Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New (ish) from L'Oreal: Made for Me Pinks

Earlier this summer, L'Oreal came out with their new Color Riche lipsticks calling them the "Made for Me Pink" range.  Basically, they have a few pink colors that are made for light, medium and dark skintones.  For fair skin, they have two color options.  There's "I Pink You're Cute" which is the brighter of the two shades and the second is the one I purchased called "Ballerina Shoes."  

When I chose this one as opposed it's brighter companion I was thinking oh, it's more versatile and every day than a brighter shade would be.  When I put it on, I was a little disappointed at how frosty it seemed to look.  I love the Color Riche line in general and the formula of the lipstick is really nice...but it just looks a little 90's/early 2000's.  Which, I know, to my dismay is "in" right now but I just can't bring myself to bring back frosty lips, overalls and mini backpacks. 

I'll keep this one around and maybe use it over the top of a brighter lipstick to tone it down, but I don't know if I'll be wearing it very much on it's own.  I will say that all the other colors in the range look really pretty and I might just have to pick up "I Pink You're Cute" because I do love the formula...this is just a bit of a dud unfortunately. 

Have you tried any of these new colors?  Which ones do you like?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Beauty Tip Tuesday #6: Create Your Own Tinted Moisturizer

For those days when you just don't feel like putting on a lot of makeup, it's nice to have a lighter alternative to foundation.  Tinted moisturizers can be really nice for those days when you'll just be hanging around the house watching Say Yes to the Dress re-runs (don't act like you've never) or running errands at your local Target.  

Although there are some nice tinted moisturizers out there (like Laura Mercier or Bobbi Brown's version) but let's face it, they are pretty pricey.  It's kind of hard to justify spending $40+ on a product like a tinted moisturizer.  I don't know if it's just me, but I would rather buy a nice foundation if I'm going to give up that much money.  

Finally, after a short novel, here's my tip: mix your moisturizer with a dollop (yes a dollop aka about half a pump) of your favorite foundation.  Viola, your own tinted moisturizer.  Yes, it is as simple as it sounds and yes, it works.  It may take a time or two to get the proportions right, but once you do the end result will be the same as those $45 tinted moisturizers.

What's your favorite tip for saving some cash?

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Best Nail Polish Remover Ever!

Painting my nails has never been a fun thing for me.  Yes, I like the end result but applying...and even worse, taking it off were not my favorite tasks.  I had seen the Up & Up Dip It nail polish remover mentioned on a few different blogs and it was getting pretty great reviews.  I saw it when I was at Target a couple weeks ago and since it was only about $2.99, I figured I would pick it up.  

It's an acetone remover, so I would recommend using a good hand/nail lotion after using this, just FYI.  Basically, you put your polished finger in the jar, scrub it against the plastic bristles for 5 seconds and pull it out.  That's it.  No gross cotton balls leaving scraps of cotton on your nails, or tissue paper falling apart.  You can literally get all your polish off in probably 60 seconds (even glitter polish!).  Okay, maybe 90 depending on how speedy you are.  But still.  That completely changes the likelihood of me doing my nails on a regular basis. 

This product is cheap and extremely effective.  Enough said.

Have you tried this remover?  Would you be more likely to do your nails if you had a quick and effective way to remove polish?

Friday, August 23, 2013

5 For Friday: Mascaras of the Moment

Mascaras of the Moment

The five for Friday this week is top 5 mascaras of the moment.  It's rare that I'll continuously use one mascara for weeks on end, no matter how much I love it.  There are usually a handful in rotation.  At the moment, the clan includes these guys:

Revlon Lash Potion -- Great for everyday.  However, you need to use this tip as it can run/smudge really easily.

CoverGirl Lash Blast -- My favorite all around mascara.  Gives length, volume, and stays put.

Smashbox Full Exposure -- This is really nice if you have an event or are going out for the night.  You can get great volume and length without it looking clumpy.

Loreal Double Extend -- I only use the primer end of this one.  It's a cheaper version of the Dior Lash Plumping Serum.  Definitely a great product to achieve big lashes.

