Saturday, April 25, 2015

Stuff I'm loving right now. April 2015

Instead of doing a full favorites post, I want to just highlight a few items that I'm really enjoying right now.  Some are a surprise and some are not.  But they're all cool products I want to share about.

We'll go biggest to smallest.  So first up are the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Face Wipes. Now I've been a fan of my Up & Up cucumber face wipes for years and rarely try different ones because I know they wont be as good, but these were on sale one day and I tried them and fell in love. They don't dry out my face as much and I feel like the towelettes are larger so I get more and more product off because of them.  I still follow up with my Simple Micellar Water- that I've blogged about before...and yes makeup still comes off after I've used both sides of these wipes, but I really feel like there's less than with the Up & Up. I am going to try the Target version of the Neutrogena ones in the purple bag, but I still have two Neutrogena packs to go through before then.  So if you're looking for a good makeup wipe I recommend these, they're gentle yet strong.  They're usually around $6 but I always find coupons or Cartwheel deals for them.

Next up is a new one- my Jojoba Oil. I got this one from Trader Joe's but you can get it anywhere and it's a really nice oil.  I've been a fan of coconut oil and sweet almond oil for a while now and use them for makeup remover, moisturizer and hair treatments and apparently you can do the same with this.  I've been loving it on my hair because it doesn't make your hair greasy but gives good shine and supposedly helps the health.  I bought a sample of Josie Maran Argan Oil and din't like it for anything- I felt like it made my hair dryer and my face felt like I'd done nothing to it- maybe I'll use it for a cuticle oil, but I feel like this Jojoba Oil like my coconut and almond oil is a multitasker that can do just about anything so I'm really liking it. It absorbs fast too! It's about $8-10 depending where you buy it.

I've been loving switching up my blushes lately. I used to use the same blush day after day after day and not think anything of it, but now I love switching up my blush depending on what I'm wearing or how I do my eyes. It's been fun.  So I'm loving the Milani Rose Powder Blush in Tea Rose. It's a beautiful soft dusty rose, but can still be bright if you apply a little more. I love this for early spring, it goes great with navy blue and my usual natural eye, but it's just gorgeous. The Blush in the pan is in a pretty rose shape that makes it feel extra fun and fancy. You don't need a lot to get it to show up and it's not powdery at all, it sticks perfectly to my Real Techniques Blush Brush.  The blush is only $7 and I have a feeling it is going to last and long long time.

I have two new ELF Brushes I'm just loving. The ELF Studio Contouring Brush is a great short bristled, stiff, flat brush. It allows for really precise placement of contour powder and you can really cut your cheek bones with it and get super close to your hairline. I don't use it for blending to much but I have and it works great, but I love using it to just place my contour color is a sharp straight line and then I'll bring in a fluffy brush to blend up.  It's also great for getting around my temple and hairline because I don't have a very large forehead and so most brushes are usually too big to contour and bronze above my eyebrows. But not this guy- he is a little more expensive for ELF brushes at $6 but I don't mind because it gets the job done and ELF brushes are excellent quality.  The other ELF brush I've been loving lately is my ELF Studio Eyebrow Duo I love this guy too. It's got a mini spoolie on one side and a flat angled brush on the other. The spoolie is perfect eyebrow size! I hate with eyebrow powders come with full size spoolies for your brows because they're always too big, but this little guy is exactly the length of the width of my brows so it's perfect.  The angled brush is also an excellent size and works well with both brow powders and creams.  I use it frequently with a product I'm going to talk about later.  This guy is only $3 so that doesn't both me either.

Oh Benefit Roller Lash how I love you. I hate to love this product because it's not cheap...$24 for a mascara is ridiculous...but I had a gift card and a coupon so I got it and love it. I've been a fan of Benefit Mascaras for a brief minute starting with the They're Real Mascara I talked about in January and this does not disappoint either. I've even used the two together and shut the front door it's awesome. So the gimmick with the roller lash is that you're not supposed to have to curl your lashes beforehand and while I don't really notice it curling my lashes extremely I do know I haven't used my eyelash curler in over a month now so that's a big plus for me. I feel like this mascara got better after I used it for about a week and now it's just perfect. I don't find it clumps at all and it's great at separating my lashes. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the curved shape of the wand and the bristles but I like the formula as well.  So while I wont be purchasing another tube of this right away when it runs out because like I said it costs $$$ but I do like it and if I ever have some extra Ulta $ aroud I'll totally get it again.  

