or to invest in a gift set (like the Brewtiful Face Gift set**, a personal favorite!), you don't want to miss this sale. 30% off everything ends on Sunday, February 4--to get shopping! 

Disclaimer: as noted in my disclosure policy (which you can read here), a double asterisk (**) indicates an affiliate links. An affiliate link means that for every sale, I make a small commission; affiliate links & posts like these help me keep the lights on at Writing Between Pauses. Thanks for supporting my blog & me by clicking these links, checking out these great products, and maybe making a purchase or 2!