Benefit They're Real -- Probably the most hyped about mascara out there.  I actually don't like it on it's own (it just seems kind of clump-ish to me) but use it as a top coat sort of mascara because of its waterproof-like qualities.

What's your favorite mascara?

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What Are Your All-Natural Beauty Secrets?

For the past year or so, I've really started to take an interest in all-natural products.  I don't claim to know all the science behind it, but I must say it feels good knowing that you are putting something that's natural on your skin.  Not to say that there can't be natural things that aren't good for you, but for the purpose of this post, I'm talking about natural things that are safe (That lil disclaimer is for my dad who likes to kindly point out that not all things natural are safe.  If you know him, I hope that made you smile).  

Anyway, because of this new found interest, I've done some shopping for new products (surprise, surprise, right?).  I've picked out a few of my favorites so here we go!

Eminence Sweet Red Rose Cleanser.  At $39 this isn't the cheapest of cleansers.  However, if you have sensitive skin (I believe it's good for rosacea, too) this is wonderful.  It's a creamy, non-foaming cleanser that is so incredibly gentle.  Do I think you could find something similar for a fraction of the price?  Most likely.  But if you feel like treating yourself, this is a nice product.  Did I mention that it's completely organic?

Origins Clear Improvements Clay Mask.  I recently did a post about this one, so I won't go into too much detail.  But, if you're looking for a good and natural clay mask, this one's for you.

REN Clarifying Toning Lotion.  This is another one I recently reviewed but I needed to include it in this post.  REN is a great "clean" skincare brand with a ton of great products.  This toning lotion is amazing to use as an exfoliator and works really well on combination or oily skin.

It's no secret that I love olive oil for many things.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I've never used a better makeup remover.  It's gentle, effective and cheap.  A bottle of quality olive oil can last for months as a makeup remover.  Just smear it all over your face and watch your makeup melt off.  Sounds weird, but trust me.  It's amazing.
Next up is the Seventh Generation Boost in the firming formula.  This is actually a funny coincidence.  I bought this on a whim while browsing around Walgreens one day a couple months back.  I didn't have a serum in my skincare rotation and thought this would be a good, budget friendly option.  So many of the serums are so incredibly expensive and when I saw that this one was under $15, it was in my basket.  It wasn't until a few weeks later that Lucky posted the #AllNaturalStyleSecrets challenge which included a sample of the Seventh Generation serum.  Coincidentally enough, I was sent the firming formula.  So, this is technically a sponsored post.  However, I also bought the product myself.  So maybe half sponsored?  Is that a thing?  Well, it is now.

The serum has a nice essential oils type scent.  You can apply it to a dry face or a damp one and is actually even more effective with the latter method.  Before I tried this, I thought I had pretty soft skin.  I always moisturized, used products that wouldn't dry me out...ya know, the usual stuff.  So apparently I was wrong.  My skin was noticeably softer after using this serum.  I'm guessing that may be true with any serum, that's kind of the point I suppose.  However, as I said before, this stuff is normally $14.99 and is on sale right now on the Walgreens site for $9.99.  You'd be hard pressed to find a natural serum that is so inexpensive.  So, even though this is a half sponsored post, I really recommend this serum.  ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE DRY/DEHYDRATED SKIN!!  Okay I'm done.  But seriously.

Last, but not least, I also picked up this wonderful Ology Milk and Honey Body Lotion.  I had never heard of Ology before, but apparently it is free of harsh chemicals as well as being incredibly affordable.  I believe this bottle was under $5.  Not too shabby for a natural product!  It also smells really nice -- slightly of honey, believe it or not.  It provides moisture without being too greasy.

So there we have it!  A crazy long post about natural beauty products.  It's supposed to be beauty secrets, but it's not so secret if I'm writing a post on it, huh?  Oh well, secrets are no fun anyway.  Yup, that just happened.  

