5 Broadway Original Cast Recordings I Love

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Musical theatre is incredibly important to me. It always has been. Ever since I was a little girl, I was completely enamoured by the bright lights of marquees, the heart-stopping numbers, and the emotionally evocative (not to mention catchy) show tunes. I was practically born to love musical theatre - when my mum was pregnant with me, my parents saw a bunch of musicals including Les Miserables and Rent. Actually, it was at Rent that my parents guessed what gender I’d be and my dad wrote on a receipt that I’d be a boy (clearly he was wrong!). As I’ve grown older, musical theatre has stayed with me and become an even more important part of my life. Not a day goes by where I don’t listen to at least one Broadway tune or badger my boyfriend with a million different facts about my favourite production.

Today I thought I’d go over one of my favourite theatre-related topics and that is the beloved Original Cast Recording - or, as it’s often referred to, the OCR. These 5 soundtracks are some of my absolute favourites, ones that are on a constant repeat while I’m showering or commuting to school. I know every lyric, every inflection, every bit of dialogue to a T. While I haven’t seen these musicals live yet (I know, it’s a tragedy but I’m broke and Toronto gets minimal love), they have still found a place in my heart and I am so excited to share them with you!

Disclaimer: As I’ve not seen these productions live, I can’t comment at all on the actual visual performance. I can only share my opinions on what’s included in the soundtrack!

HAMILTON: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL

Favourite Lyric: “And when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’m a compel him to include women in the sequel.”

Surely nobody is surprised that I kicked off this list with Hamilton. It is, after all, my favourite OCR of all time - and will likely end up being my favourite production of all time once I see it in 2020. For those who don’t know, this musical’s all about the American founding father, Alexander Hamilton, and how he fits into the story of the American Revolution and the inception of America as an independent nation. Prior to this soundtrack, my knowledge of the American Revolution was minimal at best. But Hamilton has actually made me more interested in learning about the Revolution! Each and every member of this cast is incredibly talented. They bring their own style to the characters, transforming historical figures into multi-dimensional people who you might sometimes hate or love, depending on the musical number. Lin-Manuel Miranda did a phenomenal job with this musical, as it’s so innovative and original. I love how diverse the cast is as well. The history of the war is not diverse at all, so I think that this representation was a crucial addition!

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DEAR EVAN HANSEN

Favourite Lyric: “All we see is sky for forever. We let the world pass by for forever.”

Wow. Just, wow. This soundtrack is AMAZING. Ben Platt’s voice is angelic in every sense of the word. I cannot believe that he was only in his early twenties when he played Evan Hansen (he’s still only 25!!). I remember seeing him in Pitch Perfect, honestly I never expected that he was this talented from that role. This musical discusses teen suicide and mental illness, which is an extremely serious topic and I think they handle it quite well. I’m completely dying to see this live, as it’s currently in Toronto, but it’s so expensive so I’m living vicariously through other people seeing it and through the OCR lol. I think it’s really interesting how a play with such a serious subject matter can have an equal measure of serious tunes, light-hearted ones, and straight-up fun jams (like Sincerely, Me which is one of mine and my boyfriend’s favs).

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

Favourite Lyric: “My cold dark tower seems so bright, I swear it must be heaven’s light.”

I’ve loved Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame since I was a teeny tiny little girl. It was always one of my favourite Disney films, although it is highly underrated and not all that talked about. I’ve always thought the movie was exceptional, visually and musically. So it’s really not a surprise that I love the musical soundtrack as well. Here we’ve got Patrick Page, an absolute treasure, playing the nasty Frollo and doing the part so much justice (even going above and beyond the original film) and Michael Arden being utterly fabulous as Quasimodo. Everyone in this musical is fantastic and the additional songs that weren’t in the film are really really well done, they felt like they fit in perfectly and were well justified. Of course, my favourite song is Out There because duh but also Heaven’s Light/Hellfire is AMAZING as well!!!

HADESTOWN: THE MYTH, THE MUSICAL

Favourite Lyric: “Orpheus, all the pretty songs you sing ain’t gonna shelter us from the wind, the wind, the wind.”

