Saturday, December 20, 2014

IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC Cream First Impression Week.

This past weekend I did a lot of shopping with my girlfriends. It was kinda an accident. But eventually the three of us found ourselves in Ulta! I was determined to find a BB Cream I like that hasn't been discontinued. If I know that one day I'll be unable to find my Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream then I just want to get it over with and find a replacement. I know there's nothing wrong with my Olay BB Cream but it's the principle of the thing.

So what am I looking for in a BB Cream really just three things-
1- Lots of moisture- my skin is as dry as a dessert so I need moisture
2- A little bit of color correcting/evening of my skin tone - my cheeks get very pink
3- A very natural look

What have I tried Olay Fresh Effects obviously my fave. NYX  has a Tinted Moisturizer and BB Cream, I like their Tinted Moisturizer but their BB Cream was not for me.  And the Tinted Moisturizer usually needed to be mixed with my Olay.  Smashbox Photo Read BB Cream sucks! I know there are so many people this is holy grail status for but that is not me. It's drying, it just sits on top of my skin and wont blend in. I'm really not a fan.  Too Faced Beauty Balm is very hydrating but too sheer. I'm sure there are more out there to try, but after some research and receiving a 20% off coupon for Ulta I decided to try out the It Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC Cream in Medium.

It Cosmetics makes my favorite under eye cream the Bye Bye Under Eye and I'd heard really great things about the CC Cream. This is supposed to be an all around miracle product it does everything- color correcting, full coverage, hydrating, anti-aging, SPF 50, and improve your skin texture and tone.  Those are a lot of high claims! And I have to say I am really enjoying it, I feel like it does a lot of those things, but before I get into the rest of my review I feel like there is something I must address because no one else on the internet is talking about it, well maybe two other people were talking about it.  

The smell.  When I first tested it out at Ulta on Saturday I put my nose to it and it smelled like baby vomit.  I'm serious. I had my friends smell too and one was convinced it didn't smell bad but just sour.  And even though I was really interested in this product I couldn't rationalize it till I learned more about the smell.  So I didn't buy it Saturday because I needed more research.  In my head I tried to tell my self oh the samples are probably old that's why it smelled, people love this product it couldn't possibly smell like baby vomit all the time!  So where did my research lead me- Snail Secretion. Snail Secretion! Oh my god what the hell is Snail Secretion?!? Snail trails y'all, they literally collect snail slime, clean it, process it and then put it in stuff to put on your face! I had to search my soul and my stomach to see if I was alright with it.  But apparently this is why this stuff smells.  People online called it a light citrus scent- what the heck kinda citrus are you dealing with?!? Another beauty guru said it smelled like pinesol and citrus.  But they raved and raved and heck I was getting it for 20% off plus I had $17 credit so again why not I'm looking for a winner here!

So on Sunday I went back to purchase. I settled on the Medium shade over Light because since it's so color correcting I knew that when I'm a little fairer the difference wouldn't matter too much but when I'm tan if you go too light it's bad.  So I started my 5 day trial run on Monday morning here's a breakdown of the days with my thoughts.

Monday- I used 1 pump, probably not a full pump since it was a new product and I didn't put on any additional moisturizer. I just used this product for my full face routine.  I applied it with my fingertips.  It didn't seem like enough product in that one pump, and my face did not feel moisturized at all. it didn't feel dryer but it didn't feel hydrated either.  I didn't feel the need to set anything and I did notice it worked beautifully with my eye cream.  It left me looking a little matte but that faded after it set in a bit.

Tuesday- I added my day cream under it, but not a lot, just one dollop of my Olay Day Cream and then 1 now full pump of the CC Cream.  It went on a lot smoother this time and I got an actual full pump so it totally covered my face. I even noticed it helped my under eyes a little before I even added my concealer.  Again it didn't feel like it needed to be set with powder and when I was ready to apply my bronzer and blush it applied beautifully.

Wednesday- I decided to go all out with my moisturizer this day. I usually use 2-3 dollops of my day cream and really hydrate my face so I did that, made some coffee and then applied the CC Cream and this was the best application yet. I think this CC Cream really behaves well when working with another product it needs a base almost, not something to cling on to, but I feel like you need to start with hydrated skin and then apply this- this wont remove the hydration it'll just maintain it, so you can't expect this to do all the work.  I noticed on this day my face remained a little dewey, it didn't look totally matte which is great. I feel like when my face is matte I look very cakey, dry and really covered up.

Thursday- So I finally decided to take some pictures and do a before and after-

Here (in my crappy bathroom light) you can see the color correcting that took place. On the left I just have my moisturizer on and on the right I just have the CC Cream on top.  I always get a little pink or flushed in my cheeks and this does a great job of neutralizing it.  Also I love that it starts to work on my under eyes too. I haven't put on concealer yet in the right picture.  I feel like it brightens, it event, it does all those things you want a CC or BB Cream to do.  I also took a before and after my day picture with full makeup.

Here you can also see it at work.  On the left is about 6:50 AM and the right is 6:15 PM.  I love that right after application I don't look too dry, I think this was before my setting spray so it is a little mattified but not too bad. My blush and bronzer applied evenly and I feel like it just gives the most perfect base to apply the rest of my makeup.  As you can see in the right at the end of the day, my blush had pretty much faded, there was a little left, but I don't fault the CC for this my cheeks soak up blush like crazy.  But you can still see my bronzer pretty well.  And while my under eye mascara appears to have smeared a little bit the edges of my dark circles are still pretty well concealed! You can see a little breakdown on my forehead but again I feel like after almost 12 hours this is pretty darn good. 

So Friday was really just a bonus round. I wore very minimal makeup on the rest of my face and let the CC do a lot of the work and got several compliments on my skin! 

So my verdict is this stuff is really great.  I don't think I could ever pay the full price of $38 for it but with 20% off plus $17 off I was fine to shell that out.  It is incredibly full coverage compared to what I'm used to and while it doesn't feel heavy on my face, I can just tell at the end of the day that it feels like there was something on my face all day.  It packs a huge punch and when removing my makeup at the end of the day it usually takes two makeup wipes to get it off! I like to makeup wipe before going in with my cleansing oil. 

I'm still going to play with it a little more, I may test it applying it with a brush instead of my fingertips.  The smell still annoys me but it's gotten better.  I do feel like it has clogged my pores a little bit, nothing bad, but I do feel like after a week's use I may need to really exfoliate and concentrate on the center of my face where my pores look a little congested.  I can see myself using this CC Cream a couple of times a week or just on days where I really need to look polished.  The price scares me off using it daily.  However I know there are always ways to get it cheaper, I get coupons all the time for Ulta and now that I'm a platinum member I can actually use my coupons on high end products, so we'll see.  I'm glad I got it and I hope this review was helpful to someone. I think if I can stress one thing about this product it would be - Snail Secretion...

*note in comparison to my fave Olay Fresh Effects, this has way more coverage and the smell drives me nuts so my Olay still wins. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Get Ready With Me! Saturday Morning December 2014

So I wanted to do a step by step look at my makeup process but it would be a pain to take a million selfies on my phone. So I set up my makeup routine in my living room with the window open and my MacBook Pro in front of me.  The pictures are fairly washed out either because of the camera or the light, but whatever you get the picture.  All products used will be listed below and probably misspelled in the slideshow- enjoy!


