Kat Von D’s Shade and Light vs. NYX’s Highlight and Contour Pro

For the price difference, is the Shade and Light palette worth it?

With everyone and their grandmother contouring these days, there are so many products on the shelves in both drugstores and in Sephora. Youtube beauty vloggers have sworn by Shade and Light for more than a year now, but is it really worth it? NYX’s option is slightly harder to find (my Ulta was sold out for weeks), its much less expensive and comes with two more colors.  After using both palettes, I have thoughts.

Kat Von D: Shade & light

Let’s start with the high-end version. The Kat Von D Shade and Light palette will set you back $46 and comes with three highlight shades and three contour shades.

First, the things I love about this Shade and Light: The contour colors are incredibly soft and light. They almost come across looking blurred– which I love because my skin is so fair. Second, all the shades are incredibly blendable so you don’t have to worry about spending forever making sure you don’t have any harsh lines. I also really like the lightest highlight shade, and I put it over my under eye concealer for an extra pop of awake-ness.

While I love this palette, there are a few things I don’t like. First, the price. I held out on buying this for so long, but my lovely boyfriend bought it for me as a Christmas present after hearing me complain long enough. Second, while the contour shades work for me, I’m not sure how well they would work on someone with a darker complexion. Even the darkest shade isn’t really that dark. I am usually the first or second lightest in foundation shades, and even I can use two of Shade and Light’s contour shades.

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Top to bottom: Levitation, Lyric, Lucid

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The color payoff also is not amazing. That is good for me, because I would rather have to put on more product for a more dramatic look than risk going overboard on accident. Again, fair-skinned girls will like this about the palette.

While I like the pinky color for setting my under eye area, I am not super impressed by the other highlight shades. Personally I like a more shimmery highlight, and all of these colors are matte. Maybe one day I’ll try the other two colors, but I definitely don’t reach for them.

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NYX: Highlight & contour pro palette

NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette costs about $20 on Amazon ($25 at Ulta) and comes with four contour shades and four highlight shades. I got mine at Ulta, but I only found it after the third trip because they kept selling out! Some Target and CVS stores carry the palette, too.

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Top to bottom: Hollow, Sculpt, Toffee, Tan

I love the cool contour shade in this palette (the second one from the top in the swatches- hover above photos for names). It works to contour my cheekbones with still seeming sort of natural, without looking like I have a ton of makeup on. One main difference in these colors than in Kat Von D’s is that the NYX colors have a slight shimmer, while Kat Von D’s colors are matte. That totally depends on preference- I usually go for a shimmery blush and highlight, so I prefer a matte contour color.

The pigmentation on these colors is better than Shade and Light- you need less product to get the look you want. That is especially true for the highlight shades– I love the first highlight in this palette! It’s probably worth buying the palette just for that color, honestly.

There are some downfalls to this palette, though. First of all, I’ve found that most of the contour colors don’t really work for me. With the exception of one, I think the others are both too dark and too warm for my skin. In the Kat Von D palette, I can use two of the contour shades and they both look good, while only one in NYX works.

NYX’s shades are blendable, but not quite like Kat Von Ds. It takes a little longer to achieve a seamless look, and there is a decent amount of fallout with every shade. The color pots are also smaller, too.

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Overall, I like both palettes a lot. However, I reach for Kat Von D’s more. I think the colors there work for me better, and they are SO easy to blend. I am all about fast, and the quicker I can blend my makeup and get going, the better. Either one of these palettes is a good purchase, but I would definitely consider your skin tone before purchasing either, because that’s the key factor when it boils down to it.

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One of the first things people say when they walk into our house is that they love our living room– and they wonder how much it cost to decorate. When I tell them everything was bought secondhand or from a discount store, they don’t believe me! Your living room (or den, or family room…) is one of the most important rooms in your home, so make sure you spend time making it a place you will enjoy being in. Here is a run-down of my living room, and how I snagged such great deals on everything!

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PILLOWS

Pillows are life. Just kidding- but they’re pretty important. Adding some funky pillows onto your sofa or chairs will give your room a warm, lived-in vibe, while still looking put together. (Tip: If you have dogs like I do, make sure all of your pillows have a cover that can be zipped off and washed!)

