Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Makeup!

FOTD
Time to unveil my Holiday Face of the Day (FOTD)! I used a few new products that I've received for Christmas and I love them!! I'll mark new products below with a *! Here's my step by step for a flawless fun Holiday face...
Step 1: Facial Mask! Gel or Mud, doesn't matter. It's dry outside and your skin is taking a BEATING! Pamper it with a simple 10 minute mask to clean pores and rejuvenate. 
Step 2: Pluck, tweeze, wax, whatever. Get your brows shaped and filled in, your stach under control and banish any stray hairs!! You should do this every day, but hey, 
it's winter and we all get lazy!
Step 3: Exfoliate!!! I use my Clarisonic which I SWEAR by. It is by far one of my most important beauty tools. You can't paint on a dirty canvas, ya dig?
Step 4: Moisturize! I've been using good ol' Palmers Cocoa butta EVERYWHERE! You will smell heavenly and your skin will thank you almost immediately! 
Step 5: EYES! I did a mix of light matte colors from the Naked 3 Palette with Carbon, Swiss Chocolate and Texture by MAC in my crease. Blend. Blend.Blend and highlight under the brow with any highlight. I use Shroom by MAC.
Step 6: LINE! I line my bottom lash line with any black pencil and line my top lashes with Maybelline Lasting Drama gel Liner in blackest Black* using a Sigma E65 brush. I usually do a thick wing for Holiday looks rather than a thin line.
Step 7: Mascara!! I used Covergirl Bombshell Mascara* which I am now obsessed with! Lengthens AND thickens without flaking all day long!
Step 8: Foundation!!! I used L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder*. I don't know what kind of witchcraft sorcery this is...but I like it!
Step 9: Blush and contour: I used a random blush with my Sephora blush brush and contoured with a Sigma F05* using my trusty Sephora bronzer! 
Step 10: Lips! I mixed 2 Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Demure & Showy 
That's it!! Now if only I could figure out what to wear :) what look will you be going for?! 
CHEERS!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

MAC WINTER LIP GLOSS REVIEW

MAC Nocturnal Lip Gloss: Nude
You can find this and two other holiday lip gloss bundles at MAC for $32 each! The glosses are creamy and glide on with ease. The above order from Left to Right is Phiff!, Boy Bait, Over Indulgence, Richly Revered. Pfft! is a clear gloss featuring sparkles with lots of gold shimmer, a great color that can be added to any lipstick for extra umph! Boy Bait is a plain nude gloss that looks good on everyone! It can be added to bold lipsticks to tone them down or worn plain to give your lips some shine!! Over Indulgence is a warm peach with brown undertones, it looks great on top of a nude and coral lips. Richly Revered is the darkest gloss, featuring a plum brown color that looks great on top of a berry lip! I am really enjoying each of these as they go with my every day natural smokey look.
Whats your favorite MAC holiday bundle?!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lush Review

DARK ANGELS 
FACIAL CLEANSER

Product Description: Black sugar and charcoal gently exfoliate and absorb excess oils to leave dull, oily and acne-prone skin with a clean, matte finish. Calms redness and irritation. Antimicrobial rhassoul mud deep cleanses to help prevent breakouts while vitamin rich cold-pressed organic avocado oil nourishes skin to leave it soft and hydrated.

How to use: Wet face with warm water. Take pea sized amount of product and dampen in  palm to create a paste. Massage paste all over face in small circular motions. Rinse and pat dry.

Review: This is GREAT for exfoliating. The product feels gritty and is surprisingly gentle on sensitive skin. Overall great cleanser, unclogs pores and reveals glowing skin after one wash! The only two things I will warn about are the smell and intensity of the products chemistry. The smell of charcoal is a bit pungent,you will smell strongly of a grill for a few minutes!! The products chemistry includes charcoal, black sugar, antimicrobial rhassoul MUD... three very dark ingredients that will turn you and your shower black!! Not just a little black, like REAL black! It will also dry onto your shower wall if you happen to go a little crazy while exfoliating! This isn't a problem for me since I have a hose in my shower and can give my walls a quick blast before getting out but if you don't have a hose, be very careful! 

