Blush for those that don’t like blush.

If you asked me to drop one beauty product for forever I would choose blush… easily.  I’ve never been a fan of blush and I don’t like the way it looks on me.  I don’t like pink or colored makeup in general so I stay away from anything like that.  To be clear a nude, pink is a totalllllllllllyyyy different story.  😜 I love nude, monochrome, bronzed makeup so I’d rather go for a bronzer or a nude, pink blush.

Here’s my picks!



This Too Faced Sweetie Pie bronzer is technically a bronzer but I use it on the cheekbones like blush.  There is tiny pink squares in it so it is a great nude with the tiniest hint of pink that is very much undetectable but flattering on the skin.  I love this stuff, it has a hint of sheen and smells of peaches!

Mac Warm Soul blush. This is a subtle color that gives a nude, pink glow.  I use the tiniest bit of it because it has more color to it but it is super pretty on the skin and pairs very well with bronzed makeup looks.


Benefit Dallas Blush. I LOVED this blush in high school. It’s taken a beating and there is not much left in the compact.  This is the greatest nude, bronze blush. It gives a sun- kissed, flush look to the cheek area and is a great no blush, blush.

A nude lipstick dabbed onto the cheeks works as a great cream blush.  It seems scary at first so don’t apply much and blend!  Matching your cheek and lip color is a great way to tie the look together.  It’s also great for monochrome makeup!

Side note: Recently, I’m loving Mac Velvet Teddy with Mac Fresh Brew on top.  Velvet teddy is rosy, nude matte and Fresh brew is a nude, sheer lip so it tones down the velvet teddy to a more nude color with shine. It’s my go-to everyday lip combo!


Becca Chrissy Teigen palette. I use this palette as blush!  I have never touched that bright pink shade in the right top corner.  It hasn’t even been swatched!  I mix the two highlighters with the bronzer to add a dewy shine to the center of my cheek. I always do just a touch and it leaves your skin glowing with a hint of a nude, pink bronze.

If you want to try a nude blush but don’t have one a good way to do so is mixing your bronzer and blush! Use your bronzer brush and pat into the bronzer then blush for a nude version of any blush.  I use my bronzer brush for my blush to make it more tan and nude.


God’s gift of scented setting sprays



MAC setting sprays 

Like the title of this post says… These holiday MAC fix plus sprays are AMAZING! They come in a Holiday kit with a mini lavender, rose and coconut fix plus spray. It’s $20..currently on sale for $17… and they smell amazing!   I like MAC fix plus but I never liked the chemically smell.  These are scented but not too strong or fake smelling.  The lavender one reminds me of lavender essential oils and the rose one is a perfect, refreshing rose smell that actually smells like a bouquet of roses. There is also a coconut one in the kit but these two are my favorites. I’m over half way done with both of these and I would totally buy another kit to have.  I love these, they are so refreshing on the face and the smell is just right.

I’m very big on the smell of setting sprays… it should always be gentle smelling in my opinion because it is on your face!   A lavender setting spray is such a smart idea and no one has really done one yet except for this MAC one.  I saw on Instagram that Mario Badescu is coming out with a lavender spray and I’m so excited to try that.  Until then, these MAC sprays are great, I highly recommend them.

On a personal note, I have finals and fly home this week so there is a lot going on!.. 4 papers to write!  I will do my best to keep this all updated but forgive me if I’m slow. Follow my instagram @blackberriesandsparkles for instastories and more day to day action.



New Beauty products I’m trying!

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I haven’t done a monthly favorites in a while and I love those! This is serving in place of that because I got these products in the last week and while I’m really liking and enjoying them they are not quite monthly favorites.

MAC coconut fix + spray. This came in a Holiday kit with a coconut, lavender and rose spray.  I LOVE these.  I use them before makeup, after makeup and for a refresher.  MAC fix + is good and these are great! The scents are super clean and natural and they aren’t fake or smell like something that will give you a headache.  I honestly wish these were permanent for MAC and I may another set because I’m about half way through the lavender and rose already.

The Ordinary Serum Foundation.  This stuff is awesome.  I don’t like a heavy base. I use concealer to spot conceal, for redness and under eyes and that is it for me.  This covers what my concealer would while evening my skin tone which I love!   It’s super light weight, very sheer coverage and has a watery, serum like texture. It’ll even skin tone but if I have a blemish I’ll need a more heavy duty concealer to fix it. This has a satin, radiant finish and it works very, very well with dry skin! I layer on my hyaluronic acid, moisturizers and primer before using it and it just sinks into my skin.  This wears very nicely and naturally and won’t cake or oxidize during the day.  I’m in the shade 2.o N.

