The blog of a fanatic who wants to eat, drink, and breathe makeup.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ipsy July 2015 Glambag Review

Ipsy is a cosmetic subscription service. For $10 a month and free shipping you get a new, cute "glambag" with four to five deluxe sample size, or full size beauty products. It's a great and affordable way to try a lot of products that you probably wouldn't normally buy. You can cancel at any time.

I've been subscribed for over two years now, and it's rare that I don't like at least one item in each bag I receive.

The bags and samples also make great gifts (in my humble opinion) for any beauty lover you might know.

Here's what came in my July bag!

The bag this month is a canvas material with an abstract Chevron pattern printed on it in multiple colors. It looks very summery.

Jelly Pong Pong 2-in-1 Eyeliner & Shadow
- Shade: Bronze
- Size: 2.8 g
- Value: $16.00

This uniquely formulated crayon doubles as an eyeliner for thick, precise lines as well as a perfectly-blended eye shadow.

Creamy texture with long-lasting hold.

I would like this. I use eyeliner pencils all the time. I just don't like bronze/brown/gold colored makeup.


Crown Brush Tweezers
- Color: Black
- Size: N/A
- Value: $6.99

The stainless steel Professional Tweezers come complete with tips that are perfectly aligned, hand-filed at a 45 degree angle with carefully calculated tension.

Everyone needs a pair of tweezers and these are good ones.


Pur-lisse Pur-bright Skin Brightening Serum
- Shade: N/A
- Size: .34 oz
- Value: $25.33

A bright idea in beauty - creating luminous, even-toned skin without harsh ingredients. Key ingredients in this hydroquinone-free concentration are clinically proven to help brighten through our unique, exclusive peptide complex, Lotus Lupine 5. Its 9 powerful plant extracts strengthen skin against future damage, while safely decreasing melanin production for fewer age spots. Pure genius!
Serum Benefits:
Brightens skin tone.
Evens out skin without the use of harsh chemicals.
Decreases the appearance of age spots and sun damages.

I haven't tried this yet, but I like what it says it will do.

Teeez Read My Lips Lipstick
- Shade: Killing Me Softly
- Size : 2 g
- Value : $22.00

This long-lasting lipstick combines the power of highly-pigmented coverage and a unique satin, matte finish. The lipstick’s smooth, ultra creamy texture and added coconut oil extract nourishes and hydrates the lips, with color that lasts for up to 8 hours.

This bright coral color is pretty bold. I can pull it off, but the texture of the lipstick doesn't work very well for my dry lips, even after exfoliating. I'll have to top it off with a gloss to make it look better.


Jor'el Parker Classico Perfume
- Shade: N/A
- Size: .8.8 ml
- Value: $21.00

Exotic, inspiring, and full of surprises, Classico whisks you away from the day-to-day. Indulge in the spicy seduction of Indian Tuberose, the striking and sweet sensation of Turkish Cyclamen and the purifying calm of Spanish Mandarin.

This is some strong smelling perfume!  It's not a bad smell, but it doesn't necessarily go well with my body chemistry.


Bag Value:
Jelly Pong Pong shadow & liner: $16.00
Crown Brush tweezers: $6.99
Pur-lisse serum: $25.33
Teeez lipstick: $22.00
Jor'el perfume: $21.00

Grand total: $91.32

Um, what?  That is crazy to me. I honestly cannot believe the prices of some of these products. Especially the Pur-lisse!  $75 for the full size? That stuff better work! My favorite item this month is the Teeez lipstick.

Interested in trying Ipsy?  I'd love it if you used my link!

Ipsy June 2015 Glambag Review

Ipsy is a cosmetic subscription service. For $10 a month and free shipping you get a new, cute "glambag" with four to five deluxe sample size, or full size beauty products. It's a great and affordable way to try a lot of products that you probably wouldn't normally buy. You can cancel at any time.

I've been subscribed for two years now, and it's rare that I don't like at least one item in each bag I receive.

The bags and samples also make great gifts (in my humble opinion) for any beauty lover you might know.

I want to apologize for how late this is. I've already received my July bag, and August's bag is on its way!  However, I also kind of feel like I'm apologizing to myself. Does anyone really care if I post these or not? Probably not.  But, without further ado, here's what came in my June bag!

