Things That I Really Liked in January

Holy cow, January has flown right by. So much has happened. Well. Not that much, but it feels like a lot. I finally got funded by the university, so I’m a teaching assistant now. I’m responsible for three classes and a total of about 200 students, and on top of that I’m spending this semester studying for the comprehensive exam. I’m lecturing for the first time on the 31st, which is both exciting and terrifying.

Anyways, one of the things I’m working on this year is to be better at maintaining this blog. So I thought I would start with one of my favorite things, a list. Specifically, a list of things I actually used and loved this month. Yes, I’ve become one of those people, one of those people that makes a favorites list.

At least it’s not a video. Thank every god I hate being on camera.

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Look at that impressive flatlay. I am so proud of myself.

The first thing I want to talk about is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette. I got this for my birthday last month, and I swear I’ve used it every single day since. Except those days where I was being lazy and didn’t wear any makeup. The shadows are incredibly pigmented and compliment my skintone so well. My problem with a lot of makeup in general is that I have yellow undertoned skin, and if something is just a little bit too blue or red toned, my skin looks super muddy. So this has rapidly become a holy grail product, and while it’s been out for quite a while, I’m glad I found it now.

The next thing I’ve only owned for two days, but I love it already. It’s the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. This is an ultrahydrating overnight mask for your lips, and I’ve been eyeing it for ages and bought it over the weekend. I hate clothes shopping and needed to bribe myself, and happened across a Sephora, so I bribed myself. I love it. It smells like berries, and goes on so smoothly. My lips get super dry in the wintertime, so this was a perfect new find.

My absolute favorite thing on this list though is that teeny tiny vial of perfume. It’s Fougere, by Deco Scent Lab. It’s actually made by one of my favorite people in the world, my cousin’s wife, Susan, who in the past year has become the big sister I’ve always wanted. Her website is here.

Rounding out the beauty products, I got this Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in I believe November. My brother gave me an Ulta gift card for Diwali and I used it on this. Previously I would use drugstore brand eyeliner pens, like Revlon and Maybelline, and while these are perfectly good brands, Stila is on a whole different level. I get my eyeliner so sharp it could cut a bitch, every. single. morning. On the first try. This is coming from someone who usually takes a solid half hour to do eyeliner alone.

Moving from makeup to something else close to my heart, school supplies, I finally used all the pages in my old notebook, and splurged on this Moleskine dotted notebook. I wanted to get into bullet journaling (and my friend Kat got me a super fancy Leuchtturm 1917 to do it in) but for everyday things I make a ton of lists. Like this one. So I got this Moleskine, in a neutral color, surprise surprise, and adore it.

I write in my Moleskine with a Zebra F-301, the 0.7mm ballpoint version. It’s super smooth, and the ink doesn’t skip.

Those headphones were a Christmas gift from my mother. They’re Satechi Aluminum Wireless Headphones. I originally was drawn to them because they’re rose gold and match my phone, but turns out they’re amazing headphones as well. And since I’m in the TA office now, headphones are a must.

The last thing I’ve got on my list is a bracelet. Desiree put me on to the practice of buying myself a present when I start a new job, and since I started a new job in April, I bought this single pearl bracelet from TheVioletGoat on Etsy. I’ve really been into minimalist jewelry, and I’ve worn this bracelet every day since I bought it. I’m probably going to buy something else from her when I get my first paycheck from this new job. I really like the idea of supporting small independent businesses, and have an extensive list of things I love on Etsy.

I’m going to try to be a lot more active on the blog and Instagram this year. This is my favorite creative outlet, and as grad school gets more intense, this forces me to focus on something other than crime and deviance. I hope you enjoyed my list of January favorites, and be sure to check out my Instagram, @thisisnotaquickstory.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of the things on my list!


My favorite lipsticks for when I’m feeling a touch melodramatic.

