FEBRUARY 2016 FAVORITES

I am so obsessed with these products. I missed doing a January 2016 favorites, so most of these are products that I have been using constantly for the past couple of months.

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Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette – if y’all have been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I actually prefer the Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette over the original. It seems like most people prefer the original so I have been trying to make myself use this one lately. I LOVE it. I am not super creative when it comes to eyeshadow, so I have had a few palettes in the past (looking at you Tartelette in Bloom) where I open the palette and I can’t come up with a single eyeshadow combination to use. This palette is the opposite – I open it and there are so many different eyeshadow combinations that I am dying to try. All of the colors go so well together that it is really fool proof. The two chocolate bar palettes are by far my favorite eyeshadow palettes in my collection. If you don’t own one of these – you are crazy! I would actually recommend buying both (if you are excessive like me).

NYX Angel Veil – my friend Shelsea recommended this primer to me a LONG time ago. I have a TON of primers so I forced myself to wait until I had used more of them. The Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer is my favorite primer, but it is super expensive. I had heard that this primer was a dupe for it, and I have to say that I agree. I have super oily skin and I need a mattifying primer, but I have found that all mattifying primers make it super hard to blend my foundation. That is why I like the mineral veil and angel veil primers, they do almost as good of a job as keeping me matte, but more importantly they make my foundation go on flawlessly and do a great job of making my foundation last all day.

Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light Bronzer – Ok, so I bought this bronzer a few months ago after I heard Alexandrea Garza raving about it. I read a billion reviews before I purchased it and noticed that some of the reviews said the bronzer was orange and glittery. When I first got it, I swatched it on my hand and my first thoughts were “Damn, this is orange and glittery”. I kind of convinced myself that I didn’t really like it. However, once I started actually using it – I absolutely love how it looks on my face. I’m naturally tan, so it really bronzed up my skin in a gorgeous way. I don’t notice it being glittery on my face at all. I honestly have worn this bronzer every day for the past 2 months – which is super unusual for me to stick to one product that much. I love this bronzer so much that I just placed an order for one of the Hourglass blushes too!

Dior Lip Glow – check out my full review on this product here. This is the perfect everyday lip color to keep in your purse. Natural enough for work and the packaging is just too cute. This is one of the few lip products in my collection that I have no doubt I will use the entire thing.

Jo Malone Blush Peony and Suede Perfume – I have been wanting to try a Jo Malone perfume for so long but I could never justify buying one because I already have a lot of perfumes that I love. I have recently gotten into selling stuff on Poshmark so I ended up searching Poshmark for this perfume. I found a small bottle of this perfume for a really good price and decided this would be a great way to try the perfume and see if I like it before I invest in the full-size. I’m in love – it is so floral and girly, exactly my type.  I would say that this perfume is in my top 3 with Viktor & Rolf – Flowerbomb and Chloe – Roses.

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MAC Cantaloupe Blush – This blush is not included in the main photograph because I CANNOT figure out how to get it out of the palette! Does anyone else have this problem? Anyways, this has been my go-to blush for month’s now. I never would have picked this one up on my own but once I saw Casey Holmes apply it to her cheeks I was in love. It looks orange in the pan but it is absolutely gorgeous on the skin. It has good pigmentation as well – there are times where I have applied another blush first (for example Nars Madly) and it hasn’t shown up as much as I have wanted it to so I have applied this blush on top. This blush is going to be perfect for the spring and summer too.

Have y’all tried these products?! What products have you been loving in February?

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JACLYN HILL’S FAVORITE SINGLE EYESHADOWS (PLUS: MY THOUGHTS)

I’m sure by now all of you have watched Jaclyn Hill’s recent YouTube video where she talked about all of her favorite individual eyeshadows that are in her large Zpalette. I was so excited for this video that I started taking notes on everything she said so that I could see which ones I already have and figure out which ones I wanted to purchase. I figured I might as well turn my notes into a blog post and add some commentary about each eyeshadow 🙂

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The “notes” I took from the video/Jacyln’s descriptions are in regular font. My thoughts are in Italics.

