Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of Beauty 2013!


So many amazing products launched in 2013 that it was a little hard for me to really narrow down my top picks.  There were many products I didn't go for (Naked 3, really any of the MAC collections, Tarte Brazilliance, Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigments...) but I also fell victim to a lot of new things, too!

So.  Since it was 2013....here are my Top 13 Products :)  (Some of these I know are not products that were launched in 2013, but they are all products that I personally discovered this past year.)
In no particular order....

1.  Sephora Formula X Nail Polishes.  The formula on these absolutely blew me away.  They're amazing.  They last longer than normal polish on me, and I find that I don't need to topcoat them.  The "new classics" shades seem to be the best formulas, but I've loved every one I have tried.  My 2 personal favorite shades are Haphazard (a dark neon purple jelly) and Ignite (a perfect classic red creme).

2.  Soap & Glory A Great Kisser Peppermint Lip Balm.  I am just obsessed with this stuff...that's really all there is to it!  It was the only lip product that really stuck out in my mind for this year.  I know it's a fairly recent purchase (early November), but I use it every single day.  It smells fantastic and gives the prettiest natural sheen.

3.  Hourglass Ambient Powder in Diffused.  I'm sure everyone and their mother is going to include an Ambient Power in their 2013 favorites, and I hate to be so cliche, but I honestly do just LOVE this powder.  I only have Diffused...which is meant to even out your skintone by reducing redness and to blur pores and imperfections.  I use this as an all-over setting powder, and I think it does exactly what it is marketed to do.  I don't see the powder on my skin (and you aren't supposed to), but I definitely notice a nicer complexion.

4.  Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush.  Before trying this brush, I thought it was for sure just a marketing ploy, but my opinion changed within 10 seconds of dipping it into my Ambient Powder.  It really, really does work better than any other brush I tried with the powder.  It keeps the product from flying up and out of the pan, so I feel less wasteful, and it does a great job applying a thin, even layer...just enough to make your skin look awesome but not powdery or cakey.  If I am going to be spending $45 on a face powder, I'm glad I spent the additional money on the brush that it really is meant to work wonders with.  You won't regret this purchase!

5.  The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer.  This is a great highlight.  It's the most pigmented powder highlight I've ever used, and the golden glow it gives is natural and gorgeous. 

6.  Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser.  Another product that I thought was probably a waste of money and just a marketing scheme.  After once use, though, man did I realize I was wrong!  This stuff actually works....and works much, much better than the liquid soaps I tried cleaning my Beauty Blender with.  I only use this on my Beauty Blender, so it will last me a while.

7.  Hourglass Veil Primer.  The best face primer out there...hands down.  It smooths your skin and actually does keep your makeup on all day.  It pairs well with any foundation, but it is beyond incredible when paired with #8...

8.  Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation.  Hourglass snagged 4 of my Top 13 spots this year...I guess you guys can tell what my favorite brand has been! ;)  They really do just make amazing products, and Immaculate is no exception.  This is HG foundation for me...I have never, ever used anything so amazing.  If you have oily skin, get your butt to Sephora today and get a sample of this stuff.  This is the only foundation that has ever stayed on me for 6+ hours without the need to retouch and that has also kept my blush/bronzer/highlighter from fading, too.  I stay matte and perfect all day long.  You absolutely cannot beat this stuff if you have oily skin.  (It isn't meant for anything but!)

9.  Urban Decay Eyeliner Vault.  Ohhhhhhh how I love this thing.  I have the original version, and while it was insanely expensive and probably really sort of a waste of money, I love that I own basically every single UD eyeliner out there.  And I actually do use most of them!  I find that experimenting with eyeliner is such an easy, fun way to add color to your look.

10.  Jane Water Resistant Eyeliner.  The first black pencil liner I've ever owned that actually stays on my waterline.  See my full review here :)

11.  Soleil Tan de Chanel Makeup Bronzing Base.  Loooooooove this stuff.  This is a product that is new to me, but has been talked about forever.  It is the only cream bronzer I've ever tried, but I can't say I feel the need to look anywhere else for a better one!  It's awesome.  It's very natural on the skin and I think it would suit anyone from the fairest girls to those somewhere in the range of a Mac NC/NW 38/40.  I love to apply mine with a damp Beauty Blender for a sheer wash of color.

12.  Red Cherry Lashes.  I discovered these over the summer when I found Jaclyn Hill on YouTube, and I am SO glad I did.  They're super duper cheap (like $3 a pair!!) and they look gorgeous.  I've used my #43s a few times already and they're still in great shape.

13.  Makeup Geek Eyeshadows.  I finally placed my first Makeup Geek order this year, and I absolutely LOVE Marlena's eyeshadows!  They're the quality of Mac's permanent line at 1/3 of the price.  My personal favorite shade is Creme Brulee, which is a warm brown perfect for blending out the crease.  And they're cruelty-free to boot.  I definitely plan to purchase more of these in 2014!

What made your favorites list this year?


As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mommy Makeup Monday: My 2014 Beauty Resolutions

On Mondays, I share a tip, product or tutorial that will help you look polished and put-together quickly and with minimal effort.  You definitely don't have to be a rushed mom to benefit from these posts...anyone who needs to be out-the-door fast (and who doesn't?!) can appreciate Mommy Makeup Mondays!
 
