It’s Autumn. The best season of the entire year, and the best potential for delicious fall flavors to indulge in while you can cover up your foodie sins with endless layers of puffy clothing. And yet, this is the season that we celebrate the worst flavor known to mankind:
In an entire world of culinary treats… how is this the damn fall flavor that consumes us from September-December? Literally thousands of flavors, and hundreds of which could easily compliment the background of a crisp fall breeze and leaves crunching underfoot… and we decide that friggin’ Pumpkin Spice is going to the the theme of the best season known to man?
I don’t think so.
And I’m not just saying this because I hate Pumpkin Spice almost as much as I hate Cheeto Jesus, but because in a world of endless tastes we are set to suffer with this one flavor profile to rule over the other delicious flavor profiles? Nah bro.
In the interest of spreading the good word of oh, I don’t know, any other flavor ever, I thought I’d share my top 50 other flavors that are better than Pumpkin Spice (in no particular order).
50 Fall Flavors Better Than Pumpkin Spice
Chocolate AND Peanut Butter
Day-old apple cinnamon
Toasted Marshmallow– not to be confused with S’more, as this one contains NO chocolate
Bad apple flavoring that really tastes like what a bad candle smells like, kind of waxy and sour
A gym sock, probably
Literally any kind of pie, like any pie at all, including spinach
Candy Corn (AKA literally the shittiest candy known to man)
Turkey & Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Canned Cranberry Sauce
Pink Gelatin Mold Your Grandma Makes But Nobody Eats
Toffee (minus the nut)
Wet Dog Smell
Leftover Chinese Food
Mint Chocolate Chip
Cloves (or whatever that Christmas-smelly spice is)
Apple Pie Spice
Dollar Store Lip Gloss You Didn’t Mean to Eat But It Accidentally Got In Your Mouth And Now You’re Full of So Much Regret
A day-old Skittle you found a the bottom of your purse
Drinking Orange Juice After Brushing Your Teeth Taste
And I could go on, but you get the picture. F*ck Pumpkin Spice.
Mama got a new baby. And her name is the Lorac Mega PRO 3. And I have swatches. You are welcome.
This palette is part of the Holiday 2016 collection and is a limited edition Ulta Exclusive. It’s the mega version of the regular sized Lorac Pro palette from that year– so this one is based off the Lorac PRO 3. It goes on sale 10/2, but I snagged one early.
A little history: In early 2015 I saw swatches of the original Lorac Mega PRO palette. But holiday time had passed and they weren’t selling them anymore. Bummer but whatever. I moved on. Fast forward to the holidays of 2015 when the Mega PRO 2 came out, but I didn’t have any money. I lusted hard and even got Kimberly from Life of Kimberly (perviously of Blogs for Days) to do a guest post using the palette for an eye look. But yet again, I missed out on getting it.
So last weekend when I got a cute little email to my inbox saying the Lorac Mega PRO 3 was going on special 1-day pre-sale for Ulta Platinum members, I cashed in my Ulta points that I had been saving and snatched it up faster than you could say “PayPal One-Touch.”
Um, are you hearing the angels sing the “Hallelujah” chorus right now, or is it just me? Because they are singing and they all have gorgeous eyeshadow.
My new child This palette comes with 32 total shades: 16 matte on the first two rows and 16 shimmers on the bottom two rows. It follows the trend of being mostly rose-gold toned, but has a few blues and purples mixed in, which is awesome. It is similar to the cool nude shades of the regular Lorac Pro 3 but has even more warm nude shades, which helps make the palette very wearable. I can easily see doing neutral looks and more dramatic looks with this one, which is great.
As far as formula, this gal is so creamy and beautiful with a super soft texture. The shades can be kind of powdery though and when grabbing product with a brush, it did kick up a lot of product onto the packaging– which I will discuss later. Some colors are more pigmented than others but they are all incredibly buildable. Even the purple shades “Dusty Mauve” and “Eggplant” that didn’t swatch so well were very easy to work with and looked beautiful when I used them this morning. I would recommend using a base or primer with these though so they have something to stick to.
