Friday, October 31, 2014

My Fall Makeup Foundation Routine

Foundation is a product that you should be ever changing.  As the seasons change, your skin tone changes, your skin texture changes, your age changes etc. you should always adjust your foundation accordingly.  I generally use a different routine and products as the seasons change because I find that my skin needs different things.  I'm lucky in that I haven't had very oily skin since high school, so I generally try to find a foundation that is for normal skin.  In the winter I look more for combination skin and the summer for oily skin.  It's important to be aware of what your skin needs so you know what products to use.

In the fall, I no longer am running around all hot and sweaty so I generally switch my foundation from BareMinerals to a cream foundation.  It provides more coverage, without being overly heavy and as my skin pales it creates a more even tone.  Adding a cream foundation of course means having to use a setting powder to keep it in place.  There are different options you can use for this, everything from a simple oil-soaking setting powder, to something that adds a bit of glow or skin enhancing effect to your skin.  

My moisturizer remains the same for the most part, though at night I'll use a heavier moisturizer as my skin starts to dry out.  I'll also apply vaseline at night and in the morning to keep my lips from getting too chapped.

There's a few other things I change up as well, watch my video to see the rest of my fall foundation routine!



Thursday, October 30, 2014

NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette Review

Every year around the holidays NARS comes out with a limited-edition kit containing a combination of blushes, sometimes highlighters and sometimes bronzers.  I purchased one two years ago and absolutely LOVE it.  I still have a lot of product left, and I used it almost daily.  There was really only one color in the palette that I didn't love, but even that I was able to get use out of.  Last year I didn't love the colors they chose so I decided not to purchase it, but this year I am absolutely obsessed!

This year's kit comes with 1 highlighter/blush color, 3 blushes, and a large amount of their Laguna bronzing powder.  I am absolutely in love with every single color in this kit!  The highlighter, 'Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush Powder' is a light brown/champagne color that can be lightly dusted over the tops of cheeks for a gorgeous highlight, or applied more liberally on the apples of cheeks for a bit of a light brown blush/warmth.  

There are 3 blushes, 'Sex Fantasy', 'Deep Throat', 'Final Cut' (you gotta love whoever names these products).  'Sex Fantasy' is a really pretty light lavender blush, that's perfect for the winter or with a pretty light pink lipstick.  It's such a nice, neutral color it looks good on pretty much everyone.  The next blush, 'Deep Throat' is a sheer, peach blush.  This is perfect for people with darker skin tones or with a bit of a tan.  I've also found that it adds a nice flushed color to your cheeks that it looks as though you've just been for a quick jog or come in from a windy day.  I love it for when I want a bit of a color to liven up my skin but nothing too drastic.  The final color 'Final Cut' is a darker, deeper peach, coral color.  This is darker than the previous blush and it has a bit of shimmer which draws attention to your cheeks.  

Laguna is their classic bronzing powder.  It has a bit of a shimmer to it, which I'm not a fan of, but it's subtle enough that you can get away with using it to contour if you don't use too much.  It is, however, phenomenal for adding a glow to your skin to give it that sun-kissed look.  I much prefer using this bronzer for that, than for contouring.  It's a great brown tone, as it's not too dark that it looks muddy, or too light that you can't see you've applied it.

Overall, I am definitely happy with this purchase!  The colors are gorgeous, there's a great variety and there are so many different looks that can come from it.  Also, considering NARS blushes cost $30 a pop, getting a highlighter, 3 blushes and a large bronzer for $65 is a phenomenal deal.  NARS's product's quality never fails to disappoint; they always look amazing on, it never takes too much product to get a great look and it lasts all night.  

My one criticism of this set is that the colors are very summery.  They're gorgeous, but not exactly the colors I personally would reach for in the wintertime.  However, it's the perfect palette for darker skin tones, so if that's the case for you do not hesitate to purchase this immediately!  If you're pasty like me, this kit is a better go-to for summer, but either way it's such a gorgeous kit, with such a gorgeous array of colors I would say it's well worth the wait!

Do any of you have it?  What do you think?

NARS - Virtual Domination Cheek Palette  NARS - Virtual Domination Cheek Palette             
                                           NARS - Virtual Domination Cheek Palette



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Anyone who has ever really looked into makeup techniques knows the first place to start is to invest in good brushes.  Without even changing a single other thing about your routine/products this will instantly transform your look from amateur to pro.  While, there are great options out there that don't break the bank (e.g. Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target) to ridiculously high priced brushes (e.g. anything Chanel), they all share one thing in common; the better you take care of them, the longer they last.  

