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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Philosophy Makeup at Big Lots? Yes!

Lately I've read a couple of blogs about Philosophy cosmetics being sold at Big Lots for about $3 each. So I picked up four items today at my local Big Lots which included a Philosophy eyeshadow duo in Heaven & Earth (a lovely neutral browns duo), The Supernatural Lit From Within cream blush in Look on the Bright Side, an Angel Kiss lip gloss in Pretty Please, and a cute little pink mini-kabuki brush. The grand total before taxes? $12. The retail price of these four products is around $75. What was most exciting was the fact that they were all nice and wearable colors. You know when you find deals like this its because they are selling the reject colors that no one wants? Not this time, thankfully. In addition, there were a bunch of Calvin Klein single eyeshadow (all in the same reject color of dark navy blue). So if you're lucky, you live near a Big Lots. My store had a good selection so they may still be available in other stores. But act quickly, the things at Big Lots come and go. Oh! if any of you are as old as I am, you may remember the brand Naturistics from your high-school days. That was the brand I wore in eyeshadow and lip products and so imagine my surprise when I saw a Naturistics lipgloss duo (photo below) at Big Lots for $1. The drawback was that it actually looked like it was from 10+ years ago but I got it anyway for nostalgic purposes. Sign up to follow my blog and choose the option to receive an email when I post something new because I always post when I come across something like this or other good deals and sales and I love to share the news!

UPDATE: If you don't have a Big Lots nearby, is selling various Philosophy cosmetics for dirt cheap as well. The cream blush I bought for $3 is also selling for the same price through Amazon. 

Philosophy Cosmetics for $3 at Big Lots!
Good ole' Naturistics- a blast from my past!

My First Glossy Box! (For May)

I was excited to receive my first Glossy Box today which is one of those monthly subscription services where you receive new makeup/skincare/nail products in each box. This company has recently become available in the US and is around $21 per month.  Which isn't too bad for five products (one full-size and the rest deluxe sample size). I know that the first box is always the best because they want to reel you in to continue to subscribe. I hope that is not the case with Glossy Box but we'll see! I'm happy with my first one and feel it is worth the $21. And it came SO nicely and adorably packaged in a box that can easily be used to store things in or to put a gift inside of. So this is what arrived in my first Glossy Box:

Zoya Nail Polish (full size) in Reagan
Phyto Masque Express hair product (generous size)
AmorePacific Moisture Bound Hydra-Gel (boring)
Marvis Whitening Mint Toothpaste (double-boring)
Burberry Lip Mist Natural Sheer Lipstick in Copper (sample size tube)
Glossy Box powder brush (drugstore quality but decent)

I'd have to say that the Zoya polish, the Burberry lip product, and the Phyto hair mask are the stand-outs in this box. I'm quite happy with my Colgate Optic-White toothpaste and so I'm not blown away but the Marvis product but I'll be a good sport and try it anyway.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

MAC Blush Haul: Tenderling + Pinch O' Peach

After stopping in at the Cosmetic Company Outlet (CCO) in my area to see if I could score any rare finds, I left disappointed to find nothing, did an about face and headed to the mall. My CCO has had the same MAC selection for going on a year now, the same crappy lipsticks that no one wants and zero blushes which is what I was after. So I have been looking at swatches of MAC blushes trying to find a couple I thought would suit my skin tone and came up with Tenderling and Pinch O' Peach. Tenderling is a very pale rosey-peach toned matte blush and is one of the Sheertone formulas. Its a great color when you are doing heavy eye makeup but want something on your cheeks that doesn't stand out too much. That being said, it would probably be best for fair to light complected girls. Pinch O' Peach isn't really peach as much as it is a cool-toned pink, another Sheertone, also matte, and very pretty. Overall, I am happy with the two blushes I chose. Up until now, I didn't have any regular MAC powder blushes, just MSF's that work as blush/highlight products. I've been kind of obsessed with blush lately. 

Photos taken by me, Tenderling (left), Pinch O' Peach (right)

Tenderling Blush by MAC

Pinch O' Peach by MAC
Tenderling & Pinch O' Peach by MAC

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Face of the Day! A Bronze-Glow Summer Look

It is SO hot where I live and no matter if you are trying or not, you will end up with a dewy finish to your skin. So that's cool I guess if that's what you're going for. Today I wanted to do an easy bronzed, highlighted, and fresh summer look using the ever popular Urban Decay Naked palette, 1 & 2. By the way, I like how I use the word "easy" but then list like 25 products I used.

Morning Skin Care Routine:
Dove Unscented Soap for Sensitive Skin
Paula's Choice 2% BHA gel
Korres Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizing Cream SPF6
Garnier BB Cream in Medium/Deep SPF15
Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Eye Cream

Korres Silicone Free Vitamin E Primer (love!)
Cle de Peau concealer in beige
Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation in Natural Beige
Smashbox Soft Lights Duo in Super/Model (used the highlighter side only on cheekbones)
Bare Minerals Faux Tan All-Over Face bronzer (its the perfect most natural tan!)
Milani Blush in Luminoso (amaaazing!)

