March Favorites

Happy Spring! Or, if you’re like me, you’re still waiting for spring and wondering if it will ever stop snowing.

While I wait for the sun to come out, I’ve taken some time to try out a few new products and go back to an old favorite. Read on to see what I was loving during the month of March!

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  1. Glossier Solution – It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Glossier. However, I was skeptical about Solution when my roommate purchased it and had a bad reaction. She let me try it out and I’m happy to report I’ve been using it for about a month with no issues. I use the toner every night and my skin feels smoother and I haven’t had a single breakout.
  2. Zoya Nail Polish in Kennedy – I discovered this color while treating myself to a manicure months ago. I loved it so much I had to purchase it for at-home manicures and have been using it religiously ever since. This shade is a beautiful nude that always makes me feel a bit more put together.
  3. OLEHENRIKSEN Transforming Walnut Scrub – One of my favorite skin care treatments is scrubs. This particular one was included in a recent Sephora gift-with-purchase and I’ve really enjoyed using it. It contains walnut powder and is gentle enough to be used several times a week.
  4. Olay Regenerist Microsculpting Cream – I grew up watching my mom apply her Olay products every day so it’s no surprise that I now use them (and occasionally borrow hers when I’m home!). I’ve tried many high end facial creams but continue going back to this affordable option. I use it every night and wake up with soft, hydrated skin.

 

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Updated Nighttime Skincare Routine

As I get older (the big 2-9 is fast approaching), I’ve made an effort to up my skincare game. I posted a night time skin care routine last year, but have since made quite a few changes.

My skin is somewhat oily and breakout prone but I’m also working to prevent signs of aging. My current routine is the perfect amount of acne fighting and fine line prevention and I’ve really been loving my skin lately.

Below is my full night time skin care routine. It might seem a bit excessive but it works. I’ll admit I don’t do all these steps every night, but when I do, I can definitely tell a difference in my skin.

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  1. Cleansing Balm: When I feel like I’ve really caked on my makeup, I count on Clinique’s Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm to remove every ounce of makeup. It takes off everything from foundation to mascara and I couldn’t be happier with it.
  2. Cleanser: I’m a big fan of Neutrogena’s cleansers and am currently using their Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser. It smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh.
  3. Toner: This Acne Stress Control Triple-Action Toner is yet another Neutrogena product I love. I use it day and night to get my skin squeaky clean and prevent future breakouts. I really think it’s made a difference in the amount of breakouts I’ve had and I highly recommend it.
  4. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil: I know. This retinol face oil is crazy expensive. However, purchase this set for a bit of a price break and give it a try. I’ve used this sleeping oil for a few months and have noticed such an improvement in my skin. Trust me, it’s worth the investment.
  5. Moisturizer: After letting the Sunday Riley oil sink in for a few minutes, I apply a bit of the Olay Regenerist Sculpting Face Cream to my face and neck. It’s affordable and moisturizes the skin without causing breakouts.
  6. Eye Cream: I recently came across the Glow by Dr. Brandt Revitalizing Retinol Eye Cream and I’m obsessed with it. It contains retinol and mosturizes the eye area while preventing and reducing fine lines.
  7. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate: Finally, after all the above mentioned products have had time to sink in, I pat this oil on my face to seal everything in. It can also be used on your hands, feet, or in a warm bath.

What are your favorite skin care products?

 

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Mini Sephora Haul

You know when you’re trying to save money so you cut back on buying makeup you don’t really need but then you run out of a product you actually do need so you use that as an excuse to visit Sephora’s website only to realize you only need to spend a few more dollars to get free shipping, plus the exclusive free gift with purchase and obligatory free samples and by the time you’re done it feels like Sephora is actually paying YOU?

Yeah, that’s what happened here.

Although it could have been much worse, I only ended up with the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder and Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer plus the aforementioned free gift and samples, of course.

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Even though it’s a cult product, I’m still on the fence about the setting powder. However, the Smashbox primer is a keeper. It smooths, softens and evens out my skin and is the perfect product to prep my face before applying makeup.

