As per all Januaries, this month I went from laying on the couch all day to waking up before sunrise to trek across campus to make my 8 AM lectures, working part-time again, and getting back into the extracurricular grind. Here's a short, sweet list of items that stood out as my most used/reached for as I upped the productivity and eased into my hectic school lifestyle.

MAC Plumful. Can you tell I'm obsessed with this? How many times has it shown up on my blog? It's literally my perfect everyday color. I love the plummy tones and the smooth, silky finish. I love how it makes my face instantly look fresh and alive, and I love its versatility. I have worn this at least every other day since getting it, my other lipsticks just don't compare!

L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara. Truth be told I actually hated this when I first tried it. It gave me raccoon eyes and the brush felt flimsy compared to the super hardcore CoverGirl Lash Blast one I love. I don't know what prompted me to bring this back into my routine, but recently it's been working great! It gives more fluttery volume than thickness to each lash like the Lash Blast does, but I'm digging the (slightly) more subtle look. Maybe air exposure also helped the formulation, because it doesn't seem to raccoon as much anymore either!

Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush. This is my go-to holy-grail all day everyday eyeshadow brush. No matter what color I'm using whether it be MAC Sable all over the lid or UD Naked2 in my crease I use this brush every single morning (or whenever I happen to be applying my makeup). It's soft, dense, and gets the job done.

Essie Big Spender. I had a club photoshoot to attend and posed with a pineapple (long story, let's just leave it at food themed and topknot buns), so I had to paint my nails something bright to contrast with my black outfit and tropical prop. I rediscovered Big Spender (think MAC Plumful made slightly brighter and in a nail polish, YUM) in my abundant collection and have been loving it on my fingertips!

Tiny Rose Gold Hoop Earring. I've always wanted to put a hoop through my third earlobe piercing but could never decide what kind I wanted until I lost the stud that was in there. I found this dainty set of rose gold 8mm hoops and fell in love. I like how dainty it is and how it fits perfectly around my ear so the hoop is not too big and awkward, the color is so pretty, and it adds a very subtle edge to my look. At only $10 including shipping I'd call this a bargain (and since I only need one at a time I have a spare backup!).

Grandma Nat is hittin' the town this weekend! I'm most definitely a homebody and could spend hours in bed with my laptop, blanket, and a cup of tea, but every so often I'm up for a night out in the city. While figuring out what to wear is one thing, trying to decide what to take is a whole 'nother ordeal. I probably won't have any pockets to stash stuff in (why don't women's clothes have pockets?!) or the confidence to tote my phone around in my bra (major props to the girls who can pull this off). Wristlets are annoying and an unnecessary hassle to semi-carry in my hand, which is why this little Silence + Noise purse I recently found at Urban Outfitters is a lifesaver. One side is faux leather and the other is suede, adding the perfect amount of interest to an otherwise standard LBB (little black bag). It has a long strap to wear it crossbody and have my hands free, built-in wallet features so my cards won't just be floating around, and it's the ideal size to hold everything without being in the way. My iPhone fits perfectly along with a little lip gloss and some cash, and my house keys are safely stored in the inner zippered pocket. That's all you really need, right? Now I've just got to figure out what to wear... What's in your going out bag?

This spring I want to go bold. Riding on the dark winter statement lip trend and transitioning straight into pinks and corals, I think it's finally time to bust out the out-of-my-comfort-zone lip colors I've accumulated.

First up is the bright and juicy Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti. A lot of people swear by orange-toned lipsticks but this is the only one I've been brave enough to try. The sheer formulation makes it easy to swipe on for a little accent or build up for more intensity. I want to pair it with a striped top, pony tail, and my rose gold shades.

Next is a little UK splurge - the Bourjois Color Boost Lip Crayon in Peach on the Beach. Sound familiar? Zoella swore by this a few summers ago and I've been keen on trying it out ever since. It is seriously neon and in-your-face so I'm struggling to figure out how to best wear it but I think a light hand and subtle makeup is the way to go.

Last is Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Fruit Punch, a vibrant matte-satin hot pink lipstick. It's all-or-nothing with this one because there's no way to apply it sheerly, but maybe it's a push to really go bold and try something new! Maybe I'll save this one for a night out or morning mimosas... Either way, it's definitely sure to pack a punch.

What are your favorite bright, bold lip products? I'm curious to try more!

Products mentioned:

She's done it again, hasn't she? Universal girl-crush Miranda Kerr looks flawless for Spring 2015, and here I am wishing my skin also did that soft dewey glow thing and my lips turned the perfect pout. I came across this photo on Studded Hearts' blog and am dying to recreate this look. This luminous, simple makeup would be perfect for spring and summer, and I think I've compiled just the right mix of drugstore and high-end products for the task (sadly I don't own them all, but this doubles as a little wishlist too)!

