Monthly Favorites – June 2017

Some beauty favorites from the month of June, along with some tricks to using them.

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The fact that we’re already in July is absolutely crazy to me. I feel like we were just starting the new year, but alas that is not the case. With that being said, the start of a new month means a new monthly favorites!

Last month, it may come as a shock to everyone, but I surprisingly didn’t wear makeup for most of the month. For most of June, I opted for a bit of concealer and highlighter. For that, I used my trusty NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in “Caramel” as well as the Wet ‘n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in “Precious Petals.”

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Hair

I don’t normally talk about hair because I am absolutely terrible at styling and taking care of my hair. However, I went out of my comfort zone and decided to test out some new products and completely fell in love with the EDEN Coconut Shea shampoo and the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray. I found that the shampoo really made a difference in how smooth my hair was, which I was extremely surprised about.

I’ve also been a fan of really textured waves recently, but never really knew how to achieve it. Being the adventurous person I was, I knew I had to find a way to do it. I decided to curl my hair and then I went in with the spray, but not it the way you would think. Instead of spraying it in my hair directly, I went ahead and sprayed it in my hands and separated the curls by rubbing them in between my hands. I immediately got the look that I was hoping to achieve.

If you’re looking to achieve that Instagram-worthy beach hair, I would highly suggest this method.

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Skin

I was so excited to be part of the Splash Vox Box from Influenster. Inside, I received complimentary products, one being the Exfoliating Mud Mask from Tree Hut. I’d never used any products from Tree Hut, so I was excited to try it out. So far, my skin has really been loving this.

It contains charcoal, which you guys know I love because it helps draw out impurities from your skin also helps keep oils at bay. Also the fact that it’s a mud mask means it’s also perfect for those of you with oily skin. Mud helps suck up the oils from your skin, which I’m always looking for, considering I have extremely oily skin.

The last thing I love about this are the small exfoliants that get that layer of dead skin off. If you have sensitive skin, I wouldn’t suggest using this or possibly using this only once a week or every other week because it could irritate your skin.

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Face

When I did go full-faced glam, I opted for my trusty Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer and the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation for my base.

If you buy one of these, I would highly suggest the NYX Foundation because it’s only $14 and it’s going to last you a long time because a little goes a long way. I find that with four drops, I get a fairly nice amount of coverage. I just suggest using this with a brush because a lot of product will be sucked up by a beauty sponge.

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Lips

I have perpetually dry lips, so when I apply something on my lips, it has to be something moisturizing or I’ll end up taking it off in an hour. I found that I’ve really been loving the Kopari Coconut Lip Love as a lip balm. It’s been super moisturizing and I love the fact that it smells like coconuts. Also, I’ve been loving the Revlon Ultra HD Matte LipColor in “Seduction.” Thought it’s matte, I don’t find that it dries my lips out, which I love.

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Eyes

When I did wear eye makeup, I gravitated towards the Huda Beauty Textured Eyeshadow Palette – Rose Gold Edition. There’s not much I can say about this other than the fact that the shades blend out beautifully and they all are extremely pigmented. When you are using the textured shades at the top of the palette, I would suggest using your fingers because you’ll get the best payoff.

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Brows

I have been talking about these two products for so long, but only because I am so truly in love with this combination. The ColourPop Brow Pencil in “Black ‘n Brown” and the Benefit Gimme Brow in “#3” have been my favorite brow combination for quite a while now. The ColourPop pencil is so nice and easy to use because it’s not too thick and it’s easy to get thin, hair-like strokes. The Benefit Gimme Brow helps define the hairs I already have, making everything look more natural.

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Lashes

Lastly, my mascara is the one thing that I found I’ve changed up a lot. Recently, Ive been loving the Maybeline The Falsies Push Up Angel mascara and the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise mascara. I’ve been loving combining the two for long, voluminous lashes.

If you like the voluminous mascara you are currently using, but you’re looking for more length, try layering a lengthening mascara over it. If you’re looking for the opposite, then vice versa. Don’t be afraid to layer it up!

With all of that being said, that is everything that I’ve been loving in the month of June. Please let me know if you’ve tried any of these and let me know what you were loving last month.


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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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Current Summer to Fall Obsessions

To effortless transition myself in the fall months, I’ve slightly changed up my makeup routine.

Even though the 90-degree weather doesn’t show it, we’re slowly progressing into fall. Soon enough the weather is going to cool down and we’ll be trading in our bright coral lips and bikini tops for deep plums and sweaters. As much as I love the warm weather, I’m ready for the sweater weather that is slowly dawning upon us.

To effortless transition myself in the fall months, I’ve slightly changed up my makeup routine. As I changed up my routine, I’ve found that some products have trickled their way into my current staples.

The Morphe M35O palette was a no-brainner for me, in regards to what eyeshadows I could use to go into fall. The variety of 35 warm, orange-toned shades inspires me to create an array of fall-appropriate looks. It’s a cult favorite for a reason. The pigmentation is unreal and the price tag of only $23 is a deal-breaker for me.

I  will always have a place in my heart for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, but the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer has earned my sheer and utter devotion. Urban Decay really swept me off my feet with this one. I heard countless YouTubers give raving reviews about this product before I finally went to Sephora to pick it up for myself. The smallest dab goes such a long way with this concealer. It’s not heavy under your eyes and the second listed ingredient is water, which means it mainly water-based so it’s super hydrating under your eyes. Since purchasing it, I haven’t experienced any creasing under my eyes, which I’ve noticed sometimes with my NARS Concealer. — Sorry NARS! So ultimately, you need to try this because it’s extremely light-weight while giving you the coverage that you want in a concealer.

Becca Aqua Luminous Foundation is another water-based product. Water-based foundations are perfect for this time of year. These foundations tend to be medium coverage and on the thinner side, rather than some thick, oil-based foundations. Because it’s still so warm, it’s just so much easier to wear lightweight makeup at all times. This one in particular gives off a beautiful healthy glow.

(Pro tip: If you’re on the oily side, like me, you may want to invest in a really good oil-control primer. You could also use it on the perimeter of your face, while using a mattifying foundation in your T-zone. You’ll still get the glow, without TONS of your oils shinning through.)

I’m really surprised that literally NO one is talking about the Smashbox Brow Tech Matte Pencil. It’s pretty comparable to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. It’s creamier than the Brow Wiz, which I like, but when you twist up the product, you can’t twist it down, which I loathe. Ultimately, both are great products, but I’m just a little bit more in love with the Brow Tech Matte Pencil. I don’t experience any smudging or anything after I apply the product, which is a major plus!

I feel like I  spend the most time doing my lashes while doing my makeup. I’ve recently fallen in love with the Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Mascara. I have to admit that my sister convinced me to buy it and at first I hated this mascara. I think what I hated about it is that I left too much product on the brush because now I make sure that I wipe all of the excess product in the tube and coat my lashes with this to give me major volume. If you’re looking for a volumizing mascara, this will be your holy grail. And you know the best part?– It’s from the drugstore. (Hello, affordable makeup!)

Do you have any current favorites? I’d love to learn some more about your favorites and test them out for myself!

Catch you all on the next one!