Hourglass

The Top Ten Tag

The Top Ten Tag

I saw this tag a couple of weeks ago over at English Rose from Manchester and it looked like a lot of fun. This tag was originally created by Jessica Vannan at Pretty Chit Chat and consists of your top beauty product for each of the ten main makeup categories. If all my makeup disappeared overnight, these are the products that I would repurchase in a heartbeat.

1. Foundation

I don’t even have to think twice about this one. My clear winner in this category is the Estée Lauder – Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup (1 fl oz, $37). It ticks all the boxes: natural finish, medium coverage, long-lasting. Check, check, and check. I reviewed this foundation previously here.

2. Powder

Another clear winner: the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (0.35 oz, $45). It’s so finely milled that it never looks powdery and it just gives my skin a healthy glow.

3. Concealer

I really enjoy the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Flawless Wear Concealer (0.24 fl oz, $24) for use on the dark circles under my eyes. I’m still on the hunt for the perfect concealer to cover those acne scars on my cheeks. If you have any recommendations please feel free to leave them in the comments.

4. Blush

Up until a few weeks ago I would’ve nominated the NARS blush in Deep Throat for this category but lately I’ve been loving the tarte Cheek Stain in Flush (0.5 oz, $30). It’s just so effortless. Just a few quick dabs on each check, a little bit of blending with my fingers and done.

5. Bronzer

I don’t really use bronzer. I don’t even think I own one so I have to pass on this category.

6. Highlighter

Another beauty product I don’t really use on an everyday basis. I do like to use a bit of highlighter on top of my cheek bones when I go for a night out and for that my product of choice is theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (0.3 oz, $24).

7. Mascara

I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to mascara and I like to try news ones all the time. The Eyeko Black Magic (0.29 fl oz, $24) mascara is one of my staples, though. I reviewed it previously here.

8. Eye Shadow

I never used to use eye shadow very much but the Sumita Beauty Eye Shadow Pencil (0.084 oz, $18) has quickly become a staple in my routine ever since I received it in my June Glossybox. It’s so easy to use: just a few swipes on the lid and a bit of blending with my fingertips. It’s a beautiful taupe color with just the right amount of shimmer that makes it perfect for everyday use.

9. Brows

I have naturally very thick and dense eyebrows so I don’t use any brow products aside from a pair of tweezers to plug them into shape and a pair of short scissors to trim them. Done.

10. Lip Product

I really like the Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balms (0.1 oz, $17) for everyday use. My favorite color is Super Strawberry because it’s a great my-lips-but-better shade. It gives my lips a nice flush of color and shine without being over-the-top.

Now, here comes the fun part: I tag YOU. Yes, you! I would love to read about your top ten beauty products. Just leave a link in the comments.

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June Favorites

June Favorites

Okay, can we just take a minute to be amazed by the fact that the first half of 2014 is already over? This month went by especially fast for me. First I took a long-anticipated beach vacation and after that my parents were in town for the remainder of the month. I didn’t work one full week this whole month which has been a nice change of pace and I finally enjoyed some much needed relaxation. Let’s talk about the beauty products I’ve been loving this month.

Being on vacation for parts of June forced me to streamline my makeup routine and stick with a few select products. Of course, I wouldn’t want to be with my favorite foundation, the Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup (1 fl oz, $37). I still enjoy it just as much as when I first reviewed it. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (0.35 oz, $45) is still a staple in my routine. I love to apply a light dusting to give my skin some glow. In terms of blush I pretty much stuck to the NARS Blush in Deep Throat (0.16 oz, $30) all month. The peach color looks amazing now that I got a bit of a tan. While I wasn’t too impressed with the Benefit They’re Real! Mascara (0.3 fl oz, $23) when I first tried it, it’s quickly becoming my new favorite. I love the way it separates, lengthens, and defines my lashes and I’ve been using it pretty much every single day. If I have a long day ahead of me a few spritzes of the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (1 fl oz, $14) are a must to make my makeup stay put all day long.