Milk Makeup Bronzer. I was teetering on the edge of buying this for a while because I have my Chanel bronzer which is a cream and very hard to beat!  The girl next to me at Sephora was raving to her friend about how awesome this bronzer is so I accepted the universe’s sign and added it to my basket! SOO happy I did!  It is easy to apply, adds color to the face and blends out SO easily. Like 3 beauty blender pats and its all set. I still love my Chanel bronzer but it is a luxury product so I like having another product I can use that is just as good to give it a break.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid. I raided The Ordinary section at Ricky’s NYC while I was there because they are the only store that carries The Ordinary.  I knew I had to get this because as a VERY dry skin girl, hyaluronic acid is supposed to be my savior.  I’m still playing with this, I think it is helping but I still need to wait and see how much of a difference it makes with my dry skin.  It is around $6 so I feel like whatever it does for skin, even a hint of good, is worth it.

Urban Chai Epice perfume.  Urban Outfitters has a great selection of perfumes under $30 that look and smell luxurious.  I love the packaging of these perfumes.  I use them for low-key days, or layer them with my main, high end scent for my own twist. This scent has a very warm and sweet smell.

Colourpop highlighter in Wisp. I got this in the Colourpop highlighter trio at Sephora and I have not been disappointed!  I have used it every day since I got it and I’m obsessed.  It is an intense highlighter but I apply it with my finger and I can melt it into my skin so it looks more natural if that makes sense. It looks dark but it’s a warm gold color thats flattering on tons of skin tones.  This highlighter is so gorgeous and I just love the way a cream highlight looks on the skin.

Avenue Cold Cream.  I love the Avene Peaux intolerantes cream as it’s hydrating and helps calm sensitive, red skin. That is my skin!  This product is made for extremely dry, sensitive and irritated skin.  We’re talking redness, eczema, and dry patches. Again that is skin so I knew I had to get this.  It is very creamy and super moisturizing.  Just to show you how dry my skin is, I use a hyaluronic acid serum, the Avene peaux intolerantes then this. YAH, we’re talking majorly dry.  I think when I wake up my skin is calmer and less irritated I’m just not sure how much it has helped the redness.  I will get back to you on that once I use it more.

Glossier Balm Dot com.  Not new but had to include this because i have rediscovered my love.  I always liked it a lot but now it’s always with me and it’s almost out.  I LOVE this for the lips.  I need to get an unscented version to try as a skin balm.


Blue Turtle Neck


I wore this outfit for some exploring uptown and then to Union Square Market. I love going to Union Square Market and I go just about every time I’m in the city!  It is a great stop for jewelry, art and beanies and other handmade, unique crafts like that. It’s near Flatiron which I love because it’s good for shopping and it is fun to explore! Dough Doughnuts is on 19th and that is my absolute favorite donut place! I really like boujee, artisanal donuts and they do it best. Plus they’re super fat and juicy donuts.




one w/o the jacket.  I love this sweater for how comfy it is and the sleeves! It is a great Nordstrom Rack find! I can’t find it on the website but it is a recent find and I’ve seen it at multiple locations.


HM Hat / Nordstrom Rack Sweater / Blank NYC leather jacket / Topshop Skinnies / Nike Cortez

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Union Square market during the Holidays! They have unique artsy gifts, apple cider and all that good holiday stuff.

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Boobs in the back while I attempt to look cute with my donut… not working!


The best donuts! Ugh I want one now! Look how big and juicy they are!

Statement sleeves


Sweater from Nordstrom Rack. similar. similar. similar  // Paige jeans / Kenneth Cole slip ons – now on sale!

These sleeves are fun until you have to put a jacket / coat on! It will not fit and if you try you will have fat arms!  I love ruffled sleeves and I love chenille sweaters at the moment.  Super cozy, super easy and fun for the fall/ winter. I suggest you wear dramatic sleeves if you’re inside or somewhere that doesn’t require a coat!

