Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Spring Favorites 2016

Hello. Yes I've been gone a long time. Sorry. I moved. Back in March I moved from College Station back to San Antonio. I spent two months living with my sister and her family before finally getting back in my own house. I'm now pretty much settled in and have time to myself again to blog and read and spend time with my cats. So here I am!

During these last three months I have bought kinda a lot of makeup...I don't want to add the total because it's scary, but these are my favorite purchases of Spring that I have been using and abusing.

Here we have pretty much a whole face worth of stuff and that wasn't even intentional, I just grabbed the items I've been using the most and loving the most.  I have two Urban Decay products which is weird for me because I'm not normally the biggest UD fan, but I'd heard too many good things about the UD Naked Concealer. I actually bought this twice, the first time the shade was just slightly too dark but works great on my sister and the second time I got the perfect shade for me. This stuff is beautiful and I goes beautifully on top of my color corrector under my eyes. My under-eye concealer always used to crease but this stuff does not crease, it's fabulous. I highly recommend.  Then I also have the UD Gwen Stefani palette that I'll talk more about later.

Next up I have a Wet 'n Wild eyeshadow primer which I am loving! I used the Wet 'n Wild Fergie primer a few years ago loved that one too and since then had been using the Milani, but when that one ran out I jumped to try this one after hearing rave reviews. This primer is fantastic, it makes my shadows look great and has just enough tackiness to help your shadows stay all day.  Above that I have an IT Cosmetics Ulta Exclusive Concealer brush. I don't usually use a brush for concealer but saw people using this brush for highlighter and it's perfect for that! The highlight brush I had been using was way too big, but this is perfect, super soft and fluffy. I also have another IT Cosmetics product the Superhero Mascara that I had also heard great things about. This is definitely one of those mascaras that gets better with age. It started out super wet and underwhelming, but after about 2 weeks it started to dry out and now it's a fave. It's great at voluming and lengthening. I'm not sure it'll replace my Benefit Roller Lash, but I really love it.

Then the two palettes. I bought both of these are birthday gifts for myself back in March. First up the UD Gwen Stefani palette. I was so tempted to get this when it first came out but didn't hear a lot of reviews on it. No one seemed to be talking about it and the people who were said it was just a good neutral palette with a couple of pops. But I got it with my Ulta Birthday Giftcard and discount so I got it for less than full price. This is a gorgeous palette! The texture of the shadows is beautiful. In the pan they kick up a lot of dust but on the eye I have not had a problem with fallout. I feel like the colors (besides the blue and black) are all very usable and create pretty looks. One complaint I heard was that you always get the same look with this palette, and that's fine with me, because I like neutral looks and only rarely branch out so this is great. Love love love.

And now my favorite favorite! My Benefit Cheekathon palette! This thing is fabulous and I hate that my phone takes such horrible pictures, but it's fabulous. This palette has all the traditional/classic Benefit box blushes/bronzer in one place. I missed out on the Christmas palette like this two years ago and always hated that, so I'm so glad I snagged this one up. I have used this almost daily since I got it. Dallas and Rockateur are my most used blushes. Dallas is a gorgeous dusty rose that looks good daily. Rockateur is a pink rose with some gold sheen in it. Another natural but glowy blush that is great when you don't want to wear a highlighter. Dandelion is a pretty pale pink, but more of a fall/winter shade for me so I haven't used it much. And Coralista is a blush I may never use...I just can't pull off coral.  Hoola Bronzer is just as good as you've always heard it was. I use it daily as my light contour/bronzer. I love this palette and it was totally worth the price. I've heard the formula may be different on some of these colors than the original box blushes, but since I don't have those I don't know the difference.  

So those are my favorites. Sorry it's been so long since I blogged, but hopefully I'll get back in the swing of things now that I'm more settled. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Top 5 Blushes

Howdy! I've been away so long! Sorry! Busy semester. I got a job, got into law school and will now be moving home soon. I'll write all about packing on my other blog, but I'll check in here on my makeup packing and moving. But first...blush!

I have a lot of blush, I really don't know how it happened. Last year I only had 14 blushes...that number has almost doubled now... in fact all of these have been acquired since then except one. So here's what they are and why I love them. Counterclockwise from the Hourglass palette.

  1. Hourglass Mood Exposure the most expensive blush I own and it's not even a full size, but in a palette. This bottom left corner color doesn't look like anything special in the pan, but when you put it on it is the most perfect plum-y mauve. The color is so gorgeous with a hint of glow, not shimmer and I'm in love. I wore this color for over a month straight after I got this palette because it is so gorgeous. It's a sophisticated natural color that looks great. I think it's a great winter color and love it when wearing all black or grey. It lasts forever and is so silky smooth to the touch. I will buy the full size of this if I ever work through this one- all $38 of it. This palette was $80 and is a great sampler of Hourglass stuff.
  2. Milani Tea Rose I had the hardest time picking which of Milani's rose blushes I wanted last year when these came out, but decided to go with this one because it seemed the most universal. It's a bright rose color and a great pink when the season's are transitioning Winter to Spring or Summer to Fall. I just love it. I feel like it's a comforting color like jeans, it's a good casual color but looks super nice when dressed up. It has a great texture and great lasting power, it looks so natural on and if I needed more blush I would buy more of this formula.
  3. Tarte Fearless One of the 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blushes, it's photographing much brighter and online it looks much mellower, but it's a beautiful bright pink flush but not too bright. It's a great everyday Spring and Summer Pink. I first fell in love with this blush as a sample. Tarte blushes are super pigmented and this will probably last me forever, but I love it and until it gets hard pan I will use and abuse it. Tarte blushes are $28 and well worth it. In the summer it's a no-brainer blush, I highly recommend.
  4. Tarte Savored another 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush, but unfortunately it was a part of a limited edition holiday collection from  QVC. I wrote about it here. Tarte blushes never photograph correctly, but this is my go to Fall/Winter blush. It's a burgundy deep color with some gold shimmer, but not too much. It was my first experience with Tarte blushes and you can see my Amazonian woman is mostly used up in the center. It's sadly getting a little hard pan on it after a year and a few months, but that's okay it was a great deal in a set.
  5. theBalm Cabana Boy a beautiful deep dusty rose color. Another one I break out in the fall months. Such a gorgeous color with very very slight shimmer. I got this for $10 on HauteLook and while I love it I probably wouldn't have bought it full price at $21. It's a favorite because I don't have anything else like it. 

