Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 2015 Favorites!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I'm still trying to recover from my multiple food comas, but I had a wonderful holiday. As Thanksgiving passes, it brings the month of November to a close, and officially kicks off the holiday season! I thought I would share a few of my favorite products I loved (and continue to love) from the month of November!

My newly discovered favorite primer at the moment is the Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm, and I actually just did a post about it if you were wanting more deets (link here). It's truly an amazing primer! I've been using my Benefit Sweet Cheeks set, specifically the Hoola Bronzer and Rockateur Blush from it. It makes a stunning combo on the cheeks for a beautiful dusty mauve look!

I've also been grabbing my Maybelline Lipstick in Warm Me Up, an everyday nude pinky-mauve that goes with everything. It's probably my most worn lipstick out of my whole collection! I got this sample of Benefit Gimme Brow in Dark Brown in my Ipsy bag this month and now I'm HOOKED. It's so easy to fill in and brows quickly and sets them in place all in one. It also doesn't leave my brows feeling wet and sticks to my brow hairs instead of just becoming a mess all over my skin. Definitely going to buy the full size when I run out!

A few skin care favorites I have are the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate and the Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask. I've been using the Shiseido as a serum after cleanser, and it makes my skin look and feel so good. My face looks brighter, clearer and hydrated without looking oily. I'm going to be totally bummed when this sample runs out because the full size is spendy. The charcoal mask I've actually have been using as a scrub in the shower, and it also leaves my skin feeling smooth and clean. It has a very interesting warming sensation when first applied, and was too intense for me as a mask because it felt like it was burning my skin. But as a scrub you rinse off it's so amazing! I highly recommend picking this up if you're into charcoal; it's cheap too.

Those are my favorites from the month of November! What were you're favorites from this month? Get any Black Friday steals?



Friday, November 27, 2015

Nivea Men Post Shave Balm: My New Favorite Primer?

Nivea Men Post Shave Balm has been causing quite a buzz in the beauty community when NikkiTutorials first mentioned using this as a primer and raved about it. Soon after, a lot of other Youtubers, bloggers and beauty gurus have been trying it out as well. I decided to take the plunge to see what the fuss was about...

and I was shocked.

This is an AMAZING primer. I'll be honest, I was really skeptical about putting this on my face instead of my usual primers and was nervous that it would just turn into a disaster. Boy was I wrong.

This balm is a white, liquid that smells, well, like a mans product. When I smoothed it all over my face it has a slight tacky feeling after it has a moment to sink in, which I've heard is thanks to the glycerin in the product. Because of the tacky consistency, my foundation applied so smoothly to my face and stuck to my face. Even on places like my nose where I find that I fight an uphill battle everyday to get ANY amount of foundation to stick. 

All of my makeup applied so well and just looked better. I am super impressed. I was a little worried that this would not be a long-wearing primer, wouldn't control my oil that well or wouldn't fill in my pores, but this totally did! My makeup lasts all day, my shine wasn't anything outrageous and actually was a tiny bit less than normal AND my pores weren't as visible. I have huge pores, especially on my cheeks and this smoothed them over and blurred them really well. Since it's for sensitive skin, I haven't broken out either.

This product is a goddamn miracle.

That might be overstating it, but I just have not been wowed by many primers and have come to not expect much from them, but this definitely changed my perspective.

My only gripe is that the manly smell faintly lingers a little longer than I would like, about 45 minutes. It's not bad, just a distinct cologne like scent. So if that would bother you, I would probably skip this. It's only $5 for a huge 3.3 fl. oz. bottle so I honestly would still give it a try anyways, it's that incredible.

My hunt for a great primer is over... for now.

Have you tried this yet? 



Monday, November 23, 2015

November 2015 Boxycharm Unboxing! #BeautyPar-Tea

My Boxycharm is here! And the theme is Beauty Par-Tea, which is cute, yet random for this time of the year (to me at least). I saw a few sneak peeks that I was really excited about online so let's dig in!

Let's start with the makeup shall we?

The two items I'm the most in love with from this box is the Manna Kadar's Liplocked Priming Gloss Stain in Lucky and StudioMakeup Soft Blend Blush Sahara in the shade Wildflower. The two compliment each other well too! They are both beautiful, nude, dusty rose type shades. The blush is so soft and blends wonderfully on the cheeks, I wore it today and I loved they way it looked, very soft and romantic. The gloss stain is super pigmented, a little on the thicker side and really does leave a stain, even just from a quick swatch on my hand. It doesn't seem overly sticky, but I haven't worn it on my lips yet. It's in the same color family as the blush, just a bit deeper and more mauve.