So this technically isn't really a true makeup post, but I wanted to share my beauty resolutions in the mom context because they involve me taking more time for myself.  Obviously my daughter is priority #1, but I've really let a lot of things fall to the wayside these past 10 months, whether it be taking care of myself or doing things I enjoy.  

I guess the point here is if I can take 10 minutes a day, or a half hour a week, or whatever it is out of my momlife, anyone can :)

So Happy 2014!!!  And here are the things I'd like to work on this year.

#1 - DRINK MORE WATER.  Probably more health than beauty related, but it's no secret that drinking enough water helps your complexion and skin.  So I'll call it a beauty resolution ;)  My goal is at least 64 oz. a day, but the more the better.

#2 - STOP PICKING OFF MY POLISH.  For as long as I can remember, I've had the terrible habit of picking off my nail polish once it starts to chip.  More often than not, that's how it comes off instead of remover.  It's awful for my nails and because I usually do it unconsciously, it's annoying to find the little pieces of polish all over the house!

#3 - BE MORE DILIGENT ABOUT PEDICURES.  And I don't necessarily mean professional pedis.  I only go to the spa maybe 2 or 3 times a year to have a pro tend to my toes.  However, I have no reason at all not to care for me feet a bit more at home.  First on my list...stop walking around on my hardwood and tile floors barefoot!  It causes terrible calluses and cracks on my heels (that are often painful!) and I have no excuse for it.  Next up: moisturize, wear Vaseline + socks to bed from time to time, file my heels, deal with my cuticles, and keep my polish fresh.

#4 - CONTINUE SHOPPING MY STASH AND USING PRODUCTS UP.  This is something I've really been focusing on in the past 6 months, and I plan to continue it.  I really just have too much stuff, and it's been nice to use products up and see them be done.  Plus, it never hurts the wallet to find and fall in love with something you forgot you even had!

Image Source: PETA.org
#5 - BUY BUNNY FRIENDLY.  In 2012, I made (and kept!) the resolution to buy only cruelty-free makeup/beauty products.  I worked off of PETA's lists to determine which companies did and did not test on animals and only bought from those on the "safe" list.  (I can do a more comprehensive post on this subject - it's one I feel strongly about - but for brevity's sake...PETA's lists are not all-inclusive and you should do your own research into a brand, too.)  In 2013, I did not continue the resolution...really for no good reason other than I was pressed for time being a new mom.  Going forward, though, I'd like to continue being conscious of animal testing.  This means I must re-research and find new bunny-friendly companies to love...and it also means I may have to curb my love for MAC!  The lists are ever-changing, though, so my goal is to do my best to keep up to date on the topic and shop wisely.

So that's it!  Those are my 5 beauty resolutions for 2014.  What are yours?  I'd love to be inspired to add a few more :)  Have you been successful at any of my resolutions?!  Share your tips!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 2013 Favorites! (And 1 Complete Waste of Money)

To wrap up the 2013 holiday season, here are my favorite products from this past month.  I do plan to do a blog post (but not a video) sharing my 2013 beauty favorites next week, but for now I just wanted to share the products I have been loving recently :)

Please share yours, too!



Products Mentioned:

I've talked this one to death.  You guys know I love it!!

I finally broke down and put away my NARS Laguna Bronzer, and broke this baby out.  This is my favorite winter bronzer.  It's matte, the perfect shade, and it smells heavenly!

Naked Palette (the original!) ($52)
I've been giving this one a LOT of love lately!  It's just such an awesome range of colors...you cannot go wrong.

Avon 8 In 1 Neutral Palette ($7 on Amazon, but it's an add-on item, so it only ships when you spend $35+)
I found this little gem stashed away in my collection, and I've been loving it this month!  It is a little hard to find, since Avon does not sell it anymore, but if you can get your hands on it, it's really worth trying.  The colors are all shimmery, but the payoff is great and there is a good range of lights, mid-tone browns, and darks in the palette.  It's also really travel friendly, since it is a nice small compact with a mirror.

Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen in 03 Blackened Brown ($9)
This was my replacement for Mac's Penultimate liner that I really didn't like.  It's a felt-tip pen style liner and I love it.  The color is pretty dark, but is still noticeably brown.  It's very very easy to use, too.

Jordana Fabuliner in Black (normally $6, but it's only $2.99 here!)
Basically the same as the Revlon pen liner, but in black, and way cheaper!

I finally caved and bought this, and I'm so glad I did!  It does leave your brows a little crispy, but they don't look flaky or stiff.  It keeps each hair in place all day.

Trim Eyelash Curler ($3.49 on Drugstore.com, but I snagged mine in-store at Target for $1.99!)
WHAT AN AMAZING FIND!!!!!  OMG!  I only paid $2 for mine in Target, and it is the best $2 I have spent in a long time.  This little beauty makes my lashes look SO much curlier (they're naturally curly) and longer.  It works SO WELL, especially for the price.  I cannot rave enough about it.