Have you tried either of these products?

 

 

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Product Review: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation

IMG_5068I picked up the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation at Sephora recently because I had heard lots of good things about it. My favorite foundation is by Tarte so the bar was set pretty high for this makeup.

Let me start by saying that the packaging of this foundation is not the easiest to work with. It features an eye dropper dispenser and can get a little messy if you’re not careful.

The product itself is a lightweight, light to medium coverage water based foundation. I got the shade Light Medium Honey which is perfect for summer but I probably couldn’t get away with this color in the winter.

The first thing I noticed when using this foundation is the fact that I needed to use a lot more product than I thought I would. It blends out just fine and dries to a pretty matte finish but I still used a powder on top. My skin has been a tad red these days and this foundation covered any redness pretty well.

Throughout the day this foundation lasted on the skin. It didn’t make me oily or break up on my skin, even through a sweaty spur of the moment workout. I do have a couple dry spots on my face that the foundation didn’t get along with so if you have dry skin you may want to pass on this foundation.

I was slightly disappointed that this foundation was a little heavier looking than I thought it would be. However, maybe I used to much product in my attempts to achieve a fuller coverage look (side note: I used less product today but still wasn’t impressed with how my skin looked).

All in all I think this is a good foundation. It wears well throughout the day and helped control oiliness. Although I like this foundation, I wasn’t wowed by it and probably won’t be repurchasing it.

Have you tried this foundation? Tell me your thoughts in the Comments section!

 

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April Favorites

Well it seems that April has flown by and here we are at the beginning of another month (yikes!). April was very busy for me and I’m so glad to finally have some time to write a new blog post. Read on to see what beauty products I was loving throughout April.

Tell me what you’ve been obsessed with lately in the Comments section!

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It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro-Powder – I’m always on the hunt for a nice setting powder. This one from It Cosmetics is translucent and makes my skin feel silky smooth as the name implies. It keeps me matte for quite a while and also works well for baking.

Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer – I used to use this primer all the time and I recently went back to it. It smooths everything out and reduces the look of pores on my face. Plus it’s available in a cute travel friendly mini size…perfect for my busy lifestyle!

AcneFree Terminator 10 – While the packaging of this acne product may be a little cheesy, I think it works really well. Applied to blemishes at night or in the morning, this benzoyl peroxide knocks out breakouts quickly.

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop – I picked this beautiful highlighter up during my recent trip to LA and I’ve worn it nonstop. It’s a lovely golden hued highlighter that looks beautiful with any makeup look. Mine has unfortunately broken but you know I’m not going to let that stop me from using it!

My Top Five Favorite Hair Care Products

While I love all beauty products, makeup holds a special place in my heart. However today’s post is about something I don’t have much expertise in despite my best efforts. That thing is hair.

I’ve never had the patience or skills to do much with my hair so I’ve relied on a few products over the years to help me out.

Below are my top five favorite hair products. What hair care products do you love?

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1. Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner: My hair is pretty fine but I love wearing it long. Because of this it can end up looking a bit flat. This shampoo and conditioner cleans my hair, smells great, and doesn’t leave my hair feeling heavy.

2. Tangle Teezer: After shampooing and conditioning comes a task I used to dread–combing my hair. Since my hair is long and fine I usually end up with a head full of tangles. I recently discovered the Tangle Teezer and I’m not kidding when I say it has changed my life. It glides through knots and makes combing my hair a breeze. I highly recommend investing in a Tangle Teezer!

3. Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo: If you know me, you know I use dry shampoo like it’s going out of style. I’ve tried high end and drugstore brands but keep going back to this one by Dove. It’s affordable, smells decent and does a great job of absorbing excess oil while adding volume to my hair. What more could you ask for?

4. L’Oreal Damage Erasing Balm: When my hair is feeling a bit dry and lifeless, I love this deep conditioner from L’Oreal. It restores my hair without weighing it down. It also happens to smell amazing and is totally affordable.