Laura Gellar Eye Primer Spackle (hate! but all I have left at the moment)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Virgin (all over from lid to brow bone and inner corners)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snakebite (Naked2 palette) in outer-v and crease
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Naked (blended in to the lid and crease)
Clinique Eye Shaper Eye Liner in Brown Sugar (love!)
Mally Volumizing Mascara in black
Anastasia Brow Whiz Brow Pencil in Medium Ash

MAC Plushglass in Nice Buzz (all-time fave!)


Friday, May 25, 2012

My Thoughts on Revlon Lip Butters + Favorite Shades

I would assume that unless you aren't in an area accessible to Revlon or you have an absolute aversion to semi-inexpensive, moisturizing and pigmented lip products, you've most likely tried a Revlon Lip Butter. I have seven of them, some are hits and some are misses but they are all good quality products that I have been quite impressed with. 

Winners & Losers: 
The shades I have are Creme Brulee, Peach Parfait, Berry Smoothie, Gumdrop, Creamsicle, Sugar Frosting, and Strawberry Shortcake. My favorites have been Creme Brulee, Sugar Frosting, and Strawberry Shortcake with the rest being just so so as far as how they worked for me but still nice products. I was convinced that Creamsicle would be my favorite because its a pale peachy nude but it didn't go on as nice as all the others. It seemed to cling to dry spots and put the color heavily where I didn't want it and not enough where I did. Peach Parfait is a pinky-peach with shimmer and it just didn't do it for me. It did, however, look really good when layered under MAC Myth lipstick to give it this milky-peachy look. Berry Smoothie was not my cup of tea because berry shades don't wow me and I only chose it because the shade selection was slim and I really wanted to try this product for the first time. Gumdrop is a cool lavender-toned color but that shade doesn't do much to make the teeth appear whiter and brighter. Now, on to the ones I like. Creme Brulee has been a good ole' standby in my purse for a while now and is a nice warm nude shade which makes it more wearable for most people than Creamsicle. Sugar Frosting is a slightly frosty pale pink although not an 80's frost, its very nicely pigmented and looks really good with a smoky eye. My current favorite is now Strawberry Shortcake. This is the newest addition to my lip butter collection and I'm so glad I bought it (at 30% off I might add during a sale at Walgreen's a few days ago, might still be on sale, go, hurry! check!). This is such a pretty pink, and so flattering for those with blue eyes because those brighter pinks really compliment blue eyes. Strawberry Shortcake is a cooler-toned bubblegum pink but with not too much of a blue-tone. Its kind of like the perfect shade of pink actually, just enough but not too much and a great summer color. And naturally I was drawn to this shade because I really love the character Strawberry Shortcake, she will always have a special place in my heart. 

To Sum it Up:

Revlon Lip butters feel great and look great, although some shades (like Peach Parfait) have a slightly grainy texture due to the added shimmer. Sugar Frosting has a tad of this as well but not as much. The other shades I've tried are very smooth, no shimmer, but give a lovely finish with a slight sheen. This product is hydrating and lasts much longer than other lip balm type of products. Its kind of like a lip balm lipstick if that makes sense in that it has the pigmentation and longevity of a lipstick but with the hydrating benefits of a lip balm. I prefer the Revlon Lip Butter strongly over the L'Oreal Color Riche Balm which has similar characteristics. I felt L'Oreal to be thinner, not as moisturizing, much more sheer, and an inferior shade range and selection. Packing is kind of cute though. 

Picture Time:

These are photos taken from karla sugar, queen of swatching, here: I thought I'd find photos that include all of the shades rather than of just the ones I own personally. And I'm thinking Cotton Candy is next on my list. 

Revlon Lip Butters Photo taken from

Revlon Lip Butters Photo taken from

Battle of the Mineral Foundations: Laura Mercier VS Bare Escentuals

I have recently started using the Laura Mercier mineral foundation. Once upon a time I purchased this foundation and also her translucent loose setting powder. I broke out horribly. I returned both products and erased all hope of future use of LM face products. I've said numerous times that I can't use any silicone on my face so I assumed that the LM mineral foundation had Dimethicone which always breaks me out. One day I was curious to check out the ingredients of the LM mineral foundation and much to my surprise, it did not include any silicone and basically had all the same ingredients as Bare Minerals foundation which does not break me out. A light bulb went off in my head, it had been the LM Translucent Setting Powder that was the evil culprit and not the foundation. So I went to Sephora and picked up the LM mineral foundation in the shade "natural beige" to give it a second try. One week later, no breakouts and I am really enjoying this product. I have been looking and looking for something to replace my Bare Minerals because I am never wowed by its performance. So how do the two stack up against one another? Have a look..

