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.

 

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

The newest edition to the Beauties Beholder foundation collection.

I’m usually one to splurge on foundations, so when I come across a good one under $20, I know I have to share it with the world. The NYX Total Coverage Drop Coverage Foundation is only $14 and I can say truthfully that I get a whole lot of bang for my buck. 


I would say that this is a medium-to-full coverage foundation. The drops are heavily concentrated with pigment, allowing you to build up to a full coverage. I found that I don’t get cakey when I try to build up the foundation, which is definitely a major plus. I have some texture in my skin, so the last thing I want is for my foundation to cake up, bring more attention to those areas.

Do note that I have oily/combination skin, so if you’re dry, we may have a difference in opinion. I’m not sure how it stands up to dry patches.

It comes in a variety of shades. 24 to be exact! So there’s a good chance that you’ll find, if not your perfect shade, something pretty close to it. 


How to Use: I prime my skin, using either the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Mattifying Base or the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer. Which I’ve been loving at the moment.

I add a couple of drops to dense blending brush and use a combination of patting and circular motions to work it into the skin. I don’t suggest using a BeautyBlender for this, due to the fact that this foundation is extremely thin. You’ll find that BeautyBlender will suck up a lot of product. Stick to something like a kabuki brush or something similar.

I, then, go ahead and set it with my trusty Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in “Translucent.” After that is done, I’m good to go, and ready to take on the day! I found that the foundation stays put for several hours on end, without me having to touch up. So if you’re out and about for hours on end, like me, you’ll really love the staying power of this!


Have you tried the foundation yet? If so, I’d love to get your thoughts, especially if you have dryer skin. I’d love to learn how it works on different skin types. 

Quick Restock

What I got when I restocked my skincare items.

I recently made a stop to my local CVS Pharmacy and Ulta and stock up on a couple of products. I’m stingy when it comes to finishing up products, but it came to a point where I caught myself adding water to my bottles of face wash to salvage whatever product I had left. It was then that I realized that I needed to restock and explore some new options.


First thing I grabbed was a recommendation from my sister. It’s the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner. My sister suffers from a lot of the same skin issues as myself: dark marks, texture and dullness. Since she began using it, I’ve noticed a visible difference in the appearance of her skin. The overall appearance looks much smoother. When noticing such a change in her skin, I knew I had to purchase it. (More like I was pestered by her each day until I went into Ulta to grab a bottle.) 

Ingredients:

The Toner contains glycolic acid, which helps to improve the appearance of dark marks and aids in evening out out your skin complexion. The toner also contains aloe vera, which not only helps to soothe the skin, but it’s a natural disinfectant. Being a natural disinfectant, it will help to kill acne-causing bacteria, which can spur up new breakouts. Another ingredient is grapefruit extract, that should soften the skin.


Expectations:

I have some high expectations for this product since being introduced to it by my sister. I hope that it will be able to lighten my dark marks as well as smooth out the texture of my skin. I will keep you updated.


The next thing I picked up was the Simple Skincare Foaming Cleanser. I touched on this product in my Simple Skincare Favorites post, back in August. I decided that it would be best if I looked into a more gentle facial cleanser while trying out the glycolic acid toner. This was the the first product that came to mind because of the fact that it’s gentle enough to not irritate my skin, while being effective enough to be able to remove all of my makeup.


It comes out in a thick lather, which stays ask you work it into your skin. If you have sensitive skin, I would highly recommend Simple Skincare. The entire line is catered towards people with sensitive skin.

If you’ve tried either of these, if love to hear your thoughts on them, especially the Glycolic Acid Toner. Also, if you have any products you’d like to recommend, please let me know in the comments section below. 

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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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
sephora.com
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
forever21.com
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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
forever21.com
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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.

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.

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.