  1. Olay Age Defying Instant Hydration Day Cream
  2. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Light- review to come
  3. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye in Neutral Medium
  4. Wet n Wild Fergie Eyeshadow Primer in Take on the Day
  5. NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Blonde
  6. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette (original)
  7. NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny
  8. Tarte 12 Hour Amazonian Clay Blush in Savored
  9. ELF Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls
  10. NYX Gel Liner in Dark Brown
  11. Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara
  12. NYX Dewy Setting Spray
  13. Brushes are a mixture of Real Techniques, ELF, and Up & Up brand

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tarte Sweet Indulgences QVC Holiday 2014 Kit

So last month I saw my fave beauty guru EmiylNoel83 talk about the Tarte Sweet Indulgences set.  I had just promised/vowed not to buy any new extravagant makeup sets for myself till after Christmas. Not that I expect people to get me lavish makeup for Christmas but you never know and I think everyone knows I'd love Ulta gift cards.  I saw this was the Today's Special Value meaning it was going to be cheap, like ridiculously cheap. Like a 3rd the price it usually would be.  I needed it in my life.

A photo posted by Tyler Archer (@tyleralyse) on

This amazing kit comes apart into 3 separate books.  One book has 3 LipSurgance products. Two LipSurgance tints and one LipSurgence gloss. I haven't played around too much with these because they're kinda springy colors.  And two blushes. I LOVE TARTE BLUSHES. My first Tarte blush was in my Rainforest After Dark palette and it's amazing. Seriously the most perfect pink.  In this kit we have two new color blushes "Savored" a lightly sparkled terracotta-y plum and "Pampered" a more peachy matte blush. I love Savored and have worn it pretty much daily since receiving this kit. It has the perfect amount of shine where if you're not really wanting to highlight everyday this takes care of it. It's been perfect for fall and has amazing lasting power. I haven't used Pampered, I've never used a peach colored blush before and am scared. I may test it out in the spring or it may find a new home in San Antonio, we'll see.  But theses are both Amazonian 12 hour blushes meaning the quality and lasting power is amazing.

Pampered on right; Savored on left

The next book in the kit was for two eyeshadow books. You may remember these two books made a trip to SA with me for Thanksgiving and were in my travel makeup bag.  These eyes books are made up of 8 shadows each ranging from beautiful neutral browns, rosey tones, greys, mauves, dark purple, dark brown and dark grey with a couple sparkly colors in for fun (gold, green and purple). Matte, shimmer and one glittery color.  It's an amazing color palette- of neutrals. I have used all the colors except the green- as is usually the case. But the texture is amazing and the lasting power is fabulous. I have to say I like the texture more than my Rainforest After Dark disc palette shadows! I hate to say it but I do!  I've been neglecting my other palettes in favor of these two. My only complaint is I wish it was just one book, but apparently last year's similar set was one book and people complained and wanted it separated into two- so you know you can't please everyone one.  But they're gorgeous shadows.

Terrible picture quality- sorry!!! doesn't do any justice...sad day.

The last little booklet comes with 3 eyeliners and 2 Lights Camera Lashes mascaras.  I had never tried any of these products and am happy with the eyeliners and in love with the mascara.  The eyeliners come in Bronze, Plum and Charcoal. There's nothing special about the eyeliners.  They're not too soft, not too hard. I find they last fine and blend well right after applied. I'm not too picky about eyeliners so it's fine, but I have been using and abusing my gel liner recently so while these have all been used I don't reach for them everyday.  Then there is the Lights Camera Lashes mascara in black. Oh buddy. Wow. This stuff is amazing. I had been seriously crushing on my Urban Decay Perversion Mascara since I got it in August and this stuff totally took it's place. I love this mascara. It looks amazing, where as my Perversion makes me look like I'm wearing fake lashes and is really "statement" mascara this Tarte stuff makes them look naturally gorgeous with a little umph.  I think it helps my curl hold better, it lasts all day and doesn't seem to be drying out my lashes as much. I think I've experienced less lash loss with this mascara than others. I got two in this kit which I don't need because I keep getting new mascaras from Ipsy so the second one of these may be stocking stuffer for my sis when I go home, it's all natural and she just gave me a random mascara so why not.  No surprises Hail sorry.

Overall this kit was totally worth the price. I was on the fence about it all day, called my mom and she talked me into it. Her selling point was the QVC lets you do payments! I laughed and then submitted my order. I think the value is amazing I think they mark the value around $175 and I got it for $59.  Steal! I am a Tarte fan now. This second major Tarte purchase did not disappoint and I am now seriously craving their Spring 2015 collection and when my current under-eye concealer runs out I may switch over to Tarte's which is supposed to be even more hydrating.  So I'm a fan.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

No Palette Make-Up Saturday!

Because it's Saturday and because I get to take a little more time with my makeup on Saturdays I decided to do a makeup look without using any of my palettes! Really I was just trying to use some eyeshadows that don't get enough love and when I use single eyeshadows I use take a lot longer to do my eyes and figure out where I want to go with it. So here's what I used.
A photo posted by Tyler Archer (@tyleralyse) on
A lot of this stuff is my usual. Olay BB cream nothing new, NYX Brow Powder nothing new, Maybelline Age Rewind a frequent visitor, and the same with my NYX Eyeliner and NYC Bronzer. Everything else though doesn't get used on the daily or even weekly sometime. Benefit Fake Up Concealer. This is a really moisturizing concealer, it's concealer wrapped in a moisturizing gel thing so it's super hydrating. It doesn't really have enough umph to tackle my weekday undereyes but on the weekend it's light and gives my eyes a rest from the heavy duty stuff. And I topped it with my Age Rewind today because that stuff is pretty lightweight too.

I didn't use an eye primer today. I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately where they've been saying their Maybelline Color Tattoos were drying out! I started to panic because I don't use mine enough. I bought them so I could do the whole one eyeshadow look but lets be real how often do I use just one eyeshadow. So with the color tattoos I don't wear a primer because they're creamy and work as a base. So I broke out my Bad to the Bronze my first color tattoo and smeared that all over my lid and into my crease. Then to add some dimension I added Inked in Pink to the inner third of my lid. Then I let those set for a few minutes and went in with some powders on top. I love my L'Oreal Infallible shadows and don't use them enough. I took Endless Pearl and placed it under my brows, then took Bronzed Taupe into my crease and on the outer corner to darken it up. Then because I didn't have enough shimmer I took my new Urban Decay Sin shadow (it was from Sephora's holiday kit) and put that on top of the Inked in Pink to really make it shine. Overall this is a super sparkly eye look that I don't do very often, but it's the holidays I should do more shimmer.

The Maybelline Mascara I'm using was Haley's and she didn't like it. So I'm trying it out, I think it needs to dry out a little more to make it really special, but it's doing fine by my lashes. It makes them super thick but doesn't add to much to my length. It'll do.

My new Nars Orgasm Blush also came in the little mini Sephora kit I got this week and is lovely. I don't think it really lives up to the name Orgasm, but it's a fine blush. It has some shimmer in it already but I still needed to top it off with my Elf baked highlighter in Moonlight Pearls because I wanted to shine!

I really need to play with my single shadows more. I usually just grab an eye palette because it has everything I need and I don't have to pull from other things, but there are so many good singles in my stash that I should really let them shine more. Now this look is definitely not something I'd wear everyday, in fact it is probably going to garner me some special looks at the grocery store, but for a kinda blah Saturday it is fun to play with my makeup.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My favorite YouTube Beauty Vloggers.

