Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Ipsy Bag July 2015 #SummerLovin'

I actually have had my Ipsy bag for a while now, but was missing a sample so I wanted to wait to get it before I did this post. This gave me plenty of time to try out a few of the products, and needless to say some of the products are AMAZING. 

The bag this month is also pretty cute, and is sort of like a canvas material that feels sturdy and well made. In this bag I got a sample of the Coolway Beachy Salt Spray, Bare Republic Natural Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen in SPF 30, Tarte Park Ave. Princess Bronzer, full-size BellaPierre Lipstick in the shade P.I.N.K. and full-size OFRA Highlighter/Eyeshadow in Bliss.

*SPOILER ALERT* I loved pretty much everything. I've gotten SO many salt sprays though over the past few months that I probably will pass this one on. Plus, I don't really use them because they just make my naturally wavy/curly hair more frizzy. I will definitely use the tinted sunscreen though for protecting my face and giving a slight bit of coverage for those days I'm out lounging in the sun.

I was beyond excited to get the Tarte Park Ave. Princess Bronzer though! I've always wanted to try it since everyone raves about it, and I have to say I might have to go out and buy the full size of it once I use this one up. It's a nice texture with good pigmentation and has a subtle golden-bronze sheen to it. I've used it pretty much everyday since I got it and I just love it. The packaging for this sample is so luxurious too!

The Bellapierre Lipstick is really creamy and in a surprisingly wearable pink shade. I don't typically wear this type of pink, but I'm excited to try it out. 

Lastly, the OFRA Highlighter/Eyeshadow in Bliss. Mother of God. It's a stunning metallic peachy champagne shade that is absolutely beautiful on the eyes and cheeks! I have to force myself to not just use this every single day. It's buttery smooth, pigmented as hell, and is a huge pan to boot. What's not to love? I'm going to see if OFRA has different shades because I need more in my life. 

That's what is in my bag this month! What did you get? Any hits or misses? 



Saturday, July 25, 2015

Minimal Makeup: Products For A Natural Look

On my days off from work, I usually don't wear any makeup whatsoever and choose to brave the world bare faced. But for those occasions when I do want something on my face but definitely don't want full on makeup, these are the products I typically go to for a minimal makeup look.

I've always found it hilarious that for "no makeup" makeup looks it always involves like 20 products. I've narrowed it down to 10, which still feels ridiculous, but that's if I feel like getting extra fancy. Usually I just use 4-6 products which is much more reasonable!

  I start out with a BB cream, and one I've been using lately is the Maybelline Pure BB in Light which has surprisingly good coverage, is more of a demi-matte finish and is a nice shade for me. I have a hard time with BB creams being too orange, dark, greasy and just don't do much for me in general, but this is a good one! I also like the L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream. If I have bad dark circles or blemishes, I use a concealer and then a powder to add a little more coverage. The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is fantastic for under the eye, hiding blemishes and even doing some highlighting. Any powder will do, but the Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder is a great powder that is finely milled and adds decent coverage too.

I then comb through my brows using the Nyx Tinted Brow Gel in Espresso to give a little definition and fullness and throw on some of my favorite mascara, the Maybelline Volum'Express The Rocket Mascara. Lastly I put on some lip balm like Smiths Rosebud Perfume Co. Minted Rose Lip Balm and I'm good to go. This lip balm is my favorite right now, and I use it all the time. My only complaint is that the tin is so goddamn hard to open and when I do finally Hulk it open, my fingers accidentally dig into the product sometimes. SO NOT COOL. But I put up with it anyways because I love it so much.

If I have the time, desire or energy to do more, I'll put on some bronzer, blush, a really subtle highlight and a cream shadow. The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder in Medium and Nyx Powder Blush in Mocha are both matte and add just a little color to the face or can be layered for more intense color. For adding a little more glow, I like the Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent. It's subtle enough to dust all over the face or just adding it to the cheekbones. If I do add anything to my eyes besides mascara, I typically just use a cream shadow or eye base like this Be A Bombshell Eye Base in Submissive to add depth, shine and color. I got this in an Ipsy bag actually! It's a nice bronze-taupe with a hint of gold.

