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

My Top 3 Blush Picks

Hi, my name is Lauren, and I’m a blush addict. It’s my Kryptonite of the makeup world. If I’m strolling the aisles of Sephora and a blush even slightly whispers to me that it will make my cheeks glow like Scarlett O’Hara’s in Gone with the Wind, it is more than likely coming home with me. I keep telling myself that it takes a girl forever to go through one blush, so why do I need to buy more? ‘Cause I do, that’s why! I’ve tried many blushes from many brands, so I’ve decided to share my three favorite, “can’t live without” blushes with you today! I do tend to gravitate toward pink blushes because they compliment my skin tone the best, but I have chosen brands that have colors to flatter every skin tone and shade preference.

-Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush-

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Tarte Dollface

These are probably my favorite of all blushes. Dollface definitely gets the prize for being my favorite blush for the past few years. It’s a matte light pink that gives my cheeks a healthy glow. I love that I always know this blush will look good on me and help wake up my face when I haven’t slept as much as I would like. Every time I pack my makeup bag for a trip, this is the blush I choose. One thing I love about this blush is that it stays on all day, which is great since I usually don’t touch up my makeup during the day. A little of this blush does go a long way, so apply just a little at a time. If you are interested in trying a Tarte Amazonian clay blush, I would recommend trying one of the matte ones (Exposed is also a favorite of mine); the shimmer in the other ones tends to be a bit chunky in my opinion.

-MAC Powder Blush-

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MAC Lovecloud

One thing I truly think that MAC does well are their blushes. I have had several blushes from MAC, but my go-to is Lovecloud. It’s the perfect bright pink blush with a satin finish and is perfect for spring and summertime! One nice thing about MAC blushes is that when you order them online, you can buy them in the compact or for a few dollars less, you can buy them in a magnetic pan and build your own custom blush palette!  (You can purchase a palette from MAC or use a Z-Palette, they fit any brand of makeup!)

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Top: Tarte Dollface Bottom: MAC Lovecloud

-Makeup Geek Blush-

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R to L: Promise Ring, Love Letter, Secret Admirer, Valentine

About a year ago, I ordered a blush from Makeup Geek and was so glad that I did! I LOVED the color I picked, Head Over Heels. Since then, Makeup Geek has reformulated their blushes, and the shade I have is no longer available. (I thought they were pretty darn good to begin with!) In June they released their new blushes, and they are even more BEAUTIFUL! They have a shade for everyone. Most of them are matte, which I like. I got a little too excited when they released the new ones, and I ordered four. (Told you I have a blush problem!) I have the colors: Valentine, Promise Ring, Love Letter and Secret Admirer. Aren’t the names the best? They are super pigmented and blend beautifully. Promise Ring is my current favorite. It doesn’t look like much in the pan, but it gives the prettiest natural glow to my cheeks. These blushes also come with the option of purchasing them in the compact or in a magnetic pan. I definitely recommend giving these blushes a shot!

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Top to Bottom: Promise Ring, Love Letter, Secret Admirer, Valentine
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Makeup Geek Promise Ring

Let me know if you liked my Top 3 blushes and want to see more Top 3 picks from my makeup stash!

-L