Disclaimer:  I received a free sample of this product from Lucky and Seventh Generation for use in connection with this blog.  But I also bought one myself before receiving the free take that for what you will.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beauty Tip Tuesday #5

If you have a mascara that you love but it smudges on you halfway through the day, top it off with one coat of waterproof mascara.  It will prevent smudging but is still easy to get off at the end of the day.  I've been liking the Revlon Lash Potion mascara, but noticed that it smudges on my lower lashes by the time I'm ready to break out my lunch.  In order to stop that in its tracks, I'll throw a layer of Benefit's They're Real on top and it stays for the whole day.  I know They're Real isn't technically waterproof, but it acts like it works.  You get the nice, long and clump free lashes from the first mascara, but the smudge proof-ness of the second.  Yes, "smudge proof-ness" is a phrase.  Apparently.

What beauty tips do you have?

Friday, August 16, 2013

5 For Friday: Hair Products

Hair Products

Today I'm doing my 5 favorite hair products of the moment.  I'm not one to be hugely into hair stuff, but these are the products I reach for when I need to give my hair some love.

1.  Aveda's Pure Abundance Hair Potion.  If you have limp, thin hair or just want to add some nice volume THIS IS FOR YOU!  I've tried a few different volumizing products and this blows all the others out of the water.  It's a powder that you put into your hair, give your scalp a little rub with your fingers and you're good to go.  Seriously, awesome.

2.  Moroccanoil Treatment - Light.  I'm sure you've heard about this one before.  It's a treatment oil that makes your hair silky and soft.  Not to mention it smells really nice.  The light formula is for fine or blonde hair.  I believe it's not quite as heavy as the original formula...hence the name "light."  Crazy, I know.

3.  Batiste Dry Shampoo.  This is the best dry shampoo I've tried yet.  They have a large variety of different formulas and scents.  My favorite is the one for blonde hair but they also have a brunette version available.  It doesn't leave a white powdery look like some other dry shampoos and it does the job, plain and simple.  The one annoying thing is that one can doesn't last that long, but I can overlook that since it's a good product.

4.  TRESemme Cashmere Touch Nourishing Rituals Hydrating Serum.  I've never really tried a hair serum before so I wasn't sure if I would like this.  I picked it up at Ulta on a whim as I was buying some hair spray and TRESemme was having a buy one get one 50% off deal.  I must say, this is a nice product if you just want some nice, soft hair.  It has a similar effect to the Moroccanoil but is a lot cheaper.  

5.  John Frieda Full Repair Full Body Conditioner.  This is another "make my hair feel super soft" product.  I'm sensing a trend.  I use this about once a week and it's just a nice deep conditioner that smells really nice and salon-like.  Also, at about $6, you really just can't go wrong.  

What are your favorite hair products of the moment?  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Last Hurrah for Neons

With the end of summer rapidly approaching, I feel like I need to get the most out of my summer clothes during the next few weeks.  Because of that, I've been wearing my neon pieces pretty often lately.  I went through a phase of buying multiple neon yellow/green items and these pants were in that bunch.  I got these on sale at Gap where they are currently listed for $16.99.  Unfortunately, there are very few sizes left.  However, there are plenty of other colors to choose from including plum, olive and navy...all of which would be a great start to a fall wardrobe revamp.  

The thing I like about these particular pants is that they are khakis and not colored jeans.  Don't get me wrong, I love my colored jeans.  But, I can only wear them to work on Fridays.  These are a lot more flexible as far as work wear goes.  I know for some of you that isn't an issue (I used to be one of those people that could wear jeans to work all the time.  But alas, those days are gone.  Tear.) but for those that are confined to "business casual" wear Monday through Friday, these are for you.

What summer pieces are you sad to see go?  Are you looking forward to fall or dreading the coming of cool, crisp weather?

Winter is coming.

Sorry, just had to say it!  Okay, I'm done now.

Linking up with Pleated Poppy

Get the Look:
Pants: Gap (exact)
Shirt: New York and Company (similar)
Belt: H&M (similar)
Lips: Maybelline Super Stay 10 Hour Lip Stain in Fresh Fuchsia (exact)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Makeup at Forever 21...Good or Bad?