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A RAILROAD LINE. This soundtrack is incredible. I listen to it so often that my boyfriend automatically assumes this is what I’m listening to when I say I’m jamming to musicals. I ain’t even mad. I love everything about this - the mythology, the jazz-inspired tunes, the storyline, EVERYTHING. And Patrick Page is once again in this!! He plays a phenomenal Hades, I really can’t see anyone doing such an incredible job. I love how they modernized the story of the gods and turned hell into “Hadestown,” this neon factory under Hades’ control. On the whole, Hadestown is so lyrically and musically beautiful, I’m absolutely in love with it. And, most of all, I have to mention how completely shocked I was to find out that Chris Sullivan (who plays Toby on This Is Us) plays Hermes in Hadestown!! I’ve said non-stop to my boyfriend for months now how much I adore Hermes’s voice in this OCR and to find out it’s Chris Sullivan really surprised me. Who knew he had such an incredible voice?

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HEATHERS

Favourite Lyric: “I wish you’d come with me… I wish I had more TNT.

If you’ve ever seen the 1988 cult classic film Heathers, you’re probably doubtful that it could ever be adapted into an effective let alone entertaining Broadway musical. I get it. I was a non-believer too! But give the soundtrack a listen, and you’ll realize the impossible is extremely possible when put into the right hands. The OCR of Heathers has easily joined the ranks of my favourites in the last month or so. Barrett Wilbert Weed is the perfect Veronica Sawyer and her voice is amazing. And, of course, we cannot leave Jessica Keenan Wynn out of the mentions, because she’s absolutely incredible as Heather Chandler. Every song of this soundtrack is perfectly done (although Dead Girl Walking does sit a tad bit above the rest!).

What Broadway OCR do you absolutely adore?

February Favourites

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Another month, another bunch of favourite products to share with you guys!! I'm v excited to share these with you guys, as I've had a pretty successful month in terms of trying out new products. The first product I've been loving in February is the Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Tapioca Dry Shampoo. Good gracious, that's a mouthful. I've owned this dry shampoo before, but not since they updated it and added on the "tapioca". They also changed the scent, which is pretty cool because although I did like the original scent, I am seriously obsessed with the new Warm Sugar scent. This dry shampoo leaves no white residue and does such a great job at freshening up second-day hair.

Another hair care product I've been unable to live without recently is the Vibrant Sexy Hair Colour Lock Trio. This includes the Vibrant Sexy Hair Colour Lock Shampoo, Vibrant Sexy Hair Colour Lock Conditioner, and Vibrant Sexy Hair Colour Guard Post Colour Sealer. These three in-shower products are meant to be used together to keep your colour-treated hair stay looking fresh out of the salon for as long as possible. They're all SLS and SLES free, which is really important, and they smell pretty amazing. Since I've started using these, I've actually noticed a difference in both the vibrancy and the overall quality of my hair!!

I know I only picked this up quite recently, but I have fallen head over heels in love with the Lush Eau Roma Water toner that I featured in my haul post. I've been using this twice daily since I bought it, in the morning and before I head to bed, and I swear it's already made a visible difference to my skin! My skin has already been getting close to clearing up (thank Jesus) but this has only sped up the process even more. It's very gentle on the skin and quite refreshing. Two thumbs up on this one.

Moving onto non-beauty related products... I've recently been taking steps to become more mindful and positive, to help with my anxiety, and something that's really been helping me with that is the 52 Lists for Happiness by Moorea Seal. This is a sort of guided journal where you follow weekly prompts for list-making which help to bring balance into your life. I've only been using it now a few weeks, but I'm loving it so far! Not only is it super helpful, but the journal itself is beautiful with its hardcover bounding, and gorgeous photos and illustrations on every page.

Definitely a more random favourite of mine lately has been Milk Chocolate Covered Raisins. These were the candies I always reached for at the movie theatre when I was a kid. Recently, I got such a craving for these bad boys, so my mum picked them out for me one day while she was out and I've since been in heaven.

Last, but certainly not least, is the beloved Disney film, Lady and the Tramp. This was one of my all-time favourite films as a kid because it's a film about DOGS. How can you not love it? Lady is just the sweetest little thing ever. Disney recently released this from the vault and I picked it up on it's release day. I went all the way out to the mall - which is 30 mins away - then all the way to Walmart - which is another 20 mins away from the mall - where I finally found it!! Thank god. Haha

What products have you guys been loving lately?