China Glaze Poinsettia ($5 with free shipping on Amazon)
This is by far my favorite holiday red.  It's a perfect true red without any warm/cool undertones.  It's a cross between a jelly and a creme in my mind, an I love it!

I just HAD to grab this with my Sephora VIB $20 coupon earlier this month.  I've wanted this gorgeous pink glitter forever and it's finally mine.  :)  I have to admit, I expected the staying power to be a bit better, but the color is so fabulous I don't even care if I only get 24 hours out of a mani!

I know this is stupid expensive for a foot file, but my feet need it, big time.  I am really super hard on them, and I have awful calluses, so I need something really heavy duty to help them out.  I wanted a metal file after having a professional pedicurist use one on me, and this was the 2nd item I grabbed with my VIB coupon.  If you have terrible calluses, it may be worth a shot.  It really smooths my feet down better than anything else I've tried.

Stridex Soft Touch Pads Maximum Strength (2% Salicylic Acid) ($8 for 180 pads at WalMart, but I got mine in-store...90 pads for about $4)
I wanted to grab these after hearing Josh Collier rave about them, and hoped they would help my clogged pores and redness.  I don't have acne, but I do have oily skin and a lot of discoloration.  I've only used them for about 2 weeks so far, but I definitely have noticed that my T-zone (where I use them nightly) is a lot smoother.  I'll update as I use them more, but for now they really seem great.

And the waste of money item is the Sonia Kashuk Brush Cleaner ($7).  The reviews on Target's website are a lie!!  It's just terrible...it really didn't clean my brushes well at all.  I tried it both as a spot cleaner (which just left a funky residue on my brushes) and as a soap-alternative.  I would not recommend purchasing this whatsoever!  Just go with Mac's Brush Cleaner instead, it's way better!

I hope you enjoyed, and I hope you all have a fabulous New Year's!


As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Get Ready With Me! Some Original Naked Palette Love :)

I know Naked 3 has been all the rage these days, but I just can't help giving the original gem some love!  It's by far my all-time favorite, most-used palette.  I've been doing a different eye look than my typical "shimmery champagne on lid, matte tans in crease" lately, so I thought I would share :)

Enjoy!




Products Used
Clarins Bright+ Brightening Hydrating Day Lotion ($62)
Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden ($20)
Mac Paint Pot in Nubile (LE shade)
Urban Decay Naked Palette ($52)  (shades Naked, Buck, Hustle, Sidecar, Virgin)
Jordana Fabuliner in Black ($2.99 at CherryCulture!  It's normally $6.)
DiorShow Extase Mascara (mine is a sample, but full size is $28.50...and not worth the $$ IMHO!)
Makeup Forever HD Foundation in shade 117 ($42)
Mac Mineralize Concealer in shade NW20 ($20)
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Milk Chocolate ($30)
Victoria Secret Blush/Highlighter (LE, and discontinued, but Mac's Crew Highlighter is very similar!)
Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick ($26)
Cover Girl TruBlend Pressed Powder ($8.99)
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel ($21)
Mac Cremesheen Glass in Boy Bait ($20)






As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mommy Makeup Monday: Tips for Touching Up Your Makeup

On Mondays, I share a tip, product or tutorial that will help you look polished and put-together quickly and with minimal effort.  You definitely don't have to be a rushed mom to benefit from these posts...anyone who needs to be out-the-door fast (and who doesn't?!) can appreciate Mommy Makeup Mondays!

No matter how hard I try or how many "long-wear" products I use in the morning, it is inevitable that my makeup will begin to wear off by mid-day.  Most days I honestly just don't care...no one besides my little girl sees me, and she really doesn't mind! 

For those days that I can't exactly run around with mascara or eyeliner smudged under my eyes (still trying to figure out which one is doing it to me!), I have a few tricks on standby to help me touch up and look fresh again in only a few minutes.

                                                                      1.  Keep Q-Tips on you.
These are awesome for getting rid of any product that has smudged to a place you don't want it.  Whether it is mascara on your undereyes, gunk in your inner eye corners (we all get it), lipstick that has bled, or product that has settled into creases or fine lines, q-tips can get the smears away quickly.  A quick brush with a dry q-tip should do it, but if your product is being stubborn, I usually use a tiny (tiny!!) bit of water or a little dab of lotion to help it wipe away. 
My Pick: Q-Tips Precision Tips Cotton Swabs ($3.29 for 170).  These are pointed on the ends, not rounded, so they allow you to get into tight spots much more easily.

2.  Be prepared to combat shine.
Even when I use something like a mattifying spray over my makeup in the morning, I still get shiny by about 2pm.  My skin is oily so it can take a little bit of powder without looking cakey.  I don't typically carry this with me, but if I am home and need to run out, I will just take a nice fluffy brush and a little powder foundation (or a sheer tinted powder) and run it over my T-zone.  For on-the-go or if you have dry skin, keep blotting sheets in your purse.  They'll work wonderfully!
My Picks:  MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural ($30) or Cover Girl TruBlend Pressed Powder ($9).  These are so, so similar...I'd go drugstore unless you're looking to spend money at the MAC counter!  For blotting sheets, I love the Boscia Blotting Linens ($10 for 100 sheets) or the Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets ($4.39 for 50 sheets).