In terms of skin care, I recently added two antioxidant serums to my routine: the Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (1 fl oz, $30) and the Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum (1 fl oz, $62). I love the consistency of the Paula’s Choice antioxidant serum. It’s light and absorbs really fast. The Caudalie C15 serum has a milky consistency which makes it feel moisturizing and nourishing. The smell is a bit… odd but it dissipates quickly. I like to mix the two together and apply them in the morning under my moisturizer to boost my skin’s defenses against free radicals and sun damage.

Although I usually have multiple cleansers on rotation, this month I pretty much stuck to the REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk (5.1 fl oz, $28). You just can’t go wrong with this cleanser, especially if your skin is dry or dehydrated. You can read my initial review and my follow-up review here and here.

Lastly, the Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Leave-In Treatment (8.5 fl oz, $17.50) saved my hair this past month. My hair was in pretty bad shape after highlighting it at the beginning of the month and then exposing it to salt water and the hot Florida sun. To make matters worse I failed to regularly use hair masks so my hair has been fried: dry and split ends, breakage, you name it. This Redken treatment works wonders at giving my ends some much needed love and sealing in those damaged ends.

What beauty products have you been enjoying this June?

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No-Fuss Vacation Makeup

Beach Makeup

As you read this post I’m probably sitting with my toes in the sand on a beautiful beach in Florida, relaxing and soaking up the sun. I thought you might be interested in seeing what makeup I decided to pack for this trip. Here is a peek into my beauty bag.

When it comes to face bases, I’m keeping it simple this vacation. A tinted sunscreen is perfect for giving protection while at the same time evening out y skin tone. I’m currently using the Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector SPF 40 (1.4 fl oz, $22) which does a pretty good job at both. It doesn’t have enough coverage to hide blemishes so I’m also bringing my trusted Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Concealer (0.25 fl oz, $23). To finish my base I plan on applying a light dusting of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (0.35 oz, $45) to keep shine at bay in the hot weather.

I’m also bringing the NARS blush in Deep Throat (0.16 oz, $30) on this trip for whenever I’m looking for a nice flush of color on my cheeks. This peach shade is perfect for a beach vacation. It comes across as coral on my skin tone, especially once my face gets a bit of a tan, which makes this a great summer blush.

No makeup look is complete without mascara. The humid Florida weather calls for a water-resistant or waterproof formula like the Eyeko Black Magic Mascara (0.29 fl oz, $24). If your favorite mascara happens to not be waterproof the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Genius Waterproof Topcoat (0.19 fl oz, $21) may be for you. Apply one swipe of this clear topcoat over dry mascara to make it waterproof. Brilliant.

To complete my look I’m packing the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20 in Petal Glow (0.15 oz, $8.99). It gives just a hint of color while also providing sun protection for your lips.

To finish off my makeup application I plan on using the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (1 fl oz, $14). A few spritzes of this setting spray and makeup won’t budge even in the Florida heat and humidity.

That’s it: a fast, easy, and no-fuss makeup look that works great in hotter temperatures while also ensuring sufficient sun protection.

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May Wish List

May Wish List

Wish lists are some of my favorite posts to put together. Who doesn’t love to venture into a world where money isn’t an object and dream of all the things we wish we could have? It’s like window shopping, but better. It might seem counter-intuitive but I also love to edit my wish lists down to those few items that I truly love and then save toward those purchases to make my dreams a reality.

Here’s what’s been on my wish list lately.

I fell in love with my tiny sample of the How ‘Bout Them Apples? palette (0.7 oz, $32) and while I certainly don’t need any more blushes I would be a happy camper to add this palette to my makeup collection. I’m now a cream blush convert and this palette has a nice mix of shades to create a variety of different looks. I think it would be great for traveling but I wish it was a little smaller in size to make it more convenient.

