Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer Faves

There are a lot of products, old and new, that I've been loving this summer!  Summer is the time I love to have a bronzy, dewy, sun-kissed look. 
I was rushing to get what I could of the diminishing natural light at 7:30pm, so I apologize for the bad quality pictures.  Also-I'm an amateur.  :)

 St. Ives Timeless Skin Moisturizer: $4.79
This is more of an all time favorite.  I've been using this moisturizer for years and I love it.  I originally got the recommendation from one of my favorite beauty bloggers Maskcara.  This moisturizer is so light, non greasy, and with no fragrance.  It absorbs into the skin so fast and leaves my skin feeling great.  AND the best part-it's so cheap!  You get 10 oz of product for only $4.79!
 Simple Cleansing Micellar Water: $6.99:
I discovered this product from another beauty blogger's recommendation EssieButton.  This is a cleansing water that removes your makeup while still keeping your skin moisturized  I use this product after I cleanse my face to remove any extra dirt or makeup left behind. I use this as my cleanser when I'm in a rush in the morning and just want to head out the door to run an errand or go for a run. Also, this came in so handy while camping this summer.  I just saturate a cotton pad with this and wipe my face, no water needed.  Plus it's very refreshing.
 Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo: $5.99
I've been trying for a long time to find a good dry shampoo.  The products I've tried in the past have had an unpleasant scent, feel too wet on my hair, or make my roots look even more grey than they already are due to the white color of the spray.  This one is the best I've found that doesn't break the bank.  This dry shampoo has little to no scent, no major white cast, and also doesn't feel too heavy on my roots. 

Jergens BB Body Perfecting Cream: $9.99
This is definitely a product I only use in the summer time.  This body cream has a slight tint and gives your skin the most beautiful glow. It evens out the skin tone, it goes on sheer, absorbs quickly, plus it smells great!  This is not a self tanner, it did not give my skin any sort of a tan.  It claims to hide skin imperfections and visibly firm the skin after continued use. 

 Milani Baked Blush in Rose D'Oro: $7.99
I've mentioned before about being a fan of the Milani Baked Blushes.  My all-year-round go to is the shade Luminoso, but this summer I needed something a little darker for my more tan skin tone.  These blushes blend so beautifully and last all day.  They have a hint of shimmer which is a must for summer! 

Poor quality swatch of Rose D'Oro

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer: in shade Park Avenue Princess $30 (for full size)

I got this as a sample in my Ispy bag in July.  This is a great, cool tone brozer that gives the perfect amount of bronzy glow without looking orange at all.  It blends great and I feel it could also be used as a subtle contouring shade.  I apply this on my forehead, cheekbones, sides of the nose, and under my jaw line.  Often I would combine this with a more warm-tone bronzer for even more of a sun--kissed look. I'm not sure I would purchase the full-size version of this product just because of the price tag but I've been loving this sample size one.


Swatch of Park Avenue Princess.  HOLY VEINS.
Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector Champagne Pop: $38
Yeah.  $38 for a highlighter, I know.  BUT I can honestly say it was so worth it.  This product is SO amazing.  Jaclyn Hill is my absolute favorite beauty guru and when I heard she was collaborating with Becca Cosmetics, I had to jump on the band wagon.  This highlight.  I can't even begin to try and explain how good it is.  It is so finely milled, the texture alone is so amazing.  The shade is the most perfect, peachy, golden, not glittery, shade.  I feel like I'm glowing from within when I wear it.  I apply this to the very top of my cheek bones, above my brow,  down the bridge of my nose, and on the cupid bow of my lip.  This is the ultimate summer product and I highly recommend it!!!

Just the perfect amount of glow

Poor quality swatch.  If you see this in a Sephora, please swatch it, it so buttery and amazing!
Lorac Unzipped Palette: $40
I did an entire post on this palette here.  With lots of shimmery shades, this is a wonderful palette for summer time. 

This is a blurry, bad picture but my favorite combo I used this summer was: Unconditional in the crease, Undercover on the brow bone and either Unreal, Unbelievable or Unattainable all over the lid.

