2017 Southern Women’s Show Recap

I had an amazing time at the Southern Women’s Show!

I was so incredibly excited when Jennifer Pullinger reached out to me to join a several other bloggers for the Southern Women’s Show Blogger Preview Night this past weekend. At the Blogger Preview Night, my friend, Hailey, (Follow her on her Instagram! @h.viley) and I had the opportunity to sit in on mini-fashion shows, makeup tutorials, and demos as we sipped champagne and hung out with other amazing Richmond bloggers. We also got to watch some brief runway walks from CEO Magazine, and much more. All of this was in preparation for the 2017 Southern Women’s Show, which was March 17th through the 19th.

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During the Blogger Preview Night, bloggers were able to sit through live demos with Dior and Clinique. In fact, we got to learn about the newest edition to the Dior family, the Laquer Stick, which just launched on the 17th.
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I even managed to get a quick workout with Tiramisu for Breakfast, and several other bloggers during a PowerHoopz tutorial. The hoops are weighted, which made it especially easy for us to hula hoop. It also helps to slim your waist. Hello curves!
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Not pictured: Me dropping the hoop halfway through the demo because my abs started to hurt. #NoAbs.
The lovely Hailey and I walked around the venue a bit and we stopped by the vendor, LulaRoe, where she was able to name all of the pieces with just one look. (I’m not kidding. She named out at least six styles, pulling out her favorites.)
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And I couldn’t walk away empty-handed, so I I went over to the Let’s Talk Towels booth. Let’s Talk Towels has an array of 100% cotton Turkish Towels. There, I bought myself a beautiful towel that I’m wearing as I write this. Fun Fact: The owner’s daughter is Rebecca Piersol, from The Crystal Press. (AKA My idol.)
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The wonderful hosts from the show were also so kind to also provide us with fun-filled goodie bags during the Blogger Preview Night.
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I returned to the show that Saturday with my mother and sister,  where we went on a shopping spree. As you can see, my mother really enjoyed herself. She ended up purchasing a couple of statement pieces that she found around the venue.
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Our first stop was the Let’s Talk Towels booth, here I got to see Rebecca Piersol yet again. (I was mentally jumping up and down.) We picked up some more towels and a couple hand towels. They’re all so beautiful.
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Being the beauty addict I am, I had to stop by the Dior booth to pick up the Lacquer Stick.
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I got the shade 420, which is the perfect mauve-y nude. I got to test out the Lacquer Stick and also the Lip Glow with the help of Counter Manager for Dior at Dillards in Stony Point, Kaitlyn. If you go there, definitely ask for Kaitlyn, she was so nice and helpful! (She also had one of the best smokey eyes I’ve seen in a while!) P.S. Kaitlyn, I’m coming back for the Lip Glow!
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I also fueled my makeup obsession at the Salt Soothers booth. They had an array of bath bombs, salts and scrubs to try out. I ended up getting a demo of the Blue Lagoon Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub. (Which smells amazing!) 
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The salts are combined with a mixture of oils that exfoliate the dead skin while leaving your skin nourished with the oils.
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There were so many wonderful vendors that were there and I’m so sad that I wasn’t able to stop by them all!. Nonetheless, I had such a fantastic time. If you weren’t able to come this year, you should mark your calendars for next year because you don’t want to miss out again!
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Thank you again to Jennifer for inviting me to join in on all the fun during the Blogger Preview Night! It was such a wonderful time and I can’t wait to go again next year’s! Make sure to mark your calendars! It’s going to be March 16-18 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.
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Product Empties

I was going through my makeup stash and found that I had finished a fair share of products. I thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts on these products and hopefully get your thoughts on these items.

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First, lest talk about the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser. This is actually the second bottle that I’ve purchased, so that should tell you a lot about my thoughts on this. I talked about this in my Best of 2016 post, so I won’t go too in-depth. However, I will say that this is one of my favorite cleansers that I have ever tried.  And trust me when I say that I’ve used my fair share.  I really enjoy the warming sensation that you get when you work this into your skin. That along with the active charcoal ingredients make my really feel like that I’m getting rid of all the toxins in my skin. If you’re on the hunt for a detoxifying cleanser, I would highly recommend you to get a sample of this from Sephora.

