Matte Mania - New Milani Matte Lipsticks 2015

2collagetextNo matter your opinion on matte lips, brace yourselves, because matte is coming! Anywhere from the drugstore aisle, in new releases, or at the department store counters, you’ll be seeing more and more matte products (just as an example, our Instagram is flooded with swatches from Anastasia Liquid Lips, Nars Semi-Matte Audacious, Lime Crime Velvetines, and Tom Ford).

Not to be outdone, several drugstore brands have also started releasing Spring limited edition matte collections (which is quite a change of pace from the Spring glossy and creamy releases from past years).  One of the stand-out releases comes from Milani with their new Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte lipsticks which are marketed as the “fantasy matte” (as in, comfortable to wear, long-wearing, and a true matte).

Milani Color Statement Moisture Mattes are in fact as advertised - the eight shades from the collection deliver color, comfort, and chic (all for an affordable price at $5.50).  While the lipstick applies with an initial satin finish, the product does dry out in time and becomes more matte (although at the expense of also looking more dry on your lips, so be sure to exfoliate your lips often). Compared to the MAC matte lipsticks, the Milani formula is softer and more lightweight so I actually prefer the Milani finish for every day wear.  Once applied, the product lasts for approximately four hours and maintains strong pigmentation.

Milani Moisture Matte Naked (swatch above) is a grey, pink that I recommend pairing with a plum or brown colored lip liner.  Milani Naked is the quintessential nude matte but may not work with all skin tones (so be sure to research swatches on similar skin tones).  Milani Moisture Matte Diva  (swatch above) is indeed a dupe for Mac Candy Yum Yum (your wallet will do a happy dance if you’ve waited on purchasing the popular Candy Yum Yum).  With Milani Diva, I experienced a slightly patchy application but all was well after a more careful application.

In the words of Milani, matte is major right now - so if you’d like to try the trend without too much commitment or over-spending guilt, Milani matte lipsticks are the perfect introduction into matte mania.

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

Laced with Edge - NARS Digital World Lip Pencil Set

nars_detail66It’s not often that a beauty brand has success with every release, but somehow, Nars manages to make everyone’s favorite list (every time!).  As part of the Laced with Edge Holiday Collection, Nars created a lip pencil coffret that’s all kinds of amazing.  Nars Digital World Set has different finishes, a range of colors, stunning packaging, and all around wonderful quality (basically, all we’ve come to expect from Nars).

The Nars Digital World Set (which is available at Sephora) contains five lip pencils priced at $49 (the lip pencils are 0.06 oz and are definitely worth the investment because a full sized pencil is over $25).  So, if there was any doubt in your mind about value, head over now to your nearest Sephora.

This Laced with Edge collection contains Cruella Velvet matte lip pencil (blue toned red), New Iberico matte lip pencil (intense coral), Yu satin lip pencil (bright pink), Descanso satin lip pencil (dusty, muted rose), and Torres Del Paine satin lip pencil (peach coral). Nars lip pencils are long lasting, pigmented, and have shade options to work for many skin tones - the set contains a good range from the glamorous red to the (very popular now-adays) nude brown.  And if that wasn’t enough, the beautiful lace packaging is the perfect keepsake box for the Digital World lip pencils.

Nars cosmetics are modern and iconic for a reason and continue to be a favorite with every single product and release. Now, go get yourself some!

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

New Year and 2015 Goals

katespadeDSC_14175DSC_135577A new year is refreshing and exciting.  My sister and I are thankful for everything that happened in 2014 and look forward to all that 2015 has yet to bring.  I keep seeing the new year being compared to writing a new book with each page and passing day; (and while a bit cliche), I love that comparison. We can do something different, something new, something better every day. With 2015 off to a great start, we’ve set a few goals (ahem “resolutions”) to help guide us in the new year.

Professional Progress: Pretty Squared has taught us to better manage time and plan ahead.  With a full time job and full time graduate school, our blogging schedule may be affected (and we’ve learned that that’s okay).  Our blog is our space, and we can adjust accordingly.  I look forward to continuously advancing my career, bettering my skills, and learning all around.  My sister will graduate from Columbia this summer, and she is also determined to forge her path ahead (and make amazing art in the process).

Simple Living: We’ve never been fans of hoarding and hauling so this goal is more of a reminder.  I plan on being even more mindful before purchasing products and asking myself if I truly need a specific item (because more often than not, we truly don’t need it).  My sister has already started an apartment cleansing process and will donate or discard any unnecessary bits and pieces that only create clutter.  Simple living is about being smart in what you do and do not own.

Giving Thanks: There is always something to be thankful for (whether small or big, it’s important to be appreciative). We both plan on sending small thank you gifts and cards to friends and family (just because!).

Lastly, we are thankful for all of our awesome readers, followers, commenters, and likers (thank you all for your support and for sharing our love of beauty).  Happy New Year and let’s celebrate 2015!

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. and Mackenzie M.


The Diptyque Experience (and a Confession)

baies baies2This is an honest Diptyque review and also, somewhat, an experience confession.  My sister and I both work and thus value the notion of budgeting and exercising fiscal responsibility.  While it may be easy to go out and buy anything and everything featured on many-a-blogs, it’s not a realistic option.

For the longest time, I have seen Diptyque be featured in magazines, blog posts, and countless instagrams.  And, for the exact same long time, I have chosen not to purchase a Diptyque candle because of the cost.  A 6.65 oz Diptyque candle retails for $60.00 and a 2.4 oz Diptyque candle retails for $30.00 (these costs do not include tax or the Diptyque Limited Edition releases which often are marked-up).  It’s tough to justify a 30-dollar candle and it’s even tougher when that candle costs over 60 dollars.  However, after reading several reviews online, my sister and I decided to save and invest in a smaller Diptyque candle (while realizing that yes, we are paying over $30 on a candle).

Now, for the review, these Parisian Diptyque candles have a cult-like following for a reason and have managed to remain popular despite fleeting trends in the blog-sphere.  Ditpyque candles are luxe, beautiful, aromatic, and most definitely the definition of extravagant. I purchased Diptyque Baies because it is the perfect “starter” scent - Baies contains notes of blackcurrant leaves and Bulgarian roses and the undertones remind me of mysterious, delicious berries.  Baies is subtle, not over powering or intoxicating, but still able to freshen the air with elusive notes.  The candles are long lasting, and the scent has reach as even a mini Diptyque can fill a large space.  With its beautiful trademark lettering and black and white label, Diptyque candles would fit any home and any decor and would make wonderful gifts.

I always try to end a post by addressing the “bottom line” - are Diptyque candles worth it? While Diptyque products are of amazing quality and design, Diptyque is an indulgence for the wallet (and that’s my confession!).

If you’ve ever spent money on a luxury product, share your experience and whether the product was worth it (…and worth the investment).

Stay Pretty, Miranda M.