I also got a Luxie Rose Gold Concealer Brush 211, which I wish was a different kind of brush to be honest because I already have so many concealer brushes. This one is a little smaller and more tapered than my other ones, which is nice. I'll probably use it for eye shadow and for packing on pigment all over the lid. It's a pretty brush though! 

I've gotten this Coolway Leave-In Treatment before, and I think I remember liking it. Leave-in conditioners for my hair always come in handy to help tame my lions mane. It's full size, but seems like a small bottle to me for being full size. The last item in my box is a Pur' Lisse Pur'Eye Adore Quadra Benefit Eye Serum. The great thing about subscription boxes is that I never have to spend a dime buying eye cream at the store because I almost always get samples of it, and since it's eye cream it takes me a while to even get through a sample, let alone a full size one! I'm pumped about this one in particular because it has a pump! (Pun intended. I'm so lame.) I've only used it once, but it feels cooling and hydrating underneath my eye without being too heavy.

I certainly will be having my own little Beauty Par-Tea with this month's products!

That concludes this month's round of beauty subscriptions, so tune in next month for December boxes! I have a feeling they are going to be good ones. :)

What did you love from your Boxycharm this month?



Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 2015 Birchbox Unboxing!

Recently, I've been loving my Birchbox and have been super excited to see what I got this month! The boxes have been beautiful and I've actually been using the products; I might even say I've been liking it more than my Ipsy. Let's see what I received in my November Birchbox!

I've gotten the Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo in my box before, and I liked it. The packaging is super cute and travel friendly! You can never have enough dry shampoo so I'm always happy getting them. The biggest item in my box is the BioRepublic Skincare Green Tea Detox Purifying Fiber Sheet Mask. I've always wanted to try a sheet mask, and here is my chance! I've heard that they are really amazing so hopefully this one is good.

I got two different oils this month, one of them is Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil, for skin, hair and body, and the Number 4 Lumiere Dhiver Fluoro5 Elixir Restore & Repair Oil, which is for hair. What a mouth full! I've heard of Nux before, so I'm excited to try this oil by them! It's cool that it is multi-purpose, so that's nice to have. The Number 4 oil at first glance I thought was hand sanitizer because of the packaging and was super confused, haha. I always use hair oil so I'll add this into my rotation.

Lastly, I got an LOC Vibrant Matte Lipstick in Wildest Dreams, a classic red shade. I was hoping for an eyeshadow stick from this line, but this lipstick seems really smooth and creamy. Good job Tati!

That's it for this months box! This month was pretty great! I can't complain about anything I got, and I think Birchbox has recently been stepping up their game.

What did you get this month in your Birchbox?



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Beauty Essentials to Get You Through a Cold

Flu/cold season is here, and all the kids in my class are constantly sick with something; which translates to me catching whatever germ cocktail they've cooked up. Ideally, when you're under the weather you can stay home, rest and return to work or school whenever you're 100% again. Unfortunately, that rarely happens and we have to carry on with life as usual. Here are a few products I use to help me look a little less miserable when I'm feeling sick (which I am right now. Boo.).

When I have the sniffles, I try to opt for a lighter foundation, like this Maybelline Pure BB Cream because it's easy and is less noticeable when it rubs off my nose if I'm blowing it all day. Skin also tends to look a little duller, and this highlight from Wet n' Wild In Reserve Your Cabana can be dusted over the whole face to give a subtle glow from within that is usually lacking when you're feeling ill. Concealing those under eye bags is a must, especially when you're tossing and turning all night not getting enough sleep. I use Maybelline Dark Circle Eraser in Brightening, because it also brightens and can be used to highlight other parts of the face.

I go very minimal on the eyes, and just throw on a cream shadow like Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad To The Bronze and some mascara and call it a day. I'm currently using the tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes one. It's easy and smudge proof, because my eyes tend to water a lot, especially if I'm coughing, which can mess up eye makeup if you aren't prepared for it.

I then use a shit ton of lip balm throughout the day because when your sinuses are blocked, you are forced to do a lot of attractive mouth breathing and it dries out your lips like none other. I love my Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm to help rescue my chapped lips.