It’s Thanksgiving week!!! I LOVE Thanksgiving.  Its a holiday of eating and shopping! My dream, hahaha! And let’s not forget thankfulness! I loveeeee family time and Thanksgiving is always my favorite time of year. I’m going to NYC for the week to see my aunt and cousin. I always have the best time and I love how creative I feel there! I find it really easy to create content because there is something new to shoot on each corner.

I’m just 3 classes and a 4 hour drive away to vacation!  Going to be thankful for Chick fil a and Taylor Swift’s new album for making my drive doable. Truly a Happy Monday because Thanksgiving is 3 days away! 🙂



An outfit + beauty products that didn’t work for me!


Lululemon Coat // Forever 21 hoodie // Topshop Jeans // Sam Edelman boots 

This photo doesn’t really match a post about products I don’t like but I don’t want to photograph stuff I don’t like and more importantly I don’t hold on to that stuff! I like to stay generally positive on here but I think knowing what products to avoid is just as important as knowing which ones are good.  What doesn’t work for me may work really well for some people.  It’s makeup/ hair / skincare which are personal preferences! I’m always curious about which products people don’t like and whether I’ve tried them and liked them or not.  Here’s what hasn’t worked for me!

Benefit Eye cream.  I used this eye cream and had a red rash of raccoon circles around my eyes.  They were painful and scaly and I couldn’t wear makeup for days.  Stay away from this eye cream!

Diorshow mascara.  I know people love this! I loved it too a few years ago.  I picked up the waterproof version to try again a few months ago and it flaked off and smudged under my eyes.  I was shocked!  This with Dior mascara and a waterproof version?!  It did not work for me this time around.

Tarte Pro glow to go palette.  The highlighters in this are too icy, cool toned and powdery for my preference. The contour was really chalky and not very pigmented even after digging my brush into it. It’s seemed almost old. Overall, this was a bust.

Drunk Elephant Baby Facial.  I have heard amazing things about this product! It didn’t work for me because I think my skin is too sensitive for it. I tried it for just 10 minutes and my skin was red, raw and rashy after. My mom tried it and loved it.  My skin is just far to sensitive for a product like that.

Sorry for my Skin calming jelly mask.  I love the other Sorry for my Skin masks but this one is a no go.  I used it hoping it would help soothe and calm my already flared up skin and I was sooo wrong.  I woke up with a rough red rash all over my chin and neck. This mask is not soothing.

Makeup Revolution Illuminating setting spray.  I’m on the hunt for a good dewy setting spray and this is not it. It doesn’t set my makeup very well. Maybe a few hours after application it begins to wears off.  It also isn’t very illuminating.  It’s supposed to have light reflection particles in it and when I sprayed it on my hand it dried like nothing was there.

IGK Beach texture spray. I was so excited for this!  It unfortunately made my hair far too sticky and tangled for it too look beachy. Thats texture but not the kind I look for.

Ouai foam dry shampoo. This made my hair greasy and weighed down. The opposite of what a dry shampoo should do!

Milk Makeup cooling stick. I got this in a beauty box and while I love the idea it stinks of silicone!  It’s a fake, fishy smell and it is the most off putting thing for a product that goes on your face.

Clinique line smoothing concealer. This concealer oxidizes and turns orange!


Boston for the weekend!

My mom came to visit me this weekend and it’s exactly what I needed!! I have three weeks left in the semester and I have just reached the point where I am just ready to be done and home! Moms make everything truly better and I got the little boost I needed to power through the rest of the semester.  I have one week, Thanksgiving 😍, another week, finals and I am home.  I just want to see my dog and be in warm weather!

I go to school a little bit outside of Boston so for the weekend we decided to go to Boston and explore.  It reminds me of a much tamer New York which I don’t mind at all. My mom and I did some shopping on and ate good food which is truly the way to my heart!  We stuck to Newbury Street and Prudential Center which are both great. The Sephora at Prudential is TO DIE FOR; it’s massive and has everything!  It was SO cold this weekend, like in the 30s which is just brutally miserable to be outside in…and super hard to look cute in!  My mom froze her tush off so we did our best to stay indoors. With the exception of pictures and donuts lol! 😉

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HM Hat / Blank NYC jacket / Nordstrom Sweater / Paige Jeans / Steve Madden shoes 

I was actually freezing in these photos but I’ll sacrifice cold for a picture and an outfit.  A cute outfit is only so cute under a big puffer coat.

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Blackbird doughnuts for the win! The blackbird original cake doughnut is the best one!


