May was quite the month. In case you aren’t following me on Instagram (seriously ya should we can hang over there too), then you might not know that I graduated college! The last two weeks of school feel like a blur now. If you want to get caught up, you can read my 22 Highlights of Senior Year post here and my #ThursdayThoughts post on Graduating/Finding a Job here. In the meantime, let’s acknowledge the strong, brave products that were on my face this month, withstanding photo shoots, finals, tears, and more.

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Benefit Cheekathon: I did a full review on this guy (with an interesting Benefit secret you can read about here) so I won’t go on for too long, but this palette has been a dream. The quality is wonderful and it’s so handy to have every color I’d want all right there.

NIP+FAB No Needle Fix Serum: Once upon a time, The Body Shop discontinued my favorite serum. I was very dramatic about the whole thing. I tweeted about it, The Body Shop DM’ed me to confirm my worst fear, I called every Body Shop I could to try and stock up…like I said, dramatic. AND THEN, just when I’ve fallen in love with a new serum, the Vitamin E Serum is back. Now, I’m unsure which I’ll buy when I’m done with this. This isn’t as moisturizing but I really feel like it plumps the skin.

Bobbi Brown Face Base: This is one of those products that I shouldn’t have even tried, because now I’m in love. I got this very hefty sample as a Sephora reward and because I’m smart, I haven’t looked at how much the full size is. I’m just hoping I’m over it by the time this is out. This base adds the extra moisture my dry skin needs while keeping my makeup in place. It adds such a healthy glow to the skin so I can understand why this is a MUA staple.

Boscia Makeup-Breakup Gel Cleansing Oil: I wore some serious makeup this month and this oil does a great job of breaking it all up before going in with your cleanser.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector – Opal: I’ve been adding this to my foundation, as my highlight, on my shoulders…I’m ready for summer. It looks so natural on the skin and makes you glow like a dream.

e.l.f. Contouring Blush & Bronzing Cream: Most of the month I was layering all of my makeup with cream bases and topping with powder. I’m not a huge fan of the blush in this duo (I like the 4 pan cream blushes better), but the bronzer/contour shade is great. As you can see, it has quite a hefty dent in it.

That’s all! I’d love to hear what you loved this month. xoxo

If you’ve followed me for awhile now, you’ll know that my love for Benefit runs deep. I don’t know if it’s a skill or a sickness that I could probably identify each boxed powder in a blind smell test. Anyway, some of my powders were getting a little old and needed to be replaced when in comes Benefit with their Cheekathon palette!

Benefit Cosmetics Cheekathon Palette | Bolt Blogs

The only one of these powders I haven’t owned is Dallas. It’s a little deeper than Rockateur but I’m excited to play around with it to see what it looks like!

Benefit Cosmetics Cheekathon Palette

For only $58 you get 5 full sized powders. They normally retail for $29 each.

When I was doing my research, I discovered something I never realized about the boxed powders before. Not all of them are the same size, but they all retail for the same price.

  • Dandelion: .25 oz
  • Hoola: .28 oz
  • Rockateur: .17 oz
  • Dallas: .32 oz
  • Coralista: .28 oz

At first I thought maybe the sizes were adjusted for the palette but sure enough, those are their individual sizes as well. Super strange, but not strange enough to stop me from buying it. I got it during the Sephora sale, so 15% off was an added bonus to the already wallet friendly price tag.

2 years ago, a major complaint with the Benefit holiday blush palette was the pigmentation. These blushes all look and feel like the same quality as the individual boxes.

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This palette is gorgeous and the value is unbeatable. If you’ve ever thought about at least 2 of these powders, might as well get the chance to try five!

April Favorites 2016 | Bolt Blogs

NYX Dark Circle Concealer: This concealer can be a little drying but if you use a good eye cream or primer (like the e.l.f. Hydrating Under Eye primer), this concealer is really nice. I use it as a corrector and layer another on top, usually the Maybelline Age Rewind. Huge life saver with some major dark circles this month.

Tarte Maracuja Oil: I finished up the fresh Seaberry Oil and now I’m on to this mini sample. This seems to soak up a little faster than the Seaberry, which I like, and has a lighter texture.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow – RSVP: Not only do I love this color, but I also love the formula. Even with my hooded, oily lids, this formula doesn’t make my mascara transfer at all. Big win.

e.l.f Contour Palette: I haven’t fully played around with all of the colors, but I would definitely repurchase this palette just for the color that I starred in the picture. I am guilty of trying to make too dark bronzers/contours work, but this color is perfect. I’ve been going in with it as my bronzer/contour and I love this tone because it is very neutral.

Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller: This is such an underrated product at the drugstore. It’s light formula is easy to work with and it has pretty great coverage for light makeup days.

EcoTools Precision Blush Brush: This brush has been my go-to brush with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. I like to use a really soft brush with this since it seems to be kicking up a little more powder as I’m getting further into the pans. I’ve been using the shade on the left to set my entire face this month and have really liked how my skin has been looking with that. I’ve also been using the middle shade as a “base highlight” and layering another on top. I can’t stress enough how awesome this palette is. It is so worth the splurge with all of it’s uses.

