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Confessions of a Makeup Junkie

Hey everyone! I’m baaaaccckkkkk!!!!  Today we’re going to have some truth talk. I’m going to share my tips and thoughts on how to keep your makeup stash at a reasonable size, and not waste your money on things you won’t use. Wait. I have a beauty blog, and I’m telling you that you don’t need a lot of makeup?! Yes. I just want to help build your makeup bag to a manageable and useable amount while recommending some awesome products (and helping to avoid the ones that are meh.)

Now, I’ll start off by saying that I still have more makeup than I really need, but it’s currently at a level I feel comfortable with. I’ve found items I truly love and work for me. I’ve attained this through trial and error. I know what shades work for me and how much make up I will use on a daily basis.

A few years ago, I wanted to try ALL the makeup. I used to have all kinds of makeup: eyeshadow palettes for every look, tons of blushes and bronzers, and lipstick or lip gloss out my ears. Sure it was fun to play in and try new things, but after a while, it just got overwhelming. There was too much to pick from, and I felt like I wasn’t making a dent in using up any of it. So I gathered up all my makeup and assessed what I truly use and need to keep around. First, I tossed anything that’s old. Then, I sat down and was realistic with myself. I’m not a huge lipstick wearer; I prefer a bit of lip liner and gloss, so I don’t need 14 lipsticks. Then I looked at my glosses. Which are my all-time favorites? Do I really like this formula? Does this shade really work for me? When was the last time I used this? I did the same things with everything else. I found that I tend to wear a simple, cool toned eyeshadow look with a matte pink blush. Contouring isn’t my thing, so I don’t need a contour kit. I also didn’t need false eyelashes. Or a colorful eyeshadow palette. Or bright pink lipstick.

YouTube beauty gurus love to post 30 minute long videos of their entire makeup collection. All 500 items. It can be fun to look at and say, “Man, how awesome to have all that makeup to play with every day.” But let’s be honest. How old is some of that stuff? It probably isn’t safe to put on your face. And there’s more makeup there than they’d use in a lifetime. If you’re a person that wants a 6 foot dresser full of makeup, that’s fine. I’m just saying that it’s okay to just stick to the basics and what you love, even if it’s just a handful of products. You don’t need 52 lipsticks and 18 eyeshadow palettes to look beautiful.

 

Don’t get limited edition collections, collaborations, or makeup hype suck you in. Been there, bought that! I generally avoid even looking at limited edition collections because I know that the company is really wanting to sell me this product (or entire collection) based solely on that it won’t be around forever, they’ve only made so many, and I simply cannot miss out on that super cute limited edition packaging. To me, if it’s that good, make it part of the permanent line. This also goes for any makeup line that sells out in five seconds online. Think to yourself, “Am I doing this because I legitimately want this item, or because of the thrill of hunting down and bringing home that lip gloss that everyone is wanting right now?”

I think the “Free Gift with Purchase” items or bags can also be a tricky little trap. Now if you’re at your favorite makeup counter restocking up on your foundation and mascara and there’s a free gift bag, go for it. But think hard about buying something just because you get a free gift. This one is one that I have to really watch myself on. I love tiny size samples and trying new things, so I think to myself that it’s perfect! But if I’m spending my money on something I don’t really love, then it isn’t worth it.

Have you ever found a lip gloss or blush that you LOVE and think to yourself, “This is amazing. I need it in every color!” While there might be another color or two that you like, you probably won’t love them as much as the first one you bought. The reason there are different colors is so that everyone can find one that suits them. If you enjoy trying new colors, maybe make yourself use up an item before you try a new shade.

Another tip is to have list of exactly what you are on the hunt for when you walk into a makeup store or approach the makeup area at a store. This will help keep you focused on what you need and not walk out with impulse buys. I have the Sephora app and use the “Loves” section to make a list of the things I want to look at when I’m in the store. I also keep a list in my Notes on my iPhone. I tend to think of myself as a seasoned makeup shopper, and I still get overwhelmed with everything when I walk into a store, so this makes it easier for me to stay on track and make it out with what I need.

Here are some questions that I ask when I’m considering buying a makeup item:

Do I already have something like it?

Do I like this more than my favorite (insert makeup item)?

Am I wanting this because it is limited edition, and I feel pressured to buy it right now because I might miss out?

Am I interested in this because it’s the hottest new thing?

Will this item fit in with my everyday makeup routine?

Will this color actually suit me?

 

And that’s it! Hopefully this helps you guys when paring down your makeup collection or when out shopping. I also use these tips for when I’m shopping for clothes and cleaning out my wardrobe too!

 

-Lauren

 

 

Lauren’s Loves: October 2016

Hey everyone! I can’t believe October is over and November is here! It’s been a while since I’ve written a favorites post, so I’ve rounded up some REALLY good things!

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Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo – October was basically the month of “I really don’t feel like washing my hair.” Of course I did wash my hair routinely, but I just wasn’t into taking the time to wash and style my hair. Thank goodness one of my college classmates and blog readers told me about this dry shampoo. I’ve been testing it out a while and have really liked it, but this month confirmed my love for it. It soaks up the oil and makes my hair feel nice and clean without leaving any weird textures or residue. This is definitely a staple in my hair care routine now!