3.  Have those products that wear away quickly with you and ready for you to reapply them.  
On me, this is stuff like concealer, bronzer, blush, and lipgloss.  It's super easy to keep a tiny stick or pot of concealer, a compact with both powders and a little brush in your bag, and you'll be glad you did!  (I will say, though...the only thing I actually keep in my purse in this regard is lipgloss.  I must have 30 of them in my diaper bag!)  Keep in mind, too...these are just your travel products...they don't need to be your favorites.  Inexpensive products are great, too, because if they crack while in your purse, you aren't losing your $30 blush.  
My Picks:  For concealer, I love my Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick ($24).  Pricey, but it works so well, is very compact, and has sturdy packaging.  For re-covering your undereye circles, I love a thinner concealer like the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller ($10.59).  You can easily blend it with your fingers.   For blush and bronzer, I would go with the E.L.F. Blush/Bronzer Duo in St. Lucia ($3).  While I'm normally not a huge E.L.F. fan, for $3 I think this is a great purse item.  It's supposedly a dupe for NARS' Orgasm/Laguna duo, which is $41!!  I would also keep a retractable kabuki brush on hand to apply the powders.  Eco Tools makes a $9 drugstore version; Sephora's comes in at $18 and in 5 colors.  And finally, my must-have purse lipgloss...Victoria's Secret Shiny Kiss Flavored Gloss in Slice of Heaven ($9).  VS renames or repackages this scent/flavor all the time, but through the years I've always been able to find the cake batter flavored gloss.  It smells divine and leaves the prettiest shine on your lips.  It's slightly sticky, but it's worth the tradeoff for its staying power.

What are your go-to tricks for touching up your eye makeup?
As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Product Review: Jane Cosmetics Water-Resistant Eyeliner

Back in my first Ulta Haul, I shared that I purchased the Jane Cosmetics Water-Resistant Eyeliner ($6) after hearing that it was great for the waterline.  Today, after being able to really test it out, I wanted to share my full thoughts on it.
Image Source: Janecosmetics.com

Simply said, this liner is awesome!  Now, I really, seriously did not need another black eyeliner since I have a billion of them to begin with.  But I never really found that Holy Grail black liner for my waterline that would actually stay put all day without smudging and smearing below my eyes.  So long story short, I kept buying more and more and more in the hope that at least one would stay put.

I think the Jane one might just be my HG black pencil liner.  It transfers really easily and is very black.  Not only does it actually stay on my waterline all day, but it doesn't creep down into my undereye area, either.  It also doesn't smudge on my top lid, even though my lids are oily.

I also love that it's a mechanical pencil, so there's no need to bring a sharpener if you want to travel with this.  And the best part...it's $6!  Ulta constantly has coupons and other promotions, so you should be able to pick this up for even less than that.

To compare it to other popular liners, it transfers just as easily as the Urban Decay 24/7 pencils, but lasts much longer on me.  It isn't quite as black as something like the Perversion pencil from UD, but definitely holds a candle to shades like UD's Zero, Mac Feline or Smolder, or Stila's Onyx.

I would absolutely recommend this liner, and I'm tempted to pick up a few more in some other colors (Ulta offers 20 shades).  In particular, I'm really digging the Rose Gold shade, and I'd love to try Black Sparkle, Deep Purple, and Midnight Blue.

Have any of you tried this liner?  Do you love it?  What shades must I grab?!

As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Little One and I Went Shopping :)

Yesterday, my daughter decided I decided to drag my little one to Ulta to spend our 20% off coupon that came earlier in the month.  (If you haven't received one, you should see it on Ulta's Facebook page if you Like them!  They've also been sending them via email.)

I didn't grab too much stuff since I did go a little makeup crazy in November, but I picked up a few items to share.  Plus you'll get to see my Christmas tree and meet my black lab, Molly, in the video :)



Have you tried any of these?  I'd love to hear some opinions on the Sally Hansen kit!  

(Not-so-funny story...after I filmed the video, that night I went to try out the gel polish system and my little UV light broke!!  The part that the a/c adapter plugs into came loose and the connection is now rattling around inside of the light.  I contacted Sally Hansen to see if they would send me a replacement, but I haven't heard back yet.  If and when I can ever get it working again, I plan to do a review of all the Sally Hansen gel products!)

Thanks for stopping by!!
As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mommy Makeup Monday: The e.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen

On Mondays, I share a tip, product or tutorial that will help you look polished and put-together quickly and with minimal effort.  You definitely don't have to be a rushed mom to benefit from these posts...anyone who needs to be out-the-door fast (and who doesn't?!) can appreciate Mommy Makeup Mondays!

Happy Monday!

Today I want to share a tool that I use all. the. time for quick touch ups and to get those pesky mascara smudges off my face.  I featured this product in my November Favorites, but decided it needed its own post!

The e.l.f. Studio Makeup Remover Pen ($3) is one of the best little items I own!  I grabbed mine at Target after hearing about it on Josh Collier's YouTube channel.  Until I found this gem, I have to be honest, I had never used an e.l.f product that I actually liked, so I was a bit skeptical.  The makeup remover pen, however, is an awesome find!

