Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Favorites!


Happy end of October!!  Such a cliche - but I seriously cannot believe how fast this month went.  September and October flew by for me.  I blame it on being so excited to share Halloween and the upcoming holidays with my favorite little girl :)  (My little one is going to be 8 months old this week.  How did that happen??)

The end of October also marks a first for me...my first YouTube video to share with my readers!  I love watching monthly favorites videos, so I figured now would be a great time to take the plunge and film one.  Besides, it's way better to see a product than to just read about it.

And onto the beauty products I've given a lot of love this month!





Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation ($12.99 at Ulta)
Love this for the great natural glow it gives your skin.  I have oily skin, but this still does great things for me.

Makeup Forever Mat Velvet+ Foundation ($36 at Sephora)
This really does stay matte on me most of the day, plus the color match (I am shade 30) is spot on.  It gives a good medium coverage but can be built up.

Beauty Blender ($19.95 at Sephora)
A ridiculously expensive makeup sponge, but I've found nothing that beats it.  When you use it damp, it applies any foundation flawlessly and keeps it looking so natural.  I've been using mine basically every day this month.

Mac Prolongwear Paint Pot in Soft Ochre ($20 on Mac's website, but I found mine at a CCO!)
This is more yellow than the cult-classic shade Painterly.  It's the same shade as Urban Decay's Primer Potion in Eden, which really works well with my skin tone.  This works very well to block out redness and even out my lids.  Paint pots do crease on me, so I layer them over Primer Potion.

Nars Bronzer in Laguna ($36 at Sephora)
I've had my Laguna bronzer for-ev-er.  It's time for it to go, and I've been working on it for months now.  I LOVE the shade, but it's a bit dark for me in the winter, and I just have so many other bronzers I want to use.  I've been using this literally every day to try to use it up!

Burberry Blush in Russett ($42 at Nordstrom)
I absolutely love this color for fall - it is the perfect peachy brown.  It's actually the same exact shade as Mac's blush in Gingerly ($21), which I learned personally when I purchased Gingerly and compared them.  I have to say - Burberry's texture and blendability win by a mile, but the price is a little hard to stomach.  (In full disclosure, I received this as a gift...I did not purchase it myself.)

Mac 222 Brush (~$20, found at a CCO)
I love this brush because it is more dense and compact than a 217.  It deposits color more precisely in my crease, and I've been using it with a 224 to build up color and define my eyes more.  Mac no longer sells the 222, but Sigma's E35 brush ($14) is basically a dupe.  The brush that comes with the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette is also very similar.

Loreal Lineur Intense Liquid Liner in Carbon Black ($7.94 at WalMart)
No liquid liner will ever replace my beloved Fluidline, but I have been reaching for this one quite a bit this month!  It is by far the easiest liquid liner to apply (I use the felt tip version, not the brush version) because the tip is just firm enough to give you a nice, straight line.  Plus, it's ultra black so you don't need to keep going over it.

NYX Setting Spray in Matte Finish ($8 at Nordstrom)
I forgot to include this in my video, but I have been absolutely loving this spray.  It's the first setting spray I've used that actually does keep my makeup in place all day, let alone keep my face from getting shiny after a few hours.  One thing I didn't expect that I was so happy to see was that this spray really keeps my eye makeup from budging.  I typically get a lot of black smudging under my eyes from mascara, but this keeps them looking perfectly clean all day.  

Formula X Polish in Ignite ($10.50 at Sephora)
Holy cow - I never expected to love a nail polish as much as this!!  I will do a full post reviewing these polishes when I grab a few more with my VIB sale coupon, but for now, suffice to say that these are AMAZING.  They wear much longer and better than typical polishes, and you absolutely don't need to topcoat them.  They're just as shiny with Seche Vite as they are without it.  These things are going to be a new addiction for me, I can feel it!!!

What are your favorites this month?  Let me know what I'm missing out on!

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, October 29, 2013

Sephora VIB Sale Info!

Sephora has announced this year's 20% off sale for VIBs.  No information has come out yet regarding a Beauty Insider sale, but from November 7 to November 11, VIBs will receive 20% off in-stores with their coupons (watch your mail...mine came today!) or online with code VIBTOPIA

As always, the amazing Temptalia has all the details here.

