Best Brow Products!

Hey Everyone!

I know I’ve been totally slacking on the posts lately, and I’m SO sorry, but I promise I will post as much as I can from here forward! ūüôā

Ok now that that’s out of the way, this post is all about my favorite eyebrow products including new finds, and tried and true staples. I find that brows can totally transform your entire look, so I like to have a few different types AND shades of products to add just the right touch. Here are the ones I like :

**For¬†reference¬† I’m light skinned with very dark brown brows, light brown/hazel eyes, and light brown hair with honey highlights. These products work on me but are also versatile for different skin tones, brow colors, etc.**

Pencil :

Starlet Pencil in All I Want Is Peace , Love, and Chocolate This pencil is warm cocoa color with red undertones. It is moderately creamy and blends out well with a spoolie. I would recommend this if you want a warm, strong brow.  At starletcosmetics.com

Gel :

Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel –¬†This is a clear gel with a large soft mascara-type wand. I love it because it leaves absolutely no residue. $18 at¬†http://chella.com/products/item/beautiful_brow_gel

Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep –¬†This gel is a new favorite, and is amazing! It has a tiny tapered wand and is great for a quick boost in color and volume. The color is a neutral (leaning cool) liver/taupe. ¬†*I know liver is’nt the most appealing color name, but it matches the actual color best* $22 at¬†http://www.benefitcosmetics.com/product/view/gimme-brow

Powder :

MAC Wedge –¬†This product¬†is a perfect neutral soft medium brown with a matte finish. It¬†has been in my collection since the start, and is one of my favorite shades of all time.

MAC Soba –¬†This shade is a soft golden brown with very slight gold shimmer. Although the description sounds a bit scary, it actually gives a very natural warm brow.

MAC Cork –¬†This is the warm version of Wedge that gives a slightly fuller brow. It is a warm-toned soft medium brown.

MAC Espresso –¬†This color is a neutral espresso brown. It’s great for a fully defined, strong brow.

All MAC Eyeshadows are $15 and can be purchased at maccosmetics.com

Tools :

Spoolie – I’m not sure if this is the “technical” name for this brush, or if there even is a technical name, but regardless this brush, which is essentially a clean mascara wand, is essential for brow care. It’s great for brushing, priming, taming, and distributing color on the brows. You can get a really nice spoolie from Sigma for $10, or a cheaper one at any beauty supply store.¬†http://www.sigmabeauty.com/Brow_and_Lash_E80_p/e80.htm

MAC 208 Angled Brow Brush –¬†This brush is also essential for brow care. It is great for defining and applying color. I like the MAC 208 because it is much stiffer than a lot of angled brushes on the market, which makes for more precise application. At MAC for $20.¬†http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/145/813/208/index.tmpl

 

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July 2013 Ipsy Bag

Hey Everyone! It’s time again to talk about what came in this months Ipsy Bag!

Big Sexy Hair ‘Weather Proof’ :¬†is a humidity resistant spray that you apply to a finished look to resist humidity and frizz, as well as keep your hair in place (like a hairspray). It smells like a cross between generic hairspray and dental fluoride.

BH Cosmetics ‘California Collection’ Palette :¬†is an eyeshadow trio including the shades ‘Hollywood’, ‘San Francisco’, and ‘Malibu’. ‘Hollywood’ is a deep bright purple, ‘San Francisco’ is a medium sandy brown with gold glitter, and ‘Malibu’ is bright yellow gold. All of these shades are very sheer and blend decently. Unfortunately ‘Hollywood’ is the most poorly pigmented, and ‘San Francisco’ can get a bit muddy. ‘Malibu’ is very similar to Urban Decay’s ‘Half Baked’, but is much more yellow toned.

Coola Mineral Sunscreen :¬†is an organic tinted moisturizer with spf 20. It’s color is that of a light warm bisque, I have “MAC NC20” skin and it gives me a warm glow without getting too orange. It has a very light liquidy consistency, and light but buildable coverage. This product is also green friendly, recycle friendly, and cruelty free.