I also tend to breakout when I'm sick, so using masks like The Body Shop Tea Tree Mask and Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure Mud Mask to treat acne and draw impurities out of my skin.

Don't forget to get plenty of rest, drink fluids  and curl up to a comfort movie to get you through when you're sick!

Wash those hands often too!



Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ipsy November 2015! #BeautyBlast

We are basically half way through November already. WHAT?! That seems insane to me! That also means that my subscriptions start showing up too, and I got my Ipsy first this month. This months theme is Beauty Blast, and the bag is galaxy/space themed which is SO AWESOME! I love it! Except for the zipper isn't straight and isn't that well made, which kinda blows. But let's blast off into this months bag. :)

Again, I am missing a sample, the Smashbox Mascara. I've already contacted Ipsy and it's on\the way but I wanted to get this post up. I'm going to keep Ipsy through the holidays and see if it improves, otherwise I'm going to cancel.

One of the four samples I did get is a Luxie Beauty Matte Eyeshadow in the shade no.290. It's a beautiful plum brown! It's soft, pigmented and super blendable. It's a great way to add a twist to a natural look because it's one of those that looks basically brown on the eyes.

The next thing I got is a Modelco Highlighting Trio, which contains three cream highlight shades. I'm not really a cream product person, but these seem really creamy and pigmented! There is a pearly white shade, pink, and a bronze shade.

Top: Luxie shadow no.290
I also got a mini Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep. I'm so stoked I'm able to try this! I've wanted to try it for sooooo long but I didn't want to shell out the money for it so I'm super happy about having this.

Lastly, I got a bottle of the LeeAnni Eco Go Away Gloomy Day Serum. I tried it last night and I'm not really feelin' it. It's super liquidy and got everywhere, making it hard to apply. It also is kind of sticky on my skin. I'll use it up though, which is like 2 more applications since I already spilled half of it on my bathroom counter.

That''s my bag for this month, and I'll see how the Smashbox Mascara is when/if I get it next week.

What did you get in your bag this month?



Thursday, November 12, 2015

How to Make Foundation Work for You

Having a good foundation that makes you look and feel like a million bucks is essential to any makeup routine in my opinion. But it is soooo difficult to find the perfect foundation that matches your skin tone, skin type, your preferred finish and texture. It's almost impossible; especially when you can't test out the foundation in most drugstores. Not to mention changing and adjusting to the seasons! It's a lot to wade through trying to find the foundation that works best for you and your needs.  Everyone is different; so why should we be limited to just using foundation as is, and that maybe matches like 7 people perfectly? Here are a few tips and tricks I've learned to make the most out of your foundation!

1. Mix & Match!

Don't be afraid to make your own foundation cocktail to achieve what you want. I usually mix two, sometimes three different foundations all the time to customize my base. Have a foundation left over from the summer that's now too dark? Or have a foundation that is just a little light? Mix them to come up with your perfect shade! This is especially important in the transitional seasons like fall and spring where I'm either becoming more tan or more pale.

This also works to find your perfect finish. Have a foundation that makes you look a little too dewy or too flat? Mix them to get a more satin finish! I love True Match, but it just does not last all day on my skin and I look super greasy after a few hours. But combined with my L'Oreal Pro Matte, it prolongs the wear time and holds the shine at bay longer while still maintaining a more natural finish.

Need to adjust for the under tone of your skin? Yup, mix foundations! Have a foundation that is a little too yellow or pink? Mix them to get a more neutral undertone.

2. Switch Up Your Tools

Sometimes all you need to make your foundation look a million times better is using a different tool. My Beauty Blender (or Real Techniques Sponge) is now my go-to for applying foundation, but sometimes a brush is what works best depending on the type of foundation. Have a foundation that is a little thicker and heavier than what you like? A sponge helps sheer it out a bit better than a brush. Don't forget you can use your (clean) fingers too! I'm not a fan of mousse foundations, but I've found that blending it with my fingers works the best and the heat helps it work into my skin better.

You can also use a brush and sponge together! Use the brush to buff the foundation onto the skin and a sponge to further blend together.

3. Try Different a Different Primer or Moisturizer-- or Just More of It

Sometimes a foundation does not jive with a certain primer or moisturizer, so experiment with using different ones. Sometimes all you need is actually more moisturizer on your face than you think. I'm pretty oily, so I was always scared of using too much moisturizer and would use like the tiniest bit. But my foundation just would not blend well! I started using more and the application was so much smoother and looked better too.