So I get asked frequently whose makeup videos I love the most.  That's such a difficult question! I love them all! But there are definitely those people that I got back to over and over again and those videos that I also can watch over and over again.  Here is a brief list of my favorites, but I follow a lot more than just these.

  1. StilaKiss33 The woman who started it all for me! Back in February when I was trying to figure out why all my makeup looked so different on me after I went blonde. I went searching the internet for how to do makeup with blonde hair.  Somehow I found Miss Stila and loved her really down to earth no-nonsense, I'm not perfect but this is how I do it- attitude towards makeup.  I watched basically her entire backlog of videos and have been following her ever since.  Somewhere during the time I started following her and now she adopted a daughter (open adoption- whoop!) and has kinda slowed down on the beauty videos and does a little more lifestyle, but I still love her and will always check out her channel for new stuff.
    1. Stilakiss33 Related Purchases: Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette, Ipsy Bags (I used her referral code) and Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Polish in Showtime
  2. EmilyNoel83 Hands down my favorite! Seriously my favorite video blogger/vlogger that I found sometime in March-ish.  She has two channels, her main one that she posts on usually once or twice a week and the her Express channel that she posts Monday-Friday brief 5 minute reviews (with her husband Tyler taking the Friday slot to review man-products). This fabulous lady also recently had a baby but her beauty channel is her job.  Once upon a time she was a TV anchor woman and you can tell by the way she talks which I find adorable.  But she has great tutorials and recommendations. I love her reviews and will watch some of her videos over and over again until I learn. RECOMMEND for anyone looking for beauty videos to watch. 
    1. Emily Related Purchases: ALL my ELF Brushes, Pixi Color Correction, Real Techniques Brushes, Tarte Sweet Indulgences Gift Set, Kate Moss Rimmel Lipsticks and I'm sure more.
  3. Nicole Guerriero. Oh my goodness this lady is fabulous. She does super glam makeup, is from Miami, talks super fast and is just fabulous. I don't know how I found her but she's fantastic.  She's goofy, she's gorgeous and she seems super nice. She's one of those girls who REALLY contours though. If you watch her videos you'll see total transformations, she looks completely different after she's done her makeup.  She has awesome tutorials especially her Halloween looks and she's just a fabulous makeup artist. Of all the people I watch I'd say hers are the most entertaining.
    1. Nicole Related Purchases: Benefit Porefessional, setting sprays, Maybelline Age Rewind and Duo Eyelash Glue
  4. Essiebutton I found Este through another beauty vlogger and am so glad I did.  Este is a Canadian living in London with her boyfriend.  She's gorgeous has a super adorable accent and again just seems like someone you'd want to be friends with.  She is a classic beauty who really just uses products to enhance her beauty. She doesn't cake makeup on, she always looks really natural and she seems like the girl next door who just happens to really like makeup.  She has a vlog channel as well, but this channel is more her beauty stuff.  She's also the vlogger who made me fall in love with Tarte I don't know if that's a good thing but I really enjoy her.
    1. Este Related Purchases: Tarte stuff- especially the blushes.
  5. Last but not least ThriftThick Out of the vloggers I've listed Cassie is the most recent addition there have definitely been a few more after her, but that I can currently consider a favorite she's the more recent one. She is a grad student in Boston and she reminds me a friend from theatre.  I just love her. She's honest, down to earth, living on a budget and looking fabulous.  She loves thrift shopping, art, manga and makeup.  And again is someone I want to be friends with. Also she has an adorable cat.  I enjoy her reviews and I feel like she's very honest and is someone I can relate to more than most of the others.
    1. Cassie Related Purchases: none yet...but she's gotten me more into nail polishes
So there are lots more beauty bloggers that I like and subscribe to actually 23 youtube beauty vloggers total! Some post daily during the week, some post 3 times a week and sometimes it's even less than that. But I'm constantly finding new and interesting people and learning more about makeup. I think all these ladies are gorgeous and look great without makeup, but you can tell they have a passion for makeup and really enjoy talking about it and sharing it with others. I don't think any of them have ever said a woman needs makeup to feel pretty- in fact I think each of them even have at least one video or at least talked about body image- they're cool chicks. 

Without these ladies I wouldn't be so wrapped up in makeup and I most certainly wouldn't be blogging again. It's so funny that a year ago I owned about a 3rd of the makeup that I do now. It's not that I wasn't interested in it, I just had stuff that worked and didn't feel like experimenting. Now that's not the case.  I do feel like at the moment I have what I need, yes there are a few things I really want right now. I have my eye on the Lorac Unzipped palette.  Last week I wanted the Urban Decay Naked on the Run palette but I think I've talked myself out of it because I don't like the bronzer.  Next week who knows, a new Matte Tarte palette is coming out soon that looks beautiful, but the last thing I need is more eyeshadow.  So anyways we'll see what the holidays bring.  Till then I'll be watching these ladies on YouTube and trying to learn all their secrets to beautiful makeup...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Thanksgiving 2014 Travel Beauty Bag(s)

I worked really hard not to overpack this year. I didn't overpack my clothes- I may have under-packed tops forgetting that newborns spit up every time I hold them. And I tried...not to overpack my makeup.  So really it's my beauty/bathroom travel bags that I'm talking about here- there are 3. 2 for makeup and one for shower, face and any extra toiletries I may need.

My big Polka Dot Bag has served me well, I've been using it for a good 5 years and it's always been my go to toiletries bag when traveling.  In it I have makeup wipes the Target Up and Up Cucumber Exfoliating ones are my favorite, Neutrogena Night Cream, Vaseline Intensive Moisture Lotion, Secret deodorant, a wide tooth comb, Dr. Bronners in Almond and Tea Tree Oil scents, NYX Dewy Setting Spray, Q-tips, bobby pins, a few packets of nail polish remover liberated from some hotel, a sample packet of moisturizing face serum by a brand no one has heard of (they're not very good), Redken Curl Sugar Gel, Olay Refresh Facial Cleanser Sample (don't like it either), and a white washcloth I use for wiping my brushes off after each use (cuts down on oil/product buildup).   A lot of the standards I keep at my sisters house or steal hers. I have a toothbrush and toothpaste, some random hair products, and a razor I leave there.  If I need anything else they can usually provide it, like last time I came home and forgot deodorant, I stole a travel size of my brother-in-law's Old Spice Tropical stuff- I smelled like a boy all week- no one seemed to mind.

This ELF pink bag is a newer addition to my travel routine. I needed something better to carry my brushes in and liners and weird things I didn't want mingling with my palettes or other makeup things.  So the basic rule here was that it was long, tube like, a brush or a makeup tool it went in here.  This pouch has two sides, one with spaces specifically designed for brushes and a mesh pocket perfectly shaped for my eye brushes.  Then it had a big dumpable pocket that I stuck my pencil liners, Age Rewind Concealer, eyebrow wax pencil, eyelash curlers, big kabuki brush, eyeshadow primer, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something else.  But this bag fits inside the next bag event with everything else in it- and of course it's pink so I like it. 

Then my big train case makeup bag, also from ELF. They didn't have it in pink when I ordered it- sad.  But this bag I hold all my bigger products or things I'm not too concerned about getting mixed up together. So my eye palettes, BB Cream, Blush, eyebrow powders, 3 single eyeshadows, two under eye concealers and a lipstick.  This is where I cut down the most on my packing, I really wanted to add two more palettes into this bunch, but I didn't.  Then my pink bag fits on top and I just have this black bag and the polka dot bag to keep track of in my luggage.