Pop Beauty ‘Pouty Pop Crayon’ in Fuchsia Flirt :¬†is a twist-up tinted lip balm crayon. ‘Fuchsia Flirt’ is a neutral flamingo pink, and contrary to the name I would not describe this color as fuchsia.

Demeter Roll On Perfume Oil in Salt Air :¬†is an oil based roll on perfume. I got one of these in a previous Ipsy Bag and liked the scent, but unfortunately these are very light, hardly noticeable fragrances and do not last more than a few minutes once applied. ‘Salt Air’ has notes of white sand, ocean salt, and slight mandarin. Although, I love Bobbi Brown ‘Beach’ which has similar notes, I do not care for this fragrance.

 

 

 

Summer Beauty Essentials

Hey Guys! Its finally summertime so obviously you’ll be spending a lot more of your days in the sun, by the pool, at the beach, etc. And since your daily routine is changing, so should your beauty routine! Here are some products that I love for creating quick, easy, and long-wearing summer beauty looks.

A great moisturizer and sunscreen are both extra important when your skin will be exposed to direct sunlight. But since I don’t like to layer a ton of products on my face, especially when it is hot, its extra convenient to have both things in one product. For this I like to use the¬†Juice Beauty Green Apple SPF 15 Moisturizer, which is organic and contains anti aging antioxidants; plus it smells great! If you feel like you need more spf protection, but don’t want to use a higher spf sunscreen from the drugstore that might cause issues for your skin, I would invest in the¬†DiorSnow UV Sheild SPF 50.

For summer face makeup, I like to use products that will give me a flawless face that lasts without looking or feeling like a have a lot of makeup on. This may sound like a tall order, but using a medium to full coverage foundation that can be sheered out, I like¬†NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, is probably your best bet. This can be done by mixing together your foundation and moisturizer, or by using a dampened beauty blender sponge to apply a sheer layer all over your face and adding more only where you need.¬†(Beauty Smarties : I know what you’re thinking. A medium to full coverage foundation is recommended, but the title of the recommended foundation is Nars SHEER glow. Yes. That is contradicting, but even though Nars markets this foundation as sheer, which it can be when applied with a light hand or a damp sponge, it is actually more of a medium coverage foundation when applied “normally”, and can be built up to a full coverage. Its versatility is what makes it so popular! )¬†

The Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer is a cream/gel golden highlighter infused with argan oil. Its great summer staple because you can use it just about any way you could ever want or need. Here are just a few ways it can be applied :

Under or mixed in with foundation

As a highlighter for cheekbones

As a highlighter for the entire body

As a cream eyeshadow

For cheeks, long-wearing cream products are the way to go! I like the¬†Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Cream Bronzer¬†which is a sheer light tan bronzer with a slight gold sheen. Its doesn’t get muddy or orange, and blends very well. I also like the¬†Sonia Kashuk Super Sheer Liquid Tint in Peony¬†because it looks very natural and mimics a slight sunburn while still looking like a natural pretty glow from within. I like to apply both of these products with a kabuki foundation brush.

Just like cheeks, long-wearing eye products are great for summer. The¬†Maybelline Color Tattoos¬†are great cream eyeshadows that can be used as a base or alone. I especially like the shade¬†Bold Gold¬†for this time of year. I also love the¬†Tarte emphasEYES eyeliner, especially the shade¬†Bronze, because they are made with amazonian clay and are waterproof. You don’t have to use a waterproof mascara if you’re not planning on swimming, but a great mascara that you trust not to smudge is essential for the hotter months; I like the¬†Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara.

TIP¬†: If you’re fair skinned like me, the¬†Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Crayon¬†is an amazing product to cover discoloration as well as brighten. On my more natural days, I like to apply this to my entire eye area ( lid, brow bone, inner corner, and under eye area ). If you have darker skin, let me know if you have found a product like this!!!!