Next up is a different thing for me. Even since I cancelled my Ipsy bag I've been looking for another subscription that would be kinda cool and had heard about a perfume one that sounded interesting. I go in phases where I wear perfume and don't, but I've been trying to do it more often because I do like the way it smells and there's just something fun and sexy about perfume.  So I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a full bottle of perfume and then get tired of it half way through and then I remembered hearing about Scentbird from a couple of youtubers.  It's a $14 monthly subscription where you get a 30 day supply of designer perfumes in a fun little atomizer.  This is a great way to try a lot of perfumes at a fraction of the price.  So you get to fill out a little survey with the perfumes you like and the notes that interest you and then they recommend scents you might like. You can read comments and look at the notes and then fill out your schedule so you get the scents you want.  For this first month I got Si by Giorgio Armani. Oh it's delightful I cheated and smelled it at Sephora first and so I knew I wanted it to be one of my selections. I've filled out my calendar for the next four months to test is like I did Ipsy. Now they say they give you enough for a full month but it looks like more to me and especially if I don't wear it everyday, so I'm interested to see how long the samples they give last, but it's a fun little thing and kinda different so I wanted to share it as well.  The first link is a subscription link and if you use it I get points towards a free month I think- never understand how those work.

I am in constant search for the perfect concealer. I feel like it's a never ending journey because I'll use one for a while and then it seems to just stop working for me! It's so frustrating.  So I bounce around a lot, but I think one of my problems could be that I just don't use enough or I don't prep my eyes well enough. So lately I've been using my Benefit Erase Paste but a pretty generous amount of it. Instead of just dabbing the tip of my finger I'm using the spatula that came with it and getting a good later of it on each eye.  It's super creamy and smooth and so a little does go a  long way, but I found if you put on a generous layer it covers the blue under my eyes better and it lasts all day.  I use shade 02 Medium and it's a great match. It is kinda peachy but when you put on a thicker layer it seems to match my actual skintone better. I sometimes will top it with another concealer but this week I've been using it on it's own and I really like it.  Now it is $26 at Ulta but I have a pretty good dupe in my Pixi Correction Concentrate from Target and it's a bit dryer so it naturally applies thicker and it's great as well, but my Benefit definitely has been getting a little more love this month.

And lastly my NYX Tame and Frame brow pomade in blonde...yes blonde. I had the chocolate which is the lightest brow shade and it was laughably dark. I love this stuff. It takes some getting used to but like my concealer quest I am always in search of better brow products. I love brow pencils because they're easy and I love brow powder because it's forgiving but the pomade does so many things at once. It fills, it draws and it holds those suckers in place.  I feel use this with my ELF brow brush duo and its great, but this product is so soft in the pot that I frequently get too much and have to rub it around in the cap to get it how I want it.  I find this stuff lasts all day and doesn't budge. The color match is a bit annoying because my hair is not blonde but the lightest brown was too dark but that's okay because the blonde is pretty taupe so it goes with lots of shade.  This product is $7 from Ulta and if you can find a display that has it then you're in luck. I seem to be going through it pretty quickly, but the price makes that okay.

So those are all the fun things I've been enjoying lately.  Its a lazy Saturday morning right now, the cats are lounging by the windows, I'm doing laundry and drinking coffee but now that this post is out of the way I guess it's time to put on my makeup. I'm trying to do more minimal makeup on the weekends but it's so hard, I really just enjoy my usual full face of makeup, but I also know my skin needs a break, so we'll see what I come up with.  Happy weekending! I'm going to try to do my lip product makeup madness clean out later this week.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Makeup Madness Part 3! Eye Liners and Jumbo Pencils.

Sorry for the long hiatus! I was bloggin' up a storm over on my other blog about movies and movies oh and about movies. I did a ridiculous thing...go read about it!  Or stay tuned to hear about my Pencil Hoarding and unsuccessful purging.

This post could be long.  We're going to talk about a lot of items that I've had for a long time and need to just get rid of.  Liners. I used to use pencil eyeliner all the time, like every day, but then I discovered Gel liner and my life was forever changed. I still use pencil liners here and there but only when I'm lazy, it's the weekend or I'm trying to tight line.  So whateves. So here's what I have.

A photo posted by Tyler Archer (@tyleralyse) on

After going through this stash I've decided two I'm only getting rid of three things, I know I suck, and two I need to break this up into more categories. I was originally going to include lip liners and crayons but decided to keep all my lip stuff together in the next one.  I'll also do a separate brow one even though I really don't have a lot of brow products... So let's go through what I've got! Since I'm not really getting rid of stuff.

Let's start with my inner rim brighteners.  When I first started doing theatre a million years ago we put red eyeliner in our inner corners of our eyes, it looked freakish up close but apparently from the audience it was fabulous...eventually I learned that white was what you wanted for stage makeup. So I started putting white on my inner rim, much less freakish.  Now when I'm not on stage I like to use nude because it's more natural looking and makes you look way more awake.