4. Sheer Out or Bulk Up Your Foundation 

Want a little lighter coverage? Mix your fave foundation with a moisturizer or primer to make your own "BB" cream! I've also heard great things about the Cover FX Customize Drops to add more coverage to your foundation.

5. Still Hate a Foundation? Return It.

Sometimes you can only do so much to make a foundation work. So save those receipts people and return them to find something better! Especially if it's a spendy foundation. I don't know why, but I don't like returning makeup and feel weird about it. But I'm getting better about it and not letting makeup I don't use pile up. Or you can give it to someone who it will work for! A foundation that I love may be a foundation that someone else can't stand.

There really are no "rules" to make up, so just experiment and have fun with it! Make it do what you want it to do! It's just make up, and comes right off if something isn't working out.

Have any other foundation tips and tricks?



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Products I've Used Up

During the month of October, I made it my goal to try to use up products I've had for a while before buying anything new. Otherwise, I would have a mountain of unused samples laying around. Here is a quick glimpse of stuff I used up!

As you can see, I went through an astounding amount of skin care samples and products. A few products that I particularly enjoyed was the Acure Brightening Scrub, The Organic Pharmacy Manuka Anti-Blemish Moisturizer and Maple Holistics Vitamin C Serum. The Vitamin C Serum I will miss dearly, and I would definitely repurchase, but I have some other serums I want to use first. The moisturizer was a great moisturizer to use at night, and I felt like it helped to calm my acne a bit. The scrub I loved to exfoliate and left my skin feeling soooo soft afterwards! The others like the Pur-Lisse Pur-Delicate Cleanser, Nourish Organics Face Cleanser, Vasanti Brighten Up! Exfoliating Cleanser, Liz Earl Cleanse and Polish Cleanser were nice too, but I don't feel sad that I no longer have them.

I also went through a package of Up & Up Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and The Body Shop Seaweed Facial Wash. These cleansing wipes are my favorite; they are soft, get a lot of my makeup off and easy to reach for when I'm feeling lazy. The Seaweed Cleanser, was not my favorite though. There's nothing wrong with it, I just didn't love it since I prefer cream cleansers.

Hair and body items I went through was my favorite mousse, the John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver, that I've bought a million times. Defines curls without having a crunchy hold, and is a must for me. I love me some oils, and this one by Beauty Protector Protect & Oil was great! Absorbed easily and left my hair feeling soft. The Sexy Hair Style Sexy Hair Blow Out Spray I pretty much used as a heat protector, so I can't attest to how it helps smooth a blowout. But it was nice to use while I had it. I also used up a Bath and Body Works lotion in Endless Summer, a light, summery scent I used during the summer months that I just finished.

For my makeup empties, I used up the Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation, e.l.f Poreless Face Primer, NYX Micro Brow in Taupe and Skindinavia Finishing Spray in Bridal. I actually really liked the Rimmel Lasting Finish, but in order for it to last throughout the day on my skin I needed to mix it with my L'Oreal Pro-Matte Foundation. I would repurchase it again though because it had a really natural finish! The primer was pretty good, but it didn't fill in my pores that well, so it's kind of a standard silicone like primer. The Micro Brow is still a favorite, and I'm already using my back up of it! I have also repurchased the Skindinavia setting spray, but this time in Oil Control. Both I love, but I think the one I have now does a better job of keeping me matte longer. 

I also wanted to mention that I've been burning candles like a MOFO and I have 5 empty candles. A few I've had for a long time that I just used up, but this is a new personal record for me! I have just become obsessed with candles and I need to have at least one lit at all times. Bring on the Christmas scents! :)

Those are all of the products I went through this month, and it was a sample heavy month that's for sure. 

What were some empties your sad to see go? What should be my next candle purchase?!



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Affordable Highlighters from the Drugstore

Highlighting has been having a moment for quite sometime now, and I too have caught the highlight fever. Not gonna lie, adding a glorious intentional glow (oily skin probs) to my cheeks has become one of my favorite steps in my makeup routine. The problem is that I don't hear about drugstore highlighters all too often, which is a shame because there are some GREAT ones out there at really affordable prices in the drugstore. Granted there isn't the same variety as higher end ones, but they are starting to step up their game. Here is a peak at my current collection of drugstore highlights!