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MAC 224 brush– I have been wanting this eyeshadow blending brush for a long time, and I finally broke down and added to my brush stash this past month. I am so glad that I did! This brush is perfect for blending eyeshadow into my crease and for any additional blending to my makeup look. I love how it is nice and fluffy, but I still can control where I’m placing eyeshadow.

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Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue and Hydrating Mineral Veil– The Complexion Rescue has been a daily staple for me for quite a while now, but I thought I would try the Hydrating Mineral Veil to set it for a more natural and glowy look. And let me tell you, I LOVE these two together! Now, if you have oily skin, you probably won’t like these products. But if you have normal to dry skin and don’t need a ton of coverage, then definitely give these two a shot!

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Tarte Lip Facial– I’m all about a good lip scrub, so I was interested in try this scrub from Tarte when it came out a few months ago. I’ve never used a scrub in a stick form, and I really like this one! I just rub it back and forth on my lips in a circular motion and then wipe away the product with a damp wash cloth. It has a nice peppermint flavor and has been so handy to throw in my toiletry bag when I travel. This would make a great stocking stuffer for pretty much anyone, including yourself!!

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This month I’ve used two blushes that I’ve been absolutely loving. The first is one is the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 hour blush in Exposed. I used to have this blush and loved it, but it got old, so I tossed it. It doesn’t look like much in the pan or even when you swatch it, but if you want a matte, natural blush that will go with any makeup look, this is the blush for you. I also have been loving Charlotte Tilbury’s Chic to Cheek Swish and Pop Blusher in Love Glow. This is a beautiful glowy pink with a little bit of a sheen. I think this blush is also perfect with just about any makeup look and the formula is amazing!

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YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in No 44 and Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner in Pillow Talk– My favorite lip combo of the month is hands down these two! Honestly, if you could only pick one of my favorites to buy, try the lip liner! It is the most perfect natural pink and the formula isn’t too dry but isn’t too creamy. I’m debating if I need a backup! I like to line and fill in my lips with the liner, and then top it off with the lipstick. I love YSL lipsticks. This formula is hydrating and more on the sheer side, and I love the nude pink color. I will say the lipstick isn’t the longest wearing, but that doesn’t bother me.

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Kendra Scott Alex Lux earrings in Ivory Pearl – A few weeks ago Kendra Scott launched a bridal line at her store, and let me tell you, some of the pieces are GORGEOUS! I’ve been wanting a pair of Alex earrings for a while, and when I saw you could make a pair on the Color Bar with rhinestones in them, I was sold. I chose to make a silver pair with the ivory pearl stone. I wore them to my brother’s wedding and couple times since then, and I love them! They help make a simple outfit feel more dressed up.

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Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley – I’ve been following Emily Ley on Instagram for a couple years. She’s a mother of three and owns her own business. Her posts are honest and encouraging, so when she released a book earlier this month, it was a no brainer to hop on Amazon and have it delivered into my grubby little book loving hands. Moms. Women. You need this book. I needed this book. I’m a perfectionist and sometimes I can be too hard on myself when dinner ends up being turkey sandwiches, the house is a wreck, and I have laundry everywhere (both clean and dirty), and I have yet to shower that day. In her book, Emily writes the message that it’s okay if things aren’t perfect. It’s about prioritizing your life to make room for what matters most: your people. She also gives great tips on organizing your life so you can make the most of your time with your people. I’m still working my way through it, but in a world of Pinterest and Instagram perfection, this is what I need to hear: It’s ok not to be perfect, just find joy in the mess of everyday life.

And that’s it for my October favorites! What products are you loving lately?

-L

 

 

Girl Talk: Sunday Evening Edition

Hey people! It’s Sunday evening, I’m looking at my calendar for the week and it’s not looking like a beauty post is going to happen. 😬 So I thought we could chat about girl stuff.  I’m outnumbered at my house, and my guys try to be a good sport about all my girliness, but really they just want to talk about tractors and tools and dirt and man stuff, so sometimes a little girl talk is nice!