Image Source: Drugstore.com
The pen is the perfect size for getting into the corners of your eye or below your lower lashes.  It is filled with an oil-based makeup remover that works wonderfully for taking off excess or smudged makeup.  It does leave a slight residue behind, but I have found that it quickly absorbs into my skin once it dries, or I can just rub it in if I'm in a rush.  

The applicator is a cross between a sponge tip and a felt tip, but it is hard enough that you get complete control over it.  Another plus...when the tip starts to get dirty and filled with makeup, pull it out and flip it over for a perfectly clean side! 

I've used this pen at least a few times a week either to fix blotched mascara application or to touch up in the afternoon when my makeup is all smudged...and it's lasted me a good 6 months, and is still going strong. 

Overall, this is an all-time favorite product of mine!  I will definitely continue to purchase it, and I love that it's a great steal at only $3!

Have you tried this pen?  Do you love it as much as I do?

As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Organization Week Part 3: My Everyday Products

On Monday, my post focused on how I keep the products that I use day in and day out right where I need them...on my vanity.  Today, I wanted to give you a more detailed view of my everyday products.  I've included in the video the things I use literally every single day.  I often change up things like foundations and eyeshadows, so those aren't in there, but everything from mascara to eye cream is!

These are the things I keep in the drawer in my purple makeup tower and out on my vanity for easy use!




Links Mentioned in the Video:
Monday's post on organizing for everyday ease here
Temptalia's post on Mac's Haute & Naughty Mascara here
My post on the Julep Top Coat here

Products Mentioned:
Clarins Bright+ Brightening Hydrating Day Lotion ($62...this was a gift from my sister)
Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden ($20)
Mac Paint Pot in Nubile (limited edition shade)
Mac Mineralize Concealer ($20)
Mac Fluidline in Blacktrack ($16)
Mac's Haute & Naughty Too Black Mascara ($21)
Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara (used as a brow gel) ($5.50)
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel ($21)
NARS Laguna Bronzer ($36)
Soap & Glory A Great Kisser Peppermint Lip Balm ($10)
Bioderma (try Amazon or Ebay.  It's about $20 for 250 ml, $35-$35 for 500 ml)
Sheseido Facial Cotton ($9.50)
Mac Lip Conditioner (now sold in a tube, here, for $15)
Avon AnewGenics Eye Cream ($36)
Clarins Lotus Oil Face Treatment ($50...also a gift from my sister)
Gelous Base Coat ($6)
Seche Vite Top Coat ($10)

I hope you enjoyed :)

As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Organization Week Part 2: My Collection and How I Organize It!

To build upon Monday's post, I figured I might as well show you guys my entire collection and how I keep it all organized.  I love seeing how other people keep their stashes...I always get such good inspiration and ideas to revamp my own products! 

It's taken me a long time to finally figure out what works best for me, but I think I've found my perfect organization.  As you'll see, I keep a lot of products out and readily accessible.  I keep a bunch more stored in drawers, and even more stored away in a drawer that I can get to easily, but where my products stay hidden.  (Not that it really matters...I'm the only one who really sees my closet anyway!)

...and of course the standard collection video disclaimer.  I'm not trying to show off how much makeup I have.  Please know that I have been collecting for probably 15 years now, and it's taken me that long to amass what I have.  Before I focused my time on being a mom, I worked at a good-paying professional job that took me years and years of hard work to get, and I was able to spend my "play money" on makeup...so I did.  I never take what I have for granted, and my only hope in sharing this with you all is to give some ideas for organization!



Purple Makeup Towers:  Mine are old, but here are similar ones at the Container Store ($15 each).  I have also seen these in Target at a lower price, although their website doesn't show them.

Bins in the Big Drawer:  all came from Dollar Tree!  Check out their selection here (although they don't have online ordering unless it's in bulk.)

I hope you enjoyed and found some inspiration!  Please share how you keep your makeup organized!

As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mommy Makeup Monday: Organization for Quick Makeup Application

On Mondays, I share a tip, product or tutorial that will help you look polished and put-together quickly and with minimal effort.  You definitely don't have to be a rushed mom to benefit from these posts...anyone who needs to be out-the-door fast (and who doesn't?!) can appreciate Mommy Makeup Mondays!

This week on the blog, I plan to focus on organizing your makeup stash, paying particular attention to tips to help you keep things in a way that lets you access what you need to get to quickly.  I have found that keeping my everyday must-use products right at my fingertips takes the guesswork out of my morning skincare and makeup routine, and also prevents me from having to search and dig through my stuff to find what exactly I am looking for.

For years I kept my makeup collection in cosmetic bags...1 for all my eye products (shadow, liner, mascara, etc.) and one for all my face products (moisturizer, foundations, blushes, brushes....).  I used to spend just as much time searching through those 2 bags each morning just to find the brush I wanted, the shade I wanted...whatever...as I did actually applying the products.

As my collection grew and my leisure time shrank, I found myself organizing and reorganizing trying to find the best way to keep my makeup.  At this point, I finally have a system that works.  