There are 2 things you should always be doing to clean your brushes.  

1.  First, you should be cleaning your brushes daily.  The second you apply brushes to your skin they instantly pick up any bacteria, dirt, oil etc. that is already on your skin...gross.  This is why it's incredibly important to clean your brushes after every use.  Yes, you heard me right, after EVERY use.  Such a pain, I know.  Now for this, you don't have to go all out crazy, but you should at the very least invest in a spray or cleanser, such as MAC's Brush Cleanser or Sephora's Daily Brush Cleaner or something that will make cleaning them after use a breeze.  Both of these can be applied either directly onto the brush or onto a tissue/cotton ball to remove bacteria and any remaining makeup still on the brush.  

SEPHORA COLLECTION - Daily Brush Cleaner

If you're not willing to break the bank on higher end daily cleanser's, almost every company offers them.  Elf has a spray that's only $3 (I've never used it myself so I can't speak to the quality of it) but I would imagine there are a few main ingredients that every brand sticks to so it's probably decent.

e.l.f. Daily Brush Cleaner- 2.02 fl.oz

When I'm in a pinch I like to use either makeup remover wipes or even eye makeup remover to at least get rid of any remaining color or bacteria that's on the brushes.  This is especially useful when you realize that you've just used up the last of your spray and you don't have time to deep clean your brushes!

2.  Now the second, and arguably more important step to making brushes last is by deep cleansing them.  This can be done in a multitude of ways.  The first, and most obvious way is by investing in a brush cleansing shampoo.  Bobbi Brown makes one, Sephora makes one, most cosmetics companies make one.  Essentially, they're extra hydrating, amped up baby shampoos.  They're nice to use, but definitely not necessary.

SEPHORA COLLECTION - Purifying Brush Shampoo

My personal choice for when I'm deep cleansing my brushes is to use Johnson's Baby Shampoo.  This product is super gentle, has very few chemicals and has just the right amount of anti-bacterial products to really give your brushes a good, deep cleansing. What I'll do is swirl the brush around in the shampoo for a minute, wipe it around a little in my hand to get off all the dirt/makeup and then let it sit in warm water for about 5 minutes or so (make sure the handles are not submerged in the water) before rinsing it off by swirling it again in my hand under cold water and reshaping it to dry while blotting any excess water off with a paper towel.  It's important that you either hang the brushes upside down or lie them flat on their side so they keep their original shape.  If you stand them up the water will drip down, ruining the handles and disfiguring the shape of the brushes.

Johnson's Baby Shampoo, 7 fl oz.

If you apply makeup daily it's important you deep clean your brushes at minimum once a week and make sure you're cleaning them off daily.  I  mean, if you're going to spend $30 on a brush, do you really want it to wear out because you were too lazy to wash it?

What do you guys think?  Any home remedies of your own you've tried?



Monday, October 27, 2014

My Top 10 Favorite Pink Blushes & Lipsticks

Hey everyone!

So, as October comes to a close, I thought I'd do a little video showing my top 10 favorite pink lipsticks and blushes in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.  I'm a huge fan of pink products in general so there were a lot of choices to pick from, but these are definitely my favorite!  Let me know what you think!



Products Shown:

YVES SAINT LAURENT Rouge Pur Couture - 26: Luminous Soft Pink Mauve

MAC Cosmetics: Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Be FabulousMAC Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Dreaminess

nullNARS Roman Holiday

MAC Cosmetics: Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Behave YourselfMAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Behave Yourself

Too Faced Sweathearts Blush in Peach Beach

Pot Rouge for Lips & CheeksPot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks

Hourglass - Ambient Lighting BlushHourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow

nullNARS Torrid Blush

MAC Cosmetics: Powder Blush in Lovecloud  MAC Powder Blush in Love Cloud

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick Colour Review

I recently purchased the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour set from Sephora.  I was intrigued by the fact that these were cream eyeshadows that you basically colored on. Cream shadows can be difficult because if they're not made well they can crease and look horrible on your lids.  I generally have liked every Laura Mercier product that I've tried so I thought I'd give these a shot.  I'm glad that I did.  These are incredibly well made cream shadows.  I wore them for over 12 hours, came home and it looked as though I had just applied them.  The set that I got came with 4 different colors, a dark brown, a purple shade, a bronze shade and a champagne shade.  I created a look using 3 of them and loved it.

Another great thing about this product is that it doesn't take much to get a nice, pigmented shade.  The darker brown color I used in the crease I barely used any and got an incredible rich, chocolate brown crease color.  Even the shades I used on my lids took very little shadow to apply.

