The latest Desi x Katy collab with Dose Of Colors is beyond beautiful! This was my first time trying the brand; after seeing the huge range of stunning looks using the Desi x Katy collection–particularly the Friendcation eyeshadow palette–I had to get my hands on it. In addition to the palette, I picked two highlighters, a matte liquid lip and a lip gloss.

I am so thrilled with the full-face look I was able to create with the products I picked, and can’t wait to continue experimenting with everything.

Although I went with a bold eye (I couldn’t resist the one-of-a-kind metallic blue shadow called A Moment), the matte shades make the Friendcation palette oh-so versatile. Plus, Just A Kiss is a jaw-dropping universal brow-bone/inner-corner highlight for any eye look!

To create the look, I started with Basic on a fluffy blending brush all over the lid, then added Necessary to my crease. I blended Necessary a ton for a blown-out, cat-eye effect. Then, went in with A Moment using my ring finger; it took approximately two layers to get the intense color payoff. For a seamless transition from Necessary to A Moment, I blended around the edges with the same fluffy blending brush.

There was quite a bit of fallout with the shades I used, but it didn’t bother me at all. The shadows are still super high-quality, so as long as I finish my eyes before I start my skin, it is easy enough to wipe the fallout away.

A flashy highlight is a must, especially with this eye look. I used Chasing The Sun (the beautiful bronze shade) on a fluffy fan brush for an all-over highlight on top of my bronzer (Fenty Match Stix in Mocha), then took Fuego (the pale gold shade) on a setting brush and added it to the tops of my cheekbones and to my cupid’s bow. Fuego is really versatile, so I also used it on my eyes as a brow-bone and inner-corner highlight before layering Just A Kiss on top. All of these shades give my skin the ultra-wet highlight that I crave.

Polishing off the eyes was quick and easy with a classic black mascara and Glossier Boy Brow in Brown. I sealed everything in with MAC Cosmetics’ Fix+ Shimmer in Goldlite.

Pat McGrath’s Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Contour has been my go-to base for nearly ever lipstick/gloss, so I applied it to the top and bottom, then added My Main on top. I was instantly blown away by how comfortable, easy to apply and pigmented this liquid lipstick is! Normally, I stay away from liquid lipsticks because they can be difficult to work with and go on patchy, but I didn’t experience any of that with Dose Of Colors’ formula whatsoever. Over The Top has a clear, shiny base with golden sparkles throughout, which is the perfect finishing touch for this glow-y look!

Products I used:

  • GLAMGLOW GLOWSTARTER in Nude Glow
  • Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Medium
  • Tarte Shape Tape concealer in Light Neutral
  • Urban Decay Primer Potion in Original
  • Dose Of Colors Desi x Katy Friendcation palette (in the shades Basic, Necessary, A Moment and Just A Kiss)
  • Fenty Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha
  • Dose Of Colors Desi x Katy Highlighter in Chasing The Sun and Fuego
  • MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix+ Shimmer in Goldlite
  • Glossier Lash Slick
  • Glossier Boy Brow in Brown
  • Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Contour
  • Dose Of Colors Desi x Katy Velvet Liquid Matte Lipstick in My Main
  • Dose Of Colors Desi x Katy Lip gloss in Over The Top
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It’s October, one of the best months of the year! I have a lot more favorites than expected this month, and nearly all my new beauty favs are thanks to Sephora’s surprise Appreciation Sale. 😉

As the seasons change, I also discovered a number of fashion go-to’s I’ve really been loving, all of which are timeless and will be part of my collection for a long time.

Fashion

XLE: YouTuber Lauren Elizabeth has great taste is just about everything, so it makes total sense that her womenswear label XLE is exactly what the fashion sphere needed. I will admit that I was pretty skeptical to try an influencer-owned brand, but XLE blew me away!

A few days after the first collection dropped, I decided to try four pieces–two sweaters, a slip dress and a pair of booties. Everything is flattering and comfortable, in addition to gorgeous in a minimal, simplistic way. I definitely see myself in all of these pieces throughout the season and well into winter. The deep red snakeskin booties are already an everyday staple for me; they are beyond comfy for a heel and look badass with everything.

