Thursday, May 29, 2014

May Favorites

It's monthly favorites time! You know the drill.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($58): I'm sure you've heard enough about these powders from everyone in the beauty community by now, but it's for good reason. I hauled this palette in the beginning of the month and have been using it everyday since. My favorites are Dim and Radiant Light. I use Dim all over the face and it just gives a really beautiful finish, and I use Radiant on the high points of my face for a hint of extra dimension and glow.

The Body Shop Shower Gel and Puree Lotion in Satsuma ($15 and $12): If you haven't smelled anything from the Satsuma line at The Body Shop, stop reading this right now and go do it (I'm kidding, finish reading this first). This is my go-to scent during the hotter months (hence why I have the jumbo size shower gel) since it's just so refreshing. The gel lasts for ages too; I actually cracked into this bottle over four months ago, and I still have over a third of it left. Now I've heard some people say that they don't like TBS's Purees because they leave the skin feeling a little sticky. And I have noticed this sticky feeling after application, but it only lasts for all of one minute and then it's gone. I actually really like these because of how light they feel on the skin. During the summer when my skin doesn't need crazy hydration, this Puree is perfect. It has more of a gel-type consistency too, so it feels nice and cool on the skin. 

NYX Mosaic Powder in Cafe ($8): I love this if I'm feeling lazy or just don't have that much time to get ready. Since this is more of a bronzy color, I use this as a one-stop face product and apply it generally to the cheeks instead of doing a blush and a bronzer. This adds a nice glow to the skin which I think is perfect for summer. I'm not actually sure if this color is still sold in stores, but NYX's Mosaic Powder called Truth looks very similar. 

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Ibiza ($6): If you've seen my reviews of NYX SMLC's, you'll know I have quite a love affair with these. In my most recent haul of these, I absolutely fell in love with Ibiza as it's an ever brighter version of my former beloved, Antwerp. This has wonderful color payoff and longevity. Highly recommend. 

Lilly Pulitzer eau de parfum in Beachy (~$30 for 3.4 fl oz): Since this is an older product, it seems to only be found on sites like Amazon.com now. However, it is so appropriately named. Some of the notes are: citrus, watermelon, jasmine, amber, and vanilla. And these really give the perfume a bright yet warm, "I've been playing in the sun" kind of vibe. What I really love though is that this scent lasts all day. I can spray myself twice in the morning, and still smell the base notes at night. And since there are warmer notes, it transitions really well from day to night as well. This is a great, affordable, summer scent. 

What were some of your favorites for May?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stila In the Know Palette: Review+Swatches

Now I love a shimmer eye-shadow as much as the next girl, but as I'm sure my fellow makeup-junkies know, it's always nice to have some matte options. Enter the Stila In the Know palette. This cardboard palette contains 10 matte shadows and a full-size eyeliner, has a mirror and magnetic closure, and can be found at your local Ulta or Sephora for $39. 
"When a woman knows, she knows" -Sarah Lucero
 Colors from left to right and top to bottom: 
Air: A creamy white
Wind: A light, peachy cream
Desert: A light, warm tan
Clay: A soft, muted rose
Earth: A deep, chocolate brown
Driftwood: A mid-toned brown
Fire: A burnt orange
Rain: A light, grey-toned brown
Smoke: A medium, cool-toned grey
Ebony: A pure black
Smudge Stick in Halfmoon: A matte, deep, blue-toned, charcoal grey
All swatched without primer, in same order as in palette with Smudge Stick on far right
All swatched without primer, in same order as in palette with Smudge Stick on far right 
So although these might appear as if they're a little chalky in the swatches, the powders are actually all quite smooth. They don't have that buttery texture that you'll find with the matte shadows in the Lorac Pro Palette, but these are still nice quality. And because these aren't quite as soft, they do take a little more time to blend than UD or Lorac shadows. While blending time still isn't crazy, the darker colors like Earth and Ebony do take more patience than the lighter colors. 