Felicia x

January Favourites

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It's the end of January which means another monthly favourites post!!! I love writing these sorts of posts. I think it would be lovely if my favourites posts could introduce any of you to a new product or music or tv show or whatever. That'd be wonderful :) Well, anyway, here we go with my January favs!!

TOO FACED PEACH BLUR TRANSLUCENT SMOOTHING FINISHING POWDER

I really have been loving the Peach Blur lately. Different from a setting powder - which obvs sets your makeup - finishing powder smooths out your makeup to make it look more evened out. I usually use it when I'm going for a no-makeup makeup look as it makes my skin look fresh and bright.

NOT YOUR MOTHER'S SMOOTH MOVES FRIZZ CONTROL

This one was crucial for me when I was in Florida at the beginning of the month. Honestly, it was a lifesaver. I just squeeze a toonie-sized amount into my palm and work it into my hair when it's wet. It does wonders for frizziness. I find that my hair dries more evenly, and it's much easier to just blow-dry it and go.

NIVEA NOURISHING DAY CREAM

I have recently switched to my winter skincare routine, and with that comes the need for a different moisturizer. Previously, I was using the Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer. It was doing exactly what I wanted it to. But, the salicylic acid in the moisturizer mixed with the cold air was drying out my skin, so I thought I'd go with something a bit more heavy duty. This day cream has so far been really doing the trick!

TARTE LIMITED-EDITION BLUSH BAZAAR PALETTE

This was actually a Christmas gift from my parents. In the past month, I've been getting a lot of use out of it and I really like it. As it has 10 different shades - some dark, some light, some shimmery, some matte. I love the selection and how simple the blushes are to apply. It's the perfect thing to bring on holiday, as it's easily transportable and it gives me a lot of options. I love 'Angelic' and 'Authentic' the most.

INDIGO MAGNETIC BOOKMARKS

Up until very recently, I have been using the receipt of my book purchase as the bookmark for whatever book I'm reading. So, when I went out to buy the books from my January reading list, my mum insisted that I finally bought myself a bookmark. I ended up finding a pack of magnetic bookmarks with really cute designs and sayings on them. They're really cool - you just clamp the magnetic around the page that you're currently reading and it sticks there without leaving a dent or falling out at all. I'm a huge fan so far and would definitely recommend picking these up if you're an on-the-go reader like I am!

That's a wrap on January! What have you guys been loving this month?

Felicia x

November Favourites

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Hello everybody! As it we are now in the first official week of December, I've got a November favourites post for you all today.

The very first thing that I've been loving this month, which is a very new addition to my beauty product collection, is the L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Extraordinary Clay Shampoo. I've been loving this shampoo. In the winter time, my scalp gets very dried out, which gets only worse with product use. I've been on the hunt lately for scalp-friendly shampoos and came across this in the shop the other day. The idea here is that this shampoo deep-cleanses your roots so that your scalp doesn't get oily which as a result stops you from overwashing which dries out your hair. I did find that this shampoo kept its promises for me and my scalp definitely felt cleaner post-use than it did after using other shampoos. I'd also like to mention that this is the first shampoo that left my hair tangle-free post-wash, which I love.

I recently picked up the Essie "With the Band" Nail Polish at my local drugstore. I love a classic red nail but I wanted something that strayed a bit from the typical bright red shade I use. Which is exactly what "With the Band" is. It's hard for me to describe the shade exactly so I looked at the site and they describe it as a toasted spice burgundy, which I believe is the best description of it. I love this colour so so much. It's beautiful and personally, I think it compliments my skin tone nicely. The one thing I will say, which I find with all Essie nail polishes, is that it requires a top coat in order to keep it from chipping off. It does chip quite easily, so you'd need to be cautious of that.

