Most Asked Beauty Question #1

Hey Everyone!

Its been SO long since I’ve posted, I know! But don’t worry because I’m back! This post will be about my Most Asked Beauty Questions from friends, family, readers, followers, etc. The answers are just my opinions based on personal experience and preference so if you disagree with anything, thats totally fine. I literally get asked these exact questions on almost a daily basis, so here we go :

1. Whats the “best” foundation?

Its really hard to answer this question for people because there are very few universally exceptional foundation that work for everyone because everyone has different preferences/needs as far as finish, coverage, price point, etc. However, my personal holy grail foundation that a recommend to just about everyone is the IT Cosmetics CC Cream. It’s super versatile, and while it is not technically a foundation, it is full coverage that can be sheered out into nothing, and has a natural finish that makes dry skin and oily skin alike look its most healthy. It also has SPF50 which makes it great for everyday, and stays on all day without creasing, fading, or sinking into pores. In my opinion its perfect. The IT Cosmetics CC Cream retails for $38, and if thats more than you want to spend I would recommend the Rimmel Match Perfection Foundation. You can get it at any drugstore for about $6 and it makes your skin FLAWLESS. Again, its universally great for oily and dry skin types, and leaves a slightly luminous natural finish and stays perfect on the skin all day. As far as a foundation for photography (without an SPF), I think you can’t go wrong with MAC Face and Body, $27. It can be applied as light or as heavy as you want, has a huge shade range, and always has a perfect finish.

2. What mascara do you use/Do you use anything special on your eyelashes?

I naturally have very long, thick, and dark eyelashes, and I wear mascara most days as well. So naturally I get asked quite often if I wear lash extensions, get my lashes darkened, use a special lash serum, and if I do/use a number of different lash enhancing products/treatments. The short answer is no. I am just careful to protect the lashes I am naturally blessed with by being gentle when applying/removing makeup. And the mascara I use varies, but I typically use the Maybelline Full and Soft for everyday, and the Benefit They’re Real when I really want my lashes amped up. I also enjoy the Covergirl Lash Blast Volume and Clump Crusher.

3. Do you really need a primer?

I get asked this a lot by friends who have had bad experience with using primers in the past. Common complaints are: they didn’t work, they made the problem worse, and/or it seems like an unnecessary extra step. Personally, I strongly believe in the super powers of primers. First, many people believe face primers are solely for keeping your makeup on longer; when in actuality they do this and so much more! Many people are not aware that with face primers you can smooth out your skins texture, add radiance, add moisture, add a matte finish, all depending on what type your decide to use! There are so many to choose from, including some of my favorites which are Loreal Magic Lumi primer (adds a pearlescent luminous glow that can be applied under AND over foundation), Laura Mercier Oil Free primer (makes foundation stick to your skin like a glue), and NARS Pro Prime (smoothes out skin and offers SPF15).

As far as eye primers, I believe they are a MUST. No one likes their eyeshadow to crease, fade, fallout, or in any way become displaced. My Holy Grail eye primer that I will be using forever is the Urban Decay Primer Potion (I LOVE the shade Eden because it matches my skin tone enough to use as an eye area concealer too).

*My main tip for using a primer if you’ve previous had bad luck: SHAKE IT BEFORE USE! I find that primer properties can separate in the packaging, so if you find your primer isn’t working, or is becoming more watery/oily, thats probably why.*

4. Does _____ about my foundation look ok?

This question makes my smile every time I hear it because personally I like to make sure my foundation is blended to perfection before I leave the house, its just a personal pet peeve of mine. Though I understand that most people are busy and don’t have the time, experience , or even desire to examine every inch of their face in before going out the door.

To avoid ever having a “line” of foundation around your face/jaw area, make a habit of pulling your foundation slightly down your neck every time you apply it. You can do this with a brush, a sponge, your fingers, or anything else you can use to apply foundation.

To avoid looking “cakey” , remember less is more. I find that you always looks better when your actual skin can come through a bit regardless of imperfections. A blemish popping through a bit always looks better than a thick layer of foundation thats thrown on and not properly blended. Natural looking skin is the most universally flattering.