Réalisation Par: What’s not to love about this feminine and effortlessly chic label? Réalisation’s patterned dresses and blouses can be dressed up or down for a wide variety of occasions. Personally, I like to wear mine with athletic shoes and a messy bun; this combo is easy and makes me feel confident.

GRLFRND Denim: Anyone who reads Haute Mess regularly knows how much of a denim junkie I am, and I think I (finally) found the best pair ever. Via Intermix I chose a pair of high-rise flares with a light-medium wash that fit like a glove from the first time I pulled them on. Now, I don’t want to wear anything else!

B-Low The Belt: For so long I’ve had trouble finding the perfect belt; most are either too wide to fit through most belt loops or too skinny for my personal taste. And to be honest, the fit of every reasonably priced belt I’ve tried sucks–I almost always have to make new holes in mine, which looks awful to a detail-oriented person like myself.

Instead of investing in the same Gucci belt everyone else owns (I was seriously considering it), I picked two from B-Low The Belt during the Labor Day sale: a skinny beige one with a little snake for a buckle, as well as slightly thicker classic black one with Western-style hardware (both leather). I’m convinced there are no better belts for the price! And no, I didn’t have to create new holes in either of them. 😉

Earrings by Vanessa Mooney: The tiny silver hoops I used to wear every day were super worn-out, so it was time for a change. I found three pairs of beautiful and unique earrings that I absolutely love from L.A.-based designer Vanessa Mooney. The fresh pieces in my rotation were exactly what I needed to accent all of my fall looks this year.

Beauty

Glossier Zit Stick: Another month, another Glossier drop! As a Rep, I had the opportunity to experiment with Zit Stick a couple weeks before it became available. It was an instant win for me!

Zit Stick reduces spot size and redness in a matter of errors, but unlike other spot treatments, the thin (serum-y), see-through formula can be worn under or over makeup. Speaking of the formula, it includes three of the most trustworthy “breakout erasers”: benzoyl peroxide, capryloyl salicylic acid and tea tree oil.

I also love the oh-so hygienic stainless steel rollerball applicator, as well as the four-channel flow that evenly covers each spot in the product.

Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice palette: Ever since the Moroccan Spice pop-up this summer, I’ve been drooling over Fenty’s eyeshadow palette of the same name. Moroccan Spice feels so much more grown-up and sultry than so many other palettes on the market, and it has a great range of shades, tones and finishes–everything from light to dark, warm to cool and matte to metallic. There truly are so many possibilities with the Moroccan Spice palette, including Ri’s look from her Wild Thoughts music video.

Fenty Beauty Tapered Blending Brush (210) & All-Over Eyeshadow Brush (200): Along with the Moroccan Spice palette, Fenty launched two eyeshadow brushes. I held-out until Sephora’s VIB Appreciation Sale to pick-up both brushes and the palette for myself, and although I wish I had these products in my collection sooner, they were definitely worth the wait!

The Tapered Blending Brush and All-Over Eyeshadow Brush are unbelievably soft and full; they disperse (and of course, blend) powder eyeshadow evenly *without* trapping any of the product in the bristles. There is so much less waste with these two brushes than with similar eyeshadow brushes, so they are worth the splurge in my opinion.

Plus, the extra-long handles make them so easy to use, and the nude-pink design beautifies any top shelf.

Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Contour: I knew this lip liner would be amazing (it’s Pat McGrath, after all). Contour is a must-have matte beige brown–perfect for over-lining the lips–that looks gorgeous under a ton of different lipsticks and glosses. I use a light hand when I want natural-looking coverage, and a heavier hand when I want more color payoff. Either way, the longevity of this luxury lip liner outperforms any other I’ve tried.

Pat McGrath Labs Lip Fetish Lip Balm in Gold Astral: A glittery lip product that doesn’t feel gritty? Only Pat McGrath could make that possible! From the first application Lip Fetish Lip Balm feels so soft and leaves a beautiful dewy, healthy sheen on the lips.

Gold Astral is an out-of-this world shimmer with a clear base. The gold color is never too yellow, and the glitter particles are never, ever chunky.

