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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Purifying Black Mask Review

My candid thoughts on the Soo Ae Purifying Black Charcoal Mask.

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Last week, while going through some things I got at BeautyCon NYC, I decided to try out a face mask from Soo Ae. The particular one that I tried out was the Purifying Black Charcoal Mask. I was initially drawn to it because  it contains charcoal, which does wonders for purifying and removing toxins from your skin.

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Other than the fact that this mask made me look like an old-school burglar, I think it did everything that it said it would. It gave me a lot of hydration, but since I’m oily, it was a bit too glowy for me. It did draw out some of the impurities in my skin as well. I noticed some bumps on my cheeks the next morning, but I did expect that because of the charcoal.

If you have sensitive skin, I wouldn’t recommend this only due to the fact that I got a pretty intense tingling sensation while I put this on.. then again, I did leave it on for a bit longer than the recommended 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, I sprayed some of my Mario Badescu Facial Spray and my skin felt a bit better.

Overall, it’s not a bad mask, but personally, I don’t think I’m going to use this again, mainly due to the fact that it’s not intended for those with oily skin.  It’s definitely more geared towards those of you with dry skin concerns.

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Another mask that I can definitely recommend is the Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask. It’s soothing and doesn’t leave me too gloomy. So if you’re looking for something on the other spectrum of things, I’d highly recommend that.

Current Skincare Favorites


I remember the first time I got a breakout. It was as though the world had ended with that one white head that appeared on my forehead. 
I feared the mocks that I would surely get from others in school. Surely they’d call me pizza face or something a bit more creative. All-in-all, I knew I had to do something about it. This resulted in me popping the pimple, leaving angry red scratches all around it. 
I’m not going to say that I’ve learned not to pop my pimples ever again, but I definitely realize it’s not the end of the world when a friend pops up on my face. I also learned the importance of skincare.
Now, I’m going to be honest and say I still get acne, but it’s hereditary. Both of my parents have bestowed the wonderful gift of adult acne to me. Though I’m aware that I will probably always have acne, there are some products that I have noticed have done some great things for the overall appearance of my skin.


I spoke about the Origins Active Charcoal Mask in a previous post. I finds this really helps taking the gunk out of my pores and opens the up for other acne-fighting products. I do this about twice a week at night and find that my skin is extremely smooth afterwards. The charcoal helps clear toxins in your skin and is an ingredient that I suggest everyone incorporates into their skincare.


A standout product for me has been the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner. Glycolic Acid is another ingredient that is great for your skin. If you have dark marks, this will assist in lightening them up and improving the overall texture of your skin. This has done an amazing job at lightening my dark marks. In the couple of months that I’ve used this product, I’ve noticed a huge difference in the overall appearance of my complexion.


Another Mario Badescu product is the Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea. Just as you would assume this does, this really soothes my skin after I do some intense skincare. I use this daily, just to give me an extra bout of hydration. I know this can be scary to my oily friends, but the combination of aloe, cucumber and green tea doesn’t affect your oil production. It’s just a refreshing spray in the morning and night.
Lastly, I’d like to talk about the M-61 PowerSpot Pad for combination/blemish-prone skin. This little pad packs a powerful punch. With ingredients such as salicylic acid, tea tree and witch hazel, this works at really fighting your breakouts. I use this twice a week at night and my skin looks and feels great in the morning. My breakouts are visibly reduced and texture seems to have been smoothed out. I will say that this is an extremely strong product so if you have sensitive skin, you may want to steer clear of this. I do, sometimes get a stinging sensation, especially if I rub it over popped acne, so do be careful!
With these products, I can say that my skin has been the best that I’ve seen it in months. Also, though these may work for me, they may not work with yours, so just be mindful of what your skin concerns are and test out products before you buy to be sure they won’t irritate your skin. If these do work for you, I’m glad I could steer you in the right direction. 

Origins Influenster VoxBox

Thoughts on some Origins products.

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Although people tell me time and time again to take it easy with my skincare, I’m very open to testing out new products. (Don’t do this. You’re skin will hate you!) With that being said, I was very excited to learn that I had been entered to receive the newest Influenster Originis VoxBox.

