New in: A serious red lippy, yummy bath gel and more DevaCurl

I dropped by Ulta the other day for some treats. Two were repurchases, two were brand new suitors courting my affections.

VitaBath Cupcake Couture Luscious Lemon Creme Bath Gel: This is my third bottle of this stuff. It smells like lemon shortbread cookies. Which sort of reminds me of my wedding cake. Which had Funfetti-esque sprinkles in it because why wouldn't it. Smells are my everything of late, and this makes my shower heaven. It's also apparently sulfate free. I wouldn't know if this makes my skin moisturized, because I set the temperature in my shower to summer-in-hell and that sucks all the moisture right out.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso: I've had this on my must-buy list ever since I saw it on Coco from The Beauty Milk. A super matte, rojo bien chillon, as mi madre would say. So far, this hasn't demonstrated the longevity everyone raves about — it does not like balsamic vinaigrette one bit — and it feathers, but golly is it gorgeous. It practically glows in the dark. It's a Martian babes in silver leather with ray guns kinda shade. A burlesque performer in a giant martini glass red (for the aforementioned longevity, I'm trying to talk myself into biting the bullet on burlesque queen Dita Von Teese's intriguing yet muy expensive recommendation, Lip-Ink. Tee hee). From swatches I've seen, it looks a lot like MAC's Ruby Woo. 

DevaCurl No-Comb Detangling Spray: I went in intending to get a full-size bottle of Mist-er Right, but was intrigued by the concept of a detangling spray with conditioning properties. I've tried this on dry hair and wet, and I think it's a pretty decent detangler and curl refresher on dry hair that provides some slip and softness. It feels sort of emollient, if that's even a quality a hair product can have, but it's light, not oily. I can't describe the scent, but it's pleasant and clean.

DevaCurl Travel Size Mist-er Right: Another repurchase. I can't decide yet whether I like it. It certainly doesn't hurt anything, and helps me redo my do while making me feel less like a poodle being hosed down in the backyard than when I just use a spray bottle with tap water. The lavender scent is pretty strong, so if lavender is your bag, baby, spray away.

Buy anything lately? Give me the itemized receipts, lassies.


The do-better beauty list

Internet, I have been in a rut. My writing projects, this blog included, were covered in cobwebs (exhibit A — I started writing this post two weeks ago). My laundry, even the clean stuff, sat in neglected heaps until recently (I was overly enthralled by finding matches for all my socks and finally organizing my unmentionables drawer). My hair, in an awkward curly mullet phase, was being subdued with a resigned sigh into the same twisted in the front and pinned behind my ears style every damn day. My social life consists of making snarky comments to the characters of whichever one of my programs is on tap on Hulu Plus (that part hasn't really changed, but the fall TV lineup is providing loads of variety, and at least now I'm adding much more knitting into the routine).

This is not the behavior of a bad bitch. It is the behavior of a basic bitch.

Superficial as I am, my prescription for soul malaise will always include getting pretty. So here is my beauty to-do list.

I will wear lipstick again. These days, my lips are lucky if they get slapped with some Rosebud Salve. Once in a while, when I want to look like I tried, I'll reach for my beloved Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey. All my MAC tubes huddle together for warmth while I give them the cold shoulder. No more. I will exfoliate, balm and line my lips and lovingly apply MAC Red or NARS Luxembourg or Kat Von D Adora.

Mucho mejor

And of course, a bold lip means that...

I will rock winged eyeliner. This might be a good time to offer a dissenting opinion about Benefit's They're Real Pushup Liner. I ran out and got this like everyone else did because it was supposed to be the liner to end all liners. And it was the Into the Gloss praise that made me covet it more than any other review. Gel formula! Angled tip for easy application and perfect flicks! Herculean staying power! No, no, no. For me, this has a crusty texture, is unwieldy and smears. I can't build up the color to a nice opaque finish. I've never had a more difficult time with a liner. Such a disappointment.

I will clean my makeup brushes. I've been applying foundation with my hands out of sheer laziness. That's fine, but being a hoarder of makeup brushes, I need the return on my investment to justify the counter space.

I will find new hairstyles. My hair is finally long enough to put in a little ponytail with the short, mullety pieces braided and pinned back. It's like a cute little bunny tail. As I type this, I am stepping it up a notch and rocking a sock bun. Fringe benefits of putting my hair up: I imagine it'll get fewer single-strand knots from me absentmindedly twirling it all night at my desk, and the back-and-up pull has to function like a mini facelift.

And on some days, its glory defies understanding

I will take better care of my skin. I haven't used my Clarisonic in weeks. Because my skin was drying out, I cut back from using it twice a day to just once, and then less and less from there. But that's not my gravest sin. Oh no. On more than one stray night, I have gone to bed without washing off my makeup at all. I KNOW. Trust me, there's no need to slap me, I've done it already on your behalf. Skincare is the perfect playground for a product junkie to experiment, and I am ready to look dewy and lit from within, Pittsburgh's winter be damned. Be damned, I say!

But I will not, WILL NOT charge any new experimental beauty purchases to my credit card. One way in which I am absolutely not in a rut? For the first time since freshman year of college, I am out of credit card debt. I paid it all off, and it felt amazing. There was a time even a few months ago when I thought the end would never be in sight. If you asked me about my debt a year ago, I would have cried or gotten really embarrassed. But those days are behind me. And you know what's pretty? Shaking off a burden like that. It's healing. Those things show on a person.

I will be healthier. More yoga, fewer McNuggets.

And, I will make an effort to blog it out. The frivolity of glamour makes me happy. Waxing poetic about a lipgloss or face mask might not cure a single one of the world's ills, but it's fun. Fun also shows on a person. So, more fun. Lots more.

Do you ever get in a beauty rut? How did you get out of it?