5. L’Oreal Boost It High Lift Creation Spray: As I mentioned earlier, my hair can get a bit flat sometimes and I’m always looking for easy ways to boost my roots. Enter this root boosting product from L’Oreal. Just spray it in your roots and you’ve got instant volume. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

 

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2015 Beauty Favorites

At the beginning of every year, it’s always nice to take a moment and reflect on the past year. If you happen to be a beauty blogger like me, that usually includes thinking about what makeup products made an impression.

Below are a few of the products that stood out to me in 2015. What were you loving during the last year?

FACE

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  1. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation: I’ve had a longstanding love affair with this foundation so this pick is nothing new. This foundation applies like a dream, lasts all day, and gives your skin a flawless look. What more do you need?
  2. Rimmel Stay Matte Powder: I tried quite a few powders in 2015 (including this high end one) but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that this budget friendly one from Rimmel is the best of the best. As the name implies, it keeps your skin looking matte and doesn’t make your face look cakey or powdery at all.
  3. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer: Like the Tarte foundation I mentioned above, this concealer has been a love of mine for quite a while. It covers dark circles and brightens up my under eye area and it’s a breeze to apply. I can’t go a day without it!
  4. Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream Skin Clearing Perfector: For days when I don’t feel like applying tons of makeup, I reach for this BB Cream from Maybelline. It offers light coverage but still does a great job at evening out my skin tone. This BB cream also contains salicylic acid to clear skin while it covers!

EYES

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  1. Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara: I feel like I’m always on the hunt for the perfect mascara. I tried out a few different high end and drugstore mascaras over the past year but always came back to this one from Too Faced. It gives tons of volume and length without clumping. Plus the packaging is too cute to pass up!
  2. Charlotte Tilbury Palette La Dolce Vita Eyeshadow Palette: If you read this post, you know I had a tough time making up my mind about this palette. It’s become one of my go-to palettes because it has everything you need (lid color, crease color, highlight, and sparkle) in one handy package.

MULTI-TASKING PRODUCT

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mark. Glowdacious Illuminating Powder: This is a product I rediscovered in 2015 and I am so glad I did! I love applying this to my cheeks when I want a bit of a bronzey glow but each color is great on its own as an eye shadow or even a highlighter.

TOOLS

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  1. Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush: I’ve used this brush from Tarte to apply my foundation for a long time and I still love it. The brush quickly blends out foundation and is definitely worth the investment.
  2. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge: After applying foundation with the Tarte brush mentioned above, I love using this Real Techniques Sponge to press concealer into my skin. It fits perfectly around my under eye area and it’s a much cheaper alternative to some sponges on the market.
  3. Real Techniques Pointed Crease Brush: Part of the Real Techinques Bold Metals Collection, this little brush has come in so handy over the past year. It works well to apply eye shadow to your crease, outer V, and lower lash line.

 

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Product Review: Givenchy Translucent Finish Loose Powder

s1589126-main-hero-300If you saw my last post, you know I recently splurged on a very high end loose powder from Givenchy. After hearing lots of amazing things about this product, I was very excited to try it.

The packaging of this powder is absolutely amazing. It feels so luxurious and fancy and looks gorgeous sitting on a vanity. Inside is a small powder puff that works well to apply the powder to your face.

While this powder made me feel good while I was applying it, it didn’t necessarily live up to my expectations. And with a powder this expensive, my expectations were pretty high!

Although my skin looked beautiful just after applying this powder, I found myself getting shiny only a few hours later. I don’t have super oily skin so this was a tad disappointing and made me question the powder’s high price tag.

After wearing the powder for the next couple of days, I will still unimpressed with its lasting power. I even compared it to another favorite powder, Rimmel’s Stay Matte Powder, and found the Rimmel powder left my skin looking matter longer.

So what’s my final verdict? While this Givenchy powder is pretty fancy, that wasn’t enough to convince me it was worth its price. Unless you’re really feeling like treating yourself, I’d say pass on this pricey powder and head to the drugstore instead.

Sephora Haul + Mini Reviews

Guess who’s back…back again? That’s right, I finally, finally managed to pick up a new laptop and this blog post is long overdue.