Laura Mercier is $35 for .34 oz/9.6g
Bare Minerals is $27 for .28 oz/8g (the large size)

As you can see, its not a huge difference contrary to the belief that LM is far more expensive than Bare Minerals.

Shade Selection:  
Bare Minerals has a much wider variety of shades especially in their deeper skin tones which LM is severely lacking. Laura Mercier is also lacking on the light/medium cool/neutral tones but I went with "natural beige" which is fairly neutral, tad bit yellow-toned but warms up my skin tone and I am enjoying it. In BM, I am "medium", which is a cool toned shade that is more like light/medium to me.

SPF Factor: Both foundations have an SPF15.

The Formula:
Both foundations have a silky texture that makes it not quite a full-on powder but not a cream. LM looks grainy in comparison to BM which appears more finely milled but the granules smooth out and the feel is similar between the two. BM offers an original and a matte formula.

Potentially Problematic Ingredients:
Both foundations do include Bismuth Oxychloride which is said to break some people out. It doesn't bother me but it can be a little itchy on the face in dry areas. The other ingredients are similar between both products with the exception of pearl powder which is included in LM. The BM Matte formula contains Silica which their original formula does not. 

I find both foundations to be best applied with a dense kabuki style brush. I use the Sigma F80. Both foundations are easy to buff into the skin and blend nicely. I find that both powders apply better over a primer, like the Korres silicone-free Vitamin E primer that I use. Sometimes when you moisturize and then try to buff a powder into the skin, it tugs and pulls at the skin because the moisturizer hasn't soaked in. This can cause the foundation to look kind of streaky and darker in some parts, also interferes with adequate blending.

The Coverage:
I think the coverage is similar between both products. You aren't going to get the fullest coverage in a mineral foundation that you may get in a liquid but it gives you a good base to work with and then just apply concealer in areas that need a bit more coverage. I like to apply either foundation over the Garnier BB Cream.

The Finish:
This is where the two brands differ in my opinion. I much prefer the Laura Mercier, its not chalky like I think the BM can be. It also gives a much prettier glowy-sheen to the face which I never could achieve with BM. This may be due to the "pearl powder" in Laura's product. Yes, LM is a bit shimmery when you swatch it but on the face it isn't as noticeable because it sheers out.

The Wear Throughout the Day:
This category goes to Laura Mercier again. I find that Bare Minerals tends to dry my face a bit throughout the day, and it wears off in areas and looks kind of patchy. I also find that it looks like a different color by the end of the day. The LM holds up so nicely throughout the day and feels very smooth on the skin. 

The Winner: Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Allure Reader's Choice Award Winners & My Own Personal Picks!

In case you don't buy Allure magazine or really even know that they do a yearly Reader's Choice Awards segment, I thought I'd fill you in on the winners. As I was reading through them, I was saying to myself "I wouldn't pick that, I'd pick (fill in the blank)." Well, I've decided to fill in the blank and put my picks for each category along with Allure's, just for fun and to kill the last 40 minutes of freedom I have for the day. I do enjoy that Allure picks a drugstore and a high-end winner. Oh! And I'm skipping their hair care winners because I find hair stuff to be kind of boring.

Allure Winners for BEST CLEANSER
Drugstore: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Cleanser
High-End: Philosophy Purity Made Simply

Drugstore: Cetaphil
High-End: Anything BUT Philosophy Purity Made Simple (harsh sulfates around the eyes to remove make-up, umm, no thanks!) 

Allure's Winners for BEST FACIAL SCRUB
Drugstore: St. Ives Fresh Skin Invigorating Apricot Scrub
High-End: Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula

Drugstore: Neutrogena Naturals Pore Refining Scrub
High-End: Dermalogica Daily Micro-Exfoliant

Drugstore: Olay Complete UV Moisturizer SPF15
High-End: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion

Drugstore: (no pick)
High-End: Korres Wild Rose 24-Hours Brightening & Moisturizing Cream

Allure's Winners for Best ANTI-AGING PRODUCT
Drugstore: Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
High-End: Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate

Drugstore: Neutrogena SPF15 Anti-Wrinkle Cream w/ Retinol
High-End: Philosophy Help Me Nightime Retinol Treatment

Allure's Winners for BEST EYE CREAM
Drugstore: Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum
High-End: Clinque All About Eyes

Drugstore: Garnier Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream
High-End: Bobbi Brown Extra Repair or Korres Black Tea Eye Cream

Allure's Winners for BEST LIPSTICK
Drugstore: Revlon Super Lustrous in SoftSilver Rose
High-End: MAC Snob

