divine rose fantasy

in this garden alcove, the fresh scent of roses, slightly herbacious lavender, and a hint of honeyed vanilla lingers in the air. for some reason, there's a neatly organized vanity tucked away here. ornate fragrance bottles and cups of brushes sit upon the vanity's tabletop, while the drawers contain a carefully curated selection of shimmering palettes and cream pigments. in the distance, you can hear the gentle sound of running water...

i consider this area both my personal studio, and a calming retreat. i enjoy adorning myself with colors that make my heart sing, and admiring the way shimmers reflect when the light hits just right... it makes me feel so content.

makeup is actually one of my biggest special interests! i don't tend to talk about it very often, though. i have a very specific relationship with makeup, and it can be difficult to convey how i feel to other people, who usually have very different associations or feelings than i do. personally, i don't see anything wrong with that - i'm more than content to share my love and enthusiasm with other people who "get it", and keep to myself in other situations.

for me, it's a creative outlet, distinctly separate from my usual work. i'm the most interested in makeup color theory, liquid/cream-based products, and anything that makes me look like an ethereal being. i'm particularly weak to warm pinks and rose gold shades...

if you're curious at all, here's some of my favorite products. no sponsorships or whatever, i just thought it would be fun to share things i love.

an arrangement of pink roses

favorite eyeshadows

Pat McGrath Divine Rose palette

i yearned after this palette for a year and a half, because i loved every single shade in it. it's my ideal "neutral" palette, something that i'd be happy to use every day because the colors appeal to me so much. a very kind friend ended up getting it for me in May 2021, and it just makes me soooo so happy to use.

the four shades on the right side of the palette are particularly unique to PMG's formulas - they have a curved dome shape instead of being pressed flat. some of them have a smooth sheen, while others have a sparkling iridescent finish that looks like dewdrops on your eyelid. my favorite shade by far is VR Rose Venus, the pink-gold shade in the bottom row. the base of the color is a warm pink, but when it catches the light, it shines bright gold. i often find myself just wearing that by itself just because i love it that much!

Sydney Grace x Temptalia On the Horizon palette

i'm a little biased towards this palette, because i've been in the Temptalia discord server for years, and it's a community that's really important to me. Temptalia is a blogger that's reviewed makeup for well over a decade, and i was so excited when she announced that she was releasing a collection for Sydney Grace, an indie eyeshadow brand. she has a really good eye for color and formula!!

she released three eyeshadow palettes with SG, but i picked up the one that i knew i'd use the most - On the Horizon. it was designed as a set of earthy, muted tones, with a mix of neutrals and soft hints of color. On the Horizon caught my eye ever since the first teasers were posted to Discord, haha. in my mind, it's like a whole bouquet of soft colors. i fell in love with the deep blues, and how they complimented the more purple and pink tones in the palette. Lunar Illumination is probably my favorite shade, though. it's a metallic lavender with a super smooth shine. purple shades are notoriously difficult to formulate, and are often disappointing to me... but Lunar Illumination has never let me down!

favorite blushes + highlighters

Glossier Cloud Paint in Storm

it's honestly really hard for me to narrow down a favorite blush color. it's hard to put my finger on why, but i love blush. maybe it's because i have a very sickly complexion, and wearing blush makes me look slightly less undead. or maybe it's as simple as "i like lots of shades of pink", and blushes tend to have interesting pink tones.

well! regardless. i've liked the Glossier Cloud Paints for years now. the packaging is very cute, if a bit fussy - it's shaped like a paint tube, but it's easy to squeeze out too much product - and i'm really fond of the texture. it's thin and easy to build color, a lot like watercolors for your face. i think that's what i like most about cream/liquid products - they feel a lot like painting, and it's usually more intuitive and fun for me to work with than traditional powders are.

Storm is a deep warm rose shade that might seem intimidating, but i actually prefer these kinds of rich colors. i think a lot of people are nervous to wear blush in general, and tend to pick out colors that are very close to their skintone. there's nothing wrong with that, of course! but i'm fascinated by the way darker pigments sheer out to a soft wash of color. on me, it mellows out to a gentle flush of warm pink. very lovely!