Apples and Caps

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I went apple picking one last time this season before all the orchards closed for winter! The apples taste amazing and are so much better then what you buy at the store.  And let’s be real, I needed the donuts one last time. I think fall on the East Coast is so so special so I’m all for doing the kitchy, fall activities! I think it’s because this is the first time in my life that I actually have a fall to see and experience!  It’s awe-worthy.

And so, once fall trickles away the cold sets in.  It’s going to be in the 30s this weekend. 😦 Let me just be present for East Cost autumns and fly away to somewhere warm for the winters.

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Hat HM / Blank NYC jacket / Nordstrom BP sweater / Paige Jeans / Timberland Boots / Quay Sunnies 

The orchard I went to lets you taste the apples to see if you like them or not before picking a bunch.  After you just throw them on the ground! The whole orchard smells like kombucha and I just eat apples the whole time. Could be worse.

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I think this is a macoun apple.  I had NO idea there were so many types of apples and if we’re being honest they all taste the same to me!

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I got this hat at HM! I hated this trend at first, not sure why. Now, its totally grown on me and I LOVE it.  I love how simple it is and how much it elevates an outfit.

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The Uniform


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I love having a go-to uniform to throw on and go with the confidence of knowing that I look good and put together. It’s getting colder and I’m bundling up more which I’m totally ok with… ok only to a certain extent, AUTUMN. Not a snow fan.  I like colder months better than the warmer ones clothing wise — I have more chances to layer and be creative.  This outfit is my new uniform; sweater, jeans, loafers and leather jacket!  Sure it’s basic, but it’s so basic that you can do it so many different ways to make it unbasic! See what I did there? I’m 21 now so I can’t just throw on leggings and a college sweatshirt to take care of business anymore. I wear that to class but when I go out and do stuff I try to step it up. Class is the low of the low and a free pass to wear whatever.


F21 Sweater // BlankNYC Jacket // Topshop jeans // Steve Madden Loafers // Quay glasses 

I got this sweater for $17 at Forever 21.  It washes and wears really well. I totally recommend it and I want to go get it in the dusty rose color. It’s so easy to throw on, it’s cozy and super comfortable.


I have to get a picture with the leaves every chance I get!



October Beauty Faves!



I love November because that means its time for Thanksgiving!  I LOVE Thanksgiving.  Eating all day, then shopping the next? Name a more perfect Holiday? Maybe Christmas but thats close too! Yay for November!!!

Sephora Micellar Water. First of all, love micellar water. I really like this Sephora collection one!  It’s a micellar water that removes makeup and tones. I have the rose hydrating one and theres different scents for different skin needs. Since I got my lash extensions I’m trying to be gentler with cleaning my face and this cleans my face without being rough. It’s also a great size to throw in your bag.  It’s only $4 so you can’t go wrong.

Embryolisse moisturizer. I have been wanting to try this for a while. It’s a must for those who love skincare and I see why.  It’s super hydrating and leaves the skin with a dewy finish.  I have extremely dry skin and my go-to is the Avene Peux de intolerantes cream.  This one isn’t quite as moisturizing but I find that if I rub it in my hands to get it warm and pat it into my face I get the best hydration.

Mario Badescu drying lotion. The BEST spot treatment for zits. I have gone through 8 bottles at least. I love this stuff for acne since it works overnight to dry up zits. Its a literal life saver.

IGK rich kid hair. I have horrible air dried hair. Mine gets funky waves, frizzy, big.. everything you don’t want.  I’ve always wished I could just let my hair dry and have it be descent. I’ve tried tons of different products and nothing has worked.  Except for this stuff!  This is the ONLY product I have ever used that has let my hair air dry in a wearable manner. I still fix it up with a curling iron but much much better for my hair.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector liquid. This is an absolute must for dewy skin. I still love an intense highlighter but I’ve been leaning towards a more subtle, dewy glow and this is a must for that. I use a beauty blender and blend it all over my face….yup.

Paula’s choice skin perfecting liquid. I use this as a toner and it’s awesome for unclogging pores. Since using this my skin is sooooo much smoother and my breakouts have been kept at bay!  It makes my skin a tad dry so I make sure to up the moisturizer / serums!

Fenty Gloss Bomb. This is the most perfect gloss ever. The color, the shine the formula, the packaging. I love it all. It’s a super, flattering nude that’s great for everyday wear.