 F21 15 Shade Palette in Brown/Taupe
Swatches go in order from top left of palette
Unsure of shade name for this palette
Swatches go in order from top left of palette

I feel a little cruel posting about these palettes as I noticed this morning that they are no longer available.  However, I thought it would still be worth it to show that good beauty products can pop up in the most unexpected of places.

When you shop at Forever 21, it's likely that you're not looking for a piece of clothing that's high quality and going to last for years to come.  They provide fun, trendy clothes at cheap prices and as people always say, you get what you pay for.  Now don't get me wrong, I've had F21 pieces that are still going strong after a couple years.  But, that's the exception to the rule.  I never pick up anything thinking it will last more than a season.  If it does, it's just an added bonus.  

So, because of this, I never thought they would have quality makeup.  Cheap clothes, cheap makeup, right?  Apparently, I was wrong.  I bought both the 15 Shade Palettes (at about $5.00 a pop!) and was pleasantly surprised at their quality.  The formula is nice and soft making them easy to blend.  The colors are also nicely pigmented with the exception of the white matte color in the first palette.  Most of the colors are shimmery, but not glittery AKA if you're over the age of 16 you can still wear them.  

My favorite colors lately have been three out of the second palette.  The shimmery brown/taupe, copper and gold shades (seen in the last swatch pic smack in the middle) are my most used at the moment.  I'm sure once the weather turns cool I'll try some of the darker fall like shades, but right now these are the ones I gravitate towards in the warmer weather.  If you wear them over a base (like the Maybelline Color Tattoos) they really pop. 

All in all, even if the idea of buying F21 makeup makes your skin start to itch, give it a try!  You never know what little hidden gem you'll find...likely for the amount of change you have at the bottom of your purse.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Liebster Award Nomination!


Crystal from All That Beauty ever so kindly nominated my blog for a Liebster Award.  Basically, a Liebster Award is for all of us new/little blogs and is a great way to discover up and coming bloggers.

Here are the rules:
1. You must link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Each person must post 11 things about themselves. 
3. Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
4. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
5. Go to their page and tell them.
6. No tag backs!

Here are the questions I answered: 

1.  What is your favorite face moisturizer? Eminence Sweet Red Rose Whip Moisturizer.  It's moisturizing but not at all greasy. 

2.  What is your holy grail mascara?  Cover Girl Lash Blast.  I always have one in my stash, however I'm an equal opportunity mascara wearer.  I'm always trying different kinds.

3.  Drugstore or highend makeup line?  Hmmm this is a tough one.  Even if I had all the money in the world, there are still things I would buy from the drugstore like my Cover Girl mascara and Wet n Wild eye shadows.  As far as high end, I tend to like the pricier foundations and concealers compared to their drugstore counterparts.

4.  What is your favorite perfume? Miss Dior.  My husband got it for me for Christmas one year and I'm currently rationing the last few squirts.

5.  Do you like Maybelline Baby lips?  Nope, I think they are overrated.  More about that here.

6.  Your Favorite Lush Product?  Honey Brazen Face Mask...again, full review here.

7.  What is your pet peeve?  Is this assuming I only have one??  Just kidding...kind of.  Hmm, let's see.  One of the biggies is someone who thinks it's funny and/or cute to act immature.  You will get further in life if you act put together, thoughtful and intelligent. 

8.  What is your favorite season? Summer and fall.  By the end of winter, I'm always ready for warm weather. the end of summer it's always refreshing when the crisp fall days roll around.  I really love all the seasons for different reasons.  Except winter.  Winter can eat it.

9.  What is your favorite color lipstick? Probably soft pink.  I love really bright shades but a soft pink is so versatile.  

10.  What is your favorite palette from wet n' wild? Nude Awakening (Limited Edition Spring 2013).  It's basically a dupe for the Urban Decay Naked palette at a fraction of the price.

11.  Name 2 beauty products you can't live without?  Mascara and maybe concealer...or chapstick.  But mainly mascara.  Any blonde girl knows what I'm talkin about.

And here are the questions I am asking!