As far as getting the right shade, I would recommend going into a store like Sephora to be professionally matched, just like a bra. Make sure to ask to see it in different lights, to make sure it really does match, even if that mean looking at it outside. Also, stores like Sephora have many brands with many different shade ranges to choose from, so you’re sure to find your perfect match.

5. I know I should be using a brush to apply my foundation, but do I really have to?

This answer comes down to two things: personal preference, and the type of foundation you’re using. If you are using a traditional liquid or cream foundation, I find it is much easier, quicker, and arguably better to use a brush or sponge. Though using your fingers can be just as quick and natural looking when done properly. The warmth from your fingers actually helps the foundation to “fuse” with your skin; I find that patting/pressing motions work very well. That being said, there are many different types of tools to choose from as far as shape, density, etc.; my personal favorites being the Sigma Angled Kabuki Brush and the Beauty Blender Sponge. If you’re using a powder foundation, you can use a fluffy brush, and dense kabuki brush to buff it in, or a damp sponge to press it in for optimal coverage.

6. What can I use makeup-wise to improve my look, without looking too old/young, like I’ve applied too much ,or am trying too hard?

This is another hard question I get all the time. Again, its just personal preference. Though generally speaking, it looks most flattering when your makeup is minimal and enhances your features instead of recreating them altogether. This generally means a natural base (that can be any combination of foundation, concealer, primer, powder, etc), as long as it looks like it could actually be you; as I said above, less is always more. I then would suggest enhancing your lashes with a soft brown pencil eyeliner on the top lash line, and a simple coat of mascara. You can then use a soft pink lipstick as a sheer cream blush, and then apply the same color lightly to your lips.

7. How do you do a cat-eye liner?

Honestly, I still don’t really know how I do it sometimes! In short you can use a liquid or gel eyeliner to draw a thin line along your lashes, then once you get to the outer edge, trace an upward pointing line making natural progression of the corner of your lower outer eye, then all you have to do in connect the “flick” with the think line along your lashes, and voila! There are many youtube tutorials that can explain it much better than I just did, so I would suggest looking those up. Other than that, practice makes perfect.

 

thanks! xx

 

 

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Revlon ColorStay Comparison + more !

Hey Everyone! Today I am going to compare and review the two formulas of the Revlon ColorStay foundations. I first tried the Revlon ColorStay foundation in the Combination/Oily formula after seeing a lot of positive reviews on some of my favorite blogs. I immediately fell in love with it and use it still sometimes in place of some of my high end long-wearing foundations such as the Make Up Forever Matte Velvet Plus or Lancome Teint Idole Ultra. To me this foundation gives the same coverage as the high end ones just mentioned, without feeling heavy as they sometimes do. After trying the ColorStay, I decided to try the Revlon ColorStay Whipped Creme foundation and ended up adding it to my Worst Foundations Ever list; linked here: http://wp.me/p2O2wx-59 , due to the terrible consistency and finish on the skin.

Just recently I saw a YouTube video on MakeupByTiffanyD ‘s channel where she said how much she loved the Revlon ColorStay foundation in the Normal/Dry Skin formula. She said that it looked like true skin whereas the Combination/Oily formula looked “foundationy” and fake. I tend to always agree with her opinions, but in this case… here’s what I think:

 

*I have shade 110 Ivory in both formulas*

Revlon ColorStay Makeup Normal/Dry : This foundation has a medium consistency in thickness and offers medium to full coverage. On the skin, it feels relatively light and has a slight baby powder scent that dissipates. This formula is a bit lighter and cooler in color than the other and has a slightly powdered finish on the skin (which I do not care for). Although it does not contain any SPF, it can leave a white cast in photos under poor lighting. I was able to wear this foundation throughout the day and night without my skin getting too oily or too dry while maintaing the flawless coverage and minimal to no touchups.