What's your favorite Lush product?!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Falsies Review

Velour Lashes
These lashes are 100% Mink, cruelty free AND can be used up to 25 times! They run about $30 a pair, which is a GREAT deal considering most one-time use falsies range from $4-$10. The packaging is awesome, a magnetic closing box to store the lashes in so that they don't collect dust and bacteria. To clean them all you need to do is peel unwanted glue off and ta-da, you're done! You should never soak these lashes or put any type of chemical cleaner on them. It is best to leave them as product free as possible, which means NO mascara either! These lashes are sturdy and fit perfectly onto the lash line, the application was easier than any other lashes I've ever put on. I will be investing in quite a few more pairs of these. Here is how they look... 

1st Fall FOTD

MAC + L'OREAL FALL FACE
Face of the Day Products:
St. Tropez Tanning Foam (face and neck, well blended)
L'Oreal True Match Lumi foundation
MAC Studio Pressed Powder
NYC Bronzer
MAC Smoulder eye liner
MAC Black Track gel liner
MAC All that Glitters eye shadow 
MAC Carbon eye shadow
MAC Texture eye shadow
MAC Cork eye shadow
Elf Brow palette
NYX Creme Brulee Lip butter
Ardell Lashes (no idea what number!)
Forever 21 Earrings ( LOVE THEM) 
 I love using St. Tropez as a base because it evens out my skin tone, which is naturally splotchy and red. I filled my eyebrows in all the way, and am obsessed with the way they look when they are done! It was scary at first (very caveman-ish), but once I put the rest of my face on, my brows pulled my whole face together and everything worked! It also helps to go around your brow with a concealer brush and really make them look crisply manicured. The elf palette I use to fill them in has both a gel and a powder. Concealer is great for erasing any of the powder that gets loose on your face! I applied my Lumi foundation with a flat kabuki brush and touched up any problem areas with a concealer brush. Once those liquids were on, I set them with a few swipes of pressed powder and went to work on contouring. I have always been a fan of liquid liner, however, lash glue often doesn't care for the kind I use, so I invested in MAC gel liner and I can't get enough....
For eyeshadow I placed All that Glitters on the lid and used the rest of the colors sparingly in the crease to create a brown/black glittery crease. Blend Blend Blend when using dark colors, especially Carbon. If you don't it will look really harsh ... and not in a neat trendy way!
Also, I can't say enough about the Sigma blending brushes I recently got, they are amazing and surprisingly dry very fast after washing, yet ANOTHER bonus! 
That's all for this look :) Pretty basic


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sigma Brush Set

THE PERFECT BLEND

Sigma has recently put out three awesome brush sets that are showing up all over blogs, magazines and websites. I have a few MAC brushes and am pretty loyal to ecotools, but with all the attention Sigma continually gets, I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. My mom got me The Perfect Blend set for my Birthday this past weekend. The set is made for blending, buffing and diffusing multiple eye colors. It comes with six awesome brushes, most of which are exactly what you would expect, however a few take you by surprise! The quality of the bristles is great, they are soft and the handle is nice and strong. I have experienced no shedding and have been able to achieve a blend like never before in just a matter of seconds. 

Here's what came in my package: A free gift, a product flyer with their new winter line, a brush chart which shows all of the brushes in each of the three sets, and the brushes in a nice white box.

  The gift is a traveling blending brush of high quality, a very nice surprise!  


Here are the brushes!

 Each brush plays an important roll in creating a flawless blended look. The E48 was a brush I had never seen before, it is very similar to a few paint brushes I have painted with, but nothing I have ever blended or placed product with! I was confused at first about how to go about using it as the bristles are twice as long as all of the other brushes! After doing some research and checking out the Sigma site, plus other reviews, I finally perfected the use of this brush. Its pointed tip is used to pick up darker crease colors and places them without creating an immediate dramatic line. Swiping the product back and forth immediately blends without needing additional buffing. The E37, E38 and E39 go hand in hand in creating a seamless transition of colors while the E32 allows for perfect placement of highly pigmented colors and the E71 places highlight color that pulls any look together. The looks I have been able to create with these six brushes have turned out wonderfully, I can't wait to bring them to the next wedding/ event I do, as the time spent blending is far less than with any other brushes I have used. I would love to get the other two brush sets as well as their face sets! Each 5-6 brush set retails for anywhere between $65-$90. Although pricey, I'd say they are worth every penny!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Brush Cleaning 101

New and Improved Routine!
Howdy! Last year I did a blog about my old brush cleaning routine. I used that method for quite some time, but as I started investing in higher quality brushes I discovered I needed a different way. After lots of researching I found what I believe is the most effective way to clean and condition brushes in the least amount of time! The other great thing is that you don't need to go buy a fancy brush shampoo, you probably have all the supplies right in your kitchen! 

Here's what you need:
A plate of some sort
Olive Oil
Dish Soap
Dirty Brushes
Warm Water
Green Tea optional :)

Step 1: Squirt dish soap on half of the plate
 Step 2. Pour Olive Oil on the other half

If you have 15+ brushes to clean, it's going to look something like this. Use less if you have only a few brushes to clean off!

Step 3. Gather the brushes that you want to wash!
Step 4: Take a brush and dip it into both sides of the plate so that it is coated with soap and oil.
Step 5: Swirl around your soap and oil covered brush on the palm of your hand. This is a painters method that is used to get hard to clean oil paints out of brushes. Continue swirling until color begins leaving the brush, then rinse with warm water. 

Steps 3,4 & 5 are pictures below!

 Step 6: Once rinsed thoroughly, pat dry with a clean towel and examine for any left over color. My brush has a white tint to the bristles rather than the pinky purple one it started out with. Now I can move to the next step! If you still spot color, give it another swirl in the mixture, don't be afraid to be generous!
Step 7: Find a fitted brush cover and slide it from the bottom of the brush, to the top of the brush. These covers help keep the bristles from collecting dust or other dirty particles, they also are used to keep excess water from weakening the glue  inside of your brush. You never want to let your brushes dry flat on the counter, water can still be trapped inside. Instead you want to dry the brush upside down!
Step 8: Find a nice dry cup and place your brushes upside down in the cup, allowing water to leak out instead of expanding the glue and wood inside your brush!  

Steps 6,7,& 8 are pictured below!
TADA! That's it! Your brushes are now germ free, product free and conditioned thanks to the soap and oil! Give them a few hours to dry and remember to do this frequently!! It is very important to wash out stippling brushes or anything that you use for foundation or eyeliner, as those products tend to be liquid and can horde more bacteria. How do you clean your brushes?! Let me know what you think of this method if you give it a shot!! Cheers <3


Monday, October 28, 2013

Perfect Fall MAC Colors

MAC ATTACK

Some might say I have a problem, but I just cant resist buying at least one MAC shadow every time I pass the store! I have always loved the big Sephora Brands, but it wasn't until recently that I started investing in MAC eye shadows. I had always worried about spending my money on MAC foundation and powders to make sure the rest of my face looked flawless whenever I decided to do myself up.

 I am SO glad I splurged a few months back and bought my first two colors, Cork and Satin Taupe. Now I have expanded my collection to about 8 shadows and will continue my collection as money allows. The colors I invested in were chosen carefully as I knew I would need colors that I could do a lot with since I'd only have a few for the time being!
 Here are the swatches :


All that Glitters and Texture go beautifully together, Naked Lunch and Satin Taupe look amazing, Brulee and Cork... the list goes on! The best is that the colors pictured on the bottom have an iridescent chemistry, making them really pop if you use a semi matte color in the crease. Shroom is also one of the most highly rated highlighters you can purchase and it looks great over any shadow! FOTD to come shortly using these pictures, but I am currently broken out and busy busy busy!! Whats your favorite eyeshadow?
 Have you ever tried MAC shadows?


Sunday, October 13, 2013

No-Poo Challenge

THE WORLD OF NOT SHAMPOOING

About three weeks ago I stumbled upon an article about weening your hair off of shampoo and conditioner. The fact is, we use shampoo to rid our locks and scalps of oil build up, and then we add conditioner to smooth out our hair/give it a healthy shine. 

