Monday, September 28, 2015

Here comes a list of all the beauty bits I've been loving this past month...and a few fall things I couldn't help but include.

Tarte Tartelette Palette - This is a 12 shade, completely matte eyeshadow palette. This palette was a great investment, and I find that I reach for this almost every day, whether it's for one shadow, or a full look.

Sephora Pro Precision Smudge Brush - I've been reaching for this brush most days to add a bit of dimension to my lower lash line with an eyeshadow. It's great for precise application and blending.

L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation -This has been my go-to foundation this month. This past month has been a mix of cool and hot days, and I've reached for this because it can be built up to full coverage and lasts all day.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel - I love using fresh, citrus scents in the shower and this shower gel checks every box for me: is fragrant, fruity, and creates a luxurious lather.

Yes to Blueberries Eye Firming Treatment - Only in the last year have I started using eye creams, and I recently ran out of the first one I ever bought and wanted to try something new. I don't think this smells like blueberries, but it's a rich eye cream that I feel does a bit more for me than the one I was using before. Eye creams are expensive, (even this drugstore option is $16) but again, I love me an Ulta coupon, and after that it doesn't seem so bad.

Elizabeth & James Nirvana White - I got a sample of this with an online Sephora order. Heads up - order from Sephora.com if you can. It's free 3-day shipping for orders over $50 (and duh, you're going to spend over $50). You get a lot of free samples automatically, and by using additional promotional codes. Anyway, back to the perfume. It's a lovely mix of peony, musk, and muguet (apparently that's fancy for Lily of the Valley).

Clinique Creamy Nude Lipstick - I got a postcard from Ulta recently for a free full size of this lipstick. I opened the tube and thought "Yeah...no. This is way too dark for my skin tone." I tried it on and I ended up loving it! It looks good on it's own, but my favorite way to wear it is topped with a peachy-pink lip gloss.

Yankee Candle Autumn in the Park - Pumpkin. Apple. Fall leaves. What's not to love? I just went on a Yankee Candle shopping spree and this was the first one to be lit. It's the perfect transition into fall.

Trader Joes Pumpkin O's - Thank you, Trader Joes, for making pumpkin flavored everything. I don't even eat cereal for breakfast and I love these. I'll usually take a small snack bag with me to work as a mid-morning or afternoon snack.

What were some of your favorites last month?



Sunday, September 27, 2015

My brows are one of the most important steps in my makeup routine. Like, “I can’t leave the house without my brows on” kind of important. After hearing numerous beauty gurus talk about the Anastasia Brow Wiz, I just had to give it a try. This thing changed.my.brow.game. The brow wiz features a fine, retractable pencil on one end, with a spoolie on the other to brush through your brows and soften the look. What makes this product so special is it's soft texture and fine tip that allows you to draw in hair-like strokes, making your brows look very natural. The Brow wiz is $21. I’ll repeat, $21…for a brow pencil. Now, I love great quality makeup products as much as the next girl, but I found that I was going through the Brow Wiz rather quickly, and each time I ran out, I found it harder to go back into Sephora to spend $21 on a new one.

So off I went to the drugstore to find a cheaper alternative. I tried some from a few different brands, but nothing seemed to measure up. Then I came across the Nyx Micro Brow Pencil, and just based on the packaging, I couldn’t believe how seemingly identical it was to the Brow Wiz. With a $10 price tag (and a $3.50 off coupon at Ulta) I figured it was worth a try.

Yeah I know, I bought a few other things, too, but we'll talk about those another time.
This is insanely close to being the exact same product as the Brow Wiz. Spoolie on one end, ultrafine brow pencil on the other. Originally, the only difference I noticed was that the pencil was a bit drier, but after a few strokes that goes away. And this stuff doesn’t budge. I wear it every single day, and it lasts all day.  If you’re new to brow products and want to try something out, I highly recommend this product. It comes in 8 shades, and retails for $10.00 at Ulta (even lower if you have a coupon…and you should always have a coupon!)

What is your favorite brow product?



Sunday, September 20, 2015

When I started having a serious interest in makeup, the first thing I wanted to invest in was a versatile eye shadow palette. I loved the look and idea of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes, but they were expensive (and still are at $54), and seemed intimidating. I was afraid I would spend all this money just to come home with a palette that I had no idea how to use. Plus, I wanted to use the palette on a daily basis and I just didn’t see myself wearing many of the dark colors regularly. 

That’s when I came across the Lorac Unzipped Palette. I had heard a lot about Lorac eye shadows being pigmented and blendable, so I was confident that I would be getting a good quality product. The palette features a mix of matte and shimmer shades, in neutral tones. Even more appealing, it has a lower price point than the Urban Decay Naked palettes at $42. Now, don't judge the state of my palette too harshly...I know it's a mess; but that just means it's well loved!

