Sunday, December 8, 2013

Naked 3 Review

If you're like most beauty addicts you've been salivating at the arrival of the Naked 3 Eye Shadow Palette from Urban Decay.  The first two palettes were awesome, so I definitely had high hopes for this one.  I was not disappointed!  While the first two palettes focused more on smokey eye colors (Naked 1), and then on neutrals (Naked 2), this one has a really nice mix of both neutral colors, and non-traditional smokey eye colors.  I'm someone who loves using purples and browns for a smokey eye instead of more basic blacks or silvers.  This product is perfect for that.  It has a really nice mix of neutral lid colors and then some purple, mauve, red, pinkish colors for a nice pop.

I think this product has so much versatility for different looks and you can really play around with it.  You can get both day looks and night looks, so it's great for traveling as well.  Personally, I just really like the shades that this palette offers.  I think this is their most unique palette, with the colors being really pretty and different than a traditional black or silver where there are only so  many shades you can get.  These colors are different than you'd find with other brands so it adds some nice options to your collection.  

The only thing I don't like about the palette is I wish it had more matte colors.  Most of the shadows have a really pretty frosted finish, but you can't add as much dimension without mixing in a matte shadow.  Other than that I have to say this is my favorite Naked palette.

I love my new Naked 3 palette and hope that Naked 4 isn't too far behind!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Must Have Makeup Brushes

In my younger days I would swipe the little brush/sponge thingy that comes with your drugstore eye shadow and that was the extent of my routine.  In the years since I've learned that, almost more important than the actual makeup, are the tools you use.  Naturally, the second I read that I ran to my nearest Mac store and purchased every brush they've ever made.  While I don't recommend you doing this, as it is neither necessary, nor cost efficient, I will say that there are some staple brushes every girl should own.  

Of course, I'm a big fan of the Mac brushes which are just really well made and work amazingly, there are less expensive alternatives out there.  Sephora offers brushes but the prices are very similar to Mac so it comes down to personal preference.  I've found with my Sephora brushes they're really hit or miss; they're either amazing or I hate them.  Personally, I'd go for the Mac ones just because I've never met a brush I don't like there.

Another great, and less expensive alternative, are the Sigma brushes Those are still decent quality, yet far more affordable than many of the other's I've come across.  Also, Sonia Kashuk at Target makes amazing brushes too|HEADEROPENCONTAINTER|T:ShopByBrand Template1|C:&intc=1315558|null.  

Eyeshadow Brushes

1.) Eyeshadow Brush- Mac 239

This brush is really the only brush you need for a simple, every-day eye shadow.  It's compact with semi-stiff bristles and it packs the color on really nicely.  It's great for the lids and to highlight the brow bone.  I think I own like 12 of these, they're really phenomenal and definitely worth the investment.

239 Eye Shader Brush

2.) Crease Brush- Mac 217

You will be hard pressed to watch a tutorial or have your makeup done without seeing one of these babies.  This is the end-all-be-all brush for creases.  It's stiff enough to pick up color so you can apply it to your crease and the outer corner of your lid, but it also is fluffy enough to blend out the color.  It picks up more color than you'd think so it's best to layer as needed.  I use this brush every day.

217 Blending Brush

3.) Angled Eyeliner Brush- Mac 266

This is one brush I would say you can find comparable alternatives to at any of the places I mentioned above and still get the same finished product.  This brush is best for gel liners, or it can be used to apply a powder line, although I have another brush I prefer for this.  It also works really nicely for filling in your brows.

208 Angled Brow Brush


Pencil Brush- Mac 219

This is the brush you should get over the angled one if you don't use a gel liner.  This is better for smudging powder colors along the lash line.  It's also great for adding a darker color in the crease and the outer corner as it gives you more precision than the 217.

219 Pencil Brush

Foundation Brush-

4.) I have 3 options here depending on the type of foundation you're using.

Powder Foundation-
a.) The first is the bareMinerals Precision Face Brush.  This is perfect for pressed powders.  It gives a very full coverage, more airbrushed look.  I don't recommend it if you have oily skin, and I personally hate using it in the summer when I'm hot and gross and don't want a heavy face of makeup.  It's great though for winter, or people with dryer skin who like to have a little more full coverage.

b.) The second option is the Mac 150 Powder Brush.  This brush is great for applying loose powder and gives more of a natural, no-foundation look.  I usually rock this in the summer or if I just want a more casual look without going foundation-less.  It's also great for setting powders or anything else you want to apply all over.