Using these products has tricked out scalps into over production mode. By that, I mean that shampoos and conditioners are sending a message to our scalps to produce oils continuously  because it is repetitively being stripped. Rumor has it, that if you stop shampooing, your hair will knock off the overproduction and allow you to go many grease free days until washing again. 

Let it be known that I have the OILIEST head in America. I can't shower at night because by the time I wake up my hair is ropey in the back, and my hairline and behind my ears are a shade darker than the rest of my head because the beginning phases of greasy nastiness have begun. There was no way I would be able to be "poo" free for more than 24 hours.

Knowing that this could be disgusting and terrible, I decided to give it a whirl. I had to. My hair is curly, greasy, wild and a unmanageable as it is. It takes me 10 minutes to wash it, and 30+ to style it straight (which I've quit doing because it just takes too long). I was willing to try anything to condense my morning routine.

The first week my washing schedule was Saturday(shampooed)- Wednesday(shampooed)- Saturday(shampooed). I used the two dry shampoos below. On the 2-3rd day (the worst) I tossed up my hair in a curly bun, paired with a glittery bean band, and no one knew how truly disgusting my hair was! 



    Not Your Mothers Clean Freak Dry Shampoo is literally baby powder in a spray can. 
It smells nice and is good at sucking up all the oil without
adding any strange elements to your hair. 
Plus it's pretty cheap!

Big Sexy Hair makes a product called Volumizing Dry Shampoo. I've been after it for about 6 months now, but couldn't fathom spending $13 on a bottle of dry shampoo that didn't have many reviews. I finally splurged when Target had one mega bottle left of this stuff for the same price as the regular bottle. I'm not a huge fan of this product for what I need it for. However, it is great for adding texture and volume. It gives your hair a tacky sticky feeling and allows you to mold and manipulate it however you'd like.
 It does take shine out of your hair, and has a strong scent (as most of their products do) but at least it smells good!

The second week I went from Saturday(Shampooed) to Tuesday(Shampooed) while experimenting with  other forms of Dry Shampoos. My Not Your Mothers Dry Shampoo was running low, and the Big Sexy Hair put too much product and build up on my scalp. I went back to my good old fashion Corn starch method which worked like a charm. I mix up a baggy of corn starch and coco powder and use a large blush brush to dust  it around my hairline and behind my ears. It works wonders. 

Yesterday (Saturday), I decided I was going to try another new experiment. I wasn't going to use shampoo or conditioner. Instead I was going to use 1 Tbsp of Baking Soda mixed with 1 Cup of water as my shampoo, and 1 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 1 Cup of warm water as my conditioner. This combo clarifies and balances the oils on your scalp. I woke up this morning oil free with tons of volume. Check it out...
Not only does the "no-poo" method slash time off of your morning routine, but it makes your hair healthier, cuts down on cost for products and really looks great. I am now able to go 2-3 days without washing OR putting any type of oil absorbent on my scalp. Give it a try, it will take your scalp 2-4 weeks to get used to, but the longer your use this method, the longer you can go without shampooing! Good Luck! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

FOTD

FACE OF THE DAY- QUICKIE VERSION
It's September in Maryland, which means the weather has NO idea what's going on! It's 80 degrees some days, but the leaves are changin' and the evenings and early mornings are nippy! In my book that means its the perfect time to use my Fall Festival Palette in all of its golden, copper glory!
 
Here's what I did:
1. Prime with UD primer potion
2. Dust the lid with Naked Lunch by MAC
3. Place all golden and copper colors in the crease and blend out with fluffy brush
4. Cut crease with Carbon shadow by MAC
5. Use purple color from Fall Festival and line bottom lash line as well as blend into crease.
6. Throw on falsies.
7. Blend Match master foundation on face and neck
8. Use Blush Too palette from Coastal Scents to contour
9. Put on some chapstick
10. Sprits with Studio Fix+  by MAC

 
TA-DA! Easy FOTD in under 10 mins :)
 
Sorry I've been on and off of here. Its my first full year teaching, Kevin and I have been doing Insanity every day after work, I'm helping my sister grow her business, trying to plan a wedding and figure out graduate school! Things are HECTIC! Hopefully I'll get some more time in the coming weeks to post a few fun fall looks. Let me know of any requests :)
 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Budget vs Big Buy Facial Primers

QUIK NOTE: Sorry I've been away for a few weeks, school just started and I'm teaching six different subjects PLUS driving my kids to and from school plus helping my sister grow her business by creating product for her plus doing Insanity with Kevin...things have been a little hectic! I'm ironing out time in my schedule to make sure my favorite thing ever (blogging) doesn't get sacrificed, hopefully I can at least blog on Sunday mornings!
 