Sol de Janiero Brazilian Bum Bum Cream: Not to sound dramatic, but I am a little annoyed with myself for not trying this body lotion sooner. Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (pronounced “boom boom”) absorbs almost instantly, softening, smoothing and tightening the skin. The delicious pistachio-caramel scent lingers long after application and makes me feel like a goddess!

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So many beautiful looks at the New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks! While so many of the designs were, of course, breathtaking, I really fell in love with the runway and after-party makeup looks. Hung Vanngo, my absolute favorite celebrity makeup artist, absolutely killed it on the likes of Winnie Harlow, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Barbara Palvin, Natasha Poly and Emily Ratajkowski.

The best look by far, however, was the intense smoky eye on Bella Hadid in Paris. It was glam. It was edgy. It was unique. And most of all, it was absolutely stunning–definitely not your average smoky eye. I decided to put my own spin on it, and went with a slightly subtler, more blown-out look. (And while Bella’s glossy, rosy lip looked beautiful, I ditched pigment in favor of a glittery balm.)

Via Instagram user @hungvanngo

Products I used:

  • GLAMGLOW GLOWSTARTER Mega Iluminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow
  • Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops
  • Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Medium
  • BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector in Light to Medium
  • Tarte Shape Tape concealer in Light Neutral
  • BECCA Be A Light Face Palette in Light to Medium
  • Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette (shades Thirteen, Combust, Password and High)
  • ColourPop Pressed Powder Shadow in Let’s Do It
  • Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha
  • NARS Blush in Orgasm
  • NUDESTIX Eyebrow Stylus Pencil & Gel in Brown
  • Glossier Haloscope in Moonstone
  • ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter in Flexitarian
  • Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara
  • Morphe Premium Lashes in Total Babe
  • MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix+ in Coconut
  • Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Contour
  • Pat McGrath Labs Lip Fetish Lip Balm in Gold Astral
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Are You Am I swimwear: My obsession with Are You Am I is so real—it has easily become my favorite label over the past year or so. Everything they make is perfect; it was only a matter of time before I tried AYAI swim.

I quickly fell in love with the beautiful mauve-nude color of the label’s latest swim separates. I chose the Keela top (micro coverage with a ribbed texture and feminine ruffle trim) and Zora bottom (a high-rise fit with romantic knot details and a flattering ruched backside). This combo is something I see myself wearing for years to come!

NGL NYC Bikini Bites: How fun is this swimsuit with customizable body jewelry?! The best part is that all the hardware is made in the U.S.A. I absolutely *looove * wearing this bikini. The fit flawless, and I always feel like I stand out in the best possible way whenever I am in it.

Louis Vuitton Multicolore Pochette: Bright colors are huge lately, and as someone who wears mostly neutrals, I am surprisingly really into this trend—as long as I limit all the brightness to accessories only. The pre-loved Louis V Pochette I picked up from The Real Real is without a doubt one of the best accessories I have ever owned! It is big enough to fit all the necessities (and then some) while still looking super-cute and tiny. Plus, the multicolor pattern gives me *aaall * the early 2000s nostalgia in the best way possible.

Red boots: There is no better way to elevate an outfit than with a gorgeous statement shoe! The red boots I found at Free People are insanely comfortable and instantly dress-up all my favorite denim, day or night. Red has been my go-to pop of color lately, and these boots fit the bill.

Glossier Lash Slick: Can’t believe that I haven’t properly mentioned this product on the blog yet, because it is hands-down the best mascara I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried A LOT).

No matter what, my mascara always smudges or flakes off quickly, leaving a mess under my eyes–but not with Lash Slick! It got me through allergy season, stressful days at work and countless military homecoming videos without smudging or flaking whatsoever. It’s unbelievable!

I really do love the long, feathery look it gives the lashes. This look works perfectly on “no-makeup” makeup days because lashes look so natural, but it is also allows bold eyeshadow to show through.

ColourPop The Zodiac Palette: If you are a regular Haute Mess reader, you already know ColourPop’s pressed powder eye shadows are my favorite formula ever. And The Zodiac Collection, ColourPop’s newest collab with YouTuber Kathleenlights, is so gorgeous.