So these are my perfect go to blushes when I need to look polished and perfect, I love them. I am a very seasonal person I only use certain items during certain times of the year. True with clothing, music and makeup. Eye shadows I mix pretty much year round, but blushes not at all. I love my pinks and in the Spring and Summer, but in the Fall and Winter I want something deeper and cozier. Milani is my only favorite drugstore blush because it performs so well. If you didn't tell me it was drugstore I'd never know. These are my favorite blushes I hope you try some of them out!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Beauty Trash #3

Ooops I got behind on posts, I took these pics in December. My Sephora Beauty Trash bag was totally overflowing-

So a lot of usual characters that I wont spend too much time on, but I did go through so makeup and random things too.  So this is about 5 months worth of trash, I have my usual face/skincare stuff, hair dye stuff, makeup stuff, and randoms.

So if we start with the usual characters I used up 6 makeup removing wipes. My usual Neutrogena that are my favorite 2 of those, 3 different types of Up & Up formulas they're fine for removing makeup swatches or when I use my fingers to application or back of my hand as a palette, and then some Simple Miscellar wipes. I love the Simple Miscellar water, also pictured here, so much I thought maybe the wipes would be good too. They were fine and kept me from running out of my bottle version as fast, but probably wont purchase again unless there's a sale. I'm constantly trying new makeup wipes so nothing new there and I'll probably repurchase a variation of these again.  The Simple Miscellar Water I'm on my last back up right now, so I'll probably repurchase again soon.

I have two empty packages of Up & Up cotton rounds, one in exfoliating and one regular and they're both fine. I don't like the exfoliating one as much I feel like it falls apart too easily, but it's great for nail polish removal. I've already repurchased both of these.  Then I have my holy grail moisturizer that Cetaphil cream love I have 3 back ups right now.  Then the odd man out in this group is my Deodorant- I use Secret Outlast and it's scent is just the fresh clean one- nothing special I've been using it for years. The only thing I don't like about it is if I'm not careful I get white deodorant marks on my clothes- I wear too many dark colors.

I dyed my hair A LOT these last 5 months. Still trying to get it back to its normal color from the bleach blonde Tyler episode of 2014. I only saved one of the hair dye tubes because the others were messy and gross, but I love this brand One 'n Only Argan Oil Hair Color it's very reasonably priced at Sally's and I've bought it at least 6 times since after I went blonde. It's very gentle and that's probably why I had to dye my hair so much because it did wash out very easily the first 4 applications. I've used the 20 and 10 Developers and hopefully I wont need to again but I think 10 is the way to go for me. I was using the 5 level at first and it would not take, it washed out so much that my hair kept ending up red, so I slowly moved up to 4 and then this last time did a 3 and it's finally stuck. I did expect it to wash out a little more but I'm fine with it and don't think I'll have to dye it again.  I also went through many packets of hair color remover wipes for my face because I'm a mess when I dye my hair. I used the Colortrak Wipe Off Color only a buck and they did the trick, they're not as wet as some but they worked fine.

For makeup I feel like I went trough small things but two I'm very proud of.  I finished a bronzer. NYC Bronzer in Sunny and after almost 2 years- I think it was about 20 months I made my way through that thing. I'm kinda sad it's gone because I feel like it's a great contour shade for me, but it has freed me up to try more. Also it's super cheap if I do feel the need to purchase it again. Then I also went through a Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in medium. It took me three tries to get my shade right but I miss this guy. I didn't use it every day because it was too drying but on the weekends I used it for a quick fix. I have other concealers I'm working through right now so I don't need it but I'll probably repurchase eventually.

Then I have three mascaras- 2 I love and 1 I hate. Maybelline's Lash Sensational  people said this was a drugstore dupe for Benefit's Roller Lash...they LIED. I hated this stuff it was too wet and never curled my lashes, I waited to it to dry and still hated it. Not for me. Urban Decay Perversion however is for me I loved it. This is the Mascara to use if you want the false lash look without the false lashes, I had this guy for over a year- tempting fate- because it would never dry out! Eventually it did and the big bushy bristles started sticking together but this guy it totally worth the $22 price. Then a sample size of Benefit's They're Real- love this mascara have already repurchased and will continue to do so. The sample size is the perfect size for me, I find it just as easy to use as the full size. This is one of my holy grail mascaras and I love it.

Then the last product is a huge dud. It's a Wet 'n Wild Coverall Concealer stick that smells like crayons and is so greasy and dry at the same time. I bought this for covering tattoos and it failed at that job. I probably had this thing for two years and I just finally gave up trying to use it, I hated it and have found much better ways to cover up tattoos that does not include this fail of a concealer.