If you aren't a VIB, you can still participate in the 20% off sale by making friends with a VIB!  VIBs each get 2 coupons - one for themselves and one for a friend - in their mailers.

Also check out my recommendations for what to pick up at the sale, and my wish list to see what I'll be grabbing!

Happy shopping :)

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.

I Have A Black Eyeliner Problem

For some odd reason, I decided to count how many black eyeliners I have in my collection.  18.  I have freakin EIGHTEEN black eyeliners.  A little much, no?  12 pencils, 5 liquids, and 1 gel.  Who needs this much black eyeliner?!  If my husband reads this, you'll see me on the next episode of Hoarders.

In an attempt to justify my ridiculousness, I figured I may as well swatch them and hope they're at least a little different.  


Here are my 12 black pencils.


And my 5 liquids and 1 gel.


My ultimate conclusion - I definitely don't need this many black liners.  However, even though many of them do swatch identical similarly, the textures and wear times do vary greatly.  Here are my top picks and the biggest misses from my collection.

Best Black Eyeliners

1.  Mac's Fluidline in Blacktrack ($16).  This gel liner is pretty much Holy Grail for me.  Definitely my go-to daily liner, even though it does smudge a little, and it irritates my contact lenses when I use it on my waterline.  I love the deep color and the crisp line I can get with it.

2.  Loreal Lineur Intense Carbon Black ($8.99).  The felt tip makes this liquid liner basically foolproof.  Great black color and doesn't smudge at all, even on my oily lids.  Comparable to Makeup Forever's Aqua Liner ($23) in my mind, but I like the price point or Loreal's liner much better!

Worst Black Eyeliners

1.  Mac's Penultimate Liner ($19.50).  I should just toss this, I never use it.  It's barely black, has a dry formula, and doesn't transfer easily to the lid.  Maybe mine is a dud??

2.  Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner ($18).  I love how black this is, but omg it gets everywhere.  Waterproof my ass!  It's super smudgey, which can be a great thing, but not when it claims to be waterproof and it smears all over your face when you don't want it to.  Maybe it's my oily lids, but I wouldn't purchase this liner.  (Mine came with a palette...I didn't purchase it separately.)

What black eyeliners do you love or hate?  Are there any I am missing that can justify adding to my collection?  Help me feed my addiction :)





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, October 28, 2013

Mommy Makeup Monday: Whiter, Brighter Eyes in 1 Super Easy Step

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 have a great tip for all those sleep-deprived moms people out there.  This 20-second trick can help you look well-rested and will make your eyes look big and bright.

Lining your lower waterline with a white or a "nude for me" (i.e. your skin stone) eyeliner helps create the illusion of more open, whiter and brighter eyes.  It reduces redness and the natural pink tone of the waterline, and will make you look like you got 10 hours of sleep.  (We can dream, can't we?!)

     

In the photos above, you can see how much more bright-eyed I look with white or beige in my waterline.  The top left shows Stila's Kajal Eye Liner in Topaz. (The shade is now called Apricot Nude...it is $18 at Sephora.)  On the top right, I used Rimmel's Soft Kohl Kajal Pencil in Pure White. (It's only $3.99 at Ulta...can you beat that?!)  The bottom photo shows my eye with no liner.

Conversely, lining in black will close up your eyes.  (It is a great trick for those with big eyes who want to make them look smaller.)  Black also gives a more dramatic look to the eye, but doesn't help you look more well-rested and awake.  Below, on the left is my eye with no liner.  On the right, my waterline has Mac's Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Feline ($16) on it.

 
(In all 5 photos above, I am wearing Mac's Paint Pot in Nubile on my lids (it was limited edition, but is similar to Painterly), Mac's Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash Mascara (the length wand) on top and bottom lashes, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer under my eyes, and Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel to define my brows).

A quick note - I personally prefer a flat, matte white for the lower waterline, as opposed to a shimmery white.  Shimmer looks nice, but I find that matte white is more flattering.  I use my shimmery white pencils for inner corner and brow highlights.