I've tried the Revlon Nearly Naked foundation before and really enjoyed its natural finish. I think it would be perfect for achieving her effortless base. Benefit Hoola to bronze up the face and Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso to add that exact peachy shade on the cheek, topped off with NARS Illuminator in Copacabana that VelvetGh0st raves about gets you Miranda's flushed complexion. She has a pretty strong brow so I think a product like the Anastasia Brow Powder set with Benefit Gimme Brow would create a shapely arch, and to keep it simple with the eyes just a sweeping of MAC Mulch or a similar shimmery brown with a lightweight, natural mascara like Revlon Lash Potion on the top lashes would round out the look. Lastly, when I first saw this photo Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait immediately came to mind -- it's the perfect shiny, moisturizing, peachy pink shade to recreate Miranda's makeup. The NARS Illuminator and Peach Parfait lip butter are going on my list of beauty buys that I'll splurge on once I lift my makeup buying ban (because I've got to save up some cash to recover from all that holiday spending!). Any products you're interesting in trying this spring?

Products mentioned:
Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation     /     Benefit Hoola Bronzer     /     Milani Baked Blush (Luminoso)
NARS Illuminator (Copacabana)     /     Benefit Gimme Brow     /     Anastasia Brow Powder
Mac Mulch Eyeshadow     /     Revlon Lash Potion Mascara     /     Revlon Lip Butter (Peach Parfait)

Glamour February 2015 Photo of Miranda Kerr from Studded Hearts

What's the perfect cure for the back to school blues? A mani-cure. Hah! It's officially my last "first day of the semester school" after winter break and I don't feel quite ready for the task. The thought of more essays makes me want to barf and senioritis is hitting hard. But pay not mind to the negativity, I thought a good coat of China Glaze Sea Spray would do the trick to get me outta this funk! Sea Spray is one of my favorite blues, since I've come to realize that teals don't look so hot on my yellow-toned skin. It's a beautifully creamy, dusty gray-blue that reminds me of the San Francisco fog (shout out to @KarlTheFog). There's a very subtle sheen that isn't all that apparent on the nails. It could almost be considered a neutral because it's a muted creme, and I love wearing it for the transition months between winter hues and spring pastels. This is doing the trick for now but next I want to paint Essie Cascade Cool on celebrate the spring! Does anyone else schedule their nail polish colors in advance, or is it just me?

Products mentioned:

A quick stop at the Japanese grocery store for some pantry essentials yesterday ended with a peruse down the beauty aisle and a cheeky new addition to my eyeliner collection. Say hello to the Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner. Dolly Wink is a brand by Tsubasa Masuwaka, a gal/gyaru model and TV personality-turned-entrepreneur, that's been hitting it big in Japan since 2009, providing everything from eyeliners and lipsticks to holy grail falsies for girls looking to perfect that dramatic gyaru look.

The Liquid Eyeliner pen has a super precise brush tip that applies the product anywhere from super thin to medium width. I'm able to get all the way down to the base of my lashes to apply this, and I'm loving the lashline coverage I get. The liquid itself isn't thick or runny, but smooth and very even. It's a seriously no-budge formula - I tried rubbing it off and didn't even make a dent! I also tried scrubbing with water but there's still product left which is a good sign for long-wearing makeup. I can see why everyone who's tried it has good things to say. Kudos to Tsubasa, I'm really impressed with the quality of the eyeliner pen and cannot wait to experiment with her signature cat eye since I've never been able to master the perfect flick!

Products mentioned:
Dolly Wink Liquid Liner

Just because the holidays are over doesn't mean my wishlist is all checked off and sorted (unfortunately). My mood has already shifted toward sunny skies and light breezes and I'm already with my head in the springtime clouds before the cold front has even lifted. I'm ready for the flowers to bloom, the pastels to come back, and for my winter-to-spring transition wardrobe to take shape!

Here are just a few of the goodies I've been lusting over this week (*all photos are clickable links). A lot of it is accessory-based as I'm not quite sure what trends I will be craving in April but the dusty pinks and cute little heels are popping up to replace my knit-obsession and chunky black boots. I never used to be much of a seasonal dresser but I've become more and more keen on seasonal wardrobes and cannot wait for the 70 degree weather to come back! What are you looking forward to in the spring?

Products mentioned:
Mini London Buses Passport Holder    /    Rebecca Minkoff Sunnies Pouch    /    J.Crew Factory Cluster Necklace
Cole Haan Bethany Pump (65 mm)    /    Cole Haan Lucille Pump (75 mm)    /    Carolinna Espinosa Sari Sandal
F21 Pink Draped Suede Jacket    /    Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush    /    Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Dim Light)