I've been going back and forth between two different foundations this summer:

Garnier BB Cream for Combo/oily skin in shade: Medium Deep $9.99
This is the best BB cream I've found at the drugstore.  It's super light weight, but evens out the skin and has great coverage.  I think the reason I like it so much is due to the medium deep shade matching my skin tone pretty perfect in the summer time.  I use this with a beauty blender and it creates a flawless finish. 

Loreal Infallible Pro-Matte:   $11.99
I did an entire blog post on this product too here.  I still love this foundation.  I recently repurchased this and will continue using it before the weather turns cold and my skin gets dry again.  This foundation does not budge!  It lasts all day and keeps the oil at bay.  If I know I have to go somewhere after a full day at work, this is what I will use because I know my makeup will look close to the same as it did when I left the house.  I can't say enough about this product. 

Now for a few makeup brushes...

Morphe M330 : $5.99
I've recently discovered the brand Morphe for makeup brushes.  They have amazing brushes for such a great price!  This blending brush is so soft and blends eye shadow into the crease seamlessly. 

IT Cosmetics for ULTA C4203 Buffing Foundation Brush:
My husband got me an IT Cosmetics brush kit for Mother's Day and they are amazing brushes!  So soft and high quality.  I use this brush for blending foundation...specifically the Loreal Infallible foundation.  It has the perfect density but also is gentle on the face.  It works great.  I'm not sure of the price of this brush since it came in a kit, but I would guess it would be in the $20-30 dollar range based on the price of other brushes at ULTA. 
Crown C158 Angle Liner Brush with Spoolie: $2.38
You read that right.  This brush was just over $2.  Crown brushes are SO affordable and good quality!  I love this brush for eyebrows.  It has the perfect density, creates a thin line and the spoolie on the end is so handy for blending.  I'd pay way more for this brush. 

Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa Butter: $2.29
I am obsessed with this!  This lip balm is SO moisturizing.  I put this on at night and I wake up and it's still there.  My lips feel so soft after using this and it really does give your lips a glow.  And my favorite part is the smell...the best cocoa butter scent. 

Kat Von D Shade Light Palette: $46
I'm still loving this contour palette.  I haven't been contouring as much in the summer but I still use this palette every day.  I always set my concealer with the light shades and I used the heck out of the bottom middle shade for bronzing this summer.  I can't say enough good things about this product.  See my full review here.  I am now dying to try the Kat Von D Shade Light Eye Palette.  It looks amazing!

What products have you been loving this summer?  Comment below!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit vs. Kat Von D Shade+Light Palette

Back in January I bought the much talked about and coveted Anastasia Contour kit.  I was so excited to try it!  But...I wasn't that impressed with it to be honest.  The shades were great but the pigmentation was not great.  Two of the shades had great pigmentation, but the rest didn't and went on patchy as a result.  Right after I got this palette I heard about Kat Von D's Shade Light palette that came out and people were RAVING about it.  I couldn't justify buying another palette so I kept giving the ABH one another chance. 
Well a couple weeks ago while in the Downtown Disney Sephora (ha), I splurged and bought the Kat Von D contour palette.  It is amazing!!!!  The pigmentation is crazy good, the packaging is awesome and they are all matte shades.  There are only a couple things I would change about it.