Let's talk color range. I love that all the necessary colors are here. There's nice highlight, transition, and even deep options. But while I do like all of the colors included, I feel like there aren't too many different types of looks that you'll be able to get with just this palette since Fire is the only variation on a neutral color. I would have liked to see maybe a mauve and/or olive color thrown in here as well. I think that would have made this a little more versatile. 

Pigmentation wise, these are fair. I do find that I need to build these up if I want the color to be like how it appears in the pan, especially with the lighter shades. Additionally, there is minimal to zero fallout with these shadows as long as you make sure to tap any excess off your brush before applying. 

As far as the Smudge Stick, this liner is easily one of the creamiest I've used. It glides on so nicely and the color is rich. What's more is, it gives you time to play and smudge it out, but when it sets, it sets. When I went to remove the swatches on my arm with a makeup wipe, it took about four passes to get the eyeshadow off, but after these four passes, the eyeliner swatch was completely in tact. I had to scrub to get it off. These retail for $20, making the palette a great value: If you're in it for the shadows, you're getting a free, full-size eyeliner. If you're in it for the liner and just want to try some shadows as well, it's a $19 palette. As a makeup junkie, I think that's pretty win-win. 
Get this look: Fire all over the lid, Earth in the outer corner and blended through the crease, Rain blended right above the crease, Desert as transition, Air as highlight, Halfmoon lining upper lash-line and Earth along lower lash-line
Overall, I do enjoy this palette. I wouldn't say this is my go-to palette for matte looks, but I do reach for it pretty often. I think this palette is great for those who want options for more work-appropriate looks, love matte eyeshadows, want to have all the essential colors in one place, or just love having good palettes! What are your favorite matte shadows? 

Friday, May 23, 2014

5 Laura Mercier Products: A Review

I mentioned in my Mini Sephora Haul post that I would review the Laura Mercier 500 point perk, and without much further ado, here it is!
This kit came with deluxe samples of Laura's Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight, Flawless Skin Face Polish, Tinted Moisturizer, Radiance Foundation Primer, and Lip Glace. And while I don't believe this point perk is still available, all of these products are in the permanent line, and can be found at Sephora or Sephora.com. 

While testing these products, I wanted to see the kind of look that could be created using only these products (okay, okay, I might have used my Anastasia Brow Wiz too; no look is complete without brows, am I right?), and I like the fresh-faced, no-makeup-makeup look it gave me. Since I could basically get a full face with these products, I'll be reviewing them in the order in which I used them.
Flawless Skin Face Polish ($32): The first thing I noticed with this was how good it smells. The scent is very light and refreshing; kind of citrus-y. But the exfoliator was just okay for me. The particles are suspended in a cream base as opposed to a gel, which I like, but the particles themselves are more like sand than beads. They're really small and really abrasive, so if you like an exfoliator that feels like you're sanding off the top layer of your skin, then this is for you. I, however, prefer an exfoliator that is gentler--one that I feel like I could use everyday if I wanted. But the Flawless Skin Face Polish was just too harsh for me. I will say, though, that my skin felt really soft and smooth after use, and my makeup applied very easily and evenly. I will continue to use it once a week or so, but I won't be purchasing the full-size.  

Foundation Primer in Radiance ($33): Since I have oily skin, I usually shy away from face products that advertise a glow or have shimmer in them. So I was quite apprehensive about this primer. But it genuinely shocked me. It did give a hint of a glow, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. The shimmer really sheered out, and I don't know if it was the primer or the tinted moisturizer, but I did not get as oily as I usually do whilst I was wearing these products. If you have drier skin and are going for that glow-y look, you might want to either build this up more or just wear it alone. Otherwise, this might not give you a noticeable-enough effect. I would consider purchasing the full-size.

Tinted Moisturizer in Nude ($43): I was a little nervous about this product as well because, in the past, tinted moisturizers and bb creams have not done much to help my oiliness. But like I mentioned with the primer, these two products together wore for about 8 hours before I noticed I needed to powder. On the other hand, though, the coverage with this is very sheer. As you can tell in the picture, the redness in my cheeks and some spots on my face still show through this product. So although I like how this wears on my skin, I probably won't purchase the full size since I can get the same, or more coverage (along with similar oil-control) with powder foundations that cost less. 

Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight ($36): I tend to not really wear highlighters because my skin provides enough of a sheen on its own, so I was curious about this. Are we noticing a pattern of products I was nervous about because of my oily skin? Anyway, this is a beautiful product. It provides a glow without being sparkly or shimmery and has a soft and smooth texture. I applied this to my cheekbones, up around the outer half of my eyebrows, down the bridge of my nose, and a little on my chin. I was really impressed with this in that it actually just highlighted my face and not my pores. I would purchase the full-size of this (although I think the sample will last a long time). 

Lip Glace in Rose ($25): I love this gloss. It's not sticky but wears for about 3-4 hours before it begins to fade. It also smells like vanilla and is a beautiful color. It is shiny and lightly shimmery with no detectable glitter. This is a great go-to gloss that can be worn alone or layered over a lipstick. I would definitely purchase the full-size of this. 

Overall, I was really impressed by these products. Of the five, my favorites are the highlighter and lip gloss, and I would purchase these and am now curious to try more products from this line. What are your favorite Laura Mericer products? 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Mascara Review

I love Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara; you know, the one in the purple tube? So I was excited to get a sample of their newer Lights, Camera, Flashes. This retails for $23 and is described as a statement mascara, meant to add length, curl, and volume (752% increase?!). Did it live up to its claims? Keep reading to find out.

 Lights, Camera, Flashes comes with a large, flexible, rubber brush. There are alternating rows of reeeally long bristles and shorter bristles. And I have to say, I think the long bristles are too long. I can't get this wand too close to my lashes without getting mascara all over my lids, and because of this, the shorter bristles are completely useless. 

Formula-wise, this is a little on the wetter side, though not too wet for my taste (although I do prefer drier mascaras). Since this is the case, I do feel like my lashes either lose a little curl, or at least do not gain any curl from the formula. This mascara is supposed to be curling though, so maybe once it dries out a bit, I'll be able to tell if it helps curl my lashes. Additionally, this is not waterproof, and I did notice transfer under my eyes when I wore this on my lower lashes. 
Left: Bare lashes, Right: One coat Lights, Camera, Flashes on top and bottom lashes

With only one coat, I don't think this mascara did too much in the way of volumizing or lengthening my lashes. I definitely see more definition, and maybe a little added volume and length, but nothing significant. My lashes are definitely not 752% of their normal volume. After one coat, I don't find this mascara to really be anything special, and I think Lights, Camera, Lashes is better.
Left: Bare lashes, Right: Two coats Lights, Camera, Flashes on top lashes

After two coats, I'm seeing more volume and length. However, the length still isn't out-of-this-world, and the volume is still not 752% of the original. I think that volume claim was just too bold, but I do like this better as a "statement mascara" using two coats compared to one (but I usually only ever use one coat). Also, with two coats, I did notice some clumping on the lashes closer to the outer half of my eye, and I think this is because the formula is wetter and the brush is just too big. 

Overall, I do like this mascara, but more for everyday than for making a statement (since I don't like wearing two coats). When I want volume on volume, I'll still go to Benefit's They're Real or Clinique's High Impact since I know with those I can get thicker lashes with just one coat. If you do like loading up some mascara though, you might like this one as it doesn't make lashes as spidery as I know some can with multiple coats. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't purchase this mascara over the original Lights, Camera, Lashes. 

What do you think of Tarte mascara? What are your favorite "statement" mascaras? 