The set of 4 costs $38 or you can buy them individually for $28.  Obviously the set of 3 are smaller than the individual but it's a great set with some gorgeous shades. There are 10 different shades, everything from golds to purples to nudes to browns.  All of the shades are gorgeous and there are so many different looks you can get from them.

Overall I would highly recommend these, even to those people who aren't big fans of cream shadows like myself.  There really wasn't any downside that I saw to these, even after so many hours of wear.  Great product overall!

Here's my video so you can see what they look like!



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top 10 Favorite Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty Products

So, for those of you that don't know, Breast Cancer Awareness is something that is very near and dear to me.  My mom currently has stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.  She caught it early at Stage 1, got treatment and it "went away".  Then about a year and a half later it was back.  

While it's phenomenal that we've reached the point where so many women are able to survive this horrible disease, I think we often overlook the women who are not.  The women who don't pass the 5 year "survivor" mark.  The women who catch it early and it comes back.  The women who don't catch it early.  For all those women, and for every woman who has been touched by breast cancer in some way or who is currently fighting/surviving breast cancer it's imperative that we keep up the fight!  

I love October because companies really get behind the cause.  Companies that don't donate year round make it a point to donate.  It's a really important month for raising awareness and research funding.  So, I decided to do some perusing and see what companies were offering special products with the proceeds going to a breast cancer charity.  While I haven't had a chance to try all of them yet, I've definitely used this as an excuse to shop (because I need one).  Here are my top 10 favorite products!

1.  Evelyn Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley Dream Pink Collection: I love Estee Lauder because they always go all out in October and support breast cancer awareness year round.  This year Evelyn Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley teamed up to create the 'Dream Pink Collection'.   This collection comes with 2 nail polishes (Blushing Lilac & Berry Hot).  There's also a gorgeous limited edition lipstick called 'Dream Pink'.  And, of course, like any good Estee Lauder collection you get a cute little purse to go with it, this one is a super gorgeous, pink fold over clutch.  For each purchase of the Evelyn Lauder and Elizabeth Hurley Dream Pink Collection, Estée Lauder will donate 20% of the suggested retail price to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation..  Buy here.

2.  O.P.I Pink of Hearts: O.P.I came out with this gorgeous kit that has 2 polishes (Mod About You & a super cute glitter).  It also comes with a cute glittery, pink nail file.  It's perfect for creating a gorgeous look, or using separately and creating multiple looks.  O.P.I. is donating $25,000 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and $5,000 to Rethink Breast Cancer in Canada! I love the quality of O.P.I. polish so this is definitely worth getting!  Buy it here.

3. Essie Breast Cancer Awareness 2014 Collection:  This collection comes with 3 super cute pink shades, 'Pinking About You', 'I Pink I Can' & 'Pink Happy'.  Essie will be donating a percentage of the collection's sales to City of Hope, a leading cancer research and treatment center recognized by the National Cancer Institute.  Buy it here.

4. Bobbi Brown Pretty Pink Ribbon Lip Gloss Collection:  A super cute collection of Bobbi Brown lipglosses, ranging from a darker, more neutral pink to a bright bubble gum pink.  Definitely worth investing in, you'll get a ton of wear out of each of the colors and the quality is really great.  The brand will donate $12 from the purchase price of the lip gloss set to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Buy it here..

Pretty Pink Ribbon Lip Gloss Collection

5.  Tom Ford BeautyTalk about awesome: In support of The Estee Lauder Companies' BCA Campaign, Tom Ford Beauty will donate $50,000 to BCRF in 2014 regardless of the purchase of any Tom Ford Beauty products.  I think that is just so unbelievable.  You can literally purchase ANY Tom Ford makeup product and they'll donate.  I'm absolutely obssesed with Tom Ford's Lip Color in 'Flamingo'. Buy it here.

large image view

6. Sonia Kashuk Proudly Pink Five-Piece Purse Brush Set:  Sonia Kashuk is a breast cancer survivor herself, so I'm sure this is a cause that is also very near and dear to her.  She's come out with a line of 5 different makeup brushes and fifteen percent of the purchase price of this sleek brush set will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Buy it here.

7. Eos 3-Piece Breast Cancer Awareness Lip Balm & Lotion Gift Set:   This set has a berry blossom lotion, a strawberry lip balm and a pomegranate lip balm. 100 percent of the net profits will be donated to the breast cancer research department at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (amazing!!!). Buy it here.