Sorry about the condition of my Anastasia palette..can you tell the ONE shade I actually liked in that kit? :)
I'll list my pros and cons for each... (these are all iPhone pics because I'm you've probably gathered from my lack of posting on this blog!)
Highlight shades left to right on top: Vanilla, Banana, and Sand.  Contour shades left to right on the bottom: Java, Fawn, and Havana. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit: ($40)
>The shade colors are on point.  There's a pink-tone, yellow-tone, and subtle shimmer highlight.  Fawn is the perfect grey shade (but went on so patchy with no pigmentation!) for creating natural shadow on the face along with the two other warm shades to add color/bronze to the skin. 
>The pans are removable and you can order refills individually.  Also, on the website there
 are lots more shades so you can custom build your palette  I may try to order an individual of the shade Fawn to see if I just got a bad batch.
>The Vanilla shade was went on smooth and had great pigmentation. Same thing with the Havana Shade, I'm not sure why they all seemed different as far as texture.
>I'm not sure if I got a lemon of a palette but you can see in the above photo the weird texture some of the shades have.  
>The actual shade colors were perfect.  It even included a highlight with a touch of shimmer that would have been perfect for a subtle cheek bone highlight if it went on smoother. 
>I wish the kit had a mirror. 
I had to really rub the product to get these swatches.  As you can see they don't apply the smoothest.
YES! Look at this beauty.  Highlight shades from left to right on top: Lucid, Lyric, and Levitation.  Contour shades from left to right on bottom: Sombre, Shadowplay, and Subconscious.
Kat Von D Shade+Light Palette: ($46)
>These are so buttery, smooth and SO pigmented. You really have to be careful because a little goes a long way, which isn't a bad thing!  They blend beautifully.
>The highlight shades are AMAZING.  They brighten up the under eye area incredibly.  I love to mix them to create the perfect shade. 
>It has a great big mirror which is great for traveling. 
>The pans are way bigger than the Anastasia kit. 
>The pans aren't removable and you can't buy them individually.  This is something that really is a bummer, because if I run out of a shade that I love I'd have to buy a whole new kit.  :(
>I wish there was a little more warmth in one of the contour shades.  They are all pretty cool toned and I find myself using a touch of a warmer bronzer over top of my contour to get a little bit of a summery glow.
These are just one-swipe smooth.

I went a little heavy on the cheek contour for the sake of this post. 

I'd love to hear every one else's thoughts on these products, which one do you love??

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Oily Skin?? | Loreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation Review

I had heard really good reviews on this new Loreal Infallible line that just came out so I picked up the Infallible Pro Matte foundation to give it a try. 

I wouldn't say I have oily skin, but I have normal to combination skin.  I get shiny in the T-zone mainly.  I don't necessarily want to have a complete matte face, I just strive to find a foundation that will stay put throughout the day.  This foundation is like GLUE-not in a bad way.  I decided to take an iPhone pic right before I walked into work and right after I left work (about 8.5 hours).
7:30 AM
4:00 PM

The lighting is different in each picture of course, but this foundation DID NOT BUDGE.

This foundation is VERY matte.  That being said, I would not recommend this foundation for people with dry skin.  With my normal to combo skin, it was a tinsy but too dry for just felt very tight on the skin.  For those oily girls..this would be amazing for you.  There is a pretty good selection of shades, and it has great full coverage.  I applied this foundation with both a beauty blender and a flat-top kabuki brush and it worked well both ways.  There is also a pro-matte powder in this line that you could use with this foundation for a super-duper matte finish.  I did not set this foundation with any powder and had zero t-zone shininess after 8+ hours!

This foundation retails for $11.99 at Target.

What's your favorite matte foundation?? Leave comments below!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January Favorites

Here are some makeup products that I've been loving this month!

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette:

I've had this palette for a couple years, and it is such a staple! It is an all matte palette with the exception of the Venus shade which is a perfect subtle shimmery highlight.  This is my go-to palette when I'm in a rush and just want to create some depth/dimension to my lids.  The matte black shade is great to use as a soft liner.  I can't get enough of the Naked 2 shade...its THE perfect crease/transition shade. The formula is great, very blendable and pigmented. I highly recommend this product, very worth the investment. (Retails at $28)

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara:

I got this mascara in my December IPSY bag and I love it! I am all about drugstore mascara but this is one high-end mascara I would splurge on.  It's lengthens, volumizes and separates so well and with ZERO clumping.  I swear I could keep layering this mascara on all day and it wouldn't clump.  You can add many layers and your lashes just keep getting better.  AND the key for me-it is easy to remove with soap and water.  (Retails at $20)

Beauty Blender: 