  • I’m addicted to Pandora radio. Specifically anything Red Dirt or Frank Sinatra. I always seem to be more productive with music going. And my oldest’s new favorite song is, “Fuzzy” by Randy Rogers. Not sure if I should be worried or proud his jam is a song about a good night of drinking. 
  • Walgreens now carries Soap and Glory!  I’m excited to have another place to stock up on my favorite hand cream, body wash and scrub. 
  • Don’t forget to wash your new fall scarves. The chemicals in the fabric could lead to a very itchy case of contact dermatitis on your neck, jaw line, and ear lobes. And you know what the doctor will prescribe?  A steroid shot right in the booty. Don’t ask me how I know about all this. 
  • If you love baked potatoes, you need to try the smoked potatoes from Rudy’s BBQ. Top it with smoked turkey and a fountain coke on the side, enjoy, then write me a “thank you” note. (I’ve had two this week, and I enjoyed every bite.)
  • I’m running dangerously low on my can of Oribe Dry Texture Spray. I REALLY love it and want to repurchase it, but I REALLY hate how expensive it is!
  • If you are ink pen obsessed like me, try the Pilot Acroball pens. They are the smoothest writing ball point pen ever!  I do also enjoy the ink pen I got from my dentist’s office, but I don’t know where else you can get those! 
  • I really want a pair of ankle boots. Anyone have a pair they really like for under $100?  (No suede or fringe!)
  • I ran into Ulta today to grab a couple things, and I picked up a Bare Minerals lip gift set, thinking they were nude glosses. Nope. They were matte liquid lipsticks. And they weren’t cute on me. I’m having total buyer’s remorse. That’s what I get for impulse buying!
  • I also went to Victoria’s Secret to buy a new strapless bra to wear with my bridemaid’s dress. It was between one that was totally comfortable but made me look flat chested or one that was more “enhancing” but not quite as comfortable. After a 20 minute dressing room debate, I went with enhancing. We shall see if I made the right decision.  I also walked out with a pair of yoga pants because they’re comfy, and I like balance in my life. 
  • I need to start packing for my brother’s wedding this weekend, and I have a feeling my makeup bag(s) are going to be the bulk of what I bring. Anyone want to have a contest to guess how much makeup I’m packing? My guess is 28 pounds… Also, would you guys like to see a post on what I pack or a post on how I did my makeup? Both? Lemme know!

Welp, that’s all I have! I’m off to watch some Harry Potter with my fellas!  Let me know in the comments what’s on your mind?  Have a great week!

-L

Wedding Makeup Tips

In a week and a half, my brother is getting married to the most darling gal, and I couldn’t be more excited for them!  She sweetly asked me to be a bridesmaid, which I am pretty stoked about. Not just about the fact that I get to stand up at the altar to watch my brother marry the love of his life, but also for two words: wedding makeup.  I LOVE wedding makeup!  I did my own makeup on my wedding day, and I had the honor of doing many of my friends’ makeup for their wedding days. 

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t start thinking about how I would do my makeup for my brother’s wedding about 0.25 seconds after I was asked to be a member of the wedding party. I will also be doing my mom’s makeup and will offer my help (along with 85 pounds of makeup I plan on bringing) to any of the other bridesmaids if they’d like. I thought I’d share some of my tips for bridal makeup and even some of the prep beforehand. These tips can be used if you are a bride, bridesmaid, or are just wanting some glam makeup for a special occasion, such as prom, a holiday party, or professional photos. 

1.  Start thinking about how you want your makeup to look in advance. Do you want a red lip? Smoky eye? Soft and romantic look?  YouTube and Pinterest are great places to get ideas. This will help you or your makeup artist stay on track with creating the exact makeup look that you feel beautiful and comfortable in. 

2.  If you are going to change up any of your skin care, do it weeks or even months before the big day, that way if something makes you break out, you can swap out that product. Consider getting a hydrating facial, but be careful of most facials if you don’t get them routinely, since they can pull toxins from your skin, causing you to break out.

3.  If you plan on waxing your brows, do it at least two weeks before your wedding in case you break out any due to the waxing. (And maybe avoid trying a new person to wax your brows, just in case they are wax happy.)

4.  Do a practice of your makeup a few days out to make sure you have everything you need and that your foundation is still a good match. 

5.  Avoid alcohol. I know it’s tempting to have a few drinks while you are getting ready, but alcohol dehydrates the skin. Water is a gal’s best friend. It will plump your skin and help your makeup look smoother and apply better. If you do intend on still having a drink, just make sure you are getting in plenty of water too!

6. Get your beauty rest!  

7.  This is a day of pampering and fun: use eye masks, face masks and don’t forget to exfoliate your face and lips!

8.  Moisturize.  Moisturize.  Moisturize. 

9.  Make sure you wear waterproof mascara. 

10.  If there is a day that you should wear false eyelashes, your wedding day is that day. It will enhance your eye makeup and add volume and length to your lashes. If you are like me and don’t feel comfortable in a strip lash, try individual lashes. They add all the drama, but look so natural and are more comfortable.  

11.  Don’t wear any skincare or makeup with sunscreen in it. The particles in the sunscreen will cause a white cast on your skin when you are photographed with a flash.

12.  Apply your makeup a tad heavier than you normally would. I know, it sounds crazy. One of my bridesmaids kept telling me to add more blush when I was putting on my makeup, and it made me nervous, but I did it. Just wait until you see your photos. You will love it. 

13.  Fill in your entire lip with lip liner. This will help your lipstick and/or lipgloss last. 

14.  Set your makeup with a powder and use a setting spray. You want your makeup to stay out for hours!

15.  Use a fuller coverage foundation. You want to look flawless!  Makeup Forever has great foundations with good coverage, and they look beautiful in photos. 

And that’s it for my special occasion makeup tips!  Do you have any good tips you can add? Let me know!!

-L

Buy or Bye?!

Hello makeup junkies! Today I am rounding up a few products I’ve purchased in the past few months and letting you know if I think you should buy them or pass and say, “Bye!” Now if you have something I’m reviewing negatively, but you love it, it’s ok. This is just my opinion, and I’m pretty picky. Let’s get started!