For the last group I have some random things. My beloved hair clip! I have super super thick hair and usually go through hair clips like they're going out of style, but this monster is rubberized and I have 3 others at home because I was terrified it would break. Well luckily this guy is a work horse and I got a good year out of it before it broke. This is the Scunci No-Slip Grip Hair Claw usually about $6-8 depending where you buy it. Great clip for big hair and I cannot be without it.

Then I have a Norwegian Hand Cream I heard on YouTube was great for super dry hands. This did nothing for me. I can't complain too much it was under $5 but this was greasy and then disappeared without adding moisture to my hands, I was so disappointed. I'm still searching for the perfect hand cream.

And finally I have a sample of Lancome's Bi-Facil eye makeup remover.  I miss this stuff. Full size is priced over $20 and I just can't justify it, but anytime I get a sample of this I use it. This removes eye makeup so wonderfully and completely with no tugging or anything. I love it. If you just talk to the people in the Lancome section at Ulta they almost always offer you a free sample of something I recommend taking them up on it and getting the Bi-Facil. It's amazing.

So that's my trash! I miss a lot of these products. I'll try not to wait so long next time.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Makeup Madness Part 7! Makeup brushes!

So here's my thing with brushes- I started using makeup brushes for eye shadow in high school, but then for blush I always just used what came in my blush compact, didn't wear foundation for the longest time so didn't need a brush for that and then I didn't need one for contour and highlight because I didn't do that till recently either. So once I started buying more makeup and needing more brushes it was a very slippery slope and all of the sudden I had 40 brushes.

The only thing I don't use a brush for is my foundation, pretty much no mater what foundation I'm using I prefer to apply it with my finger tips. Always clean hands but primer and foundation do not get a brush, I've tried and every once in a while I'll try again but its just not my favorite application method.

This will not be a purging at all. I'm not getting rid of any of my brushes...sorry to disappoint. But here they are and I'll link to where you can buy them- no affiliate links.