Other great options for these shades in eyeliner pencils:

High End Beige Pencils:
Tarte EmphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener - $19 at Sephora
NARS Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte - $24 at Sephora
Illamasqua Medium Pencil in Hex or Vow- $20 at Sephora

High End White Pencils:
Mac Eye Kohl in Fascinating - $16
NARS Larger Than Life Long Wear Eyeliner in Santa Monica Blvd - $24 at Sephora

Drugstore Beige Pencils:
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in Nude - $4.49 at Ulta
(This is the only one I could find!!  If you know of another, please leave it in the comments below!)

Drugstore White Pencils:
NYX Slide On Pencil in Pure White - $7.99 at Ulta
Jane Cosmetics Water-Resistant Eyeliner in Pure White - $6 at Ulta (on sale right now for $4!)
Prestige Kohl Eyeliner in White - $4.29 at Ulta

Tell me what you think!  Will you try this quick tip?  Do you already do this on a daily basis to help fake sleep?  What are your favorite pencils?

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, October 24, 2013

Sephora & Ulta 20% Sale Wish List

With both Sephora and Ulta running 20% off promotions right now (details in my prior post about their sales), here are the products I can't wait to try at 20% off.

Don't fret if you haven't been lucky enough to score a Sephora Friends & Family code...they usually run their BI/VIB sale shortly after F&F ends on October 30.  If you aren't a Beauty Insider, you definitely need to join!!!  Do that here, right now, before you do anything else.  Same with Ulta Rewards!

Things on My Wishlist

I have heard SUCH amazing things about this.  I won't lie, I was introduced to Mally Beauty one night while watching QVC and I got totally hooked on trying this mascara after seeing the models.  Of course I don't buy without doing my homework, but this gets really good reviews basically across the board.  It has a 3.9 rating on MakeupAlley, which is pretty good!

I've wanted this highlighter forever, but I cannot bring myself to spend the money on it.  For 20% off though, I think I may finally splurge! I grabbed a Dior eyeshadow palette last time around and the quality is so amazing that I'm sure this will be great, too.  Besides, Michele1218 can't stop raving about it, and I trust her like no one's business!  If you don't watch her channel, you should!


I have naturally curly hair, and I was lucky enough to receive a few DevaCurl products in a Birchbox a few months ago.  The No Poo, One Condition, and the Light Defining Gel gave me the most amazing curls with minimal effort.  I'd love to get full size bottles.  They're $19 each, though, so it's not cheap to buy the whole line.  Ulta does have a larger range of the line than Sephora, plus they're doing free gifts with purchase.
Image Source: sephora.com

Formula X Nail Polishes ($10.50 to $12.50 at Sephora)
I can't lie, I am so intrigued by this new line of polishes!  I have about a zillion bottles of polish already, but damn Sephora...I can't help but need to try these, too!  They're said to have a gel-like finish, and I'm a total sucker, so I'll probably pick up 2 or 3 shades.


I use this regularly to protect my hair when I style it with my curling iron.  I love the lemon scent and the fact that it dries instantly so there's no wait time between spraying and iron.  I've used cheaper oil-based heat sprays, but this one beats them all by a mile.  I'm almost out, so I need to repurchase.

Marc Jacobs Lolita Palette ($59 at Sephora)
Just what I need...another brown neutrals palette.  I actually had no interest in this until Sarah Victor just had to go and rave about it and do an awesome tutorial.  (I mean, what else is new...she's amazing, of course she did another great tutorial!) Now, of course, I HAVE to have it.


 
I have to be honest, I never really jumped on the Touche Eclat train when it was at full speed a few years ago.  I recently got a sample of both of these products with a Sephora order, though, and I'm hooked.  I LOVE undereye concealers with a thinner consistency (full post on that coming soon!) and the Touche Eclat is so perfect...creamy, easily blended, and still full-coverage.  The foundation is amazing, too.  It gave me medium but buildable coverage, lasted all day, and looked so natural.  I'm also just a foundation junkie, so I love trying them and purchasing anything that works for me.  (My foundation collection is ridiculous.  Let me know if you want to see a post on it!)

