5 Things I’ve Been Lovely Lately, Starring Songs, Pencils, Books, Scrubs and Scents

Published in: Beauty Tips, Just For Fun

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion

1. The song called Royals, by Lorde

So there I was, in the car, zipping down to my hair appointment the other day, when it starts raining.


It’s the first rain of the season, and I’m not overjoyed about it, but then a song comes on the radio (I think I’m physically incapable of driving without listening to music, especially in the rain, for some reason) that completely steals my attention.

It’s by 16-year-old singer/songwriter Lorde, from New Zealand, and I loved it from the first bar.

I have to warn you, though — it’ll get stuck in your head. Guaranteed.

You have been warned…

Oh, Lorde’s eye makeup in the video? KILLER.

2. The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion

Not sure why, but my water lines have been super sensitive lately, and they only thing they’ll tolerate is UD’s $19 Eye Pencil in Perversion.

It’s just fantastic. Super black, without any green or blue undertones, and it lasts all day long.

It’ll keep you on your toes, too, because it sets quickly, so you have to blaze through your work if you want to do any smudging along your lash lines.

And then there’s the name — Perversion — which just makes me laugh.

Every time I see it, I say something like, “Ooh, I love Perversion,” or “I’m so totally into Perversion.”

Try it sometimes. It’s fun. 🙂

3. Parallel, a novel by Lauren Miller

Do you ever get a book based solely on the cover?

I used to do it all the time. Now I try to read reviews and go with recommendations (keep ’em coming!), but sometimes I still just grab a cool cover. 🙂

Like Parallel, by Lauren Miller — I love that type on the cover. It’s so clean and elegant. And the shape of that R? LOVE IT.

Rs (Arrrs!) are one of those deal-breaker letters, ya know? If the R is funky, no can do…

I started reading it in bed last night and could not put it down. I would’ve stayed up all night, but then I would have paid for it today.

It’s about a young woman who thinks she might be experiencing life in two parallel worlds.


The writing is crisp, sharp, and the story moves like a sprint. All day I kept trying to sneak in a few pages, but Tabs was watching me like a hawk (no young adult reading on company time).

4. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power-Clear Scrub

Neutrogena Oil Free- Stress Control Power Clear Scrub

Neutrogena’s $7.49 Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power-Clear Scrub just replaced my tube of Neutrogena All-in-1 Daily Scrub, which had been a staple in my shower since the beginning of time the summer.

Actually, I still love All-in-1, but I got the urge to try something new… It’s the Beauty Lover’s Curse, I guess.

Like All-in-1, Oil-Free Acne Stress Control contains salicylic acid, which seems to work well for me. It also has a lovely fresh, almost minty, scent, and it leaves my skin feeling a little tingly and just really, really clean — but not tight or dry.

I keep a tube in my shower, and it’s been keeping my chin acne in check.

5. Estée Lauder Modern Muse Eau de Parfum

Estée Lauder's Modern Muse Eau de Parfum

Modern Muse Eau de Parfum, $78 for the 1.7-ounce bottle shown here

Oh, man, Estée Lauder’s perfumes get me every time. They always seem so sophisticated and feminine.

Pleasures, Beyond Paradise, Private Collection Gardenia — I’ve been loving EL’s fragrances for years.

They got me again, too, with Modern Muse Eau de Parfum ($58-$98, depending on the size), their first scent in 10 years, and it’s a keeper.

Estée Lauder calls it a lush, floral, woody fragrance, and uh, yeah, I get that. It starts with floral notes of jasmine, tuberose, lily, honeysuckle and a squeeze of mandarin orange, but as the day wears on, warmer notes, like vanilla, musk, amber wood and two types of patchouli, appear.

It’s not as heady or robust as usual for a fragrance released in fall/winter. Some of those are so strong they can give me a headache, but this doesn’t. It’s like autumnal with oomph…but not too much oomph.

I can’t wait to pair it with snuggly, oversized sweaters, leggings and boots.

Your turn. What are some things you’ve been loving lately (and they don’t all have to be beauty-related)? A new song? A good book? A lovely lipstick? Holla at me in the comments. What’s been rocking your world. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 42 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chris25 says:

    I have to get Perversion. It’s on my list, but I need to go through the gazillion black liners I already own.
    Chris25 recently posted … Review: Lakme Pure Rouge Blusher in Ginger Surprise

  2. Natalie says:

    I love Neutrogena scrubs, I have the Deep Clean one in my shower now. It also leaves your skin minty (smell and tingle and all).