Honestly, at first glance this palette doesn’t look all that wearable, but somehow all the shades work together perfectly. I love The Cancer, The Virgo and The Libra for more natural, everyday makeup, and The Aries, The Sagittarius and The Capricorn for intense eye looks.

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Fire: Wow—I don’t even know where to begin with this highlighter! The bouncy, gel-like consistency is of course amazing, but that is expected with ColourPop’s Super Shock formula. Fire is an out-of-this-world warm, peachy-gold that gives my skin a magical finish no matter where I apply it. It has the delicious wet look that I love in a highlighter, making it the perfect topper for the cheekbones, brow bones, cupid’s bow and beyond.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Liquid Frost in Canary Bling: I started watching Jeffree Star on YouTube earlier this summer, and quickly fell in love with his honest and fun personality. As I learned more about him as a businessman through Shane Dawson’s YouTube documentary, I became eager to try his namesake makeup line.

Liquid Frost was my first pick from Jeffree Star Cosmetics; the ultra-fine glitters and glassy reflects are stunning. My favorite way to wear it is mixed in with my moisturizer and body lotion for an all-over glow. The shade Canary Bling is my go-to pale gold.

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi: The first Drunk Elephant product I’ve ever tried! This multi-tasking formula is great. It has a serum consistency that easily mixes-in with any moisturizer or liquid makeup for a quick glow-y bronze finish (thanks to cocoa extract and platinum peptides). D-Bronzi is also equipped with a mix of vitamins, antioxidants and other good-for-you ingredients that help strengthen the skin and protect it from pollution and other environmental aggressors.

GLAMGLOW GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow: Sephora’s birthday gifts always blow me away, and this year was no different. I chose the GLAMGLOW box with SUPERMUD mask (which worked wonders on my skin), as well as Mega Illuminating Moisturizer. The light, whipped texture gives me an airbrushed base under makeup—especially when mixed with D Bronzi. I can’t get enough (and I plan on purchasing the full size sometime in the future).

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille: Warm and musky scents are definitely my go-to; I am not into anything fruity, floral or feminine when it comes to fragrances. In fact, I believe Tobacco Vanille is marketed as a men’s fragrance. But, that didn’t stop me from picking it up a few months ago. The spicy and not-too-sweet blend of Tobacco Vanille always warms me up on cold and gloomy days. Tom Ford can do no wrong in my opinion, and I will for sure be trying another one of his fragrances when this one is empty.

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As much as I love experimenting with new products, I am hesitant to do so a lot of the time. Many formulas–including those that the rest of the beauty community seems to love–tend to throw-off my skin’s balance, leaving me with break outs.

My skin overall is “normal,” slightly oily at times (but I am definitely not immune to dry spots) and *sensitive*. So, I am more cautious than most when trying new things.

When I invest in something new to try, I always give it a fair shot by using it several times. But whether it breaks me out only the first couple times I try it, or for an extend period of time, the unwanted spots are super frustrating.

Thankfully, all this experimenting has helped me discover plenty of amazing products for my sensitive skin that haven’t caused any break outs whatsoever!

What it’s called: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

What it does: Cleanses and soothes skin, removes makeup

Key ingredients: Poloxamer, an effective “cleansing agent” found in contact lens solution that is gentle on sensitive skin and eyes; soothing rosewater; comfrey root extract, which contains allantoin to relax dry or stressed skin

How I use it: As cleanser with warm water (I keep my bottle in the shower!)


What it’s called: Bioderma Sensibio H2O micellar water

What it does: Removes dirt, oil and makeup

Key ingredients: Micellar technology that gently “cuts through impurities (even waterproof makeup) while maintaining the skin’s moisture balance”; soothing cucumber extract

How I use it: To cleanse or remove makeup without rinsing


What it’s called: Tatcha The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder

What it does: Exfoliates and nourishes the skin, reducing the appearance of fullness, uneven texture, fine lines/wrinkles and pores

Key ingredients: Japanese rice bran (“rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nourishing moisturizers”) to gently exfoliate the skin; rice and papaya enzymes (papain), which remove debris and dull, dead skin while supporting “healthy turnover to reveal fresh new skin”; pearl, a hydrator that contains amino acids, collagen and minerals.