I liked the bag this month. It's all black with "ipsy" printed on it in a raised texture. The material is kind of like neoprene. And it has a neon coral zipper.

NUXE Gentle Exfoliating Gel
- Shade: N/A
- Size: .5 fl oz
- Value: $5.00

This Gentle Exfoliating Gel is infused with Rose Petals that gently exfoliate and eliminate dead skin cells. The gel's texture consists of gentle exfoliating grains to reveal refined skin. This scrub will leave your skin feeling soft, clear, and more radiant than ever.

For sensitive and all skin types

Contains at least 91% natural ingredients including ground lychee stones and ground walnut shells. No parabens and hypoallergenic fragrance specifically developed for sensitive skin.

I haven't tried this yet, but I love exfoliators.


BeFine Cucumber Facial Mask
- Shade: N/A
- Size: 1 fl oz
- Value: $6.25

Exactly what your skin craves, this Cucumber Cooling Mask revitalizes, repairs and rejuvenates the complexion. Cucumber Extract removes dead skin cells while soothing and tightening the skin. Pomegranate Extract, which is loaded with antioxidants, helps repair the skin and keeps it looking its youngest. Watermelon Extract reduces the break down of DNA in skin cells while keeping them hydrated.

This mask is amazing! My skin loves cucumber; it is so soothing and calming.


tre'StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon
- Shade: Aspen Pine
- Size: .02 oz
- Value: $8.66 (I could not find the size of the full size product, so I dividing the full price by 3 for the mini price.)

This amazing 12 hour eye shadow has customizable color that you can build from a subtle wash to intense vibrancy. It’s also super blendable with a crease free, smooth finish.

I like the idea of this. I use these eye crayons as base colors. I mostly use white or black, but I am open to other colors. However, forest green is not a color that I wear often, but I will eventually try it.


Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
- Shade: N/A
- Size : .25 fl oz
- Value : $9.00

Create a perfect canvas for foundation application with this silky, lightweight blend of vitamins A & E, grape seed extract and green tea. Worn alone or under foundation, this best-selling, oil-free primer helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores for flawless skin with a velvety-smooth finish.

This primer diffuses the light hitting your skin to blur out imperfections for an even, soft-focus look while also making your makeup last all day long.

I have received this primer before, and honestly I don't like it. It beads up on me.  I much prefer my Monistat Anti-chafing gel, which I have talked about before, and done an in-depth comparison to the Smashbox primer.


Formula X Power Source Nail Color
- Shade: Power Source
- Size: .13 oz
- Value: $3.41

Make sparks fly in this charismatic hot coral pink nail polish. Formula X Power Source is a universally flattering shade delivered in a patented No Compromise formula for xtraordinary color, xceptional performance, and xtra long-lasting shine. Infused with ShineXcel™, a luminescent ingredient that enhances color and overall brilliance. Recharge your positive energy with this high-octane, hair-raising hue!

This is a great color for summer, and a very high quality nail polish.


Bag Value:
NUXE Exfoliating Gel: $5.00
BeFine mask: $6.25
tre'StiQue crayon: $8.66
Smashbox primer: $9.00
Formula X nail color: $3.41

Grand total: $32.32

I got some great products this month. My favorite is the BeFine cucumber mask.

Interested in trying Ipsy?  I'd love it if you used my link!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Spring Makeup Favorites

Here are the products I have loved using as the weather heats up.

Note: I am a terrible photographer. Really.  Most photos used are stock photos.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream
I'm a full coverage foundation girl.  I have a lot of redness in my skin, freckles, an uneven skin tone, texture, dryness, large pores...  I just want to cover all that shiz up and look perfect.  But, that can get kind of heavy and it's not very appealing in the warmer months.  So, enter a BB cream.  The coverage on this is very light, and the finish is very natural looking.  Basically I'm wearing a tinted moisturizer that is loaded with sunscreen.  It's great for days where I want to look better than a naked face, but I don't care about looking "perfect." (It's perfect for days at Disney World!)  I usually follow it up with some concealer under the eyes and around the nose, and then a light dusting of translucent powder.

Anastasia Brow Wiz
I've talked about Brow Wiz before. It still trumps all other brow pencils. However, I have heard that NYX has made a dupe. So when I'm out of this, which will be soon, I'm going to see how the cheaper NYX pencil matches up.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal
Once in a while, a product will come along that is absolutely, positively, life changing. A product that, when I use it, I never feel more beautiful.