My Winners for BEST LIPSTICK
Drugstore: Revlon Colorburst in Soft Nude
High-End: Hourglass Velvet Creme Lipstick in Grace

Allure's Winners for BEST LIP GLOSS
Drugstore: L'Oreal Pairs Infallible LeGloss
High-End: MAC Lipglass in Oh Baby

My Winners for BEST LIP GLOSS
Drugstore: Revlon Super Lustrous in Peach Petal
High-End: MAC Plushglass in Nice Buzz

Allure's Winners for BEST BLUSH
Drugstore: CoverGirl Classic Color Blush in Soft Mink
High-End: NARS Orgasm

My Winners for BEST BLUSH
Drugstore: Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso
High-End: Lorac Baked Matte Satin in Exposed

Allure's Winners for BEST EYESHADOW
Drugstore: Maybelline 24-Hour Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze
High-End: MAC eyeshadow in All That Glitters

My Winner's for BEST EYESHADOW
Drugstore: Wet N' Wild Color Icon Trio in Walking on Eggshells
High-End: Bare Escentuals Ready Quad in The Truth (this was a tough category)

Allure's Winners for BEST EYELINER
Drugstore: Maybelline New York Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx
High-End: MAC Technakohl Liner in Graphblack

My Winners for BEST EYELINER
Drugstore: Prestige Total Intensity or Milani Liquif-eye
High-End: Stila Smudgesticks

Allure's Winners for BEST MASCARA
Drugstore: Maybelline Great Lash (This will forever be a mystery to me)
High-End: Lancome Definicils High Definition & Dior DiorShow in Black

My Winners for BEST MASCARA
Drugstore: L'Oreal Voluminous (after its been used for a few weeks)
High-End: Benefit They're Real

Allure's Winners for BEST CONCEALER
Drugstore: Maybelline New York Cover Stick (seriously?)
High-End: MAC Select MoistureCover & Benefit Boi-ing

Drugstore: Revlon Photo-Ready Stick Concealer
High-End: Cle de Peau in Beige or Hourglass Hidden Corrector in Pearl

Allure's Winners for BEST FOUNDATION
Drugstore: Maybelline NY Dream Liquid Mousse Airbrush Finish
High-End: Bare Escentuals Mineral Original Foundation

Drugstore: Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse in Creamy Natural 
High-End: Estee Lauder Doublewear Light or Original Doublewear



How to Get the Glowy, Contoured, Kim Kardashian Look!

This is by far one of the coolest makeup tutorials I've seen. You know I love me some Kim Kardashian makeup, love love love her look. I also love me some GossMakeupArtist on YouTube and wanted to share this video since I've done other posts on K-Dash makeup tutorials. This tutorial is especially unique because I've never seen something like this as far as techniques go for getting a really highlighted and contoured look similar to the one that Kim is famous for. And as per usual, Goss is using himself as the model, and a rather good one at that. Enjoy! 

P.S. I've added one more video below that I thought would  compliment this first one nicely, about the "magic line"! You'll see.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Looking For a Good Mineral Powder Foundation? Try Jane Iredale!

Let me pass along this advice. When you read an ingredient list on a website that is not the actual site of the brand you're buying, you should double check it with the information released by the brand. I only looked at for the ingredients in the Jane Iredale Pressed Mineral Foundation which failed to mention the product included Dimethicone, the one ingredient I am looking to avoid in all of my products! So when I received the product, I was dismayed to see that evil word glaring back at me as plain as day on the back of the packaging. I may not be able to use it, but I have bravely tried it for two days hoping that there is only a small amount of silicone in there. But I can say that even if it does break me out, I know that someone else will love it if they are looking for a mineral foundation or getting tired of the one they're using. This product comes in a pressed and loose version as well as a liquid and the ingredients do change in the liquid. I purchased the pressed mineral powder for something different than what I'm used to which is pricey and retails for $52, I got it for $38 on Ebay. 

This is the silkiest, most lightweight mineral foundation I've ever used and it leaves your skin noticeably soft. I've never been able to relate to people that say "I could hardly tell I had makeup on!" but that is how I really feel about this product. It glides on effortlessly as I buffed in with my Sigma F80 over my Korres Silicone Free Primer (which may be creating a barrier for the Dimethicone to keep out of my pores because I haven't broken out yet). There is no chalky appearance on the skin like some say about Bare Minerals and I find it to be a much nicer texture and finish than BM. After I've got a good layer of the foundation on, I do some spot concealing with my Cle de Peau and then I take the otherwise worthless powder puff that comes with the very sleek and weighty compact and I press the powder into my skin where I want to set the concealer and get a little extra coverage. The powder wears super nicely, doesn't change colors or oxidize into the skin over the course of the day, and it leaves a nice, fresh looking finish that is neither too matte or too dewy. I would say its a perfect summer makeup that not matter how much you pile on, still feels light and airy. I would not say this a full coverage but it is buildable to a medium coverage. I recommend a tinted moisturizer or BB cream underneath for extra coverage like I've read in many of the reviews of this product. I have normal-dry skin and find that this product is not too drying and may suit most skin types nicely from what I've read. In addition, there is a pretty good variety of shades to satisfy cool, neutral, and warm undertones. I went with the "Natural" shade which is a light-medium that pulls more towards the light side and is neither too cool or too warm so its good for those in between. I'm an NW25 for reference.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Need Some Good Recommendations!