I was excited to receive this because Origins has products that are not tested on animals, and use natural ingredients that are supposed to do wonders for your skin. Inside, I found five sample skincare products. These included two moisturizers, (day and night) a face wash, mask, as well as an eye cream. The one thing I was disappointed about was the fast that we didn’t get an exfoliant.
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I’ll begin by saying that the stand out product was without a doubt the Origins Purifying Charcoal Mask. I’ve heard some people rave about this and I was excited to try it out, especially being that it’s a charcoal-based mask. It’s a typical mask that you let sit for 15 minutes then rinse off. (Sorry peel lovers!) I use this once a week, at night and find that my skin is much softer the next morning. If you have congested pores, I would look into this because charcoal works well to detoxify your pores and clear out the bacteria. I would definitely purchase a full size of this.
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The Checks and Balances Frothy face wash was pretty interesting. It has a bit of a minty, refreshing scent, but the thing that I really like about this is the fact that it does give me a nice lather. This may be a mental thing, but when soaps and face washes foam up, I feel as though I’m getting a deeper cleanse. I found that I have do go in twice to wash off my makeup, but I don’t have a problem with this, due to the fact that this wasn’t advertised as a makeup remover.
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The GinZing Energy boosting moisturizer is something that I’m not too sure how I feel about. Does it keep me moisturized throughout the day? Yes. Is it energy boosting? The smell definitely wakes me me. This has a very poignant citrus scent, which isn’t something I would recommend for those of you with sensitive skin. When looking through some reviews, I saw that people have explained that this caused them to break out. Fortunately, it did not happen to me, but I just wanted to make sure you all are aware of that. I did like the consistency of this, but I think I will probably back to my Belif Aqua Bomb.
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Sticking to moisturizers, let’s discuss the High-Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral enriched renewal cream. Much like the GinZing energy boosting moisturizer, this has a citrus scent, which concerns me for those that have sensitive skin. This is a thicker cream that contains Vitamin C and E, which is great for brightening your skin. Unfortunately, I’m not the biggest fan of this. Though this is oil-free, I found that my skin did produce a lot of oils throughout the night with this. I generally produce more oils while I sleep, so I’m going to continue to monitor this and just ensure that I’m not just being extremely picky when it comes to this.
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The last thing is the GinZing Refreshing eye cream. Like the moisturizers, this also has citrus scent, so those of you with sensitive skin: proceed with caution. I’ve used this every night for the past two weeks and I haven’t noticed any drastic changes. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t have really bad dark circles, but they are there and I haven’t noticed a lightening effect on it. As for depuffing, I’m probably not the best to discuss this. I have hereditary bags under my eyes, so it’s hard for me to really differentiate puffiness and bags. Overall, I’m going to continue to use this because it does have some good ingredients that I would like to keep in my skincare regimen. Also those of you with deeper skin tones, this is not a clear cream. It does give me a bit of a white cast, looking a bit ashy, so if you do purchase this, I would suggest you keep this in your nightly routine.
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Overall, I’m very grateful for everything I received in the box. I even was invited to an in-store event! Thank you so much Influenster and Origins for sending me this box. I’m definitely going to look into buying full sizes of the charcoal mask and the frothy face wash.
Please let me know your thoughts on Origins and these products. I’d love to get your thoughts on it! Also let me know if you’d want me to dedicate a blog post exclusively to Influenster on what it is and how to use it. I’d love to help you guys score free makeup.

 

Spring Scents

Some new scents for spring.

In the spring, I cast aside warm, musky scents for fresh, floral fragrances. It reminds me that it’s my favorite time of year again. Nature is coming back to life and we can see flowers beginning to bloom. 

This year, I was sent, what I believe will be my new spring scent by Y Communications and Consulting. They gave me the opportunity to try out the Zoella Beauty Creamy Madly Dreamy Body Lotion.I’ve been a huge Zoella fan for quite sometime now so when I was asked to test out her products, I jumped at the chance.

The Creamy Madly Dreamy Body Lotion is just lovely and even grandma-approved. I let her try it out before I did and she was very pleased with the scent. In all over body lotions, I look for something that’s pleasantly fragranced, but not so much that it’s overbearing. The lotion is exactly that. It has a sweet, floral scent that makes me read for a walk through a field of flowers. Though it smells good, it’s not overly poignant, which means it’s perfect to pair other scents over top of it. (I suggest a splash it the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Perfume!) 

If you’re into soft and subtle scents, this may be right up your alley.

The mixture of ingredients makes the lotion creamy and moisturizing. It’s enriched with Aloe Vera, Shea Butter and Vitamin E. (All of which, your skin will love.)

The Zoella Collection just launched in January and can be found exclusively at Target, so I don’t know about you l, but I’m definitely going to stop by and pick up some others from the collection. The collection also includes hand cream, perfume, bath products and more. 