1. Beautique Eyeliner in White- I'm amazed at how pigmented and creamy this still it because I don't remember when I bought it. I should probably get rid of it but have a feeling if sharpened and alcohol dipped it'll be fine, it doesn't smell so it stays!
2. Tarte Inner Rim Liner- I just got this is one of my tipsy late night online birthday purchases and it's beautiful. I'm worried it may be making my eyes water but I'll experiment a little more before getting rid of it. It's a beautiful pinky nude.
3. NYX Wonder Pencil in Light- uuuuhgg not sure about this one yet either. It's the perfect nude shade because it can be used for inner rim brightening, brow bone highlighting and concealing, but it's a little hard. If you warm it up between your fingers it goes on smooth, but I'm just not sure yet. It's new too so keeping it!
4. Rimmel Scandaleyes in 005 Nude. This was my first inner rim brightener of my post blonde days! I love this stuff. It's so creamy and smooth and wears for a really long time. I do have to put this on before my mascara though because otherwise I get it on my lashes and it looks kinda funny. really like it.

Weird Jumbo pencil type things. I don't know why I'm keeping these, maybe because I haven't really used them. But the three ELF ones I've never used on my eyes and they're so pretty! I feel like I need to. There's a gold, a bronze and a navy blue. I don't know what I'm going to use them for but darn it I'm going to.  My Pout Silver pencil is beautiful and I love it. I don't know when and where I got it but it's gorgeous and one of those makeup items you think will be perfect for Halloween so I'm going to keep it around. Then there's this Maybelline Kajal Liner in Brown that was my sister's and then she gave it to me to try to see if I could figure it out.  Well I couldn't But it's really pretty and smudged out in the outer corner makes a great smokey eye, but as a liner it kinda sucks, so I'm lumping it together with my other jumbo pencils.

Now I don't really use black eyeliner. I pretty much stick to my neutral browns and I just feel like black is too harsh.  BUT...these are really pretty black liners and I feel, like the jumbo pencils, you never know when you're going to need these for Halloween or for dress up days at work.  Two of these are pretty glittery blacks- a Black Liquid Liner with glitter in that's soooooo pretty! And a black glitter from ELF.  The liquid liner I got in an Ipsy bag and I've only used it once but loved it when I did. The Elf I got in a glitter set with a pencil I am getting of, but it's also a really pretty black so I'm keeping it!  Then I have an ELF liquid liner that is pretty new and also gorgeous so I'm holding on to it. And lastly a Tarte black that I got in my Christmas Tarte kit. It's a gorgeous pencil.  I may try to start incorporating some black liner into some looks this spring.

Browns and bronzes oh my! I used to wear brown eye liner every day before I started using gel, so these have been neglected. So my old favorite for dark brown eyeliner was the Milani Gel Eye Pencil and it was a mechanical roll up but now they've changed the formula and it sucks. It's too soft! You can not get a precise point because it is not too much like a gel. It made me so sad! Same goes for the Rimmel Scandaleyes.  The two shorter Tarte pencils from my Christmas kit are great just firm enough to hold shape but soft enough to glide on smoothly. The bottom Tarte pencil with the smudger is a little too soft too but I need to play with it a little more because it's new. Overall I'm not terribly impressed with eye pencils anymore but keep the around for weekends and lazy days.

Here's my favorite gel liner by NYX! And an ELF Liner I never use... I just am not a fan of liquid liner. I remember in high school my sister was awesome at liquid liner and I wanted to be so badly, but I was never precise enough and it always smeared or smudged and it was not good. But I love this Gel Liner. It's perfect. It is so dark brown it's almost black but just almost. There's just enough contrast between the dark brown and the black of my lashes that I know it's like actually brown. I pretty much use the Gel every day and I feel like I'm finally starting to make a dent in it. I think I got it late last Spring, so at the year mark there is still well over half left. This stuff may last forever. The reason I'm keeping the liquid around is because I have hopes that one day I'll learn how to do winged eyeliner and will use this to try.

And here are the three I'm getting rid of. A black Lord & Berry pencil that's awful. Like I said I don't use black eyeliner a lot but when I do I do not want it to smudge and melt down my face. This stuff would not stay in my waterline to save my life. It's awful! It never sets but when it does it's almost a flakey powder it's weird and bad and no thank you. Then I have an ELF sparkly plum. Unlike the sparkly black this one is not pretty, you can barely see the sparkle and it's so try.  I have barely used it and don't plan to use it anymore.  Then I have a label-less ELF liquid liner in brown that I've had too long. It's dry. The new one is still unopened so it'll last a while but this one I don't need.

Bonus Pic! Here's how I decided what to keep!

See they're all still so pigmented and pretty! And oh my gosh some of them have ridiculous power and took forever to get off. Some came off a little too easily with a Target Up & UP makeup wipe but some required scrubbing. All the liquid ones were really really good. This has made me want to figure out how to use those ELF jumbo pencils too because they're so pretty and pigmented!

Previous Makeup Madness-es include Part One was on Blush and Part Two on Bronzers and Highlighters.  Next up I'm going to do Lip Products...I've amassed quite a few recently and like very few of them. It'll be hard to get rid of them! I'm such a hoarder!