  • MAC Nylon –  super frosty highlight with yellow undertone, can be used as a cheek highlighter too. I have a ton of highlight colors that I never use so I won’t be purchasing this one. 
  • Makeup Geek Mirage – natural looking highlight, slight sheen. Same as Nylon, I don’t need any more highlight shades because I do not end up using them. 
  • Makeup Geek Rapunzel – perfect amount of sheen, great for brow bone highlight, looks gorgeous on a lot of skin tones. If I were to get one of the highlights, I probably would choose this one because I tend to like a more matte highlight under my eyebrow.
  • Makeup Geek Peach Smoothie – one of her favorite transition colors, very natural, awakens eyes. I have this shade and love it. I actually like to wear it over the lid instead of as a transition color. 
  • Makeup Geek Creme Brûlée – beautiful natural shade (can be mixed with Peach Smoothie as a transition color). I have this shade and love it too! Great transition color!
  • MAC Soft Brown – similar to Creme Brûlée, more of a pink undertone. I have this shade and love it too!! I’ve actually found myself reaching for Makeup Geek Latte over this one recently. I was surprised that she didn’t include Latte in her palette. 
  • Makeup Geek Frappe – medium-tone brownish red. This shade looks gorgeous. I’ve only made one large MUG order and I ordered a ton of browns so I think I skipped over this one. I’m going to see if I have a “dupe” in my collection and if not, I will definitely be purchasing this one. 
  • MAC Kid – Might be discontinued, great transition color for someone really fair, great for cool-toned eye looks. I’m not really fair-skinned and I don’t particularly like to wear cool-toned eye looks so I will be passing on this one. I think this is the eyeshadow that Coffee Break with Dani raves about.
  • Makeup Geek Barcelona Beach – a lot of grey tones, good for cool-toned eye looks. Again, I don’t wear a lot of cool-toned looks so I will be passing on this one. 
  • Anastasia Fawn – great transition color, very neutral brown. I don’t own ANY Anastasia eyeshadows. I love Mallory Ervin and she uses a ton of ABH eyeshadows so they have been high on my list to purchase. I just haven’t had a chance to narrow down which shades I want. I’m going to see if I have a “dupe” in my collection and if not, I will definitely purchase this one. 
  • MAC Saddle – one of her favorites, been using it for forever, one of her favorites to put in the crease, bronze/warm brown. I have this color and it looks gorgeous but I never reach for it. I am definitely going to make an effort to use this more. 
  • Makeup Geek Desert Sands – looks like baby puke, mustardy-yellow. I don’t find this shade appealing at all (especially after hearing her description of it LOL). I am sure this is one of those that looks horrible in the pan and great on but I don’t plan on purchasing this one. 
  • Makeup Geek Chickadee – peachy-orange shade, great to use as a transition color when you have a tan. I don’t find this shade appealing at all – in fact, my notes when I was watching the video literally said “Ew, I don’t like this shade at all”. This is another one that probably looks great on, but I don’t plan on purchasing this one. 
  • MAC Amber Lights – rusty gold. I used to have this shade and I think I lost it. I’m sure I have shades similar to this one but I have been meaning to repurchase. I mean this shade inspired Kathleen Lights name – how could I not include it in my collection?!
  • MAC Swiss Chocolate – not super pigmented, deep purpley-brown. I have this color and use it to darken up my outer corner sometimes – it is really pretty. 
  • MAC Red Brick – matte red-orange. My notes from watching the video literally say “scares me”. Haha. I am definitely not someone who is adventurous with my makeup. I tend to stick with neutrals and me doing a “crazy eye look” typically means I have included something shimmery on my lid and not worn all matte shades. 
  • Makeup Geek Poppy – Pinky/Coral/Orange undertone. This shade looks really pretty. I have no idea how I would use this so I am not sure if I would purchase it or not. 
  • Anastasia Henna – Statement shade, coppery/rusty red very pigmented . This shade looks really pretty. I have no idea how I would use this so I am not sure if I would purchase it or not. 
  • MAC Coppering – one of her favorites, can see it from a mile away, shimmery copper shade. This shade looks amazing, if I can find a tutorial on YouTube of how to actually use this then I will definitely buy it. 
  • Makeup Geek Cocoa Bear – all matte burnt red/brown. I have this shade and it is absolutely gorgeous. I need to use it more. 
  • Anastasia Fudge – very dark fudge-y brown, her favorite brown right now, very neutral. Again, I don’t own any ABH eyeshadows yet – but this one is another one that is on my wish list. I am curious to see if I have any dupes in my collection though. 
  • Makeup Geek Grandstand – great for a smoky eye with browns in the crease, pinky/champagne undertone. I have this shadow… if you are going to buy only one eyeshadow from this list – make it this one!! I really need to buy more MUG foiled eyeshadows. This color is so creamy and pigmented and gorgeous!!! I love to wear it all over my lid. 
  • Makeup Geek Vintage – matte medium toned cool purple – good for blending out other purple shades (don’t take it up to high or it will look like a bruise). Ok, again – I am not much of a color person so most of these colored ones are ones that I am going to pass on.
  • Makeup Geek Cherry Cola – purpley cherry undertone
  • Anastasia Aubergine – perfect amount of sheen, good purple color
  • Makeup Geek Bitten – warm purple eyeshadow
  • Makeup Geek Americano – medium-dark cooler tone matte brown. This shade looks too cool toned for me. 
  • Makeup Geek Cupcake – soft pink, hard to wear if you are a little fair. This color looks really pretty! I had a pink shade from MAC that I used to love (I think it was Expensive Pink) so I might actually order this one. 
  • Anastasia Macaroon – lilac purple color, very intense shimmer. Too shimmery for me. 
  • Makeup Geek Houdini – emerald turquoise blue. Not happening. Too out there for me. 
  • Makeup Geek Dragonfly – bright aqua blue. Not happening. Way too much color for me. 
  • Makeup Geek Jester – foiled eyeshadow olive green with golden undertones, great for brown eyes. Not happening, too bright for me. 
  • Makeup Geek Dirty Martini – matte olive green. This color is really pretty but I already have an olive green eyeshadow (MAC Sumptuous Olive) and I never wear it. 
  • Makeup Geek Enchanted Forrest – all matte forrest green. HMM this one is gorgeous – I might need it??