    I’m currently loving NARS Sin blush, I always whip this bad boy out in the fall. Its a staple. Oh! And yoga class, I’ve been obsessed lately.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Natalie,

      I have that one next on my list. I don’t know if I will have the willpower to wait to finish this tube though, LOL!

      Have you tried their Gentle Cleanser, btw? THE BEST!

      And thank you for reminding me about NARS Sin. I have it too; it’s been a while since I’ve worn it.

  3. Denise S says:

    Perversion is a great black eyeliner. It’s so black that I usually don’t wear it on my lower lash line because it will make my eyes seem smaller.But it’s so intense for a night time smokey eye, one of my favorite liners. I’ll have to give the Estee Lauder fragrance a sniff. I own Tuberose Gardenia and I like it but I probably won’t repurchase when I’m finished the bottle. I love white flower perfumes, have you tried Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower perfume? A gorgeous sexy floral fragrance.

  4. Neha says:

    The type looks just like the one I use for my photography blog! It’s called Narwhal. I absolutely LOVE it!!! Bought it from Ceative Market! I myself am into “E’s!” But the W in this font is to die for!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Neha,

      I must look into that font. How’s the “K”? That’s important to me too. 😉

      • Neha says:

        Ok. I’m mistaken! 🙁 Narwhal is slightly wider than this. It looks ver, very similar, though. This looks just like the font fashion designer Rachel Roy uses for some of her logos on the Macys website for her “Rachel” logo. Hope you can find out what it is. Let me know….I would love to know what it is!

  5. hanna says:

    I love that girl. So much talent, at 16!
    hanna recently posted … Nexplanon Didn’t Work for Me

  6. meredith says:

    I wore Modern Muse today! I had a sample vial but was so impressed I’m considering springing for a bottle.

  7. Elle says:

    Love Lorde big time – I really hope she hits it big here. I don’t mean to sound old, but it’s nice to see a 16-year-old look, well, more like a 16-year-old. My first thoughts when I saw the video: 1) I love her hair and makeup, and 2) She’s fully clothed. Am I sure this is a music video with a woman in it?

  8. Heidi says:

    I think I’ll go with the same categories, because I’ve got current loves in each of them.

    Song: Rumble and Sway by Jamie N Commons. This song just energizes and pumps me up for the day!

    Liner: Lately I’m alternating between Too Faced’s Perfect Espresso and Urban Decay’s LSD, depending on what shade I’m needing.

    Book: Well, I’m reading tons of kids’ books lately in search of positive messages for teaching Sunday School. The latest I’m loving is Dear Tabby by Carolyn Crimi and David Roberts (yes, Tabs, I know… possible copyright infringement going on here….). It’s such a positive, fun, book, where animals write to Dar Tabby for advice and she encourages them to be grateful for what they have and to not lose hope.

    Scrub: well, not a scrub, but an exfoliating product, Nuance Daily Resurfacing Pads. They contain lots of natural ingredients and some salicylic acid, so they keep my skin nice and smooth, and I haven’t had any pesky monthly breakouts since I started using them.

    Cologne: Marc Jacobs’ Honey. LOVE that stuff!

  9. Julia Alkaseltzer says:

    I LOVE that song, I NEED to get Perversion, I HAVE to read Parallel (the story just sounds so interesting!)

    I’ve been getting very into Janelle Monae’s music, her sci-fi storyline, and her as a person. AND she’s a Cover Girl, she’s so classy– I love her!!

  10. Rachel says:

    Just you mentioning “Royals” got that song in my head! Damn you, Karen! Haha, totes kidding! Anyway, I recently went to the salon and got my hair colored brunette for fall and I love it! I was pretty blonde, you know how it is when you get a few highlights at the beginning of summer, then you get them touched up and you keep getting blonder and blonder? Well it was time to get back to my roots (pun intended!) I love your new hair and my hair now looks like your old hair (if that makes sense!)

  11. I just love features like this 🙂
    I have recently bought five new books and tonnes of magazines, so they will keep me busy before bedtime.
    Perfumes – I really love Illamasqua’s Freak and Molecule 01. Also plan to buy Peony and Blush Suede from Jo Malone finally.
    Skincare – I have been loving REN recently, they make lovely products.
    Marina(Makeup4all) recently posted … Elemis Skin Nourishing Body Scrub Review

  12. Sarah says:

    I have been in love with Estee Lauder’s Pleasures for years now. So sophiscated!
    Sarah recently posted … NOTD | Newspaper Nails

  13. Fieran says:

    I love Urban Decay’s Perversion too but like you said, it sets very quickly. MAC Feline is still my all time favorite though.