Essie nail polish in Coconut Cove – All summer long I kept seeing manicures with white polish all over Instagram, and I was loving it! I saw where one blogger said she was wearing Essie’s Coconut Cove nail polish, so I tracked it down to add to my polish hoard. I generally love Essie nail polishes, but not this one. The color was beautiful, but this polish started chipping 0.25 seconds after it dried. Definitely pass on this shade.

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Covergirl Katy Kat Matte lipstick in Sphynx – This is one of those products that totally sucked me in with the packaging. I’m not a die-hard Katy Perry fan or anything, but I think she did a great job on this lipstick. It’s the perfect pinky peach nude. And even though it is supposed to be matte, the formula is creamy and not super drying, like most mattes tend to be. I don’t think I will by buying every shade in this line since I’m not a huge lipstick wearer, but I definitely think this lipstick is worth a try!

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L’Oreal Voluminous Primer – I saw this eyelash primer one day and immediately grabbed it. I love eyelash primers, and I haven’t really seen any from any drugstore brands, so I was really excited to try this. It has yet to disappoint! I apply a couple coats and let it dry for 30 to 60 seconds, then go in with my mascara. This adds volume and helps keep my lashes curled all day. I’ve tried samples of the lash primer from Dior, and I would say this one is comparable to it, not to mention it’s WAY cheaper!!

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Makeup Geek contour powder in Break Up– I’m a little bit late to the whole contouring game, mostly because I feel like it’s hard to find a good shade for my skin tone. And if I did find a shade, it came in a palette with a bunch of other shades that I would probably never use, and frankly, I didn’t want to waste my money! I was on Makeup Geek’s website a couple months ago and saw that they make contour powders. Since I’m a huge fan of the blushes, I decided to give one a shot. They have a shade for every skin tone, from warm to cool and porcelain to dark. I bought Break Up, which is a cool toned porcelain shade, and it’s perfect! This powder is super pigmented, so a little goes a long way. It’s also easy to blend. I’d definitely say BUY this!

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L’Oréal Lumi Cushion foundation – Cushion foundations are a popular product out in the makeup world right now, and I thought I’d give this one a try from L’Oréal. It is pricier for a drugstore foundation, I think around $15. It comes with a sponge to apply it, but I use my dampened beauty blender instead to dot it on my face and blend it out. It provides a light, dewy coverage (if you have oily skin, you will not like this foundation). It’s not super long wearing, but does hold up well throughout the day. Although I can’t say this is my all-time favorite foundation ever, I do think it’s pretty good and worth giving a try!

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Kenra Dry Thickening Spray – I saw a YouTuber/blogger, who has the best hair I’ve ever seen, rave about this product, so I bought it since I love texture sprays and her recommendations are usually pretty good. Okay, so I don’t know if I’m just not using it right, or I’m just so used to texture sprays, but I feel like this does nothing when I spray it in my hair. I’m going to keep playing with it, but for now, I’d say skip on this and get the Kenra Dry Texture spray instead.

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Tarte Shape Tape Concealer – This concealer was released a few months ago and it is probably one of the most talked about, hyped up concealers I’ve ever seen in my YouTube watching days. Naturally, I had to get my hands on it to see what the fuss was all about. It is supposed to be a great undereye concealer that can also be used to highlight with and contour with in the darker shades. I stalked visited my local Ulta and their website for weeks with no luck. Finally, it was in stock on Tarte’s website one day and snatched it right up. I ordered the shade Fair. And let me tell you, it’s pretty darn fair! I am definitely bright eyed and bushy tailed when I apply this! I like how it has a huge doe- foot wand and you get quite a bit of product (10mL). This concealer does take more effort to blend out compared to other concealers I’ve used, but it covers my dark circles very well. I did notice that this creases the least of any concealer I’ve tried, so I was pretty impressed with that. I honestly can’t say that this replaces my beloved Makeup Forever Ultra HD concealer as my favorite, but I do think that if you want a super full coverage concealer, give this one a try!

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Let me know if you liked this post and want to see more “Buy or Bye” posts in the future!

-L

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box

Hey! Today I wanted to give you guys my thoughts on the Play! by Sephora monthly subscription box. In the past, I’ve tried monthly subscription bags or boxes from Ipsy, Birchbox, and Julep. I did enjoy the boxes, but after a few months, I felt like I was collecting products I was not going to use. I’d maybe have one item per box that I really liked, so after about four to six months, I’d cancel my subscription with the reasoning that if I skipped out on a subscription for a while, then that money would add up and I could go do a little makeup haul and get items that I really wanted.

About a year ago, I heard that Sephora was testing out a subscription box, and I immediately put myself on the wait list. After months and months of impatiently waiting, I got my first box in May. Each box contains four or five deluxe samples and a perfume sample. It’s $10 a month plus tax and shipping is free. Each month’s box has a theme to it and the items are packaged in a cute little bag that you can reuse. When you sign up for your subscription, you fill out a quick survey about your skin, hair, etc, and Sephora recently began sending out two different boxes depending on what you filled out.