Face brushes!
  1. IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Radiance Wand #14 This is the most amazing brush ever. I got this with an IT Cosmetics kit from QVC and it's the softest brush you've ever felt. It's big enough to be a great powder brush or bronzing brush I use it most for a bronzing brush and love it. OMG the softness.
  2. Real Techniques Blush Brush This is my next biggest brush and I love it too! This is my blush brush and it's great for diffusing really pigmented blushes and blending them out. Because the cut on the brush is so tapered it really picks up product and so just a tap is needed to get great blush color.
  3. Real Techniques Expert Face Brush I bought this brush to use with my bronzer before I had #1 but didn't like it for that. So then I tried to use it for what it was meant for foundation- didn't like it for that too. None of my foundations need that much buffing. So now I just kinda use it when other brushes are dirty or I need to really blend something out- like too much blush or too hard contour. It's a great brush it's just not what I need right now.
  4. Real Techniques Setting Brush Love this brush! I had been using a different brush to set my under eyes and it was just too big, but this is the perfect size. It's actually also the perfect size for highlight. I keep wanting to get another for highlight but have restrained myself...but I may get another.
  5. Bare Escentuals Flawless Face This is a brush I've had the longest and will probably be first to go when I find a replacement. This is a natural hair brush one of my few and it's almost 8 years old so it should probably be retired. It's kinda bristly and not as soft as it once was. I use this just for all over face powder which I don't use eh I would not repurchase now.
  6. Bare Escentuals Max Coverage Concealer I use this brush for concealing! I actually use this one for what it's for. I like to use this when I'm concealing around my nose or need to correct redness on my cheeks. It's a fine brush I don't use it daily either. 
  7. Ecotools Skin Perfecting Brush I bought this brush when I first started using CC and BB creams. I feel like this is a great sized brush and it applies product just fine, but I also feel like it absorbs too much. As a white brush you can see all the product that gets stuck and trapped in it. Also because of this I feel like I need to clean it much more frequently. So I only use this brush when using really really creamy BB creams or ones I don't mind wasting a little bit.
  8. Ecotools Concealer Brush LOVE! This is a relatively new purchase maybe just at the end of summer and I love it. I got this brush after seeing EmilyNoel or Kristin Ghem talking about it and using it with pot concealers. I use this with my Erase Paste and Pixi Correction Concentrate. It's great, perfect size. I have no complaints.
  9. ELF Kabuki Face Brush (not pictured) This is a good all over buffing brush when you're blending. I don't use this brush to apply anything to my face but just to blend all my cheek products together and hopefully make myself look less powdery. It's a find brush no essential but good for what I need it for.
  10. ELF Angled Blush Brush I originally bought this brush for contour and I love it for that. This is great at getting really deep contour around my ears and hair line. I don't use this everyday because it lays down a lot of product but when I really want to carve out my features I love this.
  11. ELF Small Tapered Brush I bought this brush highlight before I got my stipple brush and it works great for that. I still use this periodically when different highlights depending on how much glow I'm going for, for the price it's great.
  12. ELF Blush Brush Very similar to the tapered brush I really only use this when my big blush brush is dirty. Great brush I just don't reach for it too much.
  13. ELF Small Stipple Brush I loved this brush for about 6 months. Then the brush head fell off! It's still attached to the ferrol of the brush but I couldn't believe it. It's a fairly cheap brush so it doesn't really bother me and I can still use it but just kinda disappointing. I use this brush for my super strong highlights that I need to diffuse more. I use this brush daily. 
  14. ELF Contouring Brush This is another great brush for when you want really sharp contour. I don't use this all the time but when I want a great straight line on my face it's perfect. Also great for contouring your nose. 
  15. ELF Flawless Concealer Brush I bought this brush the same day I got my other concealer brush and I probably don't need both. I only use this brush when I have really liquid-y concealer that I need to buff into my skin. I may re-purpose this brush for something else because I don't think my face needs it.
Eye Brushes!
  1. Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush Love this brush. Perfect for the crease and does exactly what you hope it will. Essential eye shadow brush for sure.
  2. Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush This is a great brush and a part of an eye kit with the next few brushes and it's fine. I use it how it's intended to, as my base shadow brush- use it daily.
  3. Real Techniques Shading Brush I used to use this brush a lot more as a crease brush and it's great for that. But right now it's serving me as an awesome brush to use with cream shadows. I use it with my ELF smudge pots and Color Tattoos.
  4. Real Techniques Brow Brush I use this brush incorrectly. I find this one too big for my brows and so honestly don't use it much. Every once in a while I'll pull it in for a thicker eye liner, but it's not my favorite.
  5. Real Techniques Accent Brush This brush I use for my eye brows and love it. It's the perfect size! I use an angle brush too sometimes but this is great for getting precise brows.
  6. Sephora Professional Pointed Liner #17 Great for gel liner. I use this when my other liner brushes are dirty. It's great but not essential.
  7. Sephora Professional Angled Shadow #20 This is a super fluffy and soft eye shadow brush. I use this with really pigmented shadows I need to diffuse. It's so soft. I've used this brush for years and recently rediscovered it at the back of a drawer. It's awesome.
  8. Sephora Pencil Brush- all the info has rubbed off Essential brush that I have no idea what it is! I can't find this brush anywhere now but I know it's Sephora and it's amazing. I got this ages ago and it's the perfect pencil brush! Why aren't more this size. It's stiff but gentle and great for getting the lower lash line or highlighting the brow bone or my usual use for it is my inner corner. Great great brush.
  9. Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Flat Shadow Brush (discontinued because VS hates me). This is a super dense brush that's soft and great for packing on metallic shades. Use this all the time with my favorite gold shadows. Awesome brush what's wrong with Victoria's Secret bring back your makeup and brushes!
  10. Ecotools Flat Eyeliner Brush Great eye liner brush, perfect size and I use it all the time for shadow eye liner. I don't like it with gel eye liner. But it's a great brush.
  11. Crown Brush Dual Ended (Ipsy bag brush) It was free, well not really! It's great for travel or using with shadow colors I don't use frequently like black smokey shades or glitter. 
  12. Tarte Dual Ended Shadow Brush (QVC) This is a great brush that came with a Tarte palette. Love it. One side is super flat which is great and one is fluffy. perfect for travel.
  13. IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Dual Eyeshadow #5 OMG back to my IT brushes! I love this thing and need more. If I had a few of these brushes I wouldn't need other eye brushes. I love the small stubby side, it's great for lining the lower lash line. The fluffy side is super soft. Love it.
  14. Sad no name shader brush I've had literally forever- ESSENTIAL brush. What are you? I love you.
  15. Up & Up Target Duo Eye Brush Set These are awesome brushes. One's a bigger flat shader and one is a little smaller. I use these for shimmery shades and really nothing else. They're great little brushes and I have my eyes on some more from this brand.
  16. ELF Eyebrow Duo Brush I Love this brush and my eyebrows would not be anything with out. I am super picky about my eyebrow brushes because I want the spoolie side to be eyebrow size not a full length spoolie size and this one is perfect! And the angle brush side it great too. I have no complaints about this brush and love it. 
  17. ELF Small Angled Brush I got this brush originally for my eye brows before I got the Duo brush but now I use it for eye liner or smudging if need be. Great little brush.
  18. ELF Angled Eyeliner Brush I like this brush fine for gel eye liner but don't quite understand the need for it to be angled. I don't have a trouble getting to my lash line like other do so the angle is kinda wasted on me, but love the brush and use it when my other liner brushes are dirty...which is frequently. 
  19. ELF Crease Brush This is smaller than my blending brush but mostly the same shape. I find it too small for my crease but love it for smudging out lower lash-line liner. 
  20. ELF Blending Brush (w) I use this brush daily. I love it and should really get around to buying some back ups. I can tell it's starting to loosen from it's base. But I love it and it's so soft and perfect.
  21. ELF Eyeshadow Brush (w) Mine looks a little sad with some of the brush hairs a little longer than others but it's a great base or all over eye brush.
  22. ELF Smudge Brush (w) I love this brush because it's a smaller flat shader brush, I'm sure it could be a smudge brush but I use it to apply really shimmery colors that I don't want to deal with a lot of fall out from. Love it. 
  23. ELF Eye Crease Brush (w) Another crease brush and I don't use this one as much as the others, but it's a great backup when all my other brushes are dirty. 
So basically I have way too many brushes but I use them and it's good to rotate so you aren't always using dirty brushes. I clean my brushes regularly and they're all holding up pretty well. To me the ELF ones only have about a year and half shelf life and the nicer brushes obviously last much longer. I try to wash with Dr. Bronner's Soap once a month, but weekly I wipe them down with makeup wipes (sometimes more than weekly) and then daily I wipe off the excess color onto a washcloth I keep on my sink for just this purpose. I feel like this helps my brushes and my skin because I'm wiping off some of the excess oil and product so it doesn't go on my face. But I love my brushes and I do want to eventually get some more IT Cosmetics brushes just because they're better quality but I don't NEED them. Yay!

Previous Makeup Madness-es!

BlushBronzers & HighlightersEye LinersLippiesMascara, and Concealer!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fall Party Makeup!