If any of you could be so kind, I need some referrals for the two things below. I would love to hear your feedback.

1. A new YouTube beauty guru to watch. I've grown bored with my current subscription list especially when they haven't posted new videos in a while and I have to go search for new people to watch! If you could possibly let me know some of your favorites, I prefer the guru to be 25 and over (no teens living at home spending mommy and daddy's money! Can't relate!) and I don't like them to be too "famous" with a gazillion sponsored videos, and I do not like videos that are really edited with voice overs, cutesy graphics, or a lot of music. I like good ole' natural talking in front of the camera. To get an idea of who I like, I enjoy down to earth girls like MakeupByTiffanyD, LisaLisaD1, TheBombshellSuite, or EmilyNoel83 (minus the heavy editing).

2. I need a good eye cream that helps with crepey-ness on the eyelids. I'm starting to notice that my eyeliner is not applying as smooth as it once did and my skin feels thinner up there. Let me tell you, this is not an experience I am enjoying. I've been using Bobbi Brown Extra Repair which I love but I don't think it has that crepe-fighting quality I'm looking for. Oh, and I want something SUPER hydrating and not really fragrant. So to summarize, really hydrating & fights crepey lids. I don't mind thick creams either!

Hope to get some feedback. Or at least someone can leave me a comment to make it look like someone cares about my concerns.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Face of the Day! A Bronzey-Gold Nuetral Look

So here's my face of the day. Most often I use some type of brown shadow, taupes, taupey-browns, or browny-taupes. What can I say, I like my neutrals and I know whats best for my eye color so why bother with much of anything else? On to the products..

Korres Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizing & Brightening Cream
Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Eye Cream
Garnier BB Cream in medium-dark
Bare Escentuals Foundation in Medium
Cle de Peau Concealer in Beige
Cover FX bronze glow highlighter

Palladio Herbal Eye Primer
Urban Decay Foxy from Naked2 Palette for highlight
Urban Decay Half-Baked on the lid and into crease
Urban Decay Snakebite from Naked2 (outer-v and lower lash line)
L'Oreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense liquid liner
Clinique bronze eye shaper pencil liner
Benefit They're Real mascara
MakeUpForEver brow pencil, taupe
Anastasia Clear Brow Gel

Clarins Gloss Prodige in Rose

Current Favorite Nail Polish: OPI Tickle Me France-y

This shade doesn't look all that exciting in the bottle, its a caramel colored nude-latte kind of shade. With maybe a hint of milk chocolatey goodness thrown in there for good measure. The fact that it reminds me of chocolate and coffee could be a large part of why I like it so much. But there is something special about this formula over other OPI colors. For some reason it applies so much smoother and nicer than others. And it even wears off nicer in that it kind of fades rather than chips. And it leaves a really pretty glossy finish. I wouldn't have picked this one up because I have enough of this type of shade but I was watching someone on YouTube describe it pretty much the same way I'm telling you and because it is one of the 12 shades my grocery store carries, I had to go ahead and grab it. Overall, its a great neutral and will compliment most skin tones. Its coming across in the picture below as having a purple-tone to it but t doesn't really. 

OPI Tickle Me France-y. Photo taken by me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

theBalm on Hautelook Right Now! 50% off!

If you are interested, theBalm cosmetics is on Hautelook right now. Their ever so popular NudeTude palette is $18 which is 50% off as are popular blushes like Downboy ($10.50) and Frat Boy ($10.50) and some of their Balm Girl lipsticks. It appears that everything is 50% off of the regular retail price. I heard it through the beauty grapevine that theBalm is being phased out of Sephora and major retailers and the supplies are being shipped off to TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Sad! From what I hear, they make great products. SO excited that I'm finally trying the NudeTude palette at such a great price! So hurry, I think the sale lasts 48 hours and it just started at 11am EST.