8.  Bumble & bumble's Pre-a-Powder Dry Shampoo:  This is Bumble & Bumble' amazing dry shampoo/style extender.  It's great for those days in between shampoos or for when you don't have enough time  to wash and blow dry your hair.  Just use a few spritzes of this and your hair will not only look refreshed but it will be more voluminous and easier to style than before! This also comes with a limited edition pink cap. $5 of every sale will be donated to the The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Buy it here.

10.  Sephora Collection The Beauty of Giving Back Blush Palette:  This gorgeous palette has 3 cream blushes, 3 powder blushes and an ombre bronzer and blush.  The palette has 8 gorgeous, super wearable colors with a little something for everyone.  A portion of the sale of this palette will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which is dedicated to preventing and curing breast cancer within our lifetime. Buy it here.
SEPHORA COLLECTION - The Beauty of Giving Back Blush Palette

What do you think?  Do you have any other favorites?




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sigma Beauty Look

In my last post I did a haul of Sigma beauty products.  I explained my feelings on them here but I also did a look from the products so you can see how they actually go on.  While I hated the liner I didn't mind the shadow and was able to make the finished product work.  Check it out below!



Friday, October 17, 2014

Sigma Haul

Sigma has amazing brushes, they're really comparable to a lot of the higher end brand brushes and they're reasonably priced.  I haven't heard much about their makeup products though.  So, I decided to try some of their makeup products and see what I think.  I would say I was split on the products.  The liners I hated, which I'll explain in the video, but the cream shadows I loved.  Check out the video for more!



Monday, October 13, 2014

Tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer Review

So in my latest Sephora haul I saw this really cool new product by Tarte called the 'The Sculptor', which was essentially a cream pencil that let you draw on your contour lines.  I was intrigued by this idea, thinking that it could either be amazing and give you really precise lines, or not be so great and be hard to apply.  Sadly, I found that it wasn't quite so amazing as it was the latter.  It was easy enough to apply where you wanted the lines, but it was hard to blend, hard to 'sculpt' and hard to create the same look that powders do.  I guess if you're a big fan of using darker foundation to contour this might be the product for you, but for me I'll stick with my powders.  Check out more of my thoughts and see how it works in the video below.

tarte - The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer



Friday, October 10, 2014

Sephora Haul


So I know a lot of my products are Mac, because prior to doing this I just purchased what I loved.  Since then I've branched out and started to love other brands.  I decided to do another Sephora Haul recently to try out some new non-Mac products and see what I thought.  Check out the video below.  For a lot of the kits I have longer videos explaining them coming up so look for those, but this is the general overview.  Hope you enjoy!!



Monday, October 6, 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette Look


So yesterday I wrote my thoughts on the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette.  I was really impressed with the range of colors and I was excited to try a look out.  I decided since the palette focused on neutrals and since that look is so in this season I would do that for my first look.  Check it out below!



Friday, October 3, 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette Review


So I recently purchased the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette during one of my Sephora hauls.  

I'm not generally a huge  fan of Smashbox products, I find most of them to be really disappointing, but I was intrigued by the range of colors in this palette.  It offers a wide range of both matte and shimmer shadows.  There were 7 mattes and 7 shimmers ranging from light champagne to black.

There are also plenty of neutral colors to choose from which you can never have too many of.  The palette itself was fairly reasonably priced at only $49.  I tried out a few looks and found that my eye shadow lasted all day.  It didn't stay on quite as well as my Mac shadows do but it stayed well enough that I wouldn't complain.  The one thing I did find frustrating was that it took a few coats to get the amount of shadow that I wanted.  I wouldn't have minded it being a little more pigmented.  Below are a few swatches I took of the shadows.



The palette also comes with a great brush and a sample of their mascara.  I absolutely loved the brush, it has 2 sides, one for the lids and one for the crease.  The side for the lids had a more packed side for picking up extra color and a less packed side for a lighter dusting.  The mascara it came with I wasn't as impressed by, it was good for coating the bottom lashes but it didn't do anything miraculous that would make me purchase it.  Still, it was a nice extra to come with.

Check out my video below to hear more of my thoughts and see the palette!



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pop of Color: Green Eyeshadow Using Drugstore Products!


So I don't often buy drugstore makeup mostly because I'm obsessed with Mac and have to pass a Sephora on my way to and from work.   However, I know not everyone is willing to blow their retirement funds on makeup.  So, I decided to make a video using drugstore/inexpensive makeup to do a look with a pop of green eyeshadow.  Let me know what you think!