Monistat vs Smashbox
You guys saw this photo in my last post where I said that wearing a primer is one of my 5 rules of thumb for makeup. I love, love, love, Smashbox, I've been using it for as long as I can remember for special occasions while dabbling in cheaper products to use for every day wear. A bottle of Smashbox is $36, a pretty steep price for a primer. However it has 5 star ratings on nearly every review site, so to some the price is no biggie.
After going through countless other primers, I noticed that none felt quite as silky as Smashbox, if they did they melted off within a few hours. This summer I ran out of my Smashbox, as a teacher my bank account is hurting during those summer months, so I started looking up dupes and came across Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel. I felt a little silly putting hoo-ha cream on my face, but there are countless reviews, ratings and testimonials PRAISING Monistat, so with its $6 price tag, I had to try it!
Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel has almost exactly the same ingredients as Smashbox Photo Finish, however, Smashbox has more additives. The textures are truly exactly the same and the Monistat also does not clog pores. I wanted to use this for a few weeks before posting a review, to make sure the switch is truly worth it, and I am SO happy to report that I will never again pay $36 for an amazing primer! The Monistat really is a true dupe, so quit wasting your hard earned money and head to your local drug store for a bottle for Monistat :) Have you made the switch yet?
 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Professional Makeup

Makeup for the Office
"Dress for the job you want, not the job you have" is probably my favorite professional quote. In my opinion this can be read as " Apply your makeup for the job you want, not the job you have" as well! Ever see someone come for an interview dressed like a lady of the night, or a circus performer? I know I have! There are a few general rules for a "professional" long lasting look. Depending on your field some rules can certainly vary!

Here are my 5 rules of thumb for
 office worthy makeup

1. Stay natural: Use natural tones that compliment your skin. I use a lot of browns and plums. Brown gives my skin dimension and allows me to contour the crease without being too loud, and plums bring out the green in my Hazel eyes.
NAKED PALETTE BY URBAN DECAY

2. Always use a primer: Primer helps your makeup stay put, all day, no matter what. It also aides in facial makeup application. Foundations and concealers will go on much smoother and stay put longer! Yes, I use Hoo-Ha cream as a primer...I will tell you why in a post this week :)
3. If using eye makeup use an eyelid primer: Eye primers help every color in your look stay put and keep their true color. They are also great for covering any natural lid color you may have. Many people have darker lids, or broken capillaries across the lid. Primer will create a clean palette for your shadows, I love Primer Potion by Urban Decay.
4. When lining, use a liquid liner: Liquid liner stays on longer than a pencil, and doesn't rub or melt off. Pencils have a tendency to smudge and run, nobody enjoys raccoon eyes, and you wont be running back and forth to the rest room to touch up! Liquid also provides a nice clean line, especially L'Oreal Intense Felt Tip Liner Pen.
5. Use a Setting Spray: Setting Spray is extra insurance for your makeup. After I've completed my look for the day, I spritz on Setting Spray which keeps everything in tact! I use All Nighter for Weddings and Special events, but NYX for my every day personal use. Stay tuned for reviews on both of these !