I absolutely love the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light and I was a bit disappointed that the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette (3 x 0.116 oz, $58) was limited edition for last Christmas. You can imagine how happy I was when the palette was added to the permanent line. My only peeve with this palette is that the price per ounce is higher than for the individual powders. However, I like that it’s multi-purpose in that it contains three different shades: an all-over powder, a highlighter, and a contour. I would love to get this palette once I run out of my current Dim Light powder.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh is currently my favorite perfume and the limited edition Daisy Eau So Fresh Delight (2.5 fl oz, $89) smells just as amazing. Plus, I love the bottle design. Unfortunately, the price tag is a bit out of reach for me at the moment but I hope to pick it up at some point in the future when there’s a good sale.

My nail polish collection has gotten a bit out of control and I desperately need to find a better storage solution. I have my eyes on either the Caboodles Nail Case ($19.99) or the Julep Color Caddy ($30, $24 Maven price). Both of them would be able to hold Julep nail polishes as well as other brands and would really help in getting my collection organized.

What beauty items have you been lusting after? Link up your wish lists in the comments!

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April Favorites

April Favorites

Normally my monthly favorites lists are dominated by skin care but I didn’t try any new products this month. Instead I added some new makeup products to my routine and discovered a few things that I really love.

One of my new staples is the Hourglass – Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (0.35 oz, $45). This finishing powder is simply amazing. I love how it warms up my complexion to give my skin a sun-kissed look. It doesn’t look powdery or chalky but instead simply melts into the skin for a flawless, natural finish.

I finally got my hands on the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup (1 fl oz, $39). I got shade 2.0 and it matches my skin tone perfectly. Some reviewers have compared this foundation to the Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-In-Place Makeup and I found it to be pretty similar. It doesn’t last quite as long but the coverage is just as good and it gives a similar, natural finish.

Two blushes made it onto my favorites list this month. First up is the tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Thankful (0.2 oz, $26). I’ve been wearing this blush almost every day this month. It’s a beautiful apricot pink that is perfect for spring. I’ve also really been liking my little Birchbox sample of the theBalm Cosmetics – How ‘Bout Them Apples? Cheek & Lip Cream Palette in Pie (0.7 oz, $32). I’ve stayed away from cream blushes in the past but this one is easy to apply and blend and gives my cheeks a nice hint of flush.

Finally, I’ve been loving the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (1 fl oz, $14). It really helps to make my makeup last all day. I was afraid that it would break me out but so far so good.

What products have you been loving this month?

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Beauty Hauls: Sephora 15% Off Spring Sale and Birthday Freebies

Sephora 15% Off Sale

A few weeks ago Sephora had their big 15% off spring sale. I decided to pick up a few odds and ends that I’ve been holding off purchasing. Most of these items have been on my wish list for a while but they’re a bit pricey so I’ve been waiting for a good sale to scoop them up.

First up is the Deborah Lippmann Nail Laquer in Harem Silks From Bombay (0.5 fl oz, $20) that I previously mentioned on my March wish list. This is my first Deborah Lippmann nail polish because I just can’t justify the hefty price tag. I really love the color and silk finish of this polish, though, and I’m happy to have gotten it on sale.

Another product I’ve been lusting after for months is the Hourglass – Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (0.35 oz, $45). It’s a cult product among beauty addicts and I must say, it absolutely lives up to the hype. It gives my skin a radiant, lit-from-within glow that warms up my complexion and gives me a sun-kissed look.

I probably already own too many blushes but the Clinique Cheek Pop in Berry Pop (0.12 oz, $21) has been on my wish list for a while. Berry Pop is a bit warmer-toned than it’s sister, Plum Pop, which works really well with the yellow undertones of my skin. I haven’t had a chance yet to thoroughly test this blush because I’ve been too busy marveling at the cute daisy design but I plan on doing a review of this blush in the future.