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Next, we have the Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Cleanser Gel. Much like the Boscia cleanser, this contains active charcoal which is great for getting impurities out of your skin. The only thing different is it does not have the warming effect as the Boscia cleanser, but it still foams up into a nice lather, making me feel like I’m getting a nice cleanse going. I’m a big fan of incorporating charcoal into my skin routine because I really feel that it helps to get all the toxins out, as I explained previously.

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Another empty product is the Smashbox Brow Tech Matte Pencil in “Dark Brown.” I prefer brow pencils that twist up like this, rather than crayons because I feel like I waste less product, being that I don’t have to continuously sharpen it. I enjoyed this pencil, but I have to admit that it’s not my favorite. If you need something to compare it to, it’s similar to the Anastasia Brow Wiz, but this is much more stiff. I found this helpful when trying to get those really precise, hair-like strokes. At the beginning, I really enjoyed this and would have probably said that this was my favorite brow pencil on the market, but towards the end it crumbled up on me as I went to fill in my brows. I may give this another try, but as of right now, I’m not going to repurchase it.

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The next product is the cult favorite, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Caramel.” This has been raved about on nearly every blogger’s page so I’m going to keep this short. This is a great, buildable medium-to-full coverage concealer. You definitely need to set this, or you’re going to crease up. It sits nicely on the skin and I love it so much that I have already repurchased a backup.

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This product is technically not empty, but I thought I should include it because I have such a small amount left. This is the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in “Warm Almond.” I also touched on this in my Best of 2016 post. I bought this back in September and I completely fell in love. It’s such a beautiful foundation. It gives off a nice, natural finish and it is a medium-to-full coverage. The finish leads me to believe that it would be great for both dry and oily skin. It’s perfect for both everyday and glam makeup. I strongly suggest that you go out and purchase this foundation because it has honestly changed my life.

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I know a couple of people that don’t really like this, but I’m a big fan of the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in “Deep Brown.” I found that this keeps my brow hairs in place for the whole day and I don’t have to worry about them going AWOL. Albeit, the brush can be a bit difficult to work with, but once you get the hang of it, you love it! I use it both alone to amp up my brows on my “no makeup” days or over a brow pencil on days I opt for heavier makeup.

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I have another skincare item. This is the Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. I snagged a sample of this product from another blogger and I instantly fell in love with it, which breaks my heart, considering the full-sized version is $92. After I use this, I find that my skin looks brighter, smoother and all-around healthier. I used this at night and in the morning, I saw that my breakouts have visibly reduced in size. It has a tingling sensation, so I wouldn’t recommend this for  those of you that have sensitive skin, being that it may irritate your skin, but if your skin isn’t really sensitive, you will love this.

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The last thing I found was the LUSH Ultrabland Facial Cleanser. Let me tell you that this completely revived my winter skin. I had an issue a couple months back where my skin reacted poorly with another product that I was testing. My skin was completely dried out and flaky and being that I typically have oily/combination skin, I had no idea what to do. I walked into my local LUSH and they referred me to this. Within a week, my skin was restored. It’s perfect for using as a daily cleanser, removing makeup and moisturizing your skin. I highly recommend this.

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For the most part, I’ve really been enjoying the products that I’ve ran out of and I’m going to be repurchasing most of them. The only product that I’m kind of iffy about is the Smashbox eyebrow pencil.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on these products or learn about some of the products you’ve been trying out. Let me know what products I should try out because I’d love to test out new items!

Winter Reading List 2017

Winter is the perfect time to incorporate hygge into your daily life. If you’re wondering what hygge is, it is a Danish concept that defines the feeling of warm, cozy comfort. (You can read more about it in this article I wrote on Womanitely.com a while back.)

With that being said, my favorite way to incorporate hygge into my life is by taking the time to grab a cup of tea, throw on some fuzzy socks and read an interesting book. Here are some of the books that I’ve had my nose in these winter months.