Monday, May 19, 2014

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Review+Swatches Part2

Here we go, round two! I just had to get some more SMLC's, and if you missed round one, make sure to check out those reviews and swatches here. If you're new to SMLC's, heres a quick overview: These have a creamy formula that are applied using a doe-foot applicator; they have great pigmentation, smell amazing (like cake batter), dry to a matte finish, stay on for an average of 5-6 hours without fading, and the best part? Only $6 a pop over at Ulta or on nyxcosmetics.com
Top to Bottom: Cannes, San Paulo, Ibiza, Addis Ababa, Prague, Copenhagen
Cannes
 NYX describes this as a matte, muted mauve. I think it leans a little more rosy than purple, but it is a darker, brown-pink, nude color. This had one of the best consistencies of the bunch. It went on super creamy with full opacity, and I think it's a great everyday-color. 
Ibiza
 I really fell in love with this color. NYX describes it as a matte, deep-rose pink. I think that this is like the darker version of Antwerp. Both have that warm, yellow-y undertone, but this one is just a bit deeper of a pink, edging into red-territory while still being a bright color. So if you like Antwerp, you'll probably like this Ibiza well (and vice versa). This one is not as thick as Cannes, but is still has that creamy texture that the name implies. 
Addis Ababa
NYX describes this one as a bright fuchsia, and I have no complaints with this description. The only complaint I do have is with the texture. This one was by far the thinnest in consistency, and had to be built up in order to achieve opaque color. That being said, the color of this is really quite stunning (also quite cool-toned). I think it's a perfect summer bright.
San Paulo
 San Paulo is described as a plummy-pink, but I think the plum is very faint. This reads a little more rosy to me, and I think where Cannes is described as being muted, this would be the version of that with the volume turned up. So if you like one of these, I think you'll also like the other. And just as I think these colors are related, the consistencies are also. Of the six that I have here, San Paulo is in the top two with Cannes for creamiest texture and fullest color. Zero complaints with this one. 
Prague
 Ooh I love me a purple lip. NYX describes Prague as a matte merlot, but it definitely has some brighter, pink tones in the mix. Although Prague is slightly more purple, it is very similar to MAC's Rebel lipstick. The consistency of this one is much like Ibiza. It isn't thin, but it isn't the creamiest either. 
Copenhagen
NYX describes this one as a matte, rich plum, and I really enjoy the color. I think this is a great vampy lip, and it makes me excited for the fall. Something else that I love about these SMLC's is that they don't bleed. I feel comfortable wearing a color this dark without liner because I know it's going to stay exactly where I put it. That being said, while I do love the color, I wish the consistency were more on par with Cannes and San Paulo. Copenhagen is closer to Addis Ababa, but since it's such a dark color, that makes it a little harder to work with. It is build-able though, so as long as you don't mind spending a little more time, this is a nice color. 

Overall, color-wise, Ibiza, San Paulo, and Prague are my favorites of these six. And if we throw formulation into the mix, San Paulo is the best of the bunch. And while Addis Ababa and Copenhagen don't have the best formulas, if you like the color, I don't think the texture is a big enough deterrent to not go for it. What do you think of SMLC's? Which are your favorites?  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Black (and Teal) and Gold Eye Look + Drugstore Alternatives

I mentioned in my April Favorites post that I was loving the combo of teal and black liner. Well I haven't stopped loving it, so I wanted to share how to get the look plus some alternate, drugstore-product options. 
I think this eyeliner combo is perfect for summer when paired with some gold shadow. So what I did after priming my lids was: (1) Pat Lorac's Gold (from the Pro Palette) shadow all over the lid, blending up into the crease (2) Blend Lorac's Garnet (also from PP) shadow into the outer 1/3 of the lid (3) Blend Taupe (PP) through the crease (4) Mix Cream and White (PP) and apply to brow-bone as a highlight (5) Drag Garnet along the outer 1/2 of the lower lash-line (6) Apply Gold along the inner 1/2 of the lower lash-line (7) Pat Champagne (PP) onto the inner corners (8) Draw a thick line with Tarte's Skinny SmolderEyes in Azurite Green across the upper lash-line, flicking it out a little at the end (9) Draw a thin line close to the lashes with Lorac's Front of the Line Pro liquid liner in Black, following the same flick as the teal liner (10) Apply em by Michelle Phan Lash Gallery mascara in Black, and done!
But wait (there's more)! There are some drugstore options that you can use to achieve this same look! My favorite gold eyeshadow alternative to the one found in the Lorac PP is NYX's single eyeshadow in Pure Gold. And although it leans a little more blue than green, I think Ulta's Automatic Eye Liner in Teal Blue gives that same great contrast to the gold and pop of color on the lids.
Tarte liner: $19 Ulta, Lorac Pro Palette: $42 Ulta, Ulta liner: $8, NYX shadow: $5 Ulta
Top to Bottom: Tarte Azurite Green, Lorac Gold, Ulta Teal Blue, NYX Pure Gold
What's your favorite eye look for summer?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top 5 Coral Lip Picks