How I use it: With warm water as a quick exfoliating treatment after cleansing once or twice per week.


What it’s called: Lush Tea Tree Water

What it does: Balances oily skin, fights dirt

Key ingredients: Tea tree water to “cleanse, clarify and tone” skin

How I use it: As a refreshing mist throughout the day (I keep one in my bag and one on my top shelf.)


What it’s called: Thayers Alcohol-Free Unscented Witch Hazel Toner

What it does: Cleanses, tones and soothes skin

Key ingredients: “Non-distilled extract from the Witch Hazel shrub maintaining the highest levels of therapeutic tannins”; aloe vera

How I use it: To balance skin after cleanser


What it’s called: Glossier Solution

What it does: Fights and prevents breakouts, corrects dark spots

Key ingredients: Salicylic acid, a BHA that “reduces acne and unclogs pores by breaking oil bonds attaching dead cells to skin”; glycolic acid, an AHA that “breaks water bonds attaching dead cells to skin, improving tone and texture” and brightening the skin; lactic acid, an AHA that reduces the appearance of dark spots; gluconolactone, a PHA that “exfoliates while moisturizing and conditioning”; a blend of “ultra-soothing aloe, hydrating glycerin and calming niacinamide”

How I use it: As toner four to five times per week


What it’s called: Glossier Super Pure

What it does: Treats and soothes breakouts, shortening their lifespan

Key ingredients: Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) a “powerful soother” that almost instantly diminishes redness; zinc PCA to “penetrate pores,” helping “clear out impurities and excess sebum that can cause blemishes. Adding zinc is like giving your skin a calming massage to help it rest, recharge and let go of built-up agitation.”

How I use it: As a spot treatment after toner, before moisturizer


What it’s called: Tarte Maracuja Oil

What it does: What doesn’t it do? This formula balances, moisturizes, softens and helps lock-in skin’s hydration without clogging pores; reduces excess sebum production for oily/acne-prone skin; provides anti-aging and skin-firming benefits; protects with antioxidants from environmental aggressors; leaves a “dewy, radiant finish.”

Key ingredients: Cold-pressed oil from maracuja, a fruit that naturally contains vitamin C and fatty acids to “nourish, protect and feed” the skin

How I use it: As an extra boost of all-over hydration and nourishing benefits before moisturizer


What it’s called: Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask

What it does: Hydrates, nourishes, soothes and refreshes skin

Key ingredients: Vitamin C to brighten and even skin’s tone, “revitalizing” its surface; vitamin E, an antioxidant that “helps rid the skin of free radicals”; sodium hyaluronate to “boost skin’s moisture content, soothe and defend against moisture loss”; arginine, a “naturally occurring amino acid” that serves as the “building block of proteins; ceramides 1, 3 and 6 II

How I use it: In place of my regular moisturizer one to three times per week (no need to wash this mask off!)


What it’s called: Mega Greens Galaxy Pack

What it does: Gently detoxes and exfoliates skin

Key ingredients: A blend of “leafy green” phytonutrients from parsley, spinach and cress sprout extract that “clean and help protect skin against environmental pollutants”; bitter orange peel, a soft exfoliant that “helps promote optimal oil balance”; kaolin clay, a “creamy white clay,” that “gently purifies pores by drawing out oil and build-up; avocado oil + aloe, two natural moisturizers to soften and condition skin; antioxidants from a mix of “vitamin- and omega-rich superfruits” (including açaí, aronia and bilberry) that protect the skin from damage.

How I use it: As a 20-minute mask (after cleanser, before moisturizer) one to two times per week


What it’s called: MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix+

What it does: Improves and enhances makeup’s wear while moisturizing, soothing and refreshing skin, leaving it with a “soft sheen”

Key ingredients: Green tea, chamomile and cucumber

How I use it: To wet and set powder makeup products, both before and after application

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