So here's a breakdown of some of the contents of my bag.  Here is all the eye stuff I brought.  So I have 3 eyeshadow palettes (including my Tarte rainforest disc that has some face products in it as well). All the palettes are Tarte, I love the quality and texture of the shadows.  They're beautifully pigmented and last all day- even when running after a toddler nephew and dealing with new niece spit up. The two 8 pan palettes are from the Tarte Sweet Indulgences kit I splurged on from QVC. I have two L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadows in my cream color and bronze- great for an easy everyday look, or great additions to the palettes I brought.  I also brought a pale iridescent pink Maybelline Color Tattoo.  My Too Faced Shadow Insurance primer- this is a sample size I thought was perfect for travel and it has been.  Two eyeliners in bronze and brown.  My Tarte Lights Camera Lashes mascara.  My eyebrow stuff form NYX- both cake powders and wax.  Then eyelash curlers.

And here are all the face products minor those I used in my Tarte Rainforest Palette.  So we have my usual BB Cream, Tarte Blush, Pixi Color Corrector, Benefit duo concealer, Maybelline Age Rewind, Benefit Porefessional Primer, Temptu highlighter, It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer and my NYX Setting Spray.  This is really the bare minimum face stuff I need.  I always use my BB Cream and reach for one or two or all three of the concealers I brought depending on sleep.

So I have to say I'm pretty pleased with my packing job this trip.  I've used everything I brought except 3 items.  The Tatu liquid highlighter is gorgeous, but I just haven't felt the need to get "that" done up this holiday. I love it but it's kinda for a more glitzy look.  I also haven't used my Maybelline Color Tattoo, this item is the exact opposite, it's for a more casual look and I just haven't been in the mood.  Then the last thing is the Benefit Porefessional, and part of the reason I haven't used it is because I'm not quite sure how to integrate it into my routine in the first place. I use a BB Cream so I can't wear it under it, but if I put it on over it I sometimes look like I'm wearing way more face makeup than I actually am.  So out of everything I brought I feel pretty good that only three things didn't get use. 

The best thing I brought or the most useful would have to by my Rainforest After Dark Tarte palette because it's so multi-useful.  I can use it for eyes and face.  It has the bronzer I've been using all weekend as well as the highlighter, I haven't used the blush but that's okay cause everything else in the palette got action. 

So when I come home for Christmas pretty much the same things will be coming home, only I'll probably throw in my Too Face Chocolate Bar Palette for a few more color options, another lipstick option and a setting powder. I didn't need a setting powder too badly but I still feel better with one in my kit. 

Tomorrow I have to pack it all back up and take it back to College Station, but it'll all return again in 3 weeks for a little longer visit. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

What if all my makeup was stolen?!?!

First off I would cry. If someone stole all my makeup I would most definitely cry and then I'd have to prioritize what I'd repurchase and how much it costs. Maybe I should call State Farm and see how much $ they'd give me to repurchase my makeup... I should really insure it.

What kind of monster would steal my makeup thought?!? And oh my gosh they stole my brushes too?!  To make this experiment/challenge a little more interesting I've broken it up in 3 price ranges. If I had $100 to restock, $50 or $25.  And it's completely doable in all price ranges, but obviously some are a little more generous than others.  So let's start at the bare minimum with $25.

So this post came after watching all my favorite YouTuber's version of the stolen makeup, lost all the makeup or desert island makeup tag videos. Most of them didn't put a price cap on it but I needed a little more structure so I wouldn't go overboard.  SPOILER ALERT I have too much makeup.

$25 Restocking Challenge:
Wet N Wild Color Icon 5 Pan Palette in Naked Truth- $3.99 (usually on sale at Walgreens)
ELF Contouring Blush and Bronzer Duo in St. Lucia- $3.00 (Target or Online)**
3 ELF Essential Brushes @ $1 each- $3.00 total (Eye shadow brush, blending eye brush and contouring brush)
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Brunette - $5.99 (from Ulta)***
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black- $5.99 (Walgreens, Ulta, Target)
ELF Studio Concealer in Beige- $3 (Online or Target)
TOTAL- $24.97 (without Tax)

Some things I'm missing/making due without. Eyeliner- the darkest brown in the eyeshadow palette can double as eyeliner. No BB cream or allover face coverage which I didn't use until 8 months ago anyways so that's fine. I probably could have gotten a better concealer if I'd been willing to give up the eyebrow powders, but I like my eyebrow powders. Another thing missing is an eye shadow primer but I could use my elf concealer stick to act as a base and hopefully amp up the color on the eyeshadows with that.  But when looking at all these products I could get a very decent face full of makeup that I'd be very happy with.  I have most of these products already or have used them in the past so I know how they work and know that in a pinch $25 could get me through.

$50 Restocking Challenge:
Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in Light Medium- $9.34 (if you can find it at a drugstore or Amazon)**
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in Medium- $8.99 (Ulta or drugstores)
2 ELF Studio Brushes @ $3 each - $6 total (Studio Blush Brush and Studio Crease Brush)
2 ELF Essential Brushes @ $1 each- $2 total (Eye shadow brush and blending eye brush)
NYX Love in Florence Eye Shadow Palette- $3.99 (Ulta or Target)
NYC Bronzer in Sunny- $2.99 (Drugstores or online)
Wet N Wild Blush in Mellow Wine- $2.99 (Drugstores)
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Brunette - $5.99 (from Ulta)***
Maybelline The Rocket Mascara in Blackest Black- $7.49**
TOTAL- $49.78 (without Tax)

That was harder! I wanted to definitely up my face game in this round since I had a little more money, but face products are expensive! Also I can't always find the BB Cream I like so that price could potentially go up or down if I go with another brand. I also wanted better concealer, stick concealers are usually very drying and while the ELF one from the $25 challenge is one I've used for years, I dislike using it on my under eyes. I still didn't get an eye primer in this round, but I got higher quality eyeshadows (even if not higher quality price) so hopefully that'll make up for it and again no eyeliner.  I got some of the same products in this round and the first- ELF makes excellent brushes and I'm perfectly happy with my NYX Eyebrow Cake Powders.  Again a lot of these products I already have and this makeup would make a face very similar to what I wear daily, minus eyeliner and highlighter.  But in all honesty there's probably wouldn't be that much of a different look-wise between this and the first round.

So on to the grand finale...

$100 Restocking Challenge
Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in Light Medium- $9.34 (if you can find it at a drugstore or Amazon)**
Pixi Correction Concentrate Brightening Peach- $12.19 (from Target)
Real Techniques 5 piece brush starter kit- $17.99
ELF Studio Brush- $3 (Studio Blush Brush)**
ELF Contouring Blush and Bronzer Duo in St. Lucia- $3.00 (Target or Online)**
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Brunette - $5.99 (from Ulta)***
Milani Liquid Eye Liner in Brown- $6.99 (Walgreens)
Wet N Wild Fergie Eye Primer- $3.59 (Walgreens or Target)
Maybelline The Rocket Mascara in Blackest Black- $7.49**
TOTAL- $99.59 (without Tax)

This is a wonderful and complete makeup look. I have every one of these items in my makeup stash and use them frequently. I've hit pan on my Natural Eyes Palette and Cake Powders so these are very loved items. I've gone through an entire BB Cream and 2 Liquid Eye Liners.  There are lots of duplicate items in this challenge and the $50.  The thing I spend the most on is eye shadow because shadows are my favorite part of any of my makeup looks. No matter how much money I get to spend I'll still get some ELF brushes because they are excellent. So overall this would be my favorite look mostly because of the eye shadows and I finally got eyeliner.