I got this in my stocking for Christmas and love it!  I don't use anything but a sponge to apply my foundation.  It makes it so fast/easy to blend and gives a flawless finish! I do have to say, I still stand by on my opinion that the Real Techniques Sponge works JUST as well as the Beauty Blender.  So I'm sure I won't be repurchasing this one and continue to pay way less for a great dupe!  (Beauty Blender retails at $19.95; Real Techniques Sponge retails at $5.99)

Anastasia Brow Wiz:

I love this brow pencil.  I had gone through a few of these and love it but wasn't a fan of the price so I thought I'd try the Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade which was a tad bit cheaper.  I wasn't a fan of it-very difficult to work with.  This pencil takes practice to use, but once you get it down it's amazing! There is a nice range of shades suitable for everyone.  The fine point tip helps create actual hair-like strokes when filling your brows in and the spoolie on the end is convenient for blending.  Using a light hand is key for sure.   (Retails at $21)

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Nail Polish: Check Mate:

I'm a sucker for neutral anything, including nail polish.  I have never seen a shade of polish like this before. I've had it on my nails for the majority of the month.  It's not too pale and not too dark.  The perfect nude shade.  The formula is pretty good too-I've gotten away with wearing this polish for a week with little to no chipping.  (Retails at $4.99)

Sonia Kashuk Jazzed Up Nudes Lip Palette:

I also got this in my Christmas stocking (Santa knows me well!)  This is a limited edition lip palette sold at Target. I feel like I saw it still in stock a couple weeks ago so there may be a few left in store.  I never had liked the idea of using a lip brush to apply lipstick-it seemed too high maintenance but I have to say it's nice!  The brush allows you to have more precision.  The shades work so nicely together, I almost always mix at least 2 of the shades together.  The formula is very smooth and moisturizing.  The packaging is to.die.for.  Sleek, slim gold and with a great mirror.  Perfect to throw in the purse for on-the-go.  Go out and get this palette if you can! (Retails at $19.99)

Mary LouManizer: The Balm Cosmetics:

I use this product every single day, and I have for the past year or so.  I mainly use it as a cheek bone highlighter but it can also be used as an eye shadow.  Unlike other highlighters is has no glitter in it. It's finely milled and gives the perfect sheen to the skin.  You do definitely need to use a light hand and use barely any product (Probably why it's lasted me for so long!).  I generally sweep it on the top of my cheek bones, down the center of my nose, under the brow bone or an inner tear duct highlight.  You can also put it on top or under your blush for a glowy finish.  This is definitely one of my most loved/holy-grail makeup products!  (Retails at $24) BUT I got mine off of for 1/2 off!

 What products have you been loving this month? Comment below!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: LORAC Unzipped Palette

About a month ago, I got this picture texted to me from my husband saying "you got a Nordstrom package today."  Well I hadn't ordered anything.  But then I saw "Gilly" on there, so I immediately texted Steph (Gil) and asked her if she sent me something. She said no...but then I looked down and saw who it was ordered by.  My crazy amazing friend Amy!! I couldn't wait to get home and see what the heck it was!

I was speechless and so excited when I realized what it was.
I had just been talking to Amy about makeup and she was telling me she had a bunch of Nordy's gift cards she hadn't used over the years.  I told her she should buy makeup of course!
She asked me to email her some of my recommendations, so I pretended I was shopping with unlimited fervor/cash and sent her links to my favorite high-end picks plus some stuff I'd always wanted to try.  The Lorac Unzipped Palette was one of those picks.  I still now cannot believe she sent me this palette.  She is one of the most thoughtful people I know. xoxo Amy!

The packaging is great as all Lorac products have.  It has a big mirror and the shadows are pretty large.  Much bigger than the size of the Lorac Pro Palette shadows.  Great quality, blendable, good texture, and pigmentation.
These are all rosy-toned neutral shadows.  There are 4 matte shades and 6 shimmer shades.  They are GORGEOUS!  They kind of remind me of the Naked 3 palette tones.

I think my favorites are Unreal and Unattainable.  