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PLAY! BY SEPHORA (FEBRUARY 2016 BOX)

This was my first Play! by Sephora box and I had very high expectations. I had been on the wait list for MONTHS so I was super excited to finally receive my first box! I ended up canceling all my other makeup subscriptions because I found that I wasn’t using any of the products that I received. I like the Sephora box because it includes brands I am familiar with and obviously all the products are sold at Sephora which makes it super convenient.

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I haven’t had a chance to use these products (other than swatching them) but here are my first impressions on the products in the February box:

Bumble and Bumble Pret a Powder – I already have 3 of these samples and I never use them. Damn! I like my spray dry shampoo better than a powder so I doubt I will ever use this. If I didn’t already have multiple samples of this product – I would have been super excited because I love Bumble & Bumble and I love dry shampoo.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara – I love getting mascara samples because high-end mascara can be super pricy and this is a great way to try it before you buy it! I have a ton of unopened mascara and mascara samples so it might be a while before I get around to using this one.

Bare Minerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balm – I was super excited when I saw this package! I don’t own any Bare Minerals products and I liked the sound of a lip oil balm. I was super frustrated when I opened it and saw it was bright red. I’m sure other people were excited but I wish it would have been more of a neutral color. I am just not someone who can pull off red lips. This did feel incredibly moisturizing on the lips though when I tried it on.

Tom Ford Black Orchid – I’ve heard good things about this perfume but I was super bummed to see a perfume sample. I have a billion of them, not to mention the fact that perfumes are probably the EASIEST beauty product to sample in the store for free. Meh.

Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in N9 Copper Pink – This color looks GORGEOUS! I have a feeling I will definitely be using this product. This lipstick felt creamy and comfortable on the lips when I tried it on.

Lancome Drama Liqui-Pencil – I was super excited to see this because a small eyeliner pencil is so convenient to have (for travel or keeping in your purse for touch-ups). Plus, I’ve been buying a ton of brown eyeliners so I was excited to receive a black eyeliner.

