April 2017 Favorites

A new month calls for a new monthly favorites and I have a few things that I’ve really been loving.

I can’t believe how fast the days are flying by. We’re already in May! (Cue Justin Timberlake.)

A new month calls for a new monthly favorites and I have a few things that I’ve really been loving.
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In April, I found myself reaching for the Tarte Tartelette in Bloom palette. It’s raved about for a reason. This classic has a variety of colors that are pigmented, easy to blend and smell like chocolate. What more can you ask for?
Though I am late to the game on this primer, I have to say I’m very excited about this discovery. Last month, I picked up the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and I haven’t put it down ever since. I was genuinely surprised at how much I really love this. I didn’t realize that this was highly rated by people with oily skin when I picked this up. It’s not necessarily going to leave you matte, but it will leave you with a smooth base for your foundation.
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Another eyeshadow palette I’ve been using has been the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette. I’ve captured a lot of pictures of this on my Instagram page, but it’s only because I really do enjoy it. I find that the colors are fairly easy to blend and you can get many uses out of this single palette from everyday to bold looks. The only downside is the smell. Sometimes it’s a bit too potent, making me want to forgo it, but once it’s on the lids, you won’t smell it throughout the day. I struggle to support this palette, especially with all of the controversy going around Too Faced currently, but I have to admit that I did use this palette quite a bit in the month of April.
Back on a lighter note, the Total Control Drop Foundation by NYX Cosmetics. I’ve talked about this on the blog before so I won’t go too in-depth about it. I can layer it up and I don’t find that it gets cakey once I do. I don’t find that I produce more oils throughout the day with this, which is a big plus!
The next product is actually a repurchase. This is the Black N’ Brown Brow Pencil from ColourPop. I ran out of this pencil and I thought I could use something else in its place, but I found myself really missing this pencil and I immediately reordered it once I realized. It’s not too creamy, nor is it too stiff. I find that It’s the perfect size for me to get thin, precise strokes for my brows.
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I’ve briefly touched on the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit here on the blog. I’ve really been loving this. A lot of contour shades for deeper skin come across red on my complexion, which is great for bronzing, but not ideal for contouring. This gives me the best of both worlds and I like to mix the two deeper colors to give me an all over bronze.
Another thing I’ve been loving has been the Wet N’ Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in “Precious Petals.” I’m surprised that I don’t hear people raving more about this. It’s a fantastic formula that is very smooth to the touch and you can build it up to an intense glow. (Which is what I normally do.)
The last thing is something that I don’t talk about very often, which is the E.L.F. 19 Piece Brush Set. E.L.F. has really stepped up their game and it really shows with these brushes. They’re extremely soft and apply my makeup with them has been a breeze. I haven’t experienced any shedding since I was given them on Christmas. Though they’re a little pricier for E.L.F., it’s much more affordable than some other brush sets on the market. I highly suggest these.
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That was quite the list! I’m really loving all these products, but I’m excited to try out some new ones in the month of May. Please let me know some of your favorites so I can test them out! I look forward to hearing them!

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!

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.

Worth it or Not? — Sephora Favorites

We all check out the Beauty-to-Go section in Sephora while we’re waiting to go check out. Is that item worth it?

We all check out the Beauty-to-Go section in Sephora while we’re waiting to go check out. (If you’re anything like me, you end up letting the rest of the line go in front of you so you can check out every item.) While you’re waiting, your eyes come across the Sephora Favorites: Give Me Some Lip and you probably aren’t sure if it’s worth the $28 or not.

Well I’m here to tell you, it definitely is worth it.

Before we get into the contents of the kit, let’s talk about the adorable packaging. It’s in the shape of lips and I’m kind of embarrassed to say how long my sister and I gushed about how adorable it was.

The price is also fairly reasonable. I know some may think that it’s not, but let’s think about it. A full sized lip product, such as the Too Faced Melted Longer Lipstick (Deluxe size included!) is $21. In the Sephora Favorites kit, you’ll get multiple products for just $7 more.

Inside, Sephora includes around six deluxe-sized lip products. The products can be a hit or miss, depending on the theme. This particular Give Me Some Lip Kit was definitely a hit.

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Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in “Lovecraft”
This is a beautiful mauve color that’s perfect for fall time. It’s creamy and very pigmented, much like many other Kat Von D products.
The full size retails for $21.

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Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15 in “Rose”
This is a high-end chapstick. It’s not my favorite chapstick, but the thin formula is great to keep your lips moisturized underneath your matte lipsticks. (Bonus: it smells great and leaves a slight pink tint on your lips!)
The full size retails for $24.

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Too Faced Melted Longer Lipstick in “Melted Chihuahua”
If you haven’t tried the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks, stop everything you’re doing now and run to your local Sephora now. These are very creamy and leave a beautiful shine to your lips. I really do love the formula.
The full size retails for $21.

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Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in “Stepping Out”
This is my favorite product in this whole set. The color is absolutely perfect for my deeper skinned makeup lovers. Also the formula is perfect. It’s extremely comfortable on the lips and long-lasting. This is definitely a must-have and I can’t wait to purchase other colors.
The full size retails for $24.

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Nars Satin Lip Pencil in “Rikugien”
If you got last year’s birthday present from Sephora, this is the same lip pencil that was included. It glides on easily and the color is easy to wear everyday.
The full size retails for $26.

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Lancôme Juicy Shaker in “Boom-Meringue”
This by far is the weirdest product I have ever tried. You can use it as both a lip and check color. To use it, you need to shake it and the oil (top layer) that you see will combine with the  color (bottom layer). I am equal parts intrigued as well as I am confused by this product. I can’t give a full recommendation to buy this, but I do have to say it’s very nourishing on the lips.
The full size retails for $21.

So final thoughts?

highly recommend that once the next Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip sets. For only $28, I don’t think you can beat that. Though this particular set is not available in Sephora stores anymore, these individual products are still on the market. So makeup lovers all around, be sure to take advantage of these when you have the chance. You don’t want to miss out on the next set!

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think of them because I’d love to get your thoughts!

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!