Happy Monday! I hope all of you had a lovely month of February. This month I didn’t have too many new things in my favorites. My daily staples are still what was in my January Favorites. There were 2 body products I couldn’t not talk about this month though and a few others, so let’s get to it:

February Favorites 2016 | Bolt Blogs

The Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Butter: Awhile back I talked about how The Body Shop discontinued the Almond Body Butter but I was so happy to find the Hand & Nail Butter in the same scent! I’m unsure how new/old this is, but I must have overlooked it before. My friend told me that the L’Occitane almond products smell great so I still need to give those a sniff next time I can!

Benefit They’re Real Mascara: I have a love/hate relationship with this mascara. Right now, we’re getting along. I can only use this as a second coat mascara, it doesn’t work on its own for me.

YSL Tint-In-Oil #5: This is the best hybrid between a stain, gloss, and moisturizing lip treatment. So gorgeous.

L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow – Amber Rush: These eyeshadows are stunning. I definitely need a base with these but the color is the prettiest rose gold with an almost metallic finish. You can see me wearing the Tint-In-Oil and the eyeshadow here.

MAC Brave: This was such a staple for me this month. It was perfect with every look and I wore it a ton.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation: I feel like this foundation is highly underrated and doesn’t get enough hype! It has a very natural finish, not too dewy and not too matte. I have 10 Classic Ivory and it leans much more yellow than most light foundations do, which many of you fair toned girls with warm undertones might welcome. I mix a touch of my The Body Shop lightening drops in to make the tone match me a little better, but I’ve really been enjoying this foundation a lot.

Sonia Kashuk Yellow Alluriana Exfoliating Body Polish: GO SMELL THIS! For starters, this scent is right up my alley. The package says it’s a “grapefruit with musk,” which is spot on. It almost reminds me a little of Nirvana White, so if you like that you’ll love this. I also love the consistency of this scrub. It’s like a thick paste so it doesn’t just slide off as you’re washing in the shower and you have some time to actually work with it and give yourself a good scrub. I couldn’t find the body polish specifically online so I just linked to the entire line on Target’s website!

Hope you all have a month full of love! xoxo

Happy Tuesday! Today I’m sharing my Sephora Birthday Haul and pictures from my birthday weekend. It was an absolute blast and I cannot thank everyone who helped me celebrate enough. I am surrounded by so many amazing people and I’m very lucky I was able to celebrate with my friends.

In all honesty, I’ve been dreading my 22nd for a few years. All the birthdays leading up to this one have been exciting, essentially since I was 16…

  • 16: You can get your drivers license 
  • 17: I actually got my license
  • 18: “Adult” (I’m beginning to realize no one actually knows what they’re doing)
  • 19: My golden birthday
  • 20: A new decade
  • 21: Cheers!
  • 22: Now what?

I’m being dramatic, but also seriously, now what? Anyway, here’s what I did…

On Thursday my friends and I went out to celebrate Hannah’s birthday for sushi! It was delicious and we got free shirts, so that was an exciting bonus. Photo cred: this girl.

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Friday (my actual birthday) was exciting because I got my hair done. About 6 weeks ago I made the terrible mistake of thinking I could color my own hair with a box color that cost 97 cents. Bad decision. It wasn’t really all that terrible but the tone was pretty warm and I like when my hair is a very cool blonde. My stylist Kaity fixed it right up, thank goodness. I’m going to keep working toward getting it cooler as I color but would rather do it slowly so I don’t damage my hair. Moral of the story, pass on the $1 box of hair color.

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In case you’re in the Iowa City area, I go to Bellisimo Salon & Day Spa

Bolt Blogs Jewelery Francescas

Later that evening was our end of the season band banquet. Very bittersweet to have band come to an end. It’s been a huge part of my high school and college career, but I couldn’t have asked for a better season to go out on.

Other highlights from the night: going on a party bus and riding a mechanical bull.

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Excuse the mess! I was rushing around to get out the door on time! My dress is from Hello Sunshine and is still available. You can grab it here. I used the discount code “LOVEKIM” for 25% off when I saw Kim Thai wearing it on Instagram. If you aren’t following her, do it.

My shoes are on sale here.

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Last but not least, I placed a little Sephora order online 🙂 While I love going into the Sephora store, shopping online gives you more free samples. With every order you get 3 samples (the packets you see along the right) as well as a goodie bag when Sephora runs specials. These specials happen almost weekly and you normally need to spend $25 to qualify. This week’s was a perfume bag with a mini Nars pencil and I also got my free birthday gift. While this may seem like a huge haul, I only had to purchase two items!

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First I got the YSL Volute Tint-In-Oil #5. I tried a sample of this and unfortunately, fell in love. I thought I wouldn’t like the consistency, but it feels like a moisturizing lip gloss. The color starts off kind of clear on your lips but as it warms up develops into the prettiest pink. I also got a new brow gel because I knew I’d be needing a lighter color for when I got my hair done. I missed having the Gimme Brow in my life!

In case you want, you can also check out last year’s birthday post here!

xoxo