Summer is one of the most important times to protect your lips because they will be facing sun exposure a lot more than any other time of year. Unless you want dry, cracked, and sunburned lips, make sure you keep them moisturized and protected. Here are some options :

Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment is great because it is smoothing, non-sticky, gives your lips a sheer wash of red, AND protects your lips with SPF 15.

Nivea Lip Butters are ultra luxurious and moisturizing. I like the Raspberry Rose Kiss flavor because it gives my lips a soft pink highlight, and smells like raspberry shortcake!

MAC Plush Glasses dont offer much moisture or protection, but they are super sheer and long wearing which makes them great when you want just a little something extra to enhance your natural summer beauty. The shade Fullfilled is an awesome summer nude.

 

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Best Eyeshadows for Fair Skin

Hey Everyone! Since you all seemed to love my post on the Best Blushes for Fair Skin :¬†http://wp.me/p2O2wx-7P¬†, I thought I would make a little series of similar posts. This one, as you can probably tell from the title, is about eyeshadows that I think look especially great on those of us with fair skin. Like I said before, fair skinned people can get away with wearing ANY color because we are such a “blank canvas”; but these are the shades that I find are the most universally flattering regardless of skin type/undertone/etc.

Bobbi Brown Candlelight / MAC Ricepaper : These are both great brightening lid colors. Candlelight is more champagne colored, and Ricepaper is more yellow.

Bobbi Brown Bone / MAC Brule : These are both almost invisible flesh tones. Bone is slightly more pigmented.

Urban Decay Tease / MAC Haux : These are both great mauve/brown colors that look amazing in the crease. Tease is moderately more purple.

Urban Decay Naked / Bobbi Brown Wheat / MAC Wedge : These are all neutral medium/light browns that are great for crease and blending. Naked is the most neutral, Wheat is cooler, and Wedge is warmer.

MAC Folie / Urban Decay Buck / NYX Dance The Tides : These are all warm medium browns. Folie is a reddened brown, Buck is a tan brown, and Dance the Tides has a warm copper/orange tint.

MAC Cork : is a unique warm medium brown thats great for the crease and brows.

MAC Shale : is a sheer muted cool purple. I think it is one of the most underrated MAC eyeshadows, I love it!

MAC Naked Lunch : looks much better on pale skin than All That Glitters. It is basically the same peachy pink color, just taken down a few notches.

NYX Tropical :¬†is a great coral/orange shade that doesn’t overpower your whole look.

MAC Expensive Pink : is similar to NYX Tropical, but is much more pink.

Urban Decay Sin : a great frosted silky pink, without being too pink! Looks great on the lid or as a highlight.

Urban Decay Sidecar : is a warm light taupe/brown with heavy silver sparkle.

Urban Decay Darkhorse :¬†is a warm charcoal that isn’t too cool or dark; which makes it a GREAT option for fair skin because it isn’t overpowering.

Urban Decay Toasted / MAC Sable : These are both warm pink/browns. Toasted is slightly pinker, and Sable is slightly more red toned.

MAC Big Bounce Shadow in Count Your Assets : is a a bright cool purple. Its great as a base or on its own. Although this product is discontinued, you can look for something similar. This is just what I have.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Blue Paradise :¬†is a great color for pale people to rock, as most people can’t! It is a medium blue base with purple duochrome.

MAC Paint Pot in Morning Frost : is a slightly cool taupe/brown. This was limited edition, but again, you can easily find something similar.

 

What are your favorites?

 

 

My Current Skincare Routine

Hey Everyone! This post is all about what I’m currently using to keep my skin looking clear and healthy. First I will tell you about the step by step process of my daily routine, and below there will be a detailed review of each product mentioned. Let’s get to it!

Morning Routine:

I start my day by lightly cleansing my skin with only warm water and a washcloth.

Then I use a cotton pad to apply a small amount of the Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion to my face and neck area.

I then apply a quarter size amount of the Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 moisturizer to my face and neck area.

Finally I apply a small amount of the Origins Ginzing Eye Cream to my eye area.