This is that product.

It's quite expensive. And the version I have right now is actually a cheaper, travel size version. But I do believe once I am out (which might be soon since I am OBSESSED) I will purchase the full size.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector is an illuminator. There are a couple different ways you can use it.

I mix it with my foundation, or BB cream, and I apply it all over my face.  The result is the most beautiful, natural looking glow I have ever seen on my dry, dull, lackluster skin.  I love it! It's kind of shimmery, but your face doesn't look like you dipped yourself in glitter. The shimmer isn't chunky or chalky, it doesn't bead up. It just melts into your skin and gives it a look of perfection while feeling completely weightless. It's glowy and gorgeous, and perfect!  It reflects the light in such a flattering way that any time I check myself out I can't help but stare at and be amazed by the glow.  I had no idea my skin could EVER look like that!

Now, if you don't have dry skin, you might not get all the rage... Then again, maybe you would!  If you have oily skin, and want to control your oil, but not look completely matte, you should totally give this a try. Most foundations that are made for oily skin are matte foundations.  So, if that's what you've got, but you want to give the matte look a rest, try mixing this stuff in with your foundation.  OR, apply just a dab to the tops of your cheek bones, and blend it in for a little light-catching reflection there.

Seriously though, whatever your skin type, go into Ulta or Sephora, and make your way over to the isle where the Becca products are located.  Pick up a tester (there are, I think, 5 different shades, so almost every skin tone can find one for them), and squeeze some onto your hand, and spread that shiz all over your face.

Or just your cheekbones. Whatever.

You won't be disappointed.

Plus it smells really good.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadows
Best eyeshadows of life!  I first got some for Christmas last year, and basically, I have not used anything but Makeup Geek since then.  They are that good!  They are pigmented, smooth, blendable, buildable goodness!

The best part is that they are about half the price of a MAC eyeshadow.

Makeup Geek eyeshadow pans: $5.99
MAC eyeshadow pans: $10.00

My most used eyeshadows this spring are:
Vanilla Bean (barely shimmery off-white) - all over, and on the brow bone
Barcelona Beach (cool toned, mid-tone brown) - crease, and under the eye
Shimma Shimma (very shimmery champagne) - all over lid

Using those three together is a quick, neutral, and very flattering eyeshadow combination.

If I want to change it up, I usually just switch out the Barcelona Beach for another matte shade (Cupcake, Wisteria, Unexpected are all also favorites), and sometimes I deepen up the outer V with Corrupt, or Mocha.

Honestly, in order to name all of my favorite Makeup Geek shadows, I will have to name practically every Makeup Geek shadow I own (which is currently 24).  I am obsessed.

I also have one of their foiled eyeshadows, two blushes and two pigments from their line.  All are amazing!

Their foiled eyeshadows are more expensive, but they are very luxurious. They are slightly creamier, and they look super shimmery, like foil, when applied.

The foiled eyeshadow I own is called Caitlyn Rose. It is a gorgeous purple color, named after Caitlyn Rose, who was a friend of the owner of Makeup Geek. Caitlyn Rose died of Batten disease a few years back.  100% of the profits from the Caitlyn Rose shadow go to Batten disease research, and to families who are caring for those suffering with Batten disease.

I have a wishlist on the Makeup Geek site that has eight more standard eyeshadows, four more of their foiled eyeshadows, 1 more blush, and 1 more pigment.

Pretty sure I need a new Z Palette.

The brand is still pretty new and small, and they don't offer a million products, yet.  They are constantly releasing new products, new colors, and new formulas.  They just released a few new eyeshadow colors, and some new foiled eyeshadows. In a few months they will be releasing some lip creams, new pigments, and a few more new eyeshadow colors.

It's good for me, because I can wait a few months between purchases and not go broke buying ALL THE THINGS!

They are coming out with a foundation next year and I seriously cannot wait. It sounds PERFECT for me.  I need it now!

I'm geeky for Makeup Geek.

Check them out, if you haven't already!

This totally sounds like a commercial.  I don't get anything from pushing this much Makeup Geek on you, I just truly love this brand.