If you need an invite because you don't have a Hautelook account, mine is below. Hautelook is amazing and severely addictive. Be forewarned!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Shoes of the Day + What's On My Toes

My husband got me some super cute sandals from JCrew for Mother's Day. The camel color of the sandals compliments my gorgeous JulieG polish in Kickin' It, as you know camel looks great with shades of turquoise/teal. Just thought I'd share! Oh and I paired them with some rolled up Seven For All Mankind boyfriend jeans, a white scoop neck t-shirt and a nice lightweight summer scarf from the latest designer to do a collection for Target, can't think of the name but its super cute, peach & green with pelicans all over it. Have a great day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Drugstore Gem: Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso + Comparison to Lorac Exposed

How did I never notice this gorgeous blush during my numerous trips to the drugstore? Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso is a beautiful peach with very fine micro-shimmer. The finish is very similar to Lorac Baked Matte Satin (which really are not matte whatsoever) blushes if you are familiar. If you are a fan of peachy-toned blushes like the Lorac Exposed or NARS Orgasm, you will definitely love this one. The Milani baked blushes are so soft and pigmented and will seriously last you forever. And the texture is so silky! In addition, the Milani baked blushes come with an applicator brush stored in a separate compartment underneath and a mirror as well. If you have wanted the Lorac Exposed but don't want to pay $25, the Milani Luminoso is a similar alternative but with less orange-tones and more peach. You will see them side by side in the pictures below. Dare I say I actually prefer the Milani Luminoso over Lorac Exposed? Final thoughts: amazing pigmentation, texture, and quality for under $5! 

Milani Luminoso Baked Blush, no flash (above) Photo taken by me.

Milani Luminoso Baked Blush with flash (above) Photo taken by me.
Lorac Baked Matte Satin blush in Exposed (left) Milani Luminoso (right) without flash (above). Photo taken by me.

Lorac Exposed (left) Milani Luminoso (right) with flash (above). Photo taken by me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mothers Day to All of the Special Women Out There!

I wanted to wish a very Happy Mothers Day to all of the amazing, hard-working, and loving mommies out there. Be sure to let your mother, grandmother, step-mother, or any special woman who has acted like a mother to you know how much you appreciate her.  I received such a special (early) gift from my five-year-old that she made at school. Its kind of like an "all about my mom" laminated paper with a photo of she and I at the top. According to my daughter, I am 59 feet tall and 10 pounds and for fun I like to go shopping. Apparently, my favorite TV show is Storage Wars, even though I've never seen that show in my life. But at the very end it said "I love my mommy so much because in the mornings, she cuddles with me on the couch" which melted my heart and reminds me that the little things are what counts to children. 

Being a mother is so filled with different emotions all of the time. Only with your children can you go from a terrible and stressed out mood to smiling and laughing in a matter of minutes because of something they said or did. Being a mom is a magical kind of love that tests your patience, your strength, and your will-power but with no weekly paycheck! With that being said, the feeling of being needed and loved so much is a gift from God. My children are everything to me and I dedicate my life to making sure they have the best foundation that I can possibly give them and that means building their confidence every single day, telling them how special they are and what mommy loves most about them, and being their greatest supporter. I'm not saying our lives will go perfectly, but as long as I have those intentions, I won't look back and wish I tried harder. I can be kind of crazy and controlling with standards set just a tad too high, but one thing my kids won't ever be able to say about me is that I didn't try my very hardest to give them a wonderful life while being an example for them of a strong, hard-working woman who doesn't take anyone's crap! Dang, my girls are lucky. Except for that controlling part. Poor kids.

So to all you moms out there, Happy Mother's Day! Please do something nice for yourselves, you of all people deserve it! And for all you daughters and sons, do something nice for your mother or that special woman who took care of you!

My April Favorites! Most Used and Most Loved Products of the Month!

I wanted to do my April favorites before the month of May is over! I love love love all of these products and highly recommend them to you.

Korres Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizing & Brightening Cream SPF 6: very moisturizing, lovely scent, and silicone-free. Perfect for normal or normal/dry skin. I will never be without it! Available in SPF 6 or without the SPF. Can be used as a day or night cream and a little goes a long way! Leaves a lovely fresh glow to the face. Scroll down a few posts to see a full review I did.

Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel: Rave reviews people. This is a wonderful BHA exfoliant to put on before your nightly moisturizer. It helps to prevent clogged pores and breakouts. It's a very light clear liquid consistency and has lasted me forever! If you don't know Paula's Choice, you should!

Benefit They're Real Mascara: My #1 love that I strayed from for about two months. I'm happy to say I'm back and my lashes are as long, separated, and volumized as ever. The best thing about this mascara is that your lashes will look the exact same at night as they did when you put it on in the morning. No eyelash curler necessary, and no flaking and smudging. Don't apply it like a normal mascara though, hold the wand vertically and watch the magic happen. 

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Tease: This can be found in the Naked2 palette or in a single eyeshadow. Tease is a great milk-chocolate, cool-toned matte that works beautifully as my crease shade and smudged underneath the eyes. This is a great shade for blue or blue/green eyes especially. The formula is amazing, very soft and pigmented. A must-have!