Another scent that you can also pick up at Target is the Soap and Glory The Righteous Body Lotion. My grandmother, mother, sisters and a handful for beauty bloggers can back me up when I say this smells so incredibly good.

This has been a blogger/vlogger favorite for quite a while and it’s just recently released in Target stores. It’s enriched with Shea and Cocoa Seed Butters, as well as Sweet Almond Oil and Aloe Vera. 

If you have dry skin, test this out. Your skin will thank you. Trust me.


Lastly, stepping away from Target, let’s talk about Lush’s Handy Gurugu Hand Lotion. If you’re into fresher scents rather than floral, this should be on your radar. I picked this up during my birthday shopping trip and I can say honestly that this makes my hands feel so soft.

It contains Shea, Almond and Cashew Butter and Rose Water. All of which, my hands absolutely love! And I think yours will too. 

I will warn you that this one is a little thicker than the other two so if you’re not a fan of thick creams, I would say to opt for one of the other two. 

Regardless, all of these are wonderful and perfect scents for the spring time. Have you tried my Of these, or should I try something else? I’d love to know what you’re using. 

Happy springtime and happy moisturizing! 

Best of 2016

As the year wraps up, I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of some of my favorite products throughout the year. These products include stuff that I have been reaching for throughout the year.

Face Products

 

Complexion Favorites 2016

 


I have been on the lookout for a new contour powder. I found that the one that I had was too warm for me in the winter months. When I went into Sephora, I explained to one of the representatives my issue, she referred me to the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit. This is the perfect contour kit for someone with deeper skin complexions. It includes three colors, a contour shade, bronze shade, and highlight shade. I bought the “medium/deep” shade. When I am wanting a warmer contour, I mix the bronze with the contour shades to preventing it from being too cool and muddy.

I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I couldn’t help it. This powder is phenomenal. Under the eyes, it helps to lock in your concealer and prevent it from creasing. One thing I have noticed is the fact that it clung to my dry spots this winter. That’s to be expected, being that it includes talc. I would suggest people with dry skin to dust this powder on, rather than bake with it to prevent it from clinging to your dry patches.

I actually received this as a Christmas gift from my lovely sister, Linda. (You can get to know her through her YouTube channel here.) There are a variety of shades that makes this a very versatile palette for any highlighter junkie. As you would expect, the highlighters are creamy and easy to work with. If you’re willing to splurge, it’s definitely a palette that you should look into.

Churro
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Churro was an instant favorite of mine. Though I didn’t mention it in my “Highlighter Favorites” post earlier this year, I completely fell in love with this. Much like other ColourPop products, Churro has a silky texture. It’s not too golden and not too peachy, making it perfect for a variety of skin tones. And the best part? It’s only $8!
Foundations
Foundation Favorites 2016

 


Again, I’m jumping on the bandwagon with the L’Oreal Pro-Matte foundation. There are countless reviews on this, so I won’t go too in-depth with this. It’s perfect for my oily skin makeup fanatics.

If you haven’t heard about this foundation, I am skeptical. This is geared towards those of you that are on the dryer side. As stated in the name, it gives off a luminous finish. If you’re more on the oily side, you may not like this. I love the fact that it comes with a dropper, which makes it easy to dispense the perfect amount. All-in-all, if you haven’t tried this, you should definitely go to your local Sephora and ask for a sample.

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics long wearing foundation
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Foundation sticks were all the rage in 2016. Wanting to try one, I opted for the Bobbi Brown stick and it completely changed the game. It gives a buildable medium to full coverage without looking cake-y. Because I’m lazy and refuse to use more than one brush for my complexion, I use a BeautyBlender sponge to blend it out because I find it the best to blend out my concealer. But, with this particular product, I would suggest that you use a brush, as it can be difficult to blend out with a sponge.

Cover Fx Custom Cover Drops N90
$49 – farfetch.com
Skincare
Skincare Favorites

 


Masks have really helped improve my complexion this year. This Black Tea face mask is really interesting. It gives off a cooling sensation when you rinse it off. This is perfect for hydrating your skin, without leaving you greasy. It also helps with problematic acne-prone skin. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that’s struggling with these skin issues.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength
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Every time I use this product, it completely blows my mind. I use it at night, before bed and when I wake up in the morning, I find that my skin is drastically improved. With this peel, I generally leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off. This is perfect for acne-prone skin or if you struggle with dark marks. If you do purchase this, make sure you use it only once or twice a week. Anything more and you can run the risk of burning your skin. You don’t want to do that.

