September Favorites (& One UnFavorite!)

Well here we are, another month is coming to an end! Although I love the summer months, I have to say, I’m actually looking forward to the upcoming cooler weather. This month, I tried out lots of new products and found several winners. Read on to find out what products were hits, and which product was a total miss!

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1. L’Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Makeup: I recently purchased this foundation at Target after reading some good reviews about it. After trying the product, I wrote my own review on it. Obviously, I really like it since it is in my Favorites this month. It offers just enough coverage for my skin, and if I need a little more coverage, it is very buildable. Since this foundation is a liquid to powder formula, it dries to a nice matte finish, but I still look like I have fresh, healthy skin.

IMG_34622. L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Amber Rush: This product was a total impulse purchase. After picking out the Magic Nude Liquid Powder foundation, I was browsing the other L’Oreal makeup and this one caught my eye. It’s a bronzey, rose gold color (check out my attempt at a swatch on the left–I promise it looks better in person!) that is shimmery and looks so beautiful on the skin. I’ve been wearing it constantly as an eye shadow or liner. However, my favorite way to wear this shadow is on my lower lashline and smudging it out to create a smoky effect. It’s creaseless and lasts all day without budging! Buy it!

3. Maybelline Volum’ Express One by One Mascara: This is another product I’ve previously reviewed, and I couldn’t resist adding it to my Favorites list this month. I’ve tried so many different drugstore and high-end mascaras, but I keep going back to this one. It volumizes my lashes and doesn’t clump at all. Also, if you’re into layering your mascaras, this one works great as a base coat.

IMG_34684. Trader Joe’s Pomegranate White Tea: I’ve been getting into drinking tea recently, and picked this up on a recent trip to Trader Joe’s. I normally drink green teas, so this white tea was new for me. I don’t add any sugar or honey to my tea and this particular flavor is delicious. And it’s pink, so what’s not to like?

5. Nivea Sun-Kissed Radiance Gradual Tanner: Although I like being nice and bronzed, I try to limit my sun exposure. For that reason, I’ve tried out many different sunless tanners in the hopes of achieving that perfect summer glow. I’m a big fan of gradual tanners because they’re pretty much foolproof. However, they don’t always smell the best. What I love about this gradual tanner from Nivea is its fresh, citrus scent. I can put it on in the morning, do my thing all day, and not even catch a whiff of that telltale sunless tanner scent. It’s a miracle!

6. NYC Smooth Skin Loose Translucent Face Powder: I used to use loose powder all the time, and when I decided I wanted a translucent powder, I decided to try this one out. It was only a few dollars and I absolutely love it! Since it’s translucent, I don’t have to worry about it matching my skin tone exactly. I also feel like it keeps my skin looking matte longer than a regular pressed powder. Plus, did I mention it’s only a few dollars? It’s a little messy so I wouldn’t recommend it for travel, but it’s perfect to use at home to keep your makeup in place.

My September UnFavorite:

Sally Hansen Wax Kit: I picked this kit up after reading good reviews on it. I’ve never tried waxing because it really hurts (obviously) but this one claimed to be pain-free because of a pre-wax treatment that numbs the skin. I decided to try it out and, after reading and following all the directions to a tee, it still hurt like a mother. I didn’t expect it to be completely pain-free, but man, did it hurt! And on top of that, it left my skin red and irritated for several days. I tried it again a couple days later and had the same outcome. Do yourself a favor and don’t get this product. Unless you like having painfully irritated, red skin. Ouch.

Do you have any favorite products from the past month? Let me know if the comments section so I can check them out!

What’s in my Bag??

I’ve been wanting to do a “What’s in my Bag?” post for a while because I love reading other people’s posts on the subject. I even tried to film a “What’s in my Bag?” video, but it was just way too awkward and I wasn’t going to put you all through that! 

In case you’re wondering, my bag is the Speedy 30 Bandouliere by Louis Vuitton. Honestly, I never thought I would own a bag like this, but once I saw it, I fell in love and had to have it!

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This bag may look a bit small, but I’m always amazed by how much it holds. A few essentials I carry around with me are my aviator sunglasses, iPhone (not pictured because I was using it to take these pictures!), gum, headphones, ibuprofen (in case of headaches), hand cream, a manicure kit from Sephora, and five (yes, FIVE) frozen yogurt spoons in case I’m feeling extra hungry and feel the need to eat that many bowls of fro-yo.