150 Large Powder Brush

Liquid Foundation- Mac 188 Duo Fiber Brush

This brush is perfect for applying liquid foundation.  The fiber bristles pick up just enough foundation to give you an airbrushed look without being too heavy or thick.  I also like using this to blend out my under eye concealer or to add a highlight on my cheek bones.

188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush

Creme or Mousse Foundation- 

This sponge is awesome.  It's perfect for picking up the right amount of foundation and the pointed tip is great for applying in harder to reach places like under your eyes or around the nose.  You can also use this to apply your under-eye concealer if you want a fuller coverage there.

beautyblender - beautyblender®


5.) Mac 168 Angled Contour Brush
This is the perfect brush for applying blush.  It's angled so it allows you to apply the blush just on your cheekbones and the apples of your cheek.  However, this is one of the brushes I think you can find a less expensive alternative for.

168 Large Angled Contour Brush

6.) Bronzer/Contouring Brush- Mac 109 Small Contour Brush
This brush is great for contouring your cheekbones and slimming your face.  I was using a different brush up until recently and switching to this brush changed my life.  It's seriously amazing.

109 Small Contour Brush

So those are my top 3 shadow and top 3 face brushes you should invest in.  You don't necessarily need all so think about what you're trying to accomplish and get the ones you most need first.  I would say contour and crease brush to start. You might be skeptical but you'll notice a huuuuge difference the first time you use them, and then you'll be hooked, like me and end up buying every brush ever available.  So maybe don't use them... 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

So...I have a mascara problem....

I'll admit, I was obsessed with Kim K's makeup pre-Kanye, most especially her lashes!  I tried out fake lashes for awhile and found them to be too labor-intensive for an every day look.  Even for a night out I very rarely rocked them as I have tiny features and found they can be a little over the top on my face.  Plus, let's be honest, I'm getting old and my nights out have gone from Marquee, to Stumble-Inn, to my couch.  That being said, I've been on a mission to find a mascara that can mimic the look of fake lashes without the hassle.  Sit back, grab a glass/bottle of wine and enjoy the results of my thousands of dollars worth of research :o)

Absolute Best-

In my exhaustive efforts to find a mascara that I loved I stumbled upon this little gem; Buxom Lash. Admittedly, it is a bareMinerals' product and while at this point, 3 posts in, I should probably have a product placement contract with them, it is really just the best.  And I'm not just saying that.  This product, both which is both vitamin-enriched and parabin free, makes your lashes thicker and more voluminous than any product I've ever tried.  If you've ever met me I've probably recommended this to you whilst in the midst of a conversation about the weather or while being introduced.  

Now, there is a but to this....not all Buxom Mascaras are created equal.  I've tried their Waterproof formula, their Sculpted Lash and their Amplified Lash and they all suck.  Don't waste your money on any of those as they are not even close to comparable to the original and there are way better products out there.

Buxom - Buxom Lash

Best, Most Affordable Mascara-

In the days of my youth (i.e. when I was 16) I was a Maybelline whore.  I used pretty much all of their products and scoffed at those who didn't know of their wonders.  While I've since experimented with more expensive products I'll always hold a special place in my heart for Maybelline. 

Now, I know everyone raves about the traditional Maybelline Great Lash green and pink mascara but I personally don't love it.  I don't even really like it.  I think it's good for getting bottom lashes and for lifting and separating but I don't think it does much for volume.  Now, the Maybelline XXL Curl Power Mascara is where it's at.  This stuff is a beaut.  It add volume, it separates, it curls it does it all; and all for only $10. Honestly, unless you're a huge makeup junkie like me you probably don't even need to invest in a more expensive mascara as this will definitely do the trick.

XXL Curl Power® Washable Mascara

Best If You Already Have Thick Lashes-

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara is great at lifting, separating and curling lashes.  It's perfect if you already have perfect/great lashes or if you like a more natural look.  It's moisturizing, so it's good for your lashes and it just gives a great every day look.  It doesn't go on too thick and it's easy to layer.

Most Fun- 

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils comes in different colors like purple, burgundy and blue.  While it may seem extreme it can actually make your eyes pop and be really fun for a night out.  Purples look great on brown eyes, blue on blue eyes and the burgundy on green.  Don't knock it 'til you try it.  It's $30 so definitely not for worth it for just one night out but if you're willing to experiment, or you want your eyes to pop without using too much shadow this is definitely for you.