  • Adulting is a Myth by Sarah Scribbles
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    Sarah Scribbles literally draws out what it truly means to be an adult in a comical way that leave you laughing at how true it is. I received this as a gift from Her Campus for my graduation. So, if you know anyone graduating, this is the perfect gift!
  • Capture Your Style by Aimee Song
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    Are you addicted to Instagram? Do you want to improve your aesthetic? Do you love Aimee Song? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to grab a copy of Capture Your Style. Song goes in-depth of how to really lock in your own personal style, using Instagram. I’m so glad to have gotten this from the lovely Christina from Tiramisu for Breakfast. Definitely check her out!
  • Facts by Bernhardino Pierre
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    Before I really go into this book, I have to disclose that my cousin actually wrote it. However, I have to say that if you like poetry and someone really laying in the facts to you, this is an amazing ebook to read. If you’re looking for a book with advice on love, life and happiness, I highly recommend this. You can find the ebook here.
  • Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
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    If you haven’t heard of Sweetbitter before, I would probably think that you were lying. It’s been on the New York Times list of bestsellers. I’ve just started this book but the style of writing is utterly beautiful. It’s a coming-of-age novel that follows a girl, Tess, who just moved to NYC and finds herself at a job in a restaurant. If you’ve read this, I beg you, don’t give me any spoilers!
  • The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
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    True Issa Rae fans unite! I was so excited to open up a gift from my sister to find this. Before Insecure, Issa Rae created the YouTube show, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The show followed the life of “J” who is the epitome of an awkward black girl. I don’t want to give too much away so I’m just going to to say that her new ABC show, Insecure is loosely based off of the YouTube show.
  • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
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    This was another present from my sister for Christmas. I actually haven’t started this one, but as you can tell from the title, it’s a self-help book that looks into helping you from self-doubting yourself. I’m so thankful to have received this book because I definitely am one to self doubt myself. Hopefully, I can get some pointers from Jen Sincero.

If you’re reading anything interesting, I’d love to get some recommendations to add to my bookshelf So go forth and practice hygge, and don’t forget to grab yourself a cup of tea!

Blogger Tasting at Ginger Juice

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Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to join several other bloggers for a private blogger tasting at Ginger Juice in Richmond, Va. There, we got to try some amazing new dishes that are going to be served at the location and I have to say, all of them were so yummy! We were also able to meet Erin Powell, the owner, and Jermaine Jonas, the Ginger Juice chef.

Ginger Juice is a small fresh juice shop, located in RVA. The shop just opened in 2015, and has gained much popularity for the section of freshly pressed juice. Powell began juicing when her redheaded son (Hence the name “Ginger”) didn’t want to eat her vegetables and she’s been juicing ever since.

During the tasting, Jonas prepared some delicious plant-based options for us, and I have to say, I’m getting hungry all over again looking at the pictures.

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We started with a kale salad, which I’m surprised to say that I enjoyed, considering I have a love-hate relationship with kale. It was paired with their “Golden” pressed juice.

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We, then got to try the avocado toast with chipotle cashew mayo and cucumber, paired with what I believe was their “Greggory” juice.

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For dessert, we started with a slice of lemon pie with a raspberry sauce.

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And we ended the night with my favorite from everything we tasted: vegan ice cream.

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As takeaways, they prepared our choice of a shot of tumeric or ginger, along with their “Glitzy” fresh pressed juice. Taking a shot of ginger is really helpful to your immune and digestive systems. Warning: The shot of ginger is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for the spicy, yet refreshing ginger flavor. It did clear out my sinuses though, so that’s a major plus!

Final Thoughts:

There are major benefits to juicing. It promotes healthy eating habits, curbs hunger, detoxifies your body, and much more.

If you’re in Richmond or plan to visit anytime soon, you should definitely stop by Ginger Juice to taste the fresh juice and awesome food choices. Both Erin and Jermaine were so incredibly sweet and friendly.  If you’re nervous about vegan options, trust me, Jermaine Jones, the chef knows what he’s doing. You’ll love it.

If you’re not going to be in RVA anytime soon, don’t worry, you’re able to find a selection juices that you can ship right to your home! Get your cleansing on today!

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Top 5 Deep Lips for Winter

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It’s that time of the year again. The weather is colder, snow has fallen, and dark lips are in.   I’m sure that all of you have seen this image floating all around Instagram about the “perfect” winter makeup. This look is paired with the perfect deep, plum lips.

I really do love a deep, purple lip in the winter time. It can be paired with a neutral eye to make a bold statement or with a dramatic, smokey eye to make your look more sultry. After some thorough research, I’ve managed to culminate a list of my top five plum lips.

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Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in “An Affair”
This is a deep plum shade that is perfect to pair with just liner or a blown out smokey eye. Very creamy and comfortable to wear. Sold out on the Laura Mercier website, but it’s on Sephora.com for $28!