Overall, I enjoyed the box. I definitely think it is better than the Ipsy bag (FOR ME) because I really enjoy the brands that were included in the box. I am not huge on trying out new brands that I haven’t heard of.  There were a few products that I was disappointed about but overall it was a good box.

What did you think of the February Sephora Play box? Click here to sign up for Play! by Sephora!

 

REVIEW: LIP KIT BY KYLIE (KOKO K)

Let me preface this with the fact that I am a Kardashian fan (I have probably watched every episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians) and although I’m not quite sure how they have managed to stay relevant, I am fascinated by them. Not to mention the fact that all of them have flawless makeup.

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One other thing I should mention is that I do not really like liquid lipstick. I like the concept of long wearing lipstick but I’m not a huge fan of matte lipstick on my lips. It somehow always manages to make my lips look dry, crackly and old. So, if you are interested in how the Kylie Lip Kit compares to the Anastasia liquid lipstick, the Ofra liquid lipstick, the Colourpop liquid lipstick, etc – you probably won’t enjoy this blog post.

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When I first heard that Kylie Jenner was coming out with her own liquid lipstick I thought there was no way I was going to buy it. I figured it was going to be one of those mediocre products that sells like crazy just because of the name that’s on it. I’ve seen the Kardashian clothing line at Sears (ew) and the Kardashian beauty line at Ulta and I’ve had zero interest in purchasing any of that. However, after these lip kits were launched the feedback from the beauty community was actually really good. I also read an interview with Kylie where she talked about the “Kylie lips” craze and how the day she publicly mentioned the name of the MAC lip liner and lipstick she always uses to get her signature lips – those products immediately sold out. She said that she figured if that was going to happen why not create her own and be able to profit from it. I liked that she was so blunt about it.

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OK now to talk about the product itself (and the packaging). The packaging, from the box it arrived in to the box that holds the liquid lipstick and lip pencil, is ON POINT. I can’t think of a single other makeup product where I have been so impressed with the overall packaging. There is even a holographic grill on the little box that holds the lip liner and the liquid lipstick. Also, let’s just mention the fact that I can’t think of another cosmetic company that sells a lip KIT where they package the liquid lipstick and corresponding lip liner together. I think that’s brilliant. I hope that eventually she sells them separately for people who don’t want both but I’m so impressed by the fact that she thought of that idea.

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The biggest negative for me was the price. The kit cost $29.95 plus $8.95 shipping. Since I only bought one item – the cost of the kit was pushing $40, which was definitely more than I wanted to spend. However, it was early in the morning and my adrenaline was pumping (fellow beauty junkies, I’m sure you know that feeling) so I clicked the purchase button without giving the total cost a second thought. (I’m glad I did it because this shade sold out in seconds).

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For me, the shade range is perfect. I can’t imagine anyone looking at the collection and not finding at least one shade they wanted to try. I settled on the shade Koko K after I saw Jaclyn Hill’s snapchat. For those of you that don’t know what I am talking about – she reviewed each shade (she gave some shades a negative review) but said that the shade Koko K was the best liquid lipstick she had ever worn. Ever. Koko K is not one that I normally would have gravitated to because it is a little light for my olive skin tone. I was worried it was going to be  Dose of Colors – Stone all over again. However, once I tried it on – I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did it not make me look dead – the color was actually flattering.

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I don’t have many other liquid lipsticks to compare it to (in fact, I only have one other liquid lipstick in my collection). However, I can say that it was definitely comfortable on the lips and lasted a long time. I’ve heard that there is some inconsistency in the formula across the collection but I would definitely recommend the Koko K Lip Kit!

 

Kylie changed her company/website name to Kylie Cosmetics so I cannot wait to see what products she comes out with next.