Obviously, I can’t go anywhere without my wallet. I’m so in love with my polka dot wallet by Kate Spade. I purchased it from eBay several years ago and the pink zipper pull is really what sold me on it. It’s held up really well over the years and I’m very happy with it! I definitely recommend Kate Spade’s wallets if you’re looking for a cute, durable wallet that will put a smile on your face every time you look at it!

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Last, but certainly not least, are my makeup/in case of emergency bags. I’m not one for carrying my whole makeup collection around with me, so the most I usually have on hand is some pressed powder and lip gloss. LOTS of lip gloss. I also have oil-blotting sheets, hand sanitizer and a Coach Poppy perfume sample.

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What essentials do you carry in your bag? Feel free to share your “What’s in my Bag?” posts with me…I’d love to read them!

HUGE Sephora Haul+Reviews

If you know me at all, you know I’m totally into online shopping. So when I got an email from Sephora offering me triple points on my online purchase, I decided that now might be the time to finally try the Hourglass foundation I’ve been lusting after. Then, I got another email offering me all kinds of awesome, deluxe samples for being a VIB and I couldn’t resist. I only ended up paying for two products, but got so much awesome free stuff!

So, here it is, my latest beauty haul:

IMG_3347Hello Kitty Fragrance: Yes, I know I’m not 12 anymore, but I still can’t resist anything that has Hello Kitty on it. And this perfume actually smells nice! It has a few floral notes like freesia, magnolia and orange flower, but also has a nice musky finish which I’m definitely a fan of. Plus the packaging is so cute…no-brainer!

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation: This was a MAJOR splurge for me. However, I’ve been wanting to try it for a very long time in the hopes that it would help calm my oily skin. After reading reviews and watching plenty of YouTube videos on the product, I purchased it in Golden and it is a pretty good match to my skin tone. Although it’s a great foundation that leaves a nice, matte finish, I’m not sure it works as well as I was expecting. Because of that, I’m considering returning it.

(Now on to the FREE stuff!)

The Greatest Hits Collection by Makeup Forever: I’ve been wanting to try this brand for, well, forever so I cashed in some of my VIB points for this little kit. Included in the vinyl makeup bag was the HD Microfinish Powder, HD Microperfecting Primer, Sens’Eyes Waterproof Sensitive Eye Cleanser, and an Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in Black.

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VIB Celebration Sample Bag:

  • First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser: I don’t see the point of spending tons of money on a face wash. After all, you’re basically pouring it down the  sink. However, this is a nice, unscented cleanser that left my skin looking and feeling great. I definitely recommend it to those of you with sensitive skin!
  • Stila Lip Glaze in Apricot: I have been wanting to try this gloss for a very long time. But like many girls, I’ve got an insanely large collection of lip gloss, so I could never justify making the purchase. I was so happy when I received this product and it definitely lives up to my expectations. It’s a peachy, nude color and the gloss stays put for a very long time! It has become one of my new favorites!

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  • L’Occitane Hand Cream in Shea Butter: I already own (and love!) the full-sized version of this hand cream. This one is a travel size that will fit perfectly into a smaller purse or clutch. It’s also unscented which I prefer because it won’t interfere with any other fragrance I may already be wearing.
  • Sephora Eye Shadow in Mirror: I’m not a huge fan of dark shadows on my eyes, but this one is so pretty and shimmery! I’ll definitely wear it as a liner or smoke it out on my lower lash line for a night out.
  • Benefit BADgal Lash Mascara: I’ve heard a lot of good things about this mascara but I don’t think it’s for me. I’m not crazy about the wand and I felt like it flaked a little too much. I still prefer my Maybelline One by One mascara.
  • Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Dolly: I already own a deluxe sample size of this lip gloss in the color Katie, a light shimmery pink and it’s wonderful. This color has the same staying power, but the color is a little more muave. I don’t like wearing a ton of color on my lips, and this gloss gives just a hint of berry color with a little shimmer. It’s perfect for those times when I want to take my look up a notch!
  • Hanae Mori Eau de Toilette: Trying new fragrances is one of my favorite things, so I always love getting perfume samples. Although this is considered a men’s fragrance, it could definetely pass as a unisex fragrace. It’s a warm, spicy fragrance that I could definetely see myself wearing more during the colder months.

Have you tried any of these products? Tell me what you think about them in the comments! And if you have a haul post on your blog, leave me the link–I’d love to check it out!

 

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Product Review: L’Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Makeup

Ok, I’ll admit it: I spend a fair amount of my free time watching makeup videos on YouTube and reading product reviews. Call it a guilty pleasure, but I really do enjoy it! During a recent YouTube binge, I came across a review of one of L’Oreal’s newest products, Magic Nude Liquid Powder Bare Skin Perfecting Makeup (whew…one word, L’Oreal: EDIT).

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What first appealed to me about this product was the fact that it claims to transform from a liquid to a matte powder finish. This sounded a bit like the much-buzzed-about Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation by Hourglass. It also has SPF 18 which is always a nice bonus! Of course I proceeded to watch as many videos as I could stand and I even read a few reviews on the product. I decided I needed to go out that night and get it. At Target. Obviously. 

I had a really hard time deciding on a shade in the store. Most of the shades looked about the same in the bottle, but I settled on Nude Beige which ended up being a pretty good match for my skin tone (I also wear Nude Beige in L’Oreal’s True Match foundation, if that helps).

IMG_3340I tried this makeup for the first time yesterday. First, I applied Benefit’s POREfessional to my face, and after shaking well, I applied the Magic Nude makeup with my fingers per the bottle’s instructions (see right). I prefer using a brush, but hey, there’s a first time for everything, right? The makeup applied smoothly and offered light to medium coverage. Besides having a few small breakouts, I don’t have any major skin issues, so a full coverage foundation isn’t necessary. If you feel like you need more coverage though, you can definitely add a second layer.

Once the product was all blended in, I followed with my usual concealer and a light dusting of translucent powder. My skin looked pretty great! I really like natural-looking makeup and this product definitely gave me that effect.

After a full day of work and running errands, my skin still looked good by the end of the day. I feel like the makeup helped my skin stay somewhat shine-free throughout the day, but I still won’t be giving up my oil-blotting sheets any time soon.

If you’re looking for a light to medium coverage makeup that will leave your skin looking natural, give Magic Nude a try. It’s definitely much, much cheaper than other liquid to powder foundations, and I actually enjoy applying it! If you have tried it, let me know what you think in the comments section!

Seven Summer Beauty Favorites

With Labor Day festivities behind us, it’s time to start thinking about fall. However, with the sun beating down, it still feels like summer, at least to me! Here are the seven beauty favorites I couldn’t stop using this summer…and probably won’t stop using now that fall is right around the corner:

1. Benefit The POREfessional–This primer was featured in my Benefit haul post and I can’t imagine starting my day without it. It makes my face feel soft and smooth and it is the perfect way to prep my face for makeup. Just get it already. You know you want to!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA2. Mark i-mark Eye shadow in Fairy Dust–Dark, heavy eye shadow just isn’t for me, especially during the hot days of summer. However, this champagne colored eyeshadow by Mark is a must-have. It can be layered to create a natural, shimmery look or used alone as an eye shadow base. FYI, I like to use it with Mark’s All Over Eye Shadow Brush.

3. Garnier Fructis Surf Hair–As someone who has fine, straight hair that refuses to hold any kind of curl, this stuff is a miracle worker. All I have to do is scrunch it in my wet hair, let it air dry and I’ve got wavy, beachy hair that LASTS.  

4. Benefit Erase Paste–My sleep schedule for the last few months has been a little crazy so, naturally, my under eye situation has been less than ideal. When normal under eye concealer isn’t quite enough, I add a dab of this eye-brightening concealer on top and I look like I’ve managed to get at least a few hours of sleep.

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5. Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Ticket to Brazil–One of my five beauty favorites, this bronzer is such a bargain. I replaced my NARS Laguna bronzer with this product and I definitely don’t miss the higher priced version. This powder bronzer is perfect for adding an extra glow to your face and body and it also won’t break the bank!

2_bottle6. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat–I’ll be honest, I can’t walk past a display of nail polish without stopping to look. Because of that, I have a pretty big nail polish collection and I like to change my polish color often. This process used to take much longer before I discovered this amazing top coat. I can apply it to my nails while they’re still drying and–magically–they’re dry! Say what?? It’s seriously changed my life.

7. Oil-Absorbing Sheets–These are easy to find at any drugstore and I always have some on hand. If you have oily skin like me, the summertime heat isn’t doing you any favors. I really prefer these to remove excess shine from my face instead of having to apply more makeup.

 

Have you tried any of these products? What is your summer beauty must-have?