Yves Saint Laurent - MASCARA VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS - Luxurious Mascara

Honorable Mention-

1.) Cover Girl Lash Blast- While not my go-to it's definitely a great product if you're looking for an affordable, yet effective product
2.) Givenchy Phenomen' Eyes Mascara- A really cool concept, but the brush can be difficult to master if you're just the causal makeup user
3.) Anything with a vibrating brush- See Above
4.) L'Oreal Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara- Great product for the price
5.) Maybelline Volum' Express Falsies Mascara-Adds a lot of volume without giving you spider lashes

Now onto the losers....

Most Disappointing- 

This physically pains me to write as I wanted to love this so much, but my most disappointing mascara purchase has been the Dior Diorshow Mascara.  Now, before you all crucify me (assuming there are people reading this...) I really gave this a shot.  At first I was in love, nay, obsessed.  It did everything it promised to, made my lashes look great and I loved it.  Then, I opened it a week later.  It looked as though I had left it open in front of a fan for 6 months.  Refusing to believe a $25 before tax mascara would dry up in the first month I rushed out to buy a new one.  Same thing happened.  Ever since then I've shed a tear every time I've passed it in Sephora for what could have been my favorite mascara.

Dior - Diorshow Mascara

Absolute Worst-

I'm not going to write one worst product for this because I've tried quite a few and never gone back.  Instead I'm just going to give a list of the ones I've purchased but wouldn't bother spending money on again.

1.) Anything Wet and Wild- Unless you're just starting out and experimenting with makeup, I think this goes without saying, spend the $5 extra to buy a Maybelline or Revlon
2.) Clinique Lash Power Mascara- I just personally didn't like it.  I didn't think it added much volume, nor did it do much else.  Definitely not worth the money
3.) Benefit BADgal Lash- I didn't feel that this did anything so special as to be on as many lists of best mascaras as it is.  There are way better products out there

Hope this helped anyone looking for something new to try.  I definitely have more to say about mascara so expect more posts on this to come!  



Monday, November 25, 2013

Favorite Foundations

I've found foundation to be really specific to your skin type.  What works for me won't necessarily have the same effect on you and vice-versa. It's important to test out products before you purchase them and Sephora is a great store for purchasing products because their return policy is fairly lenient.   This can be useful when you think you love a product only to wear it and change your mind.  Also, most makeup counters will let you get a sample, so you can try the product before you make a purchase.  Some of the higher end foundations can be really expensive so it's important to make sure you like the product in all lighting before shelling out $40 for it.

My foundation usage has definitely varied throughout the years and I'm currently into experimenting with different foundations based on the occasion.  Foundation is a product that can be used at your discretion.  If your skin is even and you don't have too much you're worried about covering then you can even skip it for an every day look; but if you're going out or just trying to even your skin tone it can definitely make a difference.

Normal or Combination Skin-

I absolutely LOVE Bare Minerals foundation.  It does an amazing job of making your skin look flawless while not being heavy or making your skin feel oily.  I like using the loose powder in the summer or for less of a heavy feel/look and the pressed power when I want a little more coverage.  This product is not the best if you're trying to cover up a lot of scarring or acne, but if you just want an a simple every day look this is should be your go-to.

Dry Skin-

I think for dry skin the best product is usually a cream or a mousse foundation.  These are usually lighter than a liquid yet still provide more coverage than a powder would; while often being moisturizing as well.  I am obsessed with the Nars Radiant Cream Compact.  I think the product is great, light weight and moisturizing, while still providing excellent coverage.  Also, the case it comes in is easy to throw into your purse for touch-ups.  It comes in a variety of different colors so I was able to find a color that matched perfectly with my skin tone.

NARS - Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Refill

If the Nars compact is a little pricey a great drug-store alternative is the Maybelline DreamSmooth Mousse.  It provides great coverage, is easy to apply and only $10!  This was my absolute favorite foundation in high school when my skin was a more broken out and I wanted coverage without looking like I was going on a photo-shoot.

Dream Smooth Mousse™

Oily Skin-

I think mineral foundation is great for oily skin as it's easy to apply to a slicker surface and the powder helps to sop up some of the oil.  However, if you have a lot of acne or scars you want to cover up you might prefer a fuller liquid  coverage, and that's where the Mac Mineralize Moisture Foundation is perfect.  It's a liquid coverage but has the lightweight feel of a mineral product.  I've only recently started getting into liquid foundations as I've never liked the feel of foundation on my skin but this doesn't have that oily after-feel that a lot of products too.  It goes on as a liquid but stays as a more mineral-powder-esq (did I just coin a term...) finish.