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm - Mint & Shea Butter
I have dry lips. I always have. But when my lips get chapped, Jack Black is the only thing that can heal them.  Before I used Jack Black, my lips were freaking out. I had two back-to-back allergic reactions to some new lip products I tried, and it was 3 months of agony before finding something that actually worked to not only relieve the pain and dryness, but to HEAL my lips.  It's not cheap for a lip balm ($8), but it works. And I love it.  I love to use this under lip products all year round.

Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Lovechild
Generally I am not a fan of chubby lip pencils. I like the UD Super-Saturated one because it is more like a gloss, but it's not super sheer.  It has pretty good staying power, and this neutral medium pink color goes well with most makeup looks.  I've loved throwing it on, and throwing it in my bag for touch ups throughout the day.

The only down side is that it must be sharpened after every 3-4 uses, otherwise the sharp edges will tug at your lips and it's not very comfortable.

Tarte MultiplEYE Lash Enhancing Primer & Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
This primer and mascara are a match made in heaven.  My lashes look fuller, longer, thicker, and more defined. That's hard to do on my baby-fine, stubby eyelashes!  I wish these products weren't so expensive on their own.  I got them both in a Tarte sample kit around Christmas time, and yes, I'm finally just now using them.  I'm hooked!

I love how thin the brush is, on both the primer and the mascara.  I always smudge mascara somewhere on my eye, so the thinner brush helps me not to do that as much.  I'm also really enjoying the traditional wand, rather than the rubber/plastic wand.

There you have it, my spring favorites! The products I've been obsessed with over the past couple of months.

I provided links to most of the products. If you check those out, please realize that I didn't pay full price for anything other than the Makeup Geek products and the Jack Black lip balm, and even then, those were gifts for Christmas and/or my birthday.

Most of my sample size items from form Ipsy, are in little gift sets, or are free gifts with other purchases.  Also, Ulta always has coupons and sales, and their rewards program is the bomb, so I hardly ever pay full price for anything that I purchase there.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ipsy May 2015 Glambag Review

Ipsy is a cosmetic subscription service. For $10 a month and free shipping you get a new, cute "glambag" with four to five deluxe sample size, or full size beauty products. It's a great and affordable way to try a lot of products that you probably wouldn't normally buy. You can cancel at any time.

I've been subscribed for almost two years now, and it's rare that I don't like at least one item in each bag I receive.

The bags and samples also make great gifts (in my humble opinion) for any beauty lover you might know.

Here's what came in my May bag!

It's obvious I am terrible at photography. Just... don't judge, ok? I try.

Not a huge fan of the bag itself this month. Luckily, tons of people in my swap group LOVE it, so I have already traded it away.  This month was unique though, because there were two different variations of the bag. I have the Contents: My Life bag (obviously) while others got VIP: Very Important Products.  The material is canvas, which is really nice. It feels very high quality.

Not Your Mother's Deja Vu 'Do 
- Shade: N/A
- Size: 1 fl oz
- Value: $2.25

Do you believe in magic? Well, even if you don’t, you’ll believe in Déjà Vu ‘Do. This lightweight cream will ward off any bad hair spirits and cast a clean hair spell (for days!) until your next wash. It will block humidity and repel dirt and oil all while adding body and flexible hold. Made with conditioners for long lasting frizz control and improved shine, and infused with a delicious scent of red apples and berries, this style extending hair primer will keep your ‘do as fresh as it was moments after you styled it.

This hair product smells amazing! It smells fruity, fresh, and clean. It has a creamy consistency.  I have very thin, fine hair, so I worry about products weighing my hair down and making it greasy faster.  However, this product's directions say to "focus on the areas of your hair that tend to get most oily," so I wonder if perhaps it will extend the amount of time I can go between washes. I'm excited to find out!

St. Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion
- Shade: N/A
- Size: .1.69 fl oz
- Value: $9

This lightweight tinted lotion smoothes on to give you an instant natural-looking golden tan that washes off with soap and water. Simply smooth on from top to toe using your palms or Applicator Mitt for maximum, even coverage. Perfect for first-time tanners!

It looks kind of freaky up against my pinkish skin tone, doesn't it?  It's going to turn me olive colored!  Seriously though, green-based self tanners are great (even on my skin tone) because they don't look orange.

This tanner smells odd.  It doesn't have that DHA smell that most self-tanners have (because it doesn't stain, and doesn't have DHA), but there is something odd about the way it smells.

This doesn't stain your skin, and it will come off as soon as you shower. I suppose that's good for people who are afraid of that this color will look like on them, however, if you end up liking it, you'll have to reapply after every shower. That sounds expensive!  I personally prefer the staining ones so I only have to reapply once a week.

Bellapierre Waterproof Gel Eye Liner
- Shade: Ebony
- Size: .06 fl oz
- Value: $14.99

This super creamy mineral gel eyeliner formula provides effortlessly smooth application and intense pigment for amazing coverage and all day wear. Plus it’s waterproof so you’ll definitely be smudge-free!

I was really happy that I received this item.  I just ran out of my favorite black eyeliner for my waterline, and I didn't feel like shelling out $20 for a replacement, so this came at the perfect time!

This applies very smoothly. It's extremely creamy, and incredibly pigmented.  I love that it is matte. I love that it is waterproof.  I think this might be my new favorite black eyeliner, but we will see after I've actually used it on my eyes.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil + BONUS Revolution High-Color Lip Gloss
- Lip Pencil Shade: Ozone
- Gloss Shades: Failbait, and Bittersweet
- Size (lip pencil): .8 g
- Value (lip pencil): $4.57

Get primed and ready for action. Urban Decay's long-lasting, waterproof liner glides on smoothly to prime AND define—for long-lasting lip color and clean lines. Smooch. Pout. Smack. Nibble. Lick. 24/7 stays put through everything (yes, EVERYTHING) you do. When you use this liner to fill in your lips completely, it primes them for lipstick or gloss, grabbing on to color to help it last.

Next, finish the bad girl beautiful look with a sample of Urban Decay's brand new Revolution High-Color Lipgloss—insanely intense color with high shine. The high-coverage, ultra-pigmented formula lays down all the color you crave in one coat.

This lippie is also laced with Hilurlip™, which defines and hydrates lips while making them look plumper and fuller.

I forgot to take pictures of the lip gloss samples, sorry!

This pencil is a neat idea. It's clear, and its main use is to keep your lipstick or lip gloss in place. It will help it not to feather outside of your lip lines, which I have a major problem with, but only on the upper left side of my top lip.  Ugh.  Using a lip liner does help my problem, but I only have a couple of lip liners, and they don't work for every lip color I use.  Insert a clear lip liner and my problem is solved...without having to buy 50 lip liners.

The lip gloss colors they included are super gorgeous.  Failbait is a pretty mid-tone pink. It looks like it would be a great everyday color.  Bittersweet is a purple, and I'm really into purple lips right now, so I'm excited to try it!  I want to save them for a special occasion, but I might get excited and wear them out grocery shopping.

it Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream
- Shade: Medium
- Size: .135 fl oz
- Value: $4.75

CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ is truly a multi-tasking beauty miracle. It's a full-coverage Color Correcting Cream, Anti-Aging serum, plus Broad Spectrum Physical Only SPF 50+ all in one! The SPF 50+ UVA/UVB Physical Only sunscreen protects against the rays that both burn and age your skin. CC+ is infused with cutting edge anti-aging technology and is clinically proven to improve skin texture, brightness and increase skin hydration by 79%.

The anti-aging hydrating formula is infused with Peptides, Niacin, Algae, Vitamins A, C, B, E, Hyaluronic Acid and Hydrolyzed Collagen along with Antioxidants and exotic natural botanicals for long-term brightening and color-correcting benefits.

This is too dark for me, and too yellow for me. It Cosmetics makes this CC cream in a few additional shades, and TWO of them are lighter than this one.  Either of those would have been fine.  I AM going to try this anyway...  I'll just have to bronze up my neck so I match, and blend it really well into my hairline and ears.

Color aside, I really like this product. I have tried it before (in a lighter shade) and it is amazing!  It really is full coverage.  My skin generally breaks out when I wear products with high SPF, but, for a day at a theme park, I think it's worth the risk.


I had some points to use, so I redeemed them for a couple of awesome products.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Double-Detox Facial mask
- Shade: N/A
- Size: .1 oz
- Value: $1.44

Transform skin with the powerful double detox™ Amazonian clay exfoliating facial mask. Harnessing the balancing and restoring power of Amazonian clay, this double-duty at-home treatment resurfaces and replenishes skin for a smoother, more radiant appearance in as little as 5 weeks.

This sample is teeny tiny, but it was worth the points. I got a sample of this back around Christmas time and LOVED what it did for my skin. It really cleared out my pores and smoothed my skin, and my complexion was brighter.

Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush
- Shade: N/A
- Size: N/A
- Value: $9.99

Don't miss a spot with this ridiculously soft shadow brush. This brush with its 100% synthetic bristles is the perfect multitasker. Use it to highlight your brow bone and place the right amount of color for perfect and even application! Your lids will thank you later!

This brush is pink, need I say more?

But really, it's so cute.  The bristles are VERY soft and fluffy and I can't wait to use this on my eyelids.  Honestly, I'm in need of more good blending brushes, but they didn't have any available, so I got this one instead. I feel like it's pretty good quality.

Bag Value:
NYM Style Extender: $2.25
St. Tropez bronzer: $9.00
Bellapierre eyeliner: $14.99
Urban Decay lip pencil: $4.57
it Cosmetics CC+ cream: $4.75

Grand total: $35.56

Total with Bonus Items: $46.99

I loved this month's products! My favorite would have to be the Bellapierre, followed closely by the CC cream (dang that shade!). I'm actually going to keep and use all of the products this month, and that doesn't happen very often.  Thanks Ipsy!

Interested in trying Ipsy?  I'd love it if you used my link!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What's In My Bag? Vacation Makeup!

In a few days I'll be headed to Las Vegas! Woo!  I booked the cheapest flight in existence ($50). This particular airline nickels and dimes for everything, and I mean everything.  If I wanted to select my seat, it was a $5 charge. If I want to bring a carry on and put it in the overhead compartment, it's $30. If I want to check a bag it's $20.

$105 for a one way flight is still a really good deal, but I'm really frugal when it comes to stuff that isn't important to me. You betcha I didn't pay for anything except for selecting my seat!  I'll spend that $50 elsewhere, thankyouverymuch.

Because of this, for my 5 day vacation, I am only bringing a personal item that will fit under the seat in front of me.

Can it be done? Yes!

This post will only talk about the makeup and beauty products I'll be bringing.  All fit in two small clutch-sized beauty bags.

Let's get started!

First, the skincare:

  • Sample sized bottle of Purity face wash.
  • Four sample containers from Lush (I save those little containers, they are so handy!). 
    • Buche De Noel face cleanser
    • Ocean Salt face scrub
    • Skin Drink moisturizer
    • Enchanted Eye cream

  • A spray bottle that was a sample of Matrix Flash Filler, but I used all that up, washed out the bottle and filled it with Breath of Fresh Air toner.
  • Sample sized jar of Tarte Maracuja oil.
  • Sample sized can of Batiste Dry Shampoo.
  • Jack Black Lip Balm in Natural Mint and Shea Butter
This bag also contains the brushes I will be taking.

  • Foundation brush (but I'll probably use it to apply my loose powder, and blend my bronzer)
  • Angled face brush, for blush or bronzer
  • Dual sided brush from Urban Decay (came with Naked 3 palette)
  • Dual sided shadow/crease brush
  • Flat shader brush
  • Pointed crease brush

The makeup bag is a little more crowded:

  • Deluxe sample of Tarte Clean Slate Poreless primer
  • NARS Sheer Glow foundation
  • Deluxe sample of IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye concealer
  • Deluxe sample of Tarte Smooth Operator finishing powder

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz brow pencil
  • Deluxe sample of Benefit Hoola bronzer
  • Deluxe sample of Tarte blush in Thrilled

  • Small Z pallete, filled with 9 Makeup Geek eyeshadow pans
    • Shimma Shimma
    • Beaches & Cream
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Wisteria
    • Cupcake
    • Barcelona Beach
    • Caitlin Rose
    • Sensuous
    • Corrupt
  • Travel sized Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in Black Market
  • Deluxe sample of Tarte MultiplEYE primer (lash primer)
  • Deluxe sample of Tarte Lights Camera Lashes

  • Urban Decay Super-Saturated lip color in Lovechild
  • Deluxe sample of Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray

I have a lot of Tarte samples because I bought a Tarte Christmas countdown calendar around Christmas and it was filled with awesome stuff.  Definitely worth the cost!  And I have yet to try a Tarte product I don't like.

Note: Looks like they're still selling it even though it's not Christmas, AND it's on sale for $20. This is an amazing deal, especially if you're interested in trying Tarte products.

I'm actually tempted to get it myself! I am IN LOVE with the lash primer and the Lights Camera Lashes mascara, and the detox mask, and the blush... The primer is great, but it's very similar to the Monistat gel that I talked about in an earlier post. It also comes with a deluxe sample of Maracuja oil which is a HOLY GRAIL product for me. I can't live without it.  I use it twice daily!  The tiny sample bottle that came in this lasted me for 3 months!

Tarte is easily one of my top 3 favorite makeup brands.

Ahem, anyway...  what was I blogging about, again?

The other sample sized items that I'm taking on my trip are either from Ipsy or they came free with other purchases.

Now if only I could fit a variety of clothing in such a small space...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Current Makeup Favorites - Foundation, Concealer, Brows

When I was in 6th grade I wanted to wear makeup every day to school. My mom told me I had to be 12 years old before I could wear makeup, and even then, it could only be mascara. I'm pretty sure I snuck into her makeup anyway.

I'm so sorry Mom. I was a difficult child. 

One day in particular, I used my mom's burgundy lip liner in my eyebrows. 

Why did I think that was a good idea? Who knows.

One of my friends looked at me and said, "Oh my gosh, your eyebrows are RED!"

So I guess you can say, in 1999 I started this eyebrow trend:

Anyway, with all that being said, my makeup knowledge and skills have improved a little bit, and here are some of my favorite discoveries.

Monistat Chafing Gel, Smashbox Primer Water, and NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

This has been my go-to combination for foundation recently, and I have been loving it!  If you read my first impressions on the NARS foundation and the Smashbox primer you might be surprised by this.  When I first used the Primer Water and the Sheer Glow together, my pores were very visible. I played around with different primers and foundation routines before settling on this one. I've been doing this for the past week.

I wash and moisturize my face like normal, and after letting my moisturizer soak in for at least 5 minutes, I'll press the primer (Monistat gel) into my skin. I concentrate it on my nose and cheeks, but I smooth it all over my face.  Then I spritz my face with a few sprays of the Smashbox Primer Water.  Then I go in with the NARS Sheer Glow, using my hands.  Yes, my hands!  The directions say to use either your fingers or a beauty blender, and after trying a beauty blender, a flat top kabuki, and my fingers, I decided I like the way it looks the most when I use my fingers.

The Monistat fills in my pores so they aren't as noticeable, as well as smooths out any rough patches. The Primer Water gives my skin extra hydration and radiance, which is definitely needed when your skin is dry and dull like mine.  Top that off with the perfect coverage and finish of Sheer Glow, and I am loving my skin this spring!

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
Concealer is something I've only started wearing in the last two years or so.  It makes such a big difference on my under eye circles that I feel crazy for not using it sooner.  Pro Longwear is my favorite because it is full coverage and feels light.  I set it with a light translucent powder and it doesn't settle into fine lines, and it lasts a long time.  I have the shade NW20, but I think I would like to get NW15 next time so it's a tad bit brighter and can highlight under my eyes (which will disguise my dark circles even more).

Not only do I like to use this as under eye concealer, but this is my favorite eyeshadow primer.  I have very pigmented lids. Like, bright red pigmented! This covers them up without any problems, and it leaves a very smooth base for my eyeshadow to stick to.  My eyeshadow lasts better with this than it does when I used Urban Decay Primer Potion!  As you can guess, my Primer Potion hasn't felt any love in a while...

My only issue with this product is the packaging.  When I first got it, too much would pump out at a time, and there was no way to control it.  I would slightly press on the pump and it would just automatically pump the rest of the way and cover my fingers in concealer.  Now that I've been using it for a few months, it doesn't pump out so much all at once, and I can control the pump better to get just a half pump if I want.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Taupe

If you know me in real life, and you've known me for more than a couple of years, you might know that I have struggled with... how do you say... invisible eyebrows, for most of my life.  I've tried many different things, mostly filling them in with powders.  I've tried other brow pencils, but most of them looked too reddish/orange. I never found anything that looked natural and stayed all day until I started using this brow pencil.

Case in point:

The top 2 are BEFORE Brow Wiz, the bottom two are After

Let it be known that it's really weird making a collage of your own face.

I couldn't find very many pictures with clear views of my brows, so bare with me here. Please realize the following:
-In the top left picture I was probably 18. Ugh, I miss that perfect skin. I did fill in my eyebrows, but I can't remember what I used.

-In the top right I was living in North Carolina, pigging out on southern BBQ and grandma's home cooking. Once again, I cannot remember what I used to fill in my brows.

-In the bottom left I was very sick, and probably should not have been out in public. I used the Brow Wiz.

-And the bottom right was taken about a week ago. Once again, I used the Brow Wiz.

I love the way the Brow Wiz makes my brows look. I love the texture of the pencil, and the product itself has  really small, fine, point so you can get in there and draw on hairs. They have a wide range of colors to suit every hair color.  It's waterproof so it lasts through the Florida humidity and rain. Generally I also use Benfit Gimme Brow after using the Brow Wiz. That makes the individual hairs show up better, thus making my brows look even more natural.

I would say that Benefit Gimme Brow is another favorite, however, that doesn't feel genuine because it is the ONLY brow gel I have ever used. I absolutely love it, but I have nothing to compare it to.

This post is getting long, so I'll have more favorites in another post.

Monistat, A Dupe for Smashbox?

A few years ago when I was first broadening my knowledge of makeup, I came across a post that mentioned Monistat chafing gel was a dupe for a Smashbox primer.  At the time I didn't use primer and I didn't even know what primer was.

Since this was some time ago, I can't remember everything about my decision, but I ended up giving it a try, and well, I've used Monistat as a primer ever since!  Since then I have tried MANY primers, and I don't like any as much as I've liked Monistat.

The Monistat Chafing Relief Powder-Gel is good as a primer in general, but how does it match up to its supposed dupe?

First, let's look at the ingredients.

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Ingredients:
Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Trisiloxane, Silica, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sunflower Seed Extract, Propylene Glycol, Water, Grape Seed Extract, Cola Acuminata Extract, Camellia Oleifera Extract

Monistat Anti-Chafing Powder-Gel Ingredients:
Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer
Tocopheryl Acetate

While the chafing gel doesn't have identical ingredients to the Photo Finish primer, the Photo Finish primer includes everything that is in the chafing gel.  I think this is because the chafing gel isn't really a beauty product, and because of that, they haven't added filler ingredients that supposedly make your skin better, or any of the other claims that beauty products might make.

Don't let this scare you. Lacking those ingredients doesn't mean the chafing gel is going to mess your face up. In fact, I know it won't because I've been using the chafing gel as primer for three years now.

I have tried the Photo Finish primer and I actually prefer the powder gel, for more than just the price!  The price is a great reason to give the chafing gel a try (Photo Finish is $36 for 1 oz, vs the chafing gel at $5.99 for 1.5 oz).  However, my makeup lasts longer with the chafing gel than it does with the Photo Finish primer, so even if they were priced the same, I would take the chafing gel.

As you might know, I have really dry skin, but I think the chafing gel would be good for those with oily skin as well. It dries to a powdery finish that might help absorb some oils.  The chafing gel doesn't moisturize my skin, or anything like that, it simply fills in my fine lines and pores, and is a great base for my foundation to stick to.  I prefer it with more full-coverage foundations such as Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage or Mac Pro-Longwear foundation.  It doesn't do quite as well with foundations that have a more dewy finish like L'Oreal True Match Lumi. However, so far, I have enjoyed it a lot with my Nars Sheer Glow, which is a semi-matte finish.

A while back I talked about using Monistat as a primer on a beauty page I belong to and got some interesting responses.  Lots of women have also tried it and agreed, but a couple were hesitant because of what the brand, Monistat is known for.  One comment in particular made me laugh out loud!  It went something like this:

"Any time my boyfriend would smell my face and say, 'Ahh so fresh and so clean,' I'd probably bust up laughing!"

Now, if you're worried about the same thing, just realize that the chafing gel is fragrance free, and it is NOT for the same thing as most of their other products.  Chafing cream is for your thighs to keep them from rubbing together and causing blisters. It creates a barrier, just like what primer does for your face: It creates a barrier between your skin and your foundation so your foundation will lay more smoothly.

If you're in the market for a primer, give it a try and let me know what you think!