I will be posting the details of how I organize and keep my entire collection later this week (look for that on Wednesday or Thursday!), but for now I just want to share the basic things that allow me to get going quickly each day.



First, I keep a lot of product out.  My face moisturizers, foundations, brushes, and lip balms are all out and at the ready.  I keep these items on my vanity so that when I sit down, they're staring me in the face.  

I also keep 1 drawer of my plastic organizers filled with all my day-to-day products: mascara, lash curler, eye primers, brow pencil, etc.  That way, everything I know I need to use is in the same place.  If I touch it every day, it goes in that drawer.


I also keep my most-used makeup at my fingertips, organized on or in my vanity, with the products I only reach for occasionally (false lashes, loose pigments, off-season blushes and foundations, etc.) in a storage drawer.  My most-used shadows, in-season blushes and bronzers, favorite face primers, concealers, makeup wipes, and so forth are kept right where I sit each morning.

Finally, another nice way to organize is to keep all your eyeshadows (if you have a lot) in palettes.  I depotted the majority of mine and keep them in Mac palettes.  (I have the old-style ones, and I removed the separators to allow me more freedom with size and space.)  The palettes take up MUCH less room than individual shadows do.  You can buy empty palettes from Mac now without separators (but you'll need to attach a magnet to the back of each depotted shadow) for $8, or go for a Z-palette for $20 (pricier, but magnetized).  To learn how to depot your shadows, head to Youtube...there are tons of tutorials!  I like Makeup Geek's flatiron method.

Now I realize not everyone has the space to keep their products out, and not everyone has as many products that need organizing.  They key is to try to find a way to keep the things you do have out in the open as fashionably as possible.  For example, grab a nice apothecary jar to place on your bathroom countertop and fill that with your most basic makeup items (foundation, blush, mascara, a liner, and a shadow).  One of my favorite mom bloggers, Jessica Garvin over at Little Baby Garvin, keeps hers this way, as seen in her post here.  That way you can work right from the jar.  

For a smaller collection, my old travel makeup bag trick actually works really well...keep 1 for eyes, 1 for face, 1 for your brushes.  As long as you aren't digging for 10 minutes every morning, it works just fine!  Alternatively, dedicate one of your dresser or bathroom drawers, or even a shelf in your linen closet to those products you use constantly. 

I think you'll find that keeping your essentials right where you need them and all organized in 1 place will truly help you get yourself put together much quicker in the morning!  Take an hour (ha!  who actually has an hour??) and organize your stash...you'll be glad you tried it out!!

Let me know how it goes :)

As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Perfect Palette Tag

I LOVE a good eyeshadow palette.  Who doesn't?  They're usually a great value and can help make deciding what to do with your makeup a breeze.  Plus obviously they're awesome to travel with. 

Rather than just share with you my favorite palettes, I thought I would do a tag that's been going around YouTube lately...the Perfect Palette Tag!  Amarixe recently did this video...that's where I first saw it.  If you haven't checked out her channel, definitely do!

Without further ado...

1.  Best Packaging.  Gotta go with one of the Naked Palettes for this.  They're compact, have nice big mirrors, and they each have a spot for either a brush or an eyeliner. 

Wet N Wild Comfort Zone
2.  Best Color Payoff.  I'm going to choose the Wet N Wild 8 Pan Palette in Comfort Zone for this!  For $5, how could you go wrong.  This is surprisingly pigmented.  (I mean at this point it's no great shock that Wet N Wild makes awesome shadows, but when these all came out, I think everyone was skeptical of their quality.)  Comfort Zone has great neutral browns and greens and every shade has great payoff.

3.  Most Versatile.  Naked 1.  It's easily my favorite palette.  You can do everything from just a wash of a simple neutral shimmer (Virgin or Sin), to something a tad bit more amped up with a nice crease color, to something really dramatic using the darker shades.  You can even stamp on some eyeliner if you use the darker colors.  You can't beat this one!

Too Faced Natural Eye
4.  Best for Travel.  Too Faced Natural Eye Palette.  Another awesomely neutral palette.  I love a few of the shades in here, especially Push Up.  I wouldn't hesitate to travel with this because you have everything from matte neutrals and soft shimmery browns to a glittery peach and a nice dark color, too.  Plus, it's small and compact (which is why it beat out Naked 1!)

Mac Evil Eye...notice my attempt to save it!



5.  Biggest Regret.  Easy peasy for me.  I wasted my money on the Mac Evil Eye quad back when it came out.  I don't think I've ever used it because the colors are just terrible.  No payoff whatsoever.  I even tried crushing them up and reforming them, but it made no difference.  It's such a crap palette.  That purchase taught me to do my research before buying anything!!

6.  Best Color Names.  This was a toughie, but I have to choose the Too Faced Naked Eye Palette.  I tend not to use this all that often, as the shades are all very soft and natural (I like some drama, what can I say!) but the names are super cute!  The shades include Stiletto, Unmentionables, and Birthday Suit.  (If I owned their Boudoir Eyes Palette, I think I'd have to pick that!)