Ooops. I guess it's been a little bit since I blogged. I've had a very busy September. I've been busy with work stuff and after work stuff, so there hasn't been a lot of time for makeup creativity.  Until this weekend. I'd gotten in a rut of easy fall makeup and decided that I needed to spice it up. Luckily I had a Theatre Karaoke Party to go to and decided I'd go all out.  What do I mean?

I mean I wore I all the makeup.  This bag is filled with all the stuff I applied to my face. There was quite a bit. I hadn't worn this much makeup in a while and it kinda showed. It was indoors and kinda darkish party so luckily unless I was in full sunlight it didn't look like as much makeup as it actually least that's what I'm telling myself.

So starting with my base. Primer. I primed. I had put my usual day cream on earlier in the day. But about 10 minutes before applying my makeup I used my IT Cosmetics Feel the Moment Primer Serum. This needs to soak in a moment. I also applied my CeraVe Eye Repair Cream- I'd recently heard it played well under concealer so gave it a whirl. It's my usual nighttime eye cream. After the those had sunk in a bit I added my Maybelline Master Prime in Blur + Smooth where my pores are the worst- around my nose and tops of my cheeks and my Milani Eyeshadow Primer to my eyelids and a little below where my concealer goes.

Once all that set in I moved on to my next face products. Bring in the IT Cosmetics team. I love IT Cosmetics. I combine both the CC Cream regular and Illumination in Medium to make a delightfully glowy full coverage effect. I also use two Bye Bye Under Eyes in Neutral Medium and Tan. I apply the CC Cream with my fingers one pump of the regular and half a pump of the Illumination. I use about a pinpoint size of each Bye Bye Under Eye and mix them together on the back of my hand. Then I apply a thin layer to each under eye and blend out with a fluffy concealer brush. I love the look of this combo. It's incredibly full coverage and very long wearing. The CC Cream doesn't need any setting powder by the time I get to my face products it's set fine, but the Bye Bye Under Eye definitely needs to be set. It will remain very tacky and I'd worry it would move around if I didn't set it. My favorite way to set it is with my NARS Translucent Crystal Powder.

Normally I would move onto my eyes next, but this Saturday I did it reverse and did my face powders next.

I used my usual and ALMOST gone NYC Sunny Bronzer to contour and bronze up my face. Then I used the gorgeous highlighter from the IT Cosmetics Live, Laugh, Love Vitality Face Disc. This highlighter is not joking around. It is in your face and shiny and gorgeous. Then I finished it off with my Tarte Blush in Savored from last year's Tarte Holiday set from QVC. Combined these face products are gorgeous. I chose the IT Cosmetics highlighter because it's more champagne based and less gold than my usual. This is not a highlighter you'd choose for a natural day or if you were wanting to be subtle. I will also use up my Sunny bronzer this year if it kills me. I'm so tired of that thing and have so many other bronzers I want to use. Now that it's fall I've started to pull out my deeper blushes and this is one of my faves.

For my eyes I knew I wanted to do something special. Something fun and sparkly. I also wanted to use my Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette that I've been neglecting. I started with White Chocolate all over my lids for a smooth base. This helps the shadows blend together too. I then took Salted Caramel in my crease to just warm things up and give a transition. On my lids I used Strawberry Bon Bon. Then I took the star of this look Black Forest Truffle in my outer V and kept adding and blending and adding and blending. I got rid of some of the lightness of the Strawberry Bon Bon so I added on top some Champagne Truffle in the inner part of the lid to brighten things back up. Not satisfied with the depth of the outer V I added a smidgen of Dark Chocolate and then more Black Forest Truffle. It ended up being a super pretty eye look but not as party worthy as I'd been hoping so I reached for my ELF Long Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow in Gala to add some sparkle, just to the outer edge.

To finish off the eyes I used my NYX Dark Brown Gel Eyeliner along the top lash line and Dark Chocolate on the lower lash line. I then let the gel liner set and filled in my brows with my NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe. For mascara I doubled up with my Covergirl Super Sizer and Benefit's They're Real both in black. Not pictured is my NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie.  To finish off the whole fancy pants think I was going for I used my Armani Si from Scentbird as Perfume.

Here is how the look came out in various stages in the evening. It was fun, but at the end of the night a pain to get off. I broke out the cold cream because it was just a lot of makeup.


*None of the links above are affiliate links, just where you can buy this fabulous stuff!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Favorite Eye Shadow Combos!

It's the last day of summer for me. My students started trickling back to town last ween but their first day of class is tomorrow. So that means summer dress is over, no more jeans in the middle of the week, no more flip flops, and for me- no more lazy makeup.  So I have a couple of Go-To eye looks I do throughout the academic year. I've been spoiled over the summer with my 10 minute makeup look, my usual routine takes about 1/2 an hour with the majority of time spent on my eyes.

So the palettes I use for my eye looks and will reference throughout this post are as follows:

  1. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
  2. Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette
  3. Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette
All of these links are for ULTA- so no affiliate links.

Neutral Matte
I would say the look I do the most and will continue to do the most this semester will be close to my Tartelette Redux look. An all Matte neutral bown-ish natural look. I can accomplish this look with both my Chocolate Bar and Tartelette palettes.