Rituel de Fille Inner Glow Creme Pigment in Desire

i'm pretty sure i went about 5 months wearing this blush color and almost nothing else. it looks like a fairly unassuming pinkish brown in the compact, right? but there's something about the mix of pigments in this that really works on my skintone. it goes with almost every look i can think of. it's a delicate balance between brown, pink, and just a slight bit of purple. it probably would look strange on someone with a different skintone than me - my complexion is very light, with kind of a muted pink undertone. that's most likely why i really like wearing muted mauve tones... besides enjoying those colors generally, i mean.

in general, i've been a big fan of Rituel de Fille's offerings. their campaign and promo photos always have this mysterious, witchy vibe to them that i really vibe with. they specialize in cream products, lightly scented with lavender... but in a way that smells more like lavender petals rubbed between your fingertips, not like cheap laundry soap. their color selections are always very well designed, in my opinion. lots of complex neutrals, vampy reds, and colors reminiscent of iridescent dewdrops. if you don't mind the scent of lavender (it's subtle, even by my oversensitive standards), i highly recommend their products.

favorite lip products

Rituel de Fille Inner Enchanted Lip Sheer in Whitethorn

a good friend recommended this specific color to me a while back. she knows my taste very well! Whitethorn is a grapefruit pink shade - it has a lively punch of color, a pink that leans ever so slightly red-orange. but i think the key to this shade is the formula. RdF's Lip Sheers are slightly translucent, so your natural lip color still peeks through a bit. but unlike a lot of sheer lipsticks on the market, which tend to be ultra-glossy, the Lip Sheers have more of a natural matte finish. because of this, the initial intensity of the color softens out when actually applied. i find it's a really good "goes-with-anything" lipstick in spring and summer, particularly. something about it feels very warm and cheerful to me!

Kaleidos Cloud Lab Lip Clay in Scorpion Fruit

i spent months yearning over this black lipstick, and the wait was absolutely worth it. Kaleidos has a very interesting lipstick formula - it's a silky, creamy mousse that dries slightly to a soft, satin finish. i absolutely detest most liquid lipstick formulas, because a lot of them dry down like pure acrylic paint - dry, yet sticky, and feeling like glue on my lips. but these ones? magnificent. i don't regret buying a set of four of them.

Scorpion Fruit is a particularly lovely black lipstick. it's a rich, pitch black, with a slightly inky purple undertone. it strikes a good balance between not smudging easily, while still being flexible and comfortable to wear through the day. the applicator makes it easy to get a clean shape, too. i highly recommend this one if you're looking for a good black lipstick!

Kaleidos Cloud Lab Lip Clay in Cold Smoke

so i picked up this shade on kind of a whim, without being 100% sure if it would be to my taste... but it's quickly become one of my top favorites. brown lipsticks are a bit tricky on me - i find that on my very light, slightly green-toned skin, a lot of brown lipsticks look muddy or too red. Cold Smoke is a muted, milk chocolate brown that doesn't lean too pink, red, or yellow. but, it has enough depth to it that i think it would work on a wide variety of people. honestly, Kaleidos has really impressed me so far!

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Vanilla

so i kind of love trying different lip balms. especially if it's in flavors/scents that i really like. but i think out of all the ones i've tried, the Laneige lip sleeping mask is probably my favorite. the vanilla scent is pretty light and inoffensive - almost a little bit marshmallow-y, but not sickly sweet. it doesn't trigger my nausea problems, which is good! (meanwhile, 99% of fruity smells make me nauseous... which is really unfortunate, SO many lip products are fruit scented.)

the key about the Laneige lip mask, imo, is that it doesn't feel thick and goopy on my lips, without being so thin that it absorbs immediately before it has a chance to do anything. just a really nice middle ground. and it heals my poor dry lips even in harsh Upper Midwestern winters, so i think that's a pretty outstanding endorsement. the jar lives on my desk 24/7, but because a little goes a long way, i've still got so much product left in there. seriously, i wonder how long it's gonna take me to use it all up...

favorite nail polishes

ILNP Eclipse

this was my gateway into the world of indie nail polish brands. people had been raving about this shade on discord, and i LOVE dark nail polish colors... i couldn't resist any longer. i had to try it! and i have no regrets!! it's absolutely lovely. Eclipse is a metallic black that flashes red, almost red-orange in the light. the multichrome shift can be mesmerizing to look at - whenever i wear Eclipse, i often find myself staring down at my nails, wiggling around my fingers a bit so i can catch a glimpse of that deep red color. i'd recommend using at least two coats - the first coat won't look too impressive, but once you put on a second, it really comes to life. this nail polish gets the Dhampir Seal of Approval.

ILNP Yes Please

basically, i have two kinds of colors that i like to wear on my nails: colors as pitch black as the midnight sky, and soft, delicate pinks. so if Eclipse is the former, then Yes Please is definitely in the latter category. it reminds me of VR Rose Venus but in nail polish form, which is basically exactly why i bought it. the base color is a light, pastel pink, with iridescent gold shimmer. Yes Please also contains holographic shimmer pigments, which adds a sparkling rainbow effect in bright sunlight. when i'm in the mood for something light and shimmery, this is definitely one of my go-tos. at least two coats are recommended, mostly to really bring out the holographic shimmer!

a barbed rose made out of withered iron, slowly dripping blood from its petals a bronze gate, with one of its doors opening

the gate can take you back, if you so desire.