Unfortunately the beautiful shimmer does not show on my pictures, but trust me, they pack a punch. Some come off straight metallic– like Rose Quartz, Pink Bronze, and Cider– while others offer more of a sheen, like Snow, Bellini, and Pomegranate. I have not tried them wet yet, but I am assuming they would be gorgeous and almost foiled if you used them with some MAC Fix+ or primer water. I’m already thinking ahead to a wedding that I am in in September of 2017 that has a navy theme and how gorrrgeous Rose Quartz would look as an eye look. *heart eyes emoji*
In addition to the beautiful colors, they also passed the wear test by lasting all day on my eyes. Using the Urban Decay Primer Potion as a base, the colors looked just as vibrant when I got home today as they did when I left. Two thumbs up for that.
My tiny complaint is of course… the packaging. The mirror is giant and bomb AF, but I’m not a fan of the white cardboard packaging. Not only does it feel fragile, but it is already dirty. As so much powder gets kicked up when you use it, it why in the world would you make it white?! And because it’s a cardboard package, it’s harder to clean than had it been made of plastic. I’m also slightly surprised at how small the pans are with only 0.45oz of product. My research showed that that’s less than the product in the Mega PRO 1 & 2 from years past, but the $59.00 price tag has remained the same. Now I don’t have the 1 & 2 so I can’t speak to quality differences, but it seems fishy that its pricer but less product.
Depsite the downfall of the packaging, I give this little beauty an 8/10. Gorgeous colors and super creamy formula, but the dirty packaging and tiny pan size is a little bit of a turn-off. This palette goes on sale on 10/2/2016 at Ulta for $59.00, and I would recommend it, despite it’s few downfalls.
Lorac Lovers or Lorac Virgins– what do you think? Will you be purchasing? Let me know your thoughts!
If you’re ever feeling alone in something you like– don’t. Welcome to the world of Facebook Groups.
My beauty product obsession is only an interest I developed in the last few years. And until recently, I was pretty alone in that obsession, especially when I was living at home in Ohio. There are only so many times you can show your cat mom a swatch of a lipstick before she goes to her bedroom and locks the door.
So I turned to Facebook Groups to help curb my addiction for talking about products. To this day these groups are still the reason why I have yet to delete my personal Facebook. It’s not very often that you can get a group of women and men together who will all fan girl over a Sephora shipping notification with you, or help you guess the brand/shade of a lipstick that a celeb is photographed wearing. And all from the comfort of your own home!
Get a new lipstick and you’re feeling yourself? Post it to the group, and share with (literally) thousands of others. Curious if a product is worth the hype? Ask the group and get answers immediately. I’m serious– there is even a woman who is SO talented at creating these gorgeous, intricate eyeshadow looks that there is currently a campaign going to get her to create a Youtube channel or to study make-up professionally. Outside of Alpha Delta Pi, never have I ever belonged to a group of such supportive people.
Obviously there are bound to be a ton of these groups, but I do have a few favorites.
This was the first group I joined. It had a few thousand members when I found it, and now it’s got nearly 20,000. This is the perfect place for product recommendations, to ask questions, gossip over the beauty guru committee (like the Kat Von D & Jeffrey Star Cosmetics feud?! DAMN!), and more. People even post selfies with “How do I look?” or “Make-up looks banging today, just needed to share with people who understand!” and everyone is pretty much always very nice and encouraging. Even if you’re a make-up newbie, this is a great group to join.
This group is dedicated purely to ColourPop Cosmetics (as you can tell from the title) so if you’re a ColourPop fan, I highly recommend joining. Not only is it the best place to hear about new releases, see swatches, examples of make-up looks using ColourPop products, etc, but it also has a really great community feel with people thanks to creator of the group hosting giveaways and other games.
This one is as large as Make Up Tips Connection, but has a much different feel. People “go live” a lot in this one and just hang out and chat while they do their make-up or hair. And as you can guess from the title, a lot more general beauty topics are discussed instead of just make-up. It’s less informational than the other two, and more of a community-based group.
Though the other groups seem to have a wide variety of genders, this one has a wider variety of ages. It also seems to be a much more international place– with (I THINK, so sorry if I am just an ignorant American and am so wrong) a large proportions of Australians. A lot of the references that are made that I don’t always understand, but everyone is again super supportive. If you’re outside the U.S., I would check this one out. Everyone is really nice and helpful, and is great for reviews.
And those are just my favorite beauty Facebook Groups. If you’re looking for a great online forum, just search your interests on Facebook and I guarantee there is a group out there for you. This social media age is great (and a little creepy) for finding people who are interested in the same things you are.
Have any makeup Facebook Groups you love? Let me know. I’m already in six, what’s a few more?!