Top to bottom: Nyx Blush in Mocha, PF Mineral Glow Pearls , Honey Bronzer, and Submissive eye base
What are your go-to's for a minimal makeup look?



Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 2015 Birchbox Unboxing!

When I opened this months Birchbox, I instantly fell in love with the box. IT'S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOX EVER. Definitely keeping it! Anyways, let's take a peak at what I got this month!

I was so stoked to receive a sample of the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso, a classic red shade. I've been dying to try the Stila liquid lipsticks and I've been in the market for a long-wearing matte red color so this is beyond perfect. Score 1 for Birchbox! It feels so creamy, light weight and took a hard scrub to get it off my lips, great news for staying power.

I was also excited to see an Amika un.Done Texture Spray sample. I got a dry shampoo sample of this brand before and really liked it, so I'm excited to try this texture spray! Plus the packaging is so damn cute.

The two skin care samples I got is the Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator and Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow. It's hard for me to actually use skin care samples because I easily forget about them when it comes time to wash my face, but they are great for travel! The Marcelle BB cream is kinda throwing me for a loop just by swatching it because it's a pretty opaque, dark gold tinted cream that I'm nervous to put all over my face, haha. I'll still test it out though and see how it goes. It might be good mixed with foundation to add a little more glow to it.

Lastly, a nice little bottle of the Davines SU Hair & Body Wash, a clear gel that supposedly hydrates both skin and prevents sun damage to hair. This will definitely come in handy after spending time in the sun at the pool. I'm a little weary of combination type products though, and reminds of the ridiculous combination toiletries by some sketchy brand you find in hotel rooms that is a shampoo/conditioner/mouthwash/toothpaste and turns my hair into a total train wreck. I forgot my own hair products once and was forced to use them. Never again. But it's Davines so it should be trustworthy. I'll put it in my hair and see what happens I guess!

Welp, not bad Birchbox! The Stila sample was worth it alone. Is it weird that the box was the runner up for me? I just can't get over it. What did you get this month?



Monday, July 20, 2015

Shine On: Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stains

Balm stains and crayon type lip products definitely had a moment a while ago, but they still are one of my favorite lip products! One of the cheapest balm stain/lip crayons available are the Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stains! I get mine from Walgreens for about $2.99 and I have quite a few of them now. 

I have the shades Rock N Rouge, Cranberry Crush, Fresh Fig, Honey Love, Gorgeous Peony, Tropical Frenzy, and Candied Coral. I used to have Sweet Pink but got rid of it a while back since I never wore it, and I'm missing the shades Nude Chic and Terra Crave from my collection.

These are definitely more balm like and sheer than the Revlon version, so they aren't super opaque. But for a wash of color that will last all day this is great! My favorite way to use these are under other lipsticks or lip gloss to help prolong the color a little bit since it leaves a stain. It's especially handy under matte colors to help moisturize or turn it into more of a satin finish without a gloss. 

During the summer months especially, I'm extra lazy when it comes to my lips and most often want a no-fuss lip color that I don't have to think about touching up all day. There is some transfer though, and the gloss wears off as the day goes on but the stain is still there! 

My favorite shades are Candied Coral, Honey Love and Fresh Fig! Some of the darker shades do take a while to build up color, so keep that in mind. Like I've said before, lip crayons are one of my favorite lip products and these are a cheap drugstore alternative!
 I do like the Revlon Colorburst Balm Stains more because they have more pigmentation, have a creamier texture, and have a few different finishes available. But if you haven't tried a balm stain before or want to try colors you wouldn't normally gravitate towards, this won't break the bank. Even the Revlon ones are still around $9! At $2.99, you could try 3 of the Twist & Shines for the price of one Revlon Balm Stain. 