    Hmm, so what are my 5 things?

    1. Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Catfight. It’s a beautiful fuchsia and I’ve been in love with bright fuchsia lipsticks ever since I ventured into the whole bright lips experience. The texture is amazing and even when it fades, it doesn’t look patchy.

    2. MAC 109. I can’t thank you enough, Karen, for reviewing the 109 brush and mentioning that you use it for foundation application. I love the 109. It just applies foundation like a dream. Even on my bad skin days (which is most days) the brush makes my foundation application look almost flawless.

    3. Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadows on top of the NARS Smudgeproof eyeshadow primer. This combination is sheer magic. Coupled with a 217 brush, the application of the Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadow is so, so easy. I can get a complex looking smoky eye in half the time I would normally spend. I’m secretly happy that Armani hasn’t made any new dark shades in this range otherwise I’d be all over them instantly.

    4. Alterna Bamboo Shine Silk-Sleek Brilliance Cream. Okay the name is a bit weird, but the product is magic especially in frizzy autumnal rainy weather. When I apply this product into my damp hair, the texture of my hair changes automatically. My hair is so much sleeker, neater and less frizzy. Don’t know what I would do without this product.

    5. Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream Gel moisturizer. My skin was acting up due to the reformulation of Clarins HydraQuench I think. It just didn’t seem to like that moisturizer anymore so I contemplated getting something more natural and stumbled upon the Korres one. It’s such a nice moisturizer. You can’t possibly over-apply.

    • Maggie says:

      I keeping hearing about UD Catfight–on my must-try list.

      Things I’ve been loving lately? Hmmm…

      1. ‘The Happiness Project’ by Gretchen Rubin.

      Only just started but it’s nice. I appreciate how she is honest and inherently slightly snarky.

      2. Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Gel.

      LOVE THIS! Not irritating at all–people who think they’re sensitive to salicylic acid should try Paula’s Choice options just to be certain. The drugstore options (cleansers and lotions) irritate my skin like crazy–but this is priced similarly to drugstore (at value per ounce)

      3. Naked Organix Argan Balm

      There was a period where no matter WHAT I tried, my lips remained chapped. Burt’s Bees, Jack Black Lip Balm, all sorts of Blistex, Carmex, Chapstick, C.O. Bigelow–you name it, there’s a chance I tried it. One day, I just tried putting plain old Vaseline over my lips and realized Vaseline was better–but didn’t help all that well for healing. Turns out it was the mint, citrus and flavorings that were bringing me down. This lip balm is an absolute wonder.

      4. Korres Mango Butter Lipstick in 25 Natural Rose.

      This made me believe in moisturizing lipsticks again–it’ll still look nice despite slightly chapped lips. Remember my previously chapped lips? Well drugstore moisturizing lipsticks contributed to the chapping problem. Once I stopped, my lips were better. Now I have this huge lipstick wardrobe I won’t touch and was resigned to the idea I was allergic to some ingredient found across many lipsticks.

      5. Beauty Blender sponge

      Awesome–blends out my base product soooo wonderfully without flaking my skin (many brushes would just irritate my skin). This is my favorite but latex sponges seem to work fine as well.

  14. kim says:

    have you tried anything from the neutrogena naturals line? i’ve been using the makeup removing facewash and i like it so far. i want to try the exfoliating scrub and daily moisturizer next.

  15. Agata says:

    A cute post! The book sounds interesting. And I had a sample of the Modern Muse and it smells divine! I might have to ask for it for my birthday or Christmas!

  16. karen i love perversion of ud, and that I love, is much pigmentation

    This scent seems to be very delicious, I love the brand

    Karen and kisses tabs

  17. Danielle says:

    Karen, this is a great post! I love hearing about bloggers other interests besides beauty.
    Danielle recently posted … Eye Shadow Ideas for Fall 2013

  18. Trisha says:

    I LOVE Royals. Oh man, what a good song. I was on a road trip recently and blasted it every time it came on the radio.

    Also, Parallel looks awesome, and I totally want to get it. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve taken your book suggestions (and been better off for it.)
    Trisha recently posted … Will You Be Rocking the Pantone Fall 2013 Colors of the Season?

  19. Chelsea says:

    Royals is so good – the rest of her songs are pretty awesome too though!

    • Karen says:

      I’ve only heard this one and Tennis Court, which I like too. She’s coming to SF this Friday and I’m kicking myself for not getting tickets sooner! I bet it’s going to be a great show.