I’m not going to recap every box that I’ve received, but I think that my June and September boxes have been my favorite so far. If I get something that doesn’t suit me or know I won’t use, I usually pass it on to someone that will use it. I know that these boxes are just for fun to get to try new things, but I am 100% honest so you can determine if this is something you’d be interested in.

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Pros:

  • It’s $10 a month! Skip Starbucks or Chick Fil A run a couple times, and you’ve got your box paid for.
  • It’s like you send yourself a present every month! I would be fibbing if I said that the day my box reaches my doorstep isn’t one of my favorite days of the month. (I’m pretty easy to please.)
  • Everything in a tiny size is just stinking cute. I’m a total sucker for a tiny bronzer or eye cream.
  • Every product can be found at Sephora, so you don’t have to search the internet and stores to find a product if you want to purchase the full size.
  • Inside the box is a leaflet that explains how to use each product, and there is a card that you can take into Sephora and get 50 extra *Beauty Insider points if you make a purchase. (And you get 10 points just for purchasing the box!)
  • Quite a few of the samples are generously sized and will last quite a while.
  • Travel a lot? This is a great way to get smaller products to travel with.
  • I love it when I get products that I already love and use. This month I got a Kat Von D Tattoo eyeliner in Trooper and an Anastasia of Beverly Hills clear brow gel. I use them all the time, so I was so excited to stock up!
  • Your box is slightly tailored to your profile you fill out when you sign up. You may get items that are more specific to your skin type. You can go back and edit your profile settings if you need to.
  • They sometimes will include products that are brand new and just launching.
  • You will never have to buy mascara again. I haven’t received mascara every month, but I love getting mascara samples. They always seem to perform better than the full sized tubes, and since mascara is something you throw out frequently, it’s nice to have a stash of mascara.
  • I like how there is usually a variety of products in each box. Along with makeup items, they also usually include skin care and hair products. One month I even got a blotting sponge from Beauty Blender.

Cons:

  • You will probably be on the wait list for a few months. Be prepared.
  • I haven’t cared for the perfume samples at all. Yes, I’m picky and sensitive to scents, so that doesn’t help. I usually end up tossing them.
  • I got a liquid bronzer two months in a row. Yes, they were from different brands, but I was disappointed, especially since the alternate box one month had an awesome powder bronzer in it that I really would have liked to try. #firstworldproblems
  • Since they are trying hard to build a box that will work for people of all skin tones, skin types, and hair types, the colors of items won’t always work. I was so excited to get a Bite Beauty lipstick in my first box, except that it was a bright pink. Epic fail for this pale faced gal. Also one of the liquid bronzers I got was super orange on me. I know this is part of the experience and part of being fair skinned with cool undertones.
  • This really isn’t a con, but I put in here more as a suggestion. I think that Sephora has done a pretty good job of getting a variety of really good brands in the boxes, but it would be fun to get something from a luxury brand in the box (YSL, Dior, etc). Since those brands a pretty expensive, it would be awesome to have a little treat in the box every now and then!

 

So overall, I think that I would definitely recommend trying out the Sephora box. Below is a link to sign up for the wait list. Do you have a subscription box that you love?

 

-L

Here’s the link if you’re interested in signing up (aka getting on the wait list):

http://www.sephora.com/play

*Sephora has a customer rewards program called Beauty Insider. You get points for every dollar you spend and you can use those points to get deluxe samples to try. They update the samples every month. And you get a free gift your birthday month just for being signed up! (And the birthday gifts are usually pretty good!)

Note:  This post was not sponsored by Sephora or anyone else.  I just really like makeup, especially mini sized products.

My “Go To” Beauty Products

Hey everyone! There’s been a tag video going around YouTube about your “Ride or Die” products. Basically, what are your all-time favorite, “can’t live without” beauty products. I wanted to do my own version on the blog today!  You’ve probably heard me talk about them already, but these are products that I love, know that they will always work for me, and would be content using forever!

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PrimerMakeup Forever Hydrating Primer. I’ve tried many different primers over the years, but this one is definitely my favorite. It hydrates and plumps my skin to get it ready for foundation, but is not the slightest bit greasy. Most days I use this as my moisturizer!

Foundation – I’m pretty picky about foundation, but the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel wins in this category. I’ve been using this consistently for over a year and a half. I like how it provides light coverage and adds a healthy glow to my skin. I just started my fourth tube of this!

ConcealerMakeup Forever HD concealer. I’ve been using this since it came out earlier this year and love it. I didn’t think anything could replace my love for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, but this one has. I provides the perfect amount of coverage and isn’t cakey or heavy.

Corrector – This wasn’t in the actual tag videos, but I cannot live without my Bobbi Brown Corrector to hide my dark circles. I use this everyday!

Setting Powder – Hands down my favorite powder is the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. This powder is perfect at setting my makeup without being cakey or powdery.

Undereye Setting Powder – Since I use concealer under my eyes every day, I like to set it with a powder and the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening powder wins the prize for my favorite under eye setting powder. It doesn’t settle in fine lines and wrinkles. I went through an entire one of these, told myself not to buy another one so I could use up some other stuff. That lasted maybe three months.

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Brows – I’ve tried all the different types of brow products out there and the one I always go back to is the Anastasia Brow Wiz. I like how the tip of the pencil is small, so it’s easy to mimic actual brow hairs. And I love that the color caramel is a perfect match for me.