Revlon ColorStay Makeup Combination/Oily : This foundation has a medium consistency in thickness and offers medium to full coverage as well. It feels light on the skin and has a slight “foundation” scent. I would describe this foundation as being a “skin stain” due to the way it blends flawlessly into the skin and disappears. It contains an SPF of 6 but does not leave a white cast in photos. Like it’s sister formula, with average skin it does not settle into fine lines or pores (I have enlarged pores from acne/scarring and it does not settle). It controls oil better than the normal/dry formula and is slightly warmer and more tan/yellow in color. I feel that this formula lasts longer and is an overall better foundation.

 

 

 

 

BEST FOUNDATIONS EVER!

Hey guys! This post is all about foundations that I love. You should first know that I have very fair normal skin with acne scaring and occasional breakouts. These are in numerical order with number one being the best. If you like this post and want to see the worst foundations ever, click here : https://beautybysarahmarie.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/worst-foundations-ever/

Here we go!

5. Clinique Even Better: This foundation has a staying power like no other. Its hard to describe without actually trying it, but it is like an illuminating stain. It is super blend-able and smooth, but once it sets it stays and the coverage is medium. I wish the shade range was a bit better (the very fair is still quite tan) but thats my only complaint, and even then I can easily make it work with some bronzer down my neck. This foundation claims that it “evens and corrects”; I haven’t noticed any significant improvement, but it definitely doesn’t make anything worse.SPF 15, ($27)

4. Make Up For Ever HD: I love the shade range available for this product (actually all MUFE products) and the smooth finish it offers which is mainly a matte finish with a hint of satin. This foundation has medium-buildable coverage, photographs beautifully and has great staying power. Your skin looks extremely healthy and flawless when wearing this, yet I find that sometimes concealer is needed for any scars. ($42)

3. NARS Sheer Glow: Let me first say that the application of this foundation is key, I like to apply it with a beauty blender sponge. I’m not sure what NARS was thinking, but I would not call this foundation sheer OR glowy, so if that is what it luring you in know that it is medium coverage with a matte/satin finish. That being said, I was lured in by the shade range for fair skin, and that part is amazing. This foundation one of my all time favorites! ($44)

2. Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24hr: This is the best long-wearing foundation I have ever tried. It is perfect for special occasions when you need to look flawless for a long time. I specifically use this for special occasions because it is a little bit heavier than I would like to wear day to day, and the price is on the higher side ($45). But if you work or go to school long hours and want to invest in a high end foundation, this one is it. The shade range is great and the finish is a nice matte/satin and the coverage is medium-buildable. SPF 15.

1. Clinique Acne Solutions: I know this might be a strange choice for the number one best foundation ever, but truthfully I’ve never found one that is better. I have been using this foundation since my sophomore year of high school and it has always been a staple in my collection. It has medium-buildable coverage and offers the most natural and flawless finish ever. I don’t think that it clears my skin like it advertises, but it definitely prevents any new acne. I never have to worry about touching up while wearing this foundation because, like my number five pick, it is sort of like a stain once it sets. The shade range is also good, thankfully they offer one for my very fair skin and the price is reasonable ($27).

Clinique Acne Solutions Review

Hey Everyone! Today I’m reviewing the Clinique Acne Solutions regimen, as well as talking about my current skincare routine. For those of you who don’t already know, I’ve suffered from breakouts for the majority of my life and have since been on numerous different routines and treatments trying to solve the problem. Before I started the Clinique regimen, I was using the Neutrogena Skin ID system, which really helped my skin a lot, but they discontinued that line leaving me to have to find something else. Yes, I have been to dermatologists many times throughout my battle with acne, but I’ve found that when I use the harsh treatments they tend to prescribe I lose the health of my skin and end up having to quit using any kind of treatment and only use gentle cleansers and moisturizers to get it back to “normal”. That is why the majority of the time I prefer using non-prescription treatments. Now back to the review!