Some of my favorite places to snag great pillows are stores like HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, and Tuesday Morning. Another great option is IKEA, where you can buy the pillow stuffing for just a few dollars and then choose multiple covers that you can mix and match. I found my tapestry-looking covers at a salvage store nearby!

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Browse some similar to mine here or here 

SOFA

So, here’s the deal on my sofa… It was free. A friend of a friend of my mom’s was interested in buying a new sofa but needed to get their old one out immediately. We heard about their situation through word of mouth and they said if we picked it up that day, then we could have it for free… And you better believe we were there within minutes.

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While we lucked out on that, many social media sites have outlets for people to trade or sell furniture for super marked down prices. If you offer to pick it up that day, you’ll usually find people are much more willing to work with you on prices.

IKEA has a similar couch, if you would rather go that route for a similar style

COFFEE TABLE

Let me tell you, this gem is heavy. Dang heavy. The wrought iron base has a great, almost gold rub on it and the glass top is thick and has a beveled edge. This table came from… wait for it… a yard sale. More like a charity sale, but you get the picture. Probably the best $15 I’ve ever spent, and it will last us a lifetime. When you see those annoying flyers on your car for the local charity sale this weekend, it might be worth checking out.

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Check out all the thrift stores near you! America’s Best is one of my personal favorites

BOOKS, PHOTOS, DVDS & MEMENTOS

Everyone has those little things that mean a lot to them, but no where to show them off. Our built-in shelves are the perfect spot for showing off your belongings and also having a neat place to store them. I did some Pinterest hunting on how to style a book shelf (it’s harder than you think!) and went to town. (Get my inspiration here!)

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Featured are some of my favorite cookbooks, DVDs we may never watch again, and family photos. The iguana was from one of my boyfriend’s fraternity adventures in college, and for some reason it’s meaningful to him… I don’t ask questions.

Books available on Amazon (you need Chrissy Teigen’s book immediately), iguanas are probably available but do you really need to know?

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I survived the southern snow storm of 2017! However, because of icy road conditions, my blog post for this week went a little haywire (I left my camera at my boyfriend’s house, and I can’t get there!) so that post will be up next week.

For this week, I’m going to show you the winter fashion trends I am loving or those I can’t wait to try. Below are items that I want/need in my closet, and why I can’t wait to embrace the trend.

A new year calls for new clothes, right?

Bomber Jackets

I’ve always had a thing for short jackets, because they show off my long torso. I am SO happy bomber jackets are back in style because they are typically short and also keep you warm- something that can be hard to pull off while looking on trend. You can’t go wrong with an olive or army-green jacket; but, because I have two army-green jackets, I am thinking of snagging a black one à la GiGi Hadid.

Try this one (via H&M) or this one

Tote Purses

By this point I think everyone knows that Santa brought me the best Christmas present in the form of a Louis Vuitton tote. I am all about big purses, because you can throw literally anything you need into it and run out the door. My new LV is slightly too big for a purse (even for me) but it’s perfect for throwing my laptop and chargers in for work or when I’m working on something and have to run out for coffee, a meeting, etc. It’s basically life.

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I also love the Madewell totes that come in different colors and shapes with monograms; and Target always has great, colorful bags for your computer. This trend is not only cute- but functional, too.

This is one of my favorites– try the studded version, too! (via Madewell) And these reversible options are great because… reversible. (via Nordstrom)

Over the Knee Boots

Okay, okay, I think everyone is on this trend now… but seriously, what is cooler than OTK boots? You can make this look dressy or casual and take it into the spring with a flowy dress. Lots of these boots are expensive (think Free People, Sam Edelman, Marc Fisher) but you can snag can inexpensive pair (like I did from Forever 21) that will do the trick.

Tip: Before you buy, make sure you do a through walk around the store- I bought a pair two years ago that were not cheap, but when I got home and wore them I could hardly bend my knee. I sold them on Poshmark, but you get the picture.

These are similar to the ones I bought (via Forever 21)

Similar ones here, without heel and in more colors (via Amazon)

Off the Shoulder Sweaters

I can’t get enough of this season’s off the shoulder look. I bought the cutest sweater from my friend Peyton’s online boutique and it is one of my favorite purchases! It can be worn on or off the shoulder, which I love.

