How Do You Use All This Stuff?

One of my recent visits from the FedEx guy

That’s the question I got recently, and it’s a good one.  I have a lot of “stuff,” especially makeup.  Lots and lots of makeup.  It’s a fair question, really.  I’m sure FedEx and UPS ask themselves that on a regular basis when they make their deliveries to my house.

I admittedly have a shopping problem, especially when it comes to cosmetics.  It’s somewhat justified (in my mind) because I’m a makeup artist and I work in the industry, so it’s good to stay on top of the latest products.  I also like to have a comprehensive artistry kit, but on the other hand, I like to keep the good stuff to myself.

I love a new palette and can’t resist a deal!  Just last weekend, Ulta was offering 50% off their poured highlighters.  50%!  How could I say no.  I ordered 3.  How often do I wear a highlighter? Once a week.  How many different ones do I have?  More than 7.  Necessary or sensible? Nope.  So what do you do?  It’s not just highlighters!  Lipcolors. Mascara. And then there’s the palettes!  Pretty colors and shiny things.

I can’t help, but wonder what all of these bloggers and vloggers do with all of the stuff the buy, not to mention what they get for free.  Maybe I’ll have to challenge myself to do no repeats to try to use it all.

With that said… swatches and reviews of the contents of these boxes is coming next week!



So Over the Overdone Look

imageI almost want to start this post with “back in my day…” I won’t, but I will say a lot has changed in the past few years in the makeup industry.  I attribute a lot of that to the rise of You Tube and Instagram.  Social media has allowed people to connect with other artists and learn techniques faster than ever.  People have quite literally become stars just for posting selfies or videos of themselves applying makeup online.  While this is amazing, it’s created an unreasonable standard for your average person.  Makeup has become all dramatic contouring, strobbing, baking, and cut creases.  Makeup is certainly art, and I love seeing the art expressed, but I constantly hear woman come in asking for contour kits that can’t even pronounce the word, let alone tell me what contouring is.

I’m not trying to makeup-shame anyone.  I just wish more women embraced their natural beauty.  To me, makeup is about having fun, and enhancing your features, not about wearing a mask.  So many of the looks I see today look for heavy and I can’t imagine they feel very good on your face!  Plus, these looks often involve so many products!  What average person has the money or time for that!  I read a blog today about a woman who tried to replicate a look she saw on You Tube, not even a complicated one, but one described as natural.  It took her multiple attempts over 4 hours!  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Just this weekend, I had a mother and daughter looking for new makeup.  The daughter was 16, and beautiful, but yet she kept talking to me about her flaws and how she needed concealer to cover this or that.  There was nothing to cover.  Her mother sighed repeatedly trying to reassure her she looked great, and asking me to do the same.  The girl told me that all the other girls at school wear a lot of makeup and she thinks they look better than her when they wear it.  The mom then took a seat in my chair, and I heard the same concerns all grown up.  Self-criticism and doubt, talking about how old she looked and what she needed to “fix.”  She thanked me for reassuring her daughter, and I gently reminded her that she was setting an example for her with all the things she was saying about herself.  I couldn’t help, but think that all the images of impossible perfection that wallpaper their feeds.

So ladies, don’t try to be someone you’re not.  If you see a tutorial on someone who looks nothing like you, don’t try to look like that, because you won’t, and that’s okay! You can’t change your facial structure, eye shape or skin tone.  Find elements like the highlight, lip color, or color palette for eyes and incorporate that into your own look, but still be yourself!  You’re already beautiful!

Laneige BB Cushion Review

Korean beauty has taken the industry by storm recently, with cushion foundations being one of the leading imported innovations.  Of course, the most well-known right now is the Lancome Miracle Cushion foundation, but Lancome didn’t develop the “revolutionary” technology.  In fact, their versions is made in Korea.  Coincidence?  Korean brand AmorePacific came out with their cult favorite cushion makeup in 2008.  Another popular Korean beauty brand, Laneige, also offers a Cushion makeup, and is available at Target!  Although the price point is a little high for drugstore beauty at $34, the Laneige product comes with a refill, so you essentially get the compact and two ‘doses’ of the makeup for still less than the Lancome version.  Sold.

I like the idea of a portable makeup like this, so I stalked the Laneige display until the Light shade came back in stock.  Now, in reality, the Light is still too yellow for me.  I really would have liked a fair color, but this is the lightest one they carry, so I gave it a go.  I don’t love applying makeup with a sponge; I much prefer a brush for even application and hygiene, but that’s how these cushion contraptions work, so I went with it.  It does make for a quick and easy application and covers surprisingly well for a BB product.  The finish is very dewy, which gives a hydrating feel, but needs to be set with a finishing powder to tone down the shine.  It looks great on, but then fades during the day so that after several hours, the coverage is very sheer.  Disappointing, but what did I expect from a BB product?  This is supposed to be a full coverage foundation.  I think it’s a great product to have to touch up during the day since it’s refreshing and hydrating and portable.  It also offers an SPF 50, which is great.  If you’re looking for an easy, hydrating light coverage, or a bargain alternative for the cushion trend, definitely head to your local Target store to check is out.