Jordana Fabu-Liner in black: My $1.99 gem, found at Walgreens. This is a pen-style liner, goes on nicely and very black, and lasts all day. It completely blows Revlon's black liner pen out of the water and for a fraction of the price. And if that weren't enough, it also blows away Smashbox liner pen as well. The point is a little tricky to do a perfect wing with but with practice, it rocks. Oh, I did a full-review if you want to look in the sidebar for it.

MakeUpForEver Brow Pencil in Taupe2: A traditional, no frills, brow pencil that does require sharpening and does not come with a spooley brush like a lot of others do. The color is perfect for me, a true ashy taupe with zero red tones. I would say perfect for very blonde blondes that like their brows to have some extra dimension, i.e. not be the same color as their hair. This pencil is very pigmented, glides on very smoothly, and lasts a good while.

NYX Lip Liner in Pale Pink: NYX are my favorite drugstore priced lip liners. They go on very smoothly and I think they even go on better than MAC kohl pencil liners. I would say, better than MAC, not better than Chanel. This is a mauve-pink, perfect for nude lip lovers or for filling in the lip and applying gloss over top. Wait for ULTA to have one of their Buy1 Get1 50% off and grab a couple of them! Otherwise they are around around $4.50-$4.99. Featured in my favorite lip liners post if you'd like to see swatches.

Reel Sexy combined with Myth (left), on its own (right)
MAC Lipstick in Reel Sexy: This is a good one for summer! A beautiful orange-peach in the creamy amplified formula. You can easily tone this shade down to make it appear more of a creamsicle shade which is what I do all the time with MAC Myth. I love to wear this one by applying MAC Subculture lip liner, a layer of Myth, and just pat the Reel Sexy over top. This is a beautiful combination that really brings out blue eyes especially! Also a really cool shade to wear with a turquoise top or dress. No longer available at MAC, but always available on Ebay! Check out a full-review by scrolling through a few of the most recent posts.

These are the Havainanas  I have, slim in silver
Non-Makeup-Related Favorite: My Havainanas Flip Flops (pictured left)! If you are tired of buying cheap-o flip flops that fall apart every year, invest in some Havainanas for around $25 on Zappos. They are so comfortable and great quality. I prefer the slim-style and think they make the foot look more delicate and feminine. I can't stand big bulky flip flops with a lot of foam on the bottom and thick plastic straps on top. My favorites come in silver but they have a variety of shades. I saw Gwen Stefani wearing the silver ones in the latest copy of US Magazine and I was like OMG Gwen is wearing my flip-flops! (she is my fashion crush and my overall ideal woman). The prices vary depending on what style you want but the basic ones are around $25.

Glossy Box Comes to the US, Yay or Nay?

The past year has brought us a new concept in beauty products in the form of monthly subscriptions to a box of trial sized makeup/skincare/miscellaneous. Each month you get a new box with surprise products for you to try. Some subscription services are pricey, some are cheap, some get rave reviews, and some garner nothing but disappointment. But all in all, I think its a fun idea and I've just signed up for my first GlossyBox. For $21 per month and free shipping. For the price, you get five trial sized items per month. I've seen some good-sized products so trial size doesn't necessarily mean tiny. Currently, GlossyBox ships to 15 countries (now including the US). They just released their first US GlossyBox which gives us American girls a great opportunity to try some new international brands. I chose this company over the others because of watching positive reviews from other subscribers. I am excited to get my first box and will be sure to share it with you. I only signed up for the month to month option because I don't prefer to get involved in long-term things even to save a few dollars. Some of the brands that Glossy Box works with are OPI, Kryolan, Cargo, and CO Bigelow. And the packaging is super cute which always helps. So has anyone received a Glossy Box yet? Are there better companies out there for this type of service? I've seen some of the other products from similar companies and I was not impressed, for one, I don't want food items in my box, I don't want gum, I don't want toothbrushes or toothpaste or any dental health products for that matter. I am not even wild about skin care but I will take it over the previously mentioned things. For me, the company who gives the most actual makeup is the one that I will stick with. So let's see what Glossy Box brings me!

If you want to check out Glossy Box, follow the link below:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: JulieG Nail Polish in Kickin' It

Photo credit (other shades in the collection)
I have been checking Rite Aid for the new JulieG nail polish line the whole month of April. If you don't know, JulieG is a very talented professional makeup artist on YouTube and she has a ton of nail art videos. She worked with Jessie's Girl cosmetics to produce a polish for their line last year and now has her own line which she partnered with JG to create. There are so many super cool shades, at $3.99 each and sold exclusively at Rite Aid and Jessie's Girl cosmetics (online). I picked up Kickin' It which is a very striking teal with somewhat of a metallic sheen. It favors the greener side of teal although the pictures are making it look more blue than it really is. I wouldn't normally gravitate toward a color like this but my little girl picked it and I'm glad she did. The color is gorgeous and would look so pretty on the toes for summer. It reminds me of a mermaid (which is funny because she has another color called Mermaid's Tail which is in the same color family). As for application, the polish applies SO nicely and is perfectly opaque in two coats. I am very impressed by the quality for such a good price and I look forward to trying more!