Well, it's heating up outside, which means it's time for coral lips (not that we can't wear coral whenever we damn-well please)! But for the sake of this post, we'll stick with the seasonal coloring idea. And so, I bring you my top five coral-shades for the summertime. 
Top to Bottom: MAC Razzle-Dazzler, NYX SMLC Antwerp, Maybelline Vivids Shocking Coral, Revlon Coralberry, MAC Vegas Volt
MAC Razzle-Dazzler
For you gals who prefer the lighter side of things, or just enjoy a spectrum, here is my favorite subdued coral. Razzle-Dazzler is a Lustre finish, so it is somewhat sheer but also moisturizing on the lips. With this one, I have to make sure my lips are exfoliated before I wear it since it has a tendency to highlight any flakiness. This is a great everyday coral or a nice lighter option to pair with a smokey eye. AND MAC just brought it back as a part of their permanent collection!
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Antwerp
 If you've seen my post on the NYX SMLC's, you already know about my love affair with Antwerp. This is more on the pinky-side of coral, and has just enough pigment that it packs a punch but is still (what I consider to be) an everyday-type coral. As the name implies, it dries to a matte finish and also has very good staying power.
Revlon Coralberry
 At first I thought this might have been a dupe for MAC's Vegas Volt, but it actually applies a little more sheer. So if Vegas Volt is a little too intense for you, or you simply like corals that lean a little more orange, this is the one for you. I have to say, I don't like the smell of Revlon lipsticks, but they are well-formulated for the price. This particular one is somewhat moisturizing on the lips and I can get about 4-5 hours of wear before I notice significant fading. 
Maybelline Vivids Shocking Coral
 First off, I just have to say that I LOVE the Maybelline Vivids line. Even though the colors don't always translate how they appear, they're still amazing colors. I wanted to include this one because, if you're like me, you might have seen the name and the color in the tube, and thought it would come out more orange-y than it actually does. This is definitely more of a pink on my lips and in certain lighting (although it does retain some of it's coral-iness in other lighting, swatched on my hand, and if I tap it lightly onto my lips instead of building up the color). Since this is the case, though, I think this might be one of those colors that shows up quite differently on different people depending on skin tone. Regardless, I still think this is a great, vibrant, summer "coral." 
MAC Vegas Volt
If you love Revlon's Coralberry but just want to amp it up, this is the coral for you. Vegas Volt is an Amplified finish, so it really packs the color without being drying. It has a creamy consistency with awesome staying power. When I want my coral to be a statement lip, this is the color I reach for without hesitation. 

What are your favorite corals for summer?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Canterbury Tales Series: The Wife of Bath

As an English nerd, I wanted to do something that would incorporate my love of medieval lit with my love of makeup. So I decided I wanted to create modern looks for some of the female characters in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. To kick of this little series, I present to you: The Wife of Bath.
Bold, powerful, sexualized, rich. The Wife of Bath is her own woman, and doesn't adhere to what society dictates for women. She is a business woman and shows her success from all of the red (an expensive color for fabric) that she wears and all of the pilgrimages she has been on. She is also sexualized--she has a gap between her teeth and has had five husbands (currently on the prowl for #6). She doesn't take sh*t from anybody, and while there are also other aspects to her personality, this is what I tried to portray in her look.  
Products Used