Friday, August 16, 2013

Treat Yo Self

Face Mask Review
Who doesn't love a good face mask? I've been doing masks for ages, and have tried everything from the single gel mask packets at walmart, to high end clay masks.  I have been on a mission lately to find little luxuries for cheap. Being teachers with the summers off leaves us on a tight budget, so I've got to be extra thrifty and put my shopping addiction to the side...at least the expensive part! I found these bottles at ULTA, they were buy 1 get 1 free and on sale for only $2.99 each!
The Freeman brand makes gel peel masks as well, but I'm not into those as much. I love the intense clean of a clay mask, the way your skin gets tight and you can hardly talk when its completely dry! It makes me feel like its actually working.
REVIEW
Avocado & Oatmeal:  Claims to "purge pores". I did notice my pores looked smaller afterwards, so it definitely cleaned them out. The clay did that great skin tightening suction thing that I love so much, and took about 15 minutes to really dry. I like to cake this stuff on, so I look crazy and can scare Kevin :) Overall, the mask was great, it didn't have a strong odor, which some can surely have, it came off quickly with a bit of warm water. I give it a 10/10 
 Mint & Lemon: Claims to be a "deep pore cleanser". It smells heavenly and it hurts to smile, which means its doing that suction, skin tightening thing ( HORRAY) !! It dries at the same rate of the Avocado & Oatmeal mask which I love, and its fresh calming scent makes waiting seem like a pampering spa experience. I have been breaking out pretty badly the past few days so hopefully this will clear it all up! 10/10
 
TIP/ TRICK
If you wake up with a pimple, or notice one forming, put a nice dab of any clay mask on top. It will suck the oils out and dry up the blemish. This trick has saved me many times! Unfortunately, this last breakout was due to an allergic reaction, but I think these masks are going to work their magic in clearing it all up for me :)
 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

FOTD

Sugarpill's Sweetheart Palette!
My Face of the Day was created by using my Sweetheart Palette by Sugarpill. I've missed using these wacky, bright, super fun colors, so I brought em back out and figure I'll use them over the next few days before I have to head back into work! The Sweetheart palette features four highly pigmented powdered shadows that can be applied both dry and wet. I apply wet as you pick up a bit more color and it transfers well from brush to lid. The four colors, are blue (Afterparty), green (Midori), pink (Dollipop) and white (Tako).
 Here's what I did
1.I primed my lid with UD Primer Potion and added a base of NYX white shadow base. Then I waited a few minutes for it to dry so that I could add the shadow!
2. I tapped a stiff shadow brush into saline solution, and picked up Midori. I patted Midori across my lid, keeping it out of my crease.
3. I went into the crease lightly with Afterparty, and blended out to the corners, carrying it down to my bottom lash line.
4. Blend Blend Blend, Midori and Afterparty together!
5. Add Dollipop to inner corner of bottom lash line, connecting it to the Afterparty that was brought down in step 2.
6. Line lids with green liquid liner
7. Apply falsies
8. Line waterline with smolder from MAC
9. Apply foundation
10. Contour your face :)
Lastly, party like a rockstar!! As you can see, Sugarpill products pick up very well when being photographed. They are rich and awesome and very fun to use, you can buy them right here !

Do you have any Sugarpill products?! If so, which are your favorite?!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Palette Favorites

My Everyday Palette
I refer to this palette in probably 80% of my posts, so I thought I would do an entire post on it! You can buy it right here! It's only $12.99 and Coastal Scents usually runs fantastic sales so you can even get it for a few bucks cheaper if you're ok with waiting! The colors are amazing, the palette is magnetic and the pods of course are metal so that you can rearrange and replace colors as needed! Here are the twelve fantastically pigmented, fun, fall themed colors... I shot a picture from each side of the palette so you could get a good idea of the colors near the flash and further from the flash.
The two light colors (which I have placed next to each other) are called Chamois Nude and Light Apricot. I use Light Apricot as a base in most of my every day looks, and Chamois Nude as a highlight. The palette is full of mostly metallic and shimmery colors. Chamois Nude is the only matte shadow. All of them can be applied wet or dry, and none of them have too much shimmer or glitter. They remind me of Shimmer Cubes from the Body Shop, however, there is more product, more colors to choose from and its a heck of a lot cheaper! Coastal Scents offers palettes for all eye colors, seasons and skin tones. If browns aren't your cup of tea, make sure you check out the rest of their palettes! I'm positive you will find something you absolutely love! I use the Smokey Eye Palette, the Blush Too Palette and the Eclipse Concealer Palette all of which I highly recommend!