When looking at these, a chunky material will keep you warm and make up for the heat lost on your bare shoulders. Careful with buying one too small- if your sweater is too tight, it can quickly look cheap. Try these in neutral colors that you can wear into the spring with ripped jeans and booties.

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Buy mine here, or get it in burgundy! (via ThirtyOne Boutique)

Or this one here (via Amazon)

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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The longer the eyelashes, the closer to god.

Well, big hair helps too.

The woman who did my lash extensions was amazing. I can’t say enough great things about her. My experience was great, too. I got a half set of lashes, which took about an hour to apply. I fell asleep not long after she started!

It’s been four days since I got my lashes, and I haven’t had any issues. They feel like my real lashes, and I didn’t even feel the urge to add mascara when I got dressed up for New Year’s Eve.

The main upkeep is getting fill-ins. According to my technician, the half set should last me about three weeks before I need a refill. That basically means she will add in more lashes to replace the ones that have fallen out, and I can ask her to make them fuller or longer. So far I have only lost a few lashes and I can’t tell a difference.

As for caring for the lashes, I can’t use any oil-based cream or makeup remover on my eyes. I have been using the Garnier Micellar Water which is oil-free anyway, so that wasn’t hard. If I do want to cheat and use a little mascara, I am not supposed to use anything waterproof- but Maybelline Full N’ Soft should do the trick. If you do apply mascara, just apply it on the tips.

Here are my results with the half set of lash extensions. If you’re in Birmingham, I would be happy to refer you to the technician who did mine. Leave a comment if you want to know how they hold up over the weeks! 

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Update

It’s May, and I’ve refilled these lash extensions for months. I am actually about to get a new set at the end of the month, because I waited too long between visits! These lashes are amazing, and I highly highly highly recommend them to anyone. I am addicted. Putting on mascara just doesn’t give you the same effect!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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I have had SO many questions about my outfit in my Instagram video on Christmas Eve. Thank ya’ll so much for the sweet feedback- I thought it was a festive way to ring in the holiday! Below is all the outfit information and links to products.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Sweater: Forever 21 (currently sold out)

Another cute, similarly ridiculous holiday sweater here

Skirt: Lauren by Ralph Lauren (via TJ Maxx)

Similar skirt here

Shoes: Forever 21 (no longer available)

Similar booties here for just $14.99

Hair: Styled with the Beachwaver Pro

Get it here

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It’s almost Christmas! Can you believe it?

Between Christmas and New Years, there are always plenty of holiday parties. If you need an easy, mostly all drugstore makeup look to get in the holiday spirit- look no further. The key elements to this holiday makeup look are plenty of sparkle and shimmer and a bold lip. (If you’re more comfortable with a smoldering eye, sub that for the eyeliner and opt for a nude lip.)

As for the sparkle, pack on the highlighter! I sweep it across my cheekbones, the tip of my nose, and my cupids bow. I chose a white eyeshadow to give the inner corners of my eyes a little pop and to make my brow bone look more lifted.

Here is the finished look- my go to for holiday and winter parties. Check out the product slideshow at the bottom, with links underneath, in case you’re interested in anything!

Happy holidays to all; and to all a good night.

I love using a slightly darker liner than my lip color. I feel like it givers my lips dimension and it makes the center of my lips appear fuller. This liner is part of the Kylie lip kit in Ginger, paired with a MAC lipstick. This lipstick looks so much pinker in the tube than it does on your face- so give it a try even if it doesn’t look like you at first! (Lips are the only part of this look that is not from the drugstore!) 

 

While I have the Sephora collection color on my tear duct area, I’m wearing a Milani shimmer color on the inner third of my eyelid. It’s a more yellow-based color, while the tear duct and brow bone color is more white.

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The effect of the white eye shadow is undeniable, because it draws the eye to, well… your eyes.

Featured products:

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This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I love decorating, and I especially love Christmas decorating. There are so many fun, inexpensive ways to light up your home for the holidays. Here are some of my favorites, and some examples from my home to get your creative juices flowing.

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Wreaths and garland

This is a no-brainer for the holidays. Garland is a super cheap decoration solution- just pick some up at a Dollar Tree or Dollar General. You can literally use the stuff for anything: Decorate the tree, wind it around your banisters, hang it around your chandelier… I’m game for whatever. Wreaths can get expensive if you aren’t into DIYing, but if you are, go to your local craft store and pick up the vines and get the rest of the materials from Amazon or Walmart to save yourself some cash money (I made ours years ago!)

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Table décor

These little mason jar decorations are some of my favorite holiday pieces- and they cost $2 to make! Buy these jars (not the Mason brand like these, but they do the trick) at your local Dollar Tree. While you’re there, pick up a sleeve of round ornaments. Usually, the rolls come with 5-10 of them, depending on the size. I chose the small, round balls in green, red, gold, and silver. Next, just take the top off of the jar and dump the ornaments in. It’s that easy! I made these for a Christmas party years ago, and I pack them away just like this so they’re easy to pull out for next year.

If you prefer the textured, quilted look, get a set of 12 here that will work just fine.

Candles or wax melts

Nothing says holidays like a good scent. My favorites are anything vanilla related, or something that smells like baked goods. Peppermint, pine, cedar, and cinnamon are more popular scents for the winter season. If you don’t like candles for the fear of leaving them lit by accident (guilty), try wax melts or oil plugs. Pick up nice candles for less at a HomeGoods or T.J. Maxx; grab holiday wax melts here in a set of 10 for $8; or use a Bath and Body Works coupon to buy wallflower scents for next to nothing.

Stockings

While Mitri and I don’t make stockings for each other, we do make stockings for the dogs. Judge me if you will, but it’s actually one of our favorite things about Christmas Day! We get all the dogs together in the living room and dump their stockings out in front of them. They have so much fun and it makes our day better knowing that they feel loved! You can make great stockings with just a few yards of fabric and decorative pom-poms, but if crafting isn’t your thing, you can buy a few for just a few bucks. Try the Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby/Michaels, or get cute embroidered stockings here (3 for $20!)

Need more ideas? Here are a few more sneak peaks of my holiday home!

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It’s here! The first video in my beauty series. I have always wanted to try Glamglow, but I’ve been skeptical. If I’m paying $69 for a face mask, it better be good. And it is. I bought a Christmas set at Sephora that came with one full size Supermud mask (the white jar), a trial size of Youthmud (the black jar), and a trial size of Thirstymud (the blue jar). Supermud claims to be the best mask for clearing pores, but it doesn’t dry out your skin. I have only tried Supermud and Youthmud so far, and Supermud is by far my favorite. If you’ve ever wanted to try Glamglow but weren’t sure if it was just a gimmick, watch my video and see the results for yourself!

(PS: No, my video skills aren’t perfect. Practice makes perfect, so helpful tips are welcome and appreciated!)

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Winter is coming, winter is coming! While we all know I don’t really NEED anything new, here are some of the pieces I want to add to my closet this season. I’m going out of town this weekend, and will definitely be on the lookout for some of these items or something similar. Plus, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are quickly approaching, meaning so are the sales! We have to get ourselves Christmas presents too, right? 🙂 

Velvet errrrything

Velvet shoes, joggers, and tanks are everywhere right now, and for good reason. Velvet is warm, soft, and has an I-woke-up-like-this vibe. One of my favorite velvet items I have seen this season is this Missguided velvet bomber jacket, available from Asos. Best part? It’s ballerina pink: The color of the season! If you’re trying to ease yourself into the trend, Target has some amazing joggers in gray and blue velvet by Who What Wear. Unfortunately, they didn’t have my size at my local Target and I couldn’t get them- but it’s totally worth checking out. Check out this guide from Pinterest on some of the best velvet looks.

This gorgeous black lace maxi

For winter parties, cocktail dresses are great and fun- but they can get kind of boring. This dress is beautifully crafted, with intricate lace covering the entire dress. The slip just covers your chest, stomach, and upper thighs, which shows just enough skin. The deep V is also stunning!  I’ve had my eye on this dress since I met Stefanie and Tracy of the Eleventh Gorgeous YouTube channel and Madison and Mallory boutique. Spoiler: They’re amazingly sweet and just as beautiful in real life. Anyway, I have wanted this dress ever since this online store opened, but every single time it gets restocked, it sells out! This lace maxi comes in black, pink, maroon, and periwinkle- all are equally stunning. I want the black one (because, black) and I will keep stalking this site until it is mine.