The next item is one I mentioned in a Friday Thoughts post awhile back: the e.l.f. Aqua Beauty Molten Liquid Eyeshadow in "Rose Gold". I was kinda skeptical at first at how well this product would work but I was genuinely so amazed. It feels very strange to apply, as it's essentially a lip gloss tube and applicator that you put on your eyes.... But the result is lovely. It's a very shimmery, beautiful pinky shade. I find it looks particularly nice as a final touch to a pink/berry eye look. I look forward to experimenting more with this bad boy and seeing what other looks I can create with it.

It's kind of odd that I haven't mentioned this product already before, as I've been using it for a couple months now and I've even had to repurchase it already. It's the Maybelline New York Better Skin Concealer. I've had a few bad experiences with cakey concealers prior to this one (I'm shuddering just thinking about them haha) so when I came across this one and tried it out, I was so relieved. It does an incredible job of hiding undereye circles, as well as masking the horrid acne scarring I've been trying to hide for a while now. It's very easy to blend and it doesn't come off looking very pale or cakey.

I know I've already mentioned this product in a post this month and I'm sure I'll mention it again after this, but I just had to include the Lush Sleepy Lotion in my favourites post. I know this is known to be a hit-or-miss product, but it was a definite hit for me. I have horrible re-occurring insomnia, especially lately - I'm talking staying up until three, four, even five o'clock in the morning because I can't sleep. I've tried a bunch of different things including Melatonin, different pillows, darker room, reading before bed, etc. Some have worked better than others, but this lotion has made a major improvement to the dilemma. On top of its magical sleep-inducing qualities, it has a lovely yet subtle scent and it is very hydrating on the skin which is an added bonus especially for the winter months upon us.

Another product I've mentioned recently that was worth re-mentioning is the Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Room Spray. As you may or may not know, I do suffer from anxiety and that majorly impacts a lot of areas of my life but specifically my sleeping patterns. I've found that spritzing this spray in my room, above my bed where I'll definitely catch a whiff of it, has really helped my anxiety lately. It calms me down enough that I can actually have a chance at falling asleep (this is the part where the Sleepy lotion takes over!). At first, I was a bit iffy on the eucalyptus and spearmint scent, but I've actually come to really like it. I also have a candle of the same brand and scent that I love just as much as this spray.

Steering away from beauty-related favourites, the last thing I've been loving this month is the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. 500 Days of Summer has one of my favourite soundtracks of all time. It has songs by Hall and Oates, The Smiths, Simon and Garfunkel.... all some of my favourite bands. There's not one song on the soundtrack that I don't enjoy. I've been listening to it often this month and I've been loving it so much that I actually purchased it on vinyl this week! I cannot wait to receive the record in the mail :) My favourite song off the album has probably got to be "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" by The Smiths because it's one of my all-time favourite songs.

What have you guys been loving this month?

Felicia x

September Favourites

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I know it is so typical of me to say this, but I can't believe it's September. Where did the month go?! The days completely slipped past me and before I realized it, the month was gone. Just like that. It's been such a busy month, what with returning to school and jumping back into a daily schedule after four months of living my days spontaneously. Because I've put myself on a tragically tight budget so I can save up money for a Disney trip in the new year, I have been very frugal in the spending department. However, there are a few items I've recently purchased, plus some older goodies which I have been just loving this past month.

For some reason, the past month has been the worst in terms of my skin health. My face has completely broken out in blemishes and it's been bringing me down. Fortunately, the only thing keeping me sane has been the Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer. It is probably one of my favourite moisturizers, ever. It contains salicylic acid, the ingredient which is used to clear acne, plus it is hypoallergenic so my sensitive skin doesn't react poorly to it at all. I use this every morning in my skincare routine and it has been making my skin feel much better than it did at the beginning of the month.

The other skincare product I have been loving lately is one that I've owned for a while, but have recently fallen back in love with. Way back in the far away land of 2013, I was fifteen years old and brand new to the online beauty community. Soap and Glory was a line that was super popular amongst beauty bloggers at the time and so, being the follower that I was, I ran to the drugstore to pick up the famed Righteous Butter body butter. I was not disappointed, and I used it religiously. Over the years, I forgot about the brand and it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I glanced at the tub in my bathroom counter and decided to try it again. I've been using it now every day, especially after I shower, and my skin has literally never been so soft! It has such a lovely scent to it, as well, and I love that I can smell it on me throughout the day.