Image Source: Sephora.com
7.  Least Used.  Too Faced Return of Sexy Palette.  I had such high hopes for this because when I swatched it in store, it seemed fabulous.  The colors seemed rich and velvety and I thought they would blend like a dream.  I did my homework and read up on it, and found that most reviews said it was fine if you were willing to work with it.  I would agree with that...it's a great palette if you have plenty of time to really work with the colors.  Most are really shimmery and create a lot of fallout.  You MUST use a good primer (even a glitter glue, dare I say for some!) and most need to be sprayed with Fix+ or another spray to get decent payoff.  It's a fun palette, but it takes me 3 times as long to use it, so I don't choose it often.

8.  Most Used, Most Loved, Desert Island.  Definitely Naked 1.  The colors are wonderfully neutral and it includes one of my favorite blending colors...Naked.  The looks you can do with Naked 1 are endless.

Hope you enjoyed!  Please share with me your favorite palettes!






As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mommy Makeup Monday: If You Only Do 1 Thing...Make It Mascara!

On Mondays, I share a tip, product or tutorial that will help you look polished and put-together quickly and with minimal effort.  You definitely don't have to be a rushed mom to benefit from these posts...anyone who needs to be out-the-door fast (and who doesn't?!) can appreciate Mommy Makeup Mondays!

Happy December!  Welcome to the busiest month of the year...which leaves us all even less time for makeup in the mornings.  Funny, since we all have even more errands to run and places to be!  

For today's quick and easy makeup tip, I'm sharing my #1 must-do thing before you leave the house.  Even if you have no time to fool with foundations and blushes, there is just one step you can make time for...it only takes a minute.

MASCARA!  

 
Giving your lashes a super fast curl (if you even need it...) and a swipe of black mascara instantly makes your eyes more open and makes you look more awake.  Keep a tube out on your bathroom counter and run it over your top lashes before you turn the light off to leave the house.  One coat takes less than a minute and will make a HUGE difference.  (If you have 2 minutes, add some to your bottom lashes and maybe a tiny bit of concealer if you have dark circles...no need for anything else!)

Here are my top picks for mascaras!
a more detailed mascara post is coming soon!

#1 - My Holy Grail Mascara - Benefit They're Real.
Yes, I know it's pricey, but Oh Em Gee.  This really does make my lashes look like falsies.  It's a wet formula, but does an amazing job with both volume and length.  I've found nothing that even comes close.



If you like wet formulas.... Loreal Telescopic Carbon Black or Buxom Lash

If you like dry formulas.... Revlon Grow Luscious or Makeup Forever Smoky Lash  (DiorShow is the cult favorite here, but personally I am not a fan.  At all.  It's beyond overpriced, and Grow Luscious is basically the same thing for 1/4 of the price.)

If you want easy to remove.... Loreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes or MAC Extended Play Lash (both of these are tubing mascaras)

Share with me your favorite mascaras!  I'm always looking for new ones to try :)






As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 2013 Favorites!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  I'm sure everyone is either shopping or decorating today, but for those who took a quick wine hot chocolate break to catch up on your blogs, here are my November 2013 beauty favorites :)  Enjoy!



Favorites This Month:

Mac Prolongwear Foundation ($31) mixed with Clarins Beauty Flash Balm ($45)
I love Prolongwear by itself, but it's a bit heavy for me for day-to-day use, so I like to sheer it out a bit with my Beauty Flash Balm, which is similar in concept to Mac's Strobe Liquid.  It's not as iridescent as Strobe Liquid, but it gives a great natural glow.  It smells divine, too!  (Full disclosure...the Beauty Flash Balm was a given to me by my sister to try, since she LOVES hers...I didn't buy it myself.)

NARS Orgasm Blush ($29 individually; mine is shown in an old palette)
An oldie but a goodie!  I sort of forgot about this blush for a while, but I picked it back up this month and have worn it most days.  You all know everything there is to know about Orgasm...but it's just a gorgeous shimmery pink that is flattering on all skin tones.

Mac Pro Shaping Powder in Emphasize ($16.50)
I use this to set my undereye concealer.  It's a white power with the slightest amount of sheen, and it is meant to highlight all areas of the face.  I like a little undereye brightness, and this works well with my skintone (Mac NC25/30).  

ELF Studio Makeup Remover Pen ($3)
I grabbed this at Target after hearing Josh Collier rave about it, and it's the one ELF product that I can honestly say was not a waste of money!  I love it!  It's great for getting rid of a mascara smudge or end of the day liner smudges.  It does leave a slight residue, but nothing that can't be just rubbed into your skin.

Hourglass Ambient Powder Brush ($35)
I resisted this brush for a while, but finally broke down and grabbed it during Sephora's VIB sale.   I am so glad I did.  If you use Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Powders, I would definitely recommending investing in the brush that goes with them.  I was using a large paddle brush that was sort of similar in shape, but it wasted too much product.  This brush really keeps the powder from flying around and gives you a flawless application.

Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush ($6; these go on sale B1G1 50% off at Ulta a lot!)
I love this brush!!!  I think it might be my new HG liner brush, and I don't say that lightly!  It's a round shape, but it is stiffer than other liner brushes I've tried, which makes application a breeze.