Image Source: sephora.com

I actually really only want to try the Supermud mask, but if I'm getting a free Youthmud Tinglexfoliate, why not just try the set?  This contains a full size Supermud Clearing Treatment (normally $69) and a .5 oz tub of the Tinglexfoliate, which is normally $19.  I'm really not a mask person, but this has my curiosity piqued.  Anything that can actually draw dirt out of my pores is something worth considering in my book.





Have you tried any of these products?  Should I skip over any of them?  What am I missing from my wishlist?  What are you wishing for from the sales?  Please share!!

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, October 23, 2013

Sephora and Ulta 20% off Sale Recommendations

With both Sephora and Ulta running 20% off promotions right now (details in my prior post about their sales), here are the products I absolutely love that I would definitely recommend grabbing at 20% off.

Don't fret if you haven't been lucky enough to score a Sephora Friends & Family code...they usually run their BI/VIB sale shortly after F&F ends on October 30.  If you aren't a Beauty Insider, you definitely need to join!!!  Do that here, right now, before you do anything else.  Same with Ulta Rewards!

My Product Recommendations

Image Source: sephora.com
The Clarisonic (and extra Brush Heads)  (Sephora and Ulta both sell this!)
I use the Clarisonic Mia ($125) and it has absolutely changed my skin.  I seriously cannot rave enough about this product.  My skin is clearer, has fewer clogged pores and less uneven tone, and is always wonderfully exfoliated.  I use the Sensitive Brush Head once per day.  This brush was honestly worth every single penny I spent on it...and I got mine 20% off during the 2011 F&F Sale!  I always pick up replacement brush heads during the 20% off sales.

Shiseido The Makeup Facial Cotton ($9.50) (Sephora Only)
Yes, I am telling you to go spend ten bucks on cotton rounds.  Why?  Because they are SO worth it.  I would never use these to remove nail polish or anything like that, but for eye makeup removal, they are where it's at.  It's the biggest luxury $10 can buy you ($8 during this sale!).  These squares are thick, don't shed, and help get every last bit of makeup off.  They're so thick that I often use the same square twice, just flipped over.  It's a small splurge that will make you feel like you've treated yourself in a big way.

Hourglass Veil Primer  (Sephora Only)
My Holy Grail primer.  This stuff is incredible.  It is the only face primer I've ever used that actually does keep my makeup on all day.   It is stupid expensive ($52 for 1 oz; $18 for .33 oz) but omg is it amazing.  It's silky smooth, blends away uneven skin texture and skin tone, and even has SPF.  One pump will cover your entire face, so the bottle will last you forever.  I will definitely be picking up a full size bottle for when my small one eventually does run out.  I cannot live without this stuff!!

To pair with your amazing primer, if you have oily skin, you must try this foundation.  It keeps me matte all day long and helps my powder blush and bronzer stay on my skin for 8+ hours, too.  Rather than rave for hours about it here...I'll direct you to Josh Collier's video explaining all there is to know about how amazing Immaculate is!  It's long, but it's well worth watching.  (Josh works for Hourglass, but his product reviews are always spot-on and honest.  He is one of my favorite YouTubers...I highly recommend subscribing to his channel!)



Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders ($45)  (Sephora Only)
Another Hourglass rave.  Go figure.  They've become my favorite brand this year!   I use Diffused Light on a regular basis, and love how it blends away any redness that my foundation or concealer didn't cover.  It also helps blur pores and imperfections, and who doesn't want that?  These powders are great!

Beauty Blender ($19 for 1; $29 for 2) & Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser ($16) (Sephora Only)
Proof is in the pudding.  The solid cleanser is great!
I know you probably all think I'm insane for recommending you buy a $20 cosmetic sponge.  I thought fans of the Beauty Blender were nutso, too, before I tried it.  There really is nothing else like it on the market.  I bought the 2-pack during last year's VIB sale, and my first sponge is finally getting to the point where I should toss it - point being - they last a while.  A damp Beauty Blender applies liquid foundation (plus cream bronzer/blush/highlighter) so flawlessly it's unreal.  And yes, you should just suck it up and get the cleanser.  I cleaned mine for a while with baby shampoo or Dr. Bronner's soap (what I use to clean my makeup brushes) but it didn't get my Beauty Blender even close to as clean as the solid soap did.  I paid full price for the solid cleanser and still think it was worth every red cent!