August Sephora Haul Review

I’m a sucker for a promo, so when I saw Sephora was offering 4x points for VIB Rouge, I went right to the website and started adding things to my cart.  I figured it was a great time to try some things I have been looking at for a while.  Here are my first impressions!
I haven’t tried this yet since I’m still finishing up the Supercleanse (review coming soon), but I love the idea of an oil and cleanser in one.  As you know, I love my cleansing oils!  I’m psyched to try this one.
I had a sample of the Aqua Bomb, the lighter gel-like version of this.  I liked it, but needed more moisture so I thought I’d give this one a try.  I’m just finishing up my current moisturizing, so I’m looking forward to putting this one into the rotation.
I love my compact Becca highlighter, but being Twilight-pale makes it hard to get a true highlight since nothing is really lighter than my skin.  So I thought I’d try the liquid version of the Becca in Pearl.  True to the description, this gives a nice white-pearl finish.
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I also tried one of the new Becca Mineral blush in Flowerchild.
They are very soft for a powder blush, very finely milled.  The color payoff is pretty good, even with one of the lighter shades like the one I have, and it builds very easily.  It’s not the longest wearing, but I like it.  The color looks like a less shimmery Nars Orgasm.
Sans Flash

Sans Flash

With Flash

With Flash

This has one of the most precise applicators I’ve ever seen in a concealer.  This tells me you need very little, which is true.  A small dot really spreads out.  I haven’t put it to the length of wear test yet, but I like the texture and coverage.  I feel like the quantity is so little compared to other liquid concealers, like the Urban Decay Naked; I worried it would run out quickly if you do a lot of spot concealing, but maybe not since you use less.
The Stila Got Inked Cushion eyeliner intrigued me.
I’ve heard of cushion foundations, but this is very unique.  The pot has a sponge-like contraption it in that you press your brush into to dispense the color.  The result it the right amount of color, unlike with many gel liners where you dip straight in and can easily overdo it.  The color is beautiful with a metallic finish (I got the Sapphire), and does no budge when dry.
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Now to the lips.  I went on a bit of a lipstick binge.  I don’t wear a lip color all that often, despite having a drawer full, but I convince myself that’s just because I haven’t found the right one.
This is a super creamy matte, not a dry matte, so major points there!  The color payoff is great and it really holds.  This color is a very nice fuchsia-wine shade.  Definitely bold, but great for this fall’s berry lip trend.
There are so many colors in this formula!  I had a hard time deciding, but narrowed it down to two: Forbidden Berry and Coral Confession.
The first thing you notice is that these definitely are big!  The bullet is huge.  I’m not a fan of this as it’s a recipe for sloppy application.  The cover of the packaging is magnetic though, which I like.   There’s nothing worse than opening your purse to find lipstick smeared all over the inside.  They apply smoothly and give very full color.  The finish is very shiny, almost glossy.  The Coral was a little pastel for me.  The Berry is an almost red, hot pink.  The texture was great.  I loved the way they looked, but they bled like crazy!  I don’t normally have this problem with lip color, but the berry color very quickly migrated into the little nooks and crannies around my mouth, even with concealer used around the edges.  This one definitely needs lips liner and probably primer!
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Next, the Clinique Pop Lip Colour and Primer.  I also got two of these, since I can’t make decisions: Plum Pop and Bare Pop.
The primer and color in one appealed to me since I usually wear primer with my lipstick.  The colors are pretty, fairly neutral, and not as full color as I expected from the primer infused formula.  However, they are super soft and creamy and feel very moisturizing on.  Plum Pop is a very pretty cream color.  Bare Pop has a little shimmer to it.
Finally, I tried one of the NudeStix products.  They get mixed reviews, but I love their spokesmodels and the company philosophy of no fuss beauty.  I got a lip and cheek dual pencil in Soul/Flesh, but I’ve only worn both colors on my lips so far.  I do love the multitasking potential, though.  The colors I chose are a little nude for my taste, but pretty.  I was pleasantly surprised to get such a creamy formula from a pencil!  I don’t know how they do it.  The color went on nicely, but didn’t stay put that long.
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PopSugar Must Have Monthly Subscription Box- August 2015

This month’s PopSugar box was full of grown-up back to school goodies.

A lightweight plaid scarf.


This preppy scarf is super soft, and will be a nice addition to a fall outfit.

Happy Jackson lunch box.