Nighttime Routine:

First I cleanse my skin and remove my makeup by taking a quarter size amount of  the Clinque Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm and work it into the skin on my entire face and neck. Once the balm has been adequately worked into the skin, I take a warm/hot washcloth and remove whats left of the cleanser and makeup.

Next I take a cotton pad and a small amount of the Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex, and apply it to my face and neck avoiding my eye area.

Once that has dried, I take the DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel and apply that to only spots and the areas of my skin that are currently problematic. Benzoyl peroxide can cause scarring, so I only want to apply it where it is absolutely necessary; plus we just applied glycolic acid which should help with breakouts anyways.

After the benzoyl peroxide has set, I apply the Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Moisturizer to my entire face and neck.

For the last step,  I apply the Origins A Perfect World For Eyes eye cream to my under eye area. Voila!

If my skin is being particularly problematic, I take these Optional Steps:

If my skin is extra dry – I apply a small amount of the Josie Maran Argan Oil to my skin after cleansing, or add a few drops into my moisturizer.

If I have a stubborn pimple – I apply the Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel to the problem areas.

If my skin is having a meltdown – I use the Origins Out Of Trouble Mask.

I hope this step by step routine was helpful! Now onto the reviews  :

Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion : a liquid toner containing cucumber extract to fight against oil and bacteria. It has an herbal/cucumber scent and feels refreshing on the skin. If not followed by a moisturizer, it can feel a little bit tight or sticky on the skin. I have noticed that this product has helped reduce the size of my pores as well. This product is not tested on animals. $15 for 8 oz at Nordstrom ( I bought mine in Ulta, so I would check there as well ) http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/mario-badescu-special-cucumber-lotion/2920700

Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 :¬†is a “skin tone correcting” moisturizer. It has a pleasant herbal/lemon/ginger scent and leaves the skin looking bright and healthy. ¬†I believe this product in part has helped diminish my acne scars, as well as made my skin overall healthier. It has a lightweight gel/cream formula that leaves a dewy finish; and contains Japanese Basil leaf, Cucumber, Peony, Vitamin C, and Palmaria. I highly recommend this product to everyone. $47.50 for 1.7 oz at Sephora or Origins.¬†http://www.sephora.com/brighter-by-nature-spf-35-skin-tone-correcting-moisturizer-P297537?skuId=1375906

Origins GinZing : is a lightweight eye cream with a peach undertone to combat darkness, and a slight sheen/glow for added brightness. It has a cream to serum consistency, and little to no scent. It contains caffeine, ginseng, and magnolia extract. $30 for 0.5 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/ginzing-refreshing-eye-cream-P297511

Clinique Take Off The Day Cleansing Balm : is a makeup remover and cleaner in one that goes from a thick balm consistency to a oil/liquid consistency once rubbed into the skin. I have used this to remove everything from long wearing foundation, waterproof mascara, semi-permanant eyeliner pens, etc. and it literally removes all traces of makeup without drying out my skin. I switched to this after hearing that makeup wipes are really bad for your skin due to the high alcohol content, and have fallen in love!  $28.50 for 3.8 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/take-the-day-off-cleansing-balm-P126301

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex : is a liquid clarifying toner that acts as an exfoliator by removing dead surface skin. It contains lactic acid, citric acid, witch hazel, chamomile, allantoin, aloe vera, sodium pac, vitamin C, and AHAs. It smells very acidic and slightly citric. When applied to the skin it gives a slight burning sensation, so if you have very sensitive skin I would probably not recommend this. If you can get past the burning, this product works wonders. Overtime it fights acne, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, deep cleans and shrinks pores, smooths skin, restores natural pH balances, AND protects and moisturizes the skin. Can you say Holy Grail? $40 for 8 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/glycolic-acid-10-toning-complex-clarifying-toner-P375358

DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel : is a thick, creamy gel that contains 5% benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil. It is very effective when used regularly, but it can bleach your clothes/sheets and cause excessive dryness if too much is applied. With this product, less is more. If you use too much it can actually have the opposite effect and make your skin worse. I use a dime size amount or less, only where I absolutely need it. $36 for 2 oz at Ulta. http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=prod370030