Remember last week how I made you a list of my favorite red lipsticks? Well, last summer I went on a quest in search of the perfect dark, vampy purple. And I found a few that I really really liked, and I’m finally starting to branch out from my standard reds.

purple swatches

Now, these aren’t all drugstore like my reds. A few of them are fairly pricey, especially if you’re not gonna wear them every day. I’ve provided links to Amazon*, but I’m sure that you can find most of these at your local Ulta or Sephora.

At the very top is a lip stain, Revlon’s Just Bitten lip stain and balm in Beloved/Adoration. This is a fairly sheer (at least on me) raisiny-brown purple, which looks pretty natural, so this is what I wear if I’m not wearing any other makeup, or if I’m doing my eyes super dramatic and don’t want to do super dramatic lips as well. It’s very versatile. Now, there’s a balm on the end of it that’s supposed to either make it stay for a while or to make your lips softer, but I really don’t use it.

The wine-y color underneath is NYX’s Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen. It goes on so soft and velvety, and dries matte, and lasts seriously forever. This perpetuates my obsession with NYX. I know Desiree loves one of their Soft Matte Lip Creams too, I think it’s called Aspen, it’s a neutral nude shade, and looks perfect on her.

That perfect dark vampy shade underneath it is also by NYX, it’s a Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Vintage. I do have to warn you, it’s cheaper at Ulta than on Amazon. But it’s so perfect and lasts for so long that the Amazon price really isn’t that bad.

Alright, now to the more expensive things.

The next one is Smashbox’s Be Legendary Lipstick in Plum Scene. It’s a nice raisin purple, with just a hint of a shimmer. And it stays on for a while. On me it looks almost wine colored, but in the tube it looks much darker, so it’s fairly buildable.

And finally, is my 23rd birthday present to myself, MAC’s Gunner. This one was part of a limited edition collection, so it’s not available from MAC’s stores or online, but they’re selling it via their Amazon account. It’s the bluest of these purples, and I on;y really wear it if I’m feeling melodramatic and it’s nighttime.

That’s all I’ve got today, maybe next week I’ll show you my favorite pinks.

I think I do have a problem with lipsticks, lol. Comment below with your favorites!

As always, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, or by email,

*I use affiliate links, so I would get a teeny bit from each sale using my referring link. However, the opinions are totally my own, and I really do love these lipsticks.

My makeup bag.

I figured that since I mentioned my makeup bag without telling you what was in it, I would dump it out and show bag

Look at that, another neatly numbered picture. I’m great, aren’t I?

1. This is just a mirror. One side is normal and the other is slightly magnified. I think I got it for a dollar or something at Forever 21 or something. Right where they pile all that stuff as you’re going to the register.

2. This is a Garnier eye roller, which is supposed to decrease puffy eyes. I haven’t noticed much.

3. Lip stain. I tend to use lip stain more than lipstick or lipgloss, because it doesn’t feel sticky to me.

4. This is the bag itself. You can sort of tell how big it is by the things next to it. It’s Estee Lauder, and my aunt gave it to me years ago with two larger ones that fit the same general color scheme.

5. Tweezers.

6. It’s a brow/eyelash brushie comby thing. What is it called? I don’t know. I always have to separate my eyelashes after I’ve put mascara on.

7. Eyebrow gel. I feel weird without it. Like my eyebrows are going all over the place.

8. Burt’s Bees pomegranate lip balm. It’s the best. I’ve been using it since I was in middle school.

9. Fresh’s Sugar lip treatment in Passion. I think it tastes and smells like lemon bars.

10. YSL Sheer Volupte Lip Candy in Pomegranate Passion, I believe. It’s a super sheer, lightly tinted lip balm/gloss. I like it a lot.

11. This is a mini of Smashbox’s Full Exposure mascara. I keep the full size one on my dressing table and a mini in my bag because I’m scatterbrained and sometimes I forget to put it on. I don’t like doing eyeliner and eyeshadow all the time, so usually I’ll just do eyebrow gel and mascara as I’m rushing out the door.

12. Hand sanitizer. I have a million of this floating around my bag, desk, bedroom, everywhere. Because germs.

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