Hello, my name is Kelsey and I am in the midst of a ColourPop lipstick addiction.
I know I shouldn’t even bother explaining ColourPop (thanks to the hype from the Kyle Jenner Lip Kits dupe drama— Google that ish if you don’t know what I’m talking about), but in case you don’t know what it is, or are my mother, then here we go.
ColourPop is an online beauty brand that sells crazy affordable make-up that is great quality. They’re best known for their lip products and their Super Shock Shadows, but they also do highlights, blushes, bronzers, eye liners, brow products, and sculpting sticks. And for how affordable they are, it’s not hard to get hooked.
In my case, it started out innocently enough. Two liquid lipsticks and an eyeshadow. And then there were three liquid lipsticks. Then there was a 20% off sale and then.. well.. You saw the picture above. I have developed a tiny collection.
And that isn’t even all of them. I have two Ultra Satin lips and a Lippie Stix missing from this that have gone AWOL.
Though ColourPop is known for their Ultra Mattes, I very much prefer the Ultra Satins.
On the left is November, a ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip, next to StringRAYE, a ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip (that is a dupe for Jeffree Star’s Androgyny and is being discontinued on August 18th so RUN AND GO GET IT NOW!). The difference in the formula is very apparent. The Ultra Mattes tend to be much dryer and the Ultra Satins have a mousser texture that is much more comfortable to wear.
My go-to is Midi, an Ultra Matte, and November, the Ultra Satin. I also love Alyssa, another Ultra Satin that is slightly more mauve-y. Both are great for everyday wear.
ColourPop’s Lippie Stix are also great. I find myself reaching for these when I’m looking for something I’m not worried about wearing off my lips or looking uneven throughout the day. I highly recommend them for an understated work-appropriate lip color.
Pictured above is Creature, Cami, Frida and Aquarius, all of which have different finishes. Though the Frida, the Satin finish, is my go-to, I do love Aquarius over a pink lip liner, and am dyyyying for fall to hit so I can start wearing Creature. Cami, the Matte X finish, is a beautiful color, but because it is so matte, I have to prep with an exfoliant and lip balm before I wear it. I’m hoping Creature, a regular Matte finish, will be more comfortable.
Despite my undying love for the ColourPop lipstick, I do have one complaint. The logo on the packaging rubs off quite easily– as you can see in the first picture.
I used to think people that got hung up on packaging were crazy… until now. I am the kind of person that gets excited over packaging. When did that happen?
I get a weird thrill out of seeing each ColourPop lipstick in a row, all nice and neat. Maybe it’s because I clearly have a thing for the same color family– (they are all DIFFERENT when you put them on the lips! I promise!)– but there is something about seeing all of them lined up, in color order, showing off their pristine ColourPop logos that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. I’m assuming this is how men feel when a fancy car engine revs.
HOWEVER. The liquid branding rubs off SO easily– as you can tell in the picture above. I know I shouldn’t gripe about a $6.00 lipstick, but having the logo rub off so quickly kind of ruins the whole warm-fuzzy-feeling thing. “Midi” took an all day trip in my purse and when I pulled her out to put her away at night, the logo was gone! Disappointing, as she is one of my favorites.
Aside from that, I’m a happy camper.
If you’ve never tried a ColourPop lipstick, I recommend taking a look around the website. First time customers can get a $5.00 off coupon, which basically means a free lipstick. And who doesn’t want a free lipstick?
Are you a ColourPop junkie as well? Tell me what you have/what I need to get in the future. Or, if you have other lipstick brands I should try, let me know in the comments!
**It wasn’t until the end of this that I realized I was referring to my lippies as “she” but whatever. Dudes can call their cars by the female pronoun, then I can call my make-up “her”.
I’ve talked a lot about anxiety lately– including Things That Happen When You See a Therapist as well as How to Find A Therapist. To see all of my anxiety posts, you can scroll through my “Mental Health” posts under the “Health” tab at the top. With all this focus on anxiety, we still haven’t really talked too much about how to combat anxiety and get calm.
So when NewLifeOutlook emailed me asking if they could write about some techniques to help you get calm, obviously I agreed. Eric provided some helpful tips on how to calm down when you’re feeling anxious, some of which I utilize myself when I’m feeling stressed. Hopefully these tips help you if you’re in need.
Got any tips of your own, or agree with anything listed below? Leave them at the end in the comments! And without further ado, I’ll kick it over to Eric to talk about how to get calm.