Tried 'em before? What are you're favorite shades?!



Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 2015 Boxycharm Unboxing! #SummertimeRadness

Woohoo! Time to see what goodies Boxycharm has in store for us for the month of July! This months theme is Summertime Radness, which I think is a play on the song Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey, who is one of my favorite artists. Let's get this party started and see what I got!

The first thing I grabbed was the gorge I'll make you look amazing daily spray ($29.95), which is a leave-in conditioner spray that is supposed to be used on damp hair for frizz-free, shinier, healthier, stronger hair. Who doesn't want that?! I'm stoked to try it out and it's a full size so I can actually test it out long term to see if it lives up to the claims. 

Naturally, I gravitated to the golden tube next, which is the MDMflow Greater Than Mascara ($35.00), which is not available in the U.S yet. The packaging feels heavy and luxurious! For $35 this mascara better be DAMN good. I don't think it's waterproof either so that's good news for when it's time to take it off, but not so good for hot summer temps. 

I also got a Vasanti Professional Blush Brush ($29.00). It looks like a typical blush brush but a little denser than expected to help really pack on the color. I'll try it out, but I still am in love with the Real Techniques Blush Brush so I might pass this on. It does not feel like`it should be worth $29.00 at all though, and feels like one of the Ulta brand brushes I have. Hell, for $29 you can buy one of the Real Techniques Bold Metals brushes and those ones are better quality and are way cutie. 

Of course, I got an eye pencil. But this time it's an OFRA Cosmetics Universal Eye Pencil ($13.00). It's a neutral brown pencil that is super creamy and glides on like a dream. The only problem is that since it's so creamy, it rubbed off really easy on my hand. I can only imagine if I wear to rub up on anything my eyebrows would come right off with this. A gel would definitely be necessary. The color is nice though! 

Lastly, I got a yourMinerals Transparent Veil Setting Powder ($26.00). Setting powders are a must for me so I'm really happy about getting this! Except when I went to swatch it, expecting it to be, well, transparent, it was pure white. Granted, I did swatch a lot on my hand and on my face it'll be super blended in, but now I'm worried it'll leave a white cast. It's not as finely milled as my other setting powders, but it's a good size for travelling. 

That's all for this Boxycharm! Not to be a negative Nancy, but I wasn't blown away by this box. I like the leave-in conditioner and the mascara the best. The value is incredible though, and every other month I love the majority of what I receive so I'm not to sad about it. 

What did you like in your box?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Eco Tools Pure Complexion Konjac Sponge: Another Magic Sponge?

I've walked past the Eco Tools Pure Complexion Konjac Sponge (what a mouth full!) many times in stores and wondered how the heck you are supposed to use them since they feel as hard as a rock in the packaging. I could only imagine the pain of scrubbing my face with this "sponge," and had no idea what konjac was, so I would just continue on my merry way...

Until I finally did some research and was intrigued that this sponge is made up of the fibers from the konjac plant, a type of Japanese vegetable. It softens and expands when wet, and hardens when dry, much like my beloved Beauty Blender. This tear-drop shaped sponge is used to gently remove makeup, cleanses and exfoliates by adding water and your own cleanser. It can even be used day and night! It has sky rocketed in popularity recently and other brands have them priced at around $16 a sponge. Which is pricey considering that it is recommended that you replace it every three months due to bacteria build up. Luckily the Eco Tools version is only $6, so I decided to give it a try!

When it's run under water, it really does soften up a WHOLE lot. I was super surprised and almost grossed out at first because it felt mushy and is one of the weirdest materials I've ever felt. I can't even explain the texture! You just dollop on your cleanser and scrub your face with it! When you're done, you lay it flat on a towel to dry. I've tried two different cleansers, a foaming gel and a cream cleanser. In my opinion, a gel/foaming cleanser works the best with it because I felt that the sponge was just absorbing my cream cleanser and was not cleansing my face properly. It really does feel nice to cleanse my face with and gently exfoliates at the same time.