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WHY I AM DOWNSIZING MY MAKEUP COLLECTION

I love makeup. When my alarm goes off each morning before work my first thought is “NOOOO”, my second thought is “…. but yay, I get to play with my makeup”.  This past year, I have spent an insane amount of money on buying new makeup. Prior to this year, I used to be able to fit my entire makeup collection in one of those cute Caboodle’s that you can buy at Ulta. I had one foundation, one bronzer, one mascara, zero eyeshadow palettes (only a few single MAC eyeshadows) and I would only purchase more makeup when I finished a makeup product. It’s funny to think that I used to be so sad when I hit pan on a product, whereas now I get frustrated that I can’t hit pan on a single product. You would think my very large makeup collection would make me happy but to be honest I miss the days when I had a smaller makeup collection full of products that I absolutely loved.

I realized I had a problem when I found myself FORCING myself to use makeup products in my collection. I have so many products that I absolutely love to wear – so why on Earth do I have products in my collection that I have to force myself to use?!

The second thing I have realized is that I need to stop buying drugstore makeup. Now don’t get me wrong there are some really great products that you can find at the drugstore, some of which are even complete dupes for higher end products. However, I found that I was reaching for my higher-end products over the drugstore products. This is partially due to the fact that I enjoy higher-end products. They are usually prettier, have nicer packaging, and USUALLY are better products. The other thing is that when you have a large make up collection, you feel like you need to focus on using up the more expensive products because they cost more money and therefore if they expired you would “lose” more money than you would if a drugstore product expired. If my $60 Dior foundation expires, I will be PISSED. If my $1 ELF product expires – who cares?!

So, I recently went through my makeup collection and pulled out any product that doesn’t make me happy when I use it. I am selling these products on Poshmark and I plan to use that money on future makeup purposes. (Because let’s remember, not only do I love makeup – I also have a makeup blog and Instagram account to maintain).

In the future, I’m going to be a lot smarter about my purchases. For example, Estée Lauder Double Wear has been my holy grail foundation for 10 years. I have tried so many other foundations and I don’t like a single one of them as much. So, I don’t really need to purchase EVERY new foundation that a YouTuber or beauty blogger raves about. I’m also going to get better about returning makeup products that I don’t enjoy. I actually didn’t realize until recently that you can return make up products to Sephora.

Now, I look at what is left of my make up collection, which is still large and excessive for one person, and I find that every single product makes me happy. I guess in this case, less is more 🙂

PS: Let me know if you’d be interested in a follow-up post that includes which items from my collection that I got rid of!

REVIEW: DIOR ADDICT LIP GLOW

I picked up this product after seeing it in a fellow beauty blogger’s yearly favorites. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but this product is PERFECT for me.

I typically wear something simple like Vaseline on my lips to work (I love the creme brûlée and rosy pink versions). Every time that I try to wear lipstick – the color comes off once I’ve had my morning cup of coffee in the car and then I arrive at work with either no product left on my lips – or messed up product on my lips (and a stained coffee mug). I do love the Revlon Matte Lip Balm in Honey and I keep this in my purse when I want to add a little color. However, when my lips are chapped – this product does not look that great applied on top because it is not moisturizing or glossy.

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Enter the Dior Addict Lip Glow in Pink. This product feels amazing on the lips – very moisturizing. I applied this to half of my mouth at first and it makes both a huge difference and a subtle difference at the same time. It makes a huge difference in that it completely brings my lips to life – it adds a slight color as well as a glossy finish. It made my lips look more healthy, plump and moisturized. It makes a subtle difference in that the color is not crazy. It is one of those “high tech” lip products that reacts to your body’s chemistry and creates a unique color for each person. I find that the lip color it gives me is noticeably brighter than my natural lip color but still compliments my skin tone really well.

I didn’t even realize this when purchasing it, but this product also contains SPF 10 which is great for protecting your lips. I also love that this product isn’t sticky feeling and I can easily apply it without looking in the mirror – it’s pretty fool proof. I am super weird about drinking anything with lip products on – for some reason, the “lipstick stain” that inevitably ends up on my drinking glass GROSSES ME OUT! I know that’s weird but it does. This product leaves a less noticeable clear stain, which is much better in my opinion. I plan on buying a second one of these so that I can keep one in my vanity and one in my purse at all times! I absolutely love the pink color but would love to hear if y’all have tried any of the other shades (lilac and coral).

If you don’t have this product – you need to go out and buy it RIGHT NOW. I have no doubt this is going to be my new holy grail everyday lip product.