Face
Covergirl Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 foundation in 810: Classic Ivory
Too Faced bronzer in Chocolate Soleil (for contour)
Physician's Formula Magic Mosaic bronzer in Light Bronzer (as blush)

Eyes
Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe (lid)
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk (brow-bone highlight)
Jordana Fabuliner in Black
ModelCo mascara in Black
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette
NYX Brow Cake Powder in Dark Brown/Brown
Maybelline Great Lash mascara in Clear (set brows)

Lips
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam
Since the Wife of Bath has a dramatic and bold personality, I wanted her look to also be dramatic and bold. Therefore, I went for a stronger contour paired with bolder, thicker brows; thicker, longer winged liner, and a red lip--all matte.
How do you picture the Wife of Bath? Are there any characters from The Canterbury Tales that you would like to see next?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mini Sephora Haul!

I did it! I finally got my hands on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. And while it was my only actual purchase in this little haul (mini indeed!), all the extras I got along with it are permanent products, so I thought I'd show those too. 
See by Chloe, $78 for 1.7 oz Sephora
I picked this up as one of Sephora's weekly specials, where you get a free deluxe sample with a purchase over $25. Six different scents were being offered, and I have to say, I don't know what they all smell like, but I can't imagine any of the others being better than this one. The notes are juicy bergamot, apple, jasmine, ylang ylang, vanilla, and musk. To me, this has a little edge to it, making it have a slightly unisex-style vibe. So if you're into slightly more masculine scents, I think this is something you'll really like. I'm thinking I'll definitely have to pick up a full size of this once the sample runs out. I'm obsessed. 
Left to Right: Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight, $36; Flawless Skin Face Polish, $32; Tinted Moisturizer in Nude, $43; Foundation Primer in Radiance, $33; Lip Glace in Rose, $25 Sephora
I was so excited to see a Laura Mercier point perk when I was checking out, and I think this is the first time I've used my points in years. This 500 point perk came with five bestsellers from the line, and I actually haven't tried any of these products before, so I'm really excited to give them a go. Just from my first impression, I can tell you that the highlight is gorgeous--it has a nice sheen without being sparkly, and the lipgloss has a nice texture--not too sticky, a vanilla scent, and decent pigmentation. I haven't tried the other three products yet, but will probably be doing an actual review on everything once I've had a chance to really try these out.
Top to bottom: Tinted Moisturizer in Nude, Tinted Moisturizer in Nude blended, Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight, and Lip Glace in Rose
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, $58 Sephora
And finally, the star of the show. But before I get to the powders themselves, I just first want to talk about the amount of product in this palette because it's my only drawback. With this palette, you're getting 3.3 grams of each powder, so 9.9 grams total. If you were to buy a full-size powder, you would be getting 10 grams of product. And where this palette is $58, a full size is $45. So while I enjoy being able to have three colors instead of just one for only $13 more, I do wish I were getting a better value regarding the actual quantity of product, since I feel like palettes are generally supposed to be a better deal value-wise rather than just convenience-wise. So I'm going to go ahead and say that if you know you only want one color, or anticipate using this product heavily, you're probably getting a better deal in the long run to just buy full size. 