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Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in “Firebird”
This has more of a pink undertone, if you’re nervous about going dark. The cream finish makes it super easy to apply. It’s $17 on the Urban Decay webpage.

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Bite Beauty Matte Créme Lip Crayon in “Aubergine”
I’m a big fan of the Bite Beauty Lip Crayons. This eggplant shade, in particular, is easy to apply and comfortable on the lips. It’s $24 on Sephora.com.

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MAC Plushglass Lip Gloss in “Oversexed”
I’m a big fan of the MAC Plushglasses because of the plumping effect. This is perfect if you’re over the matte trend and you want to go glossy. Unfortunately, MAC.com does not carry it online anymore, but you can find it on eBay.com for $21.

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ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip in “LAX”
I’m absolutely obsessed with this vampy red color. If you love to go really dark, this is the lip for you. (Be sure to exfoliate before you apply!) Find it on ColourPop.com for $6.

I’m a big fan of all of these lippies. Do you have a favorite out of the ones I listed? If I didn’t list your go-to vampy lip, comment your favorite because I’d love to know.

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What’s In My Makeup Bag?

I’ve been traveling a lot between my college campus and home since graduation last month. When I travel, one of the first things I pack is my makeup bag. (I should be ashamed of this, but I’m really not.)

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These are some products that I typically keep around that I know are easy to use and staples within my makeup collection. The only things that I did not include in this were items for my complexion, like my foundations or concealers. The reason for this is because I tend to switch those up a lot. So, let’s get into it, shall we?

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As much as I hate to say this, I have no idea where this bag is from. I actually received it as a gift from a friend of mine.

  1. The Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion is something that I believe everyone needs in their makeup bags. It helps to keep your eyeshadow on all day, also preventing creasing. It’s that one staple item that I stand by.
    – $12 on UrbanDecay.com
  2. The first thing I have to talk about is the Morphe Brushes 35O palette. If you’re into warm eye looks, this palette will be your best friend. It’s a staple for anyone that is interested in orange-tones on their eyes. Super pigmented and easy to blend, the 35O palette is definitely a must-have.
    – $22.95 on MorpheBrushes.com
  3. The next eyeshadow palette I love to throw in my beauty bag is my Tarte Tartelette in Bloom palette. I know that this isn’t pertinent information, but this smells like chocolate, making me want to eat it every time I open it up. The colors are super pigmented and it’s a nice neutral palette for everyday wear.
    – $45 on Tarte.com
  4. Since we’re talking about Tarte, we may as well go into the Tarte Skin Twinkle Lighting palette. I’ve actually talked about this product in a previous blog post. I generally only use “Sunlight” from this palette, but the texture of these shades are so beautiful. They’re easy to blend and it’s compact enough to just throw into your bag.
    – $42 on Tarte.com
  5. The next highlighter that I like to throw into this bag is my NYX Cosmetics Illuminator in “Narcissistic. When you first look at this shade, it’s easy to cast it aside because it looks pink, but it gives a beautiful peachy-gold highlight that you will fall in love with. This works especially well with deeper complexions.
    – $9 on NYXCosmetics.com
  6. The last highlighter that I have in my bag is the travel sized Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in “Bronze. This is one of my more toned down highlighters. On days that you want to have more of a golden glow from within, this is perfect.
    – $25 on Sephora.com
  7. Let’s move over to brows with the ColourPop Brow Pencil in “Banging Brunette.” I bought this on a whim, but I was happily surprised to find that I really like this. It’s comparable to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. I would say that this is much creamier, which you’ll either love or hate.
    – $5 on ColourPop.com
  8. I’m a big fan of the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in “Dark Brown.” After I use the the ColourPop Brow Pencil to fill in some sparse areas then use this to really define my hairs, making it look more natural.
    – $7.99 on Ulta.com
  9. 2016 was all about baking and I can say that I definitely jumped on the bandwagon with the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. This is perfect for my under eyes. However, I found that it’s a little too drying for the rest of my skin in this winter weather. (Has anyone else experienced this?)
    – $23 on LauraMercier.com
  10. I’m not much of a lash girl, (because I struggle putting them on) but the Ardell Lashes Deluxe Pack in 120 Demi Black have been amazing. The pack includes tweezers that make it a bit easier for me to apply lashes. It also comes with a travel size Duo lash glue for any lash mishaps on the go. (I know I’m not the only one!)
    – $5.99 on Ulta.com
  11. I haven’t played around too much with the VERT Beauty Eyeliner Pencil in “Vert.” I normally don’t wear colorful eyeliners, but I thought that if I leave it in my makeup bag, I’d be more inclined to wear it. You can learn more about VERT Beauty through a previous blog post.
    – $17 on VERTBeauty.com
  12. I received the Rimmel London Kohl Kajal Eye Liner in “Black” in a Survival Kit from Her Campus. I was a die-hard believer in the Maybelline Define-A-Line Eyeliner in Ebony Black, but this changed the game for me. It stayed put in my waterline during New Years Eve and if that doesn’t give you a good idea of how it wears, I don’t know what will.
    – $3.99 on Target.com
  13. Another staple item is the Kat Von D Ink Liner in “Trooper.” Everyone talks about this liner so I’m not going to go too in-depth with this. It dries down to a matte finish and I don’t experience any running with it. It’s something that I would definitely recommend to anyone.
    – $20 on Sephora.com
  14. This may seem insane, but I love to layer my mascaras, and one recent discovery has been the Covergirl So Lashy! blastPRO Mascara. I received it in my Twinkle VoxBox from Influenster. This is another product that you will either love or hate. I find myself fairly attracted to it because of the very unique applicator. It’s helpful when trying to reach my lashes on the outer corners.
    – $11.99 on Ulta.com
  15. The mascara that I love to use on top of the So Lashy! mascara is the Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Mascara. This mascara helps to really separate my lashes and give me the volume that I’m really looking for that I can’t seem to get with just one mascara. Honestly, this is probably my favorite product in my bag.
    – $6.99 on Ulta.com