Chocolate Bar Palette (Left - Right)
White Chocolate, Strawberry Bon Bon, Salted Caramel, Milk Chocolate, Semi-Sweet, & Dark Chocolate
  1. I'll start every look with eye primer- I'm working through Milani Eyeshadow Primer right now.
  2. Then I cover the entire lid with a base powder either White Chocolate or Free Spirit. This makes blending out all the colors easier and doesn't seem to effect lasting time.
  3. Next comes a pale pink all over my lid below the crease- I use either Strawberry Bon Bon or Caregiver. If these shadows get muddied during the blending process I'll come back to them at the end.
  4. Then I start deepening the crease starting with a light medium brown or camel color like Salted Caramel or Force of Nature.
  5. Then another crease color a little darker still- Milk Chocolate or Wanderer.
  6. Blend Blend Blend!
  7. Then the next shade darker brown goes just in the outer V and blended with a very light hand into #4&5. I used Semi-Sweet or Dreamer here and make the outer corner the darkest of all and blend it just so slightly into the V.
  8. Blend Blend Blend! you don't ever want to see where the color changes so I blend till it's a perfect gradient.
  9. If my pale pink has gotten a little lost then I'll brighten it up with it again, I don't always have to do that though.
  10. Finally I use either the darkest brown color to line my lower lashes lightly and the outer corner of my top lashes- Dark Chocolate or Multi-Tasker.
  11. If I want real liner I use my dark brown gel liner, but I've been liking the no-liner look lately.
Tartelette (Left - Right)
Free Spirit, Caregiver, Force of Nature, Wanderer, Dreamer, & Multi-Tasker

I feel like this is the most universal eye look I do. It goes with everything and always looks classic. If I want to make it more dramatic I can add Dark Chocolate or Multi-Tasker as a second outer V color. If I want my eyes to really pop I can use gel liner around the whole eye. I can even skip the outer V colors all together and just have a very no-make-up-make-up eye look. So I love this one, it still takes me 20 minutes to complete because blending takes time, but I feel like I've gotten as fast as I can with this.

Burgundy and Gold
I don't know when I fell in love with gold shadow on my eyes but I know it was sometime after purchasing the Rainforest palette and seeing Kristin Gehm rave about it. But I started playing with the golds in this palette and my chocolate bar palette and somehow stumbled upon burgundy being a good pair with those. So this is another look that I loved all last fall and have already broken out a couple times this past week. Gold is fun! So these looks can be done with the Chocolate Bar or Rainforest palette.

Rainforest After Dark (Left - Right)
Bare to Explore, Tangled Up In You, Up To No Gold, Plum Away With Me, Don't Turn A-Brown
  1. Primer
  2. All over lid base color- the Rainforest palette is missing a good nude base color so I either pull it from my Chocolate bar or just use my setting powder here as a base. White Chocolate still works here and whatever color I use goes all over the lid because the base is all the same color for this look.
  3. Next I move to the crease with Milk Chocolate and Semi Sweet or Bare to Explore and Tangled Up In You. The chocolate bar look gets darker quicker and the Rainforest stays a little lighter.
  4. Then I take GOLD all over the lid below the crease. I do it after the crease base colors in this look because gold gets everywhere if you blend over it too much. I use Creme Brule or Up to no Gold. They're both gorgeous- I feel like the Chocolate Bar Gold is smoother but the Tarte's sticks a little better to the eye. I usually do two layers of each to get that really metallic look.
  5. Next up a burgundy or maroon color. In the Chocolate Bar you have two options depending on how dark you want to go Amaretto or Cherry Cordial. For Rainforest I go with Plum Away With Me. These colors start at the outer corner and come in for the outer 3rd and then blend lightly in the crease above the gold.
  6. Then if I need more depth I'll add Dark Chocolate or Don't Turn A-Brown and add to just the very outside of the eye.
  7. I use my dark brown gel liner with this look and usually take some gold and medium brown on the lower lash line.
Chocolate Bar Palette (Left-Right)
Milk Chocolate, Semi-Sweet, Creme Brule, Amaretto, Cherry Cordial, Dark Chocolate

This is a great look for fall! I just love the gold, if you were this look with Green and have blue or green eyes it's amazing! I also love to wear this when I'm wearing brown or orangey- you know fall colors. It's a great look that works for all the eye colors. Brown eyes look gorgeous with gold. This look takes me a little longer even though there are fewer steps because Gold can smell fear. You have to go slowly with gold or it'll end up all over your face.

So I think these shadows make great fall looks. Even within just the shadows I shared you can do a variation of things and each can be very appropriate work day or school day looks as well as evening looks. I frequently will just darken things up after work and have a perfectly good evening look.  Here in Texas fall is still a few months off, but hopefully we're at least done with the 100+ degree days so fall eye makeup here I come!

In case you want to know what blushes I would use with these looks- definitely plummier, deeper rose colors and with hints of gold. So I'll break out my NARS Orgasm again, my Cabana Boy from the Balm and my deepest Tarte blush in Savored. Less pinks more plums!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Makeup Madness! Part 6! Concealers

It's Makeup Madness Time again! This time it's all about concealers! I only have a few to get rid of but have some I really love. Now I'll be the first person to admit like all my makeup adventures, concealer is still something I'm working on. I have not perfected my concealer game but it's getting better.  I wrote briefly about concealers once upon a time here.

So what do I use concealer for? Well I have terrible sleep problems and so I constantly have big blue bags under my eyes that need to be covered up.  And while acne isn't something I struggle with I do suffer from the occasional face planet that needs to be covered up. One of the biggest concealer tips I ever learned, a little late I might add just two years ago, was that you do not use the same concealer all over your face. There's a reason they make concealer specifically for under your eyes and specifically for covering blemishes.