Eyeshadow – Choosing this one was easy. I could use the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 all day, erry day and never get tired of it. (As you can tell, mine is well loved.)  I love the cool tones and how I can create a simple or smokey eye with just the colors in it.

Eyeliner – This one was hard. I would have to say that I’d have to go with Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Desperation. I love the taupey gray and it goes perfectly with the Urban Decay eyeshadow palette and I love how it applies and wears. Now, if I were allowed to have two eyeliners, then the other one I’d chose is the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper.

Mascara – I can’t say I have a favorite mascara for my top lashes, I generally switch it up, but I always use the Cover Girl Clumper Crusher in Waterproof for my bottom lashes. Most mascaras smudge on my bottom lash line, but this one never does. And the small brush makes it easy to apply to those tiny little bottom lashes.

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Bronzer – This one was hard to choose! I dug through my bronzers and hemmed and hawed over them for a while and then finally chose the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. Are y’all tired of hearing about this bronzer yet? I would definitely miss this if I didn’t have it around!

Highlight – This was another though one, but I decided on the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Highlight in 01. This one adds the perfect subtle glow and is the one I know will always look good, no matter what makeup look I’m going for.

Blush – Blush is my weakness in the makeup realm and is definitely the item that I have the most of, so you’d think it would be hard to choose just one blush. Nope. This was easy. The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Dollface is hands down my favorite blush ever. It wakens up my face, is long wearing, and always looks good on me.

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Lipgloss – Since I’m more of a lipgloss kind of gal, this one was hard to choose since there are three brands that I really really love. But at the end of the day, I know that I will always be happy with the Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in White Russian. It is the perfect nude with a tad of pink, which is right up my alley.

Lipstick – I don’t wear lipstick, but when I do, I wear fancy pants lipstick. (Insert a meme with the Dos Equis dude…) If I had to choose only one lipstick to use for the rest of my life, it would be the YSL Rouge Volupte in 01 Nude Beige. This lipstick is pinky nude perfection, and I love the way it wears and its watermelon scent. I’ve recently repurchased this, which is something I rarely end up doing with lipsticks. I could get rid of all of the rest of my lipstick and just have this one and be completely satisfied.

Perfume – I don’t have a ton of perfume because I’m pretty picky (and sensitive to scents) when it comes to perfume. I tend to rotate through about four scents, but hands down my favorite is Viva La Juicy by Juicy Couture. I received a sample of this a few years ago in a Sephora order, sprayed it on, fell in love, and walked straight out of the house to the perfume counter and bought a full sized bottle. I’m on my second bottle of this and my love for it has yet to waiver.

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Beauty Brushes/Tools – There are only two beauty tools I can’t live without. And if you’ve been makeup shopping with me, you probably are saying, “It’s the BeautyBlender and MAC 217 eyeshadow brush.” And you’re right!

 

And that’s it! What are your “Ride or Die” products? I want to know!!!

 

-L

How to Pack Light(er)

Hey everyone! Sorry it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted, but I’m back today with a post everyone can relate to: Packing for a trip. I’ve been traveling a lot the few weeks, and I’ve got packing my bathroom and beauty essentials down to a “T”. Now, I am by NO means a light or minimalist packer compared to some others (though I am better than I used to be), but I do make an effort to pack the things I will actually use, and I try to be as compact as possible. I’ve been working this morning on packing for a flight to my future sister in law’s bachelorette party this weekend (I’m so excited!), so I thought I’d share some of my tips and tricks and let you see all the junk treasures that I pack!

All the cosmetic bags I use to keep me organized while I travel!
All the bags I use for makeup, hair, showering, and general toiletries
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The Simple Micellar Makeup Remover Wipes are awesome and so handy for traveling! And yes, I use men’s deodorant. It smells sooo good! And it works!

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Isn't this tiny razor so cute?! Totally a gimmick, but so cute!
Isn’t this tiny razor so cute?! Totally a gimmick, but so cute!
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I just got this new bag from Herschel. It holds so much stuff!
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I like this bag for all of my hair essentials. It also holds a travel hair dryer and my small makeup mirror!

For this trip, I am checking my bag with the airline since I need to pack more than will fit on a carry on, so I don’t have to worry too much about the size of my beauty products. Still, I went with a lot of small/travel sized products to help save on space, ’cause a gal needs a few outfit options!

I like to start packing my bathroom stuff a day or two before my trip. Then I will use only what’s in my makeup bag to get ready from. This helps me notice if I’ve forgotten something important (like mascara!), or if I there’s anything extra I can weed out.

Designate a cosmetic bag or pouch for everything. I find it is easier if things are in pouches rather than one giant bag. I have a pouch for makeup, hair products, shower necessities, and general toiletries/skincare. This is nice because I can just grab one bag if I’m headed to the shower. It also makes it easier to pack in my suitcase because I can fit them in the nooks and crannies. This system even works great for things like head phones and chargers or anything that is small and may be floating around in my purse.