Okay so what did I learn? I spend way too much money on makeup, but we already knew that. And honestly all these things were purchased very far apart, not all at once. Given the choice I'd still buy a lot of the same products no matter what.  I think at any price you can find great makeup that works for you.  Also there are some things from the lower price challenges that I miss in this one, I love my ELF eye brushes, but the 5 piece Real Techniques brush set has been a part of my life for several years and given the opportunity to purchase it again I will.

Some things you'll notice missing. Setting powder all the under eye concealers I picked have a pretty satin finish after blending and don't really need setting, if I'd gotten a creamier concealer I would have needed it, but these are good.  Also missing is highlighter. I really only got into highlighter in the last 6 months or so and again in a pinch like concealers in lieu of primer I could use a sparkly eyeshadow as a highlighter.  Lipstick, lipgloss or something for the lips is probably the most glaring thing that's missing to some people, but I don't like wearing lipstick. I'm trying to, and in the last 3 months I've purchased a lot of lipstick, but it's more important to me to have my brows done than my lips.

In all these challenges I really only selected one high end makeup item and that's my Too Faced Natural Palette, I think the drugstore has wonderful makeup.  Yes I have some blushes that are high end, yes I have some mascaras and concealers that cost over $20 each but I honestly don't reach for them everyday, but everyday I do use a high end eyeshadow palette.

So I know it wouldn't be the end of the world if I lost all my makeup, and it honestly would be lots cheaper than the total value of my current collection to reach a base line that I'd be happy with.  I think these challenges are kinda fun, but also kinda scary when you actually have to look at the prices and what you're getting for them.  I'm still going to keep my fingers crossed that I never lose all my makeup.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ipsy Bags!

Last Spring when I started becoming obsessed with Beauty Vlogs and Blogs and makeup.  One of my first Vloggers StilaKiss33 started talking about Ipsy Bags.  A $10 a month beauty subscription service that sends you a bag and 5 sample (sometimes full size) beauty products. Everything from makeup, skincare, nail polish and hair care.  All for $10 a month! At this time I hadn't instituted my "beauty budget" and so I was on the fence about it for a while.  Then in June I thought what the hell and subscribed. BUT I was put on a waiting list! No one said anything about a waiting list. So after a few months I forgot about it till one day I got the email that I was off the waiting list and my bad would be arriving soon.  So In August I got my first bag!

August was back to school themed and came in this adorable white and orange polka dot pencil bag. The bag is pretty small, but actually fits most of my brushes in it nicely. I think my elf tapered brushes a bit too long, but all my eye shadow brushes fit just fine. As my first bag I was super excited to see what I got. Inside were a lip balm, face primer, mascara, mini-blush and bronzer duo and a mini-eyeliner.  I tried all products and the only one that really changed my life was the Mascara. Urban Decay Perversion mascara which I've written about before.  This little sample came in the middle of doing Legally Blonde and after it arrived I said goodbye to my false lashes because this stuff is amazing. 3 coats of it and no need for fakes.  I eventually bought the full size and it's primer friend.  The lip balm was fine, but my lips are picky and need ultra hydration.  The primer smelled funny so I don't use it much, the eye liner bleeds and smears like no other and then the blush duo just wasn't for me.  So in my first bag I loved one product and the bag.  The Mascara itself is twice the cost of the bag so for $10 I decided to keep with it.

Month two- September's theme was street style.  The bag is an excellent size but not really my style.  Even though the bag isn't my favorite it's been living in my purse ever since as my daily take with me makeup bag.  I was pretty excite to try a lot of the things in this bag, most of them would not have been things I would have just bought.  A bright red lipstick, a setting powder, hand cream, a face wash and a red nail polish.  I knew right away I wouldn't like the hand cream, my skin is super dry and fancy hand creams tend to be more fragrant than moisturizing.  So I keep it in my purse anyways in case friends need some. The face wash I took home for a weekend trip since it was a good travel size, it was nothing special but I prefer my Dr. Bronners. The setting powder works just fine I don't think it's anything spectacular but I've been using it with my more hydrating under eye concealers to set them, but I don't put powder all over my face because have I mentioned I'm dry? Then the lipstick I was super excited for, I'd been trying more red lips and this looked like a really nice brand.  I put it on, loved the color and it was creamy, not too drying and was actually staying on my lips after my coffee.  However after lunch I went to reapply it and noticed it had gone from a beautiful vibrant red to a hot pink- like fuscia on my lips. The nail polish I have no complaints about either it's a nice red and it's been on my toes for the last few months.  Overall I wasn't disappointed in this bag but there was nothing in it that I was really excited to incorporate into my life but still worth $10. I decided to keep with it till December and make a judgement then.

October! Fabulous bag, super cute, durable and a little smaller than Septembers.  So what'd I get? A face exfoliant cool, I always need these.  Another hand cream...why me? Another mascara super excited for that.  Another nail polish very similar in color to the previous months...hmmmm. And a nude lip gloss, okay I hadn't used lip glosses since college so why not.  The exfoliant is lovely, I use it weekly and it feels very much like when I add baking soda to my doctor bronners as a weekly scrub.  Nothing spectacular, but I like it.  The hand cream is mango scented, it's in a box of things to give to my sister- I dislike mango.  Mascara yes, I love my Perversion Mascara don't get my wrong, but sometimes it's a little much for the daytime so I like the option for something a little lighter and a little less dramatic. Perfectly happy with this mascara.  Haven't tried the nail polish. I'm just getting into painting my nails again but I was not amused that I got nail polishes so close in color two months in a row.  And then the lip gloss was a dud. It was sticky, too nude to be useful and completely lacking in hydrating properties- what's the point.  So I was pretty indifferent about this month as well, it wasn't looking good for Ipsy. One more month before December and I have to make a decision. The mascara was a win and the bag was awesome but for $10 I was starting to think that money could go towards something else.

Then this happened....

OMG I love this. Glitter, glitter everywhere! The bag is plastic so the glitter is trapped and not coming off all over my apartment.  The zipper is pink! I love this bag. This bag alone was worth it.  But then the products inside were also fabulous.  Glittery black liquid eyeliner! I don't usually use black eyeliner, but it's holiday season I'll probably do more smokey eyes where this could work.  Lip paint! A beautiful berry colored lip paint! I haven't worn it on my lips yet but swatching it made me fall in love- if it stays inside my lip line then I'm gonna be thrilled.  Makeup sealant, I love setting sprays, I've used it twice it's pretty wet feeling but doesn't smell bad and seems to make my blush last which is such a challenge for me usually.  Then some Moroccan oil hairspray. I don't use hairspray much, but again holidays I'm gonna want some bigger hair and this may just do the trick- it smells divine. Then last but not least a liquid highlighter! OMG this is beautiful. I swatched it immediately on the back of my hand and couldn't believe how pretty it was. A perfect pearly color. I've been wearing it on my cheekbones for the last few days and I loves it omg I love it. It's the perfect highlighter and smells delicious. So that's it. I pretty much love everything in this month's bag and the  bag itself.