Image Source: thepolishaholic.com
Deborah Lippmann Glitter Polishes ($19) (Sephora only)
There is no better way to splurge on a nail polish than to pick up a Deborah Lippmann glitter.  She just does them better than anyone else.  I know they're expensive, but at 20% off, 1 polish is basically the price of 1 salon manicure.  Grab the polish, give yourself your weekly mani, and you've broken even.  (Give yourself manis every week and save a mint!  More on that to come!!)  I'm dying to grab Candy Shop!

Benefit They're Real Mascara ($23) (Sephora and Ulta both sell this!)
My Holy Grail mascara.  It's a wet formula, but like all of them, dries a little in a few weeks.  It's been raved about so much in the beauty community, I don't know that I can do it any more justice.  It makes your lashes long and thick, and the spiky end of the brush lets you get every last lash.  Perfection in a tube.

Fake Bake Flawless ($25) (Ulta only)
If you like to self-tan and haven't yet tried this, I have no idea what you're waiting for!  This is bar none the best self-tanner I've used.  The mitt it comes with gives you a flawless application...it's virtually impossible to be streaky.  This is the first (and only) tanner that I was brave enough to do my entire body with, by myself without help.  Even my back was streak-free! 

Also consider grabbing any hair styling tools (hot irons, blow dyers, etc), fragrance (at Sephora), or anything you regularly use while you can get them all 20% off!

Do you plan to grab anything?  Leave your wishlist or anything I need to add to mine in the comments!


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, October 22, 2013

Sephora & Ulta 20% off Sales

We all know what October and November bring about - a 20% discount on all the good stuff! 

Starting with Sephora - the Friends & Family sale is the same as it was in 2012...you actually need to know a Sephora employee to get a 20% discount code.  It runs until October 30 this year, so if you have a connection, work it!  (And hook a sister up!!  I sadly don't know any employees.)

If Sephora is as smart as they were last year (given the complete uproar on their Facebook page after announcing they were limiting the F&F sale...in years past, it was open to all BI/VIBs, as we well know!), they will hold a Beauty Insider/VIB sale again.  Nothing has been announced yet, but in 2012, BIs received a 15% off coupon, and VIBs received 20% off.  I'm curious to see if and how the discounts will change with Sephora's new VIB Rouge program.  (I'm 300 points away...who thinks I can make Rouge by December 31?!?  Don't tell my husband!!)  When any sale is announced, I'll make sure to include the details here!


Onto Ulta - watch your mail ladies, because their 20% off coupons are out!  Mine came in today's mail, but I know I am usually one of the first to receive my coupon.  As always, they exclude certain brands (Lancome, Clinique, etc.) and products (fragrance being the major one), but you can use these coupons on all the good stuff...what Ulta calls "prestige cosmetics" or "prestige haircare."  My coupon expires November 2, and is good for a one-time use either online or in-store.

Stay tuned, I have posts upcoming showing you what my picks are from each sale, and once I shop them I'll be sure to post a haul from each :)  (What do you guys prefer, a haul post or a video?  Let me know what you want to see!)

What do you all plan to pick up at the 20% off sales?  What do I have to have?

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, October 21, 2013

Mommy Makeup Monday: Fastest Makeup Removal Method

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!  Sorry for the radio silence these past few days...my Macbook decided it needed to spend some quality time at the Apple store, but it's back and in a much better mood now :)

So let's discuss face cleansing and makeup removing wipes.  They are my go-to method of cleaning my face before bed on those nights that I'm just about too exhausted to even care.  But because I know how bad it is to sleep in your makeup, and because I'm sick of throwing my mascara-smudged pillowcases in the wash every morning, I keep a stash of wipes in my vanity for quick and super easy makeup removal.  It will take about 2 minutes to get all your makeup off, and you'll be in bed before you know it!  It's SO worth the tiny bit of effort...your skin will thank you in the morning!