This system has three steps:

1. Foaming Cleanser: The cleanser, as mentioned in the video, is not as thick of a foam as I would like but it does the job with 2-3 pumps of cleanser without over-drying the skin. I like to use it with my Clarisonic to really remove all dirt/makeup well.  2% Salicylic Acid

2. Clarifying Lotion: This clarifying lotion is actually a liquid toner, not a “lotion”. I apply it after the cleanser with a cotton pad all over my face, excluding my eye area, and down my neck. It is excellent at removing excess dirt/makeup and tightening pores. I’ve noticed a huge difference in the size of my pores since the very first use of this product. 1.5% Salicylic Acid

3. Clearing Moisturizer: Although this treatment moisturizer absorbs nicely into the skin, be extra careful 10-20 minutes after applying it if you are wearing dark clothing or have dark sheets as it could bleach them. 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide

*4. Spot Healing Gel: You can feel this spot healing gel working on contact. It brings cystic acne to the surface as a whitehead in one to two doses and dries it up within three. Excellent! 1% Salicylic Acid  **optional step**

Overall, I would give this system a 4/5. It was able to significantly clear up my skin extremely quickly without making it look and feel unhealthy. If you have heard bad things about Clinique products and are still weary, I would recommend getting a sample of  the spot treatment first. If you like the spot treatment, you will love the rest of the line!

 

I also use for my Morning Regimen :

1. Cleanse – Aveeno Brightening Daily Scrub

2. Treat – Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Bright

3. Eye Cream – Origins GinZing

4. Moisturize – Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, Origins Brighter By Nature, DiorSnow UV Shield

5. Conceal – Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

 

 

 

What I’m Brining to IMATS : The Complete Beauty Edition

Hey Everyone!

As you can probably tell, I am going to IMATS Pasadena this weekend! Last year (2012) was my very first year going and I had a fantastic time! However, before going I searched “what to bring/wear to IMATS” and “what to expect at IMATS” and shockingly found very little. So here is the complete list of what I am going to be bringing with me beauty wise :

SKIN: Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream (Fair), Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (Siberia), MAC Studio Finish Concealer (NW15), MAC Select MoistureCover Concealer (NC15), Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Under Eye Illuminator, Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer, Sonia Kashuk Brightening Powder, Nars Albatross Highlighter, Benefit Watts Up Highlighter, MAC MSF (Light Plus), MakeupForever Blush (#10), Physicians Formula Light Bronze Pearl.

EYES: Urban Decay Primer Potion (Original), Bobbi Brown Rich Caviar Eye Palette, MAC quad (Espresso, Satin Taupe, Expensive Pink, Shale), N7 Liquid Liner, Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil (Zero/Whiskey), Chella Brow Gel, Benefit They’re Real Mascara, Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara,

LIPS: Ulta Lip Pencil (Rose), MAC lipstick (Glamourdaze), Loreal Color Riche Balm (Nourishing Nude).

BRUSHES: (see video)

When you get to the show you will need to wait in line to get your wristband first, then you will get into another line  which is around the other side of the building (you’ll see it). After you get in you want to head to the booth you most want to see first ( I recommend researching which companies/shows/etc will be there before arriving ) because chances are that if you skip the booth you want to go to the most because the line seems too long, you’ll end up having to wait in an even BIGGER line later. Unfortunately lines do not “die down” at IMATS. You’ll also want to research what kinds of discounts the companies are offering and make a budget for yourself.

As far as what to wear, I’ve seen it all. You want to look good obviously because you will be taking pictures and meeting people in the beauty industry, but don’t take that as an invitation to wear a prom dress! Anything from nice jeans and a t shirt to a day time dress would work perfectly. I will be wearing a blousey button down and black jeans with chunky jewelry and cute flats from C Wonder. Speaking of flats, thats exactly what you will want to wear. You will most definitely be waiting in long lines and fighting through crowds all day.

When lunch comes around, there is a nice plaza right across the street with places like PF Changs and Rubios. A bit farther than that (walking or driving is ok) is Colorado Blvd which has tons of places to eat. Just make sure to keep your wristband on!

Thats about all the tips/info I can think of besides to just have fun and take tons of pictures. If you are going and want to do a meet up you can message me or tweet me. I will be checking my twitter and posting pics all day 🙂 hope to see you there!