1.  What is your favorite foundation for a flawless face?

2.  What is your favorite clothing store (or website) to shop in?

3.  Why did you start your blog?

4.  If you could love anywhere, where would it be and why?

5.  What would be your dream job?

6.  What's your favorite high end makeup product?

7.  What's your favorite drugstore makeup product?

8.  Where do you prefer to shop for body products?

9.  Sephora or Ulta and why?

10.  What are your go to skincare products (face wash, moisturizer, and whatever else you may use)?

11.  What is your dream vacation? 

The lovely blogs I am nominating:

Katherine from Curvy Maven
Paige from Paige-Violet
Laurelle from Paint Me Pretty
Danielle from Lady Loves Beauty
Gillian from Alwaysunpresentable

I know the rules say to nominate 11 blogs, but to be honest I think it defeats the purpose to  search out blogs solely for the purpose of having enough to nominate when I haven't even read them before.  So I'm sticking with these 7!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Little Different High Five For Friday...

Wish List

I thought I would do something a little different for High Five For Friday today.  Instead of 5 things from the past week, I've made a list of five products that I've had my eye on for awhile and can't wait to add to my shopping list.  They are all products that I've heard wonderful things about so I know they will be good.  

1.  Clinique CC Cream -- nice natural color correcting product
2.  YSL Glossy Stain -- known for being an amazing stain while still looking glossy
3.  Josie Maran Cheek Gelee -- a cross between a cheek stain and cream blush
4.  Dior 5 Color Palette in Incognito -- it's Dior.  Need I say more?
5.  NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer -- a nice creamy (weird!) concealer best for under the eyes...which is why I haven't purchased it.  I'm not an under eye concealer person.  I've just heard it's wonderful so naturally I want it.

Fun fact, if I bought all of these in one go, the total would be $179 before tax.  Aaaand that's why they are not sitting in my makeup collection at this very moment.

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Origins Clear Improvements Mask

Origins products always seem to get great reviews across the board.  I haven't tried very many (two to be exact) and I've liked one (this) and fairly strongly disliked the other (the Zero Oil Toner.  It was just too harsh for me.  More about that here).  I had read a few reviews from some beauty gurus and they seemed to really love this mask so I thought I would give it a shot.  I love a good clay mask and have been on a mask kick for a while now.  

The Origins Clear Improvement mask is a charcoal mask (hence why it looks greyish-black) and claims to really get in your pores and clear all the gunk out.  All in all, the normal claims of a clay mask.  It's a thick consistency and dries to a lighter grey color after about ten minutes or so.  You can really leave it on for however you like, but I believe once it's dried it stops working so to speak.  Once dried, you wash it off and continue with your regular skincare routine.  

I like this mask as it doesn't irritate my skin at all and makes it feel clean after I wash it off.  I find it's hard to tell if a mask is really effective, because it can take some time before you see results.  Also, I've changed a lot in regard to my skincare routine lately so it's hard to tell if this has helped or not.  However, I do think it's a really nice clay mask and Origins uses natural, safe ingredients so that coupled with the fact that it doesn't break me out or anything makes it a winner in my book.  You could probably find a cheaper clay mask at the drugstore that would work just as well but hey, sometimes it's just fun to splurge.

What's your favorite clay mask? 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Game Changer: REN Clarifying Toner

 I included this toner in my July Favorites post last week but thought it needed it's own little shout out.  As I said in that post, I'm intrigued by Caroline Hirons and her belief that women (or really people in general I suppose) should do the following for their skincare routine:  Double cleanse (first to remove makeup, then to clean your actual skin), tone with an exfoliating toner, tone with a hydrating toner, use any treatments/serums, eye cream and a moisturizer.  It may seem kind of daunting as that's more steps than most people care to do at the end of the day, but I've been doing it for a couple months now and I think it really does make a big difference.  

That brings me to the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion.  This toner has had a hand in making my complexion brighter and more even looking.  It doesn't cause any uncomfortable tingling or anything like that.  It is slightly drying but when used with a hydrating toner (I use Mario Badescu's Facial Spray) it is just fine.  However, because of this, it may not be suitable for very dry skin. I used toner on and off before this, but I think I've become a convert and will be repurchasing this one for the foreseeable future.  

