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...