As for makeup products, I purchased the e.l.f. Lock on Liner and Brow Cream in a spur of a moment decision while at my local drugstore (which I have created an unhealthy obsession with - damn you Rexall and your great beauty department!). I am always on the hunt for new brow products and this cream seemed interesting so I decided to give it ago. I have not used it as a liner, but as for a brow cream, I have been impressed so far. I use an e.l.f. duo eyebrow brush, with a brush and spoolie combo, to apply this and I have been loving the results. Even my boyfriend said the other day that my eyebrows have been looking great recently, so that's a real testimony! Haha

Last month, for my birthday, my parents gifted me the Too Faced Natural Love Palette, which was so kind of them. I absolutely love it. Typically, I tend to lean on the more neutral side of eyeshadow shades and so this palette is perfect for me. It has a few lighter matte shades and a ton of gorgeous shimmery shades. I find myself reaching for this palette every day during my makeup routine. My favourite shades of the palette are Makeup & Chill, Hot & Bothered, Satin Sheets, and Honeymoon.

With the changing seasons, of course I had to make my seasonal stop at Bath and Body Works to pick up a few new candles and soaps for autumn. Of the several I picked up, my favourite was the Hello Sugar Warm Apple Pie candle. I absolutely love this candle. It genuinely smells like a freshly baked pie which is probably one of the greatest scents in the whole world. I've lit this candle already a dozen times, and I'm sure I'll be getting a ton of use out of it this season.

Aside from makeup and beauty, I have been totally into music this month. I'm not sure but I think it has to do with the fact that I've been commuting to and from school every day, which is a 40-minute drive each way in traffic. Music has been keeping me sane haha. My two favourite artists to listen to lately have been John Mayer and Sam Phillips. Both of them have such soothing music which is great to listen to while driving and while doing homework or studying. Like, let's be real, John Mayer has the voice of an angel. How can you be stressed while listening to him sing? Currently, my favourite songs by them are "If I Could Write" by Sam Phillips, and "In The Blood" by John Mayer.

Also this month, I have been completely and utterly obsessed with the tv show, This Is Us. Yes, I know. I'm so late to the party. But basically, I am in love with it. My mum, my boyfriend, and I all watched the first season on Netflix within like a week. And now we've bought the iTunes season pass for season two, which is currently playing on tv every week. The Pearson family is so complicated and loveable and Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson is stealing my heart more and more with every passing episode. I can't wait for the next episode to come out! Ugh plus, the soundtrack is just beautiful.

And there you have it! Those are the very mismatched, unrelated things that I have loved this past month. I can't wait to see what October has in store, as I have a ton of cool things coming up that I'm so anxious to share with all of you! I'm so excited for October, and I hope that everyone has had a fabulous September.

What have you guys been loving this month?

Felicia x

5 Favourite Autumnal Lipsticks

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Autumn is nearly upon us, everyone! I cannot believe that the summer season is nearly gone. As sad as I am to see summer go, I am very excited for autumn to roll in because it is by far my favourite season! Everything about autumn is delightful - the clothes, the leaves changing, Halloween, the candle scents, and best of all, the makeup. I love fall-inspired makeup looks, especially lip colours because I feel lips are the most expressive component of any makeup look, and lipstick is for sure this girl's best friend. These five lipsticks are my go-to's in these cosy autumn months.

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(1) NYX Lip and Cheek Souffle in Cocoa Bean

Gotta love NYX products. This one actually came to me in an Ipsy subscription bag back in May or June, before I cancelled my subscription (you can read about why I cancelled that subscription here). I was a bit sceptical at first - but who wouldn't be? I was like, is it a lipstick that goes on your cheeks, too? Or a blush that goes on your lips? I gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised. It's a lovely product, as both a blush and a lipstick. I always think a neutral colour, such as this one, is very nice for when you're looking for a lip product that isn't too out-there or you want a more conservative makeup look.

(2) Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Mama

I purchased this Colourpop lippie early in the summer in a bundle of three liquid lipsticks called Up and Away. 'Mama' quickly became my favourite shade of the three (not to belittle the others, of course). As described by the website, it is a burnt orange shade that really pops on the lips. I think this is a perfect autumnal lipstick because the shade is very reminiscent of the colour of falling leaves. I use this more as a full-faced special occasion type of lip product, but it can certainly be used as a day-to-day product if you're brave enough to do so.