Simple Skincare Smoothing Facial Scrub
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This was a surprising drugstore find. I love that it has exfoliants that give you a deep clean and removes your peaky dead skin. I love it so much that I even mentioned it in a previous post I dedicated completely to Simple Skincare.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Therapy
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I usually have oily skin, but the dry winter weather has really dried me out. This face cream has really assisted with restoring my skin. I generally pat it in over the dry patches on my forehead and temples at night. If you have dry skin, this may be your best friend.

The Detoxifying Black Cleanser was a spur of the moment purchase. I was really interested in adding charcoal to my skin care routine and a representative at Sephora pointed me to this. It’s a black gel that warms on the skins. At first, it was extremely weird, but when you work it into a lather and rinse it off, it leaves your skin feeling soft and toxin-free.
Clothes
Anyone that knows me is very aware of my obsession with outerwear. I feel that the perfect sweater or trench just really makes the your whole outfit. It helps to tie in everything together, while keeping you warm.
Outerwear Favorites
Outerwear Favorites by Me featuring coats

Cardigan
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For the past couple of months, no one has been able to get me out of this particular cardigan. It’s the perfect cardigan to keep you warm. I’m a big fan of longline coats and sweaters because it really elongates your frame, making you look taller. It’s also versatile enough to be able to pair with not only jeans and a shirt, but a short dress.

Coat
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I’ve gotten many questions about where I’ve gotten my go-to jacket. I feel bad explaining that I got it two years ago at Charlotte Russe, but I recently stumbled upon a similar jacket on Forever 21. I wear  this with just about every outfit. That’s what I love about trench coats. They help to dress up a laid-back outfit and also is the perfect statement piece for a midi dress or skirt. I love to pair this with high-waisted jeans and booties.

Coat
shoptailor.com
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This coat has been the best purchase I’ve made in Richmond. I fell in love with the dusty pink color. I find that depending on what you pair it with, it the color can come across either stone or a very light pink. Much like the previous trench, I love to pair this with high-waisted jeans and booties. I also like to pair it with a black dress. I also have to mention the owner of Shop Tailor, Taylor Alexis. She is the sweetest person and was so helpful when I was looking for the right trench. If you’re looking to purchase quality items from an awesome and down-to-earth person, you should definitely log onto ShopTailor.com.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I hope your New Year is even better. Let me know what some  of your favorites of 2016 have been. I’d love to see what you love and what I should be picking up in 2017.

Sneaky Trick for Oily Skin

I’ve looked up all the tips and tricks for oily skin and I’ve found one that has really helped me with some of my oiliness throughout the day.

I know I’m not the only one that struggles with their t-zone producing oils throughout the day. I’ve looked up all the tips and tricks for oily skin and I’ve found one that has really helped me with some of my oiliness throughout the day.

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Step One:
After washing and toning your face, the best thing to combat oils is to moisturize. The reason why your skins produce oils throughout the day is because your skin is is trying to compensate for a lack of moisture in your skin. (Weird right? You can read more about it in this article.)

I use the Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15. It’s lightweight and it protects my skin from the sun.

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Step 2:
The next step is for you to prime your face. The reason for priming your face is because it allows you to fill in your press and create a smooth base for your foundation to go over. If you have oily skin, there are oil-control primers that help to keep your oils at bay.

I use the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer. The trick with this is I don’t rub it into my skin. I apply it to my fingers, rub them in and press it into my skin. This allows it to sink into my pores and have the best results.

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Step 3:
Now that we’ve prepped out skin, we’re ready for foundation. As you can see, I have two different foundations on my hand. I have a mattifying one and a luminous one. I use the mattifying one in my t-zone to help with the oils that I produce throughout the day. I use the luminous foundation to go around the perimeter of my face to give me a healthy glow.

Here, I’m using the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24 Hour Foundation, which I’m having a love/hate relationship with. I have some texture on my skin and I’m finding that throughout the day, it starts to get cake around that area.

I am also using the Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation. It was in Allure’s Best of Beauty for a reason. It give a beautiful glow to your skin and I found that it doesn’t cake up throughout the day.

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Step 4:
If you couldn’t guess, the next step is to blend it all out. I start in the middle and work my way out, but you can go ahead and do it any way you’d like.

I’m using the Beauty Blender. It’s perfect for blending out foundations.

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Step 5:
After that, you can go ahead and finish up your makeup. (With crazy baking faces and all!)

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Lastly, go ahead and check your face! I found that through the summertime, my face looked less oily throughout the day when I did these tricks. I’m going to continue using these throughout the fall and winter.

Do you have any tricks and tips that you use to help keep your oils at bay? I’d love to know what products and steps you use.