 Mineralize Moisture SPF15 Foundation

Another great liquid foundation is the Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation.  This product really lives up to it's name and lasts for hours.  It goes on smooth and provides a pretty full coverage while not being too heavy.  While I'm a Mac girl at heart I'll definitely reach for this from time-to-time!

MAKE UP FOR EVER - HD Invisible Cover Foundation

So those are my picks for foundation.  What do you all think?



Friday, November 22, 2013

My Can't-Live-Without Products

So I've definitely run the gamut of trying different makeup products.  I've tried everything from inexpensive drugstore products to way too expensive designer labels.  However, I've found that some products are worth the splurge, so these are my-splurge products.  I'll definitely include less expensive alternatives whenever possible, but these are some products that I could not live without.  Here are my ride-or-die products....


This is a toss-up for me.  For years I've used bareMinerals powder foundation.  I absolutely love it.  It's light-weight, it stays well and it provides amazing coverage without making my skin feel oily or greasy.  I've been lucky enough that I don't have too much in terms of needing to cover, so this product definitely isn't for you if you're looking for heavier coverage.  It's affordable too at only $27 a container and it lasts MONTHS.  If you were only going to splurge on one "higher end" product, this is it hands-down.,default,pd.html

Recently I've discovered Nars liquid and cream foundations.  These are expensive but I've found the coverage is amazing and the product lasts all day/night so it's definitely worth the investment.  The cream product I love but it's not for every skin type so that's where the liquid foundation comes into play. This  is the first liquid foundation that I've found the color is perfect for my skin, so I will definitely keep purchasing this one until they stop making it!  I think the coverage is great and it last for hours.  I only wish it came with a pump...

NARS - Sheer Glow Foundation


This is another hands-down bareMinerals win for me.  A few years ago for Christmas my mom got me their starter kit (which is amazing if you've never tried this product) and it came with the Power Foundation, the Warmth Bronzer and the Mineral Veil.  While I can do without the mineral veil I've never looked back as far as the bronzer goes.  I'll admit the warmth is probably not the recommended shade for my skin tone but I think it works perfectly to give me a shadow contour.  I use it under my cheekbones, along my jawline and along my temples to help slim and shape my face.  The matte finish creates a great shadow and it last all day.

bareMinerals - bareMinerals All-Over Face Color

Eye Shadow-

The Mac Paint Pots are amazing.  I like the Soft Ochre for an every day base but the Bare Study is my absolute favorite product.  It's this beautiful shimmery nude-beige base that intensifies colors and makes your eye shadow last for days.  I don't even use primer when I wear Paint Pots because I've never had a problem with my eye shadow wearing off when I use them.

Eye Liner-

Mac Fluidline in Blacktrack is my go-to every day liner.  You have to be able to use a brush to apply it but once you figure that out (see the above video!) you'll be obsessed.  It does not move.  I've tried a lot of smudge-proof, water-proof, budge-proof liners and none of them stack up to this.  It comes in a few different colors so you can experiment with different colors if you're not into black liners.  I've found this product will get old before it runs out so it's definitely worth the investment.



I promise I will not post a lot about hair.  I don't think I'm particularly good at styling mine, nor do I spend much time researching it.  However,, Bed Head After Party is my go-to for straight hair. My hair is a weird consistency, it's wavy and very thin and yet it refuses to stay straight.  I've found when I use this product my hair will stay straighter for way longer and have a bit more shine to it.  While I promise to not post much until I learn more this is definitely worth the investment for beginners like me who just want their hair to stay straight for the night!

You'll notice I didn't include any lipsticks or blushes above.  I like to play around with those products and while I do have my go-to's I don't have have any that I couldn't live without.  Do you have any products that you can't live without?



Hey Ya'll!

So recently I've become somewhat obsessed with all things beauty related.  Makeup, tutorials, videos, blogs products, you name it.  I've spent way too much money and time reading about and trying new products and techniques so I thought I'd give back by sharing with you what I've learned!  I'll try to post new stuff every week and I'd love if you'd share your own thoughts and questions!  So thanks for stopping by and hopefully I'll be able to share some tricks with ya!

xo Kelly