So the verdict is- it's only $10 so why not.  Ipsy you win, because I always find something I like and the bags are great for travel or for my purse and you know I think you deserve a few more months. I can't imagine sticking with it more than 10 months so probably once they have my $100 in total I'll quit but it's been super fun and I can't wait to see next month's bag.

*If you're thinking about joining feel free to use my point link apparently I get points if people use that link. But no pressure you can also just go to

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It's Yzma Time! (Super late Halloween look)

Okay I know we're already in the middle of November but I still wanted to share my Yzma transformation experience. Every year for Halloween my office has a ridiculously competitive Halloween Spooktacular Party with group costume contest. My office has come in 2nd place the last two years and this year we wanted to change that. In early October we decided we'd all go as Disney Villains and instantly I knew who would be perfect for me. The one, the only, her name is in the title...

Not me.
Yzma! She's fabulous, loves makeup and accessories and may just be my spirit animal. I love her. Unfortunately I couldn't find a Kronk in my office, but a girl can wait.  One of the important rules of our costume contest is trying not to spend money on things and if you do spend money to spend as little as possible. (I usually have a problem with this) So I pulled out my makeup and said okay I can do this, found a black dress my mother made for me in high school that still fits- yah it had sleeves but whatever- my boss brought me some big shell earrings my student worker painted blue for me and then I only spent money on a purple boa, feathers and eyelashes.  I kept my costume probably right around $12.  

This one is me. 
So unlike my other smart co-workers I didn't really practice my makeup till the morning of when I was applying it for real. I applied my usual allover face makeup but used a face primer to help it really stick.  Added extra bronzer in the hollows of my cheeks, a more dead color blush, filled in my eyebrows then went in search for my 120 color eyeshadow palette.  

I have no idea when or where this eye palette came from. I've had it since high school I know but don't know if it was purchased in 1999 or 2003- who knows. But whenever I need a random non-natural color I pull this thing out and it's always done the trick, it's great for theatre and Halloween but not much else. It lives at the top of my closet cause I don't use it very often and when I pulled it out and looked inside....

It was much more shimmery than I remembered and the colors all had the same kinda sivlery cast to them instead of the pigment I was wanting- which was PURPLE.  So I had to come up with a quick backup about my Too Face Chocolate Bar palette that has a beautiful and amazing purple in it- yes my favorite neutral eye shadow palette has an amazing sparkly purple to it- in order to get the color to build up I did have to use a very light colored base and then add lots of layers, but overall it worked great. I used my Victoria's Secret black/grey eye shadow for accents and to really deaden up my lids under my brows and then the black to help smudge out the outer V.

Then I added some mascara a neutral lipstick and headed out to work. I was gonna wait to apply my eyelashes till right before the party and the lipstick too. Once I got to work I slapped on some purple sparkly nail polish from Gel Envy by Revlon- the color Showtime is amazing (thanks Stilakiss33) and continued out my morning.

A little before lunch when I had to go decorate for the party I added some fabulous feather lashes, my red lipstick and had my student worker help get the feathers in my hair. Overall I'm super pleased with how the look came out. I think for a DIY Yzma is was perfect, I could have put a little more effort and $ into the project and come a little closer, but that wasn't the goal. I loved this costume probably my favorite I've done for work and the makeup was so fun, but I definitely think it was the lashes that made it.

PS- The team came in 2nd place again.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Christmas Gift Guide! 2014

I am a terrible Christmas shopper, I usually wait till the very last minute, spend too much money and then end up having to get some people really crappy gifts.  This year I'm being strategic, I've decided to break up my list into two months. I'm buying half my peeps their things in November and the other half in December. Stuff that needs to be bought online is being purchased now and stuff that can be bought in a store can wait.  So far I've bought 2 out of 19 gifts. I'm also hoping not to overspend this year.  

But! You know what makes an excellent gift? Makeup. Or beauty stuff.  All the above! There are tons of things on my makeup wishlist I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it, but there are also things in my makeup collection that I think make excellent gift options.

Gift Ideas!

  1. The Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette this is something I already have and love.  And a very special person on my gift list is getting one this Christmas too.  But this is a great gift for any eye shadow lover and especially neutral eye shadow lovers.  This has all the brown neutral tons you need with a few pops of purple and burgundy when you want a little extra.  It's reasonably priced at $49 and you get 16 shadows!!! Also it smells like chocolate because it's infused with cocoa powder. You can create so many looks with this one palette I am constantly recommending it to friends and anyone would be thrilled to get this candy bar in their stocking this Christmas.
  2. The Lorac PRO To Go This is on my wish list. This eye and cheek palette is the perfect travel companion. I've been eyeing it for months! It has 6 beautiful highly pigmented neutral eye shadows and 3 cheek products. This product is great for anyone who travels a lot, or for a weekend get away or for someone looking for a palette they can create a consistent polished look from. I want it for all the above! I mostly want it for travel, when I go home to San Antonio for weekends and holidays I hate lugging 3 makeup bags home, it'd be so nice to take this, some brushes, mascara and a lipstick home and know I can get the look I want.  At $38 this is another super affordable gift for anytime of the year.
  3. In the mood for something sweet?  This is on my wish list as well the Tarte Sweet Indulgences st from QVC. OMG this is beautiful.  16 beautiful eye shadows in a variety of neutral shades with both matte and shimmery finishes. Two amazonian clay blushes. 2 lipsurgence pencils, 1 lipsurgence gloass, 3 eyeliners and 2 lights, camera, flashes mascaras! Today only! It's on sale for $59.99 and tomorrow it'll go back to $72.50. It's only available from QVC.  It is currently taking all of my willpower to not purchase this product. 
  4. Every major brand at Ulta or Sephora has holiday gift sets out this time of year. Tarte has some amazing ones, Too Faced has some of my favorite and Urban Decay has a bunch of great options too for the more bold at heardt. When it comes But if you don't know what to get somoene a Gift Card to Ulta or Sephora will do. 
  5. Then the non-makeup makeup lover gift idea is the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual another item on my wish list. This book is basically the bible of makeup for beginners and intermediates. Or anyone who loves makeup.  Bobbie Brown is a legend and literally wrote the manual that has no comparison.  I've seen this book in real life dozens of times but have never purchased it and at around $25 it's easily the most affordable gift on my list this year. 
Happy Shopping! 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My go to fall makeup.

Once upon a time I only had one go to makeup. The makeup I wore everyday, didn't edit and change with my outfits, or the season or the weather. I wore the same eye shadows, blush and concealer everyday.  Now all those things change...pretty much daily.  But this fall I've been using the same color range over and over.  I like a bronzey gold eye with a dusty rose cheek.  Unfortunately I have too many options for products to achieve this.  And require about 6 individual eye brushes to achieve just the eye shadow look.  But it's always fun, always new and always makes me be creative first thing in the morning.

