Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Few Products Worth Splurging On...

Sometimes it can seem as if all of the expensive products out there are priced simply based on the brand name attached to them. While I can admit to spending (way) too much money on makeup, there are still times I question if price really does determine the quality of the product you're getting. The following products are some of the ones I have been the most impressed with recently, and truly feel are worth the high price tag.

First up is by far my favorite mineral foundation ever, the Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation. This is a powder with medium to full, buildable coverage. I have very dry skin overall, yet I still get oily around my nose throughout the day. This powder is amazing because it doesn't accentuate my dry patches at all, and it also helps control oil! In fact, this powder gives a more luminous finish to my skin than some of the liquid foundations I've used. If you're looking for a quick, one-step product, this would be the thing for you. It gives awesome coverage and has the smoothest, most skin-like application; just gorgeous! You can purchase this product from Sephora or Ulta.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation in Fair Honey

Next is the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact in the shade Highlight 01. I'm not sure why the word matte is in the name of this product, as it is a highlighter. Perhaps it refers to the lack of shimmer? To me, that really is what makes this stand out as such a fantastic product. It gives the most beautiful glow to the skin, and has the least shimmer of any other highlighter I've tried or seen. The small amount of shimmer that is present in this product is super finely milled and barely noticeable on the skin at all. For anyone with fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, or pores on their cheeks, using a highlighter with shimmer can draw even more attention to these issues. If you struggle with this, I highly suggest checking out this powder. Yes, it is expensive, but a little goes a long way and the results are stunning. You can purchase this product here at Sephora.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact in Highlight 01
Another product I would definitely save up for is the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, particularly in the shade Petal. This stuff is extremely moisturizing and great during the winter, especially for those of us with chronically chapped lips! All of these balms from Fresh also contain SPF 15. This shade is a great, wearable option for women of all skin tones. It's one of those "your lips but better" colors. I remember the first few times I wore this, I got so many compliments on my lip color! While these don't have the best staying power, considering that they're a balm they do stay on quite well. They're one of the most comfortable things I've ever put on my lips, and they're just so darn pretty! They leave my lips incredibly soft and nourished, even after the color has faded. I found mine at Sephora.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal

The following item is a tinted brow gel, Benefit Cosmetic's 'Gimme Brow. This product may not be enough for someone with thinner brows, or someone who's brows are really sparse. However, if you already have somewhat full brows and are more concerned with filling in random "blank spots", you will really enjoy this product. The tiny applicator this has is part of what makes it so unique, as it's super easy to get product onto every last brow-hair. It gives the most natural, full brows without looking heavy or overdone. This is a great product for everyday use, which is part of what makes it worth the higher price. This can be found at both Ulta and Sephora.
Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow in Light/Medium
While there are certainly many other high end products I have become smitten with, these are just a few of the ones I have been particularly loving. I chose these items based off of how often I use them and what I thought would be the most versatile for a variety of women. I have been using these items on a regular basis for months now, and would highly recommend them to anyone I know.
If you have any additional questions or thoughts, please leave them below! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this post!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Brand Focus: My Top 5 items from Maybelline

Today I will be dedicating this post to one of my favorite drugstore brands; Maybelline. While there are many drugstore brands I have come to love, Maybelline was one of the first. Out of the numerous products I have tried from them over the years, these five products have remained tried and true favorites.

First up, the Maybelline Fit Me Concealers. This is probably the best multi-purpose concealer I've ever tried; I can use this around my nose to conceal redness, under my eyes to hide the darkness, and over blemishes. I've heard this concealer being compared to the NARS Creamy Concealer several times, so if you're looking to save some money, this could be a great option to try. My tube has lasted me forever!
Fit Me Concealer in the shade Fair
Next, one of Maybelline's many mascaras, The Rocket. It seems as if Maybelline is coming out with a new mascara every five seconds, but this one has definitely caught the attention of many. The first time I tried this, it didn't strike me as anything new or different, but the more I've used it, the more I've liked it! I usually end up hating the hard rubber mascara wands, as I always get mascara on my eyelid or poke my eye with it. There's something special about this one... I'm not sure if it's the formula that I'm loving so much, or maybe the rubber bristles are somehow different?
Volum'Express The Rocket Mascara
The Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo cream eye shadows are another favorite of mine. The staying power is excellent on me, and I love that I can wear these over a thin layer of standard eye primer or layer them underneath my powder eye shadows. The texture of these is very smooth and blendable, and can be applied using a brush or your finger. Two of my favorite shades are Bad To The Bronze and Tough As Taupe - great neutral colors! This line also has some vibrant, more colorful shades as well.  
Left/Right: Tough as Taupe, Bad to the Bronze
Next up are the Maybelline Color Sensational Color Whisper Lip colors. While these lipsticks claim to give a light wash of color to the lips, they're actually extremely pigmented! Along with the impressive pigmentation these give, they also have a very nice creamy texture on the lips. They glide on like butter, and leave a healthy look to the lips without being overly shiny. These aren't particularly moisturizing on me, but they're definitely not drying. I would of course recommend applying a good lip balm before using these.

Color Whisper Lip Color in Lust For Blush

Color Whisper Lip Color in Berry Ready
Lastly are the Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blushes. The texture of these is so incredibly bizarre, honestly like nothing else I've ever used. That being said, I'm not usually a big fan of cream blushes, so there may be similar products out there that I've never tried. It really does feel almost "bouncy" when you touch it. This blush is fantastic for a nice pop of color around the Spring and Summer time, without looking too bright or over-the-top. These apply very smoothly and leave a natural, light wash of color on the skin.
Dream Bouncy Blush in Rose Petal
Overall, I must say that Maybelline is one of my favorite brands out there. These are only a few examples of the lovely products they have to offer! Maybelline products can be found at Ulta, Walgreens, and pretty much any other drugstore.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what you think of these products and if you have any further questions or comments! :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Palette Review: Stila In The Know Eye Shadow Palette

To anyone who may have previously visited my blog, I just want to quickly apologize for being absent for the past few months. I started this blog during a very busy time in my life, which obviously wasn't the smartest idea! However, I'm back and hoping to start posting much more regularly from here on out.

Today I will be reviewing the In The Know eye shadow palette from Stila. I have owned this for quite some time now, nearly a year, so I've had plenty of time to test this out and incorporate it into many different looks. This palette could be considered a sort of "dupe" for the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette, although the one by Stila has ten shades instead of six. I don't own the Naked Basics palette so I can't compare the two, but the In The Know palette definitely has more variety to it.

All ten shades in this palette are completely matte, making it a great "starter" palette for anyone new to makeup. Matte shadows also tend to work much better than shimmer for mature women.

shades from left to right
top row: air, wind, desert, clay, earth
bottom row: driftwood, fire, rain, smoke, ebony

As you can see, the first two shades are extremely close to my skin tone. Air is a true cream color, while wind has a bit more of a peach tone in it.  

Overall, the smooth formula and impressive pigmentation is very consistent throughout the palette. The only color I have an issue with is earth (top right corner). While the pigmentation of this shade is still good, the texture is not quite as smooth and tends to look a bit patchy. Other than that, I must say this palette is of very high quality!

This palette can be found at Sephora and Ulta for $39, which I personally think is a great price for what you get. The palette contains 14 grams of product, and also comes with a Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in the shade Halfmoon as a little bonus.

All ten shades are very simple and true to color, as well as gorgeous alone or in combination with other shadows! The shade clay is one of my all time favorite transition colors to put in the crease.

I hope this little review was helpful! If you have any questions that I did not address, feel free to leave them below. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and check out my blog.

p.s. I apologize for the blurry photo, I'm still working on how to get a good angle!