This is a cute lunch container, but I don’t know how practical it is.  It looks better suited for a child’s PBJ.  It’s on the small, and it’s not leak proof or microwave safe so I don’t know how much I’ll use it.

Mere Mere Toot Sweet! Napkins


Also cute, but not practical.  I guess I could throw them in my lunch box, but 20 decorative paper napkins are not very useful.

Folgers Iced Cafe Coffee flavor.


This is like Mio for milk.  I don’t really like my iced coffee that milky, so the milk base doesn’t appeal to me, but the idea is a good one.

Pastel “Best Day Ever” mug.


Shortstacks “Birthday Cake” Pancake and Waffle mix


Can’t wait to try this!

Royal Apothic Tea Balm Firming Eye treatment


I’m always looks for a great eye cream, so I love this!  It’s really not a balm, more of a lightweight lotion texture, but I’m looking forward to trying it.

All in all, not my favorite Must Have Box, but there are some pretty nice finds in here.  What I love about the PopSugar box is the variety of things that you receive.  I always feel that this box would be a great thing to build up your gift stockpile, as many of these things would make cute gifts even if I don’t love them.



Mask-arade – Multimasking with Lush

20150801_183737As you know, I love Lush masks!  The only downside, is that they expire so soon since they are made fresh, so I thought I’d multimask so I can use two at once.  I tried two new masks I hadn’t used before: Brazened Honey, to brighten and revive and Catastrophe Cosmetic to soothe and cleanse.  I’ve used both masks before and liked them.  The associate at Lush said Brazened Honey helped to even out scaring and brighten skin, so I used this one in my cheeks, and the Catastrophe in the T-zone.  Brazened Honey has Ayurvedic herbs so it feels warm, but not uncomfortably so.  After reading up, I probably should have switched the placement since the chamomile in Catastrophe helps to calm and soothe redness.   As usual, I didn’t notice an instant difference after using the masks, but my skin felt soft and smooth, and looked even.  I’ll probably try the Brazened Honey again, but I don’t think the Catastrophe is for me.  I just don’t need the calming benefits, but in my cystic acne days, this would have been great.  I’m definitely loving the multimasking technique though.  I can never make decisions, so I love that I can use to or three masks at once.

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Any masks that you love?  Have you multimasked?



















Ulta Haul: Makeup Revolution & Catrice- First Impressions

I can’t resist new products!  I always visit the “New” section of any website when shopping online, so I was very excited to see some products from UK brands Makeup Revolution and Catrice available at Ulta.  The hard part was deciding what to get!  So, I just decided to get a ton of stuff!  I haven’t had a chance to use much of it yet, but I spent some time swatching!

I got a lot of eyeshadow palettes from Makeup Revolution.  They have some great colors, and also make dupes for popular palettes like Naked and the Chocolate Bar.  The metallic shadows swatch bolder.  The matte shadows aren’t chalky, but aren’t as pigmented.  You really have to layer them, and I could see them being a bit crumbly.  I think with primer they will show up better.  The 12 shadow palettes have better pigmentation than the larger palettes.  The matte shadows in the 18 color palettes are very light.  Several of them don’t show up much at all.  All in all, for the cost, they would be great palettes to add to your collection, especially to add some unique colors.  The blushes were more pigmented.  Although I’m not usually a fan of matte blushes, but these do not seem chalky.  The palette gives a good variety of colors.  It also has two shimmery shades that could be layered for a highlight.  They are VERY metallic though, so I would say use sparingly.  The concealer shade range was pretty good.  They are very creamy and swatch well, but I don’t think they are super full coverage.  They also seem too creamy to be long-lasting, but should definitely be set with powder to add staying power.  I’ll give some updates once I get to test drive these.   I did try the Makeup Revolution Vivid Highlighter in the Peach Lights shade, and it is very pretty!  It definitely gives a nice ‘strobe’ effect.

The Catrice products are very popular in the UK and I’ve seen some other good reviews.  Ulta doesn’t carry the variety of products that they do for MUR.  I tried their individual Matte eye shadow, which swatches well.  It’s soft and very pigmented.  I also tried one of their Luminous Lips lipstick in Nude.  It lives up to the name.  The color is a very neutral, slightly pink shade with a high shine, semi-sheer finish.  The Longlasting Waterproof eyeliner also fits its name.  It stayed on well all day without smudging and even resisted eye makeup remover.  The Multi Style Matt Eyeliner is a cool product.  It’s a felt tip liquid liner with a matte finish.  If you turn the pen to the side you get a thin line.  The other way gives a thicker line.  This liner also went on smoothly and stayed on well all day.  It was one of the easier to apply liquid liners I’ve used.  I also bought the Catrice Better Than False Lashes Mascara, but I haven’t had a chance to try it yet.

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