Work appropriate leggings

I own these leggings from Loft in grey and in burgundy, and they have changed my life. Not kidding. They are super thick to keep you warm and to suck you in, and you don’t have to worry about finding a sweater to cover your rear end. I bought a small (I’m 5’6, and a 4/6 in pants) and they are definitely snug, but comfortable. And, for once, they are long enough to wear booties and don’t ride up! Definitely, definitely, definitely recommend. No, they aren’t paying me to say this. I’m just a slave to these leggings.

Sweater for cold mornings or late nights

In the mornings, I like to throw on a sweater while I drink my coffee for a little extra coziness. This Free People sweater-kimono is perfect for that. If you’re going out, you don’t want a bulky jacket over your outfit. This piece is perfect for that, too. The fringe keeps this sweater from looking too much like the shawl your mom wore to that wedding that time, and the delicate fur collar gives it a little flair. Basically I don’t need any other reasons to buy this. I’m obsessed.

Sassy over-the-knee boots

Not your faux leather boots stashed in the back of the closet. These babies are suede with metal detailing, and a pointy toe. First of all, pointy toes are the key to my heart. Second, the metal details are precious. Third, there is an inside zipper so you don’t have to send 45 minutes tugging them on. I could wear these with denim shorts in the spring, a dress in the fall with a long cardigan, and tights and a skirt in the winter. They also seem like they are fitted through the leg and won’t fall down, which is a plus when wearing skirts. These are going on my Christmas list, like now.

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It’s still not feeling like fall in Alabama, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start to embrace the season- and there is nothing to get your style into cold-weather mode like a fall lipstick. Moody, deep hues are perfect for fall and make a statement when your whole body is wrapped in scarves and boots. Not into the dark lip craze? Try a lighter color in a different tone than you normally wear, like a mauve or a gray (yes, gray!)  Not everyone can wear the same colors, but everyone can pull off some sort of fall lip. Below are the lip colors I am loving this season, lights and darks!

Covergirl The Bolds: 760 Gone Griege ($5.59 at Target)

I was a little skeptical about this color, I’ll admit- but after putting it on, I fell in love with it. The color is not too wild for work but it’s different than your average pink. Wear it like you would wear a nude lip! Plus, it has a little more edge and can take your typical jeans and boots outfit to another level. A+ here, CG.

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Covergirl The Bolds: 770 Mauve it ($5.59 at Target)

Mauve It is another win for the brand’s Bolds collection. A typical ‘your lips but better’ color, this reminds me of MAC Brave- except, it’s more comfortable to wear and has a warmer undertone. While I have a few other lippies that are a similar color, this is a little darker and definitely has a more fall vibe. The color glides on smoothly, but doesn’t have a shiny effect. This is going in my purse for a weekday rotation.

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Colurpop Ultra Matte Lip: LAX ($6 at colourpop.com)

Oh, LAX. Let’s just say, I felt like I was Beyonce in this color. I’m not crazy about the ultra matte lip formula- it is the definition of matte, but it can be drying and hard to take off- but I will suffer through for the color payoff. I felt like I could conquer the world in this color. I wanted to wear it out to dinner after this, but I was wearing Chacos and running shorts and thought it might be a little out of place…but, I’m looking forward to the next time I wear it! I am going to put on some vaseline or lip balm underneath from now on, so it will be a little more comfortable.

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OB-SESSED.

 

Sephora Collection Rouge Lipstick: Mmmm…(17) ($12.50 at Sephora)

This color is a really easy, running errands or late to work kind of lip. Super comfy, cute color, long-lasting, and will pair with any look. It’s hard to beat a look like this, no matter what the season is. (Psssss: It’s supposedly a dupe for a Kylie color, too!)

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Colourpop Lippie Stix: Creature ($5 at colourpop.com)

Colourpop Lippie Stix and I are friends, and this color just reminds me of that fact again. Creature is more purple than LAX, which has a more burgundy look. It is more comfortable than the Ultra Matte formula, and I think it’s easier to apply. While this is pretty dark, it’s more of a typical fall look for me because it doesn’t seem as harsh as other deep colors can be. I think the shade is universally flattering and it fades out to a pretty berry wine-colored stain.

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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