Here's the process-

  1. Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream in Light to Medium.  It's the perfect base it offers beautiful coverage without being drying or looking like heavy makeup.
  2. Under Eye Concealer- either my Pixi Color Corrector or my IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye.  Both are super hydrating but the IT Cosmetics is a little light and I usually have to set it, so I only use that when the bags are really unruly. 
  3. Fergie Wet 'n Wild Eyeshadow Prime. I love this stuff! It's cheap and it works great.  It's very tacky though so I need to let it dry for at least 2-3 minutes before I pack on the eyeshadow.  
  4. NYX Eyebrow Powder and Wax Pencil. While waiting for my primer to set I use the wax eyebrow pencil to place my brows, then I use the powder to fill in the gaps.  The wax helps the powder stay in place and the brows. To apply my brow powder I use my Real Techniques Small Detail brush. 
  5. Oh the eyeshadow process so many steps
    1. Cream color all over the lid up to the brow- I use either L'Oreal Infallible in Endless Pearl or  White Chocolate from the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette- I use a flat Real Techniques brush for this 
    2. Next I use a matte warm pale brown to warm up the crease like Salted Caramel from the Chocolate Bar Palette- I use a Maybelline brush I've had for years that doesn't have a name 
    3. Then I layer a darker brown in the crease too but pull it down a little in my Chocolate Bar Palette I'll use Milk Chocolate and Semi-Sweet to build up different shades with the medium shade in the middle and the darker towards the outer v all while staying in the crease- I've been recently using the Up and Up eyes brush duo for this step
    4. Next I decide if I want to just go smokey brown or burgundy and pick a satin finished brown or burgundy for the outer third of the lid and the lower part of the crease- I use the other Up and Up brush or a real techniques blending brush
    5. Then I use a shimmery gold for the inner 3rd of the eye like Creme Brulee- I use a classic Sephora pencil brush 
  6. Next I use eyeliner. Depending on how I feel I'll tightline with a brown khol pencil and then use brown gel liner from NYX for the top lash line, if lining the bottom lash line I'll use just a medium brown shadow with a smudger brush 
  7. Next I move on to bronzer and use either my Tarte After Dark bronzer or NYC Bronzer in Sunny with a Real Techniques precision face brush
  8. Then Blush from either Tarte After Dark or NYX Dusty Rose with an ELF small tappered brush
  9. Then I highlight with my Tarte After Dark highlighter with an ELF small tappered brush as well
  10. Next I add mascara. I've been loving my Urban Decay Subversion primer and Perversion mascara. I do mascara after bronzing and highlighting in case a get a little crazy and hit my lashes.
  11. Then I finish up with lips, depending on how I feel I'll either just throw on a chapstick and call it a day or I love love love my Revlon Matte Balms or Kate Moss Rimmel pink nudes. They have good lasting power and don't stray too much.
Once everything is done I let it sit for a few minutes before topping it off with a setting spray. I have the NYX Dewey Setting spray or a homemade one from water and glycerin. I don't feel like either makes my makeup last any longer but it gets rid of any powdery look and add a touch of hydration on top.  And then I'm out the door. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Makeup Monday: October Favorites!

How is October over?!? Where is this fall going? I have lots of faves and if I listed them all it'd look a lot like my last post on my Fall Friday Favorites.  While I vary a lot of my makeup daily, these are things I really did use the majority of the month, some every single day and others like every other day.

First my L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows in Bronzed Taupe and Endless Pearl.  I pretty much wore Endless Pearl daily as a base color and brow bone highlight. I love this shadow.  It's just pigmented enough to be a nice base but not so pigmented it messes with other shadows you put on top of it. Like it's friend Bronzed Taupe.  I got this shadow thanks to EmilyNoel83 again as a great single eyeshadow look. You put it all over the lid and blend up through the crease and it's just easy.  It's been pretty much my weekend makeup look except for Halloween things. I also bring it in to play with my Chocolate Bar palette but it's definitely a fast favorite.

Rimmel's Kate Lasting Finish Lipstick in 08 is amazing.  This is a creamy matte lipstick that doesn't dry out your lips! I was looking for that perfect "your lips but better" shade and this is it! It's nude but pink and best of all hydrating. I have lots of nudie natural lip shades but most of them are a bit too dark and look like you're wearing too much lipstick, and this one just feels natural. You could wear it even if you were just wearing mascara and blush and it wouldn't look too made up, but just enough so you'd look polished. I have another shade of the Kate lipsticks that I like it's just a little darker but until I can figure out my lip liner game it's staying on the shelf.

ELF Brushes. Thanks to YouTube and Pinterest I've been introduced to the wonderful world of ELF makeup brushes. I probably have about 8 or 9 but these two are my favorites.  The Small Tapered Brush and Blush Brush. I actually use the tapered brush for my blush and the blush brush for my highlight, but they're great.  Excellent quality, I've washed them several times and their shape stays intact along with their bristles.  Best thing about these brushes is their price- $3 each and I got both of them for half off during one of ELFs months everything 1/2 off sales! Gotta love ELF.

My NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder set has been a favorite since the spring but I used it basically every day this month. I'm a little addicted to filling in my brows. I just feel so naked without them now. My right brow is my deficient brow on my face and if I don't fill it in it looks like I have a bald patch in it! I've never had pretty thick brows but I never noticed them before I was blonde. I thought when I went back to brunette I'd stop wanting to fill them in, but no such luck, I think my brow defining days are here to stay and this product is great.  There are two shades of brunette in the palette and a small tub of setting wax, the tools that come with it are fine, the brush is a little stiff but the spoolie brush works great.

And last but not least my favorite eye primer is Wet 'n Wild's Fergie Take on the Day Eyeshadow Primer. It's amazing. I'd been going back and forth using an ELF mineral primer, a color tattoo, a NYX eyeshadow base and none of them worked as well! I always creased.  Well this bad boy is great. It stays a little tacky but that helps eyeshadow stick and not crease.  I love using this with all my shadows but I honestly think it amplifies that pigment in my Tarte After Dark palette and just gives excellent lasting power.  Another cheap product I love at only $4.99 in drugstores, but you can always find Wet 'n Wild on sale.

That's it for October! I'm tying not to buy too much new makeup in November since Christmas is right around the corner, but I have a weakness for we'll see!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five Fall Friday Favorites!

I love makeup. Did I say that already? I love lots of makeup and own more makeup now than ever before.  It's hard to pick my favorites, but there some products that I just reach for more than the others.  This fall it's my bronzey, brownie, mauvey and burgundy eye makeup and nude-ish pink brown lips. But on Friday's I try to keep it simple with just some basics.