Philosophy Take A Deep Breath :¬†is a lightweight, oil free, gel-cream moisturizer. It claims to “diffuse energizing oxygen to the skin” to leave a healthy looking glow; which is does. It contains antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental factors, and has a slight powdery/herbal scent. $34 for 2 oz at Sephora.¬†http://www.sephora.com/take-a-deep-breath-oil-free-energizing-oxygen-gel-cream-moisturizer-P311182

Origins A Perfect World For Eyes : is a serum that uses white tea to firm and moisturize the eye area. It has a herbal, lemon, ginger scent, and leaves the eye area feeling refreshed. I have notices a huge improvement of the appearance of my under eye creases and dryness after using this product. It has a pump applicator, which is nice, but it dispenses a bit too much with just one pump; you really only need about one half of a pump. $34 for 0.5 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/a-perfect-world-for-eyes-firming-moisture-treatment-with-white-tea-P297532

Josie Maran Argan Oil : is a silky oil that moisturizes, heals, and protects. It can be used on the skin, hair and nails. I also like to apply this to bites, rashes, bruises, etc. to speed up the healing process. $14 for 0.5 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/argan-oil-P218700

Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel : is a gel that contains a concentrated 1% salicylic acid to fight stubborn breakouts. If you have an open spot it can give a burning sensation, but it quickly dissipates. This is my holy grail spot treatment! $16 for 0.5 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/acne-solutions-spot-healing-gel-P188312

Origins Out Of Trouble : is a 10 minute mask that contains zinc oxide, sulfur, camphor, and salicylic acid to extract excess oil, dirt, and dead skin; as well as calm the skin. It is a thick toothpaste-like cream and smells very herbal and medicinal. When on the skin it feels very cooling and tingly. $23 for 3.4 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/out-of-trouble-10-minute-mask-to-rescue-problem-skin-P297551

Chocolate Bronzer!

Hey Everyone!

Let’s talk about the most delicious makeup product I have ever experienced. The Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Medium Deep Matte Bronzer is an incredible multitasking bronzer that is great for contouring as well as warming up the entire face. Like it says in it’s name, it is completely matte with absolutely no sheen, shimmer, or sparkle. Though it is made with cocoa powder, the scent of chocolate is very subtle and dissipates after application.

This bronzer is similar in color to the NARS Laguna bronzer, but is slightly lighter and more of a warm “chocolate” color than a brown-bronze like Laguna. I find that Laguna can look a bit muddy, and doesn’t blend very well ( I know, I know; it’s not a common opinion), but I find that this bronzer blends very well and looks extremely natural.

Too Faced also offers this bronzer in a lighter shade called Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, which is equally fantastic, but less dramatic.

The packaging is a very cute light gold compact with a full size mirror. You can order this bronzer online for $30.00 at https://www.toofaced.com/p-1364-chocolate-soleil-mediumdeep-matte-bronzer.aspx , or purchase it at Ulta or Sephora.

 

Smashbox Pop of Pink

Hey Everyone! I have been wanting to try more Smashbox products since I love the lipsticks so much, so I decided to pick up one of their “sets”. The one I got is the Smashbox Pop of Pink, which includes the following :

Blush in Pop of Pink : a slightly reddened carnation pink with berry undertones. It has slight shimmer and a satin/matte finish.

Be Legendary Lipstick in Posy Pink : a nude carnation pink with a glossy finish.

Reflection High Shine Lip Gloss in Pop of Pink : a sheer bubblegum pink with a slight cotton candy scent.

Full Exposure Mascara : a jet black volumizing and lengthening mascara with a large bristle brush. Medium/dry consistency.

 

Overall all of the products are fantastic. My only complaint is that I much prefer the discontinued Photo Finish Lipstick formula to the Be Legendary formula. The Photo Finish lipstick formula glided over any dry patches and made your lips look flawless, whereas the Be Legendary formula clings a bit more to dryness on lips.

You can get this set at Ulta for $39 : http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod5230007#details