(3) NYX Lip Lingerie 12 Exotic

One of the first liquid lipsticks I've ever purchased with this one by NYX and it quickly became one of my favourites. I use it religiously in autumn. It's a gorgeous mauve that lasts for hours, even through eating and drinking. I think it is easily paired with any outfit and it's perfect for when you're on the go as it rarely requires reapplication. Another bonus is that because it is an NYX product, it is inexpensive - so purchasing one of these bad boys (or a few in different colours!) won't break the bank.

(4) Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Moss 30

For the longest time, I have loved Kate Moss' collection of Rimmel London lipsticks. I own a few but my personal favourite for this season is this plum purple lipstick. I love wearing this shade, I think it looks so nice with a neutral brown eye look on a cool autumn day. Because it's a deep colour and it's pretty matte, I find it can dry out your lips easier but that problem is easily avoided if you coat your lips with a layer of lip balm before applying the lipstick.

(5) L'Oréal Colour Riche 402 Blake's Red

Of course, I had to include a red lippie because it's absolutely classic and, in my opinion, a perfect colour for fall. I am in love with this collection by L'Oréal and this shade of red is my favourite out of all the ones I own. It is a lovely long-lasting matte shade that really pops on the lip and I think it would really compliment any skin tone. I typically wear it with minimal eye makeup because I think it looks best as the main focus on the face.

Felicia x

Lipstick Craze: Autumn

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Lately, with the summer basically gone even though there is still a few more hours of the season, I have really gotten into the Autumn Mood. For me, autumn is the best season because of four reasons: 1) campfires, 2) chunky sweaters, 3) CANDLES, and 4) lipsticks. I feel like lipsticks become a huge part of my makeup look in the fall, because during the summer I tend to either stick with a classic red lip or I go for a nude/light pink. But this is the time where the weather gets cooler and everything becomes colourful with all the leaves falling, I like to think dark lipsticks really emulate that transition. So, without further ado, let me share with you all my top 5 autumn lipsticks

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#1: Revlon Moon Drops Lipstick in 79 "Love That Red"

This has to be my all-time favourite colour. It's a beautiful, deep red creme lipstick that is easy to apply and lasts for a decent amount of time, probably 5 hours even through a meal. I usually wear it if I'm going out for a night out and I don't have much of an opportunity to reapply. Unfortunately, this was my mum's that I stole awhile ago and I've discovered it no longer exists. However, Revlon has a new Moon Drops collection with a colour, 710 Orange Flip, which is a similar colour when applied, the only difference being an orange tint.

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#2: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

I received this as part of my Beauty Insider birthday gift at Sephora last month, and I have fallen in love with it. The cashier spoke highly of this pencil, stating it was one of Nars' best products, and I couldn't agree more. It's gorgeous and lasts forever once it's dried. Of course, as I usually do, I did the "kiss test" on my boyfriend's cheek and it didn't come off, so I was very impressed.

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#3: Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 30

I first was introduced to Kate Moss's line of lipsticks from blogger Zoella, when she began to rave about 107 - which is also a staple of mine. After trying a few of the other lipsticks, I fell in love with this beauty right here. It's a deep plum, which I feel really suits my autumn-based wardrobe. I think it's really a go-to lipstick for any look and it's very long-lasting.

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#4: Nars Semi Matte Lipstick in Scarlett Empress

This one I've heard raved about again and again. I saw countless posts about this all over social media back in the spring months, and I purchased it for my end-of-year dance recital as I needed a deep, rich colour to go with my Spanish-style dance and costume. Now that that dance is in the past, I've been using it as a day-to-day lipstick and I love it. The longevity is amazing

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#5: L'oreal Colour Riche in 590 Blushing Berry

Last, but certainly not least, is my most recent lip purchase. This one, as the name suggests, is a berry tone which is essential to this season. I'm quite fond of this colour, the only thing I will say is that it doesn't last as long as the others as it's a cream lipstick. This would be one you'd have to reapply so do keep that in mind if you decide to pick it up