You can do so much with these colors. My go-to look is to wear Unbelievable all over my lid, with Unconditional in the crease. Undercover is a great brow-bone highlight for any look. I also love to use Unbridled in the outer corner of my eye to create even more dimension.

What is your go-to eye shadow palette? Comment below!



Sunday, September 13, 2015

My husband and I took a trip over Labor Day weekend, and I wanted to share what I brought along with me in my travel makeup bag.

My bag is by the brand Trina, and I got it about a year ago at Target. I don't believe they sell this brand anymore, but Sonia Kashuk has a great offering of travel makeup bags. I find it so helpful to have a separate section for my makeup brushes so they don't make a mess of my makeup.

If this looks excessive, it's probably because it is. But look how nicely it all fits into the bag! I would be silly NOT to bring it all, right? Right?


Let's talk about the essentials...

I need a reliable base when traveling, and the L'oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation is my absolute favorite. I know I can rely on this to look flawless and stay in place all day. Urban Decay's Naked Skin Concealer is full coverage but still easy to blend.  Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso gives a light flush of color to my cheeks while also providing a radiant glow. The Kat Von D Shade and Light Palette is multi-purpose serving as bronzer, highlight, and even eyeshadow.
L'oreal Telescopic Mascara is waterproof and gives my lashes length and definition. We've already talked about my love for the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, and this small size is perfect for travel. The NYX Micro Brow Pencil is an absolute essential in giving my brows definition (and bonus - it has a spoolie on one end) The Lorac Unzipped Palette is great for travel because it has everything I need -- a combination of matte and shimmer shades in neutral tones.  I have a variety of reliable brushes ranging from high-end (Sephora) to low end (E.l.f.) that help me get the job done.

Now, onto the extras that I probably could have lived without...

The Urban Decay Primer Potion in the shade Eden helps me keep my shadows in place all day, but I bet the Urban Decay concealer could have done a similar job. The NYX Wonderpencil is great for brightening up my eyes by applying in the waterline, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who would have noticed.  I'm sure I could have used a brush or even my fingers to apply my foundation but why would I do that when I have the Beauty Blender in my life? And the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop was entirely unnecessary...but I had an internal satisfaction when my husband noticed that my cheeks were shimmering in the sunlight. Thanks, Jaclyn Hill. #HighlightOnFleek

What are your travel makeup essentials?



Sunday, September 06, 2015

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Grab your Sunday morning coffee and settle in because I have a lot to talk about.

I watch a lot of beauty videos on YouTube (I mean A LOT), and always enjoy watching “Empties” videos. It says a lot to me when someone can go through an entire makeup or skincare product – they either loved it, or didn’t like it and kept using it so they didn’t waste it. Here are the most recent products I’ve used up:

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil – I’m a changed woman. This stuff is INCREDIBLE. This is the first bottle I’ve gone through and when I was running low, I immediately placed a Sephora order to make sure I had it restocked before the first one ran out. At the end of the day, I use 3-4 pumps of this to remove my makeup. You apply the oil directly to your full face of makeup (I know, it sounds strange) and rub it all over your face and eyes. Then, rinse with warm water and a washcloth. This is a holy grail product for me…I won’t remove my makeup with anything else.

Boots Botanics All Bright Micellar Cleanser – There aren’t many micellar waters available in the United States, but I was thrilled when I found this one. I wanted something that I could use on a cotton pad to wipe my face after using my cleansing oil to make sure all traces of makeup were removed – enter the micellar water. It feels just like water working to unclog pores and dissolve makeup. I’ve tried using this alone to remove my eye makeup and it doesn’t quite do the job, but as a second step after my cleansing oil it's perfect. It’s also a great refresher to use in the morning.

KMS California Quick Blow Dry Spray – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to cut down their blow dry time, but I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical about this one. After Kate from The Small Things Blog talked about this product, I had to try it. It’s not cheap, but if you want to give it a go, Ulta sells a travel size for $7 (I threw away the full size bottle I used up, so the travel size is pictured above). It definitely cuts a few minutes off my blow dry, and makes my hair feel softer and lighter.

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon – I received a sample of this from Sephora in black and let.me.tell.you. This stuff glides on like a dream, and is the blackest black. Because it’s waterproof, this eyeliner is great for tight lining. I’m using a different eyeliner right now, but I’ll definitely be repurchasing one of these when I need another black liner.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – I have this in the shade Trooper (black). Liquid eyeliner is intimidating, and this is the first one I have ever used. The tip of this liner is a brush rather than a felt tip, making it easy to form a crisp line. The pen-like design of this liner really helps first-time liquid liner users get used to it. I use this liner every single day. I'm using a small travel side right now to tide me over until I have to buy another.

What are some products you’ve used up recently? Anything you’ll be repurchasing?