I have found that having two small bags for makeup works great. In a smaller pouch, I have all of my long, thinner items, such as eyeliner, mascara, eye brushes, lip gloss, and concealer. In the larger pouch I have my face brushes, foundation, BeautyBlender, setting powder, eyelash curler, and setting spray. Packing this way keeps me from having to dig around in a giant bag searching for my eyeliner.  (For this trip, I actually ended up fitting most of my makeup into the pink Kate Spade pouch and tossed my foundation, brushes, and eyelash curler in my grey bag.  #winning)

Pack only what you truly need! This part is easier said than done, at least for me anyway. Pack only what you use on a daily basis. I probably won’t need makeup for a smoky eye, a bright lip, contouring, or three different blushes. I pack what I need for my daily glam, but no more than that. As for skincare, I go with the most bare bones skincare that will still keep my skin happy. I packed makeup remover wipes, serum, eye cream, sunscreen, and using my makeup primer as my moisturizer during the day. Do keep in mind that traveling can dry out your skin, so do plan for that. For showering, I grabbed a travel sized bar of soap. I can wash my face and body with that. I did pack a small face wash, but that is mainly for when I wash my makeup off at night to make sure I get my face super clean.

Utilize your sample stash! This is a great way to save space. I love digging through my makeup and skincare stash and pulling out all my deluxe samples I’ve hoarded from Sephora Play boxes, gifts with purchase, etc.  If you don’t have many sample makeup items, that’s ok, just maybe choose items that have more compact packaging or can be used for more than one thing, for example, use a light shimmery eyeshadow for highlighter and bronzer for eyeshadow. I had some sample face masks in little packets and threw those in just in case my skin really acts up, though I really won’t have time for a spa session.  I also like hit up the travel size areas at Target, Sephora (aka the Aisle of Doom), and Ulta to grab travel sized items of my favorite products. I made sure that all of my hair products are travel size because it saves so much space! Yes, travel size items can be more expensive, but they are worth it while traveling. I also like to reuse the containers and refill the bottles when I can or buy those small empty containers and fill them up with my own products.

Hopefully this helps for the next time you are packing up for a trip. Happy travels!

-L

P.S.  Here’s the link to the Herschel bag.  The others were either gifts with purchase or old and unavailable.

 

Gems of the Drugstore: 2nd Edition

Hey y’all!! Today I’m back with some more awesome drugstore makeup. I am super excited to share these products with you guys!

L’Oreal Voluminous Primer – So I mainly decided to write a Gems of the Drugstore post this week so I could tell all of you about this primer. I haven’t been this excited about a new makeup product in a while! I was wandering through the drugstore section of Ulta recently, saw this was a new item and knew I had to try it since I love lash primers. I’ve only been using it about a week and a half, but I can already say that this is the best lash primer I’ve ever used. The formula coats my lashes thickly and evenly and doesn’t look clumpy when I put my mascara over it. Best part? It’s 8.99!!! RUN to the store and get this!!! I’m serious. You need to try this!!

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Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – I haven’t tried a ton of drugstore concealers, but I discovered this one a few years ago and have used it off and on and really like it. It has light coverage and blends well to a luminious (but not glittery or shimmery) finish. I have the shades Fair and Light. Fair is lighter with more pink tones, which is what I prefer. Light has more yellow undertones, if that’s what you need. I love using the shade Fair to brighten up my under eye area, but it also works to cover redness and blemishes. I’ve heard this is comparable to the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I’ve used both and think they are every similar, though the Nars one is a bit thicker and has slightly more coverage, but this one from Maybelline is so good that I won’t be buying the Nars one anytime soon (it’s $30!), and I will just stick to this one since it’s only $6.99.

Top: Fair Bottom: Light
Top: Fair  Bottom: Light

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in Light Bronze – I mentioned this bronzer in a favorites post a couple months ago and since then, my love for this bronzer has only grown. I use this pretty much every day to lightly bronze/contour my face. I love how it isn’t matte, but it isn’t shimmery; it just gives a nice healthy glow. I also like how it isn’t too orange, like a lot of bronzers are, which is not cute when you have fair skin. Oh, and it smells soo good!

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Wet n Wild eyeshadow trio in The Silent Treatment – A few years ago, my sister-in-law sent this eyeshadow trio to me saying it was really good and that I needed to try it. Man, was she right! I’m on my second one! I don’t use the glittery black shade (it’s a bit chalky), but the other two shades are perfect. These are pigmented and blend smoothly. The quality is amazing for their $3 price tag. On days where I want simple makeup, I will just swipe some of the taupey-purple shade over my lid, use the light shade to highlight my inner corner, and call it good!

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IMG_3471IMG_3485Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in East End Snob – If you are looking for a good lip liner in a neutral pink shade that will go with almost any neutral lipstick, this is the liner for you! It’s only $7!! I’ve heard that this is a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat in Pillowtalk. I have both liners, and I wouldn’t say that they are an exact dupe since the Rimmel one is more pink, but for a third of the price, this one works just fine!

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Top: Rimmel liner in East End Snob Bottom: Charlotte Tilbury in Pillowtalk

Hope that you guys try and love these products as much as I do! What are your favorite drug store items? I want to try them!

 

-L

Let’s Talk Trash: My Product Empties!!!