I'll start off with my very first highlight I bought when I was just beginning to explore the make up realm (hence why I've hit pan on it), the Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent Pearls, a pink toned powder with a subtle sheen. If you are nervous about highlighting and want to ease your way into it, this is a great start. It's hard to over do it and can even be dusted all over the face for an all over glow and you won't look crazy. It's actually a little pricey for the drugstore, but if you catch a sale and use coupons it's definitely worth it.

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse every time I mention Wet n' Wild ColorIcon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana. It's just so good! Obviously, it's not a bronzer but a wonderful beige highlight that gives that coveted 'glow from within' look. It is said to be a dupe for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, but at only $4 it's waaaaay more affordable and comes in a huge pan. It's a MUST in my opinion.

Hard Candy also has a highlight that gets a lot of attention, and for good reason. The Hard Candy Baked Bronzer in Tiki is so amazing, it's hard to believe it's from Walmart. Again, marketed as a bronzer but is definitely a highlight shade that is a glowy golden beige. I reach for this all the time and it is so soft for a baked product!

I have two from e.l.f, the Baked Blush in Pinktastic and Baked Highlight in Blushed Gems. Pinktastic is a champagne powder with pink veining and Blushed Gems, almost like a darker, bronzier, champagne shade. Both are only $3 and they pack a PUNCH in pigmentation! Blushing Gems is actually a dupe for the infamous MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle (which I also own) but honestly, I reach for the e.l.f version more. It seems less chunky to me and blends easier.

The last one I have to share is my NYX Illumiator in Ritualistic, a white highlight that is almost a duochrome with gold sheen to it. It's for those days when you want your cheeks to be seen gleaming from outer space. I don't use it as often as the others because I can go overboard with it real quick, so I mostly use it for night time looks. But I still love it and I think it's also a dupe for NARS Albatross.

Left to right: e.l.f Pinktastic, e.l.f Blushing Gems, NYX Ritualistic, Hard Candy Tiki, WnW Reserve Your Cabana, Physicians Formula Translucent Pearls

I want to also mention that Colour Pop has some super affordable highlighters as well, but those have to be ordered online. Totally worth it though! I've heard great things about the Makeup Revolution ones, and I want to get my hands on them soon!

What are your faves from the drugstore?



Sunday, November 1, 2015

October Favorites

I can't believe today is the first day of November, and that means we are coming into the holiday season which seems super crazy to me. Here is another roundup of my favorites from the month!

I've been loving my Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara and my Eyeko Black Magic Mascara sample from my Ipsy bag. The Tarte mascara is one of my favorite non-rubber mascaras, it does a pretty good job of lengthening and volumizing my lashes. I also like the Eyeko one because it has a curved brush that fits my lashline perfectly and makes it easy to apply. I've also been loving my rediscovered Wet n' Wild Eyeshadow Single in Nutty, a satin brown-taupe shade that's really pretty. It can be used all over the lid, and even in the crease.

One of the newer products I've been loving is theBalm Balm Desert which is a rosy toned bronzer/blush. It's a beautiful, unique powder that doubles as a bronzer and blush for a more neutral look. I love it! I also been loving my Hard Candy Baked Ombre Blush in Sunburst. It's a luminous blush that is a cool-toned baby pink that is kind of hard to describe. It looks absolutely GORGEOUS on the cheeks, and a highlighter is not necessary either!

Top to bottom: Baked Blush in Sunburst, Balm Desert, WnW Nutty shadow
A nail combo I was digging for the month of October is Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Black Out and China Glaze in Create A Spark. Definitely Halloween appropriate! 

A book set I've been obsessing over is the Hogwarts Library Set, which includes 3 books : Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages and Tales of Beedle the Bard. They are quick reads and makes a great gift for the Harry Potter lovers in your life who want to continue the magic from J.K. Rowling.

Speaking of Harry Potter... I was Harry Potter for Halloween. Yup. Harry Potter: The Boy Girl Who Lived, and my friend was Hermione. It was a ton of fun!

And I must say, I'm super proud of how my nails turned out! The nail polish on my thumb nails is glow in the dark, so it looked extra cool while I was out and about. 

Welp, that sums up the month of October for me! How was your Halloween? Any products you fell in love with?




Template by | Header Image by Freepik