Products That’ll Never Get Old

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The month of August has been extremely hectic. With a new freelance writer position at Alloy.com and running back and forth between Richmond and NoVa, it’s been a hectic month. With bouncing around from jobs and interviews, I found that I’ve gravitated towards a couple of products for a classic go-to look. I’m sure I’m not the only when I say that I have my fair share of staple products that never get old.

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Let’s start with the base. The Laura Mercier Silk Crème Moisturizing Photo Edition Foundation has a beautiful finish that leaves my skin looking quite natural, while covering up my imperfections. I was a bit thrown off by the word moisturizing, but I promise it doesn’t leave you looking like an oil-slick.

How to Use:

Before you even think about applying it, make sure you shake the bottle up well to properly It’s a medium-to-full, buildable foundation that is best used with a brush. I wouldn’t suggest using a beauty sponge because it’s a fairly runny foundation, meaning it’ll easily be sucked into your sponge. Opt for a dense kabuki brush to blend it out in circular motions.

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As for the glow everyone loves, I love the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks. They offer you a beautiful dewy look, without looking like you stuck your head in a a bag of glitter. I’m all for a bit of shimmer in my highlighter, but full on glitter isn’t in my everyday routine.

Another oldie but a goodie is the Benefit They’re Real mascara. It’s a cult classic for a reason! Mascara is all about the brush, TBH. The applicator on the They’re Real mascara is great for separating and lengthening, which is what basically everyone looks for in a mascara.

How to Use:

To apply your highlighter, grab a fluffy brush, like the E.L.F. Highlighter Brush, swirl it around your product and dust it on the highest points of your face. (And the brush is only $3!) For a natural-looking glow start towards your temples and sweep it towards the center of your face as opposed to starting on the highest point of your cheeks. It will give you a natural-looking glow.

As for the mascara, apply it as you normally would. I just advise you to never pump the mascara. It will dry out the product quicker.

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The Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper is another cult classic because it’s one of the blackest liners you will ever use. It’s matte as well, so you don’t have to worry about that shine that you get from other liners. A classic wing goes great with any look you may want.

How to Use:

Follow your bottom lash line as you flick the liner up and out towards the tail of your brow. Also never get scared while putting on liner because I am convinced that liner can smell fear. The moment you start holding your breath is when you accidentally hit your lid, making a large, unwarranted stroke.

What are some of your personal cult-classics? Is there anything that you have to have in your makeup kit at all times? I’d love to try it out!

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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!

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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