A quick roundup of my favorite and not-so-favorite wipes:

Image Source: maccosmetics.com
1.  Mac Wipes.  You cannot beat them for makeup removal.  They take everything off; the end.  Mac does indicate that they aren't eye-safe, so those with sensitive eyes may want to try another type of wipe.  Personally I've always used them on my eyes with no problem.  The one downside is the price - $20 for 45 wipes, or $29 for 100.  (Personally, I would be afraid of the 100-pack drying up by the end.  Mac's packaging is by far the best with this issue, but the ends of my 45-packs are usually pretty dry.) 
Image Source: simpleskincare.com


2. Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes.  These are a good buy for the money (around $5 for 25 wipes), and they're readily available at Target.  They smell nice, do a solid job of makeup removal, and I like that there are no harsh chemicals in them.  I would rate these on the better side of average, although they still don't compare to Mac's wipes. 


Image Source: target.com


 3.  Up & Up Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes.  Sold only at Target stores, these wipes are actually really great!  For 30 wipes, you'll pay less than $4, and they will do a great job of removing makeup.  These were my go-to wipes for years, until my eye area grew sensitive to them.  I've taken a break from them, but I will definitely repurchase them in the future.  Unless you have super-sensitive skin, I would definitely recommend trying these out.

Image Source: target.com


4.  Pond's Evening Soothe Wet Cleansing Towelettes.  These are another favorite of mine.  They smell so nice, like chamomile and white tea.  It's a gentle scent, and doesn't linger, but is so nice when you're using them.  They also do a great job taking off makeup, although these are better for face makeup than eye makeup.  They run about $5 for 30 wipes.




Image Source: olay.com



5.  Olay Wet Cleansing Towelettes for Sensitive Skin.  I have to be honest, I didn't love these wipes.  They were good for cleansing, and never irritated my skin at all, but only did a fair job at makeup removal.  Plus, every time I purchased a pack, the last 4 or 5 wipes was almost entirely dried out by the time I got to it.  (I typically go through a pack per month.)  These are also a little pricey...between $6 and $7 for 30 wipes.


Image Source: ponds.com


6.  Pond's Luminous Clean Wet Cleansing Towelettes.   I am currently using these wipes after finding them available on Amazon's Subscribe & Save program.  (Amazon's normal price is less than $5 for 30 wipes.  Plus I get 20% off with Subscribe & Save!)  I haven't formed many opinions yet, but the fact that they contain kaolin clay (known for drawing crap out of your pores) intrigued me.  I will say that I won't use them on my eyes...I didn't find that they got off all my liner/mascara, but I'm excited to see if they end up improving the appearance of my skin!  I will update as I use them.
Image Source: yestocarrots.com



And the one I would skip over:  Yes to Blueberries Cleansing Facial Towelettes.  They're about $6 for 25 wipes, but in my opinion they smell awful and don't remove makeup well at all.  I found myself scrubbing to get it all off.  Skip these - you won't regret picking up something, anything, else.

I have yet to try either Neutrogena's wipes (I am all about the grapefruit scented ones!) or Garnier's wipes, but I have heard good things about both.  Neutrogena may be my next purchase if I decide to switch from the Pond's Luminous Clean wipes.  We'll see.

Overall, I think wipes are just the best way to get rid of your makeup and give your face a quick clean before bed when you're about to fall asleep sitting up.  I wouldn't use them every night, though, especially if you have acne-prone skin.  They aren't a foolproof substitute for good old soap and water, but they do a damn good job!  (And besides, if you need that extra layer of clean, it's easy enough to run over your face with some toner on a cotton round to get all the grime off.)

Do you use face wipes?  Have I missed a must-try brand?  Share what you love about them!

Do you have an idea for a Mommy Monday post?  I'd love to hear it!  Leave it in the comments below or email me at abeautylush@gmail.com.

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, October 16, 2013

Face of the Day: Easy Neutral Makeup


I did easy, neutral makeup today.  I'm trying to hide the fact that I'm fighting the tail end of a cold, so all my redness-covering products made their appearances this morning.

Products Used:

Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden.  (Not a fan of this color...it creases on me, although the original doesn't.  I layer it with the next product to fend off creases.)

Mac Paint Pot in Soft Ochre.  (Actually found this at a CCO recently!  Great find, as it's part of Mac's permanent line.  It's lighter and more yellow than Painterly, but does the same thing.)

Mac Eyeshadows in Dazzlelight (on the lid) and Charcoal Brown (well-blended in the crease).


Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Stingray.  (Went with waterproof since my eyes are all watery.)

Stila Kajal Eye Pencil in Topaz.  (Used on my waterline to hide redness.)

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation.  (My shade is 40 Nude.  Applied with a Beauty Blender, it gives a nice glowy finish while still affording good coverage.)

Mac Mineralize Concealer.  (My shade is NW20.  Also applied with a Beauty Blender.  It's a lightweight concealer that amazingly does not settle into my fine lines, but it still covers my dark circles wonderfully!)

Anastasia Brow Wiz.  (I use Caramel to lightly define my brows and fill in bare spots.  My brows are a hot mess.)

Mac Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash.  (Recently opened this and still unsure how I feel about it.  I've been using just the skinnier lengthening brush, as the wider volumizing brush clumped on me.

Nars Laguna Bronzer.  (Dusted very lightly under my cheekbones just to warm up the skin a bit.)

Mac Blush in Peony Petal.  (This was limited edition for Summer 2012 in the Tres Cheek collection.  I found mine recently at a COO though!  It is just the prettiest bright pink.)

Mac Lipstick in Lustering, layered with Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Bellini.  (Super pretty combo...shout-out to Jaclyn Hill for introducing me to this one.)





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, October 15, 2013

Top 5 Fall Polishes

Hello pretties!  I have a quick post today to share with you my top 5 nail polishes this fall.  I haven't picked up too many new bottles recently...not much really spoke to me this season.  Instead, I've been shopping my stash and enjoying polishes I've picked up along the way.  Here's what's been on my tips the past few weeks.

All my swatches are 2 coats of polish, without a base or top coat.  (Please excuse my nubs of nails!  A bunch of them recently broke, but I wanted to get this post up before we get much further into fall.)

(taken in shade to be
more true to color)
1.  OPI I Got the Blues for Red.  This was part of OPI's Chicago Collection, and I don't believe it's been made permanent, but it's still readily available online.  (Here, on Amazon for $7 with free shipping!)  It's just a perfect red - not too bright, not too dark.  I also recently found what is almost a dupe for this shade...China Glaze's Adventure Red-y from the On Safari collection.  (I got mine on cherryculture.com for $4!)









2.  Essie Bobbing for Baubles.  This shade was part of Essie's Winter 2011 collection, but it's still a fall/winter favorite of mine.  It's a really pretty dark greyed blue.  You can likely still find this color in stores, and it's still on Essie's website.  Ulta has it in stock online, too.











3.  Essie Beyond Cozy.  This is one of the newer polishes that I picked up.  I was browsing the beauty aisle of WalMart and randomly spotted this one, and I knew I just HAD to have it.  This is from Essie's Winter 2012 collection, and I honestly don't know how I missed it until just this past month!  It is a gilded silver glitter...the color is really unique to my collection.  Two coats give you a completely opaque glitter.  Removal is what you would typically expect with glitter.  This is a total top coat eater, so I wouldn't even bother with one.  It's still available on Amazon for under $6 with free shipping.






4.  OPI Alcatraz...Rocks.  This is another new polish to me.  It was released in OPI's Fall 2013 San Fransisco collection, and is a liquid sand texture.  It's a blue base with holographic glitter and I absolutely love it!  It's not done justice indoors or in shade, but get this gem in the sun and it really sparkles.  It should still be available in stores, but it was very popular, so online may be a better bet if you want to grab a bottle.  Ulta still has it available.  Removal is a little easier than your typical glitter, but it still takes some work.  This is another top coat eater, but it does look stunning with a top coat.  You'll get great shine for about 24 hours before the top coat disappears.




(taken in shade to be
more true to color)
5.  Revlon Plum Seduction.  I am a huge fan of Revlon's polishes, and I always get them inexpensively at Ulta or one of the drugstores.  (Online, Ulta has this bottle for $5.)  This had exceptional wear time on me...at least 4 or 5 days with just some tip wear, which is unheard of for me, since my hands are always in water.  The bottle color in my swatch is a little more true than what appears on my nails.  It's a purpley-pink that is super flattering and pretty for fall.



So what do you think?  Will you try any of these?  Have you picked up any must-have fall polishes that I'm missing?  Do you know of any dupes out there for these shades?