Some of my favorite videos to watch on YouTube are ones where people show beauty products they’ve used up and give a mini review. I feel like if you’ve stuck with something long enough to finish it, you can give a pretty good review. Well, good news!  I’ve been hoarding my trash under my bathroom sink over the past few months, and I’m going to show you what I’ve been using up! By the way, does anyone else get a deep sense of accomplishment when you finish up a product completely? I LOVE that feeling!

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Up and Up Soothing Body Wash – In the winter my skin gets so dry and itchy, so I like to use a more moisturizing body wash. I really like the Aveeno Active Naturals Skin Relief Body Wash, so I thought I would try this since it is a few dollars cheaper. I really liked it and couldn’t tell a difference between this and the Aveeno one. I will definitely purchase this again when winter hits!

Soap and Glory Clean on Me Creamy Clarifying Shower Gel and Flake Away Body Polish- I talked about my love for this body wash and scrub two in my very first post! I’ve used up every bit of them and still love them.  I already have new ones in my shower!

Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion – I LOVE this stuff! This is my go-to lotion.  It is thick and moisturizing without being greasy. Most lotions just aren’t quite moisturizing enough for me, but this one works great for me year round. I’ve already repurchased this… in bulk!

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Kenra Dry Texture Spray – I’m always sad when I get to the end of one of these! It’s my favorite dry texture spray, and I went ahead and repurchased it, even though I have a couple other brands I’m trying to use up.

Moroccan Oil Hydrating Styling Cream – I really liked this cream! It added extra moisture to my hair without being heavy or greasy. I haven’t repurchased it simply because I have other products I need to use up, but I definitely would buy it in the future. And this travel size lasted me probably four or five months!

Kenra 25 Hairspray– This is my favorite hairspray ever. I’ve already mentioned it in my haircare favorites, so I won’t ramble on about it anymore. But I love it, and I repurchased in the biggest size they make!

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask – I got this product in my May Play by Sephora box. I love deep conditioning masks, so I was super excited to give this a try. Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed. It was hard to work through my hair, and I didn’t feel like it added much extra moisture to my hair. Plus the smell was weird. I won’t be purchasing this product, but I’m glad I had the chance to try it!

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Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream – This is my millionth container of this stuff, I love it! Even though it’s a cream, it isn’t heavy and greasy and adds the perfect amount of moisture. I’ve already busted into another one of these!

Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil – I’ve had this product a while, so I figured I needed to work on using it up. I forgot how good it was! I apply a couple pumps to my dry face and work it into my skin. Then I add a little water and it emulsifies into a lather. I rinse it off and then use my face wash. This is a great product and I highly recommend it! It’s super gently and doesn’t sting my eyes. I did repurchase, but in the travel size.

Glam Glow SuperMud Clearing Treatment – I love love love this mask. I like to use it when I have a breakout or my pores are looking rather large. It’s a deep charcoal color and when it dries, you can see it working on your pores. I got this in a gift set around Christmas. I definitely recommend it, but I didn’t repurchase it. This is the smaller sized jar, and I felt like I really had to be consistent about using it because it started to dry out after a couple months. For as expensive as these masks are, I feel like that was a big con. For now, I’m using the face wash in this line!

GlamGlow Gravity Mud Firming Treatment – I got a sample of this a few months ago and tried it and really enjoyed it! It is a peel off mask that’s a pearly silver! It was kinda fun walking around pretending to be the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz. And I do think it firmed and plumped up my skin. I for sure want to use this mask again!

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy lip balm – Fresh skincare products are some of my all time favorites, and this lip balm didn’t disappoint! It did a great job moisturizing my lips without being heavy. I mainly used this in the morning right before I put my makeup on. The only con with this one is that it was a deluxe sample I got in a kit with a few Fresh products, so the bullet was thin and it broke easily, so if you’re interested, just get the full size!

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Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Desperation – Urban Decay eyeliners are my favorite!  They glide on smoothly and stay in place all day.  This color, Desperation, is a matte taupey gray, which is right up my alley.  I did repurchase this color; it’s definitely a keeper!

Tarte Opening Act Mascara Primer and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara– I talked about this lash primer and mascara in my first post and still love them. They were starting to dry up and flake and irritate my eyes, which is a common issue with me, so I had to toss ’em. I haven’t repurchased them because I’m trying other things, but I still think they’re great!

Maybelline The Falsies mascara – A couple years ago this was my favorite mascara. I hadn’t had it in a while, so I purchased it earlier this year. I don’t know if I got a dud tube or it just wasn’t what I remembered, but it was dry and hard to work with and didn’t give much volume. I has so bummed. I think I will hold off on repurchasing this and try other drug store mascaras to see if I can find one that’s better!

CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara – I’ve recently talked about this mascara too. I love it for my bottom lashes or days when I want a super natural lash. I think this is a great product and have repurchased it already and will continue to!

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer – I’ve had several tubes of this concealer over the past few years and love it. It does a great job concealing without being heavy or cakey. I didn’t repurchase this because I have other concealers I’m currently loving, but I do think it’s a great product!

 

Hope you enjoying digging through my bathroom trash with me!!!

-L