  1. My Fresh Effects Oil of Olay BB cream in Light - Medium. So many people on the internet hate this product because it's too light in coverage and color. I love it because it's light. I've never really been one to wear foundation but always struggle to find a moisturizer that wears well with my blush. This BB cream evens out my skin tone and wears blush, bronzer and highlighter beautifully over it. Also it doesn't oxidize on me like other BB creams and Tinted Moisturizers have in the past.  I wear this daily.  Also it has SPF in it and is made by Olay who also makes my favorite moisturizer.
  2. I rotate concealers a lot, because some days I need a little extra oomph and some days I don't feel like messing with it. On a bad day I'll wear 3 different concealers but on Friday I just wear my Pixi Correction Concentrate. This is an amazing peachy salmon color concealer that I heard about on EmilyNoel83's YouTube Channel. I have super dry under-eyes and serious dark circles and this stuff is creamy and doesn't settle in my 29 year old fine lines. It's hydrating without needing a setting powder and I loves it. 
  3. On any given day I use between 6-7 different products on my eye lids alone. First there's primer, then a base, then a cream matte shadow, a crease color, an outer v color, a shimmer shade on my inner corners and then an eyeliner.  All of these products/colors require a separate brush for application- and this is before my mascara and eyebrows! So on Friday I keep it simple usually with just a Maybelline color tattoo all over the lid, a brow highlight and then tight-lining. Sometimes I'll switch out the color tattoo for a L'oreal Infallible shadow if I want more shimmer. Either base I use in their respective bronze shades- Bad to the Bronze in my color tattoo or Bronzed Taupe in my Infallible.
  4. 3 months ago I got my first Ipsy bag subscription and inside it was a mascara that would change my eyelash game forever...or at least till now. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara. OMG it's amazing. Three coats of this stuff and I stopped wearing false eyelashes for the stage! After working my way through my sample I purchased the full size as well as the Subversion primer.  WARNING: if you use both the Subversion Primer and Perversion Mascara at the same time, strangers in your building will stop you and ask you about it. Not for the feint of makeup heart. I don't need that much eye attention on a day to day, but on Friday when I'm not wearing 7 layers of eyeshadow, I'll bulk up my mascara for fun and wear both.
  5. My last favorite is a cheat. It's my Tarte Rainforest After Dark Palette that has eyeshadow, bronzer, blush and highlight.  But what I use the most out of it are the three face products. The bronzer and highlighter are terribly special but I use them frequently.  However my favorite thing in this palette is the blush.  The prettiest everyday flush color it's perfect for fall and daily use.  But on Friday's I can use it without all the other fuss and feel completely done up with ease. 
There are a few other makeup items that are new favorites so I wont mention them here, this is almost my full face look, but just a little more minimized. The rest of the week I usually wear lipstick and play around with my contouring and highlighting more, but on a Friday I like to take it easy.  Now this routine in itself is way more than I was doing 8 months ago, but way less than I was doing during those 6 months I was blonde. So I like to think this is a pretty reasonable medium. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A quick history of my life with makeup.

I'm obsessed with makeup.  Of course I am, I'm so obsessed I started a blog about makeup.  In the last 8 months specifically my makeup obsession has grown to outrageous proportions. It's grown so much that strangers have started commenting on my makeup and friends/family ask me for makeup advice.

So how did it all start...I guess you can say it's my mom's fault (love you mom!).  Growing up we weren't allowed to wear "makeup" till we were in middle school.  And right before 6th grade my mom took me (and years before my sister) to the Clinique counter at Dillards or Foley's in the mall to get our first makeup.  I was so excited for my "makeover".  Clinique declared me and countless other teenagers in the 90s as "Tawny" I remember the blush, the eyeshadow duo in a sparkly orange bronze and a matte cream, and the black honey lipstick.  I also got all set up with their face care products, their standard face bar soap, the toner for dry skin and the regular yellow grandma smelling lotion.  This makeup routine carried me throughout middle school but as I slowly had to start supplying my own makeup I downgraded to a little more affordable items and also a little more nontraditional items like purple mascara and all the glitter. Anyone remember those True Color kiosks in the mall? They were loose pigment shadows before we called them that.

For as long as I can remember I've loved watching people apply makeup.  I used to love watching my mom put on her makeup.  I thought it was so cool how she blended her eye shadows together and used the dark brown as shadow and eyeliner. I learned how to apply mascara by watching her too- she'd start at the base of her brows, wiggle the brush and pull up. She wore cream blush  that looked super red till she blended it out and always put lipstick on then blotted it with a tissue.  These are things I remember.

Growing up my sister was the one who was better at makeup than me.  She used to rim her eyes with black liquid eyeliner and it made her look like she had rabbit eyes.  I thought it was so cool and pretty but could never recreate it- to this day I still suck at liquid eyeliner.  I loved watching Haley apply eye makeup too.  She wore a lot of greys where as my mom wore a lot of natural colors, so of course I stared wearing more greys, silvers and blues with black eyeliner.

In high school I still experimented with makeup a lot and at the same time not.  For a couple years every spring for Lent I'd give up wearing makeup.  But I also did musical theatre in high school so there was lots of experimenting with what stage makeup could do for you.  Whenever there was something fancy or formal to go to in high school I'd ask my mom or sister to do my makeup, I just always felt like they did it so much better than me.

It wasn't until college and after that my makeup use and abuse sort of leveled off.  I started just wearing pretty neutral colors, browns on the eyes, mauve-y cheeks and no lipstick.  Still at any chance I had I'd let someone else do my makeup though. I just always felt if I tried to do something out of my usual I'd mess it up and look like a clown.  There are numerous times where friends would tell me I had a little excess blush on.  I went through tons of different brands of makeup, for a while I was obsessed with Victoria Secret's Very Sexy makeup line, I still have tons of their quads and palettes. I tried Bare Minerals for a while but I was too clumsy for loose pigments. I used Glo Mineral Makeup for sometime and loved it, but not the price. Those brands got me pretty much through my early and mid 20s.

It really wasn't until 8 months ago that I started becoming obsessed with makeup, I was content wearing my natural looks.  Immediately prior to 8 months ago I was wearing very little makeup, some Too Faced natural eyes, Lancome Terra-cotta blush, brown eyeliner by whoever and black Maybelline mascara. I never wore foundation and my skin has always been too dry for allover powder.  Then 8 months ago I was cast in Little Women as Amy- a character 16 years younger than myself but more importantly Blonde.  Instead of doing the logical thing and just wearing I wig I volunteered to dye my hair Blonde. Not just Blonde, but platinum blonde. I went from dark dark brown hair to white blonde hair in about 5 hours. It completely changed the color of my face! Or at least my perception of the color of my face.  I felt washed out all the time and started applying more blush (always a mistake) and so I took to the internet to figure out what makeup works best for blondes.

And then I fell into the rabbit hole...

Down and down I went.  Starting first with Beauty Bloggers. There was so much great information out there! Bronzer, I needed bronzer! All over bronzers like Wet 'n Wild's Ticket to Brazil it was perfect for all over color, just enough to make me look less dead. Then I needed highlighter, just on the tops of cheekbones, brow bones and cupid's bow. I needed to put blush above the apple's of my cheeks and back towards my temple.  It was also painfully obvious I needed to start filling in my eyebrows, how had no one ever recommended it to me before! How dare a blonde have light eyebrows, they must be darkened up! Then one day a beauty blogger reference her favorite Beauty Vlogger.  YouTube.  I fell into YouTube. So many videos, so many product recommendations. Have you heard about this contouring thing? Matte lipsticks? Where have you been all my life!  I spent hours watching YouTube videos and making my lists of products I needed.

8 months later I haven't stopped. I dyed my hair back after 6 months, 6 months of being an unnatural blonde was plenty- fun- but I'd had enough. Going back to brunette I worried all my new makeup knowledge wouldn't be needed anymore, but luckily that proved not to be true. If anything it's gotten a little worse. As a brunette I feel like there are so many new colors available to me. I still have a classic natural look I like to throw on when I'm in a hurry, but life's too short not to have fun with  makeup! Time in the morning is often frequently too short to play with makeup too long. I've found myself rushing more than usual with the rest of my morning routine because I spend so much time playing with my makeup.

So I guess while I can blame my mom for my initial introduction into makeup, I can also blame the theatre, the internet and especially YouTube.  I haven't asked anyone else to do my makeup in quite sometime, but I still love watching other people do their makeup and love hearing about products other people are using. So this is going to be my makeup outlet, where I can share what I've learned, what I've discovered and what I'm trying and sometimes failing at.