However, I would still continue using whatever makeup removing product, like a cleansing oil, you like the best first before using this to cleanse because it gets gunked up with makeup easily and doesn't do the best job at removing a full face of makeup. It also doesn't ever completely dry I find, so it's always in an awkward stage of some parts being mushy and others crunchy. It sounds totally unappealing but it doesn't bother me too much.

Is it a complete game changer? Not really. Not for me anyways! It's one of those things that I-use-it-because-I-have-it kind of thing, and I am fine without it. I haven't really noticed a difference in my skin but I also don't use it consistently either. I think it'll be great if you prefer foaming cleansers (I don't usually) and if you have sensitive skin and don't like hardcore exfoliates. They also have a charcoal infused version that I might be interested in trying to see if it helps with my acne-prone skin at all. It's worth a try though at only 6 bucks or lower with coupons or sales and can be found in stores where Eco Tools is sold. 

Have you tried a konjac sponge? Whatcha think?



Sunday, July 12, 2015

Recent Drugstore Finds!

I gathered up some of the new (well, new to me) drugstore products I've found on sale at various places that I wanted to try out! I rarely buy anything full priced; I wait for it to go on sale, look for coupons or go somewhere where I know the price will be cheaper like Target or Walmart. Actual drugstores like Walgreens or CVS  can be so expensive! Here's a look at products I've picked up:

I got the Maybelline Pure BB Cream in Light, because I've heard great things about how this version is better for oily skin since it has salicylic acid in it. After wearing it a few times, I do like it for days when I don't want full on make up but just something to even my skin tone. It's a little more matte and has more coverage than other BB creams I've tried, which is definitely a plus!

Top: swatch blended out

Next, I've been OBSESSED with this Nyx Prismatic Eye Shadow in Fireball! It's a fantastic metallic orange-red copper shade that feels so creamy to the touch. I have found that they do crease a bit, but using a good eye shadow primer should fix that. I want to go back to get more shades!

Two lipsticks I've picked up recently is another Nyx High Voltage Lipstick in Stone and Rimmel London Lipstick in Airy Fairy. Stone is a nude beige, which is trending right now, and looks nice on it's own for a very nude lip or mixed with brighter lipsticks to mute them a little. Airy Fairy is a nude pink that has a satin, almost slightly frosted finish. The finish doesn't bug me too much because the color is beautiful for when I want a lighter pink nude lip instead of my usual mauve toned nudes.

Nyx High Voltage Lipstick in Stone

Rimmel Airy Fairy

Lastly, I've always wanted to try the L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Blushes! I got the shade Baby Blossom, because I don't have any cool toned, light pink blushes and I've heard it's a dupe for the Benefit Dandelion blush. It's really soft and blendable, but isn't super pigmented so it takes a few layers for the color to show up on my skin for a faint wash of color. I think it'll look so pretty in the winter when I'm at my fairest.

That's everything I've picked up recently from the drugstore! Have anything you've been loving lately? 

P.S. Tonight is the last night of Shark Week! So sad. I've been watching it every night and has been my favorite part of summer for years. Fins up for Shark Week! :)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Coastal Scents Forever Blushes

Blush is one of my favorite makeup items; there is just something magical about applying blush to make my face look alive and healthy! I do admit though that I can get a little carried away and go heavy handed on the blush. I just can't help myself. Annnnnnnyways, I found these three gems that I totally forgot about and started using again!

Let's take a closer look at the Coastal Scents Forever Blushes!

I only own three out of the 18 blushes in the Forever line: Poetic, Beautiful and Passionate. There is a wide variety of colors and finishes to suit every skin tone! These powder blushes are long-wearing and highly pigmented, and come in a cute compact and half mirror in the lid. They are $7.95 each but I got mine when they were 50% off so they were only $3.95! Still, under 8 bucks for a blush that is going to last you a forever is worth it and is on par with most drugstore blushes. 