8 On-The-Spot Ways to Get Calm
The ability to relax and calm yourself during a stressful situation is an ability that seems to come naturally to some. They always seem to have a plan and never let worry get the best of them, while you feverishly work to find anything that works for you.
Since you do not have the innate ability to get calm quickly, you must work to build coping skills that break the pattern of stress and tension in order to let in feelings of peacefulness and control.
Here are the eight best on-the-spot relaxation skills to leave you calm.
Before you cringe or bemoan the fact that this list includes deep breathing, understand that this is just one of the natural ways to relieve anxiety that works wonders for many people.
When you hear “deep breathing,” you may think about people who have tried to convince you of its powers before, or how you already tried it with no success. The truth is that deep breathing is highly effective, but most people perform it incorrectly.
To begin your mastery, work to take a deep breath in while leaving your shoulders still. Let your stomach protrude as you suck in the air. After a brief pause, let the air escape slowly for a long exhale.
Exercise works wonders for many physical and mental health complaints, and as it turns out, it is even effective in calming your body and mind.
You do not even need to lace up your sneakers or go to the gym. If you are feeling tense or restless, try some dynamic stretches to burn off some energy.
Touch your toes or roll your arms forward to reduce some tightness in your chest. Doing jumping jacks or pushups shouldn’t be out of the question either — sure, you may look odd exercising in your work clothes, but it is better than feeling anxious.
Experiment with different types of exercise in different situations to find what works best for you.
Change Your Thinking
All day every day, thoughts are swirling through your head, making you anxious. Take control of your thoughts by inserting some positivity, or challenging whatever messages are contributing to your stress.
Some people develop mantras to improve their thought patterns. Mantras are simple phrases or sentences that you can repeat out loud or to yourself when their influence is needed.
Saying “I feel relaxed, calm, and in control” can work to modify your thoughts and change the resulting behaviors. Whichever version you choose, be sure to say it often to get the desired impact.
Listen to Music
A four-minute song can completely change your point of view, even when you’re stressed or anxious. Keep a positive playlist on your phone so the songs will be there whenever you need them.
Perhaps heavy metal is just what you need to find calm, or maybe you peace in a concerto. The important thing is you find music that reverses — rather than reinforces — your tension.
Again, experimentation will be necessary here. Some tunes will work better in certain situations than others.
Play a Game
Since your phone is already out after listening to music, you might as well open up your favorite app and play a few games.
People generally spend too much time on their phones, which equates to too much wasted time and distraction. In this case, a small amount of escape is acceptable.
Diving into the game will consume all of your attention and provide your brain with a needed break. During this time, you can find enough separation from your stressor to have a new, fresh approach.
Be sure to limit your time, though. There is a thin line between short-term escape and long-term avoidance.
Call a Friend
Your phone can play music and can help you play games as well. Another thing your phone can do is actually make a phone call!
So many people are just a call away, and even though they might not be able to erase your stress, they can be a friendly voice on the other end of the line. Start with people you trust and respect, and feel free to guide the conversation in any direction.
Talking about your anxiety isn’t a must since you can find calm by discussing last night’s game or the show on this evening. Once you hang up, you might find yourself with a new level of relaxation.
Avoid texting; the lack of immediacy can trigger increased anxiety as you wait for a response.
When you were a child, there was nothing more calming or soothing than being held by your mother. It seems unlikely that your mother can still pick you up and rock you to sleep, but physical contact will assist in your goal of relaxation.
Find a loved one to hug. If no one is available, give yourself a squeeze to replicate the experience. Otherwise, you can find a comforting piece of clothing or a pillow to hug or rub against your face. This physical contact can add feelings of calm and safety no matter where you are.
Have a Taste
Stimulating your senses is a great way to help you get calm. Music and hugs soothe your hearing and touch, while eating or drinking can target your taste and smell.
Having a glass of ice water can be calming. A piece of dark chocolate or your favorite fruit can accomplish the goal with a bit more flavor.
My having something to taste and smell, you begin to focus more on these and less on your tension. Of course, you must be careful to keep this under control — a large milkshake may reduce some stress in the moment but lead to other problems later.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol as well. Three espressos may seem like a good idea, but that much caffeine will only trigger more anxiety.
Eric Patterson, LPC is a professional counselor in western Pennsylvania working for the last 10 years to help children, teens and adults achieve their goals and live happier lives. You can find more of his writing on NewLifeOutlook.