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, October 14, 2013

Mommy Makeup Monday: Pressed Powder Foundations

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!

Today's topic is a quick and easy way to hide imperfections, discoloration, and even out your skintone.  For years, I have sworn by powder foundations as the secret to making your skin look nice in less than a minute.  I'm not talking about the good old "buff swirl tap" ...whatever... that bareMinerals claims will change your world.  (Personally, I'm not a fan.  I don't get enough coverage, it takes too long, and it makes a giant mess of my vanity.)  I have always used pressed powder foundations, not loose powders.

It is important to know that powder generally looks and works best with oily/combination skin, as it helps keep shine at bay.  If you have dry skin, I would recommend a BB or CC cream or a tinted moisturizer instead of a powder foundation.  (My picks: Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, or Garnier Skin Perfecter BB Cream.  More to come in future posts!)

The pressed powder that has been my Holy Grail quick and easy foundation for close to 10 years is the Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation ($27.00).  It comes with a cosmetic sponge, but I have always applied mine with a kabuki-style brush.  I am currently using the Sigma F45 buffer brush, which I think is a steal at $24.00.  (The comparable Mac 182 buffer brush is $53.00!)  I swirl my brush around the compact and buff the powder into my skin using circular motions.  I apply more to my T-zone, which gets oily faster, and just blend into my cheeks without using more product.  It takes mess less than 1 minute to perfect my skin.  This foundation gives great coverage with a matte finish.  Bonus: it comes in 40 shades!  

     

(I hit pan on mine a long time ago!)

Recently, I have been using Burberry's Sheer Luminous Compact Foundation ($55.00).  This has replaced my Mac Studio Fix for now, but at the price point, I can't say I would repurchase, especially given that it is about half the size of Mac's foundation.  (In full disclosure, the Burberry foundation was gifted to me from my sister.)  The coverage is slightly more sheer (which you would expect given the name) but can be built up to leave your skin looking absolutely flawless.  It is scented; Mac's is not.  It also has a matte finish, and on me, will last longer than Mac's foundation before I need to reapply.  The Burberry packaging absolutely emphasizes that this is a luxury foundation.  It is mirrored metal with the classic Burberry check print, heavy, and has a magnetic closure.  If you're due to receive a gift or just want to treat yourself, definitely try this one out!

  


(I've hit pan on this one, too!)

While these two are definitely my picks for powder foundation, there are plenty of other options on the market, as well.  bareMinerals' Ready Foundation ($29.00) is much better than their loose foundation, in my opinion.  Their shade range is more limited than Mac (20 shades, compared to Mac's 40), but the product is good.  Benefit Hello Flawless ($34.00) is also a great product, but only comes in 9 shades, and is half the size of Mac's foundation.  Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder ($59.00) is the most expensive, but also the largest product.  It only comes in 6 shades.

If you're shopping at the drugstore, Cover Girl makes TRUblend Pressed Powder ($8.99), which would be a good way to try this type of product without the high price point.  This powder is more sheer though, and more comparable to Mac's Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.  

If you find yourself rushing your makeup application or leaving the house with none on because you don't have time, I definitely recommend trying a pressed powder foundation.  They provide excellent coverage quickly and easily.  

Have you found any other methods of perfecting your skin that take mere minutes?  I'd love to hear your suggestions!  Have you tried pressed powder foundations?   Do you love or hate them?

Thanks for stopping by!  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.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hello!

Welcome to my little corner of the internet!  I'm Sandra, and I'm obsessed with all things makeup and beauty.  Join me as I share my passion, my latest and all-time favorites, amazing finds, and tips and tricks I've learned along the way.

A little about me - I'm clinging to my 20s will all my strength.  My husband and I are blessed to be the parents of one amazing little girl and two furbabies.  I recently left my career to stay at home with my daughter.  I also enjoy fashion, cooking and baking, the beach, and a great cocktail or two with good friends.

I hope you will poke around my little blog and enjoy my thoughts!  In addition to makeup and beauty, you will find a few posts on real-life everyday fashion, mommyhood, and my favorite recipes and libations.  Your comments and suggestions for material are always welcome and appreciated!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy :)