Makeup Bag

Northwest Pearls: Makeup PouchMy everyday makeup is displayed on a cakestand in my room, but when I travel, I put it all in one of my makeup bags. My best friend gave me this cute Kate Spade pouch for Christmas. It's from The Strand book store in NYC. Makeup from left to right:

I also use tarte Smooth Operator Finishing Powder and a bareMinerals blush (the color I use is discontinued.)

What makeup do you like to use?

Jimmy Choo Illicit Perfume

Northwest Pearls: Jimmy Choo Illicit Perfume While flipping through Nordstrom's newest catalogue, I came across a Jimmy Choo perfume sample. I opened the paper to smell it.

It was heavenly. The next day I ordered the Jimmy Choo Illicit Trio.

Northwest Pearls: Jimmy Choo Illicit Perfume

I didn't care about the lotion that came in the box, I ordered the trio because it came with a "gift with purchase" of another travel-size Illicit Eau de Parfum spray. Otherwise, I would have just ordered the Jimmy Choo perfume bottle by itself. But it was a better value to order the trio instead of the perfume bottle and two rollerballs. This way I got the bottle, lotion, and two rollerballs. I'm going to put one rollerball in my travel kit, and the other in my purse. I don't anticipate using the lotion too much, I'm not usually a lotion person, I'll use Palmer's Cocoa Butter (it's amazing and smells like chocolate) on my arms and legs, and Vaseline Intensive Rescue Repairing Moisture Lotion on my hands.

I love how the perfume smells. It's very floral. I usually wear Vanilla Fields or Elie Saab, but I like to switch it up. Plus both are running a little low so I would have had to buy new perfume soon anyways.

The bottle is art deco and very pretty; it reminded my mom of a city skyline.

Northwest Pearls: Jimmy Choo Illicit Perfume

I can't wait to start wearing this perfume everyday!

What perfume do you like?

Makeup Hack

Northwest Pearls: Makeup Hack

For the last few weeks I've been saving my almost empty container of bareMinerals Matte Foundation. I had a plan to try to somehow open the container to get the last of the foundation that I can't shake through the opening but hadn't gotten around to it yet.

I found this tutorial on how to get the last of the makeup out of the container. I tried it and it worked! I've now got my container open and about a week's worth of foundation to use that otherwise I would have thrown away.

Before I did the tutorial, I unscrewed the lid, shook all the makeup I could have reached back into the bottom, and then twisted shut the plastic lid that separates the foundation from the accessible foundation. Afterwards I screwed the main lid back on and turned the whole container upside down.

Then I took a penny and wedged the penny under the ridge at the bottom. I turned the container and wedged the penny under different areas and after about two turns of wedging, I popped it off!

Northwest Pearls: Makeup Hack

Do you have any makeup tips to share?

Makeup Review: Pixi Brow Powder Palette

A while ago I picked up the Pixi Brow Pencil/Gel and loved it. (You can see my review of it here.) The Brow Powder Palette was recommended in a magazine I read at the nail salon, and since I loved the pencil so much, I decided to try it out. Northwest Pearls: Pixi Brow Palette and Pencil

*Palette on left, Pencil on right

It is pretty great. It comes in different shades so you can blend to match your eyebrows and also use the lighter shades to highlight your eyes and brows. You have to be careful to not use too much though. I was putting it on and when I looked in a different mirror my eyebrows were way darker than normal. The blending may take a bit of practice, but I really do love the product. I was going between three of the brown shades, the 2nd darkest color worked for part of my eyebrows, and the two next lightest were a little too light or red for me, but I really do love how it fills in my brows. Also, the brush it comes with has two ends so you can apply the highlights with the same brush as you use to fill in your brows.

I've only found Pixi at one Target location, despite looking for it at another three, so I ended up ordering the palette online.

Have you tried out the Brow Powder Palette? What did you think?

Makeup Review: Pixi Natural Brow Duo Pencil and Gel

Northwest Pearls: Makeup review: Pixi Natural Brow Duo I hadn't heard of the brand Pixi before, or if I had, it hadn't registered. But I was looking for an eyebrow pencil so while I stood in the aisle at Target reading eyebrow pencil reviews, a worker asked if I needed help and when I asked her opinion about the two pencils in my hand she promptly led me over to the Pixi display and handed me the Pixi Natural Brow Duo.

She raved about it and after an explanation about why she liked it, waxy but not too wavy, she told me which of the two I had in my hand she liked more. But neither of those two compared to the Pixi in her opinion.

I figured that since she didn't work on commision, the Pixi product might be worth a try. Also- not going to lie- the fact that I didn't have to sharpen it was about 50% of my decision to get it because I was planning on keeping it in my purse.

After one use I put it with my daily makeup at home. I love it. I used to have another eyebrow pencil and I hated it. It was too creamy and didn't stay put. This goes on well but is waxy and stays where I put it. It also has a gel with a brush somewhat like a mascara brush so you can brush your eyebrows into place and they'll stay. The product is amazing and I'm about to go buy a second one to put in my purse.

I got it in Deep Brunette from Target. There is a lighter shade and a darker shade. Some beauticians recommend getting a lighter shade than your hair color, some recommend getting darker. You can figure out for yourself which shade you think you'll look best in, but if you're looking for an eyebrow pencil, I'd highly recommend the Pixi one. It was exactly what I was looking for.

Have you found an eyebrow pencil you've liked?


I've struggled with acne for about seven or eight years. It's finally almost gone, but it's taken a while. Doctors and dermatologists have prescribed me all kinds of acne medications, I've been using oil-free makeup for years, and still my face is oily and I still have acne into my 20s (thanks family genes.) At least I'll have less wrinkles when I'm older! But, I do work to make my skin as nice as it can be.

I use my Clarisonic Pro (available only at certain locations) once a day. I used to use it twice, but I've gotten lazy. With it I use SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser.

Skincare Routine

Then, in the morning, I put on CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.

Following that, I use Colorescience skin mattifying face primer to help with the appearance of oil.

Afterwards,  I use bareMinerals READY Foundation, which provides full coverage. Then I use bareMinerals READY Blush and bareMinerals READY Touch Up Veil, which really helps minimize the look of my pores.

Throughout the day though, I have to blot the oil on my skin, otherwise my face is covered in oil. Maybe one day I'll find the magic product that makes all the oil go away! If I find it, I'll let you know.

It's important to keep your skin healthy. What do you do?


I go through lipstick phases. I'll wear it everyday for a month, and then not wear it at all for six months. Right now I'm into wearing it so I took out my box of lipstick and pulled out my favorites. Northwest Pearls: Lipstick

They are, from left to right, Maybelline New York Super Stay 14 Hour Lipstick 065 Ravishing Rouge, Maybelline New York Super Stay 14 Hour Lipstick 020 Eternal Rose, Maybelline New York Super Stay 14 Hour Lipstick 080 Infinite Iris, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Creme 510 Berry Rich, and Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Creme 440 Cherries in the Snow.

None of these stay on my lips as long as I'd like, but the color is pretty and with vigilance I can keep them looking good.

Do you have any lipstick recommendations?


Makeup Does Not Define Us

I've had bad acne for years, probably around eight years, it's only now getting better. I've been reliant on makeup since it was acceptable to wear it. But last year I did a week without makeup, and when it was over, I went back to wearing makeup, a little more comfortable without it, but not really. This year one of my friends challenged me to not wear makeup for another week. She and one other friend did it with me. At first I was uncomfortable and I wasn't as social as I normally am, although I was also having a bad couple of days so that may have been part of it. The second day, Tuesday, was the worst day of all seven. I ended up in a friends' room practically in tears about how I felt I looked. Both of the friends who lived there thought I looked fine and was overreacting (which I was.) They made jokes and made me feel better. (Thanks N. and J.!)

After that the week got easier. It got to the point where I didn't need to wear makeup, but I just wanted to wear it to feel pretty again, which still isn't a good point, but it's better than where I started it. I was okay not wearing it, but I just wanted it.

Finally Monday came around and I could wear makeup again. So I did my eyeliner and mascara before putting on foundation. And then I put on foundation and looked at myself. I didn't like it. So I took off the foundation and went around for the day without it. And I felt beautiful. I felt more beautiful without foundation than with it. I went without foundation for the rest of the week and felt awesome. I didn't use foundation again until I had to get pictures taken and go shopping for a graduation dress (gotta love those harsh lights.) I do still use mascara and eyeliner, but I can go without them now if I need to.

My friends didn't treat me any differently, other than to say that they thought I looked the same, just as good, or better, without makeup. I needed the encouragement from them. (You rock A., E., L., J., N., C., and J.!)

I'm proud to say that I now feel pretty with or without makeup. It's taken me a long time to get here, I can be very insecure about my looks and especially my skin. But now that I'm here, I'm staying. Makeup does not define us as women. Our actions define us.