Up first we have stick concealers or concealers with wands. I feel like stick concealers are the style of concealer handed to ever pubescent teenage girl when they get their first breakout. These concealers are usually a little dry or waxy, but provide fuller coverage.  I cannot use these, they're too drying for my face so I pretty much steer clear, however they do make excellent tattoo cover ups.  I use the ELF and Wet 'N Wild for one of the many layers of concealer I use when I have to cover up my tattoos for shows. Then the creamier concealers with either a wand or the ball thing the Maybelline has are much more hydrating and easy to use.  These concealers are hit or miss some are too shear (ELF HD) and some don't blend in well with the rest of your foundation (Age Rewind).  But I feel like these styles of concealers are definitely the easiest to learn how to use when first starting out with concealer.  So here's what I have (not int he order pictured)

  • ELF Studio Concealer stick in beige. This $3 concealer is great. Excellent coverage, perfect shade match to me and a non-waxy stick formula. I can use this on my face and before I knew any better use to slather this under my eyes- but I don't recommend that because it'll dry your under eyes out like no ones business. If I was recommending a drugstore concealer for someone just starting out I'd recommend this easily- love it. This was also the first ELF product I ever tried after a theatre friend's recommendation.
  • ELF HD Lifting Concealer  in light. Another $3 ELF product that is not great. This stuff sucks. It is so sheer. It applies with a doe foot applicator and is just awful. It also smells too face make-up-y which I hate. I have no use for this concealer and have no idea why I've kept it. In the trash it goes. 
  • Wet n Wild Coverall in 804. A $2 concealer! Ummm this is not good either. The shade match is fine and the texture I'm sure would work for really oily people, but my Sahara desert skin cannot handle this, it's so waxy and you can just feel it sucking all the moisture out of your skin. This is another excellent tattoo cover up and literally the only reason I bought this thing too. I'm going to hold onto it just for that reason, also it's only about a year old so if I do another show I'll pull it out. 
  • NYX Wonder Pencil in light. I didn't really know where to stick this $4 pencil, I think I might have also included him in my eyeliner madness, but that's because that's how I usually use this guy.  NYX advertises it as a "wonder" because it's supposed to do lots of things- conceal, line your lips and be an eye brightener.  It doesn't really do any of these things too terribly well.  It's too light for it to be a concealer for me, but the formula is too hard. I hate using it in my inner rim of my eyes because it's stabby. I have to warm it up first, and I don't use it to reverse line my lips but if I had the right color I may. I don't think it's anything special but I'll hold onto it and see if I can figure out a use for it.
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in medium. I have a love hate relationship with this product. It's $9 and after 3 tries I finally got my color right, but...I don't know. I've almost used up this tube and while I like it and use it I wont be repurchasing it right away.  It's a creamy concealer, non-drying and made specifically for your under eyes, but I don't find it plays well with the rest of my makeup.  On days I'm just using concealer it's fine, but if I try to blend it in with different foundations for a seamless appearance it just doesn't work. So I'm just torn. I think it's a good concealer it does conceal but after using a full tube of it I'm not in love with it enough to spend $10 on it again.
  • Benefit Fake Up in 02 medium. Oh my $24 concealer I love you. I sometimes forget about you in the back of my drawer and whenever I pull you our I remember how much I love you! This is a stick concealer unlike any other I had tried when I got it- it's a super creamy stick concealer surrounded by vitamin E and moisturizer gel. So it's hydrating! OMG I love it. I use this bad boy under my eyes and they feel so hydrated and are lightly concealed. This is not a full coverage concealer it's very light coverage but feels heavy (in a good way) but can build up to medium coverage. To me it just feels so good under my eyes and is perfect for weekends when I don't feel like wearing a full face of makeup. This was my first high end concealer purchase and after it I realized what my problem had been. Don't buy cheap concealer- they're just not worth it. Because I use this so infrequently I've had it over a year and will probably finish it up before Thanksgiving. I love it. I may not purchase it again right away but I definitely will again before next Summer because it's delightful. 