UPDATE: I've been wearing this polish for four days, not a chip in sight. Go Julie!

Photos taken by me. JulieG nail polish in Kickin' It (no flash)

Review for Korres Vitamin E Silicone Free Primer

I've been using this Korres Vitamin E primer for a couple of weeks now and I wanted to review it for you all. As you know, I have to use face products that are free of silicone and there sure aren't enough of them! So when I find one, I shout it to the world and hope that it will help someone else on the hunt for products like this. Korres is a brand that prides itself on using natural ingredients (although not all of their products are all natural) and I've grown to love their body butters, face moisturizers, etc. And now I can add their primer to the list. Now, Korres make a few primers so they are not all created equally, this one that specifically says silicone-free. It isn't similar to other primers that I have tried. For one, it doesn't break me out. For two, it goes on like a light moisturizer rather than the slick and silky feel of the silicone primers. I gotta admit, I do like that slick silicone feel but unfortunately my skin does not share my same sentiment. Even though it has the texture of a moisturizer, it sinks in quickly and doesn't leave my face feeling oily. I think its a great primer for those with normal to dry or dry skin because I can't speak for girls with combo or oily skin. Another thing I like is that my makeup applies really nicely over it. Before I used the primer, I had to wait a while to let my lotion sink in because I applied my mineral foundation with a buffing motion and it would move my skin around too much when I would do the circular motions. I did not like this. But now my mineral foundation (Bare Escentuals) glides on smoothly with my Sigma F80 and I think this has saved me some time as well. I have never used primers on a regular basis. I try one, it breaks me out with little bumps, I stop using. I try another and the same thing happens. Yet another reason I enjoy this primer is that a little goes a long way and spreads very easily using just a small amount. I'm a big fan of that quality in a face product. Furthermore, I wanted to try this one because I wanted to provide my skin a barrier to protect from foundation or concealer sinking into my pores. I think by creating this barrier, it is helping to keep the break outs at bay because the foundation and concealer have to stay on the surface. I also wanted to use a primer to make my foundation and concealer last longer. I hate how I apply concealer and then halfway through the day it has faded off or looks all dry and icky. So with all of that, Korres has really been the solution to multiple concerns. Its $28 and can be purchased from Sephora, ULTA, and of course, good ole' Ebay where I got mine for less than $20 of course! Korres describes this as 99% natural, and rich in anti-oxidants. It is free of parabens, sulfates, silicone, mineral oil, synthetic dyes and fragrances, petrochemicals, phthalates, and GMO's. It is Ecocert certified and dermatologist tested.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Small ULTA Haul!

So I returned that nightmare of a foundation (scroll down a couple posts if you want to know about that), and picked up a few little goodies at ULTA. Have you ever gone to Sephora or ULTA to return something and you walked out without finding something to exchange it with? I haven't. Not even once. Although I did leave ULTA with  $12.00 credit because what I bought was cheaper than the foundation I returned. That is what I call success. NYX is buy 1, get 1 50% off so I picked up two lip liners. I quite like the NYX lip liners, just the regular kohl pencils. I picked up Dolly Pink which is an amazing super bright and bold blue-toned pink as well as Beige which is a unique color to my collection. Its a nude-ish shade but with a metallic sheen to it which you will be able to see in the picture below where I used the flash. Both of these liners are actually nice just to fill in the whole lip and throw a gloss on over it, especially Dolly Pink. Then I picked up Bust by Urban Decay, one of the newly formulated and packaged single shadows. This is a silvery taupe with a gorgeous satin sheen. It reminds me of MAC Satin Taupe but better quality in my opinion. I wish Bust had been in the Naked 2 palette because I would have used it every day along with Tease. I dig these Urban Decay shadows but I refuse to buy the palette and spend $18 per eyeshadow to fill up the slots and pay over $100 for five eyeshadows and the palette (you get one free but its the chalkiest one of the bunch). I will hold out and sooner or later the shades I like will end up in a palette that will make much more sense to me price wise. 
Don't forget this weekend you can use your 20% off coupon (if you didn't get one in the mail I'm sure you can get it online) but its one of those where you can't use it on any of the good stuff. Plus its triple points at ULTA this weekend! I am almost (shamefully) at 1000 points so that means $50 off my purchase!!

Urban Decay Bust, NYX lip liner in Dolly Pink & Beige
Urban Decay Bust (without flash above)

Urban Decay Bust (with flash above)

NYX Dolly Pink and Beige lip liners (no flash, above)
NYX Dolly Pink & Beige lip liners (with flash, above)