Here are the swatches.
Here's a look I did with this palette:

Undercover: all over the lid
Unconditional: In the crease.
Uncensored: In the outer V of my eye
Unreal: Inner 3rd of my lid and tapped in the center.
Undercover: Browbone highlight.

I used a light shimmery shade from another palette for my inner corner of my eye.

Here's a link to the palette at Nordstrom ($40): Lorac Unzipped

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Review!

My sweet friend Kristen from college was so kind and sent me the Moodsruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara by Younique to try out.  I had been hearing about this mascara all over social media and was so curious to try it out.  This mascara is supposed to dramatically enhance and magnify the appearance of your own lashes. It claims to create incredible thickness and volume to your existing lashes. It retails for $29.

Kristen's Younique business has an awesome story behind it.  Kristen and her husband Jeff (who is also a good friend from GFU!) adopted 2 beautiful children from Bachira, Ethopia.  They  have been working on various projects to give back to the families in this village and what they have done so far is amazing!  100% of her sales profits go towards their project.  Below is a video of Jeff visiting the Bachira village, where their kids Tigist and Mihiretu are from.   It gives a first hand look at the specific children who will benefit from their current project. So amazing, this video gives me chills.

Here is the link to their current project:

It comes in this sleek case...

Frist step: Transplanting Gel

Second Step: Natural fibers
How to apply:

Step 1: Apply a thin coat of your favorite regular mascara on both sets of lashes  Let dry. (***After trying out this mascara a few times, I started skipping this step).

Step 2: Apply an even coat of the Transplanting Gel to lashes.

Step 3: Immediately apply fibers onto lashes.

Step 4: Seal the fibers with another coat of the Transplanting Gel.

Here is my demo:

Bare Lashes

Left side: One coat of the 3D mascara, right side: bare lashes

Left side: One Coat of 3D Mascara, Right side: One Coat of Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara ($20)

Two coats of each

Left side: three coats of 3D mascara, right side: three coats of the Tarte Mascara.

In that last photo you can really tell a difference in volume as well as length.  Wow!!
I have not tried to apply this on my bottom lashes because I generally don't wear any mascara on the bottom.  My bottom lashes are ridiculously long and I look like Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street if I do, haha!  I imagine you would have the same great results on the bottom lashes.

Here are my pros and (fixable) cons...

~Gives you amazing length and volume.
~Gives the look of false lashes or lash extensions without the hefty price tag or hassle!
~It's buildable.  You can keep adding layers of it depending how dramatic you want them.
~It's easy to remove with just soap and water.  This is so huge for me with mascara! It has to be easy to remove in order for me to keep using it. 
~There's a 14-day money back guarantee.
~The packaging is really sleek and sturdy.
~100% of Kristen's profits go towards an amazing project benefiting the village of Bachira, Ethiopia.

~It takes more time compared to regular mascara.  It's definitely not a in-a-hurry, gotta-get-out-of-the-door mascara.
~It's a bit pricey ($29) but I believe that you get what you pay for. Most high-end mascaras that work well are in the same price range.
~If you aren't careful it can get quite clumpy.  The best way to avoid this is to work in layers and not apply too many fibers at once. You can also run an eyelash comb through your lashes to get rid of clumps if they do happen.
~I did notice a couple fibers falling down on my cheeks throughout the day, but no big deal, they brushed right off my face with zero smearing.

For me, personally I would use this mascara more for when I'm going out, doing more than my usual every day makeup or just in the mood for some more va-voom in my lashes.  But this is because I have pretty long lashes and can get pretty dramatic results with any mascara.  Now, if you have short, sparse lashes and struggle to get any sort of length or volume, this mascara would be LIFE CHANGING!  Who wants to pay for eye lash extensions or fool around with gluing falsies on?  This mascara gives you glamorous, flirty, lashes that really opens up your eyes. 

I give this mascara a big thumbs up and I would definitely recommend giving it a try.  If you are interested in purchasing this mascara, visit to order. 

Thank you so much Kristen for letting me try out this great product!!