      Happy Tuesday, btw! How’s your day going?

      • Chelsea says:

        Pretty good! I found out I didn’t owe money to the school, so that’s awesome. It’s the last day of the season for the Dairy Queen a block from my house, so I might have to go there…

        • Karen says:

          Not owing money to the school? That is truly awesome!

          Please go to Dairy Queen and order a Blizzard so I can vicariously live through you. I haven’t had one in YEARS. I used to live down the street from one in college and would go there all the time. Vanilla with Oreo cookie for the win!

  20. Erin says:

    I’m obsessed with 90’s eurodance (i was born in 89 and i’ve always been obsessed with how the 90’s eurodance synthesizer sounds and how it was used.) i’m particularly obsessed with Emjay right now.

    i’ve been wearing alot of mac’s rebel lipstick lately. Usually with urban decay’s sin or mushroom.

    Oh goodness i love perversion, its perfect for balancing out the sweetness of pastel eyeshadows, and enhancing neutral eyeshadows.

    also still obsessed with the bath bombs from moon’s harvest. They have so many pumpkin scents for fall let alone the amount of bath bomb scents they regularly have. for sure will be gifting them to friends for holidays.

    the tarina tarentino emerald pretty eyeshadow is perfect for fall. and i think thats everything i’m really really loving right now.

  21. Rachel P says:

    Perversion is on my list to get- I have UD pencils in Sabbath and Lust. Sabbath is my perfect almost-black navy matte. And I LOVE that song Royals!! It’s so different, I had to Shazam it right away when I heard it because I feel songs like that don’t always get airplay.

  22. camille says:

    YAY! Thanks for this post. I’ll try these out when I’m out at the store, again 🙂

    1) LUSH shampoo “BIG”. It smells SOOOOOOOOOOO good! The price was kind of a “yikes!” moment, but I’m sure I’ll be able to stretch it out, since it can be a tad drying.

    2) MAC cremesheen lip glass in Double Dare. It’s a nice bright colour (although it’s fall, so it may need to hibernate, or come out for night time adventures)

    3) Was in the middle of reading Cormac McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian”, but decided to start over, since it has been a few months. In my opinion, he’s a difficult read. He doesn’t use much punctuation, so when people are talking, it can get confusing. He’s awesome though 🙂 I’ll have to check out “Parallel” 🙂

    4) Febreze NOTICEables in Hawaiian Aloha. Makes our apt. smell pretty. I went home for 3 weeks, and I come back to the apt & the settled smell was weird. I smelled pee in the living room, which was probably from the previous tenants. (I assume they had pets due to the chewed up base boards)

    5) Breyers Lactose free ice cream, in chocolate. Those darn lactose pills are nifty, but I find that even though I take them, my dairy consumption usually exceeds the amount allowed. So, lactose free ice cream has been an AWESOME find 🙂 Breyers is kind to my wallet, too.

    Have a lovely weekend, Karen! It’s Friday in my world. I finally get to see The Man, after 4 weeks being apart (he went to the east coast, for work). I like my “me” time, but I sure do miss his pretty face.

  23. Jodi says:

    Love how smooth her voice is and for 16 it’s unreal – neon jungle do quite a nice version of this song too! Urban decay have so many nice releases out just now, I love how ‘perversion’ is just pure black though. I tried out modern muse today and its definitely one I could get addicted to, reminds me a wee bit of liz earles botanical essence no15 but that could just be my blocked nose!
    Jodi xx
    P.s. I’m a cray-cray cat lady too! Meow! Xx

  24. Jess says:

    Wow some of my current obsessions mesh with yours!

    1. Lorde is amazzzzing ! Check out “the love club” EP it’s killer, her first release. I really like her song “biting down.”

    2. This new guess purse I bought, the camryn dream satchel in sapphire, it’s a cool studded cobalt blue satchel with leopard lining, it’s bananas.

    3. Clinique black honey nail polish rocks my world.

    4. Book “tigers in red weather” and the tv show scandal are keeping me entertained.

    5. Estée Lauder modern muse is my new scent, it’s so sophisticated lady meets independent spirit. I had sensuous and it was too sweet . This though is my perfect fall scent, Mac turquatic is summer. Love it modern muse!

    Love these posts keep it coming ! Your amazing !

  25. Jess says:

    “Parallel” sounds like dissociative identity disorder aka multiple personality disorder! Also Milani liquid eye eyeliner in black is my fav black eyeliner!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge