Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Most Repurchased Skincare Products

No matter how much I love a product, I usually love trying new products more. So it's extremely rare that I actually repurchase a product. When I do though, I think it says something about the product. I don't really like to throw around the term 'holy grail' with makeup and skincare, because I think preferences can change way too easily, but if I were to call any skincare products my 'holy grails,' it would be these four:

The Shea Moisture Shave Honey & Black Seed Skin Healing Elixir is the first product I reach for after shaving. It's so easy to apply, as all I have to do is spray it over my legs before I go in with lotion. And I swear. I don't get razor burn anymore. Even if I do a sloppy shave job, I just don't get razor burn if I spray some of this magic juice on afterward. Yes, it stings a little, but it works, so I'll let it slide. 

This stuff. The Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Complexion Correction Pads do exactly what the name implies. Salicylic acid doesn't really work for my acne, but 10% glycolic acid sure does. I like to use this all over my face, and it also helps with occasional body breakouts as well. Plus it smells like peach bellini. And I'm a sucker for peach. 

Okay. So as I kind of mentioned above, my body is prone to breakouts. And while the Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser is way too harsh for my face, this cleanser really helps keep the bacne at bay. Seriously, I basically don't break out at all anymore since I started using this stuff everyday. I will never not have a bottle of this in my shower. 

The Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 is quite possibly my most surprising repurchase. I never expected to fall in love with a moisturizer, mostly because I thought my oily, acne-prone skin was too sensitive to ever jive completely with any product on the market. But this stuff thoroughly moisturizes my face, doesn't make me prematurely oily, doesn't make me break out, is a really great base for makeup (I use powder foundation), and has SPF to boot. 

So while I might still try different products in other areas of my skincare routine, I'm done searching for replacements for these four items. What are some staples in your skincare routine? 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Favorites

I found I didn't wear too much makeup this past month, but I did work some new hair and skincare products into my regimen. Here's what I've been loving for the month of June:

I'm pretty fair, so I get burned easily. I also have oily skin, so the Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist* has been a bit of a miracle product for me. Although it can leave the hair around the perimeter of my face feeling awkwardly tacky, it does mattify my complexion. And even on the days when I spend 5+ straight hours in the sun, I don't burn. I do layer this over another sunscreen when I know I'll be spending the day outside, but I still don't burn even if I don't reapply anything throughout the day. For someone who usually turns to a crisp in mere hours (with just one application of sunscreen), this is now a staple for beach and pool days. And it does an amazing job at keeping my makeup in place, to boot. 

I'm ridiculously lazy when it comes to maintaining my hair. As in, I get it cut once a year. Literally. So to make sure I don't have crazy split ends, I pretty much only use deep conditioners and leave-in conditioners whenever I wash my hair. Although I can't say that the Wella Elements Leave In Conditioning Spray is a miracle-worker, it does make my hair feel nice and is THE BEST SMELLING HAIR PRODUCT OF ALL TIME. 

After, like, two years, I finally have a tube of Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre again. I love this stuff. I definitely can't use it as a day-time moisturizer because it does bring out the shine in my oily skin. However, I love using it as a night cream. It smells great, doesn't feel to heavy, but clearly hydrates my skin. I also love that I don't have to dip my fingers into a pot, so I feel like the product stays more sanitary. 

This month I started wearing only blue mascara on my lower lashes and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon. I love the way it looks and I feel like it subtly makes my brown eyes pop. Yes, the By Terry Terrybly Growth Booster Mascara* is ridiculously expensive. But it's also ridiculously amazing. It has a full, fiber brush but is stiff enough that product doesn't goop together on the wand. The opening of the tube is also small enough that excess product is wiped away on its own. The mascara itself makes my lashes look insanely long, and there is no clumping to speak of. Although I'll probably have to forgo this brand when I need to replace my blue mascara (until I win the lottery or something), if it's in your budget, this one is so worth it. 

It's not that I hate nudes, it's just that I usually prefer to go bold or go home when it comes to lipstick. But for whatever reason, theBalm Girls Lipstick in Mai Billsbepaid* has been in my purse all month. Maybe it's the perfect not-too-light, not-too-dark nude. Maybe it has that delicious vanilla scent. Maybe it goes with every single eye look. Whatever it is, I can't stop reaching for it over my orange lipsticks (What is wrong with me??). 

What have you been loving recently? 

*These items were provided for consideration; all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Viseart Paris Nude Palette Review+Swatches

I finally got my hands on a couple of the Viseart palettes, and am excited to review them. They retail for $80 and have very basic plastic packaging. After hearing about the lackluster packaging, I have to say I'm actually totally OK with it-- they're like MAC palettes but without the magnetic closure. And while $80 does seem steep for an eyeshadow palette, when you factor in the price per shadow and the quality, the cost is relatively reasonable ($6.67/shadow). 

First up is Paris Nude. This palette has 12 shadows, all with a satin or shimmer finish, and a range of shades from a pearlescent white to a fun indigo.  
What I do love about the color selection is that there are muted purples, greens, a taupe-y gunmetal, and a blue in addition to the classic beige/browns. It really is a great way to work in a little color while still maintaining a neutral eye look.
Top Row

Middle Row

Bottom Row

I had heard that these shadows are some of the most blendable on the market. And I must say that I was not disappointed with their usability. They are such a breeze to blend and look beautiful on the lid. HOWEVER, I was a little let down by the pigmentation on the lid. Don't get me wrong; they swatch amazingly. It's just that they need to be applied either over a white base, or wet and with a concealer-type flat shader brush to have comparable pigmentation on the lids. Fluffy shaders or blending brushes only deliver a sheer wash of color. 

Honestly, if I had known how they apply on the lid, I might have skipped this particular palette. But, I do love the looks that can be created nonetheless. What is especially nice, is that even though there are no matte shades (these palettes are made to be used in conjunction with other palettes), full eye looks that don't appear to be overly shimmery can still be created using just this palette. 

So if you already have similar shades, you may want to skip this one. But if you're an eyeshadow junkie and/or are after some insanely blendable shadows, you may want to check this one out. 

I'll have a review on the Sultry Muse palette coming soon. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Orange Lipstick

I've been pretty terrible at keeping up with the blog as of late. I recently started grad school, so my schedule got a little flooded as I had to adjust. I'm hoping to restart a sort of schedule here, so no more month-long breaks! But enough with the excuses, on to the lipstick!

I, like many of you I'm sure, get a little orange-lipstick crazy when the warmer weather starts rolling in. So I thought I'd share my eight go-to's, and please LMK in the comments what your favorite orange lipsticks are. (You can never have too many, right?)

Left to right: Milani Moisture Matte Lipstick in Matte Passion, Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse, Topshop Beauty Lipstick in Falling Fast, Maybelline The Vivids Lipstick in Vibrant Mandarin, Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick in Coral Dahlia, MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Vegas Volt, Topshop Beauty Lipstick in Infrared, Rimmel London Kate Moss Lipstick in 12
Milani Moisture Matte Lipstick in Matte Passion
Let's go ahead and start with my potential favorite of the bunch-- Milani Matte Passion. As the name implies, this is a matte formula (and totally comfortable). This shade is an opaque, red-toned orange, and is absolutely stunning. 

Hourglass Femme Rouge Lipstick in Muse
Next is Hourglass's Muse. This shade is sheer but buildable. (It's looking more on the sheer side in this pic because I have a layer of balm on underneath.) If you're looking for pigmentation, it's not here, but this true coral is super comfortable on the lips. 

Topshop Beauty Lipstick in Falling Fast
For a coral that leans more pink (with a hint of shimmer!), Topshop's Falling Fast is your lippy. Although this cream formula is also not opaque, it is not as sheer as the Hourglass one. 

Maybelline The Vivids LIpstick in Vibrant Mandarin
Maybelline's Vibrant Mandarin has a somewhat shiny finish, and has an opacity closer to Milani's although is still not that pigmented. This orange also has a hint of red, and might be what it would look like if Topshop's Infrared and Milani's Matte Passion made a baby.

Clarins Joli Rouge Lipstick in Coral Dahlia
I love Clarins, and their candy-scented lipstick is another beautiful slightly red-toned orange. This one falls on the sheerer side of things, but has a pretty shimmer and is totally comfortable on the lips. 

MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Vegas Volt
I know I've talked about MAC Vegas Volt (amplified finish) multiple times on this blog, but it's just so damn good. Seriously. It's opaque, comfortable, and is the perfect pink-toned coral. 

Topshop Beauty Lipstick in Infrared
Topshop's Infrared is a true and gorgeous orange. It has a thicker consistency than the other lippies, so dry areas are slightly more pronounced. But it is opaque and has a demi-matte finish. 

Rimmel London Kate Moss Lipstick in 12
Can we tell I like my oranges red-toned? Rimmel's 12 (I seriously wish the Kate Moss line had names instead of numbers) is a creamy and opaque, darker red-orange. And just like all of the others mentioned here, it is comfortable on the lips. 

So there you have it, folks. When I want something with at least a tinge of orange, these are the lippies I reach for most. Don't forget to leave your favorites below!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

March Favorites

I keep running into this problem where I forget about doing a monthly favorites post until around mid-month. By then I figure it's just too late to post one, and I move on. But it's been, like, four months since I've posted a favorites, so this month I decided to follow the idiom that every other blogger uses when she's late on favorites (seriously, why is it so hard to stay on schedule with these??): better late than never. So here's what I've been loving for March (and some of April):

NARS Madly is my go-to blush. If I'm not sure what shade I want to wear, or if I want one that will go with absolutely everything, this is what I reach for. It applies so beautifully, blends easily, and lasts all day. I think I can safely say this is my HG blush. 

Formula X Breathtaking is so appropriately named. It's the most gorgeous neutral I've ever seen, and this picture does not do it justice. It is a baby peachy pink with mini holographic glitter throughout. I find it does take three coats so it doesn't appear streaky, but I seriously can't stop looking at my nails when I have this on. 

I (and I'm sure everybody else) have been obsessing over the Milani Moisture Mattes. The colors and formula are both amazing, but my favorite two of the bunch are Matte Blissful and Matte Orchid. Blissful is a rather unique muted cool-toned pink with lavender tones. Orchid is such a perfect color for summer; it's a bright berry-toned pink. The hardest thing I had to do everyday last month was choose which of these two lippies I would wear.

On my lids, I've pretty much non-stop worn Urban Decay's Laced and Easy Baked. Laced is a matte, light, dusty rose, and I love this as a transition shade. Easy Baked is a shimmery light, pale gold; and I love it all over the lid for a super easy one-and-done look. Both shadows are (of course) super soft and blendable, and as long as I tapped my brush before application, I didn't experience any fallout. 

I also loved Ardency Inn's Hell either all over the lid for a smokey eye, in the crease, or as a liner. This shimmery dark, taupey brown is such a workhorse, and every collection needs a color like this. This shadow is super buttery and pigmented. I definitely want more from this line. 

I have to have a Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector with me at all times. These are the perfect balm to have on hand as they give a light wash of color while also hydrating the lips. I like to keep Rose at my vanity to either wear alone or under lipstick and My Pink in my purse. 

Unless I want a very specific color, I always turn to NYX Cosmetics Slim Lip Pencils for my random lip liner needs. The formula is creamy enough to apply smoothly and evenly, but not too creamy that it just slides off the lips. My two favorites are Plush Red and Fuchsia as I think they are gorgeous alone or under lipstick. I find Plush Red is perfect under absolutely any red, and Fuchsia is my go-to for any brighter pink lipstick (it matches Milani Matte Orchid perfectly). 

If you'd like an in-depth review/swatches of any of these products, let me know in the comments! What did you love in March?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

5 Liquid Lipsticks You Need To Try

I love a good liquid lipstick. For a date night or when I know I won't have time to touch up my lip color, I always reach for one. They glide right on and provide a flawless application thanks to the doe-foot applicator. They also dry to a flattering matte finish and generally last the longest of any type of lipstick. Now that more and more companies are coming out with their own versions, I thought I'd share five formulas that are worth trying. 

Left to right: Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Talker, Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red, Topshop Beauty Velvet Lips in Velveteen Ribbon, NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paulo, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon
Anastasia Beverly Hills: This brand has the thinnest consistency, so the lighter colors can go on a little streaky. But the colors really pack a punch. If you're looking for a brighter, bolder lip, this is the brand to try. Full review here

Sephora: This one seems to have a cult following, which is totally understandable. This brighter red would be flattering on just about any skin tone, and this is one of the two longest lasting brands of the bunch. However, it is drying and requires an oil-based remover.

Topshop Beauty: This is definitely the most drying of the bunch. As in, you'll want to prepare your lips days in advance to wear it. And you won't want to wear anything less than an ultra-hydrating balm the day after. But once it's on, it Will. Not. Budge. Seriously. If you need a totally smudge/kiss proof color, this is it. You will need an oil-based makeup remover to take it off. 

NYX Cosmetics: I absolutely adore the SMLCs. I've found these to be the most comfortable of the liquid lipsticks that I've tried, but they also don't last quite as long as the others (although they still last quite a long time). This line also has a beautiful range of colors, and I find them a little easier to pull off than the Anastasia ones because they aren't as bright. Full reviews here and here.

Hourglass: Although this is the most expensive of the bunch, I found it didn't perform any better than the others. The particular shade I have is the perfect blue-red, but I find the applicator a little too flexible. Instead of the traditional doe-foot, this has a paddle-shaped applicator that is flat on both sides and bends to match the curve of your lips. So if that is something you're interested in, you may enjoy this brand for liquid lipsticks. But it just wasn't my thing. 

If I had to pick favorites, I would say try the Anastasia or NYX liquid lipsticks. These two brands have the widest color ranges and are the least drying of the bunch. However if you're looking for staying power over comfort, try Sephora. Oh, and if you're looking for lipsticks in general that won't budge (and to see a few of these bad boys in action), check out this kiss-proof test.

Do you have a favorite liquid lipstick brand or shade?

Monday, March 2, 2015

100% Pure Pomegranate Lipstick Swatches + Review

Left to right: Dandelion, Calendula, Foxglove, Melon, Magnolia, Primrose, Narcissus, Poppy

I recently received the 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Pomegranate Oil Anti Aging Lipsticks for consideration at another publication where I also write. However, these were just so good, I had to share them here. These lipsticks, as the names of both the company and product imply, are made from all-natural ingredients and even have some skin benefits packed in. 

Each lipstick comes in an aluminum bullet and retails for $25. But before we get on to the colors, I have to say that these are some of the most comfortable lipsticks I have ever worn. They glide on effortlessly will full pigmentation and are hydrating. However, because these have almost a slip to them, you might prefer to wear these with a lip liner if color is prone to traveling on you. And while these might wear off a little faster than say, matte lipsticks, they do leave behind a pretty stain. Here are the eight colors in the current line:  

Left to right: Dandelion, Calendula, Foxglove, Melon, Magnolia, Primrose, Narcissus, Poppy

As you can see, these colors are totally saturated, and have a juicy look to them. And what's better is that they feel juicy on the lips. Even when my lips are a little dry and flaky, these lipsticks don't highlight the dryness. Instead, they correct it.  My lips were actually a little flaky in the swatches below, but I think these lipsticks did a good job of hiding it. 

Dandelion is a bright, light peachy pink. 

Calendula is a peachy brown nude. 

Foxglove is a rosewood. 

Melon is a bright yellow-toned pink. 

Magnolia is a true, mid-tone pink. 

Primrose is a bright, cool-toned dark pink. 

Narcissus is a neutral pink-red. 

Poppy is a neutral red. 

Of these eight shades, my favorites are probably Foxglove and Primrose. I think Foxglove is a universally flattering color that is so easy to wear, and Primrose is just the perfect statement pink lip. (Its darker tone also makes it easier to wear than those Candy Yum Yum type pinks.) 

Of course, all of the colors are gorgeous, and the formula is on point for the whole range, so you really can't go wrong with any of these shades. Have you tried anything from 100% Pure? What do you think?