I treated myself to a few goodies during last month’s Sephora VIB sale. Read on to see what I picked up and what may be headed back to the store! (P.S. Click here to see a super fast unboxing video.)

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  1. Givenchy Powder Translucent Finish Loose Powder: This powder is definitely a luxury product. The packaging is so glamorous and makes you feel super fancy. However, that wasn’t enough for me and I ended up returning this product and sticking to my $3 Rimmel London powder.
  2. Tangle Teezer: Where has this brush been all my life?! I’m not joking when I say this detangling brush has changed my life. Since my hair is long and fine, it doesn’t take much for it to become a tangled mess. But with this brush, detangling is a snap!
  3. Marc Jacobs #Instamarc Light Filtering Contour Powder: This is the first contouring powder I’ve ever tried and…meh. The brightening shade on the left didn’t do much for me and the contour shade on the right was a bit too muddy looking for me. Needless to say, this product went back to the store as well.
  4. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation: This foundation is always a home run for me and this time around wasn’t any different. I love how long-lasting this makeup is while still leaving my skin looking natural.

What have you treated yourself to lately? Tell me in the Comments section so I can try them too!

All About Brushes

As I was trying to decide what to write about next on my little blog, I realized that I talk and talk and talk about different beauty products, but I’ve never really talked about the brushes that I use to apply them. So, today’s post will be all about my most-used brushes and how I like to use them!

s1393628-main-hero1. Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush–I’m not kidding when I say that this brush (pictured at left) changed my life. I used to use a synthetic foundation brush to apply my foundation (and even a gross latex sponge back in middle school and high school) but it was not cutting it. I ordered this brush when I ordered the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation and it’s just a dream. It evenly applies my foundation and makes blending out makeup a breeze. It’s by far the most expensive brush I’ve ever owned, but it’s been totally worth it to me! For a little more info on it, check out this post.

2. Powder Brush–I use two. The first one is the Powder Brush by Mark. I’ve had it for years and I love it, but sometimes it drives me crazy. I’ve “replaced” it with the Powder Brush by Real Techniques but I still find myself reaching for it to apply loose and pressed powders and for applying bronzer when I’m not doing a lot of contouring.

3. Mark Blush + Bronzer Brush–I occasionally use this for blush or bronzer, but only when I want to concentrate color onto my cheeks. Otherwise, I use it as a blending brush to make sure my bronzer and blush are all nice and blended together and I have no harsh lines. The Mark brush is no longer available, but any flat top brush would do the trick.

4. Mark All Over Eye shadow Brush–If I could only use one eye shadow brush, this would be the one. Its shape lets me pack plenty of color onto my lid, but the rounded top lets me blend and even apply color to my crease.

5. Mark Eye Shadow Blending Brush–This brush (see below, left) is mostly used for–you guessed it–blending eye shadow. Whenever I have harsh lines from my eye shadow, I go back in with this brush and smooth everything out. It also works well for lightly applying shadow to the outer V of my eye and applying setting powder to my under eyes. This particular brush is no longer available but the Deluxe Crease Brush in this Starter Kit from Real Techniques looks pretty similar.

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6. Mark Eyeliner Brush–As the name suggests, I use this brush when I want to use a dark shadow as eye liner on either my upper or lower lashes. The precise tip of the brush (see above, right) is great because I can easily control where the color goes.  Again, this particular brush is no longer available (I hope that doesn’t mean my brushes are gross and I need to get rid of them?!?) but this one by Mark is a great substitute that I also use.

7. Sponge Tip Brush–I love using this brush when I want to apply a highlight shade to the inner corners of my eye. It fits perfectly with the shape of my eye and I’m not worried that I’ll poke myself in the eye! I also use it to smoke out shadow on my lower lash line. I have NO idea where mine is from, but you can find them at Sephora (and probably even cheaper at Target).

While this is a list of my most-used brushes, it’s definetely not all of them. I like to play around with my brushes and try out new ways to use them.

Which brushes are your must-haves?

 

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