I’d love to know what are some of your makeup bag must-haves. Let me know! Also, I’d love to give a big thanks to Christina from Tiramisu for Breakfast for helping me with all of these pictures!

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VERT Beauty Review

VERT Beauty is a boutique located in Denver, Colorado that sells a variety of organic beauty products. Along with green beauty services, VERT Beauty offers a line of natural and eco-friendly beauty products.

I had the wonderful opportunity to review some products from the company.

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I was able to get my hands on several VERT Beauty products. Products included were the Cheek Contour brush, Concealer brush, and the Beauty Eyeliner Pencil in ‘Vert.’

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First off, I have to say that I was very pleased to find that the Contour Brush was extremely soft. Just as the name suggests, the bristles are contoured to fit the hollows of your cheekbones. The bristles are made out of natural ebony capra (goat) hair that allows you to get a medium to full coverage with your bronzer application. This brush retails for $32.

Best Uses: Applying bronzer or contour in the hollows of your cheek as well as around the perimeter of your face.

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The next brush, which is my favorite of the two is the Concealer brush. The synthetic bristles are perfect for covering small breakouts. My favorite thing about this particular brush is the design. The brush has a removable “cap” that allows it to be perfect to put in your travel bag for on-the-go touch-ups.

The bristles are perfect for applying concealer because it is stiff enough for precise applications, but flexible enough to allow you blend out edges. This brush retails for $20.

Best Uses: Carving out your brows, outlining your lips and covering up small blemishes.

The last thing that I was given the beautiful VERT Beauty Eyeliner Pencil in the color ‘Vert.’ The color is this beautiful turquoise-jade shade. It’s buildable, so you’re able to add more layers to get your desired pigmentation. I found that the product itself was very smooth and easy to glide on. Ingredients include jojoba oil, mango seed oil, flower extracts and other nourishing ingredients that ensures that the pencil won’t skip over your lids. (No wrinkles with this product!)

VERT offers five different eyeliner pencil shades. Shades include Noir Or (black gold), Bleu (navy), Violet (purple), Cuivre (copper), and Vert. This pencil retails for $17.

Best Uses: Make hazel and brown eyes pop by creating a wing with Vert. Greens tend to make these color eyes stand out a bit more.

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I’m so glad to have been able to test these products out. I love learning about eco-friendly brands like VERT. The brushes are definitely worth it in my opinion. The brushes I received are from the VERT Beauty Brush Kit, which retails for $185. You can purchase the brush kit from the website here.

You can see other products VERT Beauty has to offer on the website.