Up next I have potted concealers. Or panned concealers. These come in two types- at least that I've found- waxy and creamy.  There are some other variations in there but I think both really have their place and I've found a use for them that I didn't expect. So lets just jump into what I have.
  • Benefit Boi-ing in 02 medium.  This $12 duo is 1/2 Boing concealer and 1/2 eye bright brightener.  Since I already knew I loved my first Benefit concealer I thought this duo was a great way to try others and it is. While I don't have much use for the eye brightener I may just not know how to use it, but the Boing concealer is a very interesting full coverage concealer. This stuff is thick, not hydrating but not waxy. I sometimes would use this on top of my Fake Up for a little more coverage and it works fine for that. I don't reach for this much anymore. I've hit pan on the concealer and will probably use it up but I've found other stuff I like better. This stuff isn't bad I just don't really need it in my stash. I think the Boing concealer texture and consistency would work on oilier skins better than dry.
  • Benefit Erase Paste in 02 medium.  There's a theme here with Benefit. Their products are good. This $26 pot of salmon colored gold is amazing. I bought this after seeing several videos by EmilyNoel83 using it in tutorials or highlighting it in concealer videos. 2nd important concealer lesson I learned- if you have dark blue/purple circles under your eyes, you should use a salmon or orangey colored concealer to hide them. Something about being on different sides of the color spectrum makes them hide each other. This concealer has a creamy almost gel like texture it's very slippery and smooth. I don't think it's adding hydration to my face but it feels very moisturizing.  This stuff is made for the under eyes and since it's in that salmon color does a great job. During the school year when I'm super pale I use this under another concealer, but in the summer when I get a little pigment in my skin I can wear this by itself. I think it does a great job, if you set it it doesn't crease.  The only thing that is weird about this concealer for me is every review and the instructions online all say to use a little bit of this and that it'll go a long way...not the case for me I have to put a layer of this on my skin. I use the back of the spatula they give you to get it out of the pot and I cover the back of the spatula once for each eye. So I don't know. But I love it, I only use it under my eyes and I imagine this pot will last 2 years unless it goes bad first. I love it and as of right now I'd repurchase it- we'll see how I feel in another year.
  • Pixi Correction Concentrate in brightening peach. This is a semi-drugstore option for Benefit's erase paste. This is $12 at target and YouTube told me it's a dupe for my Erase Paste.  I actually bought this first before I tried Erase Paste and loved it. It's creamy it's a salmony-peach color and it doesn't dry out my under eyes.  For me after a while I found the color wasn't as pigmented as I'd like and while my dark circles normally pop back out a few hours after concealer I feel like this almost made them look grey half way through the day. I like it though and find it a great option if you don't want to spend $26 on a concealer which I agree hurts. I'm holding onto it because it's another one of those concealers I'll break out on the weekend when I don't want to use my really expensive stuff. I imagine this stuff will last a little less than 2 years because it's slightly smaller than my erase paste.
  • theBalm timeBalm Concealer in light/medium. This is an $18 concealer that I got for $10 on Hautelook (referral link). I heard about this from JenLuvsReviews and Tati on YouTube. Jen uses this as her under eye concealer and Tati uses it as an eye base/primer. I'd been wanting to try it so when I saw it come up on Hautlook I decided to try it. Well it's not good for my undereyes and then it creased on my eye lids.  This is a fairly dry and very lightly waxy concealer. Sigh. It's a perfect color match which was awesome and it lasts forever but I just found I couldn't use it under my eyes or on them.  Then one day- I decided to be adventurous and use it as a redness corrector around my nose- the one area on my face that is dry as hell but not as dry as say my cheeks and eyes.  So I took a concealer brush and lightly spread it over the area- instantly my redness vanished! It's a miracle! So that's how I'll use this guy up. I probably wont repurchase him because I know there are better redness correctors out there but it'll do for now.
And lastly we have tubed concealers! So now that I have more experience with tubed concealers I expect them to be full coverage and really hydrating. However that is not always what you find.
  • Flirt! Glamouflage Healer/Concealer in who knows. I've had this concealer well past the recommended 36 months. I'm pretty sure I've had this for about 7 years. I'll be getting rid of it. This was a gift from a friend back when I was having acne issues, this concealer was really thick and has salicylic acid in it. I used a lot of it because the tube feels pretty hollow. I don't know if you can get it anymore- a quick Googling shows it on Ebay, but it was good then I wouldn't purchase it now because I don't need that type of coverage.
  • Maybelline FaceStudio Master Conceal om 20 light. This $9 is also going in the trash. I do not like this. I got this because it was on sale when I got a Face Studio primer that I love. However this concealer does nothing. It is so wet and watery and would be great if I wasn't to go full on highlight the under eye area but that's not my style. I couldn't get this to work and I didn't like the formula enough to try a different color. It's sad because I hate to waste money on crappy products I can't find some way to use, but life is too short to use bad concealer. 
  • It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer in neutral medium and tan. This is a $24 concealer. And I have two of them. I'm actually surprised it's a little cheaper than my Benefit because I definitely thought it was more expensive. I have however never purchased these concealers at full price. I've bought both of them with $9 of Ulta rewards so $15 is much easier to deal with considering I need two of these.  This is a great concealer, a VERY thick, creamy concealer. This stuff will cover up anything and it's moisturizing. I always do but people will less dry skin would not need an eye cream before using this. Also this stuff stays moist throughout the day! If you don't set this stuff well it'll stay tacky all day long. I love this stuff. I bought the neutral medium last fall and fell in love with it, it covers amazingly and really disguises those dark circles and blends in with other foundations beautifully.  But a few months ago I noticed it was a little too light, it was starting to highlight more than conceal so I saved up my rewards and bought the next shade up tan.  Right now I can use tan by itself and it's great but I imagine if I blend it with neutral in the fall I can probably get a little better shade match. Even though I love these concealers and out of all of mine if you told me I could only keep one I'd pick one of these, I do still find in the afternoon my bags start to peak back out. I don't know if I just have really resistant dark circles or what, but I do sometimes double layer this with my Pixi or my Erase Paste for extra concealing power. But I love that this formula like all of ITs stuff has good for your skin properties. I do feel like it helps tighten my under eye area and keep my fine lines a little less line-y. I hope I don't have to purchase either of these again anytime soon, but I will unless I find something better, but right now this is the best.

I wanted to throw in at the end quickly my concealer brushes. I use an old flat Bare Escentuals brush when I used my Time Balm as redness corrector.  Then I go back and forth between my ELF concealer brush and an Eco Tools one. The ELF is fluffier and is good for blending and the Eco Tools is a little more structured and good for placement and tapping in concealer. I am definitely a conceal with your fingers kinda gal and use my ring finger most of all, but sometimes I'll use a brush and when I do these guys are what I use.

 So that's my concealer stash! I got rid of three and I'm happy with that. I use all of the ones I have so I think it's fine to have options. If there's something better out there let me know! I would love to be able to conceal my under eye circles better, but based on the research I've done I'm doing what I should be it's just not perfect.

Previous Makeup Maddnesses include BlushBronzers & HighlightersEye LinersLippies and Mascara!

*The HauteLook link is a referral link and the only one in this post. All other links link to Ulta, Drugstore or the brands site. I also link to a couple of my favorite YouTubers if they're who I saw the product with first!