Lastly, I decided to pick up the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard (0.22 fl oz, $29). It hasn’t formally been on any of my wish lists but my current Estée Lauder concealer has been running low so I decided to add this to my cart. This is considered by many beauty bloggers to be the holy grail of concealers. For my part, I haven’t really been able to use this concealer much because it’s too dark for my current skin tone. I wish I had gotten this in a shade or two lighter but I might be able to make it work once I have a bit of a tan.

Birthday Freebies

I also picked up my birthday freebies from Sephora and Ulta since it’s my birthday month. The Sephora gift is a Make Up For Ever set containing samples of their Smoky Extravagant Mascara (0.13 fl oz, $13.57 value) and Rouge Artist Natural lipstick in N9 Copper Pink (0.05 oz, $8.57 value). This is a pretty neat set. The samples look tiny but they’re actually about half of the full size which makes them great for travel. The Ulta birthday gift this year is a full size the the CK One Mascara (0.31 fl oz, $18). This mascara has an interesting brush. In the default setting it’s supposed to be used for lengthening and definition. Twisting the cap changes the shape of the brush, making it more dense which makes it great for volumizing. I’m really happy about these birthday gifts. Thank you Sephora and Ulta!

What beauty products did you pick up during the 15% off spring sale at Sephora?

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February Wish List

While my skin care routine has already gotten a major overhaul there are still a few kinds of products I’ve been wanting to add. I’ve done a good amount of research, reading reviews, and found a few things that I think will work well for me. At the same time there have been some spectacular new cosmetic releases for the spring that I can’t wait to try. Here is what’s on my wish list at the moment:

February Wish List

1. The Body Shop Blueberry Body Scrub – 6.7 oz, $20

You all know how much I love anything and everything blueberry scented so I got very excited when The Body Shop released their new, limited edition line of blueberry bath & body items last month. I’ve recently added body scrubs to my weekend routine so this will be a welcomed and fruity alternative to the sea salt scrubs I’m using at the moment.

2. Batiste Dry Shampoo in Cherry – 6.73 fl oz, $7.99

This brand of dry shampoo has gotten really good reviews. I haven’t tried it yet but at this price point I got nothing to lose. Plus, it smells like cherries. What’s not to love?

3. Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Berry Pop – 0.12 oz, $21

Cosmetics companies are really hitting it out of the park this spring with their new blush releases. Clinique has added a whole new selection of four blushes to their permanent range. The daisy design is so pretty and fun. All the colors look very vibrant and well pigmented. My favorite is Berry Pop which is unlike any blush color I currently own. I also love plum pop but I’m afraid that it might be too similar to NARS – New Attitude.

4. Aveda Intensive Hydrating Masque – 5 fl oz, $22

This facial mask has been mentioned multiple times on Caroline Hirons’ blog and since I’ve been on the search for a moisturizing mask for my dehydrated winter skin I thought that it would be a good one to try. I think the price point is pretty great as well.

5. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S Thirst Quenching Serum – 1 fl oz, $49

While working on updating my skin care regimen the only thing I haven’t been able to find was a moisturizing serum that would still be light enough to use in the mornings under makeup. While stalking reading Caroline Hiron’s blog I came across a picture of this one. After doing some more research on it I saw that Estée of EssieButton has been raving about this for years and it sounded like just the product I’ve been looking for.

6. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow – 0.15 oz, $35

This new product from Hourglass combines their ambient lighting powder with cheek color to create some truly unique blushes. I love the marbling effect in the pan. From the pictures I like Ethereal Glow the best but the few reviews and swatches that I’ve found of it have been mixed. It’s fairly light on some people but that seems to depend on the ratio of blush to powder in the particular pan which seems to vary widely. The product pictures show a nice amount of cheek color while some blogger’s photos barely have any veining and contain mostly powder. I think I will wait to swatch these in stores and try to get one that has a decent amount of color. Since these are part of the permanent range there really isn’t any rush.

7. The Body Shop Blueberry Shower Gel – 8.4 fl oz, $8

This is the matching shower gel to the aforementioned scrub. It’s blueberry scented. That’s all I got to say.

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