Whew, okay now that I have that little rant off my chest, let's get to the actual product. 
Left to Right: Dim Light, Incandescent Light, Radiant Light
All three of these products are relatively sheer, so I couldn't capture swatches that do the powders justice. In lieu, I'll just describe them and tell you how I like to use them. 
Dim Light
Dim Light is the most neutral of the three (and actually all of the Ambient Lighting Powders). The powder doesn't appear to have any sparkle to it, and it applies so softly and smoothly. It doesn't have much of a sheen to it but just a very subtle glow. I like to apply this all over my face. 
Incandescent Light
Incandescent Light is the lightest of the three and unique to this palette (there is no full-size version of this). The powder does appear to have some sparkle to it, and when applied there is a sheen. When you look closely, the sparkle is very subtly visible on the skin. This is just as soft and smooth as Dim Light. While all of these are designed to be finishing powders, because of the sheen this one gives off coupled with how light it is, I probably won't ever use this all over my face as I am naturally oily and don't need any added sparkle without depth. However, I do really love this as a highlight on my cheekbones and around my eyebrows.
Radiant Light
This is my favorite of the bunch. I really thought Dim Light would be, but this one is just so pretty! Honestly, the formation of this one seems almost exactly like Incandescent Light as far as the sparkle and sheen, but my opinion is a little different because it is a deeper color. At the moment, I do like using this as a really light bronzer, sweeping it over my cheeks and temples. BUT even though there is some shimmer to this one, I do intend to use it all over my face during the summer months. I think the effect will be really nice (especially once I've gotten a bit of a tan), and I don't mind appearing more glow-y in the warmer months. 

Overall, I'm quite pleased with this palette, and I think I want to try some of the other colors. Do you have any of the Ambient Lighting Powders? How do you feel about them and which are your favorites?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April Favorites

It's that time. To see what I used and loved the most during the month of April, keep reading!
Tarte Skinny Smolder Eyes in Azurite Green, $19 Sephora and Lorac Front of the Line Pro in Black, $23 Ulta
Now I love both of these products on their own, but this month I was loving them together. The Tarte liner is the creamiest I've ever used, and glides on smoothly with opaque, jewel-toned, turquoise color. The Lorac liner has a skinny, brush tip which makes for easy application, and has a rich, black color. The way I like to pair these products is to draw a thick line with the Tarte liner on my upper lash-line, and draw a thin line with the Lorac at the base of my lashes for a little extra definition.
Tweezerman Travel Slant tweezers, $14 Ulta
I finally got my first pair of Tweezerman's! And now I can say I understand why it's such a renowned brand. I'd been using a pair from the drugstore that worked extremely well for me, but I didn't know it could be better. These really grasp even the smallest hair, and I love the travel packaging, too.
NYX Butter Gloss in Maple Blondie, $5 Ulta
If you've seen my FOTD post featuring this gloss, this one is not a surprise. I tried this gloss on a whim (since I don't usually care for glosses) and completely fell in love. The texture, color, and scent is everything I would want out of a lipgloss, and at $5, it can't really be beat.
Lancome La Base Pro, $42 Full Size
This is the best primer I have tried. I generally go for mattifying bases since I have oily skin, but the fact that this is oil-free is enough. I like it better than all the mattifying ones I've tried, and even Smashbox Photofinish and both of Tarte's Perfecting and Brightening primers. I still want to try Benefit's Porefessional, but I'm definitely considering purchasing the full size of this. 
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, $12 Sephora
This is another product that's hyped for a reason. There's not much to say about this except that its hydrating claims are true. I use this primarily on my hands, and I love how quickly it absorbs so I don't have that greasy feeling. I've also used this on sunburn and it really helps to heal and prevent peeling. This is truly a star product.
Organix Anti-Breakage Keratin Oil, $8 Ulta
First, let me just say, this stuff smells AMAZING--it has a warm, floral-vanilla fragrance. And it works. I've been using this a couple times a week after I wash and towel-dry my hair for the past two or three months. Now I haven't cut my hair since November. That's almost six months, and my ends look totally healthy. I haven't seen even one split, and by this time, I usually would have. I have changed my hair routine so that I'm washing it less and deep-conditioning more, but I really think this product is helping to keep my hair strong. And with a price-point of less than $10, this is definitely something I'll continue to keep in my hair-care routine. 
Honeysuckle Bouquet Mason Jar Candle, $12.50 Bath and Body Works
This is the first spring-y candle that I've burned this year, and I'm loving it. BBW describes this as "sweet honeysuckle and pink peony with a touch of creamy vanilla," and honestly, it smells exactly like honeysuckle to me. I do think it is one of their stronger scents, though, so I can't burn this as long as I usually would, but the scent does fill up my apartment nicely. 

What did you love most in April?