The REN brand in general usually gets really great reviews and is a natural brand using 100% plant and mineral ingredients.  While REN is definitely not a bargain brand, they aren't as crazy expensive as some of the higher end lines out there...aka I can justify buying their products as opposed to some brands that I just can't bring myself to shell out the dough.

Have you tried any REN products?  If so, which ones?  I need to know what to put on my shopping list :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Drugstore BB Cream Review: Revlon Photoready BB Cream

I must say, I've been anything but impressed when it comes to drugstore BB creams.  But, since I ran out of my Skin 79 recently, I thought I would give them another try.  While standing in the aisles of the drugstore, I thought I had remembered the Revlon BB Cream receiving a decent review.  Since CVS was having a deal on Revlon products, I decided to pick it up.  The product retails for $10.99 at CVS and the lightest shade is light pale which works for me just fine.  

As for the formula, it has an average coverage (doesn't do a ton as far as actually covering things up...just mainly makes everything look a little more even).  It feels nice and light when you put it on, but there's one thing that annoys me.  It looks a little greasy after you apply it.  I thought maybe it just needed some time to dry but even after ten minutes, it still leaves a shine that is a little too much for me.  Because of that, I always need to set this with powder.  When I tried to get a truly matte finish while using this product, I ended up having to use so much powder that the result was just kind of a mess.  

I've relinquished myself to the fact that I will always have a dewy finish with this product (even after lightly powdering).  Maybe it works well for those girls with dry skin?  Sahara Desert skin?  Who knows.  One thing I will say is that it does work better with a primer.  However, here's my beef with that.  The big thing about BB creams is supposedly their skin benefits along with the coverage aspect.  If you use a silicone based primer (which I believe most primers are) I doubt any of the good things that may exist in a BB cream can penetrate that base to do any sort of good for your skin.  Also, in my opinion BB creams are supposed to be a low maintenance, slap on and go sort of product.  Needing to use a primer kind of negates that benefit. 

All in all, I will still use this product until the tube is empty.  However, I'm not going to repurchase.  I've also heard the L'Oreal one is pretty good...maybe I'll try that next?  

Have you had any luck with drugstore BB creams?  If so, let me know!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hautelook Heads Up

Just a quick heads up that Hautelook currently has theBalm products on sale (including the Meet Matt(e) Nude palette and the Nude'tude palette).  Also, at 10 a.m. (CST) Make Up For Ever goes on sale.  And if that wasn't enough, Tweezerman is slated to go on sale tomorrow. 

I won't lie, I'm pretty excited to see what MUFE products they have available.  I'm really hoping they have some of the aqua creams and/or pencils.  

Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Favorites!

July Favorites

Here are some favorites from the month of July!

1.  Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Kissable Pink This is one of the new shine formula summer 2013 shades.  It's a nice summery cool toned pink.  It's not super bright so it's appropriate for most occasions. The best thing about this new formula is that it's so dang moisturizing.  It feels like it's a tinted lip balm that's going on your lips.  Definitely recommend.

2.  I've drank the Caroline Hirons Kool Aid and have revamped my skincare routine a bit.  One of the new things I'm trying is the REN Clarifying Toner.  I've been using it for probably about a month now and I will definitely be repurchasing this one.  I think it has really helped clear out and brighten my skin.

3.  My steal of a deal sweater from Old Navy is another favorite of the month.  It's just one of those comfy sweaters that you can throw on and immediately feel cozy.  I don't know about you, but those are my favorite kind...and at only $3.50, this definitely reaches favorite status.  

4.  The eyeshadow shade Barefoot from Tarte's Aqualillies palette is kind of an underdog.  At first I didn't really use it a ton but I realized that it has this really nice iridescence to it.  It's not obnoxious but just noticeable enough to make it interesting.

5.  Ohhhh Seche Vite.  There are no words.  This stuff is amazing, plain and simple.  It has made my at home manicures last for a solid week without chipping.  Pretty awesome if you ask me.  I can't recommend enough that you go out and get this.  Now.  

What have been your favorite products for the last month?