Chanel Eyeshadow in Fauve ($28.50)
Fauve is my sole Chanel eyeshadow, and I could only justify the purchase because it is SO unique.  It's a gorgeous greyish purple, but the insane shimmer is what sets it apart.  I don't get a ton of fallout, which is awesome, especially given the shimmer.  If you're ever near a Chanel counter, just go play with this one!!  I have yet to see a swatch that does it justice...

Mac Naked Pigment ($21)
I have been using this on my eyelids with warm browns in the crease and I have been loving the look.  It's a gorgeous super shimmery nude color and pairs well with anything.  You could absolutely use this pigment as a highlight, too!

This highlighter gives such a gorgeous natural sheen to the skin...it's basically all I've been using for on my cheekbones this month.  It's a tan shade and may work better as a shimmery bronzer for the fairest of us, but on most complexions it will work as a gorgeous highlight.

I'm not sure how many times I can rave about this stuff before you guys get bored of me talking about it.  Just go and get it already!!!!  It's the perfect peppermint lip balm. 

What have you been loving toward the end of the fall??






As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours :)

As much as I love shopping, I will not be patronizing any stores on Thanksgiving day.  Everyone deserves a holiday.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pick Through My Trash: Product Empties

One of my favorite types of videos to watch on YouTube are beauty girls' product empties videos.  I'm always trying to use things up, especially now that I have put myself on a serious no-buy and I'm trying to just enjoy and condense my collection!  I love seeing what people think of products and if they would re-purchase them after they've had a chance to fully use the products.  I take a lot of recommendations from these types of videos, so I figured I would start doing them myself!

I don't plan to do these on any regular basis...just when I have a full bag of items to share.  So without further ado...here are my product empties for the past few months.




Products Mentioned:
Beauty Secrets Pure Acetone ($6 for 32 oz. at Sally's, which is the size I buy)
I would and have repurchased

Bath & Body Works Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Antibac Hand Soap ($5.50 full price, but they're always on sale)
These are a staple in my house...I always have one of the B&BW scents in each bathroom and the kitchen.

Not a fan of these...see my full thoughts in this post.

Mac Wipes ($20 for 45 wipes)
My favorite wipes evah!  I already have repurchased them.

Not sure if mine was a dud or what, but I would not buy this again.

Gilette Venus Disposable Razor ($12.49 for 3, but again, buy on sale with coupons!)
I generally just buy whatever razors are on sale and have coupons, but I would get these again.

Bath & Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena Body Wash (Now called Coconut Lime Breeze...$12.50)
Love this scent, and again I'm a big fan of B&BW body washes.

This was my 2nd tub of this...LOVE it.  Such a luxurious product.

I would buy this again, but don't plan to until I'm out of other hand creams.  It was good, not amazing.

Loved the scent, but hated the texture.  I likely would not repurchase this.

This was fine, but I get so many samples from the dentist that I wouldn't buy it!

Hated it.  No way I would buy the full size.  (I had a 1 oz. sample...NO WAY did I buy it for that price!!)

Best brush cleaner I've used.  I would absolutely repurchase and will when I finish up the bottle of Sonia Kashuk cleaner I have already.

And a bonus item I forgot to mention in the video....

I did really enjoy this, but it's no Benefit They're Real ;)


Hope you enjoyed :)






As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mommy Makeup Monday: My New Favorite Topcoat

On Mondays, I share a tip, product or tutorial that will help you look polished and put-together quickly and with minimal effort.  You definitely don't have to be a rushed mom to benefit from these posts...anyone who needs to be out-the-door fast (and who doesn't?!) can appreciate Mommy Makeup Mondays!

The start of a nice short week!!  I hope you're all enjoying the last three days before the Christmas Season officially begins.

Image Source: Sephora.com
Today I have a nail polish topcoat that I was lucky enough to find recently.  A few weeks ago I snagged a mini of the Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat ($18) from Sephora as a 100 point perk and I am IN LOVE with this stuff.  It is the perfect solution for a mom who is trying to beat the nap time clock or who has to be out the door to do a ballet class pickup...you know what I'm getting at!

Julep says that this topcoat "sets" in natural light in 5 minutes, and I have to completely agree.  I get professional, salon quality gel like results with this polish and I am 100% smudge free in 5 minutes.  I will say that I don't get the long-lasting results of a professional gel mani, but I say that with the caveat that I am really hard on my nails.  A normal polish change will last me 2 days before I have to repolish.  With this topcoat, I can get 3 days (same as my other newest love, Sephora's Formula X Polishes.)

I know this one is pricey, but if you can grab the 100 point perk I would highly recommend "spending" your points on this!  I have a small stockpile of topcoats to go through (another Seche Vite, an Out the Door, a Formula X, and this mini) so I won't be purchasing right away, but when I work through my stash, I think I'll go for the full size Julep.  I absolutely love the fact that within 5 minutes of putting it on, my nails are completely dry to the point where I can do dishes, change a diaper, or (wishful thinking) go to bed!

Have you tried this topcoat?  What are your thoughts?






As always, everything in this post is my honest personal opinion.  No affiliate links were used.  I have not accepted any consideration for sharing these items with you.  Unless indicated otherwise, all products were purchased by me with my own money.