Best of Beauty 2012

Hey Everyone! I recently saw a blog post on http://www.temptalia.com asking readers to vote for/nominate their favorite beauty products under certain categories. Of course I filled in the survey, but then I thought that this would be an interesting topic to post on MY blog too. So here you go! These are not all of the categories on Temptalia, but these are the ones I felt were strong winners in my opinion. Let me know what your favorites are of this year!

Best High End Brand: Laura Mercier

Best Budget Brand: Maybelline

Most Overrated Product: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick 

Most Underrated Product: Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

Best New Product: Loreal Color Riche Balm

Best High End Mascara: Benefit They’re Real Mascara

Best Drugstore Mascara: Covergirl Lash Blast Luxe

Best Cream Eyeshadow: Maybelline Color Tattoo

Best Powder Eyeshadow: Urban Decay eyeshadow in Sin

Best Eyeliner: N7 Liquid Eyeliner

Best Lip Balm: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment spf 15

Best Lip Gloss: Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk

Best Lipstick: MAC creamsheen lipstick in Hot Gossip

Best Highlighter: Nars highlighter in Albatross

Best Blush: MAC satin blush in Cubic

Best Bronzer: Physicians Formula Light Bronze Pearl

Best Concealer: Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation

Best High End Foundation: Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24 hr

Best Drugstore Foundation: Loreal True Match

Best Powder: MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural

Best Brushes: Sigma

Best Skin Care: Origins

Best Hair Care: Organix

Best Limited Edition: MAC eyeshadow in Jaunty from the Hey Sailor Collection

 

OK, now I am just going to talk about a few products in particular from the list! Lets start with the YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick (I have the color #13). I voted this most overrated because although it is very pigmented, smooth, and glossy, i found the staying power was lacking. I’m not sure why Beauty Gurus were loving this because unless you don’t mind reapplying every hour or so, I don’t think it lives up to the hype. On the other hand the most underrated product, Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, was not very well received by most gurus, but I found it to be absolutely fantastic! The coverage is great and it looks extremely natural. I also think it delivers the benefits advertised fairly quickly from the first use. Also, I love the fair color because its very neutral toned and matches my skin perfectly.

I was having a hard time deciding which powder eyeshadow was my favorite this year due to all of the new fun palettes that came out, when I stumbled upon the Urban Decay Sin Eyeshadow and I realized that I’ve worn this shade consistently throughout the year. Its a winner for me not only because of the number of times I’ve used it, but because of its incredible versatility. I’ve used Sin as a lid color, highlighter, crease color, blending color, and probably more ways that I am just not thinking of right now.The Too Faced Glamour Gloss in Pillow Talk has been a Holy Grail lip gloss for me every since I got it as a free gift with purchase at Ulta towards the beginning of the year. It is a perfect plumping glossy nude with slight shimmer that looks good with literally everything!

Next I want to talk about MAC’s blush is Cubic. I got this shade after a similar limited edition one was sold out and the lady helping me recommended it as a dupe. If you are fair skinned like me, this is the most natural looking blush you’ll ever find. Its so subtle and feminine, without being bright or glowy (words you would normally WANT to describe your blush). When you look at it in the pan, it looks kind of “blah” to be honest, but once applied, its absolute magic.

Everyone who watches my videos knows that Sigma Brushes are my complete and total favorite, but the stand out of the bunch for me this year was the F84 Angled Kabuki. Its great for foundation, but does a whole bunch of other tricks too. Speaking of foundation,  Kandee Johnson recommended using the Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation as a concealer, and she couldn’t be more right. I picked it up ( I’m in the shade E10) at IMATS in August and the lady told me it was almost 60% pigment, whereas normal foundations are only about 20% pigment. How fantastic is that! Especially for a concealer! Lastly I have to mention MAC’s eyeshadow in Jaunty from their Hey Sailor collection in the summer. I was not thrilled with the collection, or any of their’s this year frankly, but this eyeshadow is a really great neutral for my skin tone. If your fair skinned try to find this on ebay. It’s worth it!

I know this was a long post today, but all the products I listed and or talked about deserved a mention. Thanks for reading and please don’t forget to tell me your favorite products.