Poetic is a satin finish. nude- peach with a little gold sheen. It blends well on the cheeks and gives the cheeks a subtle peachy color with a little glow. Great for summer! I wore it today actually. :)

Beautiful is a matte, dusty rose blush that gives a nice pink- mauve color to the cheeks. This shade is my typical go-to shade and is what I'm drawn to the most. They named it beautiful for a reason!

Passionate is a matte, deep burgundy that is dark and intense! A little goes a long way with this one, and because you only need the tiniest amount I find it's a little harder to blend. But it's absolutely gorgeous in the winter and resembles the flush you get after being in the cold. Even though it's harder to work with, it's so worth it and is one of my favorites.

I eventually want to order some other shades in the future because these are great, affordable, long-wearing blushes. I definitely recommend! Checkout the Coastal Scents website frequently; they are always having sales!

Have you tried any of them? Have a favorite shade? Sound off in the comments!



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Must-Have Brushes

When I first started using makeup on a regular basis, I had probably a max of three or four brushes: a powder brush, blush brush and two kinds of eye shadow brushes. Oh boy has that changed! I especially feel like I have a never ending brush collection when it comes time to washing them all. I pulled out a few brushes that are staples in my collection and that I HAVE to use almost everyday.

Not pictured: My Beauty Blender because it was GROSS looking, but it's a MUST for my foundation everyday. I don't even know how to apply foundation using a brush anymore because it's the only thing I will use.

Real Techniques brushes are among my favorites for the variety of good quality synthetic brushes at an affordable price. If you're a beginner and are looking for brushes to start your collection or just want to find a specific brush for a specific function, Real Technique has it all. My favorites are the Powder Brush, Blush Brush and Sculpting Brush.

The powder brush is your basic large, fluffy yet somewhat dense powder brush that I use to set my foundation. The Blush Brush is ideal for blush and bronzer since it is a bulb shape and can get around those cheekbones no problem to deposit a smooth, even application of product. It's probably my favorite out of the three! The Sculpting Brush is fairly new and is prefect for contouring without producing harsh lines since it blends so well. Check out my post on my comparison between the e.l.f Contour Brush and this one here!

For setting my concealer and highlighting, my go to's are the e.l.f Small Stippling Brush, Real Technique Setting Brush and e.l.f Small Tapered Brush.

The Setting Brush can really get in under your eyes to powder your concealer to prevent creasing. The Small Tapered is good for setting concealer as well or for highlighting all over the face or precisely hitting the tops of the cheekbones. The Small Stippling brush I use for my cream blushes and highlighters a.k.a Colour Pop Cheek products. It's soft and gives a blended, diffused look since it;s stippled into the skin for a flawless application without disrupting your other makeup. The e.l.f Studio line of brushes is really great and are even CHEAPER than Real Techniques. These two are only $3!

Out of my gazillion eye brushes, these four are my ride-or-die favorites that I use daily. They are among the cheapest and oldest assortment of brushes but I love them. Real Techniques Shading Brush, Coastal Scents Classic Blender Crease Brush, Essential Tools Shade & Blend Brush, and a SOHO Brush that I can no longer find anywhere and I have no idea what it's called because the name has worn off. But this guy is a fluffy blending brush that has been with me for YEARS and is one of my remaining OG brushes. I don't know what I'm going to when he kicks the bucket because it's my favorite...

The Shade & Crease brush is from Walmart and is duo fiber brush that helps blend out my crease color beautifully, while the Shading brush packs on my lid color and the Coastal Scents brush helps define my 'outer v' with a darker shadow. All of these create amazing eye looks and are good brushes!

Another favorite powder brush is the EcoTools Powder Brush because it's so soft, fluffy and perfect for setting my make up with a finishing powder to blend everything together. It also has more of a paddle shape instead of the larger, more round